268 thoughts on “COVID-FREE politics open thread, December 13-19

  1. I confess to being concerned about the electoral college vote tomorrow. It’s just…ya never know.

  2. Yes, Fred, I think many around the world will breathe a sigh of relief when the vote is final.

    As a non-covid topic, I would like to see Biden’s administration and the congressional leadership find something they can work on together and compromise on at the start of his administration, no matter how small. Do you think there’s anything where Republicans and Democrats could find common ground?

  3. I think infrastructure is something they can find common ground on. There is certainly plenty to be done there.

    I am so frustrated by the public officials who keep repeating the “election fraud” comments. In every single court in which they brought post-election cases, attorneys have confirmed to the various courts that they are NOT alleging fraud. Every transcript is publicly available. The fraud allegations are only for press conferences, where there is no requirement for proof and no consequence for lying. That so many people would sign their name in support of that fiction is infuriating. Trump lost the popular vote twice, and has consistently enjoyed the lowest approval rates since they started tracking such things for the entire time of his presidency. The idea that he would not win re-election is not “1-in-a-quadrillion” long shot. How does this end?

    The violence in Portland and other cities was absolutely wrong and rightly criticized. The violence in DC last night was also wrong. I have admittedly not read much news today, but has that violence been condemned by those who were vocal about violence committed by left-leaning protesters?

  4. I am hoping that Biden will lift the absurdly low cap on refugees that Trump’s team imposed. Not sure that it will appeal to republicans in Congress but it’s a sound move and the right thing to do.

  5. I’m curious how global accords/agreements/treaties will continue. The situations with Russia and China have changed considerably over the past 4 years—and weren’t great then.

  6. I certainly agree with lifting caps on immigrants. People get angry about DACA for re-ordering deportations in a way less likely to split up families, but don’t acknowledge (or know) that it was part of an overall increase in deportations.

    The violence in Portland was the first in my life I’ve heard of unmarked vans, apparently government-issued, hauling people off to “unknown sites”. That’s what happened to my son’s first girlfriend’s dad, in Syria, 5 or 6 years ago.

  7. I think infrastructure is something they can find common ground on. There is certainly plenty to be done there.

    And plenty of opportunities for pork :)

  8. In my 3:36 comment, I forgot to include that it’s the first time I’ve heard of that in the US.

    Denver, if providing decent infrastructure is “pork”, I’m fine with that.

  9. Great line from the WaPo column:

    “If he wants to get technical about it, Biden did deliver a child, out of her own uterus.”

  10. Epstein (the denigrator of Dr. Biden) comes across as being petty and resentful of his co-workers who have earned PhDs, who get called Doctor.

  11. From the Northwestern English dept:

    “The Department is aware that a former adjunct lecturer who has not taught here in nearly 20 years has published an opinion piece that casts unmerited aspersion on Dr. Jill Biden’s rightful public claiming of her doctoral credentials and expertise. The Department rejects this opinion as well as the diminishment of anyone’s duly-earned degrees in any field, from any university.”

    https://english.northwestern.edu/

  12. SM, I’m all in favor of improving the infrastructure. My point is that bills that do that are convenient places to for congress people to add in their pet pork projects so they shouldn’t be too hard to compromise on because everyone can get something they want.

  13. “he’s an adjunct!!??!!”

    He was an adjunct, but hasn’t been one, at least at NW, in nearly 20 years.

    Perhaps that fact sheds a bit more light on his attitude.

  14. He is almost 84 years old and is probably more known for his controversial essays then teaching at NW at this point.

  15. He’s a sexist jerk, regardless of what you think about a PhD using Dr in a formal but non academic setting.

    FWIW, I addressed all my wedding invitations to PhDs as Dr just to be on the safe side.

  16. Anyway – this is a dumb distraction from Trump’s unconstitutional temper tantrum while continuing his grift as long as possible.

    That said, I agree that it would be fabulous for Congress to try to find common ground but McConnell will never allow it. Never. Regardless is the vast majority of Americans are actually in favor of something or if there are large numbers of people who just want common sense, compromise bills to pass.

  17. Ivy, I’m pretty sure Emily Post would agree about titles in formal situations like your wedding invites. Sadly, I think you’re correct about McConnell allowing anything compromise-y to pass. We’re volunteering for Fair Fight, making calls to Georgia.

  18. There is a book called “The Spirit of Compromise (Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It)” which I keep meaning to read but haven’t – I read an excerpt from it when it came out and thought it was a good partial explanation of recent political polarization. Denver, I would definitely welcome pork if it meant that Congress could find bipartisan agreement – IIRC the last really bipartisan legislation was the tax act of 1986!!!

  19. The Texas lawsuit was unbelievable. For years, Republicans have maintained that federalism and states rights are core values. And yet, when faced with Dear Leader Trump’s tantrums, tons of them supported a lawsuit that was seeking to allow Texas to overturn other state’s elections because they didn’t approve. Even many conservative intellectuals were appalled. NR pointed out that by this principle, California could challenge election results in Texas because they thought there was too much voter suppression.
    It was clear the Supreme Court wouldn’t touch it because of its toxicity. But how can so many Republican lawmakers be so spineless as to support this turd of a lawsuit?

  20. SM: How is infrastructure done in Germany? Is there pork? Compromise? How are decisions made in the government?

  21. The term “doctor” meant “teacher”, and came from Latin. The usage for academics dates from the 12th century and the beginnings of universities. Originally, there were four degrees: Doctor of Law (JD), Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Theology, and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The degrees signified someone who was knowedgable to teach others. The PhD became a research degree in the 19th century as part of the German effort to reform universities. I do not know when the MD morphed into a clinical degree.
    Martin Luther King, jr, had a doctoral degree in theology. We always refer to him as Dr. King. It has also usually been the custom to refer to scientists with PhDs using the Dr. term, as can be seen in this obit for J. Robert Oppenheimer.

    I was always generally uncomfortable with using Dr. for myself, mainly because it felt like the person using it was talking about my father, not me. But I have noticed at my relatively formal and title oriented university, the men with PhDs are always referred to as Dr so and so by the students, but the women always get Miss or Mrs. I hate the term microaggression, but this is one of those things.

  22. My dad did not have PhD, and was often referred to as Dr. Last Name in academia. It was just generally assumed that a male of his age would have a PhD. He always corrected them to Professor Last Name, or Mr. Last Name. All his colleagues with PhD were Dr. So-and-So to me. I was trained early on that all PhDs deserve the Dr. title. I was a teenager when I realized that Dr. Neighbor was actually a PhD in electrical engineering.

    Dr. King is a great point! The Washington Post must never refer to his Dr. title, since it isn’t an MD.

  23. But I have noticed at my relatively formal and title oriented university, the men with PhDs are always referred to as Dr so and so by the students, but the women always get Miss or Mrs. I hate the term microaggression, but this is one of those things.

    I wouldn’t like this at all. If the university is big on titles, it should be the norm equally for men and women.
    My friend is doing her doctoral degree, I acknowledge that it will be an adjustment to have to use her title after all of us (except her) have long finished with our formal education.

  24. “It was clear the Supreme Court wouldn’t touch it because of its toxicity.”

    The Supreme Court touches plenty of toxic cases.
    I agree with your general sentiment about these particular cases, but think it’s a bipartisan failure on the part of Congress to do its job — whether that be to avoid bringing frivolous lawsuits or to pass legislation making clear that yes, we really think that Title VII protections should be extended to include sexual orientation — and instead let the Supreme Court deal with it.

  25. A weird question – medical doctors are pretty fanatical about always using the Dr title. PhDs tend to mainly use it in academic or research settings. JDs don’t use it at all. Why? Is the “Esquire” honorific equivalent?

  26. Mooshi — Don’t forget that 17 other state Attorneys General joined that lawsuit. So, over one-third of the states in our union jumped on that bandwagon. I find this appalling.

    I tip my hat to the Idaho Attorney General, who declined to join the lawsuit, despite apparent pressure from the Idaho governor and Congressional delegation (and, I’m sure, many voters in his state):

    “Republican Lawrence Wasden in a statement said the decision is necessary to protect Idaho’s sovereignty.

    ‘As attorney general, I have significant concerns about supporting a legal argument that could result in other states litigating against legal decisions made by Idaho’s legislature and governor,” Wasden wrote. “Idaho is a sovereign state and should be free to govern itself without interference from any other state. Likewise, Idaho should respect the sovereignty of its sister states.’ ”

    And my favorite quote from him:

    “’As is sometimes the case, the legally correct decision may not be the politically convenient decision,’ Wasden wrote. ‘But my responsibility is to the state of Idaho and the rule of law.’ ”

    https://apnews.com/article/election-2020-donald-trump-ken-paxton-lawsuits-elections-7dda5ad389779c70b18cc24e6f205cdc

  27. Milo – not in talking to her but it writing out her name and address for a card etc. She is a non traditional student, from a conservative family in the home country and it’s been a journey to get to the PhD program. She deserves the Dr. title. She will also be the most formally educated friend I have. A few of my other friends are medical doctors.

  28. Milo, Dr is a formal term. DH uses it in formal settings (i.e. business meetings with people he doesn’t know well or in introductions), even with friends.

  29. Because it shows respect and establishes credentials. For example (at a business meeting). “I’d like to introduce you to one of our advisory board members, Dr Smith, who is the Chairman of ACME Hospital’s oncology division”. vs. This is my friend, Todd.

    Why is friend Todd at the business meeting? Oh, because he is not friend Todd AT THE MEETING, but has 30 years of experience as an oncology thought leader.

    I do this with my friends all the time, as I am friends with a good number of people I do business with.

  30. Same as I’d introduce Sara at a business meeting as my corporate counsel, and not as a member of my book club

  31. that’s interesting. I’ve never felt any reason to “establish credentials” when I’m meeting people in a social setting.

    this probably goes back to why I say we have a very middle class mindset.

  32. Milo & RMS,

    How do you square that price appreciation with a 1.77 children per women birth rate? Isn’t a fall inevitable?

  33. I’m honestly surprised at all the fuss over the WSJ piece in particular and the honorific question in general.
    DH has been an academic for decades. His work is sometimes covered in mainstream publications like the WaPo. Google just verified for me that he is rarely referred to as Dr. or even as Professor, even though the stories clearly indicate that he is a faculty member. His department website refers to faculty as “Professor,” and that is the term that is usually used by his students who aren’t yet on a first-name basis. He never introduces himself as “Dr” even in professional settings (and I’ve been a tagalong at many such events). It’s always FirstNameLastName. His fancy embossed name tags for university events say FirstNameLastName and the department name.
    Maybe it’s different at other universities. Certainly, in some educational settings (high schools, community colleges, school administration) the use of Dr. can be a means of status-claiming. That is probably the case with Dr. Jill Biden. It is not easy to be the spouse of a prominent politician and she has more reason than most of her similarly-credentialed peers to insist on her own earned title.

