Morning Ed: United States {2017.09.11.M}

[US1] Some reflections on 9/11. And, the story of The Falling Man.

[US2] A brief history of American Communism during the Red Scare.

[US3] Lyman Stone looks at purchasing power in the fifty states.

[US4] “I don’t mind the sun sometimes and the things it makes grow
I have the best law in my neighborhood if you didn’t know…”

[US5] We all know about Puerto Rico’s troubles, but things aren’t looking so good in the Virgin Islands.

[US6] Tyler Cowen cites Virginia as a multicultural success story.

[US7] Margaret Biser used to give tours of plantations, and relays the questions she would get about slavery. One can only imagine the frustration of people who went to see a tour of a plantation only to get story after story about slavery…

[US8] Boy. This story

[US9] Jeff Jacoby writes of the success of America’s melting pot.

[US0] https://twitter.com/AvtarRamSingh/status/895483212792823808?s=09


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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167 thoughts on “Morning Ed: United States {2017.09.11.M}

          • It’s complicated, right. Women are indeed sexual, and thus the idea that we are all pristine virgins doesn’t match reality at all. Women (#notallwomen) like sex. We can be crass. We can be kinky. That said, testosterone does stuff that estrogen does not. The male libido really is a more focused thing than the female libido — again speaking in general terms, #notallsexualbeings.

            If I were to summarize the difference, I’d say that the male libido is more prone to addictive, obsessive behavior. For example, it’s hard to find many woman willing to spend an entire weekend masturbating and watching pornography.

            Which doesn’t mean we never masturbate nor watch pornography. (Heck, one of my poly partners makes pornography. And yes, I’ve watched it. It’s really hawt. That said, I cannot image watching it for 8 hours straight, which is something a man might do.)

            By contrast, plenty of women will stay up late reading Fifty Shades of Abusive Sex, and we love every minute of it. (I’m currently reading The Juliette Society, which I suppose is slightly better than Fifty Shades. YMMV.) But still, even Fifty Shades has a plot, with characters and situations and so forth. It’s not the same as porn.

            Note, a lot of people want to find symmetries between men and women in terms of sex and relationships. I’m talking about ideas such as, “Men are trying to coax women into sex while women try to coax men into relationships.” Although these patterns exist, I’d caution against trying to find symmetry. It is not symmetrical.

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              • Oh bah!

                I certainly won’t defend the literary quality of the book, which deserves all the criticism it has received, at least any criticism based on its writing quality. (I have little interest in most feminist critiques of the book, which generally fail to understand how sexiness works. Plus closing the book is the safe word.)

                That said, I’ll very much defend the readers of the book. They’re fine. It’s totally okay to like a book because you find it sexy, or you like the characters, or for any reason actually, even if snobs look down on it. After all, who the fuck cares what snobs think? They’re ninnies and killjoys.

                I doubt fans of the book find reading it painful. I expect the opposite is true, which is totally fine.

                Let people like things!

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                  • — You’re missing the point. People like that story with those characters written in that way. To say “it’s the same plot” is true, in the sense that there are only [low number] basic plots. A story about a submissive woman sexually dominated by a powerful man will likely fall into a pretty narrow field of possibility. But so what? Many things have the same plot, but people still like different things according to their particulars.

                    Let people like things.

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                • v,
                  Are you going to defend people who find books boring (or, for that matter, don’t read the books), and then claim to be fans?

                  Yes, you can be fans of something, but I’m going to bitch at you if you’re nominating a book for an award, and you haven’t even read it.

                  freakin’ commies.

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            • It has been my (not especially well informed) impression that a lot of gender difference stuff is not very well explained by testosterone – in particular addictive behaviour, whether it’s porn watching or gambling or substances, isn’t particularly related to testosterone levels.

              That is, I’d thought it was more like, patriarchy produces messed up social structures that produce men with trauma coping techniques that turn toward the addictive – all of which probably nudged along here and there by testosterone – but that the testosterone levels of specific men couldn’t very usefully be predicted by their addictive behaviours.

              Except maybe insofar as testosterone generally goes with high sex drive, and high sex drive + trauma + addictive coping mechanisms generally goes with compulsive sexual behaviours like porn watching, whereas low sex drive + trauma + addictive coping mechanisms generally goes with compulsive activities of some other sort.

              It’s entirely possible I’m wrong on that though. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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              • Your understanding is very similar to my understanding, and while I won’t wrangle about it, I am fairly well-informed on the topic.

                So whether convinces you or not, you weren’t coming out of nowhere with that framing. :)

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              • The human brain is a weird, subtle thing. There are so many confounding, conflicting impulses and variables…

                Sometimes I wonder if the quants who went into economics because they wanted something challenging to do with math should have gone into neuroscience instead. :)

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              • [cw: veronica talks about sex]

                Well, I’m speaking from personal experience, both my own experience on HRT, along with the experiences of my trans friends: hormones make an enormous difference in libido. Add to this the fact I know a lot of porn performers, cam girls, and escorts (both current and former). They talk to me about their work. Short version: horny men have a lizard-brain mode that horny women do not (#notallmen, #notallwomen, etc). This is really clear if you watch who obsessively spends money on sex workers.

                You can say this is because socialization, which I suppose it plays a role. But that doesn’t explain the change of behavior you find among those of us who go through gender transition. Did changing my name and pronouns change my libidio? When I first wore I miniskirt, do you think my libido dropped? (I assure you, the first time I put on a pretty skirt, my libido shot through the roof.) The point is, the big difference was hormones.

                For trans women, when we start HRT, our libido goes down. By contrast, the libidos of trans men shoot up, when they begin T.

                Of course, there are two sides of this coin. One is the hormone levels in the blood. The other is the hormone receptors in the brain. Not all brains respond to hormones in the same way. (In fact, that is probably a major reason why trans folks respond so well to HRT. It’s not just that our bodies change in ways we like. It is also the fact that our brain structure “expects” the different hormones levels.) But the point is, it is not only testosterone. Other brain stuff plays a huge role. Likewise, I wouldn’t be surprised if socialization plays a role. Why wouldn’t it?

                But still, testosterone matters. That lizard-brain response, this is pre-rational stuff. I know the feeling. I used to have it, back before HRT.

                This lizard-brain thing — it turns out to be very lucrative for my friends. Horny guys will keep throwing money at sexy girls, to get a few more minutes on cam.

                It’s not like that for women, neither cis nor trans. We are sexual (some of us, #notall*). Myself, I’m very sexual. But — and it’s hard to describe the difference. My sexual feelings are more diffuse, more manageable. They’re present, but in a low key way. If I’m with one of my partners, and if I’m feeling sexual, or she is, we can cuddle and kiss and feel close, and the feelings will come. They can become very intense, but they never reach the kind of single-minded hyperfocus I experienced as a testosterone person, which reduces my partner(s) to mere erotic objects.

                It’s hard to explain.

                tl;dr — I’ve changed my hormones. The difference was huge.

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                • content note: maribou talks about sex frankly and a lot.
                  I have been hypersexual in the way you describe as testosterone-induced, not in the diffuse fuzzy way you describe as more what most women feel, so many times. I’d assume that had something to do with my hormone levels, etc., given that I’m genderfluid (though have never been on T), except that so have many many cis women I know and some of the trans women I know (both post starting hormone-therapy and even post bottom surgery). Not like, all of them. But of cis women my age I’ve ever discussed it with (which is a lot more than previously mum-about-this-stuff and very-shy-with-women me ever would have expected, because, as you know, women definitely do discuss such things :D ) …. More than 50 percent. Most of whom have a partner, have had a partner since they were in their 20s, and regularly want to bonk the brains out of their partner not after cuddling and warming up to the idea, but as in GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW AND GET NAKED. (Many of these women also like reading erotic novels, but not in conjunction with the aforementioned urgently sexual-to-the-point-of-objectification stage.)

                  Some number of them (myself included) will admit to having been hypersexual in a masturbate-compulsively-all-weekend stage rather often, earlier in their lives.

                  I honestly think the gap in, for eg, paid sex work, mostly comes about these days from the difference between how hard it is for socially awkward female-presenting people vs socially awkward male-presenting straight people to get laid *because of stigma and because of safety*. (Pardon the coarseness but that’s really what I’m talking about, getting laid, not making love.)

                  I never ever, in female presentation, had to struggle at all to get enough action to satisfy my coarsest, non-emotional-est urges. Not in person, not online, not with men, not with lesbians – I mean, basically if I sat out on my stoop for an hour in Montreal, I could’ve taken care of it. (I had more effective methods but I literally would get sincerely propositioned by college-educated men just sitting on my stoop in a t-shirt and shorts, reading a book.)

