David Thompson
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June 12, 2018

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David

Okay, I’ll go first.

Douglas Murray on rape gangs and public-sector imperviousness to normal consequences:

After details such as the above came out in the criminal trial at the Old Bailey, [chief executive of Oxfordshire County Council, Joanna] Simons made a video, which was posted online. Over the last five years fewer than 2,000 people have watched this 48-second apology. But it deserves a wider audience. In it, Ms Simons looks into the camera and gives an apology to the people who the Council has let down, which tells a huge amount about the attitude that prevailed for years in Britain. From start to finish, everything about it is wrong. Its tone and content suggest that Ms Simons is apologising for a delay in local bin collections, or for delays in providing pavement-salt during inclement weather.

The whole thing is worth a squint, if only to behold the full extent of Ms Simons’ shamelessness, and her capacity to inhale cash confiscated from taxpayers.

Nikw211

Okay, I’ll go first.

Holy shit!

    Joanna Simons ... had been at the centre of that Council's 'care' programme for nearly a decade: that is, throughout the period in which the mass rape of local girls (subsequently investigated under the name 'Operation Bullfinch') was carried on [ ... ] At the time that Operation Bullfinch broke, Ms Simons was receiving an annual salary of over £196,000, before other benefits were included. To put this into some context, the average annual salary in the UK sits at just over £27,000. The annual salary paid to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for running the country stands at just under £150,000 per annum [ ... ]

    In 2015, the Oxfordshire County Council chose to abolish Simon's role ... at which stage she received a pay-off from the Council amounting to the sum of £259,000 [ ... ]

    But Oxfordshire did not lose Simons for long. Last July, the organisation which promotes tourism in the area -- 'Experience Oxfordshire' -- announced Joanna Simons as the new head of their board.

It would be interesting to compare the reporting of this with the reporting of negligence and wrong-doing of senior management in the private sector. Dick Fuld, say.

ComputerLabRat

So basically #MeToo unless the perpetrator is Muslim? Or Bill Clinton? Then it's #ShutUp?

I'm looking at what Europe is sacrificing at the altar of Diversity and wondering where are all the screeching purple haired feminists? By looking the other way aren't these feminists willingly subjugating themselves to the Patriarchy?

David

Daniel Johnson on sanitising Marxism:

The continent that has perhaps suffered most from Marx’s legacy is Asia, and the worst example of all is China… Between 1958 and 1961, the so-called “Great Leap Forward,” Mao deliberately created the greatest famine in recorded history, in which some 38 million people starved to death, in order to turn China into a Soviet-style, centrally-controlled industrial economy: “Production first. Life takes second place.” The Chinese dictator was so certain that his Marxist ideas were correct that he went on exporting food to earn foreign currency even when the population was dying en masse. He told his Russian allies: “We are prepared to sacrifice 300 million Chinese for the victory of the world revolution.” That was then half the country’s population — and he told his cronies: “Half of China may well have to die.”

Not entirely unrelated.

svh

This.

https://twitter.com/SargonOfAkkad_3/status/1006515553765167106

svh

And this.

https://twitter.com/SargonOfAkkad_3/status/1006528532095406080

Nunya Bidness

Mao missed his goal by almost 90%. This is what the leftists mean when they say that socialism has never been properly implemented. There always seems to be a failure when it comes to exterminating enough of the wrong sort of people. Stalin might have been onto something when he determined that it didn't much matter whether you executed your friends or your enemies. But again, Stalin died too soon and didn't realize his dreams of a Pan-Russia gulag.

David

Also from the Daniel Johnson piece, this:

The damage done by Marx’s ideas was not limited to the Soviet Union, but extended to its satellite regimes in Eastern Europe and across the Third World. One of the less familiar Marxist genocides took place in Ethiopia under the Mengistu dictatorship in the 1970s and ’80s. Half a million students, intellectuals and others were murdered in Ethiopia’s “Red Terror,” while a similar number died in the famine created by Mengistu’s policies. After he was deposed, Mengistu was given asylum in Zimbabwe by another Marxist dictator, Robert Mugabe.

The wins keep piling up.

R. Sherman

...while a similar number died in the famine created by Mengistu’s policies.

It should be remembered that Mengistu was aided and abetted by the naive policies of Western democracies and useful idiots which launched all manner of aid programs to combat the famine. See, e.g. Geldof, Bob. During that time, I had an acquaintance who was employed by a European government superintending food aid deliveries. He watched pallets of European food being offloaded onto docks and sitting there until Soviet ships arrived to deliver pallets of weapons. Then the Soviets loaded the European food back onto their ships and headed home. My acquaintance recommended stopping all aid, but he was ignored because . . . optics. The fact that people still were starving, aid notwithstanding, was of no consequence apparently.

