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Los Angeles Meetup!

Posted by Ben
on 03.26.16

With YOURS VERY TRULY, who will be in southern California for part of next week in accordance with the filial piety for which he is justly celebrated, but who will also, in accordance with the callous selfishness for which he is condemned by all, sojourn to LA for part of, let's say, Monday the 28th.

What the hell I'll just bump this one too. 8pm at Taix, then on to Tigre's sex grotto. I'm going head up early (that is, in the early afternoon, per maternal advice) so as to hopefully beat traffic, so if anyone can recommend places to walk around (??? in LA???) or places to hang out and drink coffee or things to do in echo park and/or silver lake* or thereabouts, then … I would appreciate it if the recommendations were made known. It does seem as if there's no shortage of cafes, tbh.

* places chosen for their vicinity to Taix and NOT for any other reason


 

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Portland Meet-up!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.26.16

Minivet writes: I'm visiting Portland for the first time ever from Saturday the 26th to Wednesday the 30th. At least a few reprobates are there, right?

Bump: So many meetups!


 

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Layin' Ted

Posted by Ogged
on 03.26.16

indeed.jpg

It's unseemly how much I'm going to enjoy that smarmy fuck's unraveling.


 

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Guest Post - "Evidence-Based"?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.26.16

Nick S writes: Over at CT, dsquared takes a shot at answering the question, "what implications does the crisis of reproducibility in the social sciences have for public policy?"

I have a new piece up on The Long And Short, suggesting that the "Evidence Based Policy Making" movement ought to be really very worried about the reproducibility crisis in the psychological and social sciences. In summary, the issue is that most of the problems that the sciences are dealing with are highly likely to be there in policy areas too, meaning that the evidence base for education reform, development economics, welfare and many other policy areas is equally likely to be packed with fragile and non-replicable results. I do suggest a solution for this problem (or rather, I endorse Andrew Gelman's solution), but point out that it is likely to be expensive and time-consuming and to mean that evidence-based approaches are going to be a lot slower and deliver a lot less in the way of whizzy new policy ideas than people might have hoped.

Heebie's take: totally right and a pony.


 

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Meet-up D.C.!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.26.16

Thorn writes: This is still too far in the future to force people to pin things down, but the girls and I will be in DC and free from Saturday March 26 though Thursday March 31 (taking our train home the next morning) and I'm open to a formal meetup and could try to get my cousin to babysit, hence the early planning, or to running into people who are willing to hang out with all four of us during our time there.

Update: Bumped.

Update 2: BUMPED


 

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It Happened to Me!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.25.16

This is one of those things that I knew in abstract, but it took me off-guard to experience it. Yesterday I called a doctor on E. Messily's behalf - a local doctor that I've seen myself many times. He said that he wasn't qualified to see deaf patients, but that he'd refer us to someone. I hung up. E. Messily reminded me that that is illegal - he is not allowed to discriminate on the basis of disability, under ADA. I called him right back, knowing if I waited that I'd lose my nerve, and told him that it was illegal under the ADA. I used all of E. Messily's key phrases - a medical provider must provide access to all patients, and you can't turn someone away for being a woman or being a specific religion or having a disability, and so on. He argued with me that he had also researched this - he was not qualified, and he could look and see if he could refer us to someone who was. (The medical issue has nothing to do with her deafness. There is no "qualification" or training that he lacks.) I told him I was really, really sure. He said we could agree to disagree, but that he had researched this as well. I ended telling him pointblank, "this is illegal under the ADA, really."

What took me off-guard was the whole massive horrible wave of adrenaline and sense of confrontation about the whole thing. I know, abstractly, that people with disabilities are constantly faced with violations of the ADA and having to advocate for themselves, but I thought of it more as aggravating endless red-tape and runaround, not make-you-cry authority figure invoking all of their authority status to tell you that you are wrong, you don't deserve access, and so on. And how unpleasant all subsequent interactions are, if that is the initial interaction.

