Open Thread and Link Farm, Keep Yer Damned Mask On Edition

  1. The naming of dogs – language: a feminist guide
    The names we choose for children, and for dogs, are gendered – but in opposite ways. (Thanks to Mandolin for the link.)
  2. Instacart Shoppers Will Stage Nationwide Strike
    Instacart shoppers are asking customers to delete the instacart app entirely (#DeleteInstacart). I’m looking into Dumpling as a possible more ethical alternative.
  3. The Limitations of FIRE’s Database | Just Visiting
    FIRE’s exclusions tend to give a pass to right-wing attacks on academic speech. “The database also does not include incidents such as Boise State University suspending dozens of sections of a diversity and equity course over a report of bias against a white student that it turns out did not happen. It does not include mention of the recent vote by the University of Nebraska regents on a resolution to ban the teaching of critical race theory.”
  4. If You Think Progressives Won’t Compromise with Centrists, You Have It Backwards
    Written by uber-centrist Jonathan Chait.
  5. The Actual Human Stakes of the Reconciliation Bill Are Being Ignored in Favor of “Left vs Moderate’ Horse Race Coverage – by Adam Johnson – The Column
  6. Urban sprawl costs the American economy more than $1 trillion annually. Smart growth policies may be the answer. | USAPP
  7. Review: Dave Chappelle’s ‘The Closer’ Netflix Comedy Review
    “It’s too on the nose that in this analogy a person only joins one group at a time. These intersections are blind spots for Dave. He speaks about Black and queer struggles as if they are strictly in competition, not always entangled.”
  8. Victory for WMU Student Athletes with Religious Objections to Vaccination –
    But it seems to me, reading the ruling, that all the university has to do is stop offering religious exemptions, and the reasons for ruling for the students will evaporate.
  9. A Tale of Two Resignations | Daily Nous
    “Two philosophy professors recently announced their resignations from their respective universities. Both say that their administrations failed to adequately defend their freedoms and protect them from harassment and threats. But there are some differences between the stories that affect what might be learned from them.”
  10. COVID-19 Killed My Husband in Jail. So Did Democrats’ Indifference ❧ Current Affairs
  11. Four Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge. — ProPublica
    This story is simply infuriating. “They would eventually estimate that kids had been wrongly arrested 500 times. And that was just for kids arrested by the sheriff’s office. This estimate didn’t account for other law enforcement agencies in the county… As for how many times the juvenile detention center had improperly locked up kids through its “filter system,” the lawyers estimated that number at 1,500.”
  12. Sesame Street Is Part of the Prison Industrial Complex Now
    Sesame Street has formed a partnership with a really scummy profiting-from-prisons corporation to make videos for kids of prisoners. The making videos part is fine, but…
  13. Murders spiked in 2020. More police is not the solution.
    “Even if more police reduce crime, given its various collateral costs—and benefits!—is policing the best place to spend another dollar? One study suggests that a dollar spent on policing reduces crime by ~$1.60—which may seem effective, until we note that a different study indicated that a dollar spent on drug treatment reduced the social costs of just crime by ~$4—on top of the health benefits of treatment…”
  14. Photos accompanying this link farm are by Pascal Riben and Deleece Cook.

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12 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm, Keep Yer Damned Mask On Edition

  1. 1
    Elkins says:

    I am utterly enamored of the two photographers you’ve showcased here.

    Also of Unsplash in general, which was not a website I’d known about until now.

  2. 2
    Kate says:

    Why did excess mortality in the USA in 2020 rise more among young adults than among the cohorts that accounted for almost all COVID deaths?, at Lawyers, Guns and Money

    The post suggests that 15-20% of the rise in death among young people might be attributable to the increase in homicide. Some other possiblities kicked around in comments were, traffic fatalities, drug overdoses and workplace fatalities (due to lax enforcement at OSHA under Trump). All have risen (suicide was mentioned, but appears to have remained steady).
    Violent crime overall went up only 5%, as murder went up 30% (a figure which brings us nowhere near the levels we were at when crime was highest in the early 1990’s, BTW). One contributing factor might be that overwhelmed hospitals were unable to treat gunshot victims (or chose not to prioritized them), so what would have been classed as assault became homicide. It will be interesting to see how murder rates track with locations overwhelmed by COVID.
    This may also have been a factor in traffic accidents, but speed on empty roads was probably the main culprit here (along with people driving very long distances to avoid air travel during the pandemic).

