Linky Friday: To Hell In a Handbasket, But With Snakes

Note: Will is out on assignment. This week’s Linky Friday is being put together by Tod, who may or may not be posting some links Will has posted in the past. If this is the case, apologies in advance.


[P1] Sometimes political ads really do work on me —but in the opposite way the candidate intended.

[P2] Oh for Pet’s sake. Can we at least wait until 1920 for this?!

[P3] In fairness, you’re probably always going to look really, really smart when you’re standing next to this guy.

[P4] That one thing liberals point to as proof that governments work is becoming a sign that they are failing.

[P5} This CNN interview might well be the purist form of Trumpism I have ever seen, but for me its biggest takeaway is that Roy Moore’s official spokesperson has never, ever applied for a library card.

[P6] In a different timeline, bungling something this badly would make you a laughingstock among your peers — especially if were the rule and not the exception. In this timeline, however, you receive awards and accolades from the families of Supreme Court Justices for your bungling.

Men Vs. Women

[MW1] This piece by Claire Dederer should be required reading for men, even as those who read through to the end will be surprised at the places she goes.

[MW2] More proof that the internet is not for the weak of heart.

[MW3] There are monsters, and then there are monsters with legal teams.

[MW4] Say what you want about the British, but at least they s**tcan their predators once they’re publicly outed.

[MW5] It’s easy to get caught up in the belief that, what with today’s #metoo movement, society allowing women to be victims to powerful predators is this totally brand-new thing. But actually it’s pretty old. No, older than that, I mean.  No, I’m saying you need to go back really, really far in our history.

[MW6] Franken, Shmanken. Both parties have always been more than happy to quietly allow sexual harassment and assault to fester at their pleasure. But are we now seeing the emergence of an overtly pro-sexual harassment and assault party?

[MW7] Slate’s executive editor talks about being the object of her boss’s desire — and everything working out quite nicely, thank you very much. And speaking of publications I rarely say nice things about, good for Time magazine.

“The Best People”

[BP1] Not just the best in 2017. The best in history.

[BP2] Sobering news for the #nevertrump set: there may well be ways to clean up the White House, but it does not look as if the Logan Act is one of them.

[BP3] Mooch!

[BP4] I have always assumed that if there was any weakness in the Trump camp for Mueller to uncover that might potentially take them down, it wasn’t going to be proof of collusion — it was going to be proof of laundering. We shall see, I guess.

[BP5] This just seems like a bad Ocean’s 11 sequel waiting to happen.

[BP6] Hey man, whatever two consenting adults do in private is no business of mine.

Life On the Fringes

[LF1] I mean, it’s not like there were any signs that could have tipped them off at the outset.

[LF2] People are giving this New York Times piece a bad time for not being sufficiently anti-Nazi, but for me the problem with the article was that the reporter didn’t seem to care enough about it to report out the story. The Atlantic, on the other hand, gets its business done.

[LF3] This was probably inevitable.

[LF4] If your boss passed you up once again up for that big promotion, you might consider the possibility that your problem is an infestation of demons.

[LF5] Speaking of me, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little giddy that my next commission is to go out and cover the fine people at Nxivm.

[LF6] “You don’t make deals with God. If it was Jamie’s time, there was nothing I coulda done. He was gonna go anyway.

[LF7] Here’s a story about online bullying leading to suicide that should be receiving a lot more attention than it is. (Indeed, someone should write a piece about all the reasons no one does seem to care about this story.)


[P1] It turns out it’s a mixed blessing that we don’t get to really be there for our own birth.

[P2] Hey, they don’t call it the Sweet Science for nothing.

[P3] Sometimes you have to root for both sides to lose.

[P4] People back east are always asking me if Portlanders prefer to call Lyft or Uber when they don’t have a car and need to get somewhere, and I am forced to admit that, as always with PDX, it’s a little more complicated.

[P5] This piece on a lake in Africa and its role in an unspeakably terrible humanitarian disaster is really quite long, and very much worth your time.

[P8] It was always just a matter of time before some hipster argued that choosing to access almost any indie band you wanted  rather than what some radio station force fed you made you a sell-out.

[P9] There are unintended negative consequences to everything we do — including prison reform.

[P7] “I don’t know if you know this, but hamsters be fucking.”

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Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular contributor for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter. ...more →

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25 thoughts on “Linky Friday: To Hell In a Handbasket, But With Snakes

  1. Thank for offering us the choicest links to comment on Mr. Kelly,

    P1-Tip to politicians, if your going to imitate a classic movie make sure you do it really well. Especially in this day and age. People love mocking you if you get one thing wrong. At least he didn’t use Living on a Prayer.

