This is a welcome development. Trump's lawyers will argue that this is a matter of "public interest," so the standard for a defamation action to proceed is that Trump spoke with "actual malice," i.e., without any regard for the truth of what he said. Of course, this is tricky, because if he would know whether the allegations she made were true, and if they are true and he still called her a liar, then it certainly looks like actual malice! (A court might also simply treat the plaintiff as an ordinary citizen, so it will simply suffice if the statement that she is a "liar" is false--but in this context, for the reason noted, this may no matter.)
UPDATE: Some more details, including the complaint, here. An ironic sidenote: Trump apologist and spokesperson Kellyanne Conway is married to the lawyer (George Conway) who briefed the Supreme Court case that held that a sitting President (in that case Bill Clinton) could be a defendant in a civil suit. Mr. Conway is mentioned as a possible candidate for Trump's Solicitor General!
The Lincoln Center campus denies approval for students who wanted to start a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. The Center for Constitutional Rights' letter to the Fordham admin sets out what happened and why it is unlawful. This is all-too-typical of the brazen hypocrisy about free speech on American campuses when it comes to Israel. Shame on Fordham. I hope their President will reverse this decision promptly.
...but since "conservative" doesn't mean conservative anymore, but something more like "bonkers reactionary religious fanatic with little grip on reality" these days, this is a horrifying statistic. Gallup's analysis of its own poll results is naïve: it fails to take account of the fact that the extension of the terms "conservative" and "liberal" have changed over the last quarter-century, as the overall political discourse has moved to the right on every topic except a handful of social issues (notably, LGBT rights).
In five days, a new President of the U.S. will be inaugurated. Although it would be unprecedented for someone other than the winner of the electoral college to be inaugurated on Friday, this has been a year of unprecedented happenings, so perhaps, given the wide reach of this blog, you, dear readers, can influence the nation's direction. Rank order these 30 individuals from most to least qualified to serve as President of the U.S. Let's see how the President-elect fares in a real competition!
...call them to voice support for the Affordable Care Act (see this useful NYT piece). It's clear that a good number of Republican Senators are getting cold feet about the disaster they're about to unleash if they cut the funding for the ACA (which they can do with a bare majority) but leave the regulations in place (e.g., the prohibition on denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions). Phone calls have much more impact than any other form of communication with these ding-dongs!
What you're calling "elitism" is just simply not being ignorant. We don't have our heads shoved up Jesus's ass. And when the left gets angry because of how fucking dumb some of the shit coming out of rural and red mouths is, we're told we need to understand what they believe. No, we're just gonna say that stupid is stupid.
The percentage of workers engaged in alternative work arrangements – defined as temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract workers, and independent contractors or freelancers – rose from 10.1 percent [of all employed workers] in February 2005 to 15.8 percent in late 2015.
That is a huge jump, especially since the percentage of workers with alternative work arrangements barely budged over the period February 1995 to February 2005; it was only 9.3 in 1995.
But their most startling finding is the following:
A striking implication of these estimates is that all of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements. Total employment according to the CPS increased by 9.1 million (6.5 percent) over the decade, from 140.4 million in February 2005 to 149.4 in November 2015. The increase in the share of workers in alternative work arrangements from 10.1 percent in 2005 to 15.8 percent in 2015 implies that the number of workers employed in alternative arrangement increased by 9.4 million (66.5 percent), from 14.2 million in February 2005 to 23.6 million in November 2015. Thus, these figures imply that employment in traditional jobs (standard employment arrangements) slightly declined by 0.4 million (0.3 percent) from 126.2 million in February 2005 to 125.8 million in November 2015.
Take a moment to let that sink in—and think about what that tells us about the operation of the US economy and the future for working people. Employment in so-called traditional jobs is actually shrinking. The only types of jobs that have been growing in net terms are ones in which workers have little or no security and minimal social benefits....
There is a clear age gradient that has grown stronger, with older workers more likely to have nonstandard employment than younger workers. In 2015, 6.4 percent of those aged 16 to 24 were employed in an alternative work arrangement, while 14.3 percent of those aged 25-54 and 23.9 percent of those aged 55-74 had nonstandard work arrangements.
