Open Thread and Link Farm, Multimedia Trump Edition

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  1. Let’s start with some good news: A federal appeals court just reached a huge decision for transgender rights. Seriously, it’s big. – Vox
    “On Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Kenosha Unified School District in Wisconsin violated the rights of a trans student, Ash Whitaker, when it refused to let him use the boys’ bathroom.” “…if bans against sex discrimination in particular apply to trans people, then it’s not just students’ rights that are protected, but all trans people who face discrimination in other settings where sex discrimination is banned — so not just schools, but the workplace and housing as well.”
  2. And more good news: Supreme Court on 5-3 Vote Affirms NC Racial Gerrymandering Case, with Thomas in Majority and Roberts in Dissent | Election Law Blog
    ” This decision by Justice Kagan is a major victory for voting rights plaintiffs, who have succeeded in turning the racial gerrymandering cause of action into an effective tool to go after partisan gerrymanders in Southern states. That Justice Kagan got Justice Thomas not only to vote this way but to sign onto the opinion (giving it precedential value) is a really big deal.”
  3. Related: Why Clarence Thomas’s Rulings on Race Are so Idiosyncratic | New Republic As nice as this decision was, it doesn’t indicate a change of heart for Thomas; it indicates a set of facts that happened to comport with Thomas’ race politics in a way that made him vote atypically. Overall, the Supreme Court still seems likely to rubberstamp most voter suppression efforts.
  4. Do All Violent Offenders Need Long Prison Terms? | The Crime Report
    A scholar is interviewed about his new study, which shows that prosecutors and prosecutors alone have caused soaring prison populations.
  5. House Overwhelmingly Supports Bill Subjecting Teen Sexters to Mandatory 15-Years in Federal Prison – Hit & Run : Reason.com
    Which puts all the power in prosecutor’s hands. This is a terrible law, which virtually every Republican and, shamefully, all but 53 Democrats voted for.
  6. Alamo Drafthouse Apologizes for Starting Manpocalypse With Women-Only Screening
    “The Shadowy Figure made good points about Representation Mattering and Safe Spaces as she idly flicked raw flesh to her dogs.”
  7. A new GOP bill would make it virtually impossible to sue the police – The Washington Post
  8. The Lead-Poisoned Generation in New Orleans – The Atlantic
    “The story of a decades-long lead-poisoning lawsuit in New Orleans illustrates how the toxin destroys black families and communities alike.”
  9. Researchers say many students still struggle with affirmative consent
  10. This Week in Appropriation: Kooks Burritos and Willamette Week – Blogtown – Portland Mercury
    So the writer is gloating because two white women’s tortilla pop-up business went out of business. That’s gross. And so is this use of the “cultural appropriation” criticism.
  11. The engine of irrationality inside the rationalists – Ketan Joshi>
    Anti-feminists got a hoax paper published and are crowing that this proves gender studies is worthless. But the journal they got their hoax paper accepted to appears to be a pay-for-play journal which publishes almost anything. When they submitted the same hoax to a better journal, it was rejected.
  12. Same study packaged for two different audiences.
    This cracked me up.
  13. Why are people still losing their minds over Hillary?
    Ends with yny starts with mis.
  14. The Debate Link: More Shocking News from the Fair-Weather Free Speech Brigade
  15. What the Mariel Boatlift of Cuban Refugees Can Teach Us about the Economics of Immigration: An Explainer and a Revelation | Center For Global Development
    A much-talked about paper, showing that immigration reduces wages among American workers who never completed high school, had completely spurious results – caused not by any dishonesty, but by a coincidence of when the US Census altered its sampling methods.
  16. The 712-page Google doc that proves Muslims do condemn terrorism | World news | The Guardian
  17. Pregnant at 18. Hailed by Abortion Foes. Punished by Christian School. – The New York Times
    Indirect link.
  18. Johnny Depp Wouldn’t Have a Female Villain for ‘Pirates 5’ | The Mary Sue
    Because there had been a female villain in “Dark Shadows,” a Depp picture which came out five years earlier.
  19. The Real Reasons for Marvel Comics’ Woes – The Atlantic
    Constant relaunches and creative team merry-go-rounds have diminished reader interest and loyalty. (Thanks to Nobody!)
  20. Man still serving time for violating probation by being arrested for robbery of which he was acquitted
    And he’s Black. What a surprise.
  21. Why “tick tock” sounds correct but “tock tick” does not. : etymology
  22. The airport lawyers who fought Trump’s Muslim ban are facing a Justice Dept. crackdown
  23. When ISIS Ran the American South | The American Conservative
  24. Review: Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto is witty and thought-provoking – Seventh Row
    This movie about art manifestos, starring Cate Blanchett playing 13 different roles, sounds really neat. I hope I get to see it someday, although I’m not sure if I’m steeped enough in art movements to understand it.
  25. Police Forces Are Sending A Message To Black Suburban Residents: You’re Not Wanted
    Interesting article about towns that used to be almost all-white, and still have almost all-white police forces.
  26. Housing Constraints and Spatial Misallocation
    An academic paper arguing that the lack of sufficient housing in cities like NYC and San Francisco reduce economic opportunities not only in those cities, but all over the country.
  27. Sweden drops rape charges against Julian Assange — but not because they think he’s innocent – Vox
    Basically, they decided that they have no means of ever bringing Assange up for trial, unless he someday decides to return to Sweden.
  28. Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr – review | Books | The Guardian
    ” By the first world war, soldiers swore so much that the word “fucking” came to function as no more than ‘a warning that a noun is coming’.”

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101 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm, Multimedia Trump Edition

  1. 1
    Humble Talent says:

    On Clinton… I think misogyny is a gross oversimplification. People had a strong dislike of her because in many very important ways she was an awful candidate. Worse than Trump? Not in my opinion, no…. But genuinely awful. And the people who dislike her really weren’t given a cooldown period. Even her “walking the wilderness” phase was publicised. We just marked the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, and quite frankly the number of headlines given to Clinton, both supportive and critical is, I think, unprecedented. I mean really… We didn’t hear much from John Kerry until he was handed the state department baton about a decade after his loss. John McCain? Mitt Romney? We haven’t seen a second-place candidate so front and center or, frankly, so ungracious in loss at least in my lifetime, if not ever. Maybe if she actually did some wilderness walking and soul searching she could make some kind of a comeback… But quite frankly, I don’t think she has the self-awareness or patience for it.

    On the burrito appropriation story, the link is actually dead because the Mercury took the article down. I can’t say that I blame them, I read that while it was still up and it was one of the most amusingly cringey logic pretzels I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. I’d have been embarrassed by it too. If there is an argument that cultural appropriation is harmful, and I’d be more than willing to take up the opposition to that assertion… but if there is, applying it to restaurant menus has to be regarded as a gross overreach, and attempting a positive spin was thoughtlessly partisan. Regardless, I was heartened to see so many of what I consider progressive “usual suspects” drawing a line here and standing on my perception of the right side of it. Same thing with the Griffin picture. Kudos. There were silver linings to these stories, and I choose to see them.

    Finally, on the sexting bill… I get what they were trying to do. Cyberbullying is a serious problem, revenge porn is a thing, and something had to be done… But this strikes me as ham-fisted and stupid. And unfortunately it’s not original, there are already cases of minors charged with the distribution of child porn for taking their own picture and sharing it with their partners. I’m not entirely sure what would make the bill better, but this level of ineptness frustrates me.

  2. 2
    nobody.really says:

    The Guardian cartoon: Gender Wars–household chores.

  3. 3
    desipis says:

    I thought Bret Weinstein did a good job in his Rubin Report interview of explaining the division on the left behind the recent ruckus at Evergreen College.

    #4 doesn’t surprise me that much. The way prosecutors are elected in the US seems to be a good way to ensure politically driven excessive prosecution. In the civilised world, the positions are largely un-politicised, which helps prosecutorial discretion to be seen as a moral opportunity rather than a political one.

  4. 4
    Jake Squid says:

    We didn’t hear much from John Kerry until he was handed the state department baton about a decade after his loss. John McCain? Mitt Romney? We haven’t seen a second-place candidate so front and center or, frankly, so ungracious in loss at least in my lifetime, if not ever.

    I’ll just drop this thing right here and observe how your impression is contradicted by the facts and wonder what could have influenced your thought processes on the matter.

  5. 5
    MJJ says:

    #15:

    Of course, around the time of the Mariel boatlift, Miami became the hub of the American cocaine trade, so that caused a lot of money to flow into the city. Meaning, in terms of wages Miami is likely the most favorable possible city to use for an argument that immigration does not lower wages. There’s a reason it is the example that pro-more-immigration economists always cited (prior to Borjas’ paper on the subject).

    It was never a typical example, and the import of the George Borjas paper was largely to suggest that even the most favorable situation did not work out as well as thought. If the paper is flawed, the issue goes back to the status quo ante.

  6. 6
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    It is becoming more and more clear to everyone that the theoretical goals of affirmative consent are not even close to how average people act. Heck, I don’t even think they’re close to how feminists and social justice activists act; I’ve seen plenty of them lean in for a kiss without asking “may I kiss you?” first.

    But when you set up a law which makes a ton of ordinary conduct illegal, then you expose everyone to a risk of selective prosecution, and you expose them to a risk of bad discretion. This is not socially just.

    And bad discretion is a serious problem, right? All those black kids getting tossed by police; that’s cop discretion. All those poor folks selectively refused bail; that’s prosecutor discretion. And so on. I would argue that the majority of the problems which feminists and SJ activists focus on are ultimately stemming from a bad exercise of discretion by the authorities in power.

    What confuses me is that the folks who support affirmative consent laws appear to be a subset of the same folks who know the problems of discretion–at least, they seem that way in most other contexts. How do those folks resolve the discretion-bias problem?

  7. 7
    Humble Talent says:

    I’ll just drop this thing right here and observe how your impression is contradicted by the facts and wonder what could have influenced your thought processes on the matter.

    I didn’t say that those candidates dropped off the map entirely, I think there’s a material difference between quietly remaining in politics for a couple of years and then being petulant, and being petulant right out of the gates. None of the people mentioned said they “won” the election, which Clinton has. None of the people I mentioned called the election “illegitimate” and joined a “resistance” within the first 100 days of the election, which Clinton has (although you’re right, Gore was close.), perhaps worst of all… None of the second place finishers were quite as toxic or corrupt as Clinton is.

    This call to misogyny completely whitewashes the fact that Clinton is in fact everything that is wrong with politics. She’s greedy, dishonest, corrupt and unprincipled. Frankly, I don’t know why anyone tries to carry water for her.

  8. 8
    Ampersand says:

    It is becoming more and more clear to everyone that the theoretical goals of affirmative consent are not even close to how average people act. Heck, I don’t even think they’re close to how feminists and social justice activists act; I’ve seen plenty of them lean in for a kiss without asking “may I kiss you?” first.

    With the exception of Antioch College (which is not a law), I’m not aware of any affirmative consent code or law which doesn’t allow for non-verbal consent. And I’ve looked. California’s law did require verbal consent in an early draft, but that was removed before the draft that was voted on.

  9. 9
    Ampersand says:

    How did McCain “quietly remain in politics?” Without meaning any criticism of McCain – nothing’s wrong with a politician speaking frequently in public – he is, and remained after losing the election, the most prominent American politician other than the President. Literally no one appeared on TV chat shows as often as McCain did after losing to Obama, for example.

    By the way, I’d be interested in some links, so I can read the context. Where did Clinton say she won the election? Where did she call the election illegitimate? Where did she join the resistance? I have no idea if you’re quoting her accurately or not; please provide links.

    And what’s wrong with resisting? Unless you can link to her actually advocating violence against President Trump, I don’t see any problem there.

    As for the rest, the fact that right-wingers have fanatically investigated Hillary Clinton for years, and come up with nothing of substance, suggests to me that she’s probably less corrupt than many. Certainly, she’s less “greedy, dishonest, corrupt and unprincipled” than Trump appears to be. And the fact that right-wing rhetoric and beliefs about Clinton – who is in many ways a perfectly ordinary national-level politician – is so unhinged and over-the-top, is what makes it seem so plausible that they’re bigoted against her because of her sex. (OTOH, you could credibly argue that the ridiculous attacks on Clinton aren’t actually more deranged than the ridiculous attacks on her husband were years earlier.)

