Thursday/Friday Open Thread

Better late than never!

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Meant to post it this morning, but forgot; sorry about that. I'll extend it to Friday as well this week.

NEXT: How Individualism Promotes Generosity

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  1. FYI: Check out my most recent paper “Adam Smith in Love,” available here (via Econ Journal Watch): https://econjwatch.org/articles/adam-smith-in-love

    1. Super interesting, thanks for sharing.

  2. Has anyone found a solid counter-argument to why these 10 principles should be taught in public schools and to Government employees?

    (a) One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
    (b) The […] United States is fundamentally racist or sexist;
    (c) An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
    (d) An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;
    (e) Members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;
    (f) An individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;
    (g) An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
    (h) Any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or
    (i) Meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.
    (j) […] any other form of race or sex stereotyping or any other form of race or sex scapegoating.

    Reference: NH HB 544

    1. I think (i) could be taught (the idea of what constitutes merit has often involved things to advantage some racial/ethnic/gender groups over another. And (b) could be reasonably held (I myself don’t hold it, but it certainly could be).

      1. Like what? Showing up on time? Planning for the long term? Being good at math? Knowing how to spell? Having good grammar?

        None of those should be associated with a particular race, and all are tools for success. But seeking out those traits in employees has been considered racist, or at least anti-anti-racist.

        1. Have you seen some of the old questions on SATs? About yachts and regattas?

          1. You mean this one?

            Runner: Marathon

            a) Envoy : Embassy
            b) Martyr : Massacre
            c) Oarsman : Regatta
            d) Horse : Stable

            Is vocabulary racist?

            1. Yeah, blacks and whites had equal access to regattas (and thus same familiarity with words about them) back then!

              1. Actually, yes.

                There are more White welfare recipients than there *are* Black people, the vast majority of White test takers had never been to a regatta.

              2. I came close to acing the SAT back in the 70’s, and I assure you I’d never been to a regatta. You didn’t have to have been to one for it to be part of your vocabulary. You just had to be well read, and have a good memory.

                1. “You just had to be well read, and have a good memory.”

                  And, of course, your idea of being well-read had to match up with what the test-writers think being well-read means.

                  1. There is no reaching these clingers. You can’t argue with superstition, bigotry, or belligerent ignorance. Just continue to defeat them in the culture war and wait for them to die off and be replaced by better people in the normal course.

              3. I never realized what an underprivileged white I was, having never had any experience with regattas prior to taking the SAT.

              4. Yeah, blacks and whites had equal access to regattas (and thus same familiarity with words about them) back then!

                Do you only know about things that you’ve directly experienced/had “access to”?

            2. Are you seriously defending one of the worst questions in the history of the SAT’s?

              1. Are you seriously suggesting that any significant percentage of white Americans have ever had experience with/access to regattas?

                1. I don’t think you get the criticism, Wuz. The value of the question as a discriminator is that, “regatta,” is esoteric. It won’t just screen out blacks, it also disadvantages the hoi polloi among whites. Which was the point. To find discriminators and expose test takers to them as a graded series, and see how they do. That’s measured meritocracy in action. It’s also measured class privilege in action. They go together.

                  1. I don’t think you get the criticism

                    I most certainly do…though you clearly either missed it, or read it and are just dishonestly moving the original complainants goalposts for them. Here it was:

                    to advantage some racial/ethnic/gender groups over another.

                    Even after all these years you still suck at this.

          2. I came across a statement by ACT acknowledging that high school grades are a better predictor of final college GPA, but claiming that their test is a better predictor of “expected level of academic proficiency in mathematics or writing beyond the first year of college” as well as “ultimate level of degree attainment by the end of postsecondary education,” and so their test should also be used.

            There is a movement to get colleges to stop using these tests because it is said that the results are too greatly influenced by prep courses that only the rich can afford. The other side says that that grade inflation has made grades less informative and asks who is going to win if it comes down to a 4.0 from a fancy college prep school or a 4.0 from a poor rural school in Mississippi. They claim that standardized testing may be the only way for the student from the underprivileged background to compete on an even playing field.

            1. Seems like the notion that BPA better predicts college performance is hopelessly tangled by the fact that students were pre-sorted for college readiness by standardized tests. Absent standardized tests used to sort students into more- or less-demanding colleges, would GPA from a less-demanding preparatory school be a better or worse predictor of academic performance than SAT results at Harvard?

        2. Another that comes to mind is certain grooming/dress standards.

          1. I never seen a Black man in my life that didn’t outdress me.

            In fact I still remember a conversation I had in Oakland about 50 years ago, me a hippie wearing jeans and a t-shirt, him wearing creased slacks, shined shoes, and polyester shirt.

            He said “You young white guys got it made, you can step out of the house wearing 10$ of clothes and nobody thinks nothing about it, I got to spend a couple a hundred and an hour to get ready or all my people going to be talking about me all day.”

            But that wasn’t something put on him by the white man, that’s his culture, and he wasn’t dressing up to apply for a day job either.

            1. Clueless clingers are among my favorite culture war casualties. Putting them in their place will never get old.

      2. There’s a distinct difference between the concept of merit and the specific metrics by which you evaluate merit. You can reject the metrics without rejecting the concept.

        And an individual is welcome to hold belief (b). The Government should not, however, be stating that as a fact to its employees or the children it has assumed the educational responsibility of.

        1. “There’s a distinct difference between the concept of merit and the specific metrics by which you evaluate merit. ”

          The legislation you quoted doesn’t seem to be specific about that.

      3. And (b) could be reasonably held

        The question isn’t whether it could reasonably be held but whether it should be taught as a fact by a public school.

    2. The CRT people will probably be adopting the Jansenist approach and deny that they hold the condemned views.

      Recall how the Popes tried to counter the Jansenists by condemning various theological propositions which were attributed to the Jansenists. Then the Jansenists were like, “straw man, dude! We don’t believe that stuff, so it doesn’t apply!”

      1. “The CRT people will probably be adopting the Jansenist approach and deny that they hold the condemned views. ”

        And to a large extent they’d be correct. Which work of Critical Race Theory did you find to be the worse when you read them and which parts specifically?

        1. I’d have to subject myself to those works first.

          But it’s certainly reassuring that the banned doctrines aren’t being taught in school, that would be a downer.

          Indeed, you’d think the Democrats would get out ahead of this issue by supporting such laws, since it wouldn’t, as you say, affect anything they’re doing.

          “Let the gall’d jade, wince, our withers are unwrung” (sp?)

          1. But then here are the comments of “Kendall Thomas, a law professor at Columbia University and co-editor of Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement” –

            “Asked by Newsweek about the Idaho law, Thomas hit out at the “cynical politicians and pundits who champion anti-CRT laws like the ones in Idaho and New Hampshire.” They are “clearly afraid,” he went on, “worried they will lose the national debate we have finally started to have in this country about institutional racism.”

            “He added: “The right-wing weaponization of CRT aims to shut down a difficult but necessary conversation about race, racism and the future of democracy in America. The architects of these anti-CRT laws want Americans to stop talking about institutional racism, even if it means trafficking in the reckless politics of racial division they say they oppose.””

            Then he adds:

            “Thomas also told Newsweek: “One thing I’ve noticed about the recent over-the-top attacks on CRT is how little they have to do with the ideas and arguments CRT writers are actually making.””

            So it seems he’s freaking out for no reason, since the laws he’s so vehemently denouncing don’t even apply to his doctrines.

              1. Yes, that’s exactly the line of attack. Simply proclaim that the anti-racists are fighting the good fight fail to actually say how banning the adoption of some explicit precepts hurts that fight…beyond proclaiming “culture war is bad”.

            1. That’s silly, because the laws are being explicitly sold as anti-CRT. If a law passed denouncing and prohibiting Libertarian Theory from being taught I don’t think libertarians would be ‘no big deal’ just because they didn’t get all the tenets right.

              1. I think libertarians are used to it.

                If we repealed every law based on fake narratives, then I suppose you’d want to repeal the laws named after Matthew Shephard, for instance?

                1. I didn’t say based on fake narratives did I, I said getting the many of the tenets wrong.

                  This is pedantic though since the main point, that any school of thought which is being explicitly targeted in this way is going to be naturally upset about it (even if, and perhaps especially if, what it holds is also then misconstrued).

                  1. You’re accusing *yourself* of being pedantic?

                    Anyway, explain to the upset CRT proponents that since they don’t teach anything described in that bill they’re off the hook and can still teach their beneficent doctrines, since it’s the statute which has legal force, not the rhetoric accompanying the statute – I think even an originalist would agree with me here.

