Lurkers, show yourselves. Step out of the darkness of lurkerdom.

Captivating title.  I know, right.  When I make dime #1 from writing I'll come back and polish this up a bit.

Anyway, lurkers I'm asking you to step forward.  I'm not asking you to state and defend your position on Article V of the Constitution, just a quick howdy-do.  Maybe a 'hello', how long you've been lurking, explain an interesting handle and maybe tell us what you're wearing. You needn't do this if you're from Ohio, I'd stay in the background too.

For the rest of the Forvm, please, please enjoy an open thread on me.


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Been floating around


this community since about 2004 or 2005 I think. The resilience here is pretty impressive given the number of sites I've seen fall by the wayside (anyone remember, though I'm getting the understandable impression that everyone's just about burnt out on the whole world situation at this point...

Been floating around, huh? I once got myself in trouble


, a small bit of trouble, for having drawn attention to one possible interpretation of a similar remark.  Anyway, thanks for the comment, we could always use more.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I guess I'm a lurker

TXG1112's picture

I still read the Forvm just about every day, but I find I don't have much to say.

--- I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own.

Well, TXG1112 if you've been reading every day


and found you don't have much to say I'd declare that you're in good company.  I know deep down in my kool-aid pumping jelly-filled heart you have something to add.  Somebody somewhere on the Forvm is wrong and by God it is your duty as a registered user to fix them.


Do me a favor and comment.  You can't look like a bigger a$$ than me and if by some small chance you do, well thems bragging rights, man.  Oh, and yeah, Chix Diggit.




In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

wukai's 2nd comment in the lurker diary


If not a bot, a mod should approve the comment.



It appears that wukai has not (yet) registered.  Perhaps she/he doesn't know about the gift package, special offers, and membership discounts that are enjoyed by registered members,  and the rare New Blood party that will be enjoyed by the rest of us.


wukai: If you register your comments will appear immediately without the stigma of "not verified".

And now, Assange, the politician.

mmghosh's picture

There is an official Wikileaks Party, up for elections in Oz.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Lurky von Lurkington


Started lurking at just before Trevino showed us all the door.


The handle - always loved mythology, and the association with craftsmanship, building, designing was a fit.  But I won't shoe your horses.

For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise - B. Franklin

Eggscellent Weyland. I knew of the mythology


but didn't know that was the Weyland you were about.  We have a few legendary/mythological references on the Forvm.  The most obscure is 'Eeyn', it's the sound Odin makes when he shifts his butt on a naugahyde chair.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

True enough


but it was also my first "permanent" username,  assigned to me in 1983.  All the usernames were four letters followed by three digits and there was no choice in the matter.   The first two "EE" were the department (electrical engineering), "YN" was for the electromagnetics research group,  and for some obscure reasons the numbers started at 512 or so. 


514 was my supervisor and I went to his 40th wedding anniversary a few years ago.  516 was a coworker senior to me;  taught me a lot of what I know but we almost strangled each other once when the two of us were sent to an isolated experiment site for two weeks.  IIRC the argument was over some waveguide,  and also whether he could order me to do high voltage work in a fog bank.  Highest voltage shock I ever took (2500V) if not the most painful, still have a small scar on the face.

All pops and buzzes until you said 'scar on the face'


Mad respect, yo.   And if you're still carrying any emotional baggage about the shock, I'm sticking with 'Mad respect, yo'. Scars on the mug are something to be bragged about if earned in the rough and tumble, and electricity counts.  Not so much of it's a piercing than got infected or maybe a gerbil bite.

I have no idea what the volts or amps were on the worst shock I ever took.  I do know it left me and another guy on our butts, me yelling 'Did you get the sh*t shocked out of you' the other guy answering 'I don't know'.  We were trying to hook a load to a CH47 and failed to properly discharge it's buildup of static electricity.  It's one of those 'Pop, zzzzzzz' moments I was speaking to when Nyoos talked of being knocked out.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Mixed feelings here, DC


I never thought about it before, but a CH47 on insulating wheels really could store quite a bit of charge, several thousand times the surface area of a doorknob, and more than enough to knock over two guys.   Thanks for the cool new anecdote I'll use this Fall in the safety lecture we give on day one.


But I'd been under the impression you were knocked out while defending some woman's honor,  or at least objecting to some negative comment about mead.   Maybe Nyoos was fighting over something important.

I got over the shock soon enough, few minutes


or so, but it was the humiliation of having balloons sticking to me for weeks after that I found hard to deal with.


Defending a woman's honor?  You've got me confused with Darth'tagnan. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

A test for representative democracy


To paraphrase Ken White


The pendulum looks like it's starting to swing back the other way.

For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise - B. Franklin

The question is


whether Congresscritters are responsive to pendulum swings by the population.

Despite appearances they are smarter than that


or at least their consultants at the higher levels are.


You and they both realize that a person's opinion on an issue- (a) matters even a little only if it influences his/her vote,  and (b) is important only if it is the sole deciding factor.    That 47-35 split looks encouraging,  but I would guess <5% of the population would consider civil liberties an issue worth changing their vote.   The politician sees a 12% differential on 5% (max) of the population and decides this is worth 0.5% tops.


