Latest Linkage

Morning Ed: Society {2016.12.14.W}( 80 )

I’m holding on to this article in part to inform the name of our next child, should we be fortunate enough to have one.

Soccer continues to promote itself as the anti-sport, just in case casual sports fans start to take an interest.


Snowstorms build community!

Well, sure, but this is a pretty low bar.

Does voice technology in cars mean the end of radio? Wait, radio is still around?

Joe Mathews makes the case for “delightfully dangerous” playgrounds. Steel slides in the summer heat are sadistic, but room to fall isn’t such a bad thing.

Pearl Jam is terrible. Also, Bob Dylan.

Whatever happened to Bobby Gentry?

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Morning Ed: Media {2016.12.13.T}( 222 )

Sometimes creatures from the fever swamps surface. Here’s some background on how it became a “story.” and how our paranoid rescue fantasies played a part.

When the media goes red-baiting and starts talking about blacklists.

Jonah Goldberg warns against bear propoganda.

Huh. The Newsweek people never read the infamous “Madame President” issue of Newsweek. The picture of her signing one is probably going to go alongside “Dewey Beat Truman” in the history books.

I can’t agree with this Current Affairs piece more. The media has given us (right, left, and center) a lot of reason to be skeptical of them and the air of authority with such things as “fact checks” isn’t flying – with reason.

#OscarsSoWhite is uncanceled! It was briefly canceled because the Oscars became less white, but the guy who canceled them was fired. To be fair, he also unapologetically tweeted about it. (And, to be more fair, maybe there was more to it than that.)

How exactly did Macedonia become such an epicenter of Fake News? Is this a job Americans won’t do any more? Will Trump levy tariffs? Inquiring minds want to know!

Never tweet.

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Morning Ed: United States {2016.12.12.M}( 208 )

Tabias Wilson talks about black gay privilege.

A look at American history and the upward mobility (and/or lack thereof) of Asian-Americans and African-Americans.

We have our state boundaries, but here are our socioeconomic boundaries. {via Burt}

Barrow Alaska, one of the northernmost outposts in the United States, is no longer named Barrow.

Matt Yglesias wants to relocate a bunch of government agencies to the midwest. Unsurprisingly, the idea does have some appeal to me, though we’ve been doing it to some extent for a while now (my taxes used to go to Fresno), but if we’re not going to move the capital to Nebraska, maybe we can do more of this.

Most refugees have settled in just 10 states, though to be fair four of them are among our five most populous states and the fifth took its share a long time ago. Per capita, the states receiving the most refugees are states like Nebraska and Idaho and the Dakotas.

Perhaps it is so that as we trample on Mother Earth with our lofty development, occasionally she demands her sacrifice.

Jesmyn Ward says 2016 is the year America finally got to see the South.

If we are to see a socialist revolution, Hispanics may take a pass.

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Linky Friday #196: Natural Law( 328 )


locavore photo

Image by mriggen

[F1] Michelle Minton argues that the FDA’s ratchet-down of sodium alotments is counterproductive, in part due to the fact that we’re… not actually consuming more salt?

[F2] Is Greek yogurt culturally problematic?

[F3] Locavores like local farmers more in theory than in practice. And also, want their exotic foods.

[F4] A new study suggests that high-fat foods could interfere with the executive function of adolescents.

[F5] I am definitely guilty of the “fear of being hungry” thing.


santa photo

Image by ahoy polloi

[O1] John Likely lost more than half of his body-weight… on fast food.

[O2] Elna Baker lost a lot of weight, but then had to deal with a different problem as a lot of excess skin was left behind.

[O3] Being fat sucks because being fat sucks. It also sucks because fat stigma sucks.

[O4] It absolutely did not work this way for me, but some research suggests that switching to ecigarettes may help prevent post-smoking weight gain! This is important primarily not because of the health implications of weight gain, but because weight gain is one of the things many would-be quitters are afraid of. (With reason: society might dislike smokers, but it hates fat people way more.)

[O5] Bad Santa!


hurricane photo

Image by yoshimov

[P1] India is looking towards natural gas, Australia may be turning away from wind, and in the US renewable-energy folks are hoping that they’ll extend the tax credits before everything comes crashing down in January.

[P3] After Standing Rock, Native American advocates are gearing up for another battle in New Mexico. Big Oil, though, hasn’t given up on North Dakota.

[P4] Josh Kraushaar argues that Democrats need to find a better political balance between jobs and the environment. I… don’t know? I do think there might be some meta-issues going on here, and perhaps they could work on their delivery and maybe focus more on consequential environmentalism rather than the team-building sort, but there were definitely a lot of factors going into this election and given the stakes I can understand why that’s not one they might want to budge on.

[P5] If only – instead of using rail – there were some way to transport oil by way of some, I don’t know, line of pipe or something. Oh, well.

[P6] It turns out that you can’t nuke a hurricane. Well, I mean you can, but the hurricane will win out.


The RMS Titanic was such a cute little cruise boat.

The RMS Titanic was such a cute little cruise boat.

[T1] Gondola! Gondola!

[T2] Meet the Wag Brigade, therapy animals for airports. Now featuring a pig!

[T3] Now you, too, can ride The Titanic.

[T4] Streetcar ridership in Cincinnati is not very good, and the quality of metro in DC is (of course) awful. But! Success in Houston? Free fares for some the car owners in Paris.

[T5] United is going to start charging for overhead bin use. As someone who is tired of watching people bend the rules of carry-ons to breaking points to avoid checking fees, I’m not too sorry to see this. This, however, I’m very sorry to see. (Actually, I doubt the airlines will go for it, so I’m not super-duper worried.)

[T6] I remember once upon a time, diesel was supposed to be good for the environment. Here is a Hit Coffee post about it (from my former coblogger).


manufacturing photo

Image by TheLeadSA

[W1] An anonymous academic laments a labor market that leaves people with a complete inability to have a family life and be a good scientist and keep work.

[W2] Noah Smith argues that UBI is a dead end because jobs matter in their own right.

[W3] Attention employers! Employees are apparently willing to take a 20% pay cut in order to know their schedule at least a week ahead of time.

[W4] Maybe trade and public policy really did significantly contribute to the decline of manufacturing employment.

[W5] Mark Carrigan’s thoughts on fame culture, fatalism, and our future in automation is worth reading.


embryo photo

Image by BasketStreaming

[C1] An interesting look at whether the courts can declare environmentism a right (to oversimplify, greatly). This… makes me maybe not sorry that the Supreme Court isn’t about to shift.

[C2] If the purpose of copyright law is to promote the arts, Alex Tabarrok is quite right that retroactive copyrights for the dead make little sense.

[C3] Michael Jordan owns his name in China!

[C4] Do Sofia Vergara’s frozen embryos have standing to sue? I would love Burt to write a post on this, but my inclination is not and if the contract spelled out that both parents’ consent were needed to give life to the embryos, then you need both parents’ consent. But that is predicated on the notion that embryos don’t have standing, which I guess is the crux of the matter.

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Morning Ed: Crime & Justice {2016.12.08.Th}( 144 )

African-Americans don’t want Dylann Roof to die, but whites say strap-em-down.

You can shrug this sort of thing off when it’s on a crime show, but it’s actually pretty serious.

This is buddy sitcom clever.

Want to find out how many hate crimes there are in New Jersey? The data won’t help.

Relatedly, I understand why the SPLC did that… but (unless something is being misrepresented) they should not have done that.

This isn’t really a sustainable form of punishment or societal protection. It’s basically life in prison, whether we admit it or not.

I am jack’s complete lack of surprise.

Fixed/Added Links:

“I wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress. I wanted her to react humiliated. I think she hated me and also Marlon because we didn’t tell her.”

I saw a move once before and after Lain was born. A character in the movie died in the climax, leaving behind pre-toddler boy. It’s really quite remarkable how differently that hits you before and after having kids. This story reminds me of that.

The power and potential of free Naloxone in preventing drug overdoses.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.12.07.W}( 87 )

Politics may be making things worse for dogs. The adverse consequences of puppy mill laws is really quite concerning.

Lawrence Lessig wants to know why we aren’t challenging the constitutionality of the Electoral College! Actually, just the WTA aspect of it. It’s an interesting thought, though going by congressional district puts gerrymandering concerns on steroids, and any attempt to proportionalize it would need a much larger US House to work. (Wait! I have a plan!)

Okay, but what if they really are low-information voters? (Other than that they are probably better at time management and prioritization than people like myself are?

I thought that the “deplorables” comment was not good politically, but I didn’t realize precisely how bad it was.

Housing and Urban Development is has gone forward with its smoking ban in public housing, to the frustration of some. I share my thoughts over at Hit Coffee.

