Open Thread and Link Farm, Kaleidoscopic Madness Unfolding Edition

  1. Bell v Tavistock quashed on appeal – Gendered Intelligence Blog
    Some extremely good news from the UK.
  2. The EU is Praised for Vaccine “Donations.” Behind Closed Doors, It Quietly Blocks Poor Countries’ Efforts to Increase Vaccine Manufacturing. – by Sarah Lazare – The Column
    “’Global vaccine apartheid’ isn’t some theoretical future danger. It is the most accurate way to describe a situation where the U.S. is debating booster shots while only 3.27% of the entire continent of Africa has been fully vaccinated.”
  3. COVID and the moral panic over obesity – Lawyers, Guns & Money
    As is usually the case, the actual numbers are much more nuanced, and show that the large majority of fat people have – well, not nothing to worry about, Covid is still frightening, but no more to worry about than non-fat people.
  4. On Voting Rights, There Are No Moderates in the GOP – Democracy Docket
    I’m so much more appalled by the GOP’s anti-voting-rights stance, then by their many other horrific stances, because it’s so foundational. Without democracy, it’s hard to see how ANY issue can advance without violence.
  5. What if the US didn’t go to war in Afghanistan after 9/11? – Responsible Statecraft
  6. Whitest paint in world created at Purdue, may help curb global warming
    “The paint reflects 98.1% of solar radiation while also emitting infrared heat. Because the paint absorbs less heat from the sun than it emits, a surface coated with this paint is cooled below the surrounding temperature without consuming power.”
  7. The evidence for violence interrupters doesn’t support the hype – Vox
  8. Eyebombing Bulgaria (7 photos) | STREET ART UTOPIA
    An artist and a group of schoolkids look for shapes that can be improved with eyes.
  9. The heritability fallacy
    “Contrary to popular belief, the measurable heritability of a trait does not tell us how ‘genetically inheritable’ that trait is. Further, it does not inform us about what causes a trait, the relative influence of genes in the development of a trait, or the relative influence of the environment in the development of a trait.”
  10. One Woman’s Mission to Rewrite Nazi History on Wikipedia | WIRED
    “When she goes to the cited page, she finds a paragraph that appears to confirm all the Wikipedia article’s wild claims. But then she reads the first sentence of the next paragraph: “This is, of course, nonsense.””
  11. The Roberts Court Has Normalized Racism in America | Balls and Strikes“As Roberts and his colleagues have normalized this insidious racism, too many Democrats have remained deferential to the Court, fearful of “politicizing” an institution that, in reality, has always been political, and has led the charge in right-wing, partisan warfare. We can’t delude ourselves any longer.”
  12. A Pennsylvania community is divided over anti-racism book ban at school board meeting; – CNN
    “The fact that all the banned materials are by or about people of color is just a coincidence, according to Jane Johnson, the school board president.” Gosh, what a surprising coincidence that is.
  13. Texas GOP sees Haitian migrant border crisis as a political opportunity – But it’s actually a humanitarian disaster exacerbated by Biden.
    The racist fear-mongering by the GOP is unsurprising. Biden’s continuation of Trump’s cruel policies is just as disgusting, though.
  14. A Modern Feminist Classic Changed My Life. Was It Actually Garbage? Rereading Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth 30 years later.
  15. US officials to probe whip-like cords used against migrants | Human Rights News | Al Jazeera
  16. Opinion | It’s All or Nothing for These Democrats, Even if That Means Biden Fails – The New York Times. And an alternate link.
    “What is true of both explanations is that they show the extent to which moderate Democrats have made a fetish of bipartisan displays and anti-partisan feeling. And in doing so, they reveal that they are most assuredly not the adults in the room of American politics.”
  17. The art accompanying this link farm comes from Jack Kirby’s comics adaptation of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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31 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm, Kaleidoscopic Madness Unfolding Edition

  1. 1
    dragon_snap says:

    Great round-up, Amp! I loved link 10 :)) And link 12 is equally confounding and horrifying.

    Regarding 7, I was pretty irritated by this paragraph towards the end:

    There’s no reason interrupters have to be replacements to the police. There’s even less evidence for that than interrupters in general: The studies on interrupters were all done in places where police still exist, so even the most positive empirical findings assume cops are still around.

