Open Thread and Link Farm, A Record 102 Edition

  1. 2020 election: this child tax credit expansion could slash poverty – Vox
    A $3000-per-child child allowance is being proposed by some Democrats.
  2. Trump’s reign of corruption will now face real opposition. Here are three things to watch. – The Washington Post
  3. US enters new phase as women change the face of Congress | US news | The Guardian
  4. I’m fine with women in power, just not this one specific woman currently in power – The Washington Post
  5. Cops Force Doctors to Anally Probe Drug Suspect, Bill Him $4500
    Sickening. The word “rape” is never used in the story, but I don’t see why not. Thanks to Grace for the link.
  6. Deported to Honduras, an asylum seeker who feared MS-13 was murdered. His children are fighting to stay in the United States. – Washington Post
  7. Scott Wiener’s SB-50 could fix California’s housing crisis – Vox
    The bill is designed to encourage development in rich areas, and to avoid gentrification (by not allowing new construction to replace current rental properties). Interesting.
  8. The 10 most wonderfully weird SNL sketches from 2018, ranked – The Washington Post
    It’s hard to beat the lobster sketch, but I also really liked the Barbie interns and the fallen down teacher.
  9. Alice Walker’s Conspiracy Theories Aren’t Just Anti-Semitic – They’re Anti-Black – The Forward
  10. And if you need context for the above link: Alice Walker’s controversial endorsement of David Icke, explained – Vox
  11. Dan Savage has a good rant here about Tumblr’s adult content ban.
    Thanks to Mandolin for this link.
  12. Meet the Woman Who Invented Cosplay – Racked
  13. Seth Rudetsky takes 23 minutes to go over all the things he thinks are cool in Hamilton’s ‘The Schuyler Sisters’ song.
    The song itself is three minutes and seven seconds long.
  14. The best argument against kidney sales fails | Journal of Medical Ethics
    The author argues that kidney markets can be set up in a way that will avoid creditors and others pressuring poor people to sell their kidneys.
  15. Sanatan Dinda – An Indian Visual Artist
    This artist does the best body painting I can recall seeing.
  16. A Veteran Supreme Court Justice Cited a Debunked Planned Parenthood Smear in an Opinion
    Specifically, Judge Thomas apparently believes the debunked accusation that Planned Parenthood “engaged in ‘the illegal sale of fetal organs’” enough to cite it in his official Supreme Court dissent (although, to be clear, he did say “alleged”). Or, alternatively, Thomas knows that it’s complete bullshit, but is cynical and partisan enough to cite the “alleged” organ sales anyway. In either case, it indicates the major problem with the Republicans today – that completely batshit and evil conspiracy theories are bought into, sincerely or cynically, at the very highest levels. (See, also: climate change. See, also: Millions of illegal immigrants voting.)
  17. Doomrocket’s choices for the 30 best comic book covers of 2018.
    I don’t agree with every choice, but I still love looking through these sorts of features (and many of the covers are stunners). Bill Sienkiewicz has three (!) covers on the list.
  18. The $400 Rape – Jessica Valenti – Medium
    An alleged rapist pleads to a lesser charge and is let off with a $400 fine. Content warning for sexual assault, obviously.
  19. One Woman Who Knew Her Rights Forced Border Patrol Off a Greyhound Bus | American Civil Liberties Union
  20. On Weight Loss Surgery And The Unbearable Thinness Of Being – The Establishment
    Content warning for, well, discussion of anti-fat bigotry.
  21. Germany: The first basic income experiment in Germany will start in 2019 | Basic Income News
    It’s an experiment, not a country-wide policy, comparing their usual system (which has sanctions if people fail to do things such as look for work) to a basic income scheme.
  22. Florida Sheriff Worked With ICE to Illegally Jail and Nearly Deport US Citizen | American Civil Liberties Union
  23. Why is Everyone Blaming Vice Admiral Holdo? – Purple Serpents In Her Hair
    Holdo was right not to tell Poe the plan!
  24. Thundercats reboot, Steven Universe & CalArts style insult explained – Polygon
    This article was written before the new “She-Ra,” which is approximately 1463x better than the original, premiered, but I’ve seen the same meaningless “CalArts style” criticism of that show, too.
  25. CBS Paid the Actress Eliza Dushku $9.5 Million to Settle Harassment Claims – The New York Times
    The network introduced tapes of Dushku (Faith on “Buffy”) swearing on-set to suggest she was fired for being unprofessional, rather than because she asked the lead actor to stop making sexually suggestive jokes about her. The network didn’t recognize that the tapes also contained the lead actor acting exactly as Dushku described – a ten million dollar mistake. Good for Dushku.
  26. J’Accuse…! Why Jeanne Calment’s 122-year old longevity record may be fake
    Essentially, if this theory is right (and although we’ll never know for sure, I find the arguments persuasive), the real Jeanne Calment died at around age 60. In order to avoid paying inheritance taxes, the wealthy family claimed that Jeanne’s daughter had died, and the daughter took on Jeanne’s identity. The rich really are different!
    ETA:I’ve looked into this more, and although I stupidly didn’t save the links, I’ve also seen arguments for Calment NOT being a hoax, which I also found persuasive. Controversies I honestly don’t care about either way can be so much fun to read. I’m going to continue to think it’s a hoax, but only because I think that’s a better story.
  27. Steve Stewart-Williams on Twitter: My Top 12 Favourite Perceptual Illusions
  28. Mankato professor taking heat for tweet that God is guilty of #MeToo violation – StarTribune.com
    The tweet said “The virgin birth story is about an all-knowing, all-powerful deity impregnating a human teen. There is no definition of consent that would include that scenario. Happy Holidays.”
  29. Are Scandals About Illegal Abuse of “Rescued” Sex Workers In India, Distracting From Legal, Systematic Abuses? | openDemocracy
    “Those who are held against their will in ‘protection homes’ – lawfully under the ITPA –resort to escaping, rioting, and self-harm in an attempt to regain or at least assert their own agency.”
  30. DeVos’ Proposed Changes to Title IX, Explained | National Women’s Law Center
    Some of the changes – such as the requirement that accused students have access to the evidence against them – strike me as fair and positive changes. But many of the changes are terrible and will leave stuydent rape victims with less recourse.
  31. How one man repopulated a rare butterfly species in his backyard – Vox
  32. I should be in bed right now but instead I’m reading this twitter thread of funny things from Tumblr, and it’s super cracking me up, and I have to quit reading these and go to bed but I can’t.
  33. What is TikTok? The app that used to be Musical.ly, explained. – Vox
    I’ve never heard of TikTok before, but it’s apparently bigger than Twitter or Instagram, and hoooo boooy is it goofy. Fuck the youtubers making fun of people for having fun.
  34. Massachusetts federal court rules you have the right to secretly record cops.

