Tuesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. de stijl says:

    As yesterday was Labor Day I’ve had a day to ruminate.

    I like to think of myself as a advocate for labor and a critic of capital in general, but my career choices deny that.

    When I was too junior to choose my own path I went along and did not examine the implications at all and certainly not thoroughly.

    If a boss told me to do something I did it.

    I accidently ended up in in mortgage banking which I had no notion would be the crux of a future financial crisis 20 years in the future.

    I started off as a temp file clerk.

    Eventually I became party to, and later a leader of, efforts that distorted global markets to a breaking point.

    I had no notion. I was doing what I was told to and my compensation was dependent on.

    In 2005 I figured out that this was unhealthy. The relaxation of underwriting guidelines. Most especially the selling of tranches of risky mortgages into the secondary market.

    If you game that out, it is a house of cards.

    Still, I did what I was told. If we, who had pretty conservative underwriting standards, were bending the rules others were too and selling junk as A grade into the market too. I was alarmed. I didn’t do shit about it.

    I took advantage of an overheated market and leveraged a fancier job for myself paying more money because my skill set was in high demand. Overseas.

    I was incentivized to ignore a likely catastrophe / market collapse I had already identified. Indeed, it was a huge opportunity to leverage yourself up the food chain and the whole subculture was bent towards acceleration over prudence.

    I was part of the problem. In 2005/6 I created datasets that allowed the eventual mortgage market meltdown.

    I am very sorry. I was misguided and selfish. I did not realize the implications and selfishly ignored it at the time.

    I am ashamed.

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  2. MarkedMan says:

    This column in the NYTimes makes the same point I’ve made here any number of times: political philosophy doesn’t matter. Trump state Republicans dimply lack the ability to deal with significant issues. Whatever the underlying reasons, it doesn’t change that reality. I take it a step further and contend that the Trump state condition applies to such a huge segment of the Republican electorate that the entire party is useless.

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  3. JohnMcC says:

    My always-photogenic ‘bing’ opening page has a news-feed and I am informed that the Ohio court that ruled that a hospital must administer ivermectin has changed it’s mind.
    Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster Jr has apparently educated himself in the last few days.

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  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    Tolkien wrote of the dawning of the age of men, shall a 21st century Tolkien write their obituary?

    A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: ‘I Just Feel Lost’
    The number of men enrolled at two- and four-year colleges has fallen behind women by record levels, in a widening education gap across the U.S.

    Don’t have time for much commentary, but I thought I’d throw this out for discussion. Interesting the reluctance to have ID’d a problem but the unwillingness and blowback about dealing with it.

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  5. KM says:

    God, I forgot what a hassle airport travel is. I thought they didn’t make the elderly take off shoes anymore? That was fun for someone who just fell a few days ago – she barely held her balance in that machine. Also, all the constant “remember 9/11” isn’t helpful to a nervous flier. Why the hell is that playing on all the screen around me? The Xanax hasn’t kicked in yet and it’s already a hell of a day.

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  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @KM:

    It’s not always perfect, but TSA PreCheck can usually save a great deal of that airport grief.

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  7. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Slight clarification – the rulings were issued by different judges. Oster’s order reverses an order issued by a different judge (Howard). I’m pleased that the system corrected its error, but remain disturbed that it ever happened in the first place.

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  8. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Three thoughts:

    1) So?

    2) Can we stop pretending that women are a minority in higher education?

    3) Maybe this is a good thing.

    Far too many young people are going to college because “you’re supposed to go to college”. They have no idea what they want to do, end up taking random classes and getting a BS degree that they have no real ambition for and which won’t get them any real jobs.

    Meanwhile, there’s a demand for skilled trades, where you step into a high starting wage with zero debt, generally get benefits through the union or municipality (e.g., linemen), and have long-term job security (we will always need plumbers and electricians).

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  9. KM says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    We don’t fly often. How does one get that?

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  10. Jen says:

    @KM: There are two levels, TSA precheck and Global Entry.

    TSA precheck is a fairly simple process, you fill out an online form and then go to a TSA satellite office for fingerprinting. They run the check, and when it’s completed you receive a KTN: known traveler number. When you buy tickets you put this number in the box, and when you receive your boarding pass it has “TSA Pre-Check” indicated. You go through a designated line at the airport–no shoe removal, etc. Last time I did this it was $80 and the check is good for 5 years.

    Global entry is more involved. You have to go to an in-person interview at a customs and border patrol office. The background check is more extensive and they really do get into the details. Once that check is completed, you receive a GE number (global entry number) that again, you type into the box when you go to purchase a ticket. Last time I did this I think the charge was $100, and valid for 5 years.

    Because we travel fairly frequently (when there isn’t a global pandemic), the global entry made sense for us. Even if we only go on one trip overseas a year, it would be $20 per trip per person to zip through security–totally worth it, especially for international travel.

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  11. grumpy realist says:

    Aside from the demise of a large number of unions supporting such trades (making it hard to know where to even start), I think the other problem is that a lot of parents who consider themselves “middle class” will turn up their noses at the thought of little Johnny entering such a vulgar, plebeian profession and will insist that little Johnny “go to college”.

    I guess Jewish moms and Tiger moms exist everywhere….it’s only after the offspring have spent 5 years at home playing video games after finishing their “college education” that the parents get desperate enough to even start thinking about skilled trade professions as a possibility.

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  12. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @KM:

    Adding on to Jen’s excellent response – GE basically allows you to sidestep customs arrival upon arriving back in the US from abroad. For participants, it turns the unsmiling customs officer experience into an automated kiosk. I make use of that one because I’m back and forth so often, but unless someone just wanted it, PreCheck is usually all someone who is taking domestic flights probably needs.

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  13. Kathy says:

    There’s been much grief given to space billionaires lately, not without reason. But some of it is misguided.

    In essence, companies like Rocket Lab, SpaceX, and even Blue Origin, are attempting to do what NASA does: launch satellites, people, and probes into space, in order to make a profit.

    Ok. NASA is not quite eager to make a profit, but it started the whole commercial launch business with the Shuttle in the 80s. That didn’t work at all. The Shuttle turned out to be neither reliable nor economical. This gave birth to private launch ventures, in the form of allowing large aerospace contractors like Boeing use the installations at Kennedy Space Center for launching commercial payloads. Later Lockheed and Boeing set up a joint venture called United Launch Alliance. NASA switched focus to government satellites, as well as the ISS and interplanetary probes.

    So far, money is to be had in space from private and public sources. The latter involve things like crew and resupply flights to the ISS, probes, and satellites (many of them from the Defense Department). Private money is all about commercial satellites.

    That’s it. That’s all there is. No one in the private sector will pay Musk or Bezos to launch probes to mars or Saturn, nor to to place scientific instruments in orbit (think Hubble), and so on.

    One notion is to fly people to space to visit. the problem is there’s nowhere to go. Aside from the ISS and whatever the Chinese are building, there’s nothing more but satellites. The vehicles which can carry people these days are small and cramped, meant only to convey a few people to the ISS.

    The ISS is a working a set of working labs, not meant for tourism, even though tourists have flown there. And it is set to be de-orbited in 2028 anyway. Some private companies are talking about space stations, notably Bigelow Aerospace (which launched a couple of prototypes in the 2000s.

