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Linky Friday #129: Scary Things

Trump:

[T1] When more than half of the stadium was empty, I thought that might register with media depiction of the event, but the media keeps letting him pretend the stadium was full.

[T2] Over at Hit Coffee, I explore the question of whether or not Trump could cause a brokered convention.

[T3] Sonny Bunch blames the rise of Donald Trump on pop culture and professional wrestling.

[T4] Contrary to the claims of Trump and other lefty weirdos, Jeb Bush’s PAC did not actually photoshop him on to a black guy, and it was kind of a weird theory to begin with.

[T5] Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry takes issue with Donald Trump on birthright citizenship, arguing that the US is doing it right while his own native France got it wrong.

Freedom:

Picture by EDK

Picture by EDK

[F1] A millionaire in the UK is fined after recycling gravestones for his patio.

[F2] South Carolina passed some rigid laws to prevent pesky calls, but a recent court decision has placed it in jeopardy.

[F3] George Orwell recently turned 110, and a Dutch Artist celebrated by putting party hats in surveillance cameras.

[F4] I’m on board with re-evaluating the Confederate Flag and other things, but this is silly.

[F5] Zic passes along… The Naked City!

Danger:

katrina photo

Image by laffy4k

[D1] In Ferguson, some Oath Keepers decided to arm black protesters in solidarity.

[D2] In the tenth anniversary of Katrina, Owen Courreges wishes that people would stop calling New Orleans better after the disaster.

[D3] A couple that was getting it on fell in a moat and died.

[D4] Dan Kahan writes about the problem he sees with consensus messaging in the climate change debate.

[D5] While we debate the merits of birthright citizenship, Haitian immigrants are fleeing the Dominican Republic after their citizenship has been revoked.

Prisons:

[P1] Vice asks the very Vicey question: What are things going to be like for Jared Fogle behind bars?

[P2] Companies that sell phone calls to prison inmates are, it turns out, really icky. Among other things, working with prisons to limit visitation.

[P3] Relatedly, private prisons may be bad, but according to German Lopez they are not responsible for mass incarceration.

[P4] How two similar-looking black men with the same name gave birth to the process of fingerprinting in criminal justice.

Courts & Judges:

[CJ1] The bad news is that judges, like the rest of us, are susceptible to motivated reasoning. The good news – which unlike the bad actually is news – is that they are less so.

[CJ2] Sue Bell Cobb, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is not happy about what she had to do to get that position. Judicial elections are a really, really bad idea. The topic is explored in John Grisham’s underappreciated novel, The Appeal.

[CJ3] Some Alabamians are saddled with such court costs that they end up committing crimes to pay for them.

[CJ4] Lifehacker debunks some traffic ticket myths. Some of them aren’t myths so much as “A lawyer might be able to do it, but you are less likely to.” Like Marco Rubio, I hired a traffic lawyer who got me out of a ticket where I was pretty clearly guilty.

Courtship & Dating:

date photo

Image by kevin dooley

[CD1] Tracy Moore in Jezebel asks if deep debt should be a reason not to marry someone. It seems to invariably depend on a lot of specifics. I easily shrugged off my wife’s six-figure debt, but really got into it with an ex about her four-figure debt.

[CD2] Susan Krauss and Matt Huston look at how to break up, and how not to break up, while Maureen O’Connor writes about how to win your break up.

[CD3] Priceonomics has an article on what words and inflections correlate with good and bad first dates.

[CD4] We were taught that getting married later in life is better for marital prospects. While this is true up to a point, it may have its limitations and there may be such a thing as waiting too long.

Bears:

[B1] A bear poking its head through a doggie door? I’m going with scary.

[B2] Even if they’ve made the long transition from scourge to the cute mascot of anti-global warming efforts, maybe you should hunt polar bears because polar bears will hunt you.

[B3] You have maybe seen the videos of the bears playing in the pool. Uncle Steve makes a good point, which is that while it may be an exotic novelty to most, it’s probably a common plague to them.

[B4] Australia is running so low on koala food that they might have to start euthanizing.

Coming soon: Latin America, Scandinavia, Education, Energy, Society…

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215 thoughts on “Linky Friday #129: Scary Things

    • These might be the only men who have received dates on Ashley Madison and even then it was part of a project.!

      Gizmodo ran the data this week and they found that an overwhelming amount of the female profiles were
      fakes and/or unchecked. A good number might have been created by employees of Ashley Madison.

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      • My very evil thought was that Ashley Madison should have used part of their subscriptions fees to pay escorts to pose as married women looking for affairs. Once a man pays enough, I understood you had to pay per message, he would get a date. There would be some legal troubles and potentially big ones at that but it would make the site more legitimate.

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        • With the reporting about the gender proportions of the members coming in that it was like 95% men or more, my immediate thought was that it almost seemed like that must have been what they were doing.

          Either that, or a paid-employee chat-room-flirtation service, if maybe a lot of these guys were satisfied enough with just poking around looking for potential affairs but leaving it at essentially online flirting. Because 19 men still seem like a lot for one woman to keep entertained enough over chat to keep them paying the subscription.

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          • Considering how many messages men need to send out on regular online dating sites in order to get one reply, Ashley Madison thought they could probably get away with it. Before the hack, it looked that they did.

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    • The ruling, which applies in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, conflicts with opinions from three other federal appellate courts in recent years that found the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to people in the country illegally.

      There’s a Supreme Court case blossoming.

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        • The traditional answer is that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and applies to everybody inside the United States regardless of their citizenship. This means that all the rights and protections except the right to vote and Federal or State level welfare benefits apply to illegal immigrants and citizens.

          I’ve mentioned this before but the above is why illegal presence in the United States is treated as a civil rather than criminal matter under the INA. If being present illegally was a criminal matter than the full criminal protections of the United States constitution would apply to every attempt to remove an alien from the United States. They would have to be first indicted by a grand jury, given right to counsel and a jury trial, and the entire burden would be on the Federal government to prove that the alien would not be in the United States. All evidence used against the alien would have to conform to the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to. By having illegal presence treated as a civil offense, removability becomes easier and cheaper for the Federal government because lower standards could be made to apply.

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        • The Bill of Rights is best understood as a restriction on the powers of government. If it says “Congress shall not do X,” it doesn’t matter whether the person Congress is doing it to is a citizen.

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          • The amendment doesn’t mean *THAT*. It means… wait. What are we talking about? Quick! Let’s change the subject to how Libertarians don’t support unions!

            Can you believe that Libertarians don’t support Police Unions?

            They must not support the idea of a Middle Class!

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      • The “well regulated militia” clause implies enough loyalty to the country that the resident would be willing to fight in its defense. Which in the 18th century and before was perhaps the core element that divided citizen from ‘alien’ (literally ‘other’)

        I am more an open borders guy myself. But I think you could make a principled argument that the 2nd Amendment could be held to be restrictive. As opposed to many of its supporters who believe it establishes a right to armed sedition BY citizens. A truly nutty interpretation.

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        • People get way too hung up on the prefatory clause, assuming that it somehow defines the scope of the independent clause. But that’s not how English works. It’s best understood as providing a rationale for the independent clause.

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            • Except when it’s the ACA and we’re talking about what “state” means. Then it’s clearly the case that we need to interpret “state” in the context of the whole law, taking into account other usages and the intent at the time of writing (or at least, the obvious majority intent, as interpreted ex post facto).

