Tuesday assorted links


Even more presidential interventions into football: JFK's Interior Secretary gave an ultimatum to the Washington NFL team to integrate or lose their stadium rights.

That was not really about the NFL. At that time the redskins were the only all white team in the NFL.

7. That's not what Presidents are for. Even if there is a long list of far left things I'd like to see abandoned (along with a long list of far right things), it is the center that should be defended. The President should be the President for all Americans. That simple.

It was that simple when America was blessed with a republican form of government. Not sure when we lost it. Maybe the end began around 1861, or earlier under Jackson.

The left and certain NFL millionaires (wife-beaters and felons) have politicized football, the Anthem and The Flag.

The NFL (No Fans Left) kneeling crisis is a misconceived appeal to emotion on both sides. Disrespecting the National Anthem and Flag won't solve income inequality, unfair housing, police brutality, urban blight, alcoholism/addiction, unemployment, illegitimacy, or white privilege (Is that whites' low, relative to US-born blacks, marginal propensity to kill, rape, steal?).

Trumpers' (including me) equally misconceived, emotional responses are similarly asinine. I feel much better. I went to the range and busted a bunch of caps with my undocumented AR-15.

The previous president wasn't president for all the people. He was not my president. He proved it almost every day he wasn't golfing.

It's democracy/majority rule. President Trump needs to be president for the 62 million and I who voted him into office.

Is it in the Constitution? Where is it written that an elected official needs to meet his opposition's wants/desires or ignore his supporters' interest?

Quick question, why do you rednecks get so upset at being stereotyped by us coastal elites when you have no problem with saying stuff like "NFL millionaires (wife-beaters and felons)"? How is that different than Hillary-voters typing "Southerners (wife-beaters and felons)"?

Also it's not really majority rule when more people voted for the other candidate.

Playing soccer on an American football field means that you get mauled (see "U.S. Federalism for coastal elite dummies").

Just to clarify for anyone else who is as slow as you, you are not a "coastal elite." You are a blowhard who filters his own personal morality through the prism of the Democratic party's donor base such that you end up sounding like a windup doll for the "coastal elite." You must be dumber than Jimmy Kimmel not to understand this remedial distinction.

But you- yourself- are nothing. And no matter how hard you slurp on the taint of the coastal elite, such will not change.

Now run along and try and keep pretending you are from where you want us to believe you are from. It won't work, but its important to you so you should stay with it.


I too had an experience today. I rode my bicycle to the post office. Now I like to think I am weird, but at the post office there was a shirtless bodybuilder pushing a Studs McKenzie dog in a baby stroller. I can't weird that hard on my best day.

Beach cities. What can you do?

"I went to the range and busted a bunch of caps with my undocumented AR-15."

That too is not weird enough. It is even sad and formulaic.

No one is disrespecting the anthem or flag. They have so much respect for those things and what they stand for, that the anthem and flag have become the focus for protesting wrongful deaths which are against the principles that the flag and anthem stand for.

If you want good evidence that Trump miscalculated, read this:


And watch this:


6. was very good indeed.

"Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen thinks this is a sign of low empathy and he is not alone."

Ok. So...
Neurotypicals conflate ideological disagreement with personal conflict.
Neurotypicals are unable to put themselves in our shoes...
Neurotypicals always think it’s about them
Tell them intelligence is heritable, and they assume you just called them stupid.
Even when neurotypical people disagree, they painstakingly avoid causing offence...
They’re often quite good at their jobs

I think he just proved Simon Baron-Cohen's point.

We have this overhanging sociobiology. "Neurotypical" is a distribution, and if you are going to be generous (or aspie?) about it, the whole distribution is correctly human.

So, we should aim for solutions (inc. government) that satisfies wide spans of the distribution, rather than one end or the other.

I'd bet that 100 years from now "neuro-typical/atypical" will be found in the (pay-per-view) Wikipedia-like app of the day right along other pseudo-science such as phrenology.