Darleen

UK police can't be faulted for missing all the rapey-rape, they are too busy threatening UK citizens for WrongThink.

Hal

An open thread, that is - our second in 11 years.

. . . and second in two months even . . .

Then again, playing with the puzzle pieces on occasions can be interesting---depending on the puzzle pieces and occasions.

JuliaM

Darleen: "UK police can't be faulted for missing all the rapey-rape, they are too busy threatening UK citizens for WrongThink."

Well, at least they were real. Over here, even the distant heir to the throne isn't exempt from the hoplopobia.

David

even the distant heir to the throne isn’t exempt from the hoplopobia.

In the headline, the word “people” is doing an awful lot of lifting.

jabrwok

I'm looking at what Europe is sacrificing at the altar of Diversity and wondering where are all the screeching purple haired feminists?

I don't think I've posted this one here before:

Pogonip

What’s hoplophobia, the fear of bunny rabbits?

jabrwok

Image didn't appear, and trying again it's too big, so here's the link: http://martianmagazine.com/comic/fundamental-change/

Farnsworth M Muldoon

What’s hoplophobia, the fear of bunny rabbits?

Fear of weapons, more generally used to denote fear of shooting irons.

Spiny Norman

ComputerLabRat,

I'm looking at what Europe is sacrificing at the altar of Diversity and wondering where are all the screeching purple haired feminists?

Claiming there is no rape crisis, no crime wave, and the sad-faced refugees are far more peaceful than local "neo-nazis" "attacking" them. You see, it's a hoax, cooked up by Fox/Sky News and the Daily Mail, if social media is anything to go by.

JuliaM

Alert! Alert! UnPC opinion! Activate shunning mode!

https://twitter.com/Mslexia/status/1006531886569656322

David

Alert! Alert! UnPC opinion!

“Although we welcome open debate…” Funny how the people making women look ridiculous are so often feminists.

Activate shunning mode!

Thought I should let you know I’m almost certainly going to steal that one.

Hal

Why Democrats Hear a Secret Racist Dog Whistle and Republicans Don’t

Darleen

Activate shunning mode!

Yep, this reads just as I would suspect.

Where do I even begin?

David

Yep, this reads just as I would suspect.

And again, if you were to base your estimation of women on the blatherings of feminists and the “social justice” contingent, you’d likely assume that women are insufferably neurotic and dishonest. Happily, the women I know tend to look on the woke sisterhood with something between dismay and amused bewilderment.

Hopp Singg

If the SJWs want to shun us, I'm all for it; the problem is that they don't.

Para Ingles Oprime Dos

Oh, hoplo-phobia. I read it as hooplaphobia - fear of exaggerated celebration.

WTP

In the interests of an open thread, and as the subject of publishing novels and such has been raised, I have a very impertinent question that has been burning in me for decades now but I've never had the temerity to raise in polite company...or even here...(ahem)...isn't the degree to which books, novels and such, have become fetishized more than a bit worrisome? Especially the volume of such that has been churned out in the last century or so. Especially as literacy has accelerated? The degree to which many writers of the mid-wars and couple decades post WWII, or perhaps I should say writers who were considered viable to publish, have very much shaped what has become Teh Narrative, I find a little disturbing. I speak not just of the content of the books themselves (many turned into movies), each of which taken individually not such a concern, but the exceptional praise heaped upon so many of them and their writers being significantly out of proportion to the value added. Not to sound defensive (which of course I now do) but I am a moderately well-read person. About 15-20 years ago when the web was available to more easily cross reference such, from lists of "100 best books" of any reasonable context and historical breadth, I had probably read 20-30 of them. Which as written doesn't sound like so much but the lists of such that I observed were fairly diverse. And I am, after all, a troglodyte engineer.

Also, an across-the-pond curiosity...Did y'all in UK (and Oz/NZ/Canada/etc.) have Les Miserables foisted upon you with the same sanctity as Dickens and Twain as was done here in the US? Anyone else find that story just a little over the top? Not that it's bad, per se. Just a bit...mmm....overdone?

Hopp Singg

OK, no link cuz it's a homegrown thing but ... has anyone else ever tried putting copper pennies in the cat/dog waterbowl to keep the mold down between changings?

I did, and the results are night and day good. And yes, I made sure to dig out old pennies still made of real copper, though I presume I could have also just gone to my local home-improvement store and bought a little bare copper wire for this purpose.

Oh, and to clean the pennies first - they're usually pretty tarnished when they're that old - I just tossed them in a vinegar and salt solution for a few minutes and they came out like new.