China: Well, this doesn’t sound good. Also, this.

But what of Good China, that is doing everything right and still has no friends? Well, except…

In case you were wondering, this is how presidents usually phone to outside people.

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Morning Ed: History {2016.12.06.T}( 42 )

Public Domain Review looks at the Operation Doorstep nuclear testing, with cars and mannequins. Related: Hitler respondsGerman nuclear physicists respond to The Bomb.

If you want to be rich, just hope that the government accidentally drops a nuke on your house.

Meet Victoria Woodhull: Presidential candidate, newspaper publisher, and stockbroker, psychic, and free love advocate… in the 19th century.

Maybe they just needed a good opera house? Did lack of culture do the neanderthals in?

Before the Internet catalogued all of human knowledge, it was index cards.

The echelon and vocabulary of blacks in slave state Louisiana are rather confusing in the age of the One Drop test.

Whatever did end up happening to the Vikings in Greenland?

Ooooh, secret societies.

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Morning Ed: Business( 217 )

The War With UI. How companies can help and frustrate its customers. It mentions Linux (KDE is mentioned in the article), which has multiple desktop environments I like, but which still has problems under the hood.

Is outsourcing overseas good or bad for a company? Well, it depends. Most of the outsourcing I’ve seen at employers (one to Russia, another to China) didn’t work out very well. (By which I mean, the programs were terminated and the work brought back.)

When delivering Christmas presents doesn’t pay the bills, they gotta get a second job.

Oooooh, co-ops!

Huh. Google went and created it’s own language. Sort of.

A new study says that Latin America and Caribbean countries need to support its self-starters. (Most particularly, entrepreneurs.)

Well, this doesn’t sound good. And it’s not something we can really blame on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the government pushing loans.

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Linky Friday #195: Pillars of Sand( 331 )


[F1] Jane the Actuary talks about contraception, and how some of the jokey forms of birth control may actually be more effective than the Pill. {More}

[F2] An important article involving the the existence of Santa Claus.

[F3] This sounds truly horrible, though there may be some context for general advertising censorship that we don’t have over here that makes it somewhat less horrible?

[F4] Family stability is improving for children born to married couples, but fewer couples are getting married. There may be reasons to cohabit, such as financial concerns, but Scott Stanley and Galena Rhoades argue testing a relationship is not a good one. On the other hand, it does make women feel as good as if they’d gotten married. (Sort of.)


fantasy city photo

Image by ??? TORLEY ???

[C1] Too many, and in such small portions.

[C2] Matthew Schmitz looks at cities and tribes.

[C3] Richard Florida laments the rents. But we’ve gotten some good news on that lately, potentially due to increased supply!

[C4] Matthew La Corte explains how refugees are helping struggling cities.

[C5] Utopian dreams of free private cities.

[C6] In 1956, Jane Jacobs discussed cities and development in a piece that still resonates. Lev Bratishenko, though, says we need less Jane Jacobs.


cuban hospital photo

Image by Anthony Knuppel

[H1] Incompatible kidney donation is saving lives!

[H2] Well, this isn’t good.

[H3] There are various aspects of my wife’s job that can get her very worked up. This is one of them. She proverbially (and sometimes literally) weeps for patients that are kept past their time.

[H4] New Zealand is compensating organ donors! Just to recoup losses, though.

[H5] Ecstasy may be a solution for PTSD!


Image by leighblackall

Image by leighblackall

[M1] Chris Beck believes that “post-truth” and “xenophobia” – the named words of 2016, are over-relied upon. Maybe? I actually think xenophobia is under-used, because people keep saying “racist” when they mean “xenophobic.” (Relatedly, Mirriam-Webster needs a hug.)

[M2] Buzzfeed is suddenly worried about unions.

[M3] Speaking of Buzzfeed, they’re taking a lot of grief for this piece. To me, the bigger criticism is less about the LGBTQ battles (politicization of everything or whatnot) but the process by which the writer went from “I hate the people on that show” to actually writing a substanceless smearish piece over the course of a few days

[M4] After Rob Ford, a Canadian journalist has some advice on how to approach Trump.

[M5] Let Trump be Trump, at least on this issue. If he doesn’t want a pet, we shouldn’t foist some poor animal on him.


simpsons photo

Image by limpfish

[R1] Alana Newhouse says that America’s Jews need to be Jewish again.

[R2] It’s like freemasons. Except in Germany. Involving Jews. This is not the beginning of a good story…

[R3] Christ is King! Of Poland.

[R4] An interesting discovery in Ireland.

[R5] We’ve discussed religion, TV, and The Simpsons before. Adam Gurri has a good post on the subject.


cuban hospital photo

Image by dbking

[S1] Randall Cunningham was pretty awesome! He’s the only quarterback I ever won a Superbowl with in Tecmo Superbowl, and that was only because I never used him. Though, I guess that wasn’t Randall Cunningham, as he went by “QB Eagles” on the game.

[S2] I don’t know what’s worse, the state of college football depicted here, or that Bret Bielema comes out of the story looking pretty good.

[S3] Well, I’m glad that they’re no longer relying on the all-star game to determine home World Series field advantage, though I think they ought to give it to the league from the team that won the most interleague games.

[S4] When baseball left him behind, wrestling embraced Babe Ruth.

[S5] A good story on Superman’s Jewish Strongman roots.

[S6] San Diego is the 8th largest city in the country. The area is the 17th largest metro. Now, they are down to one professional franchise in the top five sports as the Chargersh have decided to leave.

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Morning Ed: World {2016.12.01.Th}( 90 )

Oh, joy. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but it does seem helpful that India and Pakistan are next to one another, which would make such a nuclear attack less “remote.”

Trump sympathy can show up in the most unexpected places. I mean, really.

Russians are apparently smuggling jet fuel into Syria.

Of course he is. Gettin’ out while the gettin’s good, and we may be a Faragean nation now.

There’s good news in the world to be thankful for.

Turkey is threatening the EU with a new refugee surge.

Margaret Wente wonders if women really have it better in Sweden. Well, it kind of depends on how we define “better” I would think. When given the option, sometimes women will make decisions that by some metrics make the country look worse off.

The BBC looks at countries that don’t exist and the last unmapped places on earth, while The Atlantic looks at citizens of nowhere.

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Morning Ed: Planet Earth {2016.11.30.W}( 387 )

A new study looks at the link between oil prices and inflation. Relatedly, could Texas oil prices go up due to Asian demand?

Is it too much to hope that maybe Superman’s got some equipment up there doing stuff?

Also, the rising tides in Florida, and the impact they’re having.

Environmentalists: Maybe all is not lost with Trump. Maybe the states will step up. Federalism!

Water, as a civil right.

As Donald Trump ponders an “environmental reset,” Bjorn Lomborg argues that the Paris agreement was never the solution for Climate Change.

Ronald Bailey argues that energy poverty is much worse for the poor than Climate Change. Whether that’s true or not, I definitely agree with the Iron Law of Climate Change: When policies on emissions reductions collide with policies focused on economic growth, economic growth will win out every time. Christiane Amonpour takes a different view.

The Standing Rock Sioux and other protesters would really like it if people coming in to protests would stop treating the whole thing like Burning Man.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.11.29.T}( 218 )

But it doesn’t even look like a football.

This is kind of a surprise. I really thought he’d head back to Chicago.

This, to me, is how “fact-checking” ought to work. A complicated case is explained instead of scored with pinocchios.

Marsha Gessen looks at the difficult decision that civil servants need to make. I do hope they stick around, we might need them. But I understand he might make that nigh-impossible.

Jamelle Bouie suggests that the path forward for Democrats may have been laid by none other than Jesse Jackson.

Frustrating as it may sound, Natalie Jackson is right: Neither party has a winning coalition.

In April, Thomas Berry tried to make a case for presidential-election runoffs. I have one concern and one objection. The concern is the degree to it would add more patchwork to our system. The objection is ever changing an electoral method during an election year. That said, FPTP is terrible and will always be terrible, whether as part of an electoral college or a national popular vote.

But… uhhhh… Evita is great.

Seems reasonable.

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Morning Ed: Media {2016.11.28.M}( 194 )

With one neat little trick, we can install Bernie into the White House. Alas, it’s post-truthism all around. Seriously, all around.

What happens if we switch the bubbles?

Via Saul, the media seems ill-equipped to handle antisemitism. It reads to me like they’re trying to bring this out in the open to horrify people, but I fear they are normalizing it.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown writes about attempts in Alabama to shield prostitution mugshots from the press.

Ouch. In truth, Vox probably gets more grief than it deserves… though it gets a lot more money than it deserves, too.

