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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    I’m going to have to add Jelani Cobb to my following list on Twitter, this piece in the July 29 New Yorker is so damn good.

    We have known since the earliest moments of Donald Trump’s political life that the epidermal lottery into which we are all cast is, to him, more than happenstance. Pigment is something foundational—a navigational star in the night sky of his world view. When a man introduces himself to the American electorate by lying about the origins of the first black President, and then proceeds to baselessly refer to Mexicans in the United States as rapists, nothing he does after that can be considered surprising.

    In that regard, Trump’s eruption last week, in which he attacked (but did not name) Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, tweeting that they should “go back” to where they came from, and later accused them of hating America, could not be called unexpected. It was alarming, though, and it raised the question, once again, of whether Trump had finally gone too far. For the past two years, observers have been divided about whether Trump’s tweets are calculated trolling, designed to keep his opponents off balance, or the sincere expressions of an unbalanced psyche. The current outburst indicates that the answer is both.

    Before Trump intervened, the story in the media was about the roiling conflict between the congresswomen—the so-called Squad—and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, this time over border policy. Trump, in suggesting that the four U.S. citizens self-deport, prompted the Speaker to stop sniping at them and to fire back at him. Trump’s real agenda, she said, is about “making America white again.” Last Tuesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives were forced to go on the record about the incident, when that chamber voted on a resolution condemning the tweets, which Pelosi termed “racist.” Her comment was, technically, a violation of House rules and it was “taken down,” but she did not apologize. Only four Republicans supported the resolution.

    Most likely, Trump never considered what consequences his attack would have on Capitol Hill. He seems to think that his outré rage at the four women—They are not white, they are radicals, and only I can save you from what they will bring—will play well to his base, and that’s all that matters. He revealed as much when he told reporters that he is “enjoying” the fight and thinks that he is “winning it by a lot.” A majority of people polled found Trump’s tweets offensive and “un-American,” but his approval ratings rose among Republicans.

    With his habitual grandiosity, Trump has previously declared himself “the least racist person anybody is going to meet.” (Last Tuesday, he tweeted, “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!”) By way of evidence, he repeatedly commits the defensive racist’s primary tell: listing the names of all the black people he knows, like a roster of character witnesses in a criminal trial. This most recent incident highlights a theme of Trump’s pronouncements as they pertain to people of color. He presents the citizenship of black and brown Americans as a kind of probation that can be revoked for the most minor infractions of protocol.

    Ilhan Omar is a Somali-born refugee who became a naturalized U.S. citizen at the age of seventeen. She is American enough to serve in Congress but not enough for Trump, who has shown an increasing disregard for the very principle of asylum. Rashida Tlaib was born in Detroit, to immigrant parents. Ayanna Pressley was born, to African-American parents, in Cincinnati. Her family has been here longer than Trump’s, and, as African-Americans, they are part of a population that was forcibly brought to this country to do its labor. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx, to parents of Puerto Rican descent, which means that, even if she did go back to where her ancestors came from, she would still be in America.

    The idea of selective citizenship is not uncommon in American history. The nation’s first immigration law, passed in 1790, allowed for the naturalization of white immigrants only. It took the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1868, to establish that birthright citizenship also applies to blacks. As Jill Lepore notes, in her book “This America,” another thirty years passed before the Supreme Court found, in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, that birthright citizenship applies to a person of Asian descent, and it was another quarter century before the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 declared that all indigenous people born in the United States are citizens. Trump isn’t just attacking four women of color; he is reanimating ideas whose prevalence wreaked havoc in the nation’s past.

    We were reminded, last week, of something that we have known all along about the President: he will say anything that he thinks will serve his ends, regardless of the risk it may pose to his fellow-Americans. According to the F.B.I., hate crimes rose by seventeen per cent during his first year in office. Last year, a man who described his attachment to Trump’s rallies as a kind of addiction, mailed explosive devices (which did not detonate) to various media outlets and politicians whom he considered to be the President’s enemies. The worry is that Trump’s most recent fulminations will find their way to other vulnerable and dangerous observers.

