February 9, 2016

It's some kind of revolution in New Hampshire...

... as far as I can tell, watching the pre-returns CNN. It's a lefty thing, I think. They're very jazzed up about Bernie Sanders. But what about Donald Trump? Isn't that a revolution too?

"It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director."

"It was pretty glowing about us... It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now."

Don't you want to lean on the Bernie Sanders guy with the silky-soft, mouse-brown raincoat?

ADDED: Meade was consuming this through headphones and I heard him say "Oh, my gosh." What was that? Oh, he was just repeating what some young woman in the video was saying as the guy in the raincoat embraced her. Then Meade said "I think Gloria Steinem was right" and starts singing "Where the Boys Are."

"Why Young Democrats Love Bernie Sanders... They have a lot in common with Ron Paul supporters."

According to Nate Silver. "Young voters have a more favorable view of socialism," but...
That doesn’t mean America is undergoing a leftist or revolutionary awakening, however. The biennial General Social Survey has a long-standing question about wealth redistribution, asking Americans whether the “government in Washington ought to reduce the income differences between the rich and the poor … perhaps by raising the taxes of wealthy families or by giving income assistance to the poor.” ...

... What’s distinctive about both the Sanders and Ron Paul coalitions is that they consist mostly of people who do not feel fully at home in the two-party system but are not part of historically underprivileged groups.

The future of nostalgia.

Get ready. Here it comes...

"Sometimes when I am on a stage like this, I wish that we weren't married, then I could say what I really think."

"I don't mean that in a negative way. I am happy."

Said Bill Clinton, introducing his wife.

I puzzled over that for approximately 3 seconds. The phrase "I wish that we weren't married" is certainly striking, coming from a husband, but obviously he means for us to imagine the much harsher words he'd be free to use if he were an independent speaker. As a husband, what he says automatically attaches to her, and he needs to be careful. He knows he needs to rein himself in and not say something like what got him in trouble back in 2008: "Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen."

ADDED: He wants to be a Hillarybro.

"The hard, jagged object... dark blue and small enough to be held in a closed hand" fell from the sky and killed a man...

... in India:
The object slammed into the ground at an engineering college over the weekend, shattering a water cooler and sending splinters and shards flying....
It needs to be tested to determine if it's a meteorite or some man-made junk. 

Where did it come from — this myth of "Bernie bros"?

I'm seeing articles like "Bill Clinton Accuses Bernie Bros of Sexism." But what are "Bernie Bros"?
Fully committing to the patently false idea that Sanders’ supporters are uniquely nasty, TIME reported on Clinton’s recent New Hampshire speech thusly:
Clinton also called attention to a collection of male Sanders supporters dubbed ‘Bernie bros’ who launch vitriolic attacks on Clinton supporters online in solidarity with the Senator’s cause. Though the Sanders campaign has distanced itself from the “bros,” Clinton suggested that Sanders supporters made it difficult for women to speak freely about his wife’s campaign online.

Bloggers “who have gone online to defend Hillary, to explain why they supported her, have been subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often, not to mention sexist, to repeat,” Clinton said Sunday.
Dubbed? Who dubbed? Are there guys who've adopted that term for themselves or is this the way Clinton supporters have decided to collectively insult male Sanders supporters? It's weird to be reading this so soon after Gloria Steinem — in her ham-handed effort to help Hillary — said that young women who are for Bernie are going where the boys are.

My ancient ear isn't well-tuned to the nuance of "bro," but to me it feels like a sexist insult, perhaps a mild one, like calling young women, "chicks." But I sense that "bro" refers to a particular type of man, and yet, I'm not picturing the type of man who'd be hanging out in a left-wing political campaign (which is another reason why Steinem's remark didn't work very well).

I'm seeing at ThinkProgress: "Bernie Sanders Tells Berniebros To Knock It Off — ‘We Don’t Want That Crap.'" Does that mean Sanders acknowledges the existence of a cadre called "Berniebros" (or Bernie Bros)?

"[E]qually fit men and women demonstrate their fitness differently."

"Whether physical fitness standards discriminate based on sex, therefore, depends on whether they require men and women to demonstrate different levels of fitness.... [T]he numbers of push-ups men and women must complete are not the same, but... the fundamental issue [is] whether those normalized requirements treat men in a different manner than women.... [A]n employer does not contravene Title VII when it utilizes physical fitness standards that distinguish between the sexes on the basis of their physiological differences but impose an equal burden of compliance on both men and women, requiring the same level of physical fitness of each."

Said the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Bauer v. Lynch, decided January 11, 2016, dealing a loss to a man the FBI rejected because he couldn't do the required 30 pushups. He could do 29. If he'd been a woman, 14 would have been enough. But if he'd been a woman, he wouldn't have been able to do 29 pushups, now, would he? What's harder, for a man to do 30 pushups or a woman to do 14? The FBI is trying to set a standard that makes the 2 tasks equally hard. That's equality enough for Title VII purposes.

Isn't it odd that he could do 29 but not 30, when 30 was the requirement? How does that happen? Such perfect facts for the argument he ended up making. A losing argument, it turned out.