    With nowhere to go, one may as well offer trips without a destination. the joyrides offered by Branson and Bezos, for instance. these are dead ends, without potential for growth or any useful applications. IMO, they deserve the scorn the public showers on them.

    Blue Origin was founded in the same year as SpaceX. Bezos has been taking it slow, partly because he has been busy running Amazon. So far, they’ve launched one rocket on a suborbital trip with passengers (and many times without passengers). In contrast, SpaceX has developed three orbital vehicles and launched many satellites to space (also the X-37B).

    So, SpaceX is a serious space launch company, while Blue origin is a wannabe.

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  14. Kathy says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Global Entry is even more useful for non-US citizens, as the immigration lines for foreigners are almost always far longer and slower. I haven’t gotten it because I travel at most once a year to the US.

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  15. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: FWIW, I just renewed my Global Entry. It was a little confusing, but in the end I did it all online and didn’t need any follow up. They gave dire warnings of months long delay but I had it back in less than a week

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  16. Erik says:

    @de stijl: I have no specific thoughts to offer, but I want to acknowledge your bravery for not only looking at your own past critically, but also opening yourself up publicly. Not very many people would do that

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  17. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: That’s good to know. Ours (GE) came through at the end of 2019, my husband traveled using his but I am beginning to wonder if I’ll be able to use mine even once before it’s up for renewal! LOL. We have had a trip overseas on the books planned for early 2022 for a while and I’m wondering if that will even happen. Sigh.

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  18. Michael Cain says:

    In a not-seen-everyday event, a helicopter crop dusting the sugar beet fields across the road from us. On the next to last pass, the pull up to an almost vertical stall maneuver was done pretty much just outside our back upstairs window.

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  19. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Kathy: GE proved its worth to us in 2018. We returned from Australia, with a flight that landed at LAX at 5:45 a.m. Our connecting flight home left at 7:15 a.m. Had we not had GE, we would probably have missed our connection.

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  20. EddieInCA says:

    @Jen: @HarvardLaw92:

    To add to what Jen and HL92 wrote above, I’m a huge fan of GE and TSA PRE. But if you choose the Global Entry route, please be advised that when being questioned by the Customs of Immigration officers at your face to face interview, DO NOT LIE. They’re looking at your whole life history on their computer screen and they pretty much know everything. DO NOT LIE. If they ask you a question like “Have you ever been arrested?”, tell the truth. Because they know the truth. They don’t care that you got arrested, nor for what. They just want to know if you’ll lie about it.

    During my interview, I realized immediately that they have more on their screen than I probably knew or remembered. So when they asked the tough questions, I answered them honestly, despite how embarrassing it was. They also had details that would have only been in an official report, so they had granular detail on some parts of my life. They asked me about a random incident in London from 1997, and, fortunately, I remembered most of the details.

    They really don’t care what you did. Just don’t lie about it.

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  21. EddieInCA says:

    @Jen:

    Here’s hoping the trip happens. My wife and I had said “F it”. We’re old and we’re going to start enjoying ourselves again, while being as safe as possible.

    My wife leaves two weeks from Thursday on a two week diving trip to the Red Sea. Traveling through Zurich and Cairo. I can’t go to do work, but I’m thrilled she’s going.

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  22. EddieInCA says:

    @EddieInCA:

    My kingdom for an edit button.

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  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    Having myself fucked up the lives of various innocent people motivated by nothing but arrogance, greed and resentment, I have some advice:

    1) Seeing yourself, your actions and the consequences honestly? Good. Never lie to yourself.

    2) Beating yourself up endlessly over things you can’t undo? Not good. Especially if you’re a decent, normal person with perhaps a tendency to depression, and not a sociopath. Give yourself one good beating – you deserve it – and move on. More than that and you’re wallowing in self-pity and doing no good for anyone.

    3) Learn from your mistakes, don’t do them again.

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  24. Matt says:

    @Kathy: SpaceX has received a tremendous amount of help from NASA. Ranging from support facilities personal all the way to troubleshooting including figuring out why SpaceX rockets kept exploding.. Smart move on SpaceX’s side as NASA has all the experience and equipment.

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  25. JDM says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    In addition to Global Entry, frequent flyers may want to join CLEAR. They use biometric data, fingerprints, and iris scan, to verify your identity.
    https://www.clearme.com/how-it-works/

    I signed up at SeaTac airport years ago. Just took a few minutes. I’ve been able to avoid long TSA lines at SeaTac and probably made a few flights that I otherwise might have missed. And for only $15/month, I think it’s a good deal. Also, they share vaccine confirmation info with Hawaii, so it makes flying there easier. Unfortunately, CLEAR isn’t at Honolulu airport, so I suffer through long TSA lines coming home, even with TSA pre-check.

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  26. Kathy says:

    @Matt:

    They had a hard time with the Falcon 1, which always struck me as a mere demonstrator (one commercial launch, several failures). In contrast the Falcon 9 has yet to blow up after launch, though one blew up during fueling on the launch pad.

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  27. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA: Yep. My recollection of my questioning was that they had every place I lived and worked in front of them. I was nervous because I’ve lived and worked in so many places and wasn’t always sure what month, exactly, I switched. But they knew.

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  28. grumpy realist says:

    Considering what a rocket actually is (a.k.a. a controlled explosion) it’s amazing to me that anything gets up there.

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  29. JohnMcC says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Thanks! The quip I saw gave me the opposite/wrong impression and I’m sorry I passed it on.

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  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    No one will talk about it because the prevailing narrative is centered on women as victims. The Weinsteins, Cosbys and many more providing the gospel text.

    But as I’ve said many times before I’ve been watching this for like 40 years now. (Jesus Christ I’m old.) Short version: men are slipping, women are climbing. Many men and a surprising number of women are invested in assumptions of male authority, male power, and they are adrift and often desperate, particularly those men and women whose intellectual architecture is rigid – the highly religious/ideological being an example.

    The Trump/Q-Anon phenomenon, I believe, is less about race (though that’s a big part) and more about gender. It’s not irrelevant that Trump supporters tend to be males with lower educational levels. Intelligence, and the education made possible by intelligence, enable flexibility and adaptability. The more rapid the pace of change, the more likely panic is to set in.

    Given the way panicky men tend to react to stress – suicide, outbursts of rage, violence – men earn no sympathy. Indeed they’ll be further demonized as a consequence of their actions, so the decline will likely continue.

    Looking at men from a female-centric view, men are useful for two things: sperm production, and protection. Men are bigger and stronger and don’t have incapacitating pregnancies, births, etc… And that was enough for the first million years of human evolution. Women were vulnerable while procreating, and men were there to stab the leopards.

    Civilization mostly took care of the leopard threat. At which point the threat to women came mostly from men. We began to see attempts to manage men deprived of their leopard-killing function with notions like chivalry. Many men fashioned themselves as defenders of women, defending them of course, from other men.

    Nowadays women have things like laws, and votes, and money to manage their own protection from men, rendering men even more useless. The solution for lots of men has been essentially to feminize, to drift closer to the female-centric worldview. Other men go the other way, into hyper-masculinity, into superhero fantasies, body-building, violent sports.

