did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Not unsettling, not new, but correct.

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Fucking banana?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 1:38 PM
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A different one.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 1:39 PM
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Perhaps with a reservoir tip.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 1:39 PM
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Man oh man, I loved that profile and I loved her and I want her to be right. That piece just pushes all my buttons and tells me what I already think. I really, really hope she's right.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 2:01 PM
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Also, she's pretty much straight up my demographic and I am deeply ready to hear from sharp foul-mouthed women in their forties who made a good prediction last time.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 2:03 PM
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The problem I have with that profile is that it doesn't do a good job of presenting the smart version of what she's arguing against (the dumb version would be something like "all politics is local" or "all politics is retail" which are clearly false). As the OP notes, I think it's conventional wisdom these days that turnout is more important than persuasion and that most voters are unlikely to switch parties (or split votes) based on individual candidates and platforms. The question is whether persuasion / candidates / platforms mean _nothing_ or if they're small factors but enough to swing a close election.

Trying to find a more specific version of that argument I couldn't find anything by Nate Silver (I know he's tweeted about it, but I couldn't a longer version), but I did find this fivethirtyeight article:

That polarization, meanwhile, also probably limits the electability advantages or disadvantages of particular candidates. To put this bluntly, many voters are looking to back either a Democrat or a Republican -- and that person's party matters way more than their gender, race, sexual orientation or other individual factors.

"Electability is certainly still a thing, but the effect size has probably shrunk," said Robert Griffin, an expert on voter demographics and the research director of the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group. He estimated that various presidential nominees from the same party would earn the same vote share, plus or minus 2 to 3 points, in a general election -- although he emphasized that there is limited research on this question.

As Griffin's estimate shows, there are surely some candidate effects on electability. Political science studies, particularly at the level of congressional elections, for example, have found that candidates closer to the political center do better in general elections. But even if that is true, I suspect that a fairly extreme candidate can still win in 2020 just by rallying co-partisans. Take 2016. It's likely that a less controversial Republican, like former Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Sen. Marco Rubio, would have done better than Trump in the general election. But Trump still won.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 2:08 PM
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6.1 was pretty common in political science when I was there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 2:17 PM
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It's just really hard to publish a paper saying the old way is great and my new way is mostly not very different.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 2:22 PM
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As the OP notes, I think it's conventional wisdom these days that turnout is more important than persuasion and that most voters are unlikely to switch parties (or split votes) based on individual candidates and platforms.

I don't actually think this is conventional wisdom among pundits. It's the type of thing that's been said for a long time, and pundits keep ignoring it, because it means there's much less armchair quarterbacking to do.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 2:28 PM
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I don't actually think this is conventional wisdom among pundits. It's the type of thing that's been said for a long time, and pundits keep ignoring it, because it means there's much less armchair quarterbacking to do.

If that's what she's arguing against then I'd think that she and fivethrityeight would be on the same side of the argument.

OTOH, It reminds of this critique of pundits (vox summary ).

Meanwhile, a quarter-century covering national politics has convinced me that the more pervasive force shaping coverage of Washington and elections is what might be thought of as centrist bias, flowing from reporters and sources alike. It is a headwind for Warren, Sanders, the "squad" on Capitol Hill, even for Trump. This bias is marked by an instinctual suspicion of anything suggesting ideological zealotry, an admiration for difference-splitting, a conviction that politics should be a tidier and more rational process than it usually is.

A confession: I've got it. A pretty strong bout, actually.

I am not terribly self-conscious about my predispositions to see politics and governance a certain way. These wouldn't be my predispositions if I didn't think they had something going for them. But the recognition of bias imposes an obligation to push against default thinking and explore the possibility that it is wrong.

...

What's more, a fair appraisal of the past generation has to acknowledge that bipartisan assumptions in the Washington governing class and establishment media are at least partially complicit in some of the largest policy debacles of the past generation (bogus assumptions before the Iraq War, the 2008 financial meltdown). On politics, candidates who were most attuned to the purported wisdom of the Washington operative class were thwarted in the fight for power on multiple occasions when the consequences were huge (the 2000 presidential election, the 2016 GOP primary and general election).

People who don't share my centrist disposition do not have a death wish. They just have a different idea of how a new governing order comes to life.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 2:37 PM
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Right. She's explicitly saying that there's maybe 6-7% of "independents" that are up for grabs and way larger pockets of non-voters that could be tapped with targeted candidates.

I was chatting about this with JRoth, and he said something like, the conventional wisdom is that the top of the ticket picks a VP to balance them out. Bitecofer says, no, use your VP pick to go hard for a different specific group. Any group you'd pick up from the "balance" thing is either motivated by hating Trump or not. Forget them and go for some specific group (young or LatinX or black or women). She thinks you change voter group composition, not voter minds.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 2:38 PM
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All politics is local-identity, just not local-region.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 2:51 PM
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I was chatting about this with JRoth, and he said something like, the conventional wisdom is that the top of the ticket picks a VP to balance them out. Bitecofer says, no, use your VP pick to go hard for a different specific group. Any group you'd pick up from the "balance" thing is either motivated by hating Trump or not. Forget them and go for some specific group (young or LatinX or black or women). She thinks you change voter group composition, not voter minds.

Perhaps I'm just being distracted by the comment in the article contrasting her with Nate Silver, because her take on Tim Kaine doesn't seem that different from fivethirtyeight's Harry Enten

Hillary Clinton chose Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia as her running mate on Friday, making a prototypical Clinton decision that adds a safe politician to her ticket. Kaine might provide a marginal electoral benefit in his home state, but in choosing him, Clinton is making the bet that she doesn't need a splashy running mate to beat Donald Trump.

and fairly close to Nate Silver.

If Hillary Clinton chooses Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia as her running mate, as betting markets and journalists suspect, then in some ways, it's a dull story. Kaine has traditional credentials, having served as Virginia's governor before joining the U.S. Senate. He's young enough, at 58, that he could run for president himself in 2020 or 2024. He's not especially liberal, but he's no Blue Dog Democrat, either. He's a white guy, although he speaks good Spanish. If Mike Pence is a "generic Republican," then Kaine is a "generic Democrat."

The difference is that Kaine comes from a swing state, whereas Donald Trump would likely lose Pence's home state, Indiana, only in a national landslide. If you're going to pick someone from a swing state, is Virginia among the better options? And how much difference does the vice presidential nominee really make in his or her home state?

Imagine that you were advising Clinton in 2016, and had a crystal ball and knew that to win the election she either needs to improve in all of MI/WI/PA or win both FL & AZ who would you advise her to select as a running mate? The conventional wisdom would be to go with a boring white guy from the midwest. The contrarian take would be . . . an African American who was well liked in the midwest?

(FWIW, my argument would be that the VP selection isn't likely to make that much of a difference electorally and that the last several VPs -- Gore, Cheney, Biden, Pence -- have all had significant policy responsibilities so the best thing to do is pick somebody who would be a good partner in governance. I also think that's one of the reasons Clinton picked Kaine)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 2:58 PM
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Another link: Matthew Yglesias on "the debate over swing voters versus mobilizing the base"

The truth, however, is while mobilization is unquestionably important to winning elections, so is flipping swing voters. Activists who want to push Democrats to the left while still winning can do so by identifying popular progressive ideas to run on. But the notion that there's some mobilization strategy that will eliminate the need to cater to the median voter is a fantasy.

...

These arguments about turnout and swing voters, of course, aren't just abstract arguments about election tactics. They represent contrasting ideological visions in which the proponents of a mobilization-focused strategy also hope to build support for more left-wing policy ideas.

But this is where the data is actually pretty clear. Even data marshaled by a mobilization enthusiast like McElwee shows that consistent Democratic Party voters are the most left-wing kind of voter around. In other words, Obama voters who went on to back Clinton are more liberal across a range of policy areas than Obama voters who stayed home in 2016, Obama voters who went third party in 2016, and Obama voters who switched to Trump.

On issue after issue, the voters who a "mobilization" strategy would target are more moderate than consistent Democrats not more left-wing than them. There are plenty of inconsistent voters in America, and it's smart to try to get them to vote for Democrats. But the inconsistent voters aren't some secret bloc of hard-core progressives. The most ideologically committed progressives you're going to find are the people already consistently pulling the lever for Democrats. In other words, no matter what fraction of the electorate Democrats are aiming to target, there's no real case for becoming more ideologically rigid or adopting policy views that swing voters reject.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 3:07 PM
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"Mobilizing the base" always seems off to me, unless we mean as the local organizers and facilitators of GOTV. But they don't need to be fired up - they need money and staffing. (Maybe that's what mobilizing means.) I think it's more about GOTV to people who are 1. poor, busy, stressed out, and not surrounded by people who vote, or 2. young and uninformed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 3:17 PM
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There's probably a smart article to be written about Bitecofer, but you won't read it in Politico. Some arguments require a spreadsheet to back them up, and Politico doesn't give us any kind of hint that the writer actually looked at one.

So you get this:

But the electorate that elected Donald Trump in 2016 and the electorate that gave Democrats control of the House in 2018 might as well have been from two different countries, Bitecofer says. The first was whiter, had less college education and lived in more rural parts of the country than the second, which was more diverse, better educated and more urban than its counterpart from two years prior.

How much whiter? How many fewer college grads? How much more rural? Etc. And how does that compare to the number of party-switchers?

You need a Nate Silver to be able to answer (or even ask) those questions.

I am agnostic on political strategy, but it's interesting to note that there is a common view that Hillary screwed up by focusing on Trump rather than making an affirmative policy case for her own candidacy. Bitecofer disagrees:

"If you want to win the election, you have to be able to frame your candidacy in a way that reminds voters that Trump is an abnormality that must be excised," she said. "People always say in campaigns, 'America's future is on the ballot.' Well this time you will have to convince them that it really is."

I'd be curious to understand her view of why Hillary lost. I mean, even if (contrary to the conventional wisdom) Hillary didn't aggressively present Trump as a danger to the republic, Trump certainly did so.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 3:28 PM
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This other 538 article, not by Nate Silver, goes after traditional conceptions of "the middle" in a useful way.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 3:33 PM
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How much whiter? How many fewer college grads? How much more rural? Etc. And how does that compare to the number of party-switchers?

You need a Nate Silver to be able to answer (or even ask) those questions.

Just the "ask" parenthetical. She can answer these questions herself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 3:46 PM
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That's a very odd article, presumably because it frames her as striking against an election forecasting system represented by publications like 538 when, if anything, she's actually striking against the view of politics promoted by publications like Politico. The other forecasters quoted as disagreeing with her (including Wang, whose opinion of her seems to be slightly negative on balance) mostly seem to be objecting to her tone rather than the substance of her theories, and if you read closely it seems like she agrees with them that true swing voters exist, there just aren't many of them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 4:07 PM
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Anyway, all this discussion among pundits and election forecasters seems oddly disconnected from the perspective of people who actually run campaigns (both the politicians themselves and the operative types who staff them). IME those people are well aware that both mobilizing base voters and reaching out to persuadable ones are important, and they do both every time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 4:12 PM
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I was actually reading her prediction at her own site when Heebie posted this. She shows more of her work there, including small snips of her model results.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 4:13 PM
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an instinctual suspicion of anything suggesting ideological zealotry, an admiration for difference-splitting, a conviction that politics should be a tidier and more rational process than it usually is.
Preferences on which your constitution was also designed? (Which is irrelevant with so many actors committed to the reverse. Justanobservation. |||>)


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 4:39 PM
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I haven't read it yet, but JFC, here in 2016 a substantial number of people voted for the Republican candidates for President, the US House, and all the Tier B seats, and also for our Democratic governor. Without those votes, our governor would have lost, and along with him the crucial veto pen. (Which we may sorely miss come 2021). In 2018, enough of the people voting to re-elect our Republican congressman also voted to re-elect our Democratic senator for both to win. These two men were poles apart in ideology, nobody was voting for both of them out of some kind of deep-seated issue commitment.

Lest anyone think we're some kind of science-defying freaks, in 2012 the Democrat won the presidency and the Republicans held the House. Ok, the House is gerrymandered, but the presidential race is also geographically unequal (as we in the less populous states are often reminded). Reagan was elected and then re-elected with Democratic Houses.

The idea that everyone is fixed is simply fiction. The idea that because 90% of people are fixed you can say 'hey nearly everyone is fixed, so go ahead and act like all of them are fixed' defies the reality of close elections, like 2016 and 2000. Fucking races are won and lost at the fucking margins. (There are lots of causes for the 2016 result, but I think it's actually been established that there were enough people who voted for Sanders and then Trump in WI, MI, and PA to have made the difference. We don't know whether these people were misogynists, misanthropes, or just malcontents. The idea, though, that some sort of signal from Clinton might have won their votes is, imo, completely without foundation.)

Everyone who's worked on a campaign knows that you spend the summer before the election talking to people likely to go for your team, and people thought to be persuadable, and in the fall you're talking to people you know will go your way to get them to turn out. This has been the standard for decades.

I guess Democratic consultants are still trying to deal with (a) a malign and sensation-loving press and (b) their own need -- as a matter of professional survival -- to see their names in the paper. At the end of the day, though, there are enough voters going with their sense of the candidate, not with party or platform, that the sense of the candidate can never be completely ignored.

OK, maybe I'll read the link now. It better not just be saying that pundits are mypoic, though, because that's like saying that popes are Catholic.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 4:48 PM
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AM NOT


Posted by: OPINIONATED TAWADROS II | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 4:58 PM
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I think the big fallacy being targeted is the idea that swing voters have the political preferences of David Brooks and therefore going in that direction is what wins.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 5:10 PM
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Yeah, well no one really believes in that shit, right? What swing voters have is personality preferences.

And in 2016 they picked the successful businessman, rather than the person who even many Democrats said was a total crook. With no convictions or positions on anything.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 5:22 PM
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Other than, of course, that anyone who got in her way should be murdered.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 5:23 PM
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And what reasonable person wouldn't have endorsed 27? In 2016.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 5:35 PM
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Preferences on which your constitution was also designed?

Yup. They turned out to be just as unrealistic then as they are now, but they've never gone away.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 9:27 PM
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I've read it now. I'm sure the author of the article is misunderstanding her when he says she doesn't think it matters much who the nominee is. A significant portion of the Sanders movement is not going to vote for Bloomberg, especially if it looks like the Democratic Establishment has intervened on his behalf. (And a bunch of them think that the Establishment already intervened in Iowa to deprive Sanders of his victory party -- the bar is so low, we're basically looking at Nigerian prince email levels of credulity). Whether Sanders can make the sale to the people currently favoring other Democrats is open, and a real question.

I think the importance of Trump himself not actually being on the ballot in 2018 is being way undervalued.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-10-20 11:03 PM
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Based only on introspection, I'd say the thesis is wrong because I've switched parties more often than I've simply not voted. The only election I've not voted in was 2015 and that was because I was sent overseas on very short notice, too short notice to arrange a postal vote.
I actually enjoy voting, even when, for example, I'm in a terribly safe seat where there's no chance of my MP losing, and the election result looks like being a complete landslide. But I've switched parties to avoid having to vote for bizarre anti-semites.
Perhaps the US is different because voting is so much more difficult.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 6:43 AM
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We vote way more often than most places. And for way more things. It's twice a year in Pennsylvania. I don't even know most of what I'm voting for though at least I no longer vote for weed control officer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 6:57 AM
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I thought DEA was presidential appointment.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 7:39 AM
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This was at the county level.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 7:45 AM
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I also enjoy voting, even though I've always known my vote was utterly irrelevant.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 7:45 AM
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I once cast a vote in an election that was decided by 41 votes out of 170,000 and launched a very long political career.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:22 AM
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32: I can accept pretty much everything else, but the judges are the worst. Don't give me a list of fifteen judges and ask me which ones to retain. They were the main reason we'd have three or four screen ballots. Just a nightmare. If I knew how to evaluate their performance, I'd probably have a JD. (That being said, occasionally judges are bad enough that there should be some sort of public recall mechanism, but that's not the usual case.)

Kinda envious of how simple elections are here. More envious of the Irish, though. The secret greatest virtue of PR-STV is everyone being fine with waiting a few days to find out the results.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:26 AM
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I just let my wife tell me who to vote for on the judges.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:34 AM
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With judges, even when you know, you don't really know. Criminal defense lawyers generally have pretty different criteria from civil litigators.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:57 AM
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23 is great, thanks for writing it Charlie. Good to remember in this time of extreme punditomancy


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:08 AM
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Thanks. As you know, Maryland is another example, what with the Republican governor being elected at the same time as (a) a Democratic legislature and (b) lots of Democrats in the US House.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:50 AM
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Based only on introspection, I'd say the thesis is wrong because I've switched parties more often than I've simply not voted. The only election I've not voted in was 2015 and that was because I was sent overseas on very short notice, too short notice to arrange a postal vote.
I actually enjoy voting, even when, for example, I'm in a terribly safe seat where there's no chance of my MP losing, and the election result looks like being a complete landslide. But I've switched parties to avoid having to vote for bizarre anti-semites.
Perhaps the US is different because voting is so much more difficult.

The US is different because we only have 2 parties. I agree with Bitecofer that now partisanship is mostly negative. We vote Democrat because we hate the Republicans or vice versa. You may hate the Tories but you still have more than one party to vote for. In our system we either vote Democrat or get disenchanted and stay home.

I haven't read it yet, but JFC, here in 2016 a substantial number of people voted for the Republican candidates for President, the US House, and all the Tier B seats, and also for our Democratic governor. Without those votes, our governor would have lost, and along with him the crucial veto pen. (Which we may sorely miss come 2021).

Thanks. As you know, Maryland is another example, what with the Republican governor being elected at the same time as (a) a Democratic legislature and (b) lots of Democrats in the US House.

It seems like governor is an exception to the new system of 100% party line voting. Governor, and Joe Manchin. All the other "conservative Democrats" or "liberal Republicans" are gone from the national stage.

