Open Thead And Link Farm: And That’s How You Make Iced Tea Edition

This is the generic text that goes at the top of all the link farm posts, encouraging you to post about whatever, including self-linking. It is a lonely bit of text that, despite appearing in every single link farm post, never gets remarked upon. It sits at home clicking “refresh” over and over, and every once in a while it wipes the tears with the back of a forearm.

  1. At the Atlantic, 45 entries from the National Geographic 2011 photo contest. A follow-post showed the fifteen winning entries (with only one overlap!).
  2. Siobhan Reynolds, RIP. One of the nation’s most prominent pain management activists died in a plane crash.
  3. No Seriously, What About the Other Sexists?
  4. A 1978 “60 minutes” report on female fat activists. It’s very entertaining, but also sad to see how little has changed in the three decades since.
  5. DEA head: A thousand dead children means we’re winning war on drugs – Drugs –
  6. New fencing doesn’t stop illegal crossings
  7. The Dumbest Republican Quotes Of 2011 and, likewise, The Dumbest Democratic Quotes Of 2011.
  8. Catholic Bishops versus Tolerance “…Religious freedom does not mean freedom to do whatever you want with the government’s money.
  9. Called ExpressPark, the 6,000-meter array will be installed on [LA’s] downtown streets and lots, along with sensors buried in the pavement of every parking spot to detect the presence of cars and price accordingly, from as little as 50 cents an hour to $6. Street parking, like pork bellies, will be open to market forces. As blocks fill, prices will rise; when occupancy drops, so will rates.”
  10. In effect, drug-sniffing dogs don’t detect drugs; they’re a pretense cops use to get around probable cause, possibly without knowing it themselves.
  11. Massachusetts cops target family-owned motel for forfeiture. “…The Motel Caswell was seen as an easier candidate for forfeiture because it is not part of a large chain. It’s also family-owned and mortgage-free […] Civil forfeiture allows prosecutors to take properties without convicting anyone.”
  12. Sunday marks a decade of No Child Left Behind. Did the law do any good? Short answer: No. But the kids most harmed were poor and non-white, so probably the government won’t worry about it much.
  13. Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies. Glenn Greenwald post here was much-reviled by many liberals, but — typically for me — I think Greenwald makes some solid points.
  14. What Rick Perry (and the GOP) should learn from his trouble in Virginia. It’s funny how rules that could theoretically be followed, but in practice form a substantial barrier, are a horrible affront to democracy OR essential to democracy, depending on if the people hurt are wealthy, mostly white GOP members, or poor, mostly non-white American citizens.
  15. “The Department of Justice announced late Friday afternoon that it was rejecting South Carolina’s new voter photo identification law because it discriminates against minority voters.”
  16. In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio’s office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations – with victims as young as 2 years old – where the sheriff’s office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases. Many of the victims, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files, were children of illegal immigrants.”
  17. How 2008 Radicalized Me: How the US government saved the banks and let ordinary Americans sink.
  18. P:R Approved: Cliff Chiang’s Justice League of Japan! The Wonder Woman artist imagines “a band of Japanese superheroes inspired by the heroes of the Justice League.” I love Project Rooftop.
  19. “The smaller spread just didn’t have enough details.” Excuse me while I go hang my head in shame.
  20. “Immigration offenses were the fastest growing federal arrest offenses between 2005 and 2009, increasing at an average rate of 23 percent a year…”

This entry posted in crossposted on TADA, Link farms. Bookmark the permalink. 

42 Responses to Open Thead And Link Farm: And That’s How You Make Iced Tea Edition

  1. 1
    RonF says:

    I find the DOJ response to South Carolina’s new voter registration law pretty interesting. Apparently they figure that not only do a certain number of minority citizens not have photo IDs, but they figure that said citizens are unable to get them and thus will be blocked from voting. The concept that people who don’t drive may well not have a photo ID because they simply never needed one before isn’t considered either. Of course, they provide no rationale for this, rationality not being something the DOJ deals in a lot these days.