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35 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm, A Record 102 Edition

  1. 1
    Ampersand says:

    Regarding that 102 number, quoting a tweet I just saw:

    Total women in the U.S. House: 1989:
    16 Democrats
    13 Republicans

    2019:
    89 Democrats
    13 Republicans

  2. 2
    Ben Lehman says:

    I read the kidney sales article, and I couldn’t find a single part of it which in any way backed the premise that creditors won’t leverage debt to enforce sales of kidneys in a meaningful way that would stand up to legislative capture by the ultra-rich.

    I’m skeptical as hell.

  3. If you run, or know someone who runs, a literary series, you might be interested in this piece I wrote for AWP’s Two-Year College Caucus, “The Politics of Running a Literary Reading Series.”

  4. 4
    Ampersand says:

    House Democrats first order of business: a bill to limit voter suppression.

    It’s a bit symbolic, since there is no way the GOP-controlled Senate would allow an anti-voter-suppression bill. But it’s still an important sign of the Democrats taking this issue more seriously, and increase the odds that Democrats will take this up the next time they control the Senate.

  5. 5
    Tatterdemalion1983 says:

    From link #34:

    This pattern of persecution is deeply disturbing. Although the Supreme Court has never specifically discussed the right to record, the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals have all held that the First Amendment plainly protects the filming of officers and public.

    Is this just an extraordinary coincidence, or is there something causally different about the odd and even circuit courts of appeals?

  6. 6
    Petar says:

    About Cosplay being invented in the 1930s…

    How is it materially different from French aristocrats dressing up as characters from the Prose Lancelot in their Arthurian Fetes in the 17th and 18th century?

    And I am sure that there are other, earlier examples, but mine is one of people dressing up as literary characters in an assembly dedicated to a particular genre, which is as close as I can come to a definition of Cosplay.

    If we are to extend the definition to masquerades, there is photographical evidence of people dressing up as Mr. Skygack from Mars, from the eponymous comic strip, at the time when “The Woman Who Invented Cosplay” was busy being born.

  7. 7
    Ampersand says:

    I’d say that the cosplay in fan culture in the 1930s has a continuity with current-day cosplay in fan culture, which those other examples (while interesting) do not.

  8. 8
    Petar says:

    The same way the Rodnovery fools invented Slavic Paganism, the Heathenry assholes invented Norse Paganism, and the Christians invented Virgin Birth?