                    1. If you’ve codified fake versions of the ideas you’re trying to suppress into law, it doesn’t matter what the actual ideas are, they’re just going to be suppressed because it’s now the law that they be suppressed. You could say CRT teaches that the sky is green even though it doesn’t, make it illegal to teach that the sky is green, and bingo, CRT is suppressed because it teaches that the sky is green. How could you object to stopping people from teaching that the sky is green?

                    2. Run that by me again? Even if they teach that the sky is blue, they would be banned?

                    3. If the purpose of the law is to ban them, and you’re willing to lie, of course it would. The logic of the authoritarian suppression of ideas does not rely on accurately representing those ideas. Quite the opposite.

                    4. “Run that by me again? Even if they teach that the sky is blue, they would be banned?”

                      I don’t care what Lynyrd Skynyrd says, the sky is black.

                    5. The sky is the colour of a television set to a dead channel.

                    6. Well done, Nige.

              2. Talking points and legislation are two different things. None of the laws ban “Critical Race Theory”. What they do is to ban certain concepts that have crept out of CRT. Talk race all you want. Have weeks and weeks of diversity training. Whatever. But here are 10 things you can’t say.

                1. ” But here are 10 things you can’t say.”

                  So it’s being ‘canceled?’

                  1. You’re giving me warm, fuzzy feelings toward cancel culture.

                  2. Your position a few comments ago was that nobody really says those things. So no messages, and no people, ar getting canceled. It’s all a big misunderstanding!

                    1. What CRT actually teaches is irrelevant to the people passing and supporting this legislation, except inasmuch as they don’t like it and they want it to go away. So long as CRT and those ten points are held to be indistinguishable by the cynical and authoritarian, it will be suppressed, regardless of what it actually teaches.

                    2. How will a legal ban on racist and un-American teaching stop teaching which isn’t racist or un-American?

                    3. Because the content of the teachings is irrelevant, except inasmuch as they are perceived as a threat, only the label you attach to it, or the version of it you codify into law, has relevence when it comes to effectively supressing it.

                    4. “It’s all a big misunderstanding!”

                      that’s the Conservative Way!

                  3. “So it’s being ‘canceled?'”
                    It see that you use the word “cancelled” as a rhetorical device to needle your opponents in argument rather than to confront them logically.
                    Why do you take the cheap way out?

                2. The purpose of the legislation is to suppress CRT. Reactionary culture war tactics have codified CRT as meaning all the things in the legislation. This is a lie of course, but when you’re setting out to suppress ideas you don’t balk at lying. so long as it is being enforced by people who maintain that CRT means these things, CRT will be suppressed.

                  1. Let’s also repeal the laws against sexual harassment, because people lie about being sexually harassed.

                    No, I’m afraid I don’t get the logic.

                    1. If you lega;y codifed sexual harassment as, say, objecting to sexual harassment and then passed a law against sexual harassment, then that is the sort of law you would have here, and you would be defending it by saying but how can you object to a law against sexual harassment?

                    2. ‘legally’

                    3. What’s the relevance of this particular hypothetical?

                    4. Bad faith legislation needs bad faith defence.

                    5. Nige,
                      “Bad faith legislation needs bad faith defence.”
                      is very far from a compelling argument. CRT has become know by a number of popularized slogans. As a sociological topic or historical treatment there of the legislation does not outlaw its study. It does seek to eliminate the popularized slogans as propaganda tools in courses funded by taxes.

                    6. It seeks to codify the false version established by reactionaries in order to overwrite the reality of CRT with its distorted right-wing version so that, culturally and legislatively, the two will be indistinguishable, and its suppression will be justified. Whether it succeeds or not will be entirely down to the exercise of power.

                    7. It seeks to codify the false version established by reactionaries in order to overwrite the reality of CRT with its distorted right-wing version so that, culturally and legislatively, the two will be indistinguishable, and its suppression will be justified.

                      “The law suppresses stuff that isn’t actually CRT, therefore it suppresses CRT.”

                      Are you even capable of experiencing embarrassment?

                    8. Embarrassed for you, maybe.

                    9. “I know you are, but what am I?!!!”

          2. Ah, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. Carry on.

            1. Does Critical Race Theory teach the things the law bans?

              If it doesn’t, wouldn’t you say these laws are of no particular concern to you?

              Wouldn’t you even say that these laws, while practically irrelevant, will serve your purposes by providing reassurance to the hicks that racism isn’t being taught on their dime?

              I’m not sure why you go after me for being willing to assume CRT is benevolent and avoids these laws. Stipulating to facts in a way favorable to you isn’t enough, I guess, to avoid your wrath.

              1. And let’s remember the numerous cases blogged about here at Volokh which discuss the legal conclusions which would follow if certain facts were true, and the bloggers and commenters discuss these legal matters in *total ignorance* of the facts, not having attended the trial or read the record.

                1. I think the Bloggers usually know the record of cases they blog about. The commenters often don’t, and it’s why so much of what’s said there is often uncommonly silly.

                  1. Sometimes the record is simply a court assuming certain allegations are true and deciding whether things should even enter the factfinding stage at all.

              2. No wrath, I just think people should try to learn something about a school of thought before the start denouncing it and trying to pass laws about it. YMMV.

                1. Are these laws actually “about” CRT? Does CRT actually teach any of the condemned propositions? If not, the law can’t be “about” them.

                  You’re missing out on an excellent political opportunity – let your adversaries wear themselves out banning racist [and un-American] teaching by the government, only to find that there are no such teachings actually being proposed and all their effort went for naught – that’s time they could have spent raping baby puppies or implementing other parts of their evil agenda, so the public benefits!

              3. If the law that bans these things was passed by people who, lying, say that CRT teaches these things, then the law can be used to ban CRT. It’s a cynical, reactionary, authoritarian piece of legislation, a piece of nasty, dog-whistlng Trumpist populism.

                1. “a piece of nasty, dog-whistlng Trumpist populism.”
                  Your sloganeering is far from an intellectual argument. It is as much of a dog-whistle as anything spouted by the Orange Clown

                  1. There is moral cowardice here in refusing to engage with the merits or the morality of what is happening in favour of hiding behind false equivalence.

                    1. False equivalence, nonsense.
                      The high priest(ess)es of CRT promote their hypotheses based on non-falsifiables such as “structural racism.” To some extent, either wittingly or unwittingly they promote apologetics for what they silently see as black underachievement.
                      I buy neither their hypotheses nor their logic (to the extent that their is any).
                      How is that for not hiding?

                    2. Ever was it thus.

                2. If the law that bans these things was passed by people who, lying, say that CRT teaches these things, then the law can be used to ban CRT.

                  Are you really that stupid? Who passed a law and what they say about…anything…has precisely dick to do with what it bans. What matters is what the statute says. If the statute bans practice X, and group Z doesn’t engage in practice X then the statute does not ban group Z’s practices…even of those who enacted the statute claimed that group Z does engage in practice X.

                  1. ‘even if’

                    Yeah, you see, it’s an exercise in power.

                    1. As is typical of this character, no real response.

                    2. Don’t really feel like repeating myself to people vested in not understanding.

                    3. As is typical of this character

                      Clearly the word “character” is not applicable to Nige.

              4. Frankly, I think the point of these laws is precisely to distort CRT. And I think all the objections are simply playing into the hands of those on the right who are constantly trying to fight culture battles – Dr. Seuss!!

                Don’t help the rabble-rousers.

    3. Many of those items sound too vague to withstand First Amendment scrutiny if a state uses them to ban debating the merits of the 1619 Project or Critical Race Theory.

      1. The “ban” is very specific in terms of the constraint:

        shall not teach, instruct, or train any employee, contractor, staff member, student, or any other individual or group, to adopt or believe

        1. At first blush, two things strike me as being vague about applying the statute to someone who leads a group of people in a debate on the merits of the 1619 Project or Critical Race Theory: 1) are either of them “divisive concepts” as defined by the statute and 2) would debating the merits fall under “teach, instruct or train […] to adopt or believe.”

          1. I don’t see how that’s vague. There’s a distinct difference between “Is America racist?” and “America is racist”. One is a discussion point and the other is a statement of fact. However, if the only correct answer on an exam is “Yes” to the question “Is America racist”, then the statute would apply.

            1. How about an assignment which reads, “Do you think white supremacy has resulted in structural racism which maintains power through American law? Support your viewpoint with primary source references.”

              1. Sure. It’s still a question. It’s just that there isn’t only one right answer

                1. In that case, perhaps this is a law looking to solve a problem that doesn’t exist? And perhaps these laws are just virtue signaling to a political base?

                  1. Probably….maybe…but that doesn’t explain why the reaction is what it is.

                    1. Sure it does. The proponents of the law spend a lot of time denouncing CRT, of course CRT proponents are not going to think that’s good. And vague laws restricting what teacher can say is by itself troublesome to a lot of folks.

