The recent discussions on The Dish on Gamergate, Dr. Matt Taylor’s shirt, and the the vaguely generalized anxiety over the decline of male culture, has been exhilarating, exasperating, and maddening! I can honestly say it’s the single issue where I feel a viscerally negative reaction to parts of your stated opinion. But, as a bright blue dot in the midst of the deep red state of Texas, I’ve long ago had to learn to look past a few points of disagreement for the sake of a friendship. And we are still friends, aren’t we? I hope so.
This debate, along with your long-standing interest in the beard as a quintessential symbol of masculinity and your commitment to highlighting contemporary portrait photography, has actually had a significant impact on my work as a visual artist. I’m a photographer who works using the technologically obsolete, hand-made process known as Wet Collodion, or Tintype, first invented in 1851. This is the process that was used by the British photographer Roger Fenton, whose work during the Crimean War was likely influential in the popularization of the long beard for British men in the mid-19th century, as you mention in this post.
Speaking at an international women’s justice summit on Monday, Turkey’s president violated a cardinal rule of public speaking, telling a room full of women’s rights activists that gender equality is unnatural:
Certain work, Erdogan said, goes against women’s “delicate nature,” and “their characters, habits, and physiques are different” from men’s. “Our religion [Islam] has defined a position for women: motherhood,” he said. He then went on to blast feminists, accusing them of not understanding their role in society. “Some people can understand this, while others can’t,” he said. “You cannot explain this to feminists because they don’t accept the concept of motherhood.”
Erdogan tried using the Quran to advance his point, saying, “Paradise lies at the feet of mothers,” which ended up just turning into an awkward reflection on the role of his mother in his own family. “I would kiss my mother’s feet because they smelled of paradise,” he said. “She would glance coyly and cry sometimes.”
Chuck Schumer is second-guessing Democrats’ decision to prioritize the ACA:
In his harshest assessment of the Obama presidency to date, Schumer argued that the White House and congressional Democrats erred by focusing on the Affordable Care Act throughout most of 2009 and early 2010 rather than following the passage of the economic stimulus with other targeted economic legislation that would directly help more people. He said voters had given the party a mandate in 2008 to stop the financial crisis and reverse the economic damage done to the middle class, and while he supported the substance of Obamacare, it was a political loser because it offered its most tangible benefit—access to coverage for the uninsured—to just 5 percent of the voting public.
The health care reform process didn’t begin in earnest until after the Recovery Act had already passed, at which point Congress’ willingness and ability to pass another big deficit-financed stimulus bill had been maxed out. Maybe Schumer has other ideas in mind—labor rights? Housing policy? A different entitlement?—but he’s never laid out what the achievable alternative was, and how the middle-class and Democratic Party would’ve been better off as a result.
Shackford reflects on the revelation that last year was an all-time low for killings of police and a 20-year high for killings by police:
It’s an important reminder when Cleveland police kill a 12-year-old boy carrying a toy gun. It’s an important reminder when we see stories that police have killed more people in Utah over the past five years than any other form of violence outside of domestic conflict. Police have killed more people in Utah since 2010 than gangs or drug dealers. Obviously, it’s a positive that fewer officers are being killed in the line of duty, just as it’s a positive that crime trends are heading down. We should be worried, though, if police internalize the idea that this increase in their own shootings is what is keeping them safe in the field and not the general drop in crime.
So it looks as if we’re going to have a showdown between the citizens of the District of Columbia who have just voted by an overwhelming margin to legalize possession of weed and a congressman from Maryland, Andy Harris:
Rep. Andy Harris said he “absolutely” intends to launch a push to dismantle the new law when Congress returns with an empowered GOP majority in the 114th Congress. The Maryland Republican, who led the GOP’s charge this year against a separate D.C. law decriminalizing the drug, said the newer legalization statute poses an even greater health risk for young people in the nation’s capital. “It’s obviously even worse for D.C.’s teenagers and young adults than the decriminalization,” Harris said Thursday.
Really? and what evidence does he have for that? What’s staggering to me is that he doesn’t feel the need even to advance the evidence. We can vote 65 – 27 percent and for some reason, we need to be “educated” by this person from another state entirely. If he tries this, he should explain why he opposes the principle of democratic self-government. It’s really that simple.
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On a personal “Who’s Honoring Me Now?” note, I was given the Editorial Intelligence Award in London today for my Sunday Times column on America. It was an impressive list of winners to be counted among. I’m sorry I was unable to make the ceremony.
See you in the morning.
(Photo: A Grey Seal pup lies in the grass at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s Donna Nook nature reserve on November 24, 2014 in Grimsby, England. Seal pup numbers have increased on last year with over 800 pups born at the reserve so far. The Donna Nook reserve is the UK’s premier destination to see Grey Seals and thousands of visitors from across the country come to see the wildlife spectacle every year. By Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.)
Russell Moore observes that “the Ferguson situation is one of several in just the past couple of years where white and black Americans have viewed a situation in starkly different terms”:
White Americans tend, in public polling, to view the presenting situations as though they exist in isolation, dealing only with the known facts of the case at hand, of whether there is evidence of murder. Black Americans, polls show, tend to view these crises through a wider lens, the question of whether African-American youth are too often profiled and killed in America. Whatever the particulars of this case, this divergence ought to show us that we have a ways to go toward racial reconciliation.
Jelani Cobb remarks that, in Ferguson, “the great difficulty has been discerning whether the authorities are driven by malevolence or incompetence”:
Chris Mooney flags a study suggesting “the climate issue may have become so politicized that our very perceptions of the weather itself are subtly slanted by political identities and cues”:
Comparing Gallup polling results from early March 2012 (just after the winter ended) with actual temperature data from the lower 48 U.S. states, the researchers analyzed people’s perceptions of the warmth of the winter they’d just lived through in light of the temperature anomalies that actually occurred. … It was no surprise that temperatures predicted people’s perceptions of temperatures (duh), but what was surprising is the other factors that also shaped their assessment of how warm it was. The researchers found that political party affiliation had an effect — “Democrats [were] more likely than Republicans to perceive local winter temperatures as warmer than usual,” the paper reports.
Cass Sunstein highlights a related research showing that cold weather makes people “less likely to be concerned about global warming. And when the day seems unusually hot, concern jumps”:
Missouri national guardsmen in riot gear line up in front of the police station on November 25, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Over 2,000 Missouri national guardsmen are being deployed a day after demonstrators caused extensive damage in Ferguson and surrounding areas following a St. Louis County grand jury decision to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
“As I was blearily trying to indicate last night, I am open to the argument that McCulloch was in fact not right. I said his critics have a point. And as I read up on the proceeding this morning, I think that point gets stronger. For those who believe Michael Brown was murdered, what they see is a prosecutor who bent over backwards for a police officer in a way he never would have for nearly any other criminal suspect in the dock. McCulloch let Wilson testify at great length … If McCulloch was determined to get an indictment, this process wouldn’t have taken nearly as long … For those who want me to be all on one side or another of this (Twitter has been an ugly place for the last twelve hours), all I can say is that I am honestly conflicted. Even in this obscenely polarizing chapter of American life, not everything is black and white,” – Jonah Goldberg, NRO.
[T]he majority of backlash against click bait headlines is a response to the forced push of emotion that click bait content foists onto a consumer. The promise that “you won’t believe what comes next” or “you’ll never feel the same” deprives readers of their analytic agency and imposes an uncontextualized reaction on them. It’s aggressive, empty and intellectually reductive — or, simply, super annoying. There’s nothing wrong with an enticing headline, but pique my interest, don’t belittle my intelligence.
And Baratunde Thurston comments on its cry-wolf quality: