Re: Yes but these Sneeches have stars upon thars.

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When square people start moving into what was a hip neighborhood, hipsters can be justified in being a little xenophobic. And the residents of the next neighborhood the hipsters move to can also exhibit something that might be called xenophobia (although I don't know whether that's the right word) because they resent the influx of new blood, which is a harbinger of the fact that they're going to be priced out of their own neighborhood in a few years.


Posted by: Frostbite | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:23 AM
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If I lived in a threatened utopia,

Misguided though they may be, this is a pithily apt characterization of the mindset of many in this here fair land.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:36 AM
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2: I thought that was the point of heebie's post?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:45 AM
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Me two -- that she was showing empathy with xenophobes by imagining circumstances under which she'd be xenophobic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:49 AM
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Thinking more about 2, folks are not necessarily internally consistent on this, as most of them have significant grievances againt the current state of the USofA. If I lived in a threatened aspirational utopia, may be more apt if less pithy.

3: I'm like the guy that translates for the "hard of hearing" by yelling. (Where was that skit from, SNL?)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:50 AM
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I would say that I don't really share Heebie's empathy, unless the influx were such that I thought 'my people' were going to be swiftly and immediately outnumbered by a homogenous fundamentalist group -- that liberals wouldn't even be a plurality. Short of that, I think liberalism and tolerance has enough innate seductive force that importing fundamentalists won't affect it much -- we'd pick up their defectors, and they'd fade away in a couple of generations.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:55 AM
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I guess her post could be read instead as just questioning her own anti-xenophobia--wondering if maybe she's not really anti-xenophobic in any principled sense, but just generally in favor of change. (And if she were not in favor of change, perhaps she'd not be in favor of new people who were bringing it.) But I read it more in the sense of 2/4.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:57 AM
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The circumstances described in Heebie's post have generally been true of Western Europe for the past 20 or more years.

Insane squealing from right-wingers about the Islamic hordes, of course, is generally nothing more than racist nonsense, but it is often true that immigrants to Europe are often going to be less liberal than the population into which they are immigrating.


Posted by: nattarGCM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:57 AM
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6: Yeah, maybe there's a tipping point threshold subject to one's temperament, under which I'd be okay with, but over which I'd freak out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:58 AM
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9: Like if they were all Hutterites.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:59 AM
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liberalism and tolerance has enough innate seductive force that importing fundamentalists won't affect it much

Somebody lives in Manhattan and not the South.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:03 AM
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You live in a fairly liberal town, Apo, right?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:05 AM
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But if I lived in a homogenous liberal nation, and evangelical right-wingers started flooding our little community, it would probably terrify the shit out of me.

This is like imagining living in a vermin free house that was invaded by giant cockroaches. It seems perfectly reasonable to me to be filled with fear and loathing, but I guess I'm just xenophobic that way.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:10 AM
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I do, but my main electoral criterion is which candidate will stick it to Jesus' Stormtroopers with the most relish and efficacy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:11 AM
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I think "representative government" doesn't do as much work as it might in this post. That's the problem with a winner-take-all representative government system, innit? The largest plurality of voters decides what strictures everyone else will have to live under. Or tries to, but of course their best efforts are usually undone by the machinations of malefactors of great wealth.

If we were talking about an actual utopia - the free association of free individuals in a free society - there'd be built-in checks against repressive forces coming to power. Namely, just because you lived in that society, you wouldn't be agreeing to be bossed around because 30% of the population thought the universe was run by some cranky old Jewish guy who sits on a cloud and counts up how many times you wank off. (And if you're not contrite enough, you have to go live in a volcano where mean red guys with horns and tails poke you with pitchforks forever.) No, if somebody started acting all bossy, they'd find out pretty quickly that it didn't pay.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:12 AM
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how many times you wank off

Not even Jehovah can count that high.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:14 AM
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hort of that, I think liberalism and tolerance has enough innate seductive force that importing fundamentalists won't affect it much -- we'd pick up their defectors, and they'd fade away in a couple of generations.

Absolutely true if you live in a secular multicultural city with a population of ten or twenty million.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:14 AM
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Moral luck is a tough problem.


Posted by: gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:15 AM
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I think it all comes down to whether the newcomers make really good food.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:18 AM
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17: Well, that's the thing. NY (and SF, and all sorts of smaller big cities nationwide) gets the defectors from the fundamentalist-ridden towns now -- defectors have a place to go, and I think the nationwide trends are in a good direction (socially, not politicially, but socially. Attitudes toward LGBTQ people seem to me to be the canary in the coal mine here, and while there's still a long way to go, they've come incredibly far even since I was in high school). I don't think you can keep a really unpleasantly repressive culture self-sustaining for long unless you can control exit, and where the country has a plurality of people who accept that tolerance is a value on some level, you can't control exit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:22 AM
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19: Fundamentalists taste terrible.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:23 AM
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re: 20

I think tolerance can go several ways at once, though. In the UK there has been a similar massive change in attitudes to homosexuality, and racism, while far from gone, isn't anything like as ubiquitous as it once was. But, in other ways, I think we've become a less tolerant society.

Not caring about whether people are gay, or whether they are black or Asian, is perfectly compatible with a fairly nasty petit bourgeois moralism, for example.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:25 AM
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You know who makes good food? People from Leste-Timor. Thankfully, they have their own country now, but man, I wish there were more of them here to open some restaurants and stuff. Of course, they're not super-fundie, just Catholic, so this really doesn't go to the post at all.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:26 AM
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6

This assumes of course that all important differences between groups of people are cultural.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:28 AM
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24: (a) Nuh-huh! and (b) WTF does that have to do with what we're talking about?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:29 AM
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13:Look, I'm as genocidal as the next secular liberal, but I am now convinced it will not work.

I have gotten an idea in my head, that even starting from a base of 100% secular rational liberals, after a generation or two an elite will form, distribution of wealth & power will become inbalanced, and a new minority of conservative irrationalists will arise like pondscum, along with a cream of socialist nihilist revolutionaries.

As I have said about Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other places, the majority rules only with the consent of the governed/minority. Certainly you can maintain some level of peace & prosperity, but even if a level of 10% violent Edwardian anarchists or Tamil Tigers or Wahhabist suicide bombers or abortion-clinic bombers don't want to play you can have an unendurable society or be forced to cave on key issues.

Liberalism is like, is directly connected to fre market capitalism. In a capitalist society a quite small minority of greedy sociopaths can bring the entire economy down. Liberalism & capitalism are only really plausible on an assumption of a universal accepted social contract. But the contract will never be universally accepted. Fail, usually by a partial abandonment of liberal principles, i.e., the difficulty of amending the Bill of Rights.

I don't have an answer. I do know that many people smarter than I are working very hard on the problem.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:31 AM
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Shearer once again points us towards a more nuanced, Marxian view of the dialectic of social conflict. Bravo Comrade Shearer, let us all remember that the class struggle is paramount!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:33 AM
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The situation in 6 is pretty much what happened to Antelope, OR when the Rajneeshees moved in.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:33 AM
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25: I suspect Shearer's getting at "what if the incoming hordes are stupider than we are?" Which is a question that could be posed, theoretically, about the incoming fundamentalist hordes (as it is posed, in reality, from time to time, about fundamentalists), and that is posed, with some frequency, about hispanic immigrants to the US.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:34 AM
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I suspect Shearer's getting at "what if the incoming hordes are stupider than we are?"

Then we sell them our real estate. Everyone's happy, nobody loses. Next.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:35 AM
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Yeah. News from Nowhere:

I don't live in a liberal Utopia, nor is there the remotest prospect of it being overrun by anybody, but enough noisy people, including senior members of the government, believe that it's in their interest to push that line that reasonable social democrats are beginning to waver. I've seen strong anti-immigration views spreading among casual acquaintances like work colleagues for some time, but these aren't people who follow events analytically.

Then the other night, we were with some very old friends - leftish academics who've lived all over the world, and they suddenly started spewing the most appalling racist shit about immigrants, and how they were endangering everything and everybody.

(I haven't a clue how to deal with this - how much of that crap do I have to put up with in an effort to win them back from the dark side in the name of old friendship?)

Takeaway: Heebie is (obviously) right. The "bad guys" have no natural monopoly on xenophobia. And the break point is scarily low for some of the "good guys".


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:35 AM
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I'm as genocidal as the next secular liberal, but I am now convinced it will not work.

Genocide or secular liberalism?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:36 AM
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re: 31

Yeah, our government have been right evil bastards on that one for quite a few years now. They regularly make veiled or not so veiled references to immigrants and their pernicious influence and they pander to the Daily Mail/BNP demographic in the most blatant way.

It's all part and parcel of the Dacre-isation of Britain.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:41 AM
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Related: http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/newsbeat/newsid_7961000/7961224.stm


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:42 AM
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Then the other night, we were with some very old friends - leftish academics who've lived all over the world, and they suddenly started spewing the most appalling racist shit about immigrants, and how they were endangering everything and everybody.

Is there a nimby aspect to this? A lot of people turn 180 degrees with not a moment's hesitation when something becomes personal to them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:43 AM
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Secular genocide.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:43 AM
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34: Give him credit for good intentions, but that could be almost anything.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:45 AM
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The circumstances described in Heebie's post have generally been true of Western Europe for the past 20 or more years.

yep. I'm strongly sympathetic to the anti-immigrant position in Europe. Xenophobia continues to be a problem though because it's hatred-based, which is bad. A big problem is that "establishment" liberal parties aren't ideologically equipped to acknowledge the legitimacy of anti-immigrant feelings, so they don't take a policy stand on it, so that popular issue gets left to genuinely xenophobic parties.

