Thursday Open Thread

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What's on your mind?

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  1. > What’s on your mind?

    Well, a few things. First of all, if Hirsh Singh gets anywhere near the Republican nomination I swear to God, as an Indian American myself, I’m done with the NJ Republican party.

    1. Wait, NJ has a Republican party? I thought NJ was a one party Latin American leftist dictatorship.

      1. It IS a one-party state, supermajority Team D. We have corruption raised to an art form here.

        1. Did this corruption just miraculously come about since January 16, 2018?

          1. Quite right. As a non-NJ American, I seem to remember a lot of headlines about Republican corruption in the state. Not so much about Democratic corruption.

            (That’s your guys’ cue to blame the media. It’s always never your fault!)

          2. Nope….we’ve been corrupt AF for a long time now.

            1. Right. So, the corruption is unrelated to the (very recent) fact that the Republican party became actively hostile to blue state suburban voters.

  2. I’m anxiously awaiting Josh Blackman’s post on the foofaraw kicked up by the snowflakes of the Stanford FedSoc. Wait, he isn’t going to do one? Oh, inverted world.

    1. I made a similar post on Eugene’s (entirely expected post). Now I think that why isn’t A posting about X isn’t a pretty weak sauce criticism. But when you have a reputation for posting endlessly and breathlessly about everything, including on what others have already covered, what you ignore is particularly telling.

    2. Yep. Nary a peep. Principles? Consistent views? Blackman…Blackman? Feels like a Bueller moment…why isn’t he in the classroom.

      1. Oh, there’s a principle at work, the Bernstein Principle, which asserts that the best way of dealing with malignant behaviour on the right is to ignore it. Back during Charlottesville, Bernstein tweeted that the best way of dealing with neo-Nazis and white supremacists is to “ignore them.” Somehow highlighting their vile beliefs and behaviours makes them stronger, so it’s better to not acknowledge it (clearly, that’s a key lesson from Nazi Germany!). Since then, I’ve found he (like Blackman and much of the commentariat here) has been quite consistent with applying that to the right in general. What signals totalitarianism and the end of virtue when a liberal (aka the ultra radical far left) does it must be ignored or downgraded when it comes from the right.

        1. What did that have to do with Stanford’s heavy hand?

          1. It’s about Blackman and Bernstein not calling out their side on principles they claim to espouse. If the principles matter, you don’t check id’s first.

            1. So the rule is if you don’t criticize BOTH sides on an issue, you’re not honest?

              Why aren’t you whining about the news media, which does the same thing?

              1. This isn’t hard. If you claim that the point of your criticism is rooted in principle rather party (broadly speaking), yet never critique failings of principle within your own camp when they occur, then it’s entirely reasonable to think that your criticism isn’t actually guided by principle, but about scoring political hits.

                I have zero expectations that the media is interested in any principle beyond politics and ratings, so, no, it doesn’t generate any whining from me.

            2. It was a high achievement of trolling to get both sides to think neo Nazis as synonymous with Republicans.

              This is the exact opposite of ignoring them. A drumbeat of “do you still beat your wife?”

              1. It’s “Do these guys still support YOUR candidates for office?” and Republicans pretending they don’t.

        2. Bernstein tweeted that the best way of dealing with neo-Nazis and white supremacists is to “ignore them.” Somehow highlighting their vile beliefs and behaviours makes them stronger, so it’s better to not acknowledge it (clearly, that’s a key lesson from Nazi Germany!).

          Prof. Bernstein’s argument was that there were only a very small number of actual neo-Nazis out there, and that giving them lots of attention is pretty much exactly what they’re hoping for.

    3. 1: I wasn’t aware that it was public information who told the Stanford Thought Police about the email, or if they found it on their own.

      2: That said, I don’t have a problem if the Stanford FedSoc did ask for equal enforcement of the rules. If they repeatedly had to self-censor because they knew the consequences of themselves writing a parody and then saw the other side write one with impunity, it’s entirely reasonable for them to complain.

      That’s what FIRE and a lot of other well-intended people fail to realize — it’s an open secret that there are three sets of rules for students — a generic set for generic students, a highly restrictive set for conservative students, and then absolutely no rules for the radical left. (We saw this COVID and BLM “protests” — a total exemption from both mask requirements and public assembly bans.)

      I’m reminded of when Eden Dershowitz (son of Adam Dershowitz) protested a obscenity policy by showing an X-rated movie that had already been ruled not to be obscene in Cambridge. *If* the Stanford FedSoc was really behind this, what they established was a precedent for free speech that otherwise didn’t exist at that law school. That’s a good thing that benefits everyone.

      1. That’s a good thing that benefits everyone.

        Unacceptable.

        1. Was the Scopes “Monkey Trial” also unacceptable?
          See: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/monkey-trial-begins

          1. Broken sarcasmeter? 😉

            1. Special Ed cannot spare enough gray matter to engage in sarcasm. He needs what he has to maintain his grip on his keyboard with minimal drooling.

      2. Memory is this was documented in _Shadow University_ and I think I have the name of the son wrong — the archives of the _Harvard Crimson_ appear not to go back that far.

        My point is that a thoroughly embarrassed Stanford Law *hopefully* won’t go after the next student who writes a political satire, and that benefits everyone…

        1. Cool. Now apply your analytical skills to the fact that the Trump DOJ went after a satirical Devin Nunes twitter account. Tell us all about how this was caused because of stringent rules for conservatives and no rules at all for the libs.

  3. What’s my sidewalk liability thanks to garbage men?

    So I live in a normal house in a subdivision, moving towards the road are house, front lawn, sidewalk, 6′ strip of grass, road. I put out the trash. But for the past two months, the garbage man has been throwing the lid in the middle of the sidewalk. Am I liable if a kid rides by and wipes out?

    Presumably not, but for how long? Evening, when most folks get home and it might be reasonable to take your can in? Next morning? Days later? Never?

    1. A solution — attach the lid to the can with a short piece of rope.
      I did it to prevent the lid from blowing away.

  4. Also, for the record, fuck trae young. The one time we make the playoffs and … he is approaching Garnett levels of rage.

    To personal thinking abouts, I’m convinced most of my immediate family is just difficult, my friend group from college disappeared due to graduating, my girlfriend broke up with me a month ago, and … yeah.

    I’m about to start a new job in Boston, a city I’ve never been, so I’ll try to find new friends from there I guess. But I dont know anyone from there so … idk how to manage that.

    1. when you get to an unknown place, wander around, look at the people and smile, smile, smile.
      As an old sailor , it always worked for me, as some one will usually smile back and be interested in talking to you

      1. Smiling doesn’t work in Boston. We frown on smiling.

        1. Bostonians go to places where strangers customarily smile, and it makes the Bostonians extremely uncomfortable.

          1. That seems to be the case with other coasties as well, especially New York. For such hotbeds of diversity and inclusion, the people in those places sure are grumpy a lot…

            1. We’re grumpy towards everyone.

    2. Aladdin’s Carpet: I wish you well in Boston. Seriously, it is always hard to ‘start anew’. A couple of suggestions.

      Good seafood: Go to ‘No Name’ (cash only)
      Take a day and really walk the Freedom Trail. My children talk about the day we did that, nearly 20 years after the fact. Worth it.
      Do a Duck Tour, splurge a little.
      Start a 401K and a Roth. And give until it hurts.

      1. To understand how much of Boston is on filled-in land, on the night of April 18-19, 1775, the British rowed across what is now the North Station railyard (under I-93) and came ashore near the Lechmere station on the MBTA’s Green Line. (Most of the double-decked portion of I-93 is over what was once water.)

        You can stand outside the Parker House hotel (60 School Street) and see the Old North Church — all of the valley between was once water. “Back Bay” is a filled-in tidal mudflat, and Quincy Market was initially built on pilings over the waterfront — the DPW can only do street opening work there at low tide as the holes fill in when the tide comes in.

        What this means is that you have to cross a bridge to get out of Boston — when the Brinks was robbed in 1950, there were only six bridges. There are a few more now, along with three tunnels under the harbor, but there still are less than a dozen ways out of the city, including the original land bridge, the “Boston Neck.”

        Not all of these bridges appear to be bridges (or causeways, which many technically were) because the land around them was subsequently filled in and developed. (Both I-90 and I-93 come into the city on land filled by railroads, the Boston & Albany and Boston & Maine respectively. And I-95 was never built through the city, instead it follows what was the middle beltway around the city, with the inner one also never being built.)

        What this means is that the logical way to get somewhere isn’t how you can get there….

        1. It’s a good thing Boston did this before modern times.

        2. No-Name closed at the end of 2019.
          Also, Legal Seafood has been sold (no more Berkowitz, and I dunno about locally, but all the ones in DC closed about 2 years ago…my understanding is that the remaining stores are turning into some other corporate chain brand that bought them).

          Go to Kelly’s, the Route 1 location is nice (and you can sit down there). They have the best lobster roll in New England.

          Go to both Woodman’s and the Clam Shack on the north shore.

          Not sure where to get good basic fish and seafood in the city (or in Cambridge) at the moment….but you’ll find it.

          Go to Mary Chung’s restaurant in Cambridge and order “suan la chow show”. It is very spicy. Also their take on Dun Dun Noodles (without chicken) and their ravs (dumplngs) are above usual. Really, just order the suan la chow show and tell them you want more things that people like that would order, and you’ll get the good dishes.

    3. When it snows don’t take a parking spot someone else has cleared.

      Be aware that Boston drivers treat red lights as suggestions, not laws.

      These practices may not make you any friends, but they are good for your health.

      1. Remember that MBTA stands for “More Broken Trains, Again…”

    4. Whatever you do, don’t make eye contact when driving

      1. And watch the roundabouts! Holy Moly…talk about domestic terror.

        1. It’s a test, XY.

          If you can’t manage a roundabout without an accident you don’t belong here.

          1. LOL…..so true!

  5. Okay, EV, you’re playing fast-and-loose with the “THURSDAY open thread” label. Last week, it came out on Friday. But that was due to a simple matter of forgetting to post it on time. Things like that happen. But this?!? . . . you’re putting it up hours early, on a Wednesday? Thursday open thread, on a Wed, or Thur, or Friday? It’s a world gone mad. Dogs and cats, sleeping together.

    Slouching Towards Gomorrah, West Coast edition. 🙁

    1. Time is relative. AKA “it’s five o-clock somewhere…”

    2. And no admonition to be civil – has EV given up?

      1. I’m betting he just posts this, so we don’t threadjack other posts…

  6. Fun followup to last week’s story about the mandatory “anti-racism” training that was poorly disguised as racist propaganda.

    HR received over 100 complaints, which would be about 2/3 of the people in attendance. The CEO has cancelled all further diversity and inclusion events until a “senior working group can report back on acceptable practices concerning diversity initiatives in the workplace….”

    Moral of the story. Challenge these cultural marxists any chance you get. They can’t withstand scrutiny and reasonable minds will eventually win the day. These cowards thrive because they have to threaten others with censorship or beat them into silence. Don’t let them do that to you. It doesn’t take much pushback to end this. All that reasonable people must do is say “no!”

    1. ” reasonable minds will eventually win the day.”

      Keep fighting them! Don’t give up!

    2. “the mandatory “anti-racism” training that was poorly disguised as racist propaganda.”

      I think you mean, “racist propaganda that was poorly disguised as ‘anti-racism’ training”?

      1. Or “anti-racism training that was poorly disguised racist propaganda.”

        Although, maybe the better alternative to defunding the police would actually be some anti-racism training disguised as racist propaganda.

        1. You’ve got a head start on disguising it, given that genuine anti-racism training would be instantly denounced as racist propaganda by the left.

          1. I mean, everything is denounced as racist propaganda if you go left far enough. So don’t let that stop you. On with the anti-racism training!

  7. Google is becoming more and more unusable with each passing day. It isn’t even a matter of politics anymore. They put their grubby paws on the scales for so many things nowadays its not really a search engine in the traditional sense these days but more one of those dumb 90s curated link lists.

    If they don’t like X group/person/concept even if its quite famous they don’t just rank it lower, they often make it nearly impossible to find even for someone who wants to find it. Yeah yeah Google I get that you don’t like Plandemic or Proud Boys or that picture of Biden or whatever. Heck I don’t even have a dog in your dumb fight sometimes. But making sure some hapless rube doesn’t stumble upon badthought and annoyingly hiding things away from those who specifically want to find it is a bit different don’t you think? Half the time the censorship algorithm spills over and inadvertently affects something that isn’t even controversial. Unfortunately its still works the best for 100% mundane searches. So I gotta clunkily switch between multiple engines.

    Youtube too used to be so great. Now they’ve purged everything remotely interesting. Pest control videos, drama rants, montages of Biden groping children.

    1. “But making sure some hapless rube doesn’t stumble upon badthought and annoyingly hiding things away from those who specifically want to find it is a bit different don’t you think?”

      May be different, but they want to do both.

      They’ve got a lot of priorities at Google, and running an effective search engine hasn’t been at the top of the list for a long while. At this point their highest priority is exploiting their market power to manipulate public opinion for political effect.

    2. Remember they’re one of the giants under threat from section 230 changes, or breakup as too big, as well as constant threats of fines from every level of government, everywhere.

      Of course they work to censor the political opponents, ideas, anything, that those attacking them dislike.

      These politicians need jailing, not supplication.

      1. Putrid disclaimer, but these are dangerous times. I am no Trump fan, but who can forget when he won and, for a few days, the left scurried around, scared, crying “What if they do to us what we do to them?”

        That is their dishonest worldview. There’s a ton wrong either side, but that disturbs me the most.

        1. who can forget when he won and, for a few days, the left scurried around, scared, crying “What if they do to us what we do to them?”

          Does not remembering count?

          Examples?

          And no, one or two isolated comments don’t speak for “the left.”

        2. ‘“What if they do to us what we do to them?”’

          Try to provide health care for all? Try to make voting easier rather than more difficult? Tax the super-rich? Terrifying.

          1. Who pays for the heath care? Making voting more susceptible to fraud is a bad idea. The rich already pay most of the tax burden. I think everyone should pay taxes. Just slightly under 50% don’t.

            That seems like a problem.

            1. They can pay more. Or a teesny little trillion or two could always be shaved off the military budget.

              1. Or a teesny little trillion or two could always be shaved off the military budget.

                I’m not opposed to trimming some fat from our defense budget, but I’m not sure how you think that the budget can be negative $300 million. Are you also so uninformed that you think defense is the majority of the federal budget?

                The Defense Department is asking Congress for $715 billion

              2. You could tax all of their wealth at 90% tomorrow, and it still wouldn’t be a drop in the bucket of the communist programs and spending churning out of DC already, not to mention the much larger ones that communists such as yourself agitate for.

                1. Total global wealth of around $400 trillion distributed amongst 8 billion people is about $50k each.

                  Precious few people who yammer about in-vogue buzzwords like “equity” really want that, or have the least clue what it would really mean. It’s just become lazy shorthand for “more than I have right now.”

            2. The “voting fraud” figleaf doesn’t really hold up at all when the latest rounds of legislation include tons of provisions to reduce the ability to vote in-person (reducing hours, numbers of locations, etc.).

              1. The “voting fraud” figleaf doesn’t really hold up at all

                You’re too polite.

