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June 16, 2020

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I forgot I had Russell’s comment there. I was going to respond separately.

But no, in practice, most people obviously don’t do this. People seem to have a limited amount of emotional energy to spend on political outrage and they usually focus it. They spend most of their energy on one thing.

And in this case I think it is damn near impossible to bridge the gap between the liberal and the leftist attitude towards foreign policy. It isn’t completely impossible, but it is very hard. I had a friend say this in 2016, that he could condemn US atrocities and Russian intervention at the same time.

Yeah, and I could criticize some nasty comments made against person X and an act of cold blooded murder committed by person X at the same time. You can do both, but you should probably maintain some sense of proportion.

Russian intervention in 2016 consisted of stealing emails that embarrassed the Democratic Party ( for good reason) and putting up some absolutely ridiculous social media crap. It might have changed the results, particularly the email theft. US foreign policy involves sanctions that wreck economies and cause immense suffering. It involves supporting terrorism and war crimes that can reach genocidal levels. It can include war crimes committed by the US itself.

These are not comparable. If you get outraged by what Russia did in 2016, you should be many times more outraged by some of our foreign policy actions. It is a slap vs a murder. Now a slap could induce much more violence and that is one reason to condemn slaps. But if people spend vast amounts of time talking about the slap against our country and very little time talking about the murders committed by it, there is something wrong here.

Marty has cooties, too?

Cancel that room together Russell booked for us.

But if people spend vast amounts of time talking about the slap against our country and very little time talking about the murders committed by it, there is something wrong here.

While this may be true, we're talking about the Russian bounties because they're news - very new news, even. And it's all the more disturbing because of the strange nexus that appears to exist between the POTUS and Russia. As you said, the problems of US foreign policy are longstanding and the blame is widespread. I don't know how that means we can't discuss how feckless Trump's response to this very recent allegation has been. He might as well be sticking his fingers in his ears and yelling "LA! LA! LA! - I can't hear you!"

Do you approve of his response or not, regardless of what you think of what other people suggest should be done about it? Do we just say, "Oh, well. We're no better. Let's just let it slide."?

To return to the original topic of this thread (DiAngelo etc), I post a link to a piece on Woke Capitalism. I don't endorse it, but nonetheless I think it is an interesting read.

https://helenlewis.substack.com/p/the-bluestocking-woke-capitalism

Here is an example of what I dislike about liberals—

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/opinion/trump-russia-afghanistan.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage


First, it isn’t honest. She is cherry-picking. She wants to portray Trump as wholly in Putin’s pocket and if you say this often enough and ignore evidence that doesn’t fit, it becomes a “ fact”. But Trump has opposed the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany and he has given weapons to the Ukraine ( yes, he also wanted to use this as leverage against Biden— that’s our Trump) and on Syria, we are imposing draconian sanctions which will hurt ordinary Syrians, prevent recovery, and make Syria an albatross around Russia’s neck. That is part of that quagmire I mentioned earlier. The Russians don’t want the sanctions on Syria. Syria is their ally and they want them to recover.

An honest policy analyst would mention the policies of Trump that Putin opposes, but she doesn’t, because it complicates the narrative. But her liberal audience eats ths crap up like it was candy.

And also, just as an afterthought and all, what we have done and are doing in Syria is morally depraved. We supported people who fought side by side with Al Qaeda and if they had won it would likely have been genocide for religious minorities and Westerners talked about this exactly in the childish way the prowar crowd had done with Iraq, Saddam was evil and Assad is evil so we should overthrown them. This time without a large scale ground invasion. Russia jumped in when it looked like ISIS might win. So Assad has mostly won and the US is imposing yet more sanctions that will hurt ordinary Syrians. Are we talking about that in the US? Of course not.

As for Afghanistan, we had the extremely short- lived scandal of the Afghanistan Papers last December which lasted about a week. If people are upset about Trumps lack of respect for the lives of American soldiers, this would have had more of an impact. Am I doing whataboutism here? Yep. Whataboutism is sometimes the name given when one points to an inconsistency in how people express their moral outrage.

So yes, Trump should tell Putin to stop targeting US troops, but liberal moral outrage is carefully targeted. And on foreign policy some of the criticism comes from people who are pushing for more militaristic policies. Bolton is an extreme example, but Rice is in this category to some extent. Susan Rice is a hawk. She supported the Iraq War. Recently when the protests about police brutality were getting violent, she said something about how this was out of Russia’s playbook. Yeah, those furriners are stirring things up.

But her motives could be dubious and this particular piece could be good. It isn’t.

But no, in practice, most people obviously don’t do this.

I think you underestimate what most people are capable of, and do.

Russian intervention in 2016 consisted of stealing emails that embarrassed the Democratic Party ( for good reason) and putting up some absolutely ridiculous social media crap.

A couple of things, briefly.

First, what was being discussed was not Russian meddling in our election, but Russia paying to have Americans executed.

Second, to the degree that people are disturbed by Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, what they are disturbed by is not so much Russia's actions, but the fact that Trump's campaign welcomed it and co-operated with it.

Lastly, the meddling in 2016 and the paying for American scalps are not, by any measure, the complete picture of Russian actions that are not in our interest. And not just not in our interest, but not in the interest of stable world order generally.

I'm using the fairly neutral phrase "not in the interest of" deliberately here, to defer to what seems, to me, to be your interest in seeing all national actors as equally, or at least comparably, culpable in harmful or even criminal activities.

But to be honest, I don't think that all national actors are equally or even comparably culpable. Some countries are worse than others.

IMO it is fair to recognize Russia under Putin as falling on the 'worse' end of the spectrum. And it would be fair for us to address Russian actions on that basis. Not because we're perfect, but mostly because we're one of the few nations that can. And because it would be useful to most of the world for someone to do it.

I'm not talking about dropping bombs. I'm talking about drawing lines. About making it clear that boundaries of acceptable behavior exist.