Patrick Brown

Growing up in Northern Ireland, I had to read Dickens (Hard Times) and Twain (Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn) in school. I seem to remember enjoying Twain. Dickens was hard work, but not as hard as Thomas Hardy. We never had to read Les Miserables - my first experience of that story was the film of the musical, which was so spectacularly overdone that Russell Crowe was an oasis of restraint and understatement, like Michael Kitchen in a cast of Brian Blesseds. Not often you get to say that about Russell Crowe.

The nearest thing I can compare Les Miserables to is Revenge of the Sith. Operatic, story all over the place, characters that don't make a lick of sense, but somehow glorious in its meaningless bombast, admirable in its determination not to be run of the mill, formulaic multiplex fodder, even if not necessarily in a good way. (I've also been listening to a lot of Queen lately.)

Pogonip

“Open thread...”. Ah. THIS is where we come to get a refund!

Pogonip

Hooplaphobia: fear of brightly colored plastic hoops!

Hiplophobia: fear of hipsters

Pogonip

Inspector Javert’s nuts. Jesus, man, it’s a loaf of bread! Give it up already!

Patrick Brown

The Honest Trailer for Les Miserables is pretty on point.

R. Sherman

@WTP,

Never had Les Miz. In high school, we read Molière. I rather enjoyed The Misanthrope as did most of my junior literature class, which happened to be taught by the French teacher who'd been seconded to the English Department due to a hasty exist by her 23 year predecessor for a reason which is still unclear.

It was the mid '70s in the bowels of the Ozarks. Still, we were fairly well-read, I think.

Captain Nemo

Douglas Murray on rape gangs and public-sector imperviousness to normal consequences:

I think it's time we introduced a public sector version of the Company Director's Disqualification Act. It's not right in my view that if you're a council boss on a salary many times that of the average wage, and you screw up as badly as Ms. Simons, you should get away with it and be kicked upstairs/shunted sideways/given a golden goodbye. You should be barred from holding similar posts of responsibility in any public sector body - councils, quangos, charities. The lot.

David

This.

Captain Nemo

Directors shouldn't have an apostrophe in it. Stupid computer second guessing me.

WTP

I made sure to dig out old pennies still made of real copper

...assuming we're talking US context...that stupid new penny they introduced a few years back STILL looks to me a lot like the play money I used as a child. And given inflation and nostalgic novelty, the play money would probably be worth more today.

Jesus, man, it’s a loaf of bread! Give it up already!

Exactly. Who was this guy's boss? And checking wiki now...Perhaps I knew this and forgot but apparently the thing goes on for over 2500 pages. Apparently we got the abridged version. It is moments such as this that I feel reassured that just maybe there is a God and that he is good.

Governor Squid
Shriver implies that a socially disenfranchised author without an education will probably be a poor writer.

No, Shriver implies that the publishers won't care if the writer is any good, so long as they can tick off the appropriate demographic boxes. The fact that the critic cannot or will not recognize the distinction leads me to believe that one's identity as a "queer Iraqi non-binary Brit" doesn't grant one stellar powers of argument, nor even reading comprehension.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...has anyone else ever tried putting copper pennies in the cat/dog waterbowl to keep the mold down between changings?

Now I am not a veterinarian, but, with all due respect, if you are changing the water so infrequently that the bowl is getting moldy, you might not be changing it often enough (like daily). Offer does not apply if you live in a rain forest where mold may be an instantaneous phenomenon.

Governor Squid

WTP --

I think the novelists are following the same path that jazz musicians trod decades ago. They've taken a medium that provided joy to the masses, and they've decided to make it "challenging" to the point where nobody wants to listen to it any more.

Of course, jazz musicians often possess extraordinary talents, so one can almost see where the appreciation of skill could make up for the lack of aesthetic appeal. With the writers, the skill is too often lacking -- it's all just virtue signalling, as the Sad Puppies episodes so ably revealed.

Hopp Singg

We use a "fountain" bowl and change daily. But you can change the water all you like, the filter and the motor still fill up with mold at fast-forward speeds. The copper penny solution fixes the problem without having to clean both of those each time; much better.

The ancient world touted copper for storing water and keeping it clean, now supported by modern science. The salt and vinegar is remembered, of course, from elementary school science projects, back when science still meant, well, science. One day I put the two together....

Fred the Fourth

I read the usual Twain in school (Finn, mostly). (Dating myself - I'm sure Finn has been officially non-PC for decades.)
As an adult I read his "Letters from Earth", which was an eye opener.
Recently I read his "Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc". I think it may be his best work.
American schools' choices can make any author boring. It's a skill they've been carefully taught.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

We use a "fountain" bowl and change daily.

In that case, the question is whether the stuff is mold or really bacterial, because if it is the latter, it comes from the animals saliva and the only way to deal with it is frequent cleaning of the the thing with bleach solution and regular replacement of the filters. Mold/algae, soapy water and frequent filter changes.