                It’s a big fucking lie. Republicans don’t want “those people” to vote.

                The GOP attack on democracy is a disgrace.

            3. ” I think everyone should pay taxes. Just slightly under 50% don’t.”

              Check your propaganda sources. This one turns out to be flatly untrue. What you meant to say (assuming you meant to be truthful) is that almost half of Americans don’t pay federal income tax. Turns out there’s other ways to pay taxes.

          2. “Tax the super-rich? ”
            You mean as in the Warren-Sanders plan to nationalize private wealth?

            1. Taxing people who don’t have any wealth tends to be less productive. Mr. Bezos had enough cash on hand to overpay for the MGM library by around $4 billion.

    3. The irony is that Google beat out its competitors (remember altavista?) by keeping search objective during the great search wars.

      At the time when Google appeared, there were a number of prominent search companies all desperately trying to monetize their product by selling search results and prioritized ranking. They all quickly discovered that people weren’t even willing to use a free product if they didn’t trust its output.

    4. Evidence?

      Or is this just “everyone knows?”

      1. I’d like to continue to see the evidence too. But in the meantime, they’ve already lost my trust. I put DuckDuckGo in place a while ago.

    5. Hot take: politics aside, Google is just a shitty search engine.

      And look, Idk what you would do better. But youtube has a habit of “recommending” things it knows I will click on … but are completely unrelated to the video at hand.

      This leads to an annoying series of videos where it is straight up impossible to discover new things. Like I use YouTube to listen to music, and I can be in the middle of a song, and half my suggestions for what next are other songs I have already listened to and half are completely unrelated, again based on things I’ve seen.

      The main issue here is, YouTube equates things I’ve want to see with things I will click on. It’s not necessarily the case.

      Google is not great either … it is good at getting you specific factual information … but say I want to follow up on a story or express a complex thought. Google completely messes up … for stories, it gives you 50 articles, all of which are derived from each other. None of them contain new information.

      For thoughts, too many things are SEO optimized, and that optimization isn’t for the website being usable or the information being good.

      And again, idk how to improve this, but I’ve always thought that for conservatives it is best to approach the issue of “Big Tech” not from a political angle but … identify genuine issues in the software itself from a non-political perspective, and attack it. Most people don’t use Google for politics. The political angle will be part of the non political solution.

      1. SearX, accessed through Brave is an acceptable search engine. If you have not tried it, it is worth a look.

    6. It’s really getting beyond ridiculous how censored and curated the search results are now.

      Try the same search terms in duckduckgo. Google is not even searching the internet any more.

      1. Right. Just change your default search engine in Settings. The results are just as good and you have the added benefit that results don’t have to run the gauntlet of such “Trusted Flaggers” as the Southern Poverty Law Center.

      2. What Google is doing is trying to do is point you to what you really wanted to find. The way they guess what you really wanted to find is by comparing what you asked for to what other people found to be desireable results. If you insist on wanting things that nobody else wants, you’re going to be disappointed. A lot.

        1. That’s incorrect. As a very general matter, yes, that is the way Google works. But it is widely acknowledged that a lot of human capital is invested into the moderation of content. And sometimes, that includes the censorship of political speech, religious speech, and other types of speech that are commonly associated with the broader cultural concept of freedom of speech. There are documented instance of Google maintaining political blacklists against search content, search terms. YouTube has banned much pro-life content, for example, and Google’s Search bans particular outlets and information.

          I’m not saying Google does not have the right to do what they do. I think they do, and that is a discussion that has been going on for quite a while. What is bizarre, is the knuckle dragger folks who come in here trying to pretend that this isn’t even happening.

          1. “That’s incorrect. As a very general matter, yes, that is the way Google works”

            You mis-spelled “correct”.

    7. “Google’s head of diversity strategy said in a 2007 blog post that Jews have an “insatiable appetite for war” and an “insensitivity to the suffering [of] others.” The comments were part of a longer meditation from Kamau Bobb, now head of diversity strategy at Google, that also slammed Israel’s military actions in Gaza and Lebanon that same year.”

      See: https://freebeacon.com/latest-news/google-diversity-head-said-jews-have-insatiable-appetite-for-war/

  8. Out of curiosity I looked up some definitions of economic/social class and they mostly seemed dumb to me. You’re in a specific class just because you have 1 million dollars? Why that arbitrary number? Heres how I’d divide things. What do you think?

    Homeless/Drifters: ie Those who make/have a lifestyle below basic sustenance of a stable house/food. (Theres two components of economic class. Having the resources for a life and actually living it. People can do both or one or the other)

    The Impoverished: Have the resources/living the lifestyle of predominantly having bare sustenance, shelter and income but its unstable/intermittent to a significant degree.

    The Working Class: Having the resources/living the lifestyle of the necessities and some basic amenities but little to no frills

    The Lower Middle class and Middle class: The Middle Class generally has access to and/or lives the lifestyle with all/most of the common amenities and indulgences for the ‘American Dream’. They’re not going by private jet to a resort they own on Tahiti but they have a decent house with a pool, stable fair amount of disposable income, a decent stock portfolio, send their fully insured children to good schools and even splurge out for luxury here and there. The Lower middle class lives roughly in the same manner but more aspirational with gaps in amenities and less stability.

    Upper Middle Class: Lives roughly the same livestyle as the Middle but more ‘elevated’. They drive to work daily and live in suburbia but have higher ranking jobs with more than enough money for any common amenity, derive more/significant passive income, and enjoy more luxuries here and there

    The Wealthy: At the transition point where they can live a comfortable life entirely on passive income and their lifestyles and daily beat tends to begin to diverge in significant ways from the middle class. (Its possible of course to also live as a ‘wealthy’ person without actually being so and also be wealthy but not live as such.)

    The Rich: Well past the point of having to rely on a traditional career. Lifestyle or capability for lifestyle upgrades is significantly different from the middle class. Political power from wealth begins here.

    Super Rich: enough money/resources to wield significant cultural/political influence maybe with the lifestyle to match.

    Top: The richest/most powerful people in the world.

    1. I’d propose simpler categories:

      1. Worried about making to the end of the day.
      2. Worried about making it to the next payday, or if self-employed worried about covering this month’s bills.
      3. Worried about next year’s promotion, or if self-employed worried about next year’s sales.
      4. Not worried about (1)-(3).

      Or a completely different way to categorize, based on what you do when not worrying:

      A. Your “hobbies” require zero resources.
      B. Your “hobbies” are based on things you can buy at Dollar General.
      C. Your “hobbies” are based on things you order from Amazon.
      D. Your “hobbies” are based on things that require transferring a title.
      E. Your “hobbies” have employees and a board of directors.

    2. I think the active vs. passive income thing is interesting and probably changes people’s perspective, but there’s a decent number of people who I’d put in your “Wealthy” category in terms of lifestyle but who are still earning regular income. Think partners at law firms, VP level folks in large corporations, medical specialists, etc. Even at the “Rich”/”Super Rich” stratum you’ll have a mix of people whose money is earned (athletes, movie stars, very successful business folks) versus people just sitting on fortunes.

  9. Today, the Washington Post notes that “Vaccination rates and case totals at the county level correlate with the results of the 2020 presidential election.” That’s an interesting statement, particularly given (a) the number of incentives (née bribes) being offered and (b) the easily countable number of vaccine does made available to and discarded by each county’s outlets. While I don’t disagree with the WaPo conclusion — that full vaccination is a trait of blue pocket (high population density) areas — I do note that full vaccination still fails to garner the electoral votes of Walter Mondale.

    1. Walter didn’t carry very many counties in 2020.

      1. He didn’t carry many in 1984 either.

        1. Frankly, he won that election. By a lot.

  10. National Enquirer Hit with $187K Fine from Federal Election Commission over Buying and Killing Story from Trump Mistress
    https://www.showbiz411.com/2021/06/01/national-enquirer-hit-with-187k-fine-from-federal-election-commission-over-buying-and-killing-story-from-trump-mistress

    If the FEC can rule that a campaign contribution, then what about Farcebook & Twatter’s censorship?

    1. Don’t forget that a vast majority of Americans also declined to make any political contributions, so your premise that declining to offer a contribution is itself a contribution will have an uphill battle. Fits right in with your tendency to tilt at windmills.

      1. I don’t think that’s his premise. In fact, I don’t see how you could think that’s his premise.

        His premise is that Facebook and Twitter have been making in kind contributions to the Democratic party in the form of censoring anything that hurts the Democratic party.

        Censorship is an active thing, it’s not a failure to act. FB and Twitter actively seek out and delete things that would hurt the Democrats, after they’re posted by customers.

        1. Evidence, or paranoia?

          1. Look, at some point this playing dumb just convinces people you’re not playing at it.

            The Hunter laptop, for instance.

            1. No body cares about Hunter Biden’s laptop. You can not even put together a coherent story line about the item. It is a simple minded attempt to put together a new take on Anthony Weiner’s laptop from 2016.

              1. See, Bernard? Your best defender is a parody account, that’s how absurd your position is.

              2. Moderation4ever to Brett Bellmore : “You can not even put together a coherent story line about the item”

                Nailed it in one. Brett has repeatedly claimed the GOP was cheated out their “October Surprise” by media stonewalling on the laptop. But list all the things regularly & widely reported and then ask Brett what’s missing. Guess what you hear?

                …………………….. (crickets). I know because I’ve tried the experiment multiple times. Brett produces nothing in reply. But that’s not all…..

                Last time whining on this subject, he claimed the laptop contents would have “put anyone else in prison”. So, back we went to Question Time: listing the faux-laptop’s tiny little scandalettes and querying Mr. Bellmore where that prison sentence would come from. The poor chump was really desperate then, railing about “child porn” that no one (Giuliani, the NY Post, Hannity, Carlson- the whole freak-show) ever came close to producing.

                So, yeah, Brett can’t string together two coherent/honest sentences about the laptop. But Lord above, how he loves to talk about it all the same….

            2. at some point this playing dumb just convinces people you’re not playing at it.

              So asking you for evidence for your claims is “acting dumb?” Or is that your way of deflecting?

              The Hunter Biden laptop is a non-story, because of Giuliani, not FB or Twitter.

              I know. You’ve read some RWNJ site that claims to have all sorts of information. They are lying to you.

              If that’s all you’ve got you’ve got nada.

              1. What’s a story or non-story is irrelevant. Twitter’s censorship of the story and banning of countless conservative voices, banning of the New York Post, etc. could be argued as campaign contributions.

                1. “They wouldn’t let us run our smear campaign” is praise, not criticism.

            3. You’re still mad because the media is supposed to fall for obvious ratfucks by GOP byblows, and not falling for it is censorship and opression.

              1. That was not an “obvious ratfuck” in any way, shape or form. Biden would have LOST if it weren’t for Big Tech burying stories like:

                1. Hunter Biden’s Laptop
                2. The vaccines not being approved until just after the election.

                Etc. So you may want to get with the reality.

                1. I Callahan : “….burying stories like …. Hunter Biden’s Laptop”

                  So let’s go thru the exercise again: If you combine all the news gleaned from the laptop (ignoring it’s fishy reek), and then add the allegations of a disgruntled partner for good measure, you get this:

                  (1) Hunter may have gotten a meeting with dad for a business associate.

                  (2) Hunter may have wanted to cut dad in on a deal after the latter was out of office & a private citizen. The deal went nowhere.

                  (3) Joe probably wasn’t completely ignorant of his surviving son’s business career.

                  That’s it. By Washington standards, that’s not even a thimbleful of scandal. By Trump’s sleazy standards (or lack thereof), it’s positively saint-like behavior. Whoever convinced you of your “laptop coverup” drivel was treating you like a fool. What was on the laptop was relentlessly reported. Newspapers, TV, internet, everywhere. There just wasn’t a lot there.

                  1. Yeah, so what if businesses linked to Putin and the CCP bought influence with the Biden family, and Joe Biden lied about it? Who would possibly think those things are relevant to an election?

                    1. Really? You actually wanna go there?!? OK, if you’re that much a masochist, three points :

                      (1) A counter question for you : So what if Joe Biden was conducting secret negotiations with Kremlin officials on a massive business deal throughout the presidential campaign – his personal agent repeatedly sneaking into Moscow right up to the eve of Election Day – and Biden lied about those dealing when questioned over & over during the election – AND the Russian government was secretly aiding his election campaign at the same time? That would be the exact state of affairs during the 2016 campaign, when Michael Cohen made regular covert trips into Russia on Trump’s behalf.

                      Never believe you can compare Biden to Trump in terms of cesspool sleaze. Trump inhabits a whole other universe.

                      (2). The Trump Organization continued to conduct worldwide business for profit with in multiple countries throughout DJT’s presidency. A very incomplete list includes China, Russia, India, Turkey, Philippines, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Qatar.

                      Let’s take the Saudis as one example : At a ’16 campaign rally, Trump said this : “Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million, Am I supposed to dislike them?” His foreign policy answered that question clearly; it was obsequious and doting to the regime. Meanwhile the Saudis spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at Trump facilities throughout his presidency.

                      Example? Their government paid U.S. veterans to travel to DC and lobby for changes to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) — legislation that enabled 9/11 lawsuits against the government of Saudi Arabia. $270,000 of that lobbying money went directly into the pocket of the Trump International Hotel.

                      Never believe you can compare Biden to Trump in terms of cesspool sleaze. Trump inhabits a whole other universe.

                      (3) As for Biden, as I point out above, the little that was on the laptop was relentlessly reported. I Callahan’s “laptop coverup” shtick is pure bullshit.

                    2. But… but… but… Rudy’s stooges went to a LOT of trouble putting that laptop together, and the evil, evil leftist media didn’t even PRETEND to believe it was real!

        2. You see, you’d have to prove that in a way that was actually persuasive rather than simply making assertions that confirm pre-existing and deep-seated biases.

        3. Weird how literally every day the top ten pages with the most engagement are dominated by people like Ben Shapiro

          https://mobile.twitter.com/FacebooksTop10/status/1400173210772000771

          1. And this despite countless bannings and acts of censorship.

            Reality has a conservative bias.

            1. Neato unfalsifiable argument you got there.

              Few conservatives? Censorship!
              Lots and lots of conservatives? It’s despite all the censorship!

              Oy.

              1. 10 people is not “lots” on Facebook.

              2. Also when they try to identify the “conservatives” who have been censored they stick up pictures of Laura Loomer, Paul Nehlen, and Milo.* And if they want those people to be identified with their movement…well that says a lot more about them than it does about censoring conservatives.

                1. You’re so clueless it’s funny. I can’t count on two hands the number of everyday people I know who have received temporary bans on Facebook or had their posts censored. Nearly every person in America is aware of this happening just among their friends and family (who they might want to block anyway). Oh, they banned the President of the United States. Your efforts here are really pathetic.

                  1. Maybe your friends and family need to stop saying the N word so much?

                    1. I had FB posts of mine censored for discussing Fauci’s statement from a TV interview and the then-scientific consensus on public mask use. (YouTube, quite separate from Facebook, also deleted every single uploaded copy of the Fauci interview clip). I had a post censored for linking the statements of qualified scientists on the lab origination possibility. I believe there was a recent post on this very blog about how the social media companies have reversed their policy of censoring this topic. There were a couple other occasions I can’t even remember, and I’m pretty inactive, forget about people who are a lot more active and outspoken and waste lots of time on social media.

