MadCity Blogs

Wed, 12/31/1969 - 7:00pm

"We have established the brigade to raise awareness of our religion among women, and to punish women who do not abide by the law."

Althouse - 1 hour 14 min ago
It's the al-Khansaa Brigade, the ISIS all-female moral police...,

ISIS said to deploy all-female brigade in Raqqa, #Syria to crack down on non-compliant women.

— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) July 16, 2014
ADDED: I gave this post my "gender politics" tag, even though it's very different from what usually gets the tag. But if anything is gender politics, this is. What's all that other stuff?
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"How a bipartisan group that hoped to make Washington more functional became yet another cog in the D.C. moneymaking machine — and infuriated Democrats."

Althouse - 1 hour 18 min ago
Finally, an answer to the question that's been bugging me for years: Whatever happened to "No Labels"?

Now, I wonder if anyone can tell me: What's brewing in The Coffee Party?
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"We followed family tradition this year by taking 5 of our 22 grandkids, ages 10 through 13, on a trip through the American West."

Althouse - 1 hour 21 min ago
"My Mom and Dad began the tradition, showing their grandchildren the majesty of our country and teaching them about the sacrifices and character of the pioneers. We visited Goblin Valley, Spooky Gulch, Peekaboo Slot Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce National Park, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Rainbow Arch, Grand Canyon, and the four falls in the Havasupai Reservation. All totaled, we hiked over 50 miles: quite a feat for the young — and for Ann and me."

Me = Mitt Romney.

Categories: MadCity Blogs

"I wish Netanyahu and his government had a better sense of the toxic repercussions of mobilizing GOP proxies as cut-outs in this way."

Althouse - 1 hour 48 min ago
Says Josh Marshall (in a dizzying swirl of metaphor).
It should go without saying that the Israel-US alliance becomes more brittle as it becomes more clearly identified with a single US political party. And perhaps more than that, as it becomes more clearly identified with the ties between Netanyahu and US Republicans.The headline is "Dangerous Game," and we're told "Nothing gets the Obama administration's ire up like the perception (very often grounded in reality) that Netanyahu and his government ministers are trying to scuttle his initiatives by inveigling themselves into domestic partisan conflict in the US."

Marshall won't say it directly, but this feels like desperation about the 2014 elections.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"Dating website OKCupid has revealed that it experimented on its users, including putting the 'wrong' people together to see if they would connect."

Althouse - 2 hours 41 min ago
The whole thing is an experiment, but here's the revelation:
In one experiment, the site took pairs of "bad" matches between two people... and told them they were "exceptionally good" for each other.... "Not surprisingly, the users sent more first messages when we said they were compatible," Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OKCupid, said in a blog post on the company's research and insights blog.
Further experiments suggested that "when we tell people they are a good match, they act as if they are. Even when they should be wrong for each other." The company later revealed the correct scores to the participants.

In another experiment, OKCupid ran profiles with pictures and no profile text for half of its test subjects, and vice versa for the rest. The results showed that people responded solely to the pictures. For potential daters, Mr Rudder said that "your actual words are worth… almost nothing."
Categories: MadCity Blogs

Happy birthday to Professor Irwin Corey. He's 100 years old today.

Althouse - 3 hours 10 min ago
Here's video of him performing in 2011, when he was 97:

And the video below comes from way back in 2007, when the President of the United States was George Bush, and Professor Irwin Corey looked much more than 5 years younger. He criticizes the President in both videos, and perhaps the years weigh very heavily as you approach 100 — I'm saying "you," but do you really think you'll have the opportunity to feel the increasing weight of the years leading up to 100? — but perhaps for a true left-winger like Professor Irwin Corey, the experience of disappointment in Obama hurts far more than getting what you knew you were going to hate from George Bush.

From Wikipedia:

Poverty-stricken, his parents were forced to place him in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York, where Corey remained until his early teens, when he rode the rails out to California, and enrolled himself at Belmont High School in Los Angeles. During the Great Depression, he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps, and while working his way back East, became a featherweight Golden Gloves boxing champion.

Corey supported left-wing politics. "When I tried to join the Communist Party, they called me an anarchist." He has appeared in support of Cuban children, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the American Communist Party, and was blacklisted in the 1950s, the effects of which he says still linger to this day....  During the 1960 election, Corey campaigned for president on Hugh Hefner's Playboy ticket....

