Wednesday assorted links

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2. Amy Chua saying "dress like a model" can be interpreted to mean dress really well when you aspire to reach the highest levels of the legal profession. She's being slammed for what ... not advising her students that it's OK to interview in a bargain outfit? When people say Melania Trump dresses like a model is that an insult? That they are demeaning her?

I also find Amy Chua's involvement to be a bit of a stretch. It's not even clear the context in which she said that.

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Really surprised that Tyler's signal boosting such unashamed culture war tribalism. That link's not even close to a fair description of her opponents' positions or evenhanded take on the facts.

A lot of Jewish ladies in the media like Penelope Trunk are driven into rage by Prof. Amy Chua, wife of handsome Yale Law School professor Jed Rubenfeld. It's kind of like a higher IQ version of dissing "Becky with the good hair."

I think you should read link #2 with the context that Tyler also included link #1

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@Doug

It made me squirm a bit, and it doesn't have to be 100% objective and unbiased to be meaningful and worth thinking about.

Fact is there are people that agree with her quite strongly.

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Why does Tyler Cowen agree to publish Sailer's Jew-hate?

It's not Jew hate, it's an observation that hard working Jewish men are sick of women who want it both ways, to be taken care of financially and to never lift a finger. I know an alarming number of Jewish men who share this sentiment and are similarly frustrated with the entitlement laziness of young Jewish women, who are too proud and progressive to keep a home, yet not progressive enough to have studied something useful in school. Disclaimer: NOT ALL JEWISH WOMEN ARE LIKE THIS

*entitlement and laziness

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Is that really a Jewish thing? Don't all groups have women (and men) like this?

Certainly, but Jewish endogamy was sacrosanct, and of the intermarried couples I know (of which there are many) the men have consistent gripes about Jewish women. I work with a lot of Asian women, and they have a sense of purpose and drive that I have not seen from the majority of the Jewish women I know. They bring it to everything they do, not just work, and I think there's a certain envy amongst Jewish women that here is this new group of over achieving women who (seem to) have it all.

Amy Chua is also hotter than most Jewish women.

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It is a stereotype that has a grain of truth to it. (I am Jewish and married to a non-Jewish woman.)

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Yeah THAT'S what it was. I am sure she was just giving friendly advice to these absolutely clueless Yale Law school kids who kept showing up dressed like trash, wearing cut-off jeans to interviews. It's not that Chau and her ilk are basically psychopaths.

It's not that Chau and her ilk are basically psychopaths.

From a time before Amy Chua (not sure about her ilk) was toxic:

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/hillbilly-elegy-mentor/529443/

BTW, are there any reports -- at all -- of Kavanaugh hitting on or behaving inappropriately with his female clerks?

What is this Atlantic article supposed to prove?

Does Amy Chua, in that description, striky you as a psychopath? Really? She is a prominent person with several well-known books to her credit and many interviews and profiles. What in her past -- other than the allegation (which she denies) of telling prospective clerks to dress like models -- strikes you as the behavior of a psychopath? In fact, even if the allegation were true -- how would that suggest a psychopath?

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I dunno, but the "hot clerk" pipeline, if true, strikes me as worse than all the hazy, three-decades-old allegations of low-level assault put together.

I know guys like that, who like to surround themselves with good-looking women in the workplace. It's kinda creepy, but what should really concern people, if true, is Kavanaugh's willingness to sacrifice what's best for the law to some frivolous pleasure, and to do so as a grown-ass man.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

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Well, obviously, if you select too many female law clerks it's because you're selecting them for their appearance.

And if you hire too few it's because you're so plugged into an old-boys-network that you can't see beyond your sexist prejudices.

Pigs, Yes, they're pigs, all pigs, just white-frat-boy sexist pigs. Whatever they do, whatever they say, it could be no other way.

OK, I poked around. I think I had the wrong picture of what this looked like from descriptions like Penelope's. Just over half of his clerks were female.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/11/us/politics/kavanaugh-supreme-court-clerks.html

Brian,

Have you considered the client benefits of having your office staffed with attractive clerks?

I just had my teeth cleaned. The young and attractive dental hygienist also wore false eyelashes. At work. In medicine. I considered this weird and unnecessary.

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Coming at it from the perspective of a client, I would think less of a firm staffed with nothing but hot office clerks. Which is probably prejudicial against good-looking women, but in my experience, good-looking women aren't particularly overrepresented among the pool of talented law clerks. To me, it signals a kind of unseriousness, and I would go elsewhere.

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I agree. The fact that people from elite prep schools have a pre-established pipeline to getting high-level clerk positions is more concerning to me than the Animal House antics of teenagers in the 1970s. The "hot clerk" aspect adds to the problem, but just the fact that the system is intentionally biased to position the children of the elite in elite positions is seriously problematic.

I think I disagree. There is something vaguely distasteful about the elite set-up (such as the fact that from the day I was born, I never had a prayer), but, unlike a couple generations ago in the Ivy League, the whole set-up today really is insanely competitive and I'm guessing Kavanaugh and his ilk are very smart and talented people who work their asses off.

"such as the fact that from the day I was born, I never had a prayer"

Read Amy Chua's biography -- about as far from the East Coast 'elite prep school pipeline' as you can imagine (unless you imagine Chinese immigrants families from the Philippines are a secret part of that pipeline). Be honest -- did you really have less of a prayer than she did?

I'd say that I'm roughly one out of a thousand, probably similar to Kavanaugh (and the same age). Based on the high schools we went to, he had an inside track, and I never had a prayer, of going to Yale.

Amy is probably more like 1 in a million.

I graduated from a suburban public high-school in the Midwest in the same era. I didn't apply to any Ivy League schools, but a friend of mine did (and went to Harvard). I don't remember if anybody went to Yale. It certainly wasn't out of the question, though.

Given that Amy Chua is probably way, way on the far right end of the IQ distribution, few people had as good a shot at a Yale Law School job as she did. And she was basically born with that--intelligence is largely genetic and the rest is probably very early environment and random developmental stuff that you have no control over.

She had a much better chance of ending up where she is, given her first-rate mind, than a random kid born to a billionaire with a 75th %ile level of intelligence.

You guys are torturing us by the nearness of a story you can't yet get into news or define except in the vaguest kind of way. Look at Kristof's use of the word "realpolitik." In a republic, the citizens are not responsible for what occurs in Yemen. The people who are addicted to Kavanaugh proceedings are not the same people who "own" the problem in Yemen. The famine started in 2016. The Saudi led blockade in early 2015, shortly after the Saudi-led coalition, which includes the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and Senegal entered. And yes, American troops have died in Yemen. "We are willing to starve Yemeni children," vs “If we end the war, we will end the starvation.”
David Beasely, World Food Programme’s executive director

Neither President Obama or Trump authorized US force against the Houthis. But who is the coalition really fighting? al-Qaida....

