Thursday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. MarkedMan says:

    I will plug the Washington Post’s COVID death rate numbers into the MarkedMan Vaccine Celebration Calculator (TM) and come up with the fantastic news that in the past week the vaccine saved 12,397 Americans from death and prevented 154,962 cases of long COVID. That’s a helluva lot of families that will be celebrating, rather than struggling, this holiday season.

    9
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A California man killed himself with a makeshift guillotine in an unusual and macabre case that resulted in the arrest of an alleged squatter who police say tampered with human remains.

    Police believe Robert Enger built the contraption at his Santa Rosa home as early as 2019, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported. Neighbors told the newspaper that Enger was friendly and an “unbelievable craftsman”, who also struggled with mental health problems for many years.

    But the nature of his death didn’t become clear until after a woman came across a skull in the bushes near her brother’s home and reported it to police earlier this year.

    Officials eventually determined the skull, which had scrape marks on it and a wire handle, was that of Enger. The 62-year-old was last seen alive in July 2019 when he was treated at a local hospital for a head injury that police now suspect resulted from a failed attempt to use the homemade device. Police think he died by suicide using the contraption, but that his remains, at least initially, went undiscovered and his home was empty until a man named Robert Melvin Ross III started squatting there in 2020.

    Well, that’s one way to do it.

    1
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via Anne Laurie over at Balloon Juice:

    Andy Slavitt
    @ASlavitt

    COVID Update: 2 weeks ago we said we would know a lot more about Omicron in 2 weeks. I’ve rounded up the best scientific opinions to share a consensus. 1/

    The bottom line-up front: We should expect a significant wave of COVID this weekend: likely a Delta + Omicron wave. 2/
    The consensus view of Omicron is that it is NOT innately more contagious, but that it IS spreading much faster. 3/…
    The reason Omicron is able to spread with little in its way stems from the fact that Omicron comes from a different lineage than Delta. Therefore prior infection from Delta does a poor job protecting against spread & infection if there is no vaccination. 7/
    How do vaccines themselves perform? Good and bad.
    Limited data from Pfizer shows that with a 3rd dose, the vaccine will continue to do a very good job—particularly at preventing severe illness.
    Even with that third dose/booster, it appears to have some fall off from Delta.8/
    Without a booster, vaccines aren’t expected to do a great job preventing the virus from spreading, although still provide strong protection against severe illness. 9/
    This is relieving news for people who have gotten or will get boosted.
    For people who are vaccinated but not boosted there is real risk of breakthrough infection.
    But anyone who has been vaccinated is far better off than those who haven’t. Prior infection isn’t a help. 10/
    The other question we began wrestling with— and are still wrestling with— is whether the COVID that people get w Omicron is more or less severe. 11/…
    The perspective I find most compelling is that Omicron is not likely to be more or less severe than Delta but that we may be seeing the effects of memory B cell and T cell accumulated immunity. 13/…
    So what happens when Omicron begins to grow in the US? What would an even more rapidly growing virus (250% faster than Delta) that is less lethal look like?
    It can be damaging. Even a small percentage of a big number is a big number. 17/
    If Omicron were the only challenge of the winter, it would be easier to manage. But Omicron will arrive when Delta is raging. And if Delta spreads as fast or faster than Omicron innately, then scientists tell me we are likely to get stuck with both. 18/…
    A third shot on top of 2 prior shots works well against Delta and appears to make a big difference with Omicron. 20/

    And this is how the winter of 2021-2022 is different from last winter. As bad a storm as comes, we have the tools to stay safe. If we use them. /end

    3
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Global Health Observ
    @GlobalPHObserv

    Chart: The Uneven Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout | Statista
    https://statista.com/chart/25832/sh

    One of these is not like the others.

    1
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Gig economy companies operating in the European Union, such as Uber and Deliveroo, must ensure workers get the minimum wage, access to sick pay, holidays and other employment rights under plans for new laws to crack down on fake self-employment.

    Publishing long-awaited draft legislation on Thursday, the European Commission said the burden of proof on employment status would shift to companies, rather than the individuals that work for them. Until now, gig economy workers have had to go to court to prove they are employees, or risk being denied basic rights.

    Nicolas Schmit, EU commissioner for jobs and social rights, told the Guardian and other European newspapers that internet platforms “have used grey zones in our legislation [and] all possible ambiguities” to develop their business models, resulting in a “misclassification” of millions of workers.

    Coming to the US in 3… 2… 1… Never.

    4
  6. OzarkHillbilly says:
  7. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The proper American count for such things is:

    Infinity, infinity +1, infinity +2 … infinity+infinity, infinity+infinity+1…

  8. Kathy says:

    about the Anglosphere diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics of the Communist Party of China, it may actually be rude.

    You know how when country A has no diplomatic relations with country B, they often maintain a country A interests section in the embassy of country C? I propose something similar.

    Instead of simply the US, Australia, and the UK abstaining from sending a delegation to the games, they should send a proxy from a country that is attending the games anyway.

    In this case, Taiwan.

    3
  9. gVOR08 says:

    Via Digby, Amanda Marcotte at Salon has a great response to the Axios poll James posted about yesterday. The poll that shows college Ds are less likely to date or want to associate with Rs than the other way around. Emphasis mine.