    P2- We have a surfeit of scandals thanks to the Internet making every crooked incident in even the remotest corner of the world available to us. We need to start winnowing them down now and constantly to get to the real political scandal gold.

    P4-The actual liberal argument is that Americans expect Swedish level services from the government but don’t want to pay Swedish level taxes for them.

    P5-Roy Moore is Trump squared when it comes to at least certain things because he brings in religious hypocrisy. It always adds a little extra special flavor to general sleazy and immoral behavior. It also isn’t surprising that his spokeswoman never applied for a library card and that isn’t even because she is a conservative. Lots of people just don’t like to engage in recreational reading. Most of my friends are liberal or moderate and their reading taste tends to be pragmatic and self-help oriented.

    MW2: If we ever figure out how to kill people over the Internet, humanity has about five months top. I really don’t understand that. Assuming the poems were just as bad as criticized, whats the point in engaging in a national mocking campaign of the guy. Its just mean and kind of psychopathic. I also have better things to do with my life.

    MW3: The defense team did what they had to do, zealously advocate for their client and get him the best deal possible even if they had to come up with howler like autistic people not knowing rape is bad. This is the big problem with sexual assault. We are really dealing with two things. The first is sexual assault as dominance mechanism. Its a terrible plight upon society. Then you have sexual assault the crime. We hopefully want the traditional norms of criminal justice to apply like the assumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and right to counsel. However, upholding traditional legal norms for sexual assault the crime while fighting sexual assault the tool of oppression is really difficult.

    MW7- I think Ms. Benedickt gets why for than a few men are bewildered or even cynical about the metoo movement or enthusiastic consent. There are a lot of mixed signals out there and you either have a choice of playing it safe and getting a lot of “I didn’t feel any chemistry” responses or taking a risk and have a chance of it going terribly wrong.

    LF1-This represents a victory for liberalism and feminism in away. It shows that the sort of liberalism that exists in Western media can change expectations in people exposed to it even in explicitly illiberal social groups like the Alt-Right.

    LF3- “A capitalist is somebody who will sell you the rope which you use to hang him.” Lenin. There are people who like to make money and will do anything legal to get it even if it is distasteful or even immoral. Hot sauce, heavily associated with Mexican cuisine, marketed for Mexican hating Alt-Righters is kind of hilarious though.

    LF4- I see exorcism as a growth market in our economy. Its really no more irrational than self-help motivational cult seminars that more secular minded people go to.

    LF7-There is something deeply troubling about a woman being bullied to suicide for not wanting to have sex with a particular man. I guess that nobody wrote about this because the woman is a porn star and people have trouble writing about porn stars like they are normal human beings or treating them sympathetically. The other reason is that there are two conflicting strains working in this story. Liberals are opposed to non-consensual sex but we also don’t like homophobia that much either and the deceased’s reasons for not wanting to have sex were homophobic.

    P1-Its going to be real interesting seeing kids grow up on Facebook, exposed to the world.

    P9- They can actual pay wages rather than rely on prisoners to fight forest fires.

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    • MW7: A lot of this confusion could be mitigated by HR departments doing their jobs and taking complaints seriously. It would also help if those departments were empowered by corporate governance to bring heat on executives who go over the line.

      If the complaint is in the news, it’s a pretty good bet HR either didn’t or couldn’t deal with it.

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      • MW7: In work places big enough to have HR departments sure. This is assuming that being the office judiciary is part of HR’s job. The cynical answer would be that HR’s job is to protect the organization they work for rather than act as a fair-minded judiciary and police force for the organization’s employees. Even if HR does its job, millions of people don’t work for organizations big enough to have an HR department. I never worked for a law firm or any place that employed enough people to justify an HR department in my life. It was the owner that needed to be boss, judge, and police of the office. I’m not alone.

        The issues presented in MW7 also extends way beyond the workplace even though the parable started in the Slate offices. The definition of sexual harassment is an unwanted advance. The standard reply is how do I know an advance is unwanted until I try. Plus as Ms. Benedickt points out in the article, there is a lot of inconsistency about what people want in terms of romantic advances. We talked about this on the Receiving End thread recently. A lot of rejection occurs because the pursuer was not aggressive enough.