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              • For all kinds of reasons relating to how law gets read. Here, because law isn’t read in such a way that if text appears, it is presumed to have absolutely no effect on legal meaning. (So those who claim authority on the meaning of Article I Section 8 tell me.)

                So, here, you don’t read law in such a way that

                A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

                necessarily has the exact same functional legal meaning as,

                The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

                Which is exactly what your argument requires (because you are correct that the latter is an independent clause not restricted in its generality by the prefatory clause as a matter strictly of language).

                But the other language is there; it’s presumed to have import as to the legal meaning of the overall text. That’s a presumption that exists in reading law, but not for reading sentences in a vacuum or unspecified other contexts. (Still other presumptions/assumptions apply in particularly specified other contexts.)

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              • Do you mean to tell me that General Welfare doesn’t mean what it says it means?

                Everyone knows that the Hamiltonian vision prevailed at the state ratification conventions, especially New York and Virginia.

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                • I’ve seen the argument that “General Welfare” probably means what it says it means but they’re talking about “of the Union of the States” instead of “of the People” which might change things.

                  But if you read it that way, you’ll be able to justify fewer laws providing free false teeth.

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            • Have we ever (I mean *EVER*) seen an argument from one of the “well-regulated” people that goes something to the effect of “the laws that prevent military people on military bases from being armed are unconstitutional”?

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              • Is that a law? Or a military regulation? Or a workplace safety rule?

                I mean I am aware there are folks that believe they should be able to carry their weapons openly, anywhere and everywhere (except, perhaps, someone else’s private residence) including any business regardless of the wishes of the owners, but pretty sure that’s a minority.

                But there’s not a law keeping soldiers on base disarmed. It is, as best I understand, a simple safety regulation. Soldiers, at least, seem to view weapons as something more than fashion accessories and treat them accordingly.

                (My cousin claimed that they carried their weapons on base in Afghanistan, for obvious reasons, but that there were some really strict rules about when they were loaded and safeties and such, and woe betide you if you got caught with your rifle loaded in the wrong spots or at the wrong times).

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                  • I find it interesting that the actual people with institutional experience at dealing with an armed, highly trained, populace by and large prefer them to…not be armed without a good reason.

                    I mean I get it. Guns are, by design, rather dangerous things. Even in the hands of people with training, experience, and enforced discipline they’re dangerous.

                    Too many gun owners seem to treat them like fashion accessories or icons, not lethal tools.

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                    • I find it disturbing that as a society, we are fine with disarming a population that trains with weapons to a greater degree & operates under a vastly stricter legal regime (UCMJ is no joke), but letting police walk around armed is A-OK.

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                      • I’m not fine with it. *shrug*.

                        If I had my way, the entire US police force from the FBI down to the smallest town PD that’s just the one guy would get smacked with Peelian Principles until they caught a clue.

                        I’d revamp US policing from the ground up.

                        I find the military base policies interesting, insofar as they show the reality of dealing with a heavily armed populace — which is that it’s just safer all around if they’re not armed without some need.

                        Of course, I’m also annoyed by the constant reference to ‘accidents’ when some kid gets ahold of a gun and someone gets shot. That’s negligence, and criminal negligence at that. But I’m not going to get that changed either. It’ll still be reported as a ‘horrible accident’ that some toddler reached into a purse and picked up a Glock and shot someone, rather than “Idiot gun-owner leaves gun where kids can get it. Held criminally liable”.

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                      • Except that cops unlike troops here in the conus are unlikely to face armed oppostion. Also despite what you say about troops weapons training, few active duty non combat units spend much time handling, training with or firing their assigned weapon.

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                            • Actually, it is you who are ignoring the distinctions I made.

                              Combat troops are better trained & more experienced with their weapons than your average cop. They operate under a legal system that is much stricter & much more willing to severely prosecute bad behavior, especially with regard to the use of force. Police officers, even the ones who really want it, are rarely given the time or resources to train adequately with their firearms, and they operate under a legal system that is usually more than willing to justify & rationalize any & all use of force unless it is such a political hot potato that they can’t.

                              Yet police are not only allowed to carry anywhere & everywhere, but are encouraged to do so.

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                    • PS also the decision to keep soldiers disarmed is a political one. Military regs & the UCMJ, along with the media tone & politics of bases at home, make dealing with a base shooting a (potentially career ending) nightmare for base leadership.

                      Bases in warzones are not under as much media scrutiny.

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                      • Bases in warzones also have “need”. Per my cousin, even deployed in Afghanistan unless they were on specific duties the regs were rather bloodthirsty about their rifles and clips. I think they taped their clips? Something that required a step before they could fire (not counting the safety) with nasty consequences if your weapon wasn’t safed. I don’t remember. I just remember him talking about someone tearing strips off a guy who hadn’t bothered.

                        IIRC, they didn’t carry period unless they were on certain duties, although their rifles were securely stored very near their work posts.

                        I know he didn’t carry his except on patrols or guard duties of some sort.

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                        • i have to check with Zazzy but I think she was actually required to carry when she was on base in Kuwait. But maybe that was only if she left the base. And the requirement in either case was met by a small handgun. But I’ll ask her the details if she remembers.

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                          • I’m sure it varies. I know at times he had his rifle ready, loaded, safety off. Other times it was carried, but safed. Other times it had tape or something. Other times it was stored securely, but could be gotten to in a few moments.

                            All depended on where he was or what he was doing.

                            But Oscar’s right — it was basically all about accidental discharge and safety. Guns are dangerous, even in trained hands. Minimizing accidents seems a no-brainer. Ultimately it comes down to whomever is commanding the base, and balancing risk versus reward.

                            But I can see stateside bases thinking the risk of accidental discharge is a LOT higher than the risk of suddenly needing it — if you’re not guarding the gates or doing patrols.

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                        • I seem to recall the Marines doing something like that. It was less about preventing violence & more to prevent negligent discharge or an infiltrator from grabbing a firearm & using it. The Marines were well practiced at getting that tape off in a big damn hurry.

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                    • Actually, its really only in the last 20 years or so that the miltary has become so unfriendly or scared of weapons. Not very surprising with liberals pushing an irrational fear of weapons.

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                      • Come on you’re not even trying anymore. The Bush administration was in charge for 8 of those years, and Congress, which makes the rules for the military, has been run by Republicans (or split) for all but 4 years over the past twenty.

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                        • Congress makes the rules for the military, really? The only direct involvement that i can think of are changes to the ucmj. The rest are policies and regs that each service set on their own.

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                • Allow me to rephrase the question, then.

                  Have we ever (I mean *EVER*) seen an argument from one of the “well-regulated” people that goes something to the effect of “the regulations that prevent military people on military bases from being armed are unconstitutional”?

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                  • Why would they? I mean seriously, do you think there’s an argument there or are you just asking if there’s an argument there, or are you trying to imply hypocrisy without making the argument?

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                    • I don’t find “hypocrisy” to be particularly interesting beyond the tribute aspect.

                      As for “why would they?”, it’s because the argument that you or I should not be allowed to own guns because the 2nd Amendment only applies to Militias would seem to imply that the 2nd Amendment applies to Militias.

                      Because if there are, in fact, no arguments out there that say that the 2nd Amendment applies to Militias, then the argument that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t apply to you or me but it does apply to Militias is a waste of time. Better to move to a real argument rather than dwell on a facsimile of one.

