Open Thread! Unmasked edition.

Say what you want! Self-linking welcome.

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37 Responses to Open Thread! Unmasked edition.

  1. 1
    RonF says:

    When I say that it’s recognizable as a Yoruba name I don’t mean that it’s self-evident, I mean that it is recognizable in the same way ’sociolinguistics’ is recognizable as a Latinate word or y = mx + b is recognizable as the slope-intercept form for linear equations: certainly there are people who would not recognize it as such, but a passing familiarity with the subject matter should render it clear. (And this isn’t an entirely theoretical argument: I have had it recognized.)

    Ah, O.K. I thought you were referring to the specifics.

    In any case, I see no reason a Yoruba surname – examples of which include Ogunbowale, Awobuluyi, Soyinka, Oyeniran, and Balogun, should be assumed in Nebraska to belong to a Spanish speaker.

    Fine. That makes sense.

    As to your first point, I don’t doubt that there are places to be found in the country where any given trait or attribute would put you in danger. I do doubt that institutionalized racism and discrimination – here distinguished from prejudice in that discrimination possesses power to do something about it – against whites is so epidemic as racism and discrimination against people of color.

    To a certain extent that’s got to be true. After all, the very fact that “x” is a minority means that there aren’t as many “x” around and thus the area/number of locations where “not_x” have to worry about being subjected to danger on the basis of their race/appearance is less than those for “x”. So minority “x” would have this issue in their face a lot more than majority “not_x”, and in the general case of “going to a new environment” “x” has a bigger problem than “not_x”.

    I was reacting more to the specific case of “going to a new school in an unfamiliar city”. Random_kid is going to have to check out where he/she should or should not go regardless of their status as “x” or “not_x”. They both have to ask the question. Let me ask you this: do you think the answer is likely to be much difrerent for “x” than for “not_x” – that around a college or university there’s going to be a significantly larger number or area of “no-go” zones for a black kid than for a white one? I can say “no” for the undergraduate schools that I or my kids attended. I can say “hm, likely yes” for the school my wife attended. I can say “hah, just the opposite” for the graduate school I attended. But that’s only 5 schools, which is not a significant sample size. I’m guessing “not so much” for the specific case of a school or university because those areas by virtue of having the school there tend to be more diverse than usual. I’m assuming that they are different than just taking a map of a randomly chosen area, throwing a dart at it and evaluating the risk for blacks, whites, etc. around it. But that’s a guess. Maybe just a projection of what I’d like to think.

  2. 2
    Terence says:


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/leprechaunspade/4110358577/
    Check out my flickr photos!
    Is this what self linking means? Seems like it to me.

  3. 3
    aftercancer says:

    Seriously bummed that I have to wait another week before the line up for Bonnaroo is announced but I’ll try not to bitch. Thought you guys might like Can middle schoolers say boobies?

  4. 4
    Sam L. says:

    I never realised I had thing for girls revealing themselves to be Dr. Doom until this moment. That’s enlightening.

    And while I’m on the comics tip, here’s Kelly Thompson from Comics Should be Good discussing her reassessment of the character Lois Lane. Generally some good comics stuff on that blog, IMO.

  5. 5
    RonF says:

    So Radio America went bankrupt. Why? Why is it that there are plenty of conservative-oriented radio shows that are financial successes, but the only left-wing radio outlet is NPR, which IIRC is publicly subsidized? Where are there no liberal-oriented radio shows that are financially successful?

  6. 6
    Mandolin says:

    Did you just compare NPR with Rush Limbaugh?

  7. 7
    RonF says:

    I just went on Wiki and if that’s to be believed most of NPR’s funding comes from listener donations, corporate grants and station fees. Some small amount of funding comes from the Feds and some other comes as a passthrough wherein the stations get govt. grants to cover the fees and then pass that along to NPR.

    No, I compared NPR to conservative-oriented radio. {Conservative-oriented radio shows} >> {Rush Limbaugh}.