I thought it was well written and as an aspie I agree with his descriptions of neurotypicals and aspies, but I disagree with his proposed solution of pressuring the neurotypicals to "accept" our way of thinking. Most people are just going to laugh at it, see the comment from "anon from cl." Some neurodiversity advocates think they can get SJW support for the cause, which is a great example of their inability to understand how neurotypical people think: it won't happen in a million years. And even if it did, well, look at the transgenders. They can browbeat people to use "correct" pronouns, but they can't do anything about the fact that 99% of people have mental boxes for "male humans" and "female humans" and the transgender person is either in the box they were born into or on their own lonely little island, separate from both men and women. Perhaps that is why they have such high rates of depression and suicide. The neurotypical people will always see us as "weird," it's just how they are, and announcing ourselves as aspies and demanding special treatment will result in increased hostility, in people not wanting to hire us as potential troublemakers. Unless we are to create our own country, the path most aspies take, crypsis, is the best collective option for us.

I didn't laugh at it. I just think that most people (from whatever "neurological profile") are not empathetic enough to be able to solve this "problem". I also think it is unwise of him to ignore completely our current, if non-optimal, solution for this "problem": laws and rules.

Sorry, #7, the Brooks column.

Yep, you are right. Brooks didn't do his homework.

7 is excellent. Brooks at his best.

agree. and gotta love his constant assuaging of the target audience with ("I'm on your side, people like you and me go to cocktail parties together!") sidebars and elisions.

I love when insecure plebes talk about all those 'cocktail parties' we elites go to all the time. We put on our spats and flapper dresses and drink highballs til dawn!

That was the old WASP establishment that was overthrown by the awful Boomers, who patronize the proles by donning selvedge jeans and Buttero sneakers and sipping craft beer.

7. is pretty good, but not complete
a) "a new establishment came into being (...) the meritocratic establishment" I agree that such establishment exists - but there also exists a new left wing, "politically correct" establishment, which already dominates academia and media. Trump is the "cultural president" against both establishments. see: http://reason.com/blog/2016/11/09/trump-won-because-leftist-political-corr

b) They are mainly five type of trump voters (Kudos brooks is the first one to at least desribe one type properly...):
- Those who see him as a cultural president as Brooks wrote
- Those who believe that republicans/conservatives/the US have been losing for a long time and want to "win" again (for them Trump personifies sucess and assertiveness)
- Those who are, similar to AfD voters in Germany, FN voters in France, nationalists/tribalists concerned with the future of Europeans
- People who just vote republican because they are republican (at the end politics is also like sports teams...)
- Finally, people who hated Hillary

The idea of attaching "political correctness" to left wing movements is a successful strategic move right wing movements which are themselves plagued by political correctness labeled as "patriotism", "conservatism", "heritage" and so on.

Good point about the 5 motivations but I am guessing most Trump voters embody more than 1 of the 5.

Point 1. Trump wants to tear up our existing culture, and that's all right. Adolf Hitler would have been happy to tear up American culture as well. If you're so comfortable giving such authority to one man, you need to explain why him and not the other. Brooks didn't even try.

Point 2. So the American social fabric going to ripped apart to scraps and it'll take 20 years at least to sew the pieces back together. My oh my, what a fun picture. And the new garment that we'll all wear after this effort? Well, it'll be better right? Because it's newer. Because Donald's supporters will have veto power over which scraps are retained? Because it'll be tailored for the first time to fit both the Right and the Left of the American Body Politic?
This is nonsense. If we're going to rebuild American society to the extent Brooks expects, we're going to settle a lot of issues in the short term with violence, and in the long term by using the law to enforce deference to money and property and other attributes of late 21st century social distinction. Is Brooks convinced Trump supporters will rise to the top of such a culture? I'm not.

They're mentally incapable of rising to the top of such a culture. We're talking about white men who managed to somehow flunk out of economic life despite being born with all of the advantages of being a white male in late 20th century America.

And this is how Hazel Meade (or, let us hope, someone who impersonated her) who was only recently an honest libertarian is turning into an open racist. Sad.