    Because there sure as Hell is even less continuity between the historical worship of Perun, Odin, and Zoroaster, and those later day worshipers.

    I mean, I would give the example of the barrow, which the Ancient Greeks may have used, the Romans definitely used, and the Chinese never stopped using for millennia, but which by your standards was clearly invented in Medieval Europe… Only, there was no continuity just for a few brief centuries, nothing like the long, long 20 years and 200 miles between the (succession of) people dressing like Mr. Skygack and “The Woman Who Invented Cosplay”.

    By the way, why are we assuming no continuity? There are at least 20 records of people getting arrested for “maskerading in public” in the US, and at least three of these records are for a Mr. Skygack costume.

    And the Jules Verne Balls are still being thrown in Amiens, even though I bet they were discontinued for the German occupation, and the term cosplay (coo-spleh if you ask a Frenchman) started being used only recently. But if we are going to go for the terms used, then it’s a Japanese reporter who coined ‘cosplay’.

    I’d write more, but I think that I will go in my back yard and invent the trebuchet. I do not think it’s been used any time recently, for a short enough value of recently. I mean, I used one a couple of months ago in the high school down the street, and left a smaller model there, but it’s the middle of the night, and raining. It’s unlikely anyone is using one in the States right now, and who cares about anywhere else, right?

    ===========

    Note for those who have not heard of Jules Verne’s Balls. In 1876, three hundred people attended dressed as characters from his novels. It was not a fan convention, because it was organized by the family of the author, but it sure was cosplay by any definition I have found. And if it was a fan convention, it sure as Hell dwarfs the two competing for the title of “first fan convention”, both having taken place in 1936, and having had about one tenth of the attendees.

  9. 9
    Tatterdemalion1983 says:

    #16 is wrong, I’m afraid. What the link actually quotes Thomas as saying is

    “What explains the court’s refusal to do its job here? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood”.

    “It is true that these particular cases arose after several States alleged that Planned Parenthood affiliates had, among other things, engaged in ‘the illegal sale of fetal organs’ and ‘fraudulent billing practices,’ and thus removed Planned Parenthood as a state Medicaid provider,”.

    So no, he’s not claiming that the allegations were true, he’s claiming that several states acted as though they were, and that that in turn is relevant to the case.

    I think that the article you link is probably deliberately deceptive and certainly utterly misleading, and that your comment on it is untrue; can I prevail upon you to edit it?

  10. 10
    RonF says:

    Re: #1

    But if we can afford Medicare-for-all — and likely candidates from Bernie Sanders to Kamala Harris to Elizabeth Warren to Cory Booker think we can — then we can certainly afford to cut child poverty in half.

    First off, I am entirely open to the concept of this bill. However, the costs do need to be accounted for. And my guess is that the above sentence would be far more accurate if the word “feel” was substituted for the word “think”. I would be curious to see anything written by any of them that actually runs the math.

  11. 11
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, it’s not usual for legislation-writers to “run the numbers” in detail; the CBO does that after legislation is proposed. Then, in response to the CBO’s estimates, the legislation is modified, the CBO does a new estimate, etc etc etc..

    But Bernie Sanders’ office has released this paper about options for paying for Medicare for All. This outline from the Center for American Progress also includes a section on financing.

    That said, many Democrats are now saying that we should separate financing medicare for all, from medicare for all. Since Republicans aren’t constrained by having to finance their policies when they pass those policies (gigantic tax cuts for the rich, invasion of Iraq, etc), the argument goes, Democrats shouldn’t be constrained either. Financing would be the job of Congress when it writes the overall budget, rather than on a bill-by-bill basis.

  12. 12
    Ampersand says:

    Honest question: Has the Trump administration released a detailed plan for how their wall (and other border security measures – they’re asking for more than what Congress budgeted) will be paid for?

  13. 13
    Celeste says:

    Funding is a hard problem, but I think the benefits of “cut the military by 10% and a 70% marginal tax rate at the high end” would so far outweigh the costs that we would be shocked we hadn’t done it earlier.

    Oh wait, I guess funding wasn’t a hard problem after all.

    :)

  14. 14
    Zag says:

    I know criticism of Ampersand is probably a bannable offense, but I am speaking my truth to bannable power, so to speak (plus, I don’t really care):

    I finally figured out what bothered me about Ampersand’s posting and the style of many of the people here. There is no attempt to understand what people really mean, where they are coming from, there is simply a constant attack on any part of the post that is vulnerable in the case of right-leaning (or even objective) people. As real hyperbole, it’s like finding a spelling errors in Albert Einstein’s paper on the electrodynamics of moving bodies.

    You people really can be clueless, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. The subtle flaming and mockery (not direct, God forbid) will likely start, instead of any real introspection, so carry on troops.

  15. 15
    Ampersand says:

    So no, he’s not claiming that the allegations were true, he’s claiming that several states acted as though they were, and that that in turn is relevant to the case.

    I think that the article you link is probably deliberately deceptive and certainly utterly misleading, and that your comment on it is untrue; can I prevail upon you to edit it?

    I’ve edited my post to make the “alleged” clear (and the “alleged” part is also clear in the linked article).

    But I still think it’s bad to drag in a totally debunked smear in a way that doesn’t make it clear it’s a smear, outside of a context where it’s clear that it’s a smear.

    For instance, if I wrote an article referring to the “alleged gang rape case Rolling Stone reported,” and nothing in the context made it clear that Jackie’s accusations have been totally debunked, that would be wrong.

  16. 16
    KellyK says:

    Since I started commenting again, I think for the first time since 2016, it seemed like a good idea to say “hi” in an open thread.

    So, hi. How’s everybody doing? Anything new and exciting in your lives?

    I’m working on a partial career change, where I’m going part-time at my tech writing job so I can also work as a suicide/crisis counselor supporting LGBTQ youth. (I’ve been doing similar work with the same org as a volunteer.)

    The pay is a lot less (though reasonable for the work), the benefits are almost non-existent (although paid sick time and time and a half for holidays is actually really good for an entry-level part-time job), and the hours are a bit painful. (6 AM shifts, and I’m really not a morning person). On the plus side, the commute is to my couch, the work is deeply fulfilling and sometimes actually functions as stress relief, despite also being emotionally difficult, and the people are awesome. I finish training this week and should start shifts in a couple weeks. If you couldn’t tell, I’m really excited about it.

  17. 17
    Ampersand says:

    Hi, Kelly! Welcome back! Your new job sounds completely awesome – please let us know how it works out.

  18. 18
    Erin says:

    There is no attempt to understand what people really mean, where they are coming from, there is simply a constant attack on any part of the post that is vulnerable in the case of right-leaning (or even objective) people.

    If you just want to appear to win every debate, it’s actually a pretty good tactic. Scan the relevant post for anything that can be attacked (you can always find something if the post covers a lot of material) and then denounce it with links etc. showing you are right. Add a whiff of smoke and a couple of mirrors, and people will not realize it was not the main point. Most third parties don’t really pay attention anyway, they just see the thunder of the “You’re Wrong”. Another great trick is to feign outrage at how something was expressed, indicating that the poster is morally a bad person and thus not worthy of any attention or respect.

  19. 19
    Kate says:

    Falsely accusing liberals of doing horrible things that conservatives actually are doing is a very effective tactic that liberals still haven’t figured out how to fight.

  20. 20
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    Kate,

    People on the left use that same tactic. Your shtick is to claim that the right does all kinds of horrible things, while the left is virtuous and nice. However, I would argue that your perception is because you are blind to devious behavior in service of things you agree with.

    PS. A somewhat effective response is to become resentful over such accusations and then vote someone into office who royally pisses the other tribe off.

  21. 21
    Kate says:

    Your shtick is to claim that the right does all kinds of horrible things, while the left is virtuous and nice.

    Total straw man. This is actually my view.
    At this point in history, in the U.S. in particular, the far right is much more dangerous than the far left. The far right commits more violent acts, has more grassroots development and influences mainstream politics more than the far left. There are many reasons for this. Such imbalances rarely happen for just one reason. But it has nothing to do with any side being more or less “virtuous” or “nice” – although part of it is the fact that the left tends to be less obedient and more chaotic.
    On both sides, most people are simply pushing for their own self interest. However, the results are quite different. The Democratic party base has developed into a coalition of marginalized people and their allies who, by moral accident, are working for greater justice and equality in society by pushing for their own interests. They are more fragmented than the right because, although they all want to change the current hierarchy, they all want to change it in different ways which compete (eg. feminism has a racism problem). They are held in check by the Democratic party machine and funding, which has interests more in line with the Republican coalition (which would not allow them to get away with lies that benefit them about economic policy comparable to the ones about marginal vs. effective rates Amp criticized in another post recently).
    The Republican party, base, machine and funding are currently a coalition of people with various forms of privilege (sometimes quite scanty, in the case of the base) who are pushing for greater inequality by pushing for their own interests. They are unified in their support of the current hierarchy. Their competition is merely competing for places within that hierarchy. They see their main threat as those below them, trying to take their power.