    But it makes me think. One Constitutional right that States require you to have a photo ID to exercise is the right to keep and bear arms. Trying going into your favorite sporting goods store or gun shop and buying a handgun, rifle, shotgun or even just ammunition without showing a photo ID. Try actually having one in your possession (i.e., “bear”) and then not showing a photo ID on the demand of a law enforcement officer. Clearly this racially discriminates on the same basis as this requirement does in voting. When will the DOJ go after the States to knock down that requirement? When they’re not making sure that Mexican drug lords have access to American guns, that is.

  2. 2
    RonF says:

    Thought you’d all like this. Nope, it’s non-political – and pretty unique. Enjoy!

  3. 3
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, that’s really cool.

    Could someone explain to me what’s going on, though? What’s the heavier-than-water liquid they’re playing with underwater?

  4. 4
    gin-and-whiskey says:


    There are varying standards of review for constitutional rights. The outcomes of applying those standards of review are related to the right in question, the limits placed on that right, the burdens of the limits, and the governmental interest in/benefits from maintaining those limits.

    If you look the social cost of “potentially allowing minors, noncitizens, and felons to carry or purchase firearms” that is comparatively high. If you look at the burden of “if you’re going to pack a gun, you need to simultaneously carry a form of ID” or “if you’re going to keep a gun in your house, you need to present an ID at least once, at the time of purchase,” that is comparatively low in context. If you’re carrying a gun anyway, then an ID is simple to carry along. And if you’re able to buy a (generally expensive) gun/ammo then you can generally be expected to be able to afford the cost of an ID. The marginal cost of buying/carrying an ID is vastly exceeded by the marginal benefit of reducing unlicensed firearms use and ensuring that the wrong people can’t get guns as easily.

    Voting is different. The limits that we already place on voting (requiring proof of residence) are unquestionably justified because they make sense given the relatively low burden and the high rate of return. But given the safeguards which already exist, the marginal benefit of adding an ID requirement does not justify the marginal burden on the potential voters.

  5. 5
    Ledasmom says:

    The divers are upside down. That’s air – notice the bubbles from the divers’ masks.

  6. 6
    Ampersand says:

    D’oh! Of course.

  7. 7
    RonF says:

    GiW, why do you have “Minors, non-citizens and felons” in quotes?

    Minors already have the right to own and carry guns in most states. For example, here in Illinois (with the most restrictive gun laws in the country) a minor can buy a gun and ammo with their parent’s permission. Hell, when I was 8 my 12-year-old brother and I would target shoot in our back yard with his .22 and a couple of years later would walk through the woods shooting squirrels (in Massachusetts!) and no one thought twice about it. Non-citizens? What’s the social cost in permitting non-citizens to buy guns? Self-defense is more of a human right than mobility across borders, getting a job, and all those other things that people here illegally (which is a sub-set of non-citizens) are supposed to have. Felons? Since when are felons being stopped by a requirement of a photo ID from getting guns? Only law-abiding people are stopped from getting guns by requiring a photo ID they don’t have. So overall I don’t see a lot of social cost here. It seems to me that it’s greatly outweighed by the social cost of discriminating against law-abiding blacks, students, people of low income, etc., from having access to an essential tool for self-defense. Remember that when Jim Crow laws were passed in the South the very first ones restricted blacks from owning guns.

    But given the safeguards which already exist, the marginal benefit of adding an ID requirement does not justify the marginal burden on the potential voters.

    What safeguards? Right now I show up with a utility bill and a non-photo ID (readily faked in both cases) and I get to register to vote. You’re right about that burden being marginal, BTW. Here’s an analysis. The vast majority of those people currently not holding a State-issued photo ID once did and let them lapse. These are not people who can’t get an ID because they have no birth certificate or other necessary records – otherwise they’d have never been able to get their original ID.

    Also, I notice that when talking about guns you weigh the conversation on the basis of social costs, but when you’re talking about voting you don’t. Nor do you weigh the social cost in discriminating against the right to buy guns. Do you see no social cost in permitting non-citizens to vote? And no social cost in discriminating against law-abiding blacks, etc., when it come to being able to defend themselves?

  8. 8
    RonF says:

    Yeah, it was the bubbles from the divers that gave it away to me. It does look like they’re dumping some kind of super-heavy liquid out of that wheelbarrow, though.