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                      • I take you don’t think the words “well-regulated” have any meaning there?

                        I mean, when I think of the rules soldiers obey — I mean aren’t the even called “regulations”?

                        So it’d be weird to read that in a well-regulated militia, soldiers cannot have regulations regarding their weapons…

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                        • In the context of the time, well-regulated was meant to be orderly & trained (one of the reasons I support reasonable training requirements for civilian ownership).

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                  • I’m pretty sure the argument becomes quickly nonsensical because I believe the view of the Framers (and the view of American law throughout the centuries) is that the ‘Militia’ and the ‘Military’ are two distinct entities, and the federal government is given specific power in the Constitution to control the Military.

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                      • The happy fun argument is that the 2nd amendment applies to militias and joining the military means you’re not in the militia anymore.

                        (1st amendment rights are also curtailed in the military. 5th and 6th amendment rights are specifically spelled out in the UCMJ)

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                      • This. The militia clause may inform the main statement of the 2nd, but it does not limit it, in such that the fact that volunteer militias are effectively a thing of the past (existing law not-withstanding) does not make the 2nd null & void, in much the same way that the fact that police & military do not quarter themselves in private residences does not render the 3rd null & void.

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                        • in such that the fact that volunteer militias are effectively a thing of the past

                          …?

                          All our current militias are volunteer. Both the National Guard, and the few independent state militias.

                          But I suspect the confusion here is that you’ve bought the ‘The militia is all able-bodied men’ nonsense, with the implication that people can just pick up a gun and be in a militia.

                          No. A militia is just a military composed of non-professional soldiers. They have chains of command, and, like almost all militaries, are created by governments. Sometimes the situation is bad enough (Or that’s just how it works, like in Switzerland.) that a government *opens the doors* to everyone to join, but that’s still the government’s call.

                          Militias are *actual armies*. They are not some random guy with a gun, *even if* he is literally fighting off foreign invaders.

                          2nd amendment promoters are constantly trying to rewrite what that means, trying to claim that non-government organizations they belong to are militias(1), or that everyone is in a militia. That is not how it works.

                          1) Now, just like normal militaries can be created by non-governments (And, of course, what a ‘government’ is is often vague, just ask the IRA or Hamas), militias can too, in some sense. In fact, military forces created by non-governments usually are technically militias, because having full-time soldiers is a bit much for non-governments.

                          But, uh, if those ‘militias’ running around in the woods in the US were *actual* militias, they’d be illegal. You can’t just wander around with an army in America. In fact, I’ve often argue that what these ‘militias’ are doing *actually is* often illegal, because of exactly that. You can get together to drink and practice with guns all you want, but you start being an army and, uh, nope.

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                          • First, don’t assume what I believe or not. If I’d bought the militia non-sense, I’d be screaming about the militia acts & the brave men & women playing at being soldiers out in the woods.

                            Second, the National Guard, etc, are the modern form of the organized militia. There remains the unorganized militia, as well. The difference is primarily one of pay, equipment, and organization. The fact that the organized militia has evolved into a much more formal organization does not nullify the second amendment, it merely renders the preliminary clause moot, leaving the remainder to stand on it’s own.

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                            • There remains the unorganized militia, as well. The difference is primarily one of pay, equipment, and organization.

                              This is one of those sentences that is entirely true, but a really weird way of saying that.

                              As you point out, under the 1902 law, there are technically two classes of militia in this country. The National Guard/Naval Militia, and everyone else.

                              The first group have equipment, have been paid, and been organized into groups and ranks and jobs and whatnot. The second group hasn’t had *any* of that happen, *at all*. The second group has basically had the equivalent of a draft notice issued for their name, but have not actually been told where to show up or had anything happen beyond that.

                              That’s like saying the difference between firefighters and normal people is ‘primarily’ firefighters are paid to stop fires, and are given training and equipment in order to do that. Well…yeah, but I’m not quite sure I understand what’s trying to be said there.

                              The fact that the organized militia has evolved into a much more formal organization does not nullify the second amendment, it merely renders the preliminary clause moot, leaving the remainder to stand on it’s own.

                              I always do this wrong. I always end up stating an important fact in the middle of my theories, so much that people seem to miss that fact, which really *should* change how people think about things.

                              *Regardless* of what people think the intent of the 2nd amendment is and how that intersects with militias, here is a 100% true, verifiable fact: The 2nd amendment was not intended to, and did not originally, restrict *the states* from any sort of gun control they felt like. And if that was *still* true, we’d probably have…a lot of gun control.

                              (Of course, there were various state constitutional rules about ‘the right to bear arms’, but state constitutions are often trivially easy to change.)

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                              • The 2nd amendment was not intended to, and did not originally, restrict *the states* from any sort of gun control they felt like. And if that was *still* true, we’d probably have…a lot of gun control.

                                Which was the whole point behind arguing the MacDonald case, to make sure the 2nd was enforced against the states. As you said, the fact that a lot of state constitutions have (or had in the past) specific clauses similar to the 2nd makes it clear the states understood that to be true.

                                We are (as is often the case) arguing in agreement & just bickering over how things are phrased.

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                            • Right on! And telephones didn’t exist back in 1792 and they wrote “papers” anyway, so the Fourth Amendment clearly does not disallow wiretaps!

                              …I don’t know what you’re arguing.

                              I have not, at any point, made any claims that the 2nd does, or does not, currently allow something.

                              I am making the point that people seem fairly confused about various historical aspects of the 2nd. Like, for example, when passed, it really wouldn’t do *anything* about gun control in generally, because the 2nd didn’t apply to states, and the states were really the level that gun control would be happening in the first 100 years of the US.

                              Or, to put it in the context of what you just said, it’s like everyone who is talking about the 4th amendment seems to, confusingly, think it was written in a time with wiretaps, and the writers intended it to cover them. Or, alternately, the writers intended to *exclude* wiretaps by just saying ‘papers’.

                              When, in reality, that is a really dumbass claim *either way*, because wiretaps *didn’t exist* at the time. Whether or not the 4th *should* apply to wiretaps is an entirely different issue, but as a starting point, we all need to realize that it was not *designed* at a time wiretaps existed, and work from there.

                              And the same with the 2nd amendment.

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              • Have we ever (I mean *EVER*) seen an argument from one of the “well-regulated” people that goes something to the effect of “the laws that prevent military people on military bases from being armed are unconstitutional”?

                I’m still of the opinion that the 2nd amendment is designed to prevent the Federal government from disarming the state militias.

                Here are several things people often forget:
                a) Originally the BoR only applied to Federal behavior, not state (Seriously, this is pretty important)
                b) State militias were basically how US armed forced operated at the time
                c) Constitutionally, the US government is supposed to *arm* the state militias.
                d) The idea that the militia is ‘every man over the age of X’ is, in fact, completely bogus nonsense repeated by very wrong people. Militias, are, in fact, militaries. They are militaries that consist of professional civilians, but the government controls who is in them. (And, yes, *at times* opens the doors to anyone who can hold a gun, but they don’t *have to*.) The National Guard is, quite exactly, what a militia is.

                So let’s look at it through *those* eyes:

                Firstly, if the 2nd only applies to the Federal government, which doesn’t *have* a militia, why does it talk about militias? It obviously is talking about state militias…the same militias that someone else decided that the US government should fund…but if the Federal government is funding them, why would it disarm them…

                So, basically, I think the 2nd is the result of someone saying ‘What if the US government decides to let another country take a state, and did so by not arming that state’s militia, and in fact refusing to let them have arms at all?’