    So – how is it that Air America can’t support itself? Why did it fail? Why is there no group of for-profit liberal radio shows? Why in contrast are there numerous conservative for-profit radio shows? Is it an issue of the nature of the media? The nature of liberals and conservatives? The depth of passion on the issues on their respective parts?

  8. 8
    Sam G says:

    I write a lot of stuff on my blog about social change, new subversive movements, and new ways of thinking about the world. Please, check it out!

    http://worldmagnified.blogspot.com/

  9. 9
    Ampersand says:

    Although Air America failed, there are a number of successful lefty radio folks, although their success is less than that of their right-wing counterparts. For some reason, right-wingers have the most radio, while left-wingers have the most online media (although there’s plenty of right-wingers online, too, of course; but nothing as big as, say, Daily Kos).

  10. 10
    lonespark says:

    Air America ceased to exist recently? I thought that happened a long time ago! But there are still plenty of shows, and I think plenty of stations, with progressive/liberal talk.

  11. 11
    nobody.really says:

    [T]he only left-wing radio outlet is NPR, which IIRC is publicly subsidized? Where are there no liberal-oriented radio shows that are financially successful?

    For what it’s worth, National Public Radio reports receiving nearly 16% of its budget from government — mostly from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    While NPR receives this subsidy, it is unclear to me that it needs the funds to be viable. It’s my understanding that while most of the broadcast world has seen shrinking ratings, NPR’s ratings have never been higher.

    That said, I also find it curious that Air America went under, even as many of its top talent seem to have found a following on MSNBC. (Or, in the case of Al Franken, are now fully government-funded.) I like to think that progressives are simply not sufficiently gullible to be a lucrative commercial audience, but that’s a pretty self-congratulatory perspective.

    All I can say is that I’m a hard-core NPR junkie and never got out of my rut long enough to even try Air America. Even when they’re playing mindless jazz stuff – or worse yet, having a fund drive – I STILL tune in. When I say hard-core, I mean hard core. So if I’m any indication, Air America was doomed from the start.

    Yet another example of socialism undermining the free market.

  12. 12
    Ben says:

    I’m still wondering where this notion of NPR, or public radio in general (many public radio shows are produced by Public Radio International and American Public Media, but they aren’t discussed as often) as being left-leaning came from. On public radio news programs, whenever partisan politics comes up, the newscasters almost always portray both “sides”* equally… in fact, sometimes they bend backwards to avoid portraying Republicans negatively. Really, I think most people would consider NPR to be a centrist organization.

    This is a bit whimsical, but I had a theory about why public radio is attacked so much by conservatives. Most of the right wing talk shows involve lots of yelling and shouting; I think many of the listeners have become so used to that as the norm in radio,so when they hear radio shows where people actually speak at a sonic level similar to how people talk in real life, they’re convinced that such a show must be strange and different, and not worthwhile.

    Then, I figured that this was a silly, convoluted theory that wouldn’t really hold up… but after the town hall rowdiness this summer, I’m reconsidering.

    *This itself is problematic when there are more than two sides to an issue. Public radio programs are far from the only ones doing this, of course.

  13. 13
    Jake Squid says:

    Myeh. I had to stop listening to NPR – Morning Edition and All Things Considered in particular – about 5 years ago because I couldn’t take the right wing (or at least too far right for me) slant on all of their political coverage. How anybody could consider NPR to be a leftist organization is beyond me.

  14. 14
    Myca says:

    Since this is an open thread:

    Hey Robert … you’re into Runequest?

    —Myca

  15. 15
    Elusis says:

    AFAIK the last content analysis of guests on the main NPR news shows fell out heavily weighted toward conservative-identified people, with the second-largest category being centrist or indepenedent people. Liberal-identified guests were the smallest group. This was within the past year or two. I believe this is a periodic study done by the NPR ombudsman but it might have been an outside group.

    This 2003 study showed Republican guests outnumbering Democrats by 3 to 2.