  22. Apropos of Kate’s comment @21, I would recommend Democracy in Chains: The Deep History Of The Radical Right’s Stealth Plan For America, by Nancy MacClean. It is, absolutely, a left-wing book, but it is also meticulously researched, and the story it tells—separate and apart from the ideological position one might take towards that story—should give pause to people on both sides of the aisle, because it is the story of a small group of very, very, very rich people (the Koch brothers and those that came before them) who sincerely want to undo American democracy in order to protect their wealth.

  23. 23
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    Kate,

    ‘Shtick’ doesn’t have to imply disingeniousness. It can simply refer to a habit or eccentricity that someone constantly exhibits. In your case, it’s your extreme bias, where you adopt claims that are extremely subjective to say the least, yet with not even an inkling of how subjective your beliefs are.

    Take your claim that the far right influences mainstream politics more than the far left. The problem with this claim is that a far-left person will be more eager to see center-right or even center-left views/demands as far-right than a moderate or right-wing person. The opposite is true for a far-right person.

    So you may see the far-right as influencing politics strongly for trying to get more border protection built and such, but don’t see gay marriage as a major victory for your side where the influence of the left was huge. Yet a (far-)right person may believe that left has far more influence on politics because of gay marriage and such.

    A further complication is that ‘left’ and ‘right’ are extremely imperfect categorizations, with quite a few beliefs existing on both sides, especially at the fringes. For example, I bet that most left-wing people would categorize transphobia as right-wing, yet TERFS exist. I believe that people have a tendency to ‘other’ beliefs they disagree with, being rather eager to ascribe them to the tribe that they see as the enemy.

    For example, antisemitism seems to typically be ascribed to white male rightists by those on the left, yet the NYT recently wrote a piece on how half of the hate crimes in NY are against Jews and that the perpetrators aren’t just white people. I bet that many of them voted Democrat as well.

    Ultimately, I think that many of your claims say far more about your world view & biases, than about reality, which cannot be caught in such simplistic schema’s.

    Talking about simplistic schema’s…

  24. 24
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    RJN,

    That book is not “meticulously researched” at all. It lacks evidence for many of its claims & uses misquotations and cherry picking to create a conspiracy theory. It also ignores that the political strategies that she calls undemocratic were and are used by the left as well.

    Vox published a good critique. Let me quote a few parts:

    Despite MacLean’s apparent shock, for example, the political tactics that Buchanan advocated are nothing unusual in politics.
    […]
    The architects of the welfare state used such stratagems to hide their true intentions and entrench the welfare state so deeply that future politicians would be unable to roll it back.
    […]
    Where MacLean accuses Buchanan and those he influenced of undemocratic schemes for political entrenchment, they saw themselves as engaging in a strategy of counter-entrenchment. At least in this if in nothing else, it really is the case that “everyone does it.”

    If Democracy in Chains were just another overheated partisan book, it wouldn’t be worth discussing. Yet the book was written by a highly respected professor in a first-rate department, and was published by a major trade press — and has been acclaimed by well-known figures on the left (and now shortlisted for a major prize). There is every reason to believe it will shape how those on our side of the political spectrum understand the history and strategies of their adversaries.

    Why have so many left-wing readers embraced such a transparently flawed book? The most persuasive explanation is that MacLean confirms and extends their deep preexisting suspicions. The book tells them how a single man with a single plan united neoliberal economists, the Kochs, and Republican operatives in a secretive plot against democracy, before he was undone in an internecine clash with Charles Koch, which MacLean depicts as a titanic clash between two ambitious leaders. Leftists and liberals are left with the belief that their opponents are all working in coordination, implementing a single master plan with fiendish efficiency, while they themselves are in hapless disarray.
    […]
    Conservatives have their own versions of a mythology portraying opponents as secretive plotters, focusing on such supposed puppet masters as George Soros, Saul Alinsky, and Frances Fox Piven. Each side assumes the existence of a flawless, ruthlessly executed plan on the other side, while bemoaning the chaos and excessive scruples that beset their own allies. It is always tempting to think that the other side is more organized, more motivated, and more seamlessly united than they are, since all one can see are their successes, and not the compromises, mistakes, and frustrations that lie behind those successes.

  25. LoL:

    First, out of idle curiosity, have you read the book? Or are you simply assuming that the critique you link to, because it relies in significant measure on one of your own favorite responses—”stop acting like the other side is the only one that does it”—is correct? (About this, more below.)

