Thursday Open Thread

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Please feel free to write comments on this post on whatever topic you like! (As usual, please avoid personal insults of each other, vulgarities aimed at each other or at third parties, or other things that are likely to poison the discussion.)

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  1. Why are there so many white Leftists trying to get away being a black or Indian person for career advancement? Every week it seems another white Leftists is confessing to not being black (or Indian). Surely they aren’t acting black to be oppressed by systemic racism? Surely they are doing it to advance their careers quicker than a white person.

    1. Yeah, America hates underdogs. No nobility there, not at all!

      1. Double check your script, Gaslightro, your response you copy and pasted from your list makes no sense as a response to my comment.

        1. You wonder why ‘so many’ (like 3) are passing as a minority, if they are so oppressed. I noted that there are other reasons than material for someone to take on the mantle of the oppressed.

          I’d suspect you would understand that, as you eagerly claim the mantle of oppression on account of your white, male, conservativeneess.

          1. So these people did this because America loves underdogs (blacks and Indians) while simultaneously America hates blacks and Indians due to systemic racism?

            It’s like you just make shit up on the fly without even thinking about it.

            1. America generally and those on the left have different ideals.

              This is elementary.

              1. I agree. Those on the Left are quite un-American. Anti-American you could even say.

                1. Cute.

                  I’m talking about loving the underdog enough to want to be it, versus wanting to maximize one’s chances for success/profit.

                  Both are pretty American views.

                  1. Give it up you lost that one, its either beneficial or its not, people don’t pretend to be black because they wan to be victims of racism.

                    Stop typing your embarrassing yourself.

                    1. No – I think that’s exactly what’s going on. See Krychek_2’s post below.
                      https://reason.com/2020/09/17/thursday-open-thread-9/#comment-8464243

                      Humans can be weird.

                    2. Except the people pretending to be minorities are black studies academics and the like, not fast food workers or criminal defendants. Kind like when people want to seem poor, they spend a lot of money on ripped jeans, they don’t sleep in cardboard boxes or eat out of dumpsters.

                      People don’t want to be underdogs, they want to seem like underdogs.

                    3. Yeah, TiP.

                      Wanting to feel like the underdog but not wanting to actually have to deal with the real stuff is extremely American.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI3UfxyIdgs

      2. Pursuit of nobility is your best guess for these transracial cases? Isn’t a more common cause of human behavior that they get direct benefits with the more extensive the scope of the behavior often corresponds to similarly sized benefits to the effort needed? My guess is that these apparently rare individuals (although I do wonder if the common practice of some white people to adopt culture, mannerisms, speech, etc of urban black people from lower SES groups that have higher affinity for gang markers, rap, etc is some where on a spectrum with full transracial identity atime one end) get direct benefits in terms of jobs, social acceptance, and perhaps status. When white allies are told to center POC voices and defer to them on variety of issues there can be clear power benefits even while POC have overall lower power in society overall. The fact that transracial people all seem to have careers where a black identity would be beneficial supports my guess that direct benefits and not some noble decision to adopt an oppressed identity is a significant factor in their behavior. Dsyphoria with a white identity and broader insecurities and low self esteem also seem to play a large role.

    2. So many?

      Yeah we have our fair share of idiots but . . . so many?

      What has it been, 3 – 4?

    3. I only recall hearing about three such cases, I wouldn’t exactly call that an epidemic. Doesn’t excuse those three, of course, but don’t make more out of it than what’s actually there.

      1. Another one just came out yesterday. That’s two in about a week.

        1. OK, so you’re now up to what, five? Out of how many “white leftists” in the population? Let me know when this becomes common enough to actually be comment worthy.

          1. A leading BLM activist is a white guy pretending to be black.

            When BLM isn’t noteworthy, then this won’t be.

            When “Muh Racism” isn’t thrown at us white people 24×7 then it won’t be comment worthy.

            1. So if a leading conservative turns out to be a pedophile, then suddenly pedophilia is a huge problem in the conservative movement? Nope.

              1. “So if a leading conservative turns out to be a pedophile, then suddenly pedophilia is a huge problem in the conservative movement”

                That’s not the same thing as a leader of Black Lives Matter being a white guy pretending to be a black guy, and no one is calling him out on it.

                Before you said “comment worthy” now you’re moving your targets to “huge problem”.

                1. In both cases you’re trying to smear an entire movement based on the conduct of one or a few leaders. And if you want to start down that road, conservatives have provided at least as much ammunition as liberals have.

                  But if we agree that it’s not a huge problem, then fine; it’s not a huge problem.

                  1. A prominent BLM activist is a white guy pretending to be black.

                    Why isn’t anyone saying anything??

                    1. I can think of lots of possible reasons; no idea what the true reason is. Maybe nobody noticed; it’s not always obvious which race someone belongs to. Or they may have thought he was of mixed race. Or maybe nobody thought it was any of their business, or maybe nobody cared. Or there may have been different reasons why different people didn’t say anything.

                      Why are you so inclined to automatically assume the worst? Sometimes the worst is true but it shouldn’t be your default assumption.

                  2. you’re trying to smear an entire movement

                    Nice straw man. He didn’t try to smear anything, let alone an entire movement. He was raising the question of why people who are so actively shouting “systemic racism” would lie about who they are in order to subject themselves to it, if in fact they actually believe what they’re claiming.

                    1. Did you read the entire thread? Not only is Sam asking why people would lie about who they are, but also why didn’t anyone else call him out on it.

                    2. Did you read the entire thread?

                      I did, including the part where you prefaced your “smear” claim with…

                      “In both cases”

            2. “When BLM isn’t noteworthy” . . .

              our vestigial bigots will be even less important, and more cranky, than they are today!

              How many years until Whites no longer constitute a majority in America? No wonder Republicans are desperate and disaffected.

              1. Republicans are counting on being able to hold power indefinitely through the electoral college, two senators per state, and gerrymandered seats, despite being a minority party that is completely out of touch with the views of a majority of Americans. How long that strategy will continue to work out for them remains to be seen.

                1. Not the smart, informed Republicans with whom I am familiar. They recognize that their party’s reliance on voter suppression, gerrymandering, and structural amplification of rural votes soon will be inadequate to maintain a viable electoral coalition, particularly in national elections.

                  The situation is plain enough that many other conservatives know a problem is developing. That is why they are so desperate.

                  Most people understand the Republican Party must change or die.

                  I vote “die.”

      2. Doesn’t excuse..

        A rather intolerant way to phrase it. We should consider the possibility that maybe for some of them racial dysphoria is “real” at least in the same sense as gender dysphoria. Meaning it feels real to them, even if the genetic evidence and family background doesn’t support their belief.

        And (maybe) like gender dysphoria, it’s relatively rare, but once it’s OK to come out of the closet we’ll find out there’s more of them than we thought. And for a while it will be the fad among kids to declare another race, but as long as we don’t respond with immediate skin treatments and cosmetic surgery, most of them will change back.

        It upsets people now but in the long run some racial fluidity might be a good thing.

        1. I think some people have a compelling psychological need to associate themselves with underdogs, and other people deliberately claim to be what they are not because there is sometimes an advantage to doing so (i.e., affirmative action).

          But I also think there’s a broader issue, which is that race really isn’t a useful concept for most purposes, and even if it were, there really aren’t that many purebreds among us. I did the geneological DNA testing and was completely taken by surprise at the results; it didn’t show what I was expecting at all. Between all the wars of invasion over the centuries, the inter-marrying, the migrations (both voluntary and not so voluntary), who can really say what they are? Especially when before DNA testing, people knew their ancestry maybe three or four generations back at most.

          So the issue isn’t race. The issue is perception of race. Some people, like our mutual friend Sam Gompers, have convinced themselves that race is important, especially to the extent that their privileged status as whites is perceived as under attack. As with other superstitions, maybe this one will eventually die out.

          1. Some “compelling psychological needs” we treat as a mental illness that needs treatment, some we treat as a civil right that must accomodated, and some we treat as a moral abomination that needs to be punished or at least condemned. Why can’t racial dysphoria be in the second category?

            Rachel Dolezal seemed sincere to me. Yeah, she told lies to get the lifestyle and acceptance she wanted, but I think she was sincere in wanting to be a black person.

            Maybe there should a process available. As an analogy, someone might lie about being Jewish. Or they can do it right and go a rabbi and go through a conversion process. Perhaps if there’d been a process Rachel Dolezal could have done it and everyone would be satisfied.

        2. We should consider the possibility that maybe for some of them racial dysphoria is “real” at least in the same sense as gender dysphoria. Meaning it feels real to them, even if the genetic evidence and family background doesn’t support their belief.

          I have a rare disease called Bill Gates dysphoria. I am completely conviced that I am a multi-billionaire. Heck, I even wear funny glasses and cardigan sweaters.

          Odd thing is that no bank will believe me. Every time I go in one and try to withdraw a few million, they throw me out. Think I have an ADA claim?

      3. Look, it’s like how I keep reading on Breitbart that Trump’s 20K or so lies are really only a fraction of that because so many are the same lie he tells over and over hundreds of times. This is the same except it’s three or four fakes that people like Sam talk about hundreds of times each, making it hundreds of fakes. Get it?

        1. They’re only a fraction of that because, as I’ve documented before, statements that are literally true are being counted as “lies” if the fact checker happens to not like the implications.

          The WaPo literally has Trump promising to renegotiate NAFTA listed as a lie. That’s pretty shameless at this point.

          1. Brett, I’ll readily concede that some of the “lies” on WaPo’s list are attempts to fact check opinions. Fact checking sucks that way. Others, while indisputably false, could be innocent misstatements. Unlikely, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. And finally, a small handful more are just factually wrong.

            The problem is Brett, all told that comes up to only a small fraction of what’s listed. But because I’m feeling generous today, and maybe a little bit crazy, I’m going to cut the whole list in half! There. Now Trump only lied 10,000 times, not 20. But I’m still not done. Call right now and I’ll cut it half again. So pick up that phone mister, because this deal won’t last. For the first caller named Brett, I’m saying Donald Trump has only lied publicly 5,000 times since he’s been president! Woo-hoo!!!

            So? By any reasonable measure, that’s still many orders of magnitude more than the lies of any other president, maybe even than all of them combined. Am I supposed to be OK with that?

          2. Brett, without knowing which specific statements you’re referring to, any lawyer worth his salt can tell you that it is possible for a statement to be both literally true and thoroughly misleading.

            1. It is. But if you’re going to be “fact checking”, and claim to be objectively identifying “lies”, you should restrict yourself to asking whether or not something is literally true, and never mind if you like the implications. Or else call what you’re doing editorializing.

              Some Trump “lies” are just objectively true, but they don’t like what he’s implying. And it didn’t take me even a minute looking through their list to find at least one example of this. Tough noogies, people disagree about implications.

              Some Trump “lies” are opinions. Opinions don’t HAVE a truth value such that you can honestly label them lies. But that doesn’t stop the WaPo from padding their list with “fact checked” opinions.

              Sometimes he says he’s going to do something, that requires the cooperation of Congress, and then Congress doesn’t cooperate. Are predictions that don’t pan out because of somebody else’s decision “lies”? I don’t think so.

              But, that does leave a fairly large residue of statements that are objectively untrue.

              I would say that most of these fall into the category of “braggadocio”, and they piss the heck out of me. Half the time he’s bragging about something he says things that aren’t actually true.

              Now, braggadocio is more bullshitting than lying, but it’s still not honest.

              Then you get to actual “lies”. Yeah, I suppose he tells a few. I don’t think he tells a lot of consequential lies. Nothing so far on the scale of “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” But he’s not obsessively honest.

              Does this notably distinguish him from other politicians? I don’t think so. Rather, I think he’s been subject to an obsessive focus by people who are utterly unsympathetic, and resolve every case that’s even remotely questionable against him, and wouldn’t be doing the same to somebody else.

              That last is very critical. How many things have Obama, Biden, Hillary, said, that could have been held against them as lies, if they never got the benefit of the doubt? Imagine a media that, when Obama said he’d visited 57 states, called it a lie, instead of a misstatement, or trying to rationalize it.

              You can’t really tell if Trump is worse than them, because they were never under that spotlight.

              But I’d never say he’s obsessively honest, that’s for sure. The best I can say is that he genuinely thinks his policy positions should be popular, and so doesn’t see any need to lie about them.

              1. OK, the idea that they were “never under that spotlight” is completely ridiculous. Go back and look at the coverage Hillary got for most of 2016; it was pretty brutal. There have actually been statistical studies showing that she got treated worse than he did, probably because the media expected her to win anyway so were demonstrating that they could say “both sides” with a straight face. I remember one particularly infuriating interview in which Jake Tapper, in a prosecutorial tone, asked John Podesta, “Isn’t it true that it’s all Hillary Clinton’s fault that her emails have dominated the last month of the campaign?” Whatever you think of Hillary’s emails, that is not a question from someone being friendly to Democrats.

                And by the way, at the time Obama said you could keep your doctor, there was solid reason to think that would be true, even though it later proved not to be.

                And here’s the real problem with all of Trump’s lies: There are times when Americans need to be able to believe their president, and they can’t believe this one. Disagree with Obama’s policies all you like, but at bottom he was a decent human being. So is Biden. Trump just isn’t.

                1. There are times when Americans need to be able to believe their president

                  Like when a pandemic’s, he knows about it, and lies to the tune of tens of thousands of needless deaths?

                  But sure, Bengazi was totally comparable.

                  1. a pandemic’s coming

                2. “And by the way, at the time Obama said you could keep your doctor, there was solid reason to think that would be true, even though it later proved not to be.”

                  Oh, come on now. We have testimony from within the administration that they knew it was a lie when they said it. Even Politifact, no enemy of Democrats, ended up classing it as their lie of the year. Not “wrong in retrospect”, a lie.

                  Obama admin. knew millions could not keep their health insurance

                  It was a deliberately coordinated PR line, and they knew it was a lie.

                  Similarly, have you forgotten the Obama administration claiming an embassy was spontaneously attacked over a youtube video, when they clearly knew at the time it was a preplanned terrorist attack?

                  Or how about the time Obama stated that 90% of the guns in Mexico could be traced to stores in the US? No, it was 90% of the guns Mexico ASKED the US to trace.

                  You could easily have compiled a long list of lies by Obama, if you were so inclined, and set the bar as low as it has been set for Trump. Most of them much more consequential than Trump’s, because Obama was deliberately using lies to sell his policies, not just bragging.

                  1. Brett, I’ve repeatedly warned you not to post links that don’t support your claims, because I’m going to check your links.

                    According to YOUR LINK, Obama said in 2009 that people who wanted to keep their current health care plan would be able to do Then, in 2010 (which is after 2009), DHS re-wrote the regulations so that not everyone could keep their previous plan. So, at the time Obama said it, it was a true statement. The regulations were changed later.

                    Even if Obama had known for a fact that the regulations would change the next year, it was still true at the time that he said it. Which goes to being technically true but misleading. I don’t think he did know in 2009 that the regulations would change; I think he tried to keep things as they were but it proved impossible given th constraints of the bill that ultimately passed. But even if I’m wrong about that, it was true at the time that he said it.

                    1. You were doing motivated reading there.

                      Even assuming that the DHS’s regulations implementing the ACA came as a total shock to Obama, (A pretty dubious assumption, if you ask me.) if you’d just read a tiny bit further down, you’d have reached,

                      “Yet President Obama, who had promised in 2009, “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,” was still saying in 2012, “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.””

                      So even on its own terms your excuse for him fails.

              2. If I have time later on for a more detailed fisking, I’ll do it. But for now I’ll just say, some of the cognitive gymnastics you performed in conjuring, among other absurdities, that preposterous false equivalence between Trump and Obama/Hillary/Biden, were so arduous I think I may have pulled something reading them.

              3. because they were never under that spotlight.

                Bullshit. They were under a constant spotlight. Hillary Clinton’s press coverage, including that from the NYT, was extremely hostile.

                And are Trump’s lies consequential?

                How many fewer people would have died if he had been honest about what he knew about the coronavirus? How many fewer cases would he have if had just had the integrity (a joke, I know) to tell people that wearing masks, etc. was important?

                Trump’s lies are directly responsible for many thousands of American deaths. How many died because they had to switch insurance policies?

                Rationalize all you want, Brett. I know you’re good at it, but that’s true.

                1. This coronavirus lie thing is the dumbest thing on the planet.

                  People died because Trump didn’t push wearing a mask? How many people died because the CDC and WHO said they didn’t help?

                  1. In order to defend your guy, you have decided leading by example does not work.

                    1. Can you come up with a scenario where Trump “taking coronavirus” more seriously would have reduced deaths by 100,000?

                      And square that with these following realities:

                      1.) Trump brought up Corona on the SOTU, Pelosi tore up the speech on TV.

                      2.) Trump instituted a travel ban early. Democrats and Media railed him as racist.

                      3.) Trump touts HCQ. The Left goes batshit crazy and starts banning HCQ.

                      4.) Trump offhandedly mentions Healight, Big Tech censors and removes references to the actual product under guises that it’s COVID-19 misinformation. They go so far as to suspend the Twitter account of a publicly traded Biotech firm.

                      5.) Five Democrat governors send COVID patients to nursings, where a significant plurality of COVID deaths have occurred, but somehow are not to blame for any COVID deaths.

                      6.) Numerous Democrat public officials ignoring COVID and encouraging people to group into crowds.

                      Connect the dots and close the loop.

              4. claim to be objectively identifying “lies”

                WaPo doesn’t claim 20,000 “lies”, it claims 20,000 “false and misleading claims”.