                  2. I went back to college as an adult 10 years into my first career. This was within the last decade. I took a gender studies class as an elective. The tests and curriculum was very much tilted toward indoctrination and accepting the professor’s positions as truth. For instance, I had to write a paper about why fat people are deserving of protected class status and how their plight relates to the broader theory of intersectionality. I refused, and wrote a paper critical of the professor’s position. I did this for several topics, all with similar set ups of accepting a radical opinion as gospel, then having to write a supportive paper on it.

                    The professor (a fat woman, if you haven’t guessed by now), kept giving me C’s on my papers even though I exceeded her own grading matrix in every category. At the end of the term I simply told her that I would be requesting an audit of my grade. I got a 4.0 somehow, after getting a string of C’s on my papers. I let it go, but that woman should not be collecting a state salary to dispense that bullshit.

                    1. “The professor (a fat woman, if you haven’t guessed by now), kept giving me C’s on my papers even though I exceeded her own grading matrix in every category.”
                      Your story rings very true.
                      Such a course was my daughter’s only B at Cal. She refused to regurgitate the instructor’s propaganda. Why do I believe her? She graduated at the top of her class at Cal, at the top of her class at medical school, is a professor at Harvard and an internationally recognized physician. And, she is my daughter.

                  3. In that case, perhaps this is a law looking to solve a problem that doesn’t exist?

                    Chris Rufo has been at the forefront of the reporting on the education that is being foisted upon people in this area. For example, see what he reports about the San Diego Unified School District. The training is based on the work of Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility) and Ibram Kendi (anti-racism) and assumes a whole constellation of motivations and attitudes (including racism) based simply on a person’s race.

            2. America is so racist that a course teaching about racism in America is treated as so dangerous it has to be banned and suppressed.

              1. “America is so racist…”
                Your lead in is so false the the remainder cannot have any factual element

                1. And yet the fact that it does should lead you to question your assumptions.

        2. “(a) One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;

          (b) The state of New Hampshire or the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist;

          (c) An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;

          (d) An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;

          (e) Members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;

          (f) An individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;

          (g) An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;

          (h) Any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or

          (i) Meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.”

          So, Queen, which of these do you think should be taught? And if none of them, why do you object to a law prohibiting teaching them?

          1. Watching right-wingers squirm as society continues to improve against their wishes — and to recognize and diminish the traditional and vestigial racism, misogyny, gay-bashing, xenophobia, and other forms of bigotry in America — gives me great hope and satisfaction.

            1. I made the mistake of un-muting you out of curiosity, and you’re using your standard rhetoric about racism to denounce…a law against racism.

              I’d call this doublethink – the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts in your mind at once – but I’m not even sure you engage in *single* think.

              1. You figure those Republican sponsors set out to eliminate racism?

                Enjoy your occasional “owning the libs” moments, clingers, while better Americans continue to implement American progress against your wishes and works.

              2. You think it’s racist to say ‘America is fundamentally racist?’ That’s an interesting perspective.

                1. Since you mention it – propositions (a), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g) and (i) are racist, proposition (b) is merely anti-American.

                  Glad to clear up your confusion!

                  1. Open wider, Cal. Keep up the good whining.

                  2. I have to agree with you, Cal

          2. I already answered this above, do try to keep up.

    4. They are stupid communist fink propaganda is good enough for me….

      1. There’s a long tradition of responding to civil rights movements with red baiting of course.

        1. And then when we got access to the Soviet archives, we learned that it wasn’t baiting…

          1. Hint: They’re willing to tell you what you want to hear. That’s how they helped you pick your President in 2016.

    5. “Has anyone found a solid counter-argument to why these 10 principles should be taught in public schools and to Government employees?

      (a) One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;”

      Reality will teach this; for specific tasks. If you need something heavy picked up and moved, you probably want to ask a dude to do it. If you need a fetus carried to full development, you probably don’t need a dude.

      1. If you want an effective infantry fighting force…

        1. On the other hand, infantry tanks.

          1. And when the tank throws a track?

    6. Has anyone found a solid counter-argument to why these 10 principles should be taught in public schools and to Government employees?

      That is exactly the list of “divisive concepts” that were forbidden to be taught to federal employees in Trump’s executive order (rescinded by Biden). In the presidential debate that he moderated Chis Wallace referred to these as “racial sensitivity training” and demanded to know “What is radical about racial sensitivity training?” The most charitable interpretation of Wallace’s question is that he is profoundly clueless.

      1. Agreed, imagine expecting Trump to show sensitivity about anything.

  3. I’m surprised we’ve not seen any commentary here regarding the nomination of the pathologically lying anti-2A activist and just general idiot David Chipman to head the BATFE.

    1. Because no one is surprised.

      I’m sure we’ll see some gaslighting about how Biden is a centrist though.

      1. I think that some Dem Senators are going to have real problems, along with the party in general.

        Al Gore openly stated that guns were why he lost in 2000….

        And what is not being said is that a lot of the Dem coalition, lesbians in particular, are coming over to the pro gun side. And what a lot of gun activists are quietly saying is “no, don’t try to shoot a 12 gauge shotgun, you don’t weigh enough — try this 20 gauge.” “You’ll need to be a bit more accurate, but come on down to the range, pay to help support the range, and we’ll teach you how to be accurate with that 20 gauge.”

        1. “Al Gore openly stated that guns were why he lost in 2000….”
          Of course. He lost in East Tennessee. Hence he lost his home state.

        2. “I think that some Dem Senators are going to have real problems, along with the party in general.”

          What is this, the 20,000th time you’ve made this type of prediction?

          But never mind that, I want to hear more about these lesbians coming over to your side…

    2. Or the trophy photo he took with the charred remains of children behind him.

      He also told numerous lies about Waco in his hearing.

    3. I really take issue with calling the the Americans that were butchered at Waco a “cult” which is designed to somehow legitimize the actions of the government.

      1. I would ditch the political correctness and call a cult a cult.

      2. I don’t think it legitimizes the actions of the government, but they were a cult.

        1. I agree with Brett here.

          1. He is not always wrong.

      3. The issue with Waco is that it wasn’t necessary — the local Sheriff volunteered to facilitate the arrest of Koresh, who routinely was downtown — away from his guns and his supporters.

        You know, as in “peaceful arrest.”

        The ATF refused — and instead went with the invasion approach, which any competent cop will tell you is best avoided….

        STUPID….

        1. No, malign. People keep calling Waco a tragedy, but it wasn’t. It was an atrocity. They’re not the same thing.

          The BATF weren’t being “stupid”, a peaceful arrest would not have served their purposes, which had nothing to do with a genuine belief the Davidians were violating firearms laws.

          They were looking for a public relations show so they could look good before a budget hearing in which the central topic would have been their own gross racism, which footage taken by an infiltrator at the Good Ol Boy’s Roundup hand rendered impossible to overlook. Peacefully arresting Koresh would NOT have served their purposes.

          1. Wasn’t there also a sexual harassment scandal within the ATF at the time?

            1. Let’s be specific. Ed.
              The raid was personally given the green light by Janet Reno. That is where the buck stops in this case.

          2. “It was an atrocity.”
            Not only that Brett. It was criminal, a low point in the history of the DoJ

  4. “a new effort by Arizona Republicans to strip the Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, of her authority to defend against lawsuits regarding elections…Republicans have put their effort to roll back Hobbs’s authority into budget bills now moving toward approval. They are trying to transfer all authority to defend the state against election lawsuits to the state attorney general, Mark Brnovich, a Republican…But what if in the next election, a Democrat becomes attorney general and a Republican becomes secretary of state? Not a problem: The provision taking power away from Hobbs sunsets after the 2022 election. If Republicans still control the legislature, at that point they can revisit the question and just put power in the hands of whichever office is held by one of their own.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/05/27/republicans-are-not-disarray-theyre-united-their-attack-democracy/

    1. You’re missing context, which is obviously important.

      Why do the Dems fight so hard against the legitimate authority of the state Senate to conduct a full audit of a single county in AZ?

      I just can’t think of a single reason.

      1. Because it’s based on nonsense spouted by the cult leader of the GOP?

        1. And the process is so obviously flawed (Cyber Ninjas? wtf?).

          1. So obviously flawed that you can’t mister a single substantive objection. (Queen Amalthea? wtf? who died and made you queen?)

      2. You’re intentionally omitting context

        FIFY.

        1. This is especially funny because that wasn’t even context and I didn’t write the article.

      3. Because the “full audit” is a clown show, sponsored and conducted by Trump cultists.

        Also because there have already been two audits, and the Republicans seem to want to keep on auditing until they get one they like, which they might this time.

        Because it’s a waste of money.

        Does that help?

      4. “Why do the Dems fight so hard ”

        And also it’s not just ‘Dems.’ The GOP county board called it a clown show.

