Re: Girl Money Revisited

1

That was a nice, reasonable post.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:04 AM
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I am touched by McArdle's concern for the plight of poor women. As a reader of the liberal NYTimes, I feel duly chastened.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:08 AM
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But man, her commenters are gross. How many of them need to point out that high-earning women don't have trouble dating because of their salaries, but rather because they're unattractive bitches?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:09 AM
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Why, dead god why, do we ever link to McArdle?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:10 AM
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1: It's a trick.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:11 AM
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I guess she gets the commenters she deserves.

I was being snarky in 2. I'm not really touched by anything McArdle has to say on poverty.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:12 AM
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Why, dead god why

The very face of the left today.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:13 AM
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Oops. Frood strikes again.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:15 AM
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The NYT article came within a hair of an interesting point when it noted that the problem wasn't so much money but reconciling the difference in finances with what people think the dynamics in a relationship should be.

But most of the women newly going to college and outearning men aren't Ivy League grads or worrying about their latest Prada purchase.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:16 AM
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I was confused by the reference to "Megan," since nobody else here calls her that. I was reading the excerpt thinking, "good, but doesn't sound like her."


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:17 AM
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You know, her piece is a good one. Except that I think the income gap between poor men and women is not exactly new (I think it is growing, but just like the "working mother" thing, it's kind of been a necessity of life for poor people for ages), and I don't see whether she thinks the "real, troubling" plight is that of poor women for making more money than "their" men (?) or that of poor men for having a hard time finding steady work, or just poverty in general.

And I refuse to read the comments to that post.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:19 AM
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Okay, no doubt there are bigger problems in the world and maybe the issue is a bigger deal for poor women than for professionals, but damn this particular point hits close to home. Megan's solution for professional women is this:

And any lingering problems in this department can be readily overcome by letting go of the fairy princess fantasy where Prince Daddy provides everything worth having; or, alternatively, by not dating men who make less money than you do.

But what if you don't have some fairy princess fantasy and find the idea that you can only date a man who makes more than you archaic and frustrating? I guess what I'm saying is that my own personal experience is that the conflict that comes from a woman outearning her man has less to do with high-earning women being pampered little princesses longing for a fella to be a big strong provider and more from insecure men feeling all threatened in their masculinity by a woman who can provide for herself, thank you very much.

(Or, on preview, what Cala said.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:23 AM
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And I refuse to read the comments to that post.

Summary: "Womens these days think it's all about them. Why don't they realize that it's all about me?"


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:53 AM
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12: to overcome that you'd need more social messages of the importance of women to men. Something like sexualizing male bodies or something.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:17 AM
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err, " of men to women."


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:17 AM
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I was confused by the reference to "Megan," since nobody else here calls her that.

As was I, since when I hear "Megan" around here, I assume we're referring to the friendly Megan of From The Archives, as opposed to the bloodsucking soulless ghoul McArdle.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 12:58 PM
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But what if you don't have some fairy princess fantasy and find the idea that you can only date a man who makes more than you archaic and frustrating?

Then I'm your dream date, Di.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 1:01 PM
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Shorter NYT Styles section: shitty people have shitty relationships. That's really all that needs to be said, but when shitty people--specifically rich shitty people--are your target demographic, you have to dance around the point a bit.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 1:09 PM
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Also: I smiled when clicking the link produced an ad for Ralph Lauren Collection before the article came up.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 1:10 PM
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Off-topic, but all about the outearning:

At the end of August, the National Republican Congressional Committee reported only $1.6 million cash on hand, with $4 million in debt. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, by comparison, had banked over $22 million, with only $3 million in debt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 1:29 PM
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Shorter NYT Styles section: shitty people have shitty relationships.

McArdle's following remarks on the topic are even more brusque: aging unsuccessful men are losers. Sigh. I suppose it's pointless to ask McArdle to marry me now.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 1:55 PM
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I suppose it's pointless to ask McArdle to marry me now.

You can't possibly hate yourself that much.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 1:57 PM
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Sigh. And she was doing so well, too.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 1:59 PM
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the bloodsucking soulless ghoul McArdle.

I hate defending her, but she probably gets more abuse than she deserves. It's not like she's not trying to be a good person. It's just that--despite the fact that she too probably loves Billy Joel--her moral center is a fair distance from where you might find those of most people who were or are, broadly, on our side as regards the Administration.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:00 PM
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20: Party of fiscal responsibility, my left nut.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:00 PM
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And the corollary to "shitty people have shitty relationships" is that it takes two to make a relationship work, but only one to fuck it up completely.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:01 PM
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I hate defending her, but she probably gets more abuse than she deserves.

If McArdle's liberal friends don't want her to get abused by their commenters, they should stop linking to her right-wing hackwork.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:04 PM
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her moral center is a fair distance from where you might find those of most people who were or are, broadly, on our side as regards the Administration

Are you suggesting she's broadly on our side? Because, y'know, she sure wasn't when it counted.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:05 PM
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#22. You're right. Our relationship would only be controlling and resentful and involve enduring lots of contempt. Why did I ever think there was a chance?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:07 PM
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I hate defending her, but she probably gets more abuse than she deserves.

No, she doesn't.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:09 PM
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From apo's link:

A number of commenters have tried to convince me not to vote for Bush by trying to scare me with dire tales about another Scalia or Thomas appointed to the bench. Folks, this is like trying to scare me with a free Porsche. I'd be in heaven with nine Clarence Thomases on the bench.

From there she goes on to explain why Bush is awesome on poverty and welfare (because he tells poor people to go fuck themselves) and foreign policy (because he's more eager to kill brown people). Why am I not supposed to find this person repulsive again? As far as I can tell, Megan McArdle is basically Jonah Goldberg with breasts. If Matthew Yglesias and Ezra Klein were constantly linking approvingly to Jonah Goldberg and telling people that no no, you don't understand, Jonah's a super-sweet nice person in real life and he bakes cookies for all his swell moderate liberal friends, would that make you enjoy The Corner any more?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:15 PM
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Can we talk about Megan's thesis instead of talking about her, for god's sake? Blah blah blah you all hate her. I know. We've gone over this a jillion times -- there's nothing new to be added. However, the point she makes is valid and worth discussion.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:21 PM
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33

Megan McArdle is basically Jonah Goldberg with [smaller] breasts.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:21 PM
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34

28: Sorry, no. I'm explicitly denying that. Maybe more: I'm denying that you could credibly claim that, however many discrete points of commonality you could find. Or something slightly weaker. I have no real sense of what her various commitments are beyond opposition to tax increases.

Mostly I'm saying that she thinks what she thinks, and it's never going to quite make sense to you if you're the sort of person, Democrat or Republican, who viewed this Administration with growing unease. Beyond recognizing (and I guess making clear) that she isn't in any sense on "our side," it doesn't matter that much.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:23 PM
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32: Not really, no. I don't think it makes any sense to link to Megan McArdle, in that I don't think you're going to find anything worthwhile coming from her that couldn't be found elsewhere.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:27 PM
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Oh sweet jeebus, stras. So don't read the McArdle-linked posts. Think of the time saved and be glad of them.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:29 PM
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And 33 is over the line. We've talked plenty of times about how female bloggers are subject to insults about their appearance and personal attacks when male bloggers aren't. Even if you hate Megan, endorsing those types of comments just validates those types of attacks and opens up other female bloggers, like Lindsay Beyerstein or Amanda Marcotte etc., to more of them. So remember that.



Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:29 PM
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32: I don't know that McArdle's thesis in this case makes all that much sense. Insofar as guys in their thirties need to have their shit together to attract long-term mates, it's not a very novel or interesting insight. As for the dating prospects of the charismatic but flaky guy who dated a lot your friends in his twenties while working on his novel, she's just wrong; if these guys just want a date, they just keep going out with twentysomethings. It gets a bit creepy as they close in on their forties, but there's plenty of it to be seen.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:31 PM
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39

And put away the smelling salts about 33 for God's sake. It's a cut against Goldberg, not McArdle.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:32 PM
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While I do think that McArdle generally gets abuse that's different and nastier than a man who people disagreed with in the same manner would, I'm pretty sure that 33 was intended to insult Goldberg, as having breasts, rather than McArdle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:33 PM
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Okay, let's start with :"For a paper as liberal as the New York Times...."
I just can't take this seriously.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:34 PM
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Seems that was at least as much an insult about Jonah's appearance as it was about Megan's. Although I don't think that makes it more appropriate.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:34 PM
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43

She makes two points. One about black and Latina women, which this post highlights. The other is about how she's lived in New York, she knows New York, she'd dated in New York, and she knows that every year just as many men as women from Ivy League schools go to that city and those men take high paying jobs. What this has to do with statistics showing women in an age bracket, in general, are now outearning men in that same age bracket, in general, in a few particular areas is not clear.

I was hoping that one of the women would have told her date that "he did the Senator's husband thing" very well.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:35 PM
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Men can't have breasts now? Sexists. Maybe someone would like to play with his manboobs and that's why he has them, you heteronormativists.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:35 PM
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45

33 could be interpreted as a comment on Goldberg's appearance rather than McArdle's...


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:35 PM
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40: While I do think that McArdle generally gets abuse that's different and nastier than a man who people disagreed with in the same manner would

I don't see this, actually. What's different about McArdle is that she has a coterie of liberal defenders despite being indistinguishable from people who don't, like Instapundit or Goldberg. That really is bizarre and off-putting, and I can see why stras finds it so.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:36 PM
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(Having said that, I don't see anything that objectionable in McArdle's initial post on first read. My 38 was about the follow-up post.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:41 PM
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48

46: The thing is, she really is distinguishable from someone like Goldberg -- much more about the substantive argument (I'm not arguing that she's often right, but that her posts are often on a subject on which there's something interesting to be said), and not about the pure invective, and they're generally reasonably civil. Male bloggers like that (although I'm getting stuck on examples -- I used to read more rightwing blogs than I do) tend to get ignored or refuted reasonably respectfully -- McArdle gets a lot of "the only reason anyone links to you is that you think you're pretty".

I don't often agree with her, but the manner in which people say negative things about her isn't pleasant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:42 PM
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49

McArdle is, to my mind, basically another David Brooks: someone clearly "on the other side" from us on almost all political matters, but who seems personally pleasant and argues in a way that seems reasonable but isn't. As with Brooks, I think those are reasons to be particularly aggressive in arguing against her--someone like Goldberg preaches to the converted, it's possible that McArdle might win converts.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:46 PM
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The thing is, she really is distinguishable from someone like Goldberg -- much more about the substantive argument

Ehhh, I think this is not quite what you are trying to say, somehow. Goldberg is known for many things but "substantive argument" is not among them. Mostly he's known for posting extremely stupid things on subjects about which someone else might say something interesting.