Since "civil liberties" by definition means "decreasing the power and authority of politicians and their appointees"  the decision is whether to give up the main perk of the job for a miniscule increase in the chance of getting it.




Bernard Guerrero's picture

"but I would guess <5% of the population would consider civil liberties an issue worth changing their vote.   The politician sees a 12% differential on 5% (max) of the population and decides this is worth 0.5% tops."

Hippy Pope Watch, tweet edition


My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost.

I am heartened....

Bernard Guerrero's picture

....that I can finally find targets that combine leftism and organized religion.  If he can manage some obscurantism on top of it he'll hit the trifecta .

That's from May 2. From July


That's from May 2. From July 25: "The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty."

Warren Buffett's kid, Peter, writes an op-ed in the NYT


He's in an interesting place, somewhere along a journey where the destination is unclear, but I like that he's embarked.

I remember when fascists used to be fascists


not these whiny, wussy excuses for fascists we have around today:


That university police officer who became an iconic figure when he pepper-sprayed student Occupy protestors wants compensation for ‘psychiatric injury’ caused by the incident.

Fascists Use The Tools They Are Given

M Scott Eiland's picture

And the legal system is a particularly nasty tool, when applied maliciously.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I see some other nasty tools in the vicinity


that certain people should not have been encouraged to apply maliciously.

Serious question, catchy


I don't think UC Davis handled this very well,  but in general, what do you think is the proper police response to the locked-elbows tactic?  Keep in mind that passive resistance of this sort was a favored method of people blocking access to abortion clinics.


I don't think "if they lock elbows they win" is a reasonable answer,  and I also don't think students who weren't interested in whatever Occupy had to say should be denied access to educational facilities they paid for.


In the case of abortion clinics, I believe the usual method was levering the elbows loose one at a time using physical force, and taking the protestors into custody to prevent them rejoining.  Once that happens it's resisting arrest on top the original offense, and I knew a pro-life/anti-choice professor, great guy otherwise, who got significant jail time as a result (weeks IIRC). I'm not sure how that compares to being peppered sprayed,  but it's not pleasant.

Short answer = I don't know


But multiple point-blank range pepper spray on students who aren't resisting is excessive. The ACLU as I recall also complained about batons being used on peaceful student protesters in the UC system. It's likely these protesters might've been happy with just having their arms pried apart.


As I also recall, the elbow link thing was in response to escalating police detentions and confrontations with peaceful protests, which at the time were not blocking access to any building, but just congregating in the quad. I do not see the motivation for doubling down with excessive force on students at that point.


I also don't think students who weren't interested in whatever Occupy had to say should be denied access to educational facilities they paid for.


This is not a very big deal, and certainly doesn't come close to justifying what was done at UC Davis. The peaceful protests were in response in the first place to something like a 40% tuition hike over the past several years. Students at a public university should be given wide birth to voice their concerns about the policies of that public university. As a cultural matter, and out of respect for the history of student movements effecting positive change, I don't think public universities should be seeking to disrupt student protests in the same way you might disrupt protests by older adults who are interfering with a private clinic that they aren't members of.


I knew a pro-life/anti-choice professor, great guy otherwise, who got significant jail time as a result (weeks IIRC)


Are you under the impression that the judicial system didn't throw the book at Occupy protesters? This 25 yr. old got 3 months in prison for resisting arrest, and as I recall San Diego Occupy like in many cities was hit with tear gas.


As far as I know, the anti-abortion movement has never been subject to anything like the coordinated and draconian crackdown that Occupy was subjected to. If that's right, one way to make sense of the differential treatment is that the anti-abortion movement never targeted the economic interests of the wealthy and powerful.


Bernard Guerrero's picture

"This is not a very big deal, and certainly doesn't come close to justifying what was done at UC Davis."


Anybody'd ever tried to keep me from a class (or anything else I was paying for in blood, sweat and tears...ok, just sweat and tears) and I'd have kicked their face in.  You're being awfully cavalier about the rest of the student body's rights.

A lot of late night Friday classes, where on Earth is that place

brutusettu's picture


Coordinated crackdown


There were a lot more OWS protestors than anti-choice protestors,  so there are likely to be more arrests.  This article indicates that the number of Operation Rescue members who got jail time in the 1988-1990 period (about when my acquaintance got sentenced) was several thousand, at least.


I'm not sympathetic to either OWS or Operation Rescue,  and in general don't see that the overall reaction of the authorities to either movement was more or less oppressive than usual.  Of course there were plenty of illegal arrests and cases of excessive force,  police might do that to anyone who doesn't keep their head down, but I don't see any coordinating singling out here.

what other almost entirely peaceful protest movement


besides Occupy was designated as potential terrorists by federal law enforcement, infiltrated and spied on by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, and subject to a coordinated and violent federal law enforcement crackdown?