As far as the copper pennies goes, dogs and cats can have serious problems if they ingest pennies (obstructively or from toxicity), and if you are not using distilled water, any copper that might leach into the water could conceivably cause a chronic toxicity issue.

Easiest thing is a plain stainless steel bowl, change daily. I suspect the fountain bowls are more for human consumption, after all, cats and dogs will be more than happy to drink from ponds, mudholes, potholes, hollow logs, and toilets.

Daniel Ream

What’s hoplophobia, the fear of bunny rabbits?

Fear of bunny rabbits with guns.

(Hoplo- means weapons, from the same Greek root as hoplite.)

they are too busy threatening UK citizens for WrongThink.

Come back, Luftwaffe, all is forgiven.

WTP

I read the usual Twain in school

I've read a good bit of Twain. A bonus was that I found reading him greatly improved my writing, that being just emails and such. Though it even helped with documentation to some degree. Most useful in this regard were the collections of essays of his. Alas, I've lapsed in my reading in the last 5-10 years or so. Partly because I've read about every book I was ever curious about and lost much curiosity about many of the rest. I get impatient with the one-way flow of information. Burning questions come to mind when reading and if I or others have no means of raising them in context, I get kind of subconsciously frustrated and/or distracted. But back to Twain, probably my favorite piece is his philosophical essay, What is Man?. Oddly, I seem to recall starting Letters from Earth a few years ago but never got back to it.

I think the novelists are following the same path that jazz musicians trod decades ago

If you're speaking of the likes of Jamaldeen Tacuma, I feel ya. My musicianship is weak and mostly childhood infused, but I could sit down and listen to that sort of stuff, feeling out the patterns and such, as an intellectual exercise but it sure wasn't relaxing. And after doing 8+ hours of coding, I'm more in the mood for some dumb than any hard smartz. Maybe on a Sunday...meh.

re The Misanthrope, I remember seeing this on the A&E channel when A&E was first available. I really enjoyed the play and I thought, wow, a non-PBS option for arts and such. Kind of Catcher in the Rye-ish. I recall of that channel they were rerunning Yes, Minister on A&E. Then the laws of entropy set in...

Daniel Ream

Jesus, man, it’s a loaf of bread! Give it up already!

Javert's monomania stems from his own birth and childhood in a jail, to a prisoner. It's really about his own self-loathing and the extent to which he's psychologically divided the world starkly into Law and Chaos as a way of affirming his own self-worth - prisoners and criminals are Always Chaotic Evil, so if he's Always Lawful Good then he's a good person, not a bad one like his mother and his childhood confreres. You really have to understand the extent to which the people of the time considered social class to be essentially genetic, not a product of individual choice or institutional structures.

That's why when Valjean reveals the falsity of his rigid worldview Javert has a psychotic break and ends up committing suicide.

Also, to get an idea of how Javert is thinking, the next time you see a mob in an US inner city smashing and looting stores, say to yourself "Jesus, they're just Nikes!".

Darleen

But they are going out swinging whining.

:::snort:::

R.Sherman

You really have to understand the extent to which the people of the time considered social class to be essentially genetic, not a product of individual choice or institutional structures.

Who knew a literature class would break out?

Spot-on observation, BTW. It's not the loaf of bread which drives the novel; it's Javert's psyche...and Valjean's. Valjean is as much a victim of the times as Javert.

champ

Oh, hoplo-phobia. I read it as hooplaphobia - fear of exaggerated celebration.

Fear of basketballs?

Hopp Singg

I always thought it must have derived from "hoplite."

"A hoplite (from ta hopla meaning tool or equipment) was the most common type of heavily armed foot-soldier in ancient Greece from the 7th to 4th centuries BCE, and most ordinary citizens of Greek city-states with sufficient means were expected to equip and make themselves available for the role when necessary."

A hoplite would have been the building block of an armed and determined populace, fighting together as one. Hoplophobia, then, is simply an occupational necessity for brutal dictators and their wannabes and hangers-on.

champ

https://twitter.com/hashtag/mprraccoon?f=tweets&vertical=default&src=hash

Governor Squid

I heard nothing about the raccoon until I got home this evening, which is remarkable given that I had lunch a block away from the event.

So much for our plan to Keep Saint Paul Boring...

Darleen

Ok...hopefully this will work in the future ;) but go here and type in the "parts search" area "121G"

Makes my little geeky heart happy ...

Spiny Norman

Darleen,

This item is not available for purchase.

GAWDDAMMIT!!!

Hal

...isn't the degree to which books, novels and such, have become fetishized more than a bit worrisome? Especially the volume of such that has been churned out in the last century or so. Especially as literacy has accelerated?

Once upon a time, all books were carefully written out, prolly with relevant costs.

And then along came Gutenberg and all heaven broke loose.