  9. 9
    Symm says:

    Here, have a cookie, poor generic linkfarm text ;-(

    (it’s so cuuuute and saaaad! Seen it for the first time;-))

  10. 10
    Myca says:

    Do you see no social cost in permitting non-citizens to vote?

    I see no actual cost that is worth addressing with actual policies.

    I see plenty of theoretical cost. I’m happy to address it with theoretical policies.

    For example: If, theoretically, there was voter fraud occurring on such a scale as to make any sort of difference to anything, then I’d theoretically favor taking measures to combat it, possibly including voter IDs.

    Since (as has been documented extensively) this isn’t actually a problem, I am not in favor of actually doing anything … after all, the solution carries costs in terms of voter suppression … and those costs might be worth it if they were addressing an actual problem, but they’re not, so why bother?


  11. 11
    RonF says:

    The documentation I’ve seen regarding voter fraud has mostly shown me that the DOJ hasn’t been interested in looking for it – and I’m including the Bush Administration, whose lack of interest in enforcing immigrations laws in general is in accordance with the “Republicans serve corporate interests” meme.

  12. 12
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    What Myca said.

    Nobody has found evidence of serious voter fraud. It’s never popped up accidentally, and it’s never been discovered.

    this is, well… not like anything else in real life. What with tens or hundreds of millions of people voting, and all those campaigns spending billions of dollars, nobody has anything. Not a single copy, DOJ official, el meaning FBI agent… NOBODY find voter fraud.

    On what rational basis do you think some serious voter fraud actually exists? I’m not talking about 10,000 cases per year. I’d settle for 100 a year. But you can start with 10. Good luck.

    I mean shit, there could be dinosaurs hiding in the Amazon, too, but we’ll never know. If you don’t believe in dinosaurs, why voter fraud?

  13. 13
    RonF says:

    Well, it’s apparently not hard to find if you actually look for it.

    nobody has anything. Not a single copy, DOJ official, el meaning FBI agent… NOBODY find voter fraud.

    Really? Then I guess that the prosecutors in Troy, N.Y., Minnesota, Tunica County, Mississippi and Columbus, Ohio are nobody? And those are just actual convictions I pulled up in a 5-minute Google search, not indictments, and not evidence that has been forwarded to the DOJ that they’ve decided to ignore.

    I have little faith in the Holder DOJ. The fact that they haven’t found any such proves nothing. Funny how the States can find it and they can’t.

    As far as photo ID requirements suppressing the vote, or causing an unfair one, the Commission on Federal Election Reform performed a study in 2005 and recommended that a photo ID system be implemented for elections nationwide – signed by that noted right-wing racist Jimmy Carter.

  14. 14
    RonF says:

    Hey, Amp:

    “Your edited comment has been marked as spam. Please contact the administrator”. I must have put in too many links. [Fixed! Thanks for telling me. –Amp]

    Said links being to convictions of vote fraud in various States. Apparently what the Holder DOJ can’t find the States can. GiW, where are you getting this idea that no one has been able to find voter fraud?

  15. 15
    chingona says:


    None of those cases involve identification. They are either the most common kind of vote fraud – fraudulently cast absentee ballots from infrequent or (usually) dead voters – or they are voter registration fraud – people who are not eligible to vote in a particular location registered too close to the election for their status to be verified or who maintain multiple registrations to vote multiple times.

    Granted, people who oppose ID laws often favor same-day registration, but it’s not actually the same issue.

    Voter fraud of the sort that ID laws are supposed to prevent – I go to your polling place and say I’m you and I go to Robert’s place and say I’m him and lots of other fellow travelers do the same thing and the Democrats retake the House and gain a super majority in the Senate – has not been found, as far as I know. Probably because it would be an incredibly inefficient and time consuming way to swing an election that would require participation from thousands of co-conspirators, any one of whom could purposely or accidentally rat you out. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s so much easier to vote absentee on behalf of the recently deceased.

    I wonder how the trend toward all mail elections will affect this. I always resisted the mail-in ballot, but in my last local election, I didn’t even have the option of going to a polling place.