  34. “How do you square that price appreciation ”

    I actually don’t put much stock at all in any owner-occupied real estate, and, as I sort of alluded to, I think the author is mistaken for focusing on it as the driver of generational wealth. As a snapshot in time, it’s worked out handsomely for those families in those particular areas.

    But a broad portfolio of income-generating assets…that’s a big deal. And with lower birthrates, there are fewer siblings among whom it needs to be distributed, so the effects are magnified.

  35. When I was in college in the late 80s, students almost always referred to professors as Dr. So-and-so. At the same school today, students universally use Professor So-and-so. I don’t know when the shift happened, but my pet theory is that it’s Harry Potter’s influence. All the teachers at Hogwarts were called Professor So-and-so; that came to sound right to kids, so when they went to college that’s how they referred to their instructors.

  36. “I don’t know when the shift happened, but my pet theory is that it’s Harry Potter’s influence. All the teachers at Hogwarts were called Professor So-and-so; that came to sound right to kids, so when they went to college that’s how they referred to their instructors”

    I love this theory and am going to adopt it. Although I will say DS3 refers to his professors as Dr. Lastname. So it may just be how things are at his college.

    As I recall, Condoleeza Rice was almost always referred to as Dr. Rice when she was in office.
    One advantage of her being single was that she was never referred to as X’s wife.

  37. “It is not easy to be the spouse of a prominent politician and she has more reason than most of her similarly-credentialed peers to insist on her own earned title.”

    Agreed.

    I am chuckling at the Harry Potter theory, but it does make a bit of sense.

    “As I recall, Condoleeza Rice was almost always referred to as Dr. Rice when she was in office.
    One advantage of her being single was that she was never referred to as X’s wife.”

    True.

    @NoB – I loved that quote by the Idaho Attorney General. The Texas lawsuit and all the pandering to Trump is really disappointing and discouraging.

  38. Milo, I was discussing a business setting, not a social one. In a social setting, no titles are used.

  39. My dad has a PhD and when I was a pre-schooler, he had chosen to be listed as “Dr. Firstname Lastname” in the phone book and other directories. Family lore has it that I once answered the phone and an unknown caller asked for Dr. Lastname; I responded, “He’s a doctor, but not the kind that can help you.” :-)

  40. Uugh, so this came out today.

    https://t.co/84HlC1NGtR?amp=1

    Apparently one county in Michigan had a forensic audit done on their voting machines (Dominion) because the results were so wonky. Their conclusions are pretty ugly.

    “We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully
    designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election
    results. The system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot
    errors. The electronic ballots are then transferred for adjudication. The intentional
    errors lead to bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and
    no audit trail. This leads to voter or election fraud. Based on our study, we
    conclude that The Dominion Voting System should not be used in Michigan. We
    further conclude that the results of Antrim County should not have been certified.”

  41. At my University, there was a husband/wife pair of professors who both went by Dr. E. One worked in my major and the other in my best friend’s major. There was one semester where we were both taking classes from the Dr. E’s and would confuse each other when taking about them (Why on Earth would you need to talk to Dr. E about your paper?). So we started referring to them as Dr. E – MAN and Dr. E WOMAN (usually with a pause before the deliberate emphasis on gender). For some reason this was hilarious.

  42. TLC,

    Why do you keep believing this stuff? You’re like Lucy with the football. How many times do you have to be proven wrong before it clicks for you?

  43. Rocky, why does that rate an, “oh please.” Did you read the audit report? It’s a complete mess. Here’s another fun quote:

    “Significantly, the computer system shows vote adjudication logs for prior years;
    but all adjudication log entries for the 2020 election cycle are missing. The
    adjudication process is the simplest way to manually manipulate votes. The lack
    of records prevents any form of audit accountability, and their conspicuous
    absence is extremely suspicious since the files exist for previous years using the
    same software. Removal of these files violates state law and prevents a
    meaningful audit, even if the Secretary wanted to conduct an audit. We must
    conclude that the 2020 election cycle records have been manually removed.”

  44. “When I was in college in the late 80s, students almost always referred to professors as Dr. So-and-so. At the same school today, students universally use Professor So-and-so. ”

    No, it is because so many classes are taught by adjuncts who don’t have the degree. Students rarely know who is an adjunct and who isn’t, or what anyone’s credentials are, so they just revert to Professor, or “Hey Prof”. One of the things that amazes me when I am doing advising is that many students don’t know the names of their professors.

  45. Judge Ludwig denied the state’s claims that the campaign lacked standing. Instead, he gave the campaign the hearing they asked for — the opportunity to call witnesses and submit damning exhibits. Yet, when it got down to brass tacks, the morning of the hearing, it turned out there was no actual disagreement between the Trump team and Wisconsin officials about the pertinent facts of the case. The president’s counsel basically said: Never mind, we don’t need to present all our proof . . . we’ll just stipulate to all the relevant facts and argue legal principles.

    In the end, after all the heated rhetoric, what did they tell the court the case was really about? Just three differences over the manner in which the election was administered — to all of which, as Ludwig pointed out, the campaign could have objected before the election if these matters had actually been of great moment.

    There was no there there. Despite telling the country for weeks that this was the most rigged election in history, the campaign didn’t think it was worth calling a single witness. Despite having the opportunity of a hearing before a Trump appointee who was willing to give the campaign ample opportunity to prove its case, the campaign said, “Never mind.”

    And that’s basically how all but one of 58 lawsuits have gone.

  46. “Official results show Trump beat Biden in Antrim by about 4,000 votes, out of about 16,000 votes cast.”

    All they are doing is harming the integrity of the election process for years to come.

  47. No, it is because so many classes are taught by adjuncts who don’t have the degree.

    Is that so in general or just in CS? I thought the problem was there were 10 PhDs for every tenure track job.

  48. My school’s organic chemistry classes were taught by two husband-wife couples and some of us called them Mrs-Dr and Mr-Dr Lastname when we talked about them in the dorm.

  49. Universities do vary in use of honorifics. I think things have also gotten less formal over time. My father was always Dr (mylastname) to his students. One of his collegues used to do this very popular (and funny) physics show for schools and organizations, and often got interviewed by the local paper on matters of science. He was always referred to as Dr, both in the paper and when being introduced when he did his show.

    When I was an undergrad, we called our professors Dr to their faces, and used their last names or nicknames, sometimes friendly sometimes not, when talking amongst ourselves. A favorite CS professor was always called Uncle Willie. In grad school, we were on a first name basis with the professors but that is pretty common in the sciences.

  50. No, it is because so many classes are taught by adjuncts who don’t have the degree.

    Mooshi – I know that’s the case at many universities, but significantly less so at my alma mater, where <5% of faculty are adjunct or part-time. So for that campus, at least, I’m sticking with my Harry Potter theory. ;-)

  51. “No, it is because so many classes are taught by adjuncts who don’t have the degree.”

    This really depends on the discipline and the specific university.
    There is an oversupply of PhDs in many fields, and even lowly adjuncts generally hold doctorate degrees.
    Then there are the grad students who teach courses, who are neither adjuncts nor tenure-track faculty. Students don’t always know the difference between these different categories.

    The school our sons attended in DC required students to address their teachers as Dr./Mr LastName, or Sir. Sir was much easier and often became the default.

  52. MM,

    That’s very interesting.

    The Decline of Faculty Tenure
    Less From an Oversupply of PhDs, and More from the Systematic De-Valuation of the PhD as a Credential for College Teaching

    My impression had always been that almost all adjuncts were PhDs who couldn’t get tenure and as a result had to string together a bunch of adjuncting gigs. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    https://www.lawcha.org/2017/01/09/decline-faculty-tenure-less-oversupply-phds-systematic-de-valuation-phd-credential-college-teaching/

  53. and even lowly adjuncts generally hold doctorate degrees.

    That doesn’t seem to be correct. only 30 percent of adjunct faculty at four year colleges had doctoral degrees.

  54. Rhett, what exactly have I been proven wrong on? You’re the one who thinks everything you don’t like is Russian disinformation.

    I linked a forensic audit report from an outside audit company. What, precisely, are you arguing with?

  55. I’m not sure if I brought this up before but a few weeks ago Fred mentioned his son getting into med school. Given his grades and MCAT scores I would have thought it impossible. I’ve had friends who went to Ivy league schools talk about how impossible it was*. I’ve had heard stories of professors giving kids an A- vs. an B+ because they wanted to go to medical school and a B+ would forever remove that possibility. But as it turns out I was very wrong. I thought the average medical school was as hard to get into as Harvard Medical School. And that’s very much not the case.

    This made me think, “Hum, I’m going to have to incorporate this new fact into my world view.” And I could almost feel my brain pushing back as there was so much conflicting data.

    Scarlett has said many times that most adjuncts have PhDs. That doesn’t seem to be correct. Will that new data get incorporated into her world view or will it just be disregarded?

    * With Fred’s data in hand I figure what happened is they were overconfident on the MCAT so they didn’t study enough and got a score far lower than they expected. They went to grad school for a year and then reapplied with a new MCAT score and lived happily every after.

  56. My guess is that a lot of adjuncts are working on their doctorate, or were when they starting adjunctinf anyway.

    Funny thing about “professor”. In Germany, that is strictly reserved for full professors. Using it before then is considered being dishonest. Took me a while to get used to not saying that I am/ was a prof.

    About pork barrel politics—I’m sure that exists everywhere. In Germany, so of the biggest battles over allocation of resources to different parts of the country are between East (former GDR) and West.

  57. It’s easy for an old white man to say, “Call me by my first name.” He has intrinsic authority. Everyone in the room knows he is in charge. Well-qualified women are often disrespected and undermined.

    And now I am going to cut and paste my comments on this from the super toxic covid thread. Because I have lots of interesting things to say!

  58. The data on adjuncts and PhD attainment of university faculty is more complex that the quick surveys suggest:

    “Rather than a simple rise in the number of adjuncts and a corresponding decline in the number of full-time faculty, a closer look at academic employment data reveals a significantly more complex picture. Adjunct growth has been highly concentrated in the for-profit sector for the past two decades, and it has proceeded at a much slower pace in more traditional sectors of the academy. This concentration reflects a number of characteristics that are unique to for-profit higher education, including the sector’s distinctive economic situation. Part-time employment growth remains an issue for traditional nonprofit colleges and universities, though its dynamics are far less reflective of the commonly presumed pattern of “replacement” for formerly full-time faculty positions. In general, closer attentiveness to institution-specific patterns is necessary both to understand the adjunct phenomenon and to accurately diagnose its implications for the future of higher education in the United States.” https://www.aacu.org/liberaleducation/2016/spring/magness

    Lots of data there.
    It’s also important to consider that, in addition to the for-profit sector, higher education also includes community colleges, law schools (where few faculty have PhDs), and colleges/departments that focus on the fine and performing arts. There are also a fair number of “professors of the practice” in business, engineering, and similar disciplines who are hired for specific expertise rather than a doctorate degree/research portfolio.