I thought the column was pretty silly (as a baby-boomer, I've been paying attention). Calling the post-Vietnam era a meritocracy is laughable. Well at least he didn't call today's ruling elite the guys with big brains & dicks and the gals with the big tits & wits. I think the column ignored the elephant in the room, the changes in health-care (especially birth control) and communication. I see Trump as an effect, not a cause. I find him so ineffective that attributing to him these vast social changes is just black comedy. Although I'm sure some of the Extreme Left violence we're seeing is provoked by his election (but not by him personally), I think it was just a matter of time before the Leftists running our Colleges and Universities found out what they were actually teaching these kids (and what they were not teaching these kids), although I have to wonder whether they're much bothered by it. Might makes right, after all.


Doesn't the president ultimately have broad discretionary power over the NFL. Without a doubt, the NFL is clearly in breach of US anti-trust law. The only reason that the DOJ has never taken action is because it's a "wholesome American institution". If that ceases to be the case, why would they expect to be treated any different than Standard Oil or Mastercard?

For that matter, all Trump needs to do to cow the Washington Post into submission is threaten an executive order which cuts off all business ties between Amazon and USPS.

Libertarians have been warning for years that having such extensive government intervention into the economy gives the state convenient leverage to suppress political dissent. Leftists kept their head in the sand ("Look at Sweden! They're socialist and democratic!"). Now that the Red Tribe is getting close to actually taking control of the Federal Government (and not just installing some figurehead opposition), maybe they'll realize Hayek might be worth listening to.

trusts in essential industries such as fuel/energy, telecommunications, or payment processing are really much more concerning than trusts in completely optional entertainment industries.

Only baseball has an anti-trust exemption

From 2014:
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today introduced the Sustained Promotion Of Responsibility In Team Sports (SPORTS) Act, which would sunset the four major professional sports leagues’ (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA) permanent anti-trust exemption, and replace it with an every-five-years reauthorization conditioned on the leagues acting consistently with the public trust their special status requires. Largely unchanged since 1961, these exemptions have provided significant financial support and other benefits for the leagues regardless of their actions.

This has come up a few times recently. From 2011:
Rep. John Conyers (Mich.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, wants to get rid of the antitrust exemption that allows the National Football to negotiate lucrative TV deals with the broadcast networks.

2 -- There's a very strange culture of Zach Lowe fanboy "basketbloggers" that has popped up over the past, oh, 5 years and it's heavily intertwined with leftist politics. I don't totally understand it (I mean, I understand the obvious Sailerian reasons, you can spare me those). A lot of these people, I suspect with little evidence, were not particularly into sports until a few years ago.

Feels a piece of how intensely intertwined all preferences in entertainment and politics have become. It's like Ayn Rand telling her followers which symphony was objectively best, and they'd better be on board.

The center of American leftism is the Bay Area. Their basketball team is good so they are interested for now. Basketball is also a sport best consumed in bite sized morsels where you can't tell the players aren't trying until the fourth quarter. Basketball players are also shockingly prone to petulant behavior which is good to tweet and blog about. When the Warriors fad so to will that trend.

Regardless the NBA is in a ton of long term trouble and will likely have to contract up to ten teams over the next two decades. If it is to be saved it will be via international fans.

Front-running Silicon Valley bros aren't really who I'm talking about. This "basketball twitter" segment is obsessed with obscure players and teams, in the mold of Bill Simmons (whom they generally despise) and Zach Lowe.

So basketball future depends on players' politics?

Given the politics of so-called basketbloggers it's then certainly amusing that (as pointed out by Michael Brendan Dougherty) that these are the same people who worship the analytically-driven, new age GMs of the NBA. These savant GMs who seek to wring every ounce of value out of their roster, or put otherwise who underpay for non-superstar roster spots.

Q. What's the least valuable thing on earth?

A. A first-quarter NBA score.

From #7:

"The reign of the meritocratic establishment will be just as over as the reign of the Protestant establishment now is."

David Brooks is confused! When was there ever a meritocracy in USA, except for brief exceptions like the Manhattan Project?

Obama, HRC and Maxine Waters certainly do not represent a meritocracy in my eyes, nor do the government institutions that are supposed to be populated by technical experts:

EPA: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/09/us/colorado-epa-mine-river-spill/index.html

If stretching the definition, Carter and Bill Clinton might be interpreted as meritocratic leaders; Carter as a nuclear engineer ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter#Naval_career ), and Clinton as a Rhodes scholar (who didn't inhale).