    His behavior carries another significant implication. The conflict between Pelosi and the Squad centered on votes for a border-funding bill, but it has at its root a more fundamental conflict: progressive legislators want to launch an impeachment inquiry, while Pelosi fears that it would only help Trump win reëlection. After the Mueller report was released, Tlaib recirculated a resolution, which she had previously introduced, to launch such an inquiry; the other members of the Squad signed on to it. More than eighty House Democrats have now called for an inquiry. Last Wednesday, the House voted to table the latest impeachment resolution from Representative Al Green (his third), but ninety-five Democrats voted to keep it on the floor. Pelosi reportedly told senior House Democrats last month that she would rather see Trump in prison than impeached. His ineptitude may yet spur the two factions toward a productive rapprochement. Robert Mueller’s testimony before two House committees, which is scheduled for this week, may further clarify the resolution.

    Has Trump finally gone too far? A few hours after the House vote, he addressed a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, in which he renewed his attacks on the congresswomen, and said that Democrats were set on “the destruction of our country,” as his followers chanted, “Send her back!” The next day, he claimed that he was “not happy” with the chants, and tried to stop them, but he did not. The evidence of Trump’s unfitness for the Presidency—whether it is calculated or simply deranged—is inescapable.

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  2. Teve says:

    Test

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  3. @Teve:

    Test successful.

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  4. Teve says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I posted an old link and then tried to change it to something different but I was only allowed to edit once. I wonder if that’s just my weirdo browser.

    Anyway what I was trying to change it to:

    If someone started manufacturing hearing aids that look identical to AirPods, what would happen?

    ETA jeez, I meant AirPods, not iPods. I’m having all kindsa difficulties braining this morning

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  5. @Teve:

    They could run into a design patent issue depending on the extent of Apple’s patent.

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  6. 95 South says:

    @Teve:

    Test

    Your ability to cut and paste liberal commentary uncritically is working.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @95 South: Your idiocy is unfettered by reality.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @95 South: See how easy it is to make gratuitous insults?

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  9. CSK says:

    @95 South: Can you refute any of it?

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  10. MarkedMan says:

    A little while back Kevin Drum had a post (which I cant seem to find again) about a study which looked at how someone responded to an unprovoked hostile interaction. Someone is taken down a hall purportedly to enter a room and participate in a psychology experiment, but on the way there an unknown person (actually an experimenter) bumps into them and calls them an asshole. No surprise but Northerners were more likely to have a “geez, look at this loser” type of response while Southerners were more likely to go into fight mode. This, of course, is not really a surprise as the prevalence of an honor based culture is pretty much associated with poor levels of social and economic development anywhere in the world. Just look at many Arabic cultures, or Eastern European ones. And of course here in the United States it is entirely unsurprising that the most honor obsessed states have the poorest outcomes for income, education, health, etc.

    It got me wondering. In the US why are these honor states so unfailingly Republican today? Republicanism didn’t used to be so obsessed with honor based issues (refighting the civil war, keeping their children safe from the gays, attacking those not properly respecting their Jesus, etc). In fact, until the Reagan Revolution there was a strong tradition of pragmatic Northeast Republicans who cared about things like infrastructure, education, clean water and so forth, things that have no place in the modern Republican Party.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that that though these trends are coincident they are not causative. I think low performing states settle on Republicans the way some people find a doctor who won’t nag them about leading a healthy lifestyle but instead will just prescribe opioids while making a small fortune running unnecessary tests and keeping them coming in for visits in order to rack up insurance charges. Republicans aren’t the cause of the honor states problems, just the enablers. They don’t give their residents what they need but they most certainly give them what they want.

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  11. gVOR08 says:

    Republicans aren’t the cause of the honor states problems, just the enablers.

    I read Drum pretty regularly. I don’t think it was Drum. But it is a fascinating study.

    But I have had a thesis that is exactly the opposite. You note there were once Republicans who cared about infrastructure, education, and clean water. Once Republicanism devolved to nothing more than ‘give rich people all your money’ they had no choice but to go after the most gullible potential supporters. Leading that list are evangelicals and the poorly educated.

    Our current political situation didn’t just happen. There are villains in the story. Republicans made it happen.

