2017 Politics open thread, March 5-11

What’s on your mind?

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216 thoughts on “2017 Politics open thread, March 5-11

  1. Rhett – Well, her parents are likely very proud of her achievements, but the salve to their disappointment (depending on how old school they are the word might be a lot harsher) that she is not marrying a Korean is that she is by now considered an old maid.

  2. Rhett that first article from the Hill reminds me of the song from Hamilton – Room Where It Happened. Though the mental image of Rand Paul dragging a copy machine around the Capitol is quite funny too…

  3. WCE,
    Their parents must be so proud.
    Just like the parents of the Middlebury thugs. Still waiting for Robert Reich to claim that they were secret Breitbart operatives.

  4. Though the mental image of Rand Paul dragging a copy machine around the Capitol is quite funny too…

    Excellent political theater. He knows what he’s doing.

  5. Meme – 27 is not old considering she has a law degree and has started with a career. I got married at 27 myself ;-). I met DH fairly early, yet the earliest I could have gotten married was 26. The age even for ethnic parents moves up if there are professional degrees involved.

  6. Reich hasn’t said anything. And it is better than what Trump claimed about crimes against Jewish people. But Trumpsters will conveniently ignore that.

  7. Scarlett,

    Upon further reading it doesn’t :-P

    As for Charles Murray – WCE mentioned that his numbers don’t hold up for African and Caribbean immigrants, which weakens his genetics theory. It would seem a protest outside pointing out how he’s wrong would be more productive than shutting down the conversation.

  8. “It would seem a protest outside pointing out how he’s wrong would be more productive than shutting down the conversation.”

    Perhaps the thugs were taking direction from some of the Middlebury faculty. Allison Stanger, the professor who was physically assaulted after the aborted talk (and who is a self-identified liberal) wrote a piece on Facebook about her colleagues who, while openly admitting that they had never read any of Murray’s works, nevertheless claimed that he was a racist and participated in the mob that shut down the talk.

    It is a disturbing trend on the left — we don’t like what you say, so not only will we refuse to listen to it (which is, of course, their right), but we will prevent anyone else from doing so.

    I am honestly wondering whether any of the parents of the snowflakes pictured in the media coverage at Middlebury are proud of their kids.

  9. Meme, I strongly agree with the Stanford article. My personal opinion is that many people on both sides are unwilling to consider information and values separately. The example I use at church is that I can agree with the abortion data provided by the Guttmacher Institute (information) while believing that abortion is a suboptimal choice in most cases (value).

  10. I don’t think that worry extends to me.

    You have got to get rid of your in-laws, Louise.

  11. WCE,
    Do your church friends refuse to consider the abortion statistics Guttmacher compiles, solely because of their presumably tainted source?

  12. Scarlett, I don’t think the people at my church (there aren’t many) who are most vocal about abortion think much about data or statistics. In personal conversations, the thinkers I most respect think the compromise we have (abortion is safe, legal but not government funded) is reasonable.

  13. OK, I don’t wade in here much, but wtf is up with the “Obama’s FBI was taping me”?? Because, what, the thing missing from our political discourse is more completely unfounded conspiracy theories?

    This is, really, the kind of thing that bothers me the most — it’s not just “alternative facts,” it’s intentionally making shit up to rally the true believers and distract attention.

  14. Louise, I am just heartsick about the shooting. It’s too easy to think we live in our own bubble in Seattle only to realize that we don’t. There’s also apparently been some bullying in DS’s middle school around kids who are Jewish. There have been 2-3 incidents and the school administration has taken immediate action – but still shocking to me that this is happening.

    I think there was a comedian who said something to the effect that previously people were pretending not to be racist because they felt it wasn’t socially acceptable – but Trump’s election seems to have given those people the feeling that it’s ok not to pretend anymore. This was followed by a plea to ask people to go back to pretending not to be racist.

  15. “Trump’s election seems to have given those people the feeling that it’s ok not to pretend anymore.”

    That explanation is simply too simplistic, even for a comedian. It presupposes that, before Trump appeared, there weren’t any assaults or murders based on race or religious or ethnic identity. But of course there were, and more than a few of the recent attacks blamed on the Trump Empowerment Syndrome were found either to be fabricated or perpetrated by loonies. For example, the bomb threats aimed at Jewish schools and centers were presumed by some in the media to be part of “Trump’s America,” until the inconvenient arrest of a black liberal (and Muslim) journalist destroyed that narrative, at which point the whole story quietly disappeared. ailycaller.com/2017/03/03/the-man-behind-the-jewish-center-bomb-threats-has-a-twitter-page-filled-with-anti-trump-hate/

  16. The threats to Jewish centers story has not disappeared. At least not here. Still getting lots of attention.

  17. That explanation is simply too simplistic, even for a comedian.

    What sentiment are Trump supporters trying convey when they object to political correctness?

  18. Mr. Thompson is not believed to be responsible for most of the threats against Jewish centers around the country, according to federal law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.

    Notice the word “not”.

  19. Rhett, are you suggesting that objecting to political correctness is a sign of racism?

  20. Scarlett, some people’s objections to PC is that it is no longer ok to make sexist, racist, or gay jokes that in times past might have gotten a laugh. I’m sure they don’t consider themselves racist or sexist or homophobic, because “it’s just a joke (lighten up!!)”. But to the butt of the joke – it’s pretty offensive.

    I completely agree it can be taken too far, and is occasionally used as a bludgeon, but I think that is much less common than the people who are upset that they can no longer make their demeaning jokes.

  21. Rhett, are you suggesting that objecting to political correctness is a sign of racism?

    Yes and no. Thinking there’s nothing wrong with calling them orientals, colored, crippled, retarded, etc. and why should they have to politically correct terms.

    You mentioned your elderly relatives are “suspicious” or Asians – that’s racism, right?

  22. Oh, and I didn’t mean that in a personal sense. My grandmother was a lovely women despite being very anti-semitic.

  23. This conversation is making me think about my dad and stepmom, who occasionally uses non-PC terms for people. I think in their minds, Alaska natives have stopped being Eskimos, but people who live on the Reservation can be either Indian or Native American, people who are native to Australia are Aborigines, a particular class of travelers when my Dad lived in Europe were/are Gypsies. They don’t personally know any people who fit these categories (nor do they personally know African Americans or Jews) and anyone who wears a turban is probably Muslim I doubt if “Sikh” is on the horizon.

    When you don’t live in a diverse place or know any people who fit particular categories, it’s hard to keep track of all the terms.

  24. Rhett, absolutely. When MIL didn’t want the senior care agency to send any non white caregivers, BIL claimed that “she’s not racist, she’s old school.” No, she’s racist. Of course, she did not have the benefits of growing up in a diverse and educated family so perhaps she is not culpable for all of her attitudes. But objectively they are racist.

    And with dementia, sadly, the filters start disappearing, so that she makes inappropriate comments in public about strangers who are fat or black or even old.

  25. Ah, living in a bubble is an excuse.
    “When you don’t live in a diverse place or know any people who fit particular categories, it’s hard to keep track of all the terms.”

    So I guess I can say rube, hayseed, etc, since I am live in the urban elite bubble?

    I admit it can be hard to keep track of a lot of terms. I myself still get confused by transgender terminology. And I have slipped and said “gypsy” instead of “Roma”. But I try to stay aware, and I try to say the term preferred by the people in question. I don’t even know any Roma – they are outside of my bubble too.