                      Are you like the last clueless boomer on the planet who hasn’t joined Facebook yet, or just a liar?

                    2. No I’m a millennial so I’m too young for Facebook now.

                    3. ML, you regularly spread outright hoaxes on this site because you don’t bother to Google and check.

                      That’s not a partisan thing – liberal antivaxers who spread lies get schwacked as well I’m sure.

                  2. My liberal friends complain about getting posts banned on FB all the time. FB’s oversensitive filters affect everyone but me (since I don’t do FB). Getting your post banned is not by itself evidence of some sort of conservative censorship scheme.

                  3. “You’re so clueless it’s funny. I can’t count on two hands”

                    Finally, a believeable claim.

                  4. I can’t count on two hands

                    I think we may have identified the problem.

        4. “Censorship is an active thing, it’s not a failure to act.”

          It’s literally declining to publish something. How could ANYONE confuse declining to do something as a failure to act? That’s just crazy, partisan thinking.

          If the National Enquirer’s actions had been solely the disinclination to publish something about their guy that they definitely would have published had the subject been a Democratic candidate sitting on a boat with a woman not his wife, that’s not a campaign-finance problem. What they got busted for is paying the informant to keep the story from anyone else.

    2. That may be the way to hit them. It always felt an unholy club to use against your opponents, to try to redefine any activity by some monetary value, so you can club them over not filing some public notice.

      And that’s exactly how its used.

      So fine then for censoring the political opposition, because it’s clearly a helpful thing to them, and thus worth money, and thus they should have filled out a form.

      I don’t think that. But they do. Give them the government they want, good and hard.

      1. ‘I don’t think that.’

        You are literally thinking that, you just need to wrap it up with a pretext.

      2. “That may be the way to hit them. It always felt an unholy club to use against your opponents, to try to redefine any activity by some monetary value, so you can club them over not filing some public notice.”

        You realize that in this case the National Enquirer did in fact actually pay a cash outlay. No need to “redefine any activity by some monetary value”; the monetary value is the money they paid.

        1. What they paid for was literally to silence a source. This is also called paying “hush money”, when it isn’t politically uncomfortable to do so.

    3. What is interesting here is that the Inquirer paid to kill a story on the former President’s mistress. This plays into a pattern with recent allegation that the former President tried to pay off Senators to kill inquiries into sports cheating. There is a belief among some that it is OK to hid the true with money. Not really the American way.

    4. The answer is yes, they can rule that a campaign contribution too. Perhaps in the next Republican administration, the FEC fines should be in the billions.

      1. Cool. Fox News, fined out of existence. MSNBC, fined out of existence. InfoWars, fined out of existence. National Enquirer, fined out of existence. The NYT, fined out of existence.

        What a fun fantasy world you must live in.

        1. The difference between the FEC’s actions here and what I posited is merely one of degrees.

        2. There is a difference between not publishing something and preventing others from publishing it.

          1. So, you’d fine the National Enquirer (for their “catch and kill” suppression of stories harmful to Trump, which–obviously–prevented the publication of those stories), but not those other media, I take it?

    5. It seems to me burying Hunter Biden’s laptop story is worse,but I don’t think they will take any action. One distinction is Dorsey and Zuckerberg didn’t pay anyone for the story to kill it, they just had to say ‘let it be done’.

      1. Rudy put a lot of effort into that laptop.

  11. One of my pet peeves: Shrinking product sizes, especially stealth shrinkage.

    Take a look at the iconic jar of Carmex. It’s not very big, sure, but you don’t need much, so it lasts a while. Looks about the same as it ever did.

    Then you turn it over, and see that the underside of the jar is concave. The actual bottom of the jar has been raised halfway up the jar! Reducing the volume of product in the same size jar to maybe a half to a third of the original volume.

    And it’s not like Carmex is THAT expensive to make, the fancy jar is probably half the price to begin with. But instead of raising the price a few cents, they went to the trouble of making a jar that LOOKS full, but only holds half as much!

    Or ‘ultra strength’ dish soap. Yeah, naming names: Palmolive: They’ve diluted it to the point where it’s like water. Used to be you could get through a sink of dirty dishes with a few drops of the stuff, now it’s more like a teaspoon.

    Or sausage that comes in 14 oz packages, (Lately, 12 oz!) instead of the former 1 lb.

    Folks, everybody who does grocery shopping knows inflation has been back for a while, and that the CPI is a steaming heap. You’re buying chicken at the price steak used to go for. And lately it’s reaching the point where they can’t even pretend hard enough to keep the numbers down.

    But do the manufacturers have to cooperate in hiding it by stealth reductions in product size?

    1. Re: sausage

      Grind your own!

      Having lived in Germany for decades, when I moved back to the US, I just couldn’t find good sausages, so I started grinding my own.

      Bought a grinder a Cabelas (Cabela’s Deluxe Meat Grinder, $139), and started grinding away! (I don’t like the attachment for the casings and might eventually buy a separate filling machine.)

      My hot italian sausages came out perfect!

      Also great for making burgers – grind the chuck with a little sirloin…mmmmm.

      Lots of recipes and tips on the internets.

      1. Indeed, and I’ll be making a batch of hot dogs this weekend. My copy of this arrived a couple days ago.

        Hot dogs would not be my first choice, (Maybe Andouille.) but I let my son pick out the first sausage we’d make together.

        1. Good move, Brett.
          As I have a good butcher who sells sausage that I like, I have not started making my own. And for the occasions that we was German sausage we have a local Brotzeit that makes their own.

      2. I was actually looking at this grinder: eat Grinder Electric, Sausage Stuffer Maker, Max 2600W Food Grinder, Meat Mincer Machine with Attachments Sausage Tube Kubbe Kit Blades 3 Plates for Home Kitchen Commercial Use

        I’ve got the Kitchenaid meat grinder, but it has horrific design flaws, such as a tapered feed tube. (Works fine for the first pass, on the second pass the ground meat just flows back up around the plunger.)

        I’ve also got a basic stand alone stuffer in my wish list. (Which for some reason my wife never bothers looking at…) Maybe I’ll get one for father’s day. A guy can dream, can’t he?

        1. <I was actually looking at this grinder

          As in most cases it doesn’t pay in the long run to go cheap on your tools (with “cheap” being largely defined by what you’re using a given tool for and how much use you expect to get out of it, of course…there’s no point in spending money on something that you’re going to use once or twice per year, or less, for light-duty tasks). I make use of a grinder several times per year, though I rarely process more than 15-16 lbs of meat at a time (unless I’ve had a lucky hunting season AND have decided to do my own processing, which doesn’t happen often). So for my needs the LEM 0.35 HP grinder (which was their #8 model at the time, though that is now a 0.5 HP grinder, and the 0.35 HP model is now the #5) was a good choice. It’s beefy enough for my needs, has been (and still is) flawlessly reliable over 10 years of use and is relatively easy to clean.

          And whatever grinder you go with, get a foot-peddle power cord extension for it (LEM sells a good one, though you may be able to find others). The ability to start/stop the grinder with one foot while keeping both hands free is invaluable.

        2. Brett, are you feeding it too fast? = I’ve got the Kitchenaid meat grinder, but it has horrific design flaws, such as a tapered feed tube. (Works fine for the first pass, on the second pass the ground meat just flows back up around the plunger.)

          You’ve probably seem my past Thursday posts on different kitchen appliances, and the KA stand mixer is my ‘go to’. What specifically is happening?

          1. Perhaps it’s an older model of the meat grinder, (The KA grinder attachments I see on Amazon now don’t look much like it.) but the feed tube from the tray has a taper to it, and the plunger only really fits at the bottom.

            The result is that it works fine feeding chunks of meat, but for recipes that require a second pass, or for using it as a stuffer, the plunger has too much of a gap around it, and the already ground meat bypasses, and comes back up.

            I’ve been reading that book I linked to above, and they actually recommend against using electric grinders unless you’re going to be making really large quantities of sausage. They suggest instead buying a good manual grinder, and spending the savings on a decent vertical stuffer. So I think that’s what I’m going to do. I have one of each picked out and in my father’s day wish list, with the stuffer prioritized. I can make do with the KA grinder attachment at first.

    2. “But do the manufacturers have to cooperate in hiding it by stealth reductions in product size?”

      There have been some successful efforts to hold the line; for example, Subway was successfully sued for offering 11″ “footlong” sandwiches, and a few drinking establishments have been successfully sued for “cheater pints”, AKA 14oz beer glasses.
      Pick your hill and go die on it.

      1. I though Subway won their case based on bread shrinking while it was baked.

        1. Yes, settled but the Court of Appeals thru out the settlement because it paid only the lawyers and ruled the sandwichs were not a fraud..

          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-subway-decision-footlong-idUSKCN1B52H6

          1. That one was not a bad as the guy who sued Home Depot (I think) because their 2x4s were only 1 1/2″ X 3 1/2″

            1. HD did, for a little while, try selling 1 3/8 x 3 3/8″ “2×4″s. They backed down on that one fast.

              2×4’s were, at one time, actually 2×4, (You’ll find them in really old houses.) but we lost that fight before I was born.

              Mind, the last ‘2×4’s I picked up at Lowes ranged from 95 3/4 to 96 1/2, which was a bit of a shock. Good thing I wasn’t framing a wall.

      2. Someone should sue Subway for claiming to provide sandwiches.

        1. “claiming to provide sandwiches”

          ???

          Meat and cheese and toppings on a bun are what then?

          1. If you’re making a ham and cheese sandwich, do you have to use a different knife to slice the ham than you did to slice the cheese if you want it to be kosher?

            1. Yes, then you need a shellfish topping.

      3. My pet peeve is the 5 oz wine pour

    3. Beef jerkey packs have been shrinking. The 10 oz. one was standard hairy chest mansized stuff, with little packets being more for humor than anything else.

      But prices have been going way up for a few years, so they replaced 10 oz. with “Big Half Pounder!” bags for the same price.

    4. It’s called “shrinkflation”

      If the price went up, then people would complain. By reducing the amount of material instead, it “hides” the price increase

    5. One of the most annoying consumer product issues is how the EPA has totally destroyed our washing machines and other appliances.

      1. No kidding. My drier, a Whirlpool Duet, flatly refuses to get clothes entirely dry. It literally has a humidity sensor built into it, to enable it to know when the clothes are merely damp, and refuse to dry any further.

        My dishwasher takes over three hours to run a reasonably effective cycle. Not nearly as effective as my first dishwasher was in 45 minutes, mind you, but as effective as it gets. All so I can pretend I’m living in a drought all the time.

        And then there’s the toilets that you have to flush multiple times…

        1. I just bought a Kitchenaid dishwasher last year that is quieter and more effective than any I have owned or used. By default it’s pretty slow, but it has a “fast mode” that seems just as effective albeit at the cost of some extra energy/water.

          Similarly, the modern washer/dryers that I’ve used recently are WAY better/faster at cleaning and drying than those that I remember growing up.

          Maybe try a different brand?

        2. Go with handicap elongated bowl toilets — by being both higher and longer, they seem to flush better.

        3. Not nearly as effective as my first dishwasher was in 45 minutes, mind you, but as effective as it gets.

          Query how much of that was the amount of water versus the phosphates that were still allowed in the detergent at the time. It was a hell of a one-two punch.

    6. Yeah, but it’s not consistent. Meat, ice cream, etc are following the trend you mention.

      On the other hand, 64oz soda cups are common now. When I was a kid burgers tended to be 2-3 oz and the “quarter pounder” was considered huge, now 4 oz is kind of basic. Also TV screens and pick-up trucks are way bigger than they used to be. In the extended family the last three pick-ups purchased were all used because you can no longer buy the size we want new, and random people approach us offering to buy them. Some manufacturer could make a killing by bringing back the old quarter-ton with a single bench seat.

  12. Is the Disney Corporation’s moral compass for sale on ebay? They’re not using it any more, so maybe they’re selling it off.

    (The following rant contains spoilers)

    Their show WandaVision has Elizabeth Olsen play a powerful witch who enslaves the people of an entire town to cater to her nostalgic fantasies of her dead boyfriend. Nothing wrong with using that premise – it’s a movie with a good megalomaniac villain.

    The difficulty is that the viewer is supposed to have a measure of *sympathy* for the slavemongering Olsen character. In a classy move, the show has one of the key black characters, played by Teyonah Parris, express sympathy for the Olsen character, even though Parris’ character had herself been enslaved by the Olsen character for a time. Stockholm Syndrome? The reader is supposed to sympathize with Parris’ character sympathizing with Olsen’s character. I mean her boyfriend died, so of course she went a little crazy, poor dear (or at least her boyfriend was deactivated – he was some kind of android robot creature – yeah, long story).

    The background is that in some earlier movies, the Olsen character was some kind of Nazi agent who switched sides and became one of the good guys. Now they’re trying to retain some at that sympathetic vibe even as the character seems to go back to the dark side to become a deranged slavemongering sorceress. But she did it because she felt very bad about her robotic boyfriend, and later she’s really sorry. Because it’s all about her drama and resolving *her* issues.

    The federal government has agents at the town, dealing with the supernatural situation as best as their Muggle resources allow. They don’t have Olsen’s character indicted for slaving (legal eagles – wouldn’t that be indictable?), nor do they call in some good, powerful superheroes to try and arrest her (they have super-prison facilities for super-prisoners, so they’ve dealt with this problem before), but the inability/unwillingness to arrest her doesn’t seem to be a major plot point as she’s allowed to just fly away.

    Olsen is like Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind, except Leigh’s character Scarlett O’Hara (the Scarlett bitch?) could only rely on force, not sorcery, to keep her slaves in slavery. And I think HBO felt obliged to add some commentary contextualizing Gone with the Wind and expressing some awkwardness about airing that movie.

    1. If you’re going to whine about Disney shows featuring super-powered individuals who use their super-powers to enslave others, and other characters expressing sympathy for that character you’re going to hate the first season of “Jessica Jones”, on Netflix.

      Hint: In the comics, the Scarlet Witch was originally a villain, literally a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

      1. “If you’re going to whine”

        Now, what brought that on? Are you butthurt on behalf of the Disney Corporation?

        “In the comics, the Scarlet Witch was originally a villain, literally a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.”

        I said she was “some kind of Nazi agent.”

        I’m shocked that you of all people take a tolerant and nuanced view of slavemongering. Next you’ll say that Birth of a Nation was just misunderstood.

        1. “If you’re going to whine”

          Now, what brought that on?

          His being a miserable, disingenuous asshole.

        2. “I’m shocked that you of all people take a tolerant and nuanced view of slavemongering.”

          No actual persons were enslaved in the making of these programs. Now, conditions in the animation studio while Walt was alive, on the other hand…

      2. You think the first season of Jessica Jones expressed sympathy for the mind-controlling charatcer? What? It was the inverse of WandaVision – the endless trauma caused by the mind-controller, relived mind-control trauma, PTSD from being mind-controlled and the sheer toxicity of a life warped by mind-control-related trauma was nigh-on unbearable.