Well, this is one way to combat fake news, I suppose. The problem is that the Washington Post is running fake news stories about fake news.

Dangit, this was fake news I could have used!

Swedish media is really (rightfully) concerned about media treatment in Turkey.

Clickbait, old school!

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Fidel( 45 )


Speech of Senator John F. Kennedy, Cincinnati, Ohio, Democratic Dinner, October 6, 1960

Exploiting the twin themes of human misery and Yankee hatred, Castro’s campaign has met with success in almost every country – in Brazil, where both Presidential candidates found it politically expedient to appeal to pro-Castro and anti-American elements in the electorate – in Mexico, where anti-American riots followed pressure on a pro-Castro spokesman – in Guatemala, where Castro-equipped revolutionaries are a real menace – in Uruguay, where a general strike was threatened if Castro was not supported at the San Jose Conference. And – at the same foreign ministers’ conferenc – the United States suffered one of its few diplomatic defeats in the history of inter-American relations, when it was forced to withdraw its protest over Communist efforts in this hemisphere.

This is a critical situation – to find so dangerous an enemy on our very doorstep. The American people want to know how this was permitted to happen – how the Iron Curtain could have advanced almost to our front yard. They want to know the truth – and I believe that they are entitled to the truth. It is not enough to blame it on unknown State Department personnel. Major policy on issues such as Cuban security is made at the highest levels – in the National Security Council and elsewhere – and it is the party in power which must accept full responsibility for this disaster.

The story of the transformation of Cuba from a friendly ally to a Communist base is – in large measure – the story of a government in Washington which lacked the imagination and compassion to understand the needs of the Cuban people – which lacked the leadership and vigor to move forward to meet those needs – and which lacked the foresight and vision to see the inevitable results of its own failures.

Unrepentant hypocrite Colin Kaepernick defends Fidel Castro (Armando Salguero, Miami Herald, Thursday)

Cuba for more than five decades under the Castros has stifled practically any and all dissent. According to Human Rights Watch, “Cuban citizens have been systematically deprived of their fundamental rights to free expression, privacy, association, assembly, movement, and due process of law. Tactics for enforcing political conformity have included police warnings, surveillance, short-term detentions, house arrests, travel restrictions, criminal prosecutions, and politically motivated dismissals from employment.”

Now go to Google images of the Ladies In White protesting on Cuba’s streets. Kaepernick, the poster child for protest among NFL players, should do this. He would see images of women — white, black, mothers, daughters, sisters — systematically violated in one form or another by Castro’s thugs.

Dozens of protesters arrested before Obama’s arrival in Cuba
Hours before President Barack Obama landed in Cuba, Cuban officials arrested some 50 protesters of a key dissidents group, the Ladies in White.

They are harassed, spat upon, pushed and even bloodied simply because they are fighting to do in Cuba what Kaepernick does on an NFL sideline without fear or physical repercussion — just before he wears that Castro shirt to his postgame presser.

Fidel Castro is dead (Miami Herald)

Castro bragged that he would free his island of economic dependence on the United States, and he did — but only by becoming even more dependent on another foreign power based nearly 6,000 miles away in Moscow. Cuba ran up billions of dollars in debt for weapons, oil, machinery, food and other supplies. And when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Cuba’s crippled economy imploded, bringing new hardships to a population that already had suffered decades under his mismanagement.

Hundreds of thousands fled the society Castro created. The exodus began early with the powerful and affluent and continued with former comrades who found themselves in opposition to his rule. Next to go were the middle class and professionals and, finally, just about anyone who had the courage to grab a boat or cobble together a raft for the perilous crossing of the Florida Straits.

Castro, although always controversial, once seemed to embody a fresh, youthful approach to his island’s conflicts. Few moments in Cuban history rival the euphoria of Jan. 8, 1959, when the black-bearded comandante rode a tank into Havana with his swaggering rebel fighters, making their way through streets filled with cheering throngs. President Fulgencio Batista had fled a week earlier.

Message Conveying the Government’ s Official Condolences on the Death of Joseph Stalin (1953)

THE GOVERNMENT of the United States tenders its official condolences to the Government of the U.S.S.R. on the death of Generalissimo Joseph Stalin, Prime Minister of the Soviet Union.

Statement by the President on the Passing of Fidel Castro

At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.

For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements. During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends – bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity. This engagement includes the contributions of Cuban Americans, who have done so much for our country and who care deeply about their loved ones in Cuba.

Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro

“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.

“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.

“A huge figure of modern history and 20th century socialism” – Corbyn’s tribute to Fidel Castro

“Fidel Castro’s death marks the passing of a huge figure of modern history, national independence and 20th century socialism.

“From building a world class health and education system, to Cuba’s record of international solidarity abroad, Castro’s achievements were many.

“For all his flaws, Castro’s support for Angola played a crucial role in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa and he will be remembered both as an internationalist and a champion of social justice.”

Statement by President Juncker on the passing away of Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro was one of the historic figures of the past century and the embodiment of the Cuban Revolution. With the death of Fidel Castro, the world has lost a man who was a hero for many. He changed the course of his country and his influence reached far beyond. Fidel Castro remains one of the revolutionary figures of the 20th century. His legacy will be judged by history.
I convey my condolences to the Cuban President Raúl Castro and his family and to the people of Cuba.

President-Elect (sic) Donald J Trump Statement

Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.

While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.

Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.

Former Chilean dictator Pinochet dies at age 91 (USA Today, 2006)

The White House on Sunday marked Pinochet’s death by calling his rule a “difficult period” and commending the country for establishing a free society.

“Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile represented one of the most difficult periods in that nation’s history,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. “Our thoughts today are with the victims of his reign and their families. We commend the people of Chile for building a society based on freedom, the rule of law and respect for human rights.”

Fidel Castro was an unwavering champion of racial equality (Ronald Howell, New York Daily News)

The most telling manifestation of Castro’s determination to stand against racism came in the 1980s. That was when Cuba sent 25,000 troops to fight in Angola alongside factions opposing the old apartheid government of South Africa. Keep in mind that the United States had been phony on the topic of racial justice. It took militant protests by American college students to get the United States to finally declare, through the 1986 Anti-Apartheid Act, that it was wrong to operate a country along racial lines, as South Africa was doing.

The South African racial justice hero Nelson Mandela, who was released from prison and went on to become the country’s first black leader, traveled to Cuba in 1991 to personally thank Fidel Castro and the Cuban people for their support in fighting apartheid and colonialism. Through the turning of the last century, Cuba remained a significant presence in Africa, providing medical assistance and trying to strengthen diplomatic bonds.

For Blacks in Cuba, the Revolution Hasn’t Begun (New York Times, 2013)

Racism in Cuba has been concealed and reinforced in part because it isn’t talked about. The government hasn’t allowed racial prejudice to be debated or confronted politically or culturally, often pretending instead as though it didn’t exist. Before 1990, black Cubans suffered a paralysis of economic mobility while, paradoxically, the government decreed the end of racism in speeches and publications. To question the extent of racial progress was tantamount to a counterrevolutionary act. This made it almost impossible to point out the obvious: racism is alive and well.

If the 1960s, the first decade after the revolution, signified opportunity for all, the decades that followed demonstrated that not everyone was able to have access to and benefit from those opportunities. It’s true that the 1980s produced a generation of black professionals, like doctors and teachers, but these gains were diminished in the 1990s as blacks were excluded from lucrative sectors like hospitality. Now in the 21st century, it has become all too apparent that the black population is underrepresented at universities and in spheres of economic and political power, and overrepresented in the underground economy, in the criminal sphere and in marginal neighborhoods.

In Havana, Castro’s Death Lays Bare a Generation Gap (New York Times)

With the departure of Cuba’s epic revolutionary in green fatigues, at the age of 90, the residents of Havana have not erupted so much as moved into their own emotional corners. All over this city on Saturday, indifference and relief stood side by side with sorrow and surprise as the conflicts that characterized Fidel Castro in life continued to reverberate after his death.

“He was the only leader I ever knew,” Graciela Martinez, 51, said as she mopped the floors of a cafe near the American Embassy on Saturday morning. She paused, then began to weep, thinking of her father, who fought for the revolution — and of her relatives who had fled to the United States.

“For those who loved him, he was the greatest,” she said of Mr. Castro. “For those who hated him, there was no one worse.”

Cuba, a verdant, struggling country of 11 million people that has been moving slowly toward free-market changes, finds itself again at an international crossroads. Mr. Castro died as Venezuela has pulled back financial support, facing its own political and economic crisis, and the détente engineered under President Obama threatens to be rolled back by President-elect Donald J. Trump.

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Linky Friday #194: Crime & Turkey( 101 )


black friday photo

Image by Powhusku

[Ec1] People willing to dispose of conveniences will be allowed to fly more cheaply than people who indulge themselves with them. Cool. (Well, up to a point. Bathrooms need to stay free.)

[Ec2] The Atlantic would like to wish you a happy holiday, you gluttonous cretin.

[Ec3] Via James K, our latest export to New Zealand is Black Friday.

[Ec4] Spain wants you to stop using cash.

[Ec5] Finally! Someone explains the NES Classic Edition to me in words I can understand. The TV thing is lost on me since I keep a laptop hooked up to our televisions.

[Ec6] Ed West explains how you can be against the elite, even if you’re pretty rich and pampered yourself. Just as the non-wealthy need the wealthy to advocate for them, so it goes in other arenas.

[Ec7] Good news! We no longer need concern ourselves with Paul Krugman’s alien invasion.


[Ed1] Some school rezoning has been delayed because this sort of thing is complicated even when there are no Republicans involved.

[Ed2] The New York Times has a good look at which states are experiencing the brain drain and the brain gain. It’s not entirely what you think. Less red vs blue and more reddening vs blueming.

[Ed3] In part because the educational divide and its effect on our politics and our nation.

[Ed4] Donald Trump to the rescue!

[Ed5] Jason Bedrick takes issue with the New York Times’ characterization of charter school research.

[Ed6] Look, if my kid has a teacher with the nickname “Paedo” I’m going to have questions. That said, there were two coaches in my school system that got in trouble for inappropriate sexual behavior, and both were pretty well known to students.


Marine Le Pen photo

Image by dielinkebw

[Eu1] Chart: Multigenerational living in Europe.

[Eu2] Rishi Sunak makes the case for free ports in the post-Brexit economy, which may not be as rosy as its advocates states.

[Eu3] Exciting! (Ack.) But no matter who is elected, PEG says France won’t be fixed.

[Eu4] Alison Smale and Steven Erlanger declare Merkel the Liberal West’s Last Defender.

[Eu5] Well this is gorgeous as hell.


Image by JHTaylor

Image by JHTaylor

[C1] We need to figure out how to get people to be able to do this, so that we can send more people to inhabit the western deserts.

[C2] Don’t fish with squirrels.

[C3] Sorry, but you just can’t trust crows. Even – perhaps especially – ones that become social media stars.

[C4] Yeah, I don’t like snakes, either.

[C5] While turkeys are apparently not so into the wild.


parrot photo

Image by Martin Pettitt

[L1] Two lawyers, two parrots, two tweets, one joke, much acrimony.

[L2] The headline is a bit deceptive, but I think the plaintiff actually has a point here.

[L3] This is disappointing for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s Butch Otter.

[L4] This is one of those “don’t know where to begin” stories.

[L5] This could have been a supervillain origin story.

[L6] This seems… unpleasant.

[L7] Maybe the burglar just wanted the television.

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Morning Ed: Food {2016.11.24.TGD}( 17 )

Don’t want to argue about politics over Thanksgiving? Here are some alternative things for you to argue about. Remember: Not Trump!

Eat your yolks, folks!

The 70’s was a whole ‘nother country. So much so I feel bad making fun of it because multiculturalism.

Yay for meat, it’s the best, and always has been.

Strip clubs in Florida become Turkey Day Heroes.

Maggie Koerth-Baker looks at big farms and small farms in the modern economy. {More}

From Kazzy: There are many things to love about Smitten Kitchen. One are her Zucchini Fritters. Another are the absolutely gorgeous pictures she takes of her food, both in process and the finished product; if food porn is a thing, her work is like professional fashion photography. Her posts are equal parts personal narrative and recipe, helping you connect with the food and making it even more appealing than the pictures do. She takes traditional dishes and jazzes them up, but in a way that is accessible and easily replicable; she cooks in her small NYC apartment and eschews what she calls “pretentious ingredients” like truffle oil, $10/quarter-ounce salt, and single-origin chocolate. While the recipes aren’t strictly vegetarian, most are or are at least veggie-based and give really attractive options for relatively healthy eating.



Our bakery is a flurry of activity today, making hundreds of pies for tomorrow! Check out how they do it!

A video posted by King Arthur Flour (@kingarthurflour) on

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Morning Ed: United States {2016.11.23.W}( 128 )

Archaeologists have found some evidence from 1620 Plymouth.

I like this map, though perhaps Colorado should consider making Pueblo its capital.

Reportedly, Utah and Idaho are chosen by call centers because (in addition to being educated, articulate, and willing to work for cheap) they speak accentless English. But maybe there’s no such place with that thing.

Aaron Renn writes of the synergy and codependence between urban and rural.

For every four Texans that move to California, seven Californians move to Texas. As Michael Cain has pointed out, though, there are more Californians to move to Texas than vice-versa.

Adam Ozimek looks at how we can help struggling places.

Tyler Cowen fears that racism is getting worse.

So I guess they’re thinking that the wall is going to work?

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.11.22.T}( 46 )

How an unpopular party with an unpopular presidential nominee won everything.

Is there anyone worse for science than scientists?

When someone calls the electoral college, someone’s gotta answer. Shortly after the election, Nate Silver looked at the future EC prospects of the Democrats. This is the second straight inverted result where most of the conversation leading up to the election assumed the advantage ran the other way.

Much has been written about Trump’s downscale supporters, but probably not as much about his upscale ones. I believe that when we talk about Trump supporters, we need to be clear whether we’re talking about his hardcore supporters, his median voters, and his marginal ones. Each is important in its own way.

Progress in some of the most unexpected places and ways.

Isaiah Carter shares his thoughts on the Democrats’ Failed Northern Strategy.

Donald Trump and Pat Toomey won by similar amounts, but that doesn’t mean they got the same voters.

This seems fair, I suppose, to an extent. A lot of it depends on answering the question of “What changed?” and preferably a degree of humility. But when some people flip, they often not only lack humility but start attacking me from the other side.

Lastly, the most lopsided Twitter poll I have ever conducted:

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Morning Ed: Labor {2016.11.21.M}( 66 )

Well, the CEO of LinkedIn would say this, now wouldn’t he? Will you endorse my snark skill?

Michael Prebil looks at the advantages of apprenticeships for employers.

This is being used by conservatives to say “I told you so” about minimum wage hikes, but if the ball on this is rolling declining to raise the minimum wage probably won’t stop it. The damage of all of the talk of raising it – as well as some states choosing to do so – has already been done in this particular arena.

Barry Eidlin writes in the Jacobin about the lack of a labor party in the United States.

A recent report says that, contrary to the proclamations of Ted Cruz and many Republicans, paid family leaves aren’t hurting businesses.

In this blurb I am thinking that I think that this has some good advice about writing.

Fake it till you feel it triumphs again: Optimists make better job hunters.

Some new apps will construction companies increase efficiency and smooth operations, but there are some workplace repression concerns.

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Linky Friday #193: Creatures in Crime( 327 )


walrus photo

Image by lsiegert

[E1] Maybe we ought to just encourage academics to blog.

[E2] This is the Democratic Party I’m going to miss. {More}

[E3] 74million takes a look at teacher attrition.

[E4] In case you missed it, Elizabeth Piccuito wrote a good piece about handling suspected plagiarism.

[E5] Will Trump have an adverse effect on international students coming here?

[E6] Last month he outlined an ambitious student debt plan. I don’t mind capping student loan repayment… if we start looking at colleges and majors where people are defaulting and adjust accordingly.


[W1] Kansas City is being invaded.

[W2] In addition to the United States of America, the Animal Kingdom of Earth may end up a loser in the Trump era.

[W3] Well, this is a very Russia story.

[W4] Save the cows! Save the cows!

[W5] Awww, snail love.

[W6] Dead fish. Lots of them. Lots and lots of them.


[P1] Carl V Philips wrote a paper on the deleterious health effects of wind turbines, which wound around to lead him to a bit of Trump-voter Empathy.

[P2] China – which, by the way, did not invent global warming – may end up taking a lead on climate change. … We’ll see.

[P3] Britain may have to choose between a greener Europe or a blacker America.

[P4] Républicain Nicolas Sarkozy is threatening trade sanctions if Republican Donald Trump pulls out of the Paris Accord.

[P5] Ooooh, corporations sliding their money into activism. {dramatic music}

[P6] Good news: We may be able to inhabit Antarctica in a couple centuries.


cat photo

Image by feverblue

[S1] Protons are really small. Like, really small.

[S2] Ooooh, some progress on fighting antibiotic resistance?

[S3] Roundest. Object. Ever.