A couple of years later . . . or so . . . the internet, and particularly desktop publishing and the World Wide Web, are Gutenberg all over again.

I speak not just of the content of the books themselves (many turned into movies), each of which taken individually not such a concern, but the exceptional praise heaped upon so many of them and their writers being significantly out of proportion to the value added.

As regularly gets noticed, For you will always have the hipster among you.

Soooo . . . given that one and all survived the "horrors" of Gutenberg, et al, being able to continue on entirely as well does seem likely.

David

Curses. Now I’m invested in the fate of the raccoon.

David

The raccoon is on the roof. I repeat, THE RACCOON IS ON THE ROOF.

David

In less happy news, Douglas Murray on cultural decline and demographic substitution.

Related, these.

David

Not entirely unrelated to the above.

RJ

"It’s funny how hopeless an endeavor is that your antagonists don’t want you to accomplish. As far as they want you to know, the first step in any task is to give up on it."

It makes me want to ask a similar series of questions to Reed’s neighbors circa 1970: So you want to transport the equivalent population of Mexico (52 million that year) into America? That being an 88% white country with a culture and demographic profile completely distinct from your would-be colonial horde. And you think the Americans are not only going to acquiesce to this historically unprecedented incursion, but actively subsidize its participants? You think you’ll just walk over the border by the millions and get free housing, food, and healthcare? What is the precise mechanism by which you intend to accomplish this? What is the logistical train of this fantastic population transfer? How many of you will cross the border per month without being stopped? Do you know how many years it would take to accumulate 50 million colonists? Sorry, Diego, you won’t live to see it.

Jen

And this.

https://twitter.com/TheSafestSpace/status/1006601173565149185

Sadiq Khan is a f*cking idiot.

David

Sadiq Khan is a f*cking idiot.

He does seem to be a preening, clownish figure – hopelessly impractical and shockingly unfocused on anything but the signalling of his own personal pieties. Such as they are.

Also, if anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, email me and I’ll prise open the spam filter.

TomJ

Just to keep the etymological diversion going a little further, panoply come from the same root - pan hopla.

WTP

"It’s funny how hopeless an endeavor is that your antagonists don’t want you to accomplish. As far as they want you to know, the first step in any task is to give up on it."

Thanks for that post RJ. It still blows me away at how apoplectic people get about the "impossibility" of this effort. It's akin to the wide spread perception of the technological/logistical "impossibility" of building a border wall. Until you point out to them that the Chinesers built one 5 times as long hundreds/thousands of years ago.

panoply come from the same root - pan hopla.

And here for all this time I thought panoply and monopoly had similar roots. Teh moar you know****

SumDumGuy

Sadiq Khan is a f*cking idiot

Men should stop volunteering to do things.

Did I read the piece about the Swedish survivor (Expedition Robinson or some such) on this site? Because it is basically this exact situation with civilization instead of Wikipedia.

I really wish I could remember where I found it...

Hal

In less happy news, Douglas Murray on cultural decline and demographic substitution.

Related, these.

Weeeeeelllllll . . . . . .

WTP

Men should stop volunteering to do things.

As a reluctant/never-asked-for-it president of my HOA who is constantly hearing complaints from women in the neighborhood, I think this is a capital idea. TBF, the board is a bout half men/women. The complainers however run about 4:1.

David

Sadiq Khan is a f*cking idiot

Following Mr Khan’s latest fit of piety regarding Wikipedia, this item here came to mind. From the subsequent thread:

It’s perhaps worth noting that owners of Wisden cricketers’ almanacs, Marvel comic book collections and Star Trek technical manuals – the kinds of things that lead to vast, rather baffling pop-cultural Wikipedia entries - still tend to be male. Not always, not exclusively, but much more often than not. And the people whose livelihoods depend on selling such things to as many people as possible aren’t trying to deter female interest and female customers. Anyone with an interest is welcome, indeed encouraged, to hand over their cash.

I know of a comic book store that has a formidably knowledgeable female member of staff. She can, and will, enthuse about the absurd minutiae of obscure characters. But she’s not exactly typical, and this isn’t because women are being excluded from working in (or shopping in) comic book stores. I suspect many comic stores, if not most of them, would regard a female staff member (or another one) as an asset, partly because of their still largely male customer base. (It’s like the scene from the first Transformers film, in which the nerdish hero encounters an attractive woman who also can rebuild car engines. Boi-oing.)

But apparently we must pretend that male and female psychology is somehow indistinguishable, all evidence to the contrary, and that things done voluntarily, for amusement, are somehow egregious and coercive, and therefore to be corrected, by people whose grip on reality is at best intermittent.

David

Incidentally, the high-rise raccoon mentioned upthread has been caught, and fed and watered, and will be released somewhere more suitable by the local wildlife management services.