      5. They might find irregularities as they have in Windham, NH.

        1. And Windham, NH was discovered because a DEMOCRAT requested a recount…

      6. Clingers defending the continuing clustermuck involving partisan, Keystone Kops review of Arizona ballots do not deserve the respect of their betters.

      7. The audit made no provision for preserving the ballots or voting machines.

        In last week’s open thread, I asked if ballots were included in the election records covered by 52 USC Ch. 207. I didn’t receive an answer. If the answer is yes, then turning the ballots over to a private company (as opposed to merely allowing the private company to view the ballots) is a violation of Federal law.

        The voting machines will presumably have to be replaced because there is no way to ensure they have not been tampered with. It appears that the state legislature expects the county to pick up the tab.

        1. The voting machines will presumably have to be replaced because there is no way to ensure they have not been tampered with.

          Hold up. Under that theory, if the machines had been tampered with before the election, there would be no way to tell that now.

          If security of the vote hangs by such a fragile thread that the only way to ensure the machines are going to operate correctly is to never, EVER let them be touched by people other than those that we pinky promise are the good guys, we shouldn’t be using them at all.

    2. This seems perfectly reasonable to me: The legislature enacts election laws. Why shouldn’t the legislature get its own choice of counsel in litigation defending them against challenge?

      Especially after last year; It’s become painfully obvious what a problem collusive lawsuits to set aside election laws can be.

      1. It’s become painfully obvious what a problem collusive lawsuits to set aside election laws can be.

        You don’t see a problem with collusive lawsuits if a Republican is in charge, of course.

        1. Give an example of a collusive lawsuit brought by Republicans; preferably dealing with election laws, but any matter, really.

          1. Angels, these Republicans.

            1. So, you’ve got nothing.

              1. What I’ve got is a political party – the Republicans – doing all it can to kill democracy in this country, because they don’t like the way some people – those awful city-dwellers – vote.

            2. Angels, these Republicans.

              Another cowardly non-answer.

      2. Yeah, the sunset provision when the other party’s SoS term is up sounds like the kind of ‘principle’ you’d get behind.

        1. I am arguing that the legislative majority is entitled to have the laws it enacts defended by counsel it approves of. Do you dispute this? If so, on what basis?

          I believe your real objection here is that you want these laws defended by counsel opposed to them, who will take a dive. And this law gets in the way of that.

          Show that I’m wrong.

          1. So you’re not willing to try to defend the sunset provision, instead deflecting with questions?

            1. I generally favor sunset provisions, but that’s irrelevant to this question.

              The legislature is trying to assure that challenges to the laws it passes will be defended against by somebody who will actually want the defense to be successful.

              Are they entitled to that, or aren’t they?

              1. No Brett. What you want is for your side to be in charge, and you don’t care what it takes.

                1. If control of the legislature changes hands, the new legislative majority will be equally entitled to have the law defended by counsel of it’s choosing.

                  I’m defending a general principle here: The legislature is entitled to have its laws defended in court by counsel it approves of.

              2. All laws should auto-expire every 5 years unless re-appoved.

                1. I’d certainly agree with that, though 5 years might be a little short.

          2. “I am arguing that the legislative majority is entitled to have the laws it enacts defended by counsel it approves of. Do you dispute this? If so, on what basis?”

            That’s not how representative democracy works. Enact laws that can standup no matter who’s defending it.

            1. Enact laws that can standup no matter who’s defending it.

              A more stupid comment is difficult to imagine….but I have confidence you’ll be providing an example before too long.

            2. “That’s not how representative democracy works.”
              Wake up to the real world, James. You cannot possible be that naive.

    3. “If Republicans still control the legislature, at that point they can revisit the question and just put power in the hands of whichever office is held by one of their own.”

      Plus elect the next governor.

      1. Hold that thought for when America’s duly elected officials enlarge the Supreme Court.

        See you down the road a bit, clingers . . .

      2. “Plus elect the next governor.”

        Can they disenfranchise enough people who vote for not-the-Republican-candidate by the next election?

    4. It’s because the secretary of state has been lukewarm in defending state law in the courts, and the Attorney General is charged with defending state law in the courts.

      One example is her dithering over appealing an order to extend Arizona’s voter registration deadline in October. The Attorney General is just better equiped to make those decisions and act expeditiously.

      1. That’s ex post facto rationalization.

        1. Now how in the world can that be ex-post-facto rationalization? She isn’t being fined or imprisoned for what she did or didn’t do in October.

          The legislature merely sees what it considers a problem in the last election cycle and proposes legislation to prevent it from happening in the next cycle.

        2. The law was proposed after said dithering, and is not retroactive. So, where’s the ex post facto aspect?

          They’re responding to a demonstrated problem by enacting legislation aimed at preventing it from happening again. You object because you WANT it to happen again.

          That’s all that’s going on here.

          1. Uh, for both you and Kaz, I did not say it was an ex post facto law I said the argument ‘the AG is naturally better for this’ is an ex post rationalization. How did you miss that? I guess when people reflexively rush to defend something that’s pretty sus that’s going to happen.

            1. Go look up ex-post-facto in the dictionary because you obviously don’t know what it means.

            2. The “ex” is important. Many laws and other consequences happen after a thing (postfacto). Just about any law named after a non-legislator is of that type. Normally, observing a serious problem and passing a law to prevent it in the future is called “learning” and “responding to facts”.

              What makes something “ex post facto” is that the effects occur because of a change that happened after the event in question. That is, “ex post facto” is essentially a synonym for a retroactive effect. A levee fails, and a project is undertaken to repair it. Approval of the repair project is delayed until after work starts. The approval, but not the project, is ex post facto.

        3. C’mon. It is the AG’s job

  5. Another week, another lawsuit against the Biden Administration for their unconstitutional racial discrimination:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thecentersquare.com/wyoming/wyoming-rancher-sues-biden-administration-claiming-racial-discrimination/article_b7e518f0-be58-11eb-ac43-8f7b4ecad602.amp.html

    This time it’s a Wyoming rancher denied Covid loan relief because he has the wrong skin color.

  6. “I don’t know who crafted the first tweet that simply said “Eve Fartlow,” but whoever it was—bot or human—started a fire. Over the past two weeks, Twitter has been littered with the words “Eve Fartlow.” Every time I tweet, this title is the response I attract, and it is pelted at me irrespective of what I write… I wondered if the bombardment of “Eve Fartlow” tweets was engineered to drive me insane. Perhaps it was a form of digital waterboarding aimed at forcing me to surrender, delete all my accounts, log out of all my devices, and commit digital suicide. “Eve Fartlow” is an intimidation tactic; a playground jibe meant to drown out my voice online. My words must be silenced as quickly as possible by the hammer-and-sickle emoji comrades who love humanity so much, they want anyone who threatens their concept of utopia to kill themselves.”

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/the-social-media-pogrom

    1. All-time banger of an article lede. Between this one and the guy who got triggered thinking a “Free Parking” sign said “Free Palestine”, it’s been a hell of a week for American Zionists.

  7. Interesting Volokh hasn’t commented on this (to my knowledge)

    Florida’s New Social Media Law Will Be Laughed Out of Court
    https://www.wired.com/story/florida-new-social-media-law-laughed-out-of-court/

    1. I can pretty much guess what he would say:

      1) It isn’t clear whether the law violates the First Amendment because it isn’t clear whether social media platforms are common carriers and thus should be treated the same as malls were in Pruneyard or at least like cable providers were in Turner Broadcasting System.

      2) While it is likely Section 230 preempts the law, that preemption may (or may not) reduce the protection provided by Florida to private speech, and thus Section 230 applied to this law may (or may not) violate the First Amendment.

    2. “Interesting Volokh hasn’t commented on this (to my knowledge)”

      Predictable.

      Also predictable: Being on the wrong side of history and the culture war.

    3. “Florida’s New Social Media Law Will Be Laughed Out of Court
      https://www.wired.com/story/florida-new-social-media-law-laughed-out-of-court/

      This is a problem with a technical solution. All access to the app from an IP address located in Florida will have a message attached to them that access to the system is blocked due to (cite statute) passed by (identify sponsors). Call them at (office number) to tell them why that’s a bad idea.

      Like the way the cable company makes every channel C-SPAN for customers who haven’t paid their bill.

  8. I don’t agree with the arguments made in the article. Must-carry provisions are hardly unconstitutional. Many utilities – not just transportation and electticity but telephone, vable, and other communications carriers as well – have them.

    There is no constitutional bar to declaring social media platforms of a certain size public utilities and subject to must-carry rules.

    What dooms this Florida law here is that the internet is an instrumentality of interstate commerce, and is already regulated by a federal scheme. The state law here conflicts with that scheme. It is federal pre-emption law, nkt the First Amendment, that makes this law invalid.