                Nothing so far on the scale of “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

                5 times this year Trump has repeated the claim that Mexico is paying for the wall. The federal budget, and ultimately the taxpayers, are paying for the wall to the tune of billions of dollars. That is pretty consequential.
                93 times in the past two years Trump has repeated that his administration will protect people with pre-existing conditions, even as he attempts to repeal the ACA in its entirety. That is a real lie, not just braggadocio or an honest error. All that keeps it from being far more consequential than anything Obama said.is that he hasn’t delivered, so if you want to save him from becoming the Biggest Liar you should help vote him out of office.

                1. FYI:
                  Trump made an Executive Order requiring insurance companies to cover patients with pre-existing issues.

                  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-trump-idUSKCN25704T

                  1. With no authority to make the order, the insurance companies are required to cover pre-existing conditions only because of Obamacare.

      4. If it’s only 3 or 4, that just proves the accuracy of what a black guy once told me: “you people are dumb.” What he was saying was if you’re black you get to shoplift $950 a day without penalty, so what are you swarthier whites waiting for?

        1. if you’re black you get to shoplift $950 a day without penalty, so what are you swarthier whites waiting for?

          That’s the dumbest fucking comment in this thread, and that’s saying something.

    4. Every week it seems another white Leftists is confessing to not being black (or Indian).
      I also confess.

    5. Why are there so many white Leftists trying to get away being a black or Indian person for career advancement? … Surely they aren’t acting black to be oppressed by systemic racism?

      If you are proposing this as evidence that systemic racism doesn’t exist or is not as serious a problem as is being alleged, your fundamental error is that logical arguments are not being made for the existence of systemic racism, so logical arguments cannot disprove it. Nobody is pointing to actual widespread instances of racist acts in order do demonstrate systemic racism. Instead they are pointing to poverty and criminality and social pathology and announcing that the existence of these things proves that they were caused by systemic racism. The same cultural phenomena have been described by English psychiatrist and author Theodore Dalrymple among the lower-class white population in Great Britain but nobody attributes them to racism. Critical Race Theory does not deduce that racism is present in every aspect of life, every relationship, and every interaction. It assumes it. If you think that this is debatable then you clearly haven’t read White Fragility and How to Be an Antiracist.

    6. “Why are there so many white Leftists trying to get away being a black or Indian person for career advancement? Every week it seems another white Leftists is confessing to not being black (or Indian). Surely they aren’t acting black to be oppressed by systemic racism? Surely they are doing it to advance their careers quicker than a white person.”

      Why is this, so predictably, the first comment responding to Prof. Volokh’s establishment of an open thread?

      (Spoiler: It is related to the ease and frequency with which Prof. Volokh uses a vile racial slur. Lathering up the racists and other bigots is even more objectionable than the proprietor’s hypocritical, repeated,viewpoint-driven censorship.)

      1. It is related to the ease and frequency with which Prof. Volokh uses a vile racial slur.

        Could you list some of Prof. Volokh’s vile racial slurs that happen with such ease and frequency?

        1. It is a single (especially vile) racial slur, used repeatedly.

          I prefer not to repeat it. If it would provide jollies for you to see it again, just ask Prof. Volokh to use it — he doesn’t require much prompting. Or ask the UCLA law dean for the file on the institutional apology issued with respect to such usage.

          1. Oh, you mean reading aloud passages from court opinions that contain the n-word. Just curious, is it also a vile racial slur when used by Blacks, as can be heard constantly in Twitter videos of protests/riots?

            1. That’s part of it, but not all of it, but I don’t expect a conservative bigot to get bogged down in the details in this context.

              1. I don’t mind. Go ahead.

                1. Both Prof. Volokh and his commenters use that term repeatedly and beyond the context of ‘quotations from a court opinion’ — and have done so during the most recent week or so.

                  And, of course, you ‘don’t mind’ . . . because you (like many conservatives) are a vestigial bigot who delights in showing your betters that you are not going to bow to ‘political correctness’ that disinclines use of vile racial slurs.

                  1. And, of course, you ‘don’t mind’ . . . because you (like many conservatives) are a vestigial bigot

                    Now that was uncalled for. I simply asked what you were referring to by “Prof. Volokh’s vile racial slurs.” Why the ad hominem response? Was that in lieu of an answer to my question as to whether it is also a vile racial slur when used by Blacks, as can be heard constantly in Twitter videos of protests/riots? I’m trying to conduct a cordial dialog here. I sincerely am trying to understand why certain uses are characterized as a slur or an insult and you appear to know the answer but when I ask, you reply by calling me names. Perhaps you think that I really do know, but I do not.

                    I think it must be like systemic racism – its proponents insist that if it is not obvious to a person it must simply be believed as a matter of faith, much as how the Christian church exhorts followers to believe in the Trinity though they cannot comprehend such a concept, and to stop asking for rational explanations. But you needn’t insult me. I’ll stop asking without that. Furthermore it does seem somewhat odd for you to announce yourself as a liberal on a website frequented by many conservatives and libertarians, and then appear offended when you are asked to give reasons for the liberal position.

                    1. I have read your comments for years. I doubt your questions derive from inquiry in good faith. I also am confident you are quite familiar with “what you were referring to by ‘Prof. Volokh’s vile racial slurs.’ ” Your claim not to understand is silly.

                      If there is a libertarian other than Prof. Somin who frequents this website, could you point it out when it occurs?

                      Thank you.

                    2. I have read your comments for years. I doubt your questions derive from inquiry in good faith.

                      If you say X and I ask you to define X, I do not lack good faith just because the ultimate purpose of my question is to show that X is false or that you are not being consistent. If you say that Y is a slur and I ask whether a slur requires derogatory intent on the part of the speaker and/or a sense on the part of the hearer that he or his group has been insulted or disparaged, does this question lack good faith?

                      If there is a libertarian other than Prof. Somin who frequents this website, could you point it out when it occurs?

                      Brett Bellmore has described himself as a libertarian, if my memory serves me correctly. “Oh no he’s not” is not much of a reply unless you can explain why not.

                    3. By the standard of this site, I am a libertarian, too.

                      You’re not even trying.

      2. It is related to the ease and frequency with which Prof. Volokh uses a vile racial slur.

        You mean when he reports about a Chinese homonym used by a professor in a business school?

        Or when he reports on a professor quotes a famous letter of Dr. Martin Luther King?

        Or when a law professor reads out a reported case that involved use of that word?

        The word “uses” is a common English word, but you are abusing it in a misleading way. (Yes, as someone here said, something can be literally true but completely misleading.)

    7. What’s your beef with people who are more comfortable identifying with a different race?

      1. I am, quite frankly, shocked that the professor was fired for her racial identity. I, for one, will be thrilled when the bigoted clingers are forced to open wide and accept the fact that people can be any race they choose!

  2. Increasing civil war talk on here lately. Saw the same thing in 2012 and 2016, so I’m going to chalk it up to pre-election dramaz.

    But I did see some analysis of the sociology behind civil wars that intrigues me enough I bookmarked it for this thread, somewhat excerpted:
    https://twitter.com/RichardHanania/status/1303841233698054145

    I’ve seen a lot of talk about the US heading towards civil war. I think this view is wrong, and it’s wrong for interesting reasons, as the argument reveals fundamentally mistaken assumptions about the causes of political violence.

    Scholars of civil war have divided theories of its causes into two categories: grievance and opportunity. In the grievance model, civil war happens when people are mad enough at their government or fellow citizens to take up arms.

    In the opportunity model, violence is ubiquitous, and when government is weak, criminals, demagogues, etc. will always be there in order to tap into grievances, whether real or imagined.

    The models have different policy implications. The opportunity model puts a premium on “law and order” and fighting the threat of violence directly, while the grievance model leads to a “root causes” approach.

    The statistical literature is clear that the opportunity model is correct. Some things that predict civil war (opportunity): weak states, transition periods, mountain ranges and other geographical features that make establishing govt control difficult.

    Some things that tend not to, or weakly predict civil war: dictatorship, discrimination, violations of human rights, ethnic fractionalization. Fearon and Laitin is the classic work in this genre.

    Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler formulate the question as “greed versus grievance,” and find similar results. Disorder breeds opportunity, and natural resources increase the potential payoff of rebellion.

    Within civil wars you see the same pattern. Governments tend to hold cities, while rebels are more successful in the countryside. It’s not because city dwellers are inherently less hateful and more satisfied, it’s because violence emerges where the state is weak.
    The American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan provided a sort of experiment for testing these theories. The US removed brutal dictatorships in the belief that the people would be so grateful they’d welcome American troops, but increased opportunity for gangs, militias, etc.
    “Hearts and minds” counterinsurgency, pushed by Kilcullen, Petraeus, and others, was based on the grievance model, and America’s disastrous experience over the years in nation building have proven it wrong.

    GDP is correlated with civil war because poorer countries have less resources they can put towards establishing order. No country as rich as the US has ever faced a civil war. A rich govt will always work well enough to prevent it no matter how much we hate each other.
    CHAZ/CHOP showed how easily a “rebel movement” can be crushed with the most minimal govt effort. One or two shootings was enough for even the most liberal city to put its foot down, even though it shouldn’t have gone on for that long.

    In recent years, we’ve been getting better at controlling violence of all kinds in first world countries, including crime. Grievance theories of crime have likely reversed that trend recently, but that doesn’t mean we’re close to a civil war, or that it’s likely.
    The civil war literature has broader lessons we can apply to violent crime. The idea that police are the problem is dangerous, and has and will continue to lead to deaths. Civil war is a different matter. The state will tolerate crime, it won’t tolerate ideological rivals.

    I hope this discussion can lead us away from worrying about something that is very unlikely to happen, civil war, and towards worrying about crime, which is at absurdly high levels compared to other rich countries and likely getting worse.
    People are more likely to surrender their civil liberties when you call something a “national security threat” like white nationalism or Islamic terror. But street crime will kill many more Americans every year for the rest of our lives, and we are much more tolerant of it.

    1. “Within civil wars you see the same pattern. Governments tend to hold cities, while rebels are more successful in the countryside. It’s not because city dwellers are inherently less hateful and more satisfied, it’s because violence emerges where the state is weak.”

      This isn’t necessarily true. For example, the Russian Civil War had the Reds hold the major cities initially (Petrograd, Moscow), while the Whites held the outlying territories from the central core (Estonia, Siberia, etc).

      The “State” can be weak in the cities and the cities can serve as a base for the support for the uprising group. If Trump was to win the election, and the Blues didn’t support it, that is what would most likely happen.

      1. The rich and powerful atop the Democrats don’t want their money becoming worthless, and certainly don’t wanna lord over their own broken doen cities, and the wealthy at the top know their money is from selling to the whole country.

        In short, they want to sit atop that which exists, not screw with it over anger issues. Those issues are to control their lessers. They are not actually to use it to go further than winning an election.

        1. You’re not wrong to make a distinction between Democratic leadership versus those in the streets.

          Except the leadership isn’t leveraging anger to ‘control their lessers.’ Pelosi and Schumer would much rather that their voters be vastly more quiet and docile than they are. The party technocrats are getting pushed unwillingly to the left, and fighting every inch.

          1. But they don’t mind blaming the multiple failures of their policies and Democrat municipal leadership on Trump “being divisive”.

          2. Are they really “fighting” though?

            They could just…cut the far left loose. That would make sense.

        2. That assumes the “rich and powerful atop the Democrats” maintain control of the masses, and don’t lose that control to more extreme elements. They’re playing a dangerous game.

    2. While that guy makes alot of sense, he’s missing a key part. Ours isn’t some organic uprising that fits neatly into one of his two boxes. Ours is being engineered.

      This is the process being applied by the same engineers of many of the other color revolutions:

      https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/The-Democracy-Playbook_Preventing-and-Reversing-Democratic-Backsliding.pdf

    3. “The American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan provided a sort of experiment for testing these theories. The US removed brutal dictatorships in the belief that the people would be so grateful they’d welcome American troops, but increased opportunity for gangs, militias, etc.”

      I dunno. That’s true enough for Iraq, but Afghanistan didn’t really have a strong central government (including the Taliban). It has always been a patchwork of warlords.

      ““Hearts and minds” counterinsurgency, pushed by Kilcullen, Petraeus, and others, was based on the grievance model, and America’s disastrous experience over the years in nation building have proven it wrong.”

      I don’t get that either. You can end insurgencies by either winning hearts and minds, or genocide. I don’t think there is really any other way. And, even in Iraq, we ended the insurgency (to the extent it was ended) when the Sunni sheiks decided they’d rather be friends than enemies.

      1. Afghanistan didn’t really have a strong central government (including the Taliban). It has always been a patchwork of warlords.
        I’m no expert, but that sounds like a fair factual point to me.

        You can end insurgencies by either winning hearts and minds, or genocide. I don’t think there is really any other way
        1) The author seems to posit that putting into place strong and legitimate (i.e. noncorrupt) institutions is another way.

        2) Are there examples of ending insurgencies by winning hearts and minds? Even your sheikhs example seems to be about leveraging existing legitimate institutions, not hearts and minds.

        1. We may be defining ‘hearts and minds’ differently.

          “The author seems to posit that putting into place strong and legitimate (i.e. noncorrupt) institutions is another way”

          Sure. For example, if we could have grown an SVN government that was more appealing to people than the NVN one, then NVN wouldn’t have taken over SVN. But I call that ‘winning hearts and minds’.

          “Are there examples of ending insurgencies by winning hearts and minds?”

          Malaya is one classic example. And the Romans had a fair amount of success. But certainly, insurgencies are a tough row to hoe; by the time Mr & Mrs Middle Wherever are willing to risk all on a revolt you’re generally looking at fairly intractable differences.

          “Even your sheikhs example seems to be about leveraging existing legitimate institutions, not hearts and minds.”

          We’re using different definitions – I’d call it a classic hearts-n-minds, in that the sheiks initially thought rebelling against the now-Shia majority government was wise, and they ended up being convinced that participating in that government was preferable to continuing that insurgency.

          1. Seems most of our issue is semantic.

            Hearts and minds as I’m using it is about giving people less to be angry at the authorities about. i.e. less grievance under the grievance model.

            Versus robust institutions that whether you like them or hate them prevent opportunities for violence to become state-threatening.

            I thought of Rome myself. They kept local institutions intact, and thus stability was strong even as Rome was the overlord.

            1. The Romans had somewhat of an interesting carrot-n-stick approach. There is an excellent new annotated translation of Caesar’s ‘Gallic Wars’ out that I read a few months ago. One of the repeated patterns was that some tribe would revolt, Caesar marched over (and dang, those legionnaires could crank out the miles!), laid siege, and took the town. If you promised not to do it again he’d give very lenient terms. If the same town revolted again within the next couple of years, they got put to the sword, one and all.

              That was effective, at least for the tribe at hand. That contrasts with, say, Yugoslavia where the Nazis would go into a village and shoot a random couple of dozen people. That was counterproductive; it would lead to streams of new recruits showing up at the partisan camps.

              1. I wonder if the issue may be modernity. Do explosives and cell phones change the intractability of insurgencies?

                1. Interesting question, and I should offer the disclaimer that my knowledge of insurgencies is all from books.

                  The classic model, I think, is that the weaponry available doesn’t matter. The Peninsular War and Vietnam used pretty different hardware, but otherwise had a lot in common. What does matter is some kind of refuge for the insurgents (in Spain, just the general vastness of the landscape relative to the number of French troops available; in VN the jungle and Cambodia; in Afghanistan the border regions of Pakistan (and to some degree Iran)), a generally supportive population (you can’t just be a bunch of whackos like the SLA), etc.

                  But predicting the future is hard. Imagine what the Gestapo would have given for facial recognition, RealID, license plate scanners, a cashless society, etc.

                2. I don’t recall cell phones in WWII

    4. I think we’re headed towards something less like a civil war, with defined sides and battle lines, and more like the Irish “Troubles”, where an aggressive minority has enough support to maintain a high level of terrorism against key assets of the government and society, without actually having any hope of toppling it and taking its place. Ambush shootings of cops and politicians. Arson campaigns during dry seasons. I’m expecting electrical substations to be sabotaged next.

      The goal would be to just be so damned obnoxious that they eventually get their way on key issues just because it’s the only way for life to get back to something like normal. Normal life does require that only a vanishingly small fraction of the population is acting like that, even one person in a thousand would make this country an ugly place indeed.

      Doing this doesn’t require the resources or level of support a civil war does.

      And I don’t know how you fight something like that, while still remaining a free society. It’s pretty hard to harden EVERYTHING against random attack.

      1. You might fight it by getting rid of DA’s who practice “catch and release”; You can reduce the movement’s numbers by attrition, but not if a key link in the process of taking actors who’ve been caught has been effectively subverted, as today in many jurisdictions.

        1. Yes. Lancaster, PA, of all places, is the model of how to deal with it.

          1. Except they too just reduced 9 of 13 to like $10k.

  3. Any thoughts on what can be done about social media’s increasing censorship (and cancel culture)? It seems that they are big enough that they cannot (easily) be avoided, and they have a chilling effect on the increasing numbers of people who rely upon them for their livelihood.

    1. Political affiliation needs to become a federally protected class.

      That’s how you solve this problem.

      1. Sure. . .

        Would RINOs be protected?

        1. Yeah, under the label “Democrat”.

      2. You really think that expanding federal reach will help this? Can you imagine how widely viewpoint discrimination will be limited based on “political affiliation”?

        1. That doesn’t seem to be happening in the handful of areas where political affiliation is already protected.

          People don’t consciously choose to believe what they believe, they just do. They are a product of their experiences. Why should they be discriminated against because of that?

          1. Do you actually believe this, or is it just a product of your experiences?

            Would you say that banning discrimination based on gender has been properly circumscribed by the law?

            1. Why do you think I’m being insincere?

              1. You wrote, and I quote, “People don’t consciously choose to believe what they believe, they just do. “

                1. Why do you think that’s insincere?

                  Do you think someone wakes up and says “I’m going to believe X today because I choose to!”

    2. Part of a solution could include a mandate that social media companies have to provide a well designed transparency report. It would include very detailed statistics about who they banned/moderated and for what reason. I’m not really a fan of actively dictating how companies behave but I think they should give a clear reason and be transparent about what they’re doing and theres plenty of precedent. The best part is its hard for libs to come up with an objection for this sort of thing although I’m sure they’re working on it.

      1. It’s also not got going to be very effective … look at all of our privacy disclosures and their lack of effect on privacy leaks.

      2. ” Part of a solution could include a mandate that social media companies have to provide a well designed transparency report. It would include very detailed statistics about who they banned/moderated and for what reason. ”

        Are you volunteering to help Prof. Volokh prepare his explanation of the ‘civility standards’ he claims to enforce at this blog, and of the viewpoint-driven censorship — including partisan banishment — he repeatedly imposes here?

        Or are you suggesting Prof. Volokh should volunteer to explain his banning/moderation record?

        Or is this just more hollow conservative whining?

      3. I don’t necessarily disagree with this approach, but I think it will be hard to get the details right. No one is going to come out and say “we censored this many posts because they were too conservative”, regardless of whether you believe, like me, that they’re not doing it at all, or like you, that they’re doing it out of animus. So then you’re left to peer at a categorization like “hate speech” and try to assert that it’s unfairly picking on one side or the other of the political spectrum.

        Here’s maybe another idea: require platforms to publish their take-down policies, and have some sort of loser pays scheme that allows for people to sue if they think their content has been taken down in violation.

        1. Here’s maybe another idea . . . conservatives should quit whining about losing the culture war and being relegated to our society’s fringe.

          1. Seriously. They really should quit whining.

            Conservatives up in arms about businesses operating the way they damn well please in terms of who they serve? When they hate Title VII and Bostock is the end of civilization because an employer couldn’t arbitrarily fire someone for non-job related reasons, but take down a tweet and suddenly that’s a bridge too far for conservatives? Players kneeling to raise awareness should get fired, according to these freaks, and they wish flag-burners could be sent to jail. But a private entity taking down a tweet is too much freedom for them? Give me a break.

            For those brain-dead conservatives, they should just openly endorse Barr claiming that state shutdowns/stay-at-home mandates were worse civil rights violations than anything since slavery including Jim Crow, poll taxes, literacy tests, Emmitt Till-type and Tulsa-type terrorism against American black people, Japanese internment, continued genocide of Native Americans post-1865 (including, just as one example, federal troops killing roughly 200 women, children, and the elderly in the Marias Massacre), segregation in the U.S. military (until 1948), re-segregation of federal employment by Woodrow Wilson, Woodrow Wilson’s free speech prosecutions, etc., etc., etc.

            Barr knows better, but just decided for whatever reason to make an odious statement to appease fringe right wingers. “Yes, you are victims kind of like slaves.” Just disgusting.

    3. AtR, read the comments your question spawned. Without exception, they amount to calls for government regulation of speech, or disputes over the fine points of how that should be managed. In short, every solution being proposed would be disastrous for press freedom.

      Once again (I keep trying), Congress created the social media problem when they passed Section 230. That enabled an internet business model based on competition for monopoly control of particular platform algorithms, of which few have been successful. The result has been a publishing ecosystem dominated by a few privately owned platforms. The dilemma has been how to keep would-be monopolists from screwing up freedom of the press because they control those few.

      The solution is to get rid of Section 230. That would restore the publishing ecosystem to the diverse and fragmented condition which prevailed between the time of the founding and the passage of Section 230. Of course, that system was dominated by private censorship—by myriad publishers making private decisions about what they preferred to publish. It’s virtue was that there were so many of them, and publications were so easy to get started, that there was entire diversity of opinion within the system taken as a whole.

      That is the best you can hope for. It would be far better to have that back, and making full use of the cost efficiencies the internet enables, than to try to fix a monopolized private publishing system by using government controls.

      1. “Once again (I keep trying), Congress created the social media problem when they passed Section 230. That enabled an internet business model based on competition for monopoly control of particular platform algorithms, of which few have been successful. The result has been a publishing ecosystem dominated by a few privately owned platforms. The dilemma has been how to keep would-be monopolists from screwing up freedom of the press because they control those few.”

        This makes no sense. The Reason or Breitbart comment sections get the same immunity under 230 as Facebook does. The reason why Facebook is more popular is because a lot of users prefer to spend more time there for whatever reason. A world without Section 230 immunity is roughly a world without user generated content. That would indeed be very bad for Facebook, but it doesn’t actually add any publishers, it just means only professionals can have an opinion at all.

        1. jb, like most internet users without publishing experience, you apparently suppose the monopoly referred to is monopoly of readership. It is not. It is monopolization of advertising sales.

          Section 230, by licensing publishing without editing, created the current business model: scooping up all the content for free, and publishing it without reading it, to offer would-be advertisers gigantic audiences. Those have been monitized by advertising, and
          further monetized by surveillance of users’ internet activity.

          That change enabled unlimited growth, to the point where meaningful news publishing in the U.S. is now narrowed to an unprecedented few providers, among whom the national advertising budget is going overwhelmingly to internet newcomers. That is not because of a superior business model. Were both classes of publishers operating under the old rules, the legacy publishers would at least compete effectively, and possibly triumph. Defenders of monopoly internet platforms, among whom you seem to number yourself, seem to understand that, complaining to critics that without Section 230 today’s internet would be impossible. I concede that in part, and dispute that in part, but ask also that defenders of the new status quo consider carefully whether it is a good thing.

          That you have not done. You apparently have no answer to the critique that the only way to prevent monopolistic abuse of consolidated publishing power is government regulation of publishing content. That was the subject of my original comment, and you said not a word about it.

          In short, proposed correctives you defend, and seem to want, have not been shown by anyone to be possible without modification of the 1A. Please try to answer that objection. If you can’t do it, then consider instead whether it is even possible to cherish at the same time both press freedom and the internet business model created by Section 230.

          1. Honestly, that is a big mishmash of words that mostly make no sense.

            Section 230 has nothing to do with advertising sales. There’s been massive consolidation of the online advertising market, but if you got rid of Section 230 immunity tomorrow, that wouldn’t change, or would possibly get worse in that it would possibly give more power to Google at the expense of Facebook.

            The reason that a lot of traditional publishers have had to go out of business or scale back operations is because their offline advertising models fell apart and they haven’t been able to make enough online revenue to make up for it. Craigslist eviscerated their classifieds revenue, but now there’s plenty of services like Angie’s List or Indeed that are happy to fill the gap and all of these businesses would be fine without Section 230 immunity because the ratio of revenue to user-generated content is quite high.

            But far from reducing the number of publishers, both Section 230 and the Internet in general have vastly increased the number of publishers. Despite all the whining from the right about monopolies, anyone can set up their own web site with your own servers and your own content in a matter of hours and with less start-up cost than even buying the ink-jet printer and paper that would be required for the most basic offline publishing. Now, can you get people to visit this website for free? No, but that’s no different than setting up a shop in the middle of nowhere, or creating a newspaper with no plan for distribution. So you’ll have to do some work to get attention, but welcome to capitalism!

            In fact, the experience of Europe demonstrates that the Internet platforms are net positives to news publishers online. Look at the experiences of Spain or Germany where the government tried to intervene in the market between the platforms and the publishers. In the case of Germany, the publishers quickly decided that they were much happier with the traffic coming from Google and Facebook than they were having more control over how their content was distributed, and in the case of Spain they’ve just taken a huge hit in revenue since Google News shutdown with nothing stepping in to replace the function and the overall result being a reduction in news consumption, concentrated mostly on the smaller publishers that you seem concerned about: https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/01/google-is-threatening-to-kill-google-news-in-europe-if-the-eu-goes-ahead-with-its-snippet-tax/

            So basically: the first amendment is fine and working well, the Internet is fine and working well, Section 230 is fine and working well and has nothing to do with advertising, and news publishers are still struggling to deal with a change in their core revenue stream (just like department stores and book stores and stock brokers).

            1. jb, still not a word from you about why all the people commenting about the systems you say are working fine are instead attacking those systems with demands for government censorship at the expense of press freedom. Do you even see that is happening, or do you think all these schemes to use regulation of private publishers are just justice, or what?

              What do you propose to do if Facebook decides overtly to take sides politically, and censor all user content its owner disagrees with? The 1A says he gets to do that. Section 230 has made 1A reliance which privileges private publishers intolerable to many, as you can see by reading comments here. What is your solution?

              Please do not reply by denying the hypothetical, or suggesting it is a problem the free market will solve. Facebook and a very few others dominate the free market in publishing. As long as their Section 230 enabled business model is in place, that dominance will continue. In the unlikely event a successful would-be competitor survived and thrived, it would add precisely one more player to the picture, with its content subject alike to that new player’s whims. That would still not deliver either diversity of opinion, nor freedom of the press when viewed from the perspective of Joe Keyboard, and only by happenstance would it do so for you either. You, and everyone else commenting in a similar vein, might suppose the new competitor would solve the problem, by offering an alternative. Consider, do you suppose all the others who object to Facebook’s dominance agree with you, point for point? You all, and the nation as a whole, need far more diversity in publishing than any Section 230 dependent publishing model can deliver.

              Also, about advertising and publishing, you seem clueless. That is why sensible things I said make no sense to you. Section 230 has everything to do with advertising sales, because it changed utterly the economics of publishing, changed for the better for online publications, and changed disastrously for the others. And the economics of publishing have always been about advertising.

              The role of advertising sales in publishing is to defray the cost of attracting an audience, and then to provide a profit. If a law radically lowers the cost of attracting an audience for one set of competitors (online publishers), while keeping that cost as it was for the others (legacy publishers), then the disparity does what it does to advertising sales—to the detriment of the legacy publishers. Every one of your supposed counter-examples is based on taking advantage of the Section 230 privilege to shed the cost of publishing liability, and use the resulting cost-free audience to attract advertising.

              Because a cost-free audience can grow without economic limit, monopoly follows. From that tactic, the nation gets no news gathering, no publishing competition based on content quality, no concern about scams, no check on political frauds, no resistance to foreign election meddling, nor anything else which you can only have if you read what you intend to publish before actually putting it out there. Because Section 230 actually rewards publishers for reading nothing.

              What the pre-Section 230 publishing regime enabled was a competitive arena where all the participants were subject to the same costs, which included a necessity to read everything before publishing. That in turn encouraged competition on the basis of content quality. That competition in turn delivered publishing diversity.

              It was a process based on editing. Because editing costs increased at the margins (margins determined by limits on available advertising), unlimited growth was never possible, and diversity and abundance of publishing organizations followed from that. At the margins, differently situated publications could more efficiently exploit different markets for advertising. More than any other factor, that diversity and abundance is what protected freedom of opinion in the pre-Section 230 publishing world.

              You could aptly have titled Section 230 the Anti-editing Law. What Section 230 enabled is a way to attract unlimited advertisers, while, as a practical matter, suppressing use of content quality to attract an audience. That has of course siphoned the revenue which previously supported both news gathering and content quality—and which also supported broad diversity of opinion throughout the publishing ecosystem. All that is gone because of Section 230. You cannot at the same time argue that Section 230 is indispensable to the internet publishing system, but not at all responsible for the collapse of content-related methods for attracting an audience in the legacy publishing system. They are two sides of the same phenomenon.

    4. We need to return to the old, decentralized model of the internet, where each computer is an equal, trading data back and forth between each other, without centralized servers to serve as strategic choke points where censorship can be imposed.

      It’s the nature of the left to seek out and abuse choke points. The only way to avoid it is to avoid creating them.

      The challenge is that the monetization is actually reliant on the abuses. A FaceBook that was controlled by the users wouldn’t be a very profitable FaceBook.

      I suspect that in either this election or the next, the degree of political censorship the social media platforms impose will become so insane that it will prompt some movement to create alternatives. Then the incumbent providers have to be prevented from strangling them in their cradle.

      1. “We need to return to the old, decentralized model of the internet, where each computer is an equal, trading data back and forth between each other, without centralized servers to serve as strategic choke points where censorship can be imposed.”

        The Internet never worked this way. (From a technical point of view it did, in that any network can talk to any other network, but that’s roughly true today as well.) There’s always been central directories and more popular platforms. It just turns out that back when the Internet was a few tens or hundreds of thousands of users, no one really cared what the most popular gopher site or BBS was because it was a minute fraction of the overall exchange of information.

        The Internet didn’t start working a different way, it just got a lot more popular.

    5. I’ve easily avoided social media. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, Google only for email. Life is fine.

      1. I’ve easily avoided social media.

        You do realize that comment sections like this are a form of social media, right?

        1. And this comment section is a great example of the benefits of Section 230 immunity. It wouldn’t exist if Reason or Professor Volokh had to worry about getting sued for all of the dumb things people say on here.

    6. How about forcing them to act like telephone carriers? They don’t monitor what I say on the phone, censor it, and ban me if my phone calls are “thought crimes” in Verizon’s opinion. Why can’t social media be forced to treat online communication the same way? Illegal speech can still be punished while all legal speech would be allowed. Given online communication’s speed and ability to spread, it may make sense to create rapid ways to report and delete illegal speech but false reports should come with fines to prevent things like false flagging and attempts to get political opponents’ accounts banned using mass reporting.

      1. Cannon, you are proposing government regulation of publishing content. You must modify the 1A to accomplish that.

        You also do not understand the role of advertising sales in underpinning publishing freedom—which is a big part of why your telephone analogy does not apply.

        1. They wouldn’t be publishing anything. Publishers edit content and distribute it to customers. Social media would merely be acting as a online public square. They wouldn’t edit, censor, or ban any legal speech. I am aware of advertising revenue and Google’s power in that area. If all ads had to run next to all speech advertising would adapt. They have no real alternative.

      2. There’s a huge difference between point-to-point communications on the phone and content that is consumed by thousands or millions of others.

        I’m sure if you could use Verizon to broadcast a message to everyone in the US, they’d have a lot of rules for how you were allowed to use that capability.

        1. They have tools that allow people to screen what they see online already. You can have private accounts, pick who to follow, which story to click on, block annoying users, and report those breaking the rules. Most of those tools fit my scenario well. Also if everyone is broadcasting 24/7 then most voices are not heard and of limited risk. The ones that are watched by many get attention allowing good speech to combat any bad speech. If the broadcast goes over the line into illegal speech I’m sure the sanctions will be rapid.

  4. President Trump has made some historic progress on Peace in the Middle East, as well as between Serbia and Kosova.

    In addition, he’s the first US president in decades not to start a new war (Or whatever euphemism we’re calling it these days).

    Is he deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize for these accomplishments?

    1. Give the prize to Jared Kushner, Trump’s reaction to that would be very entertaining.

    2. Facilitating foreign peace (or at least stability) while actively formenting domestic unrest doesn’t really make him a good candidate.

      1. How is he fomenting domestic unrest? Those aren’t Trump voters out there burning, looting, and murdering cops in Trump cities.

        1. But he hasn’t resigned from office and hung himself from the nearest lamp post! He’s provoking it, can’t you see that?

      2. Formenting isn’t a word, and fomenting isn’t what he’s doing.

      3. while actively formenting domestic unrest

        Are you even capable of experiencing embarrassment?

    3. Since Trumps predecessor in office got the Nobel Peace Prize for doing, basically, nothing, I would say Trump is at least as deserving.

  5. Parks and Recreation is a good show, y’all.

    1. Best Sarcastr0 post in months.

      Or is it old school Sarcastr0 sarcasm? But, then what’s the sarcasm? That Parks and Rec is only a good show (because it’s really an awesome show), or that Parks and Rec is not really a good show at all?

      1. I’m just getting to it. Took a few seasons to find it’s footing/make me invested in the characters, but now I’m in season 6.

        I’m all about the less funny/antic episodes all about heartfelt gifts and wise statements and people going out of their way to perform heartfelt gestures.

        Media that’s aspirational about human nature. Hard to find these days. Probably something sociological one could say about that.

        I may start following shows by that casting director – no one seems to be actually needing to act, they’re so well-fitted for their characters.

        1. “I know two things about white people: they love Rachael Ray, and they are terrified of curses.”

          Between 30 Rock and P&R, I think 30 Rock is superior, but P&R is still excellent. They both have an interesting parallel in their construction — the main characters (Liz and Leslie) are likeable, but far from perfect.

          1. See, I feel like high joke-density cynical shows are great, but much more common than what P&R offers.

            1. I think you’ve been drinking too much Snake Juice. 😉

              I don’t find 30 Rock particularly cynical. Liz and Jack are both, deep down, decent people, and their relationship is very similar to the one between Leslie and Ron.

              In any event, neither is quite as good as the first 3 seasons of Arrested Development. That one, I’ll grant you, is pretty cynical, though.

        2. The scene where the Patton Oswalt character filibusters the public meeting by talking about Star Wars is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.

  6. Online university is much easier than normal university. It is also considerably more boring. This is true of my online job, my online meetups, online career fair … online everything sucks.

    If dealing with my family is online, that would be great, but no, that has to be in person. 24/7. I am about to lose my mind.

    1. I thought you were going to have a link on how to make buckets of cash doing it and bought an Alfa Romero recently.

  7. Wtf is this trash?

    “The Information School (iSchool) of the University of Washington seeks an Assistant or Associate Teaching Professor (non tenure-track) in the field of Data Science and Social Justice. We encourage applicants from all disciplines including computing, information, statistics, social and behavioral sciences, and race and social justice.”

    “The successful applicant will teach technical courses in areas such as databases and data modeling, data and business analytics, data/information visualization, or machine learning. Through their teaching, they will demonstrate to students the ways in which data science can be used to exclude, marginalize, privilege, and even harm people, groups, and societies ”

    Is this some new mental illness? What’s wrong with these people?

    1. What is wrong with studying this?

      A simple example should suffice to demonstrate. What if a machine learning model finds that it is useful to make decisions-based on zip code, a seemingly neutral criteria. But, what if it turns out that there is a relationship between zip code and race? Is it fair to turn down an otherwise qualified applicant for credit because they live in the wrong zip code? If using zip code is the profit-maximizing decision for a company, does it nonetheless have an obligation to avoid making decisions on such an arbitrary basis, when doing so might reinforce and create stigma in certain geographic areas?

      Data science is about aggregating data and making generalizations based on it. But what data science tends to find are correlations. It takes human judgment to determine causation. And the issue of whether and when it is fair to make decisions impacting individuals based on generalizations is very controversial.

      This is not a left or right issue.

      Example 1:
      Should universities have affirmative action, based on the generalization that minorities are more likely to experience discrimination in society?

      On average, those on the left are more likely to think we should make decisions with these individual consequences based on this generalization.

      Example 2:
      Should peaceful protesters have their First Amendment rights curtailed, at least to some degree, due to the violence of some people in a crowd, as when all are ordered to disperse based on the subjective judgment of a government official?

      On average, those on the right are more likely to think we should make decisions with these individual consequences based on this generalization.

      These are important issues. Deserving of some careful thought.

      1. Those sure sound like compelling hypotheticals, but the problem I see is what you are describing is not teaching Computer Science. Teaching Computer Science is teaching someone how to model data, or how to choose a particular machine learning model. There are ethics in Computer Science, and they are taught. But,

        “Through their teaching, they will demonstrate to students the ways in which data science can be used to exclude, marginalize, privilege, and even harm people, groups, and societies”

        This far exceeds even the ABET student outcome regarding ethical responsibilities and strikes me as more ideological and normative. It’s accepting the premise of Critical Race Theory and inculcating the ideology by embedding it throughout the curriculum.

        1. There is room in a school for both foundational courses and higher-level application-specific courses.

          1. Really? Wow, I didn’t know that.

            Thanks Sarcastro!

            1. Teaching Computer Science is teaching someone how to model data, or how to choose a particular machine learning model.

              1. You said this:

                “There is room in a school for both foundational courses and higher-level application-specific courses.”

                The job posting said this:

                “Through their teaching, they will demonstrate to students the ways in which data science can be used to exclude, marginalize, privilege, and even harm people, groups, and societies”

                Do you understand that “through their teaching” isn’t “higher level application-specific courses”?

                Let me also explain another way since you seem to be struggling with this:

                That isn’t saying teach a course on the topic. Like your comment suggests.

                1. Do you understand that “through their teaching” isn’t “higher level application-specific courses”?

                  I don’t understand that no. Where are you getting that fact from? Through their teaching seems to imply coursework, but not where that coursework fits into the larger academic plan.

                  In other words, you’re reading a bunch of stuff into this because you’re looking for a fight.

                  1. You clearly don’t know anything about this.

                    Or you’re just playing your role as Gaslightro with his head up his ass.

                    1. I know what I read from the story you linked.

                      Is there some additional information beyond that you’re relying on?

                    2. I posted excerpts from a job posting and didn’t post a link to the job posting.

                      It wasn’t a story, nor did I link to it.

                      You are an outright liar.

                    3. Nice pedantry. There was no link.

                      Now, your 10:53 post argued I knew nothing, and so my arguments were not valid.
                      Is there something you know beyond the job posting we both saw, or are you just stamping your foot?

                    4. Why did you lie and say you read the story I linked when it wasn’t a story, nor was there a link?

                    5. I didn’t lie, I was mistaken.

                      It’s also not material to what either of us are saying.

                    6. Sure it matters, you’ve created all sorts of context from some article you said you read from my link.

                      How the hell am I supposed to answer questions about some imaginary context that only exists in your head?

                      The text of the job post is plain as day, but this imaginary story has given you a different take on it that I’m somehow supposed to combat.

                    7. Why did you lie and say you read the story I linked when it wasn’t a story, nor was there a link?

                      That’s like asking the scorpion why it stings.

                      Remember that you’re arguing with someone who claimed that he knows that those complaining about the sexualization of little girls in Cuties are wrong because he “read the synopsis”.

                    8. Sam,

                      You seem to have determined that this course should solely be about teaching the technical aspects of computer science and not including an ethical/practical component. Sarcastro very reasonably asked whether you have some additional information beyond this job posting that warrants your assumption. Or are you just stating by your own presumed fiat that this job should entail X and it is atrocious that the school is posting it as X + Y, even though you have acknowledged that a course teaching Y would be just fine.

                      Your argument is shit.

                      Also, as a side note on your personal insults: Sarcastro said “story” instead of “job posting” and said “linked” instead of “quoted.” Not exactly a lie, given I see no evidence he was trying to mislead the only other participant in the thread at the time: you. And given the post to which he was referring was like, right above his own, it would be stupid as a lie because what idiot would be fooled? He immediately affirmed he misspoke when you brought it up. Hardly the stuff of liars. But, when faced with the choice between attributing an innocent, if careless, mistake (on a comment board?!?) and a conspiracy to create a false history via an incredibly dumb and transparent lie, you go with the conspiracy. That says everything. About you, Sam.

                    9. Sarcastro said “story” instead of “job posting” and said “linked” instead of “quoted.”

                      And yet his own defense was not that he misspoke or used inaccurate language, but that he was “mistaken”. But you’re here to correct the record as though you know better than he what he said/meant to say?

                      I would have thought that his long and consistent record of pathological dishonesty here would give any sane individual pause before rushing to manufacture such a defense on his behalf.

                  2. After Sam accused Sarcastro of being an “outright liar” for his mistake, Sarcastro said this:

                    Nice pedantry. There was no link.

                    Now, your 10:53 post argued I knew nothing, and so my arguments were not valid.
                    Is there something you know beyond the job posting we both saw, or are you just stamping your foot?

                    His next reply was just “I didn’t lie, I was mistaken.”

                    Misspoke, mistaken. Does it make a material difference? I wasn’t trying to change the thrust of Sarcastro’s admission of error, but simply to make the point that he immediately noted it and said it was an honest error. I made the further point, that it would be an incredibly stupid “lie” as there is no indication he was trying to deceive Sam into thinking Sam had linked to an article which requires that you, Sarcastro, and I assume Sam is a blithering idiot. While I acknowledge Sam has provided some evidence supporting that theory, including by ranting about Sarcastro being such a liar here, I think the better evidence is that Sam is a reasonably intelligent (if unnecessarily and counterproductively belligerent) individual who could remember whether he linked to an article a few posts upthread.

                    For implying Sam is an idiot, you should probably apologize to him. Notwithstanding this entire thread, it seems unwarranted to go that far.

                    1. This was a reply to Wuz, I am off one level. Also, elsewhere in this thread, Sam made a much more egregious mistake (by misrepresenting an article to which he did link), similarly immediately admitted he made a mistake and no one, least of all you, Wuz, went jumping on him calling him an outright liar. We are posting on a thread, we make mistakes. If the very next post after it being pointed out is a mea culpa, then hard to sustain a lying narrative (especially when the error was in describing a prior post two comments up available for all to view).

                  1. Why are you saying the job posting was about a single course?

                    I literally included in my quote where they literally said they will teach technical courses and through their teaching indoctrinate children in this racist ideology.

                    1. Sam, there is nothing racist in insisting on intellectually honest graphical presentations of data. There is quite a bit of racism expressed through graphically flawed data presentations.

                      Taking just the graphical piece of it, you can get an utterly unindoctrinated take on graphic presentations by reading Tufte. I thought everybody already knew about Tufte. Maybe not.

                    2. Why are you saying that I said that it was about a single course? But, for anyone dim enough to infer that, just insert “courses” where you think it appropriate.

                    3. You literally said “teach a course”, singular.

                      Jesus Christ. Are you a Sacastro sock puppet? You are as dishonest as he is.

                    4. What differences does it make that they plan more than one course? The point remains, it’s not a bad ide and it’s not indicative of “mental illness.”

                      “I literally included in my quote where they literally said they will teach technical courses and through their teaching indoctrinate children in this racist ideology.”

                      That looks like a lie to me. Where do they “literally ” say that they will “indoctrinate children in this racist ideology.” And where do you “literally” include that which they did not say?

                      Perhaps you are not actually a liar, perhaps you are just a gormless twit who does not know the meaning of the word “literally.”

                    5. Why are you asking me to reproduce a quote you and I have already provided?

                      Wait this is the guy who said I was dim for thinking “teach a course” meant teaching a single course.

                      Jesus.

                  2. The problem is “social justice” is an oxymoron. There’s no such thing, there’s only “individual” justice.

                    Once you decide to pursue “social justice”, justice has left the building.

                    1. You appear to be arguing that there are no systemic issues, and there are no systemic solutions.

                      If all is done on an individual basis, we live in a state of nature.

                    2. You can’t create a just society if you don’t do justice to individuals. And if you do justice to individuals, a just society takes care of itself.

                      The problem with “social justice” is that it doesn’t treat people as individuals, it treats them as just instances of their assigned groups, and tries for “justice” between the groups.

                      But that’s like trying to paint a picture of a just society where you don’t care if your individual pixels consist of injustices.

                    3. Failing to recognize that there are some issues that do not arise on an individual basis gets you separate but equal and similar situations where you miss the forest for the trees.

                      Social justice does not elide individual justice, is supplements it.

                    4. Brett,

                      You said: The problem with “social justice” is that it doesn’t treat people as individuals, it treats them as just instances of their assigned groups, and tries for “justice” between the groups.

                      So you are against racial profiling in policing and NYC’s stop and frisk? Good for you.

          2. This seems read like teaching people to cherry pick data and methods to reach the desired result. The really hard thing is to develop methods to discover true insight.

        2. The position is in the school of Information Science, not Computer Science. Yes, information management today heavily uses computers, and students take some CS courses, but the roots of the Informatics discipline are in what used to be called Library Studies.

        3. and they’re not asking for CS expertise. for a CS teaching position.

    2. If you don’t like the methods they end up using to reach their conclusions, then you can make an argument.

      But getting furious at the mere study make it look like you are afraid that any facts they uncover won’t don’t care about your feelings.

      1. What are you talking about?

        1. You seem to be really angry at the study and teaching of statistical methods to understand ‘the ways in which data science can be used to exclude, marginalize, privilege, and even harm people, groups, and societies.’

          Just because you don’t like thinking about it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth studying.

          1. I don’t think you can read. Or you’re being typically dishonest. The job posting wasn’t ” teaching of statistical methods to understand ‘the ways in which data science can be used to exclude, marginalize, privilege, and even harm people, groups, and societies.’”

            1. You think ‘Data Science and Social Justice’ doesn’t include data science?

              1. When you said you had read the article I linked, what article did you read?

                1. I was mistaken.
                  It is also doesn’t really effect anything we’re discussing.

                  So, now that the pedantry has been disposed of, is your current thesis that ‘Data Science and Social Justice’ doesn’t include data science?

                  1. This imaginary article of yours is critical to understanding this imaginary context that you are arguing from.

                    1. I didn’t imagine an article. I thought you had posted a link instead of an excerpt.

                      You done now?

                    2. So you lied about it.

                    3. As I said above, multiple times, I made an error; it is not a lie.

                      You weirdo.

                    4. “I know what I read from the story you linked.

                      Is there some additional information beyond that you’re relying on?”

                      What was the error you made here?

                    5. I read the story you posted, not the story you linked.

                      OK, I’m done with your pedantic nonsense.

                    6. In other words, you are so dishonest you can’t admit you lied about reading some article.

                      Got it.

                    7. I didn’t imagine an article. I thought you had posted a link instead of an excerpt.

                      So you just misremembered whether you simply read the 2 brief paragraphs in his post, or clicked a link and followed it to an entire article and read it?

                      One would think that as much as you lie you’d be a little better at it by now.

                    8. Sam and Wuz,

                      Sarcastro made an error and immediately admitted the mistake when it was pointed out, yet you two are eager to call him a liar. I am not sure what you think he would have been trying to accomplish by “lying” about reading a “story” and who he was trying to fool? He was replying to the author of the post who immediately noticed, as one would expect, that he didn’t link a story. Using context clues, most people would understand what Sarcastro was referencing, but, if they didn’t, they would say somewhat politely, “is there an article you are referring to other than my quote of a job posting?” Instead, Sam goes off on a liar rant. Is he so imbecilic that he is afraid he might be mislead about what he posted just minutes ago? Or is he so intellectually dishonest that he has to spend the rest of the thread calling Sarcastro a liar because Sam actually has no decent substantive point and is afraid that an actual, substantive argument won’t go well for him? I am betting the latter, though the imbecility point seems stronger and stronger all the time.

                    9. I am not sure what you think he would have been trying to accomplish by “lying” about reading a “story” and who he was trying to fool?

                      You’ve been around here long enough to know that’s his favorite rhetorical tactic. So the real question is what you think you’re accomplishing by trying to cover for a notorious pathological liar? It’s especially puzzling because you’ve taken two completely different positions on what it is that he did. Here you’re taking him at his word that he simply made a “mistake”…like it’s common to not remember from one minute to the next whether you just read two brief paragraphs, or you clicked a link, navigated to a different website and read a whole “story”. But in another response you pick out some individual words from his comment in an attempt to claim that he was really just using imprecise language. So…which is it?

                    10. Wuz,

                      What I see is Sarcastro trying to engage on substance and Sam just accusing him of lying over and over. The pathological one would be Sam.

                      Again, what on earth would Sarcastro accomplish by lying to Sam about Sam’s own post roughly two comments upthread? Context clues, as an elementary school student knows, are appropriate here. Sarcastro appears to me, quite plainly, to be asking if there is anything beyond the posted quote that justified Sam’s various inferences. It is clear there isn’t and Sam’s inferences verge on the paranoid. Sam didn’t want to acknowledge that, so went full in on liar, liar pants on fire.

                      Again, as soon as Sam pointed out the inaccuracy of Sarcastro’s comment, he acknowledged it and tried to make his initial point without the error. That is not the stuff of a pathological liar. But I suspect you know that and just want to avoid Sarcastro’s legitimate substantive point and otherwise discredit all of his comments by using this as an exhibit in the “Sarcastro is a pathological liar” narrative. Good luck with that.

    3. The department is apparently “Data Science and Social Justice.” If “data science” teaches the nuts and bolts of how to program then adding social justice seems incoherent. On the other hand if “data science” teaches how to use existing programs from an end-user or policy maker perspective, with the pursuit of social justice being an important ingredient of proper policy, then it makes sense.

      1. It’s closer to the former than it is the latter.

        It’s not Applied Data Science for Activists.

  8. I don’t mean to poison the discussion. But we need more cowbell.

    https://youtu.be/cVsQLlk-T0s

  9. The removal of statues (on which I hold a middle position) is often decried as ‘Erasing History’ (or at least trying to). I think this fear is overblown. Looking back at the Romans there were many attempts at Damnatio Memoriae of many unpopular figures, including the likes of Mark Antony, Caligula, Geta, Nero, Elagabalus, etc.

    Under Rome, these were concerted efforts executed as official imperial policy that harnessed the entire resources of a society. Yet the aforementioned ‘gentlemen’ remain quite well known here some 1900 years later.

    Today there is Wikipedia and all manner of fringe websites and publishers from all manner of different ideologies. Even disfavored ideas like denial of the Holocaust or the moon landing are alive and well while remaining immune to ‘erasure.’

    If such erasure wasn’t possible despite the might and resources of the Roman Empire, the idea that it could successfully be accomplished today seems highly unlikely.

    1. Your conclusion being that people should be allowed to tear down statues if they want to?

      1. If by ‘people’ you mean cognizant local authorities after considering the context and perspectives of area residents … then yes I do.

        If by ‘people’ you mean an angry mob in the heat of momentary passion … then no I do not.

        Either way though, It is true that I don’t have much regard for the ‘erasing history’ argument.

        1. Either way though, It is true that I don’t have much regard for the ‘erasing history’ argument.

          I don’t think that ‘erasing history’ is the principal objection. More important than that would be what people see as the disparagement of the United States itself and the desire to trash what we’ve got and start over using a blueprint to be supplied by those tearing down the statues. This is in fact the announced goal of many of them. Their opponents are not calmed by being insulted as racists, or by their alarm as to whether sentiments destructive to this country are being taught in public schools.

  10. 7 States have now authorized HCQ for COVID. Quietly, with no fanfare.

    Did the people in government deliberately downplay HCQ for corrupt reasons and cause the deaths of so many Americans, like they did with those nursing homes?

    1. If you are going to make that assertion, isn’t the burden on you to provide some data substantiating the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine?

      The evidence seems to be as follows.

      Hydroxychloroquine MIGHT have a modest positive effect that outweighs the risks.

      But, we know for sure that it is NOT A SILVER BULLET. If hydroxychloroquine has a positive benefit, it is statistically small enough such that one has to engage in careful study to confirm it.

      What this all comes down to is that you are guilty of HYPE.

      1. HCQ which has had a very long and safe track record, suddenly became a poison deadlier than VX the second Trump recommended it. Trump has neither the time or desire to focus on it much beyond mentioning it positively a few times. Its the media which turned it into a huge political firestorm.

        1. So Trump hasn’t really been pushing it, but also it’s great. And also everyone who says it isn’t great just hates Trump.

          This isn’t even internally consistent. Tribalism is fun and all, but pull up a bit.

          1. People have formed this weird idea circa 2016 that the only proper role for a President is to be a mouthpiece for his advisors except when they accuse Trump of being a puppet of his advisors. No sane person thinks that Trump or any President we’ve had so far is an infectious disease expert or can teach your kid nonEuclidean geometry. But nonexperts often serve as valuable checks against narrow subject matter experts when transitioning from their field to a wider more general field.

            While others are clutching their pearls I see no problem for Trump serving as a check on Fauci. Especially given Fauci’s track record and US policy has pretty much generally been the less suspect suggestions of his anyways.

            1. To add to this, disagree specifically with Trump or think he’s a philistine. He’s been a brake on some pretty nutty ideas that need some introspection like Federal lockdowns or mandatory vaccinations. As in general its important to have a degree of dissent and debate in government. Technocrats are a fallible force just like anyone else. Do we really need a puppet that will let them charge off and do whatever they want no questions asked?

              1. You’re defending Trump being nutty on HCQ by noting he could be nuttier. (what would we be vaccinating at this point anyhow?!)

                Dissent within the government is fine. The President bashing his own advisors while being too cowardly to fire them is dysfunctional.

            2. This isn’t making a policy decision, it’s using the bully pulpit to push trash science.

              Trump gave Fauci the pulpit, even as he uses it to bash him. That’s a bad show all around, and shows how Trump doesn’t know how to lead.

            3. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was threatening to be the next governor of California an interviewer asked Jerry Brown if he thought Arnold was up to the job since he had no government experience. His answer was yes, certainly, you don’t have to be an expert in anything to be governor, you are surrounded by experts. Your job is to set high level policy, figure out which of those experts you are going to trust, and then take their advice.

          2. Trump mentioned it on Thurs 3/19.

            Sisolak banned it 3/23, the following Monday.

            Weird.

        2. What we have here is typical w/ Trump defenders. They redefine his bizarre stupidity or dishonesty into airy abstractions, thus avoiding cold hard facts. Such as :

          (1) An incomplete tally has Trump hawking Hydroxychloroquine publicly at least two dozen times over a twenty-one day period from mid-March to early-April. The actual number is probably much higher, but that’s high enough for the President of the United States promoting an unproven treatment.

          (2) Meanwhile, the Bootlicking-Brigade kicked-in with over 500 mentions of the drug on Fox News and Fox Business by end of March alone. Most of this was pure hype: one week’s tally had 147 mentions with reservation expressed just 18 times. Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz (who has promoted dubious weight-loss scams and whose children are unvaccinated) appeared on Fox News more than twenty times in two weeks hyping the drug.

          (3) Even if HCQ wasn’t a treatment with minimal positive benefit this would be a insane way to run public health policy or medical science. Neither should be hostage to a buffoon’s quirky fixations followed by mobs of lickspittle toadies.

          (4) But HCQ is a treatment with little positive benefit, which makes the Right’s wacko obsession over it that much stranger.

          1. “(4) But HCQ is a treatment with little positive benefit, which makes the Right’s wacko obsession over it that much stranger.”

            Which makes the Left’s wacko obsession with being anti-HCQ even crazier, after promoting the full-on shut down of the economy… If it saves only 1 life, right? Or does that only apply to Lefty decisions?

            Show that HCQ is harmful. If it’s not harmful, and if it is possibly even beneficial, how is this something that anyone could possibly argue against? ORANGEMANBAD… the disease is real.

            1. The FDA thinks HCQ is harmful:

              FDA has determined that CQ and HCQ are unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA. Additionally, in light of ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other serious side effects, the known and potential benefits of CQ and HCQ no longer outweigh the known and potential risks for the authorized use.

              There are also risks when it is used to treat malaria or lupus, but in those situations it has definite benefits and the consensus is the benefits outweigh the risks. Not so for COVID.

              1. Your own quote, and the rest of the paper linked, refutes that the FDA thinks HCQ is “harmful”. (Serious side effects, of HCQ, or of COVID patients, or of hospitalized COVID patients who also have other comorbidities?)

                For the purposes of continuing the EUA, the FDA determined that HCQ is unlikely to be beneficial enough to outweigh the potential risks. Of a drug that is otherwise “safe and effective”. Odd. Is it safe and effective, or not? Butbutbut COVID. Ok. Not very persuasive. I suppose you subscribe to the Artie brand of “reason”.

              2. “Q. Should I be concerned if I was given hydroxychloroquine sulfate or chloroquine phosphate for COVID-19?A. FDA is unaware of any residual side effects for patients who have received and completed their course of chloroquine phosphate (CQ) or hydroxychloroquine sulfate (HCQ) to treat COVID-19, as was authorized under the EUA. Please speak with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your treatment with these drugs for COVID-19.”

                1. They are saying if you took the drug in the past and it hasn’t already harmed you then you don’t need to worry. They aren’t saying it is safe to continue taking it.

                  1. Or that it was without risk in the first place. Just, as Voize says, if you completed your course and nothing bad happened, you don’t need to worry.

                    But all that was bleeding obvious from the quote, so then I wonder about the general intelligence of the poster.

                    HCQ has side effects. The risks outweigh the benefits in cases of malaria and lupus. It appears maybe not so for Covid-19, particularly where there are particular comorbidities. Thus, it is highly irresponsible to hype HCQ as some sort of major breakthrough in Covid-19 treatment (leading some people to hoard it, others to take it without discussing with a physician, etc.). We used to have Presidents who understood that what the U.S. President says is taken seriously, so they shouldn’t just say whatever comes to mind no matter how tentative or ill-considered. Now we don’t. I hope everyone considers whether this change in direction is a good thing.

              3. The studies that suggest HCQ is not effective for COVID are, in fact, deeply flawed and all BS. I stand with Harvey Risch.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_v-IVmy5wQ&ab_channel=Anti-propagandaMachine

                1. You are entitled to stand where you choose, but should also be aware that several of Dr. Risch’s medical colleagues at Yale have publicly stated that he is speaking outside his area of expertise and that his advocacy is misguided and dangerous.

                  1. I am very aware, thank you. However, what Dr. Risch says makes sense. None of the points he makes are even directly addressed in statements I see such as this open letter you linked.

                    The letter from his colleagues is shit.

                    “[T]he evidence thus far has been unambiguous in refuting the premise that HCQ is a potentially effective early therapy for COVID-19.”

                    Ok. Sounds like their position is that the case is closed, and it’s essentially proven that this is not an effective treatment. That is the same position taken by friends of mine who are doctors and politically very left wing and outspoken.

                    But wait:

                    “If these trials do show a clinical benefit for HCQ, we would revise our views on its use in the management of COVID-19.”

                    Huh.

                    1. Sounds like their position is that the case is closed

                      Is that what you get from “the evidence thus far”, or is it from “we would revise our views” if faced with new positive evidence? I don’t know what smoking gun you think you’ve found here.

                    2. If the evidence thus far had refuted the premise that HCQ is a potentially effective early therapy for COVID-19, then there wouldn’t be a remaining possibility that it is a potentially effective therapy.

                    3. That’s not how science works, ML.

                    4. Exactly. Don’t tell me, tell the writers of this letter.

                    5. ‘Evidence so far’ can refute a premise in science but that does not close the door on the premise forever – more study is needed. Science is not symbolic logic.

                      However, when a premise has been refuted by an experiment or clinical trial, basing current policy on the idea that it is still a valid premise is bad policy.

                    6. The two statements are most plainly read as contradictory, because the first claims that the premise has been refuted that HCQ is even potentially effective. That’s why I dissed it. It’s not a scientific point so much as a rhetorical objection.

                      Of course, the point of scientific disagreement between Dr. Risch and the rest is that Dr. Risch says there are many studies, of equal validity to other studies commonly accepted by the FDA, which show significant evidence that HCQ is potentially effective.

                      And, that the studies which purport to “disprove” potential effectiveness are not useful because they targeted the wrong subsets of people (old and many serious comorbidities). Not to mention that the studies were too small to be meaningfully “randomised” and there was no double or single blind control, meaning these talking points from the clown Berman did not hold much weight.

        3. “HCQ which has had a very long and safe track record,”

          You know how when drug commercials come on TV, there’s a big list of side effects at the end? For some medicines, the side effects even sound pretty bad! Similarly, when I got the yellow fever vaccine I had to sign a waiver because the risk of death or neurological side effects was so high. Still not very high in absolute terms, but likely the most dangerous thing I was doing that week. So, are these things despite having bad side effects (including the risk of death in some cases)? We say yes because they’re pretty good at doing their primary job and hence the benefits of the treatment outweigh the risk of side effects. That’s the case for HCQ when it comes to treating malaria, at least in the places where it’s still effective.

          But if you try to use a drug and there’s no actual benefit, then all you’re left with is the side effects and so the risk/reward balance is no longer worth it. That’s the case with HCQ treating Covid-19. It has questionable benefit–maybe none–but the side effects didn’t go way. It’s not that it’s less safe than it was before, it’s just that it’s a bad idea to take on all the risk when you’re not fixing any problem.

          1. People actually acquainted with biology understand that there’s a difference between a drug potentially having a side effect, and it frequently having a side effect. Most drugs have long, long lists of potential side effects, the list for aspirin is quite horrifying.

            What makes a drug safe isn’t the absence of horrible side effects, but their being infrequent. Side effects of HCQ are fairly infrequent, usually occur from prolonged use, and tend to go away when you stop taking it. As drugs go, it’s pretty safe.

            1. I agree it’s pretty safe for most people. Unfortunately, it’s least safe for people who are most likely to be significantly affected by Covid. From https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/covid-19-story-tip-hydroxychloroquine-not-recommended-for-treatment-of-covid-19 :

              “Patients infected with COVID-19 often have compromised heart and vascular systems, and receive other drugs that can interact with hydroxychloroquine and can put patients at increased risk of arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats,” says cardiologist Oscar Cingolani, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “These cardiovascular side effects in some COVID patients aren’t often seen in patients receiving the drug for other purposes like autoimmune disorders, so therefore the safety observed in these other patients can’t be inferred for COVID-19 patients.”

              1. Finally, a rational argument.

              2. Yes, that is the problem: HCQ is definitely not a good idea to use for patients with certain co-morbidities. That limits its application. But doesn’t totally eliminate it. It’s just one more tool in the tool box.

        4. What Amos said:

          suddenly became a poison deadlier than VX the second Trump recommended it

          Sarcastr0’s predictably dishonest straw man mischaracterization of it:

          everyone who says it isn’t great just hates Trump

          Same old, same old.

      2. The EU data was good enough to motivate me to get a script for HCQ and stock up on zinc. The key to HCQ efficacy that I can see is early use (e.g. within 24 hours of spiking your fever). What I do not plan to get is azithromycin or doxycyclin, the data on including those in treatment are equivocal.

        You are right that it is not a silver bullet. Regardless, I’ll take my chances and use it if I spike a fever of 100.3 degrees.

        The politics of it? I can take it or leave it. That will not affect my own evaluation.

        1. This is not expertise; this is opinion masquerading as science.

          1. You are correct; it is my expressed opinion. I am just a regular guy with a college education taking the time reading medical journals and then applying critical thinking skills. Then talking to my HCP about it to make sure I am not off base. I am not.

            The data are there. HCQ is not a panacea. Hell Sarcastr0, it might not even work for me if I contract KungFlu; I know that too. HCQ is not a silver bullet – I said that. But when my mother-in-law died from Covid-19, gasping for air like a fish out of water, I knew right then and there I was not going to sit back and do nothing.

            So I got the script (and one for a steroid). If the worst happens, I use it.

            1. Yeah, that sounded harsher than it should have. I’ve done the same thing.

              I have resolved that I’m fine being in groups and not social distancing so long as it’s outdoors. There are some studies that go that way but nothing authoritative. But one must have some lodestone by which to make decisions, and I have decided on that one.

              The science on this will not be anything approaching legit until like 2024. So I don’t begrudge people making decisions. I do begrudge them pretending their decisions are the only scientifically true way to act at this early date. And that goes for both sides.

              I also don’t much like the President using his bully pulpit to push cures that aren’t; that is not his place; this kind of individual decision making should be bottom up, not top down.

              1. “I also don’t much like the President using his bully pulpit to push cures that aren’t; that is not his place; this kind of individual decision making should be bottom up, not top down.”

                The President is telling everyone that they should “go out and get HCQ right now?” He is “pushing” cures that aren’t?

                I thought all he did was remark about the early positive results, and claim at one point to be taking it himself. Did he do more than that? I admit that I could have easily missed it. I don’t Twitter, so I don’t salivate over Trump’s every tweet like some of you seem to.

                1. That’s an extremely narrow definition of pushing. That you have to go there should tell you something.

                  1. That’s an extremely narrow definition of pushing. That you have to go there should tell you something.

                    Not nearly as much as the fact that you had to stretch the definition so far as to make it sound like he’s done something that he hasn’t done. That’s right up there with the, “He told people to inject themselves with bleach” bullshit.

                    1. For example:

                      We bought a tremendous amount of … hydroxychloroquine, which I think is, you know, it’s a great malaria drug. It’s worked unbelievably, it’s a powerful drug on malaria. And there are signs that it works on [coronavirus], some very strong signs. And in the meantime, it’s been around a long time, and also works very powerfully on lupus. So there are some very strong, powerful signs, and we’ll have to see. Because again, it’s being tested now, this is a new thing that just happened to us, the invisible enemy, we call it.

                      … It’s a very strong, powerful medicine, but it doesn’t kill people. We have some very good results and some very good tests. You’ve seen the same test that I have. In France, they had a very good test. But we don’t have time to go and say, gee, let’s take a couple of years and test it out. And let’s go and test with the test tubes and the laboratories. We don’t have time. I’d love to do that.

                      If you don’t call that pushing HCQ, I can’t help you. And one result of this was that some people with lupus couldn’t get HCQ which we know works for them, because other people were stocking up on HCQ “just in case” because “it’s very strong, powerful medicine….very good results” in the context of COVID-19. But, sure, the President wasn’t hyping a very unproven treatment (and, for bonus points, interrupting and stopping an actual doctor (Fauci) from answering the question.

                      You are the one being dishonest, Wuz. That’s hype. We all know it. You just pretend not to.

  11. Any opinions on the AG’s suggestion that sedition be charged where appropriate, and what effect actual arrests for sedition or insurrection would have on insurance policies in the affected areas?

    1. “sedition be charged where appropriate”

      It’s just generally not a good idea. If someone tries to burn down a federal building there are plenty of other crimes they can be charged with. Those crimes (a) carry serious criminal penalties if you’re after deterrence or getting them off the street for years at a time, (b) are probably easier to get a conviction since you don’t have to prove a very specific political motivation to overthrow the government, and of course most importantly (c) don’t carry the baggage of being suspicious on First Amendment grounds.

      “Affected areas” – the insurance rates are being adversely affected by riots, vandalism, and arson. Not by plots to overthrow the government. I really don’t think the actuaries spend a lot of time worrying about sedition.

      1. Don’t know: I think “sedition” is probably not a good thing to charge for isolated, uncoordinated crimes. But if you’re not going to charge it for systematic, coordinated attacks on federal properties and employees, there’s not a lot of point in having the law on the books.

        We’re not facing spontaneous crimes here, that happen to just randomly cluster in time and space. We’re facing a systematic criminal conspiracy with political aims. That is to say, an “insurrection”.

      2. you don’t have to prove an intent to overthrow the government:

        18 U.S. Code § 2384. Seditious conspiracy

        “If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”

        Not the “or” not an “and”.

    2. Sedition is very much in the eye of the beholder and a rather blunt instrument as well. It’s far better to stay with laws that address actions and away from those that involve mind reading…

      1. You think that determining whether not groups within the U.S. are levying war against the U.S., forcefully opposing official authority, preventing, hindering or delaying the execution of laws or seizing government property by force requires the reading of minds?

    3. Are you asking whether arrests for sedition (outside the military I believe the charge would actually be “seditious conspiracy”) or insurrection would trigger exclusion clauses in property insurance policies?

    4. Does anyone else find remarkable the absence of VC commentary on the First Amendment implications of Barr´s suggestion of sedition charges?

      1. Are there 1st amendment implications so long as the charges involve conventional criminal acts like assault or arson? Sedition is just a species of criminal conspiracy, after all.

  12. I’m fascinated with Disney, unlike most people who are fascinated with them. I’m fascinated not with their merchandise but by their marketing. Their product line is so extensive they’ve managed to create a parallel dimension for sale you can get lost in. You can eat breath and live Disney to an extent beyond any other company I can think of. I don’t really get people who blow tons of money to do so but it is a very intriguing thing to witness knowing a couple Disney fanatics myself.

    Too bad they’re becoming increasingly activist and political and an even more corrosive influence on society beyond the usual corporate hijinks and predatory IP practices. I miss the old just plain greedy scumbag Disney of the 90s.

    1. LOL if you don’t think it isn’t just more greed.

      Consumer-facing companies have consistently found it more profitable to espouse views to the left. Do as little as possible to actually effect such views, of course, but symbolism is cheap.

      My pet theory is that this is driven by the age demographics of partisans on both sides – leftists are big in the demo and righties are way past it.

      1. It is baffling as hell when I see conservatives complaining about companies trying to maximize their profitability by catering to more lucrative markets. Do they want heavy government regulation to make sure all audience’s interests are represented? Reagan’s party really is in the past tense.

      2. I agree with Sarcastro mostly here, but it goes deeper than just symbolism and PR points. They actually do want to effect such views to a large extent, although selectively with some exceptions.

        1. Regulatory burdens create economies of scale that crush small businesses and hand the advantage to big business. And to the extent regulatory capture can be achieved, it’s even better.
        2. Distraction. Focus your attention on the latest social justice contrivances that gain steam through media based purely on how divisive they are. The key is myopia and obfuscating the bigger picture.
        3. Atomization and isolation. The breakdown of the family, of traditional values, and of traditional communities that used to continue together across generations. Rather than having people focused on raising children, keep both parents working or better yet, stay single and don’t have kids, people production is better outsourced offshore. Generally focus on yourself and your material pursuits and pleasures. This extends to larger communities and nations which impede the global commoditization of human souls and natural resources.

        1. Rent-seeking sure, but woke capitalism doesn’t touch on that.

          But more importantly…you think Disney is trying to break down American families?

          1. That’s not what I said.

            1. ML,

              What does this mean then: The breakdown of the family, of traditional values, and of traditional communities that used to continue together across generations.

        2. There must be a seductive allure in going down the rabbit-hole into complete gibberish – as ML does here – otherwise why would this kind of thing be so common in these comments ?

          1. Sure. Disney is pro “regulatory burdens” to crush all those little-disneys that would rise-up if Adam Smith held sway. After all, isn’t big business in general pro-regulation? Look at all the money big business spends on promoting more regulation !!

          Score : ML – 0 Nonsense – 1

          2. ML : “The key is myopia and obfuscating the bigger picture” Exactly what “big picture” is Disney trying to obfuscate with Baby Yodi? That’s the problem with conspiratorial blather. You’re served your portion but it’s never seems very filling.

          Score : ML – 0 Nonsense – 2

          3. Atomization and isolation! Breakdown of the family! Destruction of communities going back generations! Here I thought Disney was trying to make an easy buck, but it turns out they plot demonic evil itself. What’s next? Pedophile rings operating out of pizza parlor basements?

          Score : ML – 0 Nonsense – 3

          Hysterical aggrandizement, conspiratorial bullshit, and unhinged rants do not an argument make. Back to the drawing board for ML.

          1. My comment has nothing to do with Disney specifically. Sarcastro’s post pivoted to large corporations in general. The question arises why large corporations of today generally embrace far left wing causes. This is something that has been pondered by a number of people in recent years. For example:

            https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-is-big-business-so-interested-in-left-wing-politics-

            The above article reflects some of the thoughts I gave above.

            A simpler answer is that they are run by hardcore left wingers who are serious about advancing their agendas. That’s probably the right answer and better than my musings of a more structural analysis.

            Anyway, you can read academic papers about how regulatory burdens create economies of scale that crush small business and help big business, and you can read papers about regulatory capture. You can also look at a few headlines like, “Facebook needs, wants, must have regulation, Zuckerberg says” – LA Times or from Vox:

            “Mark Zuckerberg wants you — and your government — to help him run Facebook
            Remember when Silicon Valley’s giants scoffed at regulation? Now they see it as a protective shield.”

            I’ll not waste too much time being earnest as it is obvious to everyone that you aren’t trying to have a genuine good faith discussion, but instead are trying your hand at political diatribe and mockery. I’m not even knocking it. Do your thing.

            1. Arguing that American corporations are seeking the breakdown of the American family may be part of why you’re not being taken seriously

            2. My advice, ML? Just stop digging. Sarcastr0 made a perfectly valid point about corporations embracing hip-leftism as a shallow, superficial and cost-free tool for branding. You responded with a dense paragraph of conspiracy-mongering drivel. Do you need me to tell you which of those arguments resides in Cloud-Cuckoo-Land? Let me give you a hint : When some cola company makes a sunny ad about tolerance with smiling gay & lesbian couples, it has nothing to do with :

              1. Their desire to smother the opposition with regulations
              2. A fiendish plot to obscure everything true from the masses
              3. Evil plotting to destroy all communities & families.

              Instead, it’s to sell more cola. Here’s another hint : When a swill-producing brewer makes heartwarming holiday ads complete with snow, carols, and yule-time cheer, it isn’t a secret plot by fanatics to reinforce the religious roots of our country. Likewise, a commercial sporting women with exceptional physiques isn’t the fiendish work of a secret cabal to maintain the Patriarchy, no matter what the radical feminists say. Somebody somewhere just wants me to drink more beer.

              If there’s one thing every American should know as part of his birthright, it’s the superficiality of commercial hucksterism. How calcified does a mind have to be with loopy political jargon before you see Trilateral-Commission-style conspiracy in basic market-share posturing?

              1. Yeah, this is non-responsive. Of course, commercial advertising is as you describe. None of that has anything to do with my comment.

                Big biz fervently supports mass immigration and the “social justice” rhetoric that furthers it because this keeps wages lower. That’s the kind of thing we are talking about. There’s not any sort of conspiracy being discussed here. But I like your anti-conspiracy ranting. Weren’t you the guy that actually bought into the deranged Trump-Russia conspiracy theory and maybe even still does?

                1. There is no connection between corporations’ desired policies and their woke branding.

                  It’s a dumb move to connect your branding to your lobbying. The public should not be the same as the private.

                  None of the rest of the stuff you lay at the feat of corporations is some intentional agenda by Disney or anyone else.

                2. In case you’ve forgotten, your overheated rhetoric is just a few column inches above. It hasn’t disappeared just because of all your backtracking. Atomization and isolation; myopia and obfuscating; global commoditization; destroyed communities – not a single embarrassing phrase has vanished.

                  But now I’m curious what evidence you can produce for big business embracing “mass immigration” as a social justice issue. I don’t doubt you can find lobbying for raw business purpose, such as from the agricultural or hospitality sectors. And maybe you can dig up some milquetoast rhetoric on welcoming new citizens to this country. But I’m guessing big business’ evil plot to “fervently support mass immigration” will prove just another phantasm of your overwrought imagination.

                  Now : Can we get honest about the psychological trauma behind your runaway rhetoric? Big Business should be one of your guys – and mostly is when cutting regulations or slashing taxes. But Big Biz has completely abandoned you in the Culture Wars – as ruthlessly as putting that old Eskimo on the ice floe and giving him the cold hard push out to sea. All of your fantasy cabals, secret conspiracies, and pretzel-logic conspiracies springs from the wound of betrayal. Written off so completely by your own guys! Maybe a bracing discussion of this issue with the Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland would be therapeutic for you….

                  PS : The Eskimos don’t really do that, and it’s culturally insensitive of me to suggest otherwise.

                  1. Ok. Your diatribe quality is going downhill fast.

                    Let me explain. The largest corporations or businesses, generally speaking, may have many different interests, but their largest collective lobbying arms are the Chamber of Commerce followed by similar organizations. Google, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Uber, and other tech companies even founded a “Coalition for the American Dream” advocacy group to protect DACA. There is nothing to do with any conspiracy about any of this, since it is in the open. And this happens on both the left and the right sides.

                    In other cases, corporations offering “cheap” symbolism, in Sarcastro’s words, which I agreed with in my first post. I submit that it’s cheap because it has little value. And I think a lot of media-driven narratives are often myopic and obfuscating (who could disagree?) and yet corporations will at times lend tacit, symbolic support to those agendas.

                    As to atomization and commoditization, my point was that many large corporate interests would generally be either indifferent toward or in favor of these things, strictly in terms of economic interest. Why should a profit motive care about the social harm of moving labor to a country with slave labor? Some of the words you attributed to me I didn’t say. What I am saying is that in some cases a profit motive may be indifferent or hostile toward both social and environmental consequences.

                    1. I don’t doubt that the idea that being ‘woke’ is more profitable plays some role in corporate activism. Of course all the actual data generally shows the opposite or is at least equivocal. And it doesn’t explain why companies fold like a paper hat to the slightest complaint by sjws but tend to stick to their guns in the face of actual massive backlash when it comes to prosjw posturing much of which has questionable returns if any.

                      No I think you need something more to explain their actions. IMO theres also a mixture of fear and truly drinking the koolaid. It starts out that the companies are actually afraid of the activists but brainwashed products from the university indoctrination system gradually filter into the ranks these past couple decades and you get real zealots.

                      Thats why you get idiocy such as Lehman’s Bros diversity division being bigger than its Risk Management.

                      I understand why progressives would want to dodge responsibility by laying all this nonsense at the foot of simple greed but it really doesn’t fit the picture completely.

                    2. Well, here’s what you said : “Big biz fervently supports mass immigration” I suggested you couldn’t produce any evidence of that, and apparently you can’t. The only other specific example you give is equally laughable : While getting beat up from all sides, Facebook makes a strategic retreat. True enough, though I bet Zuckerberg works to water down any new regulation at every step until it becomes meaningless – much like bank reform after the Great Recession.

                      So what can you point at to justify your overheated rhetoric? Absolutely nothing. Thus we come back to the real cause behind all your talk : Big Business wants no part of the Right’s side in the Culture Wars. They looked at both positions, projected where the country is going, analyzed the metrics of corporate positioning, branding & appearance – and then dropped the Right like it’s radioactive.

                      And so you’re butthurt over that. We understand. But that’s doesn’t justify a turgid & breathless fantasy of vast ominous forces spreading destruction across the land for secret nefarious aims. Sorry; life’s much simpler than that. Big Business took a dollars&cents look at things, and decided one side are winners, the other side losers.

                      But – hey – don’t get so down in the dumps over it. You always have Hobby Lobby…..

                    3. “You always have Hobby Lobby…..”

                      During the brick-and-mortar retail apocalypse, is the future of a store that skews — and skews hard — rural, white, downscale, and non-essential a sure thing as America improves?

            3. Its a religion. Religions attain critical mass and spread. I suspect you don’t need to get more complicated than that for a cliff notes version.

              1. Paranoia.

                Some on the right think everything has a leftist agenda.

    2. Apple has a similar folowing. They make some great products, but some people seem stuckj in a alternate dimension.

    3. “Too bad they’re becoming increasingly activist and political”

      At this blog, that means ‘no longer bigot-friendly.’

        1. I am Arthur. Artie was banned for making fun of conservatives.

          1. We have not heard from Arthur I. Kirkland recently. Perhaps he is being held somewhere against his will.

          2. “I am Arthur. Artie was banned for making fun of conservatives.”

            And somehow, here you are, every day, doing much worse than what you claim to have been doing on your Artie sock. Somehow, I very much doubt your assertion.

            Cling on, Artie.

            1. ” Somehow, I very much doubt your assertion [that Artie was banned for making fun of conservatives]. ”

              Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland was expressly banned by Prof. Volokh, in writing, at 6:02 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6, 2010. The asserted reason for banishment of comments that poked fun at conservatives was that the parody was “‘mostly noise with no signal.”

              Other than that vivid refutation, though, VinniUSMC — great comment!

              1. Arthur, is mentioning Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland this way the same as using him? Do you think EV would object to your mentioning him despite having banned you from using him as an identity? (I don’t.)

                1. I do not understand your inquiry. Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland was a parody account that expressed conservative positions and arguments in a humorous manner. That account was banned for making fun of conservatives.

                  Mentioning the name and detailing the banishment seems unrelated to the banishment. If there is an association there I am missing, I hope you will explain it.

                  If Prof. Volokh objects to my accurate — even precise — recounting of that incident of censorship (or the other examples of viewpoint-driven censorship with which I was involved), he could ban me. It wouldn’t be the first time.

                  He also could admit the mistake(s), apologize, and perhaps even rehabilitate Artie Ray, “c@p succ@r,” or “sl@ck-j@w” — in which circumstance I would expect to mention the viewpoint-driven, hypocritical censorship less frequently and less pointedly. But so long as that petty censorship stands, commenting with respect to it seems reasonable.

                  What do you think, Mr. Marvin?

    4. Disney has had a bad year:
      Disney theme parks closed. (Still closed in Cali.)
      Disney cruise ships docked.
      Disney hotels empty.
      Disney movies with no big screen showings.
      No sports to put on Disney’s ESPN (until recently.)
      Disney+ has done well, but it’s a small drop in a large bucket of lost revenue.

  13. Justices Alito and Kavanaugh were very willing to consider the anti-Catholic motives behind the Blaine Amendments in Espinoza v Montana. But in McGirt v Oklahoma, they seemed unwilling to recognize the animus toward Native Americans that drove the limiting of criminal jurisdiction through the years over MCA cases. Is this a reasonable parallel, or am I missing something that would distinguish the two situations?

    1. Justices Alito and Kavanaugh are Catholics. They are conservatives.

      That is enough to answer the (1) ‘why so protective of Catholics?’ and (2) ‘why so dismissive of Native American interests?’ questions.

      1. That’s what I suspect. But I was hoping to be argued out of that position. Justice Gorsuch clearly isn’t dismissive of Native American interests. But perhaps the true believers no longer consider him a conservative.

        1. Espinoza and McGirt involve completely different issues. Espinoza is a Free Exercise case, in which the law in question discriminated against all religious schools. The fact that the Blaine Amendments had a particularly odious anti-Catholic history is not particularly relevant. Had they been motivated by anti-Quaker or anti-Jewish sentiment, the result should be the same.

          McGirt is, ironically, the opposite. Evidence of historical animus against the Indians actually cuts in favor of the dissenters. Nobody denies that Congress could, constitutionally and legally, screw the Indians 12 ways to Sunday. The majority argues that they only did it 11 times in Oklahoma, and failed to clearly state that the former Creek lands were to be subject to the sole jurisdiction of the newly-created state. The dissent basically says that Congress intended to completely screw the Indians, and that means that all the provisions of the earlier treaties should be out the window.

          1. I agree that the anti-Catholic history should’ve been irrelevant. One then wonders why it played such a prominent part in both the oral argument and the decision. That’s kind of my point.

            I don’t really agree with your characterization of the McGirt decision or the dissent, but I’ll have to think about your point there some more. I’m not convinced you’ve really distinguished the two cases, in regards to why the history is relevant in one and not the other.

            1. “One then wonders why it played such a prominent part in both the oral argument and the decision.”

              Lack-of-virtue signaling?

            2. The anti-Catholic animus is relevant to strict scrutiny analysis. The government would need to show a “compelling governmental interest” in denying funds to religious schools. Since pretty much everyone agrees that the actual interest was discriminating against Catholics, the strict scrutiny analysis is not difficult.

  14. It has been argued that by constitutionalizing a right to slavery in its Dred Scott decision, the Suorem Court contributing to the subsequent civil war. By preventing any compromise political solution or gradual political change on the issue, by making an attack on slaveey an attack on America and Americanism, it contributed to an all-or-nothing atmosphere in which political opponents of ones view became enemies.

    This view is in some respects independent of how the Supreme Court ruled. It derives from the fact that the Court attempted to use the Constitution to resolve the entire issue of slavery for the country.

    To what extent do you think the Supreme Court’s constitutionalization of various social issues over the last few decades has contributed to an atmosphere where political persuasion becomes perceived as unproductive or irrelevant, where political opponents become enemies whose views are perceived as inimical to what the country is all about, and where political disagreements get resolved not by a most-persuasive-person-wins debate among relative peers but by defeating enemies through combat in various forms, symbolic or real?

    To what extent has the court, by judicializing and constitutionalizing previously political disputes, contributed to a dysfunctional and toxic political culture?

    1. I don’t know about a civil war, but starting with _Lawrence v. TX_and up through the tranny rights decision this spring, SCOTUS has been declaring war on traditional masculinity and it is resulting in a growing group of Black males who will vote for Trump.

      1. Uh huh. Two points :

        (1). I’ve been a male of the traditional masculinity sort for over sixty years. Why don’t I feel this “war” declared against me? Let me reassure you, Ed – the night after the Supreme Court ruled discrimination against LGBT was wrong, I slept just as soundly as ever (in all my traditional masculinity). Is it possible this is a problem with your traditional masculinity alone?

        (2) Trump will get male black votes in the low single digits just like the last election. Anything else is fantasy, but if that’s what floats your boat, please go right ahead. Me? I like more traditional masculine fantasies…….

        1. Rush Limbough disagrees.

          1. Isn’t Rush too busy

            (1) trying to get his big bag of contraband boner pills through customs
            and
            (2) trying to find his ninth wife

            to worry about much of anything else?

            1. Gosh. May Rush is an authority on traditional masculinity after all?

              1. He’s an authority on finding an audience dumb and depraved enough to take morality pointers from a half-educated racist, gay-bashing chickenhawk, and pill-gobbling misogynist with a string of divorces and trophy wives.

            2. I think he’s mostly busy trying to not die of cancer at the moment.

              1. Faced with eternal truths, after a cheap life of hatred and racism, he might have a moment of grace, like Lee Atwater, another terminal cancer victim, did when he apologized to Dukakis for the Willie Horton ad. I don’t hold up much hope for Limbaugh though. He lived weak and deluded and he’ll probably die that way.

                1. That’s one guy who needs to spend every waking moment fervently hoping that there is no god.

                  Me? I’d chance a judgment day if guaranteed the spot in line directly behind Limbaugh, just to watch him stammer . . .

        2. Let me reassure you, Ed – the night after the Supreme Court ruled discrimination against LGBT was wrong, I slept just as soundly as ever

          While I would prefer legislative change from free speech convincing over cheesy court rulings abridging the last mile, I always had a soft spot for taking freedom by force, and th3se decisions count. Changing values, when it increases freedom, is prefectly fine.

          It’s when politicians claim changing values should increase the power of government to decrease freedom that I have a problem. Propose an amendment and get most people to agree government should have a new power to reduce freedom, or take things, or take more money, or tell them what to do with their own stuff.

      2. but starting with _Lawrence v. TX_and up through the tranny rights decision this spring, SCOTUS has been declaring war on traditional masculinity

        I must say that’s one of the dumber arguments I’ve seen you make here. At least with regard to Lawrence, I’m not really sure how keeping the state out of what two (or more) consenting adults to with/to each other in private constitutes a declaration of war on traditional masculinity.

    2. Good point. The Left has been very successful in “constitutionalizing” its political preferences.
      Take California. The people of California passed a referendum defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. CA Supreme Court said this violates CA constitution. So, the people of California did whatever they had to do to amend the state constitution. But then the federal Supreme Court declared that so defining marriage violates the federal constitution. (Naturally!)
      And, of course, when it’s the Right challenging something as unconstitutional, they’re told that “[i]t is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” (That’s a quote from the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding ObamaCare.)
      If you see your political opponents consistently frustrate your political efforts using the courts, if the courts show themselves to be not quite impartial (or even honest) arbiters, you’ll probably see the system as pretty dysfunctional; your attitude–toward your political opponents, toward the courts, toward “the democratic process”–will probably be pretty toxic.

    3. To what extent do you think the Supreme Court’s constitutionalization of various social issues over the last few decades has contributed to an atmosphere where political persuasion becomes perceived as unproductive

      Abortion. Consensus would have had to be obtained politically. There would have (and still would be) areas of low abortion access, and areas of high abortion access until COTUS set some national norms. But once SCOTUS created a new individual right, the other two branches now use it as a tool that they may wield for or against abortion without necessary thoughtful consideration of longer term political implications, because they know that the courts will nullify whatever position they take that non-representative justices don’t like.

      1. Counterpoint to your prudential thesis: immigration. Not constitutionalized; Consensus needs to be obtained politically.

        There has been no consensus. Both other branches still use it as a tool they can wield without necessary thoughtful consideration of longer term political implications.

        1. Consensus needs to be obtained politically

          DACA didn’t require consensus to implement. Nor did the border wall. Nor does the policy of encouraging illegal immigration through promises of sanctuary cities, hindrance of deportment efforts, and allowance of social benefits.

          1. None of those are real reforms, as I expect you know.

            Maybe I should have clarified ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ where you need Congress and where the needle hasn’t moved in decades.

            Devolving the the political branches is good – structurally required in fact – when there is no Constitutional nexus, but on a prudential level lets not pretend it means we get better policies.

            1. “comprehensive immigration reform” died after Reagan did an amnesty in return for enhanced enforcement, and the enhanced enforcement was reneged on. Can’t do grand deals once people know that the bargain will be broken.

              1. Ty for proving my point.

    4. By “previously political disputes,” I’m assuming you mean instances where the constitutional rights of various minorities were canceled out and overrun by the will of the majority? “Constitutionalizing” those by judicial restoration of rights is how the system was designed to work.

      1. I suppose it depends on whether one thinks the minorities were in the right or not. Slaveholders were the first and prototype protected minority. I’m sure they would agree with your assessment.

        Moreover, unlike slaveholders and their judicially protected right to own a slave in federal territory, a number of minorities have specific constitutional amendments addressing them. Those issues weren’t constitutionalized by the Supreme Court acting on its own.

        1. Theoretically, phrases such as “equal protection under the law” should apply even to those citizens who don’t have the luck to be members of a minority addressed by a specific constitutional amendment. As for slaveholders, I’m more than happy to accept their support. Some of them even have Colleges and Universities named after them.

  15. Well it would be nice to get Professor Volokh’s take on the recent ruling that PA’s emergency order is unconstitutional by a Federal judge.

  16. Anyone else find the hilarious irony in the left complaining about possible federal charges for failure of Portland to protect the civil rights of its citizens? If that was the Klan doing that to black folk in a Southern town the left would have called for the National Guard to be sent out the next day. Here we have 3 months of violence including the establishment of a whole lawless zone the city tolerated for weeks (only closed after a few shootings, rapes, and murders.) Far past time for the federal government to intervene as the local and state resources have abjectly failed in their roles here.

    1. Barr wants to charge sedition, not violence.

      Charges for property crimes and violence have been happening since the beginning.

      1. “Charges for property crimes and violence have been happening since the beginning.”

        State charges which the Soros-elected DAs have dismissed.

        1. Why do you lie so often? I’m sure some have been dismissed, but none of them have been brought to trial because they’re all out on bail.

          1. Mostly they are not arrested to begin with or not charged.

            1. As I said at 12:13 pm, that’s wrong. You can’t just say what you want to be true as though it were a fact.

              1. No, you said there have been some charges. That is true.

                  1. hundreds << dozens, yes??

                    1. Do a google search. These are being released on a weekly basis for just about any locality you can think of.

                    2. “Do a google search.”

                      Good advice, but not responsive, as far as I can decode your rather cryptic post.

                      Brett posted that hundreds of rioters are being released w/o charges. That’s not an anomaly; it’s the stated policy in Portland and other places. It was so bad in Portland that the adjacent county departments and the state police declined to continue to assist the Portland police, precisely because they were tired of arresting people who assaulted them tonight only to have them released in time to do it again the next night.

                      Because of that, the feds are stepping in to prosecute some of them federally, instead of the usual state prosecutions that haven’t been happening.

                      Suggesting I selectively google for the anomalies in order to disprove what has become usual isn’t particularly persuasive.

                      I don’t know what news sources you use. Perhaps they have been silent about the local non-prosecution of rioters, and vocally condemning the recent federal attempts to take up the slack. If so, you might want to broaden your sources.

                  2. FEDERAL charges. Brought by FEDERAL prosecutors.

                    I thought we were discussing the problem of state DA’s dismissing state charges?

                    1. Then check my above link. Plenty of local charges being announced as well, if you bother to google for like 30 seconds.

                      But that’s not helpful to you, so you don’t much care to look it seems.

          2. Why do you lie so often?

            Damn…I just spit coffee all over my keyboard.

        2. Speaking of demonstrations : Remember when Trump had peaceful protesters gassed to clear a path to a church for a few seconds of photo-op holding a Bible? Apparently the Defense Department’s lead military police officer for the National Capital Region sent an email asking to use a “heat ray” on the demonstrators. The weapons system is called the ACD (or Active Denial System) and emits a “directed beam of energy that causes a burning heat sensation” If it’s good enough for Martian invaders to use on people, then why not on protesters? H.G. Wells would be proud.

          Speaking of Lying : Trump had a town-hall-style event and nonstop dishonesty ensued. He said he didn’t downplay Covid : Cue Woodward’s tape. He said he didn’t praise Xi Jinping’s handling of the virus : Cue video of public speech. He said he’d soon be “doing a health care plan” that would “protect people with preexisting conditions.” He then said of the Democrats, “They will not do that.”

          What can you do with that degree of “black-is-white” contempt for the truth? The Dems create protection for preexisting conditions, Trump spends his entire term trying to destroy that protection, never proposes a single plan that maintains that protection, and then claims he’s the one championing the idea. Is it any wonder that Dr. Ed emulates his cult idol w/ non-stop lying?

          1. “Remember when Trump had peaceful protesters gassed to clear a path to a church for a few seconds of photo-op holding a Bible? ”

            No, we don’t remember that, because the media lied about the “peaceful” part.

            1. All the subsequently released videos showing a peaceful demonstration that day were all lies as well?

              1. I will agree that the park police could have done a better job of documenting violence. Probably every deployment should involve saturation coverage by camera drones.

                It’s just too convenient when the people who plan riots are able to dictate the camera angles.

                1. I don’t know, Brett. I think if you (or the Trump administration) are going to make the argument that the demonstrations outside the White House were not peaceful that day, then you should have some evidence to back it up. I haven’t seen any yet.

                2. Brett Bellmore : “It’s just too convenient when the people who plan riots are able to dictate the camera angles”

                  Well, isn’t that’s today’s Right in a nutshell? It’s a statement barely coherent, ludicrous as an alleged fact, and driven by the insatiable need for victimhood – the compulsion to feel violated by deep & impenetrable forces/conspiracies.

                  Did Brett even believe something so utterly Stupid when he typed it? My guess is it doesn’t matter : Saying worthless junk like this is the equivalent of a religious catechism. Pause to question whether it’s likely or true and you’re not one of the faithful.

                  That we have a pathological liar president is a mere symptom of this disease, not the cause. Of course Brett’s need for lies and political support of a compulsive liar do reinforce each other nicely.

          2. Why would a peaceful protest prevent Trump from getting to a Church for a photo op?

              1. ?? Just sayin’, if a protest is preventing Trump, or anybody else, from going about their business, then it isn’t really peaceful, is it?

                1. Uh, no. That’s extremely untrue.

                  That’s like, state troopers in Selma in 1966 untrue.

                  1. But it could be “peaceful protesters setting buildings on fire in 2020” true.

                    Once you know the media are gaslighting you, telling you rioters are peaceful protesters, why would you ever believe them?

                    1. This bit of ‘I reject your reality and replace it with my own’ has nothing to do with TiP’s ridiculous definition of peaceful.

                    2. It’s not a ridiculous definition. Once “protesters” won’t share the sidewalk, they’re by definition not peaceful anymore.

                      Of course, we’re talking about a protest in the same location where a day earlier rioters had set buildings on fire. And we’re talking about protesters who refused to disperse when the lawful curfew arrived. So at best we’re talking about people “peacefully” violating the law under circumstances that make violence plausible.

                      And you only get to that best if you believe one set of witnesses over another.

                      My own view is that the police, at all levels, are going to have to up their game at documenting events, so that violent rioters can’t plausibly claim to have been peaceful, and police can’t lie about peaceful protesters being violent.

                      But we’re talking about groups who won’t permit anyone not affiliated with them to record video, remember? So in this case I give the tie to the police.

          3. Remember when Trump had peaceful protesters gassed to clear a path to a church for a few seconds of photo-op holding a Bible?

            According to Barr, the decision to move the Lafayette Park protesters back had been made the day before (Sunday), because the protesters had not been peaceful, contrary to media reports.

            “There were three warnings given,” Barr said of Monday’s protest. “But let’s get back to why we took that action. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, there were violent riots at Lafayette Park, where the Park Police were under constant attack behind the bike rack fences. On Sunday, things reached a crescendo. The officers were pummeled with bricks. Crowbars were used to pull up the pavers at the park and hurled at police. Fires were set not only at St. John’s Church, but a historic building at Lafayette Park was burned down.”

            …“They were battling over the fences. They were trying to get entry. They were throwing bricks and inflammable liquid at the police. One-fifth of the — there have been 750 officers hurt in the last week. One-fifth of those have been in Washington, D.C. Most of those have been federal officers at Lafayette Park.”

            “Let me get to this because this has been totally obscured by the media. They broke into the Treasury Department. They were injuring police. That night — Sunday night — the Park Police prepared a plan to clear H Street and put a larger perimeter around the White House so they could build a more permanent fence on Lafayette,” he said. …

            Barr said Park Police were ”facing what they considered to be a very rowdy and noncompliant crowd” on Monday and that “there were projectiles being hurled at the police.” Brennan said her three CBS colleagues were there and didn’t see any thrown, but Barr said, “I was there,” during an afternoon stop at Lafayette Park, and, “I saw them thrown.”

            Park Police acting Chief Gregory Monahan released a statement Tuesday about Monday’s protest claiming that “as many of the protesters became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls”…

      2. Barr wants to charge sedition, not violence.

        Try again, Sparky.

        possible federal charges for failure of Portland to protect the civil rights of its citizens?

        This clearly refers to the contemplation of civil rights violation charges against state/local officials, not the sedition charges against rioters/

    2. Even better that it will be done under the 1871 Anti Klan Act.

  17. 1: Trump wins the election.
    2: Lefties freak out.
    3: Trump exercises the Insurrection Act, possibly suspends writ of habeas corpus (as Lincoln did). Or, conversely, charges all arrested with a Federal offense and then denies bail on the inevitable 2nd arrest.

    What then?

    Personally, I think it would out an end to a lot of this foolishness.

    1. Yep, just wait for the Left to freak out, and not accept the election results.

      They were freaked out months before the 2016 election about what would happened when Trump lost. (When, not if in their minds, the quaint days when Dems and Hillary believed there was no possible path to defeat.) And the Left has been in screaming denial ever since the first Tuesday in November 2016.
      So if the Left wants to know what it looks like when a huge portion of the electorate are in freak out mode for 4 years, they need only look in the mirror.

      1. I think they’re going to riot the day after the election no matter how it turns out. Already scheduled, they’ll just spin it differently, as a “celebration that got out of hand”, if Biden wins.

        1. Their plan is to make sure the election process is seen as illegitimate.

          Its one of the steps in their Color Revolution playbook.

          1. Yes, YES! I love it when you encourage each other to greater heights of lunacy! Please don’t let me stop you.

            1. Let us meet again here on Nov. 4th, and discuss whether there were riots.

              1. Y’all aren’t talking about that, you are talking about a police state in 2021.

                1. No, we are talking about the same agitators who fomented Color Revolutions across Europe and who have been involved in Trump impeachment since before he took office are currently implementing their color revolution playbook here.

  18. Today’s lesson in rhetoric: Barr compares lockdown to slavery

    That’s a current CBS news headline, technically true but only in a way a lawyer would appreciate as they were trying to use weasel words to save a client.

    He was, of course, saying the lockdown is the worst government imposition on freedom and rights since slavery, and he’s right. And of course there is an implied comparison that, presumably, determined slavery was much worse.

    But that’s not what the rhetoric of the headline is designed for. It’s designed to make you think he sat there and pondered it, and thought, “Gee, they’re about the same.”

    There are several other scurrilous statements by CBS as they introduce each clip from his speech, where said clip immediately belies the statement. What are you to think of “eye opening!”?

    1. “And of course there is an implied comparison that, presumably, determined slavery was much worse.”

      That’s not true at all. Perhaps there’s an implied comparison that it’s worse (although it could be equal and have the sentence be true as well), but definitely not “much worse”.

      In any case, the statement is absurd. Are the lockdowns worse than the government response to other diseases: worse than forcing people into leper colonies, worse than lifetime quarantine for typhoid carriers? Are the worse than the Japanese interment camps in World War II?

      1. This isn’t about other things. Clearly Japanese internment during WWII was worse. Those are for free and open debate, and irrelevant to his (or CBS’) point. CBS wasn’t saying what you said at all, and I don’t disagree with it.

        1. “He was, of course, saying the lockdown is the worst government imposition on freedom and rights since slavery, and he’s right.”

          “Clearly Japanese internment during WWII was worse.”

          I have no idea how to reconcile these two statements.

          1. “He was, of course, saying the lockdown is the worst government imposition on freedom and rights since slavery, and he’s right.”

            “Clearly Japanese internment during WWII was worse.”

            I have no idea how to reconcile these two statements.

            There’s no need to reconcile them, unless you’re trying to deflect from the point about the dishonesty of the CBS headline…which was the point of the post.

            1. So we’re not allowed to respond to other content in the post, like whether Barr’s claim was correct or not? If Krayt didn’t want to defend the correctness of Barr’s statement, he didn’t have to, but he took the stance that the lockdowns were indeed the worst thing since slavery so it’s totally fair game to discuss whether that’s actually the case.

              I don’t really care about the headline one way or the other, but if others want to talk about that they’re welcome to.

              1. If Krayt didn’t want to defend the correctness of Barr’s statement, he didn’t have to, but he took the stance that the lockdowns were indeed the worst thing since slavery

                No, he didn’t say they were “indeed the worst thing since slavery”. In fact he explicitly said:

                “Clearly Japanese internment during WWII was worse. Those are for free and open debate, and irrelevant to his (or CBS’) point. CBS wasn’t saying what you said at all, and I don’t disagree with it.”

                He said that the lockdowns have been the “government imposition on freedom and rights since slavery”. That’s in no way incompatible with the statement above, because while the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII was a far more serious imposition on that particular group, it was not an imposition on the country as a whole. “Greater” can refer to degree, quantity or a combination of the two.

                1. Let me correct a mistake I made by mixing words used in two different subthreads here. My reference to the meaning of “great” was to Brett’s quote that appears downstream from here. But the same applies to the use of “worse/worst” here.

                2. You seem very confused about how a conversation works. Just because someone changes their mind halfway through doesn’t erase the statements they made earlier in time. Anyone with the ability to scroll on an Internet site can look and see what Krayt wrote in the original post about Barr’s claim being correct.

      2. “Putting a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders, is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history,”

        Seems pretty clear that he’s saying slavery was worse.

        Lockdowns vs those other examples? You’re talking about worse impositions against many fewer people. It’s perfectly reasonable to argue the lockdowns are worse, in as much as the effected many more people.

      3. There is no precedent (or legal authority) for quarantining healthy people beyond the normal incubation period of the virus (14 days in this case). Some of the lockdowns are going on 6 months now. So yeah, they’re worse than leper colonies and typhoid quarantines.

    2. Yes the lockdowns are a restriction n civil rights and so was slavery.

      He said the worst SINCE which means slavery was worse.

      Duh

      1. “He said the worst SINCE which means slavery was worse.”

        No it doesn’t. It means that there was nothing as bad as either in between.

        Now, there’s a reasonable inference that slavery was at least as bad since otherwise he’d presumably have picked some event even farther in the past or said “of all time”. But if he thought the lockdowns were identically as bad to slavery, the statement would still make total sense so you can’t infer that he thought slavery was worse.

        To the extent you don’t want people to accuse you of making bad equivalences in these situations, the usual way you do it is by saying something like “Now, we all know that slavery was much worse than any of these lockdowns, but we really haven’t seen any infringement on people’s rights as bad since then.”

        1. Which is exactly what he did in the clip they played. It is CBS that makes this scurrilous implied claim from the rhetoric of their headline: “He said the worst since slavery, which means he could think it the equal of slavery, so let’s scream that at the top of our lungs!”

          In other words, give a headline knowingly misleading that they can facetiously claim doesn’t mean that if called on it.

          1. He really does not seem to say that slavery was obviously worse. I had to go and hunt down the quote, but if anything it’s worse than I initially assumed:

            “You know, putting a national lockdown, stay at home orders, is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”

            So far from disclaiming that slavery was actually worse or making it clear from context that it was much worse, he just says it was “a different kind of restraint”.

            1. You see what you want to see. It’s not there.

              1. Obviously, we all see things through our own lenses. FWIW, I originally jumped into this discussion just to point out that the logical parsing of his statement wasn’t clearcut one way or the other.