    A majority of Republican sources when the GOP controls the White House and Congress may not be surprising, but Republicans held a similar though slightly smaller edge (57 percent to 42 percent) in 1993, when Clinton was president and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. And a lively race for the Democratic presidential nomination was beginning to heat up at the time of the 2003 study.

    And the bias was even more slanted toward conservatives from “think tanks”:

    FAIR’s four-month study of NPR in 1993 found 10 think tanks that were cited twice or more. In a new four-month study (5/03–8/03), the list of think tanks cited two or more times has grown to 17, accounting for 133 appearances. FAIR classified each think tank by ideological orientation as either centrist, right of center or left of center. Representatives of think tanks to the right of center outnumbered those to the left of center by more than four to one: 62 appearances to 15. Centrist think tanks provided sources for 56 appearances.

  16. 16
    Robert says:

    Hey Robert … you’re into Runequest?

    No, just selling a copy.

    It took me a minute to figure out what the hell you were talking about.

    I also have a copy of the Zork Trilogy for Atari ST, WITH the original Zorkmid coin, taking offers. But they have to be good offers, I know what it’s worth :)

  17. 17
    RonF says:

    I like to think that progressives are simply not sufficiently gullible to be a lucrative commercial audience, but that’s a pretty self-congratulatory perspective.

    Why would someone have to be gullible in order to be part of a profitable commercial audience?

  18. 18
    RonF says:

    (although there’s plenty of right-wingers online, too, of course; but nothing as big as, say, Daily Kos).

    Hm. I tried searching for a comparison between Daily Kos and Free Republic and this is the best I could come up with. Compare Daily Kos’s Alexa ranking with that of Free Republic’s. They seem pretty close to even for the last quarter of 2009. Daily Kos has a somewhat higher ranking in the beginning of 2010, but I’d say they were still fairly comparable. I wish I could find a better source, I must say, I don’t know that much about Alexa.

    As of today it ranks Daily Kos at 3784 and Free Republic at 4175, which in the absence of knowing how those rankings are derived I’d say are at least comparable.

  19. 19
    RonF says:

    Elusis, the studies you cite are 7 and 17 years old. I venture to say that you can’t count on them to bolster a case regarding what the current status of NPR is. I’d also want another opinion besides FAIR’s on what qualifies a think-tank as “liberal” vs. “conservative”.

    nobody.really – heh. Take any organization and cut 1/6 of it’s budget and you’re going to at least threaten it’s viability. And with regards to it’s ratings, let them put advertisements on and see what effect that has on their ratings.

  20. 20
    Charles S says:

    ≠ creates the ≠ symbol. There are lots of other symbols available as well. I had to look it up, but googling “not equal html code” took me right to a list. [shifting over from Nick's old thread]

  21. 21
    Myca says:

    No, just selling a copy.

    Aw, that’s too bad. When I saw it on your flickr page, I thought it was a glamor shot, not a ‘for sale.’

    —Myca

  22. 22
    Elusis says:

    RonF, as I said, there’s a more recent study, proably the periodic one by the NPR ombudsman; I was just unable to find it online in the tiny amount of time I had to research and comment.

    And complaints about NPR being “liberal” have hardly emerged sometime since 2003. If nothing else, the studies show that the decades of conservative bellyaching about NPR’s “liberal bias” were, through 2003, baseless.

  23. 23
    RonF says:

    Oh DAG! It gets better.

    The Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor (i.e., Vice-Governor) turns out to have had a charge of domestic violence against him by his then-girlfriend in 2005 while he was in the middle of a divorce. An extract:

    The newly minted Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor said Wednesday he doesn’t think a 2005 domestic battery arrest should hurt him in the fall general election, although records in the case raise questions about his version of events.

    Scott Lee Cohen, a pawnbroker who was the surprise winner in the little-publicized contest among half a dozen candidates, had previously disclosed the arrest. He described it Wednesday as an argument with his drunken girlfriend and said he didn’t lay a hand on her, though she called the police and had him taken into custody.

    But the official police and court records show that the woman alleged Cohen put a knife to her throat and pushed her head against the wall.