And I don't know which part of the blogosphere you're reading if you think bloggers like Goldberg get treated "reasonably respectfully." If there are people out there who think they warrant such respect I've successfully avoided them.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:47 PM
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No, I meant that McArdle was more substantive than Goldberg, and that men who were really pretty much like her got treated fairly respectfully.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:49 PM
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And yeah to 49: To the extent that she has any influence on the debate, I think it's worth slapping down things she gets wrong hard and fast, because the reasonableness makes her more persuasive than someone who's harder edged. But that's not a reason to be personally unpleasant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:50 PM
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. Insofar as guys in their thirties need to have their shit together to attract long-term mates, it's not a very novel or interesting insight. As for the dating prospects of the charismatic but flaky guy who dated a lot your friends in his twenties while working on his novel, she's just wrong; if these guys just want a date, they just keep going out with twentysomethings. It gets a bit creepy as they close in on their forties, but there's plenty of it to be seen.

That struck me, too. The guy doesn't stop dating; he continues to date people at the same point that he is at in his life. This may make him undateable in the Ivy-League-no-loans-NYC-married-by-28-Westchester-by-30 set, but he's got some time before he's seen as creepy.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:53 PM
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But that's not a reason to be personally unpleasant.

I don't know; I'd like to avoid the sexist stuff, but I think I'm down for some demonization. Tastes, surprisingly, differ.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:53 PM
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As with Brooks, I think those are reasons to be particularly aggressive in arguing against her--someone like Goldberg preaches to the converted, it's possible that McArdle might win converts.

But people don't so much argue against her as personally attack her.

I thought there was a somewhat interesting point in there; it's one thing to have to chose between an asshole banker who makes more money than you and some arty graphic designer whom you have to subsidize, but it's something else when you're in a category where the equivalent of "arty graphic designer" is "unemployed felon".

But no, it's all about how McMegan is personally reprehensible and anything she says must be ignored.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:53 PM
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Oh sweet jeebus, stras. So don't read the McArdle-linked posts.

We've been through this before. The problem isn't that I have to read posts about McArdle - because I certainly don't. The problem is that relatively high-profile liberal bloggers like Klein and Yglesias end up giving credibility to right-wing hacks by linking them approvingly and sending traffic their way. It's all even more pernicious given that the linking seems mainly motivated by the desire to help out a friend rather than to highlight a genuinely novel insight.

The high-traffic liberal blogs are depressingly lacking in diversity - see, for example, the awkward fumbling for comment amongst the Whiteysphere last week on the Jena Six, while black bloggers had been covering the case since ths start - and it's intensely frustrating to see high-traffic liberal bloggers forming social circles that affect blog traffic and information flow. When that information flow gets extended to a tool like Megan McArdle but not to civil rights bloggers, it's pretty irritating.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:53 PM
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"distinguishable" not "indistinguishable"

Sorry LB, my head's only half in the game here. Yes, as far as substantiveness goes she's probably closer to, say, Michael Totten or Roger Simon. Which isn't saying very much, and no, I don't think either of them elicit or merit much respect either.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:54 PM
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48: McArdle, like Althouse and Malkin, gets a lot of misogynistic flak. But that doesn't make her any less of a tool, and that doesn't make her any more worth reading, or promoting for that matter.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:56 PM
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the awkward fumbling for comment amongst the Whiteysphere last week on the Jena Six

I just realized that if Steve Gilliard were still alive then I'd have known a lot more about the case, a lot earlier.

I should start reading some new blogs.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:57 PM
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Hey, stras, who are some good black bloggers?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 2:58 PM
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60: Are you looking for swimming posts?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:00 PM
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I do think she gets more of a certain kind of abuse because she's a woman. This does make me uncomfortable, but not to the point where I'd be prepared to defend her, or even to remain neutral about her.

Whatever kind of person she is in her private life, I find her public persona deeply unpleasant: smug, self-satisfied and mean-spirited. Moreover, and more to the point, she routinely makes bald assertions on any number of issues about which she appears to know very little, some of which utterances I find so thoroughly vile and loathsome that I have long since filed her under "don't bother reading."


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:01 PM
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anybody else feel like saiselgy's tone towards mm has been hardening recently? i feel like i've been hearing more a sense of his being tired of putting up with her crap.
maybe this is the result of his commenters jumping on him--alas, no ref is unworkable--but it could also just be because he is, in fact, starting to find her crap tiresome.

i certainly agree with saiselgy--as with stras--that people who spin lies need to have those lies slapped down. whether that extends to slapping down the person as well, dunno. fine by me in the case of brooks.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:02 PM
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59: I really do miss Gilliard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:03 PM
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Actually, that guy is right. If you watch any swimming broadcasts, every other commercial is Terrence Howard encouraging blacks to learn to swim, because their kids die in disproportionate numbers from drowning. It's not a physical thing, obviously, but there is some cultural stuff going on. That's not to say that Hudson isn't a moron for saying it that way.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:04 PM
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I really do miss Gilliard.

It really does feel like some of the fighting spirit of Left Blogistan left with him.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:05 PM
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Mmm. The pool my kids swim at has an "Everybody Swims" outreach program that seems to be aimed at the same problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:06 PM
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65: Back on the veldt, there were no lifeguards.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:06 PM
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Only crocodiles and lions.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:08 PM
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Why doesn't stras have a blog?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:08 PM
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McArdle didn't need to look very closely at the case to decide that the proper course of action is to Jail the Jena 6. But she is Very Sympathetic to systemic racism!


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:09 PM
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Puritans weren't so good at swimming, I hear.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:10 PM
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A number of northeastern colleges used to have a swimming proficiency test as a graduation requirement. That was before "disparate impact" entered the legal vocabulary.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:11 PM
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Hey, stras, who are some good black bloggers?

To be honest, the only ones I read with any regularity are Keith Boykin and Shawn Williams, mostly because I suck and haven't actively looked for any new blogs lately.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:11 PM
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A number of northeastern colleges still do have a swimming proficiency test as a graduation requirement.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:12 PM
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my parents did that 'throw you baby into the water' thing, so it could just be me, but not knowing how to swim seems like not knowing how to walk: unfathmable.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:12 PM
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You know, I just don't see reasons to be personally unpleasant to McArdle.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:13 PM
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But people don't so much argue against her as personally attack her.

To be fair, that might be in part because, per Stras, the liberal attention she gets appears to spring from that fact that she's personable. (And, understandably, the free cookies.)

I think I've said something like #49 before, so I largely agree. I don't think she offers conversion, though. It's more that her personableness is the spoon full of sugar that helps the very bad medicine that we ought to second-guess go down.

Basically, the problem is that she, like Brooks (and arguably Salaam and Douthat), is presented as the Very Face of the Reasonable Centrist Republican. But she's really not. The Reasonable Centrists Republicans--as identified prior to 2000--were suspicious to outright hostile to the war. And I was struck by the fact that just this week I've seen two references to Reasonable Centrist Republicans--O'Connor and Greenspan--who were creeped out by the Administration's infringement of civil liberties in response to 9/11. Not so McArdle, in either case.

I don't know. I'm not a huge fan, but she seems nice, and the level of abuse seems a tad high. Maybe it would be easier if people--readers, bloggers, whohaveyou--would just understand that she's not particularly centrist. But I don't really know.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:13 PM
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71 is the sort of thing that kind of forces one toward the hate-on-McMegan camp, although it doesn't make the misogyny OK. She's providing a veneer of respectability for real ugliness, and she's had more than enough opportunity to learn better.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:14 PM
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Why doesn't stras have a blog?

I'm too busy Smashing The State, ogged. But I'll be happy to start one up with McManus if he's willing.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:14 PM
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75: indeed. I had a swimming test as part of the physical education requirements for graduation from MIT.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:16 PM
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71 is the sort of thing that kind of forces one toward the hate-on-McMegan camp

I don't agree with the way she said it, but the substance of her post seems to be close to what the Unfoggitariat said in response to the Jena 6. The Jena 6 should get punished, just not to the level that they have been.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:17 PM
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Do you have a link for Shawn Williams? There are a lot of them out there, and I don't see a blog in the first ten or so google hits.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:18 PM
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75: Really? Which ones?

Seems awfully vulnerable to legal challenge, especially if you look at the origins of such requirements in the 1920s, when universities were deliberately looking for ways to prefer "wholesome men of character" over scrawny urban Jews. (Of course, the legacy preference originated in the same period for the same reason, and it has survived into the present.)

Fun fact: Mortimer Adler didn't get his degree from Columbia because of failure to pass the swim test.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:20 PM
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81: U. Chicago, too. But nothing terribly onerous, and they had swimming classes -- it wasn't as if it were a surprise requirement.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:20 PM
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Adler got his degree eventually.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:22 PM
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83: http://www.dallassouthblog.com/


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:22 PM
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Thanks.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:23 PM
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I don't agree with the way she said it

That's kind of the point.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:23 PM
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I had a swimming test as part of the physical education requirements for graduation from MIT.

Same with my math-and-science high school. Clearly our country is trying to preserve natural nerd resources from drowning.

Also, peachy news that McArdle was able to make a single aside about the shallowness and socioeconomic tunnel vision of a NYT Styles story. Shame she couldn't expand it into social commentary that was worth a damn, and she even threw away that tiny shred of insight with her follow-up post.

The other links to her in this thread have been the sort of thing that makes me fear her delusion that she might be a clear-headed bastion of the Chicago School when she actually displays the economic and political nuance of a 12-year-old who just discovered Marx.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:24 PM
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Really? Which ones?

Cornell, Columbia, and Colgate are the ones that come to mind immediately, in addition to MIT and Chicago, already mentioned in this thread. And as LB says, they have swimming lessons. It's in the context of a physical education requirement most places, so people who come in not knowing how to swim take Beginning Swim for PE credit.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:25 PM
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So pretty much if McMegan was more unreasonable and obviosuly lunatic, there'd be no need to be personally abusive towards her? Awesome.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:27 PM
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I didn't know that any colleges had any physical education requirements.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:28 PM
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It's only the better schools, ogged.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:29 PM
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"better schools" s/b "betters' schools"


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:30 PM
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Badminton for college credit was fairly enjoyable, actually.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:30 PM
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So pretty much if McMegan was more unreasonable and obviosuly lunatic, there'd be no need to be personally abusive towards her? Awesome.