Maybe we are too compromised by our own bad behavior, but since there aren't that many nations in a position to actually curb aggressive Russian behavior, maybe it would be good if we did it anyway.

Because we can, and it would be a good thing to do.

Those are my thoughts.

“ Do you approve of his response or not, regardless of what you think of what other people suggest should be done about it? Do we just say, "Oh, well. We're no better. Let's just let it slide."?

I don’t approve of Trump’s lack of a response, but I will probably dislike some of the proposed responses even less than inaction.

One thing I should have been clearer on. The far lefties I read criticize Trump and his policies all the time. There is a tremendous amount to criticize.

But they largely ignore Russiagate or dismiss it altogether and they don’t jump on Trump for not being tough enough against our enemies. They criticize Trump on immigration, war crimes, Covid, the environment YEC..

Chomsky just told Jacobin that Trump is the worst person in history. I saw the clickbait headline and thought old Noam was a little over the top, but it turned out he was talking about Trump’s attitude towards global warming. He has a point.

But we have liberal politicians pearl clutching about Afghanistan and being dismissive of the Green New Deal.

Liberals, in our opinion, are sometimes attacking Trump on his right flank. This is bad. And many only seem to care bout issues from a Republican vs Democrat perspective. This is also bad. You can support Democrats as the lesser evil or sometimes even good ( I like Jamaal Bowman and the Squad) without making everything about that.

I am going to take a vacation from blog ranting for awhile.

YEC—

I meant etc. ipad correction. Young earth creationism isn’t much in the news.

Oh, and as for foreign pockets in which Trump resides— clearly Israel and the Saudis. It’s no contest. And even there he doesn’t quite do everything they want or we would be in a war with Iran and Trump would fully endorse the annexation plan. His administration seems to be holding back slightly.

Maybe we are too compromised by our own bad behavior, but since there aren't that many nations in a position to actually curb aggressive Russian behavior, maybe it would be good if we did it anyway.

As I read Donald, he thinks both sides are bad. In an ideal world, both would stop.

But in the world we have, there appear to be basically two real possible courses:
1) the US pushes Russia to behave better. (Which might, or might not, get us to behave better as well. But would at least improve the overall situation a bit.)
2) the US does nothing. Because our bad behavior gives us no standing to talk. So nothing changes any time soon.

Donald, forgive me if I misread you, but you come across as firmly on the side of #2. I'm not asking you to give our bad behavior a pass. But if you really want things to improve, however unfortunately slowly and partially, perhaps you might occasionally sound like it.

“ I'm not talking about dropping bombs. I'm talking about drawing lines. About making it clear that boundaries of acceptable behavior exist.

Maybe we are too compromised by our own bad behavior, ”

Yes, we are in fact too compromised by our own bad behavior and under both parties, though Republicans are worse. If you want norms to be enforced in international conduct , America is a huge part of the problem. Americans should focus on that first. By all means have international organizations call out Putin for his crimes but they should be doing the same to us. And we should take it seriously. We are nowhere near that point.

There is a fundamental gulf between leftists and liberals on this point and that’s what I am getting at when talking about how people portion out their moral outrage. The stuff I rant about here is just taken for granted at anti- interventionist sites. If someone like Sanders ( and Sanders was if anything not anti- interventionist enough) got into the WH there would be leaks galore from people saying that he or she was undermining the national security interests of the US. And allowing high ranking US officials to be tried for war crimes would be off the scales impossible.

This is a description of a society which refuses to let anyone hold it accountable for its crimes.

I imagine Marty doesn’t want my cooties on him on some of this.

Here is an example of what I dislike about liberals

I have a couple of questions about this, and I want to make sure you understand that they are just questions, not attacks.

What is specifically liberal about the faults you find in the NYT piece you cite?

Do liberals need to be held to a higher standard - moral standard, standard of integrity in argument - than their counterparties?

If so, why?

Those are my questions. My own thoughts about it all, FWIW:

People have blinders. People aren't always candid. People distort things to further whatever point they want to make.

It's not a liberal thing, it's just a thing.

This is a description of a society which refuses to let anyone hold it accountable for its crimes.

i can't think of a single society, or country, or group of people, or even more than a handful of actual individual people in all of recorded history, who are pure enough in deed and in spirit to be able to measure up to that standard.

you're basically doing the “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” test.

which means no person, no group, no society, no country can do anything to punish transgressions. which is great for Russia.

I don't know what this does to the consistency/hypocrisy thicket vis a vis American involvement in Syria, but I've run out of hats to jump up and down on:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/why-christians-support-trump/613669/

When Donald comments, I rarely retort, because his heart and mind are in the right place and other than with his expectations that consistency will win out over human hypocrisy in the end, given historical precedent, what's to argue with, IMO.

But then I think back to LBJ, a crafty, inconsistent SOB Texan, who fulfilled long, long term domestic policy goals in social and civil rights policy the "Left" (whatever that is) had been working toward for much of the 20th Century, but who was deposed, pretty much, by the "Left" for his morally depraved foreign policies in Vietnam.

The mid-course correction turned out to be Richard Nixon.

And I then I think about the thoroughly consistent (in both domestic and foreign policy), right wing Barry Goldwater and the 1964 election and somehow LBJ's inconsistent legacy looks kind of binary by sheer, side-by-side, comparison.

Moreover, I think Goldwater in his later years looking critically askance at the then just developing nutcase crypto-Christian radicalism coming to the fore in his own party (what, did he think the unlikely coalition of the John Birch Society, Ayn Rand dipsh*ts, grifting Christian (again, let's get a new name for those ilk, if decent Christians want to preserve what's left of American Christianity's good name) dumbdamentalists, gun fetishists, and General Jack D. Ripper's tooth cavity-loving, paranoid psychopaths, all quintessential American bullshitters of the first water and who found their apotheosis, their leaky vessel, in you know who ... and his fall, if it occurs, doesn't mean they don't have more EVIL figures to turn to) were going to slink away into the background after his defeat and his ultimate RINOism got him canceled?