Note that Brooks *defines* "meritocracy", for the sake of his column, as the elite that is now governing us. Logically, you should not assume that Brooks is saying that this elite has anything to do with "merits" whatsoever. Whatever meaning or connotations this word might have before is to be forgotten when reading this column, since the old definition has been overridden.

Okay, this is only the logical, level zero, reading, which allows Brooks to be in peace with its conscience. At another level, Brooks is playing on the ambiguity too, as Charlies above put it, assuage his NYT readers and make them hear what they do not want to hear.

"Carter as a nuclear engineer..."

I know of Jimmy Carter (though he isn't a friend of mine). And I've known nuclear engineers. Jimmy Carter was no nuclear engineer.


7. Brooks conflates traditional liberals and conservatives, traditional Democrats and Republicans, referring to them as the "establishment", as if they agreed on the Iraq War and all other major economic issues (e.g., tax cuts for the wealthy and unregulated bankers and polluters) and social issues (e.g., equality for women, blacks, and gays and lesbians). But Brooks's "establishment" did agree on one major issue: the liberal world order. Would any rational person prefer a China that spent the past 30-40 years building its military rather than its economy? Would any rational person prefer a China that is isolated, defensive, and has no investment in or commitment to the global economy and world peace that makes the global economy possible? The liberal world order has been an enormous success, both economically and in maintaining world peace. Brooks blames cultural snobbery for the rise of right-wing populism. No, it isn't cultural snobbery, it's racism, racism fueled by a black man serving as president; and sexism, fueled by women challenging men in the workplace; and homophobia, fueled by gays and lesbians who dared to come out of the closet. I live in Trump country, and the resentment and anger white males (and a few females) have for Obama (and by association Democrats generally) is palpable, and so is the resentment and anger white males have for uppity women and uppity gays and lesbians. The risk posed by Trump isn't the risk to the cultural snobbery of the "establishment", it's the risk of a collapse of the liberal world order. Trump's "buffoonery" (Brook's description) could lead us to armageddon.


Reward, when are you going to finally open your eyes? In the US, 99% of the racism today, and of anti-semitism, comes from the left. The same Democrats who 60 years ago required people to write on forms whether they were black or white because they wanted to use this information to decide in which school their kids would go are now requiring applicants to university to answer the same question, simply they call this "affirmative action to foster equality" instead of "separated but equal". As for anti-semitism just look at the literature of the Social Justice left to see it in its most assertive form since WWII. And if there are many Jews close to that left, it is just because they are instinctively using the same tactic that a boxer who, overwhelmed by his opponent, tends to hugs him to avoid the most devastating blows -- a tactic that, evidently, won't work.

Doesn't the left's move away from economic populism also have something to do with Trump's election? Both Sanders and Trump attacked Clinton as "crooked," i.e. as just another politician who will do the bidding of Wall Street and CEOs. Whereas in 2012 Obama was clearly the economic populist candidate versus Mitt Romney, who was actually a financier famous for taking over companies and firing people.

Two honest questions Rayward:

Do you think whites, who you are obviously addressing at the moment, are in general, more racist (meaning, preferring their own group above other group and thinking their own group is superior) than other ethnic groups?

Do you think "white" nations (EU, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) are more racist than those who are not European?

AfD is racist for not wanting nonwhite people to move there. Obviously.

Germany is 89% white. White people freaking out over 1% change in racial demographics is basically the definition of racism.

Defining Germany by language or culture or religion is also racist. It is supposed to be defined by something something overcoming oppression.

Shit. I think I hate both sides now.

2b, never imagined tennis fans were so left-leaning. Also, what do they asked to conclude WWE fans were left-leaning?

Some real stereotype-violators on that chart. I'm not surprised that WWE fans would run leftward, given the assumption that lots of Bernie-bros are watching it ironically; but I'd have thought that ultimate-fighting and monster-truck fans would lean pretty strongly Trumpista. I'd also have thought that MLB fans would be farthest to the left of the Big Four professional sports, assuming that the Archie Bunker baseball fans had more or less died off, leaving the NPR listeners as the major demographic.