In 2018, enough of the people voting to re-elect our Republican congressman also voted to re-elect our Democratic senator for both to win. These two men were poles apart in ideology, nobody was voting for both of them out of some kind of deep-seated issue commitment.

It's interesting that they both got elected, honestly. Very symmetrical.
Gianforte won 256,000 votes to 233,000.
Tester won 254,000 votes to 236,000.
Both Libertarian candidates got 14,000 votes.

Total number of swing voters (to end up reelecting two incumbents of opposite parties): 20,000.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 10:50 AM
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How much does the UK consolidate elections? Aren't GEs, local elections, and MEP elections on different timeframes? I guess each of those is still fairly infrequent by US standards.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 11:37 AM
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Also Charley, come get your guy (speaking as loosely as humanly possible) Jerry O'Neil, who traveled from MT to NC to try to be approved as out-of-state counsel to defend a League of the South member for a concealed-weapon-at-a-demonstration charge, and turned out to be not even a member of the MT bar. Source; prior form.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 12:30 PM
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More funny as this guy progressed through the steps of being found in contempt for practicing law unlicensed.

¶ 18 On November 23, 2000, O'Neil wrote a letter in reply claiming that he was an attorney duly licensed by the Blackfeet Tribal Court and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Court (CSK Tribal Court). Upon receiving this information, Brandborg called the CSK Tribal Court and learned that while O'Neil was licensed as an attorney in that court, they had based that licensure upon O'Neil's representation that he was licensed as an attorney in the Blackfeet Tribal Court. Brandborg next called the Blackfeet Tribal Court and learned that O'Neil was a licensed lay advocate with that court, not an attorney.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 1:06 PM
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43. All UK elections are still pencil and paper, and long may they continue to be. When you have two unrelated elections on the same day you get given two separate ballot sheets of different colours and put them in separate ballot boxes.

There were some desultory experiments with electronic voting a few years ago which were abandoned because them powers that be thought they were insufficiently secure. I fully expect the present lot to railroad them through in the next five years to enable US voting machine manufacturers to get a piece.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 1:13 PM
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I'm talking about consolidation of dates, not electronic or machine voting.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 1:14 PM
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People sometimes ask me why we didn't move to the Flathead when we came back to Montana.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jerry-oneil-montana-gold-coins_n_2123961


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 1:16 PM
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Nice.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 1:33 PM
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Trump is going to destroy the Justice Department over Roger Stone. At least it was for something so stupid nobody honest is fooled.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 1:45 PM
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47. If two elections fall due in the same year they sometimes hold them on the same day for convenience. But they don't often fall in the same year, and sometimes elections can be unplanned, as when an incumbent dies or a government falls. Then the timescale is governed by other factors than convenience: for example there is a legal time limit on when you must hold an election after Parliament is dissolved, so two elections in a year is not unknown.

There are only three or four kinds of election in the UK: Parliamentary general or by-elections, local government elections, devolved authority elections in Scotland, Wales and NI, and Police Commissioner elections, which usually see a turnout of abut 10%. All these are now for fixed term bodies, and the terms differ, so in theory they have coincided every so often, see my previous answer for what happens when they do; but more commonly it's one or another. With the last general election having taken place in November instead of the usual May/June, we may be stuck with autumn general elections for the foreseeable future, in which case they won't coincide again.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 2:54 PM
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I just imagined a EP that actually forms a government and the headlines would so much more dramatic. "EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DISSOLVES AS COALITION TALKS COLLAPSE!"


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 4:52 PM
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Minivet, your prediction about Biden dropping out before Super Tuesday is looking pretty good. Make some more predictions!!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 5:10 PM
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This is why the real psychics are so hard to find. Once it gets out, everybody is so demanding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 5:39 PM
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Results from the precinct I was at: Bernie 472, Pete 381, Amy 284, Elizabeth 189, Biden 98, Yang 64, Styer 45, Tulsi 37, Bennet 4, Kamala 2, Deval Patrick 2


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 5:45 PM
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If the current results hold up, it's hard to see Warren continuing. NH should be a good state for her; are either NV or SC going to put her back in the top 3? Biden at least has SC to maybe come in 2d or 3rd. But maybe not?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 6:17 PM
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56: She was my preferred candidate. I was surprised that Klobuchar did so well. I hated hearing about all the people who said Warren was their favorite but they were voting for Buttigieg or even Bernie because they didn't think a woman was electable.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 7:19 PM
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She just gave a very nice speech and apparently isn't dropping out. Which is surprising, but I guess its fine. Its not a bad thing to have her saying smart things on a national stage for a few more weeks. And she is insurance if Bernie has another heart attack.

The Bernie people will complain that she's a spoiler, but the assumption that all her votes would go to Bernie is, I think, a bit overstated - particularly with Klobacher now a factor.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 7:39 PM
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I'm still going to vote for her on Super Tuesday. I talked to somebody in MA who would never vote for Warren (business type) who agreed with me that Buttigieg was too smooth and too much of a McKinsey consultant.

Biden is ahead of Warren. Sigh.

I really don't like Klobuchar. I like Steyer better, and I might even like Bloomberg better, but I don't like the idea of billionaires buying their way in, and I know Bloomberg is not well liked by the black community.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:02 PM
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I'm really disappointed in Warren's showing and alarmed by Pete's. Glad Biden seems to be tanking. I may switch from Warren to Bernie but I hope she'll have a bounce in the next couple of contests. I'd be delighted with either Bernie or Warren and had hoped it would come down to them but it's looking like it's all on Sanders now.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:05 PM
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Far and away the most important thing happening in the 2016 election today is playing out in DC and the DoJ.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:10 PM
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What amazes me is that Amy really had a skeleton crew, while Elizabeth had a big, well developed organization with lots of staff and volunteers.

I stood out in the snow holding a sign for Elizabeth for the 4-7 shit today. The Amy woman who was there had been there all day long, starting at 8:00. They didn't have any other volunteers.

The Pete guy left early.

I don't think a Bernie guy even showed.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:13 PM
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Why the fuck does no-one have a surname anymore?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:15 PM
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Our apologies, Mr. Character.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:16 PM
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Anyway, I can't spell Pete or Amy's last name without google either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:17 PM
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But the DOJ events are far more important.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:23 PM
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I'm still going to vote for her on Super Tuesday.

Same, in VA.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 8:59 PM
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Warren didn't fall short in New Hampshire by not knocking on enough doors, that's for sure.

I think we got door-knocked for Warren five times. For Amy, one time.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:00 PM
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I just signed a petition to get Warren on the ballot in Montana -- we vote in June.

It was always going to come down to Sanders vs. Non-Sanders. Who will Non-Sanders be?

I can't be the only one concerned about how anemic Sanders' victories have been. Yes, it's a big field. But people who voted for Sanders in 2016 are voting for one of the others now. Why are they defecting? It's not name recognition, or some sort of uncertainty about what Sanders stands for. How sure should we be that they'll come back to him in the general?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:13 PM
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I'm concerned about the fucking heart attack.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:19 PM
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I think nominating a generic democrat at the median of the party without any obvious flaws makes a lot of sense given Trump's unpopularity. So Klobuchar has always made a certain amount of sense to me. But it's weird to me that it happened all of a sudden in the last couple weeks. I don't understand voters.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: “Pause endlessly, then go in.” (9) | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:36 PM
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But people who voted for Sanders in 2016 are voting for one of the others now. Why are they defecting?

Because a bigger field and lack of a single annoited establishment favorite makes the race structurally different? There are more options, basically.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:46 PM
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70: Me too. I know someone from the Dominican Republic (originally) who loves Bernie but is afraid that the Presidency would kill him.

I voted for Sanders in 2016, and I'm for Warren now - especially since 70 in a woman is like 60 in a man. Sanders is my fall back for now, but I'm not sure who my third choice is.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:50 PM
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I guess Tom Steyer is my number 3? I like that he wants to be friends with Bernie. He's not the worst billionaire in the race.

Also my kid told me that he likes Tom Steyer because he cares about climate change, so I guess all Steyer's YouTube ads are having an effect.

I don't think the giant number of mailers that Tom sent was particularly green, though. He must have spent a ton of money on those.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:56 PM
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Very depressing, as noted above, that these big ground games in benefit are falling short of the vaunted "media boost". Especially as I've just signed up as a canvass captain for Warren locally for parts of the last three weekends before Super Tuesday.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:57 PM
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Of course Sanders's ground game may be one of his strong suits, who knows. The benefit of having something in operation for years before a presidential run? Although I was never that clear exactly what Our Revolution was doing besides waiting for the next go-round.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 9:59 PM
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I voted for Bernie last time because Clinton voted for the Iraq war and O'Malley had already dropped out. Warren's my top choice, and I'm not super excited about Bernie, though so many people have dropped out that he might well be my second choice of the remaining options. I'm kinda grumpy that the remaining options seem well below the median of the original pool.


Posted by: Unfoggetarin: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 10:01 PM
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I haven't seen the state numbers but turnout in this city went from ~6600 to ~6900. If that holds statewide, its good news and will hopefully get the people freaking about low turnout in Iowa to calm down.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 10:03 PM
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Thats Democratic turnout, mind.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 10:04 PM
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How the hell is the empty suit hall monitor doing so well? Everyone who has dropped out so far is better than him.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 10:07 PM
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Boomers gonna boomer.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 10:14 PM
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Turnout is way up.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 10:14 PM
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Thank god that narrative will now be dead.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 10:16 PM
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I'm not thrilled with Bernie, but I think his ascendancy will help Dem machine adjust to the new needed normal of solidarity and vigilance.

I think there's a circle of ARV-opportunists who have agglomerated around him.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-20 10:37 PM
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Everyone: "It's ridiculous that two small 97% white states with 4% of the total delegates have such an impact on the race."
Also everyone: "Well my favorite did badly in the first two states, guess I'll have to pick someone else."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 4:24 AM
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That's everyone IRL not necessarily here. And 4% overstates their delegates doesn't it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 4:25 AM
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I already voted for Warren in CA.

I asked my brother (in his 20's) why the Youngs don't like Warren and he answered that she's a capitalist. That's irrefutable, so I couldn't refute it.

I really want Warren, and would be fine voting for Bernie. I will cry and fume if there isn't a woman on the ballot.

Bernie is old! And he already had a heart attack. I dunno, man. Why can't they all just love Warren like I do?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 5:04 AM
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85: If Bennet is your guy, then I guess that's true.

80: I know. Is Pete really better than Bennet? I don't care for Bennet, but I like him better. Also Bennet's way of arguing for unity is incredibly divisive.

Weld actually got 9% of the Republican vote. Lawrence O'Donnell is arguing that that is more than the margin Democrats need to stay blue in November in NH. Here's hoping they stay home in November? or would those folks vote for the Dem?

A friend of mine (Building construction supervisor for the city of Boston, Lesbian, union employee) was a big Hillary person and now likes Buttigieg. A bunch of the people who dropped out weren't even on her radar. I was kind of surprised that she liked the empty suit.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 5:10 AM
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I'd take Kamala over Buttigieg, and I thought she was waffly.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 5:12 AM
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The story in 87.2 is why I have come to hate Bernie supporters so much.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 5:31 AM
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56. On Warren in NH: people in that state aren't generally fond of people from MA, especially left-of-center people from MA.

88. On Weld. People who dislike Trump were more motivated to turn out and people who like him weren't as motivated, knowing the result was a foregone conclusion. The 2016 GOP primary had over 280k voters, this one 120k. NH has open primaries, so Democrats can wander over and vote against Trump if they want. My guess is Weld's vote doesn't really predict much of anything.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 5:45 AM
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Plus, I think many of the people who voted Weld in the primary will vote Trump in the general while muttering, "At least I tried."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 6:26 AM
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87.2: That's true in self-identification but in pretty much zero other way that matters - it's not like Sanders has espoused taking over private industry, even as a long-term goal.

I suspect if he gets nominated a lot of his bros are going to be bowled over with his pivot to the center, even if it's just minor/rhetorical.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 6:39 AM
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Why can't they all just love Warren like I do?

If the voters had the common sense of the people in the blogs where I hang out, Warren would have been named president by acclamation already. But Warren just lacks charisma, I guess. Not enough people want to have a beer with her.

Interesting to me that Klobuchar is still a nonfactor in 538's estimates of election chances. The net nanny at my work doesn't allow access to betting sites, but I'd sure like to find out how her odds are regarded there. I think she's got a legit shot - maybe 15%.

Not surprising that the NH result knocked Bernie down from 50 to 40% in 538's estimation. He ought to have done better.

Stormcrow@61 is, of course, correct, but that's too depressing to think about, and the media have clearly decided that this is the new normal. The deep wisdom of the Trump era is that if you ignore it, it really does go away. I aspire to become a low-information voter.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 6:40 AM
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90: If you live in the United States, you have to get accustomed to the stupid. But out of all the ways to be foolish, I find that one hopeful and even charming -- unlike the similarly stupid (and admittedly related) view that Warren is too reliant on identity politics.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 6:44 AM
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If the voters had the common sense of the people in the blogs where I hang out, Warren would have been named president by acclamation already. But Warren just lacks charisma, I guess.

I don't really get this, even though it seems to be true. I find her the most charismatic, in terms of being engaging to listen to and, for want of a better word, relatable, of all the candidates.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 7:37 AM
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I've learned that I'm a horrible judge of charisma.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 7:40 AM
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93, yeah, it's rhetoric and I find that there's not actually much daylight between them. They're both FDR Democrats (Sanders' party affiliation notwithstanding.).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 7:46 AM
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Why aren't the early primaries in the swing states?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 8:12 AM
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99 Iowa and NH have both gone red in recent memory.

85 The question is who's going to be the Not Sanders on April 1, and how can they get there? Ideally, it should only be one person, so in the April and May races, our nominee (whether Sanders or Not-Sanders) should be winning majorities, even if still narrow. We really need for the convention to be a coronation choreographed by the nominee, not a scene of realpolitick, with copious amounts of blood on the floor.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 8:31 AM
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99: Democrats (and Republicans) are -- by definition -- not representative of general election voters regardless of their location. What Democrats need to do, if they're going to stick to a primary/caucus system, is find places that are representative of Democrats. (Republicans don't have this problem because they are pretty much all the same kind of asshole.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 8:36 AM
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Not fair.


Posted by: Opinionated Slightly Less Racist Republicans | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 8:37 AM
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NH was the state that went blue by the smallest margin in 2016. Iowa, I think, is much less of a swing state than it used to be. Nevada is a swing state. South Carolina is very much not.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 8:48 AM
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101 Since the point is winning the general, why wouldn't one rather pick states where the Democratic electorate most closely reflects the general election electorate? You'd still want smaller states, to keep media costs low while the field is still large.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 9:13 AM
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I just think Iowa should get out of it because fuck Iowa.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 9:18 AM
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I'll be looking at Bernie's support among latinx and black voters in NV and SC. If he's doing well there, I'm inclined to switch from Warren to Sanders on Super Tuesday.

I think either Amy or Pete is gonna have a hard time turning out minority voters and turning out base voters generally. Amy has unexamined prosecutor baggage. Pete is somehow the whitest person in Indiana.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 9:27 AM
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Since the point is winning the general, why wouldn't one rather pick states where the Democratic electorate most closely reflects the general election electorate? You'd still want smaller states, to keep media costs low while the field is still large.

People always say this, but can you actually name some states that would be better?

I can't speak for Iowa, but NH checks a lot of the boxes. Its small, working class with pockets of liberal intelligentsia, and it has a very strong commitment to participatory Democracy. The area where its lacking is racial diversity, but even that has been changing. What other state provides a better option?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 9:29 AM
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I'd keep NH in the mix. Maybe switch out Missouri for Iowa -- not first, but in the first 4 or five, and not a caucus.

I'm not one of the people who complains every 4 years about IA and NH.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 9:36 AM
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104: I am perhaps excessively averse to the whole "electability" question, but I don't think Democrats need to be compromising with non-Democrats during the primary. Appease the assholes in the general election, is what I say.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 9:59 AM
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I'll be looking at Bernie's support among latinx and black voters in NV and SC.

As long as you check the error bars.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 10:13 AM
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Maybe switch out Missouri for Iowa

Missouri is strong on racial diversity, but twice the size of Iowa and I think pretty weak on "commitment to democracy" aspect. When looking for early primaries, I think its important to look for states that are not hella corrupt.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 10:19 AM
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I would think that going early would pretty much have to be transformative, in terms of infrastructure, as anyone from IA or NH can appreciate. This, of course, is the rock that all efforts to change the mix of early primaries get hung up on.

I don't watch TV, but don't see any reason to doubt the general thesis of this one: https://newrepublic.com/article/156545/bernie-sanders-msnbc-problem I don't doubt that Sanders' media problem is a net plus now, when he's fighting the establishment to gain great 30% victories among Democratic voters. His people are going to have to work out a viable strategy for turning this around later in the spring, and for the general though.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 10:37 AM
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How about the states that get to go earliest are those with the most voter access initiatives implemented- AVR, no ID requirements, most polling sites per capita, etc. You want to make millions on journalists staying in your hotels and drinking at your bars, you have to align with the values of the party.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 11:27 AM
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I bet that barely offsets all the damage done by political staffers. I heard Ted Cruz's people clogged every toilet in Sioux City after too much fair food.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 11:43 AM
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NH is brilliant for voter access. Being able to register on election day is huge, and if you don't have id you can sign an affidavit stating who you are. Also, there has been successful push-back on efforts to keep students from voting.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 12:31 PM
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I can't speak for Iowa, but NH checks a lot of the boxes. Its small, working class with pockets of liberal intelligentsia, and it has a very strong commitment to participatory Democracy. The area where its lacking is racial diversity, but even that has been changing. What other state provides a better option?