I guess you could say it was because of Occupy's size and their level of civil disobedience, but my guess is that it also had something to do with their message.

I'd happily concede "almost entirely"


but in a movement that large and disorganized there would necessarily be,  and were, exceptions.   Of course the violent exceptions to normal group behavior tend to be in Ohio.



Friggin' Ohio. I'm all for ripping that star off the flag


and making it a territory again.  Ever see how a western Pennsylvanian says no?  They face west and wave like there's a dookie in the pool.  I never used to understand that but now that I'm a little more travelled I get it completely.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Darth, Darth

brutusettu's picture

Those Pennsylvanians were trying to refer to West Virginia, which is also to the west of PA, but alas they were too ignorant to know the obvious and important differences.


albeit every single person I've come across that's from Gallia County, they all have some weird thick accent.  But that's right by WV.

Brut, I don't make fun of WV


I'm a little ashamed to say I once laughed at a retarded kid and I've never been ok with myself for that. WV jokes rekindle those feelings.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

More Details on both wanted

brutusettu's picture

Was it his 1st rodeo blocking off a medical facility?  Did have priors that he was arrested for or wasn't charged but let off with a warning?

Did he admit to not caring if some people trying to get in had/would likely have critical complications if the pregnancy was to carry to term?

Did he care that induced abortions, especially early term induced abortions are statistically far safer to a pregnant woman than is carrying to term?


-On one hand, there's a strong chance dozen/dozens of Bizarro Victoria Jackson's were at the UC Davis campus annoyingly yelling at the police.

--On another, UC Davis officer easily stepped over the sitting-human-chain to spray.

--Pepper spray is one thing when the user appreciates the damage it can do and is used to threats that aren't impending unwanted overtime.  The officer didn't seem to feel threatened when he moved to the other side of the chain.


The jail time was appropriate


Protesting outside clinics was a regular activity for him, and he'd made it clear in various ways that he intended to carry on his civil disobedience (as he saw it) until arrested.   Don't know what his opinion was on medical exceptions, but don't think it's particularly relevant.  There can be medical emergencies anywhere including university libraries, and in such cases medical personnel can clamber over the human chain about as easily as the pepper-spraying-policeman could.


The officer at UC-Davis clearly wasn't in any danger, and if self-defense is the only legitimate use of pepper spray he was out of line.  OTOH if a human chain is blocking citizens from freely exercising their right to an education or an abortion, without obstructions, then removing the chain is not only a something the police should be able to do,  it is a positive duty.   Obviously they should use the minimum force necessary, escalate in stages, and give plenty of warnings about the consequences at each stage.

"if self-defense is the only legitimate use of pepper spray


he was out of line."


I don't think this is too hard. The officer was casually sauntering around repeatedly shooting pepper spray into the faces of students who were zero threat to him or anyone else. It became an internet meme partially b/c this guy looked bored while brutalizing his non-violent targets. He could've been on a stroll almost anywhere:



If this was allowed by campus police policies, then the policies are in error.

I don't see self-defense as the issue here


the question seems to be 1) is force justified and 2) is the force used appropriate. I think the answer to 1) is 'yes' but I'm unsure if the force used was appropriate. It looks like the UC muckitymucks thought not and the cop lost his job. Would that that sort of accountability in policing was more common.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Why was force necessary again?


If students are protesting peacefully, why is the use of force necessary to disperse them?


As for 2), how can anyone think that spraying non-threatening college students in the eyes and face repeatedly with pepper spray was an appropriate use of force? It obviously wasn't the minimum amount necessary, whatever the goal.


Re: accountability, it looks like the police officer was somewhat a scapegoat, though I agree we'd be better off if non-campus officers were also fired for excessive force. 


There was a widespread crackdown on Occupy protests both on and off college campuses that were similar in character and well-known before this incident. Thus, the chancellor who green-lighted a forceful removal of students by police should've taken responsibility for the known risk of a disproportionate crackdown.


Instead she acknowledged that the incident brought disgrace upon the institution but decided that she wasn't responsible. Then she decided that she was simply indispensable to UC Davis, so that outweighed whatever negatives were associated with her staying on. 


In other words, she's not responsible for failure but indispensable to success, which is a common example of the way many elites in this country view accountability.

An act can be entirely peaceful and still require the use


of force in order to protect the rights of others.  We may have different ideas of what 'force' is.  I go for a broad definition (admittedly perhaps an overly broad one) that considers any physical or implied physical interaction on the part of the police as a use of force.  Keep in mind, something as minor as pushing people off a right-of-way is an assault were you to do it but may be wholly appropriate for the police to do.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

"in order to protect the rights of others"


I don't see that that's relevant here. 

Sure it's relevant


The protestors were blocking a right of way.  I'm pretty much ok with some authority being exercised to ensure public property and resources aren't commandeered, denying their use by everyone else.  I'm ok with force being used at some point, per my definition, but may certainly take issue with the extent or type of force used. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

"a right of way"


Uhm, that's cheating. It's a colloquialism, not a genuine right.


