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On “Reflections on a windfall

Strangely, I'm not even sure it was a relative. If so, it was a very distant relative (on the in-law side). Some things I do know about this person, however, do tell me that the person's life was very hard and probably not fulfilling.

It is something I should have thought about in my OP, though.

On “Linky Friday: Take, Eat, Drink, And Pray

I wouldn't be so quick to call it "weird." My working hypothesis is that belief systems, including approaches to proper food consumption, develop in tandem with the culture of the believers. There often is an official or quasi-official authority that lays out reasons, and the believers assign their own reasons. Sometimes there's an underlying sense that's not always available or understandable to non-believers.


I hadn't even thought of that, to be honest.

On “The Politics of Everything


I'm really sorry to hear about your friend and what she (and you) are going through. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

On “Morning Ed: The Arts {2017.08.09.W}

I should say that while my interpretation of that article differs from Will's gloss (assuming I have the right article), I find that the argument implied in Will's gloss--that people oppose fascism more out of a sense of decency than out of the "appropriate ideological commitments"--rings true to me.

To me, at least, that's a good thing. "Decency," or whatever passes for decency, can be a check against our baser impulses and inclinations. I have done a lot of things I'm proud of, or at least not ashamed of, out of a sense of "decency" that I would not have done out of principle. If we take our principles undiluted, we can end up doing some pretty horrible things.

Can "decency" be bad? Probably. Maybe definitely. But I wouldn't want to simply jettison decency for all that.

On “Glosswitch: Anorexia, breast binding and the legitimisation of body hatred

Perhaps you (or someone else here) know the answer to this, Greginak. Are there other ways to "force feed" someone that are less invasive than a nasogastric tube? Can nutrients via an I.V. work just as well, or almost as well?

On “This Party Cannot Be Saved

There are federal parliamentary democracies like Canada, Australia, Germany, and India.

True, which goes to show that not all parliamentary systems are the same.

The real key feature of parliamentary systems is that there is a direct link between the executive branch and the legislative branch because the leader who governs the majority faction in the legislature becomes Prime Minister.

I'll buy that as a good working definition. But even then, I'm not sure that's reliably what people have in mind when they talk about "what the US would be like if it were a parliamentary system." But maybe I'm wrong on that. (I was originally going to say it's not what "most people have in mind" but I realize I don't really know what "most people" think.)

On “Kamikaze Cruz vs The Convention

or....."you get what you need."


I hadn't read the speech beforehand, but I thought he did a middlin' to good job delivering it, albeit too long. Not that I liked the content of the speech, though.

On “When is a Speech More Than Just a Speech?

never in the days of the deepest Bush derangement syndrome I have heard a bad word said about Laura Bush,

Except perhaps for this.



I wonder who Bellesilles and Kearns-Goodwin are voting for.


I think it's worth asking, @aaron-david , whether this was plagiarism at all. What Malania/Trump campaign is accused of plagiarizing seems like a bunch of boilerplate platitudes about "living up to your word, and doing what you say you'll do." It was uninspiring when M. Obama did it, and it's uninspiring when M. Trump does it. But not necessarily plagiarism.

(Disclosure: I didn't follow Tod's links So maybe it really is plagiarism.)


If the Dems had run amore traditional primary, and someone else had won the nod...would Hilary Clinton’s career have really been such a failure that the party should feel ashamed of itself that it didn’t arrange to make her POTUS?


I'd like to see you be more explicit on who the agents of this apparently sad state of affairs are. Who decides whether the Dems "run a more traditional primary"?

Maybe the local state parties, maybe the state governments that set laws on how voting in the primaries works?.

Maybe the movers and shakers in the party who decide whom to support and when and with how much money?

Maybe the superdelegates or the system that put them in place (my history is fuzzy, but I understand is was sometime between 1970 and 1976.)?

Maybe the Dem's who might've run but decided not to?

Maybe the president, who chooses to take on certain prospects for high-profile cabinet positions and then who endorses certain candidates?

I'm not so sure I disagree with you--I certainly don't disagree with your assessment of HRC--but I'd like to see you show your work a little more about whose decisions make this state of affairs happen.

On “More Like Ross, Don’t Douthat

Thanks for the clarification, North.


Thanks, Ken. For the record, I find your comments here and elsewhere very thoughtful.

On “What Comes Out in the Wash

The golden rule seems pretty sensible, except not everyone wants to be treated the same, so teasing out how people “want” to be treated versus how they “really want” to be treated versus how you ought to treat them regardless of what they want — good luck with that.

I've had the same thought, too, Veronica. And I also don't see how the Golden Rule meshes with someone who hates themselves....they might "want" to be treated in one way, but not really, and as you point out, however ever it is they "want" to be treated, might not be how others "want" to be treated.

On “Weekend!

I'm really sorry to hear about this, Jaybird and Maribou. But just know my thoughts are with you.

My weekend is kind of ho hum. My spouse is away in Wabashenapolis today and much of tomorrow. So that's kind of sad. But a friend is in town and tonight we're going to see some other friends who are in town but who I never see.

On “Linky Friday #139: Humans, Robots, & Onions


But maybe the "one member" is actually a composite of the others. Has that been disproven (or shown to be unlikely)?

On “More Doom: Partisanship Explained

"for Saul’s others"

Err..."for Saul's benefit"

On “The Toderonemy, Vol. I

This is an excellent comment @davidtc . I'm sorry I've just now had a chance to read it.

On “In Development

I'm glad you're on board. And I've been granted the same status, so....I guess we're blog-brothers?

On “Sunday!

My wife and I are in the middle of the final season of "Parenthood."

On “The Toderonemy, Vol. I

That's a good approach, hard to do (as you say), but worth it.

Sometimes it's even possible to see some legitimacy in the grievance, which makes the bigotry harder to tease out. My mother, for example, once joined a picket line to protest busing in my city. One justification for her grievance was that she preferred her kids (my siblings...I wasn't born yet) go to a the neighborhood school just 5 blocks away instead of being bused a couple miles away. By itself, that grievance is legitimate. However, I won't deny that other factors probably were at play.


I don't have a pithy name for it, but one working rule I have developed (I hesitate to call it a "law") is, "bigotry feels itself aggrieved." Under this working rule, people support measures they'd otherwise feel to be wrong or violent or unjust because the pose some kind of threat or represent others who pose that threat.

If we take Tod's Augusta National example, I'd imagine that at each stage of membership discrimination (blacks, women, gays), the discriminators believed themselves beset by a true danger. Tod alludes to that feeling with gay folks when he mentions how some cite alleged attacks on their religious liberty.

On “Linky Friday #135: Katy & Lamar

Shame on everyone involved in this subthread!