  3. 3
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    As I wrote elsewhere…

    Chappelle is one of the best stand-up comedians of my lifetime. He’s also always been an anti-LGBTQ bigot. He’s just become more and more blatant about it over time to the point that he doesn’t actually make jokes about the subject any more. He just states his bigotry and hate and thinks that it’s funny. He’s wrong.

    Fuck that guy.

  4. 4
    David Speyer says:

    A CS Lewis quote that I always think of when dealing with bigoted comedy:

    “Cruelty is shameful – unless the cruel man can represent it as a practical joke. A thousand bawdy or even blasphemous, jokes do not help towards a man’s damnation so much as his discovery that almost anything he wants to do can be done, not only without the disapproval but with the admiration of his fellows, if only it can get itself treated as a Joke.”

    From the Screwtape Letters, Chapter XI.

  5. 5
    RonF says:

    During a recent press conference Speaker Pelosi was asked how Democrats can do a better job of getting people to support the $3.5T spending bill. Her answer was “Well I think you all could do a better job of selling it, to be very frank with you.” Her presumption that it is the job of the press to sell the Democratic party’s agenda to the public lends a lot of support to the concept that the MSM is biased towards the left.

  6. 6
    Eytan Zweig says:

    Ron @5 – so, a Democrat complaining that the MSM (I don’t understand this term, since I still don’t understand by what criteria Fox isn’t mainstream) isn’t trying to sell their agenda means that you think that the MSM is trying to sell their agenda?

  7. 7
    Kate says:

    The contents of the Build Back Better Act are supported by the vast majority of Americans, both Democrat and Republican. So, by simply reporting the basic facts about what is in the plan (which is their job), the press would be selling the plan. That would not make them biased towards the left even if they would do it. But, to Eytan Zweig’s point, they are not. They are lazer focused on a Democrats in disarray narrative focused on Manchin and Sinema, even as the leader of the Republican Party is telling his base not to vote if the results of the last presidential election are not overturned. The MSM is biased, but not in favor of the left.

  8. 8
    RonF says:

    Eytan, I see your point. Let me say then that the Speaker’s comment shows that she seems to think it’s the press’ job to persuade the American public of the wisdom of the Democrats’ policies and that they should act to support them. To state such an idea both openly and plainly seems to indicate that she expected something entirely different. One wonders WHY she would think that. Perhaps from previous experience?

    And now that I think about it – I wonder if when she said that any of the people present responded and said “Ms. Speaker, it is not our job to sell anything.”

    Kate: First, I very much doubt that the vast majority of Americans support the contents of the BBBA – in fact, I doubt very much that the vast majority of Americans KNOW the contents of the BBBA. I would not be surprised if the vast majority of Americans would support what the Democrats have openly claimed is in the BBBA, but whether what the Democrats claim is in the BBBA is what’s actually in it is open to debate. And I am also pretty sure that there are multiple provisions in the BBBA that would fall flat on their face in the court of public opinion if they were openly publicized by the Democrats and were presented as standalone bills.

    So, by simply reporting the basic facts about what is in the plan (which is their job), the press would be selling the plan.

    It is their job to report the basic facts of the bill. It is also their job to drill into it and present details that (given that ~1/2 the country voted for Trump) would likely be controversial. I wouldn’t expect any other news outlet but Fox to do that, though. And if you think such actions are equivalent to the process of selling something I suggest you never attempt to get a job as a salesperson. Presenting facts is the job of a journalist, with the idea that the people being informed then determine what they think is in their best interests. It seems to me that selling can be better described as an act of persuasion carried out by someone who has a stake in having the person they are selling to make a particular choice.