Pogonip

Hello WTP! I’ve read a lot about HOA nuttiness, and would like to hear your side of it.

Charlie Suet

I'd rather Khan't is blethering about Wikipedia than trying to ban knives, or adverts he thinks are horrid.

When he got in we got exactly the same rubbish from silly young lefties as we always get - the same as we got with Trudeau and Blair. Here's a reasonably photogenic youngish male leader. He cares about our welfare and will usher in a golden age.

It would be nice to think that people learn from these experiences, and new cynics are created every time the new hope crashes and burns. Even if that's true young idiots will always be taken in by anyone who seems 'nice'.

WTP

Hello WTP! I’ve read a lot about HOA nuttiness, and would like to hear your side of it.

It ain't pretty. Everyone wants their home values protected but nobody wants to live by the rules that are (supposedly) there supporting those values. Some rules written 30 years ago that would take an act of God or a unanimous vote of 250 home owners (BIRM) to change. One faction thinks one set of rules is of high importance but this, that, or the other rule is silly. Another faction thinks those silly ones are what keep the values up, but think the first faction's favorites restrict improving the community. Of course the sum total of either faction would constitute at most 10% of the community but 75% of the complaints. Our community is of patio/garden sized, though well maintained, homes so we have either small, young families or empty nester/retirees with very few in between. Thus the energetic ones are too busy with their budding families to be concerned or take on extra responsibility and the older ones have no work to occupy themselves with and thus every little thing that goes wrong has their laser focus. And yet ask them to serve and they suddenly shut up. Which is my master plan for dealing with them on those rare occasions where they present themselves in person. And then there are the legal issues. I never cared for the legal profession but the last year of dealing with one quarrelsome, cantankerous, yet well resourced paralegal who has dragged out a baseless (IMNSHO) lawsuit out for over 10 years now, has not only confirmed damn near every suspicion I ever had but has also instilled in me a damn near pathological hatred for the profession and the legal system in general. Though I do understand that some are kind to their dogs. Think Dickens' Bleak House but involving an amount of about $100K.

R. Sherman

But apparently we must pretend that male and female psychology is somehow indistinguishable, all evidence to the contrary, and that things done voluntarily, for amusement, are somehow egregious and coercive, and therefore to be corrected, by people whose grip on reality is at best intermittent.

Assuming the Wikipedia contretemps is, in fact, a problem, what is the proposed solution? Dragooning women into writing things or about things which they would otherwise ignore? What part of "voluntary" does Khan not understand?

R. Sherman

@WTP,

As a member of the profession you loathe, let me suggest that the problem is not the lawyers. Rather, the problem lies with the individuals who are paying the bills. Over my 30 plus years of practice, I concluded that second only to domestic relations, land cases--which we lump together under the term, "fence fights"--are the most emotional in the civil arena. I've seen people willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars fighting about something which will have a net effect on their property of less than a tenth of what they're spending, without even considering the investment of emotion, time and bad feelings.

Because, "it's the principle!!!!" Or, simply because they secretly enjoy being a jerk to everyone else and a set of subdivision gives them some sort of "moral" cover.

The other problem is that real estate developers generally refuse to consult with attorneys when they're putting their homeowners/subdivision regulations into place. The worst cases are those where the developer pulled something out of a form book or cut and pasted other things together without knowing what s/he was doing, only to leave multiple time bombs ticking for the ultimate purchasers.

Finally, buyers seldom if ever actually read the restrictions and regulations pertaining to their home before they close on the sale. Then they're confounded when something bites them in the ass ten years later.

(BTW, no rancor or ill-will involved in this reply. I understand my profession gets a bad rap, and some of it is no doubt deserved. However, much/most of it isn't. As with any discrete demographic, there are those who are shits. They give the rest of us a bad name.)

champ

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/high-climbing-raccoon-finally-reaches-top-of-st-paul-skyscraper-and-america-exhales/ar-AAyzFB8?li=BBnbcA1&ocid=U452DHP

WTP

Yes. Well let me say "present company excepted". Probably. The thing is that the "solution" to most lawyer problems that lawyers point to involves, surprise, more work for lawyers. But let me point to one thing that has pretty much sucked away about the last ounce of charity I might feel. And granted, this in and of itself is not a big, big deal but I shudder when I think of how the same mistake(s) in a far more dangerous context lead to the kinds of horrors we often read about. Our miserable litigant/plaintiff, being a miserable human being in general, finally p*ssed off what we had hoped was her last lawyer. She then appealed for an extension to find a new lawyer. The judge gave her a 30 day extension. Which of course did not start at the end of her previous time period but started whenever judge boy got around to granting it. So she gets and extra week or so on top of the 30 days. Or so I was led to believe by our (insurance company provided) lawyer. So 30 days go by and I emails our boy to say, "Hey, we done now, right?", only to hear that "Oh, upon further review of what the judge wrote, he messed up and instead of putting the date of June 8 he put June 28". OK, so she gets three more weeks now. Meanwhile for like 5 years now we have been holding back on spending a big chunk of money to repave one of our streets just in case this lawsuit thing hits us for some dough. Thus I have to listen to certain home owners b*ching about why all this isn't done. And yet on top of allll that, we're not supposed to discuss exactly what is going on with this lawsuit outside of our board, lest our nasty litigant be ostracized or something. Hell, I didn't even know about it until I was on the board for a couple years.