    I guess what I am saying is, no matter what your bubble is, try to be curious enough about others to know what they would like to be called. And stay away from obviously offensive terms – hayseed and redskin come right to mind.

  26. Scarlett, my grandmother got like that too, especially in her 90’s. Ugh, she used to use the term “chocolate people”. My mother called her out on it even when she was in her 90’s. And yeah, she was racist, not old school. And nasty, and she just got nastier.

  27. My MIL was never nasty before she was diagnosed with dementia. Her racism was mostly pure ignorance. But she and FIL and my parents too grew up in a very limited bubble in which a mixed marriage was between an Irish Catholic and a German Catholic. They didn’t go off to college and meet people from other parts of the country as we did, so I cut them a lot of slack and try not to criticize them for circumstances over which they had no control.

  28. Mooshi, the term I hear most commonly from urban people is “redneck”.

    Everyone should cut others slack for their blindspots. I cut urban people slack who don’t know the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomato varieties. We can’t all know everything.

  29. College DS has a good friend from a very liberal northern CA family. He met the grandparents at a family function and was amused to hear the grandmother describing Asians as “those yellow people”. He thought that her family would be more enlightened.

  30. Scarlett,

    Then where does your objecting to political correctness indicates racism comment come from? If it’s an unwillingness to call out “out groups” for bad behavior but eagerness to call out Christians then I can certainly agree with that. But I would argue the old school racism contingent is still fairly large.

  31. ” urban people slack who don’t know the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomato varieties.”
    wait a second, I know that!!! And the difference between pole beans and bush beans too. There are a lot of people in the NYC area who have gardens, including IN Manhattan

  32. Mooshi, it’s not that I think urban people are ignorant about tomatoes. It’s that I don’t hold it against them if they don’t keep track of details that aren’t relevant to their daily lives, which may include tomato varieties.

    I agree that for those of us with the bandwidth, using people’s preferred terminology is the polite thing to do. But when Gypsy vs, Roma becomes a shibboleth to separate the worthy from the unworthy, I am mildly annoyed. Especially with older people who have limited bandwidth and who grew up with entirely different social rules, we should all be as gracious as we can.

  33. I have been surprised at the comments the inlaws make about people who are not of their specific community. The groups they don’t personally know anyone from are the ones they are prepared to attach the most stereotypical behavior to. Even worse is if one person from the disparaged groups indeed does the stereotypical behavior, they turn round and say “told you so”.

  34. I think issue is not so much with people who don’t know better and make mistakes, but when corrected are willing to make their best effort to use the right term. I think the frustration is more with people who know the right term, and refused to use it because they are so sick of “liberals shoving that PC crap down my throat.”. My parents live in a very homogenous community, and have little interaction with Asians in their daily lives. My brother married a woman of Asian descent, and politely corrected my father when he used the term oriental. My dad will occasionally slip up, but immediately corrects himself. No one is critical of someone making their best effort. My SIL, for her part, told me not to worry about my dad offending her, and that she basically gives anyone over 70 a pass. It’s the people who insist that it’s their right to call anyone any disparaging name they choose because it was OK 20 years ago that I have an issue with

  35. Or worse, use “it’s a joke! Lighten up!!” I suspect those same people would not “lighten up” if they were consistently the butt of the “joke”

  36. WCE – you think there is no difference between insulting a person by calling them a racist term and not knowing the difference between two types of tomatoes?

    An occasional blunder -yes everyone is forgiven that. Persistent ignorance and insulting behavior – no, not going to repeatedly overlook that.

    Pick up a book. Watch the news. Watch a movie. Listen to a different radio station. Leave your county.

  37. Kerri, not everyone is curious enough to pick up a book or listen to a different radio station. They probably don’t want to deliberately insult anyone but they are also not going to go out of their way to educate themselves on anything not already on their radar screen.

  38. People who damn well know better are the problem. And some wear their offensive language as a badge of honor. No one is going to make them speak in a pc way.

  39. All people stereotype other people/groups and it appears almost unconscious. The growth is recognizing when you do it and correcting yourself. And I will fully admit to not knowing all the offensive terms to refer to groups of people. In fact from this blog I learned that “flip flop” was a derogatory term. Before that I had no idea because I don’t know many Filipinos and that has never come up in our conversations. Now that I know that, I won’t use that term just like when I learned where the word “gyped” came from that was frequently used when I was a kid.

    From the movie Up in the Air, which got big laughs at this scene when I saw it in theater.

    Ryan Bingham: [to Natalie while watching passengers go through airport security] Never get behind people traveling with infants. I’ve never seen a stroller collapse in less than 20 minutes. Old people are worse. Their bodies are littered with hidden metal and they never seem to appreciate how little time they have left. Bingo, Asian. They pack light, travel efficiently, and they have a thing for slip on shoes. Gotta love ’em.
    Natalie Keener: That’s racist.
    Ryan Bingham: I’m like my mother, I stereotype. It’s faster.

  40. Their bodies are littered with hidden metal and they never seem to appreciate how little time they have left.

    Every time I think it would be nice to have a project in Florida I think of the security line and boarding process on the flights to Ft. Myers.

  41. Scarlett – to quote Kerri, An occasional blunder -yes everyone is forgiven that. Persistent ignorance and insulting behavior – no, not going to repeatedly overlook that.

    So in your example of: They probably don’t want to deliberately insult anyone but they are also not going to go out of their way to educate themselves on anything not already on their radar screen. I am fine with them not educating themselves on their own, but if someone tells them that something is racist and they continue to do/say the racist thing, then they should expect to be called a racist.

    WCD – comparing not knowing varieties of tomatoes versus using offensive language as the same thing is ridiculous. We all have blind spots, but if someone doesn’t know that the N-word is offensive, then I will think of them as ignorant and racist. My 73-year-old dad grew up on a farm outside of a small, rural town, but he would never use such words because he knows that they are offensive.

  42. “Natalie Keener: That’s racist.
    Ryan Bingham: I’m like my mother, I stereotype. It’s faster.”

    Stereotyping is not necessarily racist.

  43. Rhett, are you suggesting that objecting to political correctness is a sign of racism?

    Yes, I do think that when people object to political correctness it can be a sign of racism. And I think most people have some racist bias. I know that I do, and I have been thinking about it a lot this last year or so, especially with the Black Lives Matter movement. We have had two high-profile police officer killings of black men. When BLM protested the first killing, I was annoyed at the protests and felt the police officers were justified in the killing, but the victim wasn’t a choir boy either. The second killing the victim was much more sympathetic, and when the protests were going on, I really got what the movement was about. I don’t have time to articulate my thoughts, nor do I have the eloquence to do so, but the short version is that the BLM protests really made me think hard about the biases I have, even when I’m trying hard to not have bias.

    In high school, I had a friend who called me out for saying retarded or gay in a derogatory way. I was embarrassed, but I listened to what she had to say and understood why it would be offensive. And I never use either word in a derogatory way anymore, because I learned. If I objected to it and continued to use non-politically correct words, then I’m just a jerk who would rather insult my friend than to admit to being embarrassed and ashamed.

  44. Everyone knows that the N-word is deeply offensive.
    But everyone does NOT know that “Indians” or “Redskins” or “blacks” is offensive, because there are differing views within those communities regarding such terms. Many people, especially older people who don’t live in major metro areas, don’t really know the difference between the various Asian and South Asian countries, and they may innocently refer to Vietnamese people as “Chinese” or Pakistanis as “Indians.”