    I’ve criticized Clinton myself (For example.) But she’s not the devil incarnate that many conservatives paint her as.

  10. 10
    Ben Lehman says:

    If there is a “requires verbal consent and only verbal consent is acceptable” standard, there’s probably a really interesting ADA case waiting to happen there.

  11. 11
    Ampersand says:

    Of course, around the time of the Mariel boatlift, Miami became the hub of the American cocaine trade, so that caused a lot of money to flow into the city.

    Citation needed. Unless this happened both very abruptly, and at almost the exact same dates as the Mariel boatlift, this seems unlikely to matter for the study.

    The reason it’s an example so often cited is that it was an almost unique “natural experiment.” While there are certainly a lot of other places and times that have been studied, it frankly would have been ridiculous for economists to NOT study the economic effects of the Mariel boatlift.

    Finally, I don’t recall anything in the Borjas paper suggesting that Miami represented “the most favorable situation”; certainly that’s not in the abstract or the conclusion of the paper (pdf link). Nor, doing a text search of the paper, do the terms “cocaine” or “drug” ever appear. (However, I haven’t reread the entire 59-page paper.)

  12. 12
    nobody.really says:

    Mariel boatlift blah blah….

    I perceive a pattern among today’s terrorists in the West whereby second-generation Muslim immigrants in the West grow up living fairly conventional Western lives, then have some kind of identity crisis that prompts them to become more militant and anti-Western.

    Did we observe any such pattern among second-generation Cuban immigrants? Do we know of any who suddenly developed pangs of affinity for the island, and became militant Communists?

  13. 13
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Ampersand says:
    With the exception of Antioch College (which is not a law), I’m not aware of any affirmative consent code or law which doesn’t allow for non-verbal consent.

    OK, I’ll illustrate the problem differently:

    1) Applying the affirmative consent laws you’re aware of, what percentage of interactions have you witnessed where there is, in your opinion as a witness, clearly objectively verifiable consent for every act? By “clearly objectively verifiable consent” I mean that you would, if you heard of an accusation of sexual assault based on the encounter you witnessed, stand up for the accused. (If the evidence is thin enough for you to adjust your belief of what you saw based on an accusation, it isn’t the kind of objective evidence I mean.)

    2) Now, look at the remainder (if you said “5%” above, we’re talking about the remaining 95%) and ask the opposite: Applying the affirmative consent laws that you’re aware of, what percentage have you witnessed where there is, in your opinion as a witness, clearly a lack of consent for at least one sexual (or otherwise covered) act? In other words, you would stand up for the accuser (If the evidence is thin enough for you to adjust your belief of what you saw based on an accusation, it isn’t the kind of objective evidence I mean).

    3) Oh no! Your racist, sexist, homophobic, conservative, Trump-loving, Islamophobic, and/or conviction-hungry neighbor just got a job as an enforcement officer! And unfortunately for your nice friends, as a result of the affirmative consent rules, 85% of their interactions popped into the “discretionary” class–they are not obviously, objectively, innocent. So your neighbor evil friend will selectively look for potential violations of #1, because with such a broad pool, who’s going to notice which drops get drunk?

  14. 14
    JutGory says:

    Amp @ 9:

    I see a couple of things getting conflated here.

    Life after losing an election and taking responsibility for a loss (some of this goes to Jake Squid @4).

    Mitt, McCain, Al, and Kerry all lost presidential elections. Mitt and Al could just go away after losing (though Al had a court challenge that delayed his exit). Neither of them had continuing obligations, as Al was no longer an officeholder, and Mitt was not in office when he ran (I believe). John and John (McCain and Kerry) could not just go away because they were still Senators, but they could concede defeat and move on, which they both did (as I recall).

    Here, Clinton is more like Al and Mitt than she is like McCain or Kerry. She could concede defeat and go away quietly, but has not done so. And, more than any of the others, the issue of whose fault the defeat was is greater now than in other cases. Al could blame Florida, probably accurately, and leave it at that. Kerry could have blamed his being for the war before his being against it and he would probably have been right. McCain probably could have blamed Palin (and might have been right), the crash (and might have been right), or the fact that Obama was black (and might have been right). But, he had enough class, as I recall, not to invoke race, or turn on his subordinate, and left it at that.
    Mitt could have attributed his defeat to race, but it was likely his 47 percent comment or his rich guy status that contributed to his defeat.

    But, out of those 4, there may have been post mortems at the outset, but, as I recall, nothing like Clinton going on 6 months later (especially in the cases of Al and Mitt, neither of whom were still in office).

    But, apart from that, conservatives have been telling Clinton why she lost, and there seems to be an inordinate amount of tone-deafness to what they say (which only makes them drone on about it). She was a bad candidate. Now, maybe the problem is that, no matter how bad she might be, you can’t conceive of her losing to Trump (after voting for neither her nor Trump, I was sadly convinced she was going to win). So, maybe the loss to Trump (when he is so much worse than she is) makes people think there must have been foul-play (Russians, Comey, etc.). But, there seems to be so little recognition of her own contribution to her own defeat.

    Now, maybe, it was easier for them because their unlikeability was not as big of a factor. Gore could say, “yeah, I was boring, but I won the vote and it was the Court that swung the election.” Kerry could say, they twisted my words around, but I got my Senate job to go back to. McCain could say, yeah, I am an old white guy and Palin looked dumb, but I have a Senate job to go back to, so keep your mouth shut.” And, Romney could say, they twisted my 47 percent remark around (but I have my non-political life to go back to).

    Tl;dr: Clinton’s post-election activities are more analogous to Gore and Romney than Kerry and McCain, so you can’t treat them all similarly. Second, unlike the 4 of them, she seems to be less accepting than the others about the true cause of her defeat.

    -Jut

  15. 15
    Humble Talent says:

    How did McCain “quietly remain in politics?”

    I should have been clearer, this is my fault, and I tried to clarify when I said “I think there’s a material difference between quietly remaining in politics for a couple of years and then being petulant, and being petulant right out of the gates.” I should have used a different word than “quietly”, but I’m not sure what the right one would have been. I’d be very surprised if you could find an example of McCain calling Obama “illegitimate”, for example.

    By the way, I’d be interested in some links, so I can read the context.

    Sure.

    Where did Clinton say she won the election?

    She’s said this a lot, actually, most recently in a NYmag interview, although in that one it was phrased so as to be unclear whether she “beat” Bernie and Trump morally. Otherwise, it’s almost always in the context of the popular vote, I think the most blatant example was this:

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/02/hillary-clinton-touts-popular-vote-win-says-shes-now-part-of-the-resistance.html

    “Remember, I did win by more than 3 million votes than my opponent. So, it’s like … really?” Clinton said at the Women for Women International Luncheon in New York.

    Where did she join the resistance?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qkfktbb630

    “I’m now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance,”

    It’s not the clearest example of her saying it, so if you need more citations I can provide them, but really… No one denies she said it, progressives are cheering her on.

    And also:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/05/hillary-clinton-life-after-election.html

    “Similarly, since the election, the outcry, the march, the organizing, the resistance “has been really powerful,” says Clinton. She is hoping to build on the momentum with her new 501(c)4, Onward Together, which is supposed to direct the fire hose of fund-raising dollars that powered her campaign to grassroots groups working to oppose the Trump administration.”

    I mean… I understand why people might agree with her doing it, but can you think of a previous second place presidential candidate who has gone to these kinds of lengths? So soon after losing? I think this is genuinely unprecedented, although I’d look at situations you think are similar.

    As for the rest, the fact that right-wingers have fanatically investigated Hillary Clinton for years, and come up with nothing of substance, suggests to me that she’s probably less corrupt than many.

    I disagree with the characterisation that there’s nothing of substance. I don’t understand the thought process of anyone who follows politics coming to that conclusion. But we’re starting to get really broadly afeild from my original point: And just to remind everyone, that was:

    On Clinton… I think misogyny is a gross oversimplification. People had a strong dislike of her because in many very important ways she was an awful candidate.

    You haven’t really presented evidense that Clinton is so reviled because of misogyny. I’m unconvinced that had Hillary Clinton had been a man that he would have been treated much better. You even made the point yourself… Bill was treated fairly poorly as well. Partisan hatred? Undoubtedly. Misogyny? I’d be dishonest if I didn’t say there was SOME amount of it levelled at her. Misogyny being the main reason people still don’t like her? Not sold.

  16. 16
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    The latest from Heterodox Academy

    At what point does this become a trend?

  17. 17
    Kate says:

    Jut – In every full interview I’ve seen of Clinton, she acknowledges that she made mistakes. She just refuses to ignore the effects of the media’s obsession with her e-mails (paralleled with their relative silence on a series of much more serious scandals about the Trump foundation, Trump univeristy, Trump connections with Russia…and on and on); Comey’s poor judgement in breaking with precident and twice commenting on her investigation (again, paralleled with his silence on the investigation of Trump on far more serious issues regarding Russia); and the effects of the Russian hacking. And – we should not be ignoring these issues! Especially not Trump’s Russia connections. It is alarming that Republicans see Hilary Clinton speaking publically as more outrageous than Trump bringing Russians into the Oval Office and revealing state secrets to them. Republicans say Trump did nothing illegal then. That remains to be seen. But, I haven’t heard any complaints about “optics” – which is all they had on the Clinton e-mails.

  18. 18
    hf says:

    Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral college because of the more-than-twenty-year relentless demonization aimed at her. There were other factors – almost anything might have changed the outcome given that the combined margin in all three states that mattered was only a rounding error for HC’s margin of victory in the popular vote. But by far the greatest factor aside from the EC was the never-ending stream of hatred and lies aimed at her since the 1990s. The fact that no charges ever materialized is enough to refute the ridiculous claims leveled against her here.

    But hey, if you believe that garbage, there’s still time to go on PredictIt dot org and bet that she’ll face federal charges in 2017! If you don’t believe in induction, this is easy money!

  19. 19
    Harlequin says:

    (Content note for discussion of sexual assault in this comment.)

    g&w:

    By “clearly objectively verifiable consent” I mean that you would, if you heard of an accusation of sexual assault based on the encounter you witnessed, stand up for the accused.

    So there’s a very important clause in here: “if you heard of an accusation of sexual assault”. Because there still has to be an accusation of sexual assault. Maybe 85% of somebody’s encounters would be ambiguous to a third party (although I think that’s way too high for most people if you’re able to read nonverbal communication), but it’s unlikely they’ll be reported to law enforcement if consent was actually present. The rest of your comment seems to assume that an affirmative consent law would result in a wild proliferation of reports of sexual assault, or at least a wild proliferation of reported sexual assaults that could be prosecuted. But do you think false accusations would really go up that much? (After all, people can lie with the law as it is now–they don’t need a change in the law to do it.) Otherwise, you’re talking about prosecuting real sexual assaults, which is the point of such laws.

    (Third-party accusations could potentially be a problem, but if the supposed victim says it isn’t a crime, then either the case is dropped or they go to trial with a witness who’s going to say that during testimony. My last point below is also relevant to this.)

    Oh no! Your racist, sexist, homophobic, conservative, Trump-loving, Islamophobic, and/or conviction-hungry neighbor just got a job as an enforcement officer!

    That is indeed a concern, given the way the legal system treats minority groups. But there’s not a good answer here, because it means that people who are good at being threatening in ways that are hard to describe to third parties just always get away with rape. (To be fair, that’s true of all kinds of rapists.) But if I have a concern about affirmative consent as a legal strategy, and not as a goal of sexual ethics, it’s that the legal system is flawed in this way.