                So the 2nd says ‘Nope. The Federal government cannot control how state militias are armed, or disarm them.’

                Now, it inadvertently was phrased as the Federal government not being able to regulate guns *at all*, but that wasn’t on purpose, that was simply how people assumed the US would work, that the states would be making laws like that.

                This explains is the weird disconnect between the justification part and the actual law part…the people who wrote it assumed that *states* would be making gun control laws, and the only real laws the Federal government might make would be maliciously disarm the state militias.

                And then we got the 14th amendment, and the 2nd was, nonsensically, incorporated unto the states. A law protecting the state’s power to operate militias somehow, insanely, turning into a personal right that meant the *states* couldn’t do something.

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                  • Everything after ‘let’s look at it through those eyes’ are just my ruminations.

                    But I will point out that (a)-(d) are, indeed, factual.

                    And I will also point out that, in light of (a) and (d), a *lot* of what people think the 2nd amendment was for do not make any sense at all.

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                    • No disagreement for a & b. Militia Act of 1903 still defines the reserve militia as all able bodied yada yada. So technically it’s still there. The 1903 act does seem to imply that arming & equipping does fall to the states with federal support (I haven’t read the whole thing or the subsequent Militia & National Defense Acts that are relevant, but that is what my skimming suggests).

                      My ruminations from a logistics viewpoint.

                      Calling up the reserve militia of any state & arming them would be massively expensive, since it would require having a cache of arms, ammo, & gear sufficient to meet the need. And that is before we even get to any notion of basic training & drill. Pretty sure most states & the fed aren’t keeping that as a line item in the budget. To that end, the ability to arm & field a defense force is limited by budget & materials, i.e. if the governments have neither the funds or political will to fund an adequate national guard to see to the defense of the nation, that would be a problem. Allowing citizens to maintain personal weapons alleviates a lot of that concern.

                      That said, that is a logistics headache I would not wish on anyone. The variety of arms & ammo out there, plus the fact that for every Sgt York there are easily a hundred Pvt Pyles – yeesh! I can certainly see why the Swiss have the model they do. Common arms, common ammo, everyone has some basic standard of training.

                      The more I’ve thought about it over the years, the more I am pretty firmly of the mind that while I fully support the civilian ownership of arms, some kind of reasonable training requirement is woefully lacking hereabouts, and the arguments against such are pretty weak tea to me.

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                      • No disagreement for a & b. Militia Act of 1903 still defines the reserve militia as all able bodied yada yada. So technically it’s still there.

                        Well, yes, but my point is that those people are *in* the militia (In theory) *because* the US government *says* they are, not because the militia is defined as that.

                        That said, I’d be very surprised if the courts actually allowed the US government to use the reserve militia in the way laid out in the law.

                        The 1903 act does seem to imply that arming & equipping does fall to the states with federal support

                        The constitution says that arming the Militia fall to the Federal government.

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                      • The US constitution:

                        ‘To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;’

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                        • “a) Originally the BoR only applied to Federal behavior, not state (Seriously, this is pretty important)”

                          If the 2nd truly did come from the Virginia Declaration of Rights(June 1776), it was describing a militia and rights to bear arms as associated to a free state. Pre dating the Articles of Confederation (1781). So in my opinion it is defining free state militia organization, and individual rights.

                          “b) State militias were basically how US armed forced operated at the time”

                          If the 2nd came from the Virginia DOR, there was no official United States at the time of creation. In June 1776 the articles of Confederation hadn’t been written, so there was no official united states, it was outlining the preservation of a free state.

                          “c) Constitutionally, the US government is supposed to *arm* the state militias.”

                          Part of the US Constitution written in 1787 under fear that the new Congress would undermine the militias/state power by not providing funding.

                          -Anything written after (1786) Shays’ Rebellion should be approached with a awareness of federal preservation.
                          -The Virginia DOC authors were not shy about stating that a militia is the whole of a people. I would assume this encompasses immigrants.

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                          • If the 2nd truly did come from the Virginia Declaration of Rights(June 1776), it was describing a militia and rights to bear arms as associated to a free state. Pre dating the Articles of Confederation (1781). So in my opinion it is defining free state militia organization, and individual rights.

                            I didn’t make any claims about ‘individual right’.

                            My point is that the BoR did not, in any way, restrict states until the 14th amendment. *Even if* the 2nd was intended to be an individual right, it’s one the founders don’t seem particularly bothered if the states restrict it. (And at that point in time, gun control laws would have *obviously* been state laws.)

                            OTOH, they didn’t seem particularly bothered if the state restricted free speech, or religion, or all sorts of things, so take that as you will.

                            If the 2nd came from the Virginia DOR, there was no official United States at the time of creation. In June 1776 the articles of Confederation hadn’t been written, so there was no official united states, it was outlining the preservation of a free state.

                            I’m quite not sure of your point there. While there was no ‘United State of America’ at the time the VA DoR was written, it is still true that state militias were how ‘US’ armed forces operated, even if ‘US’ is bit pre-emptively defined there.

                            But, yes, I agree that the Virginia DoR is where the 2nd basically came from.

                            Part of the US Constitution written in 1787 under fear that the new Congress would undermine the militias/state power by not providing funding.

                            Yes.

                            And then a bunch of people said ‘We should forbid the Federal government from doing things’ and other people said ‘But if we forbid those things, we imply it can do anything else’, and etc, etc, and the Bill of Rights was written.

                            And I believe one of those things was trying to forbid the Federal government from disarming the state militias. Yes, the Federal government was *supposed* to fund them, but there was no enforcement mechanism in that, and what was to stop the Feds from saying ‘The funding is zero, that is all the funding you get, and BTW you’re forbidden from buying your own stuff’?

                            The BoR couldn’t do anything about the first part of that, it can’t somehow guess the *currect* funding level and require that. But it *can* say ‘Well maintained armies are important, and thus the Feds can’t stop them from being armed’, with the idea that if the state could, in theory, pick up the slack.

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                            • “And I believe one of those things was trying to forbid the Federal government from disarming the state militias.”

                              At the time of VDOR I think this wasn’t the issue. The ‘well regulated’ part probably was a request to have the militia prepared for combat. At the time volunteers may show up to battle in inconsistant levels of preparedness.

                              I see it as a request to have your stuff together if your going to do battle. This is somewhat echoed in the VDOR as being trained to arms. (It also puts Gordons training request on the table before the constitution was ratified.)

                              Another possibility for the well regulated could have been to keep the militia regulated only to civil power of the body of the people. If the authors reviewed the english BOR they would have found that the papists disarmed the protestants. They would have also had to recently deal with the crown, and various associated corporations attempting to suppress militia and armed populace in general. In that, all three mechanisms are observed at work against an armed free state: church, monarchy/state, corporation.

                              Well regulated could indicate free state civil power be used to avoid capture or suppression of the functions of the militia. In that, the purpose could expand to a much larger field than just a future federal government.

                              Several of the VDOR authors didn’t ratify the constitution because it would be contrary to what they were working towards. The 2nd (and most of the BOR for that matter) in many ways doesn’t belong in a nationalist constitution, as it represents free state principles which run opposite of federalism.