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  12. Teve says:

    Klan rally in Hillsborough North Carolina has “Make America Great Again” on their sign, which is deeply surprising to exactly nobody.

    Once Republicanism devolved to nothing more than ‘give rich people all your money’ they had no choice but to go after the most gullible potential supporters. Leading that list are evangelicals and the poorly educated.

    supply-side economics, global warming denial, deregulation, and even racism, are all scams to convince poor dumb white people to let rich people take everything. The states with the lowest education among poor and middle-class whites are the best targets for the scam.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: @gVOR08: 2 words: Southern Strategy.

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  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Landmark US case to expose rampant racial bias behind the death penalty

    Some of the country’s top capital lawyers will gather on Monday at the state supreme court in Raleigh. Over two days, they will present evidence that capital punishment is so deeply flawed and riddled with racial animus that it makes a mockery of basic principles of fairness and equal justice.

    The court’s seven judges will be asked to address a simple question. Will they allow men and women to be condemned to die despite powerful evidence that prosecutors deployed racially discriminatory tactics to put them on death row?

    “We are taking an unprecedented look at whether the courts will tolerate proven racial bias in the death penalty,” said one of the case’s leading lawyers, Cassandra Stubbs, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) capital punishment project. “We’re talking about fundamental rights that go to the integrity of the courts and the entire criminal justice system.”

    At the heart of the case are four inmates facing execution: three African American men and a Native American woman. Over the past seven years Marcus Robinson, Quintel Augustine, Tilmon Golphin and Christina Walters have been on an extraordinary judicial roller coaster that has seen them taken off death row on grounds that their sentences were racially compromised, only to be slapped back on to it following a partisan backlash by the Republican-controlled state legislature.

    In all four cases, a review of their trials found racial bias had been an “overwhelming” feature of how death sentences were secured. In particular, the juries had been “bleached”.

    Black potential jurors were systematically struck off – consciously and intentionally – at a rate far higher than their white equivalents. As a result, juries were produced that were almost exclusively, or in Augustine’s case entirely, white.

    “A very stark and unmistakable picture of discrimination emerges with compelling evidence that it is not an accident, it is purposeful,” Stubbs said.

    Much more at the link.

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  15. Teve says:

    I was living in Raleigh when I joined the ACLU.

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  16. gVOR08 says:

    I was going to note that Joe Walsh announced he is primarying Trump, but then I couldn’t think of any reason anyone should care.

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  17. Teve says:

    Elizabeth Hackett
    @LizHackett
    ·
    16m
    I’m quiet and not great at confrontation with neighbors, so I renamed our wifi “Jeff & Astrid, Everyone Hates Your Rooster.”

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  18. charon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    2 words: Southern Strategy.

    2 more: Moral Majority.

    (Admittedly, these 2 stem directly from your 2.)

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  19. SenyorDave says:

    This seems like a BFD:
    From Bloomberg News:
    Group of Seven leaders have gathered in Biarritz, France and the host, French President Emmanuel Macron, has just pulled a massive surprise on his guests by inviting the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
    Merkel Defends Macron Decision to Fly in Zarif (6:39 p.m.)
    As news of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s lightning visit to Biarritz was still sinking in, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rode to Macron’s rescue.
    She espoused the French line that it is a meeting of two foreign ministers and therefore not part of the G-7. She told reporters that every attempt to solve the crisis in Iran was welcome. She later said she only knew Zarif was coming a short time before he arrived.
    If nothing else, this is a big fuck you to Trump. As long as Trump is POTUS (or any Republican, at this point), there is no reason that the EU should not conduct its own foreign policy. If Trump loses in 2020, the relationship between the EU and the US can start to return to normal, and if Trump wins the EU needs to be ready to operate in a world where they and the US are at best nominal allies.

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  20. 95 South says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: When I first noticed Teve, he was asking whether the Second Amendment was created for slavery, based on an article from a liberal site. Commenters were praising him for being open to new ideas. But he only reads liberal sites. This whole open forum is an echo chamber.

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  21. michael reynolds says:

    @95 South:
    Dude, if you had anything to offer by way of facts or logic, you would. But you don’t. So you regurgitate memes. We could hire a parrot to play you in the movie.