This really didn't have anything to do with blocking a specific path temporarily on a Friday afternoon. Campus police were forcibly ejecting students before any of them locked arms on the sidewalk.


"ensure public property and resources aren't commandeered" - OK, but if "commandeer" is defined too broadly, you have an argument for forcibly removing anybody from anywhere at anytime, on the grounds that someone else might want to be where they are and therefore they're "commandeering" the resource.


These were paying students, hanging out on their own public university's quad. You couldn't possibly have a situation where more leeway should be allowed. They weren't interfering with another event or needed maintenance. Under these circumstances, I don't see why they couldn't stay indefinitely.

Your last paragraph


"They weren't interfering with another event or needed maintenance. Under these circumstances, I don't see why they couldn't stay indefinitely."


You are almost certainly correct that no other student organization had reserved the quad for another event; if they had, the admin would have definitely trotted that out when defending their actions.  In fact, I'm surprised some conservative student group didn't try that tactic.   So,  there was no urgent need to remove them to preserve other groups' access.


OTOH,  some non-confrontational group like the Chess Club would probably conclude that if police in riot gear weren't able to get the quad cleared,  then a Facilities Reservation note from the Dean of Students probably wouldn't do it either,  and would just decide to not do their event there without bothering to apply.


The Baptists set up a big revival tent on our quad once or twice a semester,  for maybe 36 hours at a time.  I have no problem with that,  but if they had it up continuously for more than a week or so I'd start to think it was inappropriate use of state property for a religious purpose, even if no one else formally requested to use the quad. Given 1A rules on viewpoint discrimination,  one would need to place the same restrictions on non-religious or anti-religious groups.  





Good grief


these fake hypotheticals are ridiculous. There's a cost in not allowing these students to continue to organize and peacefully assemble too. There's a cost to siccing cops on the student body. You're suggesting that's all outweighed by some vague possibility of a shy Chess club's lost opportunity, w/out even any idea whether the quad could've accommodated them as well.


Plus these weren't normal times. There was a protest movement going on across the country that was headline news amidst skyrocketing tuition costs. Pretending these aren't exigent circumstances is just excusing poor decision-making by leadership.

I already conceded


more than once that UC Davis acted inappropriately in the method by which the students were removed,  and in being unreasonably precipitate in removing them at all.


The point was, it's not objectively unreasonable to set time limits on a groups' usage of public spaces. "Indefinite, as long as they want" makes it no longer a public space. Everyplace I've worked at had a system where student groups who wanted to do something that effectively occupied a space, put in a request that had specific dates attached.  You seem to be suggesting that certain viewpoints (e.g. the tuition is too damn high) or affiliations (part of a national protest movement) should be privileged and exempt from such restrictions.



Since we're mostly in agreement


I'll just say I'd take it on a case-by-case basis when talking about deadlines. Don't forget school isn't in session for many weeks throughout the year and these students have a natural time-line to being at a University. This isn't poor people with nowhere else to go deciding to permanently make the city park their new home.


Things would probably work themselves out, so I'm waaay on the side of not having cops make arrests for peaceful assembly. And I said "exigent circumstances," not "exempt from such restrictions". I'm talking about being a flexible leader who has the commonsense to recognize legitimate mitigating factors as opposed to being an inflexible rule-follower whatever the context. The latter make for terrible heads of Universities, where students are sometimes harmed and beaten by the University itself.

Consider the name


It wasn't the Visit movement,  or the Timeshare Cooperative movement,  or the Give Us Our Slice movement, or even the Camp Out Here movement.  It was the Occupy movement.   That word has a meaning, and the idea of commandeering is implicit.

Of course it's just a name that originated somewhere else, and not by itself a justification for pepper spraying anyone, but the original OWS idea definitely had a component of taking control of space (rightly or wrongly) away from others,  and the choice of words wasn't random.

Occupying public space isn't inherently wrong


Public spaces were meant to be occupied by somebody. I don't see that the name has much relevance, the students were peacefully assembled on the quad of the school they attend, not squatting in admin buildings.


If you're going to raise tuition 40%, you should expect a little pushback from the student body and not turn it into a police matter except as a last resort. This wasn't anything resembling a last resort, so there was no duty or obligation to forcibly disperse the students. Seems pretty simple to me.


M Scott Eiland's picture

Establishing mens rea becomes a trivial exercise when the defendants are shouting to the rooftops about their intentions to disrupt and block public spaces in ways that a cursory reading of applicable laws makes it clear the authorities have the right and duty to alleviate.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Why does the buck stop with her


and not with UC Pres. Mark Yudof,  Gov. Jerry Brown, or Pres. Barack Obama?  


Jerry Brown, for example, should have recognized the "known risk of a disproportionate crackdown" given the record of CA law enforcement in general, and he should have also recognized that campus-level administrators trained as academics would likely panic when confronting incidents way outside their experience and education.  He could have issued an order to presidents and chancellors to not use force.


Mark Yudof presided over multiple campuses where violence occurred.


There are some good federalism arguments why Obama isn't responsible,  but I doubt that many OWS supporters recognize federalism as an important concern,  so it's not a valid argument for them to make.