Another thing is that I think it's fundamentally flawed to define "tolerance" on an individual level. People are members of communities and participants in ways of life before they are individuals. Trying to enshrine tolerance on the purely individual level just ends up privileging a particular form of liberalism.

But if I lived in a homogenous liberal nation, and evangelical right-wingers started flooding our little community, it would probably terrify the shit out of me. I can see wanting grandfather clauses and backdoor priviliges just to ensure they stayed out of the most important decision-making capacities.

The most extreme version of this issue can be seen in Israel's gradual transformation into an apartheid state, where the Other getting into a decisionmaking capacity is seen as a life-or-death issue.



Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:47 AM
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Is there a nimby aspect to this?

Not as far as I can tell. The area they live in is academic/medical and the cultural mix hasn't changed since the last of the steelworkers were driven out by the student landlords thirty years ago. The only people in funny clothes they ever see are students who will go home when they graduate. AFAICS they've just succumbed to the relentless drumbeat of "Dacre-isation", as ttaM so succinctly puts it. I could weep.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:50 AM
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Not this Dacre, I know, but it sort of fits.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:53 AM
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38: Then you are a great fool. Immigrants pose problems in that they make fascist electoral success more likely, and cost the state money if you can't integrate them, but they certainly doesn't pose a threat to secularism or the dominant culture. That's looney bin territory.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:59 AM
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I caught myself falling into exactly this, a few years ago, when I heard a story about some direly anti-gay group that was made up of Russian (non-Jewish, for what it's worth) immigrants. And my very first thought was "who the hell are these people to come into a country and then try to impose their values on -- oh, that's how people end up sounding like that".

Oh yeah, here.


Posted by: DonBoy | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:00 AM
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The circumstances described in Heebie's post have generally been true of Western Europe for the past 20 or more years.

Not sure how true this is. On the whole, those immigrants who don't want to integrate themselves, segregate themselves, so they're very little inconvenience or threat to the rest of the population. If there were a significant number of people who were seriously violent, that might be a different question, but there aren't.

There's a tiny number of people who are seriously violent - just like the number of active IRA volunteers among Irish immigrants on the mainland was always in single or double figures.

There has been no serious attack in France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, or the Netherlands, which has the highest percentage. Absolutely no basis for generalised xenophobia.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:01 AM
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Furthermore, if you send away even more refugees they will get imprisoned, tortured, shot at, and killed in great numbers.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:01 AM
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Then you are a great fool. Immigrants pose problems in that they make fascist electoral success more likely, and cost the state money if you can't integrate them, but they certainly doesn't pose a threat to secularism or the dominant culture. That's looney bin territory.

What? What if immigrants end up being the majority? Then they're the dominant culture. Seems straightforward to me. It happens in small towns all over the place, if not to entire countries.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:02 AM
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Or what Weman said.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:02 AM
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What if immigrants end up being the majority?

There are 300 million Americans. I won't hold my breath.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:03 AM
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It happens in small towns all over the place, if not to entire countries.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:04 AM
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re: 43

Oh I don't buy that immigrants pose any danger at all of swamping the existing culture. Or that they are likely to push the culture right-wards by virtue of their beliefs.

The continual right-wing hysteria about intolerant fundamentalists is just bigotry and racism.

However, it is true that a lot of new immigrants do have less liberal beliefs about women, religious toleration, homosexuality, and so on. Like you, I just don't think that much follows from that -- the pernicious effects that it has are almost all confined to that particular community.

I wasn't pointing to the intolerance of some immigrants as any kind of support for xenophobia.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:05 AM
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Or, put another way, we can accept the factual truth of the claim that a lot of new immigrants are going to have social/political/religious views that are less liberal than the background culture without accepting that any xenophobic attitudes or anti-immigration policies ought to follow from that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:07 AM
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25

... WTF does that have to do with what we're talking about?

You assert in 6 that you aren't worried about immigrants with a different culture because when in contact with your superior culture they will adopt it. This doesn't work if it is their genes that are different.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:07 AM
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That's obviously in some science fiction scenario, but it's not in the cards in actual contemporary Western Europe.

Here's the classic Randy McDonald post.

http://rfmcdpei.livejournal.com/408410.html

There are no serious projections of swarthy peoople takeover anywhere else. If so, we'd hear no end of it.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:08 AM
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49. I didn't think you were. I was really responding to PGD.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:08 AM
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re: 51

And what precisely is supposed to follow from these allegedly different genes?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:08 AM
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Immigrants pose problems in that they make fascist electoral success more likely

The utter unwillingness of certain non-facists to acknowledge that there even might be an issue, and the abusive tone when the question is even raised, contributes to the link between facist electoral success and immigration.

I do agree that the left championing "diversity" and "tolerance" has made a huge positive contribution in shaping a new form of community.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:09 AM
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What if immigrants end up being the majority?

There are 300 million Americans. I won't hold my breath.

THAT'S WHAT WE SAID, WHITEY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED NATIVE AMERICAN | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:13 AM
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The utter unwillingness of certain non-facists to acknowledge that there even might be an issue

I've never come across this. Do tell. What issue do non-fascists refuse to acknowledge? That there are a lot more swarthy people around than when Grandpa was a boy, or that those people are treated like second class citizens and come to resent it?

Weman, thanks for that link. I'd read the article when it was first published but I wouldn't have had a clue where to find it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:16 AM
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Plenty of non-fascists have done immigrant baiting, like for instance the entire political establishment in Netherlands, Denmark and the UK, and half of it in France and Italy.

There are issues w refugee immigration. If intergration is unsuccesful, it costs money and there's (at least a bit) more crime.

Changing the dominant culture isn't on the cards however.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:17 AM
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We must defeat the scourge of facism. Down with physiognomy!


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:17 AM
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54

And what precisely is supposed to follow from these allegedly different genes?

Different and perhaps less congenial culture and society.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:17 AM
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In the cards.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:18 AM
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It does seem likely there's real value to broad cultural cohesion in society. Which large immigrant populations could strain (although these rifts need not be driven by immigration--see, e.g., red state/blue state USA, or, say, Europe during the reformation). The question is whether or at what point potential losses of that value begin to outweigh the gains from immigration, including the benefits of tolerance and diversity. (It's not contradictory to say both that there are benefits to diversity and benefits to broad cultural cohesion. Indeed, a society with a strong and broad cultural belief in the benefits of diversity sounds like a good goal.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:18 AM
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55: PGD, I have no idea what you're on about, with your scare quotes around diversity and tolerance. Fascist.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:23 AM
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Because culture is determined by genes?

You'll need to spell out the claim rather than coyly alluding to it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:27 AM
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The issue is not immigrants taking over. The issue is that the US (and some other mostly secular liberal countries) has about 40+ percent of the population who are strongly in favor of rolling back the gains of the last couple of generations along with enough sympathizers to give them a real shot at power, and immigrants who come from cultures that lean in the same direction as homegrown reactionaries on issues important to liberals add to that number. Democracies tend to stabilize in positions where the various factions have close to equal numbers, so what's needed to sway an issue may be a relatively small number of immigrants.

The counterpoint to this is that immigrants will tend to move closer to the mores of their environment over time, and their children will be closer still. The rate at which immigrant populations move towards the national socio-political center is obviously dependent on a lot of factors, but I suspect that the most important one is the degree of assimilation into the larger culture. Smart immigration policy would encourage assimilation as much as possible.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:29 AM
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57: nice way to illustrate my point.

Brock in 62 is getting at what I meant, as did Ned when he mentioned that individual communities can be changed profoundly by immigrants even if the nation isn't. The fear that immigrants will become a national majority, that they will "take over", is in most cases just an expression of xenophobic paranoia. Immigration is in most cases a quality of life issue. The problem is acknowledging that living next to people who are different than you can reduce your quality of life. As Heebie points out in the original post, liberals are somewhat hypocritical about this, since on the one hand not liking people who are different from you=racism, facism, etc., and on the other hand liberals can't stand a lot of aspects of traditional societies and condemn them as unjust.

I would also note that the quality of life issues connected to immigration go beyond the cultural ones. I think a lot of things I love about America are fundamentally connected to low population density. Immigration is the major source of U.S. population growth. I see this as a major problem.

The question is whether these types of quality of life issues can be legitimate subjects for democratic debate, or whether they have to be pushed to the margins because they are necessarily connected with racism.

As I mentioned above, part of the problem here is with the basics of liberal thought, in the way that it thinks of people as individuals instead of as members of communities or instances of broader ways of life. This has been hugely successful as an ideology of social transformation, but it's not an accurate representation of reality. I liked Heebie's post because she acknowledged herself as a member of a particular community and way of life and reflected on the ways that naturally distances you from other people who are not members of that community.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:29 AM
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We must defeat the scourge of facism.

Thanks for carrying the banner for me, Matt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:30 AM
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I don't even slightly believe in Shearer's daft fantasy of cultural invaders with a genetic disposition to genetic narrowness, but the obvious solution to it is lots of sex with them straight away -- with no downside if this disposition doesn't exist (which it doesn't)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:32 AM
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As I mentioned above, part of the problem here is with the basics of liberal thought, in the way that it thinks of people as individuals instead of as members of communities or instances of broader ways of life.

FWIW, elements of communitarian thinking have been explicitly and implicitly invoked by the New Labour administration of the past 12 years. I think it's fair to say that whenever communitarianism gets invoked the government is about to do something pretty evil.