Josh Marshall has suggested Rhode Island: also small, also New England, but much more diverse and urban. (Also much more corrupt, so.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 12:32 PM
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JMM has also suggested doing a system of paired states, starting with the ones that voted most and least Dem in the previous election and working down the list with the swing states last. It's an interesting concept but I'm not sure how well it would work in practice.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 12:33 PM
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Rhode Island is a good one. You have to find a state where both white people and non-white people vote for Democrats. Rhode Island has 5 times as many Hispanic people as New Hampshire, going along with having an actual city in it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 12:45 PM
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Plus, people are always talking about relying on Providence.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 12:49 PM
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118: Do Portuguese count as Hispanic in the statistics?

115: How long has NH had same-day registration? In CA this is the first year for most counties.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 12:50 PM
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113: I think that settles it. Who is going to inform the DNC?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 1:11 PM
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How long has NH had same-day registration?

I could be wrong, but I think forever?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 1:25 PM
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My son is trying to get me to vote for "Mayor Pete."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 2:44 PM
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Did you say "ok boomer?"


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 2:46 PM
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I heard on the news that's the worst slur ever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 3:32 PM
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The university appropriately condemned Peter Gade, but the university president missed an opportunity here when he didn't simply say: "OK boomer."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 3:33 PM
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O.K. Boomer, Sooner.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 3:37 PM
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I heard when someone says that you've been can selled, like food near expiration.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 5:39 PM
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latinx

FFS, stop using this. Like 99 percent of actual Hispanic people think it's condescending nonsense from white wokesters.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 6:09 PM
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OT: Do our racists need to go abroad to Britain to find a lawyer? I ask because: "It's not like it's in the boot of my car," Sturges said. "The thing is 16 tons. It's solid bronze."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 6:16 PM
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That was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 6:18 PM
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129: I'm not interested in your advice on this topic, gswift. But gracias por todo.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 8:34 PM
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Gracias por Toto.


Posted by: Opinionated Rain in Africa | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 8:38 PM
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132: The fact remains that they're the largest minority group in the country, less than half of them self identify as liberal, and having a bunch of white leftists lecture them about how to speak their language is a poor electoral strategy.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-12-20 9:28 PM
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129: Also there is a perfectly good English-language gender-neutral adjective for "people of Latin American origin, descent or culture" and that adjective is "Latin American".
English adjectives are (with a few exceptions like "blond/blonde") (or "decisive/shrill") not gendered.
There is no need to invent an English gender-neutral word for "Latin" any more than there is a need to invent an Engish gender-neutral word for "young" or "Italian". You don't go around talking about who will be the next Chancellor/-in of Germany.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 2:10 AM
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134: I hate to point out the obvious, g, but you don't know 99% of "actual Hispanic people", who are anything but a monolithic group. You know, maybe, a couple of dozen people you're extrapolating from.

I know some people and organizations who use Latinx to self-describe in some circumstances. Don't know anyone who uses it as a basis for lecturing people on how to speak Spanish, although it's a big country and they might be out there too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 4:20 AM
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I've never heard someone reach for Latin-American instead of Latino/Latina, and so I'm interested to know how we're going to get this idea out to Latin-Americans without being condescending wokesters about it.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 4:49 AM
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I stopped talking to strangers, unless they offer me candy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 5:31 AM
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139

Wanna TwiX, Moby?


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 6:43 AM
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Second 135, AIHBAHB.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 6:46 AM
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Later. I'm getting into a windowless van for some Swedish Fish right now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 6:48 AM
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The problem with "Latin American" is that the relevant ethnic group are United States residents/citizens with ultimate family origin in Latin America. "Latin American-American" doesn't work, and "Latin-American" just means "Latin American," so that's out.

"Hispanic" seemed to work fine as an English adjective, because really what people mean by the US "ethnic" designation is mostly "did someone in your family of origin speak Spanish. And in turn that is most if not all of what binds, say, Dominicans with Mexicans with Argentinians, etc. But "Hispanic" does leave the weird problem of what to do with people actually from Spain. And also Hispanic was just not a word that anybody ever really would take to calling themselves, just sounds like what some white statistician is calling you.

"Latino" seemed to solve the problems with "Hispanic" and also be something that people call themselves (that is, US latinos/latinas really do call themselves latinos/latinas) but then hit the gendered adjective problem. "Latinx" really does sound and look terrible and silly but yes I have heard some people use it as a self-identifier, albeit people who themselves wanted institutionally to appear "woke" for lack of a better word. But what's the better alternative? Personally to me using the traditional masculine-universal "o" in "Latino"' sounds better than the kludge of "Latinx" but I get the argument the other way.

Of course, the way people ACTUALLY self-identify is mostly as Mexicans, Cubans, Guatemalans, etc. But also undeniably there is a common group in the US that is usefully classified as Hispanic/ Latino/Latinx/whatever and you gotta pick a name.

tl/dr call people whatever they want to be called, ethnicity is a weird social construct, the English language is hard


Posted by: Opinionated HispanX | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 6:55 AM
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Zir make a good point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 7:03 AM
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When I used to hang out with a lot of (non-US) Latin Americans, they used to refer to themselves as "Latin," which sounded pretty good to my ear.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 7:19 AM
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"Latin" alone would work much better, but to my ear "Latin" used as an adjective like that ("Latin people," Latin lover") has an old-timey connotation that just means "swarthy," ie, broad enough to pick up both people ethnically from South America and Italians. Wasn't the original "latin lover" stereotype for Italians, or even the French?


Posted by: Opinionated HispanX | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 7:37 AM
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If they object to being called Latin, try calling them Samnite and see how they like that.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 7:40 AM
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145: In context though it should be clear. And that's another reason to talk about [country-of-ancestry]-Americans instead.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 7:57 AM
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HispanX really begs to be misprounounced like shapewear.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 8:22 AM
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Hispandex.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 8:29 AM
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I think some cardinals are fucking outside my window. It's hard to tell with the feathers. There were two females but one got chased away. Now it's just a male and female.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 10:00 AM
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um, do you mind???


Posted by: opinionated cardinal | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 10:19 AM
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I would shut the blinds, but the natural light keeps me from feeling sad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 10:29 AM
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The other woman is back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 10:42 AM
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150: SORRY, BUT CELIBACY IS PRETTY TOUGH. WE'VE BEEN TALKING TO THE POPE ABOUT THAT.

(AND FEATHERS ARE SEXY. YOU'RE ONLY A PERVERT IF YOU USE THE WHOLE CHICKEN.)


Posted by: OPINIONATED CARDINAL | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 10:47 AM
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136:
No, but there's been national polls and 99 percent is exaggerating by all of 1 or 2 percent.

And I know you're probably picturing Salt Lake as lily white but the county is about 20 percent Hispanic and the neighborhood I've worked for 11 years is 70 percent. Last three years in the middle school of 800 which is part of a campus that also has a 600 kid elementary, the low income health clinic and pre-k, etc. My experience is basically what 142 says and we're not talking a few interactions. Hispanic is widely recognized as describing a swath if the electorate, Latino/a is used for clubs, cultural events and such and individuals use Latino/a or country of origin.

I'm not claiming special expertise but I'm not pulling this out of thin air.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 10:59 AM
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Do you know if cardinals have threesomes?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:04 AM
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Watch out, or the cardinals might file a complaint.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:05 AM
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155: national poll here. https://medium.com/@ThinkNowTweets/progressive-latino-pollster-trust-me-latinos-do-not-identify-with-latinx-63229adebcea

2% said that they preferred to describe their ethnicity as "Latinx". The most popular term was "Hispanic" (44%), contrary to 142.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:11 AM
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I'm not saying that SLC is all-white, just that your acquaintances aren't the country as a whole. And the poll you're talking about was asking about what term people prefer to use to describe themselves, which is generally going to be either Latino or Latina depending on their gender -- I'm unsurprised that very few people sampled in that poll used Latinx as the primary term they describe themselves with. That doesn't mean that the same woman who'd call herself a Latina wouldn't use Latinx, writing in English, to describe a mixed-gender group, or that she'd be particularly offended or annoyed by anyone else's use of the term in that context.

I believe you've met and talked to plenty of Latinx people in your life. Try to remember that you're not the only person in that position.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:13 AM
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Sorry, 159 was me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:14 AM
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I think "Hispanic" is very regional as a self-descriptor. My daughter went to a majority Latinx high school in NYC -- people mostly self-described with their nationality of family origin, but Hispanic was a perfectly ordinary, inoffensive, general term, that maybe sounded a little stodgier than Latino/a/x, but that you'd certainly hear plenty. When she moved to California, she had a couple of people do a double-take at her when she used the word Hispanic, and they reacted as if it was not precisely a slur, but that it was so archaic it was borderline offensive.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:20 AM
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This keeps on dropping my name. Me again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:20 AM
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Hispanic is what's on the census forms and federal lingo, ie Hispanc Serving Institutions, etc.

(¡ Es un libro de cocina!)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:25 AM
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Also, the demographics of Texas are changing stunningly fast. The link in 163 goes to 2014, when Heebie U was around 25% Hispanic. Our entering class this semester is 44% Hispanic (and 38% white).


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:28 AM
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I have never been in the position of needing to say "Latinx" out loud but until yesterday I always assumed it would be pronounced, "la-TEEN-ex" with the same stress and vowel sounds as Latino/a but for the 'x.'

Then I heard a bunch of people on a podcast saying "LAT-n-EX" and on the one hand, they were all wypipo, but on the other, they were public-radio-newsy types who generally try to get that sort of thing right, so now I am confused. How do you say that word, which I will probably never have to say living in Europe.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:39 AM
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While there were a few high points, on balance I wish I had not clicked the link in 149.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:41 AM
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I don't know that the average person ever would have to say it out loud.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:52 AM
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I say La-tinks in my head, and I do worry that I'll slip up and say that outloud.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:55 AM
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There's an interesting alternative going around that's in spirit vaguely like reviving the neuter - saying, not Latinos or Latinas or Latinxs, but "Latines". (Yes, I'm aware many Spanish masculine nouns pluralize like that.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:57 AM
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(Apparently some linkage to emerging dialect in Argentina/Chile, though.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 11:59 AM
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"Latinx" is awful.

And I'm part Hispanic.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 1:06 PM
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I think "Hispanic" is very regional as a self-descriptor. My daughter went to a majority Latinx high school in NYC -- people mostly self-described with their nationality of family origin, but Hispanic was a perfectly ordinary, inoffensive, general term, that maybe sounded a little stodgier than Latino/a/x, but that you'd certainly hear plenty. When she moved to California, she had a couple of people do a double-take at her when she used the word Hispanic, and they reacted as if it was not precisely a slur, but that it was so archaic it was borderline offensive.

Huh, interesting. There is a very complicated regional diversity about preferred terms. "Hispanic" is the preferred self-description in (northern) New Mexico and has been for the past fifty years or so; the preferred term before that was "Spanish." Both translate the standard regional term in Spanish (hispano) and serve the purpose (very important for earlier generations, maybe less so now) of making it very clear that they are not Mexican. Indeed, "Mexican" and "chicano" are considered sort of borderline offensive. "Latino/a/x" isn't really used IME, but that may be changing recently.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 1:16 PM
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There's sort of an emic/etic distinction to the situation that probably contributes to the variety of terms, in that coming up with a single comprehensive term for the whole group is more important for outsiders than insiders.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 1:17 PM
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172: Having a broader term is more salient even for ingroup members in a more diverse area, I'd think. That is, in northern New Mexico, I'm guessing that someone Latino/a/x is overwhelmingly likely to be either Hispanic in the sense that they come from a Spanish-speaking family that has lived in the area for a long time, or of Mexican origin. In New York, I think the largest group these days is Dominican, but there are people from all over the Caribbean, Central and South America. Most people are going to identify primarily with a nationality, but there are contexts where it makes sense even for a group member to want a word for the broader group.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 1:25 PM
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Yeah, that's a good point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 1:28 PM
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What if they don't want to be a group? I don't really want to be grouped with the people in grouped with ethnicity-wise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 1:31 PM
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Whereas in California the community may be more uniformly of recent Mexican origin,* which would lead to a different ingroup/outgroup dynamic.

*I don't know if this is actually the case but it seems plausible. Immigration from other parts of Latin America seems to be more oriented toward the east coast, especially New York and Miami.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 1:32 PM
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Brekekex, latino-ax


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 1:33 PM
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Only the male cardinal is out there now. Maybe the others were lesbian and he's an incel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 1:33 PM
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Maybe they were fighting over him and it made him just a little too smug about how awesome his plumage must be and they decided to forget about the egg laying until next year?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 1:38 PM
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177: Now that the Census offers a beta web-based PUMS analysis I don't need to open R to look into this! Rough, but interesting.

The ACS's overarching category for this variable is "Spanish/Hispanic/Latino", which does not seem to allow Portuguese as a subcategory. So I'll dub this Hispanic.

Out of the 23 national identifications and other self-identified subcategories of Hispanic, I can sort them by nativity into four relatively differentiated groups: Mexican, of whom nationwide 31% are foreign-born; Puerto Rican, 2%; other specific national identifications, 58%; and "all other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino", which I take to include people who identify as such more generically, 16% foreign-born. For simplicity I'll add to the last group "Spaniards" who are fewer but are 15% foreign-born. I'll call the last two big categories "Other Nationalities" and "Other Other".

Percent of population that is Hispanic by region: Northeast 14%; Midwest 8%; South 18%; West 30%; CA 39%; NM 49%.

Breakdown of Hispanic population by the four categories, Mexican / Puerto Rican / Other Nationalities / Other Other:

Northeast 12% / 34% / 49% / 5%
Midwest 74% / 10% / 12% / 4%
South 59% / 9% / 28% / 4%
West 81% / 2% / 11% / 6%
CA 83% / 1% / 12% / 3%
NM 65% / 1% / 2% / 32%

Of the Hispanic totals, those in New Mexico are indeed significantly less foreign-born, 15% vs. 34% nationally. California is pretty close to the national average (a lot more Mexicans, but they as a group are similar to the all-Hispanic average). New Mexico's "Other Other" are only 3% foreign-born vs. 16% nationally, so that's likely where a lot of the community that lived there before Anglos is being counted. But those in NM identifying as Mexican are only 21% foreign-born, which is also significantly below the nationwide average for Mexican.

(The big "Other Nationality" in the Northeast is Dominican, which itself is 19% of the Hispanic population, but is 56% foreign-born.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 2:23 PM
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Interesting. Thanks!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 3:44 PM
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your acquaintances aren't the country as a whole...Try to remember that you're not the only person in that position.

She said, in the same thread as she recounts her experience from NY and her daughter in a northern Cal university.

I never said I was the only person in that position. You are the one who decided to assume I was extrapolating from a couple dozen interactions. You really want to press it, fine, please review 181. Anyone working with Hispanic populations in the Western states is more likely to have a take more representative of the national population. The Hispanic population is heavily concentrated in the west, Mexicans are the overwhelming majority everywhere but the Northeast, and nationally Mexicans easily outnumber every other Hispanic group combined. Your experience is the outlier, not mine.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-13-20 8:39 PM
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You got it, g. Whatever your sources of information are, they are clearly sufficient to establish the feelings of all Latino/a/x people in the US about the use of the word Latinx. I was wrong to have doubted you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 5:11 AM
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Great rebuttal there LB. Really went through the argument point by point.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 5:16 AM
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That was my intent. You think I missed something?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 5:17 AM
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Nope. Living up to your usual high standard.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 5:27 AM
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Since we've reached a local comity maximum, I'll take a moment to ask any front-pagers who might amble by whether y'all care about comment spam or not. Is it just too much of a hassle to take out?


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 5:51 AM
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We are, sadly, all but Heebie putting in much less time on the site, which means maintenance standards have dropped.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 5:55 AM
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If you're having trouble holding things up ....


Posted by: Opinionated Discount Viagra | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 6:01 AM
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188: Nworbie functions as a friend-of-the-blog and kills a lot of it for us. I personally haven't ever really dealt with it. It's annoying but really easy for me to not-see until it drifts off the side bar.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 6:11 AM
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189: Does it help if people flag the comment spam with something conspicuous when they see it? Commenters at Making Light used to use the pseudonym "NAME sees comment spam" so that the Recent Comment sidebar would show that with the thread name, and it tended to catch the attention of adminx for the site.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 6:12 AM
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Can't we just use Admin-American?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 6:18 AM
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Won't that piss off people from Administratia?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 6:22 AM
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I'm with gswift here on the awful neologism "Latinx" but 187 has me going wtf?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 6:38 AM
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Don't sweat it, Barry. Arguing about substance is fun, when I can figure out what the people I'm arguing with are trying to defend. Arguing about insults is dull.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 6:41 AM
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Which is why you resort to them when confronted with the poverty of your own position. I pity the people of NY, really.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 6:45 AM
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But they just got a break on how they pay real estate agents.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 6:53 AM
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Okay. Did you want to argue about something particular, or are you just kind of generally cross?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:00 AM
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I must have missed where LB insulted MS which is completely out of character for her. She's the very definition of well reasoned argumentation here and I really dig you too Mossy.

I'm reminded of something fake accent said here a while back, we're a small tight knit and very special community here, we need to be kind to one another.