    We still had an interesting little controversy. The state law mandating mail-in elections says that county clerks only have to send ballots to people who voted in the last election. The (Democratic) Denver clerk wanted to send a ballot to every registered voter, and the (Republican) Secretary of State actually sued to stop them. Sued to stop them from sending ballots to registered voters. Fortunately, the Denver clerk prevailed.

  16. 16
    RonF says:

    They involve identification in that if voters have to produce photo ID to vote then submitting bogus voter registrations is worthless because no one can actually use them. Whereas under present circumstances those bogus registrations can be used and won’t be detected as fraud. Do you think that with this many bogus registrations that were discovered there weren’t a whole bunch that weren’t discovered – and used?

    Please, folks, I’ve been living near Chicago for the last 44 years. You’re not going to convince me there’s no such thing as vote fraud. Ballot boxes have gotten stuffed around here like they were Thanksgiving turkeys.

  17. 17
    chingona says:

    Ballot boxes have gotten stuffed around here like they were Thanksgiving turkeys.

    Right. Almost exclusively by dead people voting absentee, something that voter ID laws would do nothing to stop.

    They involve identification in that if voters have to produce photo ID to vote then submitting bogus voter registrations is worthless because no one can actually use them.

    The registrations were only bogus in the sense that the people hadn’t lived in the jurisdiction long enough to be eligible voters. The accusation isn’t that they weren’t who they said they were. The accusation is that they were political operatives who registered from hotels to vote in jurisdictions they had no other connection to. ID had nothing to do with it.

    Frankly, I think I may have committed this type of “fraud” once without thinking that I was doing anything wrong. When we came back from the Peace Corps, our drivers licenses had expired. Because driving is pretty important in most places and because our first stop was my in-laws’ house, we got drivers licenses in Colorado. My husband was a nearly lifelong Colorado resident who had never surrendered his Colorado license, even though he lived in Illinois for seven years. I used some mail that was forwarded to me there and the fact that I was married to him to get my license. We both registered to vote at the same time through moter voter. Two months later, we were back in Chicago, but hadn’t updated our licenses or our voter registration. We voted absentee in Colorado, in part because it was easier and in part because we figured Illinois was going Democratic no matter what but maybe there was a tiny sliver of hope Colorado might swing. (It didn’t in 2004.) From your links, it seems entirely possible we committed a crime. (One for which I hope the statute of limitations has expired.) Does stuff like that occur in every election? Almost certainly. But it’s real small potatoes. And again, voter ID wouldn’t have stopped it. I HAD the ID to vote in Colorado. I didn’t have the ID to vote in Illinois, which was my actual legal residence, the place I would have been more justified in voting.

    Interestingly, when I moved to Arizona, I registered to vote when I got my driver’s license, but because of their voter ID laws, they kept asking me for additional verification of identity, then losing what I’d provided, then asking again, then telling me that they asked me for the wrong thing and could I provide this other thing. It took me five months and three different attempts to register to vote, despite being a natural born U.S. citizen with all the necessary documentation to prove my identity. I had to be VERY persistent. If an election had occurred in that time frame, I would not have been able to vote. When I was a reporter in Arizona, the most frequent complaints we received in the newsroom where from military men and women who were not allowed to vote, despite being legally registered, because their photo military IDs didn’t show their address. Conversely, in some states, you don’t need to be a citizen to get a drivers license or state ID, so having ID with your current address is no guarantee that you are eligible to vote.

    The question really is whether the problem of people voting as someone else is so great that it is worth disenfranchising this whole other group of people. You still haven’t presented evidence that it is. And as the person arguing for a change in the status quo, I think the burden is on your side to prove there is a problem that needs solving.

  18. 18
    KellyK says:

    So, since this is the most recent open thread, I’ve got a question for y’all. Or, rather, an exchange I’d like your take on. I posted the link to the Washington governor’s speech about same-sex marriage from Amp’s Twitter feed on my Facebook page. (So the situation below is All. Your. Fault, Amp. ;) )

    I quoted her “Religions can decide what they want to do, but it’s not okay for the state to discriminate.” I got the reply of “Is it okay for the state to discriminate that I can’t marry a tree?” from one guy. When that was roundly (and in some cases rudely) criticized by several other friends, he protested at the “frantic response of hate” directed toward his “gentle humor.” My take was that, yes, calling his argument “retarded” was completely out of line (though the bit about it being “completely without merit” was right on the money), but when you post on someone else’s page, all snarky and argumentative, you shouldn’t be surprised if you get the same in return.