That all said, if President Joe Biden goes nuts overseas, as some fear, given his foreign policy chops, the Left (Black Lives Matter) and Pat Buchanan (the Devil in the guise of an anti-neo-conservative) will collude to destroy him.

"I am going to take a vacation from blog ranting for awhile."

Like Russia and OPEC reducing their oil production, I don't expect Donald's pullback from blog ranting is going to reduce the overall supply of rants by fracking bloggers, who will find ever new ways to drill in sideways, until we all go bankrupt, which might be a good thing.

;)


Yes, we are in fact too compromised by our own bad behavior and under both parties, though Republicans are worse.

A clear and fair answer, thank you.

I find myself closer to wj's #1, but I respect your position here without agreeing with it.

I completely agree that we, and the world, would be best served by a willingness on our part to being held accountable by our peer nations. Our failure to do so has, in fact, complicated and undermined our ability to take a clear position in the kinds of cases we're talking about in this thread.

We are, due to our history and our general strength, in a unique position to offer leadership in areas like this. We're squandering that.

I'm hoping some other parties might take up that role, but it's hard to think of who that might be.

Russell—

I am using “ liberal” as opposed to leftist. The differences are easy to spot. In the NYT and mainstream political discussions, the assumption is that the US is essentially the good guy, though we make mistakes.

In leftist circles US foreign policy is seen as imperialist. So articles and opinion pieces about foreign policy that you see in leftist sources start off with very different premises.

There are still the occasional good pieces ( from a leftist POV) that appear in the NYT and other liberal outlets. But they are the exception.

Leftists have their own blind spots, but not the same ones, since they often fracture and squabble about them. I don’t mean minor points either. But I am getting tired, so won’t go into that.

do the mothers of the dead have standing to ask questions about why Russia is paying $ to have Americans killed?

Yes, mothers of the dead always have standing to ask about the policies that got their children killed.

Every mother, here and abroad.

In the NYT and mainstream political discussions, the assumption is that the US is essentially the good guy, though we make mistakes.

Cool, I think I follow. What you don't like about liberals, as opposed to leftists, is more to do with substance - the particular set of blinders they operate under seem, on net, more harmful than those with other points of view.

What I was trying to understand was if you were, for some reason, holding liberals to a higher standard of self-awareness than you were other folks. And, it seems like you are not, you just disagree with their assumptions.

Which is a reasonable position.

Apologies for simply repeating back what you said, only in pedantically expanded form, it's my way of making sure I understand correctly.

Thanks!

Russell—

No problem.

Here, btw, is what I think is a fair representation of Trump and Russia. I think he left out the Syrian sanctions.

https://apnews.com/a579c6d03c82ebb67bfd46c8c4ab4360

I don’t think there is any big mystery to Trump cozying up to Putin. He cozies up to any strong man ( in his eyes) who flatters him, which the Russians used to do. But the actual policies have often been pretty harsh against Russia. They don’t like him s much now, though they probably prefer him to Biden.

Trump is personally so chaotic you can make him out to be a lot of things. At TAC, some people ( not Larison) wanted to think Trump was anti- interventionist back in 2016 because he sometimes sounded that way when he wasn’t calling for war crimes. In reality he is both interventionist and anti interventionist. I don’t know what to think of his unwillingness to bomb Iran last year supposedly because it might kill 150 people. He usually isn’t that concerned. Maybe he likes what he perceives as risk free bullying ( Yemen) but pulled back at the thought of a full scale war with Iran that might have wrecked his election chances. But this is Trump. It could be anything.

Last comment

WJ— Yes, a semi- competent President should do something about the bounties.. And an actually competent President wouldn’t have troops in Afghanistan.

The point, which I am now tired of making, is that anti- interventionists take a very dim view of mainstream posturing about the evil deeds of our enemies. We’d take it more seriously if people took our own crimes seriously but there is no sign of that ever happening.

in the meantime, bad things keep happening in the world. if our own impurity of spirit stops us from responding, who will?

This is a bit more on topic, regarding racism and the perception thereof. Shockingly, I'm linking to a FiveThirtyEight piece.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/when-proof-is-not-enough/

These killings, and the many more that reveal just a glimpse of how totalizing anti-Blackness can be, are part of a longer trend. It is a trend that has claimed countless more names, and still more stories. By nearly every statistical measurement possible, from housing to incarceration to wealth to land ownership, Black Americans are disproportionately disadvantaged. But the grand ritual of collecting and reporting this data has not improved the situation. American history is lined with innumerable instances of what scholar Saidiya Hartman bemoans as “the demand that this suffering be materialized and evidenced by the display of the tortured body or endless recitations of the ghastly and the terrible,” only for very little to change.

(...)

In 1949, two psychologists, Jerome Bruner and Leo Postman, designed an experiment to test people’s responses to anomalies, or moments when they faced events that deviated from what they had expected to encounter. In the experiment, participants were shown sets of playing cards and asked to identify the cards’ color and suit. The catch was that, in addition to regular cards, the sets contained irregular “trick” cards in which the color and suit of the cards had been reversed to create incongruities (like a black three of hearts or a red two of spades).

In the early rounds, the participants were quick to identify the cards, in part because they simply could not see the anomalies. When presented with a trick card like a red six of spades, they would confidently misidentify it as a red six of hearts or a black six of spades. But as they were exposed to the cards for longer periods of time, some participants began to notice that something was off. They could sense strangeness but could not determine what caused it. It was only with further exposure that some participants finally experienced what the psychologists called a “shock of recognition.” Abruptly and quite clearly, the participants were able to recognize what they had not seen before. Suddenly they could see that they had been looking at a red six of spades the entire time. From that point on, they were more easily able to identify the anomalous cards, having developed a new perception.

(...)