                  I married at 21, and we’re monogamous, but honestly even now at 40 and > 300 pounds, I have plenty and plenty and plenty of opportunities. Because *as a woman*, people feel comfortable approaching me for casual sex. Hell, I could be *really fussy* and still get laid every night if I really wanted to. (Jay and I have lots of wonderful sex and I’m not *bragging* about getting hit on this much. I’m saying it’s easy. Were I more male-presenting, not so easy. When I *am* more male-presenting, the attention dries up completely, which since I’m not usually in hyperfocus mode for more than a few days anymore, is convenient. I actually get sick of being hit on all the time. Which I mention mostly to say – you have experiences I do not, but I possibly have ones you do not. It was truly *remarkable* in more ways than one, to be a hot college kid who would get approached for sex a lot by women and men as a woman, and by guys in gay clubs, but not ever by women when presenting male… I didn’t go home with most of the approachers, b/c, as I mentioned, spoiled for choice and had good safe hookups galore at that age plus a lot of the time would rather stay home with my hand for the weekend anyway.)

                  Women – and I believe you are one of these women based on things you’ve said previously, but obviously, #notall etc – do not, in most situations, feel comfortable or safe approaching straight guys for casual sex. Because patriarchy and conditioning and all kinds of things. They have to test out the waters and make sure things are safe through a warm-up process and etc. Overall, safety pushes women to select for comfortable, safe ways of having sex. Most of the hypersexual women I mentioned above had plenty of friends-with-benefits, etc., relationships before they got married and those were just that – let’s have sex for three days and then once the urge to bonk you specifically passes, play poker every Sunday for a few months until the urge returns, kind of hookups. Objectifying (yes, really, I can tell the difference, *objectifying*) people you already know you can trust is generally the safest bet (it certainly saves money and as I said, for women there’s little need to risk being sexually rejected since the person who wants to have sex with you (be it dude or less shy lady) is likely to bring it up first anyway) and the risk of at least mildly more-aggressive-than-okay sexual behavior is so high for women just going out on the street… why would any of us seek that out from random dudes?

                  Those of us that were seeking it out, from slightly less random dudes, there was so much stigma and so much danger of being called a slut *just for liking it too much* and then when you potentially added in liking it too much with multiple partners, oh my – that it wasn’t until 30s-40s, among trusted friends, that I started to regularly hear about insatiability present and past.

                  Were there less sexual violence, I hypothesize there would be way more hypersexual women, and way fewer men for whom cams feel like a much better choice than treating women they “have feelings for” – but don’t actually trust enough to let their hypersexual guard down with – in an objectifying way. Because right now women are trained, mostly, that being objectified by a man in person is not “unpleasant” or “unromantic” alone, but *dangerous*. It takes a lot to overcome that training, and I’m honestly not sure it’s worth the risks for most people.

                  That said, I can see that your hypothesis is every bit as valid as mine and the added direct experience of changing your hormones probably feels pretty damn unshakable. But the added direct experience of literally being hit on by everyone and his dog *except straight women who thought I was a man* as a 20-something is pretty unshakable for me, too. And it seems like we both have similar sets of friends with very different sets of experiences. Mine skew more married (whether monogamous or not, whether with sex work experience or not) I think? Which if true would tend to support the safety thing also.

                  Sigh. After saying all that, I am now mostly thinking about how for the last 5 years my stupid flare ups of my stupid autoimmune diseases and the stupid drugs I had to take and etc. have pretty much cut me off from being hypersexual any more. Like a few times a year? Nothing like i used to be. I mean, it doesn’t keep me from diffuse sexuality that leads to astoundingly intense orgasms and all (take that, multiple drugs that original led to complete libido suppression and/or anorgasmia!), but damn. I kinda miss being an outlet in desperate search of a charge sometimes.

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                  • Thank you thank you for your insights @maribou . Veronica, your experience with HRT was a reason I was particularly interested in what you had to say.

                    I’ve certainly had my own experiences of hyper sexuality – though as a generally straight ish & always male presenting sort, and kind of reserved, not ever realistically satisfiable. That was mostly in my teens to early 30s.

                    Now at 39 I have I guess something more like what you’re describing as a diffuse sexuality. No less maleness obviously, but less testosterone and theoretically more maturity and perspective and whatnot. So I don’t know, how much of that is actually about testosterone, and how much about age generally…

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                  • [cw: sex]

                    — Yeah, that’s all pretty different from my experience.

                    On “hypersexuality” — I consider myself hypersexual, as are most of my partners and many of my friends. However, when I use that term, I do not mean the kind of libidinous “sexual tunnel vision” I experienced back in my “boy days.” It’s different. For a lot of us — I’m generalizing — it seems to function as a trauma-related coping mechanism, along with a validation mechanism. In other words, “I’m lovable because people will fuck me.”

                    This isn’t necessarily healthy, not exactly. On the other hand, maybe it’s not terribly unhealthy either, compared to the pasts we are escaping from. I dunno. DBT helps a lot. Plus, when we’re not having kinky/slutty/humiliating sex, we have a very loving relationship. It’s so sweet. My heart explodes in starbursts.

                    Men seem different to me.

                    There is a topic I’ve been discussing a lot with my friends. It involves notions of fetishization and objectification, particularly of trans women. Namely, the question is why are “chasers” bad but t4t okay?

                    Like, I’m not looking for some “social justice” answer. I don’t give a shit about “privilege,” at least not in this context. I’m asking on a subjective level. Why do men and women make me (and a lot of girls) feel different?

                    Which, they certainly do. Thirsty dudes are just different from thirsty trans gals. They just are, but I can’t put my finger on why. I don’t think it’s in our heads, nor do I think I’m being unfair somehow. They really have a “creep factor” that t4t trans women don’t.

                    Well, in general terms. There certainly are trans women who manage to come across as creepy and abusive and not okay. Likewise, there are “guys into tgirls” who have a really good rep. (Kai Bailey is an example. Tip top dude.) But still, in general, it’s true.

                    So why?

                    I really think it’s the “tunnel vision” thing, or something like that. It’s the difference between actually sees you as a piece of meat versus cares about you as a person but understands you like being treated like a piece of meat cuz we all have fucking trauma and dammit kink is hawt af.

                    But I don’t know. I’m pretty sure testosterone matters. It’s a drug.

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                    • “Thirsty dudes are just different from thirsty trans gals. ”

                      Do you not think the safety thing explains that sufficiently regardless of the biology involved? Like we know that society believes that strange women are safe, and strange men are relatively not safe, and all genders grow up breathing in that message.

                      Estrogen is a drug too, as is progesterone, and for some of us, they are brain-fucking-up drug just as much as what I’ve read the descriptions of T to be. If you looked at the aggressive outbursts in my life (rare!!), you could track them pretty closely to my menstrual cycle. If you look at the hypersexuality of the women I’m talking about (most of whom, unlike me, don’t have a boatload of sexual trauma) it also ties to the menstrual cycle.

                      I’m not saying testosterone *can’t* be part of the problem, I’m just very very very (add a few very’s) averse to assuming it’s the central problem because 1) I don’t like people’s rights and obligations to be inflected by our understanding of biology given that science shifts quickly and people’s understanding of the science not nearly so quickly. “born this way” gives me similar hives even though I think we are in the slow process of figuring out how we do get born in a particular way or not (and FINALLY starting to not treat that as a binary). the sands are still shifting and I don’t want behavioral standards to be built on shifting sands. Plus science is ALWAYS way more interested in male biology than female biology so I don’t think we end up with balanced answers.
                      . and 2) it feeds into the myth of male weakness to say that. Most men don’t act thirsty in that unpleasant way. Fewer men act like that now than did 100 years ago… the guys I know who seem high-testosterone are also not toxic – many of them are the husbands of the hyper-sexual women I was describing earlier. (This is a self-selecting group, obvs, as I tend to avoid high-drama people of any gender).

                      Full disclosure, I actually made Jay switch to a different exercise at one point b/c when he was lifting he got super-aggro in that seems-to-be-about-high-testosterone way…. but it wasn’t about sex, he was just combative every damn minute of the day. It got frustrating. So obviously I do get that there are hormonal differences and that they can matter.

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                      • Do you not think the safety thing explains that sufficiently regardless of the biology involved?

                        Safety is certainly a thing trans women have to worry about, and in ways that are perhaps not obvious to cis people. Namely, men who are attracted to us often process their shame through violence. They fuck us and then kill us. Or else they just look at us, feel feelings, and then kill us.

                        Over the past few years a couple of my g/f’s did street level work while we were dating. I worried about them a lot.

                        That said, this isn’t what I am talking about. I certainly don’t feel much personal fear of creepy dudes. Sure, one might pop off and kill me on the subway. But probably not. And if so, well no one gets out of this world alive. I’m gonna die someday, for some reason. Until then, I’m gonna live.

                        By contrast, the thing I’m discussing is really about objectification. It’s the whole we are not things. But more specifically, I’m talking about a specific pattern of behavior, a kind of lizard brain hyperfocus. I’m not saying women don’t feel lust. Nor am I saying women are never kinky. But — it’s different.

                        The thing about knowing a lot of sex workers is they interact with men in a very different context from most women. Even being a non-sex worker, just being trans puts me in contact with men in full-on fetish/obsession mode, that side of themselves that comes out after twelve hours of obsessive porn viewing, which their friends at church never see. #notallmen, sure. But seriously, a lot of men, even that really decent husband and father who helped jump start your car the other day. He treats cam girls different from how he treats you. Likewise, he treats trans women different. He’ll show up at the tgirl bar while on a business trip, hoping to find some human-shaped fucktoy, his little secret bit of shame. It’s really gross.

                        How common is this? How many men? We don’t really have any statistics. We know a lot of dudes watch a lot of porn.

                        Do women ever act this way? Probably sometimes. I know a few cis female chasers. They can be as crass and aggressive as any men. But they’re way less common. Likewise I certainly watch porn, but usually ten minutes here and there. For me it serves a specific purpose and tends to work quickly (if you see what I’m saying).

                        So about the hormones. Yeah progesterone can fuck with you. I have zero personal experience, since I don’t take progesterone. That said, I’ve dated a few girls who were on it. Yeah it had an effect. But still, I’ve dated a lot of trans women, age 19 to 45, who began hormones at various stages in life, most of whom were pretty hypersexual to some degree, but still, none of them seemed to do the “lizard brain” thing. Many would admit to being porn-obsessed in their “boy” days. Most still watched porn, but we all experienced an enormous shift in how our libidos worked.

                        I’ve also interacted with a fair number of cis-male “chaser” type, along with the “erotic cross dresser” crowd, along with all the weird guys who try to chat me up on Facebook, etc. — in other words, horny guys — oh gawd they’re a menace.

                        Let me be clear: I’m not dismissing issues of socialization, toxic masculinity, and all of that. I certainly believe that plays an enormous role. These cultural forces are huge. What I am saying is, even within that frame, testosterone is a drug.

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                        • (content note – ALL THE CONTENT NOTES – note to people who don’t have a high tolerance for reading about sexually uncomfortable things or about trans people being abused or well, kids in general having a shitty time – *you probably don’t want to read this and that’s fine*)

                          I’ve been thinking about this comment for a while and I have come to the conclusion, probably as you have also, that we’re not actually going to agree about this topic. Also, I really really appreciate you sharing your insights and I know it can be hard to think about all the details of what you’re saying when you’re so close to the bone.

                          That said, I’d ask you to consider a couple of things about me, and maybe keep them in mind going forward, since you addressed so much stuff in this comment to “you” – maybe you weren’t actually meaning *me*, even though you said “you”? But still, it’s a habit you have, of addressing “hey cis person” without thinking about who you are talking to, and personal-me (not at all moderator-me, who could care less about this particular exchange) is very very uncomfortable about it sometimes.

                          First, I’m not a cis woman, I’m a genderfluid and non-binary trans person. I’ve known that since I could talk, although I used different words back then. My contributor bio mentions that I’m genderfluid. It took me 25 years to (mostly) stop feeling strong gender dysphoria, I’ve been suicidal around gender dysphoria (in my late teens and early 20s, but I *remember* it) … if you’re thinking I fit some “cis woman” box in your head, you’d be wrong. That doesn’t at all invalidate that I don’t know what it’s like to be a trans woman, and I do know what it is to be treated like a cis woman, since I passed as one for 80 percent of the time or more for most of my life, but it’s still really uncomfortable to read comments aimed at “you cis women” and I’m assuming you get at least part of why.

                          I’ve talked about pronouns on this site before, and female pronouns are perfectly welcome for me but no more so than any other set of pronouns that aren’t being wielded deliberately to wound. I tend to prefer them in public settings because it simplifies things and avoids the brain-breaking arguments where people keep correcting each other about my pronouns, but I don’t *actually* prefer them, I just prefer them to pronoun fights about me. And also as a both-and kind of nonbinary person, I’m not willing to vacate “she”. I get to use that one too. (The only reason I’m even addressing it here is because I feel like it’s possible if I don’t, someone will get into a pronoun fight with me about how can I be trans if I use female pronouns and I just… can’t even.) I do sometimes speak of other women but if I’m being *honest* (still very hard for me to do), saying “other men” and “other enbys” and “other genderqueer people” all come every bit as naturally. It’s true that I am someone who has all the hookups to experience estrogen and progesterone in most-likely-similar-to-cis-women proportions, and testosterone and other androgens in who-really-knows-but-probably-closer-to-cis-women-than-cis-men proportions, but I *know* you know it’s more complicated than that.

                          Second, if “But seriously, a lot of men, even that really decent husband and father who helped jump start your car the other day. He treats cam girls different from how he treats you. Likewise, he treats trans women different. He’ll show up at the tgirl bar while on a business trip, hoping to find some human-shaped fucktoy, his little secret bit of shame. It’s really gross.” is aimed at me, again, the person you are talking to *is probably not me*.

                          Not the person who was raped multiple times by her father before she hit puberty, not the person who was sexually assaulted regularly by her father between the ages of 4 and 10, not the person whose introduction to porn came not in any of the sweet or goofy or fairly awkward ways her male or female friends’ did, but by her father *regularly leaving porn, some of it extremely hard core fetish porn* where she was sure to find it starting around age 8 – and not the person who has more than once been on the verge of being a homicide victim.

                          When I say that my cis male friends are no more hypersexual / obssessed / thirsty than their cis female mates, that I am deeply familiar with all kinds of sex stories from people of many different genders, that I think estrogen can fuck people up as much as testosterone can, etc., I do not need you to agree with me and I completely respect that you don’t. But I do need you to understand where I’m coming from, as well.

                          I’m not some deliberately naive housewife who goes to freaking church and asks some nice man to jump start my car (not that there’s anything wrong with that, really great people, etc.). I’m not someone whose never seen men interact with sex workers (in both perfectly okay and deeply not okay ways). I’m actually not someone who has never paid to interact with a cam girl…

                          I’m not asking out of freaking *ignorance*. I’m not asking as whatever “you” you were addressing in this comment. I’m asking as someone whose experiences are every bit as deep and fucked-up and complex as yours – and who has a lot of deep, complex, fucked-up friends who are remarkably honest about their sex lives and their proclivities.

                          So like, please try to frame things a bit differently? Or at least be clearer about who the “you” you’re addressing is. Because the way you’re doing it now makes me feel like I’m a cipher for you, not a person.

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                          • — Just to be clear, I often end up using “you” in a generic “whoever is reading this” sense instead of in a specific “person I am replying to” sense. I should probably be more clear. In any case, I am aware you are non-binary. For the record, so am I — I guess. I’m definitely something. Gender is weird yo.

                            In any case, I’ve said what I wanted to say. I suspect you have as well. I’m sure we’ll each have more to say at some point in the future.

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                            • Please do be more clear, at least if you’re directly responding to me. Because addressing an imaginary composite you while responding directly to things concrete, sitting right here me is saying really makes me feel invisible. I sometimes avoid interacting with you because of it.

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                • v,
                  Women’s libido can be… um, stronger than men’s.
                  But, I think there’s a bit of confusion here…
                  It’s possible to arouse a woman to the point where she literally can’t speak. That’s, um, libido running really, really hot.

                  But that’s not “go out and find a boy”… that’s more “wait for boy to do the natural thing”

                  Mother Nature is kind of a dick.

                  Sex work that’s designed to arouse women is more about temptation and less about throwing your bare-naked-arse around, anyway. Women are quite capable of paying a lot, and being quite persistent about continuing to come back … if they can find a capable male sexworker. (They’re considerably more rare than female ones, unsurprisingly).

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            • v,
              Honestly, I’m going to go ahead and disagree here.
              The female libido is just as prone, if not moreso, to obsessive behavior.
              However, this tends to express itself in terms of “sluttiness” (which is a way of a woman determining her own status based on the masculine view of her).

              Socially speaking, we put limits on the female libido that we generally don’t on the male one, so you see this expressed most strongly in 12-13 year old girls, where they’re just hitting the hormones and their parents aren’t quite yet caught up with everything.

              Simply because the pornography comes with a damn good plot, doesn’t make it not pornography. (or references to cinema paradisio).

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  1. [US5] Bout time we cut our territories loose.

    [US8] So, how big was this guy? Inquiring minds want to know.

    [US7] I didn’t catch in the article whether or not the author mentioned the capture and abduction of the slaves from their homes and the shitty voyage to the americas, in addition to the slaves lives on the plantation. That might have got the point across and prevented some of the more ignorant questions.

    However, I’ve been to several plantations, and the focus IIRC was very much focused on the slavery. It’s basically the same on any plantation. After the first go around re slavery, I was much more interested in, and didn’t get much information on, the economic activity, crops, etc. The info was about 70% slavery, 20% house/owners, 10% all the rest.

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    • Puerto Rico should become a state or go independent. The Virgin Islands are trickier. They don’t have the population to be a state or independent country. Maybe it can become a county of Florida.

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      • Or a county of the state of Puerto Rico. That’s more feasible than making Guam and CNMI counties of Hawaii.

        Though, you’d then have an inverse Quebec thing with USVI, as they don’t need, and probably don’t want, Puerto Rico’s Spanish language laws.

        Though though, that’s how New Brunswick does it, grafting two different language areas next to each other in a single sub-national political division.