The percentage of women with nonstandard work arrangements grew dramatically from 2005 to 2015, from 8.3 percent to 17 percent. Women are now more likely to be employed under these conditions than men.
Workers in all educational levels experienced a jump in nonstandard work, with the increase greatest for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher. “Occupational groups experiencing particularly large increases in the nonstandard work from 2005 to 2015 include computer and mathematical, community and social services, education, health care, legal, protective services, personal care, and transportation jobs.”
The authors also tested to determine “whether alternative work is growing in higher or lower wage sectors of the labor market.” They found that “workers with attributes and jobs that are associated with higher wages are more likely to have their services contracted out than are those with attributes and jobs that are associated with lower wages. Indeed, the lowest predicted quintile-wage group did not experience a rise in contract work.”
The take-away is pretty clear. Corporate profits and income inequality have grown in large part because US firms have successfully taken advantage of the weak state of unions and labor organizing more generally, to transform work relations. Increasingly workers, regardless of their educational level, find themselves forced to take jobs with few if any benefits and no long-term or ongoing relationship with their employer. Only a rejuvenated labor movement, one able to build strong democratic unions and press for radically new economic policies will be able to reverse existing trends.
There is no sign that 2017 will be much different from 2016.
Under Israeli occupation for decades, Gaza will still be the biggest open prison on Earth..
In the United States, the killing of black people at the hands of the police will proceed unabated and hundreds of thousands more will join those already housed in the prison-industrial complex that came on the heels of plantation slavery and Jim Crow laws.
Europe will continue its slow descent into liberal authoritarianism or what cultural theorist Stuart Hall called authoritarian populism. Despite complex agreements reached at international forums, the ecological destruction of the Earth will continue and the war on terror will increasingly morph into a war of extermination between various forms of nihilism.
Inequalities will keep growing worldwide. But far from fuelling a renewed cycle of class struggles, social conflicts will increasingly take the form of racism, ultra nationalism, sexism, ethnic and religious rivalries, xenophobia, homophobia and other deadly passions.
The denigration of virtues such as care, compassion and kindness will go hand in hand with the belief, especially among the poor, that winning is all that matters and who wins — by whatever means necessary — is ultimately right.
With the triumph of this neo-Darwinian approach to history-making, apartheid under various guises will be restored as the new old norm. Its restoration will pave the way to new separatist impulses, the erection of more walls, the militarisation of more borders, deadly forms of policing, more asymmetrical wars, splitting alliances and countless internal divisions including in established democracies.
None of the above is accidental. If anything, it is a symptom of structural shifts, which will become ever more apparent as the new century unfolds. The world as we knew it since the end of World War II, the long years of decolonisation, the Cold War and the defeat of communism has ended.
Another long and deadlier game has started. The main clash of the first half of the 21st century will not oppose religions or civilisations. It will oppose liberal democracy and neoliberal capitalism, the rule of finance and the rule of the people, humanism and nihilism.
If there's anything wrong with this diagnosis is that it understates the role of capitalist logic in everything that came before too. And from the conclusion:
Neoliberal capitalism has left in its wake a multitude of destroyed subjects, many of whom are deeply convinced that their immediate future will be one of continuous exposure to violence and existential threat.
They genuinely long for a return to some sense of certainty, the sacred, hierarchy, religion and tradition. They believe that nations have become akin to swamps that need to be drained and the world as it is should be brought to an end. For this to happen, everything should be cleansed off. They are convinced that they can only be saved in a violent struggle to restore their masculinity, the loss of which they attribute to the weaker among them, the weak they do not want to become.
In this context, the most successful political entrepreneurs will be those who convincingly speak to the losers, to the destroyed men and women of globalisation and to their ruined identities.
In the street fight politics will become, reason will not matter. Nor will facts. Politics will revert into brutal survivalism in an ultracompetitive environment.
This 61-page document is not a work in political philosophy, in any sense of the term. Political philosophy is a sub-discipline of philosophy. This is not a work of philosophy, in any sense of the term. While characterizing the distinctive features of philosophy in the Western tradition has itself long been a lively topic among philosophers, it is in every guise marked by a mode of argument the point of which is the discovery of general and abstract truths. That mode of argument is manifested in standard forms of reasoning, for example, in establishing, with evidence, a number of premises the acceptance of which logically requires the acceptance of the truth of a conclusion those premises support.
