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AvatarComments by Kazzy in reply to JS*

On “Always at the Abyss

"And that is that the veneer of civilization is much thinner than we realize."

There is a reason things like mosh pits and Burning Man exist.

On “The Crimson Letter

"Where I disagree with Greg is the passivity towards it, as if it wasn’t destructive and is akin to “boys will be boys,” another bad argument that passively OK’s horrific behavior."

The slight push back I'd offer here would be with regards to what is actually happening.

Is some college kid ranting and raving about firing his professor while everyone rolls their eyes? Fine. Let him be. I think we can be passive towards *that individual*.

Is that individual gaining traction, having his voice amplified and acquiesced to? Well, yea, now we need to dig in and start doing some real work, either ferreting out the legitimacy of their claims and pursuing due diligence in our response OR pushing back or something in between.



I don't think that was me but maybe. It is aligned with my general thought that nuance is dead and we all suffer as a result.

Some things are bad. Some things are worse. We aren't made better off by making all bad things worse.


My general sense is in line with Greg’s above, in that this isn’t something new... just the latest flavor. It’s problematic when it happens but many claims of it happening are in fact something else.


So... the profit-motive has negative consequences? Interesting.


I’m quoting JB here:
“And, in becoming customer-oriented, the universities decided to cater to their customers (who were now paying out the nose) instead of following the ideals of the idea of the University.”

If that ain’t what’s happening, then I take it back. I took him at his word here.


That wasn’t my point. If colleges are caving to “cancel culture” because it is financially beneficial... well... ain’t that sumptin.


“ And, in becoming customer-oriented, the universities decided to cater to their customers (who were now paying out the nose) instead of following the ideals of the idea of the University.”

So conservatives are mad that the profit-motive isn’t favorable to their worldview?


So are both sides now doing the “do as I say because this is how it should be and don’t ask questions why” thing? I’d co-sign that but would perhaps see the cause as less insidious. I think the way discourse has evolved on the internet has been in the direction of echo chambers. These become self-affirming and people really think alternate opinions are extreme and exist in the minds of fringe bad guys.

I’m part of a global FB group of educators discussing the pandemic. On a thread about the importance of school leaders listening to teachers, I was attacked and told to shut up because I offered an opinion other than the dominant one.

I’m a teacher. In a group for teachers. On a post about listening to teachers. Being told to shut up because I didn’t say what was right.

On “We Deserve Donald Trump

I missed Philips attacks. My apologies. I would not endorse him saying that about you, Still.

"The Dems had better QBs on the roster. It was her turn I guess. I mean, that’s what people said at the time anyway… Hell, North said it as recently as today.Report"

Wouldn't that really make it the GM's fault? Or the coach? Some combination therein? Along with the QB, of course.

None of what I am saying here should be misconstrued as a defense of Hillary or a claim that she should have won or did win or anything like that. Believe me, I have lots of criticism for Hillary and the Dems for how 2016 turned out.

But if your takeaway is simply that, "Choosing a bad, unlikeable candidate means you will lose," then you are ignoring that the GOP *also* chose a bad, unlikeable candidate. So, obviously, you CAN choose a bad, unlikeable candidate and still win! The GOP did that in 2016!

Now, a takeaway of, "It doesn't matter if you choose a bad, unlikeable candidate... You can still win!" would be an even worse one. So if anyone is deluding themself into thinking that choosing Hillary *didn't matter*, they are also wrong... and wronger than the perspective I noted just above.

This is where we have to look at process vs outcome.

Fact 1: The Dems process was a bad one; they selected Hillary as their candidate.
Fact 2: The GOP process was a bad one; they selected Trump as their candidate.
Fact 3: The GOP won.

Fact 3 does not negate Fact 2. And that holds true even if Fact 3 was "The Democrats won."

Here is another way to think about it: heads up blackjack

The GOP and the Democrats are both players at the table. They both get dealt a 20. These are strong hands. This represents their advantage in the 2-party system. It does NOT represent the strength of their candidates; just the strength of being Democrats and Republicans in a system that is only going to elect a Democrat or a Republican.
Both players hit. HOLY CRAP THAT WAS DUMB!!!!!!! Hitting on 20 is phenomenally stupid. It all but ensures you lose. Hitting on 20 is selecting Trump for your candidate. Hitting on 20 is selecting Trump for your candidate. It is a really bad and dumb thing to do that almost ensures you will lose.

The Dems pull a 2. 22. You bust.
The GOP pulls an Ace. 21. Holy smokes. You win!

Both players were dumb and played poorly. It worked out -- against all odds -- for the GOP. But they should not repeat that strategy. They will lost almost every other time they do it.

The Dems should also not repeat that strategy. They will lose almost every time they do it.

The problem here is that some Dems aren't focused on, "Holy crap! We turned a winning hand into a loser! Don't do that again!" They're looking at the final 'score' of 22-21 in a closest-to-21 contest and thinking, "Man! So close!" No... no.... nooooooooooooo. Not so close.

Why did the Democrats lose? Because they chose an unlikeable candidate AND she/they committed some massive strategic errors.

Choosing an unlikeable candidate *alone* does not explain their loss. Why? Because the GOP also chose an unlikeable candidate. It contributed massively to their loss. But it wasn't the sole reason for it.

Coming back to football, here is how we can summarize the two TEAM'S approaches to the game:
Democrats: Start a bad QB and play a conservative scoring strategy that costs you a fraction of a point over time.
GOP: Start a bad QB and play an aggressive scoring strategy that gains you a fraction of a point over time.

The scoring strategy, on average, is worth less than a point per game. On this particular day, it created the margin of victory. But, to your point, either team could have changed their odds dramatically by selecting a different QB. A different QB moves the expected scoring margin by many points, perhaps more than a touchdown.