Of course, as in the experiment, there is the opportunity for change. Perhaps one part of what has characterized this current moment is that some sections of American society have experienced their own moments akin to when the experiment participants first squinted at the trick cards and felt that something now felt off. At some point, America will have to confront head-on the fact that the country not only has long educated its children to deny anti-Blackness and to treat any conversation of racism with silence or wariness but also has exported this worldview around the globe. For some, that point may have come.

“ world. if our own impurity of spirit stops us from responding, who will?

Dang it, I have to get off. People should notice what we do to others and stop doing those things when they are bad. Cops should stop eating people up (or worse), and we should stop supporting war criminals and imposing sanctions that mostly hurt the civilian population.

And stop thinking that it is the bad people ofer there we should respond to without first noticing the crap we pull and stopping that.

This really is superpower privilege.

Anyway, what is true is that me yelling at people on the internet does nothing, though I also think that is true of most of the conversations here or elsewhere on the net, pleasant or unpleasant. I used to think, back in the Bush era and for some time after, that internet arguments mattered. They might on some level— the press now knows people can yell back at them from all ideological directions, for whatever that is worth. Not sure how much.

People should...

in the meantime...

Not sure how much.

I'm generally pessimistic about the practical value.

That said, they may help keep people who are concerned about such things a bit more honest and self-aware, and perhaps encourage them to reflect on their own assumptions.

But the bang for the buck does seem pretty low.

Mostly I think people who are interested in any of this stuff like talking about it with other people who are interested in it, perhaps even from whatever point of view.

I'd probably be a gigging jazz vibraphonist by now if it wasn't for this stuff. Or be way further down my honey-do list. Or maybe even have my end-of-quarter staff work done, instead of having it spill over into July....

Some folks just like to talk. Introverts like to talk online. ;)

Thanks for hanging out with us Donald.

I don't endorse it, but nonetheless I think it is an interesting read.

Agreed, GftNC. There's even a bit in there that McKinney would appreciate.

I also want to apologize to Gftnc for snapping at her, though honestly I am still angry. S this is a somewhat screwed up apology.

Thanks Russell.

Cleek, I will resist the temptation to respond or I will be here forever.

stay. stay. there is no leaving.

from GFTNC's bluestocking piece:

I am boggled by the American book-buying public’s response to Black Lives Matter being . . . to buy a book about whiteness written by a white person.

LOL.

So much packed into one sentence.

Let me just say here that I agree with Donald where sanctions are concerned, and also with his sempiternal focus on the blindspots in Democratic foreign policy like Yemen and Central America. From a philosophical and idealistic standpoint, I am aligned.

When I shift to looking at things from a game theory standpoint, asking not "what is the best solution?", but "what can be done tactically in this moment with the resources in hand to improve the situation," I find myself looking more closely at all manner of compromise solutions, mostly involving limited and temporary coalitions with problematic allies and actions that cause harm, but on a lesser scale for the sake of moving towards a better strategic position.

Big picture that probably looks like cutting fossil fuel consumption and subsidizing renewables to get out from under a bad alliance with Saudi Arabia and to give Israel less leverage to abuse their position in the Middle East, gutting US military spending by reducing it to the size of China's budget (a 66% cut), which would make it necessary for the US to approach foreign policy from a multilateral standpoint and seeking consensus before acting in all but the most serious circumstances.

And domestically this would mean slashing law enforcement and carceral spending and shifting that budget into treatment, public health, and restorative justice programs.

But Putin still has to be boxed in because his propaganda wing is wreaking havoc through platforms like Facebook and Reddit. That probably means sanctions, but not the broad sanctions that hurt the innocent. Freeze specific accounts and block international deals and financing.

Putin still has to be boxed in because his propaganda wing is wreaking havoc through platforms like Facebook and Reddit. That probably means sanctions, but not the broad sanctions that hurt the innocent. Freeze specific accounts and block international deals and financing.

Happily, Putin (and his fellow kleptocrats, whose support he needs) have big chunks of their wealth cached in the West. Not being dumb enough to invest in Russia; they know how bad things are there. Which means sanctions targetted down to the individual level are possible.

Of course, it still takes work, thanks to money laundering by Trump, et al. But it's doable.

I am boggled by the American book-buying public’s response to Black Lives Matter being . . . to buy a book about whiteness written by a white person.

oh yeah? well i just bought and am currently reading the "Autobiography of Malcolm X".

so far, as a first-hand history of 1940s black nightclub and small-time criminal culture, it's fascinating.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my wife emailed me a link to that Harvard implicit-bias test mentioned in the piece from The Bluestocking. It told me I had a strong preference for white people.

I bungled hitting the right key on one of the questions when black faces were associated with "good" words. Otherwise, I made no mistakes and my speed seemed consistent to me regardless of how the faces and words were associated.

I decided I could take the test ten times and get a number of different results based on random screw-ups, but that it wasn't worth my time to find out. I probably decided that because of implicit bias.

I've taken that implicit bias test a few times. My implicit bias went down significantly after my course load shifted heavily into classes that had a high percentage of internationals and first-generation minority college students. Working closely with them while they write personal essays seems to have markedly helped my empathy.

Also, what a great bunch of students to teach.

oh yeah? well i just bought and am currently reading the "Autobiography of Malcolm X".

LOL...you should have told me. I would have mailed you my paperback copy from 50 years ago.

Everybody should read that book.

I've taken that implicit bias test a few times.

I'm not going to bother since, like Donald Trump, I have no biases of any kind.*


(you can stop laughing any time now)

When you're in a hole, dig deeper.

"Trump calls Black Lives Matter a 'symbol of hate' as he digs in on race"

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/01/politics/donald-trump-black-lives-matter-confederate-race/index.html

oh yeah? well i just bought and am currently reading the "Autobiography of Malcolm X".

that's all good.