    In their October 14 arrest report detailing the complaint from the 24-year-old woman, Chicago police noted they observed “mild abrasions from knife wound” on her neck. They also noted “minor scars on her hand from her trying to defend herself against the arrestee swinging the knife at her.” The report notes the woman was seen by ambulance personnel but not taken to a hospital.

    The case was dropped a month later when the woman did not show up for a court date.

    Also, public records show that the alleged victim, Scott’s 24-year-old girlfriend at the time, was a prostitute. Six months before the October 2005 incident, she had been arrested after a police investigation of a Glenview massage parlor. She later pleaded guilty to a charge of prostitution.

    Through a spokesman Cohen said he did not know at the time that the woman was a prostitute and that she had told him she worked as a “massage therapist.”

    Cohen’s spokesman said the woman’s accusations about the assault were false, and pointed to the fact that the case was dropped as evidence that complaint was baseless.

    Then there’s this from the Sun Times

    That’s not the only item on Cohen’s resume that may raise questions. Earlier that year, according to court records examined by the Sun-Times, his wife got a temporary order of protection from a judge. A status hearing in the ongoing divorce case was held Wednesday night.

    And Cohen has also had federal tax troubles, other records examined by the Sun-Times show, though he says he has settled them.

    I just saw a TV interview of him where he admitted he was using anabolic steroids at the time, although he denied ever having been in a “steroid rage”.

    This leaves Gov. Quinn in a bind. The oddity here is that although a party’s Gov. and Lt. Gov. nominees run as a ticket in the general election, they don’t get nominated that way. They run separately for the respective nominations. Unlike the President of the U.S., the Governor of Illinois has no say in who his or her running mate is.

    Quinn can run with this guy and downplay his personal issues. He can ask him to resign and put pressure on him behind the scenes. Or he can resign himself from the Democratic ticket and run as an independent – it happened before when Adlai Stevenson got saddled with a LaRouche party supporter for the Democratic Lt. Gov. nomination. The fascinating thing for me is that Cohen disclosed the arrest early in the campaign, but apparently nobody followed up.

    Well, the GOP stepped in it in 2004 when Obama ran for Senator. I guess it’s the Democrats’ turn now.

  24. 24
    RonF says:

    Rep. Conyers (D-Mich) met with Rajiv Shah (administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development) and a dozen of his staffers about the Haiti relief effort. He then immediately wrote the Secretary of State about the one thing he can think of that will best expedite relief to that nation:

    Dear Secretary Clinton:

    As you know, the 42 member Congressional Black Caucus met with Rajiv Shah, the Administrator of the U.S. AID yesterday to discuss the crisis in Haiti. I was alarmed and chagrined to learn that none of the approximately dozen staff he brought with him were African American. This is so serious an error in judgement that it warrants his immediate demotion to a subordinate position at AID. It is well known that there has long been an under-representation of minorities in key positions within the State Department. I am confident this Administration will immediately begin addressing this problem.

    I look forward to meeting with you on this matter.

    Sincerely,
    John Conyers, Jr.
    Member of Congress

    Yessir, that’s exactly what Haiti needs right now – the guy in charge of the agency overseeing the aid to their country to get demoted and someone new put in charge. That’s what Rajiv Shah and Sec. Clinton need to be spending their time on right now.

  25. 25
    Sailorman says:

    How To Cuddle With An Elephant Seal.

    Seriously.

    I am SO jealous.

  26. 26
    chingona says:

    For background, Rahm Emmanuel called something Democrats were doing “fucking retarded,” and a bunch of people said he should apologize and not use retarded like that, and Sarah Palin said he should be fired. Then Rush Limbaugh, surprise surprise, said he thinks it’s fine to throw around the word “retarded.” Asked to comment, Palin apparently first made a broad “nobody should use that language” type statement, then started backpedaling to say she wasn’t criticizing Limbaugh.

    The reason I’m posting this isn’t to call Palin some sort of hypocrite, but to ask: Is Limbaugh really so all-powerful that a woman whose son has Down’s Syndrome has to tiptoe around whether she thinks it’s fine and dandy for him to throw around “retarded” or she’ll lose her standing with conservatives? Really? Really?