  9. 9
    RonF says:

    They are lazer focused on a Democrats in disarray narrative focused on Manchin and Sinema,

    I would think this is more of a “If it bleeds it leads” mentality rather than a bias towards the GOP. The media always highlight conflict and controversy. It seems to me this is why this is being presented as “48 vs. 2” rather than “A bipartisan majority of Senators opposes this bill.”

  10. 10
    Kate says:

    First, I very much doubt that the vast majority of Americans support the contents of the BBBA

    Based on what? Even your sainted Fox, puts approval of Build Back Better at 56%, despite what I would describe as partisan framing. They also don’t drill down into the details. I suspect if such questioning reduced support, they would. Left-leaning polling suggests that the more details one gives, the more people like the plan.
    Relatively lefty sources are much clearer about the actual contents of the plans and the first two listed here really drill down into the details, and show the strongest support:
    Data for Progress, September:

    Voters support the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by a 40-percentage-point margin. Likely voters that self-identify as Democrats, Independents, and Republicans support the plan by margins of 71 points, 43 points, and 5 points, respectively.

    Vox and Data for Progress, October.

    A Vox and Data for Progress poll, conducted October 8-12, found that 71 percent of voters support raising taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to pay for the bill. Eighty-six percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans backed the idea.


    Three in five independents (61%) and two in five Republicans (39%) support the new economic plan.
    As you may know, President Biden and Democrats have proposed new legislation to provide paid family and medical leave, establish a universal Pre-K program, expand Medicare coverage for seniors to include dental, vision, and hearing coverage, lower health care costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, provide tax breaks for clean energy, and expand the Child Tax Credit for most families with children. Do you support or oppose this legislation?


    The president’s large spending plans remain broadly popular, including the Covid stimulus plan passed early in his term (62% support), his proposed infrastructure package (70%), and his proposal to expand access to health care, college, paid leave and other services (63%). The current results are nearly identical to prior polls taken this year. Support for the three plans ranges from 94% to 96% among Democrats, from 55% to 64% among independents, and from 31% to 42% among Republicans.


    As the Senate debates a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, Americans say 65 – 28 percent that they support a spending bill to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, broadband, and other infrastructure projects. Democrats say 93 – 4 percent and independents say 64 – 29 percent that they support it. Republicans say 54 – 41 percent that they oppose it.
    Americans also say 62 – 32 percent that they support a $3.5 trillion spending bill on social programs such as child care, education, family tax breaks, and expanding Medicare for seniors.

  11. 11
    Kate says:

    Hi Amp & moderators, my comment got caught in the spam filter. Probably put in too many links.

    [Thanks for letting us know! Your comment should be visible now. –&]

  12. 12
    Ampersand says:

    During a recent press conference Speaker Pelosi was asked how Democrats can do a better job of getting people to support the $3.5T spending bill. Her answer was “Well I think you all could do a better job of selling it, to be very frank with you.”

    You’ve misstated what the question was – and you left out that Pelosi was repeating the reporter’s wording.

    The reporter brought up a poll showing that only 10% of Americans feel they know a lot about what’s in the bill, and asked Pelosi how the Dems could “sell” the bill better. It’s a weird word choice, but nothing in the question was about “supporting” the bill; the (fairly lengthy) question was clearly and explicitly asking how Pelosi would address that few Americans know what’s in the bill.

    So the reporter said (paraphrased) “how do you sell the bill,” at which point Pelosi cut the reporter off saying (*paraphrased) “I think you could do a better job of selling it.” In that context, when Pelosi said “selling,” she was referring to letting Americans know what’s in the bill.

    You can tell this is what she meant both by what the question was, and by listening to the rest of Pelosi’s answer, which is focused on her frustration that the media doesn’t report what’s in the bill. The only thing she says that’s related to increasing support for the bill is, she thinks Americans already support the policies in the bill, they just don’t know that they’re in the bill.

    Pelosi meant that the press should do a better job informing the public about what’s actually in the bill – and I agree with her. That should be something the press does, and we could use a lot more of that and a lot less horserace reporting.

    Here’s the video. The question we’re discussing begins at about 19:00.