#noted Feed

Briefly Noted for 2020-08-03

Clinton Foundation: Administration Alumni Conversation with President Clinton and Secretary Rodney Slater https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SG-jcTuV5A: ‘Administration Alumni Conversation with President Clinton and Secretary Rodney Slater…

St. Ignatius of Loyola: _Prayer for Generosity https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/prayer/traditional-catholic-prayers/saints-prayers/prayer-for-generosity-saint-ignatius-of-loyola/: ‘Eternal Word, only begotten Son of God,/Teach me true generosity./Teach me to serve you as you deserve./To give without counting the cost,/To fight heedless of wounds,/To labor without seeking rest,/To sacrifice myself without thought of any reward/Save the knowledge that I have done your will./Amen…

DOL: News Release: Embargoed Until 8:30 A.M. (Eastern) Thursday, July 30, 2020: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf

FRED: Weekly Unemployment Insurance: Initial Claims https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/ICSA#0

FRED: Weekly Unemployment Insurance: Continued Claims https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CCSA

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DuBois: The Comet—Noted

Worth reading. What we call “Lovecraftian” but in a profoundly anti-Lovecraftian way: the real horror comes not from alien species, or the dead uncaring stars, or death from the comet, but from white men—northern white men—doing what white men naturally did… do:

W.E.B. DuBois: The Comet http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15210/15210-h/15210-h.htm#Chapter_X: ‘He stood a moment on the steps of the bank, watching the human river that swirled down Broadway. Few noticed him. Few ever noticed him save in a way that stung. He was outside the world—"nothing!" as he said bitterly. Bits of the words of the walkers came to him. "The comet?" "The comet—" Everybody was talking of it. Even the president, as he entered, smiled patronizingly at him, and asked: "Well, Jim, are you scared?" "No," said the messenger shortly...

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Briefly Noted for 2020-08-02

Parker Molloy: 'Here’s a mashup https://twitter.com/parkermolloy/status/1287772516342267905 that the amazing @JohnnyHeatWave made to go along with my @mmfa article. It’s depressing. https://t.co/ObiRMSsocE.... It’s all even more ridiculous if you look at the number of times the same person credulously talks about Trump’s “new tone”...

Paul Krugman: With the Coronavirus Pandemic, Republicans Are Flunking Microbe Economicss https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/18/opinion/republicans-keep-flunking-microbe-economics.html: ‘The question of whether or not to dump raw sewage into a public lake isn’t something that should be left up to individual choice. And going to a gym or refusing to wear a mask during a pandemic is exactly like dumping sewage into a lake: it’s behavior that may be convenient for the people who engage in it, but it puts others at risk.

Heidi Przybyla: MOAR Trump Corruption https://twitter.com/HeidiNBC/status/1289172345614000128: ‘Trump overspent for ventilators by as much as 500 million... paid 4-5 times as much... Didn't enforce prior contract or try to build on it...

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Steve M.: The Post-Trump GOP Is Likely to Be Even Worse—Noted

Steve M.: The Post-Trump GOP Is Likely to Be Even Worse https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-post-trump-right-is-likely-to-be.html: ‘The Lincoln Project.... I believe the Project's founders and allies when they say they're disgusted with the Republican Party and want to reform it. I'm not saying I'd like the party they hope to create...

...But in some areas, I think the party the Lincoln Project wants to create would be at least be a slight improvement.... As Max Boot notes, Stuart Stevens, a former Republican consultant, now calls the GOP "a white grievance party” and acknowledges that “there is an ugly history of code words and dog whistles in the party.” Boot writes, "If you accept Stevens’s searing critique of the Republican Party—and I do—then it is incumbent on the Lincoln Project to target not just Trump but also his enablers. That’s just what it has done with commercials such as this one urging the defeat of Republican senators."

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Wikipedia: Trans-Mediterranean Barbary Slave Trade—Noted

Nunn's estimates: trans-Atlantic slave trade: 10.5 million; Indian Ocean slave trade: 900,000; trans-Saharan slave trade: 3.2 million; Red Sea: 1.3 million:

Wikipedia: Trans-Mediterranean Barbary Slave Trade https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_slave_trade: 'Robert Davis... estimates... Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli alone enslaved 1 million to 1.25 million... from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th from bases on the Barbary coast, North Africa, the Barbary pirates raided ships traveling through the Mediterranean and along the northern and western coasts of Africa, plundering their cargo and enslaving the people they captured...

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Lacker: GPT-3 vs. Turing—Noted

Much of our intelligence is devoted to constructing models of other minds based on observations of actions, expressions, and words. We have a strong tendency to overdo it. Thus we can be very easily grifted to really, really believe that there is another mind—another Turing-class entity—back there when there isn't: the lightning does not really come from a large red-haired guy with a big hammer and anger management problems who drives a cart pulled by two goats. The latest example of this is GPT-3:

Kevin Lacker: Giving GPT-3 a Turing Test http://lacker.io/ai/2020/07/06/giving-gpt-3-a-turing-test.html: ‘An interesting corollary is that GPT-3 often finds it easier to write code to solve a programming problem, than to solve the problem on one example input...

Q: Write one line of Ruby code to reverse an array.
A: ary.reverse

Q: Write one line of Ruby code to count how many X's are in an array.
A: ary.count { |x| x == 'X' }

Q: Reverse the following array: [1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 4, 2, 77]
A: [10, 6, 4, 2, 77, 3, 5, 1]

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Waldmann: Social Democracy & Freedom—Noted

Steve Randy Waldmann: Social Democracy & Freedom https://www.interfluidity.com/v2/7557.html: ‘So who is right here? I say Milton Friedman is. “Free speech” stops being real, stops being a practicable ideal, once the consequences of unpopular expression are so great you’ll be banished from the communities you value and be unable to earn a decent living. Both the woke and their discontents should be able to speak their piece...

...We want a society where—in practice, not just as a formal, legalistic matter—the public sphere can accommodate a wide range of expression, some of which each of us will find abhorrent. But Friedman’s conjecture that capitalism plus a light-touch state would be an effective way to ensure this state of affairs was wrong. Because it was never really “capitalism”, in his argument, that protected political freedom. It was decentralization....

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Kades: Antitrust Hearing—Noted

If you want to know what happened at the tech antitrust hearing, your best source is Michael Kades’s twitter account. I have still not thought this through, so go and read what he has to say: Michael Kades https://twitter.com/Michael_Kades/status/1288543592114462725: ‘So far, my biggest takeaway, the Republican Staff memo tried to paint this as a partisan issue. So far, between Gaetz and Buck, that framing has failed… .#equitablegrowth #noted #2020-08-01


Fischer & Gould-Werth: How Systems for Delivering Economic Relief Failed—Noted

This is very good and very important. My grandfather always mourned that, when he got his Ph.D., he thought he was getting a Ph.D. in “public administration” but found, instead, during his career that his discipline had turned into "political science”. Here Amanda Fischer and Alix Gould-Werth try to fill in this gap, and largely succeed.

Amanda Fischer & Alix Gould-Werth: Broken Plumbing: How Systems for Delivering Economic Relief Failed https://equitablegrowth.org/broken-plumbing-how-systems-for-delivering-economic-relief-in-response-to-the-coronavirus-recession-failed-the-u-s-economy/: ‘Below, we detail four delivery systems tasked with providing relief during the coronavirus recession...

...relief targeted to small and large businesses, Unemployment Insurance, direct payments to consumers, and paid leave programs—each of them emblematic of a different plumbing problem. Looking at business rescue programs, we see pipes well-designed to flow easily to people with power, while the taps of the less powerful remain dry. Looking at Unemployment Insurance, we see the failure to invest in pipes, preventing these benefits from flowing smoothly to people who need them the most.