  59. I have gone through phases of being Dr. Lovelace, Dr. Ada, Just call me Ada – when I am at work. Always to the nurses, “Of course call me ‘Ada’, but please ‘Dr. Lovelace’ in front of the patients.” Because those ladies will turn on you if you put on airs. (I’ve never been bullied by a male nurse, so it’s possible they might turn on you, too.)

    I’ve always been opposed (and have worked in institutions that have this policy) that no one in a clinical setting is called “doctor” unless they have and MD/DO (and perhaps DDS or DPM, if those people have operating and prescribing privileges). No PharmD, PsyD, EdD, PhD. A patient should expect that a “doctor” means physician when they are in the hospital. As DD alludes, it’s a turf war.

    Most recently, the culture in my institution was that all doctors go by first name. I’m old enough (and I typically wore a white coat) that it doesn’t bother me – people still knew I was a doctor. A female friend who recently moved the same institution was appalled by the patients and OR staff calling her by her first name. And the chatty emails she gets from patients.

    In NZ, we are absolutely all first name, all the time. Maybe a Mr. for a surgeon, but a Mr. Bob, who did my gallbladder. What I find interesting is that I am treated as an expert and an authority by everyone here – patients, nurses, etc. In the past month I have had two junior doctors make phone calls to me to apologize for what they interpreted as unprofessional behavior on their parts given my standing as a senior physician (this was completely unsolicited; I hadn’t even complained about the slights). That has never happened to me in 15 years. Nurses offer to make me coffee or tea when the department gets busy. Again, never once in the US. Patients take my recommendations without question. It’s really weird. There is absolute and rigid hierarchy, but not manifest in use of titles.

    For Dr. Biden – I feel like she is in an unwinnable situation. I think it is appropriate for her to ask “Dr” be used anytime someone would use “Mrs”.

    I expect everyone to call me ‘Ada’ socially. And in the places I have lived, it is rare that children address adults as Mrs/Mr/Ms. I do not want to be called Ms Lovelace, or Mrs. Lovelace or Mrs. Babbage. Ooh! I particularly hate Miss Ada. I don’t think any of those are appropriate. If you want your kid to be respectful, they should call me by my preferred name, Ada. If you want them to use a title, then if Dr. Lovelace is too hard to say, I accept Dr. Ada.

  60. Rhett on December 14, 2020 at 12:05 pm
    Rhett, what exactly have I been proven wrong on?

    ***************

    I don’t think anyone keeps score as closely as you do. Have you considered a career in the NFL?

  61. My guess is that a lot of adjuncts are working on their doctorate, or were when they starting adjunctinf anyway

    That’s what I’ve seen a lot of. Somebody gets to the ABD (all but dissertation) stage, and they need a job, so they start adjuncting. Then time passes, years pass, they never go back to finish the dissertation and become permanent adjuncts. They say they’re going to finish but they rarely do.

  62. Rhett – I know of a kid of a doctor (DH’s relative) who decided quite late in his college career that he wanted to be a doctor. His father already had a practice in a small town. He went to the Caribbean for medical school. I assume he could not be admitted to a U.S. medical school. He now practices medicine with his father.
    His father went to one of the best medical schools in the home country, practiced in another country before coming to the U.S.
    I realized then that there were paths to becoming a doctor I hadn’t heard of.

  63. I’m honestly surprised at all the fuss over the WSJ piece in particular and the honorific question in general.

    Kiddo, you really didn’t think it was incredibly condescending Kiddo?

  64. My current university is more title conscious than the others I have been at, maybe because it is Catholic? It isn’t so much the students, who are all perfectly happy with “Hey prof” or “Hi Miss”, but the employees who are into it. And it is creepily status based. So everyone calls the low level administrators and office people by their first names, but they refer to us as “Professor”, “Doctor”, “Dean”, or “Father”. And we faculty call the higher level admins “Dean” (even the deanlets), “Father”, or “Vice Provost”. Weird, weird, weird.

    S&M, back in the day, full professors went by Herr Professor Doktor. My mother thought it was hilarious. When I went over to do research that summer, she kept asking if I was going to get to be addressed that way

  65. https://www.usna.edu/MechEngDept/faculty/smith.php

    He taught me when he was a lowly adjunct. He must have been:

    “Somebody gets to the ABD (all but dissertation) stage, and they need a job, so they start adjuncting.”

    But it looks like he finished.
    Dissertation “Electron Phonon Nonequilibrium During Ultrashort Pulsed Laser Heating”

    naturally.

  66. Yes, we see a lot of the ABDs among our adjuncts. I think that is the majority. Most of them also adjunct at the nearby CUNY so they are kind of full time adjuncts. We don’t get many professionals because of class times. We need adjuncts to teach daytime and early evening courses for the most part. Professionals can only be scheduled into the 7 to 10 slot.

  67. I think that people should absolutely put their credentials in their signature lines for email etc. There are times when you can drop your honorific into the conversation. If you’re introducing people in a formal or business setting stating their subject matter expertise is important too. And there is a hierarchy of credentials and junior to senior level staff.

    I like the Harry Potter theory but I also think that people have just become less formal over the last couple of decades. And for some that is hard for them to get the respect that they deserve. However, I also think there are times when someone uses their title, which they are more entitled to do and I will call them that, but I am also entitled to be rolling my eyes in my mind as result.

    I have three movie quotes/scenes that run through my mind when titles come up:

    Little Shop of Horrors
    Orin Scrivello D.D.S.: Excuse me what?!
    Audrey: Excuse me…..docta’.
    Audrey: Excuse me…..doctor.

    A Few Good Men
    Col. Jessup: Colonel!

    Kaffee: What’s that?

    Col. Jessup: I would appreciate it if you would address me as “Colonel” or “Sir.” I believe I’ve earned it.

    Judge Randolph: Defense counsel will address the witness as “Colonel” or “Sir.”

    Col. Jessup: I don’t know what the hell kind of unit you’re running here.

    Col. Jessup: And the witness will address this court as “Judge” or “Your Honor.” I’m quite certain I’ve earned it. Take your seat, Colonel.

    An Officer and a Gentleman
    Foley:
    Congratulations Ensign Seeger.

    Seeger:
    Thank you, Sir.

    Foley:
    Gunnery Sgt, Ensign Seeger, Sir.

  68. A lot of people argue that our system is working exactly as it should, as state legislators and judges and election officials hold the line. But there have been many reports of threats against these people and their families. And then this today
    “Michigan’s 16 electors will convene at 2 p.m. Eastern inside a heavily guarded state capitol in Lansing to cast their ballots for Joe Biden to become president and Kamala Harris to become vice president.
    A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) said in a statement overnight that the entire capitol complex will be closed to the public based on “recommendations from law enforcement” amid “credible threats of violence.” Police will escort each of the electors from their cars amid what’s expected to be a large “Stop the Steal” protest outside.”

    To my mind, this is not the system working as it should. This is the system under a large amount of stress.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/12/14/daily-202-michigan-capitol-lockdown-electoral-college-gathering-follows-weekend-chilling-violence/

  69. Used to Lurk, I am laughing at some of those lines. And is there any insitution more title conscious than the military?

  70. “Do you really not remember?”

    Well, lets see. I remember posting about the Hunter Biden laptop scandal and being told by you that it was Russian disinformation. However, I was never able to find any evidence reported that it actually was Russian disinformation. Just interviews with his former business partner, Tony Bobulinsky, confirming that emails with his name on them were real. Also there was a congressional report – but apparently that was totally partisan, so it doesn’t count. But, according to CNN on 12/10/20 his business dealings with China are under investigation – so… is CNN Russian propaganda now? https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/09/politics/hunter-biden-tax-investigtation/index.html

    What else? Oh, I posted the video about Georgia election officials continuing the count after clearing the room of all observers and press. But the Georgian election officials said that all of those people coincidently left on their own and that nobody told them that counting was done for the night, so everything was totally above board. Here’s Molly Hemmingway’s debunk of the debunk:https://thefederalist.com/2020/12/07/no-the-georgia-vote-counting-video-was-not-debunked-not-even-close/

    And I’m still not clear what the issue with the issue is on the audit report. Do you think it’s fake? Not relevant?

  71. “To my mind, this is not the system working as it should. This is the system under a large amount of stress.”

    Mooshi — I agree. My father was a young adult during the Nazi occupation of Greece. After WWII, there was brutal civil war in Greece. He lived through a lot before he immigrated to the U.S. While I was growing up, he often remarked to my brother and me how remarkable it was to have a peaceful transfer of power between presidents. He really thought that was one of the most glorious things about the United States. And I think that characteristic of our nation is indeed under stress. And this concerns me immensely.

  72. So TLC you don’t remember. Then there is really no point to talking to you is there? It will just go in one ear and out the other. As I have long suspected.

  73. Rhett – What I remember is that you called TLC a traitor for mentioning the Hunter Biden laptop thing because you said she was spreading Russian misinformation, although it was later determined to be a legitimate story, along with his current tax evasion troubles.

    This “oh you don’t remember..ohhh, I can’t talk to you then!” WTF?

    You’re becoming more of a dick, and increasingly catty at the same time.

  74. I’m pretty sure Rhett thinks he schools me in every interaction we have – so I honestly have no idea which time it was that he thinks he set me straight and I was supposed to go home and rethink my life choices….

  75. “Kiddo, you really didn’t think it was incredibly condescending Kiddo?”

    It was snarky. And there was a lot of truth in what Epstein wrote, which is IMO one of the reasons for the intense backlash.
    But I didn’t see it as sexist or condescending.

  76. Milo,

    If we have a conversation and I say, “Of course active portfolio management beats indexed investing.” And you say, “Not net of fees!” And I say, “What do you mean.” And you provide your evidence and I say, “Wow, you’re right.” And then a month goes by and I say, “Of course active portfolio management beats indexed investing.” Maybe you try once or twice more but at some point you have to give up and say no progress is going to be made.

  77. Rhett – first off, I don’t know what you’re referring to if it’s not the Hunter story that you, and much of the media, were completely wrong about. And either discuss it or don’t, but don’t do this bullshit “I can’t discuss it if you don’t remember it.” Don’t be a little bitch.

    Second, the nature of any forum that’s going to continue for more than 10 years (even though I think TLC has only been here this year?) is that people are going to make the same general arguments, even when you think you’ve “won,” or convinced them otherwise.

  78. “A lot of people argue that our system is working exactly as it should, as state legislators and judges and election officials hold the line. But there have been many reports of threats against these people and their families.”

    You don’t remember the Resistance? Suggesting that Trump, his administration, and supporters were akin to Nazis? And the Bernie Sanders supporter who shot up the Republican Congressional baseball practice, nearly killing Steve Scalise?

    The system *is* working.

  79. “I remember posting about the Hunter Biden laptop scandal and being told by you that it was Russian disinformation.”

    Yes, I got that same response. How could someone be so spectacularly wrong about that laptop, especially as Biden’s team never denied the authenticity of the emails, and everyone knows that Hunter is a deeply troubled man who has been living off his father’s name his entire life?