This particular confusion was cleared up over email and the doctor reversed course, but it is an awful first encounter. It may have permanently discolored my ongoing relationship with the doctor as well.

(E. Messily's take was that she also found it super upsetting way back, the first ten or twenty times that it happened to her.)


 

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Question To Ask Before Getting Married

Posted by Ogged
on 03.24.16

By gum, these are great.

We didn't do full pre-cana, but we were married by a Jesuit, and met with him a few times beforehand, which included being assigned questions like these to discuss in private. It was helpful, in the way that structure and ritual can be helpful in making you get serious about things you're tempted to gloss over.


 

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Now HERE is a torch song

Posted by Ben
on 03.24.16

(A less mannered, more straightforwardly torch-y rendition would probably be less interesting, but I'd still be interested in hearing one.)


 

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ATM: Alaska

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.24.16

A mysterious president asks: Should I attend the Alaska Democratic caucus on Saturday, March 26? I keep going back and forth on this, so I figured I'd query the Mineshaft. If I do attend I'll caucus for Sanders. Thoughts?

Heebie's take: Just kidding, it's President Teo. Go forth and caucus, young T.


 

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Guest Post - 1st amendment issues?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.24.16

LW writes:

A mysterious package arrives at the newsroom. When opened, it's clear this is sensational stuff. The material gets published. Readers flock. And yet, what's put online is called a massive invasion of privacy. A legal missive demands an end to publishing secrets. But it's deemed newsworthy. And the First Amendment protects that, right?

The first amendement boundary today is apparently not Snowden or the Sony data dump, but a sex tape I don't even want to think about, much less learn about. Detailed analysis, possibly wrongheaded, I don't have much background on this topic.

Separately, did everyone know that Wu-tang's backup band has independent releases? Try this one, which I enjoyed a lot.

How are people (OK, you kids) listening to music these days? I have been spending a fair amount of time with Spotify, less with former fave 8tracks. I'm bummed that rdio died, which I had preferred for individual streaming, also I'm listening less to local copies.

Has anyone else found a way to seek out interesting curated playlists on Spotify? I haven't yet.

Spotify is infuriating for classical music or actually jazz, where they may be many recordings of a song by the same artist.

Heebie's take: On the first topic, I'm confused by the second paragraph at the link. It's about the Hogan sex tape, right?

On the second, that remix is really good.


 

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Discontent

Posted by Ogged
on 03.23.16

This is really well done, both for the story it tells, and for not using charts that are any more complicated than they need to be.


 

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I Have Arrived

Posted by Ogged
on 03.22.16

I play a game on my iPhone that seems to be played by about fifty people in the world, which I know because I play at random times throughout the day, and I see the same players repeatedly, and new players occasionally. Of these players, I am the best. Against the best players, I lose one out of around every ten games. This is about half a step up from making up a game in my head and declaring myself the world champion at it, but the fact remains, I am the best player in the world. Heady stuff. What are you the best in the world at?


 

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"Privilege is a Hell of a Drug"

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.22.16

E. Messily sends in White Privilege Goes to North Korea. Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster:

As shocked as I am by the sentence handed down to Warmbier, I am even more shocked that a grown man, an American citizen, would not only voluntarily enter North Korea but also commit what's been described a "college-style prank." That kind of reckless gall is an unfortunate side effect of being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country...The kind of arrogance bred by that kind of conditioning is pathogenic, causing its host to develop a subconscious yet no less obnoxious perception that the rules do not apply to him, or at least that their application is negotiable.

This comparison doesn't work as stated:

And if Eric Garner is to be blamed for his own death for selling loose cigarettes or if Sandra Bland is dead because she failed to signal when changing lanes, then Otto Warmbier is now facing a decade and a half of hard labor because he lacked both good judgment and respect for the national autonomy of a country which has made its hatred for and vendetta against America unequivocally clear.

because no one here agrees with blaming Garner nor Bland for their deaths. However, the point stands that Warmbier likely buys into blaming Garner and Bland for the repercussions of breaking the law. Therefore Warmbier's hypocrisy is (as we like to say) breath-taking. (Doesn't it always seem like hypocrisy is described as breath-taking?)