Why do you get to ask all the questions?


How about you tell me where the buck should stop.


These organizations have actual hierarchical structure, actual positions are associated with specific responsibilities, and actual people in power made decisions while some merely refrained from intervening. You propose something and I'll tell you if it's wrong.


... I don't think there's any gotcha to be had with anarchists. They may oppose some of this power structure in society but I doubt many believe it's a fiction.

In this case, mainly the police chief


Looking at this document it appears she (the chief) failed to plan the operation, failed to supervise the officers properly,  and failed to put a stop to it when things got out of hand. 


The document has lots of criticism of Katehi, but most of it amounts to (a) she didn't clearly tell the police how much force to use, and (b) she was the one who decided the tents needed to go that particular afternoon.


(a) seems weak to me.  Although civilian administrators can and should set general policy on if/when to use force, they shouldn't be directly managing individual arrests or other actions.  If she had given an order to use some particular tactic that led to unfortunate results, she would certainly have been criticized for inappropriately involving herself in a decision that should be made by professionals on the spot.  A university president/chancellor in the habit of telling the police who to spray and not spray, especially before the fact, would sound more than a little authoritarian.


(b) is a valid criticism.  Unless the answer to how long the tents could stay is "indefinitely",  at some point someone was going to have to set a deadline,  so I can't see the decision to remove as particularly authoritarian, but the timing was poorly thought out and didn't give enough time for a plan to be worked out.


Interesting that two of the leading real (or supposed) brutalitarians were female.

Seems reasonable


I think there's a reasonable disagreement to be had here.


As I pointed out, however, that there had already been many excessive force issues with police, including on UC campuses. 


Moreover the chancellor is a "civilian administrator," but she overseas the campus police at her University. You'd think where interaction between two distinct parts of a University - the campus police and student body - required special approval from her that she would be at least partially responsible for how it plays out. 


So maybe in most cases, it's not up to a chancellor to micro-manage a police response, but the general pattern should've been taken into account as a risk, it doesn't seem like she cared particularly much, and she should've paid for the negative outcome with her life. 



Job,  sure.  Career, maybe.  Freedom, a stretch.   Life?  You're harsh, man.

It would have matched her own disregard


for proportionality.




Just makin sure you're still reading



Geeze, If I Die Can I Be Reborn as Catchy?...(and Pulled Beef)


...nah, not that way, but Jack Daniel's Pulled Beef with potatoes, onions, mushrooms and brightly colored sweet peppers, bake for 20~30 minutes, (potatoes should be first largely softened in the microwave with garlic & butter) is...better than being smart....I experimented with this yesterday and...WELL!


My recommendation for the day.


Best Wishes, Traveller



more yum

"if a human chain is blocking citizens from freely exercising


their right to an education or an abortion"


Except a public university and its paying students should be viewed differently from a private clinic and unrelated, older adults.


Also, you're focusing a lot on the linked elbows as if partially blocking access to a single University building at 4pm on a Friday was severely compromising the other poor disinterested students' right to receive an education.


I'm not sure the protesters even blocked all the entrances to a single building -- they were mostly just refusing to leave the main quad by linking arms. The stated reason they were removed was "safety" not the educational rights of the other students.


You're trying to turn this into some interesting ethical dilemma even if the dilemma doesn't really map onto actual events. I wish you'd take a closer look at the details before concocting some moral or legal duty to crackdown on these protests. All appearances suggest this was much more about the university admin. wanting to assert its authority.

The university admin fired the officer for his actions


which doesn't seem consistent with them supporting his pepper-spraying as part of their long term plan to suppress purely verbal disagreement to authority.  Of course you can make the usual arguments about scapegoating,  firing the guy only because of pressure, etc., but he was a civil servant and 8 months is pretty fast in such cases,  and if he had an explicit order for his famous stroll,  did he point that out during his hearing?    


Anyway,  I get the slight whiff of a suggestion of a hint that you think I'm on the officer's side.  Not at all.  The main point of a campus police officer (vs. regular officer) is dealing with immature, transgressive students by de-escalating situations and using a minimum of arrests, much less force,  and he clearly failed.  The expression of enjoyment on his face was enough reason to let him go.


However, he probably was ordered to do something about the blockage, and this is not a matter of discretion for the university admin.  Not because of right to receive an education,  but because an entrance is usually an exit.  I agree "safety" often deserves scare quotes but I'd be surprised if you advocated large powerful organizations ignoring fire regulations, even silly ones.

Is there any evidence that these students


were in violation of a fire code? The students were being evicted from the quad for "safety" reasons before they ever linked arms.


Also, I can't see a building anywhere in the video above. Here's a longer one where it's clearer that the incident didn't happen very close to any building at all, let alone in front of a blocked fire exit.


This is the kind of thing I was talking about when I asked whether you wouldn't mind not going on flights of fancy in order to make these events more of a dilemma than they were.