    To go back to basics for a second: as a matter of sexual ethics, and not legality, would you agree that affirmative consent is the way to go? Right now, the standard in many situations seems to be “if somebody tries something sexual with you, you must explicitly try to stop it or consent is assumed”, and that has lots of bad effects, too. In addition to making certain kinds of rape invisible, it also ends up making rape contingent on societal scripts for sexual encounters. That’s obviously part of it–all of our communication is modulated by expectations based on previous interactions–but it should be a guide, subordinate to what the involved parties actually want. (On a gut level, it just seems strange to me that the same set of verbal and nonverbal communications could be seen as rape or not rape depending on which sexual acts are performed, for example.)

    If you do agree with the ethical version, but you see problems in the law as proposed–you’ve got expertise in the legal system. How would you design laws that allowed for this concept without the negative effects you perceive in the current forms? I think it would need to be explicit that [edit: active] participation is usually a nonverbal communication of consent, for example, and reporting by third parties is also a potential source of problems.

  20. 20
    Michael says:

    @Harlequin#19- “it’s unlikely they’ll be reported to law enforcement if consent was actually present.” That’s exactly what people are concerned about. Women are unlikely to report their boyfriends for making a move when their body language was ambiguous if they wanted them to make a move. So if you say that any unwanted behavior absent clear consent is assault, in theory Bob and John could behave the same way toward Alice under the exact same circumstances and depending on Alice’s state of mind, only Bob would be going to jail. But Bob could then claim, with considerable justice, that he’s the victim of selective prosecution. My point is there needs to be some difference in the objective reality, not merely Alice’s state of mind, for Bob to go to jail and John to go free. And no, I have no idea how to design the laws to avoid this problem.

  21. 21
    Michael says:

    While we’re on the subject of the wording of laws, there’s something I’ve always wondered about laws about conversion therapy. There’s a form of OCD that’s been nicknamed homosexual OCD that causes straight people to obsessively worry they might be gay. (Gays with OCD sometimes worry if they’re straight.) Since sufferers sometimes develop other forms of OCD, like obsessively worrying that they might stab someone, it’s reasonable for a non-homophobic parent to want it treated. So how do you ban conversion therapy for minors without banning the treatment of homosexual OCD? It seems like if you make an exception for homosexual OCD, then the practitioners of conversion therapy will all claim they’re treating homosexual OCD and if you don’t, psychiatrists treating homosexual OCD could get in trouble with the law. I’m not a lawyer, so I’m just wondering how you’d do it. An “I know it when I see it” test?

  22. 22
    Elusis says:

    Michael – I have treated clients for “pure O” (obsession without the compulsions) including fears of being a pedophile, fears of abusing animals, fears of harming family members, etc. Fear of being gay hasn’t been a primary obsession for anyone I’ve worked with but it’s come up.

    Treatment for obsessive thoughts is completely different than conversion therapy. You’re not trying to change the objects of a client’s sexual fantasies and arousal. You’re trying to help them change the intense focus and rumination on intrusive anxiety-producing thoughts. It’s completely different work.

  23. 23
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    A good article on the troubling use of secret, computerized, sentencing for criminal cases:

    Secret Algorithms Threaten the Rule of Law

    In case anyone is thinking “hey, cool, equal sentencing!” you should remember: poverty is a pretty good indicator for recidivism, and race is strongly correlated with poverty. So lots of us fear that any computerized sentencing based on recidivism risk is either going to totally screw over poor POC, or (not sure if this is worse) will need to somehow be “adjusted” to avoid that issue.

  24. 24
    desipis says:

    Harlequin:

    Maybe 85% of somebody’s encounters would be ambiguous to a third party (although I think that’s way too high for most people if you’re able to read nonverbal communication), but it’s unlikely they’ll be reported to law enforcement if consent was actually present.

    How often do you think there’s miscommunication about limits in sexual encounters between teenagers and young adults? I would estimate quite a lot. How do we adjudicate a situation where one person believes they had consent to do some act, while the other person believes they didn’t give consent for that same act?

  25. 25
    desipis says:

    gin-and-whiskey, that sounds truly dystopian. It’s bad enough that trade secrets are used in cases of breathalysers or DNA testing, but having secret sentencing algorithms is a fundamental perversion of the law. Trade secrets (or copyright for that matter) should have no place in blocking discovery in criminal cases.

  26. 26
    Ampersand says:

    Desipis – Let’s say that Charlie Brown believes he has general permission to borrow Lucy’s car. So he takes her car while she’s sleeping for a day trip to Seattle, leaving her a note. Lucy, who had an important job interview that she now can’t get to, angrily calls the police and reports Charlie for stealing her car.

    Lucy acknowledges that she did lend Charlie Brown her car once – but that she didn’t say “you can borrow my car whenever you want, no need to ask.” Charlie Brown believes that the way she gave permission for him to borrow the car – “oh sure, anytime, it’s no big deal” – would be understood by any reasonable person as meaning he has blanket permission to use her car at any time.

    In other words, this is “a situation where one person believes they had consent to do some act, while the other person believes they didn’t give consent for that same act.”

    Do you think this is an impossible situation to adjudicate?

    How about this: Patty and Sally are both boxers. During what Patty says was practice sparring, Sally gets badly knocked down by Patty, and because Sally wasn’t wearing her mouth guard, she loses a tooth. Patty says Sally assented to the sparring nonverbally; when Patty met Sally’s eyes and raised her gloves in a “want to fight?” gesture, Sally (Patty said) nodded and raised her gloves in return.

    Sally says that she was just shadowboxing in the ring, thought Patty was there to do the same thing, just nodded to greet Patty, and hadn’t agreed to spar.

    Do you think this is an impossible situation to adjudicate?

  27. 27
    Ampersand says:

    Elusis – thanks. That was an informative reply.

  28. 28
    Ampersand says:

    Humble Talent – Clinton saying she won the popular vote is not the same as Clinton saying that she won the election. In the US system, winning the popular vote doesn’t mean you’ve won the election. The way you phrased it was ambiguous to the point of being misleading.

    I don’t see anything wrong with Clinton pointing out that she won the popular vote by millions of votes. She did. That’s true. Telling the truth is not “petulant.”

    Every single losing presidential candidate is different, and could be parsed to be doing something “unprecedented.” In the year after Romney lost, I saw people talking about how his complete disappearance from public life was atypical. (He’s been more public since then, obviously.) In the year after McCain lost, he made more TV appearances than any losing presidential candidate before or since. The idea that a losing presidential candidate has to behave exactly like all the previous presidential candidates is ridiculous, and a standard that seems to be applied almost exclusively to Hillary Clinton.

    But of course, I can think of previous losing presidential candidates who have gone to much greater lengths. Most obviously, some have remained in politics – McCain, of course, but also Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, and Richard Nixon, all of whom ran and lost as their party’s nominee, and in a later election ran again and won. There was also Grover Cleveland, who lost re-election, then ran again against the person who beat him and won four years later. That’s a lot more “extreme” than anything Clinton has done.

    There are also people who ran as their party’s nominee, lost, and then ran again and lost, like Charles Pinckney, Henry Clay, William Jennings Bryan, Thomas Dewey, and Adlai Stevenson. Again, I’d call that more “extreme”

    Then there are presidential candidates who become public activists after losing, like Al Gore and many others. So far, Clinton seems to be fitting herself into this mode.

    Franky, Clinton has done very little (so far). She’s made some public statements and says she intends to start an organization (it remains to be seen if that organization will actually be active in any notable way). That you consider this unacceptable and “extreme” behavior doesn’t mean that Clinton is doing anything wrong; it means that she’s become conservatives’ favorite “bitch eating crackers.”

  29. 29
    Harlequin says:

    g&w:

    In case anyone is thinking “hey, cool, equal sentencing!” you should remember: poverty is a pretty good indicator for recidivism, and race is strongly correlated with poverty. So lots of us fear that any computerized sentencing based on recidivism risk is either going to totally screw over poor POC, or (not sure if this is worse) will need to somehow be “adjusted” to avoid that issue.

    In fact, the problem is even worse than this. Taking some of the questions used in the Northpointe analysis (and btw, if you haven’t read that linked article, you should, since it demonstrates exactly what you’re worried about):

    – Was one of your parents ever sent to jail or prison?
    – How many of your friends/acquaintances are taking drugs illegally?
    – How often did you get in fights while at school?

    All of those things are correlated with recidivism risk: a “yes” to the first and a higher number for the second and third raise your recidivism risk. But it’s easy to see that they probably are not as strongly correlated for some racial or class groups as they are for others.

    For example, there’s a wide range of how many fights happen at a given school in a given year. I would have had to try really hard to get into a fight at school; on the other hand, if multiple fights break out every day, you’re more likely to stumble into one, or to have to fight to defend yourself against somebody who attacks you. It’s still possible to avoid them, of course, and more fights is still correlated with recidivism risk–but somebody like me saying “I got into 4 fights in high school,” one per year, is a very different statement about their level of impulse control than somebody who went to a school where there were fights every day saying “I got into 4 fights in high school.” If you don’t take race and class into account, then, you’ll end up with an algorithm that takes an average of those two: 4 fights in high school will be a moderate indicator of recidivism risk. And the middle-class white person who’s super risky will be scored the same as a poor black person with only mild riskiness.

    So it’s not just that certain race and class groups will have more of those indicators than others; it’s that those indicators are less sensitive for poor people/PoCs because of the environment they live in (on average). But they still get scored with the same instrument used to score more well-off and/or white people. They get hit coming and going.

    There’s a long talk here about uses and misuses of algorithms by data scientist Cathy O’Neil that I think is good, and which I may have linked here before. (The talk’s about 40 minutes and the following 20 minutes is a Q&A.) She talks about this issue a bit at the end, and points out that one, many of those questions would be thrown out if asked during a trial, and two, it’s also not obvious that a higher recidivism risk should lead to a longer sentence (which seems to be, on average, how these scores are used)–maybe there are other interventions that should be done instead.

  30. 30
    Humble Talent says:

    The idea that a losing presidential candidate has to behave exactly like all the previous presidential candidates is ridiculous, and a standard that seems to be applied almost exclusively to Hillary Clinton.

    I think it takes a really uncharitable interpretation of what I said to get there from what I wrote.

    Look… You made a statement of fact: “Why are people still losing their minds over Hillary? Ends with yny starts with mis.”

    I’m saying that I think that anyone who acts like Hillary has would get a similar treatment. Assuming that everything bad that effects Hillary Clinton can be boiled down to woman hating fails utterly to take into account that in a lot of ways, she was an awful candidate. You, perhaps inadvertently, reinforce that… You say that in a lot of ways what Clinton is doing is unprecedented, and that “Every single losing presidential candidate is different”. So how then, if you have nothing to compare it to, do you come to the conclusion that you have?

    But of course, I can think of previous losing presidential candidates who have gone to much greater lengths. Most obviously, some have remained in politics – McCain, of course, but also Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, and Richard Nixon, all of whom ran and lost as their party’s nominee, and in a later election ran again and won. There was also Grover Cleveland, who lost re-election, then ran again against the person who beat him and won four years later. That’s a lot more “extreme” than anything Clinton has done.

    See… I disagree with you about McCain, but that might just be rose tinted glasses… The rest… Hillary did lose her party’s nomination, and then take a second shot at it. I don’t understand your point… Losing the general made it a less extreme act? I don’t know if that’s even “extreme”, it seems like the kind of thing that just happens…. how many times did Mitt try before getting the nod? And as for Cleveland… I know Hillary says she won’t run in 2020, but check back with me in 2020.

    Then there are presidential candidates who become public activists after losing, like Al Gore and many others. So far, Clinton seems to be fitting herself into this mode.

    Al Gore might be a perfect example. I can’t read his name without thinking “manbearpig”, I think Gore, especially as he ramped up his activism, experienced something similar to Clinton. But that could just be my perception.

  31. 31
    Humble Talent says:

    And when I say “awful candidate”, it doesn’t really matter if you think she was awful, it matters if the people she’s occupying head space rent free think of her as an awful candidate. I get it, there are people out there still losing their minds over Benghazi… I’m not saying these people are reasonable, intelligent, or right… I’m saying their belief that Clinton’s ineptness killed diplomats doesn’t have a clear connection to misogyny.