    2. 1. I agree that the show’s moral compass is wildly miscalibrated and I yukked out of it when I saw how it was going to go.
      2. I would confine my criticism of the show and its miscalibration to the show’s creators rather than the Disney Corporation as a whole.
      3. Disney is evil, and cheap, as it has recently shown by witholding royalty payments from authors of tie-in works.
      4. Come to think of it, maybe the core set-up of WandaVision was an unintentional commentary on working for Disney…

      1. “Disney is evil, and cheap”
        and popular, because they have enough money to buy creative works from people who build them.

        They bought the Muppets from Jim Henson (ultimately, from his heirs at a discount.) They bought Pixar when Pixar was consistently able to produce successful animated movies. They bought Star Wars from Lucas, handed it off to JJ Abrams, and now they have to have Dave Filoni rehabilitate the brand on TV. They bought Marvel.

  13. From the “I hate everybody” file:

    A federal grand jury in Billings, Montana, returned an indictment on May 20 charging a Montana man with hate crime and firearm violations for allegedly firing a gun into an individual’s house and threatening the individual with violent, homophobic slurs.

    According to court documents, John Russell Howald, 44, of Basin, is charged with violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and with the use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The indictment alleges that on March 22, 2020, in Basin, Howald attempted to injure an individual because of their actual and perceived sexual orientation by discharging a firearm into the individual’s house, stating that he wanted to “get rid of the lesbians [and] gays.” The offense included an attempt to kill the individual.

    Howald is scheduled for an arraignment on June 29 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Great Falls. If convicted, Howald faces up to life in prison on the hate crime charge and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, on the firearm charge.

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/montana-man-indicted-federal-hate-crime-and-firearm-charges-0

    But wait! There’s more:

    Howald is currently serving a 10-year sentence in Montana State Prison after being convicted on a state charge of criminal endangerment stemming from the same incident, according to Montana Department of Corrections records.

    He could not be reached for comment and an attorney for Howald was not listed in court documents.

    Howald was sentenced to two years in prison for felony aggravated animal cruelty in 2006, after pleading guilty to shooting a chocolate labrador at a campground near Bernice, decapitating the dog with a chain saw and throwing the severed head into the campsite of the dog’s owners parents.

    1. So insanely long sentences to discourage behavior are a good thing? Is that what the left is trying to say out of one side of their mouths, when they are, in every other situation, crying about how sentences are too long and unfair, vote for us, crooks?

    2. The firing into the house is the bad thing. Homophobic slurs are protected by 1A

      1. The law, this indictment, and the descriptions of the alleged criminal activity do not address homophobic slurs.

        Not sure why you brought that up.

        1. “The law, this indictment, and the descriptions of the alleged criminal activity do not address homophobic slurs.”

          Then, it’s not a hate crime, and the possible life sentence should be void?

          1. Read bro….

            The indictment alleges that on March 22, 2020, in Basin, Howald attempted to injure an individual because of their actual and perceived sexual orientation by discharging a firearm into the individual’s house, stating that he wanted to “get rid of the lesbians [and] gays.”

            The allegation is he attacked them because he thought and/or they are gay – not because he yelled homophobic slurs (which I’m guessing he prolly did since he seems to enjoy embellishing his criminal activity [e.g. throwing the severed head into the campsite of the dog’s owners parents]) .

            1. The fact that you think “prolly” is a word explains a lot.

              1. It is a word. Why is denial of reality so ubiquitous for modern Conservatives.

            2. stating that he wanted to “get rid of the lesbians [and] gays.”

              So, care to try again?

              The allegation is he attacked them because he thought and/or they are gay – not because he yelled homophobic slurs

              Who, anywhere, alleged that he attacked them because he yelled slurs? Do you want to go back and rethink the structure of this sentence?

              Where does the hate crime charge come from if not because he yelled homophobic slurs, openly sharing his “phobia”?

              1. “Where does the hate crime charge come from if not because he yelled homophobic slurs, openly sharing his ‘phobia’?”

                It is not a crime to hate people, no matter how white-hot your passion burns. A “hate crime” is a separate category of crime because they have, and are intended to have. secondary victims, beyond the immediate ones. When you burn a cross on your black neighbor’s lawn, that’s an act of vandalism and also a threat of violence, not just to the specific neighbor who has to clean the mess out of his yard, but also to the other black people in the neighborhood. THAT’S why the punishment for a “hate crime” is worse than for simple vandalism.
                It’s already a crime to steal things from other people. But burglary is a felony because it makes people didn’t steal anything from feel unsafe in their homes.

                So, shooting into a house is a crime, whether you hit anybody inside or not. The obvious victims are the owner of the home, and anybody who happened to be inside at the time of the shooting. Now, if you’re stupid enough to tell people that the reason you did it was to threaten an entire class of people who didn’t have their houses shot up, you just added an entire new group of victims of your crime(s).
                It doesn’t really matter if you hate them, or have some other motivation that doesn’t reduce to words very well. It doesn’t matter where your hatred originates or who you’re really mad at.

        2. The law, this indictment, and the descriptions of the alleged criminal activity do not address homophobic slurs.

          Not sure why you brought that up.

          Gee…maybe it had something to do with the violent, homophobic slurs part of your description of why he was was being charged with, among other things, a “hate crime” violation.

      2. In as much as you can say them and not be arrested just for saying them, yes. In conjunction with a crime they are not. Hate crime laws have repeatedly passed constitutional muster. The slurs are used to prove animus and motivation.

        1. Not sure of your position, but why is that a bad thing? Lots of times First Amendment protected activity can be used as evidence in a crime.

          If I say, “John Doe is an absolute jerk, I wish he were dead.” That is protected speech under the 1A.

          If John Doe is found murdered, and I am tried on murder charges, that statement would certainly be admissible to show motive. (You would of course need other evidence, as well.)

        2. “In conjunction with a crime they are not. Hate crime laws have repeatedly passed constitutional muster. The slurs are used to prove animus and motivation.”

          Makes sense in determining intent, but as a sentencing enhancement, it’s bullshit. And anyone who supports prison and sentencing reforms should be against it.

          1. As a sentence enhancement, it makes perfect sense.

            “Hate crimes” have more victims than simple crimes, so they have harsher sentences.

  14. I suspect the current Supreme Court has five votes to overturn Rooker Feldman. Anyone agree/disagree?

    1. Don’t know enough to agree or disagree, but who do you think wants to overturn it and why?

      1. It’s been roundly criticized by justices left, right and center. Stevens said it has done nothing but mischief, and Scalia dismissively referred to it as “the so-called Rooker-Feldman” doctrine. Three circuits have within the last two years sharply narrowed its application. A concurring Sixth Circuit judge, Judge Sutton, said the doctrine needs to have a stake driven through it. It is not well loved.

        1. Thanks. IANAL but on the surface it seems like sound doctrine in a federal form of government. What’s the big problem that needs solving?

          1. Because in practice, the federal courts have used it to deprive parties of federal jurisdiction even when the state court judgment itself is not being attacked. The original idea behind it was that if you lose in the state court, you can’t then appeal it to the federal courts.

            But a new lawsuit in the federal courts is not necessarily an appeal. The issues may be different, and you may not even be attacking the judgment itself. But in practice, a lot of plaintiffs have been deprived of federal jurisdiction over federal claims just because there was an earlier lawsuit in the state courts that kinda sorta had something to do with it.

    2. IANAA but have long had trouble with parts of it.

      Bigger question, to what extent did the 14th Amendment repeal the 11th?

  15. In the upcoming primary election, New York is instituting “rank choice” voting. Voters have the option of ranking their picks from 1 to 5. (It is not mandatory). If one candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, he or she wins. If not, they eliminate the last candidate, and anyone who voted for him/her has his vote transferred to the second choice. They keep going until someone has over 50%. You can read more here: https://vote.nyc/page/ranked-choice-voting

    I question whether this is a good idea. One, are voters going to understand it? Two, is it fair and democratic for someone who was ranked second or third to get someone’s vote and beat out someone else who got more first-ranked votes.

    We will see how this experiment pans out.

    1. Not sure if this is a good idea either but I do like that they’re trying something new.

      “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Justice Brandeis (New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 262 [1932])

    2. I think that, in as much as the second or third ranked candidate only gets somebody’s vote if they gave it to them, yeah, it’s democratic.

      It is subject to Arrow’s theorem, of course. But, what voting system isn’t? IRC voting isn’t as good as having an actual runoff election, but is more efficient in terms of resources required, and resources are not in infinite supply.

      Sure, some voters are going to make stupid mistakes, or vote down the list for people they haven’t really looked at. People cast stupid, uninformed votes under the regular system, too.

      1. I think that, in as much as the second or third ranked candidate only gets somebody’s vote if they gave it to them, yeah, it’s democratic.

        I understand that. But the point is, someone whom I ranked third, now gets my vote, and that puts him over the top of someone who had the plurality of votes. Does it make sense that the winner wins based on votes who considered him third-rate?

        1. As you (and NY), noted, you don’t have to enter additional votes.

          If you don’t want to enter a third vote, then don’t.

        2. In general, the plurality candidate can only win in IRV if the IRV winner was pretty close anyway, and a lot of people had him down as their second choice.

          Like, suppose you’ve got 33% of the people voting for Bob, 32% voting for Sally, and 35% voting for Jake. In first past the post, Jake would win.

          But if better than half the people who voted for Sally had Bob as their second choice, Bob wins the second round.

          And, why is that bad? It’s what would have happened in an actual runoff election, presumably.

        3. Bored Lawyer: How low are you willing to go on a plurality? Suppose eleven candidates split the vote 10-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9, and the “losers” had broadly similar positions while the “winner” was some kind of evil outlier, however you define that.

          Anyway, I don’t see the unfairness, because I don’t think ranking someone third necessarily means they are undesirable. For example, if 70% of voters effectively say “any one of these four Democrats would be acceptable to me” and 30% effectively say “it needs to be this one Republican” I’d be inclined to say the fair result is that *some* Democrat should win, and the ranked choice makes that happen.

    3. I have never been comfortable with ranked choice voting. When I vote, I make a choice, not multiple choices.

      1. Well with ranked choice you can choose, or not choose, to make multiple choices.

        It is a far more fair voting system, in that the person elected is more likely to represent the will of the people.

        It’s probably bad for political parties where they are super minorities. In a location where the R or D consistently gets, say, 35% of the vote, but the remaining 65% was split between two members of the opposite party, they used to have a chance to win, even if it didn’t reflect the actual will of the voter.

      2. C_XY,
        I have the same discomfort. Why is “everyone’s third choice” a good choice.
        But ranked voting is better than the “jungle primary” which is CA’s approach to guaranteeing one-party rule

        1. That is where I am tripping….why is the ‘second loser’ a good choice? It just isn’t.

          Concur about jungle primary also.

          1. I’ll tell you why. Imagine you are super pro-life and there are two pro-life candidates on the ballot. You vote for one, and they each get about 30% of the vote. The third candidate is pro-choice and gets 40%. In most-votes-wins, you get a pro-choice winner even though 60% of votes went to pro-life candidates. In ranked-choice, one of the pro-life candidates wins.

            1. Randal….when I pull the voting lever, I make a choice. Meaning, that person and no other.

    4. What I like about rank choice voting is that it foils defensive voting. There are times when you make your choice not on the best candidate but on the most electable. Ranked choice gives you the option to chose you favorite and still back that up with the most electable. I like that it is being tried and I would like to see if it bring in new candidates with fresh ideas.

      1. ” like that it is being tried and I would like to see if it bring in new candidates with fresh ideas.”
        After a decade of RV in oakland, I have not seen the fresh candidates with fresh ideas. But good luck in your district.

    5. Not sure I like this idea, however if Georgia had use that in the recent Senatorial election Georgia would likely have 2 Republican Senators.

      1. This could be the case. The fact is the Republicans out foxed themselves in the Georgia race a couple of times over as it was.

        1. I think it was mostly Trump’s asinine post election rants that discouraged some Republican voters and energized some Democratic voters.

          1. They still hadn’t figured out how the Democrats had pulled off the November result; Zuckerberg donating massive amounts of money direct to urban election officials, who ran GOTV drives to benefit the Democratic party that were invisible in campaign finance records.

            So they got blindsided by the urban turnout, both times. It was outside their election models, they went in expecting to win based on their polling.

            That the recent state level election laws require such donations to go to the state, and be distributed equally, is the real reason Democrats went berserk over them.

    6. It didn’t work well in Maine — it’s how the Dems stole a US House seat.

      What it does is encourage extreme single-issue candidates (who don’t even live in the district) with their second vote going to the Dem. The only way the Republicans can counter this is to have their own extremist candidates, which no one wants to see.

  16. USA Today has a new article about the Biden Administration’s skin-color based discrimination and the lawsuits against it:
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2021/06/03/covid-relief-farmers-debt-relief-race-racism-disadvantage/7495846002/

    It’s noteworthy that the Trump Administration had no such skin color based discriminatory policies, despite all the made up stories that you were told every day.

    1. I think we’ve been over that before: The left’s current definition of ‘racism’ is, “Any failure to racially discriminate in the same way the left does.”

      You can literally be ‘racist’ by their definition, by treating people impartially.

      1. The way to stop racism is to stop treating people of different races differently. Full stop.

    2. Don’t know much about this law in particular, but have you considered the common argument that that the policy status quo favors connected white dudes over others, allowing policies to be discriminatory in implementation without explicit rules?

      BTW, the above postulate is what critical race theory is actually about – it’s not ‘White people are responsible for everything evil in society and all white people should be considered white supremacists and terrorists while minorities can do nothing wrong’ except to those who prefer an enemy they don’t need to understand.

      1. Yes, I have considered it = …the common argument that that the policy status quo favors connected white dudes over others, allowing policies to be discriminatory in implementation without explicit rules

        And rejected it. 🙂

      2. It’s pretty easy to make up stories or exaggerate real stories or dramatize things to support more-or-less any grievance. Racists do it all the time.

        Why would an honest person buy into it? Why would a moral person use it as an excuse to commit intentional injustices? I don’t think they would.

        1. This is just question begging.

          I mean, there are studies: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10460-018-9883-3

          USDA discriminatory lending through the 90s has been acknowledged.
          On thing they pointed to is how blacks don’t own land as a solo family as often as whites, and thus are ineligible for a lot of assistance due to policies that exclude such ownership structures for reasons not quite clear.

          1. The white farmers and restaurant owners who are being discriminated against in 2021 by the Biden Administration are not guilty of whatever you’re complaining about from last century.

            Intentional injustices against new victims do not right historic injustices from decades ago.

            And something from 25 years ago is unrelated to Covid, so using it as an excuse for racial discrimination in Covid relief rights no wrongs and merely shows general (and perhaps unlimited) discriminatory intent.

            1. Last century is in the lifetimes of most of the people involved, as well as you and I.
              Hard to argue these new loans are pure as the driven snow, just forget everything that happened before yesterday.

              The solo family favoritism thing is still going on. It is, as they say, structural.

              1. Do you really want to say that people with the wrong skin color are presumed guilty until proven innocent? And that they inherited their guilt from their ancestors?

                Really?

                1. That’s not what I said.

                  But you seem to be arguing any deviation from the status quo is an indictment of white people?

                  You’re actually buying into the CRT paradigm but don’t realize it.

                  1. It’s more-or-less what you said. You’re defending skin color based discrimination based on the idea of inferred, presumed guilt that goes with skin color and nothing else.

                    Wrong-skin-color people don’t have to prove they are “pure as the driven snow” to rate equal treatment under the law in the US.