    This is about desirability, not “tolerance.” Democrats are desirable as friends and lovers, not just to their fellow party members, but to Republicans, as well. But Republicans? They apparently don’t have much to offer to Democrats as friends, and certainly not as lovers.

    Relatedly, a Harvard poll from last week shows “[m]ore than half of young Americans feel democracy in the country is under threat, and over a third think they may see a second U.S. civil war within their lifetimes.” This isn’t about a dispute over marginal tax rates. If you — quite correctly — believe that Republicans are plotting to destroy democracy, then why would you want to be friends with people who support that?

    Unsurprisingly, female Democrats were more likely than male Democrats to reject dating someone who “voted for the opposing presidential candidate,” i.e. Trump. Which isn’t just about personal taste, but safety. Trump not only bragged about how he likes to “grab ’em by the pussy,” but has a long track record of aggressively defending men who have been accused of sexual or domestic violence. It’s just common sense to refuse to be alone with men who are fine with that attitude, and no different than watching your drink at a party or having a friend walk you home at night. In addition, having sex with men who back the party of forced childbirth is just ill-advised.

    And that gets to the crux of it: Dating and friendship aren’t about merely tolerating someone, it’s about inviting someone into your life, as a confidante or even on an intimate level. Relationships take work to maintain. Why waste that effort on someone who can’t meet the baseline requirement of seeing you or the other people in your life as full human beings? And no, being “personally” pro-choice or pro-LGBTQ rights hardly counts, when you keep voting for the party that opposes both.

    The anger on the right over this polling, in turn, shows that this isn’t really about liberal “intolerance,” but an ugly sense of entitlement among conservatives. It’s fueled by a belief that they should be as obnoxious, cruel, and bigoted as they want, without having to pay any social penalty for it. That attitude is especially troubling when it comes to dating, and is tied to long-standing sexist assumptions that women owe men their time and attention, even when they don’t find them attractive. Indeed, this entitlement itself is a red flag. Someone who doesn’t respect the right to choose who you spend time with is someone who is likely to violate other boundaries.
    ….
    But apparently, they don’t like each other’s company any more than liberals do, and so they always circle back to yelling at liberals, accusing the left of “intolerance” for finding right-wingers unpleasant people to be around.

    19
  10. Jen says:

    Apparently, yesterday was National Brownie Day. Norwood MA stepped up in a big and interesting way.

  11. JohnSF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Gig economy companies operating in the European Union, such as Uber and Deliveroo, must ensure workers get the minimum wage, access to sick pay, holidays and other employment rights

    *snark* So, now you can see why it was so important that the UK leave the EU, to avert such dastardly bureaucratic assaults on our personal liberties and national sovereignty!*unsnark*

    8
  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Bunch of damned commies those EuroPeeins is.

    1
  13. gVOR08 says:

    While I have Digby up, she has a post about one Peter Meijer, a naive, idealistic freshman R congressman from Michigan. (Why is an idealist a GOP? The only explanation offered is “naive”.) He arrived to take his seat just in time to be driven out of the chamber by rioters. I hadn’t thought about there being freshmen who got rioted their first week in office. Great way to start your new career in what we laughingly refer to as “public service”.

    He returned to the chamber ready to join his colleagues in denouncing the riot and swiftly voting to certify the election to demonstrate their commitment to the rule of law and democratic principles, only to have his hopes dashed. It’s really kind of a sad story. He’s since bowed to GOP reality and realized he wants to keep his seat more than he wants the truth.

    WIKI notes he’s a scion of the Meijer store chain, so one might speculate his real loyalty is to low taxes on wealth and capital gains.

    5
  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: so one might speculate his real loyalty is to low taxes on wealth and capital gains.

    Well, you did say he was a Republican.

    3
  15. JohnSF says:

    re yesterdays Ukraine thread and the mutable political geography of central Europe:

    This man gets to Heaven, walks up to the Pearly Gates, and there’s St. Peter, checking the records
    St Peter asks:
    “Nationality?”
    -“Ruthenian”
    “Place of birth?”
    -“Austrian Empire”
    “School?”
    -Czechoslovakia
    “Married in?
    -“Hungary”
    “Children born in?”
    -“Third Reich”
    “Grandchildren born in?”
    -“USSR”
    “Died?”
    -“Ukraine”
    St Peter exclaims: “Well, I must say, you got around a bit!”
    Little guy: “Not so much. We never left Mukachevo.”

    11
  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: Heh, thanx for this.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnSF: I have, somewhere, a copy of H. G. Wells A Short History of the World. It has a page with several maps of Poland over the years. They’d make a lovely flip pad animation showing Poland waxing and waning and wandering around Europe. Was there any single point that was always in Poland?

    1
  18. Scott says:

    @gVOR08: Shorter version: Republicans are no good in bed?

  19. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott: I have no first hand knowledge.

    2
  20. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I’ll say. Leave it to Massachusetts.

    1
  21. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    My sister used to live in an apartment where this exact thing had happened decades earlier. While I knew the gist of the story, I didn’t realize it had been extensively documented.

    After a while James locked his room and left the hotel. Strangely, he visited a barbershop to get a shave, then called into a hardware store for a 12 inch broad axe head. After selecting two heavy pieces of 2 inch flat iron stock at a foundry, he requested that holes be drilled in them and the axe so all three pieces could be bolted together. When asked its purpose he explained he was working on an invention for making fruit baskets. He spent the rest of the sunny afternoon around the Tippecanoe Courthouse Square meeting up with old Civil War comrades. Before heading back to his room, he purchased a 2 oz bottle of chloroform from a drug store.