I'm sympathetic to critiques of certain types of liberal individualism, but I'm very very wary of where some of those critiques can take us.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:32 AM
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The problem is acknowledging that living next to people who are different than you can reduce your quality of life.

Or it could improve your quality of life. I think the difference between a xenophobe and a nonxenophobe is that the former is going to assume in advance that living next to people who are different is going to be a problem, whereas a nonxenophone is going to let the facts play out before judging the situation.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:34 AM
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a lot of things I love about America are fundamentally connected to low population density. Immigration is the major source of U.S. population growth. I see this as a major problem.

There are huge numbers of places in this country you can live where the population density is and will always be very low. Where have you chosen to live currently?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:35 AM
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The problem is acknowledging that living next to people who are different than you can reduce your quality of life.

I live next door to a Muslim family who (the parents) had an arranged marriage, the father speak fairly broken English and the mother and daughter wear a scarf out of doors. They are excellent neighbours, and we're collaborating on extending our houses in a very positive and friendly way. We've both had the other lot to dinner.

A few years ago I lived next door to a bunch of white hipsters who didn't have regular jobs, so they used to play music at maximum volume and wake the street at 2 in the morning until the police were called (they wouldn't respond to a polite request).

Quality of life?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:38 AM
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72: However, your Muslim neighbors don't sound like they live by an ideology that deeply scares you. What if Texans started flooding your neighborhood?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:41 AM
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North Carolina has the fastest-growing Hispanic population in the US (or, at least, it did before the construction business cratered; I assume it still does). As a sanctuary city, the growth in Durham has been particularly heavy. But I really haven't seen any negative social results from it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:43 AM
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re: 72

Quite.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:44 AM
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re: 73

The guy across the street from me has a big Stars and Stripes flying from a flagpole in his garden. I find that pretty damned offensive.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:45 AM
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The last two missing child calls I've been to have involved immigrants. A Somali family and a Polynesian family. The parent in both cases didn't speak a lick of english, so the other kids acted as translators. Both times it reminded me of the stories my grandmother told of interpreting for her Italian parents. So yeah, I find it hard to get worked up over assimilation.


Posted by: Teddy Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:45 AM
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50: a lot of new immigrants are going to have social/political/religious views that are less liberal than the background culture

You know, not to flagellate the deceased equine overmuch, but there is an alternative response to this problem, and we used it to great success here in the US a century ago: radicalize 'em! For every immigrant patriarch who wants to keep 'his' women in purdah, there's half a dozen women who chafed under those restrictions in the old country, and see emigrating as a perfect opportunity to upset the apple cart. You think there aren't gay immigrants? Red immigrants? Immigrants who were part of an ethnic minority in their home country and relish the chance to live in a pluralistic society? Those people are fertile ground for the best ideas we've got to offer. The "us" and "them" we need to be thinking about isn't "natives" and "immigrants" (which is pretty absurd in a US context anyhow), but workers like ourselves and our immigrant comrades versus the bosses.

I'm visiting a predominantly Somali mosque next week, and I don't expect to convert the imam to anarchism (but neither does he expect me to convert to Islam), but out of those kinds of contacts can spring a dialectic that moves things forward.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:46 AM
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Fröm the wrath öf the Nörse immigrants, deliver us, ö Göd.


Posted by: Nöt Björk | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:46 AM
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A poll of voters of the local fascists showed that they were clearly more content with their lives than the population at large. They only get 2-3 percent of the vote, and I'd be somewhat surprised if the same was true for say Front National voters. This isn't meant as an refutation as much as an interesting fact.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:48 AM
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A few years ago I lived next door to a bunch of white hipsters who didn't have regular jobs

No dogs, no Irish hipsters.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:59 AM
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64

Because culture is determined by genes?

You'll need to spell out the claim rather than coyly alluding to it.

Influenced by genes anyway. Lots of human behavior has a genetic component. Vary the genes and the behavior will change. Suppose introversion and extroversion are genetically determined. A society made up predominantly of introverts is likely to have a different culture than a society made up predominantly of extroverts. Similarly for other genetic differences.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:00 PM
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What if Texans started flooding your neighborhood?

You'd be welcome any time you wanted to visit, Heebie.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:05 PM
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68

I don't even slightly believe in Shearer's daft fantasy of cultural invaders with a genetic disposition to genetic narrowness, but the obvious solution to it is lots of sex with them straight away -- with no downside if this disposition doesn't exist (which it doesn't)

If populations A and B with different genes interbreed eventually a new population C will arise intermediate between A and B but not the same as either. So a disposition to say nepotism will be diluted but not eliminated.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:06 PM
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80. That's seriously weird. Any ideas what's going on there?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:08 PM
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A genetic disposition towards nepotism? That's... a surprising hypothetical.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:08 PM
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What, exactly, are the people who are "concerned" about immigrants from culturally conservative countries proposing?

Suppose a swarthy immigrant ran a blog where he trolled feminists constantly and expressed sympathy for Sayyid Qutb. How would you respond?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:11 PM
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If [imaginary science-fictional idiocy] were true, then [absurd scary consequence] would follow! We're all doomed!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:14 PM
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My problem with xenophobes is not that I can't imagine a world in which my values and way of life is being overrun, it's that their evidence of their values and way of life being overrun is that they saw an immigrant or heard a different language.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:16 PM
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86

A genetic disposition towards nepotism? That's... a surprising hypothetical.

Why? You find it totally implausible? And of course such a disposition could vary in strength affecting society and culture.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:16 PM
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I detect an undiluted genetic disposition to making nutty remarks at work here.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:17 PM
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Look, we already tried large-scale immigration once, importing Africans by the boatload. And what did it bring us? That's right: civil war. Why would we want to go through that again?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:17 PM
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88

If [imaginary science-fictional idiocy] were true, then [absurd scary consequence] would follow! We're all doomed!

One person's imaginary science-fictional idiocy is another person's global warming.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:18 PM
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How would you respond?

Well it's almost certain that I wouldn't be aware of said blog's existence (see 43). But if my attention was drawn to it, I would probably take my lead from any feminists who were pushing back. If the prevailing opinion among feminist bloggers I respect was to ignore it, I would do so.

As for Qutb, he was mainly interested in Egyptian politics, about which I know nothing and must therefore be silent.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:19 PM
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90: I think there almost certainly is a inherited disposition to in-group loyalty. I'm also fairly use its is evenly distributed among the human population, like say, the genetic disposition to create sophisticated languages and tools.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:20 PM
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Well it's almost certain that I wouldn't be aware of said blog's existence (see 43).

What if he also posted a lot about swimming?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:22 PM
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And what did it bring us? That's right: civil war.

That's why we're using Mexicans this time. Instead of civil war, they bring chimichangas. Win-win!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:22 PM
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87.first: Actively encourage assimilation and discourage ghettoization of the sort that France suffers from. Specifically, promote learning English, require a modest cultural/political orientation course for gaining citizenship, encourage parents to put their kids into public schools, things of that sort.

87.last: Election of a secret muslim to the presidency of the United States is a logical outcome of the (absurd) scenario you mention. In that case, grab bullets, beans, and bibles and head for the hills. Wolverines!!!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:23 PM
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Global warming is considered a danger by the scientific community as a whole, therefore my ignorant and mathematically preposterous speculations about genes are also science!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:23 PM
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Everything's been downhill since Pau Gasol got here.


Posted by: Kobe | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:25 PM
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One person's imaginary science-fictional idiocy is another person's global warming.

'Cause, you know, it's all peoples' opinions and nobody has developed any systematic methods for discerning factual information.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:27 PM
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Once again, Comrade Shearer's reading of Agamben stands him in good stead. Through a strategy of intensification, Comrade Shearer reminds us that many less-advanced individuals still harbor retrograde opinions on eugenics and related topics. Therefore, he believes, our class-based organizing must be that much stronger and more theorized, so that we can win over even the eugenicists to the cause of social revolution. Again, I do not blush to say that I am in awe of such displays of erudition.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:27 PM
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What if he also posted a lot about swimming?

Oh, was he interested in Qutb? He never wrote about him when I was around.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:27 PM
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12 hits.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:29 PM
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But I really haven't seen any negative social results from it.

If you get a chance, stop by La Regia on NC 55 and sample the cheap, very good cuisine. Highly recommended. They have mostly standard Tex-Mex food but the back of the menu claims to be more authentic and consists of dishes I'd never seen anywhere else.

One thing I've noticed is that 15 years ago my industry - IT - was like a chess set, everyone white or black. Today, of the eight people on my team in this room, three are native Spanish speakers, as is my boss' boss. I've taken this to be evidence of the increasing assimilation of Latino populations.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:30 PM
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103: It was an offhanded thing, generally a way of referring to his anti-moderninst instincts. Eg: here or here


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:30 PM
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stop by La Regia [...] as is my boss' boss

Who's assimilating whom, Señor McManlyPants?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:34 PM
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99

... mathematically preposterous ...

?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:34 PM
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106. Rhetoric aside, the first of those links sounds vaguely Marxist and the second sounds more like Blake. I have a lot of time for Marx, and very little for Blake (as an ideologist). So.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:35 PM
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Hey, what ever happened to SCMT?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:38 PM
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110. Probably he goes by whatever everybody else calls him these days. Sadly missed, not just here.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:40 PM
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109: I believe Qutb was influenced by other critics of Western society.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:42 PM
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Probably he goes by whatever everybody else calls him these days.

bob.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:42 PM
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No shit?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:42 PM
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It's interesting to see an issue on which European liberals have knee-jerk, angry responses as a result of constant idiotic press coverage, while American liberals don't have a set position (yet). Another would probably be surveillance in public places.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:45 PM
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114: No, shit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:45 PM
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"result of" s/b "response to"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:45 PM
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Who's assimilating whom, Señor McManlyPants?