Bonus Points; The pictures were stolen! The only difference is that Maggie Michael didn't blame in American citizens in her article. https://www.apnews.com/5a4645766b414fe59b5f00ca3e543bd9/Isolated-and-unseen,-Yemenis-eat-leaves-to-stave-off-famine

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"(unless you imagine Chinese immigrants families from the Philippines are a secret part of that pipeline)"

It's actually quite imaginable, because Chinese Filipinos are quite privileged in the Philippines and of considerable means, being wildly overrepresented in business and government. The idea that that means nothing once you come to America is laughable: it's those means and privileges that got you there in the first place. And this bears out in Amy's story, as both her parents were engineering PhDs and her father was a professor at Berkeley. Yes, she went to public school (and that was before CA's public school system fell into disrepute), but regardless of race, I'd say she had a much better than average shot of getting into Yale or Harvard than your average middle-class public high-school student.

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The "pipeline" is from Yale Law (one of the top law schools in the country) to federal clerkships. Not from elite prep schools. I'm not sure how you could avoid having a pipeline from Harvard and Yale law schools to federal clerkships.

The article claims that there are a number of guarenteed slots at Yale each year for students from certain elite prep schools.
So they get a helping hand first in getting into Yale, and then at getting from Yale to a federal clerkship.

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How would that pipeline be problematic?

Well, ideally the system should be meritocratic, right? Not biased towards Yale, just because it's Yale.

Just a sock puppet.

I would never use the word problematic.

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Here in Big State, we have no East Coast elite pipeline - though once upon a time Easterners came here either to make their fortunes, or to do government or academic or cultural work in the same way they might later have joined the Peace Corps, with a sense of bringing civilization to the benighted, which indeed we were - there was a scandal over admission to our competitive (regionally) flagship law school. Nephews and friends of legislators were admitted with rather embarrassing LSAT scores and a letter from their influential pal. The notoriously-corrupt Rio Grande Valley was especially well-represented in the episode, which had no repercussions.

Beyond just the law school, where the practice happened to be so blatant and the numbers involved made it difficult to hide, the administrators of the university as a whole wanted to keep those special admissions in their gift, and to their credit, openly said as much. This matched exactly what our worthless legislators - urban and bubba alike - wanted too. These people are nobodies, of course, nationally, but do a whole lot of damage here.

The question will always and only be, which elite do you prefer?

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I don't think psychopaths typically write books of the caliber of World on Fire, but yeah, sure, Chua was basically an accomplice to serial rape. Or something.

Why? Psychopaths can’t write books?

Do you know what a psychopath is?

I don’t think you do. A psychopath DOES NOT mean an ax-wielding maniac or similar. If you think that’s what I mean you are pretty clueless.

no u

Just for the record, all the JWatts comments are one of our resident deranged Trolls. Though I will say this one of the more lucid trolls.

Hey idiot there is only one troll, me, and I play all the parts

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When are we going to stop judging people, especially women, based on how stylish their outfit is? As long as they're wearing something clean and professional and unwrinkled, who cares if it came out of Vogue or was picked up at a thrift shop?

You know, it doesn't matter what they write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of a$$

Take a guess who said that.

Please do not mistake me for someone who supports Donald Trump. (If that is even possible).

Not mistaking you as a Trump supporter, Hazel. I was trying to highlight (the message clearly was lost in my delivery, apologies) that while we thought that radical progress was made in terms of gender equality, the truth was that sexism continued and stayed hidden beneath our superficial pretenses. With Trump's election, all of it came out in the open. A lot of women were truly outraged and started sharing the abuses / biases that they have faced through the years.

This seems like a better outcome. Maybe this time around we will have true progress and better results. Hopefully this clarifies my comment.

Agreed. The whole #MeToo thing (for lack of a better term) is real, and it's a change. The culture changes sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. This one is quick. Norms are changing. There will be some collateral damage, but that's life. Women (and minorities) have been collateral damage throughout history, so if the occasional grab-assy frat boy douchebag gets some ex post facto consequences, that's just how it goes.

One thing is for sure, the current crop of douchebags are tightening up their acts right now. This is a good thing. I was in a fraternity, I'm a straight white male, I hit on women and sometimes succeeded, I'm happily married now. And I managed to do all this without being this kind of douche or doing anything I'd get strung up for now like Kavanaugh is. There will be more like me going forward.

He’s now being accused of gang rape.

In a sworn affidavit.

That's going too far, obviously. Don't see how it affects my point about the changes that we are seeing. I suppose any one of us can be accused of ridiculous things. We could also be killed by a drunk driver. Let's hope those kinds of things stay very rare.

If we start to see a spate of ridiculously false #MeToo accusations like that, the culture will change to limit those too. The Duke lacrosse hoax ended up with that DA fired and taken to court for unlawful prosecution, and the team members got paid bigly.

Kavanaugh is collateral damage for sure. But the future will be better. And don't worry, that SC seat will still be filled by an anti-abortion, anti-regulation Republican. Probably a woman if Trump is smart.

I was agreeing with you.

How many men can look back and say “but for the grace of..”

Not too many with literal gang rape allegations.

And I’m not happy about a potential overturn of Roe. How many women do you know that haven’t needed at least the morning after pill?

Ok got it, I misread your intent. I would be surprised if the guy gang raped anyone but perhaps he did.

I don't want Roe overturned either, far from it (I'm a first trimester only guy). Just telling the Reps here just because Kavanaugh is toast doesn't mean they won't get their conservative on the Court.

It reminds me of a scene in a film 'Metropolitain', about upper class elites in New York in the early 1980s (contemporaneous time period).
At one point a guy relates a story of a girl being forced to "pull a train", who tthen commits suicide, though he later admits that the story is a "composite".
of course the film is a work of fiction, but the depiction of the behavior of upper class boys is eerily consistent with what is in there Georgetown Prep allegations.

I wonder what would have happened if the kids accused of gang rape in the Duke Lacrosse Team case had been poor or middle class kids who couldn't afford high quality legal representation.

Probably a worse outcome, to be sure. It's better to be rich than poor as my Econ 101 professor taught us.

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Metropolitan is Hollywood, not a documentary, and Whit Stillman, who directed it, has a fevered imagination (and makes pretty good movies). I went to an elite prep school, there were no gang rapes, nobody pulled a train, hardly anyone got laid at all, and mostly people worked hard and played sports hard. (This was in 1971.) Yes, there was a pipeline to good colleges, which took about the top 1/4 of the class. I'd be surprised if there is anything truthful about this allegation at all, other than Ms. Ford will get a book deal and, if Kavanaugh is not confirmed, will become a hero and a very marketable political candidate.

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" but the depiction of the behavior of upper class boys is eerily consistent with what is in there Georgetown Prep allegations."

So stories resembling lurid works of fiction now means those stories are more likely to be true? Rather than that the stories might be rooted, consciously or unconsciously, in fiction?

I would generally regard a work of fiction as a work of fiction if it had not been reinforced by allegations that such things actually occurred in real life. Lots of times fictional works are based on real experiences.