    Democracy in Chains is admittedly, openly, partisan and so it is not intended as a balanced account of anything. That it is not the scholarly book Farrell and Teles think would be a good contribution to the scholarly conversation, therefore (the book they say, in a rhetorical move that sets them up as the arbiters of this debate, that they would like someone to write), is hardly surprising.

    I actually agree with them that some of MacClean’s rhetoric gets overblown at times and, of course no book, partisan or otherwise, is perfect. I would not dispute, in other words, that she has massaged her evidence in ways that support not only the intellectual, but also the ideological positions she is staking out, and that her approach is therefore susceptible to the kinds critique Farrell and Teles offer. (Though their critique is clearly not without its own political bias, as they clearly prefer the work of “left-leaning” or “center left” scholars to MacClean’s.) This doesn’t mean, however, that her partisan position is wrong; it means it is a partisan position. To dismiss the book because you think it should have been a different kind of book is, in fact, to avoid rather than engage the position the book actually takes.

    As to this quote, which you pulled from the article:

    The architects of the welfare state used such stratagems to hide their true intentions and entrench the welfare state so deeply that future politicians would be unable to roll it back.

    I would think this is such an obvious point that it hardly bears making. Any given method or strategy will be ideologically neutral, available to anyone along the political spectrum—something that MacLean acknowledges when she points out that someone in Buchanan’s circle (I don’t have the book in front of me, so I can’t pull out the precise quote) recognized that they had something to learn, in terms of strategy and tactics, from Lenin.

    What makes this “both sides do it” argument so tiresome is that, in my experience anyway (and, I have to confess, your use of it on this blog seems to bear me out), it is almost always deployed to distract from, if not to hide outright, the real, material, ideological issues that are at stake and to turn whatever question/issue is being debated into a debate about the character and nature of tactics and strategy.

    There is a real, material difference between how the socioeconomic policies of the left and of the right will effect the lives of actual human beings—and I do not mean by left and right the Democrats and the Republicans—and between (to reference as another example the abortion thread I linked to above) the impact on actual human beings of the policies advocated by those who are antiabortion and would like to see the procedure made illegal throughout the nation and the policies advocated by those who are prochoice. Choosing sides—and even taking a so-called centrist position means choosing sides, because it is impossible not to choose a side—means that, if your side gets its way, some people are going to win and some people are going to lose.

    Ostensibly objective and disinterested arguments about tactics and strategy not only do not change that; they are, in fact, a tacit endorsement of the status quo. To me, that’s what a lot of Farrell and Teles’ critique of MacClean’s book (which, I will say again, I do not think is without its faults) amounts to.

    ETA: This is not about MacClean’s book per se, but regarding whether or not there is a broad right-wing plan along the lines of what she argues in her book (and she may eventually get to this stuff, I don’t know), here are some links that are worth following:

    Behind Janus: Documents Reveal Decade-Long Plot to Kill Public-Sector Unions

    SourceWatch, in particular ALEC Exposed, the SourceWatch info on the State Policy Network and Koch Exposed

    Bradley Files Exposed

    There are other links as well, but these are a good start. Just to be clear: By posting these links, I am not suggesting that you won’t find a similar kind of planning and organization on the left.

  26. 26
    Ampersand says:

    ‘Shtick’ doesn’t have to imply disingeniousness.

    When Kate said your “shtick” thing was a strawman, I didn’t interpret that as her thinking you’d accused her of being disingenious.

    Rather, she was saying (if I interpreted her correctly) that “that the right does all kinds of horrible things, while the left is virtuous and nice” isn’t what Kate actually says, and is thus a strawman.

    And I think she’s right about that. Of course Kate criticizes the right, but that doesn’t mean that she’s saying that “the left” is virtuous and nice. You have a “simplistic schema” in your mind about what Kate says, and so you project your simplistic schema on to her, while ignoring that she’s not actually the political simpleton you’re insultingly implying she is and she’s never claimed that the left is universally virtuous and nice.

    If I’m wrong, then it should be easy for you to come up with examples of her saying that the left is “virtuous and nice” – since this is, you claimed, her shtick, which would mean that she does it over and over.

    For example, antisemitism seems to typically be ascribed to white male rightists by those on the left

    I know that’s what your simplistic schema says :-p , but reality is different. This is, I think, the only cartoon I’ve done about anti-semitism in years – and I was far from the only person on the left to criticize the Women’s March organizers. There’s a lot of criticism (and disagreements) on the left about anti-semitism on the left. Frankly, anti-semitism on the U.S. right was comparatively hardly discussed at all on the left until the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, and now we’re returning to status quo.