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          • Economy wise, the Virgin Islands are a dependency of Puerto Rico. Everything comes from the larger island. So it makes sense to join the two territories in one single state.

            Except for language and religion (big “excepts”) the Afro Caribbean culture of both places have a lot of similarities. After a generation, Virgin Islanders will probably get used to speaking Spanish

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      • I fail to see how either the virgin islands or PR gets input. Like I said, we should cut them loose. “Hey guys, you’re no longer one of our territories as of X date. You should figure out what you want. We’ll consider your application if you want to be a state, although we make no promises and likely we’ll say no, otherwise, it was nice meeting you, and have a good life.”

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  2. It’s time for Americans to generally move on from 9/11. Before 9/11, the biggest foreign attack on American soil was Pearl Harbor. There wasn’t constant commemoration of Pearl Harbor sixteen years latter. 9/11 has been drummed into public consciousness because it is political opportune for the Republicans and because modern media technology allows it.

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      • But that was after the USA defeated the Japanese Empire and re-invented the Japanese government.

        The USA gained Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as allies against terrorism pretty much on 9/12 without them having to change a thing about themselves, and actually still supporting the people that caused 9/11.

        (I thought Donald’s isolationist streak and blatant racism, plus our own oil boom, would be enough so that the US government could finally tell the Saudis to go eff themselves. But apparently a glowing orb is stronger that all that)

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  3. [US2]
    “For this reason, in 1944, he boldly engineered the transformation of the C.P.U.S.A. into a pressure group designed to work within the Democratic Party.”

    Huh, wonder if it ever took off?
    Ha.

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  4. So, my moms aunt and uncle, organic chemist and doctor respectively, were communists. And at the beginning of the Cuban revolution, they went to help with the sugarcane harvest. They never came back, basically trading Berkeley for the joys of Havana and later East Berlin.

    They died very bitter and sad people.

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  5. US5

    There’s one more similarity: in both polities, the public utility (PREPA in Puerto Rico, VIWAPA in the VI) are at the center of the deficit and debt problems.

    I was very involved with VIWAPA for a while, and, like PR, they suffer the problem of having to rely in very expensive oil based thermal generation, and being unable to collect billed energy.

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  6. In searching some references on Aristotle I found this bit by Chomsky. It’s interesting on whole, but the thing that I found interesting was the intolerable wage labor mention and the reference as a republican slogan (approx. 7:49).
    link

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  7. [US7] plantation tours. We had the misfortune to be on Mount Vernon tour last year with a “woke” person that began an argument with the tour guide in the first room. The first room was the waiting room for servants who had brought their masters for a visit and “woke” interrupted to essentially complain that “servants” was being used euphemistically to conceal that the servants were slaves, which wasn’t true, whomever drove the carriage and handled the luggage waited there. “Woke” sort of shifted a lecture on the importance of the distinction, wrapped in an accusation that the tour would whitewash the history of slavery. I was close to asking to join a different tour group, but Woke never said anything again until about the last room.

    There is an intrinsic problem with these types of tours given that people generally have paid money to see a house due to a famous personality, or architectural features. Unless there has been some significant research on the history of the slaves at the property, which often is simply not available, there is little value-added to spend any more time on them that one would on the servants at the Biltmore. Which is not to ignore the fact that some tours of plantation houses at least 20 years ago did not mention slaves at all.

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    • I wonder how long before we see a fistfight between a “woke” person and a “woker” person (or a “woke” person and a student-of-history who’s willing to go to the mat about “postilions were not slaves; they were paid employees”).

      I think I’d just have dropped out of the tour the second time Mr. Woke opened his mouth, even if I had paid a good bit for it.

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    • I went with my nieces to Mount Vernon sometime last year and I found the tour guides and the signs were very specific about who was who. (especially, as you say, compared to a couple of decades ago going through these museums as a kid & teenager)

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    • One thing that the SJC and the Alt-Right have in common is that they get their philosophical lingo from popular science fiction movies. At least the Fascists, Communists, and Anarchists attempted more erudition in their lingo.

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      • A lot of the energy in both spaces appears to come from either people who are too young to have college educations, aren’t going to go to college, who had little exposure to the humanities or social sciences in college. So they use the myths they know.

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        • Its also because even well-educated people aren’t exposed to the same sort of education that the old Far Right and Far Left were. The Bolsheviks were very well read in their younger days. Reading a lot was one reason why they covered to Marxism. The modern SJC and Alt-Right not so much.

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      • Well, I gotta say, given one the chief complaints the last time around was that rescheduling a lecture was tantamount to censorship, it’s interesting how this time around it isn’t.

        I really don’t see why “free speech” entails a university promoting a scumbag like Milo over a more conventional visiting lecturer.

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        • I really don’t see why “free speech” entails a university promoting a scumbag like Milo over a more conventional visiting lecturer.

          Berkeley isn’t “promoting” Milo. It’s allowing.

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            • You’re not even making any sense now. You’re saying the liberal, lefty bastion of American intellectual thought is promoting an event by a right-wing pedophile which undermines those putative goals. That makes no sense, pillsy. Literally. You need to revise your conception of contemporary politics and get caught up to speed.

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              • You’re saying the liberal, lefty bastion of American intellectual thought is promoting an event by a right-wing pedophile which undermines those putative goals.

                Yes, either in response to public pressure (which has been intense) or in order to signal its commitment to “free speech”, or (most likely) a mix of both.

                Indeed, vigorous defense of repulsive speech has long been both a required part of championing civil liberties, and an effective form of political advocacy on behalf of those civil liberties. The motives are perfectly sensible. The follow-through leaves something to be desired, as “vigorous defense” can, indeed, slip into “active promotion”.

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                • We disagree about this, obvs. When I said “which undermines those goals” I was being facetious. Berkeley’s primary commitment is and should be to the expression of speech and not a particular socio-economic or political outcome resulting from that speech. They’re doing their institutional job. And hopefully more so as time goes on even tho there are mitigating circumstances which circumscribe the viability of certain events.

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                  • That would doubtless be true if they were simply fulfilling their Constitutional and academic duty to allow the guy to speak after he’s been invited by a student group. I wouldn’t complain.

                    However, when they start sidelining other speakers to make room for him, it’s much less clear that they aren’t just being baited into taking sides in a conflict where they should be remaining neutral.

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                    • “Liberals would rather win arguments than elections.”

                      Have at it pillsy. We’re speaking about two different domains here. Sometimes our political enemies misspell words, and there’s nothing crueler and more deservedly cutting than calling them out on it.

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    • I long for the day the kids in Berkley are sophisticated enough to not give Milo the publicity and boost to his book sales he wants. There is nothing more Milo and his PR team want then controversy and uproar and loud protests. If a riot starts Milo will be calling his Ferrari dealer. The kids should have a Yawnfest on some other part of the campus if they feel they can’t just ignore the troll. The absolute last thing he wants is nothing to happen except for him giving a speech to some conservatives.

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      • There is nothing more Milo and his PR team want then controversy and uproar and loud protests.

        Exactly. The metric of success is determined by how intolerant “the left” is of such speeches. The more the left howls, the more the right views it as a win.

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        • I long for the day the kids in Berkley are sophisticated enough to not give Milo the publicity and boost to his book sales he want

          College kids want Milo to speak, they want the controversy. Or should I use liberal-speak here and call it “the conversation”?

          Seems to me what you long for are days when college kids act like poised and establishmentarian adults. Like the profs and admin folks who are supposed to temper youthful enthusiasm are supposed to act. Maybe it’s the UCB adults who are letting us down.

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      • I long for the day the kids in Berkley are sophisticated enough to not give Milo the publicity and boost to his book sales he want

        College kids and “sophisticated” don’t go together. They’re 18 to 24, with unfinished brains and limited life experience.

        The rest of us should yawn and ignore the shouting, because neither the hyper-obsessed shouting from 19 year olds nor the screaming from grown-adults trying to score points off them, actually matters.

        A 30 year old trying to outwit, outsmart, or otherwise “play” 20 year old’s is someone deliberately aiming for an easy mark — because they’ve failed against the public at large. And 20 year old’s will…grow up, discover nuance, context, and volume control.

        And us, from the peanut’s gallery, really should stop reading tea-leaves based on college antics by people mostly looking to score with the opposite sex via activism. it’s how it’s always been, it’s just in the spotlight now thanks to social media.

        Free speech will survive, and if you want to fight threats to that college campuses are probably the least important battleground in the US.

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        • I definitely agree about the generally limited brain skills of college kids. However some of them at an elite school also likely see themselves as tech savvy and dream of tech start ups and study the use of the media. So some of them should have some clue. The media is giving them plenty of attention and they are proceeding to broadcast a sad trombone sound into a giant, and unearned, megaphone.

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          • “Likes to see themselves as” and “are” are very, very, different things.

            It’s pretty much college kids being college kids, and since we all live in the social media panopticon, people just use whatever silliness those kids are up to today as “proof” of whatever ax they feel like grinding.

            I think we should start treating the antics of kids these days as the antics of kids these days. Pretending it’s relevant data to anything other than “Eh, kids, right?” is pointless.