    #Greenland
    #IHerebyOrder
    #KingOfIsrael
    #ILoveKimJongUn.

    There you go, some nice easy hashtags so you won’t be burdened by a need to read. Jump on in and defend any or all.

    And maybe you’d like to try and answer the question your ilk never even tries to address:

    What is the innocent, plausible explanation for why Trump refuses to have any other American present when he meets with Putin?

    It’s a free forum, no one has blocked you, so give it a try. If you won’t even try that’s consciousness of guilt.

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  22. Teve says:

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    The question I was asked most today by fellow World Leaders, who think the USA is doing so well and is stronger than ever before, happens to be, “Mr. President, why does the American media hate your Country so much? Why are they rooting for it to fail?”
    1:30 PM · Aug 25, 2019·

    Are even Trump Chumps dumb enough to believe this? My guess is yes.

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  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @95 South:

    When I first noticed Teve, he was asking whether the Second Amendment was created for slavery, based on an article from a liberal site. Commenters were praising him for being open to new ideas. But he only reads liberal sites.

    And yet you are incapable of refuting anything he says and so resort to moronic schoolyard taunts, because really, that’s all you have. Even when he isn’t talking about anything at all, but clearly having difficulty with posting something…

    You can not restrain the impulse to insult him. Because that is who you are.

    And by the way, I remember that post, and I don’t remember anyone “praising” him. I certainly didn’t. I did defend his asking of a question when he was unsure of something he had read, after you had attacked him for not knowing the answer.

    But then I guess we can’t all have your gift of omniscience and feel the need to ask questions from time to time.

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  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: @Doug Mataconis: As a wearer of hearing aids, I find myself wondering if they’d sell particularly well. The biggest market seems to be CIC (completely in the (ear) canal) and the selling point is that no one can tell that you wear them. (I didn’t care for them myself. I prefer open architecture ones that don’t feel like you have your thumbs in your ears 24/7.)

    ETA:

    “We are taking an unprecedented look at whether the courts will tolerate proven racial bias in the death penalty,” said one of the case’s leading lawyers, Cassandra Stubbs, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) capital punishment project. “We’re talking about fundamental rights that go to the integrity of the courts and the entire criminal justice system.”

    I’m sorry, but is this even a question? Of course courts will tolerate racial bias. Some will even endorse it.

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  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’m a little surprised we haven’t gone back to the “audio processor on the outside, speakers in the ear mode” given we no longer have to connect the two by wire

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  26. Mister Bluster says:

    At 71 I don’t always pick up what people are saying the first time around. I see their lips moving and hear noise but it isn’t always clear.
    Some times when say “I can’t hear ya’!” I’m chastized for not having a hearing aid.
    My response to that is always “What makes you think I want to hear what you have to say?”

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  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Two of the wifi networks in my apartment building are named “FBI Surveillance Truck” and “ISIS Mainframe.”

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  28. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: good point, they are basically invisible these days, I just seem to remember that they used to go through batteries like a motherfuker, and the thing about an airpod-like hearing aid is that presumably there’s a bigger battery in that tube structure and it would last longer. Or has the battery problem in hearing aids been solved and I just never knew that?

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  29. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Two of the wifi networks in my apartment building are named “FBI Surveillance Truck” and “ISIS Mainframe.”

    😛

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  30. 95 South says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t have to explain it. It doesn’t concern me. My guess is Trump likes one on one meetings. He’s the head of a company. Let the underlings talk out the details. What do you think? Trump gets secret orders from Putin? They have no other channels to communicate so Trump has to meet one on one with him?

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  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: I would guess that it has to do with how hearing aids are marketed. Most of them are relatively expensive. Even the one that I use–which uses technology that my SOTA hearing aid from 6 years ago in Korea had–retail at close to $1000/unit when not covered by insurance. Technologies that use Bluetooth to link to your smart phone might not be cost effective to market. The other thing is that microphone technology is so amazing relative to what it was that you get no particular advantage from an outside processor vis a vis CIC. Behind the ear technology is basically an outside processor for that matter.