    So why not cut people some slack and assume that they are speaking out of ignorance rather than malice. How are ordinary people supposed to know that those who can’t see are visually impaired, not blind, or that those who can’t hear are hearing-impaired, not deaf? Crippled became handicapped became disabled became mobility-impaired or physically-challenged. It’s very difficult to keep up.

  45. Scarlett – again, an occasional blunder – yes everyone is forgiven that. Persistent ignorance and insulting behavior – no, not going to repeatedly overlook that. If I’ve told you I find x term offensive, and likely I’ll tell you a few times, and you still call me x term, nope not gonna tolerate that.

  46. My relatives don’t use terms that are obviously unkind- I chose Gypsy vs. Roma and Aborigine vs. Aboriginal because those are the sorts of slips that they would make. It’s hard to keep up with proper terminology around the world for people who have little interest in the world outside their lifelong friends/family.

    I suppose because of how I view elders and how unreceptive they have always seemed to changes in terminology, I wouldn’t consider correcting someone over 70 unless I knew her/him well. I never thought about my cultural bias about how to treat elderly people before.

  47. Kerri, of course there is no excuse for people who persistently refuse to call others what they have asked to be called.

  48. I take issue with the idea that rural people don’t understand that certain terms are offensive or impolite. We’re not that dumb and have some exposure to the outer world. And a lot of the rural/Ag world is a lot more diverse than the picture of the Farm Progress show.

    However, it is possible that not everyone knows every offensive term or recognizes offensive terms. I was in my forties before I understood that gyp and paddy wagon were ethnic slurs. And I’m of Irish descent. Last week I learned that holy cow had a derogatory connotation.

    The problem with political correctness is not that it stop people from calling others nasty names. It is that it prevents a rational discussion of some of the problems facing the country because various terms are used as a shibboleth to separate the “good” people fwho o the others.

  49. The shooting in Seattle followed by shooting in Kansas hits home. Yes – before Trump – there were attacks based on race, ethnicity or religion. But if you are think that the fear and trepidation of immigrants and religious minorities regarding the current climate of hostility are overblown – you are in your own bubble. It takes time for statistics to catch up with the reality – so yes – I can’t support this with numbers.

    I have friends who have started carrying their passport cards in their wallets – to prove that they are citizens. If you are a permanent resident – you are legally required to carry your green card with you at all times – but that law was never enforced. But now – I know of two people who were stopped by ICE officers (police officers in my state have refused to aid in immigration enforcement) and asked the question on their legal status. In both the cases, person involved was of Indian origin – so can be confused either as someone from middle east or sometimes as Hispanic . Do you think they would have been stopped if they were Caucasian?

    The shooters in both Kansas and Seattle shooting shouted – “go back to your home” – well this is mine and my child’s home.

    Please don’t tell me that there is no racism involved and that our current president has not emboldened the racists amidst us.

  50. I think the problem with terms like “racism” is that it has so many meanings, and its use continues to expand. A few really awful people do horrible things, some people make rude remarks and other people are clueless. It’s hard to know what kind of situation you’re in.

    To choose a personal example unrelated to race or religion, we’ve had cases (in Portland and in my city) where people shouted rude/threatening things at my family because I have four children. Mr WCE was concerned enough in Portland that we changed our preferred parking garage. Locally, I just told my kids to keep walking. But to imply that everyone who supports zero population growth and thinks having four children is wrong would shout rude/threatening things at my kids would not be an accurate characterization.

  51. “people shouted rude/threatening things at my family because I have four children”

    WTF??? I’m so sorry that this has happened to your family. The fact that it’s happened multiple times is…wow. I’m speechless.

  52. WCE – what if it were a 30-something coworker rather than an elderly relative repeatedly referring to an immigrant colleague by an incorrect or disparaging term? (Sikh as Muslim, S Korean as Chinese or Oriental). Do you consider it unnecessarily politically correct to expect them to use a preferred term when it is has been pointed out to them?

  53. “If you are a permanent resident – you are legally required to carry your green card with you at all times – but that law was never enforced.
    But now – I know of two people who were stopped by ICE officers (police officers in my state have refused to aid in immigration enforcement) and asked the question on their legal status. In both the cases, person involved was of Indian origin – so can be confused either as someone from middle east or sometimes as Hispanic . Do you think they would have been stopped if they were Caucasian?”

    That depends. How many Caucasian people are currently living in the country illegally?

    I’m not sure what your argument is here. The law requires green card holders to carry their card at all times. Whether or not the law was enforced is kind of beside the point. It’s the law, and it’s not that difficult to comply.

    “Please don’t tell me that there is no racism involved and that our current president has not emboldened the racists amidst us.”

    If Trump has emboldened the racists amidst us, was Obama responsible for emboldening the perpetrators of the 7000 antisemitic attacks during his administration?

    “Where was the media in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 to highlight thousands of incidents of antisemitism? 210 physical assaults on Jews. 3,900 threats against Jews and Jewish institutions. 2,900 incidents of vandalism. 180 incidents of antisemitism on campus. Every six days, a Jewish person in America was being attacked in 2015 and it went largely ignored. On average, there were threats every day against Jews and Jewish institutions over the last eight years and most of them did not receive headlines.

    There were also incidents of vandalism every day on average. Why did 7,034 incidents of antisemitism not get major headlines for so long? Was it because of an agenda to protect the Obama administration from criticism, or due to complacency and people becoming inured to the phenomenon? The cesspool and swamp from which today’s hate crimes on Jewish cemeteries emerge is not in a vacuum and it may not be due to the toxic divisions of 2016; it may have deeper roots. That’s the elephant in the room: 7,000 incidents that were recorded — and reported by the ADL — which almost no one wants to talk about.”

    https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/03/01/why-were-the-7000-antisemitic-incidents-under-obama-largely-ignored/

  54. WCE – I wish I was more shocked that that happened to you. I have a couple of friends with 4+ kids, and they have had complete strangers comment judgmentally to them. No one shouted at them in a public place, so that is particularly horrifying, but it does seem that people feel comfortable judging those with a large family. People are unbelievable.

  55. MBT, we are well-blessed with corporate diversity initiatives so I would fall over in shock if a co-worker ever committed such a faux pas.

    I don’t mind if people judge me- that’s part of life- I just wish they wouldn’t teach my children profanity.

  56. Scarlett – As a citizen – do you carry your passport card with you at all times? What document do you have on you when you are grocery shopping that proves your citizen ship? Why should a non Caucasian looking person be held to a different standard?

  57. WCE – I quit having lunch with a coworker because he is pretty blunt about what he sees as weaknesses of other ethnic communities. He is an immigrant himself, and I guess hasn’t fully embraced the diversity initiatives.

  58. Scarlett, why should anyone be stopped on the street to ask their citizenship status without probable cause?

  59. Naturalized citizen, don’t bother arguing with the poster Scarlett. She will ignore your valid feeling and argue ad-nauseum about how things are the same in Obama times. That people like you feel significantly different today bears no weight in her mind. She will go on Scarletsplaining anything that does not fit with her chosen narrative.

  60. WCE – I can’t believe people would say such things to your family. Complete strangers think they have the protection of anyonmity but for people in your own community to do this, is terrible.

  61. WCE – good grief, multiple times?!? Awful! In our previous town, our nanny was spoken to by some busybodies in a restaurant with the kids (too young to have 3 kids “probably all from different fathers”), but no one has ever said anything to either me or DH.

  62. “MBT, we are well-blessed with corporate diversity initiatives so I would fall over in shock if a co-worker ever committed such a faux pas.”

    That doesn’t answer the question.