                              In the end it doesn’t matter, power is centralized. the republic was not kept, “liberal democracy” statism is the norm. Most liberals are now the state conservationists.

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                              • At the time of VDOR I think this wasn’t the issue.

                                Huh? How could it be?

                                While I didn’t mention a direct connection to the VA DOR, I knew about it, and agree that you’re correct…the 2nd has origins in that. When the 2nd talks about a well-regulated militia, what it is talking about is what the VA DOR is talking about.

                                The VA DOR presents the idea that the natural form of defense are a well-maintained militias operating at the state level, and Virginia should have one.

                                I, meanwhile, am presenting the idea that the 2nd amendment is an attempt to keep the Federal government from disarming *those things*, not ‘the people’ per se, even if that’s what it literally says. That it wasn’t created to to address a worry about the Federal government disarming ‘people’, which would have been really weird conceptually at the time…it was created to address a worry about the Federal government disarming the *states*.

                                Now, ‘the states’ military, at that time, consisted of militias that were full of normal people, so in *practice*, keeping the Feds from disarming the state’s militias meant keeping the Feds from disarming ‘people’. I.e., if the state’s militaries had been only made of regular soldiers, we’d have a 2nd that forbid the Federal government from disarming *soldiers*. Instead, they were made of people and thus it barred the Federal government from disarming *them*.

                                The point I am sorta coming to is that not only wasn’t the 2nd amendment intended to restrict states from passing gun control laws (Which it obviously couldn’t have been.), in a way it is the exact opposite…it assumes that states *are* going to make up all sorts of laws about their militias and guns both inside and outside of the militia, and the Federal government is not allowed to mess with that.

                                While this point might not be important *legally* anymore, since incorporation, it sorts does present the conclusion that the 2nd amendment (Being an actual state’s right amendment) probably shouldn’t have been incorporated into a *restriction* on states, and even if we accept it has, the history probably should influence the way we *look* at the 2nd.

                                The 2nd (and most of the BOR for that matter) in many ways doesn’t belong in a nationalist constitution, as it represents free state principles which run opposite of federalism.

                                Yes, the argument that ‘We should not explicitly outline freedoms, as that implies the rest can be done’ argument was the reason the BoR wasn’t in the constitution as signed, but created at the same time.

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                  • At one point in the ‘Repeal the 14th discussion’ I think I actually did say ‘I agree! Gun control *should* devolve back to the states.’.

                    Or, if I didn’t say it, I should have. I certainly should start doing it on Facebook, if only to confuse people.

                    But, anyway, I don’t have a problem with the 14th, or even incorporation. I just don’t think the *2nd* amendment should have been incorporated, because I think it’s sorta like the 10th…it’s designed to give the state the power to do something (arm their militia over Federal objections) and thus it’s completely surreal that it’s now used to *restrict* state behavior WRT gun control.

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  1. T1: I got into a mild twitter argument with Michael Drew about this right after the Trump Mobile rally. I still think I’m right, but I wish there was a better source than alternet to back up my side of the argument.

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    • There were pictures of the stadium (during the rally) that looked more than half empty to me. I was surprised it didn’t register. Instead the pictures I saw remind me of Conference USA football games where the producers take pains to avoid showing the emptiness in the stands.

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    • Is this the one where they switched venues?

      I heard a story about how Trump had to move from one venue to another because the first venue only held, like, 2000 people and the new venue held an order of magnitude more than that.

      “He didn’t fill the second venue”, while accurate, seems to focus on trivia to the exclusion of the story.

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      • The issue is the implication that they filled the larger venue. It’s like saying “In a stadium of 70,000, Rice hosted UTEP today…” without mentioning the actual attendance but while mentioning the sellout projections before the game.

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    • No surprise there given the political leanings, but the NLRB isn’t the law of the land. This will get challenged in the courts.

      Setting aside whether or not this change is well in excess of the NLRB’s statutory authority, the new standard is bullshit if only because it’s so poorly defined. That is, unless the intent is to completely kill off outsourcing.

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    • The NLRB did not redefine employees. What they noted was that so many parent corporations exert such strict control over how franchises operate, including nearly all aspects of how employees at the franchise are supposed dress, behave, and get compensated, that for all intents and purposes the employees of a franchise are employees of the parent corporation. If all owners of Burger King or KFC franchises have literally no power over how they are to manage, dress, or compensate their employees than they aren’t really their bosses in any meaningful sense of the word. Even if you take a normally anti-labor side, the trickery revolving around franchises should be too much for anybody.

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      • I expect that kind of response from a lawyer. ;)

        Even if you take a normally anti-labor side, the trickery revolving around franchises should be too much for anybody.

        Even if you take a pro-labor side, you would still need to acknowledge that everything you described above has been standard operating procedure in the fast food franchising business for decades, even before the direct control standard was established in the early 1980’s. The only thing that seems to have changed over the decades is the number of people in these jobs using them as a primary source of income. I’d have to check numbers on that, but that’s my suspicion.

        If all owners of Burger King or KFC franchises have literally no power over how they are to manage, dress, or compensate their employees than they aren’t really their bosses in any meaningful sense of the word

        They have complete and direct supervisory authority of their employees. They are their bosses. That’s not the issue. The issue is that even if they do have direct supervisory authority, the totality of the economics of the business is such that it effectively restrains the ability of franchisees to pay living wages to workers (which is basically true). Part of it is because of the limits that the franchisors place on the franchisees with respect to controlling the revenue and expense sides of the business (in addition to the costs that go directly into the pockets of the franchisors).

        The smart organized labor argument is this: even if franchisees wanted to collectively bargain with unions, the economics of the business as driven the requirements the franchisors place on franchisees are such that they can’t afford to do so. They see the franchisors as the golden geese.

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        • The smart argument is to argue that conditions meet the standard of the legal definition of the status you’re trying to apply to the entity you’re pursuing. Which is what they argued to get the decision.

          If the decision is overturned then that probably means that argument was stretched vis-a-vis the facts. But you still have to argue according the standards that actually exist in the law.

          Why would the “smart” argument be, “But those are the guys with all the money! So those are the guys we need to say are the employers!”, which seem like pretty much the argument you’re saying would be “smart”?

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          • It’s the smart argument because knowing what I think I know about the franchising business, the degree of control exerted over franchisees (all of it not related to employment) and the thin profit margins being made by the franchisees, it’s a smart argument because the last thing you want is to have your opponents tar and feather you as trying to undermine small business, which is what a lot of franchisees are. I don’t see how labor unions are going to win over franchisees, but at least they can try to win them over to their side by arguing that this is more about the parent companies. Otherwise, they’ll get even less cooperation from franchisees.

            The smart argument is to argue that conditions meet the standard of the legal definition of the status you’re trying to apply to the entity you’re pursuing. Which is what they argued to get the decision.

            Just like in Citizens United and Hobby Lobby. Come on now…

            If the decision is overturned then that probably means that argument was stretched vis-a-vis the facts. But you still have to argue according the standards that actually exist in the law.

            Yes, and what we should do rather than continuing to speculate, since the case in question has nothing to do with franchising but rather outsourcing, is read the decision.

            http://apps.nlrb.gov/link/document.aspx/09031d4581d99106

            My view is that the NLRB is trying to do what should be done through the legislative process. It is stretching the boundaries of labor law to deal with one of the biggest enemies of workers trying to organize – outsourcing. The case in question involves outsourcing not franchising.

