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World War Hair in the Cloakrooms of Congress
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There are a number of elite occupations, such as Congressional aide and journalist, that aren’t particularly well paid. White people who already have those jobs seems to be seizing on the argument that their pay should be raised in order to persuade the most talented blacks to take those jobs rather than go to work at, say, Goldman Sachs.

 
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  1. Which of the pictured people have “natural” hair?

    Is that the point?

    Do white people have natural hair? Did Grizzly Adams have natural hair?

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    @Paul Rise

    Paul, occasionally while channel surfing I will pause at CNN to check out Joy Reid's latest hair style. Coif du jour. Soomeone can throw post up some photos.

    Replies: @Wade Hampton

  2. These aides all look like they were photographed by Robert Reich.

    • Thanks: Polistra
    • Replies: @Trelane
    @Rob McX

    This what tall people like Steve Sailer, presidents, executives, CEOs and Dan Blocker look like to the average person. Intimidating (to them).
    .

    Replies: @Dube

    , @Thirdtwin
    @Rob McX

    Anything at eye-level looks like a Mugshot. Anything from above looks like a security camera frame. And the photographer is already down there kissing ass.

    , @Escher
    @Rob McX

    Many of them seem to be copying the “Obama campaign poster” facial angle.

  3. Does any know someone who touched a black person’s hair? Seriously, black women are obsessed with this idea and yet I don’t know anyone who would see a black person and go “Hot dog! I can’t wait to touch their hair!”

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @Ian Smith

    Probably some historian will look into the matter a century from now and discover to his shock that, contrary to almost universal belief, there is no evidence of anyone ever wanting to touch a black person's hair. It might be like the discovery that the Donation of Constantine was as fake as a three-dollar bill.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    , @anon
    @Ian Smith

    I dated a black girl who had natural hair for a few months. I was hesitant to touch her hair as I thought it would feel like steel wool. I was pleasantly surprised when I did. it was very soft. It doesn't look attractive but feels good

    , @Altai
    @Ian Smith

    With children yes, I've seen it. (I've also seen it with children and non-black males who have close shaved heads) With adults? I'd be really shocked. They act like it's a constant source of harassment from white people.

    I often compare it to a lot of Arabs talking about Westerners asking them if they 'rode a camel to school'. Was that happening or was it a stereotype they had about the stereotypes Westerners had of them?

    Do adult white people really commonly ask to touch black women's hair or is it something that has almost never happened to these black women but which they assume 'happpens'.

    Replies: @Barbarossa

    , @jamie b.
    @Ian Smith

    In high school homeroom, back in the early 80's, the black girl who sat behind me would often run her fingers thru my (then) thick red hair.

    , @Getaclue
    @Ian Smith

    Every White person I know is basically grossed out by Black hair-- no one wants to "touch" it -- these Black women are projecting wishful thinking....

    , @Rob
    @Ian Smith

    My guess is that extremely culturally black blacks do not end up as Congressional aides. These are elite blacks, whether by their parents’ status or by being smart (for blacks) and getting a scholarship to boarding, or at least private, school. Because the schools were only nominally integrated, they made white friends. Teen girls are involved with doing each other's hair and such. Because the black girl felt left out, and kids are curious, they all felt her hair. That made her feel incredibly self-conscious because the girls who had been saying “ooh your hair’s so x. I wish mine were more x or y” felt her hair and said “oh. That’s what it feels like, thanks” instead of oohing and aahing and being affiliative. She felt left out too, and maybe could only have her hair done when she went home. Not a lot of black hairdressers in the small New England towns of so many boarding schools.

    Girls who went to Episcopal High School, smack in a not-super-good area of Richmond, Virginia, might have found local hairdressers, but black culture is less cosmopolitan. Even if she had been from the hood, she was not from