What do you think of these "gender-normed" standards?

"She just said a terrible thing. You know what she said? Shout it out because I don’t want to — OK, you’re not allowed to say..."

"... and I never expect to hear that from you again. She said — I never expect to hear that from you again! — she said he’s a pussy. That’s terrible. Terrible."

For the annals of saying something without saying it. But he said it! No, he didn't. It's the old use-mention distinction.
The use–mention distinction is a foundational concept of analytic philosophy, according to which it is necessary to make a distinction between using a word (or phrase) and mentioning it, and many philosophical works have been "vitiated by a failure to distinguish use and mention."
Trump even chided the woman... and yet, the chiding was comical. The man who normally denounces political correctness — who says we haven't got time for political correctness —  is scolding a lady for saying Ted Cruz is a "pussy."

So, he got the word out, got his distance from it, displayed some comic chops, and reminded us that political correctness isn't something to be completely thrown out. You transgress it strategically, and you call it back strategically. Keep them guessing. He wants to be unpredictable.

ADDED: Clint Eastwood calls a kid a "pussy" to "man him up a little bit":

What's going to happen after Trump wins big in New Hampshire?

Consider the scenario, described in The National Review — which hates Trump — by David French — who uses the subjunctive because he thinks Trump might not win big:
[T]he race would move on to South Carolina with Ted Cruz wounded slightly by the New Hampshire results, Rubio wounded badly, and the trio of governors energized just enough to stay in and keep attacking Rubio in the quest to gain exclusive ownership of the so-called “establishment lane.” Under this scenario, the loyal Trump plurality gives him disproportionate power not just in South Carolina but in the massive “SEC primary” that follows one week later. The longer the muddle lasts, the more powerful his plurality becomes. He can keep coasting as his rivals tear each other apart in their quest to create a true three-man race. Who will be the first to drop out when their polls are no better or worse than those of multiple competitors?  The primary calendar is front-loaded with states friendly to Trump and Cruz, and unless there is sufficient clarity following New Hampshire and South Carolina, the GOP establishment may just claw itself into irrelevance.
Too many governors! You can't have 3, doing the same thing. If only one of them were stronger than the others. If only the strengths of each could be merged into one Super Governor. But the GOP establishment is stuck with 3 governors, all incapable of running to the front in the governor lane. So they take shots at Rubio, and their argument is, basically, he's not a governor. He's not responsible for any consequences in the real world, because that's what it means to be a Senator. How funny for Trump to be loping along easily in the I'm-not-even-a-politician lane! How grim for the Trump-haters! And just when the Democratic Party is collapsing in an even more ludicrous scenario.

How are you feeling about this? (Multiple answers OK.)
pollcode.com free polls

"Men should protect women. They should not shelter behind mothers and daughters."

"Indeed, we see this reality every time there is a mass shooting. Boyfriends throw themselves over girlfriends, and even strangers and acquaintances often give themselves up to save the woman closest to them. Who can forget the story of 45-year-old Shannon Johnson wrapping his arms around 27-year-old Denise Peraza and declaring 'I got you' before falling to the San Bernardino shooters’ bullets?"

From "Only a Barbaric Nation Drafts Its Mothers and Daughters into Combat," an editorial in The National Review.

This is a traditionalist view of the female role, but it is deeply connected to physical and emotional differences that hold true for many (though not all) males and females. It's one thing to open the military to woman who, knowing themselves, choose to volunteer. But the many women who feel drawn to the caring, nurturing role should be allowed to hold their place back home, preserving the reality of home — a place with children and old people — and the idea of home — which must live in the minds of those who go far away to fight.

Goodbye to Rocky Rococo.

"The man who played Rocky Rococo, the beloved character behind the namesake Madison, WI-based pie chain with a cult following, died Thursday."

RIP, James Martin Pedersen.

The link goes to my son John's Facebook page, where he says: "When I was a kid, I always loved to go there with my dad, Richard L Cohen."

Which I think says something about what I thought of that pizza. I moved to Madison in from New York in 1984. Rocky Rococo pizza was let's just say incomprehensible compared to New York pizza. As for Rocky Rococo, he always made me think of Leon Redbone....

I love Leon Redbone....
With his wide-brim hats and big sunglasses, Redbone was a man of mystery from the start. He rose to fame in the mid-Seventies after Bob Dylan spotted him at a folk festival and told Rolling Stone how curious Redbone was. "Leon interests me," Dylan said in 1974. "I've heard he's anywhere from 25 to 60, I've been [a foot and a half from him] and I can't tell, but you gotta see him. He does old Jimmie Rodgers, then turns around and does a Robert Johnson."
Leon was at the extreme bottom end of Dylan's 1974 estimation. Today, he's 66.

The man who played Rocky Rococo was 68.
“On Valentine’s Day, he’d go to all (11) of our stores in La Crosse and Madison and entertain everybody at each place by handing out breadsticks and singing out a kind of rap poem that he’d change all the time,” [co-owner Roger] Brown said. “He’d get great applause at every place he visited. People would count on him coming every year.”
And: "He was a comedian with Chicago’s Second City and worked with John Belushi and Bill Murray for two years on stage before he moved to Madison."