My LOL was mostly about my own social context. I live in a very-much-mostly-white suburban town with a higher than average average income, in the bluer end of blue MA, in not-all-that-many-black-folks-but-we-mean-well New England. I have a white collar professional job in an industry where 'diversity' mostly means hiring foreign computer science grad students on H-1B visas.

My wife and I attend a UU church that is actually pretty diverse, but more in terms of lifestyles and personal belief systems, less in terms of skin color. We don't have many black members. We do have our BLM banner hanging over the front entrance, though.

If I wasn't a musician, I'd probably be so white you'd have to wear sunglasses to cut the glare. Music invented by black and brown people has no doubt saved me from a life of Dockers and polo shirts with the collar popped up. I am, truly, grateful, and no, there is not one bit of sarcasm in that.

Basically, the LOL in response to the quote is me laughing at myself and my cohort. With affection, of course, but also some measure of chagrin.

We mean well, me and my white middle class liberal do-gooder suburban crew. Not infrequently, we even manage to do well.

But sometimes I do have to shake my damned head. And laugh.

so far, as a first-hand history of 1940s black nightclub and small-time criminal culture, it's fascinating.

It continues to be fascinating, and increasingly consequential.

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III may have disappointed the Racist-in-Chief on "the Russia thing", but they do have lots in common.

The GOP label, for one thing.

--TP

I've taken that implicit bias test once. But I find it biased in the extreme. After all, it only looks at blacks and whites. Like there aren't any other races out there...? Bit of a blind spot in the test creators, it seems to me.

I'm also not entirely convinced of the validity of the test's methodology. But that's a separate issue.

wj - there are separate tests for asian, middle eastern, and female implicit bias. I've taken them all. Same overall trend with regard to my scores over shifts in student demographics.

As I understand it, the criticisms aimed at the tests do not question the finding so much as they question how much those findings correlate with any actual discriminatory practices - bias does not always transfer into action. My hunch, based on a lot of research into amygdala responses to threat, is that those biases likely transfer more under the effects of adrenaline dump, which makes them especially important for those making use-of-force decision.

Thanks, nous. I didn't notice those other tests.

I would have mailed you my paperback copy from 50 years ago.

i am forbidden (on penalty of sideeye) from buying new physical books.

Basically, the LOL in response to the quote is me laughing at myself and my cohort. With affection, of course, but also some measure of chagrin.

sure. and yeah, i'm 100% right there with ya. i was just a little giddy to see myself not fitting in with my cohort.

low-ASCII isn't doing a good job of carrying my tone these days.

I also want to apologize to Gftnc for snapping at her, though honestly I am still angry. S this is a somewhat screwed up apology.

A somewhat screwed up apology is better than no apology at all, though honestly when you examine what I actually said, I find it hard to see why you are angry. But in return, I am sorry if you thought I was being dismissive. These are very hard times, tempers are short, and the truth is I value your input, and the consistency of your ethical standards. And, FWIW, I also like nous's approach at 02.38 above.

OK, so I took the Asian American test. My results:

Your responses suggested a strong automatic association for American with European American and Foreign with Asian American.
I observe that, over the years, all but one of the women I have dated (including my wife) are Asian Americans. Which, I have to say, makes me enormously skeptical of this result.

The rest of the world, every single other country, is being given an explicit bias test as we speak, and scoring highly on the "shooting any American who crosses over our borders and tries to enter our countries" exam:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=US+hoarding+remdesivir&filters=tnTID%3a%2259A3C3DF-3C2A-4960-B5EF-4D1F8E68F00D%22+tnVersion%3a%223593729%22+segment%3a%22popularnow.carousel%22+tnCol%3a%222%22+tnOrder%3a%2271501cef-2fe9-493b-81cb-2356aea45081%22&FORM=BSPN01&crslsl=0

We Americans, with our elected choices, ruined the entire world, and I'm not talking just virus.

We are diseased pariahs. Shut us down. Halt all tourism and trade with us. Abrogate all treaties with us, especially the ones left disallowing nuclear arms development and deployment.

Our spacecraft get anywhere near the space station and shoot them down by our former friends and our enemies.

Blockade us by land, sea, and air.

My traveling days are over, looks like.

Why couldn't I have been born 20 years earlier and not had the last years of my destroyed by conservative republican home-grown fucking EVIL?

low-ASCII isn't doing a good job of carrying my tone these days.

I say, when this COVID bullshit is over, it's time for an ObWi road trip and hang.

"Which, I have to say, makes me enormously skeptical of this result."

Or you're attracted to dating foreign women? That actually makes sense to me.

Yeah, except that they have all been native-born Americans. At least 3rd generation.

Russia should base all of their electoral rat-fucking in Cuba as we approach the canceled election and see what excuse this milquetoast, butt-kissing Cuban shit heel comes up with next:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a33026537/marco-rubio-senate-intelligence-bill-foreign-government-elections/

He's an immigrant. We don't really know who is he is, do we, by which I mean, which deep state does he really represent?

It's all very suspicious. He's got Watergate break-in written all over him, if Trump decides to go in that direction as a reprise.

Biden on day one should launch a flotilla back to Cuba.

One rowboat with with one guy in it ... Marco Rubio ... singing Babaloo! with a note pinned to his drawers 'splainin' "Please Repatriate".

NOT going back:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/desantis-florida-not-going-back-coronavirus-reopening-despite-new-cases

Spins chair to look into Camera 2.

In other, possible related news today:

https://www.ktvu.com/news/police-chase-ends-with-suspect-driving-off-cliff-into-ocean-in-santa-cruz

I observe that, over the years, all but one of the women I have dated (including my wife) are Asian Americans. Which, I have to say, makes me enormously skeptical of this result.

I was surprised to find no implicit association when I just took it. I was expecting a slight bias myself.