                    No clue what you’re trying to say about “CRT paradigm”. I guess you’re just typing random buzzwords to distract people.

                    1. You’re the guy bringing in guilt.

                      I’m talking about systems and policies.

                      If you think changing those systems and policies is tantamount to declaring all white people racist, that’s on you dude.

                    2. You are defending a policy to victimize wrong-skin-color bystanders by discriminating against them.

                      Wrong-skin-color bystanders are not guilty of your grievance story from last century and so it is unjust to burden them with it. The grievance story about last century is 100% irrelevant to Covid loan relief.

                      You can’t pretend victims of racial discrimination aren’t victims of racial discrimination by saying “status quo” or “systems and policies”.

                    3. You’re the guy bringing in guilt.

                      I’m talking about systems and policies.

                      You’re defending the idea of penalizing some individual people and rewarding some others based on the color of their skin. Why would you penalize someone who is not guilty of anything other than having a particular racial background?

                    4. You are defending a policy to victimize wrong-skin-color bystanders by discriminating against them.

                      No, you are.

                      This is what I said when I said you’re basically adopting the CRT paradigm.
                      You’re doing the exact same thing about the status quo that they are doing for policy reforms.

                    5. You’re defending the idea of penalizing some individual people and rewarding some others based on the color of their skin.

                      Why would you penalize someone who is not guilty of anything other than having a particular racial background?

                      CRT argues that’s what you’re doing by declaring the status quo correct.
                      You’re actually acting like the cartoonish right-wing version of CRT. You need to defend that position with more than just saying anything else is racist.

                    6. You’re actually acting like the cartoonish right-wing version of CRT. You need to defend that position with more than just saying anything else is racist.

                      That’s pretty funny coming from the undisputed king of bullshit straw man arguments…including the one shortly before the comment above:

                      But you seem to be arguing any deviation from the status quo is an indictment of white people?

                      Which is, of course, not even remotely what he was arguing. But that didn’t stop you from claiming that it was. And of course you’re doing the same thing in response to me….because it’s all you know how to do.

                      So, on the one-in-a-million chance that you might decide to stop being a dishonest coward for once in your life, let me repeat the question:

                      “Why would you penalize someone who is not guilty of anything other than having a particular racial background?”

                    7. No, you are.

                      I said exactly nothing in defense of any policy or structure or plan.

                      How much of your worldview is the result of just making up imaginary things no one ever said?

                    8. How much of your worldview is the result of just making up imaginary things no one ever said?

                      Based on his very, very long history of doing so as the basis for nearly every argument he makes I would estimate > 98%.

                    9. Ben, you’re quite strongly defending the current policy structure. Do you deny that?

                    10. I deny that I mentioned whatever “policy structure” you claim to be talking about. I thought that was clear in my last comment.

                      I have made no comment on any “policy structure” other than pointing out the Biden Administration’s discrimination. It’s entirely unclear what you are imagining.

                    11. I have made no comment on any “policy structure” other than pointing out the Biden Administration’s discrimination. It’s entirely unclear what you are imagining.

                      He is, via his signature pathological dishonesty, attempting to claim that objecting to proposed policy “X” constitutes a defense of some unnamed existing policy “Y”. He knows that isn’t valid logic, but he doesn’t care. All that matters to him is “winning” by using such tactics to…he believes…dupe others who are as dumb as he makes himself out to be into believing that his fallacious argument is valid.

          2. As I understand it the discrimination by the government was litigated many years ago but the restitution was never paid. This is a belated settlement.
            Pigford v. Glickman

            1. In other words, tell a story about something that happen sometime long ago and you can justify literally anything.

              1. The Tulsa Race Massacre, for example, occurred so long ago the survivors who attended this week’s events in Tulsa were relatively few.

                Disaffected right-wing bigots desperate to avoid recognition of racism in our history are among my favorite culture war casualties.

                1. The Tulsa Race Massacre is an obvious hoax. Everybody knows that no one took allegations of sexual assault seriously until the metoo movement.

                  1. Your memory is faulty. Southern racists would string up a Black man for mere failure to lower his gaze in the company of a White woman — back before their betters put the southern clingers in their place, as part of the great liberal-libertarian victory over conservatives in the culture war.

                    It must suck to be on the wrong side of history and the losing end of the culture war. No wonder conservatives are so humorless and disaffected.

      3. See there is this thing called 14A that emphasizes that laws mut be applied equally. We also have this thing called the CRA which says you can’t discriminate based on race.

        Follow it

        1. Are you talking to the vote-suppressing, racist Republicans in Texas, wreckinball?

      4. Racism man, racism! It’s everywhere man! Wake up! It’s in the water. It’s in the air. It’s under your shoe. Racism! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

        1. White people are responsible for everything evil in society and all white people should be considered white supremacists and terrorists while minorities can do nothing wrong

        2. Here is a joke:

          Comedian: how many leftists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

          Leftist: That’s racist!

          1. Here’s another joke: Some conservative apparently believe they will become competitive in the American marketplace of ideas, figuring the Republican Party’s taste for racism, misogyny, gay-bashing, xenophobia, belligerent ignorance, and old-timey, superstition-laced prudishness won’t be held against clingers in modern America.

            Until right-wingers stop appeasing and embracing bigotry, they will be deserved losers in today’s — and tomorrow’s — America.

            Plenty of good old days to remember, though . . . with a few Confederate monuments still standing and southern legislatures still seated to assist those conservative reminiscences.

            1. That’s about as funny as a speech by Stalin.

      5. “the policy status quo favors connected white dudes over others”

        Yes, but, how? How does it favor them?

        It’s one thing if the connected white dude gets favored over the unconnected black dude, because they threw merit out the window, and gave whatever it was to the less qualified guy on the basis of race or connections. Yeah, that would be bad.

        It’s an entirely different thing if the reason the connected white dude won out is because his connected white parents relentlessly forced him to do his homework, and taught him the importance of being competent and diligent, and he beat out the unconnected black due on sheer merit and hard work.

        Sadly, culture correlates with race, and culture correlates with merit, and as a result, merit correlates with race, and so impartially judging people on the basis of the content of their character, not the color of their skin, exhibits ‘disparate impact’.

        And this is a lot of what CRT seems to be complaining of: That meritocracy perpetuates racial patterns, not because it’s a false front for racist partiality, but because merit correlates with race.

        But, what’s the alternative to meritocracy? Explicit racism, only in the opposite direction? Yeah, like that’s going to sell to the majority who are asked to volunteer to be discriminated against.

        Maybe we need to attack the underlying cultural problems head on, stop pretending that all cultures are created equal, and find some way to fix the cultural damage a lot of blacks labor under?

        Which damage is actually a product of the war on poverty, NOT slavery. Slavery just set blacks up to be disproportionately damaged by the war on poverty, but similarly situated white groups were damaged in the same way.

        1. Yes, but, how? How does it favor them?

          As always, the answer is: in whatever way that can be used to justify doing whatever leftists want, regardless of laws, or right and wrong, or consistency with any principles they were pushing yesterday.

        2. It’s a pretty telling story wherein you’re assuming the meritocracy is good, and just reflects how black people slack off while whites are dedicated.

          Have you read a damn thing about CRT? Because I’ve only read a bit, and it ‘seems like’ you’re getting your characterization from people with agendas telling you what it says.

          Start here: CRT does not argue against the existence of a meritocracy, only interrogates the current structure for whether that’s what it truly is.

          1. Some CRT practitioners argue that meritocracy is inherently racist. CRT itself simply provides the groundwork to build up to that (ludicrous) conclusion. One doesn’t necessarily follow the other, but the argument has been made.

            And it’s why the “anti-CRT” laws are not actually anti-CRT laws. They’re anti-“ludicrous conclusion” laws.

            1. Maybe some do, I don’t know. I’ve not read anything to that effect.

              Certainly arguing it’s a main tenet of CRT (or as you say that CRT;s main purpose is as a method to argue the above) is bullshit.

              1. “Certainly arguing it’s a main tenet of CRT (or as you say that CRT;s main purpose is as a method to argue the above) is bullshit.”

                Here’s an ABA page on CRT: (I don’t have access from the underlying source right now.

                “… scholar Khiara Bridges outlines a few key tenets of CRT,…”

                “CRT rejects claims of meritocracy or ‘colorblindness.'”

                1. Pretty sure that’s as implemented, not the general idea of merit.

                  But if you want to create an absurd strawman, go wild.

                  1. It’s not “as implemented”. It’s a full rejection of meritocracy. The whole reason the SAT got dropped was because it evaluates merit. They gave up on the argument that the test itself was racial flawed and moved on to the mere attempt to evaluate merit is racist.

                    And that’s not even remotely an exaggeration. You really need to read up on this crap if you want to get in the business of defending it.

                    1. Haha, the SAT is an example of the meritocracy not testing merit as applied.
                      It’s well documented the reason the SAT is having issues is that it couldn’t make it’s questions without favoring the white folks who were writing them.
                      Plus, of course, since expensive independent courses help the score, it has also got a problem not being class-blind.

                  2. You’re trying to save your argument by claiming (without evidence) that CRTers don’t reject some abstract idea of merit?

                    Why don’t you just admit that your claim that “Certainly arguing [ that meritocracy is inherently is a] main tenet of CRT…is bullshit.”

                    The “Myth of Meritocracy” stuff is all over CRT.

                    1. I’ve actually read up on this particular bit, and I can tell you the myth of the meritocracy is precisely about the meritocracy as implemented in the US, not about the idea of merit not being a thing.

                    2. Sorry, but CRT makes no specific claims about “as implemented in the US”. Yes, they state that. But they never, ever, go on to state “well, here is a non-racist version of meritocracy. See, here’s how the Kiwis do it”. They don’t substantiate their “US” specific claim. They reach the endpoint of “meritocracy is racist” and they “solve” it by becoming anti-meritocracy.

                    3. No, MP. Like, this whole meritocracy is why I even read anything on CRT. And it’s not anti-merit as a criterion for success.

                      It’s specifically interrogating how we currently choose people to get jobs/education/grants/other opportunities.

                      And it provides actionable ways to address a lot of the issues it sees. Ways that are not just ‘give extra opportunities to black folks.’ (although they also explain why that will help, albeit not as much as some other stuff)

                      I can’t speak for every single CRT scholar, but as to the body of thinking, you and TiP just have it fundamentally wrong.

                      HBCU-MI grants programs are currently under something of an attack due to their not addressing some of the issues CRT brings up.

          2. “Start here: CRT does not argue against the existence of a meritocracy, only interrogates the current structure for whether that’s what it truly is.”

            How about start here: It doesn’t “interrogate[] the current structure for whether that’s what it truly is”, it assumes that white supremacy is maintained through ideas like equal protection and the rule if law, and seeks to change the relationship between law and racial power.

            1. it assumes that white supremacy is maintained through ideas like equal protection and the rule if law

              As I understand it, CRT is about implementation. It’s about fulfilling the promises of equal protection and rule of law.

              It argues the law is currently all to often an instantiation of racial power.

              It’s an arguable point, but it’s telling you prefer to strawman.

              1. “As I understand it, CRT is about implementation. It’s about fulfilling the promises of equal protection and rule of law.

                It argues the law is currently all to often an instantiation of racial power.”

                I thought it argued that law is necessarily an instantiation of racial power.

                Do you have a cite for the source of your understanding?

                1. Not my area of expertise, but the wiki has as one of it’s tenets:

                  “Standpoint epistemology: The view that a member of a minority has an authority and ability to speak about racism that members of other racial groups do not have, and that this can expose the racial neutrality of law as false.”

                  This gets into the ‘lived experience discussion we had previously, and if you recall my comments you’ll know I don’t fully agree with it.

                  But this axiom would requires that the laws being racially neutral is a possibility; that not all laws are inherently racist.

                  1. “Standpoint epistemology:”
                    By this one example, I see that CRT is just a dogma insistent on by one group to explain away the proponents disappointment with the achievements of their group.
                    What is described is not epistemology, it is wantonintellectual duplicity.

                  2. Wiki? Ok. Another tenent is Critique of liberalism: “Critical race theory scholars question foundational liberal concepts such as Enlightenment rationalism, legal equality, and Constitutional neutrality, and challenge the incrementalist, step-by-step approach of traditional civil-rights discourse; they favor a race-conscious approach to social transformation, critiquing liberal ideas such as affirmative action, color blindness, role modeling, or the merit principle; and an approach that relies more on political organizing, in contrast to liberalism’s reliance on rights-based remedies.”

                    CRTers claim that race-neutral laws necessarily reinforce existing race-based hierarchies.

                    1. CRTers claim that race-neutral laws necessarily reinforce existing race-based hierarchies.

                      This is not the same as:

                      law is necessarily an instantiation of racial power.

                      A key difference is the ‘race neutral’ part.

                      You conflated a specific policy choice with the all laws generally. That’s a fundamentally different goal post.

                    2. “CRTers claim that race-neutral laws necessarily reinforce existing race-based hierarchies.

                      This is not the same as:

                      law is necessarily an instantiation of racial power.”

                      You’re claiming the CRT allows for race-neutral laws as long as they’re not race neutral?

                  3. ““Standpoint epistemology: The view that a member of a minority has an authority and ability to speak about racism that members of other racial groups do not have, and that this can expose the racial neutrality of law as false.””

                    The truly terrifying thing is, you cited this abomination as a defense of critical race theory!

                    1. FFS, Brett.

                      I cited it to counter a specific point TiP made.

                      I said I didn’t think it was correct.

                      I think it’s telling that you’re the first one to actually engage with anything about CRT itself, versus just demonizing it with strawmen.

                      I agree with you that saying *only* lived experience counts is ridiculous. I absolutely don’t agree with giving inherent authority to immutable characteristics.

                      That being said, making policies on race without a black person in the room is a pretty ridiculous idea as well.

              2. “It argues the law is currently all to often an instantiation of racial power.”

                Show me a law the instantiates racial power. Ha

                At least OBL was satire

                1. I give a couple of examples below.

                  This is also not hard to Google.

                  1. No you didn’t. What law today instantiates racial power? LAW! Citing alleged racism by folks is not instantiating by law. Being racist and doing racist things is mostly not against the law. It’s why Farrakhan and Sharpton are not in jail.

                    1. No new goalposts.

          3. Sarcastr0, part of the issue is defining what CRT actually is. There do not appear to be axiomatic beliefs, but dynamic beliefs that seem to change with every social issue being addressed.

            Serious question: Where can one go and get a clear definition of what CRT is, and more importantly, what CRT is not?

            1. I answered this below by mistake.

          4. “It’s a pretty telling story wherein you’re assuming the meritocracy is good, and just reflects how black people slack off while whites are dedicated.”

            Yes, meritocracy is good. If you want your bridges to not fall down, your doctors to cure illnesses, your auto mechanics to be able to fix cars, and on and on, you want meritocracy.

            Once you’ve rejected meritocracy, you’ve lost any moral high ground, and embraced bias and corruption, and have no basis for telling people that the bias should be directed against them, and in favor of the group YOU want to win.

            1. You are conflating the existing structure that claims to be a meritocracy with the concept of meritocracy.

              I’m very, very clearly speaking about the first and not the second.