    If women find this comforting, they shouldn’t. Men are dangerous. Male or female, if you are abused, attacked, raped or murdered, it’s almost always by a man. We cannot assume that this is going to end well. See: Taliban, Hungarian and Polish authoritarianism, Russian or Proud Boy thuggery. See also: declining birth rates whose long-term effects we cannot confidently predict. I see a bad moon a risin’.

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  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I’m probably the outlier, but I never found TSA Security Theater to be particularly cumbersome any where I traveled to. On the other hand, I also fly alone (so I have no cats to herd) and take the admonition about arriving at the airport 2 hours early very seriously. Stand in line (normally acceptably fast moving for a line), check through, look for someplace to get a ‘spro and a newspaper in my concourse. Pretty mellow.

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  32. JDM says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Exactly!

    Even at border crossings they have lots of info. Before I enrolled in Nexus and Global Entry, I was driving back into the US from Canada via a crossing I had never used, Osoyoos/Oroville, after a ski trip. I just wanted a change of scenery, but I guess that triggered suspicion. So the INS officer asked me about every flight I had taken back to the US. Where did you go, who did you visit, and what was the purpose of the trip? Blah, blah, blah… Then he searched my entire car and even had me pop the hood. Funny, he didn’t want to look into my ski carrier on top. I did get revenge, he banged his head very hard on the crossbeam holding the ski carrier to the roof rack.

    And I went through the same when I had my interview for Nexus/Global Entry. They probably had the answers I had given years previous.

    After enrolling in Nexus/Global entry, all border crossings have been quick and easy. Just the question, “Anything to declare?”. Then ,”Thank you, have a good day”.

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  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: There is one piece of TSA security theater that I am nervously fascinated by: removing shoes. At least three heads of the TSA/Homeland Security have given the impression that it was about to go away, and it hasn’t happened. They made these pronouncements at the beginning of there tenure. I’m curious about what they learned that caused them to drop something they had publicly talked about.

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  34. Kathy says:

    Since the two thorns on the side of the Democratic Party (aka Sinema and Manchin) are making noise about the cost of the reconciliation bill, wouldn’t this be a good time for the Democratic leadership to propose a compromise? Specifically I mean letting them whittle down the reconciliation bill somewhat, in exchange for agreeing to kill the filibuster.

    Probably won’t happen.

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  35. Jen says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I agree with what you’ve written here, but dammit it’s frustrating. Women have been marginalized throughout most of human history, and we still don’t have pay parity or organizational leadership parity, and yet somehow we’re enough of a threat that the modest gains we’ve made are under attack.

    It’s super-annoying.

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  36. Teve says:

    Teve’s Booknotes:

    Evolution: Triumph of an Idea is excellent. It’s not a textbook, but a lavish recounting of the historical development and outline of the basics.

    Making Your Own Days: I’m starting to study poetry at the age of 45 and it’s slow going. Poetry is a whole new language. This is a good sort of intro overview.

    Mary Poppins: I’m picking this up at the liberry today.

    The Outlaw Sea: William Langewiesche is one of my very favorite nonfiction writers. Highly recommended. I’ve paused halfway through so it doesn’t end too soon.

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  37. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jen:
    It’s annoying, it’s dangerous, and I don’t have a clue what to do about it.

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  38. KM says:

    OK, I know I’ve been hitting the Xanax for the flight but I keep seeing cows along the roads on the way to Disney. Like, small herds. Is there really a dairy farm or something across the road from Gaylord Palms Resort???

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  39. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @Jen:

    I jokingly say “It’s women’s fault. ”

    Well, half jokingly because women are a majority in 39 of the 50 states. Nationally, women have more than a 3% population advantage. If all women voted for women, they’d win easily with the few men that would vote for them. But women, especially white women, still vote for men more than women. That’s a sad fact.

    But it’s changing, just not fast enough. In 2016, Clinton won women overall by a good number, yet 64% of white women voted for Trump. White women in WI, MI, PA, were actually the difference. Had white women voted for Clinton at the same rate as they voted for Obama, Clinton would have won.

    So it’s women’s fault. I kid. I kid. I know it’s more than that, but it’s something that has stuck out to me forever.

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  40. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I think it’s theoretically possible to take the nucleus of an ovum from one woman, and merge it with the ovum of another woman. If an embryo can then be coaxed to develop, it can be implanted in a womb. With only X chromosomes available, well, it’s obvious, right?

    Except, you’d still get trans men, and non-binary, and who knows what other kinds will emerge in time.

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  41. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..With nowhere to go, one may as well offer trips without a destination. the joyrides offered by Branson and Bezos, for instance. these are dead ends, without potential for growth or any useful applications.

    I wanted to be a rocket man ever since Yuri Gagarin pioneered human spaceflight in 1961 when I was 13 years old. I was discouraged when I was told I couldn’t be an Air Force pilot because I wore glasses.
    It didn’t get me into Earth orbit but Space Mountain at Disneyland 36 years ago was definately a trip without a destination. I loved it! Not sure I would survive it today at 73 but if I ever get to California again I may well take the chance.

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  42. Teve says:

    @EddieInCA: I wouldn’t expect men to all unify behind a particular candidate or party. Cletus the gunsmith in Missouri probably won’t vote the same way Devont’e the interior decorator in Brooklyn votes. Or Bryce in the Hamptons, or Luther on his compound in Idaho.

    Accordingly, I can’t imagine all women unifying.

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  43. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Not at all. I had no idea that it had even happened until I saw your post and probably wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t. I thank you for that.

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  44. Teve says:

    https://twitter.com/grantstern/status/1433501515923271690?s=21

    Florida’s former GOP Speaker of the House called women “a host body.”

    And there’s video.

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  45. EddieInCA says:

    @Teve:

    That’s what they’ve believed for a long time. They’re just saying the quiet parts out loud now.

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  46. de stijl says:

    @Erik:
    @Michael Reynolds:

    If I could do it again I would be a butcher.

    A nice little shop where you were guaranteed to get good quality meat at a reasonable price. Help make people’s meals better. Figure out demand. How to compete with grocery stores.

    I would set aside brain fulfillment to hobbies. Write bad fan fic or whatever.

    My curse was I wanted my job to fulfill my unmet creative needs. And for my need for praise. Those needs created a chain of events.

    I did not cause 2008, but I helped to optimize the process.

    It bothers me still that I was a willing cog in a destructive machine. Dealt with most of it, but still need to hold on to the quite important lessons.

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  47. JDM says:

    @Jen:
    The pay parity argument is complete BS.

    I had this discussion years ago with a female anesthesia colleague who showed me national data that female physicians make less money than male physicians. I agreed that they do, but it is because of career and life choices, not systemic discrimination.

    You would have to believe that Medicare/Medicaid, Blue Cross, Aetna….. look at physician bills, then pay them at different rates based on the sex of the practitioner? Really?

    Instead, maybe some women choose medical specialties that allow them to take time off from their careers to have babies and raise children. When they come back, often it is part-time. They take less call and work fewer weekends. And since most professional women tend to marry up to more educated and more financially successful men, their need for income is less. I’ve met plenty of women physicians and lawyers who simply have a “hobby job” because they’ve married well.