February 8, 2016

Now, you can tour the London bedroom where Jimi Hendrix lived in 1969.

"The house, in Mayfair, has now been painstakingly restored to look exactly as it did in 1969, using picture[s] of him inside and recollections of former girlfriend Kathy Etchingham."

Among the details: a bedside tablescape of "Voodoo Child" lyrics, a shell, and Benson and Hedges cigarettes, a fruitbowl on the floor, a silky bed jacket, the board game Monopoly, and the album "Fifth Dimension" by The Byrds (which The Daily Mail inanely calls a record "from Fifth Dimension").

ADDED: Too bad we never got to see a Super Bowl halftime show with The Byrds and The 5th Dimension playing together, in the manner of last night's Coldplay + Beyonce.

Well, we know the answer to this question.

Oh... I was going to link to something that, on closer look, just isn't good enough for you. Seriously, you'd have more fun speculating about what the question was.

"The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy."

A pretty good effort from New York Magazine. It's a little obvious that they went through chronologically and zeroed in on important comedians, then selected a best or representative joke — shouldn't Steve Martin be "Let's get small" rather than "Excuuuse Me"? etc. etc. — but I enjoyed this.

"Mexican people, we are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall! And it's going to be completely useless."

"The first loser of such a policy would be the United States... If this guy pretends that closing the borders to anywhere either for trade (or) for people is going to provide prosperity to the United States, he is completely crazy."

Said Felipe Calderon, the President of Mexico, referencing Donald Trump, whom he called a "not very well-informed man."

"The worst thing about Rubio's repeated line isn't that he repeated it, but that he thinks 'dispel' is an intransitive verb..."

"... so he says 'Let's dispel with this fiction...' (intransitive, incorrect) instead of 'Let's dispel this fiction...' (transitive, correct) — or using a different verb, e.g. 'Let's dispense with this fiction...' (intransitive, correct)."

Writes my son, John Althouse Cohen, over on Facebook.

That's exactly what I was thinking. I could accept the repeating of a stock talking point. They all do that. Rubio did it rather ludicrously, conspicuously, with Chris Christie deftly, cheekily pointing it out. But I would get over that.

But it's the use of "dispel with" — more than once — that bothered me. It makes him seem too dumb to be President. It could just be a weird quirk, like the way I didn't notice how to spell "weird" correctly until I was 30. I'm holding the question open: Is Rubio a little dumb?

The idea that the government would forcibly put young women in a foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them doesn’t make any sense at all to Ted Cruz.

"I have to admit, as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was, ‘Are you guys nuts?’... Listen, we have had enough with political correctness, especially in the military. Political correctness is dangerous. And the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong, it is immoral, and if I am president, we ain’t doing it.... But the idea that their government would forcibly put them in a foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them doesn’t make any sense at all."

Said Ted Cruz.

The "conversation" he was listening to was a segment of Saturday night's GOP debate, which I detailed in a post yesterday. I've been surprised how far public opinion has shifted toward the acceptance of drafting women. The poll I took yesterday shows that:

It was nice to see somebody — Ted Cruz — holding down the traditional position. It's one thing, I think, to allow women to volunteer for the military. (My mother volunteered for the Women's Army Corps in World War II, and I owe my existence to that.) But the idea of forcing women into combat is something I have long believed the American people would not accept. (And this is an idea I've been talking about annually in conlaw classes for many years.)

About that police officer who has the temerity to sue the estate of the person he killed.

I've got a problem with this NYT headline: "Chicago Officer, Citing Emotional Trauma, Sues Estate of Teenager He Fatally Shot." And this first paragraph, boldface added:
The Chicago police officer who fatally shot a black 19-year-old and an unarmed bystander in December has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $10 million in damages from the teenager’s estate, an unusual legal approach based on a claim that the young man’s actions leading up to the gunfire were “atrocious” and have caused the officer “extreme emotional trauma.”
Sounds unfathomably cruel, doesn't it?

There are 4 more paragraphs, including a statement from the estate's lawyer — "It’s a new low for the Chicago Police Department.... First you shoot them, then you sue them. It’s outrageous. I can’t believe that this police officer has the temerity to turn around and sue the estate of the person who he killed." —  before you get to the real structure of the lawsuit. Paragraph #6:
Officer Rialmo’s lawsuit, filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court, was a counterclaim to a wrongful death case brought weeks ago by Mr. LeGrier’s estate....
It's a counterclaim! Rialmo didn't file the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed against him. When someone sues you, you're required to answer, and you are intensely motivated to think through whether you have any counterclaims. In fact, if the defendant has claims against the plaintiff that arise from the same incident, he's forced to assert them now or lose them.

I understand why the estate's lawyer wants to portray this as outrageous, but it's not as if the police officer reached out and dragged this family from its private condition of mourning into the brutality of litigation. The officer — who has his own tragedy (especially having unwittingly killed an innocent bystander) — is (and, in his telling, was) responding defensively.