    The whole article is trying to take a serious empirical look at the efficacy of violence interrupters, notes that the studies were all done in places where police still exist, and then makes a *whopping* assumption that the presence of police in these communities contributed only to the positive results and not at all to the negative ones. Like the final sentence would be just as true written as “The studies on interrupters were all done in places where police still exist, so […] the most [negative] empirical findings assume cops are still around.”

  2. 2
    nobody.really says:

    I mean no disrespect to the band ACDC, but a headline for one of today’s articles in the New York Times made me question some of the Biden Administration’s delegations of authority:

    A C.D.C. panel is meeting to decide who should get Pfizer boosters.

  3. 3
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    @dragon_snap

    I loved #10. She is exactly the kind of person needed to do that job and I’m thankful she took it up.

  4. 4
    Schroeder4213 says:

    Re #3, the terrible reporting on COVID and obesity reminds me of this comic: https://xkcd.com/2476/

  5. 5
    Ampersand says:

    Schroeder, I love that comic.

    Jacqueline and Dragon Snap, yes! That article #10 was a joy to read. And Dragon Snap, you’re right about that paragraph, that’s a heck of an assumption.

    Nobody Really, that’s hilarious.

  6. 7
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    @6…

    He’s not wrong about never hearing that 99% of COVID deaths are among the unvaccinated. Except, of course, that for the last 2 weeks I’ve been watching the Death Cultists say that the claim that over 90% of COVID fatalities are among the unvaccinated is a lie and the the lying liars at the hospitals are part of the DEEP STATE. He must never have heard that because the cannon fodder of the cult has been keeping him insulated from hearing the thing that has been all over the news and social media for weeks.

    The article, though, does it’s job of continuing to tell Death Cultists not to get vaccinated. I think?

    It would all be hilarious if these clowns weren’t about to install themselves in permanent minority rule.

  7. 8
    nobody.really says:

    The article, though, does its job of continuing to tell Death Cultists not to get vaccinated. I think?

    I think not. The linked editorial ends with the line, “I am opposed to mandates of any kind. It’s your choice. But if you really want to own the libs, defy them and get vaccinated.”

    On an unrelated topic, I vote for glasses #1.

  8. 9
    Kate says:

    Jacqueline Onassis Squid @ 7

    The article, though, does its job of continuing to tell Death Cultists not to get vaccinated. I think?

    nobody.really @ 8

    I think not. The linked editorial ends with the line, “I am opposed to mandates of any kind. It’s your choice. But if you really
    want to own the libs, defy them and get vaccinated.”

    Despite the quote nobody cited, if you wade into the comments, you will see that the readers aren’t buying it. JOS is right about the actual response. About 25%-30% of Americans will never voluntarily take the vaccine. They need some sort of dignified off-ramp, but “the libs want you to die of COVID” is not it. At this point they’d need to admit that they were duped for nearly a two years, and, in many cases, needlessly lost loved ones in the process. Not gonna happen.
    Employer mandates, on the other hand, seem to be working. Although in surveys upwards of 50% of the unvaccinated say they won’t give in, when the rubber hits the road, in most places well under 5% appear to be holding firm. For example.
    Republicans initially fought lockdowns, masks and vaccines because COVID was dispropotionately killing Democratic voters. Now that it is dispropotionately killing their own voters, they can’t turn them around. So, Democrats are selflessly doing it for them, because it is the right thing to do. We will probably be rewarded with the loss of both houses of congress, and locked-in permanent Republican rule. But, that would be the case anyway because Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are idiots and/or horrible people.

  9. 10
    RonF says:

    Kate @9:

    Republicans initially fought lockdowns, masks and vaccines because COVID was dispropotionately killing Democratic voters.

    That’s a pretty serious accusation, Kate. Care to cite any evidence that this has been their motivation?

  10. 11
    Kate says:

    That’s a pretty serious accusation, Kate. Care to cite any evidence that this has been their motivation?