    But how would you take his response? Gentle humor? Uncalled-for rudeness? Something else or something in between?

  19. 19
    Jenny says:

    There’s been a feud between Greenwald and exiled here

  20. 20
    Dianne says:

    Hi, amp. Just wanted to point you to this article concerning outcomes for children raised by lesbians. I think it might be worth bringing to FSB’s attention. The bottom line: lesbian families produce less abuse. Seems to me a powerful argument against demanding that every family have an XX and XY parent.

  21. 21
    RonF says:

    Oh, dang. That racist, sexist Tea Party movement is backing the gun-toting Mayor of Sarasota Springs as a candidate in Utah’s 4th District. Just another case of the racial and sexual discrimination and support for bitter clingers to God and guns the Tea Party is famous for.

  22. 22
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, would you say that the existence of black Democratic candidates means that it’s impossible Democrats are racist?

    Let’s say that I think chess players are presumptively horrible people. But in the upcoming election, I support Sally Chessplayer for office, because despite her chessplaying she’s the most electable candidate who comes closest to representing my views. Furthermore, her opponent Linus Checkers is a supporter of bean eating, and I hate beaneaters even more than I hate chess players.

    Does this situation prove that I don’t actually have anything against chess players?

  23. 23
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Does this situation prove that I don’t actually have anything against chess players?

    That’s the wrong question. The issue isn’t proof, but evidence.

    It’s just the flip side of the coin: if acting racist serves as evidence of racist tendencies (you think it would, right?) then of course acting non-racist serves as evidence of lack of racist tendencies.

    You can still say “they only supported her because she toes the party line!” of course. But if you’re going to assume that politics (not race) is that relevant to the Tea Party, then you need to reconsider any other assumptions you may have made: are you willing to accept the “party line” reason when the Tea Party rejects a POC candidate?

    This here is a bit–a single datapoint–of evidence that the Tea Party isn’t racist. Which you can balance against whatever other bits of evidence you like, in reaching a final conclusion. You may conclude that the Tea Party is racist as all hell, but you still need to consider this datapoint. And you owe it to yourself to look at your reasoning.

  24. 24
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    “And you owe it to yourself to look at your reasoning.”
    comes across wrong, so let me clarify:

    I don’t think your overall reasoning is wrong. I just think it’s always good to self-reflect and wonder whether you’re getting an accurate conclusion or whether you’re selectively perceiving. Since I am pretty sure that you have supported judging the TP by its actions when it does something you don’t like, then if you’re using a different standard here you need to be careful of its accuracy.

  25. 25
    RonF says:

    A woman who apparently is a former model and reader of Cosmopolitian had a look at the cover of it and decided that it’s now explicit enough that it should be treated like pr0n. So she’s put up a petition to the FTC to require that it be treated as you see magazines like Playboy and Penthouse treated – marketed in a non-transparent wrapper.

    I’m not sure what I think of this. I don’t read the magazine. I do think that a magazine featuring a 17-year old girl dressed suggestively on the cover hawking sex tips might be legitimately treated this way. Is this a First Amendment violation? What do you all think of this?

  26. 26
    RonF says:

    Ron, would you say that the existence of black Democratic candidates means that it’s impossible Democrats are racist?

    Do I think that it proves that particular individual Democrats are not racist? No. Do I think that it means that the Democratic party as a whole is not racist? It certainly would seem to indicate that.

  27. 27
    Ampersand says:


    As far as I know, I’ve never said the tea party is racist based on the race of the candidates that it supports. So the argument you’re seemingly attributing to me, is one that I’ve never said.

    I think that there’s some convincing social science evidence that tea partiers are motivated in part by racism, and moreso than average Americans are.

    Among Tea Party respondents who heard the introductory sentence blaming the bad economy for the plight of the underwater mortgage debtors, Tea Party members and sympathizers did not respond differently to questions about the program based on the race of the homeowner in the picture they were shown. They generally didn’t like the programs, but they didn’t dislike them any more or less whether they saw a picture of a white or black homeowner.