I was also really surprised by the WWE score. Not just because the type of people I remember watching it when I was growing up, but because the viewership has been getting much older in the past decade.

I understand why NBA is more democrat leaning than baseball. Basketball is a sport best seen live, while baseball is a sport for the radio era and has deep roots in this country. In my experience, NBA interest is deeply rooted in the cities, and in particular cities where their team is good at the moment. I also get the tennis lean, it is a laid-back refined sport with little action.

You are right that both UFC and monster-truck have me mystified, too. My experience with UFC fans are mostly military types intellectually interested in what "real fighting" is, and how it differs from our preconceptions. Not a left leaning demographic, at all. As for monster trucks? I dunno, do they only go to cities that have arenas big enough, hence the leftward skew?

I'm most surprised that European Soccer isn't even more left leaning. Every single American aficionado of European Soccer I've known is a big city hipster who watches it on the assumption that everything American is redneck and backward, and soccer is European, therefore more refined. They don't really understand the sport. They go to a bar to order their PBR, and can name one or two players. They may even own a jersey, but in my experience they are far from sports fans, and it is a pure signaling exercise.

I am kinda surprised that the Rodeo and PBR aren't more right leaning, as I've known zero people in cities that are interested in these. Outside of those, tho, I think the bulk of the sports fit my preconceived notions. Sports as a whole are centrist but slightly right leaning affair, with college football (with lots of good teams in more rural areas) an outlier to the right of that.

It's just that UFC and monster-truck fans are young. The democrat skew is not very strong in either case. Although the scale is hard to make sense of, the democrat skew doesn't seem nearly as pronounced as the turnout skew for those sports.

Monster-trucks, with their WWE-like storyline and F1-like pay system are designed to appeal to young children and their parents.

MMA is a relatively new sport in the grand scheme of things.

#7 "This establishment, too, has had its failures. It created an economy that benefits itself and leaves everybody else out."

Wut? Since the '60s (his demarcation point for this new establishment) the world has become exponentially richer. This applies to everyone, although some more than others. The only people left out are those who chose not to participate.

The truly massive reduction in global policy is humanity's greatest accomplishment since the discovery of fire and people like Brooks choose to blow it off to make cheap cliches.

"Day by day Trump is turning us into a nation of different planets. Each planet feels more righteous about itself and is more isolated from and offended by the other planets."

The only real divide that matters is between the media elites who would like us to believe that we are suffering some kind of extensional crisis and the rest of us who would like those people to shut the fuck up.

Seriously, look around you. Do you actually see a divided america? Or is this just the blathering of the facebook set inflated to absurd proportions?

This. Trump is a gadfly that Brooks makes out to be Ghengis Khan forging a path of destruction.
In reality, the cultural consensus is going nowhere. His supporters might imagine that he's some how destroying the liberal elites, but guess what - the LGBT movement ain't going anywhere. Hispanics aren't going anywhere. America isn't getting any whiter or more Christian. Liberals aren't turning into conservatives. The country that the alt-right hates isn't going anywhere, if anything it is getting stronger. All you have to do is look at his poll numbers to be reminded of that.


Old white people isn't exactly a winning demographic in the long term. Christians barely exist outside of over 50 demographic. Defined by weekly church attendance.

Trumpism is the last gasp of white rage and idiocy. The future is Brazil style dysfunction, corruption, and socialism.

You're a fool if you think fundamental rights will be more protected in the future. If anything most will be gone within a generation. Look at the polls for various amendments in the Bill of Rights among the under 25 crowd. The blade cuts both ways.

Most don't poll well.

Yeah, Brooks has no conception of what life is like outside the establishment, so he is forced to rely on tired second-hand tropes from other clueless establishmentarians.

I guess that makes Trumpists disestablishmentarians. And those who oppose him antidisestablishmentarians. Or maybe not but I finally had a chance to use that cool-ass word from 4th grade spelling bees.

Admit it, it was the Jetsons.