I'm sure I've told this before, but earlier this semester I caused a round of giggles in my Japanese class when, upon being called on, I enthusiastically answered, «¡Sí!»


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:46 PM
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114 > 112.

Another would probably be surveillance in public places.

Yes.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:52 PM
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When swarthy foreigners mate with white bass-playing librarians, are we to think that they're assimilating, or are we to think that they're defiling our women? that's what I can't figure out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:57 PM
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93 buddhist


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 12:59 PM
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I wish there weren't an interesting thread going on when I'm working.

Anyway: 78 is actually descriptive (rather than aspirational) in many cases.

Also, immigrants self-select. We're not getting a random sample of people from country X, we're getting the young Algerian who is determined to get out and try his luck in America, or the entrepreneurial aspirant from Senegal.

Even refugees are self-selected in some sense -- e.g. the SE Asians who came herein the '80s had often been on the U.S. side in the war.

To the extent that I'm xenophobic, it's generally outcome-based rather than demographically based. So I'm with OFE in 72.

it's that their evidence of their values and way of life being overrun is that they saw an immigrant or heard a different language.

"Press one for English" makes people more volcanically angry than I would ever have believed. There's a doctoral study in there somewhere, I just know it.

And 68 is great.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:02 PM
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120: Assimilation is mutual defilement.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:03 PM
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I meant to say I was responding to 92. In case you weren't just trolling. Difference between immigration and forced migration, much?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:03 PM
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"Press one for English" makes people more volcanically angry

This is just mystifying to me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:07 PM
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It's a sense that history is progressing in a direction they don't want it to progress in, and who knows when the trend will end? If you extrapolate linearly from 100% English, to 50% English, logically we will end up at 0% English. This must be stopped!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:08 PM
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65: The issue is that the US (and some other mostly secular liberal countries) has about 40+ percent of the population who are strongly in favor of rolling back the gains of the last couple of generations along with enough sympathizers to give them a real shot at power, and immigrants who come from cultures that lean in the same direction as homegrown reactionaries on issues important to liberals add to that number.

Does recent US electoral history suggest that coalitions between homegrown conservative parties and conservative immigrants are fragile—precisely because the homegrown conservatives, in addition to holding some views that the immigrants like, also often hold anti-immigrant views? ISTR reading that the gains of the GOP among Hispanic immigrants during the Bush years (due to simpatico views on social issues) were rolled back in '08, and that these losses were directly attributable to the anti-immigration crap, but I don't recall the recalled assertions were backed up with data, or whether they were just someone's speculation.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:09 PM
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To the extent that I'm xenophobic, it's generally outcome-based rather than demographically based.

Then it isn't xenophobia, is it? I mean Osama bin Laden is a murderous cunt. He isn't one because he's an Arab, or a Muslim, he's one because he's a cunt who murders people.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:09 PM
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In one of the democratic debates, a caller asked if any of the candidates would do something about the terrible fact that many government service hotlines have a Spanish option. All the candidates politely stressed the importance of having government services available to everyone, regardless of what language they spoke.

Ted Koppel then asked if they thought that the US was heading becoming a multi-lingual nation. All the candidates spoke at length about how English will always be central to American Culture.

I really wanted someone to just respond "Claro que Si!"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:10 PM
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Those two ideas aren't in tension, rob.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:12 PM
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130: I didn't say they were. I just didn't agree with the latter.

I agree with Togolosh about the importance of assimilation, I just hope it is a two way street.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:15 PM
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Where racism meets the surveillance society - what we have to put up with.

Night all.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:16 PM
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127: Yeah, that gets thrown around a lot, but it glosses over the fact that the GOP never really got big support from Latinos. In 2000, Bush got about 35%, that rose to about 39% in 2004, then dropped to 32% in 2008. Before that, Dole and Perot combined for a whopping 27% in 1996.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:16 PM
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127: Yes. If the fundies were to drop their anti-immigrant stance (which they can't in the US because so many immigrants are Catholic, and the Pope is the Anti-Christ, dontchaknow), they might make real inroads on gay rights and abortion. In the meantime immigrants are being pushed into the arms of the Democrats, where they are picking up horrific ideas about tolerance.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:21 PM
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125

This is just mystifying to me.

Evidently you haven't spent a lot of time dealing with that sort of product support system. Everything about them is infuriating.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:22 PM
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the english language is a pretty interesting product of genuine invasion and enforced linguistic merge: it combines norman french and anglo-saxon in quite complex, class-related ways

the normans -- as the invaders -- weren't numerically dominant but they were politically dominant: so a thousand years later you still have this tension in english between the vulgar word (which is blunt and short and germanic) and the posh word (which is longer and romano-french) for a similar idea... viz hut versus mansion (for dwelling place)

(presumably there are other languages which are biform like this: as english latterly became a very magpie-ish imperial language it is full of other borrow-words also, so not just biform, but the latinate vs germanic division is the key one)

(of course the normans were actually from the north also but they considered themselves very fancy from the get-go)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:26 PM
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Speaking of the anti-christ, I'm shocked to see that the thread is finally closed. Did they ever reach a consensus?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:26 PM
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||
Begun, the Slanket Wars have...
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:28 PM
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Everything about them is infuriating.

Maybe that's just your genetic disposition to fury, James. You have no evidence that they are objectively infuriating.

Did they ever reach a consensus?

Yes. Played backwards, the "Yes We Can" song actually says "Thank You, Satan."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:38 PM
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140

Maybe that's just your genetic disposition to fury, James. You have no evidence that they are objectively infuriating.

I am hardly the only person who dislikes them. Anyway my point was the extreme anger with press one for English probably has something to do with the whole experience being unpleasant.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:47 PM
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140 non buddhist


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:55 PM
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the extreme anger with press one for English probably has something to do with the whole experience being unpleasant.

Not among the people I talk to.

Although I sympathize with general frustration with voicemail systems.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:57 PM
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I kind of feel xenophobic with regard to my hometown of Berkeley. All of those dotcom millionaires have really changed the place. Also, the college students have gotten more consumerist over the years (it seems), with the result that Telegraph Avenue has more Gap and cellphone stores than head shops. Berkeley really is or was a pocket utopia in some respects.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 1:58 PM
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I've got as much experience with them as everybody else, of course. And while they're supremely frustrating, the press 1 for English is *far and away* the easiest part of the entire process. Anyhow, I've witnessed the same reaction to the English/Spanish options at bankcard swipe machines, where not only is it a much less annoying system overall, if you just ignore it and swipe your card, it defaults to English anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 2:00 PM
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All of those dotcom millionaires have really changed the place.

Meanwhile, Yankees and their damn SUV-and-gated-community fetishes have ruined much of central North Carolina. I think this is a pretty universal complaint template, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 2:04 PM
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144

... And while they're supremely frustrating, the press 1 for English is *far and away* the easiest part of the entire process. ...

Well if you have just dead ended 8 levels in and have to start over you are not in a good mood. And if you don't like immigrants anyway.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 2:12 PM
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Taken together, 121 and 141 are awesome.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 2:12 PM
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Most system have you press "two" or "star" for Spanish at the beginning. It seems strange to blame immigrants for poor user interfaces, but I think I'm going to blame Vista on the Canadians.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 2:51 PM
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139: Who *are* these people? Where do they come from? What is going on in their heads?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 2:53 PM
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I knew there was a reason I liked that Obama guy. Ti od, dude, ti od.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 2:59 PM
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Yes. Played backwards, the "Yes We Can" song actually says "Thank You, Satan."

Isn't it well established that everything played backwards says "Thank You, Satan", except "Thank You, Satan" which when played backwards says "Inshallah, Senor Satan".


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 3:00 PM
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Who *are* these people?

Fundies. Reversing songs and phrases and hearing Satanic words is a standard fundy technique for maintaining The Wall Of Crazy they use to keep reality from shitting all over their worldview. There's also Satanic Symbols in the logo of Proctor and Gamble, btw.

Where do they come from?

We breed them right here in the US of A, baby!

What is going on in their heads?

Way, way, too much. Being a fundie is *hard*, man. Seriously, you have to spend a lot of time shoring up The Wall of Crazy, and it's hard work. I crapped out around 15 or so because it's so much damn effort beating the living shit out of routine events in order to force them into a premillenial dispensationalist mold. Once you ditch the need to do that everything gets a hell of a lot easier, plus no more guilt when you spank the monkey.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 3:07 PM
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Ti odio! Ti odio!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 3:13 PM
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"Thank You, Satan" which when played backwards says "Inshallah, Senor Satan press one for English."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 3:19 PM
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154 was me, not ToS.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 3:20 PM
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98. France is all about Frenchness, everybody speaking French, French culture, local schools, a secular 'colour-blind' republic, and their version of 'assimilation'. In practice, yes, there are residential ghettos, and there's massive relative unemployment; and there's some resentment at enforced secularism.

E.g.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article587289.ece


Posted by: jayann | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 3:23 PM
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I remember hearing a radio piece recently about Amway's involvement in spreading the rumor about P&G, specifically the incredibly weird version of the rumor where the CEO goes on Donahue to announce that they give money to the Church of Satan. (Why would he go out of his way to admit that publicly?) The upshot of the radio piece was Emerson's dictum that you should never attribute to incompetence things that can be explained by ordinary malice.