But as for the result, there is nothing that says your result is more or less "good" than a different result. I would not have been at all disturbed to find that I associate asian faces with "foreign," given how many of my students are internationals and how many of my domestic students have spent time in Asia as part of their upbringing. That's not a bad thing, it's just a bias and not all biases are bad or are signs of bigotry. All it means is that, on balance, when one sees a face that is phenotypically asian, one assumes that said person is actually from Asia (which is a fair assumption in many CA locales).

The association of blacks with threat is a more troubling implicit bias.

WRT bias - I always stress, in my research classes, that bias is not necessarily a negative thing. As a researcher or advocate one can be biased for or against many things in ways that are positive and even commendable. Bias is only a problem when the bias in question is either morally or ethically problematic, or if the bias causes the researcher to treat the subject or data in a way that is not fair to the information in question.

I observe that, over the years, all but one of the women I have dated (including my wife) are Asian Americans. Why? You probably have more contact with Asians, so you are more cautious in automatically assuming they are from the US, right?

This is the problem with the test I think, the 'bias' can be attributed to a 'true' bias (ha, I don't think Asians can really be Americans) or it could be attributed to a better awareness of demographic realities. (here's someone who looks Asian that I'm meeting with little context, should I assume they are American or Asian?') Especially nowadays with the American brand undergoing such a beating. Of course, my situation is not the normal one, but an implicit bias test seeks to identify what is there after you strip away all the context, but by being more aware of the context, that implicit bias becomes meaningless.

I'm not understanding why the good/evil of American foreign policy has anything to do with Donald Trump's refusal to stand up for American soldiers when he is their Commander in Chief. Call me a "liberal", but that's his job, perhaps more than any other.

lj, actually virtually all the people I know of Asian ancestry are Americans. I knew some foreign students in college, of course. But that was half a century ago.

As for bias, I would expect if anything a small positive bias on my part. Just judging from how I have behaved -- and not only with my romantic life.

Again, wj, I'm not sure what you are inferring about "bias" here, positive or negative. Nothing in the test result says that people with a bias towards "foreign" have any bias against Asian Americans.

I've taken that implicit bias test a few times. My implicit bias went down significantly after my course load shifted heavily into classes that had a high percentage of internationals and first-generation minority college students.

This seems to work against DiAngelo's idea that people with experiences making them closer to African-Americans aren't less racist. Assuming that people are open-hearted, and trying to be less racist, their day to day experiences with the "other" makes the "other" less "other."

This seems to work against DiAngelo's idea that people with experiences making them closer to African-Americans aren't less racist. Assuming that people are open-hearted, and trying to be less racist, their day to day experiences with the "other" makes the "other" less "other."

That depends a lot on how DiAngelo is defining and discussing racism. My personal lack of implicit bias does not necessarily translate into positive results at the cultural level any more than a personal bias translates into negative results on a personal level.

And I don't think that DiAngelo would claim that we cannot work to create a society without racism. I think she is just saying that if a culture or society is racist that one cannot function in that culture without being complicit in that racism.

Being anti-racist, however, is working towards the dismantling of the racism in one's society, so it is progress towards the right goal.

wj, of virtually all the people you know are Americans, I would think you are more open to the possibilities. It's like Sartre's formulation, you are just as biased if you think all Jews are intelligent.

Being anti-racist, however, is working towards the dismantling of the racism in one's society, so it is progress towards the right goal.

Sure, but it seems that one has little to do with the other. One is a "racist" if one has implicit bias. One has preferable policy goals if one supports dismantling structural racism.

It's great to have both, but the policy goal is probably the most meaningful to society. Eliminating one's own implicit bias (to whatever extent possible) is certainly personally enriching, one would think.

Only certain types of implicit bias would count as "being racist," but I think we are close in this understanding.

Thanks, nous. I was trying to level this as a critique of DiAngelo (whose lecture I enjoyed, and appreciated). The critique is more as an intellectual exercise, but I did take issue with her dismissal of people's personal experience of bridging racial divides.

My own [way too limited] experience with other people (African-Americans, people from other countries' cultures, etc.) suggests that there is an empathy dividend that is attained when that happens. Your experience with students seems similar, although I don't want to overstate in case I have misunderstood.

And I'll take a swing at Sapient's question, and if I mistate anything, apologies.

One thing that Americans are 'blessed' with is the fact that historical memory seems to count for very little. I'm sure that Putin doesn't see a dime's worth of difference between us supplying Stingers to the mujaddin to kill Russians and him paying those taliban to kill US troops.

If this is the line that Trump had to cross to get kicked out, it will probably harden opinions that people who are liberal are happy to have foreigners killed out of sight. I'd tentatively assign that opinion to Donald, and I think that is a fair and sobering thought. After all, after 9-11, we attacked Afghanistan and then Iraq, when the nexus of the attack was the result of a Saudi proxy war based on who was Mohammed's rightful successor (1300 years baby, that's some historical memory!) But we don't do history, so we reach a historical moment when Jared Kushner can read 25 books and believe that is what he needs to fix the problem.

I'd draw a parallel that Donald probably won't agree with, but it seems the same as the "liberals" that DiAngelo is addressing zeroing in on police reform as the key to dealing with the protests over George Floyd. However, I'm not so clear what the 'leftists' want to do that is different, so the analogy breaks down.

And I think this quote, from an article about the Air Force being confronted with all this, presents something that I think is quite probable not just for the Air Force, but the whole country if not the whole world.
https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2020/07/01/goldfein-something-broke-loose-in-the-air-force-after-george-floyds-death/

“History is not on our side here,” Goldfein said. “If we follow history, we’ll get a few things going, and then September will arrive and COVID will return, and flu season will start, and hurricane season will hit … and the election will go into high gear, and we will get distracted and we will put this on the back burner. Shame on us if we let that happen.”

Yes, but empathy does not always translate into positive change, especially if one thinks of the end of racism as consisting of a lot of individual consciousness raising and empathy.

There's a macro/micro problem at work as well, and fixing the macro level does not necessarily follow from fixing the micro.