    1. You forget the whole purpose here is to raise DeSantis’ profile on the right. It has accomplished that, and the court cases will help, win or lose.

    2. It would force private entities to use their property to publish speech it doesn’t want to.

      1. I wonder what would happen if the Federal state and local governments banned platforms from their intranets that banned speech based on political content?

        Besides productivity going up dramatically.

        1. Productivity is going to nosedive, because of all the time the employees are spending on Google trying to figure out how to circumvent the blocking.

      2. And? Every telephone company is forced to do that many times a day.

        1. And you agree with that? Libertarians suddenly love government regulation of private enterprises in this way?

          Also, note I said publish, I don’t think telephone companies are publishers.

          1. The sole libertarian at this blog is Prof. Somin. The others are lying right-wingers clownishly trying to hide behind libertarian drag.

          2. Libertarianism is not identical to minarchism. Maybe if you read some of the people advocating the ideas you are trying to criticize, you will find that those ideas do not reduce to the straw man you assume.

          3. ” I don’t think telephone companies are publishers.”

            They make more money publishing phone books than they do by operating phone systems.

            1. Care to cite an authoritative source, James?

        2. I think one of the problems we have in discussing these issues is that we try to fit the social media into some existing category – utility, publisher, common carrier, whatever – when the companies don’t actually fit any of them.

          They don’t provide an essential service. They don’t sell content. They don’t make money by distribution. They face little in the way of physical constraints on their activities.

          Easier to say what they are not than what they are.

      3. Already they ban stuff for fear of section 230 changes, or breakup as “too large”.

        Quit with the facetious statements the media giants are operating of their own free will.

      4. “It would force private entities to use their property to publish speech it doesn’t want to.”
        That happens frequently under US law. But as Reader Y points out, this media is already regulated by Federal law and that regulation cannot be pre-empted by a state law.

    3. “There is no constitutional bar to declaring social media platforms of a certain size public utilities and subject to must-carry rules.”

      You’ve never heard of the fifth amendment?

      1. James,
        You’re wrong again. common carrier regulation exists and has been ruled legal in the US.

  9. Imagine you are a seasteader who successfully has founded a new island nation. What sort of national flag do you design? What are your colors, and what other flags (if any) have inspired you in crafting this unique amazing flag?

    1. A Gadsden flag, only with a sea-serpent.

      I’d want it to be bullet resistant, so I could hide behind it when somebody’s navy came to shut down my new nation. Which seems to be the inevitable end to every sea steading effort.

      The point of sea steading isn’t to live on the sea, it’s to live in a way existing governments disapprove of. Shockingly, they disapprove of that.

      1. My seastead will have cocaine and hookers, and railguns. Lots and lots of railguns.

        1. Where are you getting the electricity from?

          1. The sun, James, the sun.

            1. And wind! And wave! Militant eco-libertarians!

              1. Nige, the energy from the wind comes from the sun as does the wave energy. Learn some science.

                1. And many are the means of drawing it forth. Learn some science.

                  1. Can’t stand any criticism can you?
                    I know know about energy science than you ever will.
                    You are always a smart ass with snarks that contribute nothing.

                    1. If you know all energy comes from the sun then you know everything about energy science there is to know.

          2. The geothermal vents I’ve strategically located above.

            1. Of course you are making that up, but that energy would be independent of the sun.

              1. Oh no! Energy that doesn’t come from the sun! Energy science IS A LIE!

                1. Nige,
                  You prove yourself more of a fool with each post. What more are you trying to prove beyond your ability for self-humiliation?
                  And the exclamation marks, signs of a small child shouting out to passers by.

                  1. Those are jokes, Don. Lighten up. Like the sun!

    2. The safest bet is to design a flag that looks very very similar to that of the close-by well-established nation that already claims rights over the island and has a navy to back their claim. Maybe use R 243 instead of R 244 for the red part, for example; or move the grommet hole by 0.1 inch. Tell yourself that makes it a new flag, don’t tell anyone else, continue paying all taxes and following all regulations of the larger nation. On your Independence Day maybe do a cookout and indulge in a few extra drinks.

      1. You’re seasteading. Being safe is the opposite of the point!

        We are bold! We have railguns! We have other stuff that no one could dream of because we are a bunch of radicalized Israeli and American scientists!

        1. That, sadly, is what you would need. Railguns.

          The existing members of the governments club don’t intend to let anyone else join. Unless you can bust into the clubhouse and physically resist all efforts to evict you, you don’t get to be a member.

        2. Hypersonic missile, defense against, is state of the art.

          1. “defense against, is state of the art.”
            And not very good, at that. The offense always has the upper hand in that game no matter what the US Navy claims to spend more money to defend the fleet.
            The only effectivee defense is to suppress the launcher

  10. Gotta be a way to automate the open thread posts like Blackman automates his daily posts.

    1. Or how you automate your gaslighting?

      1. “gaslighting”

        Yikes, do better, and please try to center Jimmy’s lived experiences. Mental health is no joke, y’all.

  11. I’m reading a really interesting book, A Brilliant and Appalling Life. It’s a biography of Canadian criminal defense attorney Ross MacKay. He defended the last two men to be executed in Canada (in 1962) before Canada abolished the death penalty. Losing two clients to the gallows impacted him so much that he became an alcoholic and was ultimately disbarred because of his substance abuse issues. But he recovered, got his license back, and became a great defense attorney. (The joke was that the two best criminal defense attorneys in Canada were Ross MacKay drunk and Ross MacKay sober.)

    Anyway, as I look back on my own legal career, and those of other lawyers I have known, I realize how much lawyers who get bad results for their clients, even through no fault of their own, suffer internally. Even if you had a crap hand to play and your client really did make their own bed, you find yourself thinking about things you maybe should have done differently, different arguments you could have made, feel deep and profound guilt at having gotten a bad result. I think some lawyers suffer more than their clients. And I really, really wish I had gotten to meet Mr. MacKay.

  12. Is there any way to get an injunction against someone who reposts others defamatory social media posts? Section 230 would seem to be a complete bar against suing the reposter, but there are accounts that aggregate anonymous defamatory postings and blast them out to a huge audience. This seems to me to be the real issue with Section 230.
    Prof. V. I know you’re a libel expert so if you see this I’d love to hear what you have to say about this.

    1. “Is there any way to get an injunction against someone who reposts others defamatory social media posts? Section 230 would seem to be a complete bar against suing the reposter”

      Section 230 is a bar to suing the company that provides the forum, but people who post on it are fully liable for what they post (including things they copied from somewhere else.)

      “This seems to me to be the real issue with Section 230.”

      that you don’t understand how it works? Probably right.

      1. “You don’t understand how it works.”
        You, my friend, don’t know how to read a statute. Section 230 creates a protection for all, “No provider or USER of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
        That should exempt retweeters, and I suggest you go read Batzel v. Smith (9th Cir. 2003) and the other cases exploring what a user is.
        Anyone with more sense than Mr. Pollock here have any thoughts.

        1. “Anyone with more sense than Mr. Pollock here have any thoughts.”

          If you don’t like having your flaws pointed out, don’t make them public.

  13. Well, we know that City Journal is not telling the truth, because CRT doesn’t teach stuff like this, or else that it’s not *true* CRT and isn’t fair to bring up.

    https://www.city-journal.org/lockheed-martins-woke-industrial-complex

    1. More interesting is the short essay by Theodore Dalrymple on why conservative minorities (and women) are hated so much by progressives:

      “Patel evokes such insensate fury in her opponents not because of her actual practical politics, which could be opposed or disagreed with in a normal way, but because she represents a threat to a worldview. She is the child of refugees, and she experienced racial insult and abuse as a child; therefore, it was her duty to play the professional victim for the rest of her life. Instead, she says that her heroine was Margaret Thatcher, who inspired her to go into politics. By not claiming to be a victim, and by climbing up the greasy pole through sheer determination, she has proved herself a traitor to her class and her race.”

    2. Do you think you learn something about CRT from the Manhattan Institute? That’s like saying one knows libertarianism from reading an article in Dissent about it.

      1. This is a purported summary of a whistleblower’s account of what’s actually taught in one of these CRT courses.

        There are plenty of news outlets who want this report to be false and would *pounce* on any effort to refute it.

        So I guess we’re going to have to see what approach they take…do they run a rebuttal, or do they hope it goes away?

        1. And I want to know whether the events actually happened as described by the alleged whistleblower…I’m much less interested in a philosophical disquisition on the theoretical underpinnings of the events described.

      2. One of the best ways to learn about something is to see what the critics say about it. I’m not going to listen to what they say because they don’t like it is not the way to effectively defend an idea.

        1. The Republican Party relies on plenty of bigots for support, and every Republican is at least an appeaser of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and other forms of ugly, stale thinking.

          Did you learn anything, clinger? If so, you are welcome. If not, open wider and hope your betters are gracious in victory.

