Open Thread And Link Farm: Skull on the Shelf Edition

  1. The severed feet found on beaches near Seattle and Vancouver, explained – Vox
    “The 15th human foot in a decade washed up in Washington State. Don’t be alarmed.”
  2. Amazon Ring Teaming Up With Police in War on “Dirtbag Criminals”
    As far as I know nothing terrible has happened with Ring yet – but the blurring of the lines between corporate overlords and police overlords is disquieting.
  3. Dolphins Seem to Use Toxic Pufferfish to Get High | Smart News | Smithsonian
  4. (132) Sexual Assault of Men Played for Laughs – YouTubeA video essay by Pop Culture Detective about male-on-male rape – most frequently, prison rape – played for laughs in movies and on TV. His next video will be about female-on-male rape played for laughs.
  5. The Cost of Universal Basic Income is the Net Transfer Amount, Not the Gross Price Tag
  6. Why we should all have a basic income | World Economic Forum
  7. Protests Inside Freezing MDC Jail Met With Reprisals
    For example, prisoners on a hunger strike had their toilets shut off for a week, or a prisoner being put into solitary confinement for asking when heat would come back on. In addition to the inhumanity, there’s a real free speech issue here.
  8. Androgynous aerial acrobat & 1920s female impersonator, the great ‘Barbette’
    Lots of cool photos, too.
  9. 2019 Minimum Wage Act Would Help Black Workers More Than White
    Here’s something I hadn’t realized: “The black working class is more likely to work in jobs that pay less than the proposed $15 minimum, but geography has even bigger impact on workers’ pay—black workers are far less likely to work in states with their own minimum wage laws.”
  10. How To Speak About The Israel Lobby In A Non-Anti-Semitic Way – The Forward
  11. Fat Monica on “Friends” Was The TV Role Model I Never Expected
  12. Study: More restrictive use of force policies reduce police-involved killings, and reduce police fatalities.(pdf)
    “These results suggest that advocacy efforts focused on pushing police departments to adopt more restrictive use of force policies can produce meaningful reductions in the number of police-involved killings… Officers in police departments with more restrictive policies in place are actually less likely to be killed in the line of duty [and] less likely to be assaulted…”
  13. The Bat and Ball Problem Revisited – drossbucket
    “…the paper is basically a series of increasingly desperate attempts to get people to actually think about the question.” (Via.)
  14. I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America. | HuffPost
    Content warning for… I mean, for so much. Dead cat, sexual harassment, homophobia, Dick Cheney, and a generally bleak world. (Via.)
  15. Performance and Selfhood in ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ – J. Rosenfield – Medium
    “She has no real understanding of herself or the world around her. And yet she knows that her body is wrong.” I completely loved this movie, by the way.
  16. The U.S. Fertility Rate Is Down, Yet More Women Are Mothers – The New York Times
    The likelihood of women becoming mothers in their lifetime, measured by how many women in the age 40-44 age group have ever had children, has had a recent upturn.
  17. A Mother’s Promise: You Can Be Yourself – Video –
    A beautiful short animated piece.
  18. Financial Windfalls: 15 Stories of Gifts, Wins, Inheritances, and The Money That Changed Everything | Topic
  19. Building a Bigger Action Hero – Inside Hollywood’s Muscle Factory – Men’s Journal
    How all the male movie stars suddenly got so ripped.
  20. Hilde Lysiak, 12-year-old journalist, films Arizona cop threatening her – The Washington Post
  21. “Hilde is a force of nature. One can only imagine what sort of stories she will be turning out once she has a driver’s license.”
  22. A Dutch Church Held A 96-Day Service To Stop A Refugee Family’s Deportation
  23. Opinion | It’s Not That Men Don’t Know What Consent Is – The New York Times
    “When they realized that their actions conflicted with that benchmark, though, they expanded their definition of consent rather than question their conduct.”
  24. When Does an Accident Become a Crime? – Texas Monthly
    When a DA is determined enough, is the short answer.
  25. Emma Thompson’s letter to Skydance: Why I can’t work for John Lasseter – Los Angeles Times
    The actress quit work on an animated movie she’d been cast in.
  26. How America Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Deficits and Debt – The New York Times
    The long-predicted consequences of deficit don’t seem to have come about, and putting off investments in infrastructure is harmful in the long run, various people argue. (Alternative link.)
  27. The Fake Sex Doctor Who Conned the Media Into Publicizing His Bizarre Research on Suicide, Butt-Fisting, and Bestiality 
  28. Rich Must Embrace Deficits to Escape Taxes – Bloomberg
  29. With FOSTA Already Leading to Censorship, Plaintiffs Are Seeking Reinstatement Of Their Lawsuit Challenging the Law’s Constitutionality | Electronic Frontier Foundation
  30. The paradox of Patriot Prayer – Justin Ward – Medium
    There are a handful of non-white members of The Proud Boys and other racist organizations. That doesn’t magically make them not racist.
  31. Opinion | The Electoral College Is the Greatest Threat to Our Democracy – The New York Times
    The headline is irrelevant clickbait, because nothing in Jamelle Bouie’s excellent overview is making a case about what is “the greatest threat.” (Probably Bouie didn’t write the headline). But the electoral college is definitely anti-democracy, and the arguments in its defense make zero sense.  (Alternate link.)
  32. BNYT columnist Bret Stephens inadvertently explains why women don’t report sexual harassment – Vox
    If young journalists can face career-damaging blowback for just making a rude comment on Twitter, is it any wonder victims of sexual harassment (a category that does include some men, Vox!) hesitate to report their abusers?

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9 Responses to Open Thread And Link Farm: Skull on the Shelf Edition

  1. 1
    Ampersand says:

    Sorry comments were accidentally closed on this thread for a while. They are now open! (Thanks to Michael.)

  2. 2
    Kate says:

    Acknowledging luck — or, more broadly, the pervasive influence on our lives of factors we did not choose and for which we deserve no credit or blame — does not mean denying all agency. It doesn’t mean people are nothing more than the sum of their inheritances, or that merit has no role in outcomes. It doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be held responsible for bad things they do or rewarded for good things. Nor does it necessarily mean going full socialist. These are all familiar straw men in this debate.

    No, it just means that no one “deserves” hunger, homelessness, ill health, or subjugation — and ultimately, no one “deserves” giant fortunes either. All such outcomes involve a large portion of luck.

  3. 3
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    Study proves everyone wrong: Voter ID laws neither combat voter fraud nor deter voters (in total or by race, gender, age, or party affiliation).

  4. 4
    desipis says:

    Apparently, Will Smith isn’t black enough for his new movie role.

  5. 5
    RonF says:

    LoL, I’d be careful of drawing any hard and fast conclusions from the abstract alone.

  6. 6
    LimitsOfLanguage says:


    Especially since another study in another state found that voters were deterred. Time for more research to figure out the differences between these states/studies.

  7. 7
    J. Squid says:

    (Who doesn’t enjoy a good doomsday article, even if it is a couple of years old?)

    Doooooomed! We’re all doomed because, as a group, we’ll never do what needs to be done. That might impact the profits of billionaires.

    On the plus side, I feel like we’ll avoid that catastrophe when all the insects are gone and we suffer ecological collapse. There’s always a silver lining.

  8. 8
    Ampersand says:

    What Did Ilhan Omar Say? Here’s the Full Transcript of Her Response to a Question about Anti-Semitism – Institute for Policy Studies

    Her phrasing of one sentence was inapt and echoed some anti-semitic tropes, and criticizing that is fair. But read in context, it’s VERY hard to take this as a purposeful attack on Jews, as so many have claimed it is.

  9. Amp wrote:

    But read in context, it’s VERY hard to take this as a purposeful attack on Jews, as so many have claimed it is.

    I agree. I found “How Should We Talk About the Israel Lobby’s Power?” in New York Magazine by Andrew Sullivan to be worthwhile. He asks:

    It should be possible to criticize Washington’s relationship with Israel without deploying crude and freighted language like this. But it got me wondering: Is it possible to write honestly about the Israel lobby’s power in D.C. without using any anti-Semitic “tropes” at all?

    He then goes on to show how it is, perhaps, not as easy as it looks, at least not if you are going to account for certain facts and certain kinds of official public discourse around the United States’ relationship with Israel. Towards the conclusion, he writes this:

    Now observe the public discourse in Washington. Here is Nancy Pelosi last year: “If this capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain would be our commitment to aid — I won’t even call it aid — our cooperation with Israel.” Chew on that a minute. If the United States were to collapse, its one objective would be to aid a foreign country. [Sullivan’s implicit question: How is that not an expression of allegiance of some sort?] Here’s Chuck Schumer: “The view of Palestinians is simple, the Europeans treated the Jews badly culminating in the Holocaust and they gave them our land as compensation. Of course, we say it’s our land, the Torah says it, but they don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace.” If only Palestinians would convert to Judaism, all would be well! [The question being—and you have to read the whole piece for the context—if US policy is even an implicit endorsement of that point of view, how is that not an expression of some sort of allegiance to Jews and Israel?]

    Then this truly surreal phenomenon: The first bill introduced into the Senate in this Congress was one that made it illegal for any American to boycott goods from the West Bank, without suffering real economic consequences from their own government. It’s a federal bill designed to buttress several state bans on Americans’ right to boycott Israeli goods. Now here’s a clear case of conflict between the free speech rights of Americans and Israel’s continuing occupation of the West Bank. And the Senate voted for Israel’s occupation over the rights of its own citizens by a margin of 77– 23. One recalls what a former AIPAC head, Steve Rosen, said to Jeffrey Goldberg over lunch in 2005: “‘You see this napkin? In 24 hours, we could have the signatures of 70 senators on this napkin.” He was too modest.

    I think this grotesque distortion of U.S. foreign policy deserves a much wider debate, but is constrained by cheap accusations of anti-Semitism. To give an example, if a critic of Israel were to use the exact same words as Steve Rosen, and argue that AIPAC is so powerful it could snap its fingers and have 70 senators’ signatures on a bill within 24 hours, he’d likely be deemed a bigot.

    I have been mulling Sullivan’s piece over for the last couple of days. I think he asks some really important questions.

    This is also a useful piece from The Forward: How To Speak About The Israel Lobby In A Non-Anti-Semitic Way, by Batya Ungar-Sargon:

    If you’re upset the U.S. gives Israel unconditional support despite anti-Democratic measures like the racist Nation State bill and the entrenchment of the Occupation of millions of Palestinians, and that the U.S. makes no demands that Israel stop oppressing the Palestinians in exchange for the billions of dollars in aid we supply it, you’re not alone. Many Jews share this frustration. And as an American taxpayer, you are absolutely entitled to this non-anti-Semitic opinion.

    So say that. Stick to actual things AIPAC does in your criticism. Talk about specific problems you have with Israel’s conduct and the U.S.’s support of that conduct, and the people who lobby for this support. Be specific about the things you wish AIPAC, or the U.S. government didn’t do.

    Do not allow your criticism to balloon into the kinds of vague attacks that well-known anti-Semites use when discussing Jews.