  63. “As a citizen – do you carry your passport card with you at all times?”

    Sorry, I think I misunderstood your earlier comment as referring to green card holders rather than citizens. Citizens are not required to carry their passport cards, which is a good thing, since most citizens don’t actually have passport cards. It is unfortunate that the millions of illegal immigrants, most of whom are not Caucasian*, have made things difficult for the non-Caucasians who are citizens or legal residents and who might be mistaken, fairly or not, by immigration authorities as persons who are subject to detention or deportation. No one who is *legally* present in this country should have to be afraid that they will be mistreated or singled out by government agents because of their race or ethnic group.

    However, Obama deported more than two million illegal immigrants during his tenure, which is more than all of his predecessors put together. The New York Times reported over the weekend that there are nearly a million illegal immigrants subject to deportation orders who are still living here. Why is Trump the bad guy simply because he is doing his job to take care that the laws be faithfully executed?

    * There are about 50,000 illegal Irish immigrants in the country who also face deportation. Most of them were visa overstays, unlike most Mexicans who entered the country illegally. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/11/18/trump-victory-has-ireland-worried-about-its-illegal-immigrants-in-u-s/?utm_term=.ec0b1f7861de

  64. The people were almost certainly drunk or stoned, and I grew up with lots of stuff yelled at me. People who yell stuff at small children are not the local Unitarians.

    MBT, as far as I can tell, everyone has genuinely embraced the diversity initiatives. The last time I heard a non-PC term was my stepmom trying to explain why she couldn’t understand the person who was trying to tell her how to make kumquat pie at farmer’s market (both Florida and flying are new to her) and it just doesn’t seem very welcoming to look at my stepmom’s story through my lens, when I am capable of seeing it through her lens.

  65. “Scarlett, why should anyone be stopped on the street to ask their citizenship status without probable cause?”

    BITD, my Pakistani nanny was stopped in the street by a police officer who asked for her identification. I didn’t witness the incident, but she was pretty sure that she was stopped because she was wearing traditional Muslim dress. It happened when she was walking home in a very diverse part of Arlington, where she was certainly not the only Pakistani woman dressed that way, so who knows what was going on. She showed him her green card and that was the end of the encounter.

    I don’t know enough about immigration law to speculate about the circumstances under which immigration officers (or local police) are permitted to question people regarding their legal status. But if you were in charge, and you actually wanted to enforce the law, what rules would you suggest?

  66. Here are some stats about illegal immigrants. I didn’t realize there were so many Chinese and Indian immigrants who are presumably overstaying their visas.

  67. DD,
    Your question about stopping people led me to this interesting article from 2014.

    “The Obama administration will soon issue new rules curtailing the use of profiling, but federal agents will still be allowed to consider race and ethnicity when stopping people at airports, border crossings and immigration checkpoints, according to several government officials.

    The new policy has been in the works for years and will replace decade-old rules that banned racial profiling for federal law enforcement, but with specific exemptions for national security and border investigations. Immigration enforcement has proved to be the most controversial aspect of the Obama administration’s revisions, and law enforcement officials succeeded in arguing that they should have more leeway in deciding whom to stop and question.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/12/07/obama-administration-decides-to-continue-racial-profiling-in-immigration-law-enforcement/?utm_term=.3c75e00b36fd

  68. “I didn’t realize there were so many Chinese and Indian immigrants who are presumably overstaying their visas.”

    And China refuses to cooperate with deportation orders, so if Chinese citizens overstay their visas, we’re apparently stuck with them.
    Why does the government not have a system that pings when a visa is up? Surely the technology is not that difficult.

  69. Some Indian/Chinese people who overstay their visas are grad student spouses, and as far as I can tell, enforcement against law abiding grad student spouses who are not violating employment law is pretty limited.

  70. enforcement against law abiding grad student spouses who are not violating employment law is pretty limited.

    We’ll see if that changes. You do agree that that is just as illegal as any other illegal immigrant, of course.

  71. Obamacare replacement is DOA. Well done. More than 8 years of complaining and still nothing.

  72. Immigration law needs to be both reformed and enforced. Like many government bureaucracies, the immigration bureaucracy is dysfunctional.

  73. I suppose we can just raise everyone’s taxes so that we can more fully enforce immigration laws. Seems to be the best and highest use of our money.

  74. I don’t know enough about immigration law to speculate about the circumstances under which immigration officers (or local police) are permitted to question people regarding their legal status. But if you were in charge, and you actually wanted to enforce the law, what rules would you suggest?

    I don’t know exactly what I would do, but whatever it was, it would not include randomly stopping people based on their ethnicity and asking them to prove their status.

    Again, liberals prefer to protect the rights of the innocent and are willing to have some of the guilty go free as the price of freedom, while conservatives want to ensure that all the guilty are caught, and if that means infringing on the rights of the innocent (and the guilty), then that’s an acceptable price.

  75. Immigration law needs to be both reformed and enforced. Like many government bureaucracies, the immigration bureaucracy is dysfunctional.

    You’re the one who wants to make sure that being born in this country doesn’t get you citizenship. Chinese immigrant wives MUST be deported, along with the U.S.-born children, then.

  76. DD, our criminal justice system recognizes that some defendants who are guilty may go free in order to protect the rights of the innocent. Not sure why you claim that conservatives reject that principle.

  77. I know of people who came to the U.S. on a tourist visa and simply overstayed their visas. They somehow got jobs, bought homes. I don’t know about their paperwork and how or if they got legal status. Many times their spouses or grown kid’s couldn’t join them. These people could not leave the U.S. One relative’s family was granted amnesty during the Reagan years.
    This has led to genuine cases of siblings or other family members wanting to visit family and tour the U.S. being denied visas (My SILs sister was denied). In some cases if there are multiple denials you are asked to never consider applying again.

  78. These days there are professional agitators who are come in and swell the numbers of selected local protests. Unlike local people who come out on the spur of the moment to protest, the professionals are well prepared. Most times they take over the narrative and direction of the protest from local organizers.
    I am not sure why the Middlebury college community was surprised at what happened. That was going to be one of the likely outcomes.

  79. “This has led to genuine cases of siblings or other family members wanting to visit family and tour the U.S. being denied visas”

    This surprises me and suggests that ICE has more on the ball that I thought. I forget what the number is but I seem to remember that overstayed visas are a big issue and I’ve wondered why this problem is not better addressed.

  80. WCE, they used to abuse me when I had four children in Cambridge in the 80s, but not by shouting profanity at my kids. “have you seen the population exhibit at the Science Museum” in the totebag class. “Do you keep children” while getting on a bus or walking around my not affluent neighborhood. Are you pregnant again, with disgust.

  81. My friends with larger families report similar comments, but more along the “are they ALL yours?” or stunned silence when a hip looking pregnant woman reports that this is her 8th rather than 2nd child.
    To be fair, friends in orthodox Catholic circles who have only one child also say that they feel judged. “They must be using contraception. They aren’t open to life”. So the judgment can definitely go both ways.

  82. There are lots of illegal Chinese immigrants in the NYC area. Many in the restaurant business. Many are smuggled in and then have to pay the smuggler back. I have also seen more than a few admitted on student visas to shaky grad programs, who arrive and then disappear during the semester, never to be seen again.

    If enforcement were targeted at employers, with teeth, the problem disappear.

  83. WCE and You Know Who, there’s also the time honored classic, “they KNOW what causes that, you know…”

  84. And there is always the, “So you’re part of a litter?”, directed at the kids. I am one of five.

  85. Jesus. I just get comments about my weight. The only time I ever commented on a family’s size was just to say “those kids are all just darling“. They were, too — it was a grocery cart full of adorable cherubs.