    But when the respondents heard the introductory sentence that suggested that the underwater homeowners had brought their problems upon themselves by borrowing more than they could afford, a significant disparity showed up based on the race of the picture.

    Tea Party sympathizers who heard the “irresponsible behavior” explanation for the problem and who saw a picture of a black homeowner were significantly more likely to say that they blamed the homeowner for the problem, significantly more likely to say they opposed a government program to help that person with their mortgage problem and significantly more likely to say they were angry that such people might get assistance from such a program.

    That study hardly stands alone.

    So when someone says “the Tea Party can’t be racist, because look! Some of our best friends candidates are black!” that doesn’t seem to me to be addressing the actual argument at all.

    There are also arguments based on policy. And, again, pointing to the race of the candidates is entirely irrelevant to that.

  28. 28
    chingona says:

    On Cosmo … I think you’d be hard pressed to say that the images on the cover are comparable to what’s on the cover of Penthouse or Hustler (at least, last time I saw one, which, granted, was a while ago). They’re “suggestive” in the same way that a significant majority of the images of women used to sell all kinds of things, but they don’t meet any modern community standard of indecency. I’m not sure why Cosmo should be singled out. (And frankly, the cover with Dakota Fanning isn’t even that suggestive. I think you could wear that dress to prom a lot of places.) I also don’t think “hawking sex tips” would qualify as pornography, given that the actual sex tips aren’t on the cover. It just says “Best Sex Tips” and “50 ways to make him moan” and “Hot New Positions” and stuff like that.

  29. 29
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Ampersand says:
    January 10, 2012 at 9:18 am


    As far as I know, I’ve never said the tea party is racist based on the race of the candidates that it supports. So the argument you’re seemingly attributing to me, is one that I’ve never said.

    You’ve said you believe the TP is racist, right?

    And you’ve said the TP is racist because of things it does/did, right?

    And you’ve talked about race, specifically, w/r/t the Tea Party, right?

    Or am I seriously flying down the memory hole here?

    Call me irrational, but this is a political party. The TP’s entire existence revolves around endorsements for election, either of TP members or others.

    In that context it seems like the acme of evidence regarding the party’s views would be who they endorse for election. And if you’re seriously unwilling to consider that then frankly it seems like you’re selectively perceiving in a big way.

    I don’t like the TP. In fact, I hate the TP. But focusing on social science tests to tease out potential underlying racism using a complex method, while ignoring the most fundamental evidence of their actions (i.e. what they actually do as a party)… well, that’s basically dishonest. I’d expect better of you.

  30. 30
    Ampersand says:

    You’ve said you believe the TP is racist, right?

    Just now, in comment #27. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever said it before.

    And you’ve said the TP is racist because of things it does/did, right?

    I don’t recall ever saying that, and frankly I doubt I would have said that. But I’ve written thousands of posts and comments over the years, so I can’t swear I haven’t ever said that.

    I just explained to you, in comment #27, what I do say about the Tea Party and racism. You ignored everything I did write, preferring to make up nonsense I don’t think I’ve ever said and responding to that instead.

  31. 31
    gin-and-whiskey says:


    Well, OK. If I’m misquoting you, I apologize. I actually believe you may be misremembering (there have been plenty of tea party discussions on Alas since the TP came into serious form, especially around the 2010 elections; at least a few of them have addressed racism and other isms; and I’m fairly sure you’ve been involved in them) but that probably isn’t a productive avenue of argument.

    As for the studies: I don’t think they’re relevant. More particularly, I don’t think that thoughts are nearly as relevant as actions. I think that if you’re relying on the supposed beliefs of tp members to conclude the TP is racist as a party, then you’re wrong.

    If someone is internally misogynist, and if they manage to override their sexism so that all of their political actions are in support of a feminist agenda… then, from a practical perspective, they may as well be feminist. they certainly act like one.

    We can study internal beliefs to our heart’s content, but that’s of limited use. After all, we often act in contradiction to all sorts of internal beliefs. In the end it matters what we DO, not what we THINK, especially when you’re talking about limited-option group action like “vote yea or nay” or “support A or B” which is where political parties end up.

    Since the TP is a political party, it doesn’t matter what the members think. It matters what the members do.