That's pretty much my argument, I think. Except I'd probably put an "obviously" in front of unreasonable, too. Does that seem like such a strange position? You don't have to demonize people no one would mistake for fair or non-partisan.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:31 PM
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Both MIT and Chicago had a certain number of phys ed classes you had to take to graduate (I actually didn't fulfill either college's requirement, but what with the transfer no one noticed. I did pass the swim test, though.) I had fun once going through the list of possible classes and arranging them into P.E. majors -- you could take sailing, fencing, and pistol for the Piracy major; ballroom dance, rock-climbing, and pistol for Espionage, and so forth.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:31 PM
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UNC had a swimming requirement when I went there, but I never got around to taking the test and they gave me my diploma anyhow, so I don't think they were keeping very close tabs on it.

93: You had to take two PE classes for a UNC degree. I took karate and bowling.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:32 PM
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Can Kobe swim?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:34 PM
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49

"... As with Brooks, I think those are reasons to be particularly aggressive in arguing against her--someone like Goldberg preaches to the converted, it's possible that McArdle might win converts."

One way to win converts is to remain civil and reasonable while your opponents rely on personal abuse instead of arguments.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:35 PM
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I actually didn't fulfill either college's requirement, but what with the transfer no one noticed.

At Teo U. transfer students were exempt from the swim test, and most of them didn't know how to swim.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:36 PM
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Some universities don't seem to like saying PE, so PE classes are in the department of "Human Biodynamics" or "Kinesiology" or something like that.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:37 PM
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I took trail maintenance and snowshoeing for my PE requirements.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:37 PM
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Duke has neither a swim test nor PE requirements.

Nor a program in leisure studies.


Posted by: ptm | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:37 PM
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One way to win converts is to remain civil and reasonable while your opponents rely on personal abuse instead of arguments.

One way to make enemies is to remain obtusely insouciant in the face of reasonable demands that you make an argument for your position, or be responsive to evidence, or take care to know what you are talking about when you talk down to others.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:37 PM
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I knew I guy in Lubbock who had a Ph.D. in "recreation" which turned out from to be a PE department that had renamed itself and grown a doctoral program.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:38 PM
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One way to win converts is to remain civil and reasonable while your opponents rely on personal abuse instead of arguments.

Totally right, which is why not any old demonization will work, which is one reason to avoid the misogyny.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:38 PM
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107: High school coaches/PE teachers need access to the extra bucks for advanced degrees too.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:39 PM
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Goldberg is routinely called "the doughy pantload", for example by Sifu's crew. But shooting fish in a barrel gets boring, unless you have Sifu's mad love of fish-shooting. Megan has made a specialty out of taunting and tweaking liberals in a fluent, plausible way, so she rouses more hatred, from me at least.

Peccavi, Domine, peccavi, et iniquitatem meam agnosco. Quare peto rogans te, Domine, remitte mihi, remitte mihi! Ne simul perdas me cum iniquitatibus meis neque in aeternum iratus reserves mala mihi neque damnes me in infima terrae loca. Quia tu es, Deus, Deus inquam paenitentium, et in me ostendes omnem bonitatem tuam! Quia indignum salvabis me secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.

I confess that, while I have generally avoided making sexist remarks about Malkin, Althouse, and even Coulter, and have even protested mildly at the practice, somehow McMegan causes me to do things which are against my own better judgement.

The bitch.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:39 PM
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So pretty much if McMegan was more unreasonable and obviosuly lunatic, there'd be no need to be personally abusive towards her? Awesome.

Yeah, I disagree with ogged in #97 on the above. The problem is that her ideas are often strange and--by some lights, at least--unreasonable, but her presentation is not. So she keeps getting folded into the class of "reasonable discussion" by her friends. It would be akin, I suppose, to the situation in which someone from your work continually tried to get a friend of his hired, even after you and everyone else had considered and rejected his hiring repeatedly. Doesn't make the applicant a bad person, doesn't make the friend working with you a bad person, but it makes you tetchy and on guard whenever the name comes up. But the behavior could be nicer.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:39 PM
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I'm much more conciliatory than Gonerill.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:39 PM
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I had fun once going through the list of possible classes and arranging them into P.E. majors

Ah, you MIT grads! It really is a laugh a minute there just like they say, isn't it? Periodic Table Bingo, anyone?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:39 PM
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101: There's a certain level of ugliness and falsehood in the face of which it is neither feasible nor desirable to take the high road. The last few years have provided such abundant proof of this that I'm now surprised when I see people concern-trolling along these lines.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:40 PM
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I do think she gets more of a certain kind of abuse because she's a woman.

A few people have said this, and it should be noted that I don't read her regularly by any stretch of the imagination, but it strikes me that she may invite this to some extent. I've seen her make use more than once of defensive, classically feminine, coy, or Heather-ish rhetorical devices in order to belittle or dismiss some position or other. It's insulting to the reader on a number of levels.

Even her treatment in the post's linked article trades on a few central sentences about her 10 years of dating in New York and the fact that there are plenty of fish in the sea.

I'd much rather read a blog penned by "M. McArdle," put it that way. As it stands, the female posturing is frequent enough and transparent, and it doesn't stand in well for argument. So she's going to be attacked on the same level at times, I would think.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:40 PM
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Also, I haven't followed it for a while, but this blog - despite the title - on race and pop culture is interesting. It started out as a blog more focused on people with ancestry of different races.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:41 PM
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I'm an MIT dropout, thenkyouverymuch.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:41 PM
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I'm much more conciliatory than Gonerill.

That's why you make the big bucks.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:41 PM
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I'm an MIT dropout, thenkyouverymuch.

You dropped all the way to that big party school in the Midwest, right?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:42 PM
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Damn straight. Perhaps the only move I could have made which involved less, rather than more, fun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:43 PM
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One way to win converts is to remain civil and reasonable while your opponents rely on personal abuse instead of arguments.

Indeed.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:44 PM
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I don't agree with the way she said it, but the substance of her post seems to be close to what the Unfoggitariat said in response to the Jena 6. The Jena 6 should get punished, just not to the level that they have been.

This demonstrates a kind of right-wing sleight-of-hand that McArdle is particularly good at. This is a case where, by all accounts, some black kids are being punished wildly disproportionately. However, the thing that McArdle finds noteworthy here is that some of their supporters have adopted a catchphrase that would, if interpreted literally, get the Jena 6 a lighter punishment than McArdle would like.

It's nothing but spin. It's sleazy bullshit - and the fact that smart guys like Yglesias endorse it makes it dangerous spin.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:47 PM
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122: yes. Her response: miss the real point, say something fatuous about a trivial aspect of the situation. Add a backtrack later that still doesn't get it. Not the unfogged response.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:49 PM
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117: Mass Ave Dropouts Association represent!


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:49 PM
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124: I did not know that. You too?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:50 PM
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122 is pretty much what I was shooting at in 89. You can say THIS IS BULLSHIT!!! (but yes, six kids beating on one kid is bad and should be punished appropriately), or you can say THOSE THUGS BELONG IN JAIL!!! (but racism is bad and they shouldn't be punished more harshly because they're black). Which you choose says something important about you.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:54 PM
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125: The other school, but yes. Went to ROTC classes at MIT for a year, too.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:55 PM
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127: We could have the club meetings in Central Square.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:56 PM
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I have fond memories of wandering around Central Square while skipping the exam for the only class I ever failed.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 3:59 PM
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I was wrong to suggest that McMegan is subverting the Flophouse with charm, the promise of sexual favors, and the threat of deadly force. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Peccavi, Domine, peccavi, et iniquitatem meam agnosco.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:01 PM
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That's pretty much my argument, I think. Except I'd probably put an "obviously" in front of unreasonable, too. Does that seem like such a strange position? You don't have to demonize people no one would mistake for fair or non-partisan.

Seems like a hell of a way to live your life, I gotta say. I mean, maybe this is the aspect of the Republican behavior over the last thirty years that has put them in the position of power that they now hold, and McMegan happens to be female and therefore a soft enough target that she gets nominated as the one to be destroyed as an example for the rest of the world, but...


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:08 PM
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The McCardles of the world follow a predictable career trajector. Early on, they are writing for an audience that contains a fair number of liberals. They may even publish occasionally in liberal publications. The go out of their way to make rhetorical concessions to certain liberal shibboleths and to strike stylistic distinctions from their more conservative brethren, thus preserving that shred of credibility that keeps the liberal audience around. But their bedrock doctrine is clearly antithetical to liberalism, and they get a kick out of needling liberals.

By the time they are in their mid-thirties, their liberal defenders have begun to desert them, and they become increasingly angry and strident. As their audience becomes more ideologically homogeneous, they take fewer pains to mollify what liberal readers they have left. And what remains by the time they are in their 40s is a doctrinaire conservative.

Michael Kelly (peace be upon his soul) and Tom Bethell fit the pattern, David Brooks defies the pattern only by being 10 years out of phase, Jamie Kirchick is in the beginning stages, and Mickey Kaus--I hate to say because I have defended him in the past--is in danger of joining them as well.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:10 PM
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I'm not sure I understand, Jake. I mean, we're mostly just fucking around on Unfogged, but insofar as one plays the game of trying to move the discourse, one goes after the more threatening pundits more aggressively. Like I say, I treat her (well, I ignore her, but when she comes up) the way I treat Brooks. It's precisely not that she's a soft target, but that I worry that someone will read her and think, "yeah, that seems reasonable." I'd rather that they go in expecting that she'll try to hoodwink them, and that means changing her reputation, in addition to responding to specific things that she's said.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:14 PM
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McMegan happens to be female and therefore a soft enough target that she gets nominated as the one to be destroyed as an example for the rest of the world

Ogged's being nice, but this really is three different kinds of ridiculous rolled up into a single phrase. You're just not paying attention if you honestly think McMegan's the only one who gets flak (nasty or otherwise), or that the nature of the flak she gets is the same as what the wingnutosphere regularly dishes out. And "happens to be female and therefore a soft enough target" is just weird; you're either endorsing the Fragile Femme stereotype or accusing a wide swathe of McMegan's critics of being borderline cyberstalkers.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:21 PM
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I think it's the degree of vehemence, invective, and presumptive assumption of bad faith that's raises eyebrows here, ogged. At least I know they raise mine, and maybe they raise jake's too.

Look, surely it is the case that if someone's facts always check out wrong, or their arguments always prove invalid, or they typically in bad faith, it's useful to note this.*

However it is also true that when people can't simply note this without spitting venom, an observer may begin to wonder if the issue isn't the alleged quality of the arguments, and the fear that others will be misled. It seems evidence for a less creditable motive.