  86. I am in the jury pool today, and since I now have the time I would actually like to get on a jury. I have a high number, so not likely. My mother was a court reporter at the US District Court in Washington, worked on spy trials, AT&T breakup, and Watergate – Judge Gesell, not Judge Sirica. I used to sit in on trials during school vacation.

  87. There’s a family whose boys attended/attend/will attend my kids’ MS/HS. 7 or 8 kids total. Never heard of issues / comments like WCE & others relate. But the kids are very spread out and he makes big $$, so it’s unlikely she has ever been out with more than 2 or 3 kids at a time unless the whole family was going to church or out to dinner.

  88. Why can’t anyway take his twitter away? Please, please I wish he would use that time to actually read source data that people who have access to the best intelligence compile for him. I just can’t imagine any one who sees this behavior and is proud to call him our country’s leader. Who has odds on Pence as Pres by Jan. 2018?

  89. Isn’t there any pressure we can put on Ecuador to quit harboring that asshat?

  90. Yes – people definitely make rude unsolicited comments to the parents of only children too. People feel the need to question your fertility, and if you admit that you have an only by choice you either get the personal judgement (oh, you really can’t hack it as a parent, you must hate being a mom, you are so selfish) or the pity towards your child (he must be so lonely, he’s going to grow up and be a weirdo because he’ll be unsocialized). You really can’t win.

    I don’t think that really compares to the experience that I would have in general if I wasn’t a UMC white lady though or a reason to defend being politically incorrect.

    Some of this conversation reminds me of the discussion at DS’s school about the difference between “Rudeness” “Meanness” and “Bullying”. There is “Rudeness” which is hurting someone’s feelings, but not on purpose. “Meanness” which is hurting someone intentionally, but not repeatedly and probably out of anger or frustration. And “Bullying” which is repeatedly and intentionally hurting someone, with the intention of putting them down and gaining control. I don’t think that people who occasionally are “rude” in the context of race/sex/culture are inherently racist. – like my grandma not keeping straight the current proper term for a certain ethnic group or micro-aggressions that might get someone shamed in certain undergrad circles. But when you get closer to the Bullying end of spectrum – repeated instances and willful ignorance start to get into different territory. And I reserve the right to judge people on repeated behavior.

  91. “Yes – people definitely make rude unsolicited comments to the parents of only children too. . . . You really can’t win.”

    There are a lot of rude, insensitive a$$holes in the world.

    “There is “Rudeness” which is hurting someone’s feelings, but not on purpose.”

    Perhaps not on purpose, but also typically not caring that feelings were hurt, and likely to repeat the same rude behavior. Not to be confused with cluelessness.

  92. I have come to the point where I won’t comment on people’s families in the least nor will I ask someone if they are expecting unless they are literally about to pop. There is just no upside!

  93. @Rhett – I always just assumed they could do this. When I talk politics with my friends we always add points of clarification for the NSA.

  94. Anyone participating in A Day Without a Woman tomorrow?

    No, and I object to it, for the following reasons:

    1) It was the moronic plot of every 50s and 60s sitcom. I remember clearly the I Love Lucy episode, the Lost in Space episode, and the Petticoat Junction episode. There were many more.

    2) It’s precious.

    3) It’s completely undoable for, I dunno, 99% of all women? Who’s going to feed the kids? Do you really think that your cleaning lady (or mine, for that matter) can just not show up? You have to be pretty high up on the economic food chain to be able to just skip work. Maybe Sheryl Sandberg can do it. But I bet she won’t.

  95. RMS – agree it is very “Mom on Strike” I think our purchasing power is well recognized. You can do it if your husband or partner will pick up the slack and if your husband or partner will pick up the slack then he probably already appreciates you. I do not know what lesbians do.

  96. RMS + a gazillion.

    I’m supposed to prove my worth by not living up to my responsibilities for a day? I’ve never, ever heard of something so stupid. It so self defeating.

  97. “I’m supposed to prove my worth by not living up to my responsibilities for a day?”

    This is where I come out on it too, Lark.

    I forgot to talk to DD about this last night — must do it when she’s home from school. This is just the kind of thing teenage girls (especially ones in this town) get all fired up about, and I want to brainwash her into my way of thinking before she gets any ideas of her own. ;)

  98. Although I did consider a short strike after cleaning the litter boxes, mat and surrounding area last night…..

  99. So, I just talked to DH about this. I told him I felt showing up at work is the way to for a woman to be valuable, and he said: “Showing up at work has gotten women 67% of men’s pay, so maybe a different level of civil disobedience isn’t a bad idea.” Not a completely crazy thought. But we didn’t talk more about that part of it, because he (who you may recall spent 10 years in Taiwan after undergrad and is fluent in Mandarin) said this:

    In Mandarin, the word for 3 is “san.” The word for 8 is “ba.” 8 is an auspicious number in Chinese. 8-8 is “ba ba.” Baba means father. 8/8 – or Aug 8 — is Father’s Day.

    3-8 is “san ba,” which means — loosely translated — flighty or silly or crazy. And 3/8 in China/Taiwan is Women’s Day. And at least 20 years ago when DH lived in Taiwan, everyone–women included, and NOT in a complaining way–about how *of course* women got the “crazy, flighty” day.

    So, in DH’s opinion, while the idea of Women’s Day might be a good one, holding it on March 8 is a terrible idea.

  100. I’m not suggesting that women aren’t important. I just don’t think the “strike” idea is that great. I agree that going along to get along hasn’t been a super successful strategy, but I don’t think this one is either.

  101. Reminds me of this old but good story:

    A man came home from work and found his children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around the yard.
    The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog, walking in the door, he found …an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall. In the living room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel… She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, ‘What happened here today?’ She again smiled and answered, ‘You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?…
    ”Yes,” was his incredulous reply..
    She answered, ‘Well, today I didn’t do it.’

  102. WCE that is interesting. I’m curious as to whether all of those instances are true. I never had experiences like that. When I ask my kids, one has only had political commentary from a pro-Trump teacher, and the other has in the context of reports in a journalism class.

    If I were a professor, I think I would be hesitant to have students record classes because you have no control over how they selectively edit or take things out of context and blast them out on social media. No one likes to be misconstrued. The author turned me off to his point of view with his use of the word thug.

  103. MBT, my engineering professors occasionally had political buttons on a jacket, but they never espoused political views in class. I don’t know how common it was/is in other fields.

    Walter Williams is an African American born in 1936. Apparently he hasn’t gotten the message about the word “thug” that other people have gotten.

  104. Interesting article WCE.

    A friend of mine who has an eight grader told us in January that her teacher did an exercise in class that identified/outed the two conservative students in a class of progressive liberals. Her daughter, who was in the PL quadrant, had just told her that evening and she was going to reach out to the principal. I haven’t seen her since to hear the outcome. I will say that every one of us in book club regardless of political background was sufficiently horrified to hear that this had occurred.

    My kids have been coming home with all kinds of wildly inaccurate information but that appears to be from kids who are only repeating half the story they overheard their parents discussing.

  105. Interesting article WCE. In my kids’ history class, they are learning the presidents by the class reciting them in order. Washington through Obama. When some kids said Trump after Obama, they were threatened with being sent to the office. They continued, but the teacher backed down. The anti Trump bias is pervasive and irritating. I don’t care who voted for whom, he still won the election is the president.