        2. That is not one of the best ways to learn about something. The best way to learn about something is to learn it. Relying on its critics will only show you how the critics react to it, and without the context of the thing itself, that will always be at best, incomplete, or at worst, in the context of a focused culture-war campaign that is not interested in engaging but in destroying, completely inaccurate and distorted. Though I suppose its ‘critics’ passing legislation containing a distorted and dishonest version of it in order to suppress it because they don’t like it certainly tells you something about it.

          1. I would agree that you shouldn’t listen only to critics. But you certainly shouldn’t restrict yourself to listening to advocates.

          2. I’ve always thought that a smart strategy when evaluating a product is to get its competitor to critique it. One takes it with a grain of salt but one can be sure that all flaws and shortcomings will be mentioned (if one asks a competent competitor). Then ask a promoter of that product to respond.

          3. The problem with relying on critics to find flaws is that when that’s all they do, you start to tune it out when they find another one.

  14. I’m noticing “Dr” Fauci is starting to implode and I wonder how much will go down with him.

    The whole Covid is a house of cards that falls with Fauci, and if it goes, then things will get really interesting….

    1. Bait not taken

    2. “The whole Covid is a house of cards that falls with Fauci, and if it goes, then things will get really interesting…”

      Yeah! The whole thing was faked and all those people at the hospital were crisis actors! That’s why they wore masks, so you wouldn’t notice the same people who supposedly “died of Covid” were at the Wal-Mart the next week.

      1. Thank you. Ultimately, the proof was in the hospitals, coming close to being overloaded but for ameliorative efforts.

      2. 1: Technically, George Floyd died of Covid. That’s how shoddy the data is.

        2: The fact that Fauci and the CCP lied doesn’t make the virus nonlethal.

        3: Fauci funded it…

        1. ” Fauci funded it…”
          Great slander, Ed.
          You really know how to paint your self-wingnut gray.

          1. But Fauci DID fund it. There is proof that he funded gain of function coronavirus research in the Wuhan lab, and that he perjured himself on this point.

            What I don’t get is WHY gain of function research? What possible purpose could this have other than to weaponize viruses?

            1. In theory, gain of function research could get you a heads up on what might be coming your way in the future.

              In practice, what probably happened in Wuhan is exactly why he wasn’t legally supposed to be doing gain of function research, and was covertly funding it overseas under a different name during a federal ban on it.

            2. Do even a bit of research before you go off with your scorching hot takes:

              I got this by googling “WHY gain of function research”

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK285579/

              1. Thanks for the citations S_0.
                But for the wingnuts,
                the ominous phrase “gain of function” = “weaponizing”

                1. From 2014 to late 2017, it was illegal in the US to conduct or fund gain of function research, specifically because it was considered unreasonably risky. Such research had resulted in too many accidents.

                  Fauci turns out to have been funding it in Wuhan during this ban, under another name, to circumvent the ban.

                  1. Then he should be prosecuted. I have no objection to prosecutions instead of blog-snipping.
                    Just like DJT. If the D’s don’t like what he did on Jan 6 or before, the a prosecutor bring charges and forget the star-chamber proceedings

                    1. “Just like DJT. If the D’s don’t like what he did on Jan 6 or before, the a prosecutor bring charges and forget the star-chamber proceedings”

                      Easy enough, now that DJT can be charged with crimes.

                  2. BTW, Brett,
                    as the Senate passed the Paul amendment about GoF by voice vote, shouldn’t Paul then move to charge Fauci with perjury? Or is this all theatrics?

          2. He didn’t send $600,000 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology?

            1. Could be, but that does not justify or prove your slander.

        2. “Technically, George Floyd died of Covid. That’s how shoddy the data is.”
          More of your BS, Ed. Floyd tested positive. True.
          Floyd died by homicide. That is the truth.
          “The autopsy report from Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office concludes the cause of death was “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”

          You have no credibility whatsoever when you lie more than the Orange Clown

          1. How dare you slander St. Donnie.

    3. Ed,
      Fauci is much more a Dr than you (or Dr Biden) are.

      1. None of us have *ever* practiced medicine — he admits he joined the NIH to avoid having to work in a MASH in Vietnam.

        1. Dimwit, practicing medicine makes you a “physician”, not a “doctor”.

  15. I was in a fun “diversity and equity” corporate workshop this week. It was required for anyone of my classification and part of that requirement was having your webcam on (gees…..wonder why….)

    There was some pushback in the company when this initiative was announced so senior management agreed to provide for an “open forum” for at least 30 minutes after the conclusion of the workshop.

    So workshop goes on and it is your standard anti-white, anti-male hate poor disguised as some type of legitimate “diversity” training. Part of the workshop included requiring individuals to read out points on lists called “white privilege” and “male privilege.” So going around Zoom by calling on participants (there were about 100) the inquisitors only seeming to pick white men went down the list. To my surprise a few people declined to read off the list which shocked the diversity nazis who could only say, “ummm….ummm…..we value participation but will just go to the next person…”

    So this goes on and on for the 90 minutes of the workshop. Basically everything that involves hard work, standards of excellence, even showing up to work on time are artifacts of our overtly racist society and this line was repeated over and over again.

    Then, with the diversity nazis still on the Zoom, the COO comes on to talk about the open forum. He must have not expected anyone to say anything (and so did I to be fair…who is going to speak up against this stuff at the peril of losing their job), but to my surprise one guy who had been with the company for about 10 years raises his “zoom hand” and once recognized goes off.

    He presented his objection to the entire racist/sexist “training” by presenting a list of what he called “white male straight privilege.” This included:
    -the privilege of being discriminated against by university, corporate, and government policy because of race and sex;
    -the privilege of being falsely accused of sexual misconduct and being guilty until proven innocent just because of sex
    -the privilege of being told that all of my career resulting from hard work, late nights, and placing work as a higher priority than other personal objectives was all ill-gotten gains based purely upon the color of my skin.

    He went on and on for a good seven minute in this vein. I’m surprised he didn’t get muted or kick off the Zoom. After he was done you could hear a few people actually clapping along with a lot of those zoom emoticon claps. The COO did not know what to do and eventually just said “thank you for your input….(company) supports all kinds of diversity and it appears that we might have missed the mark with this type of training…” then the Zoom abruptly ends.

    I figured that guy was going to be fired later in the day, but instead the CEO sends out an email apologizing for the “tone deaf training” saying that (company) can do better with all of its diversity initiatives. Also heard later HR got a flood of complaints about sexual and racial harassment since the workshop was mandatory and people were required to read negative stereotypes (mostly exaggerated or just untrue) about their protected class.

    I also noted that every diversity workshop scheduled for the rest of the year had been removed from the company Outlook calendar.

    Someone in upper management is hating their life about now….

    1. Well, this anecdote doesn’t count since it was in a corporation, not the NH or Nevada government.

      1. Not to mention the unreliable narrator.

        1. Not to mention that you say this about anyone who says anything to which you don’t agree…..

          1. So it’s somehow MY fault that YOU have a history of making things up?

    2. Well done. Even included the “everyone started clapping”.

      1. I know some find it hard to believe that people out there don’t like the agenda you push….

  16. Everyone can enjoy this remarkable play, which begins with two outs and a man at second base.

    Maybe Wake Forest fans should avert their eyes.

    1. For those unfamiliar with baseball rules (third out by force-out precluding run scored, for example), this explains a historically grotesque performance by Will Craig and the Pirates

    2. That was, in fact, a remarkable play.

      It featured a major-league player at first base who doesn’t know how to play first base. This one was even better than the one I saw where the center fielder thought the ball had gone over his head and out of the ball park when it had in fact landed and rolled to the fence. So the CF just stood there, while the batter rounded the bases, and it turned out to be a home run after all.

      1. I worked as a sportswriter for several years, but my interest in most sports has diminished.

        Football? The brutality — and its consequences in the locker and training rooms — is sickening. Many of the players I covered — you can’t avoid getting to know and like some of them — have wrecked knees, hips, and brains. Fans cheer when a player is knocked unconscious on frozen ground. The NFL is amoral at best.

        College sports? Corrupt nearly to the core. The exploitation is worse.

        Baseball? Many of today’s players lack the reflexive baseball knowledge an above-average eleven-year-old possessed during my youth. They don’t know which base to throw to or to cover. They run the bases like T-ballers on medication. They can’t bunt. The pitchers and Astros cheat, customarily without consequence. Homeruns and strikeouts have been cheapened. Money warps teamwork and effort.

        Basketball? The players have outgrown the physical dimensions of the game; referees consequently determine too many games. Tanking for draft position is also a problem.

        Hockey? A minor-league sport — interference, fighting, pointless rules, desperation, dirty play, tanking — although I have had season tickets and enjoyed many games.