[S4] Lee Jessim looks at the limitations of Stereotype Inaccuracy and the central problem: The lack of aggregate inaccuracy. {More}

[S5] On the other hand, what does it say about the validity of stereotypes that they can be so inconsistent?

[S6] A parasite that comes from cats alters your sex life.


[C1] A study on liberals, conservatives, and criminality.

[C2] Smooth, man.

[C3] Three cheers for Nebraska!

[C4] Never let daycare workers get bored. Bad things happen.

[C5] Maybe it was an owl that done it.

[C6] Dead dogs. Too many of them.

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Morning Ed: World {2016.11.17.Th}( 30 )

Ariel Sabar writes of the rush to save dying languages, by writing it down at least. It’s a weird thing where the same things that would have previously assured the written survival of these languages are the things killing them off.

Iraq: The land of hospitality.

Stop trying to get me to like Daylight Savings Time, it’s not going to work.

Who says libertarians never win? They won in Johannesburg! Well, a self-declared “capitalist crusader” did.

Is the International Criminal Court falling apart? First domino?

Russia has never really been a naval power, but they have a plan! The British Navy, meanwhile, is ditching the missiles. And a plan for Donald Trump.

Narendra Modi is looking at easing India’s cash crisis by eliminating low denominations and cracking down on hidden hoardes of untaxed cash. Also, a look at Indian history.

A treasure trove of sunken ships. Speaking of which, I want to do a 2:40 audio play using this video.

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.11.16.W}( 192 )

Well, they’re not as smart as smart glasses, but they look smarter.

There are things we should look at doing to avoid scaring women away from STEM, but ditching Star Trek and Dungeons and Dragons is a bad idea on multiple levels.

Speaking of Dungeons and Dragons, Ethan Gilsdorf says it needs to be kept in the basement. And here’s a song that makes me wish D&D had been my thing.

A look at the world’s youngest Formula One driver.

I think we’ve talked about this before, but William Newton’s piece on museum hoarding is pretty good.

A friend from high school that I never liked very much has become more interesting over the years, doing some pretty amazing things with Legos. I was reminded of him when I read this story about a bloke who does even more amazing things with Legos.

Meredith Gray (err, not that Meredith Gray) comes up with some helpful tips on how to let your beloved know that you’re currently crushed under a bookcase.

I plan to write my own, but this guide to listening to audiobooks on your smartphone is a good start.

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Linky Second Tuesday After The First Monday In November( 69 )


revenge photo

Image by jrandallc

[P1] Sean Trende was right. On middle class whites, the fragility of the Democratic majority, the floor among minorities, and more. Much to his chagrin.

[P2] There is no Latino vote. Which creates problems for “demography is destiny”… depending on what the GOP does.

[P3] This election may be a blip on the radar – with an inverted result at that – in the tide of change that demographic change takes the country, but seriously, it may not be.

[P4] Shikha Dalmia sees a new era of minority activism. Benjamin Wittes also has some ideas.

[P5] Will revenge be sweet? Maybe, though there are limits to what they’re going to be able to do, and Ryan and McConnell are potential buffers.


boston city hall photo

Image by leighblackall

[M1] I suspect we’re going to hear a lot more about the alleged weaknesses of The View From Nowhere. Opinion journalism (I’ll call it that, even if the journalists argue that they are reality-based, have a monopoly on reason, and the debate is settled actually) is valuable, but it will be seen for what it is.

[M2] What happens when you’re setting the narrative, but the truth escapes it?

[M3] Sean Trende points out that the polls weren’t as wrong as the pundits. It’s true, to an extent, but mostly we just forgot what “margin of error” means because the last two instances simply erred in a relatively inconsequential way. And important polls were wrong in a consistent direction.

[M4] As we try to figure out what Trump will do as president, we really have no idea what he’ll do as president. My only prediction is that there will be no (non-ceremonial) wall. Which, given the way things have gone, probably means there will be one that will put the Game of Thrones wall to shame.

media photo

Image by TimothyJ

[M5] Sometimes the media really does live up to the stereotype.

[M6] Did a North Carolina overstep by censoring Dave Chappelle? Their explanation, if accurate, does make a lot of sense.

[M7] This doesn’t absolve Trump of anything, because he could have made a comment independently and he’s going to need to do better on this, but CBS really should have released that portion of the interview.


Image by Beverly & Pack

Image by Beverly & Pack

[G1] Jane the Actuary takes a look at the Electoral College, why we had it, why we don’t need it, and what we should replace it with.

[G2] The end of a Georgian Land Tax experiment.

[G3] And, for those who missed it, Washington state’s carbon tax did not pass.

[G4] In San Fransisco, soda taxes passed.

[G5] I’m waiting for other shoes to fall, but the first one for me has: Totally Wicked Ejuice is throwing in the towel and pulling out of the United States. The good news is that since they’re not based out of the US, they can stay in business until close to Hatchet Day in 2018.


Image by garryknight

Image by garryknight

[I1] Tom Rogan hopes that flattery may help with a UK-US trade deal, though May’s advisors are suggesting caution. Trump’s win may be bad for Scottish independence.

[I2] Nigel Farage is doing a victory lap, though I don’t think he’s going to get that ambassadorship. Jeremy Corbyn also seems pleased. Common ground on Russia, maybe.

[I3] One of my earliest political memories of elite/commoner divide was around 2000, when Everybody Knew the Tories needed to embrace the EU. The problem was that the EU was and always has been pretty unpopular.

[I4] The Italian government is in some pretty serious need of reform, but it’s getting a lot of resistance. Now, with Trumpism International.


doom photo

Image by KAZVorpal

[R1] Justin Caffier got a couple, final days of respite. I more-or-less had election day blocked off to do nothing else (except vote, of course).

[R2] Karol Markowicz has some advice on what to tell your daughters about Trump’s victory.

[R3] Harry Enten explains that ticket-splitting is dead. On the state level, that looks true, but we’re seeing some sub-state data in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that make it uncertain. It’s something to keep an eye on.

[R4] Who would have guessed that Team Trump had better analytics than Hillary Clinton?

[R5] Among those who didn’t see this coming? Donald Trump, of course. He thought he would be out by October.


doom photo

Image by devlon duthie

[D1] Facebook seems to be under the impression that SMOD won.

[D2] It’s not clear what Trump will be able to do without support from congress and/or the courts, but he can do a lot with this, which is of immediate concern.

[D3] Aaron Carroll wants to be charitable towards Trump and his supporters, David Frum is less sanguine. Chidike Okeem is even less so.

[D4] In the greater scheme of things this is “not normal” in a pretty trivial way, but it’s really not normal. On the other hand, if he wants to spend his time as Head of State from Trump Tower and let some combination of Pence, Ryan, and McConnell act as Head of Government… well, that’s not the worst outcome.

[D5] Trump may not have been ready for this, but the universe was

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Morning Ed: Law & Order {2016.11.14.M}( 66 )

A mother who had been raped explains the difficulty she had confronting her rape apologist son.

An survivor’s rendition of The Paris Attacks.

Customer service!

Cool. Ceremonial garb is important.

Sorry your dad was slain and everything, but

So is our government in the child porn business or not?

It’s going to be a long time before we’re going to be able to sort out the fact, fiction, and rumors surrounding the Trump crime and harassment (as well as the alleged anti-Trump violence).

This is clever. And creepy.

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Linky Friday #192: Everything Is Groovy( 31 )


vancouver photo

Image by JamesZ_Flickr

[C1] Nicole Gelinas looks at expensive cities, cheap cities, and economic mobility.

[C2] Vancouver has implemented an enormous tax on vacant housing.

[C3] If you’re concerned about your children, here’s where you should move.

[C4] This reminds me of the olden days when I used to have a map of Colosse pinned to the wall so that I could easily know where stuff was. Printed maps. Those were the days, weren’t they?


[P1] Green energy is not looking so good anymore, thanks to the Trump victory.

[P2] Winner? Keystone! Maybe. And oil.

[P3] Climate Change delegates are pretty distressed.

[P4] The EPA is modifying its wind and solar rules on federal lands to protect wildlife, among other things.

[P5] Fracking is apparently not the culprit in Wyoming’s water problems.


amazon warehouse photo

Image by thisisbossi

[B1] Maybe tech hasn’t changed economics as much as its evangelists would like you to believe.

[B2] My experiences with the Amazon products have been good, but this sort of sets me on edge. If I don’t mind Walmart house brands, though, I’m not sure why this should bother me.

[B3] The Netflix library is shrinking, but that’s okay. I wasn’t even aware they had a good children’s selection. I may need to give it a test-run.