    The Trump administrations politicized response to the virus is pretty well documented:

    Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert. source

    According to a Washington Post report from March 28, hard-hit, Democratic-leaning states like Massachusetts received only 17 percent of the protective gear requested from the national stockpile, while GOP-led Florida promptly received supplies it needed, despite a controlled outbreak at the time. source

    And, there’s a lot of reason to believe the base has similar sentiments:

    “…the perception that high-covid counties are overwhelmingly urban and Democratic “underlies a lot of these protests that are going on,” because the general sentiment among protesters is, “We’re not like that.” source

    And, the Republican’s evangelical base believes awful things like this:

    An evangelical pastor is claiming the coronavirus is God’s “death angel” seeking justice for those “transgendering little children” and putting “filth” on TVs and movies…source

    But, sure, it’s more complicated than that. For example, I think Krugman’s observations also explain a lot:

    You see, the modern U.S. right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.
    Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account.
    This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility. source

  11. 12
    Kate says:

    Turns out the “Black Lives Matter” activist who shot up the police station in Minneapolis was actually a member of the Boogaloo Bois. https://digbysblog.net/2021/10/01/the-terrorists-among-us/

  12. 13
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    That’s a pretty serious accusation, Kate. Care to cite any evidence that this has been their motivation?

    Aside from the copious evidence provided by Kate, the Republicans are the same people who didn’t want to do much to fight AIDS because they hated the people who were the visible victims of the disease in its early years. This is a long established response from the right to disease that they see as killing the people who deserve to die.

  13. 14
    Grace Annam says:

    And thus begins a 3- to 4-week period during which Ron will be absent from the blog.

    Grace

  14. 15
    Görkem says:

    @Grace: But he will be back to raise some other “Hey, but did you guys ever consider [Standard rightwing talking point]” questions.

  15. 16
    Kate says:

    @Grace: But he will be back to raise some other “Hey, but did you guys ever consider [Standard rightwing talking point]” questions.

    Yea, it is kind of terrifying how much he’s deteriorated in the age of Trump. I really don’t feel good about driving him off like this, or in this thread. But, I don’t know what else to do. I don’t want to let the propaganda just hang there for others to absorb.
    It’s just so depressing. I believe there is a real chance that the Republicans are going to legally establish de-facto single party rule if we don’t get voting rights legislation through congress in time for it to apply in 2022. Not only is no Republican elected official standing up for democracy, two democratic Senators are putting bipartisanship above democracy. I seriously want to be proven wrong about this!

  16. 17
    Eytan Zweig says:

    I don’t think he’s different than he ever was. I think the age of Trump just made all of us a lot more wary.

    I’m not sure about Sinema, but I don’t think Manchin is favouring bipartisanship, so much as he’s an old-school conservative that wound up in the Democratic party for pragmatic reasons and would rather see the Republicans in power than the Democrats. The only reason he hasn’t officially crossed party lines is that he knows that he would not be likely to win a Republican primary and that, at least in the current senate, he has more power as a thorn in the Democrats side than as a rank-and-file Republican.

  17. 18
    nobody.really says:

    The only reason [WV Senator Joe Manchin] hasn’t officially crossed party lines is that he knows that he would not be likely to win a Republican primary and that, at least in the current senate, he has more power as a thorn in the Democrats side than as a rank-and-file Republican.

    The second part of this statement seems tautologically true: Manchin would not be able to hold his seat running as a Republican, and thus would loose ALL his power; he would never have the option of becoming a rank-and-file Republican.

    But to suggest that Manchin chooses to remain a Democrat merely to “be a thorn in the Democrat’s side” is flatly absurd.

    Let’s be clear: West Virginia voted nearly 70% for Trump, and gives Biden the lowest approval ratings in the nation. We should expect that West Virginia would have a Republican Senator in Manchin’s seat. And if we had a Republican in Manchin’s seat, then Republicans would control the Senate. They could then block 100% of Biden appointees indefinitely. They could launch investigations. They could block all legislation. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of US politics knows that there is NO COMPARISON between the outcome of having Manchin as a conservative Democratic senator and having Manchin (or someone else) as a Republican senator. We should be kissing Manchin’s feet daily.

    Yes, Manchin will act in his own self-interest–hardly a unique posture for a politician. If he didn’t, West Virginians will replace him with a Republican. Grousing about how someone fails to act as YOU would prefer, without giving the slightest concern to the constraints THEY face, seems like a textbook example of entitlement.

    Now MAYBE, if Manchin decides to retire, he might vote for Biden’s agenda as a farewell act of self-immolation. But I’m hoping that he doesn’t retire for a long, long time.