*I am typically underwhelmed by the evidence provided in these parts against McCardle, but I could be wrong. No doubt I am to a degree a prisoner of my biases here.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:24 PM
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I see you calling Brooks dumb and paunchy. I think that there's an established liberal blogospheric tradition of calling people the stupidest man alive that renders it less personal, and then you actually did Brooks the honor of engaging his writing. That's not what I see happening to McMegan.

I also don't see the abuse doing serious damage to her reputation. But I'm probably not the target audience.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:26 PM
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Like Brooks, McMegan combines fluency, shrewdness, and charm with malice and deviousness. Goldberg only has stupid malice.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:26 PM
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Mass Ave Dropouts Association

They mostly go on to become famous billionaires, from what I've been led to understand.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:27 PM
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However it is also true that when people can't simply note this without spitting venom, an observer may begin to wonder if the issue isn't the alleged quality of the arguments, and the fear that others will be misled.

It's not like anyone's stopping an observer from clicking over to McArdle's blog and seeing for themselves. It's worth noting by the same token that "spitting venom" is a vague descriptor that gets slathered across genuinely nasty disagreement and vociferous detraction alike, and its deployment often makes an observer begin to wonder if the issue isn't switching the focus to the minutiae of an opponent's language to distract from their actual critique.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:28 PM
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Many times when McMegan's facts and logic have been checked they've come out wanting, even in her supposed specialty of economics. But I confess that I haven't inventoried them. And there's a definite personal element for me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:29 PM
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Ogged's being nice, but this really is three different kinds of ridiculous rolled up into a single phrase. You're just not paying attention if you honestly think McMegan's the only one who gets flak (nasty or otherwise), or that the nature of the flak she gets is the same as what the wingnutosphere regularly dishes out. And "happens to be female and therefore a soft enough target" is just weird; you're either endorsing the Fragile Femme stereotype or accusing a wide swathe of McMegan's critics of being borderline cyberstalkers.

Uh, what? Yes, the wingnutosphere dishes out more abusive flak than that which McArdle receives. But I don't read wingnut blogs, because guess what - intense abuse ain't my thing. And I'm not accusing the critics of being borderline cyberstalkers, but of being crypto-misogynistic. I think she gets attacked because she's viewed as more vulnerable or deserving due to her femaleness, and sometimes due to her femininity.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:32 PM
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Here the Brooks posts. Who knew that being nasty to him would be a mark in favor of my character years hence? I'm not sure I've ever even written about a McArdle post; I just approve of the invective, particularly these days when she's at the Atlantic and Yglesias links to her regularly.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:33 PM
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Regarding clipping price tags off clothes, are there people who don't remove the price tags from their clothes?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:36 PM
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If McCardle has done the world a service, it is in lifting up a corner on the veil of authority that hangs over the sadly degenerated Economist. Because there are no bylines, you could sort of imagine the authors being well-informed and fair-minded (if somewhat eccentric) Oxbridge grads of center-right political persuasion. Her association with the Economist blog gives outsiders a window in to what kind of individual makes the cut there these days.

Ironically, the sometimes quirky opinionating that the Economist has traditionally done alongside its "straight" reporting began to become superfluous (substituted by blogs) right around the time the magazine decided the make the news pages much more blog-like (i.e. shorter on original reporting, even stronger ideological voice).

I don't want to make this a long rant on the Economist, but I submit that it is an intellectual rite of passage to come to the realization that this magazine is neither factually trustworthy nor intellectually honest--despite giving the appearance of both to the undiscerning reader.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:39 PM
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143: Minnie Pearl.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:40 PM
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And I'm not accusing the critics of being borderline cyberstalkers, but of being crypto-misogynistic.

Yeah, I got that; I was being a little hyperbolic.

I think she gets attacked because she's viewed as more vulnerable or deserving due to her femaleness, and sometimes due to her femininity.

And I think that's basically horseshit. I mean, she attracts her share of genuine misogyny I'm sure, but it's rather inane to pretend this is the main reason that most people vociferously attack her.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:43 PM
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I am unconvinced that Megan is making a good point. Sure you can argue the dating problems of rich women are trivial compared to poor women but then in turn you could argue that that the dating problems of poor women are themselves trivial compared to poor men. And what about the starving children in Africa? Is the NYT only allowed to write about the most serious problem in the world?

She may have a narrow point if the statistics the NYT cites are driven by the lower part of the distribution but she didn't demonstrate that.

And I get tired of complaints about the NYT writing about subjects of interest to rich people. The NYT is aimed at the ruling class, if you want a working class paper read the New York Post.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:48 PM
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A special factor with McMegan is that she is thought to be a libertarian, but has never vigorously objected (to my knowledge) to anything that Pres. Bush has done. In a variety of ways (civil liberties, warmongering, constitutional limits on executive and federal authority, fiscal policies), Bush has been the worst possible President from the libertarian perspective, and a certain number of them have acknowledged this, but she's been persistently evasive.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:53 PM
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And what about the starving children in Africa?

Who, after all, are they to date?

Seriously, I'm pretty sure she's right that the 'mean young woman now earning more than mean young man in some small number of urban centers' stat was loaded toward the bottom end of the income distribution, although admittedly she didn't include numbers demonstrating that. At which point the article's not supported by anything concrete about this being a terribly common problem among high earners, and it's a problem that can, as she suggests, be solved by everyone involved getting over themselves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 4:53 PM
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And I get tired of complaints about the NYT writing about subjects of interest to rich people.

It's all about working the refs, JBS. And the NYT is a prime target, both because of its influence (through readership and agenda-setting), and because of its susceptibility to liberal guilt-tripping (there is a vestigial sense of social purpose still resident in a lot of its news staff). Hence, it isn't utopian to think that enough criticism will subtley tilt the paper in favor of devoting more resources and attention to, say, the better work of Jason DeParle.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:08 PM
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These stats, which the article might have been referring to, don't break things down demographically beyond gender.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:11 PM
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I find McMegan, when I read anything by her, to be glib, deceptive, and self-serving. So I don't read her much. Contra Emerson above, I really don't have much stomach for reading right-wing blogs, especially well written ones. Honking swathes of disingenuousness generally make me speechlessly irritated, which is hardly conducive to blogging.

Anybody who doesn't think the whole point of her post is to tweak the NYT, and simultaneously tell her audience (very much including the more coastal and urban segments of this blog) that hey, listen, really we're all the same species of yuppie, let's just be honest about what our self-interest generally is, is probably fooling themselves.

Ugh.

Thank goodness she wouldn't date me!

Also, it's "Doughbob Loadpants," now, thank you. "Doughy Pantload" is deprecated.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:13 PM
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If McCardle has done the world a service, it is in lifting up a corner on the veil of authority that hangs over the sadly degenerated Economist. Because there are no bylines, you could sort of imagine the authors being well-informed and fair-minded (if somewhat eccentric) Oxbridge grads of center-right political persuasion. Her association with the Economist blog gives outsiders a window in to what kind of individual makes the cut there these days.

This, I agree with. McArdle's got some weird ideas, and occasionally provokes the "no, wait, that's just wrong" reaction. Which is one of the reasons why I don't make a habit of visiting her blog. Knowing that she works for the Economist makes it easier to understand the ways in which the Economist is not so good.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:14 PM
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152: Did Pilsbury sue over the original moniker? It's still dearest to my heart.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:16 PM
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be solved by everyone involved getting over themselves.

Yeah, but then what? Affluent liberals getting over themselves seems to constitute her entire universe of possible positive social change, and really, who cares? The Times article is frivolous, she's frivolous, we're frivolous. The difference is that we don't pretend otherwise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:16 PM
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154: hah, um, no? Dude political speech is protected yo, we can steal what we want! Anyhow that's what I tell myself.

Just that the DoughBob graphic was irresistible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:17 PM
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Anybody who doesn't think the whole point of her post is to tweak the NYT, and simultaneously tell her audience (very much including the more coastal and urban segments of this blog) that hey, listen, really we're all the same species of yuppie, let's just be honest about what our self-interest generally is, is probably fooling themselves.

Can you tell me the secret message of her cable bundling post? I think it's that we should tax poor people, but let me know.

McArdle's got some weird ideas, and occasionally provokes the "no, wait, that's just wrong" reaction

These are the blogs you should read more of.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:20 PM
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These are the blogs you should read more of

Only under the assumption that you have fairly poor judgment about what actually is wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:24 PM
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Can you tell me the secret message of her cable bundling post? I think it's that we should tax poor people, but let me know.

I haven't read it, so no. Can I do your tarot for you?

These are the blogs you should read more of.

The self-evidently wrong ones? Interesting!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:25 PM
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150

Maybe you can pressure the NYT to cover poor people more in the news portion but in the style section? Isn't that basically frivolous by definition?

Actually I think liberals should be concerned that the NYT will continue to do poorly as a business and get bought by somebody like Rupert Murdoch. Then you really would have things to complain about.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:27 PM
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baa:

Can you think of anyone on the pro-Dem/anti-war side of arguments who is treated with the "basically one of us" attitude that Brooks and McArdle (among others) are treated? No one's coming to mind, but I might be blanking. There must be some.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTm | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:27 PM
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Maybe you can pressure the NYT to cover poor people more in the news portion but in the style section? Isn't that basically frivolous by definition?

Why would I care about the Style section?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:28 PM
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That is, treated by the pro-Republican/pro-war side.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:29 PM
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Self-evidently wrong stuff can be interesting in a sort of "spot the mistake" kind of way. But on a regular basis, I don't think it's worth the time.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:31 PM
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161: Richard Clarke, Brent Scowcroft, Jim Webb, Andrew Sullivan, John Cole...

Oh, who are treated with the "basically one of us" attitude. My mistake. Not these hippies, that's for sure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:31 PM
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Only under the assumption that you have fairly poor judgment about what actually is wrong.

No, under two assumptions. The first, we are all more frequent prisoners of our biases than we think, and weird ideas that strike us as weird may have something to them. The second, that figuring out what "seems wrong" about an idea may clarify your thinking. There's a signal-to-noise-ratio problem, to be sure.

The self-evidently wrong ones? Interesting!

Of course if you know all the answers already, and by coincidence the answer to every question is exactly what a five-variable demographic model would predict that you believe, you needn't bother.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:33 PM
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162

"Why would I care about the Style section?"

Well some people care about the Style section or they weren't be constantly complaining about what's in it.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:33 PM
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Of course if you know all the answers already

Ooo, snap!

Seriously, yeah, finding different perspectives, new sources of information, opinions from people you don't consistently agree with, sure, all that's great. But reading someone because they're wrong all the time? Not so much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:37 PM
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It is, of course, possible to find blogs one disagrees with that aren't being posted from the Team America alternate universe. I'm mentally healthier for reading Jim Henley's blog, for instance, which for all that we agree about The War and civil liberties still provides plenty of libertarian vexatiousness to keep me sharp.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:37 PM
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Pwned...