It sure does help, though, and it makes for a clearer understanding of perspectives that might not otherwise be considered.

This especially runs afoul of the libertarian mindset where everything is reducible to the individual level and fixed through personal liberation.

Comforting myth, but not one that reflects reality.

I'm sure that Putin doesn't see a dime's worth of difference between us supplying Stingers to the mujaddin to kill Russians and him paying those taliban to kill US troops.

Not sure what Putin thinks or cares about, other than money, white supremacy, misogyny, stifling dissent, hating the United States, power, and other stuff irrelevant to various national interests. Maybe Putin has a grand plan for a new tsarist Russia, or a new Putin Stalinism?

Our effort in Afghanistan back in the day was a transparent cold war ploy to get Russia out of there. What is Russia's ploy? I don't think it's an effort to get our perfunctory few out of Afghanistan. It's a Trump loyalty test.

This has nothing to do with "America policy bad!" It has to do with Trump sucks Putin at the mercy of American soldiers, publicly. And plenty of Americans say yay.

Yes, but empathy does not always translate into positive change, especially if one thinks of the end of racism as consisting of a lot of individual consciousness raising and empathy.

I agree, which is why I said that the policy people are the ones with the most meaningful change initiatives, with or without empathy. This sort of negates DiAngelo, who is trying to shape hearts and minds (which isn't bad at all - people with good hearts and minds are likely to change policy, assuming that they really do have empathy).

I loved that Air Force Times, link, lj. Thank you.

Loved the AF Times link as well. I could see it motivating Trump to cut its funding, as well as Stars and Stripes.

Cops should stop eating people up (or worse)

I was unaware that it had gotten already that far ;-)
Sorry, simply couldn't refrain.

I encountered these implicit bias tests last semester at the university. It was not limited to 'racial' and was in German too.
I have to just say, I am not convinced.
Results were all over the place. I could not see any significant correlation with biases, including those I know to have.
But this could of course be dismissed because I obviously was not doing it right, e.g. too slow reaction times indicating that the answers were not actually spontaneous (but why were they so consistently inconsistent then?).
Imo, I have little trust in this specific test measuring what it is supposed to. I strongly believe that there are implicit biases but doubt that this test is either reliable or valid there(but that's me just not being objective).
I am aware that I have a very strong bias against the way statistics are used in educational science (the context where I encountered the test).

Freedom fried:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/america-land-pathetic/613747/

I don't know whether or not Nigel has mentioned this fascinating development in energy storage, but apropos of nothing, except the future of the human race:

https://energyvault.com/

Bill Gross of IdeaLab, based in commie California, is the financial tech mind behind this, among other start-up ideas.

https://www.marketwatch.com/articles/3-startups-that-could-save-the-planet-from-the-man-behind-overture-and-picasa-51579690800

The thing probably had to be built in foreign Europe because Trump and the American conservative movement thought it was neither hotel, fracking rig, nor nuclear missile silo, so where's the vig and Jared's kickback?

Too bad Americans are now too purposefully, and with intent, diseased to cop a visa to visit it.

From JT's Atlantic link:

On June 26, a day when the U.S. notched some 45,000 new cases—how’s that for “American carnage”?—the European Union announced that it would loosen some travel restrictions but extend its ban on visitors from the United States and other hot-spot nations. On Tuesday, it confirmed that remarkable and deeply humiliating decision, a clear message that in pandemic management, the EU believes that the United States is no better than Russia and Brazil—autocrat-run public-health disasters—and that American tourists would pose a dire threat to the hard-won stability our lockdown has earned us. So much for the myth that the American political system and way of life are a model for the world.

I'm so tired of winning.

Hey, we're on a par with Russia. For someone desperate for Putin's approval, that has to be a win.

51,097 new cases yesterday. New cases, in one day.

I will never understand the people who support this guy. Ever. The man could piss on their shoes and tell them it's raining, and they'd thank him for the news and then run and get him an umbrella.

Never give a sucker an even break, or smarten up a chump. The Trump family motto.

Josh Marshall on the numbers.

Good thing we re-opened the economy. Baby needs new shoes.

This country is gonna choke on "you're not the boss of me".

We have a lot of issues to sort out, and many of them have solutions. Some of them have a variety of solutions, we can even pick the ones we like best and are more comfortable with.

There is no solution for willful stupidity. It's like a great big boulder, right there in the middle of the road. Can't drive around it, can't drive over it, can't drive under it.

Can't go anywhere at all.

This shit is gonna get worse, and worse, and worse, until all the people who support this clown and the (R) knuckleheads like him figure out that they've been had. Until they figure out that it's not raining, that these assholes are in fact pissing on their shoes, and that they need to quit standing there saying thank you sir, may I have some more.

It's not gonna stop. It's not just about Trump, it's about the willful embrace and celebration of impenetrable ignorant self-pitying resentful BS that is his political lifeblood.

When Trump is gone, there will be some other goon in the wings lining up to take it all another step higher. See also, Tom Cotton.

In the entire world - the whole freaking planet - there were about 200K new cases of COVID reported yesterday.

One out of four of those were in the US.

We have about five percent of the population of the planet.

Five percent of the people, 25% of the new cases.

If you look around the room and can't tell who the chump is, you're the chump.

When Trump is gone, there will be some other goon in the wings lining up to take it all another step higher. See also, Tom Cotton.

But are the other goons as skillful as conmen as Trump? My sense is that he is exceptionally gifted when it comes to conning the suckers. (Yes, even compared to other politicians. Even populist politicians.)

is Trump even that skilled? he seems like an obvious fraud, to me. always has.

i think the GOP is just so committed to being opposed to Democrats that they'll follow absolutely anyone as long as he hates the left as much as they're told they have to.

sure, it forces them to take truly absurd positions. but they don't care because it would be far worse if they agreed with a Democrat.

This hasn't aged well:

"America Shouldn’t Have to Play by New York Rules"

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/24/opinion/coronavirus-lockdown.html

I guess it should now, a**hole.