    If you have a beef, I suspect your beef is with the perspectives of West Virginia voters–not with Joe Manchin. Anyone with a brilliant strategy for getting West Virginians to vote for the equivalent of AOC as their next senator, please speak up. In the meantime, I see little point in blaming the messenger for the message.

    And if these comments seem too similar to right-wing talking points, feel free to regard this as my farewell act of self-immolation.

  18. 19
    Schroeder4213 says:

    Nobody.really @ 18:

    Let’s be clear: West Virginia voted nearly 70% for Trump, and gives Biden the lowest approval ratings in the nation. We should expect that West Virginia would have a Republican Senator in Manchin’s seat. And if we had a Republican in Manchin’s seat, then Republicans would control the Senate. They could then block 100% of Biden appointees indefinitely. They could launch investigations. They could block all legislation. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of US politics knows that there is NO COMPARISON between the outcome of having Manchin as a conservative Democratic senator and having Manchin (or someone else) as a Republican senator. We should be kissing Manchin’s feet daily.

    Yeah, absolutely. That said (and here comes some better-targeted grousing), Kristen Sinema has no such excuse. Biden beat Trump in Arizona. Arizona is moderate, sure, but Mark Kelly is in a similar position and he’s not torpedoing Biden’s agenda. I fully support primarying her. But yeah, Joe Manchin’s Value Over Replacement is huge.

  19. 20
    Eytan Zweig says:

    @nobody-really – You’re correct in your nitpicking of my statement that it’s possible to read it as a tautology in that if Minchin were to run as a Republican he’d be out of the senate and therefore have no power. So to be clear, what I meant was that he currently has more power as a democrat senator than he would even if he were to be elected as a Republican, whether that is a likely outcome or not.

    That said, to be clear, when I said he has more power *as* a thorn in the democrat’s side, I didn’t mean he has more power *to be* a thorn in the democrat’s side. I don’t think Manchin is trying to sabotage the democrats so much as he’s trying to do what his voters want him to do. It just so happens that that runs contrary to what is in the interests of the Democratic party, especially when it comes to voting rights.

  20. 21
    nobody.really says:

    Fair enough. And sorry for my tone. I’ve been wrestling with some self-absorbed people lately; I didn’t mean to project.

    In fairness, one poll shows that 80% of West Virginians like the policies in Biden’s agenda. But getting from “Republicans support the policy” to “Republicans support the politician who votes for the (Democratic) policy” is the challenge.

    I squandered my life studying economics and law when I should have studied psychology and communications. I’m reduced to whimpering on the web pages of political cartoonists.

  21. 22
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    @17

    I don’t think he’s different than he ever was. I think the age of Trump just made all of us a lot more wary.

    Well, there’s a lot less about how perfect Boy Scouts(tm) are. That’s been replaced by solid Trumpist propaganda. Not that I’m complaining! I’m just noticing one difference.

  22. 23
    Görkem says:

    “I really don’t feel good about driving him off like this, or in this thread.”

    I gotta admit I laughed long and hard at Ron’s criticism of Biden for pissing France off. A President whose foreign policy does not win France’s approval? How shocking! Thank god the Republicans are there to get us back on the France-approved foreign policy track! Remember kids, in 2022, vote Republican – the pro-French party!

  23. 24
    RonF says:

    Kate @11:

    The Trump administrations politicized response to the virus is pretty well documented:

    I wouldn’t consider an assertion based on an uncorroborated statement from an anonymous “expert” as “well documented”. I also read found the paragraph in the WaPo report cited by your second source that discussed that Democratic leaning (leaning?) Massachusetts only got 17% of it’s request while Florida got what it asked for which you offer as evidence that there was a politicized response by the Trump administration. It also discussed the response to other States, and the first sentence of that paragraph says “Anecdotally, there are wide differences, and they do not appear to follow discernible political or geographic lines.”

    And, there’s a lot of reason to believe the base has similar sentiments:

    You then cite a report that in turn cites a WaPo piece that in turn cited a report from and an interview of one William Frey. The report showed that while urban area were first hit hard by COVID, it had started to spread to non-urban areas, and made the obvious statement that urban areas tend Democratic and rural areas tend GOP. That’s fine; he supplies figures and other data to support the initial spread of COVID and his assertion of voting patterns can be similarly supported. However, the statement you actually quote was simply Frey’s opinion; nothing in his study or in any statement he made that was cited in the source supports that opinion with any facts – it is given as a pure supposition on his part. I would not call that evidence either.