 

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I Have Advice

Posted by Ogged
on 03.21.16

This better be "he gave me his room number" and not "he tried to sweet-talk me."

Update: Nobody takes my advice.



 

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Responsible And Erudite

Posted by Ogged
on 03.21.16

Trump's foreign policy team includes one Joseph Schmitz. His bio just kept getting weirder. I'm going to run together the reporter's words and quotes, you can click through if you like.

Schmitz slowed or blocked investigations of senior Bush administration officials, spent taxpayer money on pet projects and accepted gifts that may have violated ethics guidelines ... Schmitz also drew scrutiny for his unusual fascination with Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, a Revolutionary War hero who is considered the military's first true inspector. Schmitz even replaced the official inspector general's seal in offices nationwide with a new one bearing the Von Steuben family motto ... He later became a senior official at the Prince Group, the parent company of defense contractor Blackwater ... His father is the late former Republican Congressman John G. Schmitz, who was also a member of the right-wing John Birch Society. One of Schmitz's siblings is Mary Kay Letourneau, the ex-schoolteacher who received seven years in prison for child rape after starting a relationship with a 13-year-old student.

There's also Walid Phares.

During the 1980s, Phares, a Maronite Christian, trained Lebanese militants in ideological beliefs justifying the war against Lebanon's Muslim and Druze factions ... [a photo] shows him conducting a press conference in 1986 for the Lebanese Forces, an umbrella group of Christian militias that has been accused of committing atrocities. He was also a close adviser to Samir Geagea, a Lebanese warlord who rose from leading hit squads to running the Lebanese Forces.

Needless to say, Trump's advisors are going to be THE BEST.


 

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Sorority Parties

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.21.16

The reason sororities are dry is because historically they were dry, and leaving that policy intact makes it cheaper to insure them.

As the broader culture changed, economics didn't. Insurance policies cost $25 to $50 a year per sorority member, Stellhorn said, but fraternity brothers, she estimates, pay up to $180 each.

I'm surprised the liabilities are even that close.


 

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Safari Style

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.21.16

The old Banana Republic, when a banana was still a banana. We've talked about this here before, but the photos are still funny. I am eternally amused that a mainstream genteel clothing line is named for brutal dictatorships. Also occasionally I find something I really like there.


 

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Speaking Hypothetically

Posted by Ogged
on 03.21.16

The "would you kill baby Hitler?" meme was fine and all, but let's put a fine point on it: what would have to happen, or what would he have to do, before you start thinking it's time to kill grown-up Trump?


 

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Electoral College

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 03.21.16

KR writes: Has there really been no discussion of this on Unfogged?

Heebie's take: I've been pretty absentee, too, (but I'm back now), so I might have missed it. I know you all have gamed out all the brokered convention details already. This link details how state legislatures could jimmy the electoral college and thus prevent a Trump presidency. Pass the popcorn.


 

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Not Tough Enough. Sad!

Posted by Ogged
on 03.20.16
In my role as a civilian contractor for the Department of Defense, I spent the first three months of 2004 torturing Iraqi prisoners.

He's against it!

On a broader topic, in a very limited way, I'm heartened by the Republican primary, because I'd always assumed that about half of all Americans were what we would now call Trump supporters, but it seems to be somewhat less than that. Yay!


 

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In Memory Of SPY Magazine

Posted by LizardBreath
on 03.20.16

Can we all try to remember that the Republican frontrunner is properly referred to as "Short-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump"?

Also, I'd like someone with access to SPY's archives to put up a page collecting everything they ever wrote about him in the eighties and nineties.


 

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