I should add that I now consider myself lucky to live in NJ, which got hit hard in the northern part that is largely within the NYC metro area. I'm doubly lucky to have been living by some version of New York rules even though my part of NJ wasn't hit hard early on and is still quiet because of those rules.

Just when you thought stupid couldn't get any more stupid.
https://abcnews.go.com/US/alabama-students-throwing-covid-parties-infected-officials/story?id=71552514

A pool to see who can catch covid-19 first??? The mind boggles. How did people this stupid even get into college?

I have a comment stuck in the hopper, I guess, regarding the Alabama deal, with even better suggestions for spreading the virus appended.

wj: not seeing it. (But I did free up the one about energy storage back at 9:14)

There is no solution for willful stupidity.

i have several FB friends who post stuff about making masks and doing fun quarantine things with their kids who also post pix of them at bars with big groups of their friends.

we used to ask WTF they were doing. but their rationalizations are endless. and they finally started feeling like we were trying to shame them.

c'est la virus.

i think the GOP is just so committed to being opposed to Democrats that they'll follow absolutely anyone as long as he hates the left as much as they're told they have to.

Almost like there should be a law for this or something...

Thanks for checking.

Yeah, well the Secret Masters of Obamacare mandated tyrannically (with an extra dollop of tyranny, just for Marty) that made injecting Lysol and Bleach illegal.

Not sure why the Trumpers aren't all demonstrating their loyalty to He, Trump and injecting injecting injecting.

Maybe they're having a hard time finding syringes. Time for a GoFundMe?

know what happens when there are more sick people than there are hospital beds for them? rationing.

who knew "conservatives" were such fans.

John,

That EnergyVault thing is a nifty idea!

I can think of all sorts of engineering problems they must have had to solve, including how to deal with the wind acting on both the jenga tower and the bricks going up and down. Which probably explains where a lot of the $117.5 million invested so far (per your Marketwatch link) had to be spent.

And I wonder whether their business model is to recoup the money by selling towers at a profit, or by collecting a royalty per kWhr regenerated. As an engineer who has worked for a couple of start-ups with nifty product concepts and lavish funding but which never turned a profit, I like to think about such things in an amateur way in my spare time.

--TP

Steven Chu is all about long term energy storage via big ponds on hills.

Pump the water up when energy is cheap / plentiful. Let the water flow downhill to generate energy when it's expensive / scarce.

Freaking gravity. Who knew?

Death Panels are all the rage. The fewer hospital beds there are, the more likely Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's demand that Covid-19 sufferers give up the ghost can be fulfilled.

Genocide comes to America, but through elections, so there's nothing we can do about it, is there?

The Trump White House also just loosened rules on insurers so that they don't have to pay for Covid-19 testing required for people when employers force them back to work.

I'm barely keeping my self-control.

Further, Donald Trump personally intervened with the U.S. Park Service to get them to allow fireworks in and around the tinder-dry pine forests surrounding the Mt. Rushmore monument, this after the practice had been banned for a number of years because of the many dozens of fires started by 4th of July celebration year after year in the past.

Trump told them, "what's to burn, the monument is made of rock". He studied the situation for ... well not at all. He told them it is his dream to have his face carved into the monument one day.

The Lakota Tribe should take scalps this weekend and maybe get his carved face up there in the flesh by next Monday.

That pistol-packing, unmasked superspreader QAnon Republican bar owner in Rifle on the west slope of Colorado, where the servers and bartenders are packing too, who just won the Republican primary race for the House, is roughly a three and a half hour drive from me, which puts her inside an unsafe (for her) social distance from me.

I wonder if I should pay the bar a visit and check out their basement to learn if they are imprisoning little kids down there for the staff's and the patron's sexual pleasure.

She requires close inspection by rogue liberal militias, fully masked and armed of course to prevent the little monster from either shooting them or breathing death on them.

I hereby declare I have the God-given power to deputize for such purposes.

Too much EVIL radical conservatism for America to go forward without trouble .. and no one is going to like it.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2020/07/02/complete-and-total-rage-is-the-only-rational-response/

Yes.

Think I'll head to the hills this afternoon and hike my rage levels down to manageable levels.

Just when you thought stupid couldn't get any more stupid.

i have friends who teach/admin at UA. they are rather upset and anxious about this story.

predictably, Hermain Cain, who attended Trump's rally two weeks ago, now has C19

Talking of unconscious bias, I'm just watching a documentary on Channel 4 called The School that Tried to End Racism". So interesting, seeing kids (they seem around 12-13) splitting into racial groups and exploring experiences, then reconvening to discuss. None of the white kids, for example, could come up with an instance where anyone had ever said anything to them about their race. As you can imagine, the same was not true for black or Asian kids. I'm in a commercial break....

The fewer hospital beds there are, the more likely Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's demand that Covid-19 sufferers give up the ghost can be fulfilled.

One keeps hoping (in vain) that Lt Governor Patrick would demonstrate his leadership talents by giving up the ghost himself.

Big pond on hills are geographically limited, though, russell.

Energy Vault is interesting, and there is perhaps a niche for it. The claimed round trip efficiency of 85% is pretty good. The costs don’t seem all that great, though: “ Piconi estimates that by the time Energy Vault builds its 10th or so 35-MWh plant, it can bring costs down to about $150 per kWh...”

Lithium ion battery storage is pretty well there already (though we’re not going to have enough of those for some time. (Though technology there, both in terms of efficiency of batteries and lithium extraction, is improving steadily.)

All these things are likely to get built, at least in small numbers, as they are very competitive with gas peaked plants - Highview Power, which I posted about previously, is building its first commercial scale system.

A lot of people I like are admiring this, on Cancel Culture:

https://scroll.in/video/950759/stop-treating-talent-like-it-s-synonymous-with-character-watch-ayishat-akanbi-on-cancel-culture

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