When the famously publicity-shy Thomas Pynchon won the National Book Award Fiction Citation for Gravity's Rainbow, he asked Corey to accept it on his behalf. The New York Times described the resulting speech as "...a series of bad jokes and mangled syntax which left some people roaring with laughter and others perplexed."Listen to that speech here
In the Robert A. Heinlein science fiction novel Friday, the eponymous heroine says
At one time there really was a man known as "the World's Greatest Authority." I ran across him in trying to nail down one of the many silly questions that kept coming at me from odd sources. Like this: Set your terminal to "research." Punch parameters in succession "North American culture," "English-speaking," "mid-twentieth century," "comedians," "the World’s Greatest Authority." The answer you can expect is "Professor Irwin Corey." You’ll find his routines timeless humor.For an October 2011 interview, Corey invited a New York Times reporter to visit his 1840 carriage house on East 36th Street. Corey estimated its resale value at $3.5 million. He said that, when not performing, he panhandled for change from motorists exiting the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Every few months, he told the interviewer, he donated the money to a group that purchased medical supplies for Cuban children. He said of the drivers who supplied the cash, "I don’t tell them where the money’s going, and I’m sure they don’t care." Irvin Arthur, Corey's agent for half a century, assured the reporter that Corey didn't need the money for himself. "This is not about money," Arthur said. "For Irwin, this is an extension of his performing."Here's an interview with him (with photos). The interviewer's first line is: "Damon Runyon once called you the funniest man in the world." And:
Kliph Nesteroff: I have a clipping from 1936 that says you were performing with the Lionel Stander Vaudeville Tour.

Professor Irwin Corey: Yeah, I did a tour with Lionel Stander. He fired me after three weeks to save fifty dollars.

Kliph Nesteroff: (laughs)

Professor Irwin Corey: (laughs) He did a vaudeville act and we were hecklers. I don't remember exactly what we did, but he was on the bill with a couple of people. He said on New Year's Eve, "Don't even bother telling jokes. Tonight the audience are the funny ones."Later:
I did a show with Shelley Berman, Mort Sahl, Dick Cavett, Dick Gregory and Bill Dana. I told this joke. "A bum walks up to a very wealthy woman and says, 'Madam, I'm broke. Can I borrow a buck?' Madam looks at the bum and says, ' Neither a borrower nor a lender be! - Shakespere.' The bum replies, 'Fuck you!' - Tennesee Williams.'"

... Mort Sahl used some of my material. I always said, "The future lies ahead!" And then he put out a record called The Future Lies Ahead - and that had been my line. In fact, I was the one that coined the expression, "You can get more with a kind word... and a gun, than with just a kind word." Many people thought that Al Capone had said that. Al Capone couldn't even write his first name.Much more at that link, and many more names dropped, e.g., "that woman that had her head cut off. What was her name? Jayne Mansfield?" and "George Carlin. I also helped get Carlin a job early on." and "Woody Allen used some of my material. He was no good at the... he died at the Hungry i..." and "Ed Sullivan was an anti-Semite and a very dull person in reality."
Kliph Nesteroff: Did anybody every go after you because of your progressive politics?

Professor Irwin Corey: I was never aware that I was a political commentator. It just happens. You just do it. You breathe, but you're not conscious of breathing. When I did my act I wasn't conscious that it was political.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

Polling place video decision is a lost opportunity

Uppity Wisconsin - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 9:26pm

Consider me an outlier. I disagree with the Government Accountability Board's recent rejection of video cameras at polling places. There was a lot of opposition to the idea from the League of Women Voters and citizens worried that voters would be intimidated by observers brandishing cameras at close quarters.

Hear me out. The fall election promises to be ugly. Republican party officials are already recruiting poll watchers for what the are calling a "voter integrity" project for the fall election. They will be taking advantage of the three-foot rule with observers at every registration table. That is where the challenges will be mounted and I for one would like to be able to record that. The best defense for a video camera is another video camera. The Republicans need to be exposed and footage of an observer challenging minority voters would do more to advance the cause of voting rights than any lawsuit or anecdote.

The League of Women Voters logged several incidents of voter intimidation in their report on the 2012 fall election. Among them were the following:

"At Washington High School in Milwaukee, State Rep. Don Pridemore (Hartford) was ejected from the site for repeatedly interfering with the voting process and refusing to obey the Chief’s multiple requests to stop his disruptive behavior. "

" At Cherry Court Apartments in Milwaukee, a “concerned citizen” observer claimed an African-American woman had voted earlier that day and tried to challenge her. However, when informed that he must swear under penalty of perjury to make the challenge, the observer refused to go under oath. Law enforcement was present, including the District Attorney’s office. The voter was permitted to vote as she was eligible to do so."