    The media and the Democrats spent the better part of two years insisting that Trump was elected by the Russians and the walls would be closing in with just one more bombshell beginning of the end. It’s hard to get too worked up about Trump and some Republicans spending two months litigating the election results.

  80. is that people are going to make the same general arguments, even when you think you’ve “won,” or convinced them otherwise.

    That’s not the problem. The problem is when someone agrees with you. I say, “Wow Milo, you’re right, active portfolio management can’t beat indexed investing net of fees.” And then a month later it’s like the conversation never happened.

    Or this conversation repeats a few times with someone else and you begin to realize they have some emotional (if that’s the right word) attachment to active management. The idea that low cost indexing beats active management is an assault on their worldview apart for investing specifically*. And then at that point it’s not really a fact based argument.

    * For example they believe studying annual reports and reading everything you can about the market has to produce a return that beats the indexes. Hard work has to pay off. Hard work can’t be just a waste of time.

  81. With the SP500 trading at over 37 times earnings last time I looked, I’m more open to different investing theories every day.

  82. can’t time the market I mean

    I do recall you made a very convincing “can’t time the market” argument as well.

  83. On the good news front, Michigan’s electors have cast their votes for Biden and there was no violence. According to Wapo the representative who said he was going to disrupt the gathering and that he could not guarantee there would not be violence has been stripped of his committee positions.

  84. you can’t time it, it’s just…Lordy it’s getting kind of expensive, and outside of December and Christmas shopping, we blindly put more money in every month than all other regular spending combined. I guess we’re all just assuming that the denominator in the P/E will surge when the vaccine’s been spread out widely enough? I could see that — I know I’d really like to go on a long, expensive cruise, and I’m sure plenty of others feel the same way. So let’s hope there’s a lot of pent-up demand.

    On the argument aspect, I’ve shared my theories that you can’t time the market with a number of people. My brother agrees, but then he sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock to nearly pay off his mortgage earlier this year. And he’s still always talking about a crash.

    My best friend from college agrees that you can’t time the market, and he also asked me what I thought of oil stocks that were paying an 8% dividend a few months ago. I mentioned rapidly improving automobile efficiency; he mentioned the hundreds of thousands of pounds of jet fuel that he burns every time he flies a C-17 across the Atlantic on weekend reserve duty.

    I think it’s mostly foolish to expect to really convince anyone of anything, unless it’s your own kids, and even that can be just as difficult. And also, it can close you off to hearing their ideas because you get too focused on winning points.

  85. I tip my hat to the Idaho Attorney General, who declined to join the lawsuit, despite apparent pressure from the Idaho governor and Congressional delegation (and, I’m sure, many voters in his state):

    There have been a handful of Republic officials who have really stood out during this. The Georgia leadership has been phenomenal. Unfortunately they are a small minority. The hypocrisy shown by the party that considers itself to be the stronger one in favor of the rule of law would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic.

  86. “And he’ll be right, one of these days. We just don’t know which day.”

    That’s my dad’s chat response to him. “Great, tell me when.”

  87. I think it’s mostly foolish to expect to really convince anyone of anything,

    I think you can convince people of things if they aren’t psychologically attached to any particular outcome. You’ll recall the conversation we had with Cass about hybrid reliability. She though hybrids contained “a lot of delicate parts” as we said hybrids are in fact much more reliable and durable than conventional vehicles. And she said something along the lines of, “That’s good to know.”

    In other cases you have people who are luddites or nostalgics who for various psychological reasons have an emotional attachment to things being better when they were young so anything new is by definition bad.

  88. The system worked in 2016 and is working again in 2020. The results were not to the opposite sides liking then and now but it doesn’t mean the system was flawed or those who voted opposite of you either time are flawed people.

  89. That’s my dad’s chat response to him. “Great, tell me when.”

    And the other key is knowing when to get back in. Many people panicked and sold back in March and not that the market is back up they are getting back in for fear of it going higher.

  90. I like titles in medical settings. There have been a number of times I have been being treated and I don’t know if the person with me is a MD, PA or just an RN or an intern. There can be a real, probably not intentional, dismissiveness by health care staff that assumes we should be ok with whomever walks in the room or we should know their credentials magically somehow. So I like a practitioner who says “I’m doctor Jones” or “I’m Steve, I’m a PA and i’ll be stitching you up today.”

    My dad was a PhD and he never used it outside of a professional setting. His saying was “Everyone who needs to know that knows that. I don’t need to advertise.” He was a pretty modest guy even though if you looked at his upbringing that degree was a massive, pretty unrealistic accomplishment.

    It is the 8 year anniversary of Sandy Hook and I still can’t believe that that young man shot 20 little kids and we’ve really done nothing meaningful to keep our kids safer and address the massive amounts of weapons all over this country and the carnage they leave in their wake. The way in which mass shootings are kind of normalized and at least for me, not shocking anymore is really sad.

  91. “In other cases you have people who are luddites or nostalgics who for various psychological reasons have an emotional attachment to things being better when they were young so anything new is by definition bad.”

    You have just described my father’s way of thinking. :)

  92. You tell ’em, Beth. I’m sorry I was snarky about your awful (but incredibly popular) video Bible studies. Naturally she’s getting the crap kicked out of her by the Evangelicals.

  93. Regarding the market–we are now at 60-40 and are holding at that allocation for the next decade. All index funds. It hurts to put money into the market now. I’m waiting until after Jan 1 to see what happens with Brexit

  94. You can Google “violence after 2020 election” and see myriads of Experts solemnly issuing dire warnings about what might happen. Headings like “Why the risk of election violence is high” “how to tell if the election will get violent” “Fear of violence high ahead of election day.” Stores and restaurants were boarded up by anxious owners.

    Yeah, it didn’t happen. Biden won, so the Resistance could stand down.
    Panic and fear and dire warnings are clickbait.

  95. When you have the President of the United States calling up state officials and screaming at them because they won’t overturn the election, I would say the system is not working.
    Yes, I get it, Republicans were mad about the impeachment and the Mueller investigation. I am not a deep state conspiracy theorist, so I generally think if law enforcement people are running an investigation, there is likely some basis for what they are doing. I think there was something the FBI was concerned about with regards to the (proven) attempt by Russia to mess up the elections, just as I think there is something to the now-known Hunter Biden investigation and also to the NY state investigation of Trump.
    The impeachment was clearly politically motivated, just as every impeachment has been. Impeachment is at its heart a political, not a legal, process. People in Congress disliked Andrew Johnson and wanted to get rid of him so they impeached him. People in Congress disliked Bill Clinton and wanted to get rid of him so they impeached him. Same thing happened to Donald Trump. I wasn’t around for Johnson’s impeachment but I do not think either Clinton or Trump should have been impeached. The Clintons always felt very picked upon by the Republicans and it is clear Trump feels the same way about the Democrats.

    However, that does not mean that a lame duck President should be spending his remaining days in office trying to arm twist state officials and now even Congresscritters to do things that are legally wrong and morally indefensible. He is accomplishing exactly what the Russians had hoped, to make people no longer trust the election system. Maybe Trump did not actually coordinate with Putin but he surely is doing Putin’s work for him.

  96. Beth Moore is fearless! Compared to so many spineless evangelical leaders, she’s putting the men to shame.

    I also like that she “63 1/2 years old.” In addition to adopting the Harry Potter Theory, I’m totally going to start counting half years.

  97. “He is accomplishing exactly what the Russians had hoped, to make people no longer trust the election system. Maybe Trump did not actually coordinate with Putin but he surely is doing Putin’s work for him.”

    I totally agree with Mooshi.

  98. Democrats didn’t trust the election system in 2016. And they didn’t have much faith in our other political institutions either. Including the Supreme Court. Our system is far more robust than many partisans on both sides imagine.

  99. HFN — When my kids were younger, I used to have a mini-celebration for their half birthdays. No presents, no fancy cake, just cupcakes and a round of singing “Happy Half-Birthday To You.” They got a kick out of it.

  100. Investing.
    I was talking with a work friend recently. His wife is a ‘broker’ (for lack of a real precise term) at BofA Private Bank (used to be USTrust for those who are interested).

    We were talking about investing philosophies and he said they’re buy and hold types, by personality and because of restrictions due to his wife’s job. And besides, he quotes her:

    “you have to be right twice: when to get out and when to get back in.”

  101. I agree with Lolly, in a clinical setting to have non physicians identifying themselves as Dr.’s is disruptive to someone who is already dealing with specialties and having potential difficulties there. Take the following scenario: a patient who came in with a cancerous mass could deal with the following: a surgeon, an oncologist, a hospitalist and maybe another subspecialist like urology or endocrinology.

    Surgeon rounds first – pt can you tell me when I’ll be starting/resuming chemo? Oh no I’m not that kind of doctor; I’m only responsible for the surgery and mass. Oncologist walks in – can you tell me what by insulin numbers are off – oh no you’ll have to wait for the hospitalist or the endocrinologist that’s not my type of medicine. Okay, I’m having this symptom, response is that is not my area again remember to mention that your nurse or the hospitalist. Now you may end up with providers who are so awesome at sharing information or collaborating or you may not.

    Now let’s introduce PharmD, who walks in and introduces themselves as Dr. So and So – great says pt and starts to convey information and is immediately stopped because the pharmacist is there to reconcile medications and nothing else. Next comes in the social worker and introduces themselves as Dr. Blah Blah and again the patient gets to oh I’m your social worker and I focus on X. At this point, the patient, who is in the hospital is confused beyond measure. If you want to fight those turf wars in operational meetings have at it.

    The patient doesn’t need to be calling you Dr. If you want the patient to know that they are being treated by a doctoral recipient, then one can say I’m your social worker and aren’t you lucky because I have doctorate so you’re in great hands.

  102. Democrats didn’t trust the election system in 2016.

    Hillary directed that a separate set of electors submit their votes? I don’t seem to recall that. She filed 58 lawsuits and lost all but one of them? I don’t recall that either.

  103. According to The Hill
    “President Trump’s allies are preparing to send an “alternate” slate of electors to Congress, senior White House adviser Stephen Miller said Monday, signaling Trump will drag out his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election even after the Electoral College certifies Joe Biden as the winner.”

    Eeeuww. I hope this reporting is wrong.

  104. White House senior adviser Stephen Miller said on Fox Monday that Trump’s team plans to support an “alternate” set of electors in key states Biden won, which Trump is continuing to baselessly dispute.

    “As we speak, today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we’re going to send those results up to Congress,” Miller said. “This will ensure that all of our legal remedies remain open.”

    And Trump’s chosen electors did indeed meet in states including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Michigan to cast their votes for Trump…

    I’m googled and googled and I can’t seem to find Hillary doing that.

  105. Hillary still thinks she won.
    So does Stacy Abrams.
    Like them, Trump is a sore loser. He is behaving disgracefully, but he’s not a fascist dictator as widely predicted in 2016 (“This is How Fascism Comes to America”) and there won’t be a coup.

  106. Hillary still thinks she won? On what planet? Where are her alternate executive orders? When does she “alternatively” consult with Pelosi on legislation? And where are those lawsuits?