Thinking about it now, I'd like to play bits of it for my critical thinking class, but I can't find it.

I do see, though, that P&G won a 2007 civil suit against Amway employees, but has failed to prove things in criminal court or to convict Amway itself.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 3:50 PM
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153: I *am* the Generalissimo!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:15 PM
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143: The Bay Area is a good test case for this phenomenon. As you say, it (Berkeley in particular) is a threatened (doomed) utopia(?) beset by barbarians; the day the UC Theater closed I understood what it means to be reactionary. I guess the liberal idea is that the barbarians will assimilate into local culture and, in doing so, bring the precious gift of diversity. Me, I think we should stick them in camps.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:21 PM
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Admittedly, I have had the same thought about out-of-towners in NY who don't understand proper pedestrian behavior. (There is someone behind you, trying to walk. If you're going to stop, get out of their way. If a mob of you are going to stop, arrange yourselves so that you're not blocking the whole goddammit street. And then go back to whatever rectilinear state you came from.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:25 PM
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160: I feel the same way about tourists on the Metro in DC. Stop standing on the damn escalator, people, your matching tour group t-shirts aren't a free pass to hold up the rest of us. I'm sort of dreading the crowds in town for the Cherry Blossom Festival during the next 2 weeks.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:33 PM
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||

Von at Obsidian Wings is talking smack about us:

But this is the weekend! Who wants to talk about taxes? Let's make like Unfogged, talk about booze, regale each other with tales of homosex,* and send racy letters to the Mineshaft. Or all three! ("Dear Mineshaft: I never thought I'd be writing to you, but here goes. The other day, Carlos was cleaning my girlfriend's pool and I couldn't help but notice his bulging biceps and very tight Speedo. Curious, but not at all in a homosexual way, I wandered outside carrying two Mojitos and wearing only a smile....")

I believe I'm miffed.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:36 PM
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Though I kind of want a mojito now...


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:38 PM
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163: and Carlos!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:42 PM
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162: dude's a tool, though. What's so bad about being mocked by tools?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:42 PM
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I find 162 kinda charming. Hi Von!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:43 PM
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165: I'm trying to cobble together an incredibly boring brief, and I'm hoping someone else will get annoyed enough to start an entertaining squabble or something. I don't have the capacity to do it myself right now, but I figured I could nudge it along.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:44 PM
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167: I see. Well, you know, I'd usually love to help, but I have these cocktails to go drink and you know how Carlos gets.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:46 PM
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You know you know you know. You know?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:47 PM
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166: Oh, fine, be all tolerant and accepting. Fat lot of good you are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:47 PM
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If the street is so crowded that standing there blocks people from getting by, then there's nowhere you can stand that actually gets you out of the way of people, LB. Maybe between two parked cars, or in the doorway of an abandoned storefront.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:55 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:58 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 4:59 PM
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171: You keep going until you find a refuge. Standard city-walking protocol.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:00 PM
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171: Or in a compact group rather than a loose mob. Or in the lee of a mailbox, or lamppost. Or against the wall of a building. Or ten steps further down the street, where the narrow part of the sidewalk has widened again.

You'd understand what I meant if you saw it happening. Or if you didn't, I don't want you in my city.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:00 PM
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Tweety, man, if you can't start shit, then nothing is sacred. You're slipping.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:02 PM
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Or if you didn't, I don't want you in my city.

Lamest entertaining squabble trolling, evah.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:05 PM
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Sad, but true.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:07 PM
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178: No. You say, "No it isn't!". And then it gets all entertaining and shit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:10 PM
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No it doesn't!


Posted by: The Bewigged Satan | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:24 PM
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You know who was good at instigating inter-blog fights? Labs. I must say that I miss him.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:27 PM
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I really didn't think the obwi thing worth a response until I read the post, which is toolish in the extreme. I now think that we must goad and prod the right wing elements there such that no sane man may comment on a von post without unleashing the fury; in short, precision trolling. Of course, now that I've mentioned it, nobody here can do it, but hopefully someone else will and blame it on us.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:34 PM
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Huh. Who's ever said "homosex" around here? If we're to be slandered, I'd like it to be accurate.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:36 PM
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167

I'm trying to cobble together an incredibly boring brief, and I'm hoping someone else will get annoyed enough to start an entertaining squabble or something. I don't have the capacity to do it myself right now, but I figured I could nudge it along.

For people who claim not to be xenophobic the commenters here are pretty intolerent of dissenting views. You have trouble putting up with one of me, suppose one day there were 10 or 20. And look at poor Ogged, driven off his own blog.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:41 PM
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Exculpation!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:41 PM
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And look at poor Ogged, driven off his own blog.

Well, Iranian ... du-uh!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:42 PM
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For people who claim not to be xenophobic the commenters here are pretty intolerent of dissenting views.

Shut up, Shearer.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:43 PM
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Oh, fine, be all tolerant and accepting. Fat lot of good you are.

I'm a lover, not a fighter.

Who's ever said "homosex" around here?

The only hit on google is some guy named raj in 2003.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:44 PM
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Also, the college students have gotten more consumerist over the years (it seems), with the result that Telegraph Avenue has more Gap and cellphone stores than head shops.

What now? The Gap on Telegraph and Bancroft was there almost 15 years ago... and it's turned into a Walgreen's, anyway. Meanwhile Annapurna and Wicked are still chugging along, last I checked.

Now, if you want to complain about the American Apparel store, I won't argue...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:45 PM
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Are we trying to start a flamewar?

Nah, I got Sarah & Echo.

Is "xenophilia" a word? Turn and face the strange.

Shearer, I grew up among Amish & Mennonites. All you "conservatives" are just posers for profit.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:45 PM
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So assiduous!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:46 PM
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I would take exception of your characterization of Unfogged, except that it sounds more exciting than things have been around the place lately

Look what someone posted in the comments at ObWi! Are we going to stand for that?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:48 PM
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I really didn't think the obwi thing worth a response until I read the post, which is toolish in the extreme.

Man, you'd think that people here, of all places, would understand the concept of "trolling your own blog".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:49 PM
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184: Thanks for the effort, Shearer, but if I have to argue with you myself I'll never get this done. I was hoping for a nice squabble where I didn't have to do the heavy lifting personally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:51 PM
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I just realized that my loathing has become so intense that I can not bring myself to type the three-letter handle of the corporate lawyer troll over at the sniping kitty blog.

I keep telling y'all, if we all pretended the righties didn't exist, like in food stores and hospitals and pedXwalks, pretty soon they wouldn't.

Or just unleash the hogs of war.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:53 PM
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I just barely escaped with my life over at Crooked Timber. Tom Fuller is fully my equal.

My world has been shaken. I had thought that I was invincible, but at the end of a 98 round match both fighters were still standing. I'm wondering whether there might not be a school of scientific trolling out there where trollery is broken down to its elements and taught systematically. US pioneers will soon be a thing of the past.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 5:55 PM
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I just watched eastern promises the other night, so the post title is making me think of vory Sneeches.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:08 PM
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The Taylorization of trolling truly does stand a chance of changing the internet forever. This is why I think we should make every effort to feed artisanal trolls wherever possible.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:10 PM
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What now? The Gap on Telegraph and Bancroft was there almost 15 years ago... and it's turned into a Walgreen's, anyway. Meanwhile Annapurna and Wicked are still chugging along, last I checked.

Dude, Wicked is such a college shop. It's new---at least, it was built in the last ten years. Anapurna is the only hold-out---except maybe for that little place by Cafe Med. Yes, I'll admit that the Gap there has been there for a while, but all of the sneaker shops? And now Cody's is gone.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:10 PM
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197: Ooh. Can we have an Unfogged post about naked tattooed Viggo holding two mojitos in a swimming pool? A really detailed one?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:11 PM
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a school of scientific trolling

I prefer trolling that is custom-made and handcrafted, and turned out by skilled artisans in small batches.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:12 PM
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Hey, Mary Catherine, are you still looking for a place in NYC? This landlord stopped me in the street and told me he has a 2-br for $1300. This would be on Lefferts Place in Bed-Stuy, and I didn't see the interior, but that's a good price and a friendly block (with a community garden). If you're interested, we could coordinate emails.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:16 PM
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199: Cody's? That's where my folks bought the first book I ever read. Is Rasputin's still there? Top Dog? I think we need minutemen.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:17 PM
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Dude, Wicked is such a college shop. It's new---at least, it was built in the last ten years.

Oh sure, but it at least qualifies as a head shop -- I'm sorry, "vendor of 420 lifestyle accessories".

Anapurna is the only hold-out---except maybe for that little place by Cafe Med. Yes, I'll admit that the Gap there has been there for a while, but all of the sneaker shops? And now Cody's is gone.

I seriously can't get that upset about the loss of Cody's. I never went to the author appearances, and the Borders in Emeryville (up until recently) had a better history and magazine selection (and bathrooms I wouldn't be terrified of).

On preview: Yes, Rasputin's is still there (although fuck that place, Amoeba FTW), as is Top Dog.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:20 PM
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Rasputin's moved like four thousand times up and down the block. Then it opened an incredibly tacky giant store, with gothic wrought-iron spiral staircases and spiky ornamentation. Then it moved to a smaller store down the street, and the giant tacky gothic store became a crappy vintage clothing store with UCB paraphenalia. I think Rasputin's the business shortly fizzled out thereafter. Amoeba Music, on the other hand, is still doing okay. Top Dog is fine, I think.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:21 PM
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Really? Where is Rasputin's now?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:21 PM
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If Moe's ever went under, I'd consider rioting. Cody's made some really poor business decisions.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:22 PM
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Cody's made some really poor business decisions.