Sorry if I misread anyone here, I got off the desert a few hours ago went straight to the rugby club (a 'proper pub' as my British friends call it but a real dive bar and one of the true authentic places here and my regular for the past year) and I've had more than a few.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:03 AM
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That's the best thing about time zones. It's always appropriate for someone to be tipsy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:07 AM
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On the substance, the politics has been covered by HispanX and Swift; on the style, I'll let your self-imposed "Latino/a/x" clusterfuck speak for itself.
Myself, I am actually in good humor. It was simply amusing to highlight your retreat into playground sarcasm upon comprehensive failure to produce evidence.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:09 AM
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188 et seq: I could help thin it out a few hours ahead of NW. It's starting to annoy me too.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:13 AM
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202.1: Just for the record -- and speaking as someone with no intelligent viewpoint on the Latinx issue -- this seems like an odd reading the of the thread.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:20 AM
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This is an odd thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:22 AM
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Okay, you're satisfied that gswift has established some proposition by unrefuted evidence, and you're not unduly distressed by what you see as my unjustified rudeness. Given that, we're all good?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:23 AM
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If you admit you're a Dunning-Kruger case with regard to argument in general.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:25 AM
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I'm now afraid to talk to Hispanic people or the Dutch, but otherwise, sure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:26 AM
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You should be afraid of the Dutch. They're huge.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:34 AM
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That's why I always pass them on the left hand side.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:36 AM
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209: And getting bigger every day.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:36 AM
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I bet they'll get taller faster than the sea gets higher.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:47 AM
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Nonono. The Netherlands gets bigger under that scenario. The Dutch get (on average) smaller, because the definition of "Dutch" expands to cover all the inhabitants and inhabitantas of their newly-acquired territories, who are all much shorter than the original Dutx. Plus, with the sea levels falling, the original-population Dutch will also get shorter over time because the selection pressure towards height imposed by living an average of 6 feet below sea level will be removed.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:51 AM
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I mean, I guess that a plurality of individual Dutch are getting bigger every day. There are more kids growing in the Netherlands than there are adults shrinking.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:56 AM
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But when they get to Mars the age pyramid will stretch a lot.


Posted by: Kim Stanley Robinson | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:58 AM
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TBH, my experience is somewhat in line with gswifts, so maybe it's regional, but using Latinx signifies wokester/academic; it's what you'd expect the lily white diversity director to carefully put on the institute's posters. My Hispanic students tend to define themselves mostly by nationality (Mexican, etc.) or by using Latino/Latina/Hispanic. "Latinx" IME is a written word, and I have no idea how it should be said.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 8:29 AM
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"Chumbley"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 8:31 AM
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Have you noticed that your students are upset or repelled by the use of Latinx? Almost anyone identifying themselves is going to use a gendered form of Latin(whatever), because they're generally going to have an individual gender -- IME, Latinx gets used in English (don't know whether anyone uses it at all speaking Spanish) in formal settings for mixed-gender (and implicitly cross-nationality) groups. I've never gotten the impression that people being described by it think it's a meaningful problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 8:38 AM
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And of course, in a group as large and heterogenous as Latinx people in America, I'm sure someone out there is probably offended by it. I just haven't been aware of such offense as widespread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 8:39 AM
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216 that's how it seems to me. "Latinx" is cringe. Please don't post cringe.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 8:43 AM
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Xringe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 8:45 AM
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This thread got weird.

[FWIW, I found the discussion interesting. My pre-existing belief was that "latinx" was a somewhat clunky solution to a real problem and that it was worth using until/unless something better was established -- but this conversation helps give me a better sense of both sides of that issue.]


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 9:35 AM
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a somewhat clunky solution to a real problem and that it was worth using until/unless something better was established

This is how I feel about "they" for gender-related issues. It's absolutely necessary, but I wish we could come up with something better. I'm thinking that "Ms." was the last successful neologism that we had along those lines.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 9:45 AM
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"latinx" was a somewhat clunky solution to a real problem and that it was worth using until/unless something better was established

Yeah, that seems like a fair statement of where I started out and remain. If I thought any substantial portion of the population found it offensive, I'd change my mind, but I haven't seen reason to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 9:46 AM
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I don't think that using "them" as a gender-neutral word for someone of Hispanic ancestry living in the United States is going to improve anything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 9:46 AM
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This may be a good chance to ask: I wasn't around for the previous equivalent of Latinx, "Womyn" and I've always wondered whether it was pronounced exactly like "Women" or some other way.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 9:56 AM
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This is how I feel about "they" for gender-related issues. It's absolutely necessary, but I wish we could come up with something better.

See, I find it totally natural and perfect. It's what I wanted to say writing papers in HS and college, where grammarians would insist on "he or she" which sounded so awkward and clunky to me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:02 AM
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"Themself" tho.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:04 AM
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Thoself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:10 AM
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Elf.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:11 AM
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227: In that context -- the individual of unspecified (as opposed to indeterminate) gender -- for us really old folks, it wasn't even "he or she." It was "he." As in: "An Unfogged commenter might wish to avoid gratuitous insults if he doesn't want people to think he's an asshole."

It's the plural pronoun associated with a singular noun that gets me. LB, I believe, has correctly pointed out here that the same grammatical sleight-of-hand is done with "you" in English. But my brain very much wants an individual, non-gender-defined person to be an "it." I probably don't need to explain why that's unacceptable.

So I need a neologism. Or maybe my generation just needs to die. Either way.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:15 AM
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I am just trying to mash it into my editor brain by sheer force of repetition. Themself and all.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:18 AM
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I clean out the comment spam I see most mornings GMT but the simplest solution would simply be to shut off all commenting on threads more than a fortnight old, or simply hold them for automatic moderation. This site is running on exceptionally ancient software.


Posted by: Anonymous streetsweeper | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:44 AM
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I sometimes stumble grammatically with the determinate singular gender neutral they. I'll treat it like a singular pronoun, e.g. "They doesn't want..." I doubt it will go away without much practice, but at least it's not a particularly insulting way to screw up.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:44 AM
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Elegant software, from a more civilized era.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:47 AM
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Yes: glorious colonnades, but have you seen the slave quarters?


Posted by: Anonymous Streetsweeper | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:53 AM
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I feel like my reference was unclear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:55 AM
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I've taught myself to accept and use singular they, but I find the claim that it's never ambiguous* to be laughable. I've gotten to the end of speaking a sentence and there's a pause while everyone tries to figure out if they all understood me correctly. It's not just the novelty**, it's that, as with plural you, there is no way to square the circle without occasional ambiguity and/or confusion.

*that is, I've read many claims to the effect that people who object to singular they are basically lying when they say that it can be confusing.

**I know the usage is attested going back centuries, but it's not been part of everyday spoken English in America in anybody's lifetime. Nobody out of high school has grown up with it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 10:58 AM
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**I know the usage is attested going back centuries, but it's not been part of everyday spoken English in America in anybody's lifetime. Nobody out of high school has grown up with it.

That the usage goes back centuries is true but kind of overstated. There is a usage of singular they that goes back forever and that everyone (all right, nothing's universal, but you know what I mean, and it does include you, JRoth) uses unselfconsciously without thinking about it -- where you're talking about an indefinite or unknown person. "Someone left their umbrella in the foyer." "Huh, is there any way to figure out how to return it to them?" That is dead center standard English, and it's neither an innovation nor harking back to something that used to be normal and has died out. 18th Century grammarians tried to enforce the singular masculine in that usage, and won for a while in formal writing, but never came close to killing singular they in this context in everyday usage.

But singular they for a known singular individual is a recent innovation. It's not any harder to manage, I don't think, than the singular they in an indefinite situation, but it is new.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 11:05 AM
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OT: Google maps tells me there's no transit from Washington National to Metro Center. I think I take the Yellow Line to the Blue Line. That seems easy enough. Also, do the trains get sparse by 10pm on a Friday, even if they are there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 1:06 PM
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240: Visiting DC? To get from National to Metro Center by metro, you've got a few options.

1. Yellow line towards Fort Totten/Mount Vernon, get off at Gallery Place, Red line towards Shady Grove/Grosvenor, get off at Metro Center, which is the next stop.

2. Blue line towards Largo Town Center, get off at Metro Center. It's like eight more stops but no need to change trains.

As for how sparse they are, I think there should be no more than 20 minutes between trains and at 10 on a Friday it should be better than that, barring construction or whatever. If the wait is too long, there are plenty of cabs at the airport.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 1:19 PM
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Blue line connects those two stations. Yellow runs to Chinatown, one stop about a kilometer over from metro center. Both run until 12:30 ish on Friday, with at worst 20 minute headways late. There's track work some weekends, which blocks lines; that might be enough to confuse the map recommender. Check wmata.com a couple of days before travel to see if planned track work will get in your way, and of course, if you see something, say something.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 1:24 PM
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240: It looks like the default Google location for DCA is out on the tarmac somewhere and somehow can't find a path to transit. But the airport has its own metro station, so just type "Washington National Metro" and it should pop up and give you schedules and whatnot.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 1:33 PM
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218: Not upset or repelled, but they're not using it, probably because the contexts in which it would seem natural are institutional and it only makes sense in English. It just feels a bit to me like when the LGBTQI group is overrun with Allies, who are very concerned about Being a Good Ally*, and overlooking, fr'ex, that "Latinx" makes no sense in a gendered language. Not so much a problem, exactly, as more like wypipo invented a solution to a problem that they didn't think they had.

*maybe a regional thing but definitely been at places where the gay kids are either all at ease or too busy to be bothered with the club, so it's basically mostly Allies looking for people to ally.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 1:56 PM
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fr'ex

Fr'e-American.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 1:59 PM
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Thank you D.C.-knowledge people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 2:01 PM
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a somewhat clunky solution to a real problem and that it was worth using until/unless something better was established

Waiting for something better to get established is how we wound up with the word LGBTQ, which is even more difficult to pronounce than "Latinx."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 2:01 PM
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I'm visiting, but it's a work trip. I don't think I can do a meet up. I blame late capitalism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 2:10 PM
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Waiting for something better to get established is how we wound up with the word LGBTQ, which is even more difficult to pronounce than "Latinx."

Or QUILTBAG.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 2:11 PM
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FWIW, I've mostly heard "Latinx" used by young activist-types as a self-designation, and to a lesser extent by white ally-types following wokeness best practices by deferring to POC about what they want to be called. (I haven't heard it very often in either context.) There definitely seems to be a sense by wokeness-skeptical white people that this is an imposition by woke white people on a community that doesn't see a need for it, but that's not my experience of how it's actually used. I don't know how it originated, though, and again, I haven't heard it widely used in practice.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 2:16 PM
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There definitely seems to be a sense by wokeness-skeptical white people that this is an imposition by woke white people on a community that doesn't see a need for it, but that's not my experience of how it's actually used.

Again, same here. It's definitely activisty associated, but not all activists are white.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 2:28 PM
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Just the annoying ones.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 2:52 PM
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Off to commit late capitalism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 2:53 PM
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I think basically what's going on is that there's a longstanding conversation/debate within the group of people culturally associated with historical Spanish colonialism about what term(s) to use in English to describe themselves, and it's an active debate with many different positions and nothing remotely close to a consensus. "Latinx" is one of the most recently coined and least popular options currently, but it's part of the mix and popular with certain young, activisty segments of the overall community.

Usually with internal disputes like this outsiders to the community can, and generally should, just stay out of it and leave it to the insiders to work things out, but due to the nature of this particular dispute that isn't possible. After all, if you want to refer to this group at all you have to use some term, or resort to awkward circumlocutions like I did in the previous paragraph. So you do have to at least implicitly choose sides with some segment of the in-group arguing over this, and white woke activists tend to be most closely in touch with woke activists of other groups. As a result they're generally inclined to choose whatever those activists prefer, so you end up with terms like "latinx" being used in those circles. In turn, non-woke white people have more exposure to woke white activists than to woke non-white activists, so they hear terms like this and associate them with the woke whites rather than with the in-group members they encounter in other contexts, who prefer other terms. And so here we are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 2:57 PM
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Have fun storming the castle!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 2:57 PM
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Regarding the latinx subthread, has this poll been linked to yet? Obviously one poll isn't definitive, but it certainly suggests that the term isn't exactly popular outside of woke academic and activist circles.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 3:11 PM
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It's much less complicated with the Hispanic Trump supporters. You can just call them "assholes."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 3:14 PM
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Regarding the latinx subthread, has this poll been linked to yet?

Comment 158.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 3:19 PM
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Comment 158

I can't expected to read back that far.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 3:24 PM
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Google Maps and airports -- When we were leaving Vienna, Google Maps told us there was a thirty minute walk from the airport bus station to the airport, and suggested getting an Uber. This was because their pinpoint marker was right at the far end of the runway -- in the physical world the bus dropped us right at the door of the terminal building.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 3:27 PM
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Self driving cars will be ready any time now.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 3:32 PM
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256: The problem with that poll (and I said this above but given that we're talking about it again), as far as I can tell, is that it's asking individual people for the term that best describes them, individually. For someone who's going to use a term in the Latino/a/x family, they're usually going to self-describe with the appropriately gendered term -- I think there's hardly anyone (I'd say no one, but pretty close to no one) who thinks of Latinx as a general replacement for Latino or Latina. It's a neologism specifically for mixed-gendered groups (and I guess for the occasional person who thinks of their gender as neither male nor female, but that's not mostly what it's for), and that wasn't what the poll was asking for.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 3:33 PM
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257: not cabrón ?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 4:24 PM
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261: they're just waiting on the fusion reactors.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 4:24 PM
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254: Also -- and I'm not disagreeing with you, I think -- most people who would identify as Latino/Latina/Hispanic/Mexican/etc aren't activists. So one ends up with a term useful to activists, academics (who need the neologism) and woke outsiders deferring to Latinx activist practice that non-activist Latinx don't use -- e.g., some of my students who roll their eyes, probably the people gswift encounters.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 4:33 PM
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265: Right, those are the other in-group members I mentioned toward the end. The activists are a tiny portion of both the Latinx and white communities overall, but they play a key role in bringing new terms like this to the attention of the broader communities, which may or may not adopt them. In the case of "Latinx" they mostly have not so far.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 4:42 PM
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I suspect the gender-nuetrality in a linguistic tradition where everything had a gender causes the problem. More than almost anything, people don't like to be reminded that gender isn't written on your balls at conception by nature's own Sharpie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 4:42 PM
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Nature keeps one Sharpie for the balls and one for the face.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 5:54 PM
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267: I don't think that's it -- Hispanic wasn't a problem ever because it was gender neutral, some people are just unhappy with it for reasons I can't quite lay out myself. If everyone was cool with Hispanic (and lots of people still are), that'd solve the problem that in English we want an ungendered word for groups. But there are people with strong political preferences for Latin- root words, and then you get the gender problem.

(Latin, without an ending, could be a solution except that in English it had strong connotations that were mildly racist. Latin lover, Latin bandleader, Latin connotes Ricky Ricardo with a pencil-thin moustache. No one uses it like that anymore, but it's in living memory and it's too recent for the word to sound neutral.)

I'm not particularly wedded to Latinx, it's kludgy and awkward. But it does serve a purpose, and I'm not aware of people finding it offensive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:22 PM
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The train driver basically ordered everyone to get on his train and go to the next station to wait for the right train because the platform at National is outside and it's too cold to be outside. I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 7:34 PM
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The Metro doesn't have the little paper cards now? I had to spend $2 on a plastic one. I don't know if I can expense that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 8:39 PM
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I had contemplated commenting that Latinx was a term used by activists of all stripes, but was reluctant to get involved since gswift long since became a troll, and am happy that other people did. I find it awkward (and I think I'm the single person commenting with the strongest autobiographical connection to Spanish, since I was born in a Spanish speaking country and spoke it as a young child, but someone else can correct me about that if I'm wrong), but also generally align myself with activist choices about language and in practice use it sometimes and don't use it others.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-14-20 8:56 PM
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270. Good for that driver! It was too cold and windy to be standing on that exposed platform. Crystal City (next station north) is underground and more comfortable.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 2:08 AM
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237: "Moby ... Moby Hick ... now there's a name I haven't heard in a long time."


Posted by: Also-Ran Kenobi | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 2:42 AM
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": I wasn't around for the previous equivalent of Latinx, "Womyn"

Was this actually used by people? I've only ever come across it in jokes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 5:01 AM
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273: Yes, so I felt like I had to go there despite enjoying the fresh air and not wanting to go somewhere that sounded like a housing plan in Oz.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 5:48 AM
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272: Tia gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 5:48 AM
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generally align myself with activist choices about language

I believe this is probably the core of the disagreement over this. Replacing a generally accepted language convention (unless it happens spontaneously) should probably require a compelling reason. "The current practice is offensive to many people", which covers most of the racial and ethnic slurs that are no longer considered acceptable, is a compelling reason. "A small group of self-styled 'activists' want to" is, IMO, not a particularly compelling reason.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 6:16 AM
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A process of pure compelling reason.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 6:18 AM
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And that's why no one ever says "African-American."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 7:41 AM
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I don't think they're "styling" themselves as activist (rather that's a word bring used to describe them here). They're styling themselves as concerned about gender inclusivity, but if you think that's a yawnfest, you do you.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 8:05 AM
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280: When I was a kid, I thought that was what you were supposed to say. But now there are a lot of people of recent African descent here who are not the descendants of American slaves as well as a ton of Haitians and people from other Caribbean nations who identify as Black.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 8:26 AM
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280: I'll see your African-American and raise you Womyn. I was in college during what was probably peak womyn and, contra what was suggested earlier in the thread, it was not a joke. The people pushing the term took it Very Very Seriously Indeed. In other words, some attempts to change the language catch on and find widespread support and some don't and are seen as vaguely embarrassing after the fact. Will latinx go the way of African-American or Womyn? I'm guessing the latter but I really have no idea.

That doesn't answer the question of whether deferring to "activist choices about language" is always the correct thing to do. I'm not faulting Tia for doing so, I'm just saying that not everyone does, nor is it always and everywhere automatically the obvious correct choice.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 8:52 AM
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283: I don't think we're in disagreement. Womyn has already mentioned it in the thread, I only brought up African-American as an existential proof that sometimes derided activist-started/promoted terms escape to the mainstream/best-practices, and that's fine.

I suspect Latinx will die out (much like the clever-but-ugly-and-unpronouncable Latin@ mostly has) because it doesn't fit very well into the phonology of Spanish, so it's doubtful that it'll pick up steam in the mother countries. And that's fine, too. Maybe Latine will take over. Maybe something else. We're all working through this.