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:38 PM
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Of course if you know all the answers already

I know very few of the answers. I can however, sometimes tell when somebody's trying to trick me, and deep within the recesses of my heavy-browed skull, that pisses me off, and I decide not to play along. If somebody I disagree with is interested in making honest points (as, I'm happy to point out, you usually do) then I'm interested in listening to them. If they're interested in deploying precocious little insights that, upon cursory unraveling, turn out to be utterly worthless, than that doesn't seem like a good use of my time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:39 PM
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Well some people care about the Style section or they weren't be constantly complaining about what's in it.

Such as, e.g., McMegan, the person I was complaining about. But point taken, I guess?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:40 PM
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than that

Than, then, thön, same difference.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:41 PM
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161 163

MY is treated respectfully by at least a portion of the pro-Republican/pro-war camp.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:42 PM
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I hate defending her, but she probably gets more abuse than she deserves.

Currently calling bullshit on asking for empirical evidence in respect of, this particular piece of blogospheric conventional wisdom. I don't see it, I really don't. Where are these alleged evil comments? This is like a truism "oh poor dear, she gets the most terrible, vicious, sexist abuse" but examples are really surprisingly thin on the ground. She whines. That's the big difference. She takes the standard level of blog comments (which are rarely measured and polite disagreement, particularly on blogs which go out of their way to patronise their readers) and goes "omigodeveryonesbeinsohoffabletomeeee" and everyone believes it without checking. C'est pas vrai.

One way to win converts is to remain civil and reasonable while your opponents rely on personal abuse instead of arguments.

what on earth is it about the last 5000 years of history that makes you think this? It's another thing that everyone says, but isn't true. Nobody who has taken even a cursory look at the history of politics or religion could honestly assert this. Even the fucking Christian Church didn't get off the ground until St Paul started handing out the personal abuse. Seriously, name me three popular movements which gained their converts by being polite and reasonable. Bzzzt, no, that is a completely false and revisionist view of Dr Martin Luther King. Bzzzt, no, not Mandela either. Bzzzt, Gandhi, are you fucking kidding me?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:43 PM
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Can you think of anyone on the pro-Dem/anti-war side of arguments who is treated with the "basically one of us" attitude that Brooks and McArdle (among others) are treated?

This is a good question. I think the issue is by whom? McCardle is treated well by Klein and Yglesias. She also treats them well. There's lotsa love for Yglesias generally, as far as I can tell. Maybe because he's not absolutely programatic in his beliefs. In the old pundit-sphere, I don't much know. The NYT is a mixed bag, Krugman and Dowd are certainly despised by the right. I don't think Herbert and Christoph are, or if they count in this calculus. I think everyone kind of likes Kinsley (who might be the closest thing to Brooks, not to say that it's that close). E. J. Dionne seems like a lefty no one on the right dislikes.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:44 PM
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I think that since 1994 (Gingrich) and 2001 (Bush) the Republican Party has become so criminalized, debased, and fanatical that no one who hasn't rejected it is worth talking to. At best they're hanging in there to secretly minimize the damage, mouthing Republican pieties as necessary while secretly hoping that the whole hoodlum cabal collapses and the good guys take over again. That's a really, really piss-poor "best".

As far as the "open-mindedness" question goes: I'm about as openminded as anyone here. But my mind opens to the left, not the right. I can just barely stand centrist Democrats, but various leftists have a lot to say.

As far as I know, I'm to the left of everyone here but Minneapolitan, Stras, probably Frowner, and McManus.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:45 PM
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Generally in agreement with dsquared on this, but I do think it's also possible to alienate people with one's rhetoric; I'm certainly not calling for across-the-board politeness, but strategically deployed invective seems like the way to go. Except in the case of Ann Althouse, of course.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:46 PM
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My strategy is total war!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:48 PM
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Kristoff, Dionne, and Kinsley are "respected" by the right because they're feeble and (in Kinsley's case) treacherous. Krugman's doing things right.

Did I mention that the Republican party is fanatical, criminal, and debased? Being hated by those guys should be a requirement.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:53 PM
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polite and reasonable. Bzzzt, no, that is a completely false and revisionist view of Dr Martin Luther King

I am curious about this though. It's not like I've read all the man's speeches and writings, but what I've seen is pretty measured in tone, even if it was also radical in content.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:54 PM
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reading someone because they are wrong all the time

If this were really true (which, of course it isn't) they would be a great person to read, particularly on yes or no questions!

More seriously, I can understand if you have made a judgment that McCardle argues in bad faith, or whatever. I think evidence for this is slim, but your view will be what is it. If your considered view, however, is that a libertarian-tinged centrist-by-American standards view of the world (basically, McCardle's) can be dismissed as "wrong all the time" then, yeah, you need to read more people. Stalinists aren't wrong all the time.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:55 PM
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Stalinists aren't wrong all the time.

I'm sure McArdle's commented on the blueness of the sky, and the niceness of puppies, and been right about both. The post being commented on isn't particularly wrong. But where she strikes me as wrong, which is on most controversial issues, I haven't found myself having my mind expanded by valuable new perspectives or analysis -- her wrongness tends to be simple wrongness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:59 PM
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Maybe some motivated soul will pick a week of her archives at random-ish and assess them for glib sleight-of-handery and/or hating on the poor.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:59 PM
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As I said, McArdle's fake libertarianism is one of the disgusting things about her. Libertarians (small L and large) have had a lot of choices to make during the last seven years, and the majority of them, perhaps the vast majority of them, chose wrong.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 5:59 PM
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Well some people care about the Style section or they weren't be constantly complaining about what's in it.

Solution Replace Modern Love with Modern Poverty; it should be written in the same voice as ML.

max
['Five days a week! Modern Imprisonment, Modern Painful Death, Modern Poverty, Modern Abuse and then Modern Love Neurosis.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:03 PM
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Solution Replace Modern Love with Modern Poverty; it should be written in the same voice as ML.

"He might have died of malnutrition, but in many ways it was I who was truly hungry."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:05 PM
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"As I looked into his cell, I realized that while in one sense, I was free to leave the building and drive away, in another I was truly the prisoner."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:08 PM
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"As my fist plowed into her fragile jaw for the fifth time this week, it occurred to me that I was really deforming my own profile."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:11 PM
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176: . There's lotsa love for Yglesias generally, as far as I can tell.

Yeah, I'm trying to describe a slightly different phenomenon, I think. There was, last I checked, a fair bit of respect for McGuire and Verdon, but everyone understood that there are significant differences between them and us. Similarly, it seems to me, Derb and others. That recognition of difference seems less true with Brooks and McArdle, somehow.

Maybe Kinsley in the eighties is about right. I don't much remember his recent work.

McCardle argues in bad faith, or whatever

Part of the problem, I think, is that (to my mind) she doesn't argue in particular bad faith. (There's some trimming at the edges, but most people do a bit of that. It's more like there's some structural bad faith for which she is not responsible.

a libertarian-tinged centrist-by-American standards view of the world

Part of the problem is also that such is her presentation and her reception, but I don't think that much describes her. I don't know what "libertarian" means anymore, but, as I noted above, her positions on some deep and crucial issues are pretty distinct from those of the majority of Republicans who would have been identified as centrists prior to 2000 (or perhaps 1994). Or so it seems to me.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:17 PM
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161 176

I agree with baa, McArdle is not treated as "basically one of us" by all left wing bloggers, just by the ones who happen to be personal friends. And from a distance she does look an awful lot like one of you.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:17 PM
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Modern Blogging
"Punctuating my fervid rant, and hitting "Post", I came to the hard-won understanding that it was still James B. Shearer who was the troll."


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:19 PM
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175

I didn't say it was the only way to win converts or the best way, just that it was one way. Are you seriously disagreeing with this?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:22 PM
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This thread is really annoying. Ad hominems galore, against somebody who said something that most everyone here agrees with. Why do that?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:26 PM
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McArdle is not treated as "basically one of us" by all left wing bloggers, just by the ones who happen to be personal friends.

Maybe that's right. I missed the meat of that point in baa's argument. Probably an indication that the blogs I read avidly are in too small a neighborhood, and I should broaden my reading. And stras was noodling around that point right near the beginning. But Plumer doesn't post that often, and blogspot sucks!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:27 PM
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194: I think the thread is pretty explicitly an attempt to answer your question.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:28 PM
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I don't think it's a question that needs to be answered. I don't like meta-meta-thread-threads to begin with.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:30 PM
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I likewise feel Dsquared's 175 is true, but irrelevant. Maybe it's true that more people have been converted to Christianity by the sword than by missionaries. That wouldn't imply that a Christian blogger seeking to convert Jews would be well-advised to threaten a pogrom.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:31 PM
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Why don't you like the meta meta threads, Ned? Do the meta meta threads hurt Ned's head?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:33 PM
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Legalize Yuppiecide!

(oh wait, wrong blog)


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:33 PM
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195: Yeah, this is really about a particular group of DC professional blogs -- the American Prospect people and their associates. But to the extent there's a leftish bloggy center of gravity these days, on the wonky rather than organizy side of things, that group is it, isn't it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:34 PM
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198: I'm not sure, in any of the references, who is supposed to be converted. Insofar as it is a reader, presumably soft words on other topics are where the work is done, It's not threatening a pogrom, it's saying the Jews are devils. All in order to get the Muslims to switch. (Which Ahmenijad assures me that they don't do in Iran, at least.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:36 PM
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"libertarian" means socializes in cosmopolitan circles. thats all.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:41 PM
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191: And from a distance she does look an awful lot like one of you.

When I back away far enough from my monitor, everything on it becomes an indistinct blur. So this true, kinda.

Honestly, having harshed and defended the harshers re: McArdle, it's not like her output is 90% deranged in the fashion of Gates of Vienna or Ace of Spades. It's more that the 20% of it that is crazy is really fucking crazy (classics like the sick and elderly deserve their ill-health still warm the cockles of my heart). Since she's not my drinking buddy, I don't really care that much about "good faith" or whether she means well.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:46 PM
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That wouldn't imply that a Christian blogger seeking to convert Jews would be well-advised to threaten a pogrom.

don't recall saying anything about death threats. the discussion was "abuse" versus "politeness". The Epistles of St Paul are perhaps a stumbling block for anyone who thinks that politeness is the way to win converts. It would be like "Jesus Who" if Saul of Tarsus had never had a go at winning converts to Christianity among the Jews by shouting insults at them.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:49 PM
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201:

But to the extent there's a leftish bloggy center of gravity these days, on the wonky rather than organizy side of things, that group is it, isn't it?