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'When are we going to stop judging people, especially women, based on how stylish their outfit is?'

Why would we? To you, it may be noise, to others, it is clearly signal. I happen to use the hermetic 'as within, so without' as a rule of thumb. I would not base a critical decision on it when every other detail among those salient to me contraindicated, but I value it highly as a very efficient tool. It's older than the bible and still with us.

As just one example, people who look sloppy tend to think sloppy. Thinking sloppy is a feature in some milieus, a bug in others. People who dress minimalist, flamboyantly, cheaply, conventionally, etc. likewise signal different things. Life is a fun game of such signals.

How someone presents themselves is data. You may choose to ignore it, but what do you care what I do with it?

+1. Dress matters.

And maybe you can't help being ugly, but if you're fat, that's a signal of lower IQ and conscientiousness.

It's amazing how people will pretend we have to ignore all the signals we're evolved to spot, because that would be "unfair" or something.

On the other hand, fat and ugly people have to compensate for being fat and ugly by being better at what they do, or sometimes having better personalities.

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Well, I did include clean and not wrinkled and professional for a reason. Other than that, who cares if it's last years style or even last decade's style? To me that would signal "I am thrifty, pragmatic, and more concerned about objective results than appearances".
or like Mark Zuckerberg and his famous grey t-shirt "I'm not going to waste mental energy deciding what to wear in the morning."

You make my point. Zuckerberg is signalling with that t-shirt. He also had business cards in the early days of facebook that read, "I'm CEO, bitch", another signal. . . of his autonomy.

If you are clerking for a judge, you are not the boss.

Sure, and a judge ought to regard wearing a clean, professional dry cleaned outfit that is slightly out of fashion as acceptable business dress. Just because everything is a signal doesn't mean that wearing less than up to date fashions ought to be regarded as a signal of incompetence.

I don't know what slightly out of fashion means to you. Those Latter Day Saints dresses?

Dress for the job you want. If you need some guidance on how, ask for it. Bam. That people do that is not an injustice.

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At least that's something that there's some choice and effort involved in. We can't even get people to stop judging based on inherent physical attractiveness, or height.

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"When are we going to stop judging people, especially women, based on how stylish their outfit is? "

We? Seriously? I'm pretty sure that by far the primary offenders in making such judgement are women. For example, I understand there are certain brands of shoes and handbags that are to die for. I could probably list a few of the brands (although I'd probably mistakenly include some that are so yesterday). But I wouldn't recognize one of those bags or pairs of shoes if it bit me (and wouldn't be impressed in any case). I'm pretty certain that's true of every other man I know (well, the straight ones anyway). Judging women on their outfits is 98% female status competition -- leave the rest of us out of it.

I am not going to disagree with you on this point. But we don't have to approve of it. It would be interesting to see what would happoen if women had a "uniform" to wear to work in the way men have the standard business suit. There's a lot less variation in men's clothing than women's clothing, which might result in men being judged less by appearance.

Even as a woman who dresses pretty indistinguishably from a four-year-old boy going to day camp, I can see that women would sooner cede control of their uteri than their closets.

An interesting thought experiment that is unlikely to come true, I admit. What would happen if the nerd girls of the world got to declare that high heels, dresses, and makeup were passe? What if heels and makeup went the way of corsets and bustles?

"What would happen if the nerd girls of the world got to declare that high heels, dresses, and makeup were passe? "

And what's stopping them?

The fact that wearing dresses and high heels may make the (mostly male) managers more likely to hire/promote you.

I do think that dresses and heels actually are becoming kind of out of date though. Younger generations especially in professional fields, don't wear them so much.

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"When are we going to stop judging people, especially women, based on how stylish their outfit is?"

When we switch to arranged marriages?

Until then every young person in a sexual species is out there trying as hard as they can at sexual selection.

I think it's kind of funny how male and female Gym Rats find each other. There are couples who are explicitly agreeing on a mode of selection.

(For older people in established and monogamous relationships, a certain sexual appeal still has a secondary use in establishing status, male and female.)

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By the way, dressing and cargo shorts and sandals is white male privilege.

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You are aware of the fact that Amy Chua has categorically denied saying that, regardless of interpretation? '“Everything that is being said about the advice I give to students applying to Brett Kavanaugh – or any judge – is outrageous, 100% false, and the exact opposite of everything I have stood for and said for the last 15 years,” Chua said in a letter that was sent to the Yale Law School community.' https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/23/amy-chua-denies-telling-female-students-to-be-model-like-for-brett-kavanaugh

Who are you going to believe, a vast left wing conspiracy (probably led by Hilary Clinton, who obviously needs to be locked up to make America great again) or a Yale Law School professor?

Unfortunately, as so often happens in these cases, there appears to be further information - 'Chua said in the statement that, contrary to allegations that she told students that it was “no accident” that Kavanaugh hired attractive clerks, she “always” told her students to prep “insanely hard” and that substance was “the most important thing”.

But another former law student who was advised by Chua and approached the Guardian after its original story was published on Thursday said his experience was consistent with the allegations presented in the article.

The male student, who asked not to be identified, said that when he approached Chua about his interest in clerking for Kavanaugh, the professor said it was “great”, but then added that Kavanaugh “tends to hire women who are generally attractive and then likes to send them to [supreme court Chief Justice John] Roberts”.'

Along with this - 'One former student whose account was published last week in the Guardian said that Chua had advised her to dress in an “outgoing” way. She was also advised by Chua to not wear a suit. The former student told the Guardian that she had reported the remarks to a Yale Law School administrator in June 2018 as part of a broader conversation about concerns about Chua and Rubenfeld’s conduct.'

And I would like to note that the Republicans have truly surprised me, calling in the chief of the special victims division of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to question Kavanaugh. Certainly better for Kavanaugh to be questioned by an experienced prosecutor that deals with sexual assault case than senators who have already made up their minds that no facts will sway their confirmation vote.

Though it would be really interesting if the questioning sequence would be Rose, Kavanaugh, Ramirez - and whoever else has credible claims of sexual assault involving Kavanaugh, of course.

Though one also hopes that the vast left wing conspiracy will not go to the extent of smearing an innocent man's reputation. Wait, Whelan is not a part of the vast left wing conspiracy, is he?

Chua appears to like trolling and gossip. Both are status raising.

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White Americans, age-adjusted, were about 1.75 more likely to be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan than non-white Americans. Nobody knows that because that's not the kind of Hatestat that gets printed these days.

Whites have been much more likely to go into combat arms for a long time now.

Also, the cognitive tests have been a pretty high barrier since the 1990s: during the recent recession, the Air Force and Navy were often demanding recruits score at the 50th percentile (i.e., a three digit IQ) to be allowed to enlist. The Army and Marines demand 30th percentile.

Why go with just age adjustment for white American combat fatalities?

Let's go with what sorts of soldiers are over-represented in combat fatalities (when they become public, admittedly) - those who could be considered part of United States Special Operations Command.