Oh yeah, and if this thing went (or eventually goes) to trial I and/or other members of our board gotta be held hostage in a court room for 3 days, which specific three days is only defined within the context of a month time period. The scheduling and abandoning of such put me in an awkward situation at work and (unnecessarily it turned out) forced me to reschedule a vacation. All over crap that went on 10 years ago, which is 5 years before myself or anyone on the current board ever lived in our community.

On top of all this, wife and I were having our wills done, of course by lawyers, and in the contract to do the work the lawyers recommend that we have that contract reviewed by...a lawyer. Kaching-kaching-kaching.

Though to be fair, as you say lawyers shouldn't bear all of the blame here. It's the huge number of laws that are a huge part of the problem. But then, where do those laws come from?

Fred the Fourth

I'm an old timer in an all-volunteer organization filled with a variety of experienced professionals. I manage my workload, and incoming suggestions about doing things better, the same way: "Great idea! When are you able to get started on that?"
Works a treat, and sometimes stuff actually gets done.
Re: HOA (sorta), in about 1980 my father became president of his local neighborhood association (no actual powers, just advisory). For some reason he wanted to review the historical county budgets. When he called the county about this, the nice lady said "I think those are classified."
!!??
Bureaucrats. Avoiding work since Hammurabi.

David

[ Searches Amazon for “old curmudgeon rocking chairs.” ]

WTP

Re: HOA (sorta), in about 1980 my father became president of his local neighborhood association (no actual powers, just advisory). For some reason he wanted to review the historical county budgets. When he called the county about this, the nice lady said "I think those are classified."

Well, not anymore. Certainly not in Florida. I've been doing some volunteer research for a government watchdog group and gathered the names and contracts for all lobbyists in our county by entities funded by taxpayers. Cities, county, school board, etc. Got pretty good cooperation. We have a "government in the sunshine" law here that came to be in the late 70's I believe. I think that has spread to most other states by now.

WTP

[ Searches Amazon for “old curmudgeon rocking chairs.” ]

Dude. I saw that. Now how's it gonna be a surprise? Though Christmas is still 6 months away...

R. Sherman

The thing is that the "solution" to most lawyer problems that lawyers point to involves, surprise, more work for lawyers.

Not really. The problem is, people view up-front, prevention costs as prohibitive without considering the risk they're taking for huge bills to solve a problem in the future that shouldn't exist. Further, especially in the real estate context, real estate agents/brokers/developers view up-front lawyer involvement as something to be avoided, because all we do is "mess up the deal." The thing is, real estate professionals only get paid if the deal goes through, so they have an incentive to minimize or gloss over potential problems. I, however, get paid no matter what, and thus, my concern is always my clients' best interests.

As to your subdivision tormentor, it appear that s/he is the problem, not lawyers. Evidently, lawyers don't stick around long. And yes, I've dealt with the dreaded pro se litigant before. They are a pain. The Constitution, however, guarantees access to the courts, so dealing with idiots is a necessary evil. As are laws, for that matter. Laws don't come from lawyers; they start as a complaint by some citizen or group about something to a legislator who needs something to do to campaign on in the next election.

David

I need to get a younger, more happening crowd in here. Switched-on types with skateboards and boomboxes and… er, those things that… you know, fidget spinners

Farnsworth M Muldoon

What part of "voluntary" does Khan not understand?

From his background and apparent politics, my guess would be all of it, except as in Cubans or Cambodians voluntarily working in the fields.

WTP

Well my boy Sherman, as I said, I've gone pathological. So legally speaking I'm not really responsible for anything I have to say on the subject ;). However not very citizen with a complaint MUST be taken seriously. Lawyers refuse to take cases all the time. The interesting thing is, on what grounds do we suppose most cases are passed? To me the problem lies with the huge volume of that profession that were turned out in the post-war period. Mothers bragged if their sons were a doctor or a lawyer. As if equal value. Maybe in the pre-war period or so. But now we're thick with them and they owe a lotta dough. I shoot pool with a few. I have a friend whose daughter graduated from Cornell Law School, clerked with a district judge. Still took her considerable time to get into a decent paying job because even at the high end, the market is flooded. And those student loans are harder for lawyers to skirt FWIU. Though I was a little surprised to hear that.