    About 8 o’clock James returned to the hotel and worked into the night assembling his instrument of death. It comprised two lengths of the 6″ x 1″ timber fixed to the floor at one end by heavy hinges to the floor. Between them at the other end the assembly of iron and axehead was bolted. It was estimated to weigh about 50 lbs. and would have supplied enough falling force to cleanly remove a man’s head from his body. A length of string was attached to a ring at the top of the beam that led to a hook on the window sill. It held the beam and axe almost vertical and acted as a trigger for the device. Beneath the string James positioned a table upon which he placed a candle holder. When ready to die he would light a candle and let it burn through the string allowing the beam and axe to fall with deadly menace.

    Marks on the floor boards showed he had carefully gauged where the axe would fall. At that point where his neck would lay, he screwed a piece of timber into place to serve as a block for the axe. To reduce noise and avoid arousing suspicion, James used only screws and bolts throughout his assembling.

  22. inhumans99 says:

    @gVOR08:

    So glad you posted this, I was going to write something similar yesterday (but much less eloquent, as I am not a professional writer), but as the post was becoming long I just decided not to post and hoped someone would post something like you just did.

    Someone mentioned in yesterday’s thread that for Republicans there is always the option of dating “in your own tribe” if you have trouble connecting with Liberals, exactly. It speaks volumes when members of the GOP do not want to date/marry members of their own tribe.

    GOP, start to look in the mirror and ask yourself, why is that the case?

    I just want to end this with two words of advice for the GOP, be better.

    4
  23. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:

    Was there any single point that was always in Poland?

    Arguably not, as Poland ceased to exist a separate state in 1795 after the Third Partition.
    And was only temporarily resurrected by Napoleon in 1807.

  24. Scott says:

    @Jen: They all seem pretty happy!

    1
  25. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08: I look at the crazy shit my brothers send me on a daily basis, and just how angry they are about everything, and there’s just no way that I would date them*. Or be friends with them.

    Basically, the only reason I keep them in my life is in case I ever need a kidney. And even then, they aren’t likely to give it up willingly.

    The modern Republican Party has a platform of spite, and Trump worship, and people who embrace it are willingly deciding to be terrible people. Shitty people with shitty values, who probably aren’t even taking good care of their kidneys and other transplantable organs.

    ——
    *: I do have a banjo, so the whole close-relative thing might not be a deal breaker.

    6
  26. CSK says:

    @gVOR08: @Gustopher:
    I know that movies, television, and some fiction writers like to portray couples who are poles apart politically living together happily, but come on. Is this possible in real life? Yes, I’m aware of Mary Matalin and James Carville, but how much of that is just performance art?

    Could I live with someone who was a devout Trumpkin? I don’t think so.

  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    It was apparent after the 2020 elections that Dems have a problem with Hispanic/Latino voters. The question maybe is it too late to turn the ship.

    https://theliberalpatriot.substack.com/p/the-democrats-hispanic-voter-problem-dfc

    And something that is likely to make a few heads explode.

    DEMOCRATS ARE LOSING THE CULTURE WARS

    For their part, first-generation New Democrats such as Galston and Marshall believe that the current round of critics is unrealistic to assume that neutralizing cultural issues would give the party a free pass to expand government spending far more than Clinton considered politically feasible. Too many Democrats “think it’s about the things government can do for you, but lots of working people of all races … want opportunity … They want a way to get ahead of their own effort,” Marshall told me. Shor, unlike some of the other contemporary critics of progressivism, largely seconds that assessment. “There are things that people trust Republicans on and you have to neutralize those disadvantages by moving to the center on them, and that includes the size of government, that includes the deficit,” he said. “You have to make it seem that you care a lot about inflation, that you care a lot about the deficit, that you care about all of those things.”

    Emphasis added.

    From my own, albeit, anecdotal experience, that is true. Most of the immigrants and children of immigrants that I’ve known are small business owners, restaurants, groceries, contractors. What they want is stability, fairness and predictability.

    2
  28. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    What they want is stability, fairness and predictability.

    And only Democrats provide that. Just as only Democrats actually DO anything for the blue collar, heartland, whatever, MAGAts. Dems really aren’t good at messaging. To emulate GOP success Ds need three things: a clear message, a tribal identity, and enemies. Our message is murky. We’ve allowed GOPs to define us as the tribe of minorities and losers and woke. And we’re not good at enemies.

    We have an opportunity to be the party of the rationale, the reasonable, the sane. And we may have to decide we can afford to lose the worst of the “rural” vote in exchange for the soccer moms and accept the offer of the Greenes and Boeberts and Gohmerts and Cruzes to be the enemy. Along with Rupert Morloch.

    2
  29. just nutha says:

    @gVOR08:

    And only Democrats provide that.

    I was going to note the same thing until I looked at the categories for MM’s immigrants–“small business owners, restaurants, groceries, contractors.” Alas, those categories rely on government staying out of regulating wages, hours, and other things that you perceive “blue collar, heartland, whatever” workers benefitting from. This disconnect is significant and important if MM’s immigrants aren’t outliers. They will see the government as confiscatory and “taking from the makers” to “give to parasites.” ETA: It’s a message that sells well to a small business owner struggling to stay afloat.