        But that Pirates performance against the Cubs blots out just about anything else. Ostensible professionals mocking (and losing) the game with ignorance, clownish judgment, and sustained incompetence in physical performance.

        1. but but but the purity of sport in the Olympics surely makes up for it. /sarc

      2. James,
        You have nothing to say. So you blurt out a total irrelevancy.
        Where did you say you flunked out of law school?

        1. His response was relevant. You seem confused, Don Nico. Are you OK?

        2. “You have nothing to say. So you blurt out a total irrelevancy.
          Where did you say you flunked out of law school?”

          sounds like you have nothing to say. Finished in the top third of my law school class, despite having worked full-time while in law school.

  17. My freshman year in college, I had to walk 7 miles to work at a minimum wage job and then walk 7 miles back.

    I am really sick and tired of hearing about White privilege….

    1. A dairy farmer with Spina bifida and 2 prosthetic legs is suing over Biden’s covid relief for farmers that puts white farmers at the end of the line over “disadvantaged” minority farmers.

      I think that kind of handicap is the definition of disadvantaged.

      The article does go on to say that only 2% of agricultural loans during the Trump Adminstration went to Black farmers, but I drew a different conclusion than they did:

      “According to DailyMail.com, less than two percent of direct loans from the Trump administration in 2020 went to Black farmers.

      And just 1.3 percent of the farmers in the country are black, according to USDA data.”

      How innumerate can you be?

    2. My freshman year you were not supposed to have a car on campus. If you wanted to bring a car you had to pay for a private parking spot right off campus which was a few hundred a month. Student parking was subsidized and only about $150 a semester.

      This usually resulted in only the rich kid’s parents willing to pay for parking. The other kids either had to take really inconvenient buses to get home that left far off campus or their parents had to do the roundtrip weekend drive (twice to pick up and drop off).

      But, the diversity perversity crowd convinced the university that poor kids of color because of discrimination really needed to have a car on campus. So you could apply for a “diversity parking permit” (no kidding, that is what they called it) and have a car on campus if you were a freshman. And if you got it the parking fee was waived.

      The kid down the hall managed to get one of these permits along with his full scholarship. Not a problem except he was also one of the richest kids on campus that year. Most other kids were only middle class and hated this guy because not only did he always flaunt his parking permit, he would talk endlessly about how oppressed he and his family were because of blah blah blah. I don’t know how many kids were fine with all the diversity affirmative action stuff that Fall, but by Spring I can tell you no one in that entire dorm complex thought it was a good policy.

      1. I had a similar situation. I was going to Michigan Tech, which is in Houghton, but my off campus apartment was in Hancock. (The Portage: “Where Houghton gets to look at Hancock, and Hancock has to look at Houghton.”) The far side of Hancock.

        So, every day, to save on parking fees, I’d walk five miles each way to and from campus. Over the Houghton/Hancock lift bridge.

        Houghton/Hancock are at the base of the Keweenaw peninsula, which sticks out into lake Superior. 300 plus inches of snow a year, and temperatures as low as -40 when it’s not snowing.

        Did I forget to mention that it was uphill both ways?

      2. “My freshman year you were not supposed to have a car on campus.”

        Boo-hoo. My undergraduate university offered approximately 30 spaces available to students. There were another couple of thousand at the football field (unpaved) at the edge of campus. By the time I went to law school, things had changed. There were about 30 parking spaces available to students, but another couple of thousand at the football field (on the main campus, which was separate from the law school campus. At least this one was paved. There was a positive turn: Students who came to night classes could park in the faculty lot, because most of the faculty had gone home. My classes were all night classes, because I was at work during the day.

        1. And your point was?

          1. If you learn how to read, it’s right there in words. Specifically, the words “boo” and “hoo”.

    3. “I didn’t have a freshman year.” Most black people.

      In the 21st century, only about 37% blacks attended college.

      To be fair, only about 40% whites attended during this period.

      But the ones who mostly didn’t attend were Tennessippians so who cares.

      1. “In the 21st century, only about 37% blacks attended college.

        To be fair, only about 40% whites attended during this period.”

        What’s your point then? You implied racism and then it turns out there is no meaningful difference between blacks and whites.

    4. “I am really sick and tired of hearing about White privilege….”

      But woe betide the poor person who denies it to you.

      1. James,
        There are plenty of whites who grew up dirt poor went into the Army as soon as they could been taken in WWII. When their kids are offended by all of the shit-talk of white privilege, you should not be surprised. It is a dishonor to all those your raised themselves from adversity
        That does not deny the great disadvantages that many (although not all) blacks faced.

        1. That’s how Dad got out of doing chain surveying in the UP; Working in a shop in England maintaining fighters during WWII.

        2. “There are plenty of whites who grew up dirt poor went into the Army as soon as they could been taken in WWII.”

          OK, which is relevant to something… somehow?

          I grew up as white kid and I enlisted long after WWII was done.

          ” It is a dishonor to all those your raised themselves from adversity”

          While I was raising myself from adversity, I took a couple of weeks and learned English grammar.

  18. ED,
    Did you have shoes?
    Yes? Then that is white privilege

    1. I don’t have spare pairs to decorate utility lines with.

      1. Gives you something to work towards, then. Someday…

  19. Maybe we will learn which gun nut at the Volokh Conpiracy was Samuel Cassidy by observing which fan of this blog no longer shows up.

  20. Quick question: Should non-partisans accept Congressional Republicans’ opposition to the insurrection commission as a confession that they think their voters are actually guilty of something they’d rather pretend they weren’t guilty of?

    1. The fact it isn’t some truth seeking investigative body but designed to produce political propaganda which reinforces the false narrative that the events on that day were something they were not, there is not much of an argument FOR the commission other then you want the government to fund your political hackery content generation.

      If you are actually interested in holding those who did something illegal accountable, then you let the courts do their thing which is why we have them.

      1. “The fact it isn’t some truth seeking investigative body”

        It isn’t anything. The bill stalled in the Senate.

        1. Nixon bundled the Kent and Jackson State shootings into one commission.

          Fairness would be to bundle the BLM riots with January 6th — an investigation into attacks on public buildings.

          1. The issue is the left really doesn’t view that as “violence” because to them it is a form of acceptable activism. So you say “well what about….” and get a blank stare from the leftist because they just simply don’t see it as that.

            Our politics are so far gone, we don’t even speak the same “language” anymore depending on your side of the aisle.

            1. Do you expect your approach to make the victors in the culture war magnanimous toward the clinger casualties?

              1. With comments like this you really do have to wonder if the left is goading people into a form of civil war….

                1. You will comply. You apparently will talk a lot, too. But you will continue to do as your betters prescribe. Open wider, clingers. More progress is on the way, and you are powerless to stop it.

                2. Jimmy,
                  The “civil war” rhetoric is not doing American any good. There are plenty of more constructive ways to criticize

                3. “So you say “well what about….” and get a blank stare from the leftist because they just simply don’t see it as that.”

                  Hey! Hinting at violence brewing is Special Ed’s trademark! What are you doing with it?

            2. “So you say ‘well what about….’ and get a blank stare from the leftist because they just simply don’t see it as that.”

              True enough that one party is way more prone to whataboutism.
              Apparently, the people in the other one got the word when their mom told them that other people’s wrongdoing is not an excuse for your own wrongs.

              1. Only one party is prone to ‘whataboutism’ because only the other party is prone to demanding that nothing it says ever be put in context.

                1. Sure. Stick with that. Sounds plausible. Almost.

          2. “Fairness would be to bundle the BLM riots with January 6th — an investigation into attacks on public buildings.”

            Fairness would be to have Democrats appoint some of the commissioners and have Republicans appoint some of the commissioners.
            As it is, Biden will pick all of the prosecutors to pursue the cases. The way Republicans want it, apparently.

          3. “Nixon bundled the Kent and Jackson State shootings into one commission.”

            Nixon also resigned in disgrace.

        2. The Senate has now rejected the bill, which certainly had extremely strong partisan overtones and no associated balancing provisions that had a prayer of attracting 10 Republican votes.
          Of course Schumer knew that and was hoping that the defeat would serve as the last hurrah for the filibuster.

          1. “the bill, which certainly had extremely strong partisan overtones and no associated balancing provisions that had a prayer of attracting 10 Republican votes.”

            The bill attracted more than10 Republican votes, actually, when it passed in the House.

      2. Actually, arguably, wouldn’t a commission be jeopardizing the criminal prosecutions?

        1. I’m not up and up on the forms of immunity Congress can confer, but in theory, yes it could.

          Congress can also compel testimony to some extent and that would raise constitutional questions around self-incrimination that could also jeopardize a criminal prosecution.

        2. “Actually, arguably, wouldn’t a commission be jeopardizing the criminal prosecutions?”