  32. 32
    Kate says:

    I’m saying that I think that anyone who acts like Hillary has would get a similar treatment.

    The activities of Trump’s private foundation were not given nearly the scuituing of the Clinton Foundation, even though the Trump foundation actually did things that are illegal.
    The FBI Investigation of Trump was not commented on publically ,while the investigation of Clinton was.
    The Bush Administration’s use of a private server (the RNC server) was not given the same scruitny as Clinton’s use of a private server.

    That’s just off the top of my head. You are just flat out wrong about that.

  33. 33
    David Simon says:

    Humble Talent, it’s funny that the “manbearpig” meme has stuck so well, when the point of that episode was that Al Gore was right all along about his dire (though dorky) warnings.

    I’m not getting on your case specifically about this, the whole culture remembers it the same way; it’s just one of those things were the idea that sticks is the opposite of the one that was intended, e.g. The Ugly American.

  34. 34
    Ampersand says:

    Hillary did lose her party’s nomination, and then take a second shot at it. I don’t understand your point…

    The question we’re discussing is what level of public engagement is normal after losing a general election. Or so I thought. And many past general election losers had much higher levels of public engagement than Clinton has taken (so far).

    Clinton does not strike me as an extraordinarily bad candidate; she came, after all, very close to winning, and did win the popular vote by millions. By many standards – from how he did in the electoral college, to how he did in the popular vote, to how much work he was willing to do to get elected, to his choice of running mate – John McCain was a much worse candidate.

    Because no candidate is alike, there was always something that would be different about Clinton’s behavior – and whatever that difference was, the right would point at it and go “look this has never been done before she’s being petulant and mean and WORSE CANDIDATE EVER!” Because the right hates Clinton with an irrational fury. In this case, all’s she’s really done is truthfully point out that she won the popular vote (she has never claimed she won the election, as you dishonestly claimed), and criticized President Trump. And the right goes mad, because y’all see her as an eeeevvviiiilllll demon and there is nothing she could have done that the right would not have excoriated.

    But as for misogyny… My jokey short link text wasn’t meant to be a full analysis, and I didn’t realize people would take it that way.

    I think it’s very plausible that the right would have loathed a male candidate just as much – the right was, after all, also irrational about both Bill Clinton and Obama, and they were pretty ridiculous (although less extreme) about Al Gore. (That Gore was made fun of by a right-wing cartoon seems to me to be of less than signature significance, btw.) I think that misogyny is part of what is going on with Clinton (just as racism with Obama), but I don’t think it’s the whole story.

    But although over-the-top, hysterical reactions from the right are a given, bigotry can shape the FORM the ridiculousness takes. In Obama’s case, there was a lot of racism in the choice to make the claim that he was somehow not a real American central to the anti-Obama movement. In Clinton’s case, yes, it’s sexist that the right is now screaming that she’s an awful person because (in their view) she’s obligated to shut up.

  35. 35
    Humble Talent says:

    The activities of Trump’s private foundation were not given nearly the scuituing of the Clinton Foundation, even though the Trump foundation actually did things that are illegal.

    I hate it when people say things that make me want to defend Trump. There’s a fundamental difference between being the CEO of a business that sells things to people in government, and taking foreign money in the form of “donations”. But even if that weren’t true; If you think that Trump’s businesses and the Clinton Foundation are so similar, then why do you think the left only cared about emoluments in the case of Trump? I think partisanship. Nothing anyone attributes to misogyny could not be just as strongly (if not more stongly) attributed to partyism.

    The FBI Investigation of Trump was not commented on publically ,while the investigation of Clinton was.

    James Comey was an idiot. He was an idiot when he said things the democrats liked, and he was an idiot when he came out and said things the democrats hated. Both were a dereliction of duty. But it would be very hard to justify not making that second dereliction of duty after already having made the first, especially with the information that had just hit his desk.

    It’s important to remember: Whether it was the FBI investigation or Russian hacking… There is no indication that anyone doctored the things that leaked to the public. If Clinton had not been actively trying to foil FOIA, and government documents were not found on the laptop of the spouse of one of Clinton’s aides, then we wouldn’t have heard about it.

    The Bush Administration’s use of a private server (the RNC server) was not given the same scruitny as Clinton’s use of a private server.

    Fair, and those situations were closer than I think a lot of people want to admit. But why wasn’t it as big a news story then? Well… We were in the middle of a war, and that war was atrocious, and every week there were new headlines to distract from some Email scandal that no one knew about, we were seven years in to an 8 year term, as opposed to in the middle of an election, at that point, we understood less about the internet than we do now. And quite frankly, Republicans hate Clinton… Not because she’s a woman, but because she’s been active in Washington longer than I’ve been alive and has constantly rubbed them the wrong way. Maybe she IS their bitch eating crackers, maybe she can’t do anything right… But I think there’s a burden of proof to assert misogyny that you just haven’t reached.

    What made her an awful candidate?

    She lies, she lies like she breathes, from small things, like getting pneumonia… She knew she had pneumonia, despite her campaign blaming her collapse on dehydration. It was such a stupid thing to lie about (Not the worst though: See The “Unplanned” Chipotle Visit). To larger things, like the litany of lies surrounding the Email server.

    And no one forced her not to capaign in Wisconsin, or to hold off campaign spending until the 11th hour. No one forced her to hire Debbie Wasserman-Shultz after the DNC had canned her for biasing the process against Bernie (No one forced the DNC to hire Donna Brazile to fill her role, either. Donna, who was shitcanned by CNN for leaking debate questions to the Clinton campaign, but that’s a separate issue.) No one forced Hillary to refer to half of America as “deplorable” (and whether you think she was talking about them is irrelevant, THEY think she was.).

    And worse… she’s racked up a history… Superpredators. Gay Marriage. Listen and Believe.

    I just don’t understand the rush to defend Clinton. She was bad. Obama didn’t have this kind of baggage, and that’s why he won. Bernie doesn’t have this kind of baggage despite years of service, and I think he would have won. You want an example of a woman I think might have done well? Elizabeth Warren… Despite her abuse of affirmative action programs, she’s still a darling of the left, and I can’t think of anything else remotely scandalous attached to her.

  36. 36
    Sebastian H says:

    “On Clinton… I think misogyny is a gross oversimplification. People had a strong dislike of her because in many very important ways she was an awful candidate.”

    I agree with this on many levels, but I think the rest of the discussion about it veers way off course.

    The Democratic political firm Global Strategy Group found that 70 percent of the Democrats’ drop-off from their 2012 presidential vote could be attributed to Obama voters switching sides. In a joint study, GSG and Catalist found that, contrary to expectations, Clinton did better than Trump among new voters in Ohio. New York Times political analyst Nate Cohn similarly concluded that weak turnout among black voters had been exaggerated and noted that “almost one in four of President Obama’s 2012 white working-class supporters defected from the Democrats in 2016, either supporting Mr. Trump or voting for a third-party candidate.”

    From The Washington Monthly, in an article that you definitely should read entitled How To Win Rural Voters Without Liberal Values.

    Losing 25% of a huge core demographic that voted for you predecessor (who already had huge challenges in being black) is the sign of a bad candidate. This is especially true when you have a system like ours where individual states matter, and that huge demographic has a concentration in a large number of states. This is especially true in areas where your Party has held majorities for Presidential voting for 40+ years. Either you personally are doing something wrong, or your party is.

    The reasons it would be nice for her to step back are many, and have nothing to do with precedent nor to do with her being a woman.

    1. She exhibits no apparent understanding of why she lost that group so thoroughly.

    2. She exemplifies the global-trade focus that is intimately connected to why she lost that group so thoroughly.

    3. She personifies the kind of out of touch ivory tower person even more than a billionaire who hasn’t touched anything real in his whole life–but he can at least fake it some of the time.

    4. We are in a time of real danger for the Republic, so we need someone who doesn’t do all the above.

    I would be much happier with Obama taking the role that Clinton seems to be aiming for. But ideally a new leader, maybe someone who has the chance to be president someday would take the fore.

    One of the lessons of Trump, is that in a fractured field, name recognition can let you suck up all the media oxygen from anyone else.

    The same is true now. We are still sorting through who will become the next big Democratic Party leader(s). Every big time media second that Clinton takes up, starves those people of the ability to get through. If Clinton were doing something super-wonderful, maybe that would be worth it.

    She isn’t.

    So she shouldn’t.

  37. 37
    Jane Doh says:

    @HT
    The Trump foundation is a different thing that Trump’s businesses. The Trump foundation, like the Clinton Foundation, is a charitable organization. Unlike the Clinton Foundation, the Trump Foundation has been fined for making political contributions and has publicly admitted to self-dealing for the benefit of Trump, his family, and his businesses. That you are unaware of the existence of the Trump Foundation as a charity, let alone its illegal practices, but are aware of the issues with donors (that are bad optics, but not illegal) at the Clinton Foundation speaks to the media coverage of these issues.

  38. 38
    Harlequin says:

    Sebastian, quoting a magazine article:

    The Democratic political firm Global Strategy Group found that 70 percent of the Democrats’ drop-off from their 2012 presidential vote could be attributed to Obama voters switching sides.

    That sounds really impressive until you remember that the dropoff between Obama 2012 and Clinton 2016 was around 62,000 votes (out of vote totals around 65 million for each one–Clinton got 99.9% of the votes Obama did). So 44,000 of that vote difference is explained by Obama voters switching sides, or approximately the margin of victory for Trump in Pennsylvania. Not enough to flip the race.

    Losing 25% of a huge core demographic that voted for you predecessor (who already had huge challenges in being black) is the sign of a bad candidate.

    The WWC is not a Democratic core demographic. In 2012, white voters with some college or less voted Republican by a 25% margin.

    Losing more of them is a big problem: yes. But so is vote suppression; so is turnout; so is the FBI director interfering in an election. Some of this is attributable to Clinton. Not all of it is. I agree that magazine article you linked has some good policy ideas, but frankly I think they use some short-sighted statistics in order to emphasize why we should care.

  39. 39
    Harlequin says:

    Okay. That seemed weird to me, and I realized the source was unclear. If instead they meant 70% of the dropoff in vote percentage, then it’s more like 2.8 million: much bigger. However, compared to what would have happened if the same percentage of people had voted third-party in 2016 as in 2012. 3.8 million more people voted for third parties in 2016–many of those voters likely flipped to third parties, not to Trump.

    From the McClatchy article on the same study that the Washington Monthly article was pulling from:

    Democrats are quick to acknowledge that even if voters switching allegiance had been Clinton’s biggest problem, in such a close election she still could have defeated Trump with better turnout. She could have won, for instance, if African-American turnout in Michigan and Florida matched 2012 levels.

    Additionally, besides losing ground in turnout, Clinton got less of the black and Hispanic vote than Obama did: an 80-point margin among black voters as opposed to 87, 36 point margin as opposed to 44 among Hispanics. So 7-8 point losses as opposed to the 12-point losses among the WWC. I haven’t seen nearly as much about trying to lock down those demographic groups at 2012 levels as I have about appealing to the WWC. (This isn’t related to Sebastian’s point: it’s just something I literally learned doing research just now. And I think that’s interesting.)

    Anyway, I think the point stands: the margin of victory was so low that saying “This! This is the explanation!” is silly. Many things could plausibly be the explanation.

  40. 40
    Kate says:

    HT
    Moving goal posts. I was responding to

    “I’m saying that I think that anyone who acts like Hillary has would get a similar treatment.”

    Whether it is misogyny, partisianship*, or something else, in all the cases I cited Clinton was held to higher standards. Despite your rambling (we were at war then? really – as if we aren’t now?), you do basically acknowledge that I was right in the second two cases (and you had your facts wrong on the first, see Jane Doh @ 37).

    She lies, she lies like she breathes,

    Objective sources, like Politifacts incidate that she actually lies less than the average politician. She certainly lies a hell of a lot less than Trump does.
    So, again, in the last election, Clinton was held to a higher standards than her opponent was – on her family foundation, on her FBI investigation, and on her honesty. We can add to that her personal life. Clinton was attacked more for her husband’s affairs than Trump was for his own affairs.