I figure the reasonable heuristic is to do what's most respectful, especially if you're someone--like most but not all of the people here--who doesn't have skin in the game. Now that might not necessarily be obvious, especially in an intersectionally complex case like this (weird that no one has mentioned non-binary people yet?). But I figure you can approximate it by not being dogmatic and trying to use the words used by the people around you who are in those classes. That might mean that you have to use different words with different people to describe the same concept. Oh well.

The dick move is being dogmatic about how other people choose to work through this--unless the term has become clearly offensive--especially if you aren't in any of the relevant classes.

I've appreciated what Opinionated Hispanx, teo, and Tia have had to say, and I thought LB was being very reasonable throughout.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 9:07 AM
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Of course the "activists" are a yawn fest. They're down to wave a sign or talk a big game on social media but are noticeably absent when it comes to the day to day work in the communities they profess to advocate for. I've yet to see a one come through the doors of the west side schools here to help with anything. They're not at the after school programs, they're not at the rugby/football/soccer games, not at the summer program, not at anything unless it involves a news camera or one of their circle jerks at the coffee shop.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 9:16 AM
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I teach about activism, to young people, so I generally use the language that activist young people use. I started seeing latinx used to self-describe a couple of years ago, and have become more likely to use it myself in the past year. In the usage I've seen, it's helpful not just for mixed gender groups but also for agender and non-binary individuals.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 9:17 AM
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Overlapped with 284.3


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 9:19 AM
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agender and non-binary individuals

Wait, "and"? I'm for real not getting the difference here.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 10:08 AM
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I'm not faulting Tia for doing so, I'm just saying that not everyone does, nor is it always and everywhere automatically the obvious correct choice.

Literally no one has argued this, but in fact this subthread started with a white dude scolding someone for using it. I find this a bit disinguenous given your previous comments in this thread.

I don't respect gswift enough as an interlocutor to address him directly, but I'll say to the thread that whatever bullshit generalization he makes from his oh so impartially observed and recounted experience, it is false that people who engage in activism do not also do helping labor. There is literally someone I know personally quoted in an article linked in a recent post on this blog who both does a ton of tenant advocacy for a living, which is not the most glamorously compensated labor, and is very active in an anti-racist and economic justice organization and shows up to a lot of stuff despite her chronic illness.

I myself have had periods of greater activism than I'm in right now, and I have shown up to protest with people on this blog, which must in some sense count as as activism, and here is some of the helping labor I have done in recent years:

volunteered to teach programming as part of an organization that brings teachers into high schools without any kind of CS program
volunteered to teach yoga at a hospital (you can sneer at this, I guess, but in fact my presence was highly valued by my diverse group of students, and one Syrian-American student in particular was stressed out and angry after the 2016 election and really cared about my class as a place she could come to center herself)
offered therapy, my very highly skilled professional labor, often transformative for my clients by their own report, in settings where people accessed it for free. I did this first as a volunteer and later became compensated at 133% of the local minimum wage
volunteer at a shelter for asylum seekers experiencing housing insecurity

I don't say this to say look at me I'm so generous with my time -- actually I don't think I am -- but just to say that the idea that activists and people doing other useful work are disjoint sets is a myth promulgated by self serving white dudes who want to pretend that they are on some legitimate high horse when scolding people who make a choice that challenges them.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 10:47 AM
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I'll try to put the somewhat snarky tone of my comment 278 in perspective.

About 2 months ago I was treated to a rant by someone I'm someone (who I don't know too well but am acquainted with) who teaches Spanish language and literature at a public university. A pronouncement came from down from somewhere (I assume the diversity office) to faculty that henceforth everyone will use latinx. Many of her students are native Spanish speakers (they don't take Spanish 101, they take the literature courses).They made their (unfavorable) feelings about the term plain. At some point she passed this along the the diversity person, and was treated to a lecture about how people will be held "accountable" for the "harm" they do by not adopting the preferred language (she has tenure, so she'll be fine).

Now you can say "Well, obviously that guy is an idiot." But there are carbon copies of that guy at universities and other institutions all over the country. So it's not the case that people who push back on stuff like this are just arbitrarily deciding to get het up about the way a bunch of complete strangers are choosing to talk among themselves. This stuff doesn't take place in a vacuum.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 10:55 AM
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289:

Different people are going to vastly different experiences when it come to the sort of folks the encounter who are identified as activists. The range goes from people doing genuinely useful work for low or no compensation, to people who do what they can even if that isn't much, to those mostly just pay lip service and retweets, to manipulative social climbers, to outright toxic bullies.

My own experience tends towards to latter parts of that list, which is why a tone of reflexive snark gets into my writing whenever the subject comes up. Since that seems to be the crux of what's pissing you off I'll just apologize for implicitly dumping on the more genuine folks. I'm not deliberately trying to be an asshole about this.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 11:04 AM
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Ok, and it also doesn't take place in a vacuum that people care about gender inclusion in language. They care because of the ways they've been hurt as a result of their gender (or they know that other people have been). It further doesn't take place in a vacuum that being dismissive about that appears to come from a place of self-satisified comfort when it's a bunch of men doing it. This is not to say, as indeed no one here has said, that "Latinx" is always the right choice. If you want to make a relatively nuanced point about competing interests and internal debates and the importance of avoiding a hamfisted exercise of power, as, for example, Teo has done in this thread, go forth. But going around acting like the search for a way through male-as-default is just empty wanking makes you sound like there's a great deal of context you're insensible to.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 11:12 AM
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292 crossed with 291: I hope it's clear that I am pissed off both by dismissal of anyone who might be called an activist, and the dismissal of the underlying concern with gender inclusivity. I appreciate that you aren't trying to be an asshole. In conclusion, Teo is really the model of how not to be an asshole and we could all learn from him, myself included.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 11:35 AM
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self serving white dudes who want to pretend

You're the pretender here. I left a squad there's a line to get on. In the last three years I've been at the middle school, my ex squad mates tally is 2 promoted to sgt, two are up in homicide, and another up in SVU.

I don't regret my choice at all. But it's not advancing my career one bit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 12:23 PM
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276. Well, Moby, I live there/here and it sure ain't Oz. Nor Kansas. Least ways it isn't the Emerald City. But now that Amazon is moving in we'll see.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 12:27 PM
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Guys, I have a great idea, let's all compare our public-service scores.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 12:37 PM
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294: Wait, did you switch jobs? What are you doing now?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 12:37 PM
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294: I struggle to understand the relevance of that. I didn't say you were careerist.

The part where you (and others) are self-serving is when you act like complaining about "Latinx", when the question of what to call the relevant group isn't relevant to you -- you don't give a shit about gender issues and you have no affective or autobiographical connection to Spanish or the relevant heritage that, to my knowledge, you've ever mentioned here before -- puts you on a "legitimate high horse", as opposed to just engaging in some empty, unpleasant trolling that should be accompanied by pastry. You can refer to my previous comment if you're confused. Speaking of context, the context of the evolution of your comments here over the years informs this judgment.

I am not in a position to evaluate the value of your current work, I just think you are not a valuable person to speak to here.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 12:44 PM
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297: Salt Lake school district contracts with SLCPD for their SRO's. It's a detective assignment within the department. My wife teaches 8th grade science there (8th year I think) and my oldest daughter is a reading coach at the same school.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 12:46 PM
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the question of what to call the relevant group isn't relevant to you

I'm approaching the 12 year mark working this area. My wife teaches here, I help run the summer program for the at risk kids. Who the fuck are you to tell me what's relevant.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 1:16 PM
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If you are deeply motivated by a pure spirit of protection of the interests of your close associates, as opposed to some reflexive desire to complain about the gender concerns of liberals, than you have my sincerest and most heartfelt apology for how I have impugned your honor.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 1:23 PM
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Oh, for fuck's sake don't be so pompous. I might take your arguments a bit more seriously if you didn't take such care to be pissing on gswift from a position of ineffable moral superiority. You're a Good person. You're on the side of Good. History will laugh at your pathetic opponents. We get it.

It's just that for the audience not already in the choir, some tone that was neither patronising nor hectoring might be a bit more effective.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 1:58 PM
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301: I work with kids, kids who need help now, not "associates".

For everyone else, you want to make a difference? Go volunteer at the low income elementary and middle schools. That's where the real work is being done.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 2:11 PM
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Kids are so fucking stressful to be around.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 2:12 PM
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If it weren't for needing to drive from the airport once I get back, I could explore whether billing for time spent drinking is better than billing for time spent pooping.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 2:21 PM
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I can't bill for the drinks either way. Just the time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 2:22 PM
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302: gswift has already pissed on me and people I care about quite enough. If you look at a larger pattern of dismissing black victims of police violence, claiming false reports of sexual assault were common and having at least one obviously bullshit example in his supposedly canonical three, randomly barfing up a bunch of transphobia, and I'm sure there are other examples, I can come to a conclusion that he's a troll, I'm fine with announcing it, and it's not intended to be persuasive, it's intended to be dismissive, in the fashion that he is as well. I'm sure you'll think it's quite haughty if I point out maybe you don't have to find any of that as noxious because it doesn't affect you.

I don't think I'm that great. I just exist at the intersection of people who have sometimes done activist work, think language inclusivity is a laudable goal that's important to real people, including me, and makes some effort to be semi consistent in doing other helping labor. The amount of time I spend tending to my own needs or wasting time on the internet is highly visible to me. But it does personally make me angry when people act like the only people who ever care about this shit are indifferent to helping people (on preview, I find it sort of hilair that he says go volunteer in a low income school, when that's literally one of the things I mentioned having done). It's a shit move that tries to position the speaker as somehow speaking for the common people against the depredations of selfish white elites, and it is empty and false. If you don't like me using myself as an example, please accept my first one.

What started this subthread: some dudes bitching about someone saying "Latinx." Then one of those same dudes complaining that "activists" were a group of people who were indifferent to helpful involvement in other people's lives. But you don't like my tone. What a surprise.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 2:24 PM
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In conclusion, Teo is really the model of how not to be an asshole and we could all learn from him, myself included.

Aw, thanks Tia. I try to be constructive to the extent I can.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 4:15 PM
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I find it sort of hilair that he says go volunteer in a low income school, when that's literally one of the things I mentioned having done). It's a shit move

Shit move! What kind of monster does that? I've had enough of you social justice bullshitters and your attention seeking nonsense.

But you don't like my tone. What a surprise.

My god, someone disagreed with you?

The only surprise is that you think this move is fooling anyone.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 4:49 PM
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uh, the shit move is saying, hey, I'm a down-home defender of the people, when you're just enacting some aggression against "social justice warriors" for reasons that have to do with your own needs, not anyone else's. But hey, take the last word.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 4:58 PM
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I bet if Teo practiced, he could be better at being an asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 6:11 PM
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The coffee is for closers and what closes better than an asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 6:58 PM
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I'm pretty sure mouths can exert more PSI.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 7:01 PM
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You try keeping your mouth closed tight for 23 hours and 55 minutes out of every day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 7:06 PM
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But what's more valuable in closing, consistency or force? If we're valuing constistency, maybe we should splash the coffee on the windows of tall office buildings.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 7:13 PM
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I think that's a teleological question, but if not, this will answer it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 7:27 PM
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It was not a teleological question.


Posted by: Opinionated Saint Augustine | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 7:48 PM
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Ontological?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 7:57 PM
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Deontological? I get confused.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 8:01 PM
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Half the people here used to be in philosophy but now we can't find one?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 8:10 PM
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Axiological.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 9:46 PM
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302: gswift has already pissed on me and people I care about quite enough. If you look at a larger pattern of dismissing black victims of police violence, claiming false reports of sexual assault were common and having at least one obviously bullshit example in his supposedly canonical three, randomly barfing up a bunch of transphobia, and I'm sure there are other examples, I can come to a conclusion that he's a troll, I'm fine with announcing it, and it's not intended to be persuasive, it's intended to be dismissive, in the fashion that he is as well. I'm sure you'll think it's quite haughty if I point out maybe you don't have to find any of that as noxious because it doesn't affect you.

What the heck, people.

This is frustrating because I think of both gswift and Tia as people who (as they present themselves on unfogged) are clearly interested in doing good things in the world* and who bring an interesting perspective to the conversation here and it's clear that their respective interests are on a collision course (in this conversation and in past conversations).

Tia generally has interesting things to say -- particular on a variety of topics related to gender -- and I appreciate that she often writes about sensitive of personal topics, frequently without a lot of support and, therefore can quite reasonably get frustrated by people who are being flippant or callous about those topics.

Yes, gswift is clearly sometimes trolling (and sometimes just being flippant), and clearly needling people in this particular thread, and I thought he also showed a ton of patience and willingness to engage in the discussions about police violence.

May I suggest, as an outside observer, to both of you that you're each bringing very different concerns to this conversation and that sniping at each other isn't a great outcome.

* As a note (IIRC) gswift originally left a job a big tech company in CA to become a cop -- which I get the impression was both a better fit for his personality and a better contribution to society -- and that's not a move many people make.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 9:53 PM
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I'm reminded of something fake accent said here a while back, we're a small tight knit and very special community here, we need to be kind to one another.

That's kind of you to say, but I don't remember saying that, at least not recently, and at this point I don't think of looking at this site that often anymore, and I especially avoid any threads here related to race or ethnicity.

FWIW, I haven't read much of this thread except to check if I'd commented on it way near the start, before everything else went down, which is how I saw my handle in it. I commented in some other thread recently, I guess.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 10:58 PM
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1. Second 322.
2. Inasmuch as there is a language inclusivity problem, "Latinx" is a terrible solution and better ones are available.
3. A lot of evidence upthread suggests that most of the people most affected don't actually think there is a language inclusivity problem.
4. AFAICR, in this thread, the pro-Latinx camp has presented less evidence than the anti- as to the opinions of most people most affected, and demonstrated less interest in what those opinions might be.
5. NYC, and Manhattan in particular, are not the American norm. Experiences living/working/volunteering there are abnormal on most dimensions, outliers on many. AFAICR neither LB nor Tia have acknowledged this at all.
6. Second 302. The stance taken especially by Tia is rhetorically useless at best. It will persuade no-one who isn't persuaded already, will be repulsive for many who are potentially persuadable, and to the extent it reaches the unpersuadable it will strengthen them in their noxious convictions.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-15-20 11:33 PM
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I think 324, especially 324.6, really misses the mark. The question isn't whether most of the affected people are offended by Latino/Latina. The question is whether there is an identifiable subpopulation for whom the limitations of language should be expanded. The answer is usually yes: sometimes expansions take, sometimes they don't, but you don't know until they're tried for a while. And anyway, what exactly is the cost for the rest of us? Use the wrong word for something, and someone might tell you you're out of date. OK, I'll give you that it might not always be done pleasantly, but ridiculing people trying to support positive change isn't exactly a polite way to go either.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 12:31 AM
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325:
1. I didn't attribute politeness to anyone, including myself.
2. I didn't ridicule anyone for supporting positive change. I ridiculed LB for her weakness in argument, as I have before and likely will again.
3. 324.3-5 are concerned precisely with the existence of such a subpopulation. I don't think the pro-Latinx in this thread have done a good job demonstrating such existence beyond activist circles.
4. The cost to the rest of us, in this case, is the injection of a ludicrous neologism, when existing words are available as alternatives.
5. (4) is an aesthetic problem, but it's not detached from reality. If activists want a language community to change its behavior, promoting an unpronounceable word is counterproductive.
6. Further, counterproductivity such as in (5) makes it very easy to infer, correctly or not, that such activists are in fact poseurs unconcerned with results.
7. You, as a rule, advocate effective politics over ideological purity. I don't see how you reconcile Tia's rhetorical style with political efficacy.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 1:53 AM
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In complete agreement with 325, and I usually am not on the same page as Charley.

I think "most of the people most affected" isn't exactly properly quantified. While Hispanic people are more affected than others, the people most affected are non-binary people of Latin-American descent. The English analogy is preferring indefinite singular "they" to "he or she"; I can't claim I'm the most affected by that because I'm an English-speaking person who uses he. If larger groups think that there isn't a language inclusivity problem--well, that's the way things usually are, and isn't strong evidence either way to the presence of one. (Yes, white Americans imposing this upon binary Latin-American Americans is bad, of course, but no one here is doing that or advocating for that.)

Latin-American enbys are outliers--regardless whether they're in some Manhattanite bubble or not--but if your goal is to be inclusive in your language, you need to include outliers.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 2:03 AM
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I have made no claim in this thread that I am able to make some representative statement as to the opinions of [group under discussion], or that I speak for anyone but myself. gswift actually did do this in his first comment on the matter. (I do sort of wonder if people going on about the rarefied Manhattan environment know that Manhattan includes Washington Heights, though.)  I spent a chunk of my childhood and a smidge of early adulthood in a small Central California agricultural town but it would be faintly ridiculous to try to make that any kind of claim to authority. I would assume that most members of [group under discussion] don't have gender inclusivity in language as a high priority, because, as dalriata says, they are people, and that's the way of things.  The only autobiographical claim I made relevant to opinions on that word were that I think, given the whiteness of this space, I may be the single person here with the strongest affective relationship to the Spanish language -- I mentioned that in the context of understanding what feels awkward about "Latinx."  To the extent I think I understand some group's position, it's the position of people who think language should be more gender inclusive.  The only relevance of any work I have done was as an example of someone who had both done activism and had done other kinds of service work, in response to a claim that activists never show up.  I continue to be mystified by the relevance of gswift's profession.   

No one scolded anyone for not using this word, in fact, people who used the word were scolded for it.  As I said in my first comment about it, I say "Latino" under many circumstances.  I speak Spanish with my Dominican and Colombian coworkers and in those situations I definitely prioritize fidelity to tradition -- I don't even think of "Latinx" as a Spanish word.  It is the anti-Latinx crowd who have hectored people about their language in this thread.