More (apparently informed) discussion concerning ratios here - https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-general-racial-diversity-of-the-various-U-S-special-operations-forces-I-e-Green-Berets-Special-Forces-SEAL-Force-Recon-Delta

Or this - 'Black officers and enlisted troops are scarce in some special operations units in highest demand, according to data provided by the Pentagon to USA TODAY. For instance, eight of 753 SEAL officers are black, or 1%.

------------------------------

The diversity of special operating forces is closely held information. U.S. Special Operations Command, which oversees all the services' commandos, declined to provide data on the racial makeup of its forces. USA TODAY had to obtain that data from each service individually, a process that took months. The Marines did not produce the actual numbers of their special operations forces, only percentages.

---------------------------------------------

For the SEALs, the problem extends beyond the officer corps into the enlisted ranks. Of its enlisted men, 45 SEALs are black, or about 2% of the 2,242 members of its elite force. There are more SEALs — 99, or 4% of the enlisted force — who are Native Americans or Alaska natives.

Among Army Green Berets, 85% of its 1,494 officers are white and 4.5% are black. Its 5,947 enlisted Green Berets are 86% white and 5.4% black.

For the Air Force's para-rescue jumpers, highly trained airmen who search for missing troops, only one of 166 is black, or .6% of that force.

Other commando fields, including the Army's civil affairs and psychological operations fields, the Navy's small boat crews and Air Force loadmasters, have greater percentages of minority participation but are still below their representation in the military as a whole.

The Marines refused to provide how many special operators they have. Instead, they provided a pie chart showing their racial breakdown. Black officers and enlisted Marines make up about 1% of their special operations forces.' https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/08/05/diversity-seals-green-berets/31122851/

The Marines, in particular, have an almost WWII feel considering who gets the most dangerous jobs and who doesn't.

'Whites have been much more likely to go into combat arms for a long time now.'

Sort of - 'In general, the military has a much more diverse force than key components such as special operations. African Americans made up 17% of the 1.3 million-member armed forces in 2013, according to a recent Pentagon report. Whites made up slightly more than 69%.' But then, back in WWII, whites were essentially the only Americans allowed into combat arms.

Here's an extremely informative picture of Tiger Woods and Navy Seals from when the golf great was seriously thinking about giving up the sport to enlist:

http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-secret-history-of-tiger-woods-and-the-navy-seals/

'extremely informative picture of Tiger Woods and Navy Seals'

No, that is a link to an article. A direct link to the picture is undoubtedly worth more than any number of your words.

Did you mean this image? - <a href="http://www.brothersonsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/woodssoldiers.jpg"<http://www.brothersonsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/woodssoldiers.jpg

Or this one? - http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2016/0420/r75852_2_1296x1029cc.jpg

So much for remembering the closing tag

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Special Forces are only over-represented in casualties when there's no active war-fighting going on. The reasons why should be obvious. I bet if you look at the data it only switches after 2014. This isn't Vietnam.

I don't know why anyone cares about the racial breakdown. Welcome to 2018 I guess.

To the Sailerites,

Combat arms are disproportionately whites AND Hispanics. So cramming this into an ideological pigeonhole probably doesn't work.

'Special Forces are only over-represented in casualties when there's no active war-fighting going on.'

Which pretty much describes Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade, one would think.

Maybe after 2015.

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For as long as blacks have served in the US military, white US officers have kept blacks out of combat, ordering the blacks to do manual labor. The number one exception is when the colored tropps were turned over to French military officers in WWI at a time of critical need. Even today, US black troops are probably more highly regarded by the French than by Americans for their actions a century ago.

Lots of blacks fought and died in Vietnam.

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#2 poor Penelope Trunk would learn twice as much and sound half as dumb if she also paid attention to how Democrats do things. But, she would lose out on self-righteously spreading half truths against the red tribe.

It too, is an illustration of how the world works. Be Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton, and all sins up to and including manslaughter and rape will be forgiven.

Actually that's the thing, the culture is changing. If Kennedy or Clinton were doing their thing today vs 30-50 years ago, things would be playing out for them pretty similar to Kavanaugh. If they were trying to get a lifetime appointment to the SC for example.

There is definitely an element of cultural change, but we have at this very moment a woman who is "credibly accusing" Keith Ellison with just as much evidence as Dr. Ford, and we're hearing crickets. True, Ellison isn't being considered for the Supreme court. This whole affair is so disgustingly partisan and opportunistic and will likely not have good long-term results for the dems and the #metoo movement.

If the Dems and #MeToo goes too far with it, the culture should and will evolve to temper that too. The pendulum probably will swing too far the other way for a bit, and then there will be a backlash to the backlash. The end equilibrium (until the next changes) will be a better one than before.

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'and the #metoo movement'

What is sad is just how many women need to add their own experiences (you know, that 'me too' actually means something) to try to ensure that there will be good long-term results concerning reducing the frequency of sexual harassment and assault.

That the men who have done such things suffer consequences is not a question of anything, except seeing how men who have committed such acts will no longer be able to confidently escape the consequences of their behavior.

Who cares about a man's various affiliations in such situations? If the (increasing number of) allegations are true, Kavanaugh is simply scum. No need to go beyond that when talking about him, after all.

Cosby and Weinstein are scum too, and what unites those two is their behavior, not their politics or religion or race.

Other scum: Bill Clinton? Al Franken?

Definitely scum. One was impeached - though not removed from office - and the other forced out of office. (Clinton is also scum for draft dodging while attempting to preserve his political viability.)

Both suffered penalties for their behavior, which is the point of having such behavior made public.

You are welcome to expand the list as you wish - once you start to think about it, it is amazing that we still favor the idea that the women making the accusations are all liars.

Ailes and Moonves are another fine pairing, for example. No need to care about who they worked for, what politics they supported, or really anything except both are scum in this regard.

Isn't there a sliding scale though? Isn't actual sexual assault (Cosby, Weinstein) scummier than lewd comments, grab assing, and tacky pickup attempts (Franken, Moonves)?

A sliding scale in scumminess? No, not really. Do you think there should be? That a U.S. Senator should be given some slack because all he did was - well, read yourself. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/07/al-franken-news-list-of-sexual-misconduct-allegations.html And this is what probably ensured Franken actually ended up resigning, even if all he did, according to him, was all in good clean fun (or whatever words scum use in such cases) - 'A photo also surfaced showing Franken looking at a camera while pretending to grab Tweeden's breasts as she was sleeping while clothed.'

Notice that at no point have I talked about legal punishment following conviction in a court of law. Legal punishment definitely includes a sliding scale based on the actions of those found guilty of committing various acts.

Judging Ailes or Franken scum is not a problem - part of that being the lying to protect themselves, often accompanied by viciously attaching their accuser for telling the truth. At least we have made enough progress that when 3 or 8 or 50 women accuse someone of actions that deserve consequences, we tend to reluctantly agree that maybe, that many women probably aren't all liars (well, maybe 3 is not enough, but still progress, right?)