    And, the Republican’s evangelical base believes awful things like this:

    Followed by a citation of one single Evangelical pastor who apparently thinks that COVID is punishment for the world’s sins. I imagine you could find a few more like him. But I don’t see how you can validly extrapolate as fact that the opinion of one individual or even a few like him is held by the majority of the ~13% of Americans that are a) Evangelical Protestants and b) conservative (a figure I get from Wikipedia). It may be your belief that he is correct, but neither his opinion nor your belief is evidence.

    But, sure, it’s more complicated than that. For example, I think Krugman’s observations also explain a lot:

    I can’t comment on this because the link for your source returns a 404.

  24. 25
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    Those citations are a lot more than you provide, RonF, for any of your myriad baseless assertions ripped straight from the right wing propaganda machine.

    You’re asking us to ignore direct quotations from Dollar Store Mussolini himself about his intentions towards red vs blue states during the height of the pandemic in addition to the citations and links that you find wanting. You’re asking us to ignore statements from GOP politicians – including Dollar Store Mussolini – about the pandemic only effecting blue states.

    RonF @24:

    I also read found the paragraph in the WaPo report cited by your second source that discussed that Democratic leaning (leaning?) Massachusetts only got 17% of it’s request while Florida got what it asked for which you offer as evidence that there was a politicized response by the Trump administration.

    Wow. What a gross misrepresentation of that article!

    Did you miss this important piece of evidence?

    Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.

    It’s almost like you’re lying in response to documentation answering your outraged demand for evidence.

    You’re asking us to become cultists indoctrinated by the right wing propaganda system like you have become and that’s simply not a request that can or should be taken seriously. It’s increasingly difficult to take you as anything more than a conduit for right wing misinformation and propaganda and that’s just sad.

  25. 26
    Ampersand says:

    Please dial it down a few notches, Jacqueline.

  26. 27
    RonF says:

    And as far as critiquing statements I have made as “standard right-wing talking points”, do you dispute that a lot of what people post here are standard left-wing talking points? The fact that a given argument is brought up by one political faction or another doesn’t invalidate it. Attempting to trivialize a comment seems to be a great way to avoid actually speaking to it.

  27. 28
    RonF says:

    You’re asking us to ignore direct quotations from Dollar Store Mussolini [that’s a new one] himself about his intentions towards red vs blue states during the height of the pandemic in addition to the citations and links that you find wanting.

    Then why don’t you cite those direct quotes instead repeating a reputed comment from the same unnamed and uncorroborated “expert”?

  28. 29
    RonF says:

    Since it’s an open thread:

    I just read page 161 of SuperButch and it struck me that anyone who first encountered the entire story by reading that page could tell that the entire story was set in the past; it shows an editor telling someone he needed confirmation of a piece of information before it could see print. He’s clearly not an editor working in modern news media.

  29. 30
    Kate says:

    And as far as critiquing statements I have made as “standard right-wing talking points”, do you dispute that a lot of what people post here are standard left-wing talking points?

    Yes, I do. Republicans are telling demonstrable lies about everything from the efficacy of COVID vaccines, to election fraud, to the level of violence at the capitol on January 6th. Right wing news organizations, like Fox, repeat these lies uncritically. Mainstream news organization are not a mirror image of Fox. They do not simply repeat Democratic talking points on these issues. They rely on information from non-partistan sources like the Center for Disease control, (on COVID), non-partisan audits and judicail decisions (on election fraud) and the testimony of members of Law Enforcement, on the violence on January 6th (although, you can see that on video yourself as well). The reason why it looks partisan to you is because Democrats generally follow this non-partisan professional advice, and Republicans do not.

  30. 31
    Görkem says:

    ” do you dispute that a lot of what people post here are standard left-wing talking points?”

    Yes, but please don’t take my disputation as a promise to engage in a long debate with you on the subject, and whatever subjects you consider relevant.

    ” The fact that a given argument is brought up by one political faction or another doesn’t invalidate it.”

    No that is true. Your arguments are not invalidated by the fact that the people who most often make them are crypto-fascists. They are invalidated by the fact that they are not valid.

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