By all appearances, this was a forceful crackdown on a peaceful protest for vague reasons, likely in part b/c the protests challenged the institution's authority. I haven't yet figured out why you believe it was in any way a legal or moral necessity.

OK, looked at the UC Davis report


and had the building access part confused with a building takeover at another CA university, so, everything I wrote on that is more or less crap.  The regulations in question at UC Davis were about encampments,  and unlike fire regulations,  the UC admin created the regulations and could probably have legally decided to ignore them.


The original question before I dug myself in the hole remains - what to do when people engage in civil disobedience using methods that leave no alternative between allowing them to keep violating whatever law they are violating, or using force.  The UC system report recommended (Recommendation 10) "principles should specify that administrators should authorize the police to use hands-on pain compliance techniques rather than higher levels of force (e.g., baton strikes or jabs, pepper spray)".  


I've never been on the receiving end of any H-OPCT, at least not by professionals,  but it doesn't sound like a solution that would satisfy you.

H-OPCT for enforcing important rules sounds OK by me


I don't think anti-encampment rules for a public University quad count, but you brought up some others that did.


You know, we had a couple of admin. buildings occupied by students I think twice when I was an undergrad and no force proved necessary to bring either incident to a successful resolution.


Maybe leading a University, which is supposed to be a place where students discuss and engage important political issues, takes a little finesse.

What about unimportant rules?


I'm now completely agreeing with you that in the specific UC Davis case the force used was not reasonable,  and it appears that everyone except the fired officers thinks so also.


But in general how do you propose to enforce relatively minor rules, e.g. jaywalking,  when the persons involved decide to systematically resist?  Off campus, if you refuse to sign the jaywalking citation,  then refuse to respond when the citation is mailed, then refuse to respond to the 2nd warning letter, then refuse to get into the car when the officers show up,  then decide to make it physically difficult for them to put you into the car themselves,  chances are either the taser, the mace, or the H-OPCT will come into play.


If we announced as a general rule that locking elbows defeats any misdemeanor warrant/arrest then there will quickly be no such thing as a misdemeanor.




What's wrong with UC Berkeley DeLong's fulsome praise


of Larry Summers


Supporters of Summers argue he should have an edge given his crisis-management experience.


"When there is consensus, who the Fed chair is hardly matters, and the times when it matters are the times when you have to think outside the box, and then his strengths shine," said Brad DeLong, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who worked with Summers in the Clinton Treasury Department.


DeLong has been tracking economists for 5 yrs. who refuse to "mark their beliefs to market", i.e. don't revise their failed predictions and understanding of the economy post-recession. Summers was instrumental in the 90s deregulation and repealing Glass-Steagall, yet hasn't renounced this ideology as far as I know. So he fails that test at least in some cases. 


In other cases he passes: Summers has switched his tune to loudly support more economic stimulus since leaving the Obama admin., which is a good revision over playing along with the 2010 deficit pivot as head of Obama's Council of Economic Advisors.


But here's the thing -- marking beliefs to market is a minimum requirement toward the goal of getting the economics profession and policy in sync with reality. What's just as important is rewarding and elevating folk who have been right -- this should be just as central to the "Reality-Based Community" that DeLong has long championed. And on that metric, Summers isn't remotely competitive with Yellen.


DeLong is tossing that all aside. I get that being loyal to a friend is a virtue in most cases, but we're talking about the livelihoods of hundreds of millions here, not some award.

Catchy, the...

Bernard Guerrero's picture

..."repealing Glass-Steagall" amounts to Know-Nothing-ism.  We can, if you'd like, go into more detail about why it was and remains utterly irrelevant to everything that happened since.  Complain about a lack of regulation if you like, but at least stick to regulations that would have mattered as opposed to what amounts to a branding exercise.

Is it a coincidence that the most hawkish


president of a regional federal reserve bank is also the one who's the biggest d&ck?


The debate about the role of gender has spilled out well beyond the White House. Richard W. Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said this year that if the president chose Ms. Yellen, the decision would be “driven by gender.”


We report, you decide.

Amanda Marcotte at Slate smacks down Fed Chair Fisher


Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher complained on CNBC that picking Yellen would be "driven by gender." Oh, he admits she's qualified for the job, but hastened to add, "There are other capable people." Which seems to suggest that Obama should exhaust every male candidate before settling on a female one, a course of action that would not be "driven by gender" because men don't have a gender.



Most favorable review of Obama's economic speech possible


Krugman criticizes it for being too far to the left. 


This kind of thing exposes Krugman for what he would be in a sane world - a centrist, a mainstream economic thinker, rather than a barely respectable leftist by modern right wing standards.


I glanced through Obama's speech and thought it was excellent.


You can say words don't mean much, but it's not trivial when the politician with the biggest voice in the country stops scaring everyone about the deficit and talks mainly about income inequality and jobs.

I Take My Cue From You Catchy, If You Say it Was Okay By You


...then it will be okay by me.


People have asked me about this all day, (and about Weiner)...I have been hesitant.


You know, I want to see Obama grab Boehner by the scruff of his neck, be dragged outside and wet him down with a lawn hose.