My rhetorical aim is to say out loud that I think gswift is a troll and deserves to be treated that way.*  His comments are extremely high percentage bitching about SJWs. Considering only the most recent example, when he spewed a bunch of transphobia in response to me complaining about it from my family, if you find it easy to shrug that off and say well, sometimes he trolls but we're all friends here, it's because it doesn't affect you.  I'm here saying I see this pattern and I will say how gross I think it is.  He showed up to this thread specifically to be unpleasant because Stanley used a gender inclusive neologism.  It's really not about making mistakes or needing to learn or any of that stuff -- I certainly have fucked up a ton.  It's about being purposely aggressive from a position of relative comfort and ridiculing other people's concerns for sport. 

*Although, MoChar's concern trolling notwithstanding, it's not my experience that stridency is always in opposition to making your point heard and moving a needle, and the unhappiness of some members of the conversation at the moment are not good measures of whether that is happening.  If you are confused about what my position is, I'll state it succinctly:

Gender inclusivity in language is an important goal, and if you see someone making a gender-inclusive choice, you can minimally treat it respectfully and act like the intention behind it is important. Mocking these concerns, in total accordance with your consistent knee-jerk response, while posing as some kind of white spokesperson for minority groups absent from the thread is trolling. Acting like people who make a robust argument for gender inclusivity have no concern for making some kind of helpful impact on other people's lives is trolling.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 5:42 AM
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324:

1,2: whatever.

3: Are you talking about the one poll that's been posted a number of times saying that very few people use Latinx as their primary self-descriptor? That doesn't have a lot to do with whether the same people see it as useful for referring to mixed gender groups or non-binary people. Other than that, I haven't seen any evidence but gswift talking about his personal experiences, which are as valid as anyone else's, but which are obviously a weak basis on which to speak for the feelings of Latinx people in the US as a monolithic group, which is what he's been trying to do throughout.

4. What you're calling the pro-Latinx camp, if it includes me, could be more precisely described as the people who believe that Latinx is a word that at least some Latinx people use and find useful, rather that solely an outside imposition by whatever you and gswift are calling people whose politics you dislike. I know this to be true because I've met some of them. Not all activists are white; not all people who aren't activists hate them the way you do. Reliable evidence on how a population of fifty million feels about an issue is hard to come by.

5: This thread of the conversation is baffling to me. Gswift started early on saying that anyone who thought Utah was lily-white was wrong. Terrific. No one but him has brought up the whiteness or otherwise of Utah. I'm sure he knows plenty of Latinx people well enough to know how they feel about the term. (I suggested a couple of dozen as the number he might be generalizing from, meaning to be generous, which he rejected as insultingly low. I'm impressed -- I don't think I know a couple of dozen people well enough to know how they feel about the term Latinx, regardless of their ethnicity.)

But saying that the people I and Tia know don't count as information about how some Latinx people feel about anything because they're from NYC is just weird. It's a city of 2.5 million Latinx people. There's not some magic pixie dust on the subway that makes that 5% of the US Latinx population not really people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 6:07 AM
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Oh, hey Tia! You must have commented while I was writing that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 6:26 AM
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mornin', LB.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 6:37 AM
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You do have to admire the faith in the power of pure reason that allows Mossy to believe that he can opine with absolute authority on this topic.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 7:13 AM
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There was a whole series of salsa commercials focused on the idea that people from New York City don't know about Mexican food. Just saying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 7:44 AM
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New York CITY?!


Posted by: Opinionated Pseudo-Texan | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 7:54 AM
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Concrete jungle where dreams are made of???


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:20 AM
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"Get a rope."

Don't forget the Pseudo-Texan's solution to everything even slightly upsetting.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:31 AM
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Seeing it written out like that, the grammar of that lyric is quite disconcerting.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:45 AM
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Seriously, I think historians of the future will find that commercial a significant marker in showing how we got Trump and lost the Republic. What product can you advertise by having urban people of color talk about lynching rural whites?

They will not find that neologisms and concern over who can use which public bathroom were causal -- they are excuses, just as the location of the headquarters of the conglomerate that makes the salsa is an excuse in the commercial. (Just the other day, I saw, again, some moron quoting some other moron, from a diner, to the effect that in 2016 HRC seemed to care more about what bathrooms people could use than the plight of working people in the Midwest. This contention about her is so utterly disconnected from reality that everyone entertaining or repeating it as truth can be presumed to be acting, generally, in bad faith.)

If Tia was running for office on a force everyone to say "Latinx" exclusively platform, I might have an opinion about whether I thought that might work. Instead, she's saying that there are people for whom this neologism is a proposed solution, and she respects that. I'm not on the forefront with neologisms as solutions to social problems, but enough have caught on in my lifetime that make clear joining the inevitable resistance, which each of them draws, is basically a bad look. The problems being solved are real enough, and how hard is it really to refrain from ridicule? To be open to changing one's personal behavior?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:56 AM
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Honestly, we had salsa back then, but it was nearly all shitty.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:57 AM
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337: it always sticks in my craw.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:03 AM
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338: This is the commercial in question, right? It's hard to tell because of mild sepia tone and video quality, but it looks like it's rural white men about to lynch a different rural white man for being insufficient committed to the traditions of rural white masculinity. Presumably written by urban mostly-white-mostly-male people to sell to the insecurities of suburban white men. Such is the circle of life.

In another one, the miscreant is told that it's "time to switch brands" and is presented with an already hot branding iron (apparently ranchers just, like, have one ready at the campfire, just in case?). In a third, sheriffs threaten to shut down a diner run by a woman for not using Pace brand salsa. In general, it seems like Pace wanted to associate itself with the most pathetic aspects of rural masculinity.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:12 AM
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(MossCha, while you might think you knew me from the comments I make here, there are a bunch of things I'm involved in that I don't talk about much, not for any particular reason, but which would better illustrate where I am on language discussions. It's been quite common hereabouts to give public acknowledgement of the Indigenous people who were here before -- like, for example, just before the start of the basketball game at our local uni, the announcer reads off that the campus is on land that was the home of the Salish and Kalispell people. The arts education center of which I was on the board for several years wanted to paint an acknowledgement of this sort on the wall in our new location, and had a text that the Salish cultural director had approved for a local theater. I objected. The text was fine for how it described the people who lived in this area, as you'd expect, but also listed 5 or 6 other peoples who passed through from time to time, and used colonial names for them. E.g., Nez Perce, Blackfeet, Coeur d'Alene. I ended up with the assignment of running down the appropriate person for each nation, and getting the proper word, and orthography.

Another of my non-paying gigs is as president of a small non-profit connected to a long distance hiking trail. We put out detailed maps, and I'm going to do what I can to have our maps show Indigenous names for peaks and lakes, alongside their current English names. This helps the user understand that someone lived here before, and maybe a chance to reflect that people from those nations are still around and still have an interest in the land, which was taken from them by force (in one way or another).

I'm no one's idea of a wokester, but the issues are real, and the purpose of wmp is to use it for the good of others).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:20 AM
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Just the other day, I saw, again, some moron quoting some other moron, from a diner, to the effect that in 2016 HRC seemed to care more about what bathrooms people could use than the plight of working people in the Midwest.

I have heard similar* often enough that I take it as being invited to prove some good-fella bona fides by punching the transsexual or whatever the very small group being targeted is. When the same happens to me directly (which is not often because people don't complain to me much), I'm just not doing it on the principle of it because this is not a good time for people in very small groups with clearly visible markers and because I don't like the constant "But what about...." that shifts things to the right all the time.

* That is, somebody complaining to or about some elected official not caring about regular people because they have taken in a position in support of some minority group for something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:22 AM
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a long distance hiking trail

I had no idea about that. That trail seems great. If I ever get free time while I'm still healthy and my family is settled enough that I could be eaten by a brown bear without too many problems, I want to try that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:26 AM
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I figure I need to be able to move about 25 miles per day for several days in a row while carrying about 25 pounds before I can hike any of the remote trails out west with confidence. Trails in PA are secluded (there's mostly nobody one them) but not remote (when picking a place to stop for the night, I'm always keeping in mind how far I am from a road because I don't want to be close enough that drunken yokels can use the spot for a party).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:32 AM
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The Pacific Northwest Trail is a national gem. Do it!

The Continental Divide Trail is also cool, in case you were guessing wrong. Do that one too.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:42 AM
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I wasn't guessing wrong. Researching trails and maps is how I stay calm when late capitalism keeps me in the office too long.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:45 AM
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Semi on topic: my mom was acting all Bloomberg-curious and I managed to turn her around by sending her one of the links about his history with sexual harassment, but it's really a disturbing indication of how effective his blanket advertising strategy is for older people (read: reliable voters) who get a lot of news from television.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:47 AM
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Hey, want to take on an assignment? I could give you a stretch of trail, and you could work on finding Indigenous names for various features.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:47 AM
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I think that might have to wait until I can travel for fun.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:51 AM
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but also listed 5 or 6 other peoples who passed through from time to time

That is the performative wokeness that bothers me. If you want to respect the indigenous people, take the time to find out who they are or were. Don't just use that one interactive GIS map full of poorly sourced data. And doubly make sure that the nation you pick didn't expand into the area because they were procuring goods to trade to Europeans, which is just resource-extraction imperialism at one remove. Lots of places in the east were the land of peoples whose names we'll never know, and assigning it to someone else is not respectful.

349: I'd be happy to do that if you want more eyes. Geographic nerdery is my thing.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:54 AM
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His comments are extremely high percentage bitching about SJWs.

Yes, because I think their bullshit is infecting my political party and we are going to lose elections over it. People are talking and campaigning like woke Twitter is representative and it's not going to end well. We're already well on our way to not being trusted with basic public safety issues. Prop 47 in CA, bail "reform" in NY, the Baltimore consent decree, the Chicago ACLU deal with CPD, etc are an ongoing disaster.

when he spewed a bunch of transphobia

Right out of the SJW playbook. Any disagreement is a phobia, or hate, or violence. This nonsense is not productive. If you think this hectoring victim Olympics is winning anyone over you might want to take a look at Labour's recent fiasco.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 10:06 AM
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I get so annoyed by assumptions about what us boring middle people care about. Last night we were doing a family visit in the sad public housing where now two of the girls' moms live and conversation turned to an early-20s cousin "who knows hisself to be a girl, you know" and the acceptance was clearly not a challenge even if the language around it doesn't align with best practices. (Also the existence a teen sister's girlfriend was no big deal, though apparently her driving skills are somewhat questionable.) This has absolutely been my experience with working-class and poor people around issues like these. Whether anyone cares whether they vote is not as clear.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 10:38 AM
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I'm curious gswift, which recent policing/sentencing/bail, etc. reform measures would you classify as good ones rather than part of an "ongoing disaster". Do you disagree with the activists in this area that would argue there is a strong need for some pretty fundamental change in how we do some of these things? Or is it more that you disagree with how it is being approached?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 11:06 AM
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though apparently her driving skills are somewhat questionable

Driving like assholes is the one thing that unites America.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 11:34 AM
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354:One of the problems is that the activists approach this stuff from the assumption that the prison population is mostly non violent offenders and that's just not true. We have a huge issue with violence in this country and eliminating cash bail and creating a revolving door for offenders is not going to help.

There's also a problem with the reform crowd decriminalizing drugs and property crimes and quality of life offenses while simultaneously being the ones pushing policies and laws that make it damn near impossible to get anyone involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. So now no one gets locked up, no one gets forced into rehab, and no one gets put in the mental institutions. The reformers then go on about a "housing crisis" but that's not what's driving that sea of homeless encampments we're seeing in places like CA and Portland. That's untreated mental illness and addiction but apparently the compassionate liberal approach is to respect their right to rot in the street. L.A. county has something like 1000 homeless deaths every year and for some reason that's more humane than jail or a mental institution.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 12:17 PM
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Did something change recently (aside from the legal weed)? The laws making involuntary commitment difficult almost as old as I am in most states.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 12:34 PM
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Apparently, nobody at the Denver airport has figured out how to sell edibles to people who have connecting flights. It would have been nice to try one while waiting for the next plane.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 12:40 PM
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I'll just briefly step in here and say there is literally no correlation between incarceration rates and crime rates.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 12:43 PM
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359: it would be amazing if there were, to be honest. Incarceration rates reflect the situation of several years ago as well as last month, and also are driven as much by sentencing policy as by crime rates. Severity of sentence also has little deterrent effect: what does deter is probability of arrest.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 12:52 PM
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I think 360 is more or less conceding the point of 359.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 1:20 PM
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One of my favorite things is how this thread loads slowly enough of my phone that I can read "Fucking banana?" every time I open it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 1:59 PM
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361: well, yes, of course.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 1:59 PM
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A guy I went to school with is probably going to get out of prison this year. I have no idea if he's too old for crime now. I am, but he might be healthier.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 2:09 PM
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351 This area is kind of a special case: if you live west of here, but want to supplement your salmon and camas diet with bison, and maybe get some non-food bison-based items, then you'll want to pass through here on your way out to the plains. On the other hand, if you're more into ambushing people you don't like and stealing their stuff, say while they're on the way to the plains to hunt bison, well, we have a couple of canyons that proved to be pretty good ambush spots. E.g., the Hellgate.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 2:12 PM
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365: Sorry, I read your previous post very poorly and what happened in your case sounds fine, just limited by subsequent migrations/settlements (I suppose there's some analogy with Pennsylvania and Lenape knowledge, on either side of the state). What annoys me is something else altogether. Good on your for getting things right with the other nations. I haven't thought as strongly about how things would apply in areas with better histories of pre-European regular migrations.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 2:24 PM
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The recency of our history here is a big difference. The Blackfeet were compelled (by starvation) to give up what is now the eastern part of Glacier National Park in 1895. There are people now alive heard about this from grandparents who were starving kids at the time. The same land deal involved an area known as Badger-Two Medicine, which the Blackfeet is fighting to keep fossil fuel production free even now. https://www.mtpr.org/post/oil-company-agrees-retire-badger-two-medicine-lease (I see that the remaining lessee's case was argued on Jan 21 in the DC Circuit.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 2:58 PM
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(And I think Garland, Tatel, Millett is a pretty good draw for that case.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 3:02 PM
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"Hi I'm Liz from Mike Bloomberg's campaign. With so much at stake, Americans deserve a Democratic candidate who can beat Donald Trump. Will you support Mike?"

Text message I just got.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 4:01 PM
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I don't understand why people think Bloomberg can beat Trump when the most likely outcome of a Bloomberg nomination is to split the Democratic party.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 4:05 PM
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369: The cool thing about Bloomberg is that unlike the other candidates that are asking you for money, with Bloomberg you ask him for money


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 4:39 PM
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369: I got text messages from Biden, one from Bloomberg which I unsubscribed form by typing STOP and then another Bloomberg one.

370: I support Elizabeth Warren and Bernie in that order.

When I listen to Bloomberg his policies sound pretty good for a centrist, and he sounds less vapid than Pete. He had a proposal to beef up regular Social Security payments and to create Gvernment savings plans that could invest in low risk investments like index funds - not instead of Social Security but in addition to it. Currently fees on things like IRAs are kind of high. That's better than what Clinton and Obama were offering in the name of fiscal prudence. And proposing that Social Security be tied to the cost of inflation for things that elderly people buy which is often higher than the regular consumer price index.

I saw him on Colbert, and I really appreciated that he said he would support any of the Democrats if they got the nomination, because they were all better than Donald Trump. i think there are some "libertarian-ish" professionals (soccially liberal, tech and finance people) who might vote for Trump over Bernie.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 4:43 PM
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370. Yep. I had a meeting today with a dozen or so older folks, the kinds of people who host fundraisers, attend hearings, write letters to the editor. Good folks. They also watch TV, and so are more plugged in to the media environment than I. I was surprised at the depth of support for Bloomberg and Klobuchar. I guess they really just can't imagine Sanders winning the general.

Almost all our time was spent on state and local races. There was widespread concern about our US Senate and Governor's races, and whether our candidates are up to the task. Some folks thought that the Party ought to step up and help the candidates with messaging and delivery. My most significant contribution to the group was explaining that the party had no ability to do anything like this at all. Parties, here, and I think generally outside of a few big cities, really aren't actors in any significant way. (Whenever I hear someone talking about the DNC as doing or favoring something non-ministerial, I pretty much automatically write them off. Sorry, friends.) Our state party is even less -- formally by volunteers selected on a one cow one vote basis. (OK, not exactly, but each county gets the same number of votes for electing officers and adopting the platform, whether the county has 100,000 people and votes 65% Democratic or has 2,500 people and votes 65% Republican. The folks I was meeting with had not understood this at all.) There's a small paid staff, managing mailing lists and helping campaigns with compliance issues. And scheduling a fundraising dinner. But these aren't people who can tell the Lt Gov to stand straighter and work on his oratory, much less that it's time to exercise some leadership on taxing tourists.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 4:47 PM
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The thing about cash bail is that once monetary bail has been set, the system has determined that releasing you is not a danger to the public -- bail is just supposed to make sure you show up for trial. In the absence of any evidence that people who can't afford bail, and who are therefore incarcerated before trial, are more dangerous than people who can afford bail and are on the streets, there's no obvious reason to think it's a public safety issue.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 5:16 PM
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As long as we're doing some point by point rebuttal of all that, I guess I'll add that right now, 2020, there are fewer psych beds than people who *want* them. It is curious to offer the difficulty of involuntary commitment as a current cause of homelessness when hospitals would not have near sufficient space to house people even if it were easy. I'm not some expert historian of deinstitutionalization, but I don't think you can talk about what has happened without talking about right wing schemes to defund health care, though civil libertarians have also been involved. If one weren't a priori deeply invested in a "liberals are the problem" narrative, one might focus a little more on left liberal efforts to push for more investment in treatment.