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            • I agree but they are getting a lot of press attention which is not helpful. There is reason Milo and his ilk speak at and get invited to colleges. That is where they get the nectar they survive on. Also there are plenty of faculty who should be smart enough to guide these kids into effective protests. I’m assuming the faculty are just trying to stay out of it or are just as unsophisticated as the kids. They don’t have the youth excuse though.

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              • I think the faculty tends to by, and large, see this as a matter of letting kids start running things themselves. Let them make their own mistakes, who are we to filter what they hear, etc.

                I suspect that the absolute best thing universities could do to handle this would be — as I believe someone here mentioned — is hold inviting student groups accountable for their speaker’s behaviors. In short, if said speaker violates campus codes, incites violence, etc — then punish the group that invited them. (You would, of course, continue to punish protesters who violated campus codes as usual).

                You can find plenty of provocative speakers of any ideology who are not, to use a phrase, sh*t-flingers. In short, the kind that provoke thought — not, say, harass students by name and photo — just to randomly pull an example out.

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          • I definitely agree about the generally limited brain skills of college kids.

            There’s a sneaky and illicit circularity in this comment which points at, tho doesn’t directly indicate, the role “formal education” plays in what constitutes “correct thought”. In response I’d like to say something like “look, just because a person doesn’t understand the role the Treaty of Versailles played in WWII doesn’t mean they can’t have a view on whether fascism is bad.”

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            • Limited brain development is neurological. Full, adult brain development isn’t complete until around 25 for males, a year or so earlier for women.

              College age kids are neurologically not adults. IIRC, between the hormones and the neurological development — and I’m vastly simplifying here — biologically they’re basically really bad at weighing risks (they’re overly optimistic), prone to short term thinking, and tend to…well, call it “overly enthusiastic”.

              Not as with all things, this is distributed — some kids finish maturing early, some late, and some are better at risk assessment and others worst, etc. We’re just talking medians here.

              And yes, they can certainly have a view on why fascism is bad. It might even be a well argued, heavily researched, interesting one. The question is more “What do they do with that opinion” and the answer is “Generally overreact, compared to an adult, and often with a secondary goal of getting laid”.

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        • Free speech will survive,

          Not necessarily. Which is to say: Why should we think free speech will survive the current cultural climate? What impermeable safegurads are in place which Trumpism and the radical left aren’t attacking?

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          • The radical left doesn’t control itself, much less anything else — and Trump is…well, he’s not doing conservatives any favor in the long run.

            Seriously, stop treating college kids as leading indicators or evidence of anything — you’re just indulging in confirmation bias.

            College aged kids are doing what they’ve always done — try to get laid, get overly passionate about everything, and basically overreact. They’ll grow out of it, like everyone else does.

            Honestly, if your argument about the country at large is rooted in what’s going on at colleges, you’re basically grasping at straws.

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            • Seriously, stop treating college kids as leading indicators or evidence of anything — you’re just indulging in confirmation bias.

              What bias am I using them to confirm? (Seriously. Your comment is baffling to me.)

              Also, it’s just a matter of description that college kids have been the primary motivator and achiever of speech restrictions in the US in recent times. More so than the alt-right which repeatedly gets shot down in court.

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              • Also, it’s just a matter of description that college kids have been the primary motivator and achiever of speech restrictions in the US in recent times.

                Cool story.

                I’m sure free speech was badly damaged because Milo wasn’t able to speak on a campus, and instead simple used YouTube, Twitter, other campuses, the media, etc.

                Let’s have a moment for all those cruelly silenced people who we’ve actually heard talk at length and who have no end of public forums….

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                • Cool story.

                  Here’s the problem, Morat. You think if you win an argument with me you win the political war. Eg., “Oh look at this guy with his cool anti-liberal stories, what a doofus.” What you fail to realize is that a) I’m a liberal and b) winning an argument doesn’t mean winning the polls.

                  Add: I of course realize that engaging in this type of argument makes you feel good about yourself and all…

                  Add2: As my wife said a coupla days ago “98% of what we all talk about is signalling and only 2% is content.”

                  Fact check: True!

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                  • You think if you win an argument with me you win the political war.

                    I didn’t think i was fighting a political war. I thought I was having a discussion.

                    Maybe that’s the problem. You see me as an opponent in a political war. And I see someone I was having a discussion with.

                    Add: I of course realize that engaging in this type of argument makes you feel good about yourself and all…

                    Ah, gratuitous insults. Clearly, you have chosen the high road.

                    I bow before your moral and political superiority. Rest assured, I wave the flag of surrender, having lost the political war. The Good Left has triumphed over the Bad Left.

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                    • Maybe that’s the problem. You see me as an opponent in a political war.

                      Maybe. But it’s just a fact that lefty college kids have done more to curtail speech rights than the right, and it’s just a fact that college kids do not resort to their parents morality when they get outa school. You seem to want to interpret those comments as me being an “opponent in a political war”.

                      Which is weird, since I’m on the left.

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                      • But it’s just a fact that lefty college kids have done more to curtail speech rights than the right,

                        So you’ve said, without evidence of any sort. I’m sure if you repeat it enough, people will decide that protesting protestors and arguing over pronouns and tumblr arguments all limited to college kids and the people who care about college kids (ie, college kids) is somehow a Big Deal.

                        You let me know what sort of power, other than actually speaking, these Far Left Radical Anti Speech Warriors are actually wielding. Making Milo cancel a college speech is, frankly, not exactly a First Amendment threat.

                        and it’s just a fact that college kids do not resort to their parents morality when they get outa school.

                        Nobody said they did. It’s interesting you keep assigning me opinions I don’t hold.

                        Does that make your political war on me, clearly the proxy for some group, more effective?

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                          • I’m your political opponent, remember? You’re at war with me. Said so yourself.

                            And you’re clearly Deeply Concerned About The Anti Free Speech Left.

                            You’ve spoken at length about how effective they are, yet can’t seem to give any examples of how they’re….doing anything but arguing with each other on Tumblr and college campuses.

                            In short, they appear to be stifling free speech by engaging in a war of words with each other, which strikes me as something an oxymoron.

                            Unless they’re stifling free speech by utilizing their free assembly, which also strikes me as a non-problem since their biggest victory appears to be making poor, unheard Milo cancel a speech.

                            It’s your war, man. You just keep repeating how effective they are and how worried you are, and well — maybe you should point out some examples of their fearsome power?

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                            • I’m your political opponent, remember? You’re at war with me. Said so yourself.

                              Nah. I don’t even use that language Morat. That’s your framing. Which is part and parcel of my critique of, well, YOUR FRAMING.

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                              • Here’s the problem, Morat. You think if you win an argument with me you win the political war. Eg., “Oh look at this guy with his cool anti-liberal stories, what a doofus.” What you fail to realize is that a) I’m a liberal and b) winning an argument doesn’t mean winning the polls.

                                That’s your line right there.

                                Did you think I’d forgotten or something?

                                You’re fighting a political war with me. I’m just having a conversation, mostly rather puzzled at your Deep Concern about 20 year old kids at Berkeley and really amused that you think they represent anything more than….20 year old kids going overboard, as they have always done about everything.

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                                  • Ah yes, I disagree with Stillwater! And thus the liberals are doomed.

                                    Curse you fate, to have made me the spokesman for liberals!

                                    Seriously, dude. I’m not a proxy for liberals. I’m not in a political war with you — that was your comment I’ve been mocking endlessly because it’s so freaking stupid. We’re not fighting for the soul of the United States.

                                    We’re having a conversation wherein, bluntly, you’ve bemoaned the anti-free speech left as destroying all that Leftism or Liberalism or whatever -ism you’re using, and I’m saying “Dude, it’s like 99.9% college kids with literally no power over anything and they’ve always been like this“.

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                                    • and I’m saying “Dude, it’s like 99.9% college kids with literally no power over anything and they’ve always been like this“.

                                      Great! Then we agree that the campus left is fueling a rightist wave which the left has no answer for until the left not ohnly rejects campus leftists but claims the high ground on speech issues!

                                      So far, you’ve been nothing but an apologist Morat. Take a stand for liberals and liberalism bro.

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                                      • Great! Then we agree that the campus left is fueling a rightist wave which the left has no answer for until the left not ohnly rejects campus leftists but claims the high ground on speech issues!

                                        We…don’t agree.

                                        You seem to struggle with the notion that I can see the same facts as you yet come to difference conclusions.

                                        So far, you’ve been nothing but an apologist Morat. Take a stand for liberals and liberalism bro.

                                        An apologist for what? Kids I don’t agree with but think are utterly meaningless?

                                        And take a stand for what? My opinions, like I’m doing?

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                                        • Good on ya, Morat. I’m sure lots of us reading your comments appreciate the resolve and personal sacrifice you experienced to take a stand for your opinions. That’s some bold shit. You’re a hero.

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                                          • I like how, faced with disagreement, you resort to sarcasm and insults.

                                            Anyways, I think I’ll clock out on that one.