[B4] Everything you ever wanted to know about the dangerous field of crop dusting.


[Te1] This will end badly.

[Te2] Tim Worstall says that everything is going to be great, though.

[Te3] This will cause great fun in the news and especially fake-news industry.

[Te4] Texting… for cows.

[Te5] Here’s a kind of cool history of dreams of automation and artificial intelligence.


gondola photo

Image by flightlog

[Tr1] Gondola! Gondola!

[Tr2] The Trolly Problem has a pretty easy solution, as far as Mercedes is concerned.

[Tr3] Is it time to lift the speed limits of flight?

[Tr4] A look at Trump’s transportation plan. Whatever it is.


olive garden photo

Image by Paula Satijn

[F1] The making of the McRib. I personally think it went overboard on the PR when it told of how the pigs would raise their arms saying “Me next! Me next!”

[F2] From 2014: Minneapolis is micromanaging food sales.

[F3] Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass ended, and Hayley Peterson talked to some people who took advantage and ate at Olive Garden every day. Apparently, the only downside was the food.

[F4] If your food lacks zing, maybe you need a zap from the spoon.


logic puzzle photo

Image by PlaSmart Inc

[M1] This Freddie piece on withdrawing into yourself hit pretty close to home.

[M2] I thought we already knew this, but people dream even when they can’t remember them. And yeah, those high school anxiety dreams

[M3] Nautilus looks at the hardest logic puzzle, and how to solve it.

[M4] Why time speeds up as we grow older.

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Morning Ed: World {2016.11.10.Th}( 20 )

Yassin Al-Haj Saleh says that for all of its faults, Daesh is the lesser of evils as far as many are concerned.

The sad fate of refugees refused from Australia. Incidentally, a lot of Aussies are pretty happy about our election’s result.

Also maybe happy, the Governor of Okinawa.

It’s bad form to go to North Korea, fake being famous golfers, and bringing shame to your family.

Toby Orr explains why the Brexit and Africa are best buds.

In addition to the US, Putin may be picking up Estonia.

Welp, Michael Cain called it.


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Linky First Tuesday After The First Monday Of November( 448 )


Donald Trump photo

Image by Gage Skidmore

[C1] A nice word for the Secret Service, who aren’t getting paid for a lot of their current work.

[C2] Well this is surprising: Donald Trump believes in some nutty things. Trump is not a conservative, but even if he were you only get a maximum of three crank beliefs. (I haven’t filled all three of my slots and am accepting applications.)

[C3] At Outside the Beltway, James Joyner gives his very reluctant endorsement to Clinton. Some, however, are much more enthusiastic.

[C4] Laura Ingraham makes her closing argument for Donald Trump.

[C5] Given how the primary has gone, I’m sure Reince Priebus will have no trouble keeping the Trump White House orderly.

[C6] Will Trump concede? Will he cry foul? Will he just disappear into the abyss?

[C7] I’m incredibly disappointed that the GOP electeds didn’t put forth more resistance to Trump than they did, but at the same time I do try to remember the degree of resistance is unprecedented.


Newspaper Seller with a Mask in Paris, France, 1929

Newspaper Seller with a Mask in Paris, France, 1929

[E1] Not just a hotel clerk, but elite!

[E2] Michael Medved has paid a price for not getting on the #TrumpTrain.

[E3] Erik Faust argues that our two-party system is broken beyond repair due to polarization. With charts! I’m still not sold on a multiparty system, but it sure would be nice to have a more fluid and dynamic two-party system. Lilliana Mason’s piece on our anger also makes sense.

[E4] John Cassidy explains how Donald Trump has the support that he does, from one of the Two Americas. {From Saul}

[E5] We have to live together. And, at the end of the day, we have to live together.

[E6] Maybe, but actually low information voters are a crucial part of every political coalition.


suffrage photo

Image by LSE Library

[V1] And what can we learn from early voting? Maybe good for Clinton, maybe not.

[V2] On the ballot in Maine, Krist Novoselic wants to know if IRV can save the electoral process. Simon Waxman says no. I will write more in the future, but while I agree with Waxman and would prefer another method for general elections, I also believe we should not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

[V3] Is Duverger’s Law applicable outside the United States? I’ve commented before that the US has additional barriers to FPTP, and this might be indicative of that.

[V4] Steven Shepard writes of the future of exit polling. I think we’re in for some changes before and on election day. We’re going to need to get creative, and we’re going to need to be patient while they sort these things out.


[P1] YouGov makes a stronger argument for stability in the presidential race than I’ve seen from most “stable race” advocates (whose arguments seem to thrive on “If you smooth out the data, the data looks smooth).

[P2] Conor Sen has some words of sympathy for Nate Silver. But not too much sympathy, as their words have consequences.

[P3] Before anyone gets too excited about this, I should point out that Ross Perot won my middle school in a landslide in 1992 and Clinton won in my high school in 1996. It didn’t take. {Also}

[P4] Maybe there is no Shy Trump Voter. Or maybe there is, but it’s not enough. I discuss this, as well as some research suggesting a Shy Wives For Clinton Effect, in a Hit Coffee potpourri post.


hillary clinton photo

Image by @boetter

[I1] Democrats are arguing that WikiLeak emails are forged, but Zaid Jilani wants to know if they can prove it.

[I2] We talk of Trump’s Russian support, but what of his Macedonian support?

[I3] Try it, Russia. We dare you.

[I4] Edward Lucas argues we should fight Putin – allegedly up to no good in Montenegro among other places – by ostracizing his help.

[I5] The convergence of right and left in France. Also, with Russians.

[I6] Hillary Clinton is unpopular, Donald Trump is more unpopular, but Park Geun Hye and Francois Hollande are really unpopular.


[H1] Benjamin Straumann argues that republicanism, in the classical sense was something of a smokescreen during the founding of the United States.

[H2] Vaclav Havel’s thoughts on the temptations of political power, and religion, are worth reading.

[H3] The nationalist right is fascinated with Thermopylae.

[H4] Meet Victoria Woodhull: Presidential candidate, newspaper publisher, and stockbroker, psychic, and free love advocate… in the 19th century.

[H5] Beware the female president!

Image by DonkeyHotey


[U1] Robert George talks about his decision to vote for Hillary.

[U2] From Damon: Popehat has an excellent post regarding the elections. I prefer the Balvenie. And…..discuss.

[U3] Doggie!

[U4] It’s not just about the presidency, as there are some important DA races around the country.

[U5] I suspect we’re going to be hearing more about this. I don’t know whether we’re going to hear things that are true about it, or not.

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Morning Ed: Crime {2016.11.07.M}( 79 )

Vigilantism in Stockholm.

What South Carolina is doing to employ former inmates.

Alyssa Rosenberg’s look at the history between police and Hollywood is fascinating.

British anti-terror experts are worried about  gun terrorism (W$J).
There can be only one.

Well this is a bummer.

I thought that maybe the headline here wasn’t as bad as the article, but it is. (Though I suppose my objections are as much abstract as direct.)

Good luck and godspeed, ACLU.

From marijuana mecca to pot business ban.

(Ed note: I changed one of the blurbs that I must have written when I was in a bad mood.)

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Linky Friday #191: The End Is Nigh( 199 )


python photo

Image by laughingface2

[C1] If you get a pet python, take care of it… or else.

[C2] This is just what we needed. Not gonna miss this, though.

[C3] Smart chimp. I did not generally inhale when I smoked, either. Not that it doesn’t get in your lungs anyway, of course.

[C4] Vampire saliva! It’s in humans!


[C6] The Beavers return to Britain.


Of all the betrayals this election, it's Curious George that hurts the most.

Of all the betrayals this election, it’s Curious George that hurts the most.

[E1] 8-Man is pretty cool, made all the cooler by the fact that his powers came from smoking. One of the interesting things I’ve discovered reading golden age comic books is how many of them were basically pill-poppers.

[E2] So Hello Kitty. What is she, exactly?

[E3] I loved Disney’s Robin Hood as a kid. Turns out, it wasn’t really supposed to be Robin Hood.

[E4] “I am a moderately well-drawn ketchup-colored poodle and my storyline is the closest thing this book has to a plot. I am the only thing pulling the narrative along. I’m well-groomed, enjoy skiing, and have enough disposable income to amass a comfortable hat wardrobe.”

[E5] There is a big of Everything Is Problematic in our culture, but Curious George is uncomfortably problematic. For real. Did they ever re-do the origin story? It wouldn’t be that hard.

[E6] Rob Liefield is so bad that he destroyed the great potential of comics he didn’t even work on.


sneakers photo

Image by jontintinjordan

[B1] Just as it is with superheroes: All the good names are taken.