          Absolutely, to someone who didn’t understand how criminal prosecutions work.

    2. “their voters”

      70+ million GOP votes so 500-750 in the Capitol are “their voters”?

      How many Dem voters rioted last summer? More than 750. Where is that commission?

      1. Maybe address that question to whoever was in power when they occurred.

      2. Sure. the whole insurrection involved no Republicans. Stick with that, Bob.

  21. This one is from Eugene’s neighborhood, and seems to be in his wheelhouse. I maybe shouldn’t be shocked at how aggressively the Scientologists weaponize the First Amendment to protect themselves but there is some wild stuff here:
    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-05-27/danny-masterson-rape-trial-secretive-scientology-polices

    1. ” each told similar stories of how church officials tried to stop them from reporting Masterson to police.”

      Could that create civil liability against the church itself?

      Here’s the LA Times article without the paywall: https://news.yahoo.com/scientologys-secrets-spill-open-danny-150019818.html

      1. “Could that create civil liability against the church itself?”

        Can you suggest a possible source of such liability?

    2. I’ve got a friend who spent years on the run from those morons.

      The pity of it is, before Hubbard founded Scientology, he was a decent writer of B rated SF. He was no Clarke or Asimov, but I find reading stuff like Ol’ Doc Methuselah the literary equivalent of munching potato chips.

      His older works are far more expensive than they rightfully should be, given the quality, (I guess buying them is a sacrament, or something.) but at least they’re available.

      1. I have read a couple of Hubbard’s work and agree. Fun but not great. I did note in his Mission Earth series his negative feeling on psychiatry and medication.

        Also there a great Youtube film where Harlan Ellison talks about his early days writing and where he talks about LRH. A few interesting ideas about LRH come up.

        1. Just think: If not for that drunken bet, he could have written a few more bad SF stories, and the world would be a better place for it.

          1. I’d rather mourn the premature loss of H. Beam Piper than L. Ron Hubbard, in terms of works that could (and should) have come into existence.

            Fun story. As soon as the original Sherlock Holmes novels dropped out of copyright, Mormons rewrote one of them to reflect more favorably on the Mormon pioneers. Someday, people opposed to Scientology will have a chance to rewrite LRH’s novels, and the “Church” of Scientology won’t be able to do anything about it. Then again, the most damage to any of LRH’s novels was done by John Travolta, who was and is a Scientologist.

            1. I’m mourning what Hubbard got up to instead of writing mediocre SF.

              1. He never stopped writing mediocre SF.

          2. The real tragedy about Hubbard and SF is how he ruined a great editor, John W. Campbell, with dianetics. He became completely obsessed with it. Around 1950 Alfred Bester submitted a story to him based around psychology (Oddy and Id). He visited Campbell to discuss the story, and Campbell ranted to him about how psychology was dead and this new thing he and Hubbard were doing would replace it. Bester nodded politely, left, and never submitted another story to him. Thus Campbell and Astounding lost out on some of the greatest SF ever written, including the serialization of the novels The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination, which went to Galaxy magazine instead.

            1. “The real tragedy about Hubbard and SF is how he ruined a great editor, John W. Campbell, with dianetics. ”

              Apparently Mr. Campbell had a soft spot for crackpottery, he was also a fan of the Dean Drive. So I don’t think you can put all the blame for Campbell’s decline on Mr. Hubbard’s account. An equally arguable point is that Campbell’s (and Astounding’s) decline coincided with Heinlein’s graduation from pulp magazines to the slicks. That guy was always competing with himself (as a pseudonym) in the “best story” competition. Then he published “Stranger in a Strange Land” and had name recognition outside the genre magazines.

        2. One doesn’t have to be a cultist to have a negative feeling on psychiatry and medication….

          1. Nah, any kind of mental illness that requires medication can cause that.

  22. I have a slightly different theory on why critical race theory and the current push for “equity” (as opposed to “equality” before that term got cancelled) is getting a different kind of pushback this time around.

    The same old tired tropes pushed by the diversity crowd have been around since the 90’s. Most of it contains the same bigoted, sexist, and racist material and stereotypes, but two things have changed since then.

    First, we have had a generation since the 1990’s and the world doesn’t look the same. Any shades of those old tired stereotypes have really been washed from society and are just not simply true anymore, but alas the diversity crowd has to still push those old, tired, untrue ideas like “society is racist” because that is the foundation of all their tripe.

    Second, I think the diversity crew was actually successful at pushing the notion of equality and, I guess to their credit, even won some victories in that policy arena that there is no real need for some of those policies or their application is starting to skew away from the original intention (for instance encourage men into some areas that are heavily occupied by women now). And applying the old standard is now the recognized “norm” (which is also hence the shift away from equality to equity).

    1. Unfortunately, “equality” was replaced by “equity” when many of the DEI so-called remedies are inequitable on their face. In fact, real equity in the workplace seems to be in ever shorter supply.

  23. An interesting twist on Bill Cosby: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/bill-cosby-s-petition-parole-denied-after-he-refuses-therapy-n1268914

    Mandating therapy is really close to some of the issues raised in the Nuremberg Trials…

    1. I’m not a fan of “mandatory therapy” in that the notion of therapy relies upon the person receiving it to be engaged in that activity on a voluntary basis. Linking liberty to such a requirement makes it not so voluntary….

      There is something to be said though about “if you don’t want to do it, fine, you can just sit in jail for a longer time….” Life is full of consequences and incentives. If you decide you don’t want to take an incentive (here a shorter time in prison), well, there is a consequence to that action….

      1. One issue is, how do we detect when a prisoner is faking? “Oh, doctor, I’m so glad for your help, now I realize what I must do to avoid going back down the wrong path! Thank you so much for the help! Now, when do I get paroled?”

        Obviously, they make determinations about the prisoner’s sincerity, but I’m genuinely curious about the accuracy of these determinations. Have they in fact found a way to weed out the fakers?

      2. I don’t see how they get to deny him routine parole hearings — even Charles Manson got those.

        And then there is the case of Gerald “Tooky” Ameralt who was falsely accused, but was not released on parole because he refused to admit his guilt. See: https://injusticebusters.org/04/Amirault_Gerald.shtml

      3. One of the conditions that the parole board is supposed to be assessing is remorse. This is why Manson keeps getting denied.

  24. Any thoughts on whether an employer can demand COVID vaccination status information as a condition of employment?

    1. Didn’t OSHA just rule that any complication from the vaccine is a workplace injury?

      1. “…if the adverse reaction meets other general recording criteria (e.g., days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, or medical treatment beyond first aid), the reaction must be recorded on the employer’s OSHA 300 log, even if it does not lead to hospitalization.”
        See: https://www.natlawreview.com/article/osha-releases-guidance-employers-considering-vaccine-requirements

        This is *not* true if the vaccine is voluntary — even if employer administers it.

        This is going to jack up worker’s comp rates…

        1. Yeah OSHA just basically tanked employer mandated vaccine in that in most jurisdictions it will be a workers comp eligible event as well.

          Also, I don’t really think we should call it a vaccine because it is NOT one in the traditional sense. It is a form of proactive therapy that is somewhat effective. But it is not the same as what most people would call a vaccine in common culture vernacular.

          1. “vaccine in common culture vernacular”
            That will change as physicians tell patients that it is a vaccine in that it activates the immune system to resist infection and /or its consequences.

            1. Physicians need to be damn careful what they tell patients because of something known as lawyers who bring what are called “malpractice suits.”

          2. ” But it is not the same as what most people would call a vaccine in common culture vernacular.”

            You’ve got a long uphill battle convincing people that nobody in common culture calls any of the COVID vaccines a “vaccine”.

      2. Just the opposite:

        https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/faqs#worker

        “DOL and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts. As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904’s recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination through May 2022. We will reevaluate the agency’s position at that time to determine the best course of action moving forward.”

        1. Hmmm….change must have been recent. Last advisory I saw was warning of OSHA and vaccine side effects being recordable. Can’t say I am surprised though, the biggest surprise was that OSHA had not exempted enforcement originally….

          1. “OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904’s recording requirement”

            Hmmmm….

            An employee is injured in what 29 CFR 1904 defines as a recordable injury but isn’t enforcing that. Wouldn’t there still be employer liability?

    2. “Any thoughts on whether an employer can demand COVID vaccination status information as a condition of employment?”

      Do you have a contract that says otherwise? If not, look up what “at will” means.

  25. I don’t think it would help an employer case to cite OSHA’s “non-enforcement” but would largely hinge upon how a jurisdiction interprets their workers comp laws. Might be a slightly different analysis if this were a “waiver” (if OSHA has the authority to issue waivers instead of exercising enforcement discretion), but it is obvious here from the history that OSHA thinks an employer mandate should trigger workplace injury scrutiny.

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