    This is probably the wrong place to do anthropological research on Limbaugh listeners or Palin supporters, but the whole thing had me shaking my head.

  27. 27
    Myca says:

    At the very least, Rahm needs to apologize. This language just isn’t okay.

    —Myca

  28. 28
    chingona says:

    He apologized and met with disability advocates and took the R-word pledge.

  29. 29
    Radfem says:

    I did this update on a multi-police agency raid led by the feds and county DA on a neighborhood in my city. After receiving phone calls while it was going on from eyewitnesses, I wrote about it on my blog.

    A bit of a trigger alert: There are some photos of injuries to an elderly man that have caused a strong response in people.

    Also, if you click on to any press coverage, be prepared for some extremely racist comments against Latinos. The racism in my city and region towards them is very, very virulent. Nothing subtle about it at all.

  30. 30
    nobody.really says:

    [T]he only left-wing radio outlet is NPR, which IIRC is publicly subsidized? Where are there no liberal-oriented radio shows that are financially successful?

    Just heard about the recent Anniburg study showing that damn near all news media is subsidized in the USand has been for 250 years, although the amount of the subsidies have declined in recent years. However, the popular perception that there is a “separation of news and state,” like the seperation of church and state, seems to be unfounded.

  31. 31
    RonF says:

    So Cohen has dropped out as the Democratic nominee for the Lt. Governor’s slot. Accusations and charges of threatening and beating women, failure to pay taxes, admissions of anabolic steroid abuse, etc., and then there’s the fact that he made his money as a pawnbroker, which is perfectly legal but has the taint of sleaziness you want to avoid in your nominee. He copped to the charges and arrests early in the campaign – where the hell was the media? Did the fact that he was a Democrat have anything to do with that? Even if you discount the “the press is leftist biased” meme, it’s worth asking from an influence/political connection angle, never to be ignored in Illinois. Any way you cut it it’s pretty outrageous.

    $h!t, where was the Democratic State Central Committee? They dropped the ball big time on this.

    OTOH, this means that the Democratic State Central Committee can choose anyone they want for the spot. They don’t even have to have run in the primary election. The two men who finished behind Cohen were within 1 and 1.5 percentage points IIRC. The Combine would probably feel most comfortable about the 3rd place finisher. This will be interesting to see who they pick.

    I wonder what they offered him to resign. Some sincure seat on a comission somewhere? State/county/city contracts? It’ll probably be done through a 3rd party. I wonder how connected the guy they choose will be. He ain’t gonna be nobody nobody sent.

  32. 32
    Radfem says:

    Alas, more bad news in the local police department. The police chief’s early morning accident leads to allegations of a coverup of the incident.

  33. 33
    Rosa says:

    Check out a homegrown, biting parody of the Tim Tebow Super Bowl spot:

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/05a75a5837/every-sperm-could-be-tim-tebow

    Thank you for your time and for watching. Hope you like it!

    -smallGRAND video, also on Facebook.

  34. 34
    RonF says:

    From Six Degrees of Blondness, “The Economy is So Bad …”:

    The economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

    It’s so bad, I ordered a burger at McDonalds and the kid behind the counter asked, “Can you afford fries with that?”

    The economy is so bad that CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.

    The economy is so bad if the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

    The economy is so bad Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

    The economy is so bad McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

    The economy is so bad parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names.

    The economy is so bad a truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.

    The economy is so bad Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

    The economy is so bad Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore.

    The economy is so bad the Mafia is laying off judges.

    The economy is so bad Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

  35. 35
    Radfem says:

    My city’s splitting wide open. It’s been a long week. But the police chief took a medical retirement. A lot of people are calling for everyone’s heads including the city council.

    Should I have opened my email on Monday night? I’m not sure. Being a blogger’s not always fun.

  36. 37
    chingona says:

    The economy is so bad a truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.

    The Onion was on this one years ago.