Multiple thing scan be true.
The Democrats positioned themselves to lose because they chose an unlikeable candidate.
The Democrats positioned themselves to lose because she/they employed a bad strategy.

Changing one of those might have changed the outcome. Which doesn't negate the truth of the other.


Sure. But that is a different thing than what is being discussed.

Phillip isn't arguing any of that. Philip has conceded that she was bad, but that her being bad isn't the sole reason she lost.


Is it your position that, "Hillary was a bad candidate and this contributed to her loss?"
Or is your position that, "Hillary was a bad candidate and that is the reason she lost?"

If it is the former... it doesn't really stand up.

Again, to my analogy: BOTH quarterbacks were bad. They were bad at all the things you mentioned. One team won because it got that extra point, which really had nothing to do with the badness of the quarterbacks. Yes, if the team had a better quarterback, they would have won. But that was true for BOTH teams.

The deciding factor was not that one team had a bad quarterback. The deciding factor was that one team had a tactic that got them the win.

Would a better candidate have beaten Trump? Almost certainly. Would a better Democratic candidate have beaten a better GOP candidate? Who knows.


I have to side with Philip here.

Imagine a football game where both teams had lousy quarterbacks.
Both teams score 3 TDs.
One team goes for 2 each time and gets it 2 out of 3 teams.
The other team take the XP each time and nails it.
The former team wins 22-21.

Wouldn't it be silly to say that the losing team lost because they had a bad quarterback?

On “Georgia’s Largest School District Shows Challenges in Opening Schools.

Well, obviously these people didn't get sick AT school. They got sick elsewhere. Are we going to close all the other elsewheres where they got sick? Or just schools? Why?

On “Cornonavirus Outbreak Causes MLB to Suspend Games

There was undoubtedly real problems that emerged due to all the politicization. But at the end of the day, we revealed ourselves to be a pretty self-centered society. Everyone wanted to know when THEY would get back to normal instead of thinking about how WE could get back to normal. It was "me over we" and we continue to see that. It's sad. And children are among those who will suffer the most.


Well then, we have two options:
1. Close schools forever
2. Buckle down on adults -- who can avoid doing all those things -- incredibly hard and tight for a few weeks/months to get this thing under control so we can open schools and other things.

We seem to have chosen 1. Because god forbid the adults act like adults.

Johnny can't goto school but Johnny's dad can go play golf with friends and then have beers and steak afterward with them. Seems reasonable.


We could have closed grocery stores and mailed everyone a box with rice, beans, and apples every month. We didn't do that. People would have revolted.

Instead, we'll give kids the rice/beans/apples box equivalent of an education for the next year. And if we revolt about this, we're told we want kids and teachers to die.

Me... I've been told I must want kids and teachers to die. That sure sounds like me.

On “From ABC News: Judge Esther Salas’ son shot and killed, husband injured in attack at their NJ home

"Moreover, he killed a dude, which in his mind means he killed a human being and not a “femoid.”"

I couldn't help but note the irony of the MRA guy going after a female judge killing/hurting two men.


My sister worked with the judge back when she was a federal public defender. Called her a rockstar.

On “Harsh Your Mellow Monday: Distant Sounds of Inevitability Edition

I’m not quite sure I follow. My argument is that whomever is making the decision should not be factoring in the blowback they may suffer. This is too big a decision.


As someone who owns a Shane Falco jersey, I agree wholeheartedly.


“ And by least risky, we don’t mean the virus; we mean to the politicians and leaders who are deathly afraid of the blow back from making the wrong decisions.”

This infuriates me. Blowback comes with the territory. Asking others to bear costs so you don’t have to is a complete abdication of leadership.

Whatever the calculus is for the re-opening of schools, it’s a shame that “How will this go FOR ME?” is any part of the formula for elected officials.

You don’t get to lead only in good times. Do what is right for the people who elected you to serve, not for yourself.

On “I Miss Prayer

I don't know the ins and outs of other countries so I can't speak to what has been done there.

I'm not even necessarily criticizing what has been done. But, at the end of the day, we've got bars and hair salons open but not schools. Now, part of that is undoubtedly because schools are harder to open. But part of that is because we simply didn't care enough. Many schools have looked at the guidelines and said, "We can probably do this but we need more money." I don't know of any that got the money.

My question is... do you think we're in the best possible position we could be with regard to school re-opening?
If your answer is no, why do you think that is?

On “Neurodiversity and the Dignity of Work

Well, I would consider that among the "skills and talents". Different jobs have different requirements with regards to "culture." But "Do they fit in?" is often used as a way to exclude folks for reasons entirely unrelated to the job, both hard and soft skills.


I've sometimes seen the obstacles face by individuals with special needs* go even farther, wherein they demonstrate they have the skills and talents and experience necessary to do the job and are essentially met with a "Yea, but still..." There often seems to be an underlying assumption that there are more needs and challenges associated with them as employees or just people. It's really, really gross.

One time, we were evaluating an applicant for school. She was a lovely child with so much to offer. She also had physical disabilities due to birth defects that limited her mobility. She required the use of a wheel chair and braces for move throughout the school. Our building was equipped to meet these needs and she met all of our expectations for a student. In discussing her application, an administrator said (paraphrase... it's been about 10 years), "I know she passed the assessments and her reports all check out. But I can't help but think about the mind-body connection and how her physical needs may lead to learning needs down the line." And this was from an EDUCATOR whose background was in SCIENCE... BIOLOGY no less! Holy crap, man. I was floored.

So while I agree with everything you offer here, having been on the other side of hiring/decision making, I also see that it can be far worse.

* Apologies if this language does not feel applicable or appropriate; this is the terminology we use in schools and I believe it remains an appropriate general term as well.

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.