Has anyone noticed how Millennials are loosing their enthusiasm for sexual relationships like Generation X'ers lost their interest in driving automobiles?

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I *think* that's a question you could utter at a dinner party - not sure about work - but it's definitely not something you'd want to air under your name on Twitter, or as I like to call it, Enough Rope. I know you're the Pangloss of the forum, but does that concern you at all?

Not really, I'm not on Twitter for that reason among many. But I do think reasonable people can debate if Weinstein is worse than Franken. I mean, he didn't even grab her he just took a juvenile picture. Weinstein is far worse.

As far as being Pangloss, yes I guess as I've matured I've realized that most things people freak out about, especially on anonymous internet forums, are kind of silly. The world in general is fine, and slowly getting more so. Easy for me to say of course, my personal situation is pretty solid. I count my blessings every day.

'But I do think reasonable people can debate if Weinstein is worse than Franken.'

Being scum is not a matter of gradation.

'I mean, he didn't even grab her he just took a juvenile picture.'

You didn't even bother to read the allegations, did you? It was the picture that proved she was unlikely to be lying, proving that this was not merely another one of those ever so regrettable he said/she said incidents that no one can ever be certain who is actually telling the truth - 'Leeann Tweeden, a radio news anchor, says Franken groped and forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in 2006, before the former comedian was a senator. She says Franken "aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth" when the pair rehearsed a skit that featured a kiss. A photo also surfaced showing Franken looking at a camera while pretending to grab Tweeden's breasts as she was sleeping while clothed. The senator apologized for the photo but said he remembered the skit incident differently.' You are welcome to ask for more precise information what 'groping' means, but since we are not in a court of law, my interest is precisely zero when judging Franken scum for his behavior.

In a court of law, clearly Franken would deserve little more than being found guilty of a relatively minor infraction compared to Weinstein. However, someone like Franken does not deserve to be in the Senate.

I agree re Franken the Senate, but disagree re gradation of scuminess. If my daughter was the victim, I'd beat Weinstein within an inch of his life. Franken would get much less damage.

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Senator Franken was basically innocent. He was sacrificed by the Democrats to enable the current Supreme Court nomination operation.

What is 'basically innocent'? Are you saying he didn't do stuff or that the stuff he did was no big deal?

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"If Kennedy or Clinton were doing their thing today vs 30-50 years ago, things would be playing out for them pretty similar to Kavanaugh."

LOL -- really? Kennedy was treated as a respected elder statesman until the day he died. And Clinton still is. But even more to the point, Keith Ellison remains DNC deputy and Bob Menendez a senator from New Jersey despite accusations MUCH more recent and detailed than what Kavanaugh is facing. Occasionally Democrats do sacrifice somebody if it's not costly (Al Franken was thrown under the bus to maintain credibility with respect to Roy Moore and only because a Democratic governor would be appointing his replacement).

Really? Doesn't seem like you treat either of them as respected elder statesmen. Kennedy died before #MeToo and Clinton is getting re-evaluated pretty harshly these days.

I don't doubt that partisanship clouds all of it, how could it not in these hyper-polarized times? But the culture is changing and behavior that used to be ok just isn't anymore no matter if you are Team Red or Blue.

"Really? Doesn't seem like you treat either of them as respected elder statesmen"

Me? No. But then the number of politicians I truly respect could be counted on a few fingers. And the higher the level, the worse it gets (IMHO, it's pretty much impossible to succeed at national politics without being an unprincipled sociopath whose 'core beliefs' continually 'evolve' as politically expedient).

"...and Clinton is getting re-evaluated pretty harshly these days"

Is he? So no more national stage for Bill?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y85Q7MQmcKs

BTW, I notice you gloss over Ellison and Menendez (which isn't surprising -- 'glossing over' seems to be pretty much how the press and Democratic party are handling those two cases also)

Actually I don't follow this political nonsense very closely so I don't know much about those two. Don't really know the details of Kavanaugh or Clinton's past either. Just wanted to make my point, which you have augmented for me.

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"(IMHO, it's pretty much impossible to succeed at national politics without being an unprincipled sociopath whose 'core beliefs' continually 'evolve' as politically expedient)."

Fault for this lies with the electorate. Yeah, we hate our political leaders, and we get to say whatever we want about 'em. This is as it should be. But man, I bet they hate us every bit as much. Imagine having 300 million capricious and contradictory bosses running you through your required paces of sociopathy every goddamn day under threat of being voted out. I bet it's exhausting. Barely makes the exercise of ungodly power worth it.

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1., 2. China leads the world in the number of female self-made billionaires with 64, representing 63% of the world total of 102 (at the end of 2017). The U.S. has a total of 17 female self-made billionaires (again, at the end of 2017). And this: "About 30 percent of the most successful male entrepreneurs are Chinese, while over 60 percent of the most successful female entrepreneurs come from China, indicating that Chinese female entrepreneurs are twice as successful as male entrepreneurs, noted Hu Run, also known as Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report." https://www.yicaiglobal.com/news/china-tops-hurun-2018-list-global-self-made-women-billionaires

Since gender is a social construct, we can confidently say Chinese female =/= Western female. Therefore, comparing number of self-made female billionaires in one social milieu with another is meaningless by itself. How many of those biologically female Chinese CEOs are cis-gender? How many are asexual? How many are non-binary?

So many variables left unexplored to get a simple % number comparing apples to oranges.

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Penelope Trunk didn't know that high school boys talk about girls? Better late than never, but it would sort of call into question everything that has been written for the past umpteen years by someone so ignorant.

You may be mistaking yearbooks from locker rooms. Our president aleeady explained how he behaves in such places.

I guess you didn't go to an all boys school. The whole place is a locker room.

I am also laboring under the disadvantage of have been raised by humans, not a pack of hyenas.

You think these are hyenas? I think they are normal teenagers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODOj2jBUKW0

"Ms. Dolphin was a subject of that braggadocio, according to Mr. Hagan and another classmate, who requested anonymity because he fears retribution. They said Judge Kavanaugh and his friends were seeking to memorialize their supposed conquests with the “Renate” yearbook references."

Maybe they should have composed a catchy song about summer love instead of slandering in print a fellow teenager.

Seriously. I mean, the idea of teenage boys having inside jokes...I can't even.

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Kavanaugh said he went to a dance with her and gave her a kiss afterwards. She said there was no kiss. Is this really the level of conversation that should be going on to confirm a judge?

Even better is one of Kavanaugh's classmates in today's WSJ, now a professor at Wisconsin, who claims that freshman year, in Lawrance Hall, Kavanaugh implied that he was not a virgin, contrary to what he now says. As it happens, I lived in Lawrance Hall myself, and I can affirm that Kavanaugh was not the only freshman in that hallowed precinct to have exaggerated his level of sexual experience. I am ready to testify, if Congress wants to give this matter the attention it deserves.

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"Is this really the level of conversation that should be going on to confirm a judge?"