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Beauchamp: Free Speech Has Not Been “Canceled”—Noted

Ken White calls this “the problem of the preferred first speaker“. Whose is the speech that needs to be responded to with norms of respect, deference, and civility? Whose is the speech that should be cut short when it tries to exceed its time, and hooted out to make space for somebody wh would otherwise not have their voice heard? How does one move from the fringe to the center of the public sphere and of public reason? Those who cloak themselves in “civility“ and “free speech“ these days seem in many cases to be bad or thoughtless actors: people who want to hold on to places of centrality, power, and wealth of which they may well not be worthy.

But anyone who says that these issues are not hard ones is grifting you:

Zack Beauchamp: Free Speech Has Not Been “Canceled” https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/7/22/21325942/free-speech-harpers-letter-bari-weiss-andrew-sullivan: ‘Abstract appeals to “free speech” and “liberal values” obscure the fact that what’s being debated is not anyone’s right to speech, but rather their right to air that speech in specific platforms like the New York Times without fear of social backlash...

...Yet virtually everyone agrees that certain speakers—neo-Nazis, for example—do not deserve a column in the paper of record. The real debate here is [about:]... hat sorts of speakers should be excluded from major platforms? When can giving a platform to one kind of person actually make it harder for other people to speak their minds freely? And what kinds of social sanctions, like public shaming or firing, are justified responses to violations of these social norms?...

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All the Facts: Lorem Ipsum—Noted

All the Facts: Lorem Ipsum https://www.lipsum.com/: ‘"Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit..." "There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..." What is Lorem Ipsum? Lorem Ipsum is simply... the printing and typesetting industry['s]... standard dummy text...

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Briefly Noted for 2020-07-30

Paul Krugman: KrugmanToday https://www.krugmantoday.com/
Teleprompt.me: Voice-Powered Teleprompter https://teleprompt.me/
Paul Alcorn: Intel's 7nm is Broken, Company Announces Delay Until 2022, 2023 https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-announces-delay-to-7nm-processors-now-one-year-behind-expectations
Boichik Bagels https://boichikbagels.com/index.html

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Stross: Cardiac Damage from the Coronavirus Plague—Noted

This is very bad news indeed. Hopefully this will turn out to be a false alarm. But I fear it will not:

Charlie Stross: No Comment Necessary http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2020/07/no-comment-necessary.html: ‘Post-infection cardiac damage found in 78% of recovering COVID19 patients. That's 78% of a cohort, average age 49, of whom 67% had recovered at home (ie. disease was not categorized as severe enough to need hospitalization). Cohort was normalized with respect to other risk factors relative to uninfected patients. Diagnosis by MRI. Looks reasonably solid, at first glance, publication in JAMA Cardiol. (Journal of the American Medical Association, cardiology). Study coordinated via a German hospital. Reason for "no comment necessary" is that this suggests most COVID19 survivors—including mild disease survivors—suffer cardiac damage. You don't want to get this virus… .#noted #2020-07-30


Herman Cain's Memory Would Be a Blessing If It Triggered Pence to Use Amendment 25 to Remove Trump: Sheth & Eliza Relman: Herman Cain Has Died from Coronavirus—Noted

Herman Cain's memory would be a blessing if it triggered Pence to use Amendment 25 to remove Trump: Sonam Sheth & Eliza Relman: Former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain Has Died After Being Hospitalized for Coronavirus https://www.businessinsider.com/herman-cain-dies-after-being-hospitalized-for-covid-19-2020-7: 'Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has died, according to his official website and the conservative website Newsmax. He was 74. Cain tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month, 11 days after attending President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He tweeted a photo of himself at the rally where neither he nor those surrounding him were wearing masks. The day before he was hospitalized, Cain sent a tweet expressing support for the Trump campaign's decision not to require masks at a July 4 Independence Day celebration held at Mount Rushmore... #noted #2020-07-30


Kaplan: The "Domestic Insurrections" of the Declaration of Independence—Noted

Sidney Kaplan (1976): The "Domestic Insurrections" of the Declaration of Independence https://www-jstor-org.libproxy.berkeley.edu/stable/pdf/2717252.pdf: 'In his original draft of the Declaration... Jefferson.... "He is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them"...

...David Brion Davis... correctly observes that Jefferson... "condemned King George for... inciting American Negroes to rise in arms against their masters."... He concludes: "Congress struck out the entire section.... [But] Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration... [lacked] the opening clause of the twenty-seventh charge in the final and approved document: "He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us".... Jefferson deplores the deletion by Congress of the clause "reprobating the enslaving the inhabitants of Africa"-but he says nothing, and never would, about the deletion of the clause... which reprobates George III for fomenting revolt. And why should he, if, in fact, the addition of "exciting domestic insurrections amongst us" to the twenty-seventh charge-which he voted for with the rest of the signers-amounted to substantially the same thing?...

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Alwan: What Exactly Is Mild Covid-19?—Noted

Nisreen Alwan: What Exactly Is Mild Covid-19? https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/07/28/nisreen-a-alwan-what-exactly-is-mild-covid-19/: ‘I went out for a 20 minute slow walk yesterday evening with my little girl...

... who was desperate to see the flowers on the way. My exercise capacity is still terrible, and I knew that by doing that I would pay the price the day after. Indeed, I woke up with the familiar chest heaviness and utter exhaustion which gets worse by sitting at my desk to work.

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Equitable Growth: We Need Extended Pandemic Unemployment Compensation—Noted

Continuing PUC is essential to moderating the severity of the coronavirus plague depression: Equitable Growth: Statement on Pandemic Unemployment Compensation https://equitablegrowth.org/press/statement-on-pandemic-unemployment-compensation/: ‘Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), which is giving tens of millions of unemployed workers a $600 per week boost in unemployment income, has helped ease the pain of this crisis by providing much-needed income to families during an economic crisis and has boosted the economy overall. Every week for the last four months, more than twice as many workers have filed for unemployment insurance than during the worst week of the Great Recession. Meanwhile, cases of COVID-19 are once again rising across the country, and we still lack unified national leadership to give direction and stability in these unprecedented times. Congress must extend enhanced unemployment benefits or risk economic calamity… .#equitablegrowth #noted #2020-07-25


Timiraos & Davidson: Depleted Trump Economic Team Faces Major Test Over Extending Coronavirus Relief Efforts—Noted

As I said back at the beginning, electing a Fox News viewer and reality TV star to the presidency and asking him to pick personnel will not go well. As I said in the middle, the way to think about Trump's personnel picks is picking William Shatner to command your battle fleet because Shatner played a ship captain on TV. And, lo and behold, it has all come true. Tomas Philipson has no clue that the economic response to the coronavirus plague needs a macroeconomic balance as well as a social insurance component. Tyler Goodspeed has no pretense to domain expertise here at all. Kevin Hassett is still predicting the plague will be effectively over by 15 May. Steve Mnuchin makes word salad. And Larry Kudlow was last a real economist—asw opposed to playing one on TV—back in the late 1970s:

Nick Timiraos & Kate Davidson: Depleted Trump Economic Team Faces Major Test Over Extending Coronavirus Relief Efforts https://www.wsj.com/articles/depleted-trump-economic-team-faces-major-test-over-extending-coronavirus-relief-efforts-11595073600: ‘Tomas Philipson, who succeeded Mr. Hassett as CEA chairman last year, was forced out of the post in June following months of tension that coincided with the worst of the crisis. The three-person CEA now has just one member, its acting chairman, Tyler Goodspeed, a 35-year-old economic historian appointed to the council last year. The Treasury Department entered the current crisis with several vacant senior positions...