I don't know the right place to locate the bar for involuntary commitment, but it is really traumatizing for a lot of people (most people who experience it AFAICT from reports from people I know personally and hear talking about it in other forums). I have never seen an interaction between cops and a seriously mentally ill person where they did a good job of deescalation. (And you could do better? --ed. Actually not long ago I did.) Again, it really takes a quite strained "liberals are the problem" narrative to see the reason people aren't getting care as primarily that no one is arresting them, rather than that there are not enough good resources for them, and not enough safe housing that doesn't require getting arrested. This is an example of an effective model.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 6:00 PM
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endorse 374. also - my state senator, scott wiener, is leading on building more housing, criminal justice reform, and - very controversially, more so even than his housing bills! - giving local government greater latitude to involuntarily commit people suffering from severe mental illness. many of us, in all socioeconomic conditions, have hinky mental health situations that bob up and down over the days, months and years. one thing that will cause someone's mental health, usually within the normal range of okay-to-occassionally-crappy, deteriorate sharply, is becoming homeless. likewise, many folks do not have a particularly secure employment situation, and losing one's housing makes maintaining any kind of employment extremely difficult.

we have many interdependent, interlocking ills in my beloved, foggy, provincial and ridiculous city. i am glad i have a state senator, and other elected officials, advocating for public policies that could make a positive difference, rather than just cranking mindlessly on the punitive ratchet.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 6:08 PM
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there's no obvious reason to think it's a public safety issue

In your city, Jan 2019 vs Jan 2020, assaults, shootings, robberies, all higher in 2020. Overall crime up 17 percent, robberies up 37 percent.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 6:47 PM
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it really takes a quite strained "liberals are the problem" narrative to see the reason people aren't getting care as primarily that no one is arresting them, rather than that there are not enough good resources for them, and not enough safe housing that doesn't require getting arrested

It's of course not exclusively a liberal problem, but the liberal "reforms" being chucked around tend to ignore or outright deny the existence of service resistant people. And there's a lot of them. And we're just leaving them in the streets to die.

advocating for public policies that could make a positive difference

They need to do something different, because as it stands the homeless situation in CA is an unmitigated shit show. L.A. and San Francisco are unrecognizable to me. There's a shocking level of squalor in the streets. Those two cities in the last several years have spent literally billions on this issue and these are the results?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 7:31 PM
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I don't understand how it's not worse even with the billions spent given that the billions haven't gone to increasing the number of housing units enough to drop prices. I don't think my current salary would even get a mortgage in San Francisco and in Pittsburgh I can live in the area where all the people say the out-of-touch wealthy live.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 7:47 PM
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378: In my state it was the Republican Bill Weld who closed all of the State mental hospitals without providing adequate beds in the community or funding community services adequately.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 7:48 PM
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"Bill Weld" sounds like abusing a duck anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 7:59 PM
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379: Housing prices are a legit issue but it's not as connected to the homeless issue as a lot of people think. All those tents on the sidewalks aren't inhabited by otherwise healthy employed people who just can't afford rent. It's mentally ill and drug addicts.

380: Republicans absolutely played a big part in fucking things up. But if we're going to try and win elections we need effective solutions. And lately the high profile liberals reforms on crime and homelessness are not delivering.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:03 PM
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The drug addicts and people with mental illness have houses here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:07 PM
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People I work with have been going to San Fransisco often. They are talking about not stepping in poop being an issue. But nobody will fly me out there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:16 PM
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But if we're going to try and win elections we need effective solutions. And lately the high profile liberals reforms on crime and homelessness are not delivering.

What would your platform on homelessness and prison reform look like?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:17 PM
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Supposedly, there's a bunch of opioid addicts around here, but all I ever meet are alcoholics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:35 PM
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Or maybe they just don't tell me about the opium because I look like a cop.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:36 PM
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385: Way more mental institution beds. And the bar should be lowered for involuntary commitment.

More prison time, or make jail more like prison. Liberals/reformers downgrading crimes and sentences is not doing these people any favors. Jail is a warehouse, prison is where the real opportunities for education and vocational training are. Locking someone up for thirty days and cutting them loose back into the community accomplishes nothing. But doing a significant stretch with therapy, education, and vocational training is where the results are. And it all doesn't have to be about prison. We should be pouring money to Delancey Street.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delancey_Street_Foundation


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 8:57 PM
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Also, way more aggressive interventions at the juvenile level. This patty cake nonsense we have going on in many jurisdictions (including here) is only training these kids to think there's no consequences and then the big surprise comes when they turn 18 and get locked up for real. Juvenile arrests aren't some life ending event, juvenile records are basically invisible on a background check. We should be doing constructive interventions early and we're not. Here I can book a juvenile for multiple felonies and they're out in a day. Assault on a PO? Out in three hours. This is not helping them.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:06 PM
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shorter gswift: this putting-people-in-cages thing really works! even more so with kids!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 9:51 PM
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390: I want to believe you're better than this. But if this is your honest reading of what I've written then maybe not.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 10:03 PM
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I'm in Berkeley this semester and my neighborhood has dozens of people living out of RVs and vans. It's a very different sort of homelessness than I've ever seen before, and does seem to be housing driven rather than addiction driven. (Which isn't to say that there isn't also the latter kind of homelessness, just that the former kind is pretty striking because I'd never seen it before.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarin: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 10:54 PM
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Does Berkley do "Safe Parking" spots for homeless people who live in vehicles? Like at churches and other specially designated parking lots, with security, restrooms, and access to social services?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-20 11:14 PM
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Without knowing anything in detail about the homelessness problem in California, the idea that both liberal and conservative measures contributed to it does make sense. Something of the same story could be told about deinstitutionalisation of mental health here. I'm old enough to remember when this was a huge progressive cause. But then the big hospitals are closed to save money (more precisely, to shift the cost away from central government budgets) and you get the worst of all possible worlds.

I read gswift as saying that lots of people have problems that can only be treated by large scale, compulsory interventions; that this is how prisons should function (which is a sick joke in kinfecrimea, where the prisons are absolute hellholes, but it is their official rehabilitative function); with people who are mentally ill or addicted but not (in the case of addiction) otherwise criminals, you need lots of rehab/psych places.

This doesn't seem to me a fascist programme, maybe because I agree with it. It's what I'd want any enlightened topless government to do. The hard question is how we get from here to there.

Again, I don't know the emotional triggers of American politics. But in this country I would look for ways to sell the programme as punishment that made criminals better people. Punishment, not treatment, because you are going to have to raise the taxes for it from people who want criminals punished. But at the same time, the rehabilitation, so they have the chance, and every encouragement, to stop being criminals, which is better for everyone.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 1:28 AM
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373: Does leadership on taxing tourists mean taxing them more or taxing them less? Just curious.


Posted by: chill | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 3:11 AM
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Many people's service refusal comes in part or in whole from justified terror, based on experience, of cops and coercive psych. Like I said, I don't know the right place to put the bar for involuntary, but it would be nice to acknowledge that. You could save lots of lives with non-coercive service expansion, and coercive treatment may hurt more people than it helps in the long run. On compulsory treatment for addiction in particular: Link, link, link, link, link. In evaluating all these things, we have to consider the actually existing cops, who are terrible at interacting with people with mental illness, and sometimes kill them, and the actually existing treatment institutions, which, particularly in the case of addiction, are often abusive.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 4:26 AM
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I want to believe you're better than this

I want to believe that you brought pastries, but you did not bring pastries. From the beginning, you've been trying to push this whole conversation into a rant about people who annoy you, while pretending to engage on the substance in good faith. You've also, bizarrely, brandished your job as a credential that gives you authority to talk about these Very Concerning Problems The Liberals Are Overlooking. It's a weird performance. You've been somewhat successful. But still, no pastries.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 5:58 AM
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377: And looking at the same data set, murder and rape both down close to 20%. You think bail reform is keeping us safer, or you think you're waving around statistical fluctuations with no relationship to bail reform?

Here's the report gswift was looking at but didn't link for some reason: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_statistics/cs-en-us-city.pdf


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 6:06 AM
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One thing that makes me extremely skittish about counting on prisons for rehabilitation is the trend (in Texas at least) towards privatization of prisons and the horrors that seem to ensue. I am perfectly happy if we invest heavily in rehabilitative models, though.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 6:15 AM
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Gswift- we were sentencing someone addicts to prisons for treatment. They've stopped sending the women but still send the men. Turns out it wasn't very therapeutic and they were not providing medication for people with heroin addiction.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 6:23 AM
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The healthcare podcast Tradeoffs actually did a good segment on this.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 6:25 AM
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Also, bail reform, specifically, is about keeping unconvicted defendants who have been adjudged not to be too dangerous to release out of jail, as opposed to prison. 388 would suggest you should be for that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 6:29 AM
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399: Private prisons appall me. There was a reporter for Mother Jones who took a job as a prison guard in a private prison for 4 months. (He also did a stint with the vigilante groups at the border.)

Tom Steyer's investment in private prisons is a major mark against him for me. Prisons are a core government function.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 6:31 AM
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There is a part of me that wants to admire the pure, crystalline beauty of a white person showing up to criticize other white people for their language while claiming to speak for absent non-white people because of his Very Admirable Work, doing all of this from the right, and maintaining the stance throughout that he was fighting the good fight against oppressive left-identitarians who hate freedom and don't care about helping people the way he does. Then two other dudes show up to call me self-righteous in the same thread where this person claimed that as a cop in a school he was performing a tranche of a rather narrow concept of the Real Work, and a person who provides mental health treatment (for addiction!) was "pretending", because kids in school are the only people who "need help now" (?). Later in same thread he is very concerned by how liberals are killing homeless people with addictions. Luckily, lazy self-involved git that I am (really!), I watched enough Great British Bake Off this weekend I got my fix in other ways. I really loved the cast of season 5 (not least because there were so many v. attractive women), and now I'm thinking of naming my rats Kim-Joy, Manon, Ruby, and Rahul. I just never loved Bryony as much.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 6:42 AM
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398.1: I dunno - those are both very serious but also very rare crimes, meaning that noise is going to dominate over any underlying causes. Going from 33 to 27 murders doesn't sound as significant as going from 2959 to 3435 grand larcenies. As witness the report that you linked to, which notes that murder and rape are both down compared to a year ago, but are both up compared to two years ago.



Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 6:47 AM
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You need to convert deaths and stolen iPhones both into mouse orgasms to compare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 6:51 AM
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405: So, are you committed to believing that pointing at one month's stats for only the selected crimes that did go up is a good argument that bail reform is the cause of the rise in robberies from Jan 2019 to Jan 2020? Or are you just stirring shit?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 7:00 AM
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Oh, I'm happy to concede that we need improved cops and improved treatment institutions. In my limited experience (and it's a long time since I hung out with them, for professional purposes) cops do about as well as anyone else with mentally ill people, who can be very hard for anyone to deal with. But those were unarmed police in a largely non-violent society. So, California is probably different.

But it seems likely that in both countries it is actually the cops who end up dealing with them, because they are the ones who get to clean up the mess that no one else.

Where do I put the bar for involuntary? "A danger to self or others" is an obvious point to start. In that light I'm probably more relaxed than you are about the compulsory treatment of addicts because of the damage that addiction does to everyone around the addict: so if [handwave]only one addict in three is cured but this person does not then go on to fuck up three more people's lives, that comes out even [/handwave].

Presumably everyone here is in favour of non-coercive service expansion, too. But the (few) junkies I know all have access to treatment. They just don't want to take it. And that's a separate, but still genuine, problem.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 7:04 AM
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Does it change your opinion of the argument to know that major crimes were up in NYC, year over year, in December 2019 before the bail reforms were instituted:

In one of the NYPD's final weekly CompStat reports for the year, several major crimes have increased when compared to the same point in 2018. As of Dec. 22, murders, robberies, felony assaults, shootings, sex crimes, and hate crimes are all on the rise throughout the five boroughs.

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/12/29/nyc-murders-hate-crimes-2019/


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 7:10 AM
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408: If you're talking about a system where everyone has access to non-coercive services, that has very little resemblance to the situation in the US. In a system where non-coercive mental health and addiction services are largely unavailable to people who can't pay for them privately, would you still think that arresting more mentally ill people and addicts was a better use of resources than providing more and better non-coercive services?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 7:16 AM
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And just by the by, actually existing prisons in the United States include Angola and Parchman.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 7:35 AM
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The excluded middle obviously stopped being a fallacy at some point, at least under New York law.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 7:39 AM
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Maxims of conversational relevance seem weakly held around your way. My point, which was explicitly stated in 398, is that one month's year over year data doesn't meaningfully support a claim that bail reform either caused the increase in robberies or the decrease in murders and rapes. Do you have a point related to that?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 7:46 AM
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so if [handwave]only one addict in three is cured but this person does not then go on to fuck up three more people's lives, that comes out even [/handwave]

This is so incredibly glib. If people get worse on average in compulsory treatment your math does not work out. I linked to five academic references that suggested that may be the case, though of course more research is needed.

Also, I know I'm a terrible oppressive SJW, but to some extent "addict" is deprecated and to a great extent "junkie" is -- it is a slur. I'd feel remiss if I let "junkie" pass by just because of some mewling at me. Given the rest of your comment it doesn't even feel that innocent. Of course you'll find people who use substances who self-describe with "addict", and I wouldn't lecture them about it, and you might find people who use substances who self-describe with "junkie", and I still wouldn't lecture them about it, but also people who use substances tend to say a lot of really self-denigrating things. It is really a bit much to say that non-treatment seeking substance users are a problem that must be solved by coercive treatment and to perpetuate stigma that is an obstacle to voluntary treatment seeking in the same damn comment.

Also, your experience is limited. As I mentioned, I was pretty recently in an interaction with a very drunk, suicidal man on the subway (he asked me to help) who the cops were agitating and making angry and who I calmed down. This was a pretty good experiment because the cops and I were in the same interaction and I got to see both that the approach of the cops immediately made things worse, them withdrawing when I pointed out to them that things had gotten worse on their arrival immediately made things better, and it was totally possible to calm this person down if you just took a reasonable approach. If everyone else does poorly with the seriously mentally ill it's because no one teaches them incredibly basic things: don't loom over people if you can help it and especially (and it just boggles how few people understand this whose professional responsibility it is to deal with people in crisis) don't contradict or argue with someone who is very upset, but tell them that what they are experiencing makes sense (I mean, in the case of cops it would also help if they didn't don't have their fashy looking uniforms and visible guns, which are just immediately activating for a lot of people, but oh well).


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 7:54 AM
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Part of how I know The Bridge is good is not just that they have served people who also come to my clinic, but I once called them for services for myself, and the person on intake used "that makes sense" in a way that was just this deep soothing bath of "oh my god this person actually knows what she's doing" -- they have someone on phones who actually knows what she's doing.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 7:59 AM
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Yep. I had a meeting today with a dozen or so older folks, the kinds of people who host fundraisers, attend hearings, write letters to the editor. Good folks. They also watch TV, and so are more plugged in to the media environment than I. I was surprised at the depth of support for Bloomberg and Klobuchar. I guess they really just can't imagine Sanders winning the general.
Almost all our time was spent on state and local races.

This has been my experience as well. I was around a bunch of older (my age and older) mostly black people who have been deeply involved in social justice issues. I mildly suggested that there was a price to accepting money from our power company and/or Bloomberg. The push back was strong to 1. take any money from any source, and 2. that supporting Bloomberg/Biden/Klobuchar was the way to go.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 8:08 AM
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I co-sign and put an exclamation mark on everything Lizardbreath (and Tia, and Stanley) have said.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 8:10 AM
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I have pastries, but they're from yesterday.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 8:13 AM
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395 We do not have a sales tax. Property taxes are quite high, especially here where we've voted to fund various 'amenities'* with increased property taxes. This becomes an affordable housing issue. Resort communities are allowed to impose a tax on services that tourists use -- restaurant meals, hotel rooms, destination resorts -- but only if they are incorporated municipalities with fewer than 5,000 people. A portion of the resort taxes collected must be used for property tax relief.

If you let counties do this, and lifted the size cap, you'd see a big increase in collections around the state, but you wouldn't be shifting tax burden from homeowners to poor people. You'd be shifting it to our out-of-state visitors. Democrats have for decades resisted imposition of a sales tax.

The elephant no one wants to talk about is replacing the tax revenue we collect on every ton of coal that is dug from the ground. We've still got plenty of coal, but leaving it in the ground looks like a pretty good idea right now. At least the major customers are drifting that way.

* We voted a huge construction project for the school system, fixing deferred maintenance on lots of schools. Open space and parks. A new library.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 8:18 AM
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414: I was thinking this myself and decided to change my sentence midstream and didn't fix my sentence on my phone. "Someone addicts" was supposed to be someone with addiction issues.

My understanding is that the preferred term is "substance use disorder". I don't entirely understand what was wrong with "substance abuse". It seems like a more accurate description of the problem to me.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 8:19 AM
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I was pretty recently in an interaction with a very drunk, suicidal man on the subway (he asked me to help) who the cops were agitating and making angry and who I calmed down. This was a pretty good experiment because the cops and I were in the same interaction and I got to see both that the approach of the cops immediately made things worse, them withdrawing when I pointed out to them that things had gotten worse on their arrival immediately made things better, and it was totally possible to calm this person down if you just took a reasonable approach. If everyone else does poorly with the seriously mentally ill it's because no one teaches them incredibly basic things: don't loom over people if you can help it and especially (and it just boggles how few people understand this whose professional responsibility it is to deal with people in crisis) don't contradict or argue with someone who is very upset, but tell them that what they are experiencing makes sense (I mean, in the case of cops it would also help if they didn't don't have their fashy looking uniforms and visible guns, which are just immediately activating for a lot of people, but oh well).

This ^^^^ A thousand times this^^^^^^^ I wish cops (and everyone else) had to read this comment every single morning before they left their house.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 8:28 AM
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But it seems likely that in both countries it is actually the cops who end up dealing with them, because they are the ones who get to clean up the mess that no one else.