  107. Somehow we pulled out large sums to help with child real estate in the past two years, resulting in a fair amount of tax inefficiency. The Guardian article has a point, at least in high real estate value areas. But we still have enough, and the kids have received a useful bit of inheritance now, and everybody a homeowner, at least jointly with the bank . They will be in their 60s when I am likely to pass on. I have very little in Bonds, more like 70 10 20 equities, Bonds Cash. I let somebody else manage the Equities

  108. Hillary still thinks she won.

    Which is different than attempting to send a false set of electors, is it not? Or filling dozens of doomed lawsuits?

    but he’s not a fascist dictator as widely predicted in 2016

    Do you think he wants to be? Do you think he would happily accept the role if the opportunity presented itself?

    I think Nixon might have toward the end. I know George H. W. Bush would have never have done anything like that.

  109. Per The Guardian article Lisa Adkins is professor of sociology and head of the school of social and political sciences at the University of Sydney.

    IIRC almost everyone who goes to “Uni” in Australia opts for the income contingent repayment system. And while it’s possible for affluent parents to pay upfront and have the kids avoid having to pay later – that almost never happens. I assume that means your average totebagger Australian parent somewhat more likely to have $50k or $100k in downpayment assistance.

  110. Hillary still thinks she won? On what planet?

    “Clinton was asked whether it angers her that none of the current Democratic candidates invoke her on the campaign trail while Trump’s rally crowds still break out into “lock her up” chants.
    “No, it doesn’t kill me because he knows he’s an illegitimate president,” she said. “I believe he understands that the many varying tactics they used, from voter suppression and voter purging to hacking to the false stories — he knows that — there were just a bunch of different reasons why the election turned out like it did.”
    In June, former president Jimmy Carter used similar language to diminish Trump’s presidency. Carter said that in his view Trump lost the 2016 election and was put in office by the Russians. Asked if he considered Trump to be illegitimate, Carter said, “Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hillary-clinton-trump-is-an-illegitimate-president/2019/09/26/29195d5a-e099-11e9-b199-f638bf2c340f_story.html

    Stacy Abrams has yet to concede.

  111. Democrats didn’t trust the election system in 2016.

    Democrats trusted the election system just fine and accepted the results without question. The Democrats’ “distrust” or whatever word you want to use was of alleged foreign social media posts and advertising and such. It had nothing to do with the actual mechanics of the election. But you know this.

  112. Hillary Clinton uses the word “illegitimate” because it conveys her anger about the election. I am certainly not disputing that she is angry. But she conceded, and I have never seen her act on her anger. She did not pressure state legislators to throw the election her way, nor did she scream at state election officials (at least not publically). She did not file any lawsuits. I can totally understand that Trump feels just as angry, but he has not conceded and he has gone way beyound using the word “illegitimate”

  113. “Stacy Abrams has yet to concede.”

    IMO, not a big deal. There’s no requirement for anyone to concede, and I don’t get the obsession with concessions.

    And it’s not like she acted as if she won, e.g., moving into the governor’s house or anything like that, she went on with her life and helped flip her state.

  114. “I’m totally going to start counting half years.”

    59.5 can be an important birthday. 70.5 used to be, but that got moved to 72.

  115. “we’ve really done nothing meaningful to keep our kids safer and address the massive amounts of weapons all over this country and the carnage they leave in their wake.”

    How about the laws that allow confiscation of weapons from those diagnosed with mental illness? Not meaningful?

  116. “Yes, we see a lot of the ABDs among our adjuncts.”

    My grad school had an “Engineer” degree that they granted to ABD.

    Slight drift– when I was in grad school, some of my classmates were done with their BS/MS and were taking classes in preparation for their boards to get into the PhD program. Is this common at other schools?

    Now I’m also wondering if some of those in that situation, and didn’t get into the PhD program, were granted the Engineer degree.

  117. “Kiddo, you really didn’t think it was incredibly condescending Kiddo?”

    He also dissed her dissertation.

  118. “higher education also includes community colleges, law schools (where few faculty have PhDs), and colleges/departments that focus on the fine and performing arts.”

    My impression is that much of the faculty of the local med school also do not have PhDs. Is that common in med schools in general?

  119. “Now I’m also wondering if some of those in that situation, and didn’t get into the PhD program, were granted the Engineer degree.”

    We always called it the “consolation MS”. Usually it happened when people flunked their quals. CS at the Courant (NYU) was particularly infamous for this – the pass rate on the written quals was very low, mostly because of the math and theory. That is why Courant PhDs get snapped up by the financial industry.

  120. The MD is a doctorate. It stands for Medicinae Doctor. The JD is too. See my “history of doctorates” post up towards the top.

  121. “Democrats trusted the election system just fine and accepted the results without question.”

    “In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said he does not believe Donald Trump is a “legitimate president,” citing Russian interference in last year’s election. Asked whether he would try to forge a relationship with the president-elect, Lewis said that he believes in forgiveness, but added, “it’s going to be very difficult. I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.” When pressed to explain why, he cited allegations of Russian hacks during the campaign that led to the release of internal documents from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign co-chairman, John Podesta.
    “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis told NBC News.” https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/meet-the-press-70-years/john-lewis-trump-won-t-be-legitimate-president-n706676

    Lewis refused to attend Trump’s inauguration, along with more than a third of House Democrats. https://serrano.house.gov/media-center/in-the-news/more-one-third-house-democrats-boycott-donald-trumps-inauguration

  122. Scarlett, that is my point exactly. The Democratic complaints were about Russians hacking documents and such, not the actual mechanics of the voting like Trump is claiming. But again, you know this and are just arguing for the sake of arguing, Kiddo.

  123. MM, there seems to be some consensus that JD’s aren’t called Dr.’s for two potential reasons. The first being that people might think the individual has expertise in two fields – Dr. Jones, attorney at law or esquire ( ABA says that esquire can only be used if you passed a state or DC’s bar otherwise it is a misrepresentation). People hearing or reading that might think the individual is both a medical doctor and an attorney. Now it is possible for someone to have attained an MD and a JD. But they would most likely clarify that they have two degrees and the signature would list First Name Last name, M.D., J.D or esquire or Ph.D. if that had that in some field (most likely a very technical filed and someone in intellectual property)

    The second reason is that JD is a professional doctorate meant to be an applied degree and not a research degree. And now I’ve thought of this more in the last two days then all previous years.

  124. “The Democratic complaints were about Russians hacking documents and such, not the actual mechanics of the voting like Trump is claiming.

    When unprecedented numbers of votes came by absentee or other mail-in votes, issues of voting mechanics are far more relevant than in 2016. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1184283/presidential-election-absentee-ballots-requested-share-2016-ballots-us/

    You can be sure that, had there been record-setting numbers of mail-in votes in 2016, Clinton would have been pursuing the same sort of litigation as Trump. You work with the tools that you have. Clinton didn’t have anything but delusions of Russian bots.

  125. What’s the deal with Barr? Just a distraction from the electoral college/Biden winning for the 100th time? Something else? They are all so shady.

  126. “You can be sure that, had there been record-setting numbers of mail-in votes in 2016, Clinton would have been pursuing the same sort of litigation as Trump.”

    No way. Trump is out of his mind. He really thinks that he won. Truly. He believes his delusions of grandeur. We have never had a President like that in my lifetime. He is truly a one of a kind whack job. DSM-5 type.

  127. “ABA says that esquire can only be used if you passed a state or DC’s bar otherwise it is a misrepresentation”

    You mean William S. Preston, esq., was misrepresenting himself????

  128. “We always called it the “consolation MS”. Usually it happened when people flunked their quals.”

    OK, so it sounds like what we had wasn’t that common. At my school, it indicated study beyond an MS.

  129. There were record-setting numbers of mail-in votes. We knew from months prior to the election that there would be. Every state has procedures for verifying and processing them. Given the opportunity in every state in which they filed suit to allege fraud, Trump-advocate attorneys declined to do so. The “dead voters, illegal immigrant voters, stuffing the ballot box” nonsense is just fodder for press conferences, but nothing that they would allege under oath when there are actual consequences for lying. Some of those affidavits were absolutely ridiculous. The only purpose for all of those claims was to undermine the public’s faith in Biden’s election, and tons of Republicans went along with it, not because they saw any evidence of fraud but because they fall in line behind Trump no matter what.

  130. “There were record-setting numbers of mail-in votes.”

    That was totally expected here, as this year’s elections were the first since the move to entirely mail-in, drop off, and early voting.

  131. I read that NOVA Community College Foundation has raised over $50,000 for scholarships for its students by selling T Shirts that read “That’s Dr. Biden to you, Sir!”

  132. Take the following scenario: a patient who came in with a cancerous mass could deal with the following: a surgeon, an oncologist, a hospitalist and maybe another subspecialist like urology or endocrinology.

    There’s a very good chance that the patient will be seen by any or all of these doctors’ PAs or NPs. So a DNP coming in and introducing herself as “I’m Dr. Lastname, Dr. Oncologist’s nurse practioner” would not cause any confusion because they would be able to answer the same questions and provide the same information as Dr. Oncologist would.

    Again, it’s just a turf war.

  133. @DD – Dr. Oncologist’s NP can’t provide the same information that Dr. Oncologist can. The clinical experience of a NP can be <5% of the physician's. (In the following graph, you can add 9000 hours to the FP training to see what an oncologist has).

    It's a turf war because there is a meaningful difference and patients don't have good understanding of the differences.

    I'm curious if your absent NP student gets credit for all the shifts that she missed? Missing 5 shifts could be 10% of her education.

  134. Ada,

    Is there data out there detailing the clinical outcome differences associated with that extra training?

    For example NZ medical education:

    The University of Otago’s Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) programme is similarly structured. High-school graduates complete a Health Sciences First Year course at Otago before applying for entry into medical school. Students then do two pre-clinical years in Dunedin. After this, the class is evenly divided into thirds, with students being allocated to spend the remaining three clinical years in Dunedin, Christchurch or Wellington. Clinical attachments in all three locations include all the major specialities (General Medicine, Oncology, Paediatrics, Psychological Medicine, Surgery, Pathology, Public Health, General Practice and others). In the 6th year, students undertake a 12-week medical elective.

    Does that make for a difference in clinical outcomes?

  135. That is a million (or perhaps billion) dollar question. It is really hard to define and measure quality in clinical medicine. Good outcomes can be associated with good patient populations (much like teaching). Good outcomes can be associated with cost inefficient care. NP schools have a lot of studies stating they are better at primary care. Doctor’s groups have picked those apart.

    The NZ medical education system is much longer than the US – the 6 years of school, then 3+ years of House Officer work, then 5+ years of registrar training. I’m not sure it’s as good as the American system. It is far less intense. It is less consuming (people meander through training for a decade plus). There is significantly less mentorship. It’s kinder – people take time off, have maternity leave, etc.