    Even more to the point, i think it’s a bizarre catch-22. A lot of folks fall into a “worst of” situation w/r/t political opponents and it’s important to avoid that trap.

    If they have a moral failing but don’t exhibit that in their actions (like being subconsciously racist and also proposing black candidates) then folks are all to happy to have a moral standard, and castigate them.

    If they don’t have a moral failing (they lack intent, etc.) but somehow fail in their actions (they inadvertently say something which is construed as racist), then all of a sudden the morals drop in importance and it’s all about the reality of one’s actions and the consequences thereof.

    I suppose one could make an argument that the only acceptable tack is to be perfect in both respects. Which is fine, provided that we try to analyze our own side with the same criteria.

  32. 32
    Jake Squid says:

    Answer the question:

    Which he’s asked at least twice. Even though a search of YA would reveal that the question was asked and answered years ago.

  33. 33
    Eytan Zweig says:

    G&W – what your saying would make sense if racism was categorical – if you had to be entirely consistent in your actions as to whether they were racist or not. But that’s clearly not true. Even without judging people on their thoughts, it’s possible to deduct that someone has a racist agenda that still allows them to have a candidate from the group they are racist against. For example, people who believe in racial segregation may find allies in other races.

    But the main point is that no-one is saying that racism is the main agenda of the Tea Party. Just that it’s one of their agendas. It’s quite possible, for example, that they consider a candidate’s race to be a lesser evil than a candidate’s views on, say, homosexuality or abortion. So that even though they’ll go for a white candidate over a black one if both are pro-life and anti-SSM, they’ll choose a black anti-SSM candidate if no one else is available. That doesn’t make them non-racist, just pragmatic in their racism.

    Now, you’re right in one thing you say. If you could demonstrate that in general, the actions of the tea party are consistent with the actions of anti-racism activism, then it doesn’t matter if deep in their hearts they are against their own actions. But a single action that happens to align with an anti-racist agenda may does not show that. The TP – just like every political party – should be judged by what they do, but not by any one thing they do. It’s the pattern of actions that matters, not by individual actions.

    (Note – I actually have no particular opinion as to whether the Tea Party is racist – I’ve never really researched that and people I respect online have taken both positions. I’m just boggled by the logic of G&W’s argument)

  34. 34
    Elusis says:

    And now for something completely different: I’m excited that my post on family therapist Virginia Satir got accepted as this week’s Wednesday Geek Woman at the Geek Feminism blog! Usually the focus of the series is on women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) disciplines, but I felt like Satir was a great example of a woman who was very geeky and passionate about her work, and faced a great deal of sexism in her career while shaping the field in ways she rarely gets credit for. I was very glad that GF recently re-published a post about geekery and the humanities as I think the definition of “geek” often gets so narrow in a way that, unsurprisingly, reflects the interests of educated, well-off, white cis men.

  35. 36
    RonF says:

    Well, I don’t particularly see the Tea Party movement as racist. I don’t see racism as being their main agenda and I don’t even see it as “one of their agendas”. They have black members, they support black candidates (Rep. West of Florida is another) and at no point have I seen them take any racist positions. I haven’t seen any charges of racism directed against them supported by any but the most tenuous of evidence. I’d place that study that Amp cited in such a category. A slightly higher number of people claiming sympathy to Tea Party principles seemed to react to race more than non-Tea Partiers, but even the non-Tea Partiers scored blacks higher than the mean score. The result is statistically significant, but I don’t agree with the conclusion drawn. The conclusion that I’d draw is that there’s slightly more racism among the sample of Tea Partiers examined (and there’s no explanation of how they were selected) than non-Tea Partiers. That hardly expands to “the Tea Party movement is racist” or “the Tea Party overall is motivated by racism”.

    Amp, I think that pointing to the race of the candidates they support is by no means irrelevant. It’s quite relevant. To say that a racist would support a candidate of the race that they despise is quite a stretch unless that candidate is taking what would be some pretty extreme positions (“Yes, I agree that we should segregate the races”). If you’re taking that position you need to back it up by showing that the candidates they support are taking such positions – which they’re not, BTW.