    I pointed out to my colleague that she didn’t take as many weekend or night calls because she chooses to spend more time with her family. And so her billing hours are lower than those who worked more nights and weekends. And who did she think had to work more nights and weekends when she went on maternity leave? Guess who? Me. So yes, I make more money. I made the choice to not marry and I made the choice to not have children. Women have agency. They make choices.

    And isn’t it interesting that nobody likes to point out the lack of parity when it comes to women and rates of incarceration, sentencing, suicide, homicide, heart disease, cancer, and longevity.

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  48. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    Commercial space is going to be a thing.

    As private launches become more common–and cheaper–a lot more of space is going to open up to commercial endeavors. Some of that is going to be labs and manufacturing producing items in microgravity for use on Earth, but there’s a significant group of businesses looking to produce “space-for-space” products.

    This isn’t “stuff for Elon’s Mars colony” (at least not yet). It’s mining asteroids for materials to build structures for space (stations, observatories, radio relays, etc.). With 3D printing and other new technologies being developed, zero-G manufacturing will be opening up quite a bit in the next few decades.

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  49. Teve says:

    Rep. Madison Cawthorn promotes false election claims, warns of ‘bloodshed’ if fraud occurs in future

    My only question about 2024 is, will it just be violent, or will it be a violent overthrow?

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  50. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: you’re way more optimistic than I am. I don’t see any space manufacturing of commercial anything in the next 50 years. And I don’t think microgravity is useful for anything, and 50 years of NASA experiments demonstrate this. In terms of engineering things on small scales, gravity is irrelevant on Earth, surface forces overwhelm it a bajillion times over. I’ve got probably 5 more reasons. 😀

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  51. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    You were 13 in ’61! Dude, rock on!

    The Right Stuff is a movie I love and watch yearly.

    The Wolfe book is pretty okay. Phillip Kaufman’s movie is fucking epic! The scope and the visuals and the cast. Oh my. The cast is amazing. I get teary eyed thinking about it.

    Levon Helm as narrator.

    I know what I’m watching tonight.

    Hey, Ridley, ya got any Beeman’s?

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  52. Jen says:

    @JDM:

    The pay parity argument is complete BS.

    It is not “BS,” it is nuanced. Women take time off to have babies because it’s hard on the body and, notably, they are the ones equipped to do the job.

    Years ago, I was offered a job. I thought the pay was too low for what was being asked, and I had experience–not just at the job itself, but also at the place of hire. I told them what I wanted, they said no. They ended up hiring a male with LESS direct experience than I had, and they hired him at nearly $15K more than they had offered me (which was ~$9K more than my counter-offer). I was not married, no kids, etc. so no, the “taking time off to have babies means you get paid less” doesn’t work here.

    In my field, PR, which is overrun by women–it is a heavily female-dominated profession–white males still earn more than their female counterparts.

    And isn’t it interesting that nobody likes to point out the lack of parity when it comes to women and rates of incarceration, sentencing, suicide, homicide, heart disease, cancer, and longevity.

    My hunch is that this will start to change too. Women are approaching parity with men on alcohol consumption, and will pay a higher health price for it due to body mass.

    On crime and incarceration, I’d think that women are less likely than men to commit violent crimes (IIRC, they are more likely to commit financial crimes and theft, check-bouncing and the like)–doesn’t that get factored into sentencing?

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  53. CSK says:

    @Teve:

    Well, then, if the woman is the host, the fetus is a parasite. Nothing a dose of Ivermectin won’t cure.

    Sweet Jesus.

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  54. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Teve:

    And I don’t think microgravity is useful for anything, and 50 years of NASA experiments demonstrate this.

    Quite the opposite. The experiments have shown that there are quite a few areas in which materials constructed in space are superior to those on earth. The top two (right now) being fiber-optic cables and magnesium-alloy medical implants. Tissue for transplants is also high on the list. There are a number of industrial crystals that have shown great promise, as well as medicines–these last ones (as well as the implants) because they can achieve a far more homogenous mix than they can on Earth.

    The issue hasn’t been that there aren’t products to be made, it’s that there hasn’t been the infrastructure or production facilities. SpaceX has the small and mid-sized launch capabilities, and is going to have large capacity soon. Relativity has the capacity for large-scale 3D printing (and believe it’s them that has the contract from NASA already to produce girders in orbit).

    There’s money to be made out there. You can be damn sure someone’s going to figure out how to make it.

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  55. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Decades ago I had an imbecilic department chair who confessed to paying his male employees more than the female because if he didn’t the guys would “feel bad.”

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  56. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    I commend you trying to get into poetry.

    No recommendations. Find what you like. Let in linger. Bask. Re-read. Re-feel. Consider the language choice. My one bit of advice is don’t get too caught up in academic analysis and find what you like.

    Much will not appeal or strike a wrong note.

    Some will hit you like an avalanche.

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  57. Monala says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I shared this on the collegiate gender gap thread:

    I’ve seen a lot of memes comparing a college degree and its associated debt with a high-paying career in the trades, with the point being to encourage more students to pursue the trades instead of a degree.

    A recent discussion of this meme made me rethink it. The person addressing it pointed out the following:

    1) Many trades are seasonal. Sure they’re high-paying–in season. The rest of the year, you’re screwed.

    2) Many trades have an earning ceiling. Unless you have the drive and ability to turn your trade into your own business, your salary will not exceed that ceiling.

    3) Many trades take a big toll on one’s physical body. This means that at some point–often in one’s fifties–continuing to pursue your trade becomes more and more difficult.

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  58. Jen says:

    @CSK: That doesn’t surprise me a bit. An addendum to the story above about my job offer–I know of the pay because a friend worked there and knew what was offered. She actually asked why the disparity, and was told “oh, [guy they offered the job to] has kids.” So, frankly, I could make the opposite argument: male salaries have been inflated because they are perceived as the breadwinners.

    I have a raft of examples–a friend who is a paid public speaker who consistently gets offered less for speaking engagements, despite having the same (0r better) credentials than the men on the same speaking circuit, another friend who has the same coding credentials and experience as his wife–they will apply for the same jobs and he’ll routinely be offered way more money than her, etc.

    I’ll acknowledge that these disparities are more pronounced in some fields than in others, but to make a blanket statement that is all BS is, frankly, itself BS.

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  59. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: most—most—new technologies that work in the lab fail to commercialize because something about the process is too pricey to scale. And those are all processes that don’t have the additional requirement that the whole thing has to be blasted into space, function, and then crash through the atmosphere at 17,000 mph and be retrieved. Since you mention fiber optics, I’m sure you’re aware that the line has a minimum radius of curvature, so you can’t just wind it up tight, you’ve got a big spool to reenter. Make the economics of that work against $.10/ft cable made on earth.

    Another thing about Space Manufacturing is that space is trying to kill you. It takes thousands of people on the ground just to keep 5 astronauts alive. That doesn’t scale.

    NASA talks about Awesome Space Tech because the public doesn’t want to give them billions to estimate the Hubble Constant etc. I’ve heard about all this hypothetical manufacturing stuff all my life. It’s a dog and pony show.

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  60. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Monala:

    1) Many trades are seasonal. Sure they’re high-paying–in season. The rest of the year, you’re screwed.