  27. 27
    Kate says:

    LoL, I don’t know whose positions you are arguing against @23, but they aren’t mine.
    No one who has actually read my positions would be under the misapprehension that I would be unaware of TERFS or antisemitism on the left; or assume that I would deny those facts or try to make excuses. I just noted @21 that Feminism has a racism problem. But, right now, the left in the U.S. does a pretty good job at policing itself, largely because it is fragmented and the far left fringes are marginalized.
    When the extreme left unifies and goes authoritarian, it is every bit as dangerous as the extreme right. Still, saying that communism wasn’t a problem in Nazi Germany is not support for Stalin (different place), or for the communist regime in East Germany (different time). Context matters.
    Now, in the U.S., far right activists are unified behind Trump, who displays troubling authoritarian tendencies. On the left, the rhetoric of Florida congressman Alan Grayson troubles me (similar to that of Anthony Weiner before he was disgraced). But that is not close to parallel to the rhetoric of Trump, nor is a single (or even two or three) batshit members of congress parallel to a batshit POTUS. Maxine Waters calling for investigations and impeachment hearings in congress (lawful processes) is not parallel to Trump calling for Clinton to be locked up despite repeated investigations which found no criminal wrongdoing.

    So you may see the far-right as influencing politics strongly for trying to get more border protection built and such, but don’t see gay marriage as a major victory for your side where the influence of the left was huge.

    1.) Most of the left is very much in favor of “border protection”. We are very concerned about the number of people dying in the desert and would strongly support more electronic surveillance and patrols. We just don’t think a wall is the most effective way to make our border region safer.
    2.) Gay marriage is a center-left position. Most of the far left – anarchists and communists – consider marriage to be a bourgeois institution that should be abolished.
    Similarly, being pro-choice is a centrist position. Being pro-life is a right-wing position, particularly when coupled with an anti-contraception position (as they often are). Historically/globally, the far left position is China’s one child policy. No one with any power in the U.S. wants that – and I fervently hope that it stays that way.
    But, the best way to create far left ideologues is to normalize the far right ones who are starting to reach for power now. We need to watch the Democratic primary very closely. Anyone with any appearances of connections to Russia (I’m looking at you cozying up to their ally, Assad, Tulsi Gabbard), or authoritarian tendencies, needs to be rejected out of hand.

  28. 28
    Ampersand says:

    Gay marriage is a center-left position. Most of the far left – anarchists and communists – consider marriage to be a bourgeois institution that should be abolished.

    In the 80s, gay marriage seemed like a right-side-of-far-left position; me and my friends mostly supported it, but no respectable Democrat did. So that it has now become a center-left position can, I think, reasonably be seen as a victory for the left.

  29. 29
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    RJN,

    Actually, the part I quoted is not intended to demonstrate that ‘your side does it too,’ but to point out that you fell for a trap. That trap consists of a narrative that appeals to the tribal feelings that most humans have & frustration about failures by ‘yours’ and successes by ‘them.’

    However, unlike many others who try (but often fail) to avoid these traps, you seem to walk into this trap with both eyes open, given your claim that I shouldn’t dismiss the book for massaging the evidence! I can’t read your comment as anything but a defense of post-truth, where it doesn’t matter that the evidence doesn’t support the claims, as long as they feel correct.

    This doesn’t mean, however, that her partisan position is wrong

    A (literal) snake-oil salesman also isn’t necessarily wrong. Perhaps by chance he actually did put something in the bottle that has medicinal value. There is a chance, however small.

    Yet I go to a doctor when I am ill, not to a snake-oil salesman. I want evidence-based medicine, not emotion-based medicine.

    PS. It’s actually possible to have a centrist position on abortion. Surveys show that both full opposition and full support for abortion in all circumstances are minority opinions, while most Americans support limited abortion rights.

    Ampersand,

    I meant in comparison. I obviously don’t believe that Kate thinks that people on the left are Gods. Just far, far superior, in a way that is not warranted by the facts. Please afford me a little more good faith when reading what I say.

    As for my claim about antisemitism, the very NYT article I linked to itself makes the claim that the issue is not addressed sufficiently because reality doesn’t fit a simplistic narrative with the far right as sole perpetrator. This seems plausible to me.

    My point was much more subtle than you seem to realize, anyway. My initial comment was about what conclusions people jump to by default. For example, when they hear about threats to Jewish organizations or see a swastika drawn somewhere. There have been quite a few examples in recent years where hate crimes happened, people jumped to the conclusion that it must have been an alt-/extreme right perpetrator, but it then turned out to be either a hoax or someone not on the (white) alt-/extreme right*.