                Having actually seen what he said, though, I think he did a much less good job of distinguishing slavery and the lockdown than the vast majority of people would have. Does he think that lockdowns are as bad as slavery? Almost certainly not. Did he say a dumb, hyperbolic thing about the lockdowns? Definitely.

    3. Krayt: “He was, of course, saying the lockdown is the worst government imposition on freedom and rights since slavery, and he’s right.”

      Japanese Americans living on the west coast during WW2 would like 5 minutes for rebuttal.

      1. Fair enough. But that wasn’t CBS’ point.

        1. Yeah, I was just being a wiseass. I do take your point, but I’d say it’s a common debating technique from both sides. It’s a little like just arguing against your statement about “the worst government imposition…” and ignoring your main point.

          1. I actually considered Japanese internment before my initial post (or any other situations), but didn’t bring it up because that was a distraction to the point that CBS was deliberately scurrilous in their wording, knowingly planning for the average reader to misinterpret it.

            1. Remember, they were reporting on this as fact. As others above show without realizing it, it’s guessing at what he meant, and drawing the worst possible conclusion for what can only be assumed are political reasons, or confirmation bias.

  19. Appearantly the President of Princeton University sent out an open letter acknowledging that racism is a huge problem at Princeton, and is in fact embedded in the structure of the University.

    DeVos is investigating.

    1. It is they give preferences to blacks.

    2. This wasn’t solved by removing the name “Woodrow Wilson” from everything?

  20. If we got into a hot war with China, what would happen to the CCP’s auxiliaries and allies here in America, e.g. BLM, Professional Sports, Hollywood, Big Tech, Pentagon Brass, and Democrat Party?

    1. If we got into a hot war with Russia, what would happen with Putin’s auxiliaries and allies here in America, e.g., Donald Trump and Sam Gompers?

      (Yes, both of these questions are equally stupid.)

    2. What would happen if you had to go an entire day w/out ranting nonsense?

      1. Do you think the players of the NBA would kneel during the Chinese National Anthem?

        1. if playing in China and the Chinese wanted them to probably wouldn’t have a choice as they would be prompted to kneel with the barrel of a gun.

  21. Is it unkind of me to think that anyone who can’t make it to the end of “politicization” without removing a syllable shouldn’t be a television news reporter?

  22. If conservatives are so opposed to big government, why are so many of the big states governed by conservatives? I’m looking at you Alaska and Texas!

    1. Similarly the top 8 smallest states are all run by Democrats!

    2. Alaska and Texas aren’t big. They’re just big boned.

      1. “Alaska and Texas aren’t big. They’re just big boned.”

        As a Texan, I have to admit that it’s true.

    3. Finally, someone asking the real questions. Also, if conservatives are in favor of states’ rights and against federal power, why do they call their opponents “statists” and call their own institutions “federalist” (The Federalist, FedSoc, etc.)?

  23. There has been a lot of bubbling up of a “whistle blower” complaint that DHS was send detainees to a gynacoligist who was doing unnecessary procedures, including removing ovaries.

    Some of the language has seen overheated, alleging the doctor was a “uterus collector” or was forced sterilization or even medical experimentation.

    Looking for more facts the best I could come up with is 5 hysterectomies between October and December of 2019 or twenty over that has 2-3 years. There was an allegation that in one instance an ovary was to be removed because of a cyst, but the wrong ovary was removed and the other one had to be later removed.

    1. What is your source? Not sure there would be public records of this.

      I mean, I agree we need more investigation than just on whistleblower, but I don’t think you’ve debunked anything.

      1. At this point I don’t think it’s even been “bunked” yet, to be debunked. Even the paper that broke the story admitted they had no evidence it was true. It’s just a rumor at this point.

    2. I’m surprised some bearded feminist hasn’t been screaming about the lack of knowledge of the female reproductive system in this reporting. An ovary is not a uterus.

  24. I’m at an age where law school friends are becoming professors. Having a fun time on our weekly phone check-ins coming up with contracts hypotheticals on stuff like offer versus conditional gift.

    It has doubled our call length though. That first year figuring out how to teach contracts for your particular style seems like a bear.

    1. I had one of those Socratic assholes who wouldn’t tell you the answer, and that awful Farnsworth book. To this day, I’m still unsure whether the doctrine of “consideration” was “reformed” by the “moral obligation” doctrine.

  25. News from Florida on a post from earlier.

    The state supreme court actually issued a writ of mandamus to Gov. DiSantis and he unfortunately caved.

    Fortunately per the Miami Herald:

    “Jamie R. Grosshans, the last-minute choice of Gov. Ron DeSantis to the Florida Supreme Court, is an anti-abortion defender who has been active in a number of Christian legal groups, including a powerful national organization whose mission is to “spread the Gospel by transforming the legal system.”

    1. Florida was started by people who wanted to spread the Gospel.

  26. The Democrat PA Supreme Court is doing their part to rig the election.

    1. Kicked Green Party off the ballot! With no opportunity to get back on.

    2. Mail ballot deadline extended to 3 days after election day!

    The (R) legislature has been trying to pass legislation to fix the problems in PA, but the Gov. is not having it.

    https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/09/17/mail-in-ballots-deadline-extended-pennsylvania/

    1. The Green Party screwed up and didn’t follow the rules for address change, even after the PA election folks reached out to them. This isn’t a dirty trick; no sympathy.

      Mail ballot deadline extended to 3 days after election day
      For ballots with a preelection postmark date. What’s wrong with that?

      1. You think they’d kick the Democratic party off the ballot if they made a similar mistake? I don’t; I recall at least one case where they forgot to file for ballot access, and were put on the ballot anyway. But only the major parties have the rules waived if they screw up and don’t follow them.

        1. They probably wouldn’t, but they probably wouldn’t kick the Republicans off either.

          FWIW, the Wisconsin Supreme Court (which is controlled by Republicans) did basically the same thing this week for basically the same reasons:

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/wisconsin-court-green-party/2020/09/14/cc0fd7fc-f685-11ea-be57-d00bb9bc632d_story.html

        2. What put it over for me is that they called the freaking green party and they still didn’t do it!

          I’m sure the bigger parties with bigger lawyers would get their way. After an awkward time. And someone getting fired. And that sucks.

          Doesn’t mean you ignore the rules. As you have very often yourself argued, albeit in a different context.

          1. Yeah, basically you’re saying, “Just because the major parties ARE allowed to ignore the rules in the end, is no reason to cut a minor party similar slack.”

            Agreed, they should just cut out cutting anybody slack. After the first election where one of the major parties didn’t make the ballot due to forgetting to pay their pro forma $50 filing fee, they’d change the rules.

            But, realistically, that’s not going to happen. As I keep saying “majestic equality” is actually the best you can hope for.

            I suspect that the Green party had some internal discussions about whether they really wanted to get blamed for helping Trump win, and somebody decided they’d take a dive this year.

            1. You sound like my leftist message boards.
              The rich get to hire great criminal lawyers, so lets go easier on the poor.

              You seem to agree that it’s a systemic issue and no bad faith is in evidence. Perhaps an analogy exists to the argument we’re having on another thread about whether systemic issues are a thing!

              1. No, I’d say bad faith in definitely in evidence, they literally have different ballot access rules for minor and major parties.

                But there’s no evidence this particular screw up was due to it.

                1. So now disparate impact is proof of bad faith? That may take you to some places you don’t want to go…

                  1. What Brett actually said:

                    they literally have different ballot access rules for minor and major parties

                    Your predictably dishonest spin on it:

                    So now disparate impact is proof of bad faith?

                    Same old, same old.

      2. Why is following the law as written important for ballot access but not for voting deadlines? The PA statute required ballots to be received by 8 pm on Election Day.

      3. Mail ballot deadline extended to 3 days after election day For ballots with a preelection postmark date. What’s wrong with that?

        Assuming enormous stacks don’t come in from nowhere, nothing.

    2. “2. Mail ballot deadline extended to 3 days after election day!”

      Here’s some other states that allow this:

      Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, and West Virginia

      Definitely those Pennsylvania commies trying to steal the election, though!

      1. Judges are changing the rules after the election has started.

        Doesn’t that bother you?

        1. The election definitely has not started in Pennsylvania. No ballots have been cast or even mailed out.

          1. “The court added: that “ballots received within this period” — i.e. between November 3 and 6 –“that lack a postmark or other proof of mailing, or for which the postmark or other proof of mailing is illegible, will be presumed to have been mailed by Election Day unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that it was mailed after Election Day”

            No postmark even needed. Thats okay with you?

            1. Under what scenario do you think that leaves an opening to fraud?

              1. Votes placed after 11/3 and submitted before 11/6.

                There are three days to produce unpostmarked ballots after the election night to overcome any election night results.

                1. Yeah, that was so obvious you have to wonder if Sarcastro really has his head in the game at this point.

                  1. Where Sarcastr0 has his head lodged would be a truly odd place to host a game.

                2. *and then a miracle occurs*

                  1. For some reason I find your dismissive snark a very uncompelling counter-argument.

                    1. Dismissive snark and flat-out lying are the only arrows in his quiver. Why are you trying to hamstring him so badly?

            2. Going for argument number three, huh?

              I think allowing non-postmarked mail that arrives on the day after the election is pretty reasonable because the USPS doesn’t do same day delivery for first class mail.

              I agree that 3 days out starts to look questionable, but there’s a hard balancing question here: what do you do with ballots that, through no fault of the voters, have faulty postmarks or no postmarks? Prior to this election cycle, this seems like the sort of issue that we just didn’t think about that much, but now that vote-by-mail is so prominent in political discourse (and more common as a voting mechanism) and the USPS is somewhat less reliable than in the past. I don’t really have good answers, but it’s not surprising to me that this is an issue that people are struggling with.

              1. if its not postmarked how do you know it was even mailed.

                1. Because you get it from the mailman!

                  More seriously, AIUI local election officials work pretty closely with local post offices to develop processes to hand off election mail. The post office also has special handling for election mail internally. So you only trust mail that doesn’t have a postmark that comes through the expected channels.

                  It would be interesting to understand what fraction of mail ends up arriving without a postmark and what fraction arrives with an illegible postmark; I suspect the latter is actually the bigger chunk of the problem.

                  1. Trust the guys whom we’ve seen dumping mail and throwing out political mailers with our ballots with non-postmarked ballots?

                    You have to be kidding me.

                    1. I mean, if the thing you’re worried about is postal employees tampering with the mail, I hate to break this to you but they have access to postmarking equipment.

                      If you’re worried about the integrity of the postal system, it’s perhaps reasonable to insist on delivery by election day, but relying on a postmark doesn’t help you at all if you’re worried about cases where the post office is in on the fix.

  27. Happy Constitution Day! I am getting ready to attend a 917 Society Constitution Day Celebration, but I wanted to pop in and ask some questions. I know a lot of smart people comment here. I am in Tennessee and an in a custody battle from hell–6 years in and about to take my case to the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

    This lack of accountability for judges who abuse their discretion is disturbing.

    I thought I would get a fair review, especially when I pointed out how much they ignored in my Petition for Rehearing. The whole point of appealing was to get the appellate judges to acknowledge that the trial court abused her discretion by ignoring a ton of relevant facts that contradict her findings. It matters less that they agree with me than it does that they look at all the facts.

    What is it that law clerks do, exactly? Do they do what we are led to believe the judges are doing? I have no reason to believe any judge read my brief other than to skim through and pick out a few things to give the appearance that they read it. I was told pro se litigants are treated differently. I have read hundreds of opinions and some seem more carefully considered than others. In my case, I feel like they just blew me off…twice! I put my brief on Facebook for anyone to read.

    How do people get Amicus Briefs submitted in their cases? I hate being the only one saying there is a problem with judges not actually reviewing for error and addressing all the issues raised.

    https://www2.tncourts.gov/PublicCaseHistory/CaseDetails.aspx?id=74850&Number=True

    My petition for rehearing is in the document history. If any of you know anyone who might be interested in chiming in, please pass the info on. I have 53 days to file my application to the Supreme Court. I have never gone this far. I just can’t believe how carelessly the courts treat children and trample the Constitution.

    1. Family courts are far from fair. Some would argue they are so corrupt that the entire system ought to be done away with entirely.

  28. Why did that totally organic 50 Day Siege on the Whitehouse get cancelled as soon as Pelosi said violent protests shouldn’t happen?

    1. You’re a maniac for correlations proving causation, aren’t you?

      1. To quote the always relevant XKCD, “Correlation doesn’t imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing, “Look over there!””

        1. Sam is not looking over there, he’s suggesting it’s causal.

          Gathering a bunch of correlations in one place and declaring this cannot be coincidence it must be causal is like a pillar of crap science and conspiracy theorizing.

          1. I didn’t see any declaring it couldn’t be coincidence. Was it a different comment you were replying to?

            You know, at one time, media outlets would adopt the exact same line on an event, generally a Democratic party talking point, within a few hours of each other.

            And I’d dismiss it as some kind of “flocking” behavior, like starlings. Or just partisan hack minds thinking alike. Didn’t want to be all conspiratorial, you know.

            Then Journolist was exposed. Whoa, it really was them getting together secretly behind the scenes to make sure everybody adopted the same line! Color me surprised! Of course, Journolist got ‘shut down’, and then there was Cabalist. Who knows what they’re calling it today.

            Point is, correlation doesn’t prove correlation, or tell you which direction it goes if it’s there. But it really does suggest it’s worth looking for it.

            1. I didn’t see any declaring it couldn’t be coincidence.

              Has Sarcastr0 ever let what someone has actually said prevent him from pretending that they said something different so he could respond with a straw man pulled from his ass?

              1. You seem a little obsessed. Perhaps either take it down a notch, or muster up your courage and ask him out for a meal.

                1. He’s such a prolific liar that calling him on even half of his bullshit requires a fair amount of posting. As for the asking him out for a meal part, I’ll leave that to you, seeing as how you feel the need to white-knight on his behalf.

  29. So a nice, but clearly very old, customer service lady had to help me with my web order of ammo today (web orders get held at some retailers to prevent fraud).

    I am always a little sheepish about calling about an ammo order.
    But after I commented how lucky I felt I was was to score some ammo she said “oh yeah I understand I’ve been trying to score some too”. lolololol

    Nothing unites Americans like the need to score some cheap ammo in these uncertain times. ‘MURICA

    1. And the fact that an old lady in Iowa, a lot of people in NJ, and countless minority new shooters in MD that I’ve run into recently – the fact that they all agree on the need to score some 9mm for self protection, that bodes doom for Biden.

      1. In a rational world it ought to, in this world plenty of gun owners rationalize voting for Democrats who’d gladly deprive them of those guns.

        But, on the margin, it doesn’t help him.

        1. Few people are in fact one issue voters.

          However, the “gun vote” often correlates to, and even magnifies the impact of, other issues. People vote in accordance with their pocketbook and home situation. Whats happening with ammo prices is a good proxy for other issues that will drive people away from Biden.

  30. I’m starting to think that this will be the last election America has under our current Constitution. Both sides are doing such a good job of making sure the results of the elections are so questionable that I don’t think anyone who wins is going to be viewed as legitimate by about half the population.

    With gun stores bare and ammo virtually unavailable, I doubt this is going to end well (or depending on your viewpoint maybe it will.)

    1. Nah, it’s just politicians at the top fighting for power. Neither side wants to be the new Lords of Tinier Country.

  31. “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

    How can any organization or institution that has declared they are racist qualify for federal funds?

    1. You missed the footnote – “Does not apply to liberals.”

  32. Does anyone actually like haggis?

    Can someone who’s had it and liked it please comment?

    1. I have had it a couple of times in Scotland. The first time was in a no-frills place as part of a “full Scottish breakfast.” It was griddled and tasted like corned beef hash. The second time was in a nicer restaurant, and it was very plain.

    2. My wife and I love it, and one of us ate it in one form or another every day of our vacation to Edinburgh. I’m actively lobbying to get the ban on its importation to the U.S. (or it being made here) lifted. It’s like any other dish in that there are well-prepared examples and those that are not so well-prepared, so it’s important that you try a good one as your first example.

    3. After trying it in an Edinburgh pub, I had it pretty much every day for the remainder of my stay in Scotland. That was 27 yrs ago, and I still sometimes crave it.

    4. I’ve never had it, and I’m disappointed to learn we can’t have the real thing here in the U.S. But, there are types of haggis available, as from Scottish Gourmet USA – (no connection with them, just found them online). Maybe I’ll order one.

  33. What Republican would trust the Post Office if this is required to be on the ballot’s envelope?

    https://media.thedonald.win/post/V7B1oi5X.jpeg

    1. Probably anyone who understands that that was an envelope for the primary elections and has nothing to do with the general?

      1. Good catch. I missed that.

        My bad.

        1. But applying the standards you apply to Sarcastro, Sam, we’ll have to assume you were intentionally lying and forever brand you a liar.

          Applying the standards of normal decent human beings, I applaud your Sarcastro-like immediately acknowledgement of mistake. It speaks well of you.

          1. I didn’t claim I read a non-existent story in a non-existent link. I only stated I didn’t read my content carefully enough before making a claim about it.

            Further, Sacrastro never confessed his lie. I tried to act is if it was simply an error.

            How can you make an error about reading a story that never existed?

  34. Here’s a meta question for Brett, arising out of the exchange upthread in which he tries to equate Trump’s dishonesty with Obama’s, Hillary’s and Biden’s. For me, and I suspect many others, it encapsulates the predicament I feel when attempting to discuss so many things about Trump:

    What would you say to someone who insisted the sky is plaid, and when you pointed out that it’s incontrovertably, factually blue, laughed off your answer as a product of Plaid Derangement Syndrome?

    I wouldn’t ask you to refrain from telling me why the question itself proves my TDS, but first, please answer it.

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