Here. Short version: African-Americans turned out in lower numbers than when Obama was running, and a number of less-educated whites who had previously voted for Obama switched to Trump.
Is it possible that but for James Comey's misconduct and hackers releasing e-mails revealing the corruption of the Democratic establishment, enough other demographics would have turned out to vote, thus offsetting the lower African-American turnout and the white voters who flipped to Trump? Yes, it is possible, but there is no evidence that supports thinking this to be true.
Did Putin want Trump to win? Presumably: Trump's expressed views are less hostile to Russia than Clinton's, and, in any case, it must be obvious to Putin that Trump is an unstable ignoramus who is easy to manipulate. Did Putin put hackers up to embarrassing the Democrats? It's not implausible, but we simply don't know, unless there is still someone in America who takes the pronouncements of American intelligence agencies on faith. Did the hackers embarrass the Democrats by publishing misinformation? No, they simply put the spotlight on how high-ranking Democratic officials were actually behaving. (Maybe the moral of the story is that Democratic officials shouldn't misbehave and show some respect for the democratic process?)
Is it hypocritical for the U.S. to complain about possible meddling in its electoral process? Obviously, but what else is new?
A key thesis of the alt-right, as some contributors here have discussed, is that race is a real feature of the human person (just as sex is a real feature of the human person) and that one’s race can, to a large extent influence (or perhaps outright determine), a people’s intelligence, personality types, temperament, and so forth. The truth of this thesis, the alt-righter might claim, can be grasped at the level of common sense by simply having interactions with persons of various races.
Quite innocently and without meaning to cause scandal, an observer may notice, for example, that the Japanese he has met tend to be deferent and non-confrontational, or that Sub-Saharan Africans he has met tend to be joyous and energetic, or that the Italians he has met may be expressive, loud and impatient, that the Swedes he has met tend to be smarter than the Pygmies he has met, and so forth. But there is also plenty ofempiricalevidence for this thesis. (Perhaps this is the claim that Shapiro finds “racist”; if so, then either he has a very trivial account of what racism (e.g., the claim that there are racial differences, something that is hardly objectionable and is as true as the claim that there are differences between the sexes) is or he is simply wrong.)
Next comes the following claim by the alt-righter: these biological facts about one’s race go on to influence, outright determine, or, more poetically, flavor the sort of civilization that a race will establish. Thus the high-IQ race that is characteristically deferent and non-confrontational race will establish a peculiar and unique sort of civilization and the low-IQ race that is characteristically brutish, violent and present-thinking will establish a peculiar and unique sort of civilization. The alt-righter might additionally—and very plausibly—claim that a low-IQ race that is characteristically brutish, violent, and present-thinking will not—and perhaps cannot—establish the sort of civilization that the high-IQ, deferent and non-confrontational race can establish (and vice versa).
Now, if there really are racial differences in intelligence, personality, temperament, and so forth—and there is overwhelming evidence that there are such differences between the races—and these differences contribute to (or give a flavor to, or determine, etc.) the sort of civilization that a race will create, then it is not implausible at all to suggest that Western civilization—by which we mean European civilization—can only be fully and genuinely carried on by people of European biological stock (just as, say, Jewish civilization can only be genuinely or fully carried on by people of Jewish stock). Other races that have some biological similarity to people of European stock may carry European civilization forward to some extent—we could say not genuinely (as do, for example, the Japanese, to some extent, in their appreciation of classical music). But the differences between the race groups will inevitably result in differences in the way that European civilization can be carried out, just as we would expect Europeans (that is, people of European biological stock) to be able to carry on with Japanese civilization in a limited manner but never genuinely.
This is quite amazing, on so many levels: the conflation of culture with race, the cherry-picking of discredited "evidence", the inability to distinguish causation from correlation, all in the service of the most ugly and dangerous Nazi myths about "European biological stock" (as distinct from "Jewish stock" and so on). This is sick, sick stuff--we thought it was defeated in 1945!--but here it is on a blog that purports to represent contemporary philosophers "on the right." These are not philosophers "on the right," these are NeoNazi morons.