    2
  30. EddieInCA says:

    @gVOR08:

    We have an opportunity to be the party of the rationale, the reasonable, the sane.

    LatinX
    Cultural Appropriation
    Schools know more than parents when it comes to teaching thier kids
    Cis

    All net losers when it comes to voters. Yet progressives keep pushing them.

    May want to rethink that statement.

    5
  31. gVOR08 says:

    @just nutha:

    other things that you perceive “blue collar, heartland, whatever” workers benefitting from.

    I had more in mind Obamacare and government supported schools and hospitals that are usually the largest, and most stable, employers in rural communities. Not to mention the roads and bridges a and now maybe high speed internet. But a fair minimum does seem to help workers without actually hurting small businesses if that’s what you’d rather talk about.

    4
  32. just nutha says:

    From my New Republic newsletter today:

    Angela Merkel is out in Germany, and Olaf Scholz is in. Liberals everywhere are cheering this, because Scholz is a Social Democrat, so he’s more naturally aligned on economic issues with Biden—he has said, for example, that he’s with Biden on new global taxation rules. But his coalition is wobbly—it’s the Social Democratic Party, or SPD; the Greens; and the right-leaning, libertarianish Free Democratic Party. So he’s got two groupings that want to expand the social safety net in various ways and one that will insist on not paying for it. [emphasis added]

    Alas, some things are NOT different in Europe. Oh well…

    1
  33. Jen says:

    They will see the government as confiscatory and “taking from the makers” to “give to parasites.” ETA: It’s a message that sells well to a small business owner struggling to stay afloat.

    This is correct, and the political gateway for a lot of these people is the NFIB, which is basically a Chamber of Commerce-type organization targeted to small businesses. Once part of this network, they receive a steady stream of your standard “Republicans are the party of small business” type materials.

    I remember seeing an astonishing number of interviews with immigrant small business owners who were basically articulating “pull the ladder away after I’ve finished climbing it”-type sentiment during the last election. In 2016, a lot of it was just unbridled misogyny, but in 2020, it was “Trump’s right, we can’t have illegal immigration.” This is a largely male cohort and they are going to vote Republican for tax issues, and “stay out of my small business” anti-regulatory sentiment.

    2
  34. Mu Yixiao says:

    @just nutha:

    Alas, those categories rely on government staying out of regulating wages, hours, and other things that you perceive “blue collar, heartland, whatever” workers benefitting from. This disconnect is significant and important if MM’s immigrants aren’t outliers. They will see the government as confiscatory and “taking from the makers” to “give to parasites.”

    Progressive governments are also the ones making rules to “protect people from themselves”. Things like outlawing large sodas and bacon-wrapped hotdogs are not favorable to food cart vendors.

    I’m not sure where the excessive use of professional licensing comes from (left or right), but needing government approval to braid hair or arrange furniture is definitely over-reach by the government (usually via rent-seeking from established big businesses).

    2
  35. Mu Yixiao says:

    “Free PACER” law advances.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee today by voice vote advanced the Open Courts Act (S. 2614), a bill that would modernize the federal judiciary’s case management system and — finally — make access to court filings free for all Americans.

    The bill was initially slated for discussion in committee last week, yet Chairman Durbin opted to postpone it for a week to allow for a handful of changes. Though advocates are cheering some and are not so keen on others, none of the amendments substantially alters the bill’s impact or implementation, so strong support of the bill from Fix the Court, and, we believe, other leading nonprofit legal groups, remains.

    “There’s no reason the American public should pay for public documents. The current cost to view or download a filing, ten cents per page, might not seem like a lot, but it quickly adds up and has been a barrier to access to justice for too long,” FTC’s Gabe Roth said. “The Open Courts Act fixes that, makes PACER free and modernizes the entire case management and filing system in a way that can make the judiciary’s software a crown jewel and not an embarrassment.”

    This is very good news.

    3
  36. just nutha says:

    @gVOR08: What you intended to bring up may not be as important as the shape of the discussion that will take place within the campaign. And overall, the points you are making are good, but at least where I live, Dems are not bad at emphasizing them and yet struggle with that message not overshadowing the “makers/takers” bloviations in the hustings. The “insisting on not paying for it” phenomenon described above seems a powerful message. And who doesn’t like free lunch?

    1
  37. senyordave says:

    @Mu Yixiao: To me hair braiding should be licensed, just like barbers, so that I can be sure the business meets at least some standard of cleanliness. If not, why should restaurants have to pass inspections? Why bother with health inspectors?

    5
  38. just nutha says:

    Progressive governments are also the ones making rules to “protect people from themselves”. Things like outlawing large sodas and bacon-wrapped hotdogs are not favorable to food cart vendors.

    I wish people would quit making up sh!t about government regulations to make their arguments.

    (Comment offered to provide the opportunity to cite the one article from a decade or so ago when I was living in Korea as proof that I’m wrong. 😉 )

    2
  39. Sleeping Dog says:

    Why I Became an American

    When I first arrived in the United States, I had to adjust to a new language, new norms, and new traditions. But I was perhaps most stunned by a simple comment a teammate made. He criticized President Barack Obama, which I feared could have landed him in prison. He smiled and said: “This isn’t Turkey, brother. You have the freedom to say whatever you want.”