I don't know myself, but I sort of hope not. It seems rather insular. It's something I've wondered about, since it's the center of gravity around here, it seems.

I need to get out more in order to find out!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 6:56 PM
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Ad hominems galore, against somebody who said something that most everyone here agrees with. Why do that?

Because she has a track record, and we've made up our minds about her. 2 or 3 years ago I followed her for awhile until I figured out her game. I picked her up again recently, non-objectively, because of her promotion to the Atlantic.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 7:13 PM
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I picked her up again recently, non-objectively

KISS AND TELL


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 7:20 PM
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If your considered view, however, is that a libertarian-tinged centrist-by-American standards view of the world (basically, McCardle's) can be dismissed as "wrong all the time" then,

s/b "If you considered view, however, is that constantly regurgitating an only slightly-modified received version of vulgar Randroidism can be dismissed as "wrong all the time" then,"

max
['Many outlets, including Walmart, have readily available supplies of vulgar Randroidism, and for a lower price, due to imports from China.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 7:34 PM
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It would be like "Jesus Who"

McQueen, of course. Is there another one we should know about?


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 7:42 PM
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"As I looked into his cell, I realized that while in one sense, I was free to leave the building and drive away, in another I was truly the prisoner."

"Even though I had defeated my triumphed over my enemy and was once again my man's little bitch (thanks to my newly-learned salad tossing skills), I now felt nothing for but empathy for poor, lonely Leroy."

max
['Blueeeee Vellllvetttt....']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 7:43 PM
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McQueen, of course. Is there another one we should know about?

Quintara?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 7:45 PM
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don't recall saying anything about death threats. the discussion was "abuse" versus "politeness".

Dsquared, it's almost like you are intentionally missing the point.

Shearer said: One way to win converts is to remain civil and reasonable while your opponents rely on personal abuse instead of arguments. (my emphasis)

You said: what on earth is it about the last 5000 years of history that makes you think this? It's another thing that everyone says, but isn't true. Nobody who has taken even a cursory look at the history of politics or religion could honestly assert this. Even the fucking Christian Church didn't get off the ground until St Paul started handing out the personal abuse. Seriously, name me three popular movements which gained their converts by being polite and reasonable.

In 1960, no one could have gotten elected to Congress in Massachusetts as an openly gay man. Now they can. In 1960 no presidential candidate would have supported civil unions for gay couples. In 2004, both did. Now, I suppose one could argue this (wonderful and heartening) evolution of American culture was accomplished primarily by pro-gay organizations "handing out personal abuse." This, argument, of course, is absolutely and laughably false, as anyone who lived in America can tell you. But let us grant it to be true. Even were it true that this is how political change had been accomplished, it would not follow that the advisable way for an advocate of gay rights, writing on a web blog, to convince the unpersuaded would be by personal abuse. Nor would it follow that persuasion were not a way, as Shearer says, to gain converts.

This is all very obvious, right?


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 8:19 PM
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re: Why liberal bloggers are nice to Megan McArdle. Megan got lots of points from me, because she is willing to debate things in a reasonable tone. There's a whole lot that we disagree about. She's a libertarian and I'm waaaay to the left on economic issues. But she's not the damn-the-poor type of libertarian. She really believes that her economic policies can lead to the same end as mine. I think she's totally wrong, but I like that she's eager to talk about it.


Posted by: laura | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:04 PM
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McArdle, as near as I can tell, is only a libertarian in the 'I'm a Republican who isn't a religious conservative/Randian' sense of the word, not the Henley sense of the word. (Objectivism drives me absolutely batty.)

She comes off as reasonable in tone, and unfortunately that often counts for more than reasonable in, uh, actual reason.

Also, metametablogging is beginning to annoy me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:11 PM
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215.3 is thoughtful and perceptive, but I can't quite figure out what's to be done. Maybe nobody should live in DC anymore?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:13 PM
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I think more that I should set the comment box on fire and burn down the blog. Fucker won't ignite tho.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:17 PM
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Maybe burning down your department would provide some short-term relief?


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:22 PM
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That <burn> tag hasn't been enabled.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:22 PM
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there's a study out about attitudes toward meta blogging. I'll be reviewing it soon.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:32 PM
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Do epidurals increase the rate of meta blogging?


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:33 PM
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The blog, the blog, the blog is on fire
The blog, the blog, the blog is on fire
The blog, the blog, the blog is on fire

we don't need no comments let the motherfucker burn.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:33 PM
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Thesis: if you aren't, in fact, reasonable, adopting a reasonable tone is dishonest.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:35 PM
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(As for who will assess whether one is in fact reasonable or not, the answer is simple—I will.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:35 PM
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ben, you could set up an IM bot, in which users submit statements, and the benbot deems them reasonable or not, prior to commenting. We know how you love bots!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:37 PM
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223, oddly enough, gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:38 PM
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Oh! Also, w-lfs-n: I read a fascinating article earlier about small-batch dark rums: thoughts?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:39 PM
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You people who can buy interesting liquors can go to hell.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:41 PM
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"can" s/b "are able to"
"can" s/b "should"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:42 PM
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Oh! Also, w-lfs-n: I read a fascinating article earlier about small-batch dark rums: thoughts?

My thought is that you should tell me about it?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:47 PM
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223: So what if you are, in fact, eminently reasonable, but adopt an unreasonable tone? Suck on that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:48 PM
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That's cool.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:49 PM
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We-e-e-ell, I'm fairly sure this is the rum I was thinking about, but the rest of the information is lost to (a) the haze of my memory and (b) the article pinned above the checkout at the liquor store. The short form is that the interviewee (who was I think the liquor manager for legal sea foods) was arguing passionately for rum as a better sweet liquor than cognac or armangac or the like.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:53 PM
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Or maybe this one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 9:55 PM
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I've heard that you can make a passable rum by steeping old furniture in vodka and stirring in some shoe polish and glue.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:02 PM
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235: And you make fun of Newfies.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:06 PM
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Mmmmmmm. Screech.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:07 PM
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God I detest rum. It tastes like ineffectively flavored children's medicine. Añejo tequila beats the hell out of any rum they make.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:15 PM
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So, see, foolishmortal's opinion is what the small-batch rum producers are trying to combat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:20 PM
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More effectively flavored medicine now!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:23 PM
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This message brought to you by the Newfoundland Rum and Screech Council. Since 1502.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:25 PM
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I just drink cachaça straight from the bottle.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:25 PM
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I always take my medicine hand wrapped in royal palm leaves.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:25 PM
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I always wrap IA's medicine hand in royal palm leaves.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:28 PM
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I think the darker stuff is a very different kettle of (at a loss, here) molasses. But yes, cachaça and sundry other bargain South American sugar cane concoctions are delightful, in a how-quickly-can-I-be-unconscious kind of way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:28 PM
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Rumtasters often use lutefisk to cleanse the palate between fine rums or screeches.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:30 PM
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The recipe in 235 is like those in Venedikt Erofeev's brilliant Moscow to the End of the Line. I trust you've read it, JE, but if not I recommend it enthusiastically.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:31 PM
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This article needs a citation.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:32 PM
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The Screech sold legally in liquor stores both in and outside of Newfoundland is blended and bottled by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation, which unlike its counterparts in other provinces has retained its bottling business (apparently so it can carefully control the quality of a product so closely identified with the province). However, consumers should be aware many Newfoundlanders do not view the NLC-bottled Screech as the genuine article, as stronger Screech that cannot be legally sold continues to be blended and distributed in an extra-legal manner.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:33 PM
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Although an alcoholic, the hero of Moskva-Petushki does not come across to the reader as a despicable character.

Hmph. Who wrote that? Carry Nation?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:36 PM
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Oh, man, don't get me started on cachaça. I've never been to brazil, but them fuckers in lowland bolivia brew some nasty shit. It's like 120 proof vodka plus plenty of sediment. They mix it up with mango and a)get offended if you don't drink as much as they do and b)feel the need to drink way more than they should so they can beat the American. Multi day hangovers are inescapable.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:41 PM
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Who knew lowland Bolivia was so similar to Newfoundland?!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:44 PM
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(except for the part about mango)


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:44 PM
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Codfish is the mango of the north.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 10:46 PM
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Rail bourbon, a Bass ale, and discussions of starting a new band for me. You people should be more productive drunks.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:16 PM
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255: (a) on it (b) on it (c) "Sexpatriot"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:17 PM
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Although I already used (c). Whatever, though, take it, friendly raccoon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:18 PM
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We have a much better band name than "Sexpatriot," but I'm not going to tell you what it is.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:20 PM
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255: Many legal terms double as decent band names. For instance, I like "Hostile Witness".


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:20 PM
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Is the name "Space Humpin' $19.99" taken?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:20 PM
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Ned don't be a smartass.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:21 PM
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258, it's "The Angry Anger", isn't it?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:21 PM
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Many legal terms double as decent band names. For instance, I like "Hostile Witness".

"Free and Common Soccage"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:25 PM
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The Broken Train? The J'acuzzis? The Animal Spirits?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:25 PM
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"Youth Hostile"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:25 PM
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"Motion to Compel"


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:27 PM
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William of Attainder


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:28 PM
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Attainder? I never even met 'er!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:29 PM
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"The Reasonable Person Standard"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:29 PM
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My law school brother was doing a memo on whatdoyoucallit, where if you use someone else's property for twenty years or so you get to use it forever. His new rap name is "Open and Notorious B.I.G.".


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:29 PM
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Adverse possession.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:30 PM
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"Pro Hac Vice"


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:31 PM
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Okay, okay. The name is "Everyone (Save w-lfs-n) Gets Laid".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:31 PM
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"The Statutory Damages"


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:32 PM
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not legal, but I think "Two-State Solution" would be a good band name.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:33 PM
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"Reasonable expectation of privacy"


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:33 PM
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Skalia


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:33 PM
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"Stipulated Order"


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:33 PM
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I totally like The Reasonable Person Standard. AWB wins.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:34 PM
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Would you have sex with your own clone?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfDY8XIPuio



Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:34 PM
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274 is obviously not as good as "The Punitive Damages."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:34 PM
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You can tell that my expertise (such as it is) is in the practice rather than the theory of law.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:34 PM
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281: True.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:35 PM
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Yawn. All these band names sound like lawyer. Everybody knows lawyers don't rock.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:36 PM
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William of Attainder is pretty good.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:37 PM
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259:

"Voir Dire"
"Sua Sponse"
"Certiorari"
"Mandamus"
"Affidavit of Indigency"
"Complaint for Contempt"
"Usufruct"
"Intestacy"

These all sound like screamo bands to me.