                                            I mean after being told I’m your opponent in a political war, then that I’m an apologist for…something undefined, I guess, then that I should take a bold stand by agreeing with you…..

                                            Well, shucks. I just don’t think we’re getting anywhere, seeing as how I’m not quivering in First Amendment fear about the vicious SJW’s with their weird pronouns and dislike of Milo and those massively powerful, earth-shaking Berkeley protests.

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                                            • I like how, faced with disagreement, you resort to sarcasm and insults.

                                              Yes, exactly my style here at the OT. ya got me, brah.

                                              Add: heres what I think Morat. I think that the only thing I have invested in this discussion is that the campus left is abridging free speech, while you have a lot more at stake. Not sure what it is, but it goes beyond the descripively accurate, that much I know.

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                                  • At the risk of inserting myself into a spat:

                                    What should we be doing? Should Nancy Pelosi be scolding UC Berkeley students? Should Bernie? How many guns are needed in your view to make the circular firing squad sufficient?

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                                    • That’s just it, nevermoor. It’s shouldn’t be a “circular” firing squad. It’s about speech rights, the cornerstone of liberalism.

                                      So the fact that campus liberals will vote for “woke” issues even while they flout liberal speech rights constitutes the problem, one which the right is entirely aware of, to the left’s detriment.

                                      Add: Speech is becoming, in the vernacular, a “wedge” issue.

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                                      • Objection, non-responsive.

                                        What should we be doing? Should Nancy Pelosi be scolding UC Berkeley students? Should Bernie?

                                        As to your last part, attacking college students is going to not become a circular firing squad how? Maybe if you answer the first questions I’ll understand better.

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                                        • They should defend speech.

                                          How is that not obvious?

                                          Add: As a Liberal they should defend speech. As a partisan, they have a more complicated calculus. Hence the worries about the Left, which the Right is right to jump on.

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                                            • If she has strong speech views she denounces the nonsense happening on campuses nationwide. She supports speech rights, even while admitting that some speech is odious and repugnant, but the challenge (and here the music arondher podium swells to a crescendo of strings colliding majestically with woodwinds) is to defeat bad ideas at the level of discourse not physical force.

                                              Add: If she can’t do that then politics has already turned to the dark side. Know what I mean?

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                                              • And then someone says “why is Democratic leadership punching down at the future of their own party? Are they crazy?!?”

                                                And that would be a fair dig. And not because politics has turned to the dark side, but because you don’t want to turn of a generation because you don’t see eye to eye on a specific issue. Even if you’re right and they’re wrong. And especially when no real harm is done.

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                        • Morat,
                          I hear about professors concerned about getting fired for accidentally calling someone the wrong pronoun.
                          Not repeatedly, just by accident. First day of class sort of thing.

                          People can’t do research that the SJWs won’t like, anymore. (you should see what research we have out of reality tv shows).

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              • Huh? I’m trying to think of successfully imposed restrictions on speech, with little success, in any context. The closest that springs to mind was the “BONG HITS 4 JESUS” case, which was some time ago.

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                • I find it hilarious the amount of attention some people are putting on “the radical left” and screaming about their influence, while at the same time the non-radical left (ie: The more progressive Democrats) are bemoaning their lack of influence on the Left (ie, the Democrats) politically.

                  Whereas the “radical left” such as it exists, has been not just kicked off the bus but banned from the line entirely, and exists solely as a handful of black-masked folks lurking at the edge of protests, PETA — whom everyone hates — and overenthusiastic college kids.

                  But clearly, in the name of balance, they must be a Significant Force to Be Reckoned With for….

                  Actually I don’t know. I mean I know why media might do it — but why someone like Stillwater cares is beyond me. Politically, they’re a non-starter — because the guys the radical left think are huge sell-outs are currently whining that they’ve got no real sway in a political party that they (the sell-outs) think has massively sold out.

                  The radical left is at least two distributions out from anyone with power caring what they think. Except school administrators, who have to deal with them.

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                  • It’s not hard to parse out. The radical left wants to be a big deal*; the right wing media figures want the radical left to be a big deal**; and the main stream media wants the radical left to be a big deal***. So all three entities oddly work together to magnify the radical left and paint the entire left of center in their colors.

                    *So that they can matter like Trump and the alt-right matters.
                    **So that they can try and force centrists and moderates to vote against liberals and join in the reeking ranks of the right wing.
                    ***In desperate search of something to balance against the odious reek of the right wing so they can continue their even handed pose.

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                    • And given all that absolutely correct self-servingly institutional analysis, the radical left is actually a big deal. Promoting a drug-fueled lifestyle is different than promoting a safe-from-offensive-speech lifestyle.

                      Add: Anxiously awaiting Noah Rothman to enter the debate to tell me how the two things are actually the same. “Really, murder and disgust are the same response to social problems.”

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                        • Not really, North. It seems to me it’s just a fact of the matter that the campus left, particularly in Berkeley, is anti-free-speech. That’s a bigger deal* than the media wanting the radical left to be a big deal.

                          *Or … should be a bigger deal…

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                          • I’d agree with the proviso that it’s a portion of the campus left; though potentially a major portion. As for how big a deal it should be? I would agree it should be a huge deal for Berkeley and perhaps a moderately big deal for California(I’m assuming the state tosses some shekels into Berkeley’s kitty) but nationally? I don’t know that it rises to the level of big deal on the merits.

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                            • If you care about free speech it’s a big deal.

                              If you care about demonizing your opponents, then Berkeley students railing against free speech is politically a very big deal.

                              If you want to mitigate the damage campus leftism is creating then you gonna have to lie about what they’re trying to achieve. And that isnt’ a good political strategy.

                              Moderate liberals are fighting a rear-guard on speech right now,thanks to the campus left. Thems just the facts. The right is winning.

                              Add: And to anticipate Morat a bit, I’m not citing this to advocate for the right. Rather, it’s just an observable fact of the matter – right in front of your nose – seems to me.

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                              • If you care about free speech it’s a big deal.

                                I do and it’s not.

                                If you care about demonizing your opponents, then Berkeley students railing against free speech is politically a very big deal.

                                I don’t care what students at Berkeley do, and neither does anyone else except people who work or attend there. People will happily use what’s going on there to promote pet causes, but they’ll do that with anything and there’s always someone to use in that capacity.

                                So it really doesn’t matter, because if not them it’ll be someone else. So properly denouncing them or fighting them or whatever is rather pointless.

                                If you want to mitigate the damage campus leftism is creating then you gonna have to lie about what they’re trying to achieve. And that isnt’ a good political strategy.

                                Mitigating non-existent damage is not a high priority of mine. Also “leftism” is a fun word, that can mean so many things.

                                I leave tilting at windmills for college students.

                                Moderate liberals are fighting a rear-guard on speech right now,thanks to the campus left. Thems just the facts. The right is winning.

                                We really aren’t. You are, but I’m not. And I’m a “moderate liberal” by any stretch.

                                I don’t feel free speech is under attack, I care very little for the antics of college students, and feel the campus left has the exact same power over politics, Democrats, the left, the right, Republicans, and Buddha as they’ve always had: Which is, none.

                                Add: And to anticipate Morat a bit, I’m not citing this to advocate for the right. Rather, it’s just an observable fact of the matter – right in front of your nose – seems to me.

                                I’m quite aware of the facts. I just find the conclusions laughable and your evidence….lacking.

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                                  • I will, thanks.

                                    Luckily I don’t have a lot of troubles doing that, because I don’t lay awake at night scared to death about the nation-wide ramifications of student protest at Berkeley.

                                    Because there are none. Because of all the people in all the world, the ones who will affect my life, my health, my politics, my wallet, and even my political party — the students at Berkeley rate at the very bottom.

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                            • Given the bulk of that appears to be students protesting speech with more speech, it’s not even a big problem for them.

                              Aside from a tiny handful of troublemakers, but you’ll find those anywhere.

                              The jump from that to “Free speech is under assault from the left in America” is, well — let’s say that’s more the evidence you go searching for after you’ve made your conclusion.

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                              • More speech is fine, but the way they are using their speech is feeding the troll. They are cluelessly helping the person they dislike. They are being incited and not smart enough to avoid falling into the trap.

                                Heck they should have a giant free speech festival the same time Milo speaks where they fund raise for their favorite charity. Loudly announce “here we are doing Good Acts for women or children or DV victims or whatever” and speaking about how Milo is a dingus. And we are happy about. Glitter and disco balls for all.

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                                • More speech is fine, but the way they are using their speech is feeding the troll. They are cluelessly helping the person they dislike. They are being incited and not smart enough to avoid falling into the trap.

                                  Well yeah. College kids.

                                  I basically said that up front.

                                  But other than giving Milo’s career a boost (which he then killed but eh, live by the troll, die by the troll), they don’t matter. They’ve got no power outside their campus, and precious little inside.

                                  And if they make good fodder for campaigns — if not them, it’d be someone or something else.

                                  Worrying about them like they’re the vanguard of America’s destruction is flipping dumb. College kids have always been that way, and will continue to be that way generation after generation.