Switched-on types with skateboards and boomboxes and… er, those things that… you know, fidget spinners

I still got a set of Clackers in a box in the attic somewhere if that helps you any. Hold on, BRB....

Fred the Fourth

WTP: The budget records my father sought were not classified. County budgets had been public documents for decades by that time.
No, this was simply an instance of a county employee trying to avoid work. Even de minimus work, since SOP at that office was for folks to come in, do their own lookups, have a clerk pull microfilms, and then make their own photocopies.
Another example- in his official job as Director and Chief Test Pilot at NASA Ames Research Center, and an expert on aviation accidents, he requested certain records from the FAA. What eventually, after several delays, showed up at his office was a large mailer envelope with several hundred pieces of paper. Randomly ordered. Apparently a clerk had dropped the stack, and merely stuffed the resulting mess in a bulk mailer.
That is the kind of work product one gets from unfireable employees.

David

I still got a set of Clackers in a box in the attic somewhere

They come with Bluetooth, right?

WTP

Fred,
Yes, that was kind of what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised at the degree of cooperation I received. Except from the school board. They have some sort of exemption such that they can charge for the request, which could not be emailed and thus arrived via snail-mail on a DVD. They also seemed rather terse when I questioned having to pay them $17 for public information.

WTP

They come with Bluetooth, right?

Yeah. Sure. OK, I kid. Of course we all know that the standard back then was based on the Petticoat 5.

Y. Knott

"I still got a set of Clackers in a box in the attic somewhere"

They come with Bluetooth, right?

- only if you smack yourself in the teeth with them, just right...

R. Sherman

@WTP

I don't disagree regarding the surfeit of attorneys. I've seen enough of the newbies to last multiple lifetimes. That problem is the result of a) profligate student loan policies (which provided zero incentive for law schools to keep costs down) and the explosion of junk "studies" degrees which ill-prepared graduates for doing anything else in the work force, leading to an "I'll just go to law school" mindset.

And yes good lawyers refuse crap cases all the time, primarily because they've got better, more lucrative things to do with their time.

WTP

leading to an "I'll just go to law school" mindset.

Not to be too harsh, as if I haven't been harsh enough already, but one thing I found amusing when attending my 20 year high school reunion was that how many of the reefer tokers had gone on to become lawyers. I presumed because so much of their youth was spent as kind of a reverse internship. Agree on the profligate student loan policies as well.

Sporkatus

I need to get a younger, more happening crowd in here

I'm only 32, so I'm probably still able to make videogame references. If that would help.

David

[ Places large jar of moisturiser on bar. ]

Sonny Wayze

Since we're talking about lawyers, maybe we can all cheer this one:

http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/lindsay-shepherd-files-lawsuit-against-wilfrid-laurier-university-claiming-attacks-have-rendered-her-unemployable-in-academia

R. Sherman

WTP,

Part of the problem is that too many state/public law schools abandoned the idea that the practice of law is a trade, and not a chin-stroking, intellectual exercise. When I attended, the focus of the course work was on practical stuff: land law, criminal defense, estate planning, real life contracts, trial practice, etc. Sure there were a few "My Eyes Glaze Over" seminars, but most of it was nuts and bolts, day to day, "how do I do this" stuff. Most of my classmates left school and went into the country to small county seats and hung up shingles or went to work with small firms where it was sink or swim. None of us had any illusions about becoming law professors or federal judges.

Sometime in the late '80s the U.S. News rankings started wagging the dog and more schools thought they needed to be some philosophical salon instead of a trade school. I saw it slowly happen with my alma mater, as students I was interviewing had fewer of the courses I needed to help me in what I was doing. I recall asking a very serious applicant how a survey course in Domestic Relations Law in the E.U. (I shit you not) was going to help me defend a farmer whose cattle had broken through a fence and wound up on an interstate highway at midnight?

As a consequence, you have very "educated" young attorneys who can't do anything and wind up clogging up the system with crap.

YMMV

Captain Nemo

Sadiq Khan is what happens when, in order to seem virtuous, progressive, non-judgemental, anti-racist, etc., you decide to elect politicians based on their membership of certain minority or identity groups rather than their competence. See also: Abbott, Diane.

Captain Nemo

I need to get a younger, more happening crowd in here.

I'm in my mid-twenties. Do I count?

jabrwok

Between Nemo and Sporkatus I'm now starting to feel old, dammit.

David

I’m in my mid-twenties. Do I count?

You’d better mingle, youth the place up a bit. I’ll dim the lighting around the elderly.

R. Sherman

I’ll dim the lighting around the elderly.

Of course, it will be we elderly who are here at closing time left with all the youthful, yet somehow unpaid, bar tabs.

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