Consider this an open thread. Discuss whatever you like, for as long as you like. Link whatever you like, including yourself. Be free!
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Given Myca’s post, I thought it would be a good time to list some of my favorite right-wing blogs. (There are probably another couple I’m just not thinking of at the moment.)
These are all blogs I can expect to disagree with on a regular basis, and sometimes to be pissed off by. Nonetheless, in most cases, these are conservative dissenters, not mainstream conservatives. I do read some mainstream conservative blogs on a regular basis, because I feel I should, but I can’t honestly claim to admire their thinking.
Eunomia. Daniel Larison is one of the smartest bloggers on foreign policy, period.
Independent Gay Forum. They do tedious partisan comments fairly regularly (trashing the Dems for the many times the Dems aren’t good allies of queer rights — which would be fair if they had one-tenth the passion for trashing the Republican party for its even worse anti-gay bias). But they have great analysis of same-sex marriage issues here. Jonathan Rauch is their most famous writer, but David Link is the blogger who makes this a great blog.
The American Scene. Multiple bloggers here, but Conor Friedersdorf is the one to read. He’s bracing to read because he genuinely wants the right to be intellectually rigorous and honest.
The Volokh Conspiracy features a number of mediocre, paint-by-numbers conservatives, and one (David Bernstein) who is even worse than that. But Eugene Volokh himself is very often worth reading, and Dale Carpenter is one of the best bloggers out there on equal marriage rights and other queer legal issues.
The Agitator. Radley Balko, on 99% of issues, is a generic right-wing libertarian, who worships the market and hates eeevviiiiillll big government. But that’s okay, because he spends 99% of his blogging focusing on documenting how the police and the justice system brutally abuse ordinary Americans, and there’s no blogger out there doing a better job at that.
Marriage Debate Blog. Although run by people who are anti-equality (mostly by Eve, who’s a very nice person) — and the bias does show, in that they’re far more likely to link to a mediocre anti-gay marriage piece than they are to link to an equally mediocre pro-equality piece — this blog does a fairly good job at linking to a lot of interesting news related to marriage, marriage equality, and families and the law in general.
In the spirit to linking to a conservative who isn’t making an obviously irrational point: conservative professor arguing that universities shouldn’t approve events like a “Player’s Ball” that attracts non-students who then cause trouble for the students.
At least based on my own experiences of socializing at black frats in college, the problem is not the theme of the event, and the fact that the professor assumes it is reflects his own cultural prejudices. It can be about “pimps and hos” or about “dress to impress,” but if it is open to all comers, there will be some troublemakers who show up and who are not accountable to university authority.
At my alma mater, the African American students faced two concerns that didn’t exist for the white Greek system:
(1) There weren’t always enough attendees/ money for an event to be feasible if it was restricted to our students only. African American students were a small minority on campus, and very few non-black students would “cross over” and attend events put on by the black frats. And of course, black frats were severely under-financed compared to the white Greeks; they had to rent space, rather than having their own frat houses, and they lacked a long line of wealthy alumni who would kick in to make up budget shortfalls. Their members also were generally less well-off than the members of the white frats, so membership fees had to be scaled down. All of this combined to make an economic necessity of opening events to students from other schools and to members of the local non-university community, in order to get enough paying attendees to make the event feasible.
(2) African American students at my school were much more socially conscious than their white peers of the “town-gown” split in which the majority-white students and faculty of the university were fed and cleaned up after by majority-non-white staff. Many black students didn’t want to be seen as part of this “upper class,” and therefore tried to bridge the divide by being open to socializing with young people outside the student body. In contrast, I knew very few white students who made friends or participated in community activities off-campus. Even community theater, which was a pretty yuppie activity patronized almost entirely by the educated white townies, rarely had any college student participation. I never met any “townies” at a white frat unless they were there to do work (e.g. play music).
I frankly don’t know how the university can fix these issues. It’s just realism that if you have an open-door policy at a party — even a party where you don’t serve alcohol, which the black frats never did serve and the white frats always did — someone will show up who will cause trouble. It doesn’t matter what the theme of the party is or the race of the attendees; it’s a function of nature that there’s always a bad apple in one of the barrels. The white frats mostly avoided the kinds of trouble that would bring in the police (e.g. fights) because they kept their parties clubby, often invitation-only events where people knew and could vouch for each other to a certain extent. Their problems were the kind that could be kept quieter and under the radar of policy authority: alcohol poisoning, accidents caused by drunkenness, date rape. Because the black frats’ events took place on someone else’s property (and of course the greater watchfulness of police on minorities), their problems attracted much more attention.
I suppose the money issue at least could be somewhat dissipated by directing more funds toward minority students’ social organizations. After all, their open-door policies meant that all students could attend, and the absence of alcohol made them appropriate for university funding. And hopefully over time, the success of the alumni of these fraternities will allow them to build the institutions and endowments that make the black frats less susceptible to an annual budget reliant on well-attended pay-for-admission events.
Well, it took a few paragraphs for me to explicate the problem and a solution, and the proposed solution requires giving money to non-white people, so the original professor’s rant wasn’t obviously irrational, at least from a conservative perspective.
Open thread, eh? Well, what’s in the news? Daley II didn’t get the Olympics – in fact, got flushed out in the first vote, which NOBODY predicted. President Obama gave it his best shot, but political and media star power (Oprah being the latter) couldn’t win the electorate over. Given that 3 of the 4 lead characters were black, I wonder if racism was involved? I won’t presume it, but it’s a worthy question. Of course, I haven’t seen the presenters for Rio, so maybe not. Overall the locals, by a small but definite majority, are actually happy about this. No huge inflow of tax money for Daley II to award out to his buddies and cement his power.