    Some trades are seasonal. Most are not–especially once you get out of the northern winters. Even then, construction happens in Wisconsin winters–they just time it so the interior work is done during the winter.

    2) Many trades have an earning ceiling. Unless you have the drive and ability to turn your trade into your own business, your salary will not exceed that ceiling.

    Almost every job has a earning ceiling. That’s why there are promotions–you move up from a hammer-rat or a spark-monkey to a foreman, to a planner, to a consultant, to… wherever it takes you. That kid with the BA in gender studies and $100k in debt isn’t going to be riding the gravy train.

    3) Many trades take a big toll on one’s physical body. This means that at some point–often in one’s fifties–continuing to pursue your trade becomes more and more difficult.

    Many business jobs take a big toll on one’s body via stress. Often in one’s fifties, they’re having heart attacks and other major health issues. But, again, you look at how long you want to stay at one level, and you move up. That hammer-rat can move to being a crane operator–sitting in a cushy chair all day.

    Being in the trades doesn’t mean doing gross physical labor for the rest of your life.

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  61. de stijl says:

    @Jen:

    In my first real office job it was 90% women on that floor. In the mortgage industry the post-closing documentation verification process was highly devalued. A necessary evil. Back-office stuff. Utterly unsexy.

    Of course, post-closing due diligence meant good pricing on the secondary market for an MBS, but it did not change the fact it was institutionally undervalued and poorly paid.

    90% of the workers were female. My supervisor was female. Her supervisor. Her boss. After that is was male all the way up the ladder. I wasn’t even a peer to the 90%; I was a lowly file clerk and a temp.

    Two of us made it up the ladder and on to bigger brighter things out of that whole cohort. I am still friends with M.

    It became more professionalized over time but back then was seen as boring documentation drudgery – women’s work.

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  62. Monala says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Good response, thanks for sharing.

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  63. Mike in Arlington says:

    @de stijl: That movie has one of my favorite exchanges. I can’t remember the entire bit, but it ends with this piece of wisdom that applies to basically everything in life:
    “Funding. That’s what makes your ships go up. I’ll tell you something, and you guys too: No bucks, no Buck Rodgers.”

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  64. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Ah, yes. I’ve also heard the old “I have to hire a man because men have wives and children to support” line.

    Fortunately, I don’t hear that too much any longer.

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  65. JDM says:

    @Jen:
    Of course you have no problem that only 9.4% nurses are men. But then you’ll take offense that those 9.4% make more money than women nurses and in all areas of nursing.

    https://www.journalofnursingregulation.com/article/S2155-8256(21)00027-2/pdf
    Specifically, look at pages 12 and 41.

    Again men make more money because they don’t take time out to have children and don’t stay home to take care of the kids. Men work more hours, more nights and more weekends. Often, they are the primary money earner. It’s the bloody choices that women make. I don’t understand why you won’t believe woman can and do make choices that influence how much they earn.

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  66. @JDM:

    Again men make more money because they don’t take time out to have children and don’t stay home to take care of the kids. Men work more hours, more nights and more weekends.

    You can’t confirm that conclusion from the data presented. It may be true, it may not be. One would need a table with non-overtime salaries and then compare them to the overtime outcomes to know, in the aggregate, if that is true or not.

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  67. Jen says:

    @JDM: What the heck are you going on about? I would love to see more men in nursing–we NEED more men in nursing. I’m not sure why female nephrologists make more money than males, nor do I understand why hospice nurses are paid exactly the same, male or female.

    I DO know that I never had children, and therefore clearly didn’t when I was offered LESS MONEY than a male, despite him having LESS experience.

    You need to show your work if you are going to make statements like “men work more hours and more nights and more weekends” because in MY field, where women make up 75% of the workforce, that’s just not true.

    When I was in politics, I routinely worked 80+ hour weeks. In PR, my BILLABLE MINIMUM was 50 hours a week. Again, that’s a billable minimum. If I’m billing 50 hours, I’m typically working more like 60, and that’s the absolute lowest level I was expected to meet.

    I don’t understand why you won’t believe woman can and do make choices that influence how much they earn.

    And I don’t understand why you won’t believe that not all women have kids, and that these disparities start well before anyone starts having children, and that disparity persists throughout their careers, *whether or not* they have kids–(in some fields, but not all).

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  68. de stijl says:

    @JDM:

    I like it when people pre-identify as dicks. It saves a lot of time.

    You go in the do not interact with file.

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  69. Jen says:

    @JDM: Incidentally, the coding couple I mentioned above? They graduated at the same time, in the same field. They routinely apply for the same jobs, just to see what the disparities are–and, fun fact, the male in the couple has a gap in his resume while the woman does not. She’s still routinely offered less money for the same jobs.

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  70. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Teve:

    Since you mention fiber optics, I’m sure you’re aware that the line has a minimum radius of curvature, so you can’t just wind it up tight, you’ve got a big spool to reenter. Make the economics of that work against $.10/ft cable made on earth.

    If that fiber-optic cable can shave a few milliseconds off transmissions between financial institutions… it’ll pay for itself.

    My grandpa was a lineman back in the 1930’s. He said “One day, there will be electricity in every house.” And people laughed. You’d have to string wire all over the country. It just doesn’t scale! The cost would be prohibitive!

    The same things were said about trains, telephones, computers, etc.

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  71. EddieinCA says:

    @JDM:

    Bullshit! Everything else being equal, women earn less than Men for comparable jobs in most fields. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about that in film and TV when it comes to my crews? Why? Because jobs are paid by the position, not the person. A union Wardrobe Costumer makes X. Period. Full stop. Does not matter if it’s a man or woman because THE JOB pays that. A Teamster Van Driver makes X? Why because THE JOB pays that. I have men and women van drivers. They. make the exact same. Some of the women have had kids. Some work less hours because of kids. That doesn’t change that they’re doing THE SAME JOB. They should be paid the same.

    I have female friends who are lawyers, who bill the same amount of hours as male counterparts, but earn less due.

    I have accountant friends who have the exact same title as male counterparts and make 20% less for no obvious reason other than being female. In fact, one was named employee of the year at her firm, and had to leave for a competing firm, because she couldn’t get the same salary as an accountant – not even in management – WHO GOT FIRED.

    Read this article to disabuse you of your specious claims. It debunks a few your beliefs directly.

    https://attorneyatlawmagazine.com/highlighting-central-myths-gender-pay-disparity-in-the-legal-profession-2020

    Oh, and when you’re ready, join us in 2021. I’m sure the 1950’s are tired of you already.

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  72. dazedandconfused says:
  73. de stijl says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    I have 18 favorite scenes from that movie.

    One of them is when John Glenn was on the phone with his wife Annie and she was freaking out because Lyndon Johnson was outside wanting to have a PR moment in front of a billion cameras and she knows / thinks her fairly profound stutter will fuck it up.

    Ed Harris is truly great here.

    I find it really powerful and it always makes me cry.

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  74. JDM says:

    @JDM:
    An no mention from you on parity for occupational deaths.