    This comes up in my American doctors in NZ group – what our experience with trainees has been and how it compares. Of course there is a stream of, “Back in my day, we studied all night and worked all day and we were humble!!” I think the students/trainees are less capable, but I will acknowledge that I am not necessarily a fair judge of that.

  136. It’s kinder – people take time off, have maternity leave, etc.

    I assume that’s at least partly due to much lower salaries. People are willing to work that hard to make $440k but they will balk if the payoff is only $140k.

  137. Ada, my point was that there is no difference in the NP coming in and calling herself “Dr. Lastname” or “Firstname”. She is doing the exact same thing either way, and I don’t see that any potential confusion to patients is an issue. The docs just don’t want her to use “Dr Lastname” because of the turf war. When DW had her surgery in June, the surgeon came in for one post op visits and the others were all done by her PA, including removing the chest tube. She answered all the same questions we would have asked the surgeon and provided the same information we needed.

    I’m not going to argue that NPs provide better primary care or anything else than physicians because I don’t believe that for a second.

    I’m curious if your absent NP student gets credit for all the shifts that she missed?

    Of course not. She has to make them up.

  138. Yes – the finish line is less magic.

    The salary leap from trainee to fully-trained-specialist is much smaller. It’s a 10-50% bump. In the US, I went from 45k to 250k. So, there is less pressure to get to the end.

    However, due to government restrictions on funding , the US won’t allow trainees to take much time off or start in a different specialty. The system is so inflexible. From House of God – “They can always hurt you more, but they can’t stop the clock.” If written in NZ: “The union won’t let then hurt you very much, but maybe you should train for another year or two?”

  139. Milo,

    She’s able to put $150 a month into a retirement account

    It doesn’t say specifically that she’s a public school teacher but the pay would indicate that. In that case her retirement contributions are well over $1500/month.

    but Delia’s parents, in her words, “have never made a good financial decision.”

    And she’s continuing the pattern.

  140. Keep the house, keep paying the mortgage,

    His construction business had failed. With what money were they going to pay the mortgage?

  141. private school tuition

    I didn’t get the impression they had two kids in private school 8 years ago. But I could be wrong.

  142. Here, Delia’s story is instructive. Back in 2005, she had her teacher’s job, and her husband had a promising construction company. They were on solid economic footing for the first time and decided to do what a lot of people in that position do: buy a house. The problem with their strategy revealed itself only in hindsight; they bought at the height of the mid-2000s housing bubble. They hung on to their house as long as they could, but by 2012, they were drowning. They ended up shutting down her husband’s business and short-selling the house, leaving them with no equity.

    I find this whole explanation unclear.

  143. I find this whole explanation unclear.

    How is it unclear? They bought a house based on 30% of the gross of two solid incomes and then there was either no or a dramatically reduced second income.

  144. Yeah, the timing of the housing boom and bust can be really awful depending on where you fall on it, and it’s not like stocks where you can scream “dollar cost average!” at them. I know how well it worked out for us stumbling back-asswards through it, DW buying in 2002, selling in late 2004, and us renting until late 2008. When that happens in your 20s, it’s almost life-changing.

    But…yeah, if you short sell your house, you will be left with no equity. That’s how it works. So rent and start building things back up. If you want to say that it makes it much more difficult to build substantial wealth following a setback like that, I have all the sympathy in the world. But to say that this is why we are unable to live a solid, middle-class existence, presumably compared to some fictitious middle class dream of a past generation, then piss off.

  145. then there was either no or a dramatically reduced second income.

    It doesn’t SAY that, though.

    It literally does, “They ended up shutting down her husband’s business.” They didn’t shut it down because it was making too much money.

  146. It doesn’t say why. The reason could have been stupid. Given how vague a lot of the rest of the article is, it’s entirely plausible to suppose that they shut it down for some other reason. You’re giving the writer too much credit.

  147. But to say that this is why we are unable to live a solid, middle-class existence, presumably compared to some fictitious middle class dream of a past generation, then piss off.

    To be charitable she might be comparing her situation to what it would have been if residential real estate didn’t get so much additional support as an asset class.

  148. I think it’s the private school tuition that is the problem. It would be difficult for me to have 2 kids in private school, and be able to meet my other financial goals.

  149. You’re giving the writer too much credit.

    The writer is an idiot and the article if moronic. I’m thinking about it like a advice column. What is actually going on? What most likely happened?

  150. “Also, the members of the middle class never talked about money.”

    Do rich people actually talk about it, or just refer to it vaguely and dismissively?

  151. I think it’s the private school tuition that is the problem.

    Yup. Stop paying the $30k a year or whatever it is and the financial picture will be so much better.

    I also agree with RMS that there is a lot unsaid about what actually happened to them in 2012.

  152. I wonder if those people were some of the “magical thinking” types of people. Something will come up – it will get better – our lender will understand – it’s ok if we only pay the minimum – my aunt will die and leave us money – or whatever. Kind of like the shopaholic in that series – it was funny to read about the first time but then I just wanted to smack her upside the head for the rest of the books!

  153. L,

    I think there is a certain type of magical thinking:

    Though Delia’s teaching job is steady, her husband is making less than he did when he ran his own company. They’re also paying private school tuition for their two daughters, which takes up a “huge chunk” of their income. They could pull their kids from private school and put them in public, but the kids have made their friends, and Delia’s intent on giving them the opportunity to get out of the same claustrophobic town where she grew up.

    “If the girls want to come back and live here, that’s fine,” Delia explained. “But I want them to be able to write their own story and invent themselves as they see fit. Private school might give them access to better colleges, by which I mean better job opportunities or travel opportunities or meeting-different-people opportunities.”

    I don’t know if romantic is the right word. But she seems to have a very romantic view of how the world works.

  154. Its like when you read one of those stories about someone who went $100k into debt for a masters in creative writing. How exactly did you think this was all going to turn out? What would you call that type of thinking?

  155. There is so much missing from the story. What were the terms of their original loan? Was it a predatory loan or just a standard mortgage on a house that they panic-sold in 2012 because they were underwater? Do they still live with her parents? Why the hell do they send their kids to private school? Is their actual school district terrible or just fine?

    “I want them to be able to write their own story and invent themselves as they see fit.”

    HUGE EYE ROLL

  156. Was it a predatory loan or just a standard mortgage on a house that they panic-sold in 2012 because they were underwater?

    There seems to be some pushback on the idea that a couple with solid incomes could buy a home and one of them could lose their job and not be able to get a new one for
    a while and they would lose the house because prices had slid and they were underwater. That kind of thing happens a lot in a recession.

  157. My guess is they stretched themselves too much to buy their house and left themselves with no margin for his income to drop.

    On the most recent GRS post he points to a survey that shows the difference in spending between FIRE folks and non-FIRE folks is mainly housing. FIRE folks as a group spend about 17% of income on housing vs 24% for non-FIRE, and save/invest the difference. Other spending categories are pretty similar.

    The sketchy description of Delia’s situation suggests the possibility that had they bought a less expensive house, they might still be in it. They’d probably have refinanced to a low mortgage payment and be sitting pretty.

    OTOH, if they hadn’t over-reached with their house purchase, they wouldn’t have moved in with her parents, who then might have defaulted on their mortgage.

  158. “There seems to be some pushback on the idea that a couple with solid incomes could buy a home and one of them could lose their job and not be able to get a new one for
    a while and they would lose the house because prices had slid and they were underwater.”

    Warren and her daughter wrote a book about that.

  159. Not to defend these people too much, but not all private schools cost $30K per year. Our local Catholic school charges “only” $5K per year for elementary school. We were very happy with our public elementary school, so we never considered it, but most of their students are from working-class and middle-class (not UMC) families.

    I do think that the understanding of “middle class” in prior generations included the ability to send children to modestly-priced non-public schools without taking on debt. Many people in my extended family attended or sent their kids to Catholic schools, including one cousin who is an admin assistant married to a postal worker, and another cousin who is a nurse and a single mom. I always thought it was strange, because both of those cousins raised their kids in suburbs that were known for having great public schools, but hey, to each their own. Also, all of the kids in question are grown now. I do not know whether today’s economics would permit them the same options (suburban house in good school district plus Catholic school tuition). I guess that is the point of the article.

  160. I wonder if they not only stretched on the price of the house, but also financed with an ARM whose teaser rate expired just as business was slowing for his construction business.

  161. Not to defend these people too much, but not all private schools cost $30K per year.

    I was using that as the total, so $15k per kid. And given her talk about how she is hoping it will get them into a better college, I’m thinking it’s more likely something upscale and not an inexpensive religious school. Just how I read into it.

  162. ” they would lose the house because prices had slid and they were underwater.”

    Right but they wouldn’t lose the house because they were underwater (i.e., negative equity). They’d lose it because they couldn’t/didn’t make the payments. And there was a lot of both in the 2008+ recession. Also – if they were in a bad loan, the payment could have gone up significantly and hurt their ability to pay.

    But I know plenty of people who panic sold in 2010 and took a bath because they were underwater even though they could have easily made the payments. Some just wanted to move. Some were worried prices would get worse and wanted to “get out”. Like selling off stocks in a bear market. To me, this is more in the “bad decision” category than the job loss = couldn’t make the payments.

    It seems like a lot of marginal decisions one after an another, not “society” bringing them down.

    @CityMom- I agree with you on the moderately priced Catholic school, but that doesn’t track with her “write their own story” language. DH’s elementary school alma mater is only $6K – it’s a traditional city Catholic parish school.

  163. “I do not know whether today’s economics would permit them the same options (suburban house in good school district plus Catholic school tuition). ”

    I think it depends how you define “good” school district. This is definitely possible and even common in some middle class suburbs around here – especially the traditionally Catholic suburbs, but the schools aren’t “Totebag good”. They are fine though.

  164. Rhett – your first place is a $1.1M house.

    I know I posted it, but I don’t want to shit on the couple too much. I know that reporters get a thesis in mind and just go looking for examples that fill it. This woman may have been like “Sure, I’ll talk to you. Oh yeah, it’s tough out there. Things are so expensive, let me tell you. And I have no idea how my neighbors are buying these $60k SUVs.”

    And the reporter is all like “This is exactly what I’m saying, they’re hollowed out, their lives are a perpetual struggle for existence.”

  165. I clicked through and nowhere does it say the house is theirs. Dollars to donuts it is still in her parents name, they pay the mortgage, and when the parents die the house will be left equally to all sibs, sold, hey you got to live there for 35 years. I have seen this time and again. But if the larger family unit is taking care of itself, Childcare now, eldercare later, maybe this isnt a horrorshow. And if it is, the mom finds herself trapped and is determined to give her daughters a better shot. We might make different choices, but I agree with Milo that this family is a poor selection to illustrate a thesis about the hollowing out of the middle class. I often wonder if these writers just find an old high school classmate or a parent from dance class or hockey and build an article around them

  166. Rhett – your first place is a $1.1M house.

    The second one was 1.2. I was just using it to compare what you get for the money in neighboring towns.