" At Ben Franklin School in Milwaukee, an observer pestered the Chiefs almost non-stop, constantly raising frivolous concerns, such as a disabled voter being helped by two individuals instead of one. He also hovered too closely around the same-day registration tables."

I would like to get those incidents on tape. Voter intimidation will happen. I just wish I could record it for all the world to see.

Categories: MadCity Blogs

Professor Irwin Corey is about to turn 100.

Althouse - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 9:18pm
I love Professor Irwin Corey, and I hope this birthday — on Tuesday — gets the attention it deserves. The Daily News had a story yesterday with some great recent pictures of this man who looked old when he was on TV in the 1960s.
Asked how it feels to be nearing 100, Corey deadpanned: “I’m going to write a book — ‘The first 100 years are the hardest.’”Some video here
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"Anyone born a man retains male privilege in society; even if he chooses to live as a woman — and accept a correspondingly subordinate social position..."

Althouse - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 9:13pm
"... the fact that he has a choice means that he can never understand what being a woman is really like. By extension, when trans women demand to be accepted as women they are simply exercising another form of male entitlement."

From "What Is a Woman?/The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism," by Michelle Goldberg.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

Petting the dog.

Althouse - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 9:10pm

It's Ranger.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

County Fairs: Competition, Critters and Community

Uppity Wisconsin - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 2:17pm
July 30, 2014 County Fairs: Competition, Critters and Community By Senator Kathleen Vinehout   “I haven’t seen you in at least 20 years,” the rural Ettrick women exclaimed as she shook the older man’s hand. “Catching up with friends is a great part of the county fair,” she leaned over and told me.   It’s county fair-time.   Walking through the fairgrounds I see the efforts of many volunteers. Thousands of hours go into preparing for the fair. Preparations for this year began shortly after last year’s fair concluded.   Young people compete for fair premiums, blue ribbons and trophies. Their preparation begins in the selection of projects, generally through 4H and FFA. Detailed records are kept of animal’s production. Young animals are taught to lead. Youngsters learn the proper way to show. Parents encourage, prod and persevere through the stressful last weeks of preparation.   Oldsters get into the action thinking of quilts, preserves, crops or tractors to show.   Volunteer boards run most county fairs. Every member of the board is a strong contributor to the operation of the fair. Every detail of building maintenance, entertainment, purchase of supplies, vendor contracts, and fair booth preparation gets scrutinized by the fair board volunteers.   County fairs have a deep tradition in our state. Wisconsin’s first county fair was held in Waukesha County back in 1842. This fair was held before Wisconsin was even a state! At that fair a handful of exhibitors showed their agricultural exhibits.  A total of $40 was awarded to exhibitors.  Now Wisconsin has 76 state-aided fairs every year.  Seventy-one of Wisconsin’s 72 hold county fairs. Five of those counties also host a district fair.   The old agricultural expositions, as they were sometimes called, became a place for city folks to meet country dwellers and for farmers to compete against each other. Fairs helped grow the dairy industry. They also became a time for farmers to learn the latest in agriculture techniques and compete against each other in categories from quilts to corn. Everyone looked forward to Fair Day.   Youngsters arrive by the carload, carefully carrying their projects. Family, friends or adult leaders help unload the cattle and kids take them to the wash rack for a cold bath.   Horses are bathed and polished. Teens saddle up and head to the exercise ring to work off nervous energy. Over and over again youngsters ride through the pattern their horse will perform. The youth strive to win the best time, take home a trophy and a small premium check.   Sheep, lamas, swine, goats, fowl, rabbits, cats and dogs are among the myriad of animals that compete for awards.   But the fair is about more than clean critters and competition. It’s about community.   It’s time to catch up with relatives, friends and neighbors. Grandparents share stories of their children. And the tradition continues as their children remind their own offspring in a way that sounds strangely like something that parent heard as a child.   Generations of youngsters grew up with 4H. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 4H program nationwide. Like the first county fairs, 4H started with a focus on farming. Today the organization is much more than crops and livestock. Rural and city youth alike participate in a wide spectrum of programs that teach them important life skills. Technology is providing new opportunities for youth.   Digital photography, computer and web categories are bringing in a whole new group of technology driven exhibitors.   4H will continue strong into its second 100 years because of the contributions of so many adults who teach generations of youngsters. Recently I attended 4H leadership awards where we celebrated a gentleman who gave 60 years of leadership to youth in 4H.   The volunteers serving on the fair board, in the booths, as livestock supervisors, 4H leaders, parents, grandparents and adult mentors come together to create a fair experience youngsters remember forever.   The fair creates the spirit of community that nurtures the soul and encourages the young person to say, “I want to raise my family here.”   Hats off to all the volunteers who make this year’s fairs the best ever.   If you haven’t had your fill of fairs, the Jackson, Buffalo and Pierce County Fairs are coming up. And don’t forget Wisconsin’s premier State Fair!    
Categories: MadCity Blogs

U.S. Labor Dept: Wisconsin Again Ranked #1 in Workers Lost Due To Outsourcing

Uppity Wisconsin - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 10:25am

For the third year in a row, Wisconsin takes home the dubious crown of the nation's biggest per-capita outsourcer.