"Estoppel by Deed" has promise, though.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:38 PM
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Name a single rock star who has a JD. You would think there would be a few just because so many liberal arts grads wander into law school without knowing what to do, but I can't think of one.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:40 PM
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Name a single rock star who has a JD. You would think there would be a few just because so many liberal arts grads wander into law school without knowing what to do, but I can't think of one.

I'll do it. Funding, please. (Again, for science.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:41 PM
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Name a single rock star who has a JD.

Dave Kerman.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:42 PM
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Actually, by the end of the year, one M. Rubin will have a JD, and while he's not a rock star, he's released albums and toured and shit.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:43 PM
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Ben can't even name a single rock star, let alone one with a JD.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:43 PM
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"The Lionel Huts" have played before every court in the state, often as a lawyer.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:45 PM
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A lot of terms from Tort law sound like horrible political metalcore bands.

"Innocent Dissemination"
"Calculus of Negligence"
"Abuse of Process"
"Breach of Promise"
"Latent Defect"
"Duty to Warn"
"Rescue Doctrine"
"Eggshell Skull"

Stanley should totally call his band "Frolic and Detour".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:46 PM
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Ben can't even name a single rock star,

My rock telescope is higher-powered than yours, is that so wrong?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:46 PM
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"The Reasonable Person Standard" is, indeed, pretty good, and I am partial to "Hostile Witness". But the ultimate legal band name is...:
"Objection: Badgering".


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:47 PM
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"Space Badgerin' §19.99"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:49 PM
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It's "Lionel Hutz".

How about "Last Clear Chance"? You could play gothypolitan sepia crap.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:49 PM
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Amazingly, "gothypolitan" is entirely unknown to google.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:50 PM
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They're "The Lionel Huts."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:53 PM
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The joke in 292 is suboptimal, it should say "often as a band."


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:54 PM
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"Dred Ska"?

(Too soon?)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:57 PM
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But then it would leave open the suggestion that they were defendants or plaintiffs or witnesses and never lawyers.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:57 PM
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"System of a Brown v. Board of Education"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-25-07 11:57 PM
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In 1960, no one could have gotten elected to Congress in Massachusetts as an openly gay man. Now they can. In 1960 no presidential candidate would have supported civil unions for gay couples. In 2004, both did. Now, I suppose one could argue this (wonderful and heartening) evolution of American culture was accomplished primarily by pro-gay organizations "handing out personal abuse." This, argument, of course, is absolutely and laughably false, as anyone who lived in America can tell you.

perhaps you should ask around and find out who you're patronising one of these days. In fact, of course, you've chosen a really bad example; does the word "outing" mean anything to you?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:01 AM
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303: You should have gone with "Detour and Frolic", or "Failure to Appear". Or "A Quantity of Books v. Kansas".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:02 AM
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"Death by Misadventure"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:06 AM
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I don't know about these meta-joke-jokes.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:06 AM
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Which is the better name for a duo, Cease & Desist or Aid & Abet?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:07 AM
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308: Frolic & Detour.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:08 AM
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I don't know about these meta-joke-jokes.

Not meta enough?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:09 AM
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We'll have to call in T/d S/der to get all this straight.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:11 AM
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"excited utterance"


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:12 AM
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"excited utterance"


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:12 AM
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a little too excited, seemingly.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:13 AM
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311: He'll be at Stanford on Friday. Should I ask him?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:13 AM
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It seems we're moving on to porn-film names. Hence, "Writ of Certioral".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:14 AM
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Tell him one of your metametametacock jokes and see if he can put it within the context of its surroundings.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:14 AM
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"Sweat v Painter"


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:14 AM
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"Sweat Painter"
"Pain Sweater"
"Lightfoot Gomillion"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:17 AM
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Um, a stretch, but a threesome with Bitch and a cetacean:

"Hey, B.: Us! Porpoise!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:28 AM
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Loving V. Virginia would be an awesome porn star name.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:30 AM
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320: you're overthinking; "Produce the Body" works fine.

"Miranda does Arizona"


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:43 AM
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259: (Well) Hung Jury


Posted by: metalpetic | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:47 AM
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Malfeasance in a public office.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 2:59 AM
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McCardle forsook all claims to civility the day she egged people on to take a 2x4 to war protesters' heads.

Quickly followed by her usual backtracking on no, she really didn't mean it that way, but not before her commenters had a good wank about it.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 3:23 AM
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In 1960, no one could have gotten elected to Congress in Massachusetts as an openly gay man. Now they can. In 1960 no presidential candidate would have supported civil unions for gay couples. In 2004, both did. Now, I suppose one could argue this (wonderful and heartening) evolution of American culture was accomplished primarily by pro-gay organizations "handing out personal abuse." This, argument, of course, is absolutely and laughably false, as anyone who lived in America can tell you.


As far as I can tell, the wonderful and heartening evolution of American culture began with riots that put 4 police officers in the hospital.


Posted by: joeo | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 3:24 AM
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I messed that link up:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots


Posted by: joeo | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 3:25 AM
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heh, I forgot that one. It really does irk me, though, the Tim Burke tendency to rewrite the whole of history as a series of episodes in which people won their struggles by being reasonable and not alienating The Majority (a classic example being the Seattle TRIPS negotiations, where the WTO was persuaded to put development back on the agenda by a series of well-argued policy briefs in the Financial Times or something). "Triumph of the Moderates" how areya. People have been laughing at liberals for constantly patting themselves on the back for other people's victories for years now but to seemingly no avail.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 3:47 AM
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re: 328

Yeah, also, almost every time there's been some non-violent protest movement dedicated to 'goal X' there's usually been an actually-violent movement also dedicated to 'goal X' [or lots of people rioting in favour of X]. Indian independence being a case in point.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 4:03 AM
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This debate over violence vs. non-violence is something you hear about ad nauseum in the anarchist scene. I've long held the belief that there's only one effective solution: Lock all the people who want to debate violence vs. non-violence in a room together. The people who support non-violence will be issued Nerf baseball bats. The people who support violence will be issued Louisville Sluggers. Problem solved.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 4:41 AM
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"Consortium and Easement": Band name.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 5:10 AM
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"Bag of Nutmegs". Long ago I was told that there's a legal precedent called something like "City of London vs. One Bag of Nutmegs". Google can't find it, except from me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 5:21 AM
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It may be, however: (1614) Hob 85; 80 ER 235 at 237.

Link


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 5:29 AM
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"Mopery with Intent to Creep". Album title.


Posted by: joe dokes | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 5:35 AM
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There was a band that got a fair amount of play on WXRT in the early 90s called "Material Issue" -- the only song of theirs I can remember was "Valerie Loves Me." I didn't realize it was a legal phrase until I went to law school.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 5:46 AM
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Dsquared, I don't see why you insist on defending a what's basically an unsupportable position until the last dog dies. Is your claim now that the practice of outing played a crucial role in generating tolerance for homosexuality by straights in Massachusetss? That's just absurd. Did you live here?

And in any event, even granting the official Dsquared view of the evolution of gay rights in the US, your larger point *still* wouldn't hold. What works for effecting political change if you are Queer Nation may not be the way of persuading someone on a blog, or in personal conversation. But of course, you know this.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 6:12 AM
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What works for effecting political change if you are Queer Nation may not be the way of persuading someone on a blog, or in personal conversation

let me whisper, I do know the odd thing or two about persuading people on blogs. You might notice that people don't question the statistical methods of Roberts et al (2004) "Mortality in Iraq" anything like as much as they used to. The Euston Manifesto did not capture any material ground on the British Left. The second "Day for Darfur" protest did not include several of the separatist groups who had been included in the first one. I'm not claiming sole credit for any of these, far from it, but I was involved in all three campaigns and I think I have a pretty good insight into what works. As I said, why not take a little bit of trouble to find out who you're patronising?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 6:21 AM
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You feel patronized? Sorry, not my intent. If I read you right, you agree with what I wrote, but were just indulging in some hyperbole here. That's all good.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 6:52 AM
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359:
Tortious Interference
Loss of Consort
Equitable Relief
Clear and Present Danger
Vested Remainder
Shocks the Conscience
Irreparable Injury
Chilling Effect
Qualified Immunity
Person of Interest


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 7:27 AM
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316: Porn titles...
Tacit Consent
Equitable Rectification
Quim pro Quo
Reformatio in Penis
Further and Better Particulars
Scire Facials
Gag Order
Age of Majority

And another band name: Actual Malice


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 7:39 AM
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Mmm, isn't it pretty widely accepted that the outing campaigns of the '80s really did play a major role in creating tolerance for homosexuality generally (if perhaps indirectly). Having never lived in Massachusetts, I can't speak to the specific situation there, but I didn't think the previous sentence was remotely controversial. Maybe you could expand on that?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 7:44 AM
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baa is, I believe, arguing the weirdly limited point that someboody, somewhere, at some point, must have been convinced by a civil and polite debate. Therefore it is irrelevant whether his examples hold up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 7:45 AM
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The non-violence v. violence question is different from the question of what kind of rhetoric is most effective. For example, watch me use impolite rhetoric in defense of non-violence: the casual embrace of violence and mockery of nonviolence, as if it's an argument that nerf bats work better than real bats, makes me fucking sick, and you can fucking bite me.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 7:49 AM
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304: Now, I suppose one could argue this (wonderful and heartening) evolution of American culture was accomplished primarily by pro-gay organizations "handing out personal abuse."

It was primarily accomplished by pro-gay organizations being willing to get confrontational. The mention of the Stonewall Riots is spot on; they really were a watershed moment that led to other forms of activism familiar from later years, including traditions that now seem anodyne but were far from being so at the time (for instance the Gay Liberation marches that eventually evolved into Pride parades).

330: A debate over confrontation vs. non-confrontation is orthogonal to a debate over violence vs. non-violence.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 7:50 AM
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I see Katherine beat me to the latter point, and a bit more forcefully.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 7:51 AM
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and you can fucking bite me.

But only with nerf teeth.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 7:53 AM
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This whole argument is bizarre: no one would deny, except in blog comments, that both controversial/confrontational/violent methods and more measured discourse are essential to almost any persuasive enterprise. First you need to be noticed/lay down a marker, then you need to make your point to more and more people.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:01 AM
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When I was studying political violence in undergrad, our prof (who was a Clinton advisor on terrorism) insisted that we see all forms of confrontation as along a spectrum of potential violence. When you gather in great numbers, even "peacefully," you are sending a message of threat---"We could become violent, and then where would you be?" Fear is what motivates change. The rhetoric of nonviolence is nice language, but the act, for example, of black Americans sitting at white lunch counters in the 60's was an act of "violence," not because it causes physical harm, but because it disrupts the traditional order.