  167. I have a high school classmate who writes for NBC News. She makes regular Facebook posts along the lines of “I’m writing an article on X, let me know if you want to be interviewed and featured…”

  168. “I often wonder if these writers just find an old high school classmate or a parent from dance class or hockey and build an article around them”

    Yeah I think that’s it. With the thesis they already have, from the viewpoint of a freelance writer or reporter. It’s a very specific mindset for a writer where you are not paid well, but probably have a fancy maybe even HSS degree, have “prestige,” and travel in circles where you are around people with a lot more money. I think that’s where this reporting angle comes from quite often.

  169. find an old high school classmate

    I would bet undergrad most often. Although probably not in this case.

    Fun fact from the bio of the article author:

    In 2007 Petersen earned an MA in English from the University of Oregon and then a PhD in media studies in 2011 from the University of Texas where she studied the history of the gossip industry.

    Good money in that racket.

  170. “ I think you nailed it.”

    I think so, too. National news media outlets are full of those people. It certainly skews the tone of reporting.

    And I’ve known a few people in the Navy who grew up fairly poor and just couldn’t fathom that they were earning about $100,000 at the age of 26. They would not have had a negative perception of middle class opportunities if they were writing articles.

  171. Coming from a family where a college degree is an option and not an expectation, I also don’t agree with the assumption that the daughters should attend college without knowing more about their interests, goals and work ethic.

    People should go to college only when
    1) someone else is paying or
    2) ROI after student loans, taxes and inflation is significantly positive

    Having the self-awareness to know whether college is likely to have a significantly positive ROI *for you* is important.

  172. Sure, you can get a house in a “bad” school district and pay Catholic school tuition. There are definitely working class families who do that. But their houses do not appreciate as fast as the houses in the “good” districts. If the schools are perceived as really bad, they can be very hard to sell, even in a good market. So I don’t think this is a prudent long-term financial decision for people who have other options.

    My cousin the nurse (recently retired) is in one of the best districts on Long Island. Her house itself is dated and small, but it is worth well over $1 million based on location alone. A young, single nurse could never afford to buy there today, let alone pay tuition on top of the mortgage.

  173. And I’ve known a few people in the Navy who grew up fairly poor and just couldn’t fathom that they were earning about $100,000 at the age of 26.

    You’ve mentioned in the past that it’s fairly common for these folks to be supporting their parents. Based on what you read it’s always parents bailing out their kids. But the reality for a lot of people is kids bailing out their parents.

    Ruth from Ozark represents a lot of real life people.

  174. “ But their houses do not appreciate as fast as the houses in the “good” districts.”

    That kind of depends. A lot of places in formerly bad neighborhoods appreciate much more rapidly than Totebaggy houses.

    If you could be sure that the best long term appreciation was always in a good school district, real estate investing would be pretty easy.

  175. Rhett — Sure, Pembroke doesn’t have the cachet of Hingham, but I doubt it’s a bad school district.

  176. “ My cousin the nurse (recently retired) is in one of the best districts on Long Island. Her house itself is dated and small, but it is worth well over $1 million based on location alone. A young, single nurse could never afford to buy there today, let alone pay tuition on top of the mortgage.”

    Right but when did she buy it and how much was it worth then? And how “good” was the school district when they bought it? That stuff changes over time & there’s a big element of luck to that. This situation sounds very specific and lucky – like buying a house in Palo Alto in 1965 (which we’ve talked about here before). Could the young nurse buy in a district that’s similar to that one was in 1970 and pay for a Catholic elementary school? At what point in the past 30 years would the older relative been essentially priced out of her own neighborhood if she was trying to buy her own house?

  177. “ If you could be sure that the best long term appreciation was always in a good school district, real estate investing would be pretty easy.”

    Ok that’s a better way of saying what I was trying to say.

    @UTL – I like that clip!

  178. “A lot of places in formerly bad neighborhoods appreciate much more rapidly than Totebaggy houses.”

    Prospective buyers who don’t anticipate having school-age kids during their tenure in the house, or those who will go private/charter/out of district/magnet/homeschool, will not necessarily reject a home in the “wrong” school district. Those neighborhoods may have a lot more room for appreciation than the standard Totebaggy school pyramid community.

  179. “ Sure, Pembroke doesn’t have the cachet of Hingham, but I doubt it’s a bad school district.”

    I learn so much about the hierarchy of Boston suburbs on this site.

    It reminds me of when I was at a business dinner outside Boston (Lynnfield IIRC), and the waitress looked at us and said, “Well you know how it is on The North Shore!” And we – from Chicago, NY and Paris – all stared at her blankly. And then there was an awkward shrug. And now it’s a joke – “Well you know how it is on the North Shore!” I still have no idea what she was talking about.

  180. Rhett, it’s not my situation, but I certainly know people who are doing better financially than their parents and expect to help them out that way.

  181. I don’t see any problem with reporters looking for someone to illustrate their story, if that story is built on solid research. Coming up with a “trend” based on a handful of I do ideals is much worse.

  182. This article is not intended to be about the middle class being stuck, but it kicked off that kind of conversation with my son. You all know that given how I’m doing, I’m concerned about him learning about money the way your kids absorb from you. He showed merge article just with a derisive snort at the fancy pantry filled with Cheeze-its and other crap. Turns out the line about wanting to display Costco groceries as if they were Lubetons is not hyperbole. Row after row of canned soup and bins labeled “cereal” in a pantry that’s nearly as big as his old bedroom (88 sq ft vs 110). But then he noticed the income and the price of the house. We assume the wife/mother, to whom the fancy pantry was such a high priority, doesn’t have a job, or they would’ve mentioned her pay when they gave his. So then we were looking up mortgage payments for that house with different down payments and my son started worrying about college for the kids, or cars (they don’t live where there’s good public transit). The author of the article does not seem to have intended to trigger any such thoughts about The Plight of the Middle Class, but did so for us. I was really happy to see him put things together the way he did. What do you guys think about the families here? https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-walk-in-kitchen-pantry-is-the-new-designer-shoe-closet-11606940431?redirect=amp#click=https://t.co/R82icE8t2p

  183. Well, her daughter is about 35, so I’d say she bought the house 30-35 years ago. No idea what she paid for it back then. The school district was always considered one of the best in the area. The perceived rankings of districts on Long Island really haven’t changed much in the last 30 years, and I doubt they will change much in the next 30. I don’t think this is a situation where she got lucky in a way no one could have predicted (like Palo Alto). I think she made a good investment.

  184. Also, she was married at the time of the purchase, so that surely helped her get her foot in the door. Sadly, her husband died a couple of years later, so she really supported her daughter on her own most of her life. Apparently he didn’t have life insurance.

  185. Tomorrow I’m making my homemade tomato basil cream soup. Roasted tomatoes (canned and fresh), celery, onion, carrots, broth, garlic, olive oil, bay leaves, basil, and cream. Double batch.

    And we never have it without plenty of Cheez-Its. 😃

  186. The perceived rankings of districts on Long Island really haven’t changed much in the last 30 years,

    Since, ya know, 1990.

  187. airtight bins of decanted Froot Loops

    lol!

    And apparently being a dermatology PA pays pretty well.

  188. I can only see the beginning of the pantry article but my extended family members nearly all have walk-in pantries. DH redid our pantry a few years ago, because I wanted deeper shelves with varying heights and sturdy, sloped wire racks for my canned good rotation. A local mom friend with sons the age of mine recently posted, “Son has grown 6″ since the shutdown began. In other news, we’re buying a second refrigerator.”

  189. WCE, that’s funny! I grew up in a house with a walk-in pantry too, about 5×6. And I know right where the Campbell’s is.

    Milo, your soup sounds good. I bet you don’t have your cheese-it’s displayed like trophies. But if you do, from what you’ve said here, I know that you can afford it. That’s the issue my son picked up on and is worrying/wondering abo it (after he got done marveling at the bins & baskets).

    Rhett, pretty sure the article said he makes $80k. (Pulling it up again would use up another freebie for me) That’s where the concern kicked in. People can have whatever food they like, displayed however they like. But with 5 college educations, 5 cars, and possibly a couple weddings to pay for, does it make sense for them to do this?

  190. SM – DW wishes we had a walk-in pantry. $80k/yr for a dermatology PA is lower than I would have guessed, but whatever I would have guessed would not have been enough for a $1.5M house without some other stream of income.

  191. I just opened the article again and don’t see a salary mentioned. I don’t have an opinion one way or another – people spend money on lots of things that aren’t a huge priority for me. A pantry is something that gets a lot of use if you have multiple kids at home and try to cook most meals at home. My neighborhood has a DIY and decor Facebook page where people post their projects and ask for ideas, and pantry organization is an occasional topic. I use some of the things that were in the article pictures, like clear containers for flour, sugar, etc, a container to group the pasta and a tiered shelf so I can see canned goods better. Decanting cereal in a separate container seems like extra work to me, but I might feel like it was worth it if I was a cereal-eater. If I had a spot in my pantry to put appliances like bread maker, etc, that would be nice, but I won’t pay money to create that space. Among the suggestions on my neighborhood page were to put in outlets and a work surface, like a coffee station. But if spending $1000 to make the space fully functional helps a family of 5-6 cook more at home instead of eating out and reduces food waste, they probably make that money back in well under a year.

  192. I will add that organization like that brings me a level of joy that I think is greater than the joy it brings you SM, from other comments you have made. I can’t stand visual clutter and it generates low-level anxiety for me. I wouldn’t view it as Milo displaying his cheezits, but rather having a spot where the cheezits always live, so the kids know where to find them and the grocery-list-maker knows when they are out. And the containers help keep things from getting stale and keep out pests. So I am coming around from no opinion on this to pro-pantry organization, but within my tolerable mental budget, not the $35K spent by the remarried widower in the article.

  193. My walk in pantry is about 4×8, so nothing fancy. But after having it, it would be a hardship to not have one in a future house. I do have many things decanted to clear containers…because I had a bout with pantry moths. Now I’ve got enough of those containers that I might as well use them. And it does look nicer. If anyone ever wants a recommendation on the very best plastic containers, the answer is Rubbermaid Brilliance.

  194. We have a walk in pantry but it isn’t fancy. It is however very functional with sturdy wooden shelves. It came with the house. We have clear storage boxes to store baking supplies and things like flour and rice. We have baskets for snacks. There are informal sections for various items so things have their designated sections. It really helps in a household like ours when you can see, what is there before grocery shopping and can find what you are looking for easily. We are not into labeling boxes or jars etc. because such level of organization cannot be maintained in our house.

  195. My walk in pantry was a must have on our renovation list. It is only 3×5, but not bad for a 1950s cape cod. The only downside is that it has two exterior walls, and no airduct so in the winter is it pretty cold in there. When you open the door you get a wallop of cold air. I love when it is clean and organized, and like Becky get mild anxiety when it is out of whack. Right now it has too many chips, candy, and cookies so it is bit of a mess. I have clear containers for flour, sugar, rice, dry beans. Cereal and cheezits stay in their original packaging.