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Papanikolaou & Schmidt: The Supply-Side Impact of COVID-19—Noted

Dimitris Papanikolaou & Lawrence D.W. Schmidt: The Supply-Side Impact of COVID-19 https://voxeu.org/article/supply-side-impact-covid-19: ‘COVID-19 has massively disrupted the supply side of the world economy, shutting down entire industries.... While the major policy interventions in the US have treated all types of business as equivalent, industries which are not able to do their work remotely have been hit much harder than business that can. This cross-sectional dispersion shows up across a variety of measures, including changes in employment, revenue projections, likelihood of default, current liquidity, and stock returns. Going forward, aid that targets disrupted sectors may be a more cost-effective means to alleviate the impacts of COVID-19… .#noted #2020-07-24


Black: The Deeply Broken Staff of the New York Times—Noted

Duncan Black: That F---ing Bitch https://www.eschatonblog.com/2020/07/that-fucking-bitch.html: ‘The people who work at the New York Times are deeply broken people [Luke Broadwater and Catie Edmondson:] 'WASHINGTON — Ever since Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came to Congress as the youngest woman elected to the House, she has upended traditions, harnessing the power of social media and challenging leaders, including President Trump, who are 50 years her senior. On Thursday, she had her most norm-shattering moment yet when she took to the House floor to read into the Congressional Record a sexist vulgarity that Representative Ted Yoho, a Florida Republican, had used to refer to her. “In front of reporters, Representative Yoho called me, and I quote: ‘A fucking bitch,’” she said, punching each syllable in the vulgarity.... Ms. Ocasio-Cortez... excels at using her detractors to amplify her own political brand...' Sure she was called a fucking bitch, but she used it to tik-tok her way into the hearts of the snapchat generation by elevating her brand!!! As for "fucking bitch," here's the article about Yoho calling her that. 'After a brief and tense exchange, the newspaper said, Mr. Yoho walked away from Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, uttering a pair of expletives.' They didn't even quote Yoho using the naughty words, but they quoted AOC quoting him using the naughty words, because it UPENDED TRADITIONS, and was NORM-SHATTERING. You might say, UPPITY! These fucking people… .#noted #2020-07-24


Burns: Pompey's Strategy and Domitius' Stand—Noted

In his The Civil War Gaius Julius Caesar presented "just the facts" in a way that made Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus look like a cowardly and incompetent idiot. The attractive interpretation is that Ahenobarbus was just trying to do the job of defeating Caesar, but had failed to recognize that Pompey was not his ally. Pompey, rather, was somebody whose first goal was to gain the submission of Ahenobarbus and the other Optimates, and only after that submission was gained would he even think about fighting Caesar. Still an idiot, but not an incompetent or a cowardly one:

Alfred Burns: Pompey's Strategy and Domitius' Stand at Corfinium https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/article-burns-pompey.pdf: ‘In early 49, the alliance confronting Caesar consisted of the old republican senate families who under the leadership of [Lucius] Domitius [Ahenonbarbus] tried to maintain the traditional institutions and of Pompey who clung to his own extra-legal position of semi-dictatorial power. Both parties to the alliance were as mutually distrustful as they were dependent on each other...

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Wolf: Covid Has Exposed Society’s Dysfunctions—Noted

Martin Wolf: Covid Has Exposed Society’s Dysfunctions https://www.ft.com/content/e3db59e8-8fda-45ed-a99e-f4385168f58a: ‘We are living in an era of multiple crises: Covid-19; a crisis of economic disappointment; a crisis of democratic legitimacy; a crisis of the global commons; a crisis of international relations; and a crisis of global governance. We do not know how to deal with all of these... because politics cannot deliver the necessary changes.... The Great Transformation, by Karl Polanyi... much the better guide. If we wish to avoid a political breakdown, we should not seek to suppress markets, but we must surely temper their gales...

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Ocasio-Cortez: Speech on Yoho Remarks—Noted

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez: Floor Speech on Yoho Remarks https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/rep-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-floor-speech-about-yoho-remarks-july-23: ‘Speaker, I seek recognition for a question of personal privilege.... Thank you Madam Speaker. I would also like to thank many of my colleagues not only for the opportunity to speak today, but for the many members—from both sides of the aisle—who have reached out to me in support following an incident earlier this week...

...About two days ago, I was walking up the steps of the Capitol when Representative Yoho suddenly turned a corner. He was accompanied by Representative Roger Williams. He accosted me on the steps, right here in front of our nation’s Capitol. I was minding my own business, walking up the steps, and Representative Yoho put his finger in my face. H called me disgusting. He called me crazy. He called me out of my mind. And he called me dangerous.

Then he took a few more steps. After I had recognized his comments as rude, he walked away and said: 'I’m rude, you’re calling me rude'. I took a few steps ahead, and I walked inside and cast my vote. Because my constituents send me here each and every day to fight for them, and to make sure that they are able to keep a roof over their head, that they’re able to feed their families, and that they’re able to carry their lives with dignity.

I walked back out and there were reporters in the front of the Capitol and in front of reporters Representative Yoho called me, and I quote, “a f---ing b----.”

These were the words that Representative Yoho levied against a congresswoman: a congresswoman that not only represents New York’s 14th Congressional District, but every congresswoman and every woman in this country. Because all of us have had to deal with this in some form, some way, some shape, at some point in our lives.

I want to be clear that Representative Yoho’s comments were not deeply hurtful or piercing to me, because I have worked a working class job. I have waited tables in restaurants. I have ridden the subway. I have walked the streets in New York City. And this kind of language is not new. I have encountered words uttered by Mr. Yoho, and men uttering the same words as Mr. Yoho, while I was being harassed in restaurants.

I have tossed men out of bars that have used language like Mr. Yoho’s.

I have encountered this type of harassment riding the subway in New York City.

This is not new, and that is the problem.

Mr. Yoho was not alone. He was walking shoulder to shoulder with Representative Roger Williams. That’s when we start to see that this issue is not about one incident. It is cultural. It is a culture of a sense of impunity, of accepting violence and violent language against women. It is an entire structure of power that supports that. Not only have I been spoken to disrespectfully—particularly by members of the Republican Party and elected officials in the Republican Party—here, but the President of the United States last year told me to go home to another country, with the implication that I don’t even belong in America.

The governor of Florida, Governor DeSantis, before I even was sworn in, called me a 'whatever that is'. Dehumanizing language is not new. What we are seeing is that incidents like these are happening in a pattern. This is a pattern of an attitude towards women, and a dehumanization of others.

I was not deeply hurt or offended by the little comments that are made. When I was reflecting on this, I honestly thought that I was just going to pack it up and go home.

It’s just another day, right?

But then, yesterday, Representative Yoho decided to come to the floor of the House of Representatives and make excuses for his behavior. That I could not let go. I could not allow my nieces, the little girls that I go home to, the victims of verbal abuse and worse, to see that excuse and to see our Congress accept it as legitimate and accept it as an apology, and then to accept my silence as a form of acceptance.

I could not allow that to stand.

That is why I am rising today to raise this point of personal privilege.

I do not need Representative Yoho to apologize to me.

Clearly he does not want to. Clearly when given the opportunity he will not. I will not stay up late at night waiting for an apology from a man who has no remorse over using abusive language towards women. But what I do have issue with is using women—our wives and daughters,—as shields and excuses for poor behavior.

Mr. Yoho mentioned that he has a wife and two daughters. I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter too.

My father, thankfully, is not alive to see how Mr. Yoho treated his daughter. My mother got to see Mr. Yoho’s disrespect on the floor of this House towards me on television. I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men.

Now what I am here to say is that this harm that Mr. Yoho tried to levy against me was not just an incident directed at me but at every woman. What Mr. Yoho did was give permission to other men to do that to his daughters. In using that language in front of the press, he gave permission to use that language against his wife, his daughters, women in his community.

I am here to stand up to say that is not acceptable. I do not care what your views are. It does not matter how much I disagree or how much it incenses me or how much I feel that people are dehumanizing others. I will not do that myself. I will not allow people to change and create hatred in our hearts.