    She knew she had pneumonia, despite her campaign blaming her collapse on dehydration.

    That is not a lie. That is not even a contradiction. Just because she had pneumoina doesn’t mean that dehydration wasn’t the immediate cause of her collapse.
    All of the other mistakes you cite are small beans (Debbie Wasserman Shultz, really? only total political nerds even know about things like that) compared to whoppers like Gore’s decision to run away from Clinton, or McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for a running mate – or the manifest unfairness of the media’s treatment of her.

    *But if it is partisanship, are you saying that the media is pro-Republican? Somehow, I don’t think that’s what you were intending to say.

  41. 41
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    It seems like there are a thousand different explanations for her loss, and misogyny is only one possibility–and not a super well supported one IMO. It is, however, conveniently one of the few factors which just so happens to align perfectly with the liberal view of misogynistic/racist ‘deplorables’; which happens to remove fault from Clinton; which meets a strong liberal and SJ talking point, and which happens to support the conclusion that the Democratic policy goals were/are perfectly OK, and would be fine if not for all those misogynists.

    As for this:

    Objective sources, like Politifacts incidate that she actually lies less than the average politician.

    How objective is Politifacts? (My guess: Not as objective as is claimed.) And how can we even tell without an agreed-objective standard, which does not actually exist? (My guess: Usually, we can’t.)

    It’s a fascinating question.

    Anyway, when I googled that question, I did end up finding these statistical analyses of Politifacts’ objectivity.

    Of course these analyses are also claiming to be objective, which is also, as with Politifacts, probably untrue. But nonetheless they are very interesting to read, no matter what your political persuasion.

    Part 1 is here.

    Part 2 is here.

    Read them both!

  42. 42
    Humble Talent says:

    in all the cases I cited Clinton was held to higher standards.

    Not…. Really…. I mean these things didn’t exist in a vacuum. Like when you dismissed the differences between the wars in 2007 to what happening now, It’s just seems so… Dishonest. Do you really not remember the 24/7 news coverage? The daily casualty reports? The seemingly perpetual litany of scandals, and outrages, and… I just.. How do you miss that? I mean… July 12, 2007… during the thick of the RNC server scandal, America dropped bombs on Baghdad and killed 18 people, including children and reporters. What do you think got coverage? It was different.

    Objective sources, like Politifacts incidate that she actually lies less than the average politician.

    First off… You think Politifact is objective, and that amuses me. Second, they don’t say that, I’d love you to cite that. Politifact in particular says that because they can’t possibly check all statements made by candidates, that their scorecards should not be used for the kind of comparison you’re making. Politifact still to this day has never actually given “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” a false rating, despite calling it their 2013 lie of the year. So does that mean that it wasn’t a lie? If it was a lie, how do you explain it not being on Obama’s scorecard? It’s called selection bias… They chose not to rate it.

    Just because she had pneumoina doesn’t mean that dehydration wasn’t the immediate cause of her collapse.

    I honestly don’t understand why she attracts this level of loyalty from people. All I’m going to say is that I’ve been politically awake for a very long time, and there are certain politicians… Yes, Trump is first and foremost among them, who have forfeited the benefit of my doubt. Is what you’re saying possible? I mean… I suppose…. But why on Earth should I believe it, especially when even she admits it?

    All of the other mistakes you cite are small beans

    It’s in the eye of the beholder… You don’t get to decide what other people decide to pay attention to. Like I said… I don’t think there’s much, if anything, to Benghazi… But people still care about it. They could be wrong, they could be insane, they could be crippled by an absolutely debilitating case of the bitch-eating-crackers-itis…. But my point has always been that there is no reason to assume misogyny. And I feel that after Barry clarified (and thanks, by the way) that this is almost a settled point… Kate, you haven’t even engaged it. I don’t even know what your fighting here. I mean… Do you think Clinton was a good candidate? Really?

  43. 43
    Sebastian H says:

    Harlequin,

    I agree that she lost enormous amounts of ground with white blue collar workers to party switching (horrible for the Democratic Party), lost ground in turnout (bad for the Democratic Party), and lost Hispanic and black votes (bad for the Democratic Party). I agree that the election was close enough that it is difficult to isolate one thing as ‘the’ cause.

    But that is precisely why it would be better for her to stop sucking up the media focus from future Democratic Party leaders. If she had somehow lost despite increasing turnout, increasing Hispanic and Black votes, and causing voters to switch from Romney to herself–that would be a case for her continuing presence.

    That just isn’t the case. It isn’t misogyny to suggest that it would be better for the Democratic Party if she withdrew from the limelight until other leaders have solidified. We don’t need to appeal to ‘tradition’ to get to that conclusion.

    (Also, why don’t we ever talk about Florida in this conversation? Obama won Florida twice with big inroads into the traditionally Cuban population. Why does Clinton losing all those gains not count as a horrible blunder–especially against a candidate like Trump who certainly isn’t obviously friendly for Hispanic voters?) Am I missing something super obvious?

  44. 44
    David Simon says:

    Sebastian H, I don’t see how it follows from “Clinton was a poor candidate for the Democrats” to “It would help the Democrats if Clinton withdrew from the public eye”. I agree with the first statement, but I don’t see why Clinton can’t still be useful to the party.

  45. 45
    Kate says:

    Not…. Really…. I mean these things didn’t exist in a vacuum. Like when you dismissed the differences between the wars in 2007 to what happening now, It’s just seems so… Dishonest.

    Decades of bullshit like this is why people think Clinton is a liar. No one can look honest when people are constantly making bogus accusations of dishonesty. For example, look at this clip of Elizabeth Warren.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RET2Z5AVJ8A

    I have tremendous respect for Elizabeth Warren, but Chairman McHenry made her look like a liar in that clip.

    The wars in Afganistan and Iraq are not only still going on, they are WORSE now than they were in 2007, having spread to Syria and parts of Pakistan. Moreover, ISIL-related terrorist attacks in the west are much worse now than they were then. If the media is paying less attention, it is not because fewer people are dying. And, even if the media were paying more attention then than the were when the issue of Clinton’s e-mail server was raised, why should that prevent Congress of the FBI from investigating illegal activity?

  46. 46
    Humble Talent says:

    Decades of bullshit like this is why people think Clinton is a liar.

    I think decades in politics will make liars out of most people, but in Clinton’s case in particular, decades of lies is why people think she’s dishonest. I mean really… Go on YouTube, and search “clinton lie compliation” and watch her lie for hours on end. Not all of it is fair, I’ll grant you, some of it needs context… But a whole lot of it just… is.

    The wars in Afganistan and Iraq are not only still going on, they are WORSE now than they were in 2007.

    Frankly, by almost any measurement, that’s not true… Obviously not true. Facially absurd. For example; In 2007 there were 111 military deaths in Afghanistan, and 904 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in 2016 there were 14 and 17 respectively.

    If the media is paying less attention, it is not because fewer people are dying.

    Citation please.

    Because see… My information is that in 2007, there were 26,036 civilian deaths, and in 2016 there were 16,393.

    Sure, those numbers are just for Iraq, and that doesn’t compare other middle eastern fatalities… But even those numbers don’t tell the whole story, because America has for all intents and purposes pulled out of a lot of areas… The spectrum of American caring follows this line: Dead Americans, Civilians killed by Americans, Everyone else. Most of these casualties are attributed to ISIS.

    Why should that prevent Congress of the FBI from investigating illegal activity?

    ….But…. They…. Did…. Investigate? And I find this arguement novel. If there was no other difference between the Bush and Clinton controversies (and believe me, there are, comparing them as if they were all apples is patently ridiculous) one might reasonably note that in 2004 Bush didn’t have the example of his own scandal to have learned from.

  47. 47
    Ampersand says:

    Go on YouTube, and search “clinton lie compliation” and watch her lie for hours on end. Not all of it is fair, I’ll grant you, some of it needs context… But a whole lot of it just… is.

    This is an unreasonable argument – you’re citing a source that you admit is at least partly bullshit, and that’s not only basically a listicle, but a source that you say takes “hours on end” to watch. That doesn’t give anyone a fair chance to research and rebut your claims. Even if I spent god knows how much time researching ten of the lies and showing that most or all of them are not clear-cut, you could just say “those aren’t the ten I meant, I said some of them were unfair, I meant some of the other ones.”

    If you want to pursue this line of argument, I’d suggest picking two or three examples that you think are both (1) not trivial issues and (2) unambiguous lies. Post them here, with links to the exact statement of Clinton’s you’re referring to. (This isn’t a moderator demand; it’s just a suggestion.)

    That you’re not putting forward an argument that people can reasonably check on for themselves makes your argument seem weak, imo.

  48. 48
    Ampersand says:

    Sure, those numbers are just for Iraq, and that doesn’t compare other middle eastern fatalities…

    Since the argument you’re responding to was that the wars are worse because they’ve spread to other nations, these numbers seem irrelevant to what Kate was claiming. (Although I wish Kate had provided some links.) Nearly half a million people have died in the Syrian civil war, for instance; if only a small portion of that is attributable to splash effects from Iraq or Afghanistan, then Kate would be correct.

    But I’m not sure Kate is correct. Kate, is your argument that the war in Iraq is what galvanized ISIS to spread to other countries, leading to their takeover of much of Syria, causing the Syrian conflict to be larger and deadlier?

  49. 49
    Harlequin says:

    Sebastian H @43:

    If she had somehow lost despite increasing turnout, increasing Hispanic and Black votes, and causing voters to switch from Romney to herself–that would be a case for her continuing presence.

    To put that in a little more context, Clinton was a candidate who: had significant enthusiasm from her supporters in the primaries; won the popular vote; lost vote share among black and Hispanic voters relative to the first-ever black candidate and once-in-a-generation political talent, bringing her all the way down to being the 2nd most popular candidate since at least 1980 with Hispanic voters and 3rd most with black voters, behind only Obama and Bill Clinton in his 2nd election; won the most votes from college-educated people of any Democrat since at least 1980; won the most votes of voters under 30 of any Democratic candidate besides Obama since at least 1972; and has enormous experience and expertise in politics. [edit: the numbers in this paragraph are from the same source as my note about black and Hispanic voters in comment 39.]

    I get that a lot of people don’t like her. But a lot of other people really, really do. It’s actually weird for me to come across these debates in the comments sections of the political blogs I read, because among my friends in other spaces–mostly white women–almost everybody adored Clinton and even the ones who voted for her reluctantly aren’t as negative as the very negative comments I come across in the blogosphere, if we still use that word. That she is not inspiring or important to the people you know is not to say that she’s not inspiring and important to a subset of the Democratic base. And, I mean, for at least one site used to manage contact to Congress resisting Trump, based on a poll of that got nearly 30,000 responses, fully 50% of the users were women aged 46-65–among the most likely, I would imagine, to find Clinton inspiring. It seems like a good idea to keep around somebody who’s be inspiring to the people doing a lot of the legwork of actually pressuring lawmakers, right?

    Anyway: I don’t think all, or even most, of how she’s treated can be explained by sexism. But as someone who has experienced or witnessed sexism a number of times, there’s just something so disappointingly familiar in how her flaws are highlighted and her successes ignored. That’s not proof, of course, and our brains are good at finding patterns even when the patterns aren’t there. But it’s just–familiar.

    As a side note, I mentioned the slip in black and Hispanic votes not to malign Clinton but because so many people are talking about how the Democrats need to pivot to appeal more to the WWC, and I wanted to point out that that wasn’t the only place you could push to make a difference in 2020.

  50. 50
    Harlequin says:

    g&w@23 on this thread, talking about parallels in education and healthcare:

    The neediest folks are also the most expensive to serve, and are often (though not always) those who have less response per dollar spent.

    I don’t think this is true in either healthcare or education, actually. The most expensive students to serve are disabled students, who appear in classrooms of all economic classes, not just the poorest; disabled students require extra services and thus more personnel, sometimes up to a full-time aide for a single student. Although there’s also a link to poverty, both in underdiagnosis of disabilities and in overdiagnosis of behavioral problems. Meanwhile, in healthcare, Medicaid for example gets great RoI.