                                  In the meantime, we sort of have an armed adult white supremacist problem, complete with sympathetic President. People’s whose powers are far greater than “Nuisance to school administration” and “minor ability to boost troll’s career”.

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                                  • morat20,
                                    College kids FIFTY YEARS AGO were exposed to Pro-American propaganda (this is um, kinda just fact).
                                    College kids today are exposed to propaganda that’s deliberately pro-segregation (“safe spaces” and all that nattering).

                                    Are you REALLY surprised that propaganda is getting better?

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                                • The positive v the negative, dude. Takes a bit longer. Doesn’t give a person the thrill of punition (with extreme prejudice). (Which is an American ideal, no doubt about it.) Leads to better outcomes in the long run. What’s not to like?

                                  Did I say that it doesn’t give a person (USAmerican) the immediate sensation of demonstrable punition?…..

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                            • I dunno that I’m that invested in arguing for this, but just as a point of fact, most colleges receive large amounts of federal funds. Given that they use that reasoning to explain that they MUST follow federal laws for x, y, and z, regardless of what the state says, there’ s no reason that shouldn’t also lead to them being expected to respect federal laws for p, z, and q.

                              I actually don’t want that, but in terms of argumentation, they’ve set their own precedents there. I doubt any college, including UC-Berkeley, could operate in their current style without, just to pick one example, federal workstudy funding. (which just doesn’t support students, but *literally* pays for labor the college would otherwise have to fund by other means.)

                              Now, as a taxpayer, that particular dumbness falls wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy down the list of things I make objection to, so so so far down. But it’s not logical to say California should care about UC-Berkeley b/c funds it, but not the rest of the country.

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            • College aged kids are doing what they’ve always done — try to get laid, get overly passionate about everything, and basically overreact. They’ll grow out of it, like everyone else does.

              Heh. So, students of the 60s just “outgrew” their free love and drug mentality and reverted to their parents’ conservative 50s views once they got Old? Right…

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              • Heh. So, students of the 60s just “outgrew” their free love and drug mentality and reverted to their parents’ 50s views once they got Old? Right…

                How many of them are talking about free love and living in swinger’s communes now?

                Taking LSD in the park?

                Instead they ended up getting married, getting jobs, and while they still care about some of the causes of the 60s — they’re not exactly going about it like they did, are they?

                As to reverting to their parent’s views — I have no idea where you got that. I certainly didn’t say it, nor imply it.

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                • A lot more than you apparently believe.

                  “Sex before marriage?”

                  Sure.

                  “Drugs in the park on the weekend or even a school night?”

                  OK. But just remember that you’ve gotta get a job, alright? I mean, when you’re older, you’ve GOTTA GET A JOB!

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                  • You have a weird view of a generation nearing retirement. Also, a weird view about the prevalence of sex before marriage BEFORE the 60s.

                    In any case, sure. My Mom spends her weekends taking LSD in the park while listening to bands and protesting for Civil Rights. Just like she did in the 60s. That’s before her and Dad head out to a nude beach for an orgy.

                    And so do all their friends.

                    Did you even think that through? Like at all? Or is your knowledge of the 60s simply a few hazy memories of movies that took place in the 60s?

                    Because, um….let’s say they stopped acting like it was the sixties by the seventies. And then ten years later voted for Reagan.

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                    • You have a weird view of…

                      Fine. Saying that’s not going to win you any elections or gain traction in the culture war. You’re still missing the point, Morat. Bigly.

                      Add: “Democrats are more interested in winning arguments than winning elections.”

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                      • I was off training employees all day or I would’ve said something sooner, but I need you to take a few deep breaths on this issue. There’s definitely an argument to be made for your points (one I actually tend to agree with on the merits more than not, fwiw), but you’re being rather uncivil to and whether you think we need to be more upset about this issue or not, I don’t see him being anywhere nearly as uncivil back to you.

                        I get that the two of you may have history I am not aware of, but merely disagreeing with you about the importance of something and expecting causal links before he takes your argument seriously does not waging a political war with you (and he’s right that those are your words, not his) make.

                        And if you’re worried that he’s saying these things in public when he should be focused on the right talking points and making the most rhetorically effective possible arguments in public, well…. that’s not what this site is for. Even if he agreed with you about what those points/arguments are.

                        If that wasn’t what you were trying to say, man, again I would urge a few deep breaths because I came at this well afterward with no particular expectations, and I don’t see what you see at all. Not just “don’t be mean” (though I don’t want you to be mean here), but also I have no idea how you are reading his statements the way you are reading them other than that you really really believe in your viewpoint, and the frustration you feel at his indifference is making it hard for you to express yourself clearly / read him fairly.

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                          • Whoa whoa whoa.

                            1) I didn’t say anything about banning you, I said you were being aggro and he was not *in this conversation*, and I would like you to take some deep breaths. As a general note I have banned exactly zero people since I took over although I have suspended a couple for a week each. Like, literally 2.
                            2) I have no idea if he’s arguing in good faith but generally speaking he seems to do that.
                            3) “My rules” involve not insulting people, hitting them with the sledgehammer of sarcasm, and otherwise aggressing upon them, regardless of what they are arguing, and whether you think that’s in good faith, unless what they are arguing is SERIOUSLY beyond the pale. Just not being that worried about a bunch of college kids (WHOM I AM ACTUALLY WORRIED ABOUT FOR THE RECORD) is not seriously beyond the pale. You were doing those things and I don’t see Morat doing them, here and now.

                            If you’d rather not argue here because of that, that’s up to you, but I was just saying “I don’t see this the way you see it and you need to take a step back and stop deliberately attacking people because you don’t think they’re arguing in good faith.” If you want to say “FORGET THAT” and go down in a blaze of glory, like, be my guest, but that was not and is not my intention. I just wanted you to stop.

                            I realize I have some (ETA: a lot of) coercive power (ETA: though technically not any more than I had a month ago, I’m just paying more attention) – but you were far away from invoking anything more than “I’m blocking you from commenting until tomorrow, please sleep on it and see if you can be more civil.” and that would have come after telling you to drop it a few times, had it not already been dropped.

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                            • and stop deliberately attacking people because you don’t think they’re arguing in good faith.”

                              Huh? Seriously, Maribou, you gonna go down that road. I made a one-dimensional claim – that the campus left is undermining free speech rights – and Morat claimed I was (something like) using my old tricks to make a political point.

                              What political point would I be making, given my history of commenting here? That I’m secretly a Palinista?

                              if you don’t like my commenting style then ban me. If you think the content of my arguments isn’t “in good faith”, then ban me, tho you’ll be wrong if you do.

                              have at it either way.

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                              • Where did he do that? I genuinely don’t see that comment. For anything that even sounds like it COULD be that comment, it seems as though you are way off base in interpreting what he said if you think it refers to you continuing an old pattern of behavior as opposed to how you were behaving right now, today.

                                I think your arguments are in good faith, I just don’t think you’re treating your opponents respectfully enough. When your arguments become hostile speculation about how well they will sleep at night, or similar snark, that’s not okay.

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                                • it seems as though you are way off base in interpreting what he said if you think it refers to you continuing an old pattern of behavior as opposed to how you were behaving right now, today.

                                  I didn’t say it refers to an old pattern of behavior either way; you said that. (And what you wrote is, again, barely even English…)

                                  What the fuck are you even talking about anymore, Maribou?

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                                      • You say that you didn’t use the word “old patterns”… which is true, you used “old tricks”, which is what she is referring to. You said that Morat accused you of using “old tricks” and she used the words “old patterns” in reference to that.

                                        I can’t find the comment you’re referring to with that, but I do recall a comment that left me with that impression that he was dragging some history into the conversation Maribou doesn’t see it at all and thinks you may have misinterpreted what he did say.

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                                        • You say that you didn’t use the word “old patterns”… which is true, you used “old tricks”, which is what she is referring to. You said that Morat accused you of using “old tricks” and she used the words “old patterns” in reference to that.

                                          I was anxiously awaiting your response, to elucidate what these objectionable old tricks are, but this is just more semantic jubberish. Both you and Maribou have referred to my ‘old tricks” now. So Notice!!! What are my old tricks such that Maribou finds them so odious as to censure me and perhaps ban!!!!

                                          What the fuck are they? I mean, cmon. Here I am on the receiving end of a blast from admin and no one can tell me what I’m deserving of being banned for.

                                          More to the point, I’d say this to Maribou: if I was short with Jaybird in a conversation, and busted him on not addressing the topic, the substance at hand, would either of you criticize me for engaging in “my old tricks”. (OK that may not be a perfect analogy…) Cuz I’ve busted JB manymanymanymany times for interpreting statements thru his Liberal Decoder Ring.

                                          S’all I’m sayin. Bannable?

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                                          • You used the words “old tricks” in reference to something Morat said. We’re not accusing you of using old tricks. She was saying that you accused Morat of accusing you of old tricks. She’s saying she never saw Morat do that. (For my part, I thought I remember Morat doing it, but I can’t find it.)

                                            But every reference to old tricks or old patterns is a reference to your comment here, where you said:

                                            I made a one-dimensional claim – that the campus left is undermining free speech rights – and Morat claimed I was (something like) using my old tricks to make a political point.