    Also frustrating is the the cards that a school district in Capital City is giving out that contain instruction on how to deal with ICE.

    Maybe if we have so many personnel in schools who aren’t involved in teaching, we should eliminate some positions.

  106. Pseudonym – If you’re worried about your relatives being deported its really hard to focus on reading, writing an arithmetic. Most of the information I’ve seen schools putting out is to reassure students and educate. Isn’t educating what schools do?

  107. Have any of you heard about the wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas? I’ve been seeing stories on facebook the past several days, but saw nothing in the mainstream media until today.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/07/us/wildfires-texas-deaths/

    Disaster coverage is one way the media’s coastal, urban bias becomes apparent. In California, rural evacuation of 188,000 people barely rates notice, urban evacuation of 14,000 is big news. In Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Seven lives, massive livestock losses, millions or billions of dollars losses, but since it occurs in flyover country, yawn.

    Does the media’s lack of interest, knowlege, coverage of flyover country play into the distrust rural areas have of what it does report?

  108. “When some kids said Trump after Obama, they were threatened with being sent to the office. ”

    Talk about alternative facts! Wow!

  109. Have any of you heard about the wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas?

    And Colorado — a couple of our counties are on fire too. I’ve certainly been following it.

  110. “Disaster coverage is one way the media’s coastal, urban bias becomes apparent.”

    Not sure I fully follow. CNN is all about disaster coverage! My mom will call me about flooding in Brooklyn (nowhere near me) because of what she saw on CNN.

    I scan the NY Times, CNN, NPR and the Los Angeles times, along with the Economist and WSJ, fairly regularly. I just read about fiscal problems in Kansas and how Oklahoma City is letting some of its roads go unpaved.

    What do those who live in the middle of the U.S. know about issues in Maine, NJ, update/rural NY? Or are they not expected to know or find out?

  111. On the unpaved roads, my first thought was “hey if Chance (a rapper) can give money to Chicago schools, what is Blake Shelton doing for Oklahoma?” Blake seems like a genuine guy – I wonder what charities he has supported?

  112. My mom will call me about flooding in Brooklyn (nowhere near me) because of what she saw on CNN.

    You know, that was one way I knew Mom was developing dementia. If there was a hurricane on the Outer Banks, she’d call me in Chapel Hill in a panic. “No, Mom, it’s just raining here”. But when 9/11 happened, she was completely unperturbed. I see now that she was losing touch with the world outside her own four walls.

  113. And no, I wasn’t in New York on 9/11, but in her younger and stronger days she would have found a way to panic about it on my behalf.

  114. RMS, interesting article, although I find it to be extreme in its stereotyping of rural people. I know almost no one who fits that stereotype. The hypothesis fails to explain why the Democratic party used to be able to communicate with the people described and no longer can, if the people haven’t changed.

    In terms of evolution, I am no longer a pariah for believing in it. It’s become more accepted in the past couple decades.

    Do you believe the article to be accurate? If so, do you see a resolution other than increasing polarization? How do you think coastal housing costs and birth rate differences will affect the electorate and its distribution in coming decades?

  115. I also just read an article about Betsy DeVos and Grand Rapids Michigan – maybe in the Atlantic?

    Am I exceptionally curious or just avoiding work? Maybe both?

  116. The hypothesis fails to explain why the Democratic party used to be able to communicate with the people described and no longer can, if the people haven’t changed.

    Perhaps we agree that the Dems have to become more Socialist. They have to try to revive the unions (ideally without reviving union corruption) and make sure there are a lot of well-paid government construction jobs for those without a college education. They have to restart the New Deal, with appropriate attention given to current technological developments. Maybe (and I do mean maybe) there needs to be more restriction on global trade. WRT that last one, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve drunk the economic Kool-Aid and think free trade is probably better overall. But maybe free trade with A LOT of redistribution of the ensuing wealth? I’m not sure.

  117. Kerri, long ago my sister used to say, “Having homework hanging over your head makes cleaning your room seem fascinating.”

  118. RMS, free trade isn’t free when our labor and environmental standards are dramatically higher than those of the countries we’re competing with. I don’t have any opinion about this problem other than the old saw, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

    We need jobs for college educated people as well as those without college education. You may or may not remember the day we joked about winning the geography lottery if you were born somewhere that you can get a professional job without moving far away. I’ve pondered some sort of environmental/tax credit scheme to get employers to favor cities with existing infrastructure and water as a way to manage water problems in the southwest. It seems silly that even though Bay Area housing is crazy expensive, companies continue to expand there while Detroit is knocking down houses and turning sections of the city into green space. At least some people would prefer to live in Detroit (with its cost of living) rather than Palo Alto if they could move or telecommute. But to the extent executives want to move jobs, they tend to want to move them overseas, where salaries are even lower than in Detroit.

    The motivation to move jobs overseas is slowly changing, as salaries increase in India and China. One of the perks of my location is sitting within hearing distance of the site manager, the division R&D director and some global finance people. I am a well-informed contractor.

  119. I think that article is overly simplistic. It ignores the fact that some of these states, including Iowa are pretty “purple”. My parents county (population approx 15,000) went 52%/47% for Obama over Romney and 53%/46% for Trump/Clinton. Those are both pretty damn close. It also ignores the fact that there are plenty of people who are both deeply religious AND liberal/vote Democratic regularly. My mom is one of them. And even within the more fundamentalist churches, people have differences of opinion about all the issues – including abortion, gay marriage, the right kind/size of the government safety need, immigration, etc.

    Even within the more “red” states, it is not 100%, and not everyone has the same vision for what they would like “Republican”/conservative policy to look like. (Note: Kansas articles that Kerri mentioned.)

    I guess no matter what our group, we don’t like to be painted with a broad brush, but all these articles about “the real flyover country” just make me insane. (That includes the WCE articles, BTW.)

    And I also agree with Kerri. The “no one is paying attention to the flyover states” trope gets a little tired. Most people care more about what is local to them, but there are also plenty of us “elites” who do scan the national news and care about what is happening in Kansas.

  120. I hate hate hate hate when a group is depicted as the “real” [insert category]. Unless we’re talking pizza places in NY, it’s just an insulting term and very exclusionary.

  121. Sure, I wasn’t suggesting that that article was The Truth. All these articles are biased. I think WCE tends to overlook the insulting aspects of the articles she posts, and I tend to overlook the insulting aspects of the articles I post. But both sets of articles are insulting, for sure.

  122. I definitely think it’s necessary to look for the truth in the views of people who disagree with me and ignore unimportant points of difference. I approach both liberal and conservative articles with, “How does this person think? Is their argument true/correct?” and not “How does this argument make me feel?”

    I also am very insensitive to phrasing in English, a characteristic that only became more pronounced going to graduate school with people who mostly didn’t speak English as their first language. (But the Indian characteristic of mixing v and w sounds becomes really funny to me when the words are maneuver vs. manure.)

  123. @RMS – Yes I agree with you totally. I think all of those articles are vaguely insulting to everyone involved. It’s insulting to both the “real folk” and the “elites” who just don’t understand the true ‘Murica. And yours was a good counterpoint to the other ones that also get me riled up!

    @Kerri – I HATE that too. Did that start with Sarah Palin? I feel like that’s when it really started.

  124. Or pizza places in Chicago! My first year or so in Chicago I learned to just shut up about pizza.

  125. I’ve lost track of how many “real” Ray’s Pizza’s there are. Or Patsy’s.

    WCE – I never read an article by starting out thinking “how does this person think”. After I read the article I might consider what I think they think (if you follow), but I try to take the article at face value. How on earth should I know ahead of time how a person thinks? I am very conscious of phrasing and choice of words (“thug”) because they show the author’s bias.