An informative piece a year after the right-wing nationalist takeover in Poland. There are two distinctive ingredients to developments there: first, a commitment to a real social welfare state (including, e.g., cash payments to families with children); and second, conservative Catholic social views. It's the latter that is responsible for a lot of the wickedness afoot in Poland, though the pattern is familiar. Until orthodox religiosity of whatever stripe dies out, humanity will be at risk, alas.
ADDENDUM: Or as RAWA put it: "Fundamentalism is the mortal enemy of all civilized humanity."
An even more basic norm under threat today is the idea of legitimate opposition. In a democracy, partisan rivals must fully accept one another’s right to exist, to compete and to govern. Democrats and Republicans may disagree intensely, but they must view one another as loyal Americans and accept that the other side will occasionally win elections and lead the country. Without such mutual acceptance, democracy is imperiled. Governments throughout history have used the claim that their opponents are disloyal or criminal or a threat to the nation’s way of life to justify acts of authoritarianism.
The idea of legitimate opposition has been entrenched in the United States since the early 19th century, disrupted only by the Civil War. That may now be changing, however, as right-wing extremists increasingly question the legitimacy of their liberal rivals. During the last decade, Ann Coulter wrote best-selling books describing liberals as traitors, and the “birther” movement questioned President Obama’s status as an American.
Such extremism, once confined to the political fringes, has now moved into the mainstream. In 2008, the Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin linked Barack Obama to terrorism. This year, the Republican Party nominated a birther as its presidential candidate. Mr. Trump’s campaign centered on the claim that Hillary Clinton was a criminal who should be in jail; and “Lock her up!” was chanted at the Republican National Convention. In other words, leading Republicans — including the president-elect — endorsed the view that the Democratic candidate was not a legitimate rival.
Several readers have pointed out this piece trying to debunk the idea that Trump is a white supremacist, a racist, an anti-gay bigot, etc. The author limits the evidence considered to events during the campaign, ignoring longer-term evidence of Trump's "casual racism" (as I originally called it), but if you read on, he doesn't really deny the causal racism. But I agree that Trump is not ideologically committed to white supremacy, let alone anti-semitism or anti-gay bigotry etc.: this is partly because, as Chomsky remarked, he has no discernible ideology at all, being too ignorant and shallow to have such commitments. Unfortunately, he has now surrounded himself with some ideologically (meaning, religiously) committed anti-gay bigots, and perhaps worse. But the author does make one very good point, that is worth quoting:
I don’t think people appreciate how weird this guy is. His weird way of speaking. His catchphrases like “haters and losers!” or “Sad!”. His tendency to avoid perfectly reasonable questions in favor of meandering tangents about Mar-a-Lago. The ability to bait him into saying basically anything just by telling him people who don’t like him think he shouldn’t.
If you insist that Trump would have to be racist to say or do whatever awful thing he just said or did, you are giving him too much credit. Trump is just randomly and bizarrely terrible. Sometimes his random and bizarre terribleness is about white people, and then we laugh it off. Sometimes it’s about minorities, and then we interpret it as racism.
A curious piece at IHE, which is mostly just a composite of various blog postings, including from here. It appears IHE had trouble finding anyone to defend this character, so they reached out to the bizarre Carol Swain (Vanderbilt)--see, e.g., here--whose contribution is to assert that since Jorjani has not advocated violence, he is not a NeoNazi. Apart from that amusing non-sequitur, there's not much of additional interest: no evidence yet that Stony Brook is re-evaluating the award of his PhD, for example (which, as I've said already, they would have no basis for doing).
I love Nietzsche, for his wickedness, truthfulness, and posing the most serious challenge to Marx, but he's got nothing to do with Ayn Rand. Poor Fred! A literate, sensitive, psychologically astute intellect and champion of aesthetic excellence, a thinker of world-historic significance, conjoined with a sophomoric apparatchik of bankers and flatterer of narcissistic mediocrities! Could there be a more grotestque irony?
The irony is that Jason really, really isn't one of us. He doesn't want to secure the existence of our people and a future for white children. He is not even a fellow traveler; he is just a LARPer who thinks he is a zoroastrian Magi, who likes to watch anime and jerking off to Heidegger books, like so many 'intellectuals" here.
BTW, Heidegger was not a Nationalsocialist. Yes, he was a card carrying party member, but he fucked Arendt, what kind of Nationalsocialist have sex with jews?
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)