What I believe is that having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man.

When a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologize. Not to save face. Not to win a vote. He apologizes genuinely to repair and acknowledge the harm done, so that we can all move on.

Last, what I want to express to Mr. Yoho is gratitude.

I want to thank him for showing the world that you can be a powerful man and accost women. You can have daughters and accost women, without remorse. You can be married, and accost women. You can take photos and project an image to the world of being a family man, and accost women without remorse and with a sense of impunity.

It happens every day in this country. It happened here on the steps of our nation’s Capitol. It happens when individuals who hold the highest office in this land admit to hurting women, and using this language against all of us.

Once again, I thank my colleagues for joining us today.

I will reserve my time and I will yield to my colleague, Representative Jayapal of Washington.

Thank you.

.#noted #t2020-07-23

Romney: Will Oppose Shelton’s Confirmation to Fed Board—Noted

Do note that any Republican senator doing their job would vote not to confirm Judy Shelton as Fed Governor. That only one appears to be willing to do his job in even this one, small, low-stakes, no-risk case speaks wonders upon wonders.

As does the silence of all the professional Republican economists here:

Mitt Romney: Will Oppose Shelton’s Confirmation to Fed Board https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-23/romney-says-he-will-oppose-shelton-s-confirmation-to-fed-board: ‘I’m not going to be endorsing. I will be voting against it... .#noted #tags #2020-07-23


Petri (2015): Woman in a Meeting—Noted

Alexandra Petri (2015): Famous Quotes, the Way a Woman Would Have to Say Them During a Meeting https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2015/10/13/jennifer-lawrence-has-a-point-famous-quotes-the-way-a-woman-would-have-to-say-them-during-a-meeting/: ‘You will think that you have stated the case simply and effectively, and everyone else will wonder why you were so Terrifyingly Angry. Instead, you have to translate. You start with your thought, then you figure out how to say it as though you were offering a groveling apology for an unspecified error. (In fact, as Sloane Crosley pointed out in an essay earlier this year, the time you are most likely to say “I’m sorry” is the time when you feel that you, personally, have just been grievously wronged. Not vice versa.)... I have taken the liberty of translating some famous sentences into the phrases a woman would have to use to say them during a meeting not to be perceived as angry, threatening or (gasp!) bitchy: “Give me liberty, or give me death.” Woman in a Meeting: “Dave, if I could, I could just—I just really feel like if we had liberty it would be terrific, and the alternative would just be awful, you know? That’s just how it strikes me. I don’t know.”... “Let my people go.” Woman in a Meeting: “Pharaoh, listen, I totally hear where you’re coming from on this. I totally do. And I don’t want to butt in if you’ve come to a decision here, but, just, I have to say, would you consider that an argument for maybe releasing these people could conceivably have merit? Or is that already off the table?”... “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Woman in a Meeting: “I’m sorry, it really feels to me like we’re all equal, you know? I just feel really strongly on this”… .#noted #2020-07-21 https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/article-petri-woman-meeting.pdf


Hall: “Politically Incorrect” Pathways Through PC—Noted

Stuart Hall: Some “Politically Incorrect” Pathways Through PC https://medium.com/@stuarthall1994/some-politically-incorrect-pathways-through-pc-653ce8110f6d: ‘The rise of political correctness seems to be intimately connected with... the dominance of the political new right... Reagan-Bush and Thatcher.... They redefined the contours of public thinking with their virulently free-market social philosophy and set in motion a powerful, new, anti-welfare consensus... built... on their mastery of the ideological terrain.... They successfully fashioned a seductive appeal to selfishness, greed and possessive individualism, striking a sort of populist alliance across the lines of traditional class alignments and introducing the gospel that “market forces must prevail” into the very heart of the left’s traditional support. They exploited ordinary people’s basic fears of crime, race, “otherness,” of change itself. They fished in the murky waters of a narrow and reactionary cultural nationalism and rallied around their sexual and cultural agenda a highly vocal and well-organized “silent” Moral Majority. Paradoxically, though PC is its sworn adversary, the New Right shares with PC an understanding that the political game is often won or lost on the terrain of these moral and cultural issues… .#noted #2020-07-21 http://www.ram-wan.net/restrepo/hall/some%20politically%20incorrect%20pathways.pdf https://medium.com/@stuarthall1994/some-politically-incorrect-pathways-through-pc-653ce8110f6d https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/article-hall-pc.pdf


Jefferson (1781): "Indeed, I Tremble for My Country... an Exchange of Situation is.. Possible"—Noted

Thomas Jefferson (1781): Notes on the State of Virginia: QUERY XVIII https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/jeffvir.asp: 'The particular customs and manners that may happen to be received in that state?: It is difficult to determine on the standard by which the manners of a nation may be tried, whether catholic, or particular. It is more difficult for a native to bring to that standard the manners of his own nation, familiarized to him by habit...

There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy or his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But generally it is not sufficient. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to his worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities.

The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who permitting one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys the morals of the one part, and the amor patriae of the other. For if a slave can have a country in this world, it must be any other in preference to that in which he is born to live and labour for another: in which he must lock up the faculties of his nature, contribute as far as depends on his individual endeavours to the evanishment of the human race, or entail his own miserable condition on the endless generations proceeding from him.

With the morals of the people, their industry also is destroyed. For in a warm climate, no man will labour for himself who can make another labour for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labour. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?

Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.

—But it is impossible to be temperate and to pursue this subject through the various considerations of policy, of morals, of history natural and civil. We must be contented to hope they will force their way into every one's mind. I think a change already perceptible, since the origin of the present revolution. The spirit of the master is abating, that of the slave rising from the dust, his condition mollifying, the way I hope preparing, under the auspices of heaven, for a total emancipation, and that this is disposed, in the order of events, to be with the consent of the masters, rather than by their extirpation…

.#noted #2020-07-21

WASP Culture-Noted

Whet Moser: WASP Culture https://twitter.com/whet/status/1283860135958532097: 'Very disturbing to learn that grifters are out there holding seminars on "protestant fragility":

EdEnXsSWAAEfTo

Whet Moser: Terrified to eat anything not in casserole form

Brad DeLong: Six Bombay Sapphire martinis & an olive!

Wendy M. A. Darling: Gin & tonic with lime also works.

Max Fletcher: Believe you can throw little cut-up pieces of fruit and vegetables into Jell-O and call it a salad

Elisabeth N.: Miracle Whip and canned cream-of-something-pale soup are mandatory components of every meal…

.#noted #2020-07-21

Patrick Henry: 'Would Any One Believe That I Am Master Of Slaves by My Own Purchase?"—Noted

Via Steve Marglin, Patrick "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" Henry: Patrick Henry: To Antislavery Activist Joseph Alsop: 'Is it not amazing that at a time when the rights of humanity are defined and understood with precision, in a country, above all others, fond of liberty—that in such an age and such a country we find men professing a religion the most humane, mild, meek, gentle and generous, adopting a principle [slavery] as repugnant to humanity as it is inconsistent with the Bible and destructive to liberty? Every thinking, honest man rejects it in speculation. How few, in practice, from conscientious motives!... Would any one believe that I am master of slaves by my own purchase? I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living without them. I will not—I cannot justify it, however culpable my conduct. I will so far pay my devoir to Virtue, as to own the excellence and rectitude of her precepts, and to lament my want of conformity to them. I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be afforded to abolish this lamentable evil. Everything we can do, is to improve it, if It happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot, and an abhorrence of Slavery. If we cannot reduce this wished-for reformation to practice, let us treat the unhappy victims with lenity. It is the furthest advancement we can make toward justice. It is a debt we owe to the purity of our religion, to show that it is at variance with that law which warrants Slavery... .#noted #2020-07-19


Kaufman: Adorno & Duncan on Aesthetic Illusion and Sociopolitical Delusion—Noted

Robert Kaufman: Poetry's Ethics? Theodor W. Adorno & Robert Duncan on Aesthetic Illusion and Sociopolitical Delusion https://www-jstor-org.libproxy.berkeley.edu/stable/pdf/27669156.pdf: 'Probably the least bearable story my father told me—in June and July 1987, when we recorded almost thirteen hours of oral history during the last months of his life—was not one that I had expected would be the most difficult. But this story turned out to be—for me and, to all appearances, much more so for him—far worse than his recounting of other terrible incidents: beatings; a whipping administered by an SS man (in response to an allegation that my father had engaged in sabotage) that appeared as if it might be continued until death; the loss of a friend and political comrade at the very end of the death march from Auschwitz-Birkenau back to Germany that they had both, until then, somehow survived; and too many more to mention here, though all of the sort very commonly found in survivor narratives...