No. we should limit the discussion to hand size.

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You realize that is from a movie, right? We enjoy art because it depicts a heightened and aestheticized version of our lives, which nevertheless captures essential aspects of our actual experience. Our real lives tend not to be quite as catchy, not quite as witty, and not to rhyme.

Speak for yourself. My life is quite catchy and witty. You're right about the rhyming part, though.

My life always rhymes. I guess it just goes with the times.
And don't contradict me, I mean it! Anybody got a peanut?

More, tell me more!

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"The whole place is a locker room." This is true.

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Was the sexual revolution just a giant entrapment scheme?

It is starting to appear that way dude. The real head-scratcher is which side of the gender divide it ended up trapping. You'd think that describing feminism in terms of "waves" (of which we are now on "wave" 4...I guess) would be a dead give away, but this is 21st century America and that kind of thinking is doubleplus-ungood.

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Twelve dimensional chess!!

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I've had a look at relatives' yearbooks from the fifties and sixties, and there was not even so much as a double entendre. The edgiest stuff seems to be hilarious little in-jokes about favorite teachers.

I had been trying and trying to think if there was any particular event or some sort of cultural shift that correlated with the change ...

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Yes

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I didn’t know what a Penelope Trunk was until I googled it. In her bio she uses the word intersectionality-once I see that word I know to run for the hills.

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1 contains the quote "Judge Thomas was justified in denying making the remarks, even if he had in fact made them."

Expedient lies above a difficult truth. It's not like he was being considered for the Supreme Court or something.

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1. The New York Times doesn't write like that anymore. Must've lowered their standards for writers.

Or raised their standards for people.

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Or kept out immigrants like Jamaican born Orlando Patterson. Who wrote opeds for NY Times "for a couple of weeks". But is still writing books and teaching at Harvard on issues around slavery and emancipation sociology.

Patterson was an important voice on race in the 90s, wrote some very thoughtful and balanced books on affirmative action and black masculinity, but since the mid-2000s (and especially over the past 5 or 6 years) he and scholars like him have been sidelined by critical race theorists of the Ta-Nehisi Coates variety who favor a more narrative-driven approach.

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I wonder if they'll feel the need to clean up their archive.

Thanks for the link, TC. Unbelievable. A late relic from the time when hoping and expecting things to improve, was actually the goal, before we knew how sick and twisted a goal it was, and how few sinecures it was going to provide.

Trump coulda written this line:

"Indeed, the only aspect of these hearings likely to have increased racism was the journalists' shrill and self-fulfilling insistence that the nation is exploding with racism. This is one of those cases where the messengers deserved to be shot."

No, no he couldn't. He could express similar sentiments, but he definitely couldn't have written that.

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1....Anita Hill "suffered no emotional damage."

Plus ca change.

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I didn't agree with all of #1, but I found it to be a thoughtful and heterodox piece. It would be unprintable in today's NYT, I suspect.

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2. Penelope Trunk on how the world works.

Convinced me to dump Kavanaugh

He's going to be devastated about losing your vote, I'm sure.

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#1 - This article struck me as a sophisticated apologetic masquerading as a serious treaty on professional gender dynamics. I know we have to judge history within context, but it wasn't even 30 years ago! Thomas clearly stepped over the line on several occasions and used his position of authority to intimidate a female worker.

Nonsense! There’s scores of women he managed to not harass. A balanced historical record would reflect that.

Also. Agreed. The thing read like a parody to me.

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2. I feel sympathetic to Trunk, but her piece does seem to fit David Bernstein's definition of a faulty argument:

"HERE’S A SOUND ARGUMENT: I was sexually assaulted over thirty years ago, and I never told anyone. Therefore, I can attest from personal experience that just because someone didn’t tell anyone for over thirty years about a sexual assault does not mean we should assume she is lying, exaggerating, or has a false memory.

Here’s an unsound argument: I was sexually assaulted over thirty years ago, and never told anyone. Therefore, anyone who alleges after thirty plus years that she was sexually assaulted is telling the truth. Therefore, I know that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Dr. Ford over thirty years ago."

Trunk observes that Kavanaugh hires clerks exclusively from Yale. And in other venues it has been observed that Kavanaugh actively discriminated against male clerk candidates by pulling publicity stunts like hiring an all female class of clerks. These are reasons enough to vote against him, but it is really Kavanaugh's relentless campaign to pander to women in order to promote himself that renders him unfit for office. Trunk does not bother to mention the impact of goody-goody two shoes schlubs like Kavanaugh will have on the job prospects for her sons whom she is homeschooling. One wonders how well that homeschooling is going to turn out.

In 1. the NYT observes that Clarence Thomas was able to have "an admirable set of intimate, non-erotic relationships with women." Well that is obviously impossible anymore and any man attempting it deserves what he gets. Vice President Pence's wisdom in not meeting with women privately was widely mocked, including here at Marginal Revolution, but like it or not, that is the true way of the world now.

It's always hilarious to me that suddenly women start to make men responsible for their overt sexual actions, and then those same men throw their hands up and are like "welp, I guess I just won't ever look at another women again, much less speak to one! It's the only way now!" This false lack of problem solving is just like when a toddler gets chided for not sharing a toy, and then defiantly declares, "I will never play with this toy again!".

You can have intimate, plutonic relationships with women, both inside and outside the workplace. This is what is known as a healthy relationship.

But it's increasingly dangerous for males to have those relationships in a professional context. Too many things can go wrong or be mis-interpreted, perhaps deliberately. And a small proportion of professional women are malefic; but your won't know until they report you.

As a result, we're heading back to chaperones.

I doubt it goes that far but maybe we are heading back to a more formal and conservative dating culture, especially in the workplace. Conservatives should be pleased.

In the workplace, it may well be appropriate. But this same mentality is even worse in the University system.

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Personal, non-sexual relationships with women in the workplace are very risky. Why would you take that chance? There are plenty of women outside the workplace that you can speak to freely, without jeopardizing your livelihood.

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For some time now it's been very risky for a man to be alone with a female in a professional environment. It's foolish for that man to expose himself to potential accusations for which it's impossible to defend oneself.

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What could possibly be "provocative" about presidentially directed deregulation? The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is a statutory part of the Office of Management and Budget within the Executive Office of the President. The OIRA Administrator is appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate. Every president has a regulatory agenda. The agencies report to the president. Nevertheless, in a small office like OIRA one wonders if the correlations the researchers found might actually be less about agency behavior and more about the OIRA analyst reviewing the agency submission.

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Thanks for #1 and #2

Both made me think, I disagree in part with both. They're especially interesting in context with each other. #2 made me squirm a bit.

I've been exposed to the sort of "rich elite" male-dominated milieu criticized in #2. My experience with it, attending both an all male military school, and an exclusive all male college, leads me to regard the Kavanaugh yearbook a little more harmlessly.

Anyways, thanks for posting those.