    It can both be true that a person strongly opposes someone like Farrakhan when he says something antisemitic, but is also very prejudiced to think that antisemitism must be from alt-/extreme right white men.

    * I do think that Farrakhan is extreme right, but one who ended up in the left-wing coalition due to tribalism and because of the clientelist nature of politics regularly winning over ideology.

  30. 30
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    Kate,

    I just noted @21 that Feminism has a racism problem. But, right now, the left in the U.S. does a pretty good job at policing itself, largely because it is fragmented and the far left fringes are marginalized.

    It’s been over a year since The Atlantic pointed out that the limited evidence that we have suggests that black and foreign students are disproportionately targeted by Title IX. Where is the self-policing?

    I don’t even see a demand to the universities to publish demographic statistics about Title IX accusers and those accused.

    When the extreme left unifies and goes authoritarian, it is every bit as dangerous as the extreme right.

    Like when protections of the accused are weakened when they mostly belong to the outgroup (men, and as noted above, actually probably very disproportionally black men)?

    Or when vigilante justice is promoted?

    These things seem to be favored by relatively moderate leftists and also don’t seem to be kept in check very well.

    My point about your bias is that you do notice the (serious) injustices promoted by the moderate right, but not those by the moderate left. Just like you are not merely worried about a new Hitler, I am not merely worried about a new Stalin.

    Injustices or wrongs that don’t involve millions of deaths can still be very serious.

  31. LoL:

    So I will assume from your answer that you have not read Democracy in Chains. So I don’t really see the point in continuing that discussion.

    You wrote:

    It’s actually possible to have a centrist position on abortion. Surveys show that both full opposition and full support for abortion in all circumstances are minority opinions, while most Americans support limited abortion rights.

    Sure, but that centrism is also an endorsement of the status quo, in which women do not have full reproductive autonomy–and that was my point.

  32. 32
    Sebastian H says:

    No, the status quo on abortion is radically further pro-choice on mid to late abortions than about 65-75% of the population agrees with.

    “Full reproductive autonomy” is a libertarian argument that you would laugh at in literally any other context. No one has full autonomy over anything that effects other people. Hell most of us don’t have full autonomy over things that effect just us. Rights come into conflict, and we all understand that no one right wins over all others at all times. The question is “when does reproductive autonomy give way to other rights” and the answer to that is highly contested (and in almost all other developed countries the answer is MUCH earlier than the NARAL answer).

    Also, “Democracy In Chains” is a book I have read, and it has serious academic flaws which are seen even by prominent writers on the left. She grossly mischaracterizes her sources and research. She doesn’t seem to understand what she is reading. If You lose Farrell on the left, someone who is intensely interested in agreeing with her thesis, you’re writing pretty poorly. http://crookedtimber.org/2018/09/18/my-last-word-on-nancy-maclean/

  33. 33
    Kate says:

    It’s been over a year since The Atlantic pointed out that the limited evidence that we have suggests that black and foreign students are disproportionately targeted by Title IX. Where is the self-policing?

    Ummm, the Atlantic article and most of the people it cites ARE examples of the left self-policing. It seems odd to accuse me of not recognizing this problem when I’m the one who introduced the fact that feminism has problems with racism to this conversation. It is a common topic of discussion on all the feminist blogs I frequent. Empowering women of colour to lead on these issues by electing them to office, as we did in record numbers last November, is an important step towards addressing both racism and sexism.
    The second article you link to is by David Brooks (center right), but the original pod cast was on NPR (pretty lefty). It was very good. You should listen to the whole thing. It isn’t nearly as black and white as Brooks or you make it out to be. Most of the lefty blogs I read linked to it. What to do about people who are credibly accused of sexual harassment and assault, in cases where there is no legal prosecution is a really difficult question. In fact, I think we have discussed it here on several occasions here.

  34. 34
    Kate says:

    In the 80s, gay marriage seemed like a right-side-of-far-left position; me and my friends mostly supported it, but no respectable Democrat did. So that it has now become a center-left position can, I think, reasonably be seen as a victory for the left.

    Absolutely it is a victory for the left, but what we might call the liberal left. It is not an example of leftist radicalism becoming mainstream. Radical leftist movements are often homophobic, and/or often reject marriage altogether.
    I’d compare it to calling the 70% marginal tax rate far left. It’s as far as mainstream discourse in the U.S. goes to the left. But, historically/globally, it is not even close to being a radical leftist idea.

  35. 35
    Michael says:

    @#23- not telling Poe the plan was arguably justifiable but continuing to keep it secret after it became obvious that a mutiny would erupt unless she revealed the plan was just idiotic.

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