[B2] How KFC managed to take own Japanese Christmas.

[B3] The amazing science behind the disposable diaper.

[B4] Wait, there’s an equivalent of the Kelley Blue Book for… used sneakers?


[R1] Drill, baby, drill.

[R2] There’s gold in them West Texas plains, from wind farms.

[R3] Silicon Valley couldn’t build cars, but maybe they’ll save the planet.

[R4] Oops. Salvation?

[R5] Sweet! Well, if it encourages people to use them, anyway. Function is form, as far as I’m concerned.

[R6] Lindsay Allen explains the ecological ramifications of deforestation.


wikileaks photo

Image by dkalo

[M1] Bad Vox! I’d actually had the same thought as Vox, but the evidence they bring to the table is pretty thin and it’s a hefty charge. Speaking of WS-related bad moves

[M2] Questions of “fairness” aside, this is a problem if it convinced/convinces the uncommitted to dismiss criticisms of Trump and/or his successors. It’s. . .  hard. 

[M3] Chris Ladd explains how cable news is becoming civic poison.

[M4] Police spying on reporters to find out if police are informants for reporters.

[M5] Ryan Grim explains why the media is reticent to explore the Trump-raped-a-thirteen-year-old allegation.

[M6] I tend to side with ESPN in this case. The culpable party is the medical professional that turned it over to them.

[M7] I’m glad that the New York Times is ran a prominent piece pushing back on The Vaping Menace. I just hope that they recognize the role they’ve taken in playing it up. {More}

[M8] The CNN Tape to be broadcast at The End of the World.

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Morning Ed: Europe {2016.11.03.Th}( 53 )

Tony Blair is probably not the best spokesman for Brexit-blocker, though many believe he’s still more electable than Corbyn.


It appears that Bregret is finally starting to set in, just a bit.

Meanwhile, Daniel Korski looks at what Remain did wrong.

And the banks are making their plans, vultures are circling, but Sweden offers an olive branch.

While everyone’s eyes are on Britain, the EU might should be more worried about Angela Merkel’s potential departure.

I am a bit iffy on Britain’s libel laws in general, and I’m not sure the newspaper is the proper target, but this nonetheless pleases me. The level of truthiness involved in some of this is downright Trumpian.

Robert Colvile explores what we can learn about refugees from the “Calais Jungle

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Morning Ed: Crime {2016.11.02.W}( 179 )

Can you spare a bro a password to an illegal torrenting site?

Dana Goldstein argues that maybe we shouldn’t try 25-year olds as adults. Well, okay, but what about voting, drinking, and other substantial risks?

We’re pretty much doomed.

I wouldn’t mind a fifth liberal Supreme Court Justice for this one.


The Democrats may have disposed of its crap, but some Republican vandals are apparently replacing it. (Seriously, isn’t that stuff kind of expensive?)

Peak Florida Man.

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Tuesday Tech Links {2016.10.27}( 75 )


Bendable Concrete

Regular Concrete is very strong and hard, and has incredible compressive strength.  We embed rebar into concrete in order to give it additional tensile and bending strength, but concrete just does not bend, not like metals do.  It’s also very brittle, so if concrete does bend, it almost immediately cracks and begins to shatter.  Add some tiny polymer fibers to the concrete mix, however, and you get a very strong, kinda bendy concrete.  I expect civil engineers all up and down the West Coast will be very interested in this.

Carbon Reveals Yet Another Solid Structure

I’m starting to wonder how many ways we can figure out to arrange carbon atoms in novel and useful configurations.  I mean, come on, a simple laser and we get electrically conductive sheets of diamond that glow!  Goodbye Gorilla Glass.

New Composite Alloy That Is Lightweight and Strong

Magnesium, despite it’s reputation as something firefighters hate dealing with, is an industrially useful metal.  It’s lighter than aluminum and a lot cheaper, but not quite strong enough to be a contender in aircraft and racecars.  Alloy it with nanoscale ceramic particles, and suddenly it’s giving aluminum a run for the money.  They key here seems to be the nanoscale size of the particles.  Microscale doesn’t work.

Metallic Surface Etching Allows for Strong Metal to Anything Bonding

Aside from welding, geting metals to form a strong bond is a trick, and getting metals to bond strongly to dissimilar metals (welding dissimilar metals rarely ends well), or other materials is also hard to do.  Etch the surface of the metal (probably with a laser) to form nanoscale structures, and non-welded strong bonds are possible.  Whether or not this could replace welding remains to be seen, but welding is used in a lot of constructions where it’s overkill, but it’s used because nothing else works.  Likewise, metal is often attached to non-metals with fasteners (screws, bolts, etc.) because a glue bonded surface won’t do it, but punching holes through things in order to use fasteners weakens the part, so more material is needed (thus increasing costs, weight, etc.).

I Have a Fascination With Anything Made From Spider Silk

It’s synthetic spider silk, but still, it’s spider silk, and hello, we can produce a synthetic spider silk in sufficient quantities that we can build a car seat!

Novel Concrete Block Design Allows For Faster Construction

I gotta admit, this is such a simple idea I’m honestly not certain why anyone still uses traditional concrete blocks (cinder blocks).  Or have similar ideas been tried in the past and found wanting (or killed by established players)?


Airlander 10 Hybrid Airship

I just really like airships, especially hybrid airships, and the Airlander recently did it’s maiden flight (even though it still has some issues).  Even if airships took off again as a mode of transport, they’ll probably never replace high speed jetliners, but I could certainly seem them as a niche option like cruise liners, for people who have the time, and want the experience of the journey.  Just imagine such an airship, with a windowed lounge on the dorsal surface, on a clear night…

The IKEA-fication of the world is nearly complete.

First off, it’s from the guy who designed the McLaren F1.  Second, it’s cheap.  But most importantly, it comes flat packed, probably with an Allen wrench included.

I Just Want One – Seriously, that’s it.

Using MicroTurbines Instead of Otto Cycle Engines to Power Hybrid Vehicles

So there is a reason cars come with piston engines and not turbines.  Turbines are annoyingly loud, do not produce a lot of torque, and are very finicky about maintenance.  There are ways to overcome the first two issues, but that last one has always been a bugbear.  People are just really bad about personal vehicle maintenance, and turbines, while very reliable and robust, demand that you do the regular maintenance if you wish them to remain reliable and robust.  Still, with tight machine tolerances, and very limited operating ranges, you can have a turbine that is much more forgiving.  Attach that turbine to the generator of a hybrid vehicle and you have, by definition, a tight operating range.  Better still, spinning a small generator is not a high torque operation, so no massive gearbox to turn high speed into torque.  It’s not a bad idea.

Primer on Asteroid Mining

Erect that Space Elevator and this gets a whole lot easier…

The Double Bubble Airliner

Wing and Tube has been the go-to design for airliners for decades, and while ideas like flying wings have been kicking around for a while, those are still a ways off.  Putting two tubes side by side is something we can do, today (pretty much).  The benefit is that large, twin aisle airliners are mostly empty space.  The passenger deck runs pretty much through the center of the fuselage, so you get lots of standing headroom, and a whole lot of empty cargo space below the passenger deck.  Usually airlines take on other cargo besides your luggage so that empty space is making some money, but while an airline can usually keep the seats full, filling the cargo hold is not as much of a sure thing.  A double hull gives you more seats to fill without adding a ton of extra empty space.  Plus you get other aerodynamic benefits (check out the brochure at the link).

Hydrogen Fuel Cell 4-Seater Aircraft

It’s a fuel cell aircraft that isn’t a gossamer gimmick.

Packing Batteries To Power Supersonic Airliners

I’m going to be honest here, the specifics of battery tech are not my thing, but the idea intrigues me,  We couldn’t do something like this with current energy densities, but if Workman is right, it’s not entirely out of reach.  Plus, it sticks with the tradition of keeping the fuel in the wings.

Using Hydrogels to Prevent Biofouling

This one is more about the hydrogels than it is transportation, but the application is ships.  The short of it is, barnacles are a drag, current coatings to prevent barnacles are toxic and leach into the ocean.  Hydrogel coatings could prevent barnacle attachment and be non-toxic.  Just gotta see if they can withstand the rigors of sailing the ocean blue.

Green Tech

Bubble Wrapped Sponge Can Boil Water With Sunlight

Another case of, how has no one ever noticed this before?  OK, to be fair, this isn’t that obvious, and they were careful in their selection of materials.  I wonder how long before this becomes a staple of middle school science classes?

Big Step Toward Solar Power Windows

Imagine if all the windows in a tall, glass skyscraper were transparent solar panels.  Now they can be.