Like opening a branch 3 blocks from the Union Square Borders?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:24 PM
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Rasputin's is one block north of Amoeba, on the corner of Channing. It's still giant, although I'm not sure how the square footage stacks up against the space on Durant (where the Cal swag store is).

And far from fizzling out, Rasputin's has expanded. There are stores in San Leandro and Vallejo now (and possibly elsewhere).


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:26 PM
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Like that, yes. Also, their Fourth St. location was strangely antisceptic.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:27 PM
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209.---Oh, I thought that was a former incarnation that had subsequently gone under! I lost a lot of affection for them after the Durant store fiasco and obviously killed them off prematurely in my memory. I hadn't known about the other locations.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:29 PM
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Forget antiseptic, they didn't stock shit. The inventory/square footage ratio was way too small, and they didn't even make up for it by having places to sit or anything like that.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:29 PM
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Or did you mean that they were aggressively orthodox in their beliefs?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:30 PM
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I totally didn't understand their 4th st. location. It should have been more of a loungy place to lure in all those yuppies drinking coffee over at Peet's. And the space must have cost them a fortune! That place gave me a bad feeling about the company.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:31 PM
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Comparing Cody's to Borders is a category failure. Cody's used to have a shelf of zines. Rasputin's, well, they've sucked for a while, and Amoeba has always been better, but it's a matter of history.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:32 PM
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I wasn't all that sorry to see Cody's go. Andy Ross was such an asshole.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:33 PM
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Best I can tell, they were hoping to cash in on the goodwill from the original location. That only works for so long, though. (And hey, don't talk bad about me^H^Hthe yuppies hanging out at Peet's!)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:34 PM
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Cody's used to have a shelf of zines.

Until they didn't anymore! I was kinda outraged the day I was told that they didn't stock the single issues of Optic Nerve anymore. I mean what's the point of Cody's being Cody's? And then they went out of business. And like I said, I wasn't sorry.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:34 PM
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!! Did you know that people (like von) lurk here?! Straighten your damn ties, you all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:36 PM
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Comparing Cody's to Borders is a category failure. Cody's used to have a shelf of zines.

If I was looking for zines, Pegasus and Pendragon always had more. About the only other category I can think of where Cody's beat Borders was Marxist/feminist/queer theory, which really wasn't that relevant to my interests. (I think they also had a better selection of foreign-language books.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:37 PM
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Hey, I like sitting around drinking Peet's as well! I should have been one of Cody's target customers.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:38 PM
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220.---See, I was one of those born-and-bred Berkeleyites who believed that it was wrong to shop at a chain bookstore, so if I ever wanted new books (which was rare), I went to Cody's. Their fourth st. location lost them some of my loyalty, which was stupid and sad.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:40 PM
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Straighten your damn ties, you all.

Woman, I'm not even wearing pants.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:42 PM
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I could stay and drag this thread further into parochialism, but now I must swim I should get some stuff done.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:42 PM
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167: This doin' it for ya, LB?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:42 PM
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223: That's no reason not to wear a tie.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:43 PM
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220: Hey, if you can buy books from a chain and not feel shitty, more power to you I suppose. I'd feel like a scab, but that's just me.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:44 PM
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are you still looking for a place in NYC?

No, not anymore. But thanks very much for thinking of me. We were looking to buy an apt in Brooklyn, and I have to say, it was a truly hellish experience (shockingly expensive apartments, crazily aggressive brokers, a seller who reneged on a verbal agreement we had made with him when a couple came along who had just sold their apt in Manhattan and could offer to pay 75 percent down in cash...). In desperation, we started looking at houses in NJ, and we've just bought one (or are in the midst of buying it, I guess), and I'm really happy about it.

This landlord stopped me in the street and told me he has a 2-br for $1300.

That's a great price, and it's interesting (and a good thing, from the tenants' perspective) to see a landlord actively seeking out tenants. When we first moved here, we had to pay a real estate broker a crazy amount of money (more than our monthly rent!) just for the privilege of renting an apartment, which really irked me. My sense is that rents are coming down all over NYC, but sales prices are still way too high.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:46 PM
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Von, Von, bo-bon,
Banana-fana fo-fon
Fee-fi-mo-mon
Von!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:46 PM
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227: Fight the powah, fm!!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:49 PM
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229: There's also a grammatical error in his post. (The guy did clarify his position, by the way.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:51 PM
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Yay foolishmortal!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:51 PM
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Hey, if you can buy books from a chain and not feel shitty, more power to you I suppose. I'd feel like a scab, but that's just me.

The choice often wasn't "buy from Borders or buy from Cody's", it was "buy from Borders or don't buy at all". And, you know, Cody's didn't do shit to earn my loyalty (and it's not like I have rosy memories of Telegraph in its heyday).

Besides, any complaints about chain bookstores are going to have to get past my recollection of Pittsburgh before Barnes and Noble moved in: there *were* no bookstores.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 6:54 PM
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207 216

You guys are tough. I am a bit sorry to hear Cody's is gone even though I haven't been in the place since buying a bunch of books there in the early eighties. Did you always dislike it or did it go downhill recently?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 7:00 PM
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any complaints about chain bookstores are going to have to get past my recollection of Pittsburgh before Barnes and Noble moved in: there *were* no bookstores.

A recent NPR story on the rebuilding of New Orleans featured an interview with a resident begging for the city to see to it that a Walmart move in.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 7:05 PM
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233: there *were* no bookstores.

There was one little general one in Birmingham, AL when we moved there in 1967. The rest were religious bookstores. Our annual December-January trip north to D.C. and NY always had two days of bookstore shopping scheduled.

When someone opened a Little Professor franchise store and a little later the big chains moved in with the big malls we were ecstatic.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 7:34 PM
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233: Perhaps Cody's was shit, but what about Moe's or Shakespeare & Co, or, as you mention, Pegasus? Or Dark Carnival, or Green Apple out in the city? I don't mean to be judgmental, but I live in the land of chains now, and it pains me to see a reader fail to take advantage of the opportunities given.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 7:44 PM
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I don't mean to be judgmental, but I live in the land of chains now, and it pains me to see a reader fail to take advantage of the opportunities given.

It's really hard to not shop at the chains, though, when the chains move in and shut down the little guys and the independents, and there's no longer any real option, it's either buy from the chains or don't buy at all. I mean, if there were an organized campaign or something, I'd probably support it. But I think it's a bit unrealistic to expect that individual consumers can effect real change on their own, without some sort of collective action, and I also think it's a bit much to hold them responsible for not doing so in their capacity as not-organized not-collectively-oriented individuals.

As a bit of an aside: I think the language of "consumer choice" vastly overestimates both the power of "choice" and the agency of the consumer.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 7:59 PM
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I thought Jackmormon was from El Cerrito.

Anyway

(I think they also had a better selection of foreign-language books.)

Probably the best foreign language section I've seen in a non-specialty bookstore, and I've seen many a few. The rest of the store wasn't great. I'd often go to Telegraph thinking I'd visit Cody's and Moe's and then visit only Moe's. I was sad to see them go only to the extent that it left a vacancy on the street. Telegraph - leaving aside the content of the stores - looks quite a bit better than it did when I was a kid, so I don't like to see vacancies (same with Shattuck, Center, etc.). The Barnes and Nobles in Berkeley failed a little before Cody's did. And those empty theatres really kill the sidewalks out front. Seemed like Berkeley hasn't been doing that great economically (this was before the current crisis became crisis).

Top Dog, as of 2 years ago when I was last in Berkeley - has expanded, with a location on Center.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:02 PM
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238: Oftentimes the chains kill off independents *because they're better stores*. I mean, take my situation: I had access to what was often held up as one of the best independent bookstores in the country, and I *chose* to shop at a chain. Why exactly should I have supported a store that didn't provide me with what I was looking for?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:19 PM
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I also think it's a bit much to hold them responsible for not doing so in their capacity as not-organized not-collectively-oriented individuals.

This is tortuous reasoning. Okay: [individual consumer:] insofar as you are not organized and not collectively oriented, I can't blame you for not being organized or collectively oriented and for the shopping behavior that results from that state of being.

Well, in any case, yes, sure. People generally shop at chain stores because it's easiest, which may sometimes mean that in fact it's the only option.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:20 PM
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240: I don't know the specific case you mean, but you're surely right that the Quaint Little X isn't always the best. And people sometimes welcome the big chains, especially if it's the only store that can be profitable.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:26 PM
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I've been to the Borders in Emeryville a few times. Clearly better than Cody's, not nearly as good for just about anything I wanted - not even close - as the used stores in Berkeley. For academic titles new I had better luck online or at University Press Books on Bancroft.

Everywhere else I've been that's a big city I've shopped at the chains and the used stores about equally in terms of cost, meaning more books from the latter. Where my parents live, Borders and Barnes and Noble both have pretty shitty selection, but probably are the best new stores in the area. I rarely get books from anywhere there - despite the presence of used bookstores - so I wouldn't know. Online is just easier.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:27 PM
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Besides, any complaints about chain bookstores are going to have to get past my recollection of Pittsburgh before Barnes and Noble moved in: there *were* no bookstores.

FALSE. Squirrel Hill had a very nice bookstore, and also there was the Bryn Mawr Vassar bookstore, the Pitt bookstore, and Jay's Book Stall.