It's simply a change in culture. It used to be ok or at least tolerated to write that kind of stuff. Today it no longer is ok. It used to be ok to call people Chinaman, negro, Oriental, missy.

Is it fair to judge long ago Kavanaugh by the current standard? It's a little unfair, yes. But that's what happens when things change, there are winners and losers. So now Trump appoints a conservative woman to the SC and Roe v Wade still gets overturned. Life goes on. Kavanaugh becomes a cautionary tale and men behave better going forward (the smart ones anyway).

The current allegation is drugging and gang rape.

We’re long past “times were different back then.”

How that affects your Bayesian priors is the more interesting question.

Those allegations are the least credible in a short series of allegations that are, atomically, not very credible and border on unfalsifiable.

Like I said, the interesting thing will be how people take it.

It’s a borderline insane allegation, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

She’s on the record under penalty of perjury.

Then again, if Kavanaugh was part of a gang rape crew, there should be dozens of victims and plenty of perpetrators.

Usually the more victims, the more likely the allegations are true (Weinstein, Cosby, Clinton, Franken) and predators usually have a series of victims.

However, the stories are wildly different.

Ford named people at the party, none has corroborated the story. Every witness has either said the party didn’t happen or they didn’t recall. The two men named both denied it happened.

The Yale lady isn’t sure it was Kavanaugh, and there’s a question as to whether it was a plastic member. She is relying on other’s second hand information to accuse him. Not another eye witness, another “student who heard it was Kavanaugh.” She says she drifted apart from her Yale friends after discovering her Latina roots and becoming an activist.

The third is a straight up gang rape crew accusation.

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"Kavanaugh becomes a cautionary tale and men behave better going forward (the smart ones anyway)."

That's only relevant if the allegations are true. If they are false, then it doesn't matter how the smart ones behave. Because you can't protect yourself from allegations that are 30 years old and lack enough details to refute. It's another form of McCarthyism.

That's always been the case. If #MeToo goes too far with it (egregious McCarthyist falsehoods) the cultural pendulum will swing back again. Eventually men will learn the new standard. Many of us already knew how to not be a douchebag, and have never been falsely accused of anything.

Go ask Mike Pence whether there's anything one can do to decrease the risk of accusations of sexual misconduct.

Logically I know this cannot be the case, but there’s a part of me that’s suspicious that the ranting about Pence’s dinner/alcohol rule and the comments about its illegality and discrimination etc is just the rage that it would be impossible to throw accusations at him.

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Exactly, that's one way to handle it. I suspect male/female relations will become more formal and conservative. Not so sure that's the worst thing. Conservatives have been wishing for a return to pre-sexual revolution mores, maybe that's what we'll get.

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'and lack enough details to refute'

Actually, there do seem to be enough details and witnesses for those accustomed to investigating backgrounds of government officials to actually perform some service in avoiding baseless McCarthyism.

Which is why it is so unfair to Kavanaugh that the Democrats are preventing a thorough investigation to assure us of the reasonableness of his protested innocence. Oh, wait - it isn't the Democrats blocking Kavanaugh from having his name cleared, is it?

"Oh, wait - it isn't the Democrats blocking Kavanaugh from having his name cleared, is it?"

Don't be more of an idiot than you usually are. Many Democrats are calling for Kavanaugh to withdraw immediately.

Chuckles Schumer called directly for him to step down today.

Hoping for a Senate majority, no doubt.

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5. Sadly, those charged with informing the public from the confines of the Livermore Labs don't tell us quite everything.

While alluding to "thermal output" of some 500,000 degrees (F.? C.?) and referencing the "Wilson Clouds" that accompanied nuclear detonations over Pacific atolls and Pacific waters: no one has told us the volume of water that was vaporized--NOT "merely displaced", NOT
"just moved elsewhere"--but vaporized at over 500,000 degrees (F or C). How much water was thus REMOVED PERMANENTLY from our planet's system?

I'd conservatively guess that hundreds or thousands of cubic miles of water alone were incinerated in the 200 atmospheric tests the US conducted, to say nothing of how many other atmospheric tests destroyed how much other water and water vapor (the Soviets' "Tsar Bomb" detonation alone, e. g.).

(Physicists, correct me if I'm wrong: but the water was DESTROYED, true? Not merely were the hydrogen atoms and the oxygen atoms detached from each other but the molecules were burned away entirely, utterly consumed . . . gone, forever.

How much volume of water and water vapor was DESTROYED in all atmospheric nuclear testing, and how much has this contributed (how much could it have contributed) to the advent of Technogenic Climate Change? Did anyone in the US testing program attempt calculations or measurements of the quantity of water and water vapor being destroyed in each atmospheric test, esp. those conducted over Pacific Ocean waters? (Any brilliant plans to begin importing ice from the asteroid belt or from the Oort Cloud or the Kuyper Belt to replace depleted stocks of water on earth?)

The water involved is merely evaporated to gas. As it cools it forms clouds, and these eventually form rain. The same as water evaporated by sunlight. It is not lost from the earth. Neutrons from nukes do convert a bit of the water to heavy water, but this quantity is insignificant when compared to the amount of heavy water already in the ocean.

After watching the proffered videos with the proffered commentary, I would not claim to know.

When I see Wilson Clouds evaporating due to the thermal output of the nuclear detonation depicted, I cannot help but wonder how much of the water is being incinerated (not simply "evaporated").

Water evaporated by sunlight, I agree, is being evaporated: it is NOT being incinerated at temperatures clocked at 500,000 degrees (F or C might be immaterial for this consideration). I assume that such temperatures consume everything they encounter, whether metal towers, masonry, water, or water vapor. (I do not know that temperatures of 500,000 degrees contribute to simple "evaporation" of water and water vapor, that is. [Amazing what a poor job even science popularizers and apologists have done.)

If you made a big enough explosion, you'd send some vapor[1] away from Earth at escape velocity. That's not destroyed, but it's thrown away. If we have explosions big or frequent enough that this effect matters at all, the loss of material is the least of our worries.

[1] Most things will be vapor if they're being accelerated to escape velocity by a humongous nuke.

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As far as I know it is impossible for matter to be "burned away entirely, utterly consumed... gone, forever". Maybe theoretically a proton could be split into quarks and gluons? No idea what kind of a reaction that would be, but pretty sure it was not the result of any atomic bomb.

While I have heard of the first law of thermodynamics, my native math aptitude (never well trained by exposure to math instruction in public secondary schools) is not sufficient for me to appreciate it in the technical terms that might be prudent.

Additionally, I can for the same reasons make only so much of chapter 7 of Paul Feyerabend's Farewell to Reason ("Mach's Theory of Research and its Relation to Einstein"), but my native language skills (and my trust in Feyerabend's English language skills) lead me to wonder so much about the history of science that I suspect that intrinsic philosophical and scientific dogmatisms are far more constituent to the body of the entire scientific enterprise than anyone (besides Feyerabend) has heretofore attempted to explain.