    In 2019, the last year of occupational death statistics; 4,896 men DIED, while only 437 women did. That’s over 10x the fatality rate for men.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/187127/number-of-occupational-injury-deaths-in-the-us-by-gender-since-2003/

    If women want to earn the same amount of money men do, then they need to do the same jobs as men do. With just as many hours, days, weeks, years, nights, and weekends. Just as dirty, just as dangerous.

    Why do women always want the high paying profession that don’t put them in harms way? Why aren’t women demanding to have compulsory Selective Service registration for women?

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  75. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    If that fiber-optic cable can shave a few milliseconds off transmissions between financial institutions… it’ll pay for itself.

    A) high frequency trading is an extremely limited market.

    B) purer FO cables with fewer impurities don’t make light go any faster, they just increase bandwidth. It takes miniscule bandwidth to transmit BUY MSFT 66.25, SELL GOOG 173.625

    I would be interested to be proven wrong, but not only can I not see an economic case for producing literally anything in space at the moment, I can’t even imagine factors changing in the next several decades which would make it viable.

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  76. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Only because most of us realize that a typical job filled by a typical male doesn’t pay a wage that supports a family anymore–even with the standard 35% differential. But I’m going to stop now before I start sounding like Reynolds.

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  77. Teve says:

    @JDM:

    Why do women always want the high paying profession that don’t put them in harms way?

    Is that a serious question? (Teve looks around)

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  78. Jen says:

    @JDM: Males are more likely to die than females at any age, including in utero. Maybe they are clumsier at work? 😀

    Seriously, I’m done if you are arguing that in order to be paid the same, women have to be evenly dispersed across all jobs in all industries. That’s weird logic.

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  79. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    Even though I wasn’t raised in any religion, I’m used to sedate New England pastors. What is the appeal of that shit? Seriously. Does it inspire the congregation with some sort of religious ecstasy?

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  80. JDM says:

    @EddieinCA:
    My sister is an attorney. She decided years ago to not follow in our fathers’ footsteps, join a big firm and work 60-80 hrs a week. She found out that being a trial lawyer was not for her. Too much stress, and too many hours.

    She chose to never marry, and chose to have no children, and so she only had to support herself. Her desire was to spend more time skiing in France, cycling in Italy, and climbing in Switzerland.

    Instead, she chose to work for a national insurance company. Good benefits and a guaranteed pension. She traveled through the NW and kept all her frequent flyer miles, over a million. No long working nights or weekends. Lots of time off available to travel.

    So that’s the choice she made. Less money, more fun.

    However, in the statistics of “women attorneys make less money”, she contributed to that, by choice.

    There is no tombstone that reads, “I wish I had spent more time at the office”.

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  81. @JDM: You don’t think their are males who makes similar choices?

    You are making some awfully sweeping conclusions from a handful of assumptions and anecdotes.

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  82. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jen:..in order to be paid the same, women have to be evenly dispersed across all jobs in all industries.

    The gist I get is that JDM thinks that women should not get the same pay for the same job because they are not men.
    I was training women to do the same job I was doing in the landline telephone industry and working with women who took the same risks as I did (climbing telephone poles for instance) 40 years ago.
    They all got the same pay for the same job that I did.
    I found women to be easier to train and work with.

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  83. de stijl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I can’t tell you how to react, but there are many signs as to why this person is “do not interact”.

    I understand though as a host you might feel obligated to knock down nonsense. I do not envy you that role. You are braver than me.

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  84. senyordave says:

    Women shouldn’t worry, Greg Abbott is on it:
    Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said in a press conference on Tuesday that the state’s new abortion law would not force a rape victim to carry their assailant’s child to term. To achieve this, the governor pledged to “eliminate all rapists” in Texas, the local NBC affiliate KXAN reported.

    Why stop at rape? Why not promise to eliminate all murderers? How about all violent criminals? Then move on to all burglars and petty thieves. Eventually he’ll get around to jaywalkers and speeders. And if he knew all along how to get rid of rapists why has he kept it a secret for so long?

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  85. de stijl says:

    My patience for actively engaging with blatant misogynists ran out about half way through Gamergate.

    Can’t do it anymore. Life is too short. Nope.

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  86. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Someday.

    I’d be more optimistic, had I not been hearing about this for the past forty years.

    It feels not like someone is promising the modern web in the late 60s, but rather after seeing Babbage’s Difference Engine. We’ll get there, but not soon.

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  87. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    It would be, if people only took rollercoasters to cross oceans or continents 🙂

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  88. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    Offtopic, but Ethel Kennedy finally weighed in about parole. Decidedly opposed.

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  89. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I don’t doubt that there are males who do, but women are indeed often faced with Hobson’s Choice, in that they (understandably) opt to pursue starting families and that can (and often does) unfortunately involve also accepting negative impacts to their career progression. We can certainly debate whether that’s fair (it isn’t). Our own firm is a real world example – we absolutely will comply with applicable laws and regulations, and offer what I would consider to be generous maternal benefits. The flipside is that these women are no longer in the office. They miss out on networking, they miss out on participation in important deals, their billable hours unavoidably plummet, and all of that has a cumulative effect. On the one hand, it’s not fair to them, even if it does stem from a personal choice freely made, but in the other hand it would also be unfair to the associates (male and female) who are in the office and don’t miss out on those career builders if we equalize them and the absent mothers in terms of partner track progression. I’m not sure that there is a fair way to just pretend someone hasn’t been in the office for an extended period of time.

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  90. Teve says:

    @davidoatkins

    It’s worth noting that GOP/pro-recall support for Larry Elder only *increased* after the story came out that he allegedly brandished a gun at his ex-girlfriend, along with other extremist opinions and behavior.

    The only thing left in conservatism is wanting to own the libs.

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  91. JDM says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    I agree with you that males make similar choices. While you don’t appreciate my personal anecdotes, here it goes.

    One of the best male nurses I ever worked with, married one of my female colleagues. They had twins and they decided that it would be better if he became a stay-at-home dad. He is great at it and loves it. But he only works part-time now, and so makes less money per year than he did before.

    My neighbor is a stay-at-home dad, while his wife has a fantastic job at Microsoft. Again they decided that it would be better if he stayed home raising their son instead of having a nanny do it. They could afford the nanny and they could afford to have him not work. He is a design engineer and previously has worked for Microsoft, BMW… Many of you are using an interface that he has designed.

    I’m all for choices. Women, men, undecided…

    I’ve dated female physicians who are much smarter and more accomplished than me. I enjoy being around, dating, and working with smart ambitious women. One of the female nurses I dated was the highest-paid RN in the operating room. Why? She took more call, worked more weekends, and took less vacation than anybody else. Single mom with a deadbeat ex. She wanted her house paid off and the ability to pay for her child’s college. She did both. And that was before she earned her BSN.

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  92. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Thanks. I’m not surprised. I wonder if there’ll be a rift between Bobby Junior and Douglas, who want Sirhan to be paroled, and the rest of the family, who adamantly don’t.

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  93. de stijl says:

    @JDM:

    Wow! Are you a joke parody account? Or are you that oblivious?

    Dateable / fuckable women get a pass. Gotcha.

    JFC!

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  94. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    I believe the Elder fans are convinced that the Democrats bribed the woman to make this complaint.

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  95. CSK says:

    @senyordave:
    That has to be one of the feeblest attempts at justification I’ve ever heard.