    At work – not so much.

  126. Kerri, we probably both adjust our sensitivity to the circumstances. I’m reminded of a colleague who immigrated from China as an adult during the late 1970’s and never became fluent in English. He accidentally called a female colleague a “call girl” when she was wearing a western shirt instead of a “cow girl” and the room (she was the only female) tittered.

    When I try to defend people from charges of insensitivity, he is one of the people I think of. It was an honest (if very humorous) mistake, and anyone who has achieved what he has in life doesn’t deserve to be flogged by human resources.

  127. WCE – you seem to always seem to look for the best in people and forgive in advertent insensitivity. I try to do the same. However, the “thug” article author – to use a recent example with which we’re all familiar – was very decisive in what words she chose in writing her article and definitely conveyed a bias and point of view. You seem insensitive to some of her word choices. If so, part of her purpose and message was lost on you. Call me a cynic.

  128. Kerri, cynicism has its place and I was definitely insensitive to some of her word choices. I regret that. As we discussed offline, this is the quote that made me submit the article in the first place, because it so clearly pits racial equality against gender equality.

    “The protocol ranked student offenses on five levels and required schools to report only the worst—including arson, aggravated assault, and firearm possession—to police. School officials were strongly encouraged to handle other serious offenses—such as assault, sexual violence, and drug possession—on their own. For a time, the district administration actually tied principals’ bonuses to their track record on reducing black discipline referrals.”

  129. Some of my FB people hail from the area where the fires are, so it’s been on my radar for a bit. I have read linked articles, so have not noticed it it made major newspapers. I will say with everything going on in Washington, and the release of the World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan (we let 2nd graders name our bills?), there is a lot of competition in the news cycle. I think if the fires had been going on a year ago they would have gotten more attention.

  130. I agree with others that this article was biased. But the article RMS posted seems closer to the reality of my DH’s hometown in rural Iowa. The county voted 70%+ for Trump and 70%+ for Republicans in every office. DH’s hometown’s peak population was in the 1930s. FIL was a teacher, and they moved to the town around 1975 and DH was treated like an outsider the whole time he lived there.

    I’m always fascinated by WCE’s positive views of growing up in rural Iowa as it is so different than the experience my DH had. He was miserable his entire childhood and couldn’t wait to get out, He could have had a full ride to WCE’s alma mater but wanted to get out of the state. He didn’t leave his hometown due to jobs but due to how he was treated living there.

  131. “School officials were strongly encouraged to handle other serious offenses—such as assault, sexual violence, and drug possession—on their own.”

    Casual pot smoking or high school scuffle – sure. Otherwise, no. Police should be involved.

  132. I live in a county that voted 70% for Clinton, and my two closest colleagues assume I am a political liberal. :)

  133. I thought we beat this article to death already. I suggest we move on to different topics.

  134. “my two closest colleagues assume I am a political liberal. :)”

    I am under the impression that some of the people you know through church and from your hometown also consider you a political liberal.

  135. Thanks for that article Houston. I agree that more people need to be involved so we can work together. I was just reading this article below and makes me wish we had more moderates* and people willing to work across the aisle.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/03/joe-manchin-senator-profile-west-virginia-red-state-democrat-bipartisan-214865

    Instead we seem to be electing people who only pander to their bases. According to the gerrymandering article that DD shared a week or so ago if you piss of the base that owns that district is the only way your getting bumped out. So your base is happy but other initiatives are at a standstill because no one compromises and works together. The system was structured to move slowly and that you would need to work with others but since the early 2000 it seems more polarized.

    *I don’t live in West Virginia and folks in that state may have different opinions on whether Manchin is truly a moderate. I more stating that I don’t see any moderates left in the system. Everyone seems to be on the edges now. And just in general I would like to see more politicians who are more center and willing to work together for the greater good.

  136. “Some of my FB people hail from the area where the fires are, so it’s been on my radar for a bit. I have read linked articles, so have not noticed it it made major newspapers.”

    Why is the acknowledgement of major papers so important? Does it change the outcome in any way? I mean I don’t need them to know what’s going on here for me to feel like I have value. I will say however, that I felt like the carrying on about Hurricane Sandy relative to the myriad hurricanes in the South was a bit much.

  137. Louise, thanks for posting that. The Atlantic has some very thought-provoking commentary. Although my understanding was that the purpose of Murray’s talk was to discuss his most recent book, Coming Apart, and not his earlier research on race and intelligence.

    If the students had behaved like the adults they claim to be, they might have taken Murray’s bubble quiz and confronted their own privileges. Indeed, if they had spent the time they devoted to rabble rousing simply skimming through the book, they could have taken the bubble test on their own and recognized the merits to his arguments.

  138. Scarlett, It seems that many of the professors protesting Murray hadn’t read his books either, so the students would have to act better than adults!

  139. Not sure what policymakers are supposed to do?
    People respond to incentives. Perhaps the incentives for work (and marriage, for that matter) are not properly aligned, but that seems to be a matter of personal decision rather than government policy.

    Of course, there are various reasons why men have slid out of the workforce, but it seems likely that many of them are being enabled by parents, wives, or girlfriends.

  140. The actual point of the Economist article was that the U.S. needs to get with the program WRT child care, parental leave, etc. But I just thought it was an interesting statistic.

  141. Of course, there are various reasons why men have slid out of the workforce, but it seems likely that many of them are being enabled by parents, wives, or girlfriends.

    So are the women who choose not to work “being enabled” by their husbands or others?

  142. DD perhaps they are. And if the men who are not in the work force are taking care of kids or elders so that their wives can focus on work, that would be ok. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  143. @Used To Lurk – I completely agree. What happened to compromise? I mean real compromise, not just yelling that each side should “compromise” which really just means – give me exactly what I want.

  144. “various reasons why men have slid out of the workforce”

    My guess is that part of the increase in men not working is due to increased lifespan, so a greater %age of men are now retired.

  145. “So are the women who choose not to work “being enabled” by their husbands or others?”

    In many cases, absolutely. When a couple consciously decides the wife will become a SAH wife, that typically involves a decision for the husband to enable that by working (or in some cases for them to both live off the husband’s wealth).

  146. The first tweet in response to The Economist’s tweet is interesting:

    “this data tells that approximately same percentage of total population has been working in the US.”

  147. ” is due to increased lifespan”
    IIRC the age range of 15-54 is what’s typically counted. Not that I can find it now but I read something recently detailing the gist of Rocky’s post and it came down to the fact that women are doing better, generally, than men as we have shifted to a “knowledge” (vs what? Ignorance? I know, muscle/brawn/manual labor) economy.

  148. I consider myself fairly progressive, and I find Charles Murray’s books interesting. I was not aware he was so controversial. I have not read that first book, but see a lot of commentary that what he was actually stating was misconstrued. I’ll have to read it now.

    In the men out of the workforce, I believe that a lot of traditional factory jobs held by men were lost to automation, where fewer of the traditionally female jobs were not, likely because they were lower paying to start with. Despite political promises, I’m not sure how quickly that can be turned around.

  149. ” the age range of 15-54 is what’s typically counted.”

    That’s not what the tweet said.

    But if that’s the age range they’re counting, one reason for the decreased %age of men working could be fewer teenagers and college kids getting part-time and summer jobs.

