Here's the prediction thread from last year. Go look yourself up and see if you correctly predicted that Trump would be the president-wreck. (E-wreckt? Gross.) Spoiler: you didn't.
It's the end of the year. For some reason, I keep recalling Kotsko's "Like a Business" column, on the incessant promise to fix public goods by running them like a business:
Yet it occurs to me: is anything inherently a business? We normally think of a bakery as a business, for example, but isn't it actually a place where people bake things? One can imagine a bakery operating under many different economic systems. The examples multiply. A clothing retailer is a place where people come to get their clothes. A convenience store exists to provide people with easy access to frequently used items. A car factory exists to make cars. Even a bank exists primarily to intermediate between people's different financial priorities (e.g., saving vs. spending), rather than to make money as such. All of those things are typically "run like a business" in Western countries, but that doesn't mean that they directly "are" businesses.
Only one type of pursuit is inherently a business: hedge funds. Hedge funds avowedly exist for no other purpose than to turn money into more money. They are indifferent to the means by which that is accomplished -- they will buy and sell anything, from an oil drum to a government bond to a complex bet to pay out if a certain asset reaches a certain price. For all the advanced math and physics deployed, the basic logic is simple. Buy low, sell high -- minimize your costs while maximizing your revenue. That's what it means to run something "like a business."
So I figured I'd dust it off.
It's much more a refutation of Mitt Romney than Trump - Trump is too much of a trainwreck/wild card/blunt impulsive talker for this to be his crux. It's just something that's been knocking on my mental door lately.
In Iran, you have a rich, corrupt minority that does what it wants, an intelligentsia that says "shit is fucked up and bullshit," and a whole bunch of poor people. Every now and again, when the intelligentsia says, "that's it, we've had it," the government rolls out the Basij, drawn from the ranks of the poor, conflates the intelligentsia with the corrupt, rich minority (who are actually connected to the government) and lets the Basij bash their heads in for a while.
I'd offer consulting services to the Trump transition team, but I think they have this angle mostly covered.
Is this legally unavoidable and reasonable to lawyers, like calling corporations "people", or is this a racist (or at least cowardly) judge who is hiding behind unnecessarily strict classifications to avoid seeing the forest for the trees?
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Catastrophe Management Solutions, effectively ruling that refusing to hire someone because of their dreadlocks is legal.
In their suit, the EEOC claimed that this was a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's Title VII, arguing that dreadlocks are a "racial characteristic" that have been historically used to stereotype African-Americans as "not team players" and as unfit for the workplace. Therefore, claiming that dreadlocks do not fit a grooming policy is based on these stereotypes and inherently discriminatory, as dreadlocks are a hairstyle "physiologically and culturally associated" with African-Americans.
The court of appeals disagreed, ruling that CMS's "race-neutral grooming policy" was not discriminatory as hairstyles, while "culturally associated with race," are not "immutable physical characteristics." In essence, traits in a person's appearance that are tied to their culture but are otherwise changeable are not protected and can be used to deny job offers.
I mean, yes, you can cut off your dreads, but that's how racist workarounds of strict interpretations work. This is all very tied to how attuned you are to fashion norms of this century - there are many, many examples of a person with dredlocks dressing extremely formally. I'd be curious to know if men with long hair is allowed.
(Don't make an analogy to tattoos or you'll tie yourself in knots - they're not analogous. The current 2016 socially-understood cut-off for tattoos is to keep them to locations where they can be easily hidden by long sleeves and long pants and shoes. Maybe in ten years the line will have drifted.)
My money is on the racist/cowardly judge.