    Kanter has been at the forefront and often alone among pro athletes in his criticism of China’s human rights record and not afraid to call out other athletes and leagues, who have wilted under China’s threat to their pocketbooks.

    3
  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I’m not sure where the excessive use of professional licensing comes from…

    The advocates for business and professional licenses is often those already in the business/profession. Protecting the market.

    Ozarkhillbilly may remember this, but when I was in StL, the trades unions attempted to have a regulation passed that would require small business to use union contractors. In general most small businesses use the same contractors that residential housing owners use. The reg was proceeding along swimmingly till the small businesses lost their collective minds due to the increase in cost they would face. The reg died.

    2
  41. Mu Yixiao says:

    @senyordave:

    To me hair braiding should be licensed, just like barbers,

    Braiding hair–an activity that 6-year-old girls regularly participate in–requires 1500 hours of classes and a professional license.

    It takes 150 hours of training to be an EMT.

    Health/safety inspections are not the same as the requirement of a professional license.

    2
  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’m not the one Dems need to convince. Given the erosion of Dem support among Hispanics/Latinos, the message is not either being received or believed.

  43. JohnSF says:

    @just nutha:
    IIRC the FDP are generally against radical tax changes/reforms (take your pick) but far more consistent fiscal hardliners than the US Republicans. Most have not swallowed the Lafferite nonsense, last I checked (which is some time back, I grant).
    But now support a common EU fiscal policy! (Interesting times!)
    Favour a major infrastructure programme, paid for by selling off some nationalised corporations.
    Also supporters of sex-neutral marriage laws, cannabis legalisation.

    Sorta like semi-libertarians, but not idiotic enough for that label to apply. 🙂

  44. JohnSF says:

    As an aside, and to repeat an old song of mine
    European parties often don’t map onto US political concepts or idealisations.

    Take Scandinavia: read no end of US comment condemning/praising Scandi SocDems as “socialists”.
    They’re not.

    Scandi wealth disparities are among the highest in Europe; British top 10% has c. 55% of national wealth; in Norway, Denmark and Sweden the top 10% have over 65% of wealth.
    British top 1% has 23%; Swedish around 30% IIRC.

    Nor do the Scandinavians have state-directed economies; they are free marketeers. (Though the nationalised sector is big by US standards)

    The big difference is they are mass tax-based welfarists: IIRC in Denmark state mediated transfer payment amount to around 50% of GDP and tax revenues around 45% GDP.
    Main taxes are (eg Denmark) income tax max 55% on all income over 75k euros; VAT 25%.

    Welfarism is not the same as socialism (unless you want to count Bismarck and/or Lloyd-George as socialists, and get punched by their ghosts).

    2
  45. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    It was apparent after the 2020 elections that Dems have a problem with Hispanic/Latino voters. The question maybe is it too late to turn the ship.

    The thing is, a lot of Latinos are generally more aligned with the values of the traditional Republican Party.

    Democrats have little to offer other than no demonization, which should count for something, but doesn’t count for as much as expected.

    And immigration reform, but that doesn’t do as much for those born here.

    If Latinos start joining the Republicans and steer the Republicans to normalcy that would be great. Seems like a lot to put on them, though.

  46. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Since this very specific license you are discussing comes from my state, allow me to clarify what the actual license and law was.

    There was never a law/licensing scheme that stated you had to have 1,500 hours of training to braid hair. Just reading such a claim should make your bullshit detector sound at 1,000 decibels.

    There was–and still is–licensing to be a cosmetologist. Not because hair-braiding is so hard, but because hair dye, hair straigtheners, etc., can be incredibly dangerous chemicals if not used correctly. Poorly disinfected razors and other hair cutting implements will and has caused staph infecctions. Etc.

    Up until the modification of that law, all cosmetologists had to have the same licensing. The Indiana state legislature decoupled companies that purely did hair braiding from other cosmetologists. If you are a hair shop that does braiding and also hair straightening you still have to have a license.

    To repeat, there isn’t and never was a law stating you had to have 1,500 hours of training to braid hair. You had to have 1,500 hours of training to handle dangerous chemicals and ensure you knew enough about sanitation to not put your customers in harms way.

    Between this and the bullshit article you fell for about “sushi cultural appropriation protests” you aren’t doing yourself any favors here.

    13
  47. just nutha says:

    @JohnSF: Never let it be said that I would criticize anyone who wants government to pay for what it provides. I’ll look with interest on how things progress there.

  48. senyordave says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Society licenses/accredits things for different subgroups. My wife was a public school teacher for 25 years, and she was accredited. I believe strongly that public school teachers should be accredit, if possible. I don’t think there needs to be any accreditation system for tutors. the market can decide.
    BTW, very few states require any sort of license for hair braiding. Most have done away with the process.

  49. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    Just to add: I’m sure an argument can and should be made that even current cosmetology licensing standards are too onerous. But the libertarians I run into never seem to make arguments along the lines of “Well, while I understand the role of government in creating a basic scheme to ensure customer safety, we should regularly look at regulations and see if there are ways to achieve the same results with less onerous measures.”

    Instead it’s “Did you hear about in California they shut down a college campus because their sushi had cream cheese in it? You didn’t? What’s that, the article was debunked and it’s all bullshit? Well did you hear that in Indiana you have to have 1,500 hours of training to braid hair? What’s that? That’s not true? Well, did you hear that in Iowa…”

    Get a goddamn bullshit detector already.