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  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I get about a week from a battery these days and if I buy them from the manufacturer of the device, they’re roughly 50 cents each. At the store I get 10 for $10-14 depending on the brand and store. My first one (15 or so years ago) used up a battery in 3 days.

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  33. Mister Bluster says:

    He’s the head of a company.
    No.
    He is President of the United States.

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  34. michael reynolds says:

    @95 South:
    Then why is it only meetings with Putin?

    See, the requirement was for a plausible answer. When he meets with Netanyahu, he has other Americans there. Macron, May, Merkel, everyone else. Everyone but Putin. Just Putin. No American translator, no note-taker, no one.

    Why?

    I thought you might be @Guarneri using a new alias, but he’s smart enough not to try, he just runs away. Because there is no innocent explanation. None at all.

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  35. gVOR08 says:

    @95 South:

    They have no other channels to communicate so Trump has to meet one on one with him?

    Given that we know about various failed attempts to set up a secret back channel, yeah, I’d say that he has no other SECRET channels is a pretty good guess.

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  36. Gustopher says:

    @95 South:

    When I first noticed Teve, he was asking whether the Second Amendment was created for slavery, based on an article from a liberal site. Commenters were praising him for being open to new ideas.

    This is a lie.

    He did post a link to an article, and ask what people thought, but go back, and reread the comments after Teve’s comment — mostly “not likely” responses. Really.

    You mischaracterize based on what you believe people would do, rather than paying attention to what they do.

    And Teve’s link and question seemed more like a “I read this, and it sounds possible, but maybe it’s bullshit? Does anyone know?”

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  37. Gustopher says:

    @Mister Bluster: Every few years, I have to get a blob of earwax blasted out of my ear with high pressure (I have narrow, curvy earholes), and afterwards it’s like I have super-hearing.

    And then I hear all the nonsense other people talk about all the time, and wish I was half deaf again.

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  38. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I thought you might be @Guarneri using a new alias, but he’s smart enough not to try, he just runs away.

    I have long suspected that you are also Tyrell. Just amusing yourself, playing a character who could be from The Andy Griffith Show. A very gentle bit of trolling performance art.

    Because there is no innocent explanation. None at all.

    Trump deliberately does deeply suspicious things just to make people suspect the worst, so they make up conspiracy theories?

    Putin insists upon it, for similar effect, to weaken America?

    I mean it’s probably so Trump can roll over for belly rubs, and become convinced of crazy shit as he listens attentively to strong men.

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  39. Teve says:

    This post of Kevin Drum’s is exactly what I think, and why I stopped talking about climate change on social media. There’s no point. Catastrophe is coming and we will do nothing significant to stop it.

    In the Washington Post today, Jamil Zaki asks a question:

    In the Washington Post today, Jamil Zaki asks a question:

    About 70 percent of Americans believe that the climate is changing, most acknowledge that this change reflects human activity, and more than two-thirds think it will harm future generations. Unless we dramatically alter our way of life, swaths of the planet will become hostile or uninhabitable later this century — spinning out ecological, epidemiological and social disasters like eddies from a current. And yet most Americans would support energy-conserving policies only if they cost households less than $200 per year — woefully short of the investment required to keep warming under catastrophic rates. This inaction is breathtakingly immoral.

    It’s also puzzling. Why would we mortgage our future — and that of our children, and their children — rather than temper our addiction to fossil fuels? Knowing what we know, why is it so hard to change our ways?

    Zaki’s answer is that we lack empathy on large scales. A single child who falls down a well excites tremendous empathy, but the starvation of millions doesn’t. And it’s even worse when the millions are decades in the future.

    This is certainly part of the answer, but I think Zaki misses the real issue: halting climate change, as he himself says, requires us to “dramatically alter our way of life.” This is not something most people are willing to do, regardless of empathy. We may feel tremendous empathy for the child in the well or the vicitim of a tornado, but we still aren’t willing to dramatically alter our way of life to help them. At most we’ll send some money to the Red Cross.