        3. Loans were often vetted through local farm committees made up of local white farmers giving them an advantage.

        4. It’s all disparate outcome based not based on equal opportunity. But of course the disparate outcome argument only works one way in this case.

          1. It’s not purely disparate outcome; CRT discusses equality of opportunity a lot.

        5. “Sadly, culture correlates with race, and culture correlates with merit, and as a result, merit correlates with race, and so impartially judging people on the basis of the content of their character, not the color of their skin, exhibits ‘disparate impact’.”

          JCOAFPS. I thought Earl Butz was still dead.

          1. For example: Blacks have a much higher crime rate than whites. That’s objective, shown not just by arrest and conviction statistics, but also victimization surveys.

            So, any policy that harms criminals disproportionately impacts blacks. Disparate impact! But it’s not racist to put criminals behind bars. On the contrary, it might be racist to refuse to, because more blacks are victims of that crime, than are perpetrating it.

            Does this mean there’s something neurological about being black that inclines one to be a criminal? Of course not. It’s cultural, a significant fraction of blacks just happen to be concentrated in high crime areas, and have adopted cultural values that lead to high crime rates.

            Whites living in those areas, sharing that culture, also have high crime rates. But whites mostly live elsewhere, so the averages stack up differently.

            Likewise, if for path dependence reasons, (That ‘war on poverty’!) a larger percentage of blacks than whites hold cultural values that discourage studiousness and disdain academic achievement, blacks will suffer disparate impact from any policy that rewards study and education.

            That doesn’t make rewarding good grades with scholarships racist.

            The basic problem here, that you demonstrate, is the tendency on the part of some people to equate noticing objective facts with racism. And that’s a big problem, because you can’t fix the problems those objective facts expose, if you can’t look at the facts!

      6. “it’s not ‘White people are responsible for everything evil in society and all white people should be considered white supremacists and terrorists while minorities can do nothing wrong”

        To be fair, this is the non-academic definition of critical race theory.

        1. ‘If that’s a lie, why do I keep insisting it is correct?’

          1. Hey, if academics can make up their own definition of racism, why not?

            Why so hung up on semantics, Sarcastro?

            1. I’m quite sure that’s not the definition academics use,

              Lying about what an academic discipline does is not semantics, of course.

              1. There’s plenty of DEI folks doing the things described above. If people want to call that CRT, who are we to argue, especially since CRT insists on making up its own definition of racism.

                1. Every example you’ve provided so far today has been just misunderstanding what a single sentence is saying, and turning it into an absurd result.

                  1. Nope. It’s been me providing an accurate depiction of CRT and you attempting to sanitize it.

                    1. Watching old, obsolete, vanquished right-wingers flail against all of this damned progress, modernity, reason, and inclusiveness is fun and satisfying.

                    2. When you get to the foot-stamping “I’m right!” kind of argument, it’s pretty clear you’re mostly interested in maintaining your incorrect views of a thing you have clearly never actually read directly.

                  2. “When you get to the foot-stamping “I’m right!” kind of argument, it’s pretty clear you’re mostly interested in maintaining your incorrect views of a thing you have clearly never actually read directly.”

                    No, it’s just a response to your foot-stamping “You’re wrong!” kind of argument.

                    1. I’ve engaged with your supposed examples that CRT is actually against merit as a thing. I’ve told you that’s not what they mean, and here is more context.
                      You’re basically reduced declaring I’m lying and you’re right.

                      I’m no expert on CRT, but I’ve read some takes to inform my job. I don’t agree with most of it, but some of it has been helpful food for thought.

                      And with what little I know, it’s very clear to me you’ve not read anything about CRT that wasn’t digested through a right-wing filter.

                      And you refuse to learn.

                      You condemn something without bothering to do the reading.

                      Read some primary sources and then come back and you can say that you did to win Internet points deletants like me.

                    2. “I’ve engaged with your supposed examples that CRT is actually against merit as a thing. I’ve told you that’s not what they mean, and here is more context.”

                      And I’ve done the same with you. I haven’t found your arguments convincing.

                    3. Disagreeing with you isn’t the same as “refusing to learn”.

                    4. I’ve read (some of the) stuff.
                      You have some hot takes based on single sentences.

                      That’s not disagreeing, it’s not caring about the truth.

                    5. “I’ve read (some of the) stuff.
                      You have some hot takes based on single sentences.

                      That’s not disagreeing, it’s not caring about the truth.”

                      Lol. I’ve read some of the stuff too. You have a hot take based on a single sentence from the wikipedia page.

                    6. Dude, it’s all over your posts yesterday.
                      You haven’t read anything other than some sentences in some right-wing rag about how CRT is Cultural Marxism or some such rot. FFS, the wiki was news to you.

                      And now you’re lying about it to score Internet Points.

                      Sad.

        2. Why do you guys want to have a long, pointless back-and-forth about what is or isn’t called “CRT” (or any other label)?

          The I don’t agree with what fits under this label discussions are the worst, most tedious thing ever. Who cares what anyone thinks anything is or isn’t named?

          1. Because this isn’t semantics, it’s mischaracterizing an area of study so you can get your partisan rocks off.

            1. Yeah, but that’s extremely common and anyone can take any side of the argument and fill the comments up with strawman arguments and no-true-Scotsman fallacies.

              And at the end you’re still having some lame disagreement about some vague categorization of belief systems that anyone can claim to subscribe to in any amount between 100% and 0% and call it whatever they want.

              A discussion best avoided.

            2. “an area of study”
              It is more akin to an exercise in alternative dogmatics with the academic high priest(ess)s forming a de facto Office of the Holy inquisition.

            3. That’s more what the right wants you to think, Don. Like, I’m hardly a defender of everything CRT says, my thesis in this thread is only that y’all don’t know what it says, and many on here don’t care to.

              I mean, it’s an area *full* of scorching takes. But that’s not all it is. Honestly, conservativism at the moment is a lot more reactionary than the books I read.

              I read it for work, but I ended up reading it like I read Zinn – not to give me the full story, but to give me something substantive to grapple with outside my comfort zone.

              If it was as you described it, rest assured I’d have moved on.

              1. Perhaps because I have studied a range of such movements from the Quran community in ancient Judea to the christian Gnostics to the mass movements of revolutionary France to Nazi Germany and Bolshevism, I don’t have any sympathy for giving a movement that denies objective epistemology the benefit of the doubt.

                If I were taking a comparative religion class, I’d accept assignment such as
                view societal justice through the lens of (orthodox Judism, Hinduism, orthodox Christianity, CRT, Bolshevism, or Daesh). No problem with that.
                But don’t ask me to accept as dogma the claim that only the vanguard or the high priests can reveal the truth.

            4. “it’s mischaracterizing an area of study so you can get your partisan rocks off.”

              Sadly, that accurately describes about 50 percent of the posts on this blog, and about 90 percent of the comments.

      7. ” have you considered the common argument that the policy status quo ”

        Then have the policy EXPLICITLY state that all races are to be treated equally.

        Simple.

        1. CRT says that that’s white supremacy.

          1. FFS, dude, stop talking about stuff you clearly don’t care to learn anything about.

            Again, I’m no expert, but CRT says that colorblind policies are not equal or fair when the playing field is not level.

            1. So colorblind policies are not racist because they don’t consider race.

              If your policy favors one race over the other its racist. See CRT.

              Explain how the “playing field” is not level. Do it looking at equal opportunity not disparate outcomes. Disparate outcomes indicate possible discrimination but alone are not proof of it.

              Like men are more incarcerated than women. Is the justice system sexist? Or do men commit more crime?

              1. Society has considered race for centuries. You can’t address where we are socially without considering race (among other things)

                You can’t have a level playing field just by declaring stuff is level now.

                To give one example of a structural issue:
                Network activation – the old boys club tells their protégés about how to get opportunities while less connected people don’t get that boost. No points on the race and gender of those who are in the know.

                1. So more disparate outcome. “Old Boys” is the culprit . Ha

                  1. I gave a mechanism by which there is a disparity of opportunity.

                    You’ve elected to ignore it.

                    Telling.

                2. “To give one example of a structural issue:
                  Network activation – the old boys club tells their protégés about how to get opportunities while less connected people don’t get that boost.”

                  What you’re arguing is that race neutral laws don’t distribute everything equally because network effects and other circumstances give some people advantages over others.

                  Another example would be that somebody who doesn’t speak English is going to have fewer opportunities because he has a harder time with folks who can help him with those opportunities.

                  But that doesn’t make language-neutral policies unfair, it just means that not everybody starts out in the same circumstance.

                  1. I think you and I differ on what unfair means, then.

                    It’s also bad policy to ignore when your supposed procedure to determine merit has fundamentally non-merit based aspects.

                    1. You think everyday life is a “procedure to determine merit”?

                    2. “I think you and I differ on what unfair means, then.”

                      Sure. You think it means that everybody gets the same outcome.

                      “It’s also bad policy to ignore when your supposed procedure to determine merit has fundamentally non-merit based aspects.”

                      What’s fundamentally non-merit based about it? We probably disagree on what “merit” means too, but possession of information can be a form of merit, even if the possession is fortuitous.

                    3. You and I differ on what I think unfair means, TiP.

                      Do I mistake you, or did you just say being well-connected is and should count as merit?

                      Well, that is quite a take!

                    4. “Do I mistake you, or did you just say being well-connected is and should count as merit?”

                      “Count as merit”? As you point out, network effects can propagate merit unevenly. If my uncle is a mechanic, and he teaches me how to fix cars, then I have more opportunities to fix cars. And I have better access to information about opportunities related to fixing cars.

                    5. I’m not talking about connections getting you higher quality educational opportunities – I was quite clear.

                      old boys club tells their protégés about how to get opportunities while less connected people don’t get that boost

                      That’s not how to fix a car, it’s who is hiring mechanics, and making an introduction to them. That’s not propagating merit. At least as I understand merit.

                      And even if you’re talking about high-quality educational opportunities, you’re always shitting on the Ivys – how do you square using that as an indicator of future success?

                    6. “That’s not how to fix a car, it’s who is hiring mechanics, and making an introduction to them. That’s not propagating merit. At least as I understand merit.”

                      Well, maybe you can clarify. Are you saying the knowledge about existing opportunities never counts as merit? Or sometimes counts as merit?

                      And are we counting it as the uncle’s merit or the nephew’s merit?

                    7. The knowledge of existing opportunities is not merit.

                      It has nothing to do with education. Or talent. Or dedication. Or any of the things you look for when you try and figure out if someone will be good in a position.

                      Certainly there are edge cases where you’re hiring someone for their rolodex – like a lobbyist or something. But that’s not what we’re talking about.

                    8. “The knowledge of existing opportunities is not merit.”

                      Lol. Being able to find out about opportunities is not an indication that someone is likely to succeed? Remember we’re not talking about picking an individual who is likely to succeed, where talking about a system that rewards those who know about opportunities rewards merit.

                3. “To give one example of a structural issue:
                  Network activation – the old boys club tells their protégés about how to get opportunities while less connected people don’t get that boost. No points on the race and gender of those who are in the know.”

                  “To give one example of a structural issue:
                  Network activation:”

                  Otherwise known as families and friends helping each other out.

                  And structural racism, the way CRT folks use it, means that wealth is currently distributed differently among people of different races, and families help each other out.

                  That’s the problem they’re trying to fix.

                  1. And structural racism, the way CRT folks use it, means that wealth is currently distributed differently among people of different races, and families help each other out.

                    That’s the problem they’re trying to fix.

                    So now you’re trying a red-baiting tact?

                    GTFO.

                    1. “the way CRT folks use it”
                      in other words as may be condemned by the Inquisition.

                      Let me expose my cynicism. Critical theory is a rhetorical device to beg for monetary reparations without appearing to being holding out a tin cup.

                    2. Maybe don’t decide what the motives of people are until you read what they have to say, Don.

                    3. “GTFO.”

                      You’re the one that brought up network activation as a structural issue. Structural racism is at least partly network activation with a racial component.

              2. Or stuff that favors property owners when blacks were systemically and directly kept out of property ownership up through the 80s.

                No direct discrimination anymore, but a discriminatory effect remains.

                1. Urban property owners tried to keep blacks out of their neighborhood because urban black neighborhoods were worthless sh$tholes. And they tended to transfer that to their new residence.

                  They happened to be black but property value and quality of life was the issue.

                  I know my grandparents lived in one of those south side Chicago neighborhoods in the late 70’s. Was a nice place with mostly white residents then. Now it’s a sh$thole. But it is a black neighborhood now so hooray!!

                  1. Well, the mask comes off.

                    1. Your mask has been coming off today, as well. The most damning attacks on CRT I’ve seen to date have been what you’ve chosen to say in its defense. The implications of what you think is a defense are horrifying.

                    2. I’ve lost your vote, Brett.

                      But at least I’m not doing some collective guilt crap about blacks being bad homeowners to argue for past discrimination.

            2. “Again, I’m no expert”

              You got something right yea!!!

            3. Sarcastr0….when is the proverbial playing field ever truly level? Won’t there always be some kind of imbalance somewhere?

              1. It’s a discipline, not a thesis. What is sociology?

                I can more easily tell you what sociology is definitely not, than give you bright lines about what it is.

                And CRT is not against the concept of merit.

              2. Sorry, below was a response to a question you asked farther up.

                I don’t know why never being able to reach 100% good means you should not worry about getting better.

                1. Don’t make the ‘perfect’ the enemy of the ‘good enough’. I am familiar with this thinking. Heck, I employ it from time to time.

                  What I struggle with, wrt CRT, is getting a fix on what it is. Every discipline I know of has axiomatic beliefs, hallowed ground upon which it stands. That is where I have difficulty because I don’t know what the hallowed ground is, with CRT. It morphs and changes, depending on the situation.

                  1. I mean, it’s a sub-discipline of sociology, is it not?

                    1. Yeah, I suppose it is. Is sociology really a science, though? 🙂

                    2. Haha – I’ve flipped on that in the past 2 years due to a change of job where I work closely with an anthropologist with strong opinions.

                      It’s science, but not as physicists know it!

              3. “Sarcastr0….when is the proverbial playing field ever truly level?”

                Never. Because their is no “playing field”. We’re not playing a game. It’s a bad analogy.

                1. Most of the opportunities we’re talking about are being competed for.

                  Why is the analogy bad?

                  1. Because they’re opportunities with real outcomes. If two oncologists are competing for the opportunity to cure some kid’s cancer, and the parent decides that Dr. A is better, it doesn’t matter how Dr. A got to be better, or what disadvantages Dr. B had to overcome, etc.

                    1. It’s still a competition, and so the playing field is still a fine analogy, even if the player’s skill subsequent to the game matters a lot more.

                      But I still take issue with your characterization – that’s not how merit works though – it’s an attempt to predict future ability, and for obvious reasons it is far far from actually determining that future ability.

                      As such, external connections and the like actually occlude inherent talent, dedication, and other such things you’re wanting to suss out if you’re going to get a sense of potential future quality.

                    2. “It’s still a competition, and so the playing field is still a fine analogy, even if the player’s skill subsequent to the game matters a lot more.”

                      It’s not a competition in the sense that you’re talking about. It’s not an attempt to measure a player’s skill level, it’s an attempt to achieve a particular outcome.

                      “As such, external connections and the like actually occlude inherent talent, dedication, and other such things you’re wanting to suss out if you’re going to get a sense of potential future quality.”