Also, the local minorities were asking “Hey, how come the parks to be torn up for Olympic facilities are all in OUR neighborhoods?”
Meanwhile, Letterman delivers what I took to be a fairly serious explanation of how he was blackmailed and how it was dealt with on his show. When, at the end, he told everyone that the act he was being blackmailed for was having affairs with women on his staff, the audience laughed! Question 1: why in God’s name did people think that was funny? Question 2: if a powerful person who can enhance or destroy a subordinate’s career in a given industry propositions that subordinate for sex, is it blackmail? Question 3: is it rape? I will seriously consider an affirmative answer for the last.
Added after thinking about it: do the answers to 2 and 3 change if the subordinate initiated the sexual contact?
Overall the locals, by a small but definite majority, are actually happy about this. No huge inflow of tax money for Daley II to award out to his buddies and cement his power.
RonF, given your apparent belief that the majority of Chicagoans are opposed to Daley II, how is it that he is still mayor? Do y’all not still hold elections up there?
Question 1: why in God’s name did people think that was funny?
Because heterosexual sex is seen as funnier than some of the alternative things for which a person might be blackmailed (e.g. John Travolta was recently blackmailed by someone who threatened to “expose” him as having negligently allowed his son to die).
Question 2: if a powerful person who can enhance or destroy a subordinate’s career in a given industry propositions that subordinate for sex, is it blackmail?
No. Look up the definition of blackmail.
Question 3: is it rape? I will seriously consider an affirmative answer for the last.
Not under U.S. law. Rape of an adult is sex that is not known to be with consent. If consent is given without any fear of physical coercion, it’s not rape. Economic or professional coercion (“have sex with me and I’ll give you this role; refuse me and you’ll never work in this town again”) are generally not considered sufficient to negate consent to sex. You seem to be confusing sexual harassment (a civil violation) with various crimes.
Added after thinking about it: do the answers to 2 and 3 change if the subordinate initiated the sexual contact?
If the subordinate initiated, she would have unclean hands for a sexual harassment claim.
PG, I found this interesting:
Can’t claim to know much about Chicago, but the current mayor of Toronto won the 2006 election by a huge margin, but current polls indicate that about 80% of the city’s voters are Not. Happy. If an election were held today, he would probably lose by the same percentage that he won the last time. It’s just that the next election is in 2010 …
As tarquita says, it’s been a while since the last election. The downturn in the economy is hitting local muncipal governments hard, and none more than a major city with a lot of people in line to receive services and not a lot of people who can pay high enough taxes to support them. Daley II is supposed to be running the city that works; but it’s starting to get some sand in the gears.
Do we hold elections in Chicago? I had thought that Chicago elections were pretty famous around the country as the stories spread of our corrupt politicians getting arrested and locked up.
Not under U.S. law.
I was using the word “rape” more in a moral sense than in a legal one, although it’s true that I didn’t make that distinction clear.
“Because heterosexual sex is seen as funnier than some of the alternative things for which a person might be blackmailed”
Hm. I see your viewpoint. But I must say that this was not my reaction when I watched it – although by that point I had foreknowledge of what he had done. My perception was that they actually thought it was funny that Dave was having an affair. Perhaps the difference was my foreknowledge.
Bright Children Become Enlightened Adults
I’m not sure what I think about this, but understanding the statistical mathematics of studies is not my forte.
Word is that Chicago homeless and affordable housing advocates celebrated as soon as the word got out that Chicago lost the bid. They do expect some sort of retaliatory action from the bigwigs with political power, but at least now they don’t have to worry about mass evictions, demolitions, and further criminalization of the homeless.
If you want a laugh (if douche-bro antics are laughable to you), check out Misogyny, Pennsylvania Style.
The Neo-Nazis are planning another demonstration for three hours (as their last one only lasted 45 minutes before a group of largely out of county self-identified anarchists chased them off then slapped themselves on the back at L.A. Indymedia for being so tough). The Nazis claim they were attacked by machetes and rocks but the video showed that wasn’t the case. Then the anarchists claim the day laborers helped them stem the Nazis which wasn’t true either and set them up for more visits by B.P. at the day laborer spot. Then the community the anarchists supposedly said they liberated from the eight Nazis (the leader’s car broke down on the way to the rally) didn’t need liberation. They just watched the show between both factions and then dealt with increased police in their neighborhood including SWAT for a while after the anarchists circulated copies of the Nazi leader’s address and canvassed his neighborhood doing a Nazi survey.
The Nazis also protesting with Nazi flags and there’s been graffiti reported at the Jewish synagogue in Riverside and another church that participated in a separate counter-rally miles away. I hope the anarchists know this. You see, they get to do their thing to prove how tough they are and then get on the 91 and go home while the city has to deal with the aftermath. It’s not like they met with any leaders and residents in the neighborhood that they decided to do their counter-thing before they did it.
There’s got to be a better way. And dealing with them violently might have felt good to them but it just makes the Nazis able to look like the victims that the police didn’t protect. They said they’re bringing their own “storm troopers” next time, whatever that means.
I am willing to bet money that Daley would still win reelection if an election were held today — not for the reason RonF thinks he wins elections (due to fraudulent elections), but because Daley is the most powerful Democrat, and Chicago is not going to elect a Republican unless the Republicans become a very different party.