    This is something that too many people don’t get. What makes climate change different from other environmental calamities isn’t that it’s bigger or farther away or difficult to see. Those things all contribute to our inaction, but the key difference is that halting climate change requires us to dramatically alter our way of life. All of us. For a very long time.

    Human beings aren’t wired to do this. You aren’t doing it. I’m not doing it. Europeans aren’t doing it. No one is doing it. We’re willing to make modest changes here and there, but dramatic changes? The kind that seriously bite into our incomes and our way of life? Nope.

    When I mention this to people, a common reaction is disbelief. You really think people will let the planet burn before they’ll give up their cars? That’s exactly what I think, because it’s happened many times before. Over and over, human civilizations have destroyed their environments because no one was willing to give up their piece of it. They knew exactly what they were doing but still couldn’t stop. They have overfished, overgrazed, overhunted, overmined, and overpolluted. They have literally destroyed their own lifeblood rather than make even modest changes to their lifestyles.

    Anybody who’s interested in constructing a realistic plan to fight climate change has to accept this. It’s the the single biggest obstacle in our way, and it can’t be wished away or talked away. As frustrating as it is, it has to be addressed on its own terms. Anyone not willing to do this simply because they don’t like it needs a very deep gut check about what they really think is important.

    https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/08/why-climate-change-is-so-hard/

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  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I’ve occasionally thought this might be a metaphor for how the country will end.

    Here lies the United States of America–Shot itself in the foot while binging at an all you can eat buffet.

    On a more serious note I read an article about global warming where the author was suggesting that instead of protocols for reversing our carbon footprint, the time of the global leaders would be better spent on working out where all the people who will lose their homes as the climate changes and oceans rise should go. It was written in 2009, IIRC.

    ETA: As the song says, “We’ve taken all this poor world can give, and we ain’t put back nuthin’.”

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  41. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: From the Drum:

    When I mention this to people, a common reaction is disbelief. You really think people will let the planet burn before they’ll give up their cars?

    I will not ride a bus. Maybe I’m a special case, because I am 6’6” and I don’t fit in the seats, but I hate busses.

    If we don’t get electric cars that are reasonable, or increase the mileage, then cars will remain the personal pollution factories that they are.

    I’d sooner spend 35 minutes in my car, where I fit and don’t have another person too close and can enjoy my music in peace, than spend 10 minutes walking to the bus and waiting, and then spending 30 minutes crammed on the bus with all those other people and another 10 minutes walking to the office.

    Our cities are laid out for private transportation. Unless that changes — raised public transport out of the traffic — we have to make private transportation better.

    I tried to hold out on replacing my car until full electric was an option, but now that I have bought my beast, I’ll have it for another fifteen years.

    And a hearty “fuck you” to the bicycle crowd. Bunch of ablist motherfvckers. You’re maybe 3% of the potential population, just fvck off, you’re not the solution, you’re just a rounding error in the way,

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  42. Kit says:

    @Teve: For anyone who likes numbers, I suggest the following page from Wikipedia. Perhaps before reading, one might ask oneself just how much more CO2 the US burns compared to some other country that seems to offer an equivalent life style.

    But you’re right: most people will do nothing, putting the lie to all their talk about the budget deficit and concern for future generations. All Americans worship the almighty God of convenience.

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  43. Kit says:

    @Gustopher:

    And a hearty “fuck you” to the bicycle crowd. Bunch of ablist motherfvckers. You’re maybe 3% of the potential population, just fvck off, you’re not the solution, you’re just a rounding error in the way,

    I find this absolutely bizarre. In the Netherlands, +99% of the population cycles.

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  44. Teve says:

    @Kit: the Netherlands probably has a president who can walk more than 12 feet without needing a golf cart. This is Murka!

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  45. Teve says:
  46. Kit says:

    @Teve: That was depressing. I cannot understand how Republicans can read such things and not see that they have been played for fools. Or how Libertarians can read it and not think conclude that their principles are simplistic given how the free speech of a couple of men can lead the country to ruin.

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  47. Teve says:

    I might have to add the Atlantic to the list of things I subscribe to. It’s been pretty good lately.

    what goop really sells women

    I spent several months of my life and over $1,000 on Goop products to find out what the rapidly expanding consumer wellness market is really selling to women. This is my story.