                      Well, no. If a person’s external connections have operated to increase the likelihood that he will succeed at a future endeavor, then he’s more likely to succeed at that endeavor.

                    3. No, you aristocratic asshole.

                      Connections with the med school admissions office don’t make you a better doctor.

                    4. “No, you aristocratic asshole.

                      Connections with the med school admissions office don’t make you a better doctor.”

                      Lol. Whatever you think I wrote, you illiterate asshole.

            4. “Again, I’m no expert, but CRT says that colorblind policies are not equal or fair when the playing field is not level.”

              How is that different than what I said?

      8. “above postulate is what critical race theory is actually about ”
        I have found that out. It is a dogma with fixed axioms and rules through which all being must be viewed. It is not a theory as it allows no independent third party evaluation of the degree to which the lens of CRT actually represents the world.

        1. I think that’s just how social science works – it’s oftentimes more descriptive than predictive.

          1. That is exactly an ersatz religion. No one needs to be a believer and no one should be condemned for being a non-believer.
            However, the present crop of SJWs or CRTer or whatever you wish to call them do not accept that no one should be condemned for being a non-believer.
            That feature is common among the vanguard of political mass movements, be those nazism, communism, fascism, Comtean progressivism, etc.

            1. CRT is not a political mass movement. It’s just the punching bag of one.
              You’re conflating activists with academics. There’s overlap to be sure, but one is not the other.

              A paper – or a bunch of papers – condemning a case they don’t like is not a religion, right?
              Why does scaling it up to look at some common trends among all the cases and condemn them make it suddenly so?

              Again, I urge you, read some sources before you condemn what they say based on reputation alone. I thought it was dumb in law school, but that’s because I didn’t read it.

              I say the same thing about Marx. Or Sowell.

              Some individual works, I don’t think I need to read. Like The Camp of the Saints. But I read the Bell Curve.

      9. There are more White people living in poverty than there ARE Black People….

      10. BTW, the above postulate is what critical race theory is actually about – it’s not ‘White people are responsible for everything evil in society and all white people should be considered white supremacists and terrorists while minorities can do nothing wrong’ except to those who prefer an enemy they don’t need to understand.

        Then why the objection to the list of “divisive concepts” that were forbidden to be taught to federal employees in Trump’s executive order (rescinded by Biden)?

        1. The United States is fundamentally racist or sexist;

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

          meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.

          The first is CRT
          The second is affirmative action
          The third is CRT, provided you don’t equate the concept of merit with our currently implemented meritocracy.

          1. Then why the objection to the list of “divisive concepts”?

  17. In separate news, California is settling and paying attorney fees to the churches they illegally shut down during the pandemic:

    https://fox5sandiego.com/news/local-news/state-agrees-to-1-6m-settlement-to-pay-attorneys-fees-in-south-bay-church-suit/

    Unfortunately the Bill of Rights didn’t guarantee the free exercise of more activities. Everyone else is denied the same justice these churches are finally receiving.

    1. You figure the conduct of selfish, belligerently ignorant, lethally reckless, anti-social churches and clergy during the pandemic is going to help right-wingers fight the continuing diminution of superstition’s influence in modern America?

      People who figure the recent experience was a win for churches and religion are probably also celebrating Trump’s second inauguration (or planning for the August festivities).

      Carry on, clingers. But only so far as your betters permit.

    2. The mute user feature is really nice.

      1. You will lose and comply regardless, clinger. Everything else is sideshow entertainment.

  18. So we have a legal blog that has yet, at least as far as I can tell, to discuss the disparity of legal treatment between the mostly peaceful Jan 6 protests and the mostly peaceful protests we endured all last year and are still going on in places like Portland.

    Some of the VC articles may I dare say seem sort of trivial in comparison.

    VC c’mon man!

    1. Pet grievances are not everyone’s grievances.

    2. Because there is no evidence that’s true.

      1. You win the dumb comment of the day! But I think you are a repeat champion.

        So those who were let into the capitol by the CP, actually waived in, should be held without bail versus those that burned looted and murdered over the last year are released with out bail.

        1. Luckily, the disparity you’re talking about didn’t happen.

          1. You’re too dumb to argue with

            1. I don’t want to argue with you, wreckinball. I just want to watch you continue to swallow progress arranged by your betters, and to thank you for your continuing compliance.

              Carry on, clingers . . . so far and so long as the liberal-libertarian mainstream permits, that is.

              1. Once again with the gay sex stuff. See a shrink. Or maybe spend more time on gay sex sites?

                1. I see nothing sexual about shoving progress down whining bigots’ throats. It’s more about power, decency, and the American way.

                  You get to whimper all you want, though, wreckinball, but you must continue to comply. Your compliance — and that of all conservatives — is required and appreciated by your betters.

                  1. “I see nothing sexual about shoving progress down whining bigots’ throats.”

                    There’s certainly nothing sexual about shoving your amount of progress down somebody’s throat.

            2. I posit your understanding is factually wrong.

              You’re not providing evidence to counter, just bluster.

              1. Dude you are comical. Ostrich comes to mind

                Across the nation the burners looters and murderers (aka mostly peaceful LOL, reality somewhat violent) were being let out without bail. Charges dropped. Billions in damages 30-40 deaths.

                Jan 6 was also mostly peaceful, partly violent resulted in one death (an unarmed protestor) and millions (maybe 2) in damages. Congress was right back in their chamber finishing up 3 hours later.

                These folks are being held without bail in solitary in some cases. For glorified trespassing. The sedition/treason stuff is all made up by the media by the way. No one is charged with that.

                1. Whining, powerless, grievance-consumed, delusional Republicans are among my favorite culture war casualties.

                  You should be praying your betters are gracious in victory rather than flailing childishly.

                2. I continue to note your complete lack of evidence for your factual statements about disparity in charging.

                  I also note your whitewashing of why Jan 06 was a big deal. Reducing it only to total deaths is disingenuous.

                3. And we still don’t know the officer’s name…

                  1. That will become known during the civil suit underway, in the discovery phase.

  19. With the constant articles on FIRE and the censoring of speech by universities you’d have thought there would be at least one regarding the federalist society student group at Stanford attempting to get a 3rd year law student kicked out of the school and his diploma not awarded for a satirical flier. What gives VC?

      1. Didn’t show up on the page for me this morning. Maybe it was written and uploaded to the site, but not posted?

    1. Eugene has posted. Josh hasn’t.

      Too busy speculating on SCOTUS gossip, I guess.

      1. Kagan is behind the whole thing!

  20. Happy birthday, Bob!

  21. Happy birthday, Charlie!

  22. Happy birthday, Ronnie!

  23. Just a comment on smart auto safety technology which worked better than I supposed it could—better than I could have done it myself.

    I was driving a Subaru Forester. The road, one lane in each direction, 45 mph posted, lined with thick woods on both sides. GMC SUV ahead, going my way, signals for a left turn. No oncoming traffic. I take my foot off the gas, no worries. Plenty of space, and he’s going to clear my lane long before I get there. He pulls across the oncoming lane, looking for all the world like making a turn into an intersecting road I can’t quite see from that far back. I’m set to pass behind him just about when he’s fully off the road into his turn.

    My automatic braking activates for the first time ever. Way too soon, it seems like. But a second after auto-braking starts, the guy reverses and backs into my path. He isn’t turning left—there isn’t any road there to turn into. He’s making a crazy U-turn. The computer figured that out before I was in any position to see it. Pretty cool.

    I will say that the auto-braking was not what I expected, more like a violent buzz on the brakes than like pumping the brakes. And I don’t think it would have stopped the car as fast as I could do it with the brake pedal, with no pumping.

    It’s my hope that maybe I only got a calibrated partial application. Maybe a need for a quicker stop would have been met with more violent braking. But the contextual awareness, anticipation, and early response was an impressive surprise.

    1. I read somewhere that smart auto safety technology will lead to an increase in prostitution.

      You can call for a hooker, ride around for awhile, then go home and watch the ball game.

      1. Airbags DID lead to more reckless driving as people presumed (correctly) that the airbag would help save them.

    2. Prediction: 20 years from now legislatures will be debating whether anyone should be allowed to drive on manual control on public roads. Debating whether their should be exceptions for rural areas or at designated “recreational driving” tracks.

      1. No. Nor do I expect fully self-driving cars.
        Instead it will be like airplanes where they are mostly on autopilot, but a human has to be ready to take over.

        We had the technology to eliminate pilots 40 years ago — and did eliminate the flight engineer (2nd Officer) but we prefer machine-assisted to machine-run.

  24. More cancel culture!

    What at first blush appeared to be a short audio malfunction at Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony in Markillie Cemetery turned out to be anything but.

    A ceremony organizer turned off the microphone when the event’s keynote speaker, retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter, began sharing a story about freed Black slaves honoring deceased soldiers shortly after the end of the Civil War.

    The microphone was turned down for about two minutes in the middle of Kemter’s 11-minute speech during the event hosted by the Hudson American Legion Lee-Bishop Post 464….

  25. 50 years from now, CRISPR gene splicing technology will have advanced to the point I can have any skin color I want, and change it every six weeks with my hair color. The twitter mob will probably enforce strict conformity with skin color norms.

    1. Does Rachel Dolezal know? She might go into hybernation for 50 years just to take advantage.

      1. Will the Twitter mob force the 120 year old Ben Carson to get the white gene, since he’s a Trump supporter

        1. Not so long from now, Ben Carson — like most clingers — will be trying to pretend he never supported Trump.

  26. Oh, the Fauci emails. It looks engineered, he knew back in January. Masks are useless. Etc.

    1. Well everyone who was interested knew. There were many pre-Covid studies that said the masks were not effective against viruses as small as Covid. Its not unique in that aspect.

      Post Covid we have the politicized science (not science at all) and a year plus of data that shows no correlation between masks and disease mitigation.

      But Fauci knew that. If you look at things in regards to gaining control and power the actions of our government including Fauci make perfect sense. If you look at it in regards to disease mitigation it makes no sense.

      Because it was just about control and power. Still is. Folks still believe!

      1. The 2009 study was bad.

        The science changed. As science does.

        This is not proof of fraud.

        1. How about deliberately lying to the public that masks don’t work so they will not be horded? Is that proof of fraud?

          1. It’s not clear that was the general policy. I’d also note that public health is not the same discipline as virology, and the later does not dictate the former.

        2. The wreck is not worth arguing with. His mind is locked in “park.”

          1. The wreckinball constitutes most of the Republican Party these days.

            That’s why the future of the Democratic Party — and of modern, improving, diverse America — is so bright!

            Clingers hardest hit.

            1. Kirkland was recently praising the Taliban in Afghanistan. So take his bigoted comments seriously.

              1. That is a lie, as even a half-educated right-wing bigot should recognize. I observed that Afghans should address mercenaries as they wish.

                Do you clingers genuinely believe that claiming your betters are America’s vestigial bigots — rather than Republicans — will help you in the culture war? Or have you just given up on a hopeless, ugly cause and are resigned to just throwing out any crap that might stick and hope for a bit of chaos as you lose?

          2. I thought you had said his mind has been zoned as a park, which also works.

            I’ve muted him.

            1. I’ve muted him.

              Build your own echo chamber — batteries not included.

      2. Correct. There are no new developments about the highly likely Wuhan lab origination of the virus. Nothing has changed, it’s just that the ministry of truth is suddenly inclined to go in a different direction at this time.

        The “Science” has “evolved” you know. As it always does. Not real science or facts, you understand.

        One day, Fauci was admitting that there was no point to public mask use. He came right out and said that it would be security theater to “make people feel better.” And that was the scientific consensus. But then the “Science” “evolved.” Only, if you look at the studies that actually happened in this time period, they are a joke and totally immaterial to the whole body of evidence.

        1. ML,
          The science does not evolve, but human understanding of it certainly does and sometimes very rapidly.

          1. Sure. What also evolves is the political science, propaganda and lies that people choose to adopt or get duped by or think they can get away with.

            1. That’s the beauty of superstition — ‘just because’ is a perfectly respectable argument and all the evidence ever needed!

              For the gullible and poorly educated, that is.

              1. Exactly. Just because MSNBC and the deranged shrews on Facebook said so!

            2. That can evolve even faster

    2. A hot take in January 2020 is now scientific proof.

      Just go full Q. You clearly want to.

    3. Doctor Fauci followed the science, ML. You just thought it was the biological sciences when in fact it was political science he was following.

      1. The Science Evolved! I F’ing Love Science!

    4. Will he quietly retire soon?

    5. Oh, the Fauci emails.

      A whole new meaning to “Fauci ouchie.”

  27. Cybersecurity, Ransomware and Hacking seem to be the next big security issue. Thus far, IMO, neither party is taking it seriously. What has happened in recent months, writ large, could potentially shut down the country, or at least cause major dislocation of vital supply deliveries (fuel, food).

    When asked about it this week, the presidents spokeswoman said it is the private companies’ responsiblity.

    When do you think anyone is going to wake up to this?

    1. It will be a long while. In the meanwhile the US admin will use the topic as a debating point with Russia and China,

      BTW,
      What did Old White Joe mean that the US reserves the right to respond in kind?

    2. Is a state actor deploying ransomware against another state committing an act of war?

      What if the state actor targets private companies that are critical to infrastructure (like gas, meat, etc) – is it an act of war?

      1. If we’re going to start doing drone hits on server sites, my first priority would be the car warranty bots. I can live without gas or sausage for a week or two, but the calls never stop.

        1. I’m with you….I am perfectly Ok with carpet-bombing the telephone center and associated virtual stations who make those annoying spam calls.

          More seriously, where is the line drawn? There is precious little discussion about that, and I’m hoping to see a future VC post talking about the finer legal points of when ‘acts’ cross the line over to acts of war.

    3. ” What has happened in recent months, writ large, could potentially shut down the country, or at least cause major dislocation of vital supply deliveries (fuel, food).”

      What scares me more is the potential for sabotage.
      Didn’t that already happen once to a drinking water plant?

      1. They tried and they fucked up because they set the levels unreasonably high and it wouldn’t take. It would have also tasted bad enough at even moderate levels people wouldn’t have kept drinking it.

        1. Oh, I’m thinking mixing gasoline and diesel for starters — a slight mix would screw up both types of engines — and things could go downhill from there.

          Millennials trust computers too much — the older generations don’t.

          1. So, because YOU don’t understand computers, you think other people don’t either?

  28. The Streisand Effect, same as it ever was:

    “According to Media Matters, the posts from Trump between January 2020 to 2021 that were labeled as containing misinformation by Facebook received more than twice the amount of interactions compared to his overall posts.”
    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/556715-liberal-group-says-facebook-misinformation-labels-amplified-trump-posts

    1. “Interactions” is not the same thing as accepting them as true information.
      Consider, the recent brouhaha about whether or not he put his pants on backwards to address a crowd in North Carolina. Lots of people looked at pictures (those are “interactions”) but I’m pretty sure his followers aren’t wearing their pants backwards now to back him up, and the critics accept that yah, OK, he probably didn’t have his pants on backwards but they’ll also point out that it might well have been true, and could still be true next time.

  29. I decided to waste some time looking at what the mainstream media is blathering about.

    NPR has helpfully summarized the top 5 things that “we learned” from Fauci’s emails. Very helpful, all of the most important things are right here.