It's a frequent talking point (around here at least - Frowner and Witt both come to mind) that social workers should take over the role of cops in many cases, or at least show up along first responders and be significantly expanded as an agency to deal on a case-by-case basis with people with big problems, instead of having the cops be the near-universal entry point into the system.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 9:27 AM
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federal prisons still provide the best the usa has to offer in terms of rehabilitation, tx & vocational training, please no one tell tr*mp or it will be gone forthwith. the feds tho only prosecute a v small percentage of folks accused of v serious crimes. juveniles embarking even determinedly on a life o crime are extremely unlikely to be in the federal carceral system.

state prisons vary of course by state but it is not at all difficult to find out that in many of them e.g. reading material is extremely difficult to come by, charities dedicated to providing books are being shut out in favor of for profit exclusive providers, and "vocational training" is along the lines of forced piece work at vanishingly small rates. so assuming this is the provision of services available to "worthy," i.e. non-addict state prisoners in many state prisons i really have to wonder about someone who works in the field advocating for more lock 'em up.

the delta of california's homeless & insecurely housed population attributable to lack of housing can be laid at the feet of, primarily at this point in time, 6-7 democratic state senators from suburban, comfortable-wealthy so cal districts. plus bill dodd of napa, craven bastard. there are many many others who need to have a good think about their priorities and choices but at the moment all energies need to be directed towards a small number of identifiable people.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 9:54 AM
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422: it's true over here too. Or, to be more precise, a constant complaint from (among others) the police, the paramedics, the NHS, the probation service and the social care services is that if you defund everything else, then the police will end up doing social workers' jobs, because eventually, when things have gone really badly wrong for someone, because they haven't received whatever care they need, the police will get called. The solution they want to see is not so much social workers sitting in police cars, but social workers etc actually being able to do their jobs so that the first responders don't end up getting called at all. It's the social work equivalent of cutbacks in general medicine leading to people turning up at accident and emergency.

It's not that the police have been empire-building, it's just that all the other options are being cut back, so eventually these people end up dealing with the police because that's what happens. (The police have also, of course, been heavily cut back.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 10:25 AM
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Another problem of course is that cutbacks in social care mean that OAPs end up being hospitalised, which is of course far more expensive than just getting them a home help, but social care comes out of local government budgets while the hospitals come out of central government.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 10:29 AM
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For the Americans, OAP is "old age pensioner"? I'm guessing, but it's an unfamiliar acronym.

If that's it, we have the same problem here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 10:33 AM
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You down in OAP.
Yeah, you know me.


Posted by: Opinionated Naughty by Nature in fifteen years | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 10:55 AM
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Speaking of local government budgets, how much of San Francisco's problem with homelessness is because of Greyhound therapy?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 10:56 AM
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428: im sure some measurable amount but would take some convincing to believe it is a material driver. what is a sf-unique driver is non-conforming young people fleeing hostile communities and coming here. so long as there are hostile communities to flee from, i am v glad kids across the usa see sf as a place to come to with hope and we need to serve them excellently well, a goal we fall far short of. targeting young homeless people ("transitional age youth") for intensive, specialized services makes a huge amount of sense both ethically and from a purely technocratic perspective - done well service to this population can disproportionately positively impact lifetime outcomes, miss them and we entrench lifetimes of misery and expense (including carceral expenses).

i happen to have a roommate working away in the trenches of local government on delivering services to TAY. pretty proud of him, hope some reading this thread might decide to get involved locally wherever they live as well.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 11:11 AM
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422: Jn my town if it's a mental health crisis, the cops go to keep everyone safe, but they bring along a social worker who can hopefully help first, but the cops are there as backup. I used to work with patients with SMI, and there were definitely times when the social workers called the cops. Social workers going out alone isn't necessarily safe.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 11:23 AM
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It's the social work equivalent of cutbacks in general medicine leading to people turning up at accident and emergency.

Generally, it's depressing how many of our problems are due to incomplete accounting--where a decision maker ignores something material and so makes a decision wrong on the societal level--because it's outside their purview, difficult to measure, or they're evil and want to make money.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 11:23 AM
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379: Housing prices are a legit issue but it's not as connected to the homeless issue as a lot of people think. All those tents on the sidewalks aren't inhabited by otherwise healthy employed people who just can't afford rent. It's mentally ill and drug addicts.

I think both are factors. I have the sense that a significant percentage of homeless have problems with addiction or other mental health issues but, obviously being homeless will probably make any pre-existing issues worse, and rent is part of the picture.

A new study funded by the real estate information firm Zillow and conducted by the University of Washington found a strong link between rising housing prices and rising homelessness numbers. A 5 percent rent increase in Los Angeles, for example, would mean about 2,000 more homeless people there, the authors said.

Nationally, homelessness has been trending down, partly because governments and nonprofit groups have gotten better at moving people into housing. That's true in many West Coast cities, too, but the flow the other direction is even faster. And on the West Coast, shelter systems are smaller.

"If you have a disability income, you make about $9,000 a year and renting a studio in Seattle is about $1,800 a month and so that's twice your income," said Margaret King, director of housing programs for DESC, a nonprofit that works with Seattle's homeless.

"So everybody who was just hanging on because they had cheap rent, they're losing that ... and they wind up outside. It's just exploded."

Also this is depressing

A large study compiling research results from six high-income countries - Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US - found that 53% of homeless people had suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This, estimate the authors, could be 2.3 to four times the rate for the population as a whole.

In a quarter of homeless people, the injury was moderate to severe, which would be 10 times that of the general population, says the research published in the Lancet Public Health journal.

An unanswered question, say experts, is whether the brain injury causes the homelessness or if it is the other way round. "The relationship between homelessness and TBI could function both ways - TBI could increase the risk of homelessness, and homelessness could increase the risk of TBI," said Jehannine Austin from the British Columbia mental health and substance use services research institute in Canada, where the study was carried out.

385: Way more mental institution beds. And the bar should be lowered for involuntary commitment.

I think expanded funding for access to mental health services is very good and, generally, something that the Democratic party and left activists favor. I think there's a real debate about the proper balance between institutional and non-institutional care. I would want to look at the research before committing to a position on that. But if you're partially concerned about politics and electibility I'd argue that (a) supporting solutions that work should have political benefits, but trying to run on a platform of making it easier to have people involuntarily committed is terrible politics -- it is very likely to play into and amplify racist and classist rhetoric and doesn't sound (to me) like a good strategy for winning elections.

More prison time, or make jail more like prison. Liberals/reformers downgrading crimes and sentences is not doing these people any favors. Jail is a warehouse, prison is where the real opportunities for education and vocational training are. Locking someone up for thirty days and cutting them loose back into the community accomplishes nothing. But doing a significant stretch with therapy, education, and vocational training is where the results are. And it all doesn't have to be about prison. We should be pouring money to Delancey Street.

Do you want to point to much research on the efficacy of prison for rehabilitation? I believe that is a valuable and important goal for prisons I also have the general impression that the people who are interested in making education and vocational training programs work and likely to also favor lower incarceration rates in general. Perhaps I'm relying too much on my vague memory of Mark Kleiman's book but I had the sense that there was a significant body of criminology research supporting the value of alternative approaches.

Kleiman also helped research breakthrough approaches for tacking crime and drug misuse. His study with Angela Hawken on Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program helped demonstrate the principles of "swift, certain, and fair" punishment -- a concept that, when properly implemented, uses prison sentences much shorter than those we have today to deter people from criminal behavior, with high success rates. It suggested there was a policy approach that could lead to both less incarceration and less crime.

The last time Kleiman and I talked, he was particularly excited about the preliminary results he had seen from helping implement local versions of a "graduated reentry" system, which he and his colleagues wrote about for Vox, that could ease mass incarceration by releasing inmates back into society with structured opportunities for jobs, housing, and education.

More from Mark Kleiman which agrees with gswift in certain ways but argues for different solutions.

We can and should do better. But "doing better" doesn't mean simply focusing on social services and systemic reforms and ignoring the need for punishment. It means using punishment intelligently, which means using it as sparingly as possible but also as much as necessary. As Machiavelli warned his fellow opponents of tyranny, a reluctance to punish comes naturally with good-heartedness, but those unable to overcome that reluctance are as unfit to rule as those who have no such reluctance to begin with.

I argue that (blue-collar) crime--theft and assault, in all their varieties--is still a real and major problem; that its economic and social costs are vastly under-appreciated; that its primary victims are disadvantaged minorities and poor people; that the current criminal-justice system wrongs them by under-enforcing the law against those who victimize them (who are, of course, mostly people like them in racial and class terms); that better criminal-justice policy could give us less crime and less incarceration; and that better and more equal law enforcement ought therefore to be as central a progressive political goal as better and more equal education or health care.

....

At any one time, more than twice as many people are subject to community supervision--probation or parole--than are held in jails and prisons. Those populations are heterogeneous; they include a large number of low-risk, low-rate offenders, some high-rate minor offenders, and a relative handful of seriously dangerous people. Lots of people get caught once or twice; but it is those who offend again and again that account for most of the serious crimes and most of the prison headcount.

When not confined, these high-rate serious offenders are likely to be under community supervision; on their way up the career-criminal ladder, they will have spent time on juvenile probation. The more effective community supervision is, the less we need to rely on incarceration, both because judges and legislatures will be willing to imprison less often and because better supervision prevents re-offending.

Right now, though, those systems are dismal failures, and their reform offers the best prospect for reducing both victimization and days behind bars. Most contemporary community supervision reproduces the random severity of the larger criminal-justice system. Probationers and parolees are subject to myriad rules--not all of them clearly useful in reducing their risk of re-offending--but are so loosely monitored that most violations go undetected. (One scheduled visit a month to the probation office is about average, often with a drug test thrown in; since the test is also scheduled in advance, three days' abstinence will produce a "clean" specimen for drugs other than cannabis.)

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 2:07 PM
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found that 53% of homeless people had suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This, estimate the authors, could be 2.3 to four times the rate for the population as a whole.

Wait. Is this implying that 13.25% to 23% of the US population have a traumatic brain injury?

(And because of conditional probabilities, this also implies that people with traumatic brain injuries are 2.3 to 4 times more likely to be homeless than the population as a whole. Given how awful the US can be generally, that's actually better than I would have thought.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 2:35 PM
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433.1: that is more or less correct. https://www.asha.org/PRPSpecificTopic.aspx?folderid=8589935337§ion=Incidence_and_Prevalence

"Each year, the number of new cases of TBI in the Unites States is approximately 2.8 million (CDC, 2015... The TBI prevalence in the general population is 16.7% among males and 8.5% among females".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 2:43 PM
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Wait. Is this implying that 13.25% to 23% of the US population have a traumatic brain injury?

I assume that's "have suffered a TBI at some point in their life" rather than "have suffered a TBI recently."

Googling I see this from the cdc.

In 2014,1 about 2.87 million TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred in the United States, including over 837,000 of these health events among children.

If ~0.8% of the population has a TBI-related emergency department visit each year, that implies that a significant percentage has done so in their life.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 2:47 PM
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Oh wow. 1/8 of the population. That...requires more attention.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 2:49 PM
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I mean, it's really easy to hurt your head, right? Car accidents happen a lot, and I'm guessing that's the bulk of them. Then sports injuries maybe?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 3:02 PM
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I could have just clicked through to the section of the link above.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 3:03 PM
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BUT my guess is that homelessness correlates far more strongly with ACES than it does with TBI.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 3:05 PM
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It is directly proportional.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 3:07 PM
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Does that mean we're not supposed to traumatize children? Asking for a friend.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 4:38 PM
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That's right. Stick to TBIs.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 4:45 PM
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Spare the rod.....


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 5:11 PM
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I think I've mentioned before my old boss's (several bosses ago by now) speech about how everybody in prison has a history of traumatic brain injury. His theory was that lots of people did crime, but mostly without a head injury people were able to control their urge to crime to only situations where they were not likely to get caught.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 8:01 PM
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He never did get funding for his randomized. prospective study of that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-20 8:22 PM
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So basically driving tests need to be tougher as an anti-crime measure.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 1:05 AM
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444: if he wants to say they were hit in the head with lead pipes, Kevin Drum might fund him.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 1:24 AM
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In a system where non-coercive mental health and addiction services are largely unavailable to people who can't pay for them privately, would you still think that arresting more mentally ill people and addicts was a better use of resources than providing more and better non-coercive services?
Do I have to choose? And, if this is meant to be a discussion about policy, which is going to be easier to get votes for? Or could you get them for both?

In this country, prison reform is both desperately needed and largely unpopular. If someone is sent to prison here they are likely to come out with worse problems than they went in. I'm sure that's the case in much of the US, too. But making things better has seemed an insoluble political problem for a long time now. Because, amongst other reasons, while someone is inside they are damaging only other inmates, not voters. Again, this is morally wrong but politically salient.

[I don't know if this thread has died. The comment was half finished in the browser before I had to go off and fit the electrodes back on the kitten deal with the my mother's latest illness. ]


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 1:39 AM
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444: if he wants to say they were hit in the head with lead pipes, Kevin Drum might fund him.

They will be randomised with a control sample of people hit in the head with candlesticks.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 3:50 AM
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447: That's a lead pipe cinch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 6:19 AM
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The thing about crime statistics -- beyond what LB notes here -- is that they aren't terribly reliable. All sorts of factors go into what crimes are reported and tabulated.

You know which crime stat is most reliable? Homicide. The police feel obliged to count every one, and by-and-large, they know how to do it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 7:44 AM
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Count toes, divide by ten, round up to the nearest whole number.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 7:52 AM
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Speaking of crimes, does making the phone screech for everyone within 50 miles really help find Amber? If yes, I'll shut up about it. If not, stop making my phone screech.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 7:54 AM
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Excuse me. Pentadigitalist.


Posted by: Opinionated Anne Boleyn | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 8:47 AM
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does making the phone screech for everyone within 50 miles really help find Amber?

Great twitter moments.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 9:59 AM
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451: true, but doesn't that apply more to cross-jurisdiction comparisons, rather than year-on-year? As in, it's tricky to make US-UK comparisons of violent crime rates, because different police forces have different ideas of what counts as attempted murder or malicious wounding or GBH or whatever, but a murder is a murder wherever you go.


Anne Boleyn possibly had six fingers on one hand, but not, as far as I know, an abnormal number of toes.

And even the finger thing is highly dubious.

"The story of Boleyn's extra digit most likely originated in a book by the Catholic propagandist Nicholas Sander. Writing a few decades after Boleyn's death, Sander notes that the young queen "...had a projecting tooth under the upper lip, and on her right hand, six fingers." He also claims the she had an unsightly cyst on her neck, which she tried to hide by wearing dresses and jewelry that covered her throat." https://www.history.com/news/did-anne-boleyn-have-extra-fingers

Note that this is a likely thing for a Catholic propagandist to invent: there are traditions in Catholic mythology that the Antichrist would have an unusual number of digits (though normally toes rather than fingers) and Boleyn, as the supposed cause of the split between Canterbury and Rome, and the mother of Elizabeth I (queen at the time Sander was writing) would be an ideal target for this kind of misogyny. Examination of her body, when it was exhumed in the 19th century, found no trace of an extra finger.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 10:06 AM
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Yep. Checked on that years ago.


Posted by: Opinionated Inigo Montoya | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 10:12 AM
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455: That is pretty great.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 10:12 AM
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Has anybody seen Trump's feet? I have a theory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 10:18 AM
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Hilariously I just got stopped by channel 2 news to be a woman on the street perspective on the value of more cops in the subway. I expressed skepticism. I wonder if they're allowed to but the word "masturbates" on the news.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 10:57 AM
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Why would Trump pardon Blagojevich?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 12:41 PM
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Sorry. Commute the sentence of, not pardon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 12:41 PM
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Can't stand to see a greedy white man suffer or bribed?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 12:44 PM
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It must have just been eating him up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 12:51 PM
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Maybe it's a signal to Roger Stone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 12:53 PM
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Also Bernie Kerik and Michael Milken.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 12:58 PM
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As to why, apparently Blago's family, lawyer, etc. spent a lot of time on Fox News arguing his case.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 1:00 PM
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467: I wouldn't be at all surprised to find Fox News was putting "talk to Trump" screen time up for auction.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 1:32 PM
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true, but doesn't that apply more to cross-jurisdiction comparisons, rather than year-on-year?

Not really. There are all kinds of special circumstances. Police departments themselves are not composed of disinterested scholars, and you don't need me to tell you that lots of folks misinterpret numbers, both intentionally and through incompetence.

To pick an easy example: A rise in rapes often indicates that police are taking rape reports more seriously.

Lindsay Beyerstein has a good piece specifically on the New York situation.

If commanders want to keep the numbers down, they have some ability to do so through tactics like recanvassing victims and witnesses, or downgrading crimes so that they fall out of the seven major categories of crime that count toward the crime rate - for example, by coding stolen property as lost. Finally, and most difficult to detect, officers can refuse to take complaints from victims."So how do you fake a crime decrease? It's pretty simple. Don't file reports, misclassify crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, undervalue the property lost to crime so it's not a felony, and report a series of crimes as a single event," wrote Robert Zink, then-recording secretary of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, now known as the Police Benevolent Association, in the union's magazine in 2004.

Of course, that example involves manipulation in the wrong direction. Beyerstein offers a bit of plausible-sounding speculation here:

Normally, police want crime stats to look as low as possible, because it makes it seem like they're doing a better job. But if police usually hold down the crime rate, like someone with their thumb over a hose, Eterno thinks it is possible they could suddenly let the numbers surge upward to make a point. "Commanders and others can get the wink and the nod that, you know, we're kind of looking for these numbers to go up a bit, so we're going to let them go up," he said.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 1:38 PM
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453. There was an Amber Alert in the Boston area last month (an 11 year old girl had been abducted) and a "civilian" noticed the license plate. The child was rescued within hours.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 2:22 PM
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470: Wow. Nice to know that this can work as intended.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 2:33 PM
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MEDIA BIAS! Ugh I'm so annoyed. This is the story they ran: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2020/02/18/mta-improved-service-subway-safety/ They were just looking for quotes from people who would say the subway was dangerous, which I could kind of tell. They were never going to run me saying we didn't need more cops.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 02-18-20 6:56 PM
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