    All your educational spending points are kind of hard to answer, actually, because in general, good public schools spend more than bad public schools. Education has both unequal funding and unequal outcomes favoring wealthy neighborhoods, unlike your seesaw model of trading equal outcomes for unequal money and vice versa. But in education it’s all government money being spent, unlike healthcare, where the government is only supplementing when private insurance is not available or affordable. You might wonder if federal government spending on healthcare and education is similar (I did), but federal funds supply about 15% of K-12 education spending but 60+% of Medicaid spending, which doesn’t even get into Medicare, which is more money than either K-12 or Medicaid. And that K-12 state spending doesn’t include local bonds or taxes at all, either, which is another great driver of inequality between schools. So the funding models just make it really hard to compare the economics.

    The other big difference is that there is a fairly low-cost, effective measure to improve student performance: desegregation. Many of the problems of our public schools are because the problems of poverty make it hard to focus on an education, and the issue is compounded if most of your classmates have the same problems; the link between neighborhood poverty and race is, of course, well-established, so desegregation is an effective tool to mix economic classes. Such mixed classes appear to lift the performance of kids in poverty without harming the performance of the kids from wealthier families. Here’s a good article on why desegregation is hard to do but how we might do it anyway. And, of course, there’s the great two-part This American Life podcast on this subject from a couple of years ago (link goes to the first episode).

    Um, so, provocative, and it made me do some research, but I think on balance they’re not as parallel as your initial comment proposed.

  51. 51
    Humble Talent says:

    That you’re not putting forward an argument that people can reasonably check on for themselves makes your argument seem weak, imo.

    This seems like some kind of foreign beast to me; The idea that I have to showcase Clinton’s dishonesty. I suppose I’d do it if asked, and my perception is that it wouldn’t even be particularly hard… But is it really necessary? Do you really believe that Hillary Clinton is honest? That I can’t find anything?

    If you think that I will be able to find situations where Clinton has been fundamentally, purposefully dishonest, and my contention is that Hillary Clinton is dishonest… Then what are you doing?

  52. 52
    Humble Talent says:

    Nearly half a million people have died in the Syrian civil war, for instance; if only a small portion of that is attributable to splash effects from Iraq or Afghanistan, then Kate would be correct.

    Right, but I address that if you looked at the part of my comment you didn’t quote:

    But even those numbers don’t tell the whole story, because America has for all intents and purposes pulled out of a lot of areas… The spectrum of American caring follows this line: Dead Americans, Civilians killed by Americans, Everyone else.

    Half a million dead Syrians killed by ISIS? Americans don’t care. Look at Rwanda, or the Armenian genocide, these things were reported on, sure, but not to the degree in which you’d expect considering the loss of life and human suffering. If 900,000 Americans were killed with machetes over the course of a quarter year, someone would drop a nuke*, meanwhile because it happened a continent away 15 years later we get a documentary, and 5 years after that the average person probably doesn’t know that it happened.

    Dead Americans -> People Killed by Americans -> Everyone else.

    The reason we don’t hear about Syrian civilian casualties, is because, generally, they’re the third category. Remember, Kate is trying to make the argument that the media reported on the Clinton scandal but not the RNC scandal because of sexism, and my contention is that the context around the two scandals were different, most notably that Iraq occupied a lot of American headspace in 2007.

    *hyperbole…. breathe….

  53. 53
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Such mixed classes appear to lift the performance of kids in poverty without harming the performance of the kids from wealthier families

    Bollocks.

    If you have two subgroups Achievers and Flunkers, and you mix them, it is certainly possible that the average grade across all students would go up. But that is not all the same thing as saying that the Achievers are doing just as well had they remained in an all-Achiever class.

    If folks want to say “advanced kids are getting an education which we think is good enough; we agree they could learn more if they were tracked but we expect the kids to sacrifice some of their chance to fly, in order to serve the larger social good” that’s perfectly fine. We can have the conversation. But it irks me when people dance around the subject.

    To use a personal example, I have a kid who is super-smart and since I am a math whiz, she is too. And as such my school has my kid spend some time helping slower students who are way, way, behind her in math. That’s fine; it isn’t too much time; it’s part of the social contract. But since it’s edu-speak, they lie to her. They tell her things like “she’ll learn just as much by helping people learn to add, as she would if she were working with a teacher or studying,” but that is assuredly not true.

    What is true is that she would learn way more if she were in a class with other folks like her, and without any of the slower kids. As soon as they started tracking in math she doubled her speed; compared to the standard track she’ll be two full years ahead by high school.

    Now, you can make a valid argument that tracking is bad. You can make a valid argument that we should take any tracking money and use it to help the slowest kids. We may or may not agree–but even if I disagree, I will not hesitate to concede the validity of your underlying point. You can’t make a valid argument, though, if you claim that folks like my daughter are “going to learn just as much” if they’re in an un-tracked class doing 90% review and 10% learning. It just isn’t true.

  54. 54
    Kate says:

    I was thinking in terms of the wars in Afganistan/Pakistan – Iraq/Syria and against al quaeda/ISIL writ large. I see them as all interconnected. I do not have stats, and am working a lot this week, so I don’t have time to get them without just cherry picking. My reasoning is that as the war has engulfed more of the region, more people are probably dying. Maybe I shouldn’t have made that assumption. If I was wrong, it was an honest mistake. I don’t think it is fair to label me “dishonest” for that, much less for asserting that a war which is still going on is still going on, which is what HT did @42.

    Half a million dead Syrians killed by ISIS? Americans don’t care.

    I agree that Americans don’t care ENOUGH about deaths in Syria. However, I remember coverage of Aleppo being a pretty big deal at the same time as Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, if only as a stick to beat Obama with.

    Remember, Kate is trying to make the argument that the media reported on the Clinton scandal but not the RNC scandal because of sexism, and my contention is that the context around the two scandals were different, most notably that Iraq occupied a lot of American headspace in 2007 (my emphasisi).

    Please read my statements more carefully. @40 I wrote that I was specifically responding to your assertion that:

    “I’m saying that I think that anyone who acts like Hillary has would get a similar treatment.”

    And further commented:

    Whether it is misogyny, partisianship, or something else, in all the cases I cited Clinton was held to higher standards.

    I do believe that Democrats, in general, are held to higher standards than Republicans. I think that often intersects with various forms of marginalization, starting with the classism against Bill Clinton in the 1990’s. Democrats are a coalition heavily reliant upon people who have in living memory been dejure denied access to economic and political power (women and POC) or even downright criminalized (LGBTQ people). Democrats are therefore questioned when we seek power in ways that Republicans are not. To take, what I hope is a fairly non-controversial example, the concern with Obama’s birth certificate, held up against the lack of concern about Republican candidates (or potential candidates) who actually were born outside the U.S. (John McCain, born in Panama and Ted Cruz, born in Canada). I’d also (probably more controversially) compare the reaction to Bengazi with embasy bombings under Bush.

    In real life, we can’t control variables. So this is very difficult to prove. But, in controled circumstances, such as blind auditions, and resume studies which I’ve cited before in threads here at Alas (don’t have time to find them again now), we see over and over again that both racism and sexism exist and have a measurable effect in who gets jobs, interviews, funding and the like. I think that the burdon of proof ought to be on those who assert that those measurable biases somehow evaporate when one leaves the lab.

  55. 55
    Harlequin says:

    g&w: I disagree! Not bollocks! Are we done with the debate now? :)

    Or, in detail:

    If you have two subgroups Achievers and Flunkers, and you mix them, it is certainly possible that the average grade across all students would go up. But that is not all the same thing as saying that the Achievers are doing just as well had they remained in an all-Achiever class.

    Two points:
    1. The people who study this are experts. I feel comfortable saying they understand the difference between average performance of a mixed classroom and individual performance.
    2. You’re using Achievers and Flunkers as if that is some innate and individual property of the kids themselves. But that’s not right. The combination is something more like Kids Who Pay Attention And Attend Schools With Good Services and Kids Who Don’t Pay Attention And Attend Schools With Insufficient Services. It’s about community norms and about structures. Put some Kids Who Don’t Pay Attention in a class dominated by Kids Who Pay Attention, and thanks to the fact that humans are social beings and want to fit in, the Kids Who Don’t Pay Attention will start paying attention more, on average, as long as it’s social and not a medical condition like ADHD. Combine that behavior with more support staff, better services, smaller classrooms, better facilities, newer curricula, etc, and you’ve changed a whole lot about what made those kids do badly before. (And “paying attention” is really a proxy for a bunch of behaviors that help kids do well in school, not limited to paying attention to the teacher–but you get the idea.)

    Most of what I’m saying here, by the way, I’ve gotten from secondhand sources like the posts I linked above or from educators I’ve known, in addition to some limited experiences of my own. I haven’t had much luck trying to find the actual literature on this–either it’s not in my usual databases or I don’t know the proper search terms. If anyone has stuff that would prove me wrong, I’m happy to read it.

    Now, you can make a valid argument that tracking is bad. You can make a valid argument that we should take any tracking money and use it to help the slowest kids. We may or may not agree–but even if I disagree, I will not hesitate to concede the validity of your underlying point. You can’t make a valid argument, though, if you claim that folks like my daughter are “going to learn just as much” if they’re in an un-tracked class doing 90% review and 10% learning. It just isn’t true.

    I mean–without getting into the weeds on this, I am (for the most part) in favor of tracking students. Your claim that desegregating schools is equal to undoing tracking doesn’t hold water, and is not, in any way, what I was suggesting. First of all, see above: the dominant problem is not that these students are less intellectually talented than the students in the richer schools. And even after desegregation you can still track them as appropriate in schools with tracking. This isn’t theoretical. I went to public school K-12 in Iowa, where open enrollment between school districts is statewide policy. There were a few racial minority kids, though not many, who open-enrolled into my very good school from a nearby poorer district. They tracked us, at that time, from middle school onwards–and from middle school onwards the only class I ever shared with those kids was gym, because they didn’t get into the upper track. The students, once in my district, didn’t get special treatment. But even in the middle or lower track they were getting a better education than they would have in their home district, so they stayed.

    (Is this a possible place racism could make a difference? Yup, definitely. That’s something to watch out for. Still not as bad as segregated schools, though.)

    As a side note, if your daughter’s thinking about STEM as a career and you ever want info or resources (in general or on women in STEM in particular), feel free to hit me up. I don’t guarantee I’ll know, but if I do I’m happy to help. edit: that’s generally applicable to anyone who knows a young person thinking of going into STEM!

  56. 57
    Kate says:

    Here’s a resume study investigating how class and gender interact to impact who is invited to interview at top law firms.
    Men with lower class markers fared worst, followed by women with higher class markers, then women with working class markers.

  57. 58
    desipis says:

    Put some Kids Who Don’t Pay Attention in a class dominated by Kids Who Pay Attention, and thanks to the fact that humans are social beings and want to fit in, the Kids Who Don’t Pay Attention will start paying attention more, on average, as long as it’s social and not a medical condition like ADHD.

    I think the key word here is “dominated”. Yes, if you take one or two disadvantaged kids and put them into a class of 30 odd kids from a more privileged background, they may well adapt to the prevailing culture.

    However, this model doesn’t scale society wide. There aren’t enough schools and/or communities that are “advantaged” to distribute all the kids from “disadvantaged” areas in a way that won’t disrupt the positive culture that helps make a school “advantaged” in the first place. If you end up with 10-15 kids in a class of 30, then I doubt they will adapt. Rather I would expect they would simply forming their own “disadvantaged” subculture within the school.

  58. 59
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Harlequin says:
    June 9, 2017 at 2:55 am
    g&w: I disagree! Not bollocks! Are we done with the debate now? :)

    Ha. Point conceded. Sorry.

    1. The people who study this are experts. I feel comfortable saying they understand the difference between average performance of a mixed classroom and individual performance.