  196. I did a search and didn’t see a salary mentioned in the WSJ article.

    A quick googling says, Full-time dermatology PA salaries can range anywhere from $80,000 to $400,000 per year depending on the PA’s collections to the practice.

    So he could totally afford that at the high end of the PA salary range.

  197. Becky, I’d like a bit more room for our food storage, and can see that if our family was 3-4 times bigger, we’d need more room. But I do have it organized; with a shelf for pasta, rice and other starches, another for flours, sugars, and other baking needs and so forth.

  198. “I wouldn’t view it as Milo having a place to display his cheezits”. Then you clearly did not read the article. Displaying her cheeze-its was the point; we are wondering if they are over-extended. Also, you mentioned $1000, but the shelving was $900 & the end price $5k. Without a salary figure for him, there’s no way to discuss the question.

  199. I have a walk-in pantry, but the cheezits have to be hidden, otherwise DS1 snarfs them down as soon as he sees them. Fun cheezit fact: according to a Forest Service lady I talked to once, cheezits are the, hands down, favorite food of the Clark’s Nutcracker.

  200. Just asked the young man himself. He did indeed look up the salary online. Says avg is 102, is still concerned. I’m glad to see him thinking this way.

  201. “I don’t think this is a situation where she got lucky in a way no one could have predicted (like Palo Alto).”

    I don’t think what happened in Palo Alto was something no one could have predicted.

  202. We have a walk-in pantry. We were going to have pantry cabinets installed, but our contractor suggested the framed pantry instead. It cost less than cabinets, and also made it easier on the contractor by providing a place to hide things. E.g., the electrician needed a couple of splice boxes in the ceiling, which we were able to hide in the pantry rather than have a couple of blank cover plates on our kitchen ceiling.

    One of DS’ friends’ parents have a cool walk-in pantry. Next to the fridge, there’s what appears to be a tall cabinet door, but that door actually leads to the walk-in pantry behind the fridge.

  203. Finn, that’s a cool way to hide a pantry. If you (or anyone else) have comments on my concern/question related to that article, I’d like to hear

  204. We have a walk in pantry. It was very high priority when we did the renovation. The house had one before the renovation but because it was also a back entrance/mud room it wasn’t as good.

  205. Sounds to me like a lot of people want to talk about their pantries. Maybe someone should sum it a topic.

  206. We also have a walk-in pantry – it has cabinets and countertops on 2 sides. It is a nook behind the fridge near what used to be the dining room. It also has a warming drawer which we have never used, but I don’t really want to take that out because it would be a PITA. I have a ton of baking stuff taking up one wall of the cabinets (both upper and lower), plus our bar is in one of the larger cabinets on the other wall, so a lot of the shelf-stable goods are out on the counters (cheez-its, spindrifts, my overflow supplies like bonito flakes, szechuan peppercorns, the giant rice vinegar container, etc.). In 10 years when the kids move out, I expect that the countertops will be exposed again!

  207. My pantry is basically a small, dark closet in the kitchen. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s fine for my needs.

  208. Our pantry is a fairly large reach in closet. It is wide, but shallow. It is set up with just basic wood shelves that are too far apart. I need to change it up. I had wire basket drawers in my old pantry that were great for bags of chips/nuts, and I miss those. I do not do the fancy containers beyond flour/sugar/grains though.

  209. Rocky, it doesn’t look like it, lol. But maybe now they are. I’m just crabby because no one wants to talk about teenagers learning about budgeting and recognizing what’s too much, like I asked with that article.

  210. S&M, I never taught “budgeting” to my kids. Maybe I should have. But oldest kid has a good bit of money he earned last summer in his account, and doesn’t spend very much – his big splurge was a mechanical keyboard that he aboslutely covets and loves. He also buys some fancy gel pens. He has a credit card and pays it every month. Second kid doesn’t have as much of his own earnings, but I give him a monthly allowance that is tight enough that he has to be a little careful.

  211. Here is a topic that I consider to be really important and I think the press is not paying nearly enough attention – the big cyber attack on a number of our government agencies. There is a good article in the NYTimes today, and if you read it, you will realize how very, very bad this is

    I guess I can post the article, although some people complain about it and I am leery about the copyright violation

  212. I Was the Homeland Security Adviser to Trump. We’re Being Hacked.
    The magnitude of this national security breach is hard to overstate.

    By Thomas P. Bossert
    Mr. Bossert was the homeland security adviser to President Trump and deputy homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush.

    Dec. 16, 2020

    2102
    At the worst possible time, when the United States is at its most vulnerable — during a presidential transition and a devastating public health crisis — the networks of the federal government and much of corporate America are compromised by a foreign nation. We need to understand the scale and significance of what is happening.

    Last week, the cybersecurity firm FireEye said it had been hacked and that its clients, which include the United States government, had been placed at risk. This week, we learned that SolarWinds, a publicly traded company that provides software to tens of thousands of government and corporate customers, was also hacked.

    The attackers gained access to SolarWinds software before updates of that software were made available to its customers. Unsuspecting customers then downloaded a corrupted version of the software, which included a hidden back door that gave hackers access to the victim’s network.

    This is what is called a supply-chain attack, meaning the pathway into the target networks relies on access to a supplier. Supply-chain attacks require significant resources and sometimes years to execute. They are almost always the product of a nation-state. Evidence in the SolarWinds attack points to the Russian intelligence agency known as the S.V.R., whose tradecraft is among the most advanced in the world.

    According to SolarWinds S.E.C. filings, the malware was on the software from March to June. The number of organizations that downloaded the corrupted update could be as many as 18,000, which includes most federal government unclassified networks and more than 425 Fortune 500 companies.

    The magnitude of this ongoing attack is hard to overstate.

    The Russians have had access to a considerable number of important and sensitive networks for six to nine months. The Russian S.V.R. will surely have used its access to further exploit and gain administrative control over the networks it considered priority targets. For those targets, the hackers will have long ago moved past their entry point, covered their tracks and gained what experts call “persistent access,” meaning the ability to infiltrate and control networks in a way that is hard to detect or remove.

    While the Russians did not have the time to gain complete control over every network they hacked, they most certainly did gain it over hundreds of them. It will take years to know for certain which networks the Russians control and which ones they just occupy.

    The logical conclusion is that we must act as if the Russian government has control of all the networks it has penetrated. But it is unclear what the Russians intend to do next. The access the Russians now enjoy could be used for far more than simply spying.

    The actual and perceived control of so many important networks could easily be used to undermine public and consumer trust in data, written communications and services. In the networks that the Russians control, they have the power to destroy or alter data, and impersonate legitimate people. Domestic and geopolitical tensions could escalate quite easily if they use their access for malign influence and misinformation — both hallmarks of Russian behavior.

    What should be done?

    On Dec. 13, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a division of the Department of Homeland Security — itself a victim — issued an emergency directive ordering federal civilian agencies to remove SolarWinds software from their networks.

    The removal is aimed at stopping the bleeding. Unfortunately, the move is sadly insufficient and woefully too late. The damage is already done and the computer networks are already compromised.

    It also is impractical. In 2017, the federal government was ordered to remove from its networks software from a Russian company, Kaspersky Lab, that was deemed too risky. It took over a year to get it off the networks. Even if we double that pace with SolarWinds software, and even if it wasn’t already too late, the situation would remain dire for a long time.

    The remediation effort alone will be staggering. It will require the segregated replacement of entire enclaves of computers, network hardware and servers across vast federal and corporate networks. Somehow, the nation’s sensitive networks have to remain operational despite unknown levels of Russian access and control. A “do over” is mandatory and entire new networks need to be built — and isolated from compromised networks.

    Cyber threat hunters that are stealthier than the Russians must be unleashed on these networks to look for the hidden, persistent access controls. These information security professionals actively search for, isolate and remove advanced, malicious code that evades automated safeguards. This will be difficult work as the Russians will be watching every move on the inside.

    The National Defense Authorization Act, which each year provides the Defense Department and other agencies the authority to perform its work, is caught up in partisan wrangling. Among other important provisions, the act would authorize the Department of Homeland Security to perform network hunting in federal networks. If it wasn’t already, it is now a must-sign piece of legislation, and it will not be the last congressional action needed before this is resolved.

    Network operators also must take immediate steps to more carefully inspect their internet traffic to detect and neutralize unexplained anomalies and obvious remote commands from hackers before the traffic enters or leaves their network.

    The response must be broader than patching networks. While all indicators point to the Russian government, the United States, and ideally its allies, must publicly and formally attribute responsibility for these hacks. If it is Russia, President Trump must make it clear to Vladimir Putin that these actions are unacceptable. The U.S. military and intelligence community must be placed on increased alert; all elements of national power must be placed on the table.

    While we must reserve our right to unilateral self-defense, allies must be rallied to the cause. The importance of coalitions will be especially important to punishing Russia and navigating this crisis without uncontrolled escalation.

    President Trump is on the verge of leaving behind a federal government, and perhaps a large number of major industries, compromised by the Russian government. He must use whatever leverage he can muster to protect the United States and severely punish the Russians.

    President-elect Joe Biden must begin his planning to take charge of this crisis. He has to assume that communications about this matter are being read by Russia, and assume that any government data or email could be falsified.

    At this moment, the two teams must find a way to cooperate.

    President Trump must get past his grievances about the election and govern for the remainder of his term. This moment requires unity, purpose and discipline. An intrusion so brazen and of this size and scope cannot be tolerated by any sovereign nation.

    We are sick, distracted, and now under cyberattack. Leadership is essential.

    Thomas P. Bossert, who was the homeland security adviser to President Trump and deputy homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush, is the president of Trinity Cyber, a firm that provides network security services to governments and private companies.

  213. Agree that the hack is under-covered. I also expected to see more coverage of the Hunter Biden issues.

  214. RE: the hacking. I know so little about that stuff and how it works that I just kind of throw my hands up and hope that people smarter than me are working on it. I mean, what I am gonna do but worry. I don’t know how any of this stuff I love works and have probably already pulled a Jack and the Beanstalk by letting companies access my data with apps and stuff.

  215. This blows my mind, compared to people saying they don’t want to download apps that keep track of where they were/who they were in contact with. How do you want a drone monitoring the inside of your house?
    Also, how long until they can pick up a beer on their way through the kitchen and bring it to you?

  216. Mooshi, that kind of stuff comes pretty naturally to mine too. Stuff at the level of that article is what I’m thinking about—when are they beyond their means?

  217. I give DS2 $100/month in allowance and DS1 $200/month in allowance. We have not taught budgeting, per se, but have spoken a lot about investments, living below your means, saving aggressively, wants v needs, etc.

  218. We also expected DS2 to pay his own tuition, etc. We’d deposit the funds annually in his account and he had to pay tuition, fees, lab expenses, etc.

  219. Anyone have any articles you’d recommend on the hack? I’d like to understand it better without too much editorial bias. And does anyone have a sense if the administration is really not responding, or if there is behind-the-scenes activity we just don’t know about?

  220. TLC – your guy Flynn is such a great guy to suggest martial law to overturn the election. Fantastic American!

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