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            • Just like in Citizens United and Hobby Lobby. Come on now…

              What was not smart about the arguments made there? Or they didn’t argue pursuant to the definitions they were trying to apply?

              I don’t follow.

              I guess I’m not sure what kind of argument you’re critiquing. A legal argument or a p.r. argument. I think they can quite easily make the legal arguments they’re making and say it’s about the parent companies. It seems like that is what it’s about, ultimately.

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              • I follow you now. I couldn’t tell where you were going as well.

                The smart argument I was referring to was how this tries to get sold in the court of public opinion. Obviously, there are people that are going to be pro-worker no matter what and vice versa. For the people in the middle, a pro-union, pro-franchisee argument may be the most persuasive.

                As far as the legal argument, sure they can say it and have. The ruling isn’t the first time I’ve seen them. I read a number of the amicus briefs on both sides. They have to make the argument that they’re within the law or they’re going to lose in court. They know this. Whether it’s a good or bad legal argument I don’t know because i have spent almost no time looking at the precedent cases and don’t know how each side is interpreting them.

                I’m a little more confident in my belief when I say trying to create a set of rules around an indirect standard is going to cause all sorts of headaches. At the very least, right or wrong, a direct control standard is pretty cut and dry.

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            • “My view is that the NLRB is trying to do what should be done through the legislative process.”

              Welcome to modern governance. “Fuck legislation. That takes too long and the Republicans just vote ‘no’ on everything anyway. We’ll handle it through Executive Branch rulemaking and, if that fails, just claim it’s a Constitutional right to not be poisoned by genetically-altered toxins and have the Supreme Court take care of it.”

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          • I find it interesting that the wails about the ruling amount to “Well heck, if we have to treat them like employees, there just isn’t any point to outsourcing now!”

            Because, well, that was the whole point, wasn’t it, to enjoy all the benefits of millions of employees without the burden of treating them like such.

            It just reminds me of one of those tax loophole dodges where a clever accountant manages to redefine profit as a loss, then when the loophole is closed by the IRS, screams about new taxes.

            The “independent contractor” stuff was always just a loophole, expanded and abused way beyond its natural justification.

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            • I find it interesting that the wails about the ruling amount to “Well heck, if we have to treat them like employees, there just isn’t any point to outsourcing now!”

              It’s the potential for legal liability. A franchisor like Wendy’s is not going to have any real-time knowledge of a store manager at a franchisee location potentially violating labor law. That’s not the way the business model is set up. Make Wendy’s a joint employer and they’re going to need to because they may be partly responsible for it. Obviously, a franchisee model where the franchisor pays little to no attention to the employer-employee relations at the store level will no longer work. Why not ditch the franchise model going forward and operate company-owned locations? From a liability standpoint, it poses the least amount of risk.

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              • “It’s the potential for legal liability.”

                To extend this: If employees work for the franchisee, that’s the only one they can sue. But if they work for the parent company, they can sue that company–and that’s a huge company with lots of money (and the attitude that settlements are better than lawsuits because they’re over faster.)

                So before this decision, if a line cook at a Wendy’s in Sacramento worked through her break without telling her boss, she could only sue the owner of that Wendy’s franchise for labor-law violations. And he probably doesn’t have much money, and he could just declare bankruptcy and let a judge decide whether the line cook actually gets paid anything. Afterwards, though, the line cook can sue Wendy’s Inc., and they’ll probably give her a couple dozen grand just to go away.

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                  • The employee can still claim a violation of wage-hour law and sue for it. And–as I said–if they can go after ConHugeCo Inc instead of Joe Doakes the franchise owner, they’re more likely to do it instead of just taking their extra hour of pay.

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          • Actually, it’s plenty relevant because the decision is being framed that it’s actually more compliant with the precedent set in the early 80’s than the current standard. I haven’t been through the whole thing yet to figure out why, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to completely wrap my head around the more technical matters.

            The fact pattern is interesting because it involves a recycling facility that’s owned by the company. Some of the employees that work at the facility (mostly on the outside) are employees of the company but the people that work inside of it are brought in via a third party contractor. There are separate supervisors for each of the employee groups (company and contractor) and there are documented situations where the company supervisors witnessed the outsourced employees violating policy, brought it up to the contractor and the contractor acted upon it.

            Not only that, the company sets the hours, belt speeds, provides training, etc. There seems to be so much overlap between the two groups that it’s not unreasonable to consider the parent company a joint employer (I still need to read the decision).

            How this ultimately applies to franchisees I don’t know. I’m still reading this.

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            • It *is* true that the NLRB’s decision was motivated by the dodge in question. Employment law only allows you to sue your actual employer for workplace-safety violations, and so firms will use contractors instead of employees as a liability shield. If, e.g., I’m injured by broken glass because the recycling company wouldn’t give me gloves, then I can’t file a workplace-safety claim against the recycling company; I have to file it against the contract firm that is my actual employer (same with any worker’s comp claims.) And the contract firm can easily declare bankruptcy if my claims look too big; it’s not like they have any kind of capital investment to worry about liquidating, the way the recycling company does.

              It’s not actually a *bad* decision that the NLRB is making; it’s just that, as with most government things, it’s gonna screw small businesses a lot harder than it screws the big ones it’s aimed at.

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      • Yes they have redefined employee. From the NYT article ““It’s so far from the reality of what actually takes place in the business that it can’t have any practical application,” Mr. Adams said. “McDonald’s doesn’t control these employees — it doesn’t hire them, it doesn’t train them, it doesn’t supervise them, it doesn’t pay them, it doesn’t even have their Social Security numbers.”” How can an employer have no knowledge or control over those things and really be an employer? McDonald’s doesn’t know who those people are or really care. They only care that the franchisee meets the terms in their contract with McD’s for using their business model.

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        • Many, perhaps even most actual working class people disagree with this statement. You might want to consider why but individual workers who have to negotiate with big employers seems to like being able to bargain collectively rather than individually.

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          • I don’t deny that cartelization is a good deal for the cartel members. The point is that it’s bad for everyone else. Not just owners, but consumers as well.

            Anyway, my point is that being opposed to labor cartelization doesn’t make you anti-labor any more than being opposed to business cartelization makes you anti-business. I’m sure you’re right that some people disagree with that. That has little bearing on its correctness.

            I mean, I earn quite a bit more money as a worker than as an investor, so that makes me labor. Am I anti-me?

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            • If you look at from the point of a consumer than your right. Most people have to work for a living though and unionization makes for better working conditions. For a lot of us that is more important than our life as consumers.

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  2. B1: As summer winds down, Denver and its western suburbs are getting a rash of bear visits. A sequence of unusual weather events have resulted in reduced natural food supplies up in the foothills, so the bears are foraging farther afield.

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      • We can hope. The Congress critters from the western states have introduced a steady stream of bills with (western) bipartisan support over the last few years. Rep. Paul Ryan, chair of the House budget committee, shot all of them down. Rep. Ryan appears to have it in for the Forest Service generally. He’s moved on to Ways and Means, but I don’t have much expectation that things will change — of 22 Republicans on the House budget committee, there’s only one from any of the states west of the Great Plains.

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        • This strikes me as more of the East-West divide rather than D v R. I get that some conservatives have it in for the Forest Service, but since congress does not seem to have any interest in giving the states more latitude in managing wilderness lands, they need to do something. They can’t just keep letting the west burn every year.