And governments know this, which is why even peaceful protesters are being considered as possible "enemies." Violence changes nations. And small, social violence works because it threatens the possibility of larger physical violence, or, in the case of "nonviolent" protests, because it elicits violent confrontations by those who feel fear.

The Bush administration was especially good at manipulating protest by co-opting that fear and threatening violence against anyone who dares not act fearful. Now, we're just getting better at calling their bluff.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:04 AM
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or virtual teeth.

I can well believe that more violent movements have been successful overall, if you measure success by decisive & rapid defeat of those they opposed. I mean, yes, being able to shoot the other guy is an advantage. Nonviolence only works better against the original enemy/opponent under particular, limited conditions--namely: you're clearly going to lose anyway if it comes to a physical fight, but your opponent may be responsive to public opinion.

Those conditions are increasingly common in the world. But anyway, the *primary* tactical argument for nonviolence is that with violence, sure you might get rid of the original bad guy, but he is likely to be replaced by someone or something just as bad or worse. Surely you actually know this minneapolitan; do I need to reel off the examples?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:06 AM
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348: The "implicit threat of violence" argument seems circular to me. To upset the existing social order can be a form of "violence" (the guy at the lunch counter), but only of the social order reacts in a specific way. Mass gathering can be a threat of "violence" (peaceful demonstrations), but only under specific conditions. They can just as easily be proclamations of nonviolent resistance, or in a democracy, an implicit threat that "we can and will vote against you." That governments tend to react to them as threats of violence is not proof that they're correct to think so; it's proof that "violence" is a convenient interpretation of an inconvenient fact.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:14 AM
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You think they're afraid of our votes?

If, say, a million transsexuals marched on Washington in a "nonviolent" way, what would be the reaction of those who oppose trans rights? You think they'd say, "Welp, I guess there sure are a lot of them. Maybe my political belief system is completely wrong! Blessed democracy!"

No, it's going to bring out the worst in their opponents, who will (a) fight back with observable violence, (b) respond with overblown fear in the press about the "harm" these people are doing to their innocent children, and (c) come up with anti-democratic, fascistic methods of quieting the community. Moderates, then, will see the radicals freaking out about a bunch of folks who are asking for basic rights and will turn against them.

"Nonviolent" protest by marginalized groups works almost like satire, by forcing the fearful opponent to behave absurdly, which is pretty neat. But in cases where there isn't a moderate center to be moved by the displays of absurdity, that subtle rhetorical play is valueless. Do we have a sufficient "moderate" middle who can be manipulated? In some ways no, because the administration has already incorporated and displayed absurdity and overreaction at every step. An absurd reaction at this point, w/r/t the war, for example, would shock no one into some form of ethical consciousness.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:28 AM
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Yeah, also, almost every time there's been some non-violent protest movement dedicated to 'goal X' there's usually been an actually-violent movement also dedicated to 'goal X' [or lots of people rioting in favour of X].

Indeed, and sometimes the non-violent group is able to work this to their advantage: it's either deal with us, or deal with them, and we're the nice reasonable ones.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:28 AM
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Gandhi and MLK were pretty well aware that the possibility of violence gave them some bargaining power. Non-violent Balinese Brahman resistance to the Dutch occupation was met so violently that the Brahmans almost disappeared (per Geertz).

This is an old argument. Since all states are founded by violence (cute little Holland, Sweden, and Switzerland were brutes in their day), and the state is defined by the monopoly of legitimate violence, the question isn't violence, it's whether or not to challenge the state monopoly. The down side of revolutionary violence is civil war, which tends to be (but isn't always) worse than the median bad government.

Fanon argued that subject nations who have been taught by violence to cringe can only free themselves (even psychologically) with counterviolence. (Everyone should read "Wretched of the Earth"; it's not at all what you think it is).

There's a little footnote here: I don't know if Fanon used Israel as an example, but if he didn't he should have. The stereotypical Jew cringed and wheedled a lot. Israelis don't. (But yes, this is not a completely positive example).

A step furhter: all of the neocons read Fanon, and they all have an obsession with violence. There was a critique of Podhoretz out just recently which noted his lifelong obsession with violence. (In fact, Podhoretz was a cringing slum Jew in his youth). So the neocons are the Black Power Fanonists of the Jews, and among the oppressors of the Jews to be attacked were Arabs and vlack Americans.

No, I'm not kidding.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:41 AM
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351: You think they're afraid of our votes?

Well, I did say "in a democracy." It can be argued (reasonably!) that the threat of electoral consequences in the wake of mass demonstrations helped motivate the unusual degree of spine shown by stalwart US allies like Canada or France in refusing to deploy to Iraq. It didn't work in the US, but then I'm pretty much at the point of not seeing the US as a functioning democracy.

In other cases it depends on the context. I think 351 is a pretty serviceable analysis of how this kind of thing can work, and 352 is right about the good cop-bad cop dynamic that can be present (sometimes even employed by the same organization, cf. the ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe, or the IRA and Sinn Fein) but I note that neither is really an endorsement of the view that the protests themselves are an implicit threat of violence.

OTOH at a different scale, the balance can tip in favour of nonviolence. Gandhi's movement was not a play to the moderate centre (despite distortions to that effect in pop history), but a straightforward threat to shut down or bypass the actual functions of the British Raj, and it achieved mass support precisely because it didn't present the appearance of an ethnic militia. (Too bad to put it mildly that that dynamic couldn't be sustained past the defeat of the British, but there you have it.) Of course that strategy relied on a specific context which isn't easy to reproduce.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:46 AM
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Vlack Americans is Stanley's new band name.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:46 AM
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A small Vlach-American community does exist. This may be the ultimate boutique nationality, except for the elusive Lur-Americans. The American Ethnic Cookbook includes soe Vlach-Aerican recipes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:54 AM
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Long ago I was told that there's a legal precedent called something like "City of London vs. One Bag of Nutmegs".

See also United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:55 AM
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Like Texas Mexicans, Vlach-Americans dance to polkas.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:55 AM
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I already mentioned A Quantity of Books v. Kansas.

The Vlachs need a congressional champion to put them on the map, like Paul Laxalt.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:58 AM
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This whole argument is bizarre: no one would deny, except in blog comments, that both controversial/confrontational/violent methods and more measured discourse are essential to almost any persuasive enterprise.

I agree in part, and disagree in part. For political change: sure. The ideal balance between sweet reason and confrontation will vary on the case. And it would not surprise me at all if a comprehensive review of political change showed that a balance weighted towards confrontation was typically more effective.

What I think is a mistake is to take the practice and modes of political persuasion as a straight-forward model for personal persuasion. (which is how this subtopic got started). When you're talking to some anonymous person on the web about the estate tax, or global warming, or whatever, it's not clear to me how confrontation and personal abuse are supposed to be so effective. Maybe persuasion just never works and should be abandoned. I imagine, however, that we can all think of cases where we changed your mind. I would further imagine that on introspection, you all would find you have changed your mind more frequently on the basis of polite persuasion than on the basis of being personally abused.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 8:59 AM
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baa gets it right here. If I'm reading something by a conservative online, and I see him make an obvious unfair cheapshot or nonsensical adhominem for the sake of getting cheers from his fans, I stop reading. Why should people have to wade through that in order to get to whatever actual point the writer thinks he wants to convey?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 9:02 AM
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Michael Dukakis was a Vlach. You heard it hear first.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 9:03 AM
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I know another Vlach-American, come to think of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 9:04 AM
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361: I only endorse fair cheapshots and sensical ad hominems. For serious; there's an actual qualitative difference between what the Rude Pundit does and what, say, Mickey Malkin does.

If someone proves willing to ignore that, and more concerned with "tone" than content, I don't see any particular reason to think they'd be actually persuaded by more reasonable-sounding discourse. (In the days when I still bothered reading warbloggers I remember running across a group blog called "Winds of Change," run mostly by a character who called himself the "Armed Liberal;" it cultivated a relentlessly "reasonable" air but offered little in the way of actual reason, and no greater discernible flexibility of mindset among the participants.)

This is not to say that everyone should adopt the same degree of abrasiveness, just that complaints along the lines of "oh noes! you called McArdle a bad name!" carry little weight for good reason.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 9:23 AM
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The Winds of Change was indeed horrible. It also cultivated the infuriating combination of rhetorical reasonableness with actual pigheaded unreasonableness. This is why people dislike McArdle, and the sexism thing is a canard.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 10:49 AM
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Rrrr. I'm with 364 and 365 generally, on there being a point (and a fairly early one) when dealing with someone unreasonable who's adopted an unreasonable tone, where moving to "fair cheapshots" is the way to go.

I still think that McArdle gets abuse that's unfairly related to her self-presentation as a youngish woman; I'd have to spend some time searching for comments about her and nutpicking, and then figuring out a good parallel male annoyingly faux-reasonable blogger and reading enough of his comments to be sure that he was getting less abuse to be sure of this, and I'm not going to bother. But it is the impression I have.

It's like the Althouse thing -- call her a loon all you want, but I hate the comments about her sagging upper arms. Likewise, with McArdle, comments implying that someone as consistently wrongheaded as she is could only have gotten where she has through her feminine wiles strike me as awful -- it's not like there aren't plenty of male right-wing nitwits blogging.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 10:59 AM
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When you're talking to some anonymous person on the web about the estate tax, or global warming, or whatever, it's not clear to me how confrontation and personal abuse are supposed to be so effective.

The actual history of the blogosphere suggests differently. Several years ago, a lot of bloggers--Andrew Sullivan and Megan McArdle among them--put a lot of effort into abusing and marginalizing their opponents. All of the abusive and confrontational language of "fisking" and "takedowns, "Islamofascists" "traitors," "objectively pro-Saddam," etc., was very effective at setting terms of debate, obfuscating, and providing PR for warmongers. If success is measured by desires satisfied, the The Anti-Idiotarian Party was very successful--and they didn't do it by avoiding confrontation and abuse.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 12:59 PM
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I think those sites were actually spectacularly ugly to people not predisposed to agree with them. They happened to come about at a time when their particular brand of ugliness was in resurgence due to 9/11, so they had a good echo chamber going for a while, which I think served as a bit of a bubble -- so much highly visible intolerance had the effect of intimidating members of the community from deviating from the party line -- but it seems that the bubble burst under the weight of their intolerance and discredited, unpopular ideology.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 09-26-07 1:09 PM
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