I had no idea but my estimation of the Jetsons just went way up :-)

I think Brooks is referring to the US establishment. Deng Xiaoping, and the broader elite of China, really have achieved miraculous things since the 1960's. I would also think that India's leaders deserve credit for reviving economic growth and reducing poverty and India in the 1990's and 2000's. However, I would not credit US leadership for the reductions in poverty in the third world. Those accomplishments belong to people in the third world. As the US establishment is primarily responsible for (and has power over) conditions in the US, it is fair to criticize them for conditions in the US.

7. No, he doesn't.
Brooks seems to think that the culture is divided into this tiny meritocratic establishment vs. "everyone else", with the everyone else being on Trump's side. Ridiculous. There are huge swaths of American culture that are neither educated liberals nor working class whites, which are not supportive of Trump's policies or rhetoric. The Democratic party is not exclusively composed of educated liberal elites. The culture outside of academia is not exclusively composed of socially conservative nationalists. He's not destroying any sort of culture consensus, he's one of the least popular presidents in history. What he is doing is emboldening a xenophobic nationalist fringe - which is creating conflict. But they're not winning. I see no evidence that mainstream American culture norms with respect to race and ethnicity are going anywhere.

When the nationalists win will you back to Canada?

When the nationalists win won't she be kicked out with all the other foreigners?

Including the "anchor babies" - people born in America to parents without the right paperwork.
While we're at it, might as well revoke the citizenship of all the Muslims, they're not really Americans either.

2. Only time I've seen something good come out of a political intervention in sport was when Nelson Mandela decided to support South Africa's national rugby team during the 1995 World Cup.

American college football was a ridiculously dangerous and bloody game in the early 1900s, when President Teddy Roosevelt told the colleges to clean up the game. Which they did; this article claims that his influence has been exaggerated. OTOH it doesn't mention that the NCAA was created in the wake of the meetings with Roosevelt.

Re #7, Brooks' citation of Pittsburgh Steeler Alejandro Viilanueva

Alejandro Villanueva Didn't Want Any Of This


7 is excellent, I particularly like these parts:

It’s not rude to assume others can handle the truth. It’s not necessarily polite to modulate your tone, or give a compliment to soften the blow of what is to come after. Quite the contrary, it’s disrespectful to assume all people are so lacking in strength.

If you’re easily offended, people are more likely to not be honest with you. You’ll probably never hear their most brilliant insights. You may never know how they actually think and feel. Clarity of thought is a choice between the cheap pleasure of feeling offended and the noble pleasure of being curious.

But I disagree with this:
Are laws that forbid gender and racial discrimination a result of the broadening of the circle of empathy? I doubt it. Unemployment is unusually high among Aspies, who are often male. They’re fired for quite trivial reasons

Social inclusion hasn't reached people on the autism spectrum quite yet, but it's a mistake to think that the efforts to broaden the circle of inclusion won't ultimately be good for Aspies. A society which is more socially tolerant of all sorts of differenc is eventually going to expand that circle to include personality quirks like autism. Neurodivergents ought to be on the side of society's other oddballs, because the normal and the mainstream as always going to tend to contract the circle of inclusion to only people like themselves. The bigger the definition of normal is, the more likely that Aspies will fall within it.

I'm someone who should be predisposed to side with that essay, but I don't. It struck me as a lot of self-flattery which wouldn't convince anyone who didn't already believe those things.

+1 This is probably because you, as an individual, have the rare neurodiverse traits of a good portion of humility and honesty. People with autism generally don't have any more or less of this than others in the gpop...


>. A society which is more socially tolerant of all sorts of differenc is eventually going to expand that circle to include personality quirks like autism

I fear this is sloppy reasoning, mainly around your under-definition of the word "tolerance". Tolerance may indeed be something we praise but it is practically limited to not discriminating against (actually, not talking about) a set of characteristics such as age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc. This may (has been) achieved through social enforcement of an ever stricter set of social norms which are harder for aspies to acquire. There is a lengthening list of things we don't (can't) talk about.

In a conversation 30 years ago you could discuss more things in public than the present day and be less penalised for it. I leave the rightness or wrongness of such views aside; there was simply a wider range of views permitted. And we call our current atmosphere of walking-on-eggshells "tolerance". The word is meaningless, or at least under-defined.