    I have read some bad education studies, but let’s assume these are good ones: Can you show me a study which includes details? Last time I read anything on this, which was admittedly a pretty long time ago, they didn’t show that. (The public presentation matched what you said they found; the data did not.) Maybe I’m wrong, I’d like to read the study.

    Combine that [behavior improvement from mixing kids] with more support staff, better services, smaller classrooms, better facilities, newer curricula, etc,

    You’re doing apples-to-oranges here.

    My claim was that mixing kids has a detrimental (though perhaps socially justified) effect on the faster and non-disruptive kids.
    Your reply amounts to “well, that detrimental effect can be compensated for by spending special amounts of money and time and effort to solve that problem.”

    Of course. Obviously it is possible to spend extra time, money, and effort to compensate for disruptive and slower kids. But that also has an effect. If you move resources to remedial/compensatory work, then you no longer have those resources available for more advanced work.

    It’s like saying “Johnny is not disruptive in class” when you actually mean “so long as Johnny has a highly trained one-on-one support teacher paid for by the state, he is no more disruptive than anyone else.” Or, “Amy is college-ready” when you actually mean “if Amy spends a summer in a special program for free and gets support that other folks don’t get and has special programs for some years, Amy can manage to catch up to the folks who weren’t too far ahead of Amy to begin with.” But those are not the same thing!

    As a side note, if your daughter’s thinking about STEM as a career and you ever want info or resources (in general or on women in STEM in particular), feel free to hit me up. I don’t guarantee I’ll know, but if I do I’m happy to help.

    Thank you; that is an exceedingly nice offer. We’re all set, but it was very kind of you to bring it up!

  59. 60
    desipis says:

    White Professor Fired From Black College Gets $4.9 Million

    A trial jury awarded Elizabeth Wilkins $1.35 million in compensatory damages and $3.5 million in punitive damages on her claim that she was fired in favor of less senior black teachers. She also claimed Dr. Latisha Smith, the temporary co-chair for Harris-Stowe’s Teacher Education Department, repeatedly proclaimed her belief in “black power” in emails.

    Harris-Stowe’s defense was crippled by the fact that it deleted emails in Smith’s account, in violation of a court order.

  60. G&W:

    My claim was that mixing kids has a detrimental (though perhaps socially justified) effect on the faster and non-disruptive kids.

    I’d be interested to know what kind of pedagogical work gets done to structure a class like that, and I mean serious pedagogical work, because I think the only way such a classroom would work is if you do a whole hell of a lot more than dump the two groups in the same classroom. Because I think if that’s what gets done, the result will be exactly what you describe.

    It is a truism, and I think it is really true, that you understand something best when you have to teach it to someone else, but I also think that is mostly true if we’re talking about actual teaching, not simply explaining something. In other words, I don’t see how a mixed classroom like that would not work to the detriment of the “faster, non-disruptive kids” unless you somehow worked into the class a way of having them teach, with an appropriate level of research, preparation, etc.

    I know there are a ton of pitfalls that would need to be accounted for, not the least of which might be resentment on the part of the other students, or a kind of elitism/condescension on the part of the faster students. But, as a teacher, this discussion got me wondering.

  61. 62
    Seriously? says:

    Purely anecdotal, but still.

    In ’97, I was volunteering at a South Carolina high school. I was teaching a Computer Science class, and around the beginning of the Spring term, enough of my Fall term students got admitted to colleges that a few people were parachuted into my class, and I was not even given a chance to say no, or discuss their level of preparedness for what was a pretty in-depth C programming class. Frankly, I have no clue why it was allowed. My theory was that it was all about inserting one of the students, and the other two were just to obfuscate the fact that she was related to a local influential… lets say, official.

    She was fine. The other two kids were not. By March, I had started sending them to the principal as soon as they were in any way disruptive. One was actually only disruptive by accident – unless something set him off, he was content sleeping or humming to himself. I would even tolerate his drumming, as long as he did not get too excited.

    The other was constantly making (stupid) jokes, rapping, asking questions unrelated to the subject at hand, etc. He would ask about video games, graphics, etc. while I was teaching pointer arithmetic. I cannot blame him for being behind, as he came about two months into the class, and had only a slim chance to catch up. I actually gave all three a few private sessions, but he expected quick advances and had no patience for the basics. The other guy rescheduled twice, and never showed up.

    At some point, the principal got tired of me sending them to her, and accused me of all things, of racism. Sure, both problem students were Black. So were all but three of the rest (this was before Hispanics really came to Rock Hill)

    When I tried to explain that I was spending a lot of time on these two students, time that the other twenty five students needed, she started talking to me how things were done a different way in the US. With being called a racist and a communist all at once, the whole thing became too much of a bother, so when I got injured while visiting a student, I just said “screw it”, and after my medical leave helped the substitute finish the class with no intention of going back.

    All this to say that it does not take 50% less prepared or deliberately disruptive students. 10% is enough, if there is no support structure to help the weaker students catch up, and no mechanism to get rid of those with no desire to do so. As for strong students helping the weaker ones, the only way to do so fairly is to do it outside of regular classes, and to compensate the tutors somehow. Laser tag was my way. I have no idea what I’d have done if that had not been deemed an adequate form of compensation.

  62. 63
    Kate says:

    As for strong students helping the weaker ones, the only way to do so fairly is to do it outside of regular classes, and to compensate the tutors somehow.

    I think paying stronger students to tutor the weaker students is a great idea, particularly in areas where there are few jobs. If students knew that getting a certain grade on a test would get them a job RIGHT NOW, that would be a huge motivating factor. You could even motivate mediocre students to develop their skills by teaching them to tutor younger students in simpler skills that they had already mastered. Students who struggle to learn something and then master it are often even better tutors than those who understood it immediately.

  63. 64
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Richard Jeffrey Newman says:
    June 12, 2017 at 4:20 pm
    G&W:

    My claim was that mixing kids has a detrimental (though perhaps socially justified) effect on the faster and non-disruptive kids.

    I’d be interested to know what kind of pedagogical work gets done to structure a class like that, and I mean serious pedagogical work.

    None?
    Our school is really good (for a non-magnet school.) But even in that context the line is simply “differentiation,” which is just eduspeak for “the teachers will do their best to address the individual needs of every kid.”

    And they ARE doing their best, I think. But if Mary is reading at a 5th grade level and Alice is reading at a kindergarten level then it’s pretty hard to do much other than sending Mary off to a cozy corner to read by herself, while you try to get Alice up to speed. The best thing you could do for Mary is to put her in a class with no Alices, so the teacher would actually spend time with her.

    It is a truism, and I think it is really true, that you understand something best when you have to teach it to someone else,

    I don’t really agree with teaching is best (yes I have been a teacher.) I do agree that teaching is often a way to get the kind of pushback and detail which help you to cement advanced learning into full understanding.

    But the crucial thing there is “advanced.” There’s a reason that constructivism fails people; it doesn’t work very well at lower levels.

    Which is to say that you might learn more about English if you taught some 4th graders. An eighth grade student would not.

  64. G&W:

    Which is to say that you might learn more about English if you taught some 4th graders. An eighth grade student would not.

    First, I thought we were talking about people in the same grade at different levels. There is, after all, a big difference between a fourth grader and an eighth grader with fourth grade level math skills. And I have to say that, if the difference in skill level is that pronounced, it seems to me almost criminally unfair to both the teacher and the students to put those students in the same class with some vague notion of differentiation–which may be as you describe it in practice, but that description is not what differentiation is supposed to be–as the pedagogical glue that is supposed to hold things together.

    But to your larger point: An awful lot would depend on what, specifically, the 8th grader was teaching, what kind of preparation he or she was given, what kind of assessment was done for the 8th grader afterwards, and–to your larger point–how the rest of the class was structured to accommodate the level of her own skills.

    I know I am describing something that is an ideal and that reality rarely if ever matches that. My wife works in the NYC public school system, so I am not arguing with your critique. As a pedagogical problem, though, the question interests me.

  65. 66
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    As a pedagogical problem, though, the question interests me.

    Now that I know we’re in the “theory not practice” level, me too! So I’ll start the debate off by suggesting a framing:

    Amy is a skilled student.

    Bart is significantly less skilled but not disruptive. To use a realistic example, let’s say Amy and Bart are about two grades apart in skill (it’s quite common to have that level of split between an advanced kid and a slow kid). In other words, Amy has not yet reached full expert mastery of the subject compared to Bart–but Amy would not ordinarily spend time reviewing Bart-level work.

    Amy can spend an hour learning from a teacher. Or, Amy can spend an hour teaching Bart. (I’m ignoring other options, for clarity.)

    Can you think of situations where Amy will learn more from teaching Bart than she will from studying with a teacher?

  66. 67
    Harlequin says:

    I will be responding to some of the comments here eventually but it may be a few days (big project at work, no time to look up the sources I’d like to yet). In the meantime, I’m enjoying reading the conversation, thanks!

  67. 68
    Kate says:

    But if Mary is reading at a 5th grade level and Alice is reading at a kindergarten level then it’s pretty hard to do much other than sending Mary off to a cozy corner to read by herself, while you try to get Alice up to speed.

    My son was in mixed age classes from years 2-6. The skill gaps were pretty close to this size (in a 1/2 class there were certainly kids still reading on the kindergarden level, and the most advanced students were reading at at least 4th grade level). This is what it looked like at a well funded urban public school serving children of college professors, bank executives, recent immigrants with limited English, and people from the local housing project. There were usually only about 20 students in a class, which no doubt helps.
    You start the class with a group theme. Maybe have the students reading at grade level take turns reading a short story. Students then have assignments taylored to their reading level and interest.
    The Marys are given a writing assignment. The average Janes maybe a series of short-answer questions. The Alices are brought in a group and take turns reading a simpler story with a similar theme.
    The Alices are then given worksheets, perhaps to practice writing theme words, while the teacher meets with the Janes and goes over their questions. Then, the Marys (whose assignment was more complex and required more time) read their stories to each other.
    The Alices from various classes also sometime go out of class to have a small group sessions with the special education teacher, or to read one-on-one with a literacy volunteer. The Marys have a special weekly book club with the librarian with more advanced reading material and a series of discussion themes to prepare for over the course of the week.
    Yes, it takes investment. It is worth it.

  68. Kate,

    That’s how it worked more or less at the public school my son went to, but I think it’s important to point out that it’s not just a matter of funding—though funding is certainly impotent. It’s also a matter of disciplined commitment to a pedagogy, not any particular one, because there are a couple of pedagogical visions out there, but a generally progressive one at the very least. And that commitment needs to start with the principal and AP, who needs to be able to inspire/command a similar commitment in the teaching staff, and who is willing to stand up to the bureaucracy which often does not like the “messiness”—by which I mean the ways in which what you describe might not lead to being able neatly to fill in the blanks in an assessment—that really working a differentiated classroom can lead to.

  69. 70
    Amy says:

    With regard to mixing levels: there is a point at which it becomes extremely counter-productive to all concerned. I live in Montreal, where my children (as immigrants) are required by law to attend French school. I have no problem with this, since I moved here voluntarily knowing that French is the official language of the province. My kids are also required to take ESL, which I do have a problem with. (BTW, the same is true for French-speakers in the English schools. They are required to take FSL, no matter how much French they speak). Language instruction begins in kindergarten/maternelle, so the kids are 5 and not very mature.

    Since we live in Montreal in a very bilingual neighborhood, about half of the kids start school speaking fluent or near-fluent English. The other half start with no English at all. They are all in the same class. I really feel for the teachers. I have no idea how to make basic English vocabulary (which is the provincially mandated curriculum for the early grades) interesting to fluent speakers who cannot yet read. For historical reasons, language is very loaded in Quebec, to an extent I can’t properly appreciate as an immigrant, so the law is unlikely to change anytime soon.

    We told our kids to do what they needed to in order to not disrupt class and to make no comments on any of their peers’ English skills. That this is a really common problem in Montreal doesn’t seem to have helped anyone come up with a solution. Montreal actually had to ban native English speakers from advanced English, since they were taking all the seats that were intended to help advanced English learners go faster.