(Even if water and water vapor were not "destroyed" by atmospheric nuclear testing for all practical purposes, I wonder what distinct roles all that "merely displaced and merely vaporized" water and water vapor play in the contemporary "water cycle": is all that vaporized water being reconstituted today for further use by biological organisms? What were the "atomic effects" of atmospheric nuclear testing upon water and water vapor globally?)

The practice of science by applied scientists and technologists itself has not given us sure grounds for believing everything that scientists and science apologists tell us, given how widespread the incorporation of theoretical dogmatisms into the structure of "scientific belief" are, might be, or definitely seem to be.

The water evaporated by those tests has rejoined the hydrologic cycle and is fully incorporated into living organisms. It is indistinguishable from other water. Even the tiny amount of new heavy water is indistinguishable from the vastly larger quantity of naturally-occurring heavy water. These facts are not just supported by philosophical and scientific dogma, but by a basic economic argument: For my water-indistinguishability claim to be false would imply new phenomena in physics and chemistry that would dramatically change those fields. Scientists thirst for new phenomena both by temperament and for career advancement. Many have huge egos that would be gratified by such a discovery. They would no more ignore such phenomena than leave hundred dollar bills on the sidewalk. (The big problem in science is not adherence to dogma, but claims of discovery of new phenomena that cannot be replicated. In other words, counterfeiting.) Of course, it is possible that instrumentation is simply incapable of sensing such phenomena, but understand that the instrumentation is really, really sensitive.

As for quantity, the quantity of water moved by evaporation from all the atmospheric nuclear tests combined isn't all that large, because the energy of nuclear tests is not that large. An example to illustrate scale: The combined energy release of all atmospheric nuclear testing is about as much energy as an average hurricane expends in an hour. There are many common geologic and meteorologic events with energies far larger than nuclear explosions, and we don't observe these causing massive disruption on the earth.

Individual human beings seem to constitute a class of "phenomena that cannot be replicated" (I won't quibble here about cloning). Scientists deem this no problem, perhaps, at least to whatever extent they can avoid having to accommodate themselves and their respective sciences to most human beings' limited aptitudes for scientific discipline and expertise.

Feyerabend's work warned everyone that the credibility of scientific expertise--democratic-styled "trust" in the Science and Technology Establishment(s), we could say, especially since PF himself raised the issue that "separation of Science from state" was at least as legitimate as "separation of Church from state" in the American context--cannot be treated as another comfortable self-evidence: so when Feyerabend gives us other clues about intellectual and epistemological shortcuts that scientists take however rarely or commonly, legitimate suspicions are bred about the practice of sciences whose work impacts all even though democratic participation in launching scientific ventures is not at all common.

Scale of phenomena is relevant and significant, as you properly note. --which is I why I continue to wonder (writer of science satires here) how it is that calculations were not performed along and along through the 20th century with accumulated refinements in measurement and data collection and data analysis--until comparatively late, if the data only began to emerge in popular accounts only c. mid-century--about the accumulation of industrial waste, automotive exhaust pollution, et cetera. What was it about the practice of science (its eternal deference to its financiers?) that prevented such analyses and considerations from being broached decades earlier when the apparatuses for undertaking such measurements and analyses existed? We would benefit from cadres and cohorts of competent historians of science today, sigh alas and alack.

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God, you think the water was actually destroyed by those detonations (what, split into sub-atomic particles?) And that the volumes would be significant relative to the ocean?

How badly can you fail physics and still, you know, breathe?

Never took a single course in physics.

Neither secondary science nor secondary mathematics instruction is uniformly sound across the US, I assure you. (Some reasons could be adduced to account for these pedagogical deficiencies.)

There's no reason you couldn't take a class in physics at the local community college or just watch one of MIT's online series for free.

Though not dedicated or devoted overall, I am a fan of at least two of the University of Hawai'i's Institute for Astronomy's video productions, the one dealing with the Dipole Repeller and the other featuring their cosmographic model of the Cosmic V(elocity)-Web. (Apart from that, I'm a bit deep into Japanese and classical Chinese verse just now, with other projects to tend to: two or three novellas, other readings in Joyce and Marlowe, Machiavelli and Vico, dabbling in classical Greek and Latin--the regular curse of being an auto-didact.)

Nice (unverifiable) humblebrag, bro.

The videos on the Dipole Repeller and the Cosmic V-Web are verifiably worth viewing.

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Edward, is this a "Two Cultures" thing?

Seriously, you're obviously above average intelligence. Get yourself some maths and physics. Large parts of the world and aren't intelligible or open to serious comment without it.

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Well, sorry, for being a bit rough, Edward, but seriously, those were howlers, mate....

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A. It is imperative that the gender gap be closed by hiring more women to professional positions. B. Any man who systematically hires more women than men is a sexual predator.

I've had a couple bosses through the years who quite obviously surrounded themselves with attractive women employees. These women were as qualified or not as on average in a workplace I suppose. But there was no doubt about what he was doing.

As a consultant many years ago, I worked with a company that had hired a large number of very attractive women as software testers. The company eventually imploded, having basically been a vehicle for some guy to get money from his rich relative to pretend to be a tech entrepreneur.

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I wonder if there is literature about the history of neo-Puritanism.

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1.

"Now to most American feminists, and to politicians manipulating the nation's lingering Puritan ideals, an obscenity is always an obscenity, an absolute offense against God and the moral order; to everyone else, including all professional social linguists and qualitative sociologists, an obscene expression, whether in Chaucerian Britain or the American South, has to be understood in context. I am convinced that Professor Hill perfectly understood the psycho-cultural context in which Judge Thomas allegedly regaled her with his Rabelaisian humor (possibly as a way of affirming their common origins), which is precisely why she never filed a complaint against him."

This guy has a serious case of poetry-mouth: the unescapable urge to try and use overly flowery language and complicated vocabulary whenever possible, especially when doing so can help obscure your meaning.

Also, this paragraph:

"African Americans must now realize that these hearings were perhaps the single most important cultural development for them since the great struggles of the civil rights years. Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill suffered inhuman, and undeserved pain, tragic pain, in their public ordeal, and they will never be quite the same again. Nor will we all, for what all African Americans won from their pain, "perfected by this deed," this ritual of inclusion, is the public cultural affirmation of what had already been politically achieved: unambiguous inclusion; unquestioned belonging. The culture of slavery is dead."

Jesus, man.

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"Indeed, comrade: some kulaks are dying. It is regrettable, no one says otherwise! Yet life is getting better all the time, and in this, the best of all possible worlds, the culture will surely correct for any unfortunate excesses we may be, through no fault of our own, witnessing and suffering through now."

And of course it did correct...

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Penelope Trunk's piece is just one more long howl of resentment at the past. It's useless except as an indication that I don't want to spend any time with that bitter harridan. You guys spend way , way to much time on college campuses. It's warped your cultural perceptions terribly.

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2. I have never heard a woman take full responsibility for anything that happens to them. It must be a horrible way to live. No wonder they're miserable creatures.

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