How much more "tolerant" is society of ideological diversity these days? How much more "tolerant" of eccentricity? How tolerant of uncomfortable truths? How will an Aspie fare in your tolerant future when he blurts out; "ethnicity X commits disproportionate amounts of crime"?

"On average, the program cost $13,459 per family, 48 percent of which was paid directly to families as cash rewards."

Where did the remaining 52% go?

"The remaining program costs (51.7 percent) were associated with the administration of the program by CAS-Central and the NPOs, including staff salaries, fringe benefits, consultants, the administration of payments and support services for participating families, and other costs."

Also, to be eligible, "low-income families [needed] at least one child entering ninth or 10th grade." Seems a little late for educational intervention.

V is a good dude, and not a fan of the spotlight.

I'd say he absolutely didn't think anyone would notice. He's not the type of guy to try to make a statement one way or the other.

But he's obviously going to salute the flag during the anthem.

7. Nice to see Brooks has Trump as the transformation president, finally. He was caught up in the ol' red-hot-poker-in-the-eye-of-the-elites for months. Howling in disbelief and angst at every event, and counter event, and counter of the counter event. It was agonizing! Now- for those who are paying attention, it will a game of who is doing serious work and who is being lead around by a sharp, hooked, stick-in-a-nose-ring by the latest it-is-all-about-me activists. To which there is reliable Trumpian: 'no it is really ALL about me.' So much distraction. Puppeteered by all those proficient social media communicators. I think the public is already getting wise to the manipulation- we'll see.
The longer it lasts the stronger (I hope) the yearning for social norms that edge the benefits to the group over the individual, the stronger the desire for nimble trade between social groups as well as within social groups, the stronger the understanding that science does not explain man's imperfection and flaws- that is the work faith, faith in humankind, or a creator, or a greater being- but strong, unwavering faith, not science.

#6 lacks evidence. I'm not sure that people with autism really do tend to invoke less self protection when the implication of an idea threatens their self esteem or really do take it less personally when their pet beliefs and theories are under threat. "Autistic screeching" is exaggerated (not to mention deliberately offensive) but not just a meme.

We're really talking about "humility" here, and autistic folk do not have it particularly in spades. Totally separate personality trait.

#7 Brooks draws a contrast between meritocratic modern establishment and an older establishment. I'm not sure this is totally accurate.

1) Has dynasty as a force in US politics actually decreased? Last election there was a de facto choice between a Boosh and a Clinton, and then Donald Trump disrupted this by saying things which were actually popular and having a small degree of personal charisma, and could at least pose as neither a stooge nor power hungry climber.

It's hard to believe the Heb Bush or former First Lady Hilary Clinton are really the outcome of anything like a meritocracy.

2) The older establishment were drawn from people with more or less the same academic credentials as the current ones. There just were fewer people with those credentials.

I guess the older system was less meritocratic in that, as fewer people gained high education, those that did were less representative of the distribution of natural talent.

But it's not like the present day system is particularly meritocratic. Assuming identical IQ, look at the chances of going to an Ivy League for a young Midwestern White boy from a lower-middle class family compared to a young girl from a Chinese or Ashkenazi Jewish family from an upper-middle class coastal one - differences in anything like "individual natural talent" don't explain the outcomes. The representation levels are not anything like would be predicted by the distributions and volumes of natural talent out there.

At the same time, as Turchin describes, the much higher levels of elite reproduction intensify status competition, and the outcomes of all this don't look anything like actual competition on merit at quality of governing. As Clinton went around buying influence and support to make it "her turn" this didn't look anything too much like unusually competent accomplishment. So "merit" perhaps, yet only in the same sense that Putin has used the merit of being the most ruthless KGB agent there is to get where he is.

#5 is far from original-in the 90s David Bowie (who else?) issued a eurobond secured by future cash flow from his song right, IIRC circa US$45m at the time.

He then went long London and NYC and SF real estate about 2:1 so about US$135m worth. Mid 90's prices.

It could only be Bowie.

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