    Of course, this is way beyond the usual ranges of ability found in the classroom under normal circumstances, especially with the near 50-50 split between speakers and non-speakers found in my neighborhood. I find that many of the teachers do a good job keeping my kids engaged in the other subjects (French, math, etc). My kids do a lot less rote work and a lot more projects than I remember doing in school. Such work is easier to level appropriately, I think.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that I’ve experienced both sides–one of my kids is way, way above level in reading, and the other was below average in French, but has since caught up and is slightly above average. I think being pushed by peers was helpful. They are still in primary school, so we will see what happens as they get older and their material gets more complex. I don’t think it is good to track kids when they are in elementary school, in general. That said, if the disparity in ability is too great, then classes are a waste of time, and the very advanced kids would benefit much, much more from independent study if teaching resources are not available.

  70. 71
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Kate says:
    June 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm
    The Marys are given a writing assignment. The average Janes maybe a series of short-answer questions. The Alices are brought in a group and take turns reading a simpler story with a similar theme.
    The Alices are then given worksheets, perhaps to practice writing theme words, while the teacher meets with the Janes and goes over their questions. Then, the Marys (whose assignment was more complex and required more time) read their stories to each other.
    The Alices from various classes also sometime go out of class to have a small group sessions with the special education teacher, or to read one-on-one with a literacy volunteer. The Marys have a special weekly book club with the librarian with more advanced reading material and a series of discussion themes to prepare for over the course of the week.

    Yes, in theory that is how it works. In practice, not so much. As a practical matter it is tempting to spend less and less time on the Marys (replacing it with reading in class, group work, etc.)

    As an example: In-school reading. If your kids are die-hard readers, there is basically no reason at all that they should waste their valuable, limited, and expensive school time sitting there and reading a book on their own. The reason that it is necessary is because there are many kids who will only read in school.

    After all, Marys are already above grade level, so a small change in what Mary learns won’t affect the school or the teacher. The incentives drive the teachers to selectively focus their attention on the slower kids, because its the slower kids who drive funding and promotion and such.

    There isn’t a public teacher in the country whose principal is going to ding them by saying “I’m really disappointed that Marys are only scoring at 160% of grade level; I was hoping for 170%.” All they hear is “I’m disappointed that there are students at 60% of grade level; they need to be at least 70%.”

    These differences are hard to track. You can’t tell what “would have been” easily, so you can develop an inaccurate belief that the Marys are being well-served by differentiated instruction of the type Kate describes.

    But as soon as you start tracking the Marys and you can see how fast they are capable of learning, you can look back and realize that the differentiation was working poorly.

    But nobody ever does.

    In the traditional track system, math is the same for grades k-7 and splits in 8th grade (some folks take algebra; other folks take it in 9th). But over the next four years, the fast folks will gain another year, if not two. It’s obvious they can learn more, and learn faster.

    You may wonder, then, why that same cohort is all in the same math level in 6th grade.

  71. 72
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    An interesting economic analysis of charter schools, productivity, and school spending:

    Ignoring educational productivity is immoral

    I started very pro-charter school. Then I gradually came to believe that they were not good on average. Lately I’ve come back around again, at least somewhat.

    I tend to think that providing options is good, and that students and families are probably capable, in the aggregate, of choosing what works for them. And I think that centralized education hasn’t always worked so well.

    On the other hand, there’s a huge fixed cost for public schools: they have to take all the charter rejects, and they often have fixed staffing and building expenses which can’t easily change. I think a lot of charter advocates are intentionally obscuring those differences: sure, you can save 20% by running a non-union school which operates at capacity due to high demand. But if you told the charters that they had to take (or fund) all SPED students, and had to be unionized, and had to provide capacity for all applicants even if it varied hugely from year to year… well, that would be a lot more expensive. So when you pull kids into charter schools, the per-student share of fixed costs goes up, and the remaining public school students have it worse. I’m not super comfortable with that.

    I still think we should consider expanding charters, mostly because I think it’s a good way for folks to voluntarily test educational theory. But I don’t think that the “charters are a great solution always” folks are fairly taking account of all the necessary information regarding costs.

    Anyway, it’s an interesting post.

    Also: Does Camden seriously spend $32,000/student on average? Holy shit!

  72. 73
    Kate says:

    There isn’t a public teacher in the country whose principal is going to ding them by saying “I’m really disappointed that Marys are only scoring at 160% of grade level; I was hoping for 170%.” All they hear is “I’m disappointed that there are students at 60% of grade level; they need to be at least 70%.”

    Sure there are. There are plenty of public schools in wealthy communities that are feeders for elite prep schools and Ivys where the parents push the principle to get their gifted children’s scores even higher. These schools also provide education for those in their districts with learning disabilities and behavioural problems, often mainstreamed into the same classrooms as more advanced students, especially on the primary school level. There is only a conflict when schools are not given the resources they need to help all of their students meet their full potential and (as Richard pointed out) administrators and teachers are not fully committed to that goal.

  73. 74
    Jake Squid says:

    As this is an open thread…

    I am experiencing a thing that I never even considered a possibility. The mammogram was weird enough, but the approaching mastectomy was just never on my radar. So, if anybody has advice on/experience with recovery from one (or two) of those, I’m all ears. At least I get to keep both of those. For now. Alas, I must bid farewell to one of my five favorite nipples in the whole world.

    And this is also where I thank my lucky stars that I’m fairly well to do and have money banked. For not only is this going to be expensive, however the biopsy turns out, but I’m going to have a pre-existing condition from this point forward.

  74. 75
    Kate says:

    Best wishes Jake Squid. I know three people diagnosed with breast cancer this year. It is really, really rough, but usually temporary. Some day this will just be a bad memory.

  75. 76
    Ben Lehman says:

    I am so sorry. I hope that everything goes well.

  76. 77
    Ampersand says:

    I’m so sorry, Jake. I hope everything goes well (and as I understand it, that’s likely to be the case); let us know if there’s anything we can do.

  77. 78
    RonF says:

    Sorry to hear that, Jake. Pretty tough course ahead of you. Feel free to get on here and give me shit anytime to keep your spirits up.

  78. 79
    nobody.really says:

    Or if you want to delegate the task of giving RonF shit, just let us know. We’re here for you.

  79. 80
    Chris says:

    Alas, I must bid farewell to one of my five favorite nipples in the whole world.

    It’s good to see you’re keeping your sense of humor. Best wishes.

  80. 81
    Jake Squid says:

    I am currently a macro analogy of a quantum superstate. I am Schrodinger’s cancer. It is either benign or stage 3 or 4 cancer. I may know by Monday, but I’ll know for sure a week after that.

    Although they deal with male breast cancer often enough that my presence wasn’t weird, they’re totally set up for women. For example, they gave me a nice icepack to wear home all in a pale pink with floral designs. Also, the receptionist was extra scrupulous. They’ve got to upgrade their waiting room music, though. The first time I was there it was selections of music they’ll play at your funeral. Today it was a subdued but jazzy number that in no way made me think of funerals.

    The doctor said he was putting a titanium chip into me to indicate where they biopsied for the surgeon and I told him that was a waste of a titanium chip since it was going to be in a medical waste bin by next Saturday.

    I’m okay with whatever it turns out to be. But “mastectomy” was never mentioned until suddenly it was. So that was a bit of a shock for half an hour or so. Maybe I’ll replace it with a bigger boob than I was able to grow myself. But I’m pretty well set at this point, so Mrs. Squid shouldn’t have financial worries for the rest of her life and that removes a lot of possible reasons for anxiety. I’ve been prepared for death for decades but now I see that I’ve got to document some posthumous stuff so that my beloved has less to do once I’m gone. You know… where the money is, how best to invest it, what all my passwords are. I should probably also do a DNR and a living will just in case I don’t get to go out on my own terms.

    Thanks for the good wishes. It makes all 3 of my hearts swell to bursting.

  81. Jake,

    I’m so sorry to hear that! I’m glad you have your sense of humor about you and that you seem to be at peace. I hope that whatever way this goes is as smooth and peaceful and meaningful as possible.

  82. 83
    Harlequin says:

    Jake, I’m sorry to hear that. Best of luck in getting a firm diagnosis soon, too.

  83. 84
    Jane Doh says:

    Jake, sorry to hear about your Schrodinger diagnosis. I hope you can keep your humor and your calm whichever way it goes.

    If you are up for it, a bit of advice for doing emergency planning in the age of passwords. Lastpass (which I use to generate and keep track of complex passwords) has a feature where pre-designated folks can ask for emergency access to your password list, and if you don’t decline access in a set number of days, they gain access to your account. If you are planning for future emergencies, you might find it useful, since it can track your passwords in real time and add new accounts as you set them up.

  84. 85
    Jake Squid says:

    Update:

    99% sure it’s not cancer. That’s as sure as you can be before you actually examine the whole thing.

    Incredibly rare. It’s called a Cavernous Hemangioma. While those are common, what is not is to find one in the breast of a man. I found documentation of one other case. I am as unique as one of 7 billion is likely to be!

    So. Radical mastectomy ahead. But no lymph nodes will be taken. One nipple will be, though.

    I will be okay but also some degree of mutilated. We’ll see how I feel about that in a couple of months.

    But you can imagine my disappointment that the hospital has no Breast Cavernous Hemangioma Navigator to help me out. I am outraged and the hospital administrator will be hearing from me.

  85. 86
    Ampersand says:

    I’m just thrilled that we’ll have you around for a good long while, Jake – albeit one nipple short. Thank you for the update.

  86. 87
    Kate says:

    Thanks for the update, Jake.

    Cavernous Hemangioma

    Sounds like someplace Tolkien would set a battle.

  87. 88
    nobody.really says:

    Well I, for one, will not use this news as an excuse to engage in undue discrimination among medical conditions. Cancer or no cancer, I stand by my pledge to give RonF shit upon Jake’s command. I will follow him–yea, even unto the very gates of Cavernous Hemangioma….

  88. 89
    Harlequin says:

    Jake, that’s wonderful news! (Er, at least in comparison to the other possibilities.)

  89. 90
    Grace Annam says:

    Jake Squid:

    99% sure it’s not cancer.

    I am VERY glad to hear that, Jake. Good news.

    One nipple will be, though.

    I hope it’s on the side which will improve your archery.

    I will be okay but also some degree of mutilated.

    Battle scars aren’t mutilation. They’re battle scars.

    Grace

  90. 91
    RonF says:

    Fantastic news Jake. Glad to hear it.

    I went through a scare like this myself a couple of years ago. Turned out to be some kind of calcium deposit that eventually got reabsorbed on it’s own. It gave me a deeper appreciation of what women go through in breast x-rays, though.

  91. 92
    Jake Squid says:

    It’s looking like I’ll have a large audience for my surgery. Every surgeon is going to want to take this less than once in a lifetime opportunity to see a cavernous hemangioma in a man’s breast. I’m going to ask for a video of the event.

  92. 93
    RonF says:

    I think you should sell tickets. And copyright the video.

  93. 94
    Jake Squid says:

    I have survived the operation. General anesthesia is just the best. Pain has been minimal and I should be going home in a few hours.

    Next on my agenda is deciding whether or not to do reconstruction and/or what to tattoo in my new blank spot.

    Thanks for your good thoughts everybody.

  94. 95
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Woohoo–great news, Jake!

  95. Glad to hear that, Jake!

  96. 97
    Ampersand says:

    I’m really glad to hear it went well, Jake!

    Next on my agenda is deciding whether or not to do reconstruction and/or what to tattoo in my new blank spot.

    Would a squid be too on the nose?

  97. 98
    Grace Annam says:

    Amp:

    Would a squid be too on the nose?

    Now that would be a fearless facial tattoo. Good thing he’s already married, though…

    Grace

  98. 99
    Jake Squid says:

    I’ve been considering a squid. I need to review images to see if I can find one that matches my vision for shape and size.

  99. 100
    Harlequin says:

    Congrats, Jake!

    And if Taylor Swift has taught me anything, it’s that, given a blank space, you should write somebody’s name.

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