Every fiscal year, the U.S. Department of Labor releases the total number of workers, by state, enrolled in their "Trade Adjustment Assistance" (TAA) program, which certifies and helps retrain workers that have lost their jobs due to overseas outsourcing.  Although only a small percentage of workers that lose their jobs due outsourcing actually go through the tedious TAA certification process, the numbers are the best measurment of outsoucing in a particular state. 

In the past fiscal year that ended on March 31, Wisconsin with nearly three thousand workers, tied with Arkansas and Pennsylvania as the largest per-capita leader of workers enrolled in the TAA program.  

Categories: MadCity Blogs

Johnna Sundberg: Election results need to mean something

One Wisconsin Now - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 10:08am
by Johnna Sundberg We've seen threats to the right to vote here in Wisconsin and in other states, which many consider attacks on the very notion of representative democracy. It is critical for our nation to remain a tireless champion for human rights and democracy -- whether the threat is here, or abroad. For instance, in Thailand, a military junta... Cody Oliphant
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"Why do white people fixate on the 'Westernizing' elements of ethnic plastic surgery?"

Althouse - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 9:26am
"While working on this article, I found that people of all races had principled reservations about and passionate critiques of these practices. But the group that most consistently believed participants were deluding themselves about not trying to look white were, well, white people. Was that a symptom of in-group narcissism — white people assuming everyone wants to look like them? Or is it an issue of salience — white people only paying attention to aesthetics they already understand? Or is white horror at ethnic plastic surgery a cover for something uglier: a xenophobic fear of nonwhites 'passing' as white, dressed up as free-to-be-you-and-me political correctness?"
Categories: MadCity Blogs

Scott Walker's ad about Mary Burke's family's company — Trek — gets the numbers right.

Althouse - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 8:29am
PolitiFact verifies.

Here's the ad:

Other things to think about: Should Walker concentrate ads on Mary Burke's family's company? Which voters are susceptible to arguments based on Trek's use of Chinese labor to makes its bikes? Which voters are susceptible to the argument that Mary Burke would make a good governor because her family has a business that makes great bikes? If I'm riding around on my Trek bike, am I a rolling ad for Mary Burke?

ADDED: Instapundit says:
[A]ttacking Dems on hypocrisy that will hurt them with their base is an excellent turnout-reducing strategy. People bothered by these ads won’t vote for Walker, necessarily, but they’ll be less likely to show up at all. Same reason people should go after Democratic officeholders who pay women less than men. And as I said in the comments a few hours ago:
I think Walker is trying to deprive Mary Burke of an argument she wants to use: That Walker didn't keep his "promise" to cause X number of jobs to come into being in Wisconsin.

It's his preemptive "Yeah, you're worse."As you can see from this Green Bay Gazette report, Burke does use that argument. Democrats are fixated on 250,000 as the number of jobs Walker promised. PolitiFact is keeping track of the statistics here.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

Based on the average American man's waist measurement, the top-selling size pants should be 38, 39 or even 40.

Althouse - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 7:56am
But it's 34, and I think you know why.

No, it's not that the bigger men get the less likely they are to buy pants.

It's that men don't wear pants at the waist level. The belly floats free, above the so-called waistband.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"The East Bay School is not a traditional boys school, aimed at reinforcing typical ideas of what it means to 'be a man.'"

Althouse - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 7:50am
"The school's director, Jason Baeten, says that the goal is instead to create an educational space where boys can make mistakes, be vulnerable and learn to be self-reliant."
Baeten says, "We all came together and decided what we wanted our graduates to look like, what qualities we wanted them to have. So, things like: respects women, flexible, resilient — all of these."

One of the ways that the school is trying to upend tradition is by re-inventing shop class for the 21st century. In fact, they don't even call it "shop." At the East Bay School for Boys, it goes by a different name: "work."

David Clifford, the school's director of innovation, explains why: "We moved away from the language of shop because it has a history behind it, where for decades now, shop has been considered second or third tier in education, where first tier is academics."This school is in Berkeley, California, and the report is from NPR.
Categories: MadCity Blogs