When this happens, then Obama will be really okay by me.


Until then, I will just follow your lead.



Weiner is Psychotic


I wouldn't vote for him unless he was running against Sarah Palin's evil twin sister.


Obama's speech was nice. As catchy notes, it was just a good speech from a man who's given several. The speech will be rendered moot if he chooses Summers, whom I despise, for the Fed.


facta non verba

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Obama is definitely changing his tune


Upward mobility, Mr. Obama said in a 40-minute interview with The New York Times, “was part and parcel of who we were as Americans.” ... Mr. Obama in the interview called for an end to the emphasis on budget austerity ...

“I want to make sure that all of us in Washington are investing as much time, as much energy, as much debate on how we grow the economy and grow the middle class as we’ve spent over the last two to three years arguing about how we reduce the deficits,” Mr. Obama said. He called for a shift “away from what I think has been a damaging framework in Washington.”


LINK. A Summers nomination is one test of whether Obama's actions will match his rhetoric, any deficit reduction deals he strikes in October are another, and inaction at Fannie & Freddie and GSEs is a third:


... the first step is to strike a deal to get the Republicans in the Senate to confirm Mel Watt as head of FHFA, and then for FHFA and the GSEs to offer a conforming loan-rate refi (with equity kickers attached for those underwater) to every mortgage holder in America. That policy to clean out the credit-channel mess created by the housing finance disaster and housing bubble crash of 2004-2008 would have been good policy in 2009. It would have been good policy in 2010. It would have been good policy in 2011. It would have been good policy in 2012. And it would be good policy today.

Make that "trying to change his tune"


Obama appeared today at a warehouse full of temp workers owned by a tax-dodging company to talk about needed investments and middle class jobs. This is the guy who named the CEO of G.E. to chair his Council on Jobs.


I really don't think Obama gets economics very well. I've never seen any evidence of it anyway.


Why Amazon is everything wrong with the new economy.

Thanks Trav


There's this tiny problem of Obama's actions not always matching his speeches, but this change still strikes me as important. Even in the SOTU in February Obama was still droning on about the scary deficit.


My thought is that scaring everyone about the deficit is the only way to ram through massive cuts to social insurance, so Obama not playing the part anymore makes that less likely.

Worst. Opposition. Ever.


NSA programs fully funded despite majority of House Ds voting to defund them (111 - 83) while majority of GOP Reps vote against defunding (94 - 134).


So defunding fails 205 - 217.


Clearly the home of libertarians is w/in the GOP.



Glad it worked out...

Bernard Guerrero's picture



Beautifully choreographed.

I thought it was interesting...


That each side had 6 none votes and if they voted to de-fund the vote would have been a tie.... 

Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to intense skeptical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and yo

Is it because Mr Amash is a Tea Party candidate

mmghosh's picture

or so it appears?  Because it seems a pretty principled position for a Tea Party candidate to take.  But it seems change is coming, and the change in atmosphere not just cosmetic.


Newly elected Democrat Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, an Iraq War combat veteran considered a rising star in her party, said that she could not in good conscience take a single dollar from taxpayers to fund programs that infringe on exactly those constitutional rights our troops (such as herself) have risked their lives for; she told me after the vote, by Twitter direct message, that the "battle [was] lost today but war not over. We will continue to press on this issue."



In between these denunciations of the Obama NSA from House liberals, some of the most conservative members of the House stood to read from the Fourth Amendment. Perhaps the most amazing moment came when GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner - the prime author of the Patriot Act back in 2001 and a long-time defender of War on Terror policies under both Bush and Obama - stood up to say that the NSA's domestic bulk spying far exceeds the bounds of the law he wrote as well as his belief in the proper limits of domestic surveillance, and announced his support for Amash/Conyers.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

It does have that feel to it


Close, but not too close.


Nancy Pelosi condemning the NSA programs as a sop to liberals but then voting against defunding anyway.



In fairness


I can't recall the D party ever attempting to smack Bush down on a national security issue in the 2006-08 period when they held Congressional majorities. 

A really nice gesture


Seriously, this speaks well of George Bush I:

-- Former President George H.W. Bush, 89, shaved his head this week in solidarity with Patrick, the 2-year-old son of a member of Bush's security detail.


I am kind of pissed though that my hard-earned tax dollars are paying for this kid's health care.

I saw this on the news tonite

Jay C's picture

Little Patrick is the son of one of GHWB's Secret Service detail; all them -and Poppy Bush -  decided to shave their heads in solidarity with Patrick's struggle with leukemia. Genuinely moving - one can't imagine many ex-Presidents doing this; somehow GHW makes it seem normal...


It is very kind and genuinely moving


However, I can't but help thinking of how starkly this show of solidarity contrasts with the ideology the Bushes have supported over the years of denying millions of children in America access to the very health care this 2 yr. old is receiving through his government-provided benefits.