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                                          • You are not on blast. You are being told to calm down because you are reacting irrationally to , to myself, and now to Will.

                                            I didn’t accuse you of old tricks OR old patterns, I said that you said that Morat accused you of that and I didn’t see him do that. Upon which I asked you where he accused you of that.

                                            I just wanted you to tell me where he accused you of that. OR calm down and stop yelling at people and snarking about them.

                                            I’m not even going to address the rest of this.

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                                            • You are not on blast. You are being told to calm down because you are reacting irrationally to , to myself, and now to Will.

                                              Jesus christ jesu mersi get it over with Maribou. I wasn’t irrational in my conversation with Will, and I’m not irrational in my conversation with you and I wasn’t irrational in my conversation with Morat. But better to end it quickly, ya know?

                                              DO IT! Do it now. Forgive me father for they know not what they do. Unto your hands (Maribou) I commend my spirit.

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                        • If that wasn’t what you were trying to say, man, again I would urge a few deep breaths because I came at this well afterward with no particular expectations,

                          So, you came at this “afterward” and you don’t understand that the issue we’re discussing is whether the campus left is suppressing speech rights? how is that a temporally located decision???? how is that a “context sensitive judgment”?

                          have at it, tho. I encourage your, actually. Figure it out to the best of your ability. Context is infinitely small, right? And observer dependent.

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                          • That is the issue that you think you are discussing, yes, I got that from one of your angrier posts already. The issue seems to be discussing is whether their local suppression of speech rights is, in fact, resulting in any non-local effects of sufficient magnitude to arouse serious concerns on his part.

                            The point of me coming to it complete as a long argument rather than afterward is that it is often easier to see tone, escalation, and other markers of incivility from the outside than from in the middle of a heated argument.

                            At this point you’re being excessively condescending and angry *to me*, too, which I have more tolerance for, but seriously. Stop.

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                            • The issue seems to be discussing is whether their local suppression of speech rights is, in fact, resulting in any non-local effects of sufficient magnitude to arouse serious concerns on his part.

                              Really? There is absolutely nothing in his comments to suggest that this is his actual worry Maribou. “non-local effects of sufficient magnitude to arouse serious concerns…” Really? That’s barely even English.

                              Look, how bout this deal. Every time I get in a discussion with Morat you run interferene between us and interpret his claims into something more rational.

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                              • You just told me that my natural speech patterns (yes, this is just how I talk and the most concise way I had to say what I heard Morat saying) are “barely even English.” How do you even think of this as being in the realm of polite discourse?

                                You’re proving my concerns correct. Do it one more time and I’ll suspend you until tomorrow. If that happens, it’ll be up to you to decide if you still think it’s not worth your time to try to be reasonably polite.

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                                • How do you even think of this as being in the realm of polite discourse?

                                  Because when you say shit like that you’re not speaking English.

                                  On the one hand you gotcher Orwell and on the other you gothcher post-modern kyriarchal deconstructism.

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                                  • Jeez – I’ve felt the urge to step in to conversations when i perceive one side being unfair to the other. I typically suppress those urges. I think wisely. Its not my place. And will likely make things worse instead of better.

                                    Here though, I can’t help myself.

                                    Stillwater, you are being an ass, in the conversation with Morat. Then you were an ass in the conversation with Maribou. Like, its not even close.

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                                    • I will say it takes two to tango here. It took me a minute to find what could have been perceived as an ‘old trick’. That was a tough one.

                                      The one thing I found was that ‘what campus kids do’ could be seen as a subject or what is dismissed as ‘nothing burger’.

                                      In one sense making something out of nothing could be construed as ‘old trick’, ‘old pattern’ thing.

                                      There is a recent problem in the debates we are seeing for one side to unilaterally dismiss something, or ‘nothing burger’ it.

                                      It appeared Morat ‘nothing burgered’ Stillwaters position then followed with ‘weird view’, which is probably just a limited perspective thing, but it appears there is a layering of dismissal that occurs.

                                      I only recognize it because it has been deployed often against my position in the past. I don’t know where or if the strategy comes from somewhere but it has it’s ass-ness in a debate.

                                      I won’t say much about the conflict with the admins, other than we need to be careful not to talk past each other on the particulars. The only reason I bring that up is I think we may have lost Duck to a communication problem that he opted to defect out of.

                                      (added, I would really not like to see Stillwater defect because of a minor communication problem that evolves into something more)

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                                      • It appeared Morat ‘nothing burgered’ Stillwaters position then followed with ‘weird view’, which is probably just a limited perspective thing, but it appears there is a layering of dismissal that occurs.

                                        That’s a fair enough critique of where I’m at on this topic, but the point goes a bit deeper, seems to me, to just a bare recognition of facts on the ground, facts of the world we live in. My saying that lefty college kids are attacking speech rights strikes me as so obvious as to not warrant a rebuttal. Yet, Morat, to use your term, “nothingburgered” that claim essentially rendering it devoid of any substantive content. Which is (seems to me) just breathtakingly bizarre given additional facts on the ground, eg., that lefty radicalism is a primary driver of the alt-right.

                                        Switters: regardless of the tone invoked the content in each dialogue you refer to remains my main focus, and primarily from a political perspective. The bare facts on the ground are that the campus-based radical left is anti-free speech which not only has serious implications for speech issues going forward but is politically self-defeating. Claiming that those actions are just kids being kids denies the very real impact those specific actions have on political discourse, not to mention liberalism more generally. A theory of liberalism which justifies suppressing alt-righters from engaging in speech isn’t a form of liberalism in any sense of that word.

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                                        • “The bare facts on the ground are that the campus-based radical left is anti-free speech which not only has serious implications for speech issues going forward but is politically self-defeating.”

                                          Yes, in the same exact way that the fact the campus-based radical left being anti-Vietnam War led to them dismantling the military industrial complex when they become of age to take over – oh wait.

                                          The “campus based radical left” is largely based around a few dozen fairly small private colleges.

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                                        • Still – you can “regardless of the tone” all you want. The tone, for me, and apparently for Maribou, was the issue though. Regarding the content, I see both your and Morat’s point. I probably fall somewhere in the middle. ITs not a nothing burger, but I do buy the college kids gonna be college kids thing, mostly to little or no effect. I just thought you needlessly escalated and personalized it, in this case. I don’t think you are an ass. But i do think you were being one here. Particularly to Maribou, who is, IMHO, doing god’s work here.

                                          Not to mention the irony of someone pushing the important of political effectiveness

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                                      • I really don’t want Stillwater to leave – I mostly appreciate what he has to say – and in the case of Duck, that was early days in this new approach, I f’d up by not allowing for the possibility that I wouldn’t see a new comment right away, and I hope he eventually reads my apology and/or decides to come back on his own. I took a lot more time in this conversation – hours – before deciding to suspend Stillwater (for less than 24 hours!!).

                                        I don’t want to lose anybody as a commenter. But we have some really screwed up aspects to our commenting culture right now and it’s been driving a lot of people away. Not just theoretical people but actual people who are starting to come back around more now that things are less out of control.

                                        One of those screwed up aspects – not the only one, but the one in play here – is the thing where people think it’s okay to attack each other – not each other’s positions, but *each other* for holding them, without distinguishing between those two things. I’m going to keep being a mother hen about it until people quit doing that. I’d much rather not. MUCH rather not. But right now it seems to need to be done. And making those decisions is part of my job.

                                        “Weird view” was borderline and I would’ve told Morat to quit it if he continued on that path. Did Morat actually accuse Stillwater of being up to his “old tricks” or whatever it was, and were I able to find that comment – I can’t, even dug through the comments trash, etc. – I would’ve told them both the exact same thing. The reason I said Stillwater was more uncivil was because of comments like this one:

                                        “Good on ya, Morat. I’m sure lots of us reading your comments appreciate the resolve and personal sacrifice you experienced to take a stand for your opinions. That’s some bold shit. You’re a hero.”

                                        There’s literally no good reason to say something like that in response to someone *defending themselves from you attempting to publicly shame them for lacking courage* (Stillwater’s immediately previous comment).

                                        And I’m going to keep reacting to people who escalate conflicts by first telling them to stop and why, and then if they continue to do the same thing, doling out suspensions. And I can’t make that work if I pick and choose who gets reacted to by how much I generally like to see them commenting. Or if I pick and choose how I explain why I’m doing by whether I know a commenter is going to get mad about it vs actually listen and change how they behave. Or say, “hey, I got out of hand but also did you see X comment that I was reacting to, I think it was way out of line?” with not a paraphrase but some kind of actual pointer or cut and paste.

                                        We’re not going to keep ending discussions around here by who can be meaner to the other person, and over the past couple years, that’s been happening way too often.

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            • morat20,
              Yeah. You ever want to see some mofo react? you sit down at a dinner table and try to talk about school busing.

              YEAH. This ain’t kids, this is triggering, and intentional goddamn propaganda.

              Difference today is it’s not just rolling right anymore.

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