Storing Energy In Molten Silicon

We all know one of the big issues with solar is night.  The obvious solution is make extra power during the day and store it.  One way being kicked around was using molten salts, but salts can be expensive, and extremely toxic.  Enter silicon.  Massively abundant, non toxic, and better heat capacity that most salts.

Nano-Structured Catalyst Turns CO2 Into Ethanol

Or, we could turn CO2 into ethanol, then use the ethanol at night.  To date, the process to capture CO2 into ethanol has been energy intensive enough to not be worth it.  But recently, a team took a well known catalyst that allows for the low power formation of ethanol from CO2 and stepped it up a notch with nanoscale structures formed from the catalyst.  The process still requires power, specifically a little bit of electrical current through the catalyst, but if scalable and economic, it could be a game changer.

Artificial Photosynthesis

Or we could use solar to produce hydrogen with artificial photosynthesis cells, then push the hydrogen through fuel cells at night.

Genetically Modified Photosynthesis

Or we could skip the artificial part and just use photosynthesis directly to produce hydrogen with GMO algae.

BioTech and BioMimicry

Absorbing Oil Without Absorbing Water

Cleaning up an oil slick on open water usually involves soaking up a ton of water with the oil, that must then be separated from the oil, tested and cleaned, and then discharged.  But if can just avoid soaking up the water…  Taking a cue from a hydrophobic plant leaf, now we can do just that.

Beer – It’s Almost As Widely Useful As Carbon

Beer waste water can be recycled to make batteries by turning into into carbon electrodes.  So down a pint, you are making batteries.  Also, I am not surprised in the least that this comes from the Boulder campus.

Also, Spent Coffee Grounds Are Surprisingly Useful

Coffee grounds can be turned into water filtration foam, and lots of other useful things beside garden compost.

Causing Salt To Bloom Out Of Soil

Don’t we have a soil scientist lurking hereabouts?  This reminds me in a way of using plants to extract heavy metals from soils, since plants often draw the metals up in through their roots.

If It Works For Beavers…

I can wait to see fuzzy rubber surfers on the Oregon coast!

Cicadas Aren’t Just Summer Noise Machines

Aside from making it hard to talk to another human during the summer, it seems those wings have other uses.  Not only are the nanostructures on the wing surface antibacterial, they are also antireflective in a way that might be very useful for solar cell efficiency.  Still annoying loud bugs.

Electronic and Other Tech

Desktop WaterJet Cutter

We got desktop 3D Printers, CNC mills, laser cutters, and now water jet cutters.  When can I get a desktop vapor dep so I can build IC chips at home?

Acoustic Holograms

Not sure how useful this is right now, but the video at the link is cool to watch.

Study Shows That Complaints Against Police Plummet With Body Cameras

I’m going to resist saying “DUH!”, but in all seriousness, this right here should be all we need to get every honest police officer on board with the idea in general, even if the specifics of implementation, usage, and storage still need to be hammered out.

Full Color e-Paper

My phone is going to get even thinner, isn’t it.  Especially when I can put a layer of diamond on top of it.

Creating A Quantum Bridge To Network Quantum Computers

I doubt I’ll ever have cause to write code for a quantum computer in my lifetime, but the technology side of this does seem to keep marching right along.

Image by UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.10.31.M}( 249 )

The Trump Effect on grade school behavior may not be as bad as we have been lead to believe.

Obstructionism is just bad for government, but it doesn’t work. Then again, neither did the cooperation between 1994-96…

Gracy Olmstead is worried about the Big Sort and hopes that we manage to avoid making it worse.

If the choice is between taste and calories, should we get to make the choice or should the government?

Michael Lind does a write-up on Maine’s efforts to move forward with IRV. I’ve personally shifted my preference to straight runoffs (except in primary situations), though another option would simply be approval voting. Perhaps the best method would include more than one element (such as IRV or approval to get the number of candidates to two, followed by a runoff). Whatever the case, plurality victories have got to go.

I’m on board with 4.5 items from this list of things economists love and politicians hate. a lot depends on the particulars, though.

I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

I’m still coming to grips with the notion that Erick Erickson didn’t just come out on the right side of the Trump thing, but may actually be turning a corner.

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Linky Friday #190: Health & Enlightenment( 444 )


dracula photo

Image by lucyfrench123

[A1] Jeffrey Tucker says that writing a book is easy, and publishing it is easier. These things aren’t false, though writing a publishable book (as in one you would want others to read) is more difficult.

[A2] A volcano caused three years of darkness, and gave birth to Frankenstein and Dracula.

[A3] Sometimes you can actually tell instead of show.

[A4] It’s like renaissance art, but with auto mechanics.

[A5] Animations of Kafka, if you’re into that sort of thing. Also, the first animated Soviet movie.

[A6] Van Gogh? Here you go.


toddler tablet photo

Image by Muhammad Ashiq

[E1] Innovating with dual language learners Deep In the Heart of Texas.

[E2] Well this doesn’t sound good.

[E3] Jon Marcus explores the unexpected pros and cons of free college. Looks like there’s some interest in bringing back tuitions, in some form or another.

[E4] Borrowing down, college prices up not as much.

[E5] This seems creepy, but I could actually see it being really helpful.

[E6] Everything bad for you is good for you! Or, at least, maybe not as bad as we thought?


Image by devendramakkar

Image by devendramakkar

[M1] America: We got all kinds.

[M2] Pitting liberal values against one another: Labor vs diversity (and the arts!).

[M3] The ABA Journal looks at why minority women are disappearing from Big Law.

[M4] Net migration from Mexico is no longer the story.

[M5] Dr Farah Khan explains how she deals with racist patients and the frustration of being denied as an Indian and an American.

[M6] Black Enterprise looks at the state of inequality in the black community.


[G1] How women fit in (and aren’t allowed to fit in) to the national security establishment.

[G2] Things men and people with homes don’t have to think about: How homeless women handle their periods.

[G3] When men are outearned by women, they don’t do less rather than more housework… except cooking. {via Vikram}

[G4] Ester Bloom says that we shouldn’t give up on the gender wage gap, with some ideas on how to fight it.

[G5] Ruth Graham reports on the new face of pro-life activism.


addiction photo

Image by getchaos

[H1] It seems noteworthy that while Democrats are (marginally) more worried about the safety of vaccines, that it’s GOP politicians that have campaigned on the issue. A product of Republican beliefs that parents should make the decisions, Republican politicians just more willing to pander (to some types), or temperamental paranoia making the Republican electorate?

[H2] I’d always thought that orthodontic braces typically were health-positive rather than just being cosmetic, but Michael Thomsen takes issue with that. Julie Gunlock writes more about straight teeth.

[H3] It seems that 2013 was the first year that primary care physicians brought in more net revenue to hospitals than specialists. (PDF)

[H4] Stanton Peele says that if you’re asking whether coffee or nicotine is more addictive, you’re asking the wrong question.

[H5] Everybody knows what smoking is, and second-hand smoke and third-hand. Sensible Smoker helps out by explaining fourth-through-tenth hand smoking.

[H6] Ben Stiller talks about being diagnosed with cancer. Tangential, but if you haven’t seen Funny People, I recommend it if you like stories that involve questions of mortality and can tolerate Adam Sandler.

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Morning Ed: Crime {2016.10.27.Th}( 182 )

Democrats and some Republicans are getting behind criminal justice reform, but the public isn’t exactly on board.

Why don’t victims of domestic violence call the police? Well

Meanwhile, a lawsuit in Canada.

Digital piracy is taking its toll on the Nigerian film industry. In response, a pastor gave away his cars.

The story of a Nigerian scam, with a twist ending.

Anthony Ray Hinton talks about his rest, his 28 years on death row, and his exoneration. Life after exoneration, though, can be tough.

James Bell worked at WikiLeaks, and talks about Sean Hannity’s new hero.

Donald Trump, what a guy.

Erick Erickson explains how the Democrats could steal the election. One in twenty Republicans are ready to take up arms in the event of an election loss. Also, one in ten Democrats.

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Morning Ed: Science {2016.10.26.W}( 50 )

Meteorites are shootin’ the moon and there’s something going on with Saturn.

NASA isn’t looking for planets at the edge of the solar system, but are ready for you to find one.

Attention Michael Cain! It’s like that population-skewed map, but with elements!

I think the argument is stronger than the other hand I am not sure if you are inclined to be a part of the equation for the most part the equation is to be a part of the world where murder rates are on the cusp of believing that the amount of offense taken is often related to how one expressed their disinterest.


Maria Konnikova looks at how we develop our sense of fairness.

More information may not lead to better decision-making, a bartending robot demonstrates.

David Dorn wonders what happened to scientific rigor?

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