  36. 37
    RonF says:

    Elusis – that’s interesting. When I went to MIT – if you went to MIT your geek card has no expiration date – the place was 10:1::M:F and assuredly the women there sometimes felt like fish out of water. OTOH, “geek” and “humanities” are two words I’m not used to seeing in the same sentence without a “not” modifier in between. I’m used to seeing someone in the humanities as automatically an anti-geek. They were the ones who knew how to talk to people and read books that didn’t have any equations in them, as well as pictures that weren’t graphs. Maybe that’s just me, though, I don’t hold myself an authority on the question.

    A while back I met a woman who turned out to be a contemporary of mine at the Institute. We spoke a while on the experience of women there. She told me the women there had a saying about the sex imbalance and the men there:

    “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.”

    Mea culpa. Too true, I must admit. OTOH, from the male perspective I can tell you that while the guys didn’t talk about it much very few guys I knew went looking for a date on campus.

  37. 38
    Clarissa says:

    NOTE: This and the next few comments were moved by the moderator from this thread.

    The way I’m reading this post, you see cis masculinity as the only valid, “good”, truly acceptable and unquestionable gender identification. Everything that differs from this golden standard of correct gender identity in any way, is lumped into the category of “not really male.” So yes, there is marginalization going on here. And it’s upheld and perpetuated by you. This post is a way of justifying this worldview by dressing it up in a bunch of pretty and PC terms.

  38. 39
    Ampersand says:


    That seems like a totally inane and unfair — not to mention ridiculous — reading of the post. Where did Rachel say anything about “good” or “truly acceptable,” for example? Has ANYTHING Rachel has ever written justified the view that she thinks only cis men have a “good” gender identity?


  39. 40
    Ben Lehman says:

    Clarissa’s point is rude, but correct. The idea behind this post is the cismaleness is an inherently privileged role, and assumes that:
    1) Cismen don’t have gender oppression.
    2) That the gender oppression experienced by transmen (and, for that matter, transwomen) is comparable and identical to the gender oppression experienced by ciswomen.

    That basically puts cismaleness into a special, privileged category.

    It may be the case that cismaleness does, in our society, occupy that special, privileged category (spoiler alert: it does.) But this classification is pretty much perpetuating that non-critically, which Clarissa pretty accurately identifies.

  40. 41
    RonF says:

    In the vote fraud/ID parts of this thread – and in others we’ve had – it has been maintaned that efforts to require voters to prove their eligibility via photo ID is clearly aimed at limiting the ability of minorities, the poor and other groups presumed to be Democratic party supporters from voting – clearly, since there’s no actual evidence that the problem that the measures are reputed to address (prevention of vote fraud) exists. My rejoinder has been that the evidence is lacking because no one has been looking for it – the Democratic powers-that-be really do figure all those people are going to vote for them, and the Republican powers-that-be are trying to a) not offend Hispanics and b) don’t want to screw up a supply of cheaply exploitable labor.

    Well, someone finally decided to go looking for it. And it wasn’t hard to find.

    Two elections supervisors are taking action after an NBC2 investigation uncovers flawed record keeping and human error allowing people who are not citizens of the United States to vote.

    No one knows how widespread this problem is, because county election supervisors have no way to track non-citizens who live here.

    So NBC2 did something election officials never thought to do, and found them on our own.

    “I vote every year,” Hinako Dennett told NBC2.

    The Cape Coral resident is not a US citizen, yet she’s registered to vote.

    NBC2 found Dennett after reviewing her jury excusal form. She told the Clerk of Court she couldn’t serve as a juror because she wasn’t a U.S. citizen.

    We found her name, and nearly a hundred others like her, in the database of Florida registered voters.

    Given the abysmal voting percentages in the U.S., it’s apparent that these people are yet again doing the jobs Americans won’t do ….

    They claim that it’s flawed record keeping and human error that caused these folks to be able to register to vote. But, in fact, it seems to me that it’s neither. The records are fine and there’s no error on the part of the people who run it. It’s simply that the system is designed to prevent verifying the eligibility of voters when they register to vote.

  41. 42
    nobody.really says:

    Given the abysmal voting percentages in the U.S., it’s apparent that these people are yet again doing the jobs Americans won’t do ….