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  48. Teve says:

    @Kit: in the rankings of World’s Biggest Suckers, people who deny global warming are ranked right behind people who’ve sent four figures to Nigeria.

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  49. Moosebreath says:

    @Gustopher:

    A large part of the problem with public transportation is that it was designed decades ago to bring people to where jobs were then, and not to where they have been growing recently. I live in the suburbs of Philly. I have worked downtown, and gladly taken commuter trains to get there. At rush hour, the trains run about every 20 minutes, and take about 35 minutes station to station, instead of a drive which would be at least that without traffic, and with rush hour traffic would be well over an hour.

    However, I am working now in a suburban office park. It’s about a 30 minute drive from home, but would require 2 bus rides of roughly 5 miles each, one to the transportation hub in the county seat, and one to the office park. However, neither is a straight line, with the one between home and the hub taking a 20 minute detour to serve another town, so that part of the trip takes about 45 minutes. Then I would need to wait at the hub for 20 minutes until the bus for the other leg of the trip arrives, followed by a 30 minute ride to the office. So the ride which takes 30 minutes by car takes about an hour an a half by bus.

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  50. Tyrell says:

    @Kit: I don’t hear much talk out here about climate change. Everyone talks about the weather – the big storm the other day, our hot summer (the summers are always hot here). But most people in this region like warm weather a lot more than winter.
    The people have already put their time and money into making their homes energy efficient, including efficient appliances, insulation, thermal windows, solar panels, and tankless water heaters. I will be switching out my heat pumps soon and the high seer type will save 30% on the power usage.
    Most people have cars that get better mileage. The utility company here phased out the coal plants a few years ago. So there has been a lot of progress and change in this country.
    Like most people out here in the sub – rural area, I depend on my car to get to work, to stores, and other places. Buses or light rail is not an option in these type of areas.
    Some promising fuels for vehicles are hydrogen and natural gas. Electric cars are fine, but very costly and troublesome in terms of range. Cars are not the only gas burners. There’s the construction equipment: ships, trains, jets, and trucks. Politicians talk up the climate “crisis”, but travel on their private buses and jets. They use the streets, sidewalks, and buildings built with heavy equipment. Some live in big homes at the coast. They don’t give sensible, concrete solutions or ideas.
    The people are not going to go for high taxes and controls. Inventiveness and imagination are the answers, not big government or foreign treaties.
    I have yet to see what the climatologists think the average global temperature should be.

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  51. Monala says:

    @Teve: I understand. As a city kid, I had always assumed, based on the biblical story, that roosters crow three times. On a trip to Brazil, I stayed in a place that had a rooster for a neighbor. That’s when I learned that roosters crow nonstop for 20 minutes as soon as the sun comes up.

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  52. grumpy realist says:

    A good, mordant take-down of what Goop is offering. Some of the paragraphs are hilarious.

    (I used to be involved in a company that intersected slightly with this sort of stuff. The term my business partner regularly used to describe it was “New Age ninnyism.”)

    P.S. Hadn’t noticed Teve’s link to the same article above. Yes, read it. It’s very good.

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  53. Teve says:

    hey, remember that dumb bullshit about how it’s not conservatives’ fault they do shitty things, because Democrats are mean to them? well now it’s not Russia’s fault that Russia does shit either. It’s the Democrats again.

    Matt Viser
    @mviser

    President Trump is blaming President Obama — not President Putin — for Russia violating Ukraine’s sovereignty by illegally annexing Crimea.

    11:29 AM · Aug 26, 2019

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  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher:

    Maybe I’m a special case, because I am 6’6” and I don’t fit in the seats…

    Well aren’t you just the snowflake of all snowflakes. Jeez! I hardly ever even got a seat on the bus when I was in Korea, and my stop was the 3rd or 4th from where the fvcking bus started its route. Now the subway was different, because it ran a loop, nobody ever got on a subway train that had seats available.