Cody's irked me, however.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:28 PM
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Indiscretion error, eb. Also, you're totally undermining my cred.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:28 PM
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I looooove University Press Books and find it exceedingly dangerous.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:28 PM
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245: Sorry, I could have sworn the city name was on an earlier thread. I should have written it backwards.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:31 PM
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244: Jay's Book Stall indeed existed, until last fall in fact. That's the only small non-used bookstore I can think of which existed here when I moved here (9 years ago!?!?!?!?)

I'm pretty sure the Bryn Mawr Vassar bookstore, the Townsend bookstore one block over, and the Threepenny bookstore in Squirrel Hill were all used bookstores, like Caliban in Oakland. That's a different niche from the "small new bookstore" that competes with the chains.

Townsend and Caliban still exist.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:32 PM
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The Squirrel Hill Bookstore went out of business long ago, but not before Barnes and Noble and Borders came to the area. it was a new-books bookstore.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:34 PM
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Threepenny books was a used bookstore. I guess the one you're talking about went out of business over a decade ago.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:36 PM
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The Squirrel Hill Bookstore was quite good. And the Pitt bookstore was, back in the day, really a great store. I'm sure it is now less of a general, destination bookstore than it was, but I spent hours and hours there as a kid.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:37 PM
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Threepenny books was a used bookstore. I guess the one you're talking about went out of business over a decade ago.

Yes. Threepenny Books was okay. They did actually have some new stuff, though not much. The Squirrel Hill Bookstore was a different shop, on Forbes, and it went out of business longer ago. But Barnes and Noble came to town before that.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:39 PM
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||

This is the least memorable NCAA tournament since the last boring one that I can't remember.

|>


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:43 PM
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239.b - The loss of the UC (and the Fine Arts, where I kinda-worked for a bit, and the Act One and Two) is crushing. Really, the rep movies were a much bigger deal to me than the bookstores in terms of Berkeley feeling special. (Nobody mentioned Black Oak; I never went to Cody's, because I thought Ross was a dick, but Moe's is fantastic. Also: Comic Relief.)

253 - It's always pleasant when Duke gets spanked, at least.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:49 PM
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253: Yes, pretty mundane. Other than the Panthers. (Just to keep things parochia.l)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:54 PM
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My routine when I decided to go book-buying used to be to start with Half-Price and Pegasus on Solano - I think that Half-Price is no longer there, but there's one in downtown Berkeley now - walk through the tunnel and then to Black Oak, go to the Pegasus on Shattuck, go up to Moe's. I never lived near Pandagon, so I'd go rarely go there. Black Oak tended to be a bit more expensive than the other places.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:55 PM
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Pendragon. I've been around blogs too much.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:56 PM
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This is tortuous reasoning.

I think it's pretty straightforward, actually. The big chains are large and powerful entities, and the individuals who shop (whether at small shops or at big chains) are not large and powerful entities at all, but just so many separate and discrete points on the grid unless and until they combine forces and organize themselves into a larger opposing force that can take on said larger entities.

It's a mistake to just leave things up to individual desires, decisions, and preferences, I mean, and expect to see anything other than capitulation to the logic of corporate consumerism, which is just the default position nowadays, and has been for some time.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 8:56 PM
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The utter unwillingness of certain non-facists to acknowledge that there even might be an issue, and the abusive tone when the question is even raised, contributes to the link between facist electoral success and immigration.

what such link are you talking about? The most electorally successful fascist parties in Europe are in places like Belarus and Latvia.

.first: Actively encourage assimilation and discourage ghettoization of the sort that France suffers from. Specifically, promote learning English, require a modest cultural/political orientation course for gaining citizenship, encourage parents to put their kids into public schools, things of that sort.

in other words, the policies of France.

... oh fuck it, I don't have the spare time or bitterness for this List Pim Fortuyn crap. Fear the swarthy intolerant immigrants if you like, just don't expect me to blow smoke up your ass and pretend it's a valid liberal viewpoint. yes, our values are under attack, and must be defended, even at the expense of temporarily suspending them. The constitution isn't a suicide pact. bla bla bla.

I am on holiday in Florida at the moment, being unbelievably annoying to the locals.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:05 PM
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I am on holiday in Florida at the moment, being unbelievably annoying to the locals.

Whereabouts in Florida, Daniel? And aren't you a bit youngish to be a snowbird?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:13 PM
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expect to see anything other than capitulation to the logic of corporate consumerism, which is just the default position nowadays, and has been for some time.

Yes; it feels like a cop-out, though, to point out that people capitulate because it's the default. You'll give me that, at least? I understand you're making a more substantive point about leaving things up to individual desires, decisions, and preferences, and expecting any other outcome than this, but it makes me cranky as hell. I am off to bed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:14 PM
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Rob's 87 is genius; made only better by the fact that a few people missed what it was referring to.

And you degenerate coastal liberals missed the true significance of 184: that was the very first joke Shearer ever made here.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:15 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:22 PM
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The Squirrel Hill Bookstore was a different shop, on Forbes

Where on Forbes? I lived between Squirrel Hill and Shadyside, and would have been *ecstatic* to find a bookstore that close, but if it was still open while I was there I never heard of it. (The Barnes and Noble opened in '95, IIRC.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:25 PM
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It would be nice if someone were kind enough to obscure the place name in my indiscreet comment above.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:28 PM
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that was the very first joke Shearer ever made here.

Not true. Shearer, for all his reactionary econo-politics, not to mention his quite stupidly stubborn xenophobia, routinely gets in the zingers, and is actually occasionally quite funny.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:30 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:31 PM
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the very first joke Shearer ever made here.

I noticed! I even smiled and thought about how much he has softened.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:32 PM
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266: No, he's been witty, which is not the same thing. I really do think it's the first joke he's made here.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:33 PM
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The loss of the UC (and the Fine Arts, where I kinda-worked for a bit, and the Act One and Two) is crushing. Really, the rep movies were a much bigger deal to me than the bookstores in terms of Berkeley feeling special.

Yeah, I miss the UC.

(Nobody mentioned Black Oak; I never went to Cody's, because I thought Ross was a dick, but Moe's is fantastic. Also: Comic Relief.)

I go to Black Oak every Sunday to pick up the Times. Their ownership situation is kinda weird now; I don't think they went through Chapter 11, but they're owned by a holding company, and they're looking for a new space because rent is so high where they are now. (I guess that means I'll be going to Long's to get the paper.)

Y'all are convincing me to give Moe's another shot. I gave up on it long ago (I stopped reading SF, and their history section was sufficiently disorganized that I lost patience with it), but I'll have to go back at some point.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:33 PM
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their history section was sufficiently disorganized that I lost patience with it

The trick is to look at every title in every subject area that interests you. It takes a while, but if you take pleasure in spending a lot of time in a bookstore, it's nice. Though I found the organization fine for quickly checking for some titles. A couple of times I needed a book faster than recalling it was likely to get it to me, didn't find it in stock on the Borders website for stores in the area or at University Press, and found it right away at Moe's. For obvious reasons, they're good with academic books the published or reprinted in the 80s or 90s that commonly get assigned for classes. Not so great for the really recent.

Black Oak in SF, the few times I've been there, had some serious alphabetization problems.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:42 PM
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The trick is to look at every title in every subject area that interests you. It takes a while, but if you take pleasure in spending a lot of time in a bookstore, it's nice.

Yeah, this is where the patience bit comes in. There are some times when I enjoy spending a lot of time browsing, but particularly given that there are some books and authors I'm always on the lookout for, I don't want to have to go through the rigamarole every time.

Black Oak in SF, the few times I've been there, had some serious alphabetization problems.

I don't think Black Oak even makes any effort to alphabetize their used stuff. Certainly the one in Berkeley never has, so far as I've been able to tell.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:47 PM
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The OP and early discussion reminded me a lot of 1978-1985. It was awful. I still haven't recovered.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:52 PM
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Where on Forbes? I lived between Squirrel Hill and Shadyside, and would have been *ecstatic* to find a bookstore that close, but if it was still open while I was there I never heard of it. (The Barnes and Noble opened in '95, IIRC.)

The part of Forbes you're thinking of (between Shady and Murray) -- I don't remember for sure if it overlapped with the Squirrel Hill Barnes and Noble, but I think it even did, briefly. It certainly was there when B&N and Borders came to Pittsburgh in general, and I remember that the general impression was that it had succumbed to the competition.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:53 PM
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262, 268: Unfogged has an ability to assimilate total outsiders that I don't think I've seen since mid-1990s Usenet. You occasionally even see a pre-deletion ToS post that sort of looks like it wants to join the conversation.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 9:53 PM
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Certainly the one in Berkeley never has, so far as I've been able to tell.

I guess I have a higher tolerance for certain levels of disorganization. The Berkeley Black Oak author's names at least fit the alphabet as a general aggregate trend when I was there. It's possible that they've put less effort into it now for staffing reasons or whatever. Certainly out here alphabetization in used bookstores doesn't seem like a priority, except for a bit of putting all the initial letters together (all the A's, then the B's, but not AA then AB, and so on).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:02 PM
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||
I am ten minutes into the documentary Helvetica and already pronounce it awesome.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:10 PM
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196 I just barely escaped with my life over at Crooked Timber. Tom Fuller is fully my equal.

Eh, I don't know, he's not very interesting.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:34 PM
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Though I don't think I've seen before the routine where one argues about a topic at great length while never stating one's opinion, and insisting "none of you know my opinion". That was... odd.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:41 PM
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Trolling is about annoying people. being relentless, and shamelessness. I m humbled, if not defeated.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:44 PM
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apo is the faciest!