  150. And here’s one about the role of epigenetics (or lack of attention to epigenetics) in The Bell Curve. Honestly, MBT, you’ll never get around to reading the actual book. The critiques take too much time.

  151. MBT, I agree with RMS that the book is long and statistically in-depth- that’s part of why I read it when I had the opportunity for expert critique.

  152. In many cases, absolutely. When a couple consciously decides the wife will become a SAH wife, that typically involves a decision for the husband to enable that by working (or in some cases for them to both live off the husband’s wealth).

    I took Scarlett’s comment about men “being enabled” as a derogatory comment towards men who aren’t working. Her follow-up comments seem to reinforce that idea:

    And if the men who are not in the work force are taking care of kids or elders so that their wives can focus on work, that would be ok. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    So the assumption is that all women who are not working outside the home are doing so for “good” reasons of taking care of family and such, but most of the men who are not working are playing videogames all day while their wives/girlfriends/families are supporting them.

    I know Scarlett didn’t say that directly, but she sure implied it.

  153. “So the assumption is that all women who are not working outside the home are doing so for “good” reasons of taking care of family and such, but most of the men who are not working are playing videogames all day while their wives/girlfriends/families are supporting them.

    I know Scarlett didn’t say that directly, but she sure implied it.”

    Here are some researchers who DO say that directly, at least with respect to many, not most.

    “Most of the blame for the struggle of male, less-educated workers has been attributed to lingering weakness in the economy, particularly in male-dominated industries such as manufacturing. Yet in the new research, economists from Princeton, the University of Rochester and the University of Chicago say that an additional reason many of these young men — who don’t have college degrees — are rejecting work is that they have a better alternative: living at home and enjoying video games.

    The paper attributes one-third to one-fifth of the decline in work hours by less-educated young men to the rising use of technology for entertainment — mainly video games. The new study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, and the researchers say they are continuing to refine the precise figures. But other prominent economists who reviewed it for this story said it raises important questions about why so many young men have abandoned the workforce.

    Alan Krueger, a former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said the research presents “strong evidence that the increase in the number of less-educated young men who are not working is not entirely a result of weak demand for their services.” He added, “They find evidence that a portion … of the decrease in work time of less-educated young men can be a result of the appeal of video games.”
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-video-games-jobs-emploment-20160923-story.html

  154. Nothing in the Chicago Tribune article was specific to married men or men with caregiver responsibilities. The men profiled were college age (21, 22) and did not mention girlfriends, much less wives.

    Not sure I’m following how that article ties to husbands as not working for a not good reason.

  155. The new study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal,

    I’ll leave it at that.

  156. WCE,

    Thanks for sharing that. Among the many things I find interesting about it, there is this:

    “it can take weeks to get a Genius Bar appointment.”

    If Apple products “just work” as the fans always claim, why do they break so often that there is such a long wait for repairs?

    As for the issue itself, I agree completely with the bill. It’s like how the automakers used to void your warranty if you didn’t get your oil changes at the dealer.

  157. Along the lines of the Nebraska battle, I would like to be able to shut off Starlink in the new Outback. Yes, it’s kind of cool that I got an email saying the wiper fluid was low, but my concern is that the car can be hacked. It should be our choice if we want our car to be online.

  158. It seems a bit of a misnomer to call it a “right to repair”. Instead, it is a “right to proprietary information”. As the article mentions, there are chains of iPhone repair shops in Omaha, unauthorized by Apple. So clearly there is an ability to get your iPhone repaired at someplace other than the Genius Bar.

  159. Ada, the people who support the bill are going to name it in a way that suits them. My employer makes extreme attempts to keep its technology proprietary but has not been allowed to do so under anti-trust law. I don’t know enough about anti-trust law to know when it applies and when it doesn’t; I recall Microsoft having a fiasco about it a decade or so ago.

  160. DD, DW’s new iPhone took many calls with the cell service provider and multiple trips to the Genius Bar before getting a replacement phone that doesn’t randomly reboot itself.

  161. It’s a working paper. http://eml.berkeley.edu//~webfac/card/draftberkeleyhurst.pdf

    Working papers are presented at conferences, submitted to journals, reviewed, then published with revisions suggested by the peer reviewers or as is if they are sufficiently solid. If they involve interesting or hot topics, working papers get picked up by the mainstream media before they are published in a peer-reviewed journal. The authors are top names in the field. One of them gave a graduation talk at Booth in Chicago last spring on this research.

    “The following may be the most shocking number I give you today: in 2015, 22 percent of lower-skilled men aged 21–30 had not worked at all during the prior 12 months. Think about that for a second. Every time I see it, that number blows my mind. In 2000, the fraction of young, lower-skilled men that didn’t work at all during the prior year was a little under 10 percent. Men in their 20s historically are a group with a strong attachment to the labor force. The decline in employment rates for low-skilled men in their 20s was larger than it was for all other sex, age, and skill groups during this same time period.

    You may have a few questions in the back of your mind. If they are not working, where do these young, low-skilled men live? Our basements! According to recent data, 51 percent of lower-skilled men in their 20s live with a parent or close relative. That number was only 35 percent in 2000. In 2014, 70 percent of lower-skilled men in their 20s without a job lived with a parent or close relative.

    If they are not working, how do these young men eat? We—the parents and relatives—feed them. When they are in our basements, they come up for food from time to time and raid our refrigerators. I have no information on whether or not they are showering.”

    http://review.chicagobooth.edu/economics/2016/article/video-killed-radio-star

  162. Well, I would enjoy reading the final paper. The statistics are shocking about the lack of employment among young men. However, even the most rigorous of academicians bring their own social biases to the interpretation of the statistics.

    (Please note that the following recap is not offered with any degree of snark.) We have had discussions on this site in which the lack of desire to work among that cohort is attributed in part to the idea that sexual companionship is easily available to such men without the need for a job, home or marriage certificate. Or that single mothers enable their sons to avoid adult responsibility because they like having them around. There is also the frequent cite of the “preference for leisure” – which now has some statistical backup and from the articles anecdotal evidence that leisure pursuits are more satisfying today. A lot of gamers in fact don’t have much in the way of a social life – hence the misogyny of gamergate and the attraction to manosphere sites – so those reasons may be additive without much overlap. And of course there are also actual statistics about the decline of decent regular guy jobs in the regions in which unemployment is highest. And the statistics about the lack of mobility of people which is interpreted as an unwillingness to move away from family or region of origin. Whether that is seen as socially desirable or not, it has economic effects on those who don’t or can’t move.

  163. I found this graph of how long you must contribute to a teacher pension fund fascinating. I also learned that in some states, teachers, police officers, etc. only get a pension and not social security, which makes them extremely vulnerable to poorly managed pension plans. Massachusetts tops the list (teachers can never get back what they contribute under current law) and Oregon is at the bottom of the list, with a consistent 5 year breakeven period over time. I’m 99% sure teachers here contribute to social security as well as the pension fund..

    “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.” Thomas Jefferson

  164. I love the graph on the original article, showing how the percentage of voters who live in a polarized county has changed over time. Thanks for posting!

  165. The interesting thing is that video addiction, to the extent it exists, does not seem to afflict women, at least not to the same degree

  166. WCE, when my mom was a teacher, it was common for teachers, especially those approaching retirement and whose kids had flown the nest, to take part time, summer, and/or Xmas seasonal jobs in an effort to get to the minimum number of quarters contributing to SS to be able to collect benefits. Many of them, like my mom, had a number of quarters from before teaching and before kids.

    I believe that avenue has been restricted since then.

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