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Barrero & _al._: COVID-19 & Labour Reallocation: Evidence from the US—Noted

Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, & Steven Davis: COVID-19 & Labour Reallocation: Evidence from the US https://voxeu.org/article/covid-19-and-labour-reallocation-evidence-us: ‘there are large benefits to policies (and policy reforms) that facilitate a speedy reallocation of jobs, workers, and capital to newly productive uses in the wake of the pandemic. In contrast, policies that discourage and delay reallocation are likely to slow the recovery from the pandemic and the economic lockdown.... Millions of jobs lost during the pandemic recession are gone for good.... About 23% of layoffs during March-May 2020 were seen as permanent when they happened, with the rest seen as temporary. Historically, a sizeable share of layoffs regarded as temporary when they happen do not result in actual recalls.... We also quantify the reallocative aspects of the COVID-19 shock.... The pandemic caused... 2.5 new jobs created for every ten lost jobs.... To get at medium-term reallocative activity, we draw on firm-level forecasts.... Businesses’ expectations at a one-year forward horizon imply much more anticipated reallocation activity after the pandemic struck.... We find that full workdays performed at home will triple in the post-pandemic economy, rising from 5.5% of all workdays to 16.6%.... The COVID-19 pandemic is a major reallocation shock with persistent aspects. But what does this mean for policy? Historically, job and business creation responses to major reallocation shocks lag the destruction response by a year or more.... Eextending the FPUC in a manner that makes unemployment more remunerative than work will disincentivise job search, discourage a return to work, and slow the recovery. We prefer income-support programmes (including less generous unemployment benefits) that do not destroy the monetary rewards to working… .#noted #2020-07-16


Lemieux: The Abbott of Death—Noted

Scott Lemieux: The Abbott of Death https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/07/the-abbott-of-death: 'The situation in the nation’s second-largest state is absolutely catastrophic: "More than 250,000 Texans have now been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the latest numbers from the Department of State Health Services. On Saturday, the state reported a record 10,351 new cases of the coronavirus, and the number of people reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19 reached 10,083, breaking the previous record of 10,002 set Friday..." It’s worth recalling that Greg Abbott literally forbade local governments from instituting mask ordinances when cases began to spike. He wasn’t just indifferent, he took proactive measures to ensure that as many people got sick and died as possible. He did at least retreat while DeSantis has plowed ahead, but it was way too late.... Republicans are botching this massively even though their political self-interest and sound policy are perfectly aligned. A Republican Party that was motivated by pure venality would be a major improvement over the actually existing one, which is committed to many bad ideas it refuses to revisit even when they’re failing in ways that directly damage their political self-interest. In related news, New York City had zero COVID deaths reported today. The Republican theory of COVID response is that Andrew Cuomo and Bill deBlasio acted brilliantly in March and are screwing things up now… .#noted #2020-07-16


Kristol: Is the Republican Party a Lost Cause?—Noted

William Kristol: Is the Republican Party a Lost Cause? https://thebulwark.com/can-the-republican-party-be-saved/: ‘With embarrassingly few exceptions at every level, the Republican party is Donald Trump’s party. So in many ways it deserves to be a lost cause. On the other hand, after November 3, the GOP may stop—more or less suddenly, and more or less convincingly—being Donald Trump’s party. It might even stop being the party of Trumpism. On the third hand, it will still have been Donald Trump’s party. And that moral and political stain can’t, and shouldn’t, simply be wished away. On the fourth hand: It would be good for the country if there were a conservative party that wasn’t a nativist/proto-authoritarian/nationalist-populist party. This would be the case for not giving up on the GOP, but rather fighting to save it. But on the fifth hand, wishing for a sound conservative party won’t make it so. And even fighting for one may not make it so, either. It may be that American conservatism has been so damaged that a “new center”—whether as a party or some sort of cross-partisan coalition—is a better way to go than trying to save the GOP. On the sixth hand (I know, we’re in octopus territory here): Maybe we should root for the GOP to be salvaged, while acknowledging it won’t be saved by us people like us. After all, if the GOP is to be rebuilt, it will likely have to be done by people who have been complicit in Trumpism.... So Never Trumpers will be personae non gratae. The only people who will be afforded the opportunity to save the GOP are the ones who helped wreck it.... Such is politics.... Often the best one can do is... simply to fight for an outcome that is right and just in the short term. While at the same time keeping an open mind for the medium and long term. I will admit that my heart, today, is with “the Republican party is a lost cause” faction… .#noted #2020-07-16


Rachman: Coronavirus Could Kill Off Populism—Noted

That neofascists propose to win elections not by doing any heavy policy lifting to expand the pie or redirect pieces of it—heavy lifting that would require the slow boring of holes through hard materials—was originally a source of political strength. But when there are clear things that a government needs to do for the safety and well-being of the public, the fact that neofascism has no policy competence turns into a weakness:

Gideon Rachman: Coronavirus Could Kill Off Populism https://www.ft.com/content/3bcf2b5e-e5f1-48e4-bb15-cd29615a9198: ‘Populists hate to be unpopular. That is why they have proved so bad at handling Covid-19, a crisis that brings nothing but grim news—death, economic destruction and curtailed freedoms. Donald Trump, the US president, and Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s president, are the two most prominent populist leaders in the western world. The disastrous results of their approach to coronavirus are now becoming apparent...

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Sample: Immunity to Covid-19 Could Be Lost in Months, Uk Study Suggests

This may be really, really bad news. If this now-endemic virus, as dangerous and debilitating as it is, is also such that some—many?—of our immune system‘s have a hard time retaining a durable memory of it, then we are in trouble. We either require permanent social distancing, or we accept a cut in human life expectancy of perhaps a decade, plus morbidity effects on our quality of life.