Reuters Felix Salmon on Summers for Fed Chair


Never mind the utter shambles that Summers made of Harvard, or the way he treated Cornel West, or his tone-deaf speech about women’s aptitude, or the pollution memo, or the Shleifer affair, or the way he shut down Brooksley Born at the CFTC, or his role in repealing Glass-Steagall, or his generally toxic combination of ego and temper — so long as POTUS likes Larry, and/or so long as Summers is good at working key Obama advisors like Geithner, Lew, and Rubin, that’s all that matters.



The choice of Summers would also be the clearest signal yet that Obama feels that he did what needed to be done to deal with the financial crisis, and that financial reform is, for the rest of his presidency, going to be a very low priority. Summers is a deregulator in his bones; he didn’t like the consumer-friendly parts of Dodd-Frank, and his actions have nearly always erred on the side of being far too friendly to Wall Street. He considers monetary policy to be largely irrelevant in a zero interest rate environment, and there is no chance whatsoever that he would take a robust leadership role with respect to the Fed’s other big job, which is regulation. If you want to repeat all of the Clinton-era mistakes of financial regulation, you can’t do better than appointing Clinton’s very own Treasury secretary.



Detroit vs. banks


We live in a country where if a bank is insolvent it's infused with taxpayer money and its executives increase their bonuses.


In contrast if a city is insolvent, where the process looks headed is that creditors can take public worker pensions even though it's expressly forbidden by the state constitution.

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell


He's been at the center of peace talks in the Middle East, he helped broker a peace agreement in Northern Ireland. 


Now, in the most important role of his career, he's going to try and mediate the dispute between the Minnesota Orchestra's musicians and its board.

1960 presidential election map



... just kinda interesting how much of the South went for Kennedy and how the Pacific northwest was Nixon country.

What's the significance of OK and AL with the


second number?

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Electoral College oddities

Jay C's picture

The single "off" vote in Oklahoma was a "faithless elector", the Alabama numbers were due to a quirk of the state's election law which made them effectively "unpledged" - and of whom 5 voted for JFK: the others to Senator Harry Byrd, even though he wasn't "running" (Civil Right Era and all that).


Anyway, odd as it may look today, there was not much out-of-line about 1960's political orientation: the South was still firmly in the hands of their long-term Democratic machines; Eisenhower (and by extension, Nixon) had done fairly well in a lot of otherwise-Democratic states - and Tricky Dick WAS from California, after all.


IIRC, the only real "shocker" in 1960 was Texas going for Kennedy, even if by a narrow margin: the Dem ticket was certainly helped there by having Lyndon Johnson on the ticket: first, LBJ drew a significant number of votes on his own by being on the ballot; and secondly, it enabled him to be in a better position to oversee the usual Texas practice of mass vote-stealing which put the Dems over the top...

Interesting comment, thanks


FL must have the biggest change in EVs since '60 - it's now nearly 3x the size it was then. And that ain't a good thang.

This place became to small for them.


Some time ago I posted a 'tube of Lhasa singing "La Confession". I'm not sure many of you listened and with hindsight, the lyrics, though beautiful and clever, are in French. I suspect that even with a Galloise draped ironically from your fingers you would need to understand it to find it as remarkable as I do.


When I posted it I knew almost nothing about the artist herself. I hd heard in Swiss Radio and followed it down and bought it. Since then I discovered that Lhasa is now dead, having died on new years day 2010 of breast cancer. 


A short time before that she recorded this. It is a short monologue on death, or rather on life. I am an atheist and as much of a realist as I can be and I try not to flatter myself with illusions about death. But this, I found hauntingly beautiful. 


+1. nt

mmghosh's picture


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency



No! No! The light! It burns!

I've been around since showed up on a "best of" list of blogs. When that site was deleted and everyone moved here, I changed my handle to Soothsayer to keep with the developing Roman theme and because I knew even then that I would only be a bit player, so I picked one of my favorite nobodies in literature. Every once in a while I get the urge to say my piece and then I disappear again, so I feel that my choice of pseudonym is appropriate.

"In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad."~Nietzsche

What was your handle on tacitus again?


It escapes me.

Matthew G



"In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad."~Nietzsche

Speaking of Josh Trevino


I noticed he no longer works for the Texas Public Policy Foundation but his wiki doesn't say whether he has any other employment.


If I'm remembering the time-line correctly, Trevino and the TPPP parted ways shortly after the whole Malaysian scandal surfaced.

I'll lead off


I'm Darth Cuddly, I chose this handle because like honey and mustard it just works but I wasn't daring enough to try horseradish and chocolate.  I've been lurking for maybe 20 minutes or so, whatever the time stamp on my last comment was.  I've got* a special place in my heart for typos, I think lawn darts ought to be an olympic sport, synchronized lawn darts would be better, and I've been known to jam on a hammer dulcimer.  I don't believe in drinking problems, just problems that lead to drinking, but then again I don't believe in rabies either.


I'm from PA 'have got' as in 'You've got a friend in PA' is official correct english due to it's officialness. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I'll follow. My name is catchy


and I'm an alcoholic.

I'm Wombaticus


And I'm usually up with the lurk. 


They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...
-- General John B. Sedgwick, 1864