    12
  50. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    One last thing about this horseshit:

    Braiding hair–an activity that 6-year-old girls regularly participate in–requires 1500 hours of classes and a professional license [in Indiana, only not, because that was debunked].

    It takes 150 hours of training to be an EMT [presumably in Indiana, or else why make the comparison]?.

    A basic EMS training program in Indiana takes, on average, 3 to 4 months to complete. A full paramedic program takes between 6 months and 2 years, depending on your ability to take courses full time.

    The “150 hours” Reason.com (I think they were the progenitor of this myth) put out there seems to have come from taking a very cursory glance at in.gov’s individual certification requirement pages.

    The minimum hours of training and course work for someone re-certifying after letting a previous certification lapse is 140 hours.

    The minimum hours for a paramedic–which is usually what someone is actually referring to when they say “EMT”–is 1,300 hours.

    (EMT = guy or gal at the first aid tent at a town sledding hill who’ll tape up your sprained ankle.

    Paramedic = guy or gal who’ll intubate you, IV you, and get you to the hospital alive when you very well shouldn’t be.)

    11
  51. Gustopher says:

    @EddieInCA: Medium agreement, except I don’t see why people care about cis.

    Also, Democrats have ceded words like Patriot and Freedom to Republicans, while the Republicans twist them into gibberish — the freedom to spread disease, the freedom to not have health care…

    Democrats’ policies poll well in the abstract, but they are rarely explained in ways that resonate with that American Story of a free country of rugged individualism.

    We need to tie an expanded safety net and services to the ideas of increasing freedom and leveling the playing field enough that your rugged individualism has a chance.

    Basic, affordable healthcare, independent of your job, leaves you free to start your own business, and explore various opportunities.

    This is why I really like Sherrod Brown — he’s good at that. On her best days, Elizabeth Warren is good at that too, but not as good (plus she has no penis, and Americans do crave dick)

    4
  52. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I believe licensing requirements vary by states. That said, more goes into professional braiding than “something 6-year old girls regularly participate in.” It’s fairly easy to Google and find a substantial number of complaints about hair loss, bleeding, breakage, etc. Tight weaves in particular can cause hair loss, especially to fragile hair prone to breakage.

    It’s usually people who don’t know/understand what goes into cosmetology procedures who complain about the licensing requirements.

    If someone is going to be injecting substances into skin (Botox and fillers), using a scalpel on a face (dermaplaning), or using sharp instruments that can cause bleeding (any manicure or pedicure work, braiding, etc.) or damaging chemicals (any hair salon) they had dang well better have training and licensing.

    4
  53. senyordave says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: I used to think it was laziness, but now I believe it is often hard to find any stories THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED to prove their points. I remember arguing with someone on a blog about OSHA. Their point wasn’t about overreach, it was that OSHA didn’t accomplish anything. Crickets after I found this stat: Worker injuries and illnesses are down-from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.8 per 100 in 2019. A 75% decrease is, well, something.

    8
  54. CSK says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: @Jen:
    If it helps to know, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are the only states that require a full cosmetology license to braid hair. You have to complete 1000 hours of classroom training to take the licensing exam in Massachusetts.

    3
  55. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: It doesn’t take 1500 hours to learn to use hazardous chemicals. It doesn’t even take 15. All over the country, workplaces with stellar safety records and first class training programs deal with chemicals much, much more dangerous than those used in hair straightening and dyeing conduct annual training on that specific aspect of 8 hours or less. I’ve participated in them. I worked in a fricking chemistry facility with extensive safety protocols and an brilliant safety record and a model training program and so speak from experience. So the 1500 hours training has almost nothing to do with safety and everything with using the government to enforce their guild system. Now, if you think the government should be used to enforce minimum training so that people don’t get a bad haircut, that’s a legitimate debate. But 99% or more of those 1500 hours have nothing to do with hazardous chemicals or how to safely handle a scissors and a safety razor.

    As you point out, it DID take 1500 hours of training to braid hair. After they got their asses sued and were humiliated in public all throughout the nation, the guild allowed their pet legislators to break off hair braiding. But prior to that, it applied to the braiders too.

  56. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Gustopher:

    The thing is, a lot of Latinos are generally more aligned with the values of the traditional Republican Party.

    I don’t disagree with that. Repeatedly polls have indicated that Latinos and Blacks for that matter, are far more socially conservative than the typical white Dem, myself included.

    It is popular in some sectors of the left to bemoan how awful the US is and from the prospective of someone who is from a middle/upper middle class background who is well educated and secure in their future, that complaint might be reasonable. But for an immigrant, child and even grandchild of immigrants, that have come from a country of grinding poverty and a kleptocracy for a government, the US is a wonderful place.

    The Atlantic article mentioned above, sited Reagan, whose biggest selling point was his sunny optimism about America in comparison to Jimmy Carter’s (who I don’t feel was a bad president and is a great human being) dour Calvinism. Today’s Dem party often sounds more like Carter, when they should be sounding an optimistic note.

    3
  57. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: So… basically it’s like becoming a unionized tradesman? Why do so many states do everything to break the back of unions that deal with building houses, installing fire sprinklers in high rises, installing furnaces that could kill if not vented properly, and on and on and on, but when it comes to cutting hair suddenly says, “not only are union training programs good, but they are essential and we will enforce them by government fiat”.