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          • This strikes me as more of the East-West divide rather than D v R.

            Precisely.

            They can’t just keep letting the west burn every year.

            Would you care to make a small wager on how long they’re willing to let the West burn? This is one of the things that some people predicted when the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act passed Congress without a single “aye” vote from the western states — that the non-West, having taken permanent charge of the federal lands in western states, would neglect them.

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  3. CJ4: At least two of the eight items are “this is true some places, but not all.” I’m not sure that this constitutes debunking a myth. It seems to me more of a clarification of a partial truth.

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  4. F4: Sorority rush is very much an exclusionary process, and the right steps would be to get rid of the thing entirely. And maybe fraternities, too. The dress itself is kind of mistaking the trappings for the thing.

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  5. T3: Interestingly enough, Kevin Drum made a similar observation. Drum believes that Trump is the candidate for people who don’t pay attention to politics and don’t understand that the President is not the boss of Congress. He thinks that people who like Trump like his Apprentice persona and think it will get things done.

    F1: To some what go against the recycling graveyard practice, there have been stories about towns in Eastern Europe raiding Jewish graveyards for tombstones because who cares about the Jews? So it can be ethnically insensitive.

    P3: Probably not. This is a we met the enemy and he is us problem more than a grifting and corruption problem. Cory Booker is right and solving mass incarceration is going to require lower prison terms and jail sentences for violent offenders but this is going to be very hard to do. This seems to be a collective action problem because everyone has there special pleading about why crime X should not be included in overall reform for prison sentences.

    CJ1: Legal Realists have been arguing this since the 1930s.

    CD1: I think a lot of people would spend their lives without a mate if deep debt was a deal breaker because of student-loans.

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  6. CJ2: You can add elected law enforcement positions like Sheriff or DA to the list. Prosecutorial discretion requires immunity from electoral politics. Much of the more aggressive prosecutorial actions come from the idea that if the DA looks soft on crime than the DA is going to lose. A DA that basically gets his or her job by appointment rather than election is probably going to be more willing to do things that the public might not like. It is going to be a long time before Americans get rid of elected judges, DAs, and other law enforcement officials because many Americans are wed to such things as being very democratic.

    CD4: I really wish that articles like this would take in mind that more than a few people have some really sucky love lives for a variety of reasons. The stereotypical person who delays marriage is either portrayed as a person having a wild fun time for the most part or if single, a complete loser. There are people out there who would really like to be in a relationship or at least have some fun and who aren’t complete social misfits but simply can’t get into a relationship.

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  7. T1- Mobile officials confirmed it was 30,000 the next day (the linked article was from the night of the rally, so I’m not sure where they got there number other than their eyeballs).

    Maybe Mobile officials just decided to confirm whatever Trump claimed, or something in the ballpark. But that would be pretty surprising to me.

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    • Which takes me back to mid-major college football, where they talk about a 30,000 people being there and the crowd looking like…

      That isn’t the only far shot that I saw, and at least one of them looked a lot worse. And I haven’t seen any panoramic shot of a stadium 3/4 full. half-capacity, or 20,000, looks about right to me.

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      • Not sure why everyone is so fixated on how many people were sitting in seats at the other end of the stadium.

        Was the crowd as sparse as that picture looks on the whole filed, or did they pack up close the the stage as the event got closer?

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        • The stadium only holds 40,000. To claim over 30,000 in attendance, that’s a lot of empty seats even accounting for people on the field and the other half being reasonably packed.

          As for why Mobile would confirm the inflated figure, they have every incentive to. The stadium being a draw is good for the stadium and good for the city. Especially since the stadium doesn’t have a good reputation. On the stadium website, the size of the crowd is advertised heavily.

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          • I wasn’t wondering about why they might. It’s plausible.

            I just think it’s kind of remarkable that we’re going down the road of tossing out the officially confirmed figures of rally sizes. I wanted to confirm thats what we’re doing now.

            It doesn’t make a lot of difference; rally size sweepstakes is more of parlor game than anything that really matters. But at the same time, it’s something that every campaign eventually always sees reason enough to get into. It seems to me that it’s always been the case that those things got sorted out by local officials, who were preemptively trusted to be giving the best estimate they could without putting too much into it. But apparently that’s not how it’ll be going forward.

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  8. T2, a brokered convention where we don’t know, going in, who will win.

    I think this may happen; as I’ve said, I think Trump’s a coyote; a wild card, thrown in to shake the game up.

    The mitigating factor is that we’re focused on Trump, now.

    Next month, the Pope’s coming to town. That’s what’s going to wash this out of our systems. Trump will not survive the Pope’s visit, I do not believe. He’s a coyote, calling his pack out into the moonlight where they’ll all do something foolish; hopefully leaving humankind better off after it’s all over. That is the tradition.

    So the predictive question here is which candidate best withstands the pope’s light?

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  9. T3:

    I’m not usually a Bunch fan, but he’s hit it on the head here. Pop culture is, as always, largely concentrated stupidity, and with the demise of high culture, it’s more influential than ever. I’ve grown resigned to seeing people I know to be quite intelligent adults being fans of pro wrestling and comic-book-hero movies and TV shows, and not as a guilty pleasure but as their main form of entertainment. At least now we know where it all leads.

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    • What I’ve noticed in a lot of people born from say 1975-1990 is a purposeful attempt of redefining what it means to be an adult. Specifically, the cultural aspects of adult hood. The new thing to say is “I am an adult. I have a job with responsibilities. I pay my bills, etc. Why is adulthood defined by my cultural likes and dislikes. Why can’t I like comic books, etc.?”

      I am not sure what the genesis of this argument is but it seems very widespread (or I just know a lot of people in fandom) but it seems pretty strong. There does seem to be a strong sense of rebellion against anything that can be considered high-culture. The argument seems to be “never grow up” or lose that childish sense of wonder.

      So I have friends who post articles on how to build professional-grade pillow/blanket fort. I just don’t get the desire of why this is something to do.

      FWIW, I have been called an intentionally cantankerous snob. On the other hand, people say this makes me witty and I’ve also been described as being the most erudite/cultured person that people know.

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      • , I still think that the distinction between adult, as in mature, entertainment, and kid’s entertainment is more or less a relic of the growth of mass entertainment in the late 19th century. I’m not of the school that childhood is a recent invention and before a certain time kid’s were viewed as little adults. However, for most of Western history people enjoyed the same culture and past times regardless of their age. Class and gender generally marked differences in entertainment more than anything else. Children’s books did not appear as an identifiable sub-genre of literature until the late 18th century in the United Kingdom.

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      • FWIW, I have been called an intentionally cantankerous snob. On the other hand, people say this makes me witty and I’ve also been described as being the most erudite/cultured person that people know.

        “Stay thirsty, my friends.”

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      • I also think your blaming the wrong generation. The desire to hold on to the culture of youth was started by the Baby Boomers with rock music, a love for jeans and sneakers, science fiction, and comic books. 1946 and not 1975 is the important year. If you want something to blame this on, blame it on the decrease in religious faith. The argument that people need to grow up and leave their childhood culture behind is basically a religious one. Religions or some of the more intense secular ideologies like the most serious forms of Marxism and all forms of fascism tell people to ignore frivolity and focus on the deeper, more serious things in life.

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      • FWIW, I have been called an intentionally cantankerous snob. On the other hand, people say this makes me witty and I’ve also been described as being the most erudite/cultured person that people know.