    1. Americans wrote to Fauci with very specific questions about what to do. Fauci offered advice.

    2. He pushed back on the suggestion that the Trump White House was muzzling him.

    3. Fauci gets a ton of email — and he replies to a surprising amount of it.

    4. He was uncomfortable with his sudden celebrity.

    5. But he found some upsides in fame too.

    Huh, wow, interesting stuff. Thanks NPR! Good to know that unbiased journalism has brought me the bottom line here.

    1. Was #6 about how much he enjoys blue skies and green grass? 🙂

    2. I’m kind of confused. Is your point that sometimes the media writes about topics that you’re not very interested in, but which otherwise seems correct/unobjectionable, or is there some Breitbart narrative that this is supposed to relate to in a way that’s not obvious for those of us who don’t frequent the site?

      1. I think the implied Breitbart narrative is that NPR failed to lend credence to any of the right-wing conspiracies surrounding Dr. Fauci, and that’s supposed to be evidence of anti-conservative bias… despite the report being — admittedly — neutral or even pro-Trump on its face (e.g. item #2).

        At least, that’s how I read it.

      2. I think the point is kind of obvious: The media’s coverage is like reporting on the handwriting of a ransom note. Critiquing the clothing choices of a bank robber. They’re only reporting on the innocent emails, not the ones that make Fauci look bad.

        Why are they not reporting that, at the very time Fauci was aggressively dismissing the idea that the virus came from the lab, or that it was a product of gain of function research, he had evidence that both claims might be true?

        Of course, he had a motive for dismissing both claims: He was personally implicated, because he’d been directing government money to the lab to pay for the research!

        1. So yeah, what I said.

          1. It’s interesting how this sort of thing manages to be “right wing conspiracy theories” even after evidence surfaces. It’s like calling it a conspiracy theory has more to do with whether or not it’s ‘right wing’ than whether there’s any rational reason to believe it.

            1. I don’t even understand what the mask theory is supposed to be. Seems like half the argument is that Fauci knew that masks were useful and lied to us so that we wouldn’t buy them, but the other half of the argument is that Fauci has known the whole time that masks are in fact useless so it’s stupid he’s making us wear them. Take that, Fauci!

              I guess it’s not a conspiracy theory, but since it’s self-contradictory and makes no sense it’s unsurprising that normal journalists aren’t giving it airtime.

              1. Seems like half the argument is that Fauci knew that masks were useful and lied to us so that we wouldn’t buy them, but the other half of the argument is that Fauci has known the whole time that masks are in fact useless so it’s stupid he’s making us wear them.

                You’re mixing up two different arguments about two different kinds of masks by two different sides of the issue.

                The first is the “noble lie” theory that people used to explain the flip-flop on N95 mask efficacy last summer: Fauci lied to the public to preserve supplies for front-line medical workers.

                The second is based on Fauci’s emails, which show that he already clearly understood in February 2020 that cloth masks were worthless. The “noble lie” theory doesn’t work here, since medical workers had no interest the sort of cloth flim-flam that most people wrapped themselves in over the past year plus. So now the first attempt to square the circle seems to be “well, hey — that just shows how we were ALL wrong about it!” But now they’re all 100% sure they’re all 100% right, of course. Because this time is different.

                1. Or, what actually happened:

                  Early on Fauci and other experts said, roughly, “hey, don’t worry about masks; the N95 ones work, but they’re actually kind of hard to use properly and we need to make sure medical professionals have access to them”. Also: “anyways, masks are most helpful at preventing transmission, and that only happens when you’re showing symptoms so just don’t go out in public when you’re feeling sick.”
                  I do think that some of the statements at that time drifted into “noble lie” territory, although I’d have to go back and look and see if Fauci in particular was guilty on this point.

                  LATER ON (after February), they got evidence of two important things: (1) asymptomatic transmission was a thing, so the advice to just stay home when you’re feeling sick wasn’t good enough to contain spread of the virus, and (2) there was some new evidence that cloth masks might work. So then they changed the guidance to encourage wearing non-N95 masks.

                  The fact that Fauci thought in February that cloth masks were useless actually firms up this narrative, it doesn’t contradict it in any way because in February he was telling people not to wear masks. What you need for your Fauci smear is an e-mail *after* Fauci and the CDC changed the guidance showing that he still understood that masks weren’t useful and kept mandating them anyway.

                  1. Early on Fauci and other experts said, roughly, “hey, don’t worry about masks; the N95 ones work, but they’re actually kind of hard to use properly and we need to make sure medical professionals have access to them”.

                    “Roughly” indeed. The non-memory-holed words were: “Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

                    Even if your unsourced, post-hoc made-up language was accurate, “NOT effective” is a diametrically opposite message to “the N95 ones work, but they’re actually kind of hard to use properly.”

                    The basic problem you have is that Fauci’s email acknowledged that virus particles pass through cloth masks. That remains true as a matter of math and physics — “some new evidence” isn’t going to change that. In fact, the “new evidence” for how COVID spread through the air all went in the opposite direction: from the initial “falling droplet” theory to suspended viral particles, which cloth masks don’t/can’t block to any substantial degree.

                    So yes, it’s crystal-clear that cloth masks are just the latest bureaucratic security theater, that Fauci clearly understood that from the beginning, and that there’s no intellectually honest “new evidence” to hide behind.

                    I myself saw all that I needed to see about Fauci last March when, right in the midst of the “DO NOT touch your face!” campaign, the man literally picked his nose on national TV. It was crystal clear at that point that he didn’t actually believe what he was saying to the rest of us. Stuff like this is just further confirmation.

              2. I think LoB described the mask issue well enough. I’m actually more concerned with the systematic suppression of talk about gain of function research and the likelihood the virus escaped from the Wuhan lab. (Separate issues!) Which not only appears to have been motivated by Fauci being implicated in funding that research, but has Fauci lying under oath when testifying to Congress.

                1. Yawn. It’s like Benghazi or Hunter’s laptop all over again. That’s what I mean by right-wing conspiracy. Are Hillary or Biden or Fauci descended from Heaven with the ability to see the future with intelligence beyond even what science can tell? Obviously not. I don’t need NPR to tell me that.

                  So the right digs up these various bureaucratic missteps that don’t really mean anything and stitches them together into some sort of horror narrative where (in some cases) everyone is a Satanic pedophile.

                  Or maybe they do mean something? The right has cried wolf so many times — especially on smoking-gun emails — that it’s hard to take any of it seriously. I’m sure that, as always, if there really is anything there, it’ll come out.

                  1. “It’s like Benghazi or Hunter’s laptop all over again.”
                    Randal,
                    Do you realize that perjury is an actual crime? That Fauci directly denied any involvement. That the Director of NIH contradicts Fauci’s statement?
                    Screw Hunter Biden.
                    We are talking of a US Government Senior Executive. If he lied to Congress, he has to be held accountable.

                    1. Again, I mean, I’ve heard it all before… didn’t Benghazi have lying to Congress in it? Or was that her other emails? Anyway, I’m pretty sure if I read Fauci’s emails and statements I would come to a different conclusion, as always.

                      And if not, I’m fully confident that if Fauci actually lied to Congress he’ll be held accountable. (The Democrats really do care about accountability, recall. It’s not just rhetoric, like, “we’re all such patriots and now let’s foment a coup oh that never happened.”)

                    2. So yeah, just as I thought, I poked around a bit and there’s nothing even vaguely credible about Fauci doing a perjury. Just total conspiracy nonsense (as if that were in serious question).

                    3. ” If he lied to Congress, he has to be held accountable.”

                      If he robbed a bank, let’s get him for that, too. If he is secretly an agent of SPECTRE, sic Bond on him. If he’s really an alien, notify the Men in Black. “If” is a fun word, isn’t it?

            2. “It’s interesting how this sort of thing manages to be “right wing conspiracy theories” even after evidence surfaces. It’s like calling it a conspiracy theory has more to do with whether or not it’s ‘right wing’ than whether there’s any rational reason to believe it.

              The thing about conspiracy theories is that any evidence can be interpreted as supporting the theory. And if there is no evidence that supports the theory, well, that’s just evidence as to how powerful the conspiracy really is.

  30. If you are interested in reading what actually transpired in Tulsa 100 years ago, read this report which I think is a fair take on what we can know given much is lost to the mists of time. The overall incident is not as clear cut as Biden’s speech is designed to lead us to believe.

    https://www.okhistory.org/research/forms/freport.pdf

    1. Let’s hear the part you believe should be considered.

      1. January 6, 2121

        President of the Federated Free States of America
        Joint Session of Congress

        Dear My Fellow Americans,

        Today I join with you to solemnly remember those who bravely fought to protect democracy and the right to vote in Washington DC on this very day 100 years ago. We all grew up hearing the tales of that day from our grandparents and great grandparents who came from all across this free land to hold the government accountable and prevent the subversion of democracy. And today we honor them.

        Despite years of political oppression that followed and the abject failure of government to hold those accountable who massacred or injured unarmed protesters, our nation survived and democracy prevailed stronger than ever.

        Although we may never know the name of the government stormtrooper who killed a Ashli Babbitt in cold blood, we can make amends with her family by finally authorizing full restitution and memorializing her by naming today as a national day of remembrance in her honor.

        It was on this day 100 years ago that our great nation learned, once again, freedom is not free. Let us give thanks to those patriots who fought to uncover the truth about the 2020 elections and secured liberty in this land for hopefully another 300 years if God wills it.

        Good night and God bless.

        1. These are your peeps, Conspirators. Still wondering why movement conservatives can not compete on law school faculties, in national elections, or in the modern American marketplace of ideas?

          1. So you prefer a different type of fiction? The kind where there is no evidence of supposed mass graves, hundreds dead, and a newspaper calling for a lynching but no one can find any historical record of such an editorial (no microfilm, no copies in the old newspaper archives, nothing)…..

            1. I’m kind of confused. You say that the report gives us a fair take and that we should read it to learn what actually transpired, but then you seem to be saying that it’s conclusions are incorrect? I haven’t read all 200 pages, but here’s a few excerpts:

              “Vigilantes under deputized and under the color of law, destroyed the Black Wall Street of America. Some known victims were in unmarked graves in a city owned cemetery and others were hauled off to un known places in full view of the National Guard.”

              “Can modern science bring light to old, dark rumors about a mass grave, at least one, probably more, some where in Tulsa? Could those rumors be true? If true, where is one? Robert L. Brooks and Alan H. Witten have answers. Yes, science can ad dress those rumors. Yes, there are many reasons to believe that mass graves exist. Where? They can point precisely to the single most likely spot. They can explain why scientists settle on that one — explain it clearly enough and completely enough to convince non-scientists, too. With out making a scratch on the ground, they can measure how deep it has to be, how thick, how wide, how long.”

              “O.T. John son, commandant of the Tulsa Citadel of the Salvation Army, stated that on Wednesday and Thursday the Salvation Army fed thirty-seven Negroes employed as grave diggers and twenty on Friday and Saturday. During the first two days these men dug 120 graves in each of which a dead Negro was buried. No coffins were used. The bodies were dumped into the holes and covered over with dirt.”

              As far as I can tell the report that you’ve told us to read to get a better understanding of the day supports each of the points you say are “fiction” (although whether or not there was an editorial advocating for a lynching is presented as only a possibility given the lack of a primary source and gets a total of one sentence in the report).

              1. I said that Biden’s presentation in his speech was not accurate and there is lot unknown here.

                What we do know is that there was some kind of civil unrest, that resulted in a riot and the destruction of the black majority area of Tulsa. That is about all that is known and the rest appears to be utter conjecture and wild exaggeration.

                There is no archival evidence of a mass grave and anecdotal evidence goes both ways. Many efforts over the decades to locate one have failed.

                The newspaper that supposed called for a lynching just does not appear to exist in the historical record. Without this piece of “flair” the story doesn’t have nearly as much gravitas.

                The riot sounds like it was spurn on by both sides, but ultimately the violence in the city put it down in a less than ideal manner. Maybe there was a degree of racism involved, which given the area and day, would not be surprising, but neither side exactly had “clean hands” in the entire affair.

                I’m not saying that nothing happened here. Something obviously did and the black majority area of Tulsa took the brunt of the damage. But, the story appears to be full of exaggerations and wild tall tales compared to what actually happened.

                1. ” Maybe there was a degree of racism involved”

                  Are you SURE you want to stand behind this incendiary accusation?

            2. “The kind where there is no evidence of supposed mass graves, hundreds dead, and a newspaper calling for a lynching”

              Indeed it is a surprise to learn that a business did NOT preserve evidence of its own crimes for 100 years. In other news, when Geraldo opened Al Capone’s vault, there was no evidence that Capone was a criminal. Surprise!

        2. ” Let us give thanks to those patriots who fought to uncover the truth about the 2020 elections”

          The truth of the 2020 elections is that more voters wanted Trump fired than wanted him to keep the job.

  31. Today’s decision in Van Buren v. US is both correct and important. It was super dangerous for the federal government to be able to bring felony charges with the threat of long imprisonment for, basically, violating a website’s terms of service.

    Two other observations:

    1) Barrett and Gorsuch seem actually interested in the words used in laws, so I think I mostly believe their claims re: textualism. It seems increasingly clear that Thomas and Alito just say they like textualism but really just torture the words to get to the outcome that they want. Either that or they are just really bad at it, because it seems like Barrett clearly has the stronger textual argument here, even independent of what you think the right outcome ought to be.

    2) Wow, are all of Barrett’s holdings/syllabuses going to be this long?

    1. I agree that the government’s claim was too broad.

      However, what this particular cop went beyond merely “violating a website’s terms of service”. He was privately charging people money to look things up in the database using the credentials he was given as a police officer. There should be something he can be charged with, e.g. abuse of authority or bribery.

      1. I was wondering the same thing and curious why there were no state level charges as this is screaming state level offense. Alas, the court of appeals decision and supreme court do not provide us with convenient footnotes to answer that question.

      2. Oh, for sure. This was a bad guy and he should probably be punished (although it’s weird that *this* is the sort of thing the Feds apparently want to overcharge a cop for). But the CFAA is the wrong vehicle–it’s supposed to protect services against hackers, not against legitimate users making use of the service in a way that the owner technically allows but might disapprove of.

        By the government’s theory, if you made a post that Facebook decided was in violation their ToS, not only could they take down the post or ban you, but you could go to jail.

        1. “it’s supposed to protect services against hackers, not against legitimate users making use of the service in a way that the owner technically allows but might disapprove of.”

          It’s supposed to be used against hackers, not people who are hackers, is what your complaint boils down to.

      3. Oh, so listening to the “Divided Argument” podcast, it sounds like he was also charged with (and initially convicted of) honest services fraud, but this ran into limitations imposed by the Supreme Court in Skilling. Apparently there’s still an active case on this charge, though, so he might indeed eventually go to jail on a different charge.

  32. Check out this puff piece on the communist news network. They spend all of last summer trashing police and pushing out negative article after negative article, but when it serves their political agenda they have the audacity to publish something like this.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/03/politics/capitol-police-officers-exclusive-interview-january-6/index.html

    1. I don’t remember them ever trashing the police as a whole. Do you have any examples?

      1. examples? But the claim is so… so… truthy. It sounds like something that someone might want to believe is true.

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