Posted by: nostalger | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:44 PM
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I am ten minutes into the documentary Helvetica and already pronounce it awesome.

Those Swiss, with their crazy pronunciations.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 10:45 PM
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277: Yes, it completely changes the way you look at the world, and also the letter "a." I watched it twice and still have no idea what they're talking about in parts, but it's all fascinating.

Emerson, I keep wondering, are you evacuated or are you are where you are?


Posted by: JPool | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:23 PM
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^"safe"


Posted by: JPool | Link to this comment | 03-27-09 11:23 PM
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.first: Actively encourage assimilation and discourage ghettoization of the sort that France suffers from. Specifically, promote learning English, require a modest cultural/political orientation course for gaining citizenship, encourage parents to put their kids into public schools, things of that sort.

d^2 wrote:
in other words, the policies of France.

Quite.

"France" [the Internet construct] seems to involve some sort of bizarre reality distortion effect on discussions unconnected to, or sometimes even diametrically in opposition with, actual French public policy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 1:29 AM
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If you replaced all the Hispanics (who I don't have that much in common with, and they don't seem too interested in me either) with 20 million eastern Europeans, half of them with sexy accents, that would make life here in the USA more interesting, at least for me. Of course, the Hispanics wouldn't have to be replaced, but they do constitute an overwhelming majority of the immigrants, unlike in previous waves of US immigration, which were much more diverse.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 6:13 AM
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Schoenhof's in Harvard Square was supposed to be an amazing foreign language bookstore, but they were so very unhelpful and snobby.

They weren't able to help me find an audio book of Germans reading fairytales with a matching text of the stories. (That might have been an impossibly difficult thing to do.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 6:20 AM
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Schoenhof's can bite me. They don't seem to understand that there's this thing called the internet, and that they are no longer the only possible place people could buy foreign language books. I have more than once left there shaking with rage after interacting with their employees.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 6:42 AM
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I am ten minutes into the documentary Helvetica and already pronounce it awesome.

Gary's new documentary Objectified just came out. Look for it in your city in the coming months.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 6:44 AM
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BG, if you're still looking for German fairytales in audio + text give Barbara here a call. She's as helpful as can be.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 6:47 AM
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286: Shorter bjk: More IILFs, please.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 6:52 AM
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If you replaced all the Hispanics (who I don't have that much in common with, and they don't seem too interested in me either) with 20 million eastern Europeans, half of them with sexy accents, that would make life here in the USA more interesting, at least for me.

Come to sunny Britain, focus for Eastern European immigration for the past five or six years, although a lot of people are going home now the pound has tanked against the Euro.

Spent a happy half hour since I was last listening to a second generation British Muslim complaining about Polish and Slovak welfare cheats and thinking, well, yeah.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:10 AM
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bjk: Sexiness-driven immigration policy is like cuisine-driven immigration policy. It seems like a really good idea when you are thinking about a particular source of immigrants (more injera! more delicate-featured Ethiopians!) but when you look at the whole globe, you realize its all good.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:25 AM
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I'm told that's the official line.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:30 AM
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re: 292

There's an orouboros of racism in action.

Last time I was in Czech I was talking to the teenage daughters of one of my brother-in-law's friends. He moved to the UK about 5 year ago seeking work despite speaking basically no English, and his kids now have strong Brummie accents [and perfect Brummie-inflected English].

The kids then proceeded to tell me a racist joke about Pakistani 'immigrants', which they seemed to think I'd find funny. The irony being that those Pakistani kids they were telling racist jokes about are probably third generation Brits whereas the Czech girls ...

And, like you, I've heard second or third generation Pakistanis complaining bitterly about the Eastern European immigrants.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:31 AM
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bjk: If a population of women seems plain to you, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not lech enough to call forth its hottness.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:47 AM
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Of course, the Hispanics wouldn't have to be replaced, but they do constitute an overwhelming majority of the immigrants, unlike in previous waves of US immigration, which were much more diverse.

I know this has to be tongue-in-cheek, because on the face of it it's ridiculous. (Why would the Eastern Europeans be more interested in you?) About 60% of immigrants are from Latin America. Note, once we're drawing the circle that large, it's comparable to saying "Europe" rather than "Ireland" or "Poland" or "Italy", so you'd have to say that previous waves weren't all that diverse either. And proportionally, the U.S.'s greatest peak of immigration was 1900-1910. Before that, Benjamin Franklin worried about all the German immigrants. They'd *never* assimilate!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:48 AM
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And, there was a point when the U.S. was worried about Eastern European immigration and introduced quota. Presumably they were worried we were becoming too sexy.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:50 AM
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Doubtless it's my fault. I gladly take the blame, but I'm no good at soccer or cricket either. I recently had a dispute with some Pakistanis at the local tennis court. They wanted to play cricket, I didn't want to get hit in the back of the head with a cricket ball. This is only the beginning of the indignities, I fear . . .


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:51 AM
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What about the Canadians, Cala, how will they ever assimilate?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:06 AM
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i recalled a proverb 'khonots khonotsdoo durgui'
khonots is a guest who stays at someone's place while traveling, not an invited guest
just someone who is on his way traveling and relies on hospitality of local people, a temporary stayer
so the temporary stayer doesn't like another fellow in the same position, b/c it's like competing for the resources perhaps


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:34 AM
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the


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:50 AM
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What about the Canadians, Cala, how will they ever assimilate?

Don't worry, rob, we'll be benevolent overlords


Posted by: canuck | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 9:57 AM
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||
As we were talking about Parenthood the other day, it just started at 1:00 PM EDT on HBOCM.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 11:12 AM
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an


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 11:57 AM
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260: some random place on the Emerald Coast, where spring break is just hotting up. they seem like a nice bunch actually - there's the swearing, the vomiting, the drunkenness, used contraceptives everywhere etc, but once I explained that I was Welsh and these were my folkways, they seemed to put up with it just fine.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 2:22 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/world/europe/29spain.html?hp


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 6:10 PM
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Good lord, dsquared is in Florida for spring break. And I somehow hadn't realized he was Welsh. That explains a few things. I seem to like the Welsh, at least the couple of Welsh booksellers I know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 6:23 PM
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And I somehow hadn't realized he was Welsh.

Did you know Ogged was Iranian?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 6:41 PM
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290--That's cool to know. I'll try that sometime. My plan at the time was to listen to Germans read children's books and read along at the same time to improve my German. I was also hoping to get audiobooks of regular books to read along to, but they're always abridged.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 6:51 PM
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For you, Apo:

"What North Carolina most needs are a few first class funerals"

-- -- Walter Hines Page


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:10 PM
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it's all rather jolly, and much less of that annoying whooping that you see on MTV than I'd expected. I had occasion to remonstrate with a bunch of lads this morning over a comment including the word "MILF" applied to my wife, but they turned out to be all right, and I whiled away a happy afternoon helping them handicap the runners and riders in the "$1000 bikini contest" down on the seafront, while the kids played in the sea. More updates to come, possibly.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:21 PM
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309: I did.

Honestly, I just hadn't connected the Welsh booksellers I know with dsquared's .... particular style. I don't know why; I know I've always liked Daniel. The whole thing is making me laugh heartily.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:29 PM
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Had she been described as a MIWNF I'm sure that there would have been more serious consequences.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:37 PM
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that would have surprised me less actually - the dear lass is six months preggers at the moment. The main topic of my short sermon to them was why they weren't paying more attention to the hordes of women their own age who were decorating the beach - the main reason was apparently fear, which is how the conversation started.

Other ways in which MTV lies to you - the girls in the contest did not take their tops off.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:48 PM
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The main topic of my short sermon to them was why they weren't paying more attention to the hordes of women their own age who were decorating the beach - the main reason was apparently fear

The poor hordes of young women decorating the beach - they are perhaps they are doing something wrong if the men their age are afeared.

Good work, Daniel.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:57 PM
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And I somehow hadn't realized he was Welsh

This is like being unaware that Ogged is Iranian, Heebie is always right, or Alamedia was like totally crazy and used to do a lot of drugs. It's practically the first thing they tell you when you get an internet license.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:57 PM
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The second thing they tell you is gonerill is pwned by 309, for any value of 309.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 7:58 PM
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317, 318: Right, I already said I was sorry. I understand now. It all makes sense.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:09 PM
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Hey I thought dsquared was English!

(A troll's gotta troll like a fish gotta swim)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:15 PM
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Black Oak in SF

No longer exists.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:15 PM
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Are you there? I need help.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:24 PM
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Hey I thought dsquared was English!

dsquared is English like ogged is Mexican.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:33 PM
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Emerson's new nemesis over at CT is suddenly all fawning and grateful. Baffling troll behavior.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:35 PM
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Part of his reasonableness schtick. He claims to be genuinely open-minded about GW, and denies that the's a denialist or is motivated by denialism.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:53 PM
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That's right, he's a denial denialist! But he'll never admit it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 8:54 PM
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326: Maybe you should ignore him.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 9:13 PM
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Tom Fuller.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 9:20 PM
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327: And violate the Code of the Troll? He'd be expelled and never see the underside of a bridge again.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 9:27 PM
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Parsi, you're no fun.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 9:27 PM
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330: On the contrary, floating a radical idea that might be tossed about in the air, like a helium balloon. As in: there's a thought! What to do with it? I wonder about your sense of humor, John.

Mayhap I'll go see what this Fuller person is on about.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 9:44 PM
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Further to 331.2: Okay, I admit I'm amused by the wind-down on the CT thread. Someone named salient seems to have done the trick.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-28-09 10:01 PM
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