        Middle-age is when you realize that this is not a signal about you but a signal about the people in your circle.

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        • Yeah, it’s a weird dynamic. A rebellion against high culture only exists to the extent that a high culture exists, which means … well … that it exists! So why would anyone gives a rats patooi if some folks rebel against it? I mean, the whole concept of a “high culture” is that its advocates are rebelling against art’s lower forms, no?

          “People say that you’ll die. Faster than without water. Scare your sons, scare your daughters.”

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          • But I’m also not sure that the rebellion exists. Disinterest or failure to consume does not a rebellion make.

            I’m not a big fan of art museums. They just don’t really move the needle for me. Some are more interesting than others but I’m unlikely to visit the Met unless there is a special exhibition that draws me in and if I do end up there, I usually just want to see the Egyptian temple. Does the fact that I’d rather go to the Museum of Natural History or Central Park or a baseball game or sports bar than the Met mean I’m participating in the “rebellion”?

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            • For some, I’d say the answer is obvs “yes”! “If you’re not with us you’re agin us!”

              I’m with ya. I don’t know what “rebellion” means in this context except as a psychologically based equation with folks who don’t affirmatively advocate.

              And if that’s the case, then I’m totes in rebellion against High Art, since I think 99% of it (or what I’ll selectively determine to be “it” if challenged!) is not only useless but inclining towards destructive.

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  10. T4:

    From the second link:

    ThinkProgress—the master left-wing propaganda think tank that gives the mainstream media their daily marching orders

    Is that sarcasm? If so, well done, but it’s hard to tell these days,

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  11. CJ4: In my state, if you show up for traffic court and the cop doesn’t, and you plead not guilty, you walk.

    CD1 Hell yes it’s a reason. It’s one thing if it’s 200K for a surgeon’s medical education and the person is actually working in that field. It’s another thing if it’s for “30K for a film career” that’s going nowhere, or ” a super-cool $7,000 worth of credit card debt I’d also accumulated with him.”

    “That seemed like a shitty thing to do—asking my husband to help me pay off the debt I acquired with my ex” Yes, it is.

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    • Back home, you first had to show up to a group hearing. The judge would then explain that it’s your right to a trial, but don’t do it if you’re just hoping the cop won’t know. He will drop everything and drag the officer in, if needed, and if found guilty he will come down on you like a ton of bricks.

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      • Here, it used to be well known that cops often wouldn’t show up to court for traffic tickets – I think the court dates were scheduled for their days off, but I want to say they actually weren’t paid to go to court. So of course, many many people took the chance the cop would not show, and had it pay off for them (why would he show, if he wasn’t getting paid to)?

        They fixed that, adjusting the court date scheduling and making sure cops got paid to be there, and from what I understand, the odds of the cops not showing up are now very, very low. So this route is no longer tried as often.

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      • Hell, I got a ticket a while back…3 points, 300 dollars on the face for doing 78 in a 55 (it was late at night). Showed up for traffic court…cop’s a no show. All the stuff you said about the “group hearing” is covered by the judge here at the start of the trial session, which is about 50 folks per. Last judge even went on at length about how to plead if the cop doesn’t show up or “the state has no witness to testify against you”.

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  12. re: brokered conventions:

    Just thinking out loud here, but maybe the more likely issue isn’t whether the convention will be brokered, but whether it will be significantly non-unanimous. That is, maybe a significant chunk of delegates, perhaps nowhere near a majority, but more than just a handful, will refuse to vote for the main nominee.

    I seem to remember in 1992 that a large number of Jerry Brown delegates threatened not to vote for Clinton. That might have been just a ploy to make their candidate visible, but I imagine that type of thing is a lot more likely and while it wouldn’t be as interesting to watch as a truly brokered convention, it’d be interesting enough for prime time.

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  13. consensus messaging…

    I think the smarties are missing an important failure of consensus messaging when it comes to science. While there are many that will succumb to the message of majority, there are still those that know that science is not proved by consensus. Science is verifiable and the results of testing are reproducible. Only then can the science be “settled”. Climate change science is, from my investigation, proved by projections made by computer models ( as is briefly hinted to in this article). As the predictions fail to represent reality, the skeptics are only given reinforcement to their belief. Lack of objectivity is seemingly overwhelming and fear based campaigns to stir emotional necessity for agreement drives the wedge of polarity deeper. The believers by faith in the word of consensus and the deniers by understanding science become less likely to have convesations that would find resolution to everyone’s concerns.

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  14. Here, an attempt at gerrymandering a business community improvement district goes horribly(wonderfully) wrong, leaving a single college student to decide.

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  15. Pop Quiz time. Who said

    “We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in and then when your time is up—whether it’s 3 months or 6 months or 9 months, 12 months, however long your visa is—then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me, it’s time to go,'”?

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  16. Is Ken Starr back on the GOP payroll?

    A former State Department employee who helped Hillary Rodham Clinton set up her private email server said he will assert his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before the House committee on Benghazi.

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      • greg,

        I have to admit I was wrong during Obama’s reelection campaign when I criticized the GOP for focusing on the Benghazi non-story while there were some really ripe political scandals out there which could hurt Obama specifically and Dems generally (like the IRS scandal). What I failed to realize was that way back when they were playing a long-game. They needed time to line out the nets, fire up the engines and load up on sun-screen to go on a much needed gefiltefishing expedition.

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        • There are many dynamics behind this.

          There is the whole “court of law” thing. There is the whole “court of public opinion” thing. There is the whole “optics right before an election” thing.

          I would be more than happy enough to talk about his legal and Constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination. Hell, we all know that cops and courts can’t be automatically trusted to not trump up all sorts of charges after the fact if they can’t find evidence for the stuff they’re looking for (see, for example, Martha Stewart).

          The fact that the guy immediately clammed up, said “I plead the fifth” and, I assume, is answering all questions with “talk to my lawyer” demonstrates that he’s, at least!, smart enough to administer a private email server.

          If we want to wander into “court of public opinion” territory or “optics prior to an election” territory, let me know. There might be interesting veins to dig into in that area of the mine.

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          • I would bet the calculation by Hills team is that while it might look bad for him to take the 5th that is better then whatever hash congress would make of whatever he said. It hasn’t mattered one iota that nothing has been found about Bengahzi even after repeated investigations by the R’s. The R’s and press will take whatever the IT dude said in the worst way and as evidence of something or other. Clammed up just avoids having to deal with that. I’m guessing the H team knows they will be dealing with this until next year no matter who testifies, what is found and irregardless of charges. The narrative is set, its just not certain who gets speaking roles yet.

            The IT dude is clearly smart enough to know he would be the depository of a mega crap ton of conspiracy poo and be a Fox news star for weeks, none of which is good in any way for him.

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            • The IT dude is clearly smart enough to know he would be the depository of a mega crap ton of conspiracy poo

              Well, dealing with potential and actual poo (and we’ve moved to actual poo land (edit: actual political poo) at this point) is the politics part of politics, yeah?

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      • Yeah, once again, the optics of this look really bad. Just bad politics. A spokesperson for Hillary said that she encouraged the guy to testify and all that. But he ain’t.

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  17. Looks like Kim Davis, the KY clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to anyone for religious reasons (??, oh yeah, the gay) is now in jail for contempt of court. Which just goes to show: if you mess with the sacred bull you’re gonna get the secular horns.

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