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  96. JDM says:

    @de stijl: So I gather you don’t like fucking smart, educated, accomplished women. You evidently only fuck women who are attractive with no mind of their own. Or maybe just an orbiting soy boy hoping for a sympathy fuck.

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  97. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:
    A frightening demonstration of the reason to separate church and state

    Some people have a gift. Or perhaps it’s a curse. The power stems from the ecstasy of absolute belief.

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  98. Jen says:

    The fact that a number of the comments here focus on women who stop out of the workforce earning less shows the extent to which a fair number of people do not understand the problem.

    I am NOT talking about women who stop out of employment for a length of time to have kids getting paid less.

    I am talking about two people, one male and one female, same stats, doing the same work and getting paid different rates. This happens, probably more frequently than people realize. I have a number of female friends who don’t have kids and every single one of them has at least one story of finding out that she was getting paid less than a male counterpart.

    And spare me the nonsense about just not working hard enough–in at least two of these situations, the women–BECAUSE they didn’t have children–were expected to pick up the work left by men in the office who had to go to soccer games and whatnot.

    I’m gobsmacked that people don’t seem to realize that this is indeed a thing.

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  99. senyordave says:

    @JDM: Did you drift over here from one of the incel websites?

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  100. Teve says:

    @senyordave: when he starts talking about Bitcoin and ‘cucks’ you’ll have your answer. 😛

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  101. Teve says:

    JDM says:
    Tuesday, 7 September 2021 at 19:46

    @de stijl: So I gather you don’t like fucking smart, educated, accomplished women. You evidently only fuck women who are attractive with no mind of their own. Or maybe just an orbiting soy boy hoping for a sympathy fuck.

    I’ve been a moderator on an evolution/biology discussion board for 16 years. And in all that time I’ve had to ban maybe three or four people, total. But every now and then, a toxic personality comes along…

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  102. senyordave says:

    @JDM: In case anyone wants to know here is the definition of soy boy from wikipedia (yes, the term has its own wikipedia page):
    Soy boy is a pejorative term often used in online communities to describe men lacking masculine characteristics. The term bears many similarities and has been compared to the slang terms cuck and low-T (‘low testosterone’), two other terms popularly used as an insult for male femininity by online communities.
    Further on from the page: The term is often used as an epithet by internet trolls, the far right, and the alt-right.[8][9] It is often targeted at perceived social justice warriors, vegans,[10] liberals,[9] and similar groups
    I think we have the answer as to whether JDM came here from an incel website.

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  103. grumpy realist says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @Teve: Given some of the technology on the horizon, I think we’re going to very soon see quite a few space projects.

    And yeah, there’s a lot you can do with microgravity. (I used to work in this field.) The major reason we’ve not been getting very far with the possibilities is because microgravity….isn’t. Any extended space structure is going to be vibrating and warping and moving so you’ll be lucky if you have 10^(-4)g. However, that’s still good enough for stuff like protein crystallisation and preliminary mixed alloy work. We’re still on the early side of most of this–sort of like the very first fuel cell being made back in the Victorian period. It took some time before we really figured out how to implement the technology.

    (Oh, and don’t get me started on quantum computing, sigh…)

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  104. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Yeah. Where I come from it’s supposed to show fervor and love for the Lord and righteousness. In other traditions sometimes it’s seen as a sign that the “Spirit has come down on” that person. (We didn’t go with the idea of the Spirit coming to someone as a display of emotions. We even went so far as to sometimes call religions that did Satanic (or of the Devil, if we were feeling more cautious about blasphemy.)

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  105. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    That man reminds me of Satan.

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  106. de stijl says:

    One job I caused a ruckus. I got in late. Massively behind timeline.

    It was super crunch and everybody was freaking out. So much stress!

    My job was pretty narrow. They had their most junior programmers trying to design the front-end. Rationalize and deliver to specs. “What are the specs?” User friendly. “Define that.” High engagement. “Are you developmentally compromised? Are you sane?”

    Front-end requires 80 bazillion things to go right beforehand to even make it possible. We had zip. Okay. The db structure is going to likely look kinda like this. Design to this mock up. I’ll get a dba to create it local. Load it with junk data. Next week we’ll host it on a server. Let’s figure put how it needs to be indexed.

    Crunch is bad. Crunch means mangers fucked up and workers have to compensate. Crunch often means the sponsor chose a delivery date before the project plan was even completed.

    I started a private rebellion. I told people to go home. It’s 8 pm. Go home. Blame me if anyone gives you shit. Your missed deadline is because of me. I ordered you. You are blameless.

    God, what a shitshow!

    Managers reaction to missed deadlines is to schedule meetings about missed deadlines rather than acknowledging that the project plan is fundamentally flawed and they are asking an impossible task for the time allocated. 95% of the time it is bad assumptions in the project plan. Or scope creep.

    It’s bullshit.

    More meetings during the day mean more crunch hours at night. You interrupted my head-down time to get shit done time with a bullshit meeting, you idiot.

    Tomorrow, go home at five. Kiss your partner. Hug your kids. Get stupidly drunk. Smoke up. Whatever. Just go home at five. Blame me.

    Crunch kills your life. Stress is bad. Artificial stress that impacts your livelihood is really bad and preventable.

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  107. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @senyordave: 😛 😛 😛

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  108. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Teve:

    A) high frequency trading is an extremely limited market.

    Really?

    Seems to me it’s the backbone of the global economy.

    B) purer FO cables with fewer impurities don’t make light go any faster, they just increase bandwidth. It takes miniscule bandwidth to transmit BUY MSFT 66.25, SELL GOOG 173.625

    One of the big selling points for Starlink, when talking to investors, wasn’t “we can bring internet to Botswana”. It was “We can shave 20 milliseconds off the transmission time from the New York Stock Exchange to the London Stock Exchange”.

    FO cables with fewer impurities means less error correction. That means more efficient transmission with less error correction. That could shave centiseconds off of the transmission of data. Even if it’s only a few milliseconds, that’s worth billions of dollars in trades. Every year.

    I would be interested to be proven wrong, but not only can I not see an economic case for producing literally anything in space at the moment, I can’t even imagine factors changing in the next several decades which would make it viable.

    Well…. a whole lot of people with a lot more knowledge about the situation than either of us are betting billions of dollars that it will work.

    As for how fast things can change?

    In the last 10 years we went from “The Shuttle was a failure and reusable spacecraft are best left to science fiction” to SpaceX taking US Astronauts to the ISS and landing the rocket back on Earth like something out of a 1950’s movie.

    2031-09-07: If there’s commercial industry in space you owe me a bottle of Glen Dronach. If there isn’t, I owe you a (reasonable) bottle of your choice.

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  109. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JDM: OKAY! GO TO YOUR ROOM! NOW!

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  110. steve says:

    My perception is that in medicine most of what JDM says is correct. Non physician jobs are largely hourly paid or salaried and you have to advertise them. Makes it hard to pay someone differently just based upon their sex. Physicians are either on productivity so that if you work more you earn more and since women have the babies they end up earning less, but on a per case or per hour basis they earn the same, or they are salaried, again with public knowledge. (As an aside, I will say that some people get pretty pissy about the women who go out on pregnancy leave. They take their full 12 weeks and usually get at least some disability pay during that time. They dont have to use any vacation time. Everyone else works harder to make up for their being gone. When they come back they dont take extra call or do any extra work to make up for when they were gone. Unless you take call and know what that means I suspect this wont really make much sense but what it comes down to is that the worst part of the job, the part no one wants, gets sucked up by everyone else.)