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        • On a recent Savage Love episode, Dan Savage answered a question about whether #metoo meant the end of legitimate office romance. He offered a strategy wherein you ask directly, but with a preface that if the answer is no, the answer is no and you’ll accept that and that will be that. Is that perfect? Probably not. But it also seems like a pretty reasonable approach. I’d be curious to hear from women on how they’d feel about that and I’m curious if Dan ran that particular idea by his female producer; he often does but I don’t remember him explicitly saying so in this case.

          And if the colleague of interest is the type that wants an aggressive approach well… tough luck. Don’t be aggressive in the work place. Full stop.

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          • I heard the advice “Never get your honey where you get your money” many years ago. Very sound advice in general. Completely leaving aside sexual harassment love in the workplace has dangers. That doesn’t mean never do it or that it hasn’t worked out for some. It can work. But don’t’ be surprised if it blows up in your face.

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    • What’s the point of the #metoo movement? To gain power?

      If the point of it is to gain power, I’m thinking that you have a time horizon problem that will result in bigger problems both long and short term.

      If the point of it is to change the culture, then that’s something that will take time but you should be comforted by how the arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

      But if you were hoping to embrace #metoo in order to stomp out Moore and Trump, you were embracing #metoo for bad reasons. Worse than that, if the zeitgeist decides to abandon #metoo because it keeps hitting the wrong people, that’ll backfire even worse in the long term.

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      • Since the metoo movement consists of multiple people and is meme based rather than organization based, I’m assuming multiple purposes. The biggest ones are both cultural, stopping the sexual assault and harassment of women, and political, taking down powerful men that assault and harass women.

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        • I guess the question then becomes “is it worth taking down Weinstein and Rattner and Spacey if it also takes down Franken but not Moore or Trump?”

          As someone with vulgar utilitarian sympathies, I completely understand making a calculus like this one but I also know that it’s a bad idea to make it out in public where people with deontological sympathies (or, Atheist God help us, virtue ethics sympathies) can see.

          They have no stomach for looking at the big picture.

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  2. [P3] I stopped reading the article when it said Martin O’Malley was a “leading light of the Democratic party”. Yah, NFW. I know that tool and his band sucks too.

    [MW2] Pfft. I liked the poem and frankly, it’s probably 100% true. As for the comments, screw em.

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  3. P5: There was another interview with a Moore spokesperson (not sure if it was this same woman or a different one) where she started off by congratulating her interviewer on being pregnant and went on to talk about how Jones wants to come and abort the baby.

    She also said something about all of the people who aren’t accusing Moore being proof that the accusers are lying.

    This is just pure insanity. And yet, it seems likely to win.

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      • Same per mile of road? Same per capita? Same per country? Looks like per country to me.

        If you keep building new roads and don’t increase the maintenance budget for the roads you’ve already built, the result is predictable.

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      • I’m sure some of it is wasted, but the bulk of the cost is in the standards. It costs more to build a road or bridge today because we should be building them better. Overpasses and bridges are designed and built to last longer[1] and/or to require less maintenance, as well as resist earthquakes, floods, etc. Roads that were once always asphalt are now being replaced with concrete, and those that remain asphalt are getting asphalt blends that are more expensive and better able to resist the damage of seasons.

        [1] Some are not built to last for a long time, because of expected future expansion. No one wants to spend the money to install a 4 lane bridge that will last 50 years when they expect to be needing a 6 or 8 lane bridge inside of 20 years.

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        • I don’t think the money is being wasted, but I also don’t think that roads are not being funded.

          I agree with a lot of your points about improved standards, but I don’t think those all necessarily cost more, some of the new standards are simply better practices. But labor productivity has increased as well, meaning fewer workers on similar jobs.

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  4. [P4] If you don’t pay to keep the roads maintained, they go bad. This isn’t rocket science. I don’t know why you’d call it a failure of liberalism. Asphalt has got so much more expensive now because its petroleum content. Meanwhile, farm equipment keeps getting bigger and heavier and pounds the crap out of said roads. Gravel roads can be good or they can be terrible, I’ve driven on both.

    This could be fixed. It takes money. But the very voters it serves tend to send people to the statehouse who don’t want to raise money or spend it. Meanwhile, urban constituencies feel that if the reps of the rural states don’t want to put some skin in the game, why should they?

    We could fix this. I think that probably we have to step back from all-asphalt. But we should probably be more aggressive at fixing potholes and road hazards. I’ve been on some very nice gravel roads, and some terrible ones.

    Frankly, we are terrible at building infrastructure compared to other countries. It’s much more expensive here than even in Canada. We need to figure this out.

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