    Look, if you wanna drive your car everywhere in Seattle, I get you. I grew up there and knew I wasn’t coming back on the day that I went to visit my parents at the end of the semester in grad school and drove 35 miles in bumper to bumper traffic at 1:30 in the afternoon. Just remember, you’re the guy grazing 11 out of your 10 allowed sheep in the pasture. (And the guy Kevin Drum is talking about, but at least you’re not alone.)

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  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I’ve subscribed to the Atlantic off and on for years, but I think you have to wait until you can get a good deal on the subscription. I think I got 2 years for $19 total, this last time around. (I started subscribing again while I was in Korea. A single copy of The Atlantic goes for $50 at bookstores there–and it’s not even the most expensive English Language magazine).

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  56. Gustopher says:

    @Kit:

    I find this absolutely bizarre. In the Netherlands, +99% of the population cycles.

    First, the Netherlands is much more compact, so bicycling makes a lot more sense. Our cities are laid out differently.

    Second, that number is obviously wrong. You believe that less than one percent of people in the Netherlands is in some way disabled? That would be an amazingly healthy country.

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  57. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Also a bad knee that can collapse if jolted wrong, so standing on a bus is often problematic.

    I could get a cane and shoo people out of the disabled seats, but… we’re still talking a commute that takes more time and is more unpleasant using public transportation.

    Double or triple the number of busses, create better routes (enforce bus lanes, or close some streets to cars, or bus tunnels, or elevated roadways), and we might be getting to a situation where public transportation is a reasonable alternative.

    And, the bus routes are often bizarre and leave out major commuting patterns.

    Meanwhile, Seattle is building bike lanes everywhere, for a vocal minority, when what we need are bus lanes.

    And then, when all of the other people are in busses or something, my drive will be even more pleasant.

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  58. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: while I adore my Fiesta, I really would like to live somewhere that I could get by without a car. Places like that are few and far between for people like me who don’t make much money and therefore can’t live in downtown Portland or San Fran etc.

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  59. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    When I visit Las Vegas, I get around using the bus, and I walk.

    I do well enough, but it’s worth noting that a) I’m not usually in a hurry to get anywhere, b) I’m not on a schedule of any sort, c) I make rather long visits, so I’m not short on time, d) I’ve been plenty of times, so I don’t have to pack in all the sights and casinos.

    Also, the bus system for the Strip and Downtown is pretty good. Elsewhere, not so much. Oh, I’ve ranged quite a bit over the years. One trip I frequented the Palace Station, well off the Strip. Sometimes the wait for the buss back to the Strip was over 20 minutes.

    There’s a monorail in Vegas, too. It’s quite efficient, and reasonably priced. Unfortunately the track is on streets parallel to the Strip. Stations are at hotels, but well away from anything, requiring a very long walk at every stop. The one exception is the station at the Westgate (formerly the Hilton), which is an off-Strip property and has the station emptying right into the casino (I went once, all the way back in 2008, because the then Hilton hosted the Star Trek: The Experience attraction, since gone*).

    At home I use my car. Sometimes if I expect bad traffic, difficult parking, or terrible weather, I will drive to a subway station, park there, and take the subway the rest of the way.

    (*) The Trek attraction was very good. The two “rides” were ok, but the really neat thing was the original ride where you get beamed up to the Enterprise D, and you get to actually visit the bridge (you couldn’t sit in Jean Luc’s chair, though). The line leading to the ride had original props from the various shows on exhibit, which was nice.

    The exhibit/rides closed a few months after I visited (no connection), and for years there were rumors it would reopen elsewhere. To this day, eleven years later, it remains gone.

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  60. An Interested Party says:

    A single child who falls down a well excites tremendous empathy, but the starvation of millions doesn’t.

    Indeed…

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  61. Mister Bluster says:

    I hope they don’t hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. Yes, angel, I’m gonna send you over. The chances are you’ll get off with life. That means if you’re a good girl, you’ll be out in 20 years. I’ll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I’ll always remember you.
    Sam Spade

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  62. DrDaveT says:

    @Tyrell:

    I have yet to see what the climatologists think the average global temperature should be.

    I’m guessing you’ve also yet to see a doctor opine on how much fever is the right amount. The reason is pretty much the same — lower is better, and “no change” is no longer on the menu.

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