    Once you leave medicine things are a bit different. Most studies I have read suggest that a significant part of the difference is also due to pregnancy and child care issues but it i snot enough to explain all of the difference. There are no shortage of examples of men and women doing the same exact jobs and women getting paid less. Promotions also have favored men in some jobs. The good old boy network has been a real thing.

    Steve

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  111. @JDM: Well, it seemed pretty clear you weren’t really interested in real debate, and in the course of less than an afternoon you prove it.

    Please refrain from personal attacks.

    While I recognize that another commenter started in with the colorful language, there is no need to be insulting.

    Please consider this a warning that if it continues your comment will be deleted and your posting privileges will be revoked.

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  112. @Jen: Since our guest is not going to acknowledge your basic point, rest assured that your point is accurate and understood by some of us.

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  113. @HarvardLaw92: Since this conversation has gone off the rails, please let me clarify that I was specifically referring to the anecdote he was telling about his sister, which was about choosing to work less and wasn’t about having kids.

    I do acknowledge that women face a number of difficult career choices as it pertains to having and raising kids that men often do not (and that that can affect earnings).

    There is a real conversation to be had about all of this, but apparently not with JDM.

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  114. Teve says:

    Well…. a whole lot of people with a lot more knowledge about the situation than either of us are betting billions of dollars that it will work.

    which is why WeWork and Long Term Capital Management and ATT’s tv plays are roaring successes!

    One of the big selling points for Starlink wasn’t “we can bring internet to Botswana”. It was “We can shave 20 milliseconds off the transmission time from the New York Stock Exchange to the London Stock Exchange”.

    To my knowledge Starlink has not yet been used successfully for HFT. In any case that doesn’t help you build thousands of miles of ultrapure FO in space with robots. And Michael Lewis wouldn’t call high frequency trading the backbone of the economy, he’d call it a dangerous parasite extracting money while providing no value and injecting uncertainty and dangerous instability into markets.

    Vaclav Smil has written several chapters about how a brand new proven technology goes from lab to commercial dominance over 40 years, virtually never faster. And this isn’t even proven tech.

    You can point to improbable predictions that came true but that does nothing to extrapolate to any other prediction. In the 1950’s the government built nuclear-powered jets. Nuclear blimps were designed. Nuclear energy would be too cheap to meter. People talked about building Hilton hotels on the moon. The Titanic can’t be sunk.

    I could type for another two hours but I think I’ve made my point adequately, or at least adequately enough for me to get back to the second season of Westworld. We won’t be doing commercial space manufacturing for decades.

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  115. @de stijl:

    but there are many signs as to why this person is “do not interact”.

    I see you weren’t able to take your own advice 😉

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  116. de stijl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Yep!

    I do that. It’s a pattern.

    I can resist sometimes, but low hanging fruit is juicy. Hard to resist. So juicy!

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  117. Kathy says:

    FYI pretty strong, damned long quake just hit. I’m ok, no damage at home.

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  118. Teve says:

    @Kathy: are you around Mexico City?

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  119. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Better around than in Mexico City. The ground is solid here.

    Early reports say it was magnitude 6.9-7. That’s strong. It also went on for a while. There are no reports of major damage.

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  120. Jax says:

    He was fairly benign until today….I got the impression of an older doctor-type, probably retired, but didn’t pick up a troll vibe until today, really.

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  121. JDM says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    I’m happy to have the conversation. Professor Taylor, you started a similar conversation about men and women and college. Thank you for that, and I made a comment there about men in nursing, with added references.

    I’m happy to have a dialogue. Commenters can have their own opinions, but not their own facts.

    I can handle the Incel attacks and so forth. I’ve dealt with cardiac surgeons and neurosurgeons for years, those ad hominem attacks are nothing.

    I don’t comment much, but when I do, I always try to link reasonable factual data sources, or my own personal experience, as many other commenters do.

    For those who believe I’m an INCEL, misogynist, or JKB’s demon spawn, let me say that I always vote for the Democrat. I believe in global warming, universal healthcare, pro-choice, and pro-vaccine. I’m even starting to believe in UBI. I was for gay marriage before gays were for it, because why not. And the US should decriminalize not just marijuana, but all drugs. We have too many folks in prison for victimless crimes. I wish the US didn’t have the gun problem that it has. While I have handguns and rifles, I’d gladly give them up for a safer country. But with the Proud Boys gaining popularity, I think I’ll keep my guns. Interestingly, when the Seattle CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest) was happening close to my home, my anti-gun neighbors asked if I would protect them with my guns.

    So I’ve just exposed my soul on this blog regarding America’s most dividing topics.

    One of my problems is that I can argue on either side of a debate. With a father who was an amazing trial attorney, I can argue above my pay grade. It’s a blessing and a curse. Speaking what you believe is true isn’t always popular.

    I enjoy this community with its many thought provoking questions and anecdotes.

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  122. Denny R says:

    @MarkedMan: Shouldn’t we broaden that to “all political parties”? We’re concerned about the climate, and we know that industrial processes increase CO2 production …. yet we plan to spend 3 trillion dollars in a relatively short time massively increasing our CO2 boot-print by fixing our “infrastructure”? Isn’t an improved highways system counterproductive to getting people out of cars? Improving air travel facilities will not help our climate. Don’t we need a national strategy on reducing our carbon impact? Why will neither party take on big pharma’s effort to bankrupt the nation? We seem to enjoy fighting fires with gasoline.

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  123. wr says:

    @JDM: ” Or maybe just an orbiting soy boy”

    …aaaand, there’s the tell.

    Just another MAGA troll loser.

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  124. @senyordave: Since I find myself doling out admonitions on this thread, it is only fair that to note that going to “incel” was not a helpful nor appropriate move.

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  125. @JDM: I appreciate this comment, as you are not doubling down at this stage as sometimes happens in these cases.

    Still, I would note that most of your arguments above sound misogynist (or, if one is charitable, you sound like the caricature of an older male who never got the memo that men aren’t inherently better than women–and look, I don’t know you so all I can go on is how you sound here). You make grand assumptions about aggregate data which you back up solely through assumptions and anecdotes (which, when challenged, you then answer with further anecdotes). Perhaps you can see how that might lead to pushback?
    Trying to further your position by talking about the women you have dated hardly enhances the view that you are really serious about questions of equity (especially when the women in question ultimately get boiled to their suitability for sexual relations).

    And yes, some variation in compensation for women in the aggregate can be attributable to child-bearing and rearing issues, but the exact amount of that variations can’t be established by anecdote. There is also the problem that there is evidence of other ways in which women are not compensated the same as men not linked to procreative issues. (Not to mention that the fact that women are punished in material ways for being the very method by which the species propagates has its own implications especially when it is treated, as you do in this thread, like it is just some choice, like claiming mountains and biking, that women might make that men just choose not to do).

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