    (And I just want to point out that I am in no way shape or form a libertarian and I will (internet) fight anyone who says otherwise.)

  58. gVOR08 says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    But the libertarians I run into never seem to make arguments along the lines of “Well, while I understand the role of government in creating a basic scheme to ensure customer safety, we should regularly look at regulations and see if there are ways to achieve the same results with less onerous measures.”

    Not just libertarians, conservatives generally. Part of it is the Manichaean personality. Part of it is maybe wanting a simple message. Most of it is that the Kochtopus et al can’t make an open argument against the regulations they want to forestall or eliminate. They don’t want to be forced to clean up their spills and mostly they don’t want a carbon tax or any other real action on AGW. They can’t say that in public. So the message has to be, “All regulation bad. And radical. And socialist. My gawd we’d turn into a hellhole like Denmark!!!” Conservatives don’t lie because they’re asshats, although they are. They lie because they have to.

    1
  59. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Oh to be clear, nothing about my comments were to argue “this required amount of training is perfect and good.” Rather, it was “if the sentence ‘it takes 1,500 hours to be licensed to braid hair’ sounds like it’s made up bullshit, it’s probably made up bullshit.'”

    And, again, this is what frustrates me with a lot of the ways libertarians argue and make their cases. Yes, absolutely, many regulatory schemes are just government-blessed gatekeeping. Making up an extreme story that didn’t actually happen doesn’t help you in your argument.

    As you point out, it DID take 1500 hours of training to braid hair.

    Well, no, again, it took 1500 hours (agreed that’s too large!) to become a cosmetologist. If they chose to only braid hair with that cosmetology license, that’s a fine choice to make.

    During the course of pursuing some paralegal training, I also became a notary public. If I then said “I’m not going to do this paralegal stuff, I’m just going to notarize,” that doesn’t mean I took multiple courses to become a notary public.

    It might sound like I”m quibbling, but I’m not. The reason.com article framed it as states saying “we think hair braiding is specifically in need of hours of coursework” and that just was never the case.

    After they got their asses sued and were humiliated in public all throughout the nation, the guild allowed their pet legislators to break off hair braiding.

    I can’t speak for other states, but I don’t remember the public laughter and humiliation rolling through the streets. More of a “oh. Ok. cool.”

    2
  60. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan:

    So… basically it’s like becoming a unionized tradesman?

    I guess that’s as fair an assessment as any.

    The thing people don’t seem to comprehend about cosmetology is that it is fairly complex. It’s pretty easy to screw up a haircut. You’re dealing with head shapes, different hair types, dyes and chemicals, sharp cutting implements and so on. Maybe 1500 hours is excessive, maybe it isn’t (and again, it varies by state). Any woman who has had her hair fried by perm chemicals being left on too long, or not mixed correctly, knows the damage that can be caused–and how long it can take to correct.

    I guess I’m not understanding the level of hate being levied on trying to protect the public.

    4
  61. JohnSF says:

    Woo-hoo!
    Tucker Carlson unleashes the ultimate pro-vax campaign headline:
    Tucker Carlson: Getting COVID “does feminize people. No one ever says that but it’s true.”

    Carlson: “Getting COVID emasculated him, it changed him, it feminized him, it weakened him as a man”

    “But the virus itself, this is true, does tend to take away the life force in some people I notice. I mean it does feminize people. No one ever says that but it’s true.”

    Talking about Johnson with the obnoxious toad Farage, BTW.
    Always figured Carlson for a Derp Deep State Agent LOL.

    Incidentally, there are signs in UK that Johnson is getting in to very choppy political waters.
    Wheels coming off the bus? Perhaps.
    Browse Guardian or BBC headlines for further info if interested.

    A big difference between him and Trump: there ain’t no cult of Johnson.
    (Well, maybe a very small, very sad, and very deluded one)

    Wonder if Carlson will extend his diagnosis to Trump. 🙂

    1
  62. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    Oh, indeed. My first thought was: Does Trump know he’s been turned into a girl?????

  63. senyordave says:

    @CSK: Women of the world rejoice, now Trump will be able to grab his own pussy.

    1
  64. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: while I agree with your overall points quite strongly, I think you are picking nits over the 1500 hours to braid hair piece. The original plaintiff only wanted to braid hair but was forced to take the entire cosmetology training, all 1500 hours.

    In your counter example it would be as if there were no course to become a notary alone, but anyone who wanted to do it had to take the entire paralegal curriculum, of which the notary duties only took 2% of the time.

  65. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: That’s my point. The actual public safety part of this could be handled in a couple of days, tops. The rest is about protecting the public from a bad haircut. And the way hoses to accomplish this bad haircut protection is for private individuals to set up a trade association, set up a private school, and get the state legislatures to pass a law requiring that anyone who wants to cut hair has to pay many thousands of dollars to those private schools. And we only do this for haircuts! And explicitly pass laws BARRING anything similar for, say, properly building a house or installing fire safety equipment.

    1
  66. Jen says:

    @JohnSF: Oh boy. That’s…something else.

    I wonder how Tucker has a job. He really is vile.

  67. JohnSF says:

    More news from the Sceptered Isle re. the problems of being “Londongrad”
    The UK’s kleptocracy problem: How servicing post-Soviet elites weakens the rule of law

    6,312 ‘golden visas’ – one-half of all such visas ever issued – are being reviewed
    for possible national security risks by the Home Office.

    Eek!
    (OTOH at least they are reviewing)
    Also, someone at some point might care to take a peek at the entirely innocent, m’lud London property investments of various Russians, CCP officials, oil sheiks, arms dealers, purveyors of Andean excitement powder, etc etc.

  68. Matt says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Progressive governments are also the ones making rules to “protect people from themselves”. Things like outlawing large sodas and bacon-wrapped hotdogs are not favorable to food cart vendors.

    One city +6 years ago attempted to limit the size of sugary drinks and failed. ONE…

    I’m guessing in relation to the hot bacon wrapped hot dogs you’re talking about LA. The “danger dog” is only illegal because regulations voted on by the people limit cooking hot dogs to boiling or steaming. The “danger dogs” are grilled which run afoul of the law. There are certainly food safety concerns about these illegal street venders and their questionable food handling. Regardless the bacon wrapped hotdog itself isn’t banned just the illegal street venders that tend to sell it and the method of cooking for the hotdog.

    1
  69. Matt says:

    @Matt: To clarify you can cook a danger dog at home all day long however you want. It’s only street venders that are covered by the law.

    1
  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: I have a .357. A whole lot easier tho I doubt it’s any less messy.

  71. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:
    Saw recently on the Intertubes:
    Q: “Why are libertarians like pussy cats?”
    A: “They are totally convinced of their fierce independence, while being utterly dependent on a system they neither understand nor appreciate.”

    4
  72. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:

    …you can cook a danger dog at home all day long however you want.

    I thought that was only in Korea. 🙂

    2
  73. gVOR08 says:

    @Jen:

    I wonder how Tucker has a job. He really is vile.

    Huh? You just answered how Tucker has a job.

    2
  74. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnSF: I like it. Tangential to my trying to figure out how to explain the the crowd at TAC that their failure to understand is not evidence of conspiracy.

  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @senyordave: Their point wasn’t about overreach, it was that OSHA didn’t accomplish anything. Crickets after I found this stat: Worker injuries and illnesses are down-from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.8 per 100 in 2019. A 75% decrease is, well, something.

    Just want to point out that in 35 years of construction, both residential and commercial, I came face to face with an OSHA inspector exactly once. Which was a very humorous episode I’d be happy to share ifn’s your interested. OSHA, as a regulatory agency, has been gutted. IF they do an inspection, and IF they find a violation, and IF they levy a fine, it is appealed and motioned and counter motioned to death by lawyers on retainer until it is nothing but a very small rounding error that doesn’t even go on record as a safety violation.

    The effect of a “a 75% decrease” probably has a lot more to do with liability laws and workmen’s comp insurance (contractors will do damned near anything to avoid reporting a Loss Work Injury) (a laborer of mine was put on elevator operator duty for 6 months after tearing his rotator cuff while they fucked around with doctors and insurance etc trying to avoid a LWI) (in the end, his arm became useless and he had to go on disability because they fcked around so much).

    I wish we had an OSHA that was allowed to do it’s job.

    3
  76. Pete S says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I live in Niagara Falls, the day of that rescue attempt was miserable. Those people are talented and heroic.

    There is an old boat stuck in the river, not far from where that car went in, which has been there for over 100 years. My grandmother was there the day of that rescue. No helicopters back then just ropes and courage.

    1
  77. Gustopher says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    Between this and the bullshit article you fell for about “sushi cultural appropriation protests” you aren’t doing yourself any favors here.

    The sad part is, @Mu Yixiao isn’t an idiot. He just latches onto a small set of sources that keep leading him astray on the details, while speaking “a larger truth” or something.

    And even when the story is correct — I’m sure there are moments of government overreach here and there, as like all human created institutions, governments are fallible and imperfect — there is a lack of curiosity about whether this case is an outlier. It it matches your preconceived notions, it’s true and obviously representative.

    I’m positive I have my own blind spots that are absolutely the same way — if there really was child pornography on Hunter Biden’s laptop, I would never believe it, because the people telling these stories have lied so many times — but most of my information doesn’t come from niche sources.

    But it’s definitely not limited to conservatives, libertarians and Q Anon freaks — you’ll find the same tight, closed bubble of information in various lefty communities, where anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders is an indistinguishable corporate shill, or everything is the patriarchy, or everything is race, or everything is class.

    It’s part of a breakdown of centralized, centralist media where you basically get to pick your own truth.

    I don’t see how democracy can be expected to actually function in this environment, which is why I have become a monarchist. And, as an olive branch to the Republicans, I propose that when Elizabeth Warren is coronated, she take the name Pocahontas I.

    5
  78. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The effect of a “a 75% decrease” probably has a lot more to do with liability laws

    The liability lawsuits are a lot easier to win when you can show that the employer was violating OSHA standards, so I wouldn’t limit OSHA’s impact to just the inspectors.

    2
  79. wr says:

    @Jen: “. That said, more goes into professional braiding than “something 6-year old girls regularly participate in.”

    I’ve known six year olds who regularly participate in cooking. I guess that means we should stop letting the health department inspect restaurants.

    5
  80. Monala says:

    @Sleeping Dog: to play Devil’s advocate: back in 2016 one of the criticisms of Hillary Clinton was that her positivity (e.g., “America is already great”) ignored the pain that many Americans were feeling. In contrast, Trump painted a bleak picture of America.