But our vaccine researchers and pharmacists are ingenious: every-six-month vaccination boosts are certainly possible:

Ian Sample: Immunity to Covid-19 Could Be Lost in Months, Uk Study Suggests https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/12/immunity-to-covid-19-could-be-lost-in-months-uk-study-suggests: ‘The virus could reinfect people year after year, like common colds. In the first longitudinal study of its kind, scientists analysed the immune response of more than 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust and found levels of antibodies that can destroy the virus peaked about three weeks after the onset of symptoms then swiftly declined. Blood tests revealed that while 60% of people marshalled a “potent” antibody response at the height of their battle with the virus, only 17% retained the same potency three months later. Antibody levels fell as much as 23-fold over the period. In some cases, they became undetectable. “People are producing a reasonable antibody response to the virus, but it’s waning over a short period of time and depending on how high your peak is, that determines how long the antibodies are staying around,” said Dr Katie Doores, lead author on the study at King’s College London. The study has implications for the development of a vaccine, and for the pursuit of “herd immunity” in the community over time. The immune system has multiple ways to fight the coronavirus but if antibodies are the main line of defence, the findings suggested people could become reinfected in seasonal waves and that vaccines may not protect them for long. “Infection tends to give you the best-case scenario for an antibody response, so if your infection is giving you antibody levels that wane in two to three months, the vaccine will potentially do the same thing,” said Doores. “People may need boosting and one shot might not be sufficient"... .#noted #2020-07-16


Hipple, Lake, & Monroe: Reconsidering Progress This Juneteenth: Eight Graphics—Noted

The relative material progress of the African-American population of the United States has been stalled since the 1970s. The shadow of slavery and Jim Crow and its impact on the wealth distribution has meant that any "declining significance of race" has been offset by a rising significance of class. And then we need to add in the rising ossification of America’s class structure. Those of us who are African-American do not forget this. Those of us who are not African-American need to recall this many times each day: when we rise, and when we lie down; when we eat, and when we drink; when we work, and will we rest:

Liz Hipple, Shanteal Lake, & Maria Monroe: Reconsidering Progress This Juneteenth: Eight Graphics https://equitablegrowth.org/reconsidering-progress-this-juneteenth-eight-graphics-that-underscore-the-economic-racial-inequality-black-americans-face-in-the-united-states/: ‘In observance of Juneteenth, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth is reflecting on the perceived progress made in the lives of Black Americans and highlighting evidenced-backed policy solutions needed to reduce economic racial inequality. Eight graphics on wages, wealth, and health: Black workers, especially Black female workers, have lower salaries than White workers with similar levels of education. While the median White male worker with a college degree earns $31.25 an hour, the median Black male worker with a college degree only earns only $23.08. This is only $5 more than a White male worker with a high school degree. Some of this wage gap is due to occupational segregation, but the majority of it is “unexplained” and is attributed to discrimination… .#noted #2020-07-16


Crampton: The United States Needs a New Works Progress Administration to Overcome the Coronavirus Recession—Noted

Back at the end of 2008 I lobbied the Obama people: put the unemployed at work going door-to-door treating the chronic diseases of the uninsured. Win-win.

Now the same logic applies, both at the federal and at the state level: put the unemployed at work in public health. Win-win.

The states may say they have no money. But states that suppress the coronavirus will end up having much more money, even in the short run, than states that do not:

Delaney Crampton: The United States Needs a New Works Progress Administration to Overcome the Coronavirus Recession https://equitablegrowth.org/the-united-states-needs-a-new-works-progress-administration-to-overcome-the-coronavirus-recession/: ‘Our nation needs more tracking and tracing of cases so that people can be notified and help limit the contagion of others. Unfortunately, the implementation of contact tracing programs has been uneven...

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Fischer: Failed Public Infrastructure—Noted

We have a Treasury. We have a Federal Reserve. We have an Internal Revenue Service. Those financial operations that can be done at scale and do not require the incentive of profit-seeking expertise–or that are hindered by the deployment of profit seeking expertise–should all be provided by the government. Why weren’t they so provided in the case of the PPP? Amanda Fischer asks the question, and gives us an answer:

Amanda Fischer: ‘I talked to @theintercept about banks making 18 billion https://twitter.com/amandalfischer/status/1283036845325144064 off of the Paycheck Protection Program, and how that’s a symptom of failed public infrastructure. Our government should be able to do things without relying on financial institutions to deliver rescue money... #noted #2020-07-16


Bahn & Stelzner: How Racial & Gendered Pay Discrimination Persists Under Monopsony in the United States—Noted

The old Chicago-school argument was that market pressures would not allow employers to discriminate—not unless their customers strongly and immediately demanded it. This was always subject to a critique: to the extent that market discipline was not immediate and absolute, market power gave running room to bad actors. Now come Kate Bahn and Mark Stelzner to point out that even good actors with market power will reflect, transmit, and amplify discrimination elsewhere in the system:

Kate Bahn & Mark Stelzner: How Racial & Gendered Pay Discrimination Persists Under Monopsony in the United States https://equitablegrowth.org/how-racial-and-gendered-pay-discrimination-persists-under-monopsony-in-the-united-states/: ‘There are many obstacles in finding a job... [that] inhibit workers from moving freely... and thus give employers monopsony power.... Because these obstacles more commonly confront women and non-White workers, employers have more power over such workers, which means employers can push their wages down more compared to White men.... These racialized and gendered wealth disparities reinforce discriminatory pay penalties.... Greater protections for collective action and a more pro-worker National Labor Relations Board... can limit the ability of employers to exploit workers based on their gender or race and ethnic backgrounds.... Wage disparities, and monopsony power more broadly, are moderated by workers’ ability to act collectively as a countervailing force, and that kind of worker power is a function of institutional supports for collective action.... A variety of factors intersect to result in discriminatory wage outcomes for workers along the lines of race, ethnicity, and gender, and likewise shows that a suite of policies in tandem that address these broad constraints would lead to more efficient outcomes and higher levels of social welfare… #noted #2020-07-16


Duncan Black: Mick Mulvaney Contemplates the Clusterf--- That He Made—Noted

Words for those who worked very hard to hobble the response to the coronavirus crisis back in February, and who now contemplate the clusterf--- they worked so hard to make while they wriggle to evade responsibility: Duncan Black: You F---ed The Whole Thing Up https://www.eschatonblog.com/2020/07/you-fucked-whole-thing-up.html: ‘Let's check in with Mick Mulvaney: "Any stimulus should be directed at the root cause of our recession: dealing with Covid. I know it isn’t popular to talk about in some Republican circles, but we still have a testing problem in this country. My son was tested recently; we had to wait 5 to 7 days for results. My daughter wanted to get tested before visiting her grandparents, but was told she didn’t qualify. That is simply inexcusable at this point in the pandemic." [weird scratching backwards music noise as we rewind time back a few months] Ah, here we are, CPAC Feb. 28: "White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney suggested Friday that Americans ignore the media’s coverage of the coronavirus, arguing that journalists are ratcheting up fears to try to hurt President Donald Trump politically…" .#noted #orangehairedbaboons #2020-07-15


Kreis: Actions Have Consequences—Noted

Shorter Anthony Michael Kreis: think very hard whether you want to make this point now, in this context, with these peoples' lives at stake, rather than wait and choose another test case in which there will be less collateral damage:

Anthony Michael Kreis: https://twitter.com/OrinKerr/status/1282030010908446725: 'I find it profoundly troubling to see junior law profs use their time and scholarly work to undermine exceedingly reasonable public health measures designed to save lives. YOLO I guess.'

Orin Kerr: 'Anthony, can I ask a question about your subtweet? I gather that xxxx believes he is acting in the public interest by being an activist law professor—challenging government action that may be popular but that he sees as illegal and disturbing. If that's right, is your objection that another junior lawprof could disagree so much with your view of the public interest? To the specific legal arguments he is making? The idea of law professors taking their views to the courts? Some combo? Thanks.'

Anthony Michael Kreis: 'That’s perfectly fine. I’ve had lots of criticism for my law reform work. I invite it by taking positions that impact the public—we all do. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m merely criticizing the choice to pursue this of all things, especially with life or death consequences. My attempt to not call him out by name and start a huge thing, but still make clear to those who knew what I was talking about, may have given the misimpression this is about jr folks—it isn’t. This is just about value judgments as shown by our choices. I just vigorously disagree.'

Orin Kerr: 'There's another part to it, though. Ilan is taking an extreme minority view from within the academy. One way to read your tweet is that you want to make sure he pays a personal price for dissenting.'

Anthony Michael Kreis: 'I don’t want people to die. This isn’t about him.'

Orin Kerr: 'I don't want people to die, either. But your initial tweet framed this in very personal terms, making it seem like it was about him. (A subtweet, but I think everyone knew who you had in mind.)'

Anthony Michael Kreis: 'I was trying to identify what I was talking about without dragging his name into. As I indicated in a response to my initial tweet, I didn’t want to start a big thing. But someone snitch tweeted and it blew up. My attempt to dissent without calling out failed. I’m sorry for that.'

Orin Kerr: 'That's fair, and I appreciate the clarification. Although given how few people agree with Ilan's position, maybe you were concurring, not dissenting. ;)'

.#moralresponsibility #noted #orangehairedbaboons #2020-07-15

Coates (2010): It's Not That You're Racist... —Noted

I see that Cornell's William Jacobson is back, claiming that he is being cancelled. I see that he claims so in spite of his dean Eduardo M. Peñalver's writing that "to take disciplinary action against him for the views he has expressed would fatally pit our values against one another in ways that would corrode our ability to operate" and that he employs Jacobson because we "value academic freedom, which prevents us from censoring the extramural writings of faculty members, and we value job security for our clinical faculty..."

It is worth underlining, since Peñalver finds Jacobson's writings "offensive and poorly reasoned" and "not reflect[ing] the values of Cornell Law School", that this is a long established pattern and practice from Jacobsons pen. William Jacobson has long taken it to be his mission to metaphorically wave the Confederate battle-flag in Ithaca, NY: Ta-Nehisi Coates (2010): It's Not That You're Racist... https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/12/its-not-that-youre-racist/68522/: ‘...It's that you're either ignorant or dishonest. Cornell Law Professor William A. Jacobson inveighing against Matt Yglesias...

...1947 was the year in which the color barrier was broken in Major League Baseball. Prior to Jackie Robinson taking the field, MLB (or whatever it was called at the time) was segregated. Actually, it was more than segregated, it excluded blacks completely. 

Using the logic of Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress, who is having his 15 minutes of race card fame, anyone who expresses any measure of praise for the pre-1947 Yankees necessarily would be "expressing affection for a White Supremacist" organization. It would not matter that the praise was for the Yankees' baseball skills; any expression of anything less than complete condemnation of the Yankees necessarily evidences tolerance for racism because the Yankees were part of a racist system. 

That logic is what Yglesias uses against Haley Barbour because Barbour made a statement that when Barbour was growing up in the early 1960s in Yazoo City, Mississippi, the "Citizens Council" stood up to the Klan and was organized to keep the Klan out of Barbour's home town. That apparenly is a true statement, but because the Citizens Council also supported the system of segregation, Yglesias has accused Barbour of "expressing affection for the White Supremacist Citizens Council," and almost the entire nutroots blogsphere has picked up the meme that Barbour is a racist. 

Yet nothing Barbour said, or has done in his professional life, supports the charge that Barbour supported segregation himself, although if he were a Southern Democrat during the 1960s he almost certainly would have supported segregation...

Accusing Barbour of being racist is odious and evil because there is no evidence to support the charge. Yglesias merely does what I could do to anyone who praised the pre-1947 Yankees.

I think it helps to be very clear on the basic charges here:

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Coaston: Tuberville Wins the Alabama GOP Senate Primary—Noted

Tommy Tuberville 61.4%, Jeff Sessions 38.6%. So ends the political career of Jeff Sessions, perhaps the most racist senator of his generation, and the first to endorse Donald Trump for president. Jeff Sessions implemented Trump’s family separation policy. He stole five year olds to punish their parents at Trump’s urging. And now Trump doesn't like him:

Joan Coaston: Tommy Tuberville Wins the Alabama GOP Senate Primary https://www.vox.com/2020/7/14/21324520/tuberville-wins-gop-senate-primary-july-sessions: ‘Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville defeated former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Alabama’s Republican primary runoff election on Tuesday.... Tuberville has never served in elected office (and moved to Alabama only two years ago), and his campaign against Sessions was largely based on his support for the president. Trump endorsed Tuberville in March, tweeting, “Tommy was a terrific head football coach at Auburn University. He is a REAL LEADER who will never let MAGA/KAG, or our Country, down!” On a Monday call with Alabama voters, Trump said of Tuberville, “He’s going to have a cold, direct line into my office. That I can tell you.” Whether Tuberville was a “terrific” football coach at Auburn is a matter of some debate... Tuberville’s football past could play a surprisingly big part in November’s general election. Though he gained national attention for leading the Auburn Tigers to an undefeated season in 2004, five years earlier he handed down a one-game suspension to a player who was charged with the second-degree rape of a 15-year-old girl. Despite the player pleading guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Tuberville permitted the player to remain on the team. Tuberville also abandoned Texas Tech recruits and assistant coaches mid-dinner in 2012, the night before he announced he would take a new job at the University of Cincinnati. And then there was his infamous radio appearance in 1998 when, as then-head coach at the University of Mississippi, he promised he would only leave the job “in a pine box”—and then flew to Auburn two days later to become head coach of the Tigers. On the field, as Sessions’s campaign noted on Twitter, Tuberville’s stints at Auburn, Texas Tech, and Cincinnati did not end successfully. “He was the leader of a team that went bad,” Sessions said July 11. Whether he’ll serve his team well in November remains to be seen… .#noted #2020-07-14


Adams (1776): 'Passion for Liberty Cannot be Eaquelly Strong in... Those... Accustomed to Deprive Their Fellow Creatures of Theirs'—Noted

John adams family

Abigail Smith Adams (1776): '[Virginians'] Passion for Liberty Cannot be Eaquelly Strong https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/letter-abigail-adams-1776.pdf: 'Tell me if you may... what sort of Defence Virginia can make.... Whether it is so situated as to make an able Defence? Are not the Gentery Lords and the common people vassals, are they not like the uncivilized Natives Brittain represents us to be? I hope their Riffel Men who have shewen themselves very savage and even Blood thirsty; are not a specimen of the Generality of the people. I [illegible] am willing to allow the Colony great merrit for having produced a Washington but they have been shamefully duped by a Dunmore. I have sometimes been ready to think that the passion for Liberty cannot be Eaquelly Strong in the Breasts of those who have been accustomed to deprive their fellow Creatures of theirs. Of this I am certain that it is not founded upon that generous and christian principal of doing to others as we would that others should do unto us...

 

.#liberty #noted #racism #reading #2020-07-14

Morgan: American Slavery, American Freedom—Noted

Edmund S. Morgan: American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/book-morgan-slavery.pdf: 'Slaves could not be made to work for fear of losing liberty, so they had to be made to fear for their lives. Not that any master wanted to lose his slave by killing him, but in order to get an equal or greater amount of work, it was necessary to beat slaves harder than servants, so hard, in fact, that there was a much larger chance of killing them than had been the case with servants. Unless a master could correct his slaves in this way without running afoul of the law if he misjudged the weight of his blows, slaveowning would be legally hazardous. So in 1669 the assembly faced the facts and passed an act that dealt with them forthrightly: 'An act about the casuall killing of slaves: Whereas the only law in force for the punishment of refractory servants resisting their master, mistris or overseer cannot be inflicted upon negroes [because the punishment was extension of time], nor the obstinacy of many of them by other than violent meanes supprest, Be it enacted and declared by this grand assembly, if any slave resist his master (or other by his masters order correcting him) and by the extremity of the correction should chance to die, that his death shall not be accompted Felony, but the master (or that other person appointed by the master to punish him) be acquit from molestation, since it cannot be presumed that prepensed malice (which alone makes murther Felony) should induce any man to destroy his own estate..." With this act already on the books in 1669, Virginia was prepared to make the most of slavery when slaves began to arrive in quantity... #noted #2020-07-13


Lopez: Enlightenment Coffee Shop—Noted

Andrew Lopez: 'Just left an Enlightenment coffee shop https://twitter.com/Andrulus/status/1282445264960315393. Packed with Lockean and Humean liberals too afraid to even whisper about reason, federalism, IQ, and the superiority of the White race—Things are DIRE!:

Steven Pinker: 'Not just professors https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/1282334711663165440. This AM, from a worker: "I feel uncomfortable expressing my thoughts, moderate as they are, to coworkers for fear of being labeled a bigot. I'm a moderate centrist and lib. in the tradition of Locke and Hume. Why can’t they accept me for revealing liberal enlightenment feelings?":

John McWhorter: 'Bravo to this honesty. Since May I have gotten almost an email a day from a professor who fears speaking out against the modern distortion of progressivism would get them fired. https://quillette.com/2020/07/08/a-declaration-of-independence-by-a-princeton-professor

.#noted #2020-07-13

Delbanco: Offerring More than ‘Zoom from Your Room'—Noted

Andrew Delbanco: Universities Must Offer More than ‘Zoom from Your room’ https://www.ft.com/content/27e3fc2a-1542-4a3c-964b-506dbe9c8ee2: ‘The most candid thing to say to prospective students would be: “Come to college and Zoom from your room!”... Richard Arum, dean of the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine, has suggested that elite institutions, forced to resort to online technologies, should now help develop “online learning options complementary in practice and commensurate in quality to face-to-face instruction”. This would benefit their own students and those whose “life circumstances make them unable to leave their family homes and forgo paid work to attend college” on a residential campus. What exactly this will mean no one can say.... Every college is now scrambling to make students’ online experience as personal as possible.... We need better online learning for everyone. The involuntary experiment at elite schools could help to achieve that. Harvard expects its innovations to have “cascading effects on higher education”. If so, the disruption will have yielded some lasting benefit. Otherwise, the pandemic will have been an inconvenience for the privileged and a disaster for everyone else… .#noted #2020-07-12


Holbo: 'This Maxim Is Patently, Grossly Inadequate for Governing a Blog Comment Box... Let Alone... Public Reason & a Public Sphere'—Noted

There is good-faith speech that is heated and provocative "discussion of the issues" that advances public reason and the public sphere. There is bad-faith speech that aims to undermine and destroy public reason and the public sphere—trolling, sealioning, discursive monkeywrenching, or simple grifting.

There is consensus that such a line exists. There is consensus that the public sphere and public reason require that that line be enforced—that those who violate it be "cancelled", that there be consequences. And in this real world there will be consequences, if only because people whose public face is that of a troll—or a sealion, a monkeywrencher, or a grifter—is unlikely to add to the quality of an employment or a social circle.

There is a problem that good-faith speakers will and do have good-faith disagreements as to where the line is between heated and provocative but productive contributions on the one hand and trolling, sealioning, monkey wrenching, and simple grifting on the other. There is also a problem that bad-faith speakers always and everywhere will and do attempt to fly under false flags to claim that some speech that advances public reason is in fact beyond the line. There is a tendency to wish the problem away by pretending not to see it

Thus the claim that it is always and everywhere the case that "the way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other" is itself bad speech: destructive of and aiming to undermine public reason and the public sphere. And so I reach the Harpers' letter (no, I am not going to give it a link).

But John Holbo gets there fastest with the mostest (yes, I do know who coined the phrase; I am confiscating it):

John Holbo: 'This Maxim Is Patently, Grossly Inadequate for Governing a Blog Comment Box... Let Alone... Public Reason & a Public Sphere' https://www.bradford-delong.com/2020/07/holbo-this-maxim-is-patently-grossly-inadequate-for-governing-a-blog-comment-box-let-alone-public-reason-a-public.html: '[The Harpers letter says:] "The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other" https://twitter.com/jholbo1/status/1280678001395372032. Some thoughts on 2nd-best solutions: This maxim is patently, grossly inadequate for governing a blog comment box... let alone a social media platform, let alone Public Reason and a Public Sphere…

[Second Best]: Ideally, the world contains no trolls, bots, bad faith actors—or few enough they can be dealt with retail not wholesale in the Marketplace of Ideas. In a world in which everyone were exchanging more or less in open-faced good faith, this rule would be good. In our actual world, however, it is not good. No, not really, sadly. Hence a dilemma.... There isn't really an obvious, simple 2nd best rule for our 2nd best world....

Partisanship is... a thing that should be damped in debate. The whole point of arguing is to consider changing your mind, via trying to change others' minds. So... partisans should—not disarm, that isn't it—but observe exacting dueling protocols when entering the debate arena. But this is hard to articulate and enforce....

[Vaccination Against Nazis]: Nazis are bad. In a politically liberal world in which there are only a few Nazis, you can argue with them. It's like a vaccine. You are inoculating the discourse by injecting it with small amounts of moribund evil, to build antibodies. Unfortunately, it is a fallacy that, if vaccines are good, virulent diseases must be good, too.

Republicans whine that they get called 'evil', but they support a President who tweets out 'White Power' and they are, no kidding, working to dismantle or hobble democracy.... Unless and until conservatism crawls out of its deplorable basket there isn't much realistic prospect of normalizing its tenets as non-deplorable, in discourse terms. It is not reasonable to ask the left to pretend things stand otherwise than they do....

[Downstream Worries]: A lot of bad faith sewage seep[s] in... all... [of] the same form... 'downstream worries'.... If 'trans rights are human rights', we have pronoun trouble, or need new norms for bathrooms or women's sports or in womens' shelters. Or philosophical ideas about the metaphysics of gender will be problematized. All this is true and some of it may get bumpy. But there's really no point arguing about it without a high baseline of initial acceptance.... But the bad faith arguers are not willing to debate the antecedent honestly. They have a sense they'll lose, and they are right.... So they fuss about bathrooms to pollute discourse with issues that can only be reasonably discussed after we accept something they don't, but aren't willing to argue about honestly. There is no reason to put up with the debate being rendered nonsensical.

[Cancel Culture]: It's fine to 'cancel' those who monkey wrench liberal discourse, rather than engage in honest debate. Unfortunately, that means those who are adjacent to bad faith actors, but in good faith, get cancelled-by-association. That's unfortunate but hard to rule out, with a rule...

.#noted #publicsphere #2020-07-11

Frieden: Weekly Roundup— Noted

2020 07 09 covid exit

Tom Frieden: Weekly Roundup https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1281762304158240770.html: ‘US lagging in control, surging in cases. Only the Northeast is at all reassuring, and those gains are at risk. Reopening schools is getting much harder. Drawing from @CDCgov Covid-View and Tracking Our COVID-19 Response—covidexitstrategy.org. Test positivity reported up: 9.2%; South-Central at 17%! Look carefully at trends from commercial labs. The first decrease in positivity among young adults in 2 months... and now increasing in older adults. What started in young adults, didn’t stay in young adults.... Tests that take more than 48 hours to come back are of little [epidemic-assessing] value. We should see by state and race/ethnicity, the rates of tests that return results within 48 hours. Influenza-like and covid-like illness visits to emergency departments are rising in 7 of 10 US regions. Native Americans, African Americans, Latinx and others continue to be disproportionately affected: more exposed, more underlying, undertreated illness, and less access to care. Community engagement, empowerment, and leadership are crucial for progress. Deaths are below the epidemic threshold, but how long will that last?... Deaths are beginning to rise in the South/Southwest/West now offsetting the decline in New England, Mid-Atlantic midwest. And this is before young adults spread to lots of older and vulnerable people. Next 1-2 months will be worse. 8/10 States with the highest burden are least able to test and trace right now.... Covid19 will get worse before it gets better. Where Covid is spreading, close restaurants & bars, stop gatherings of more than a few people, follow the #3Ws: wear a mask correctly, wash your hands, watch your distance. And box the virus in: test, isolate, trace, quarantine... Unless this happens, there’s little hope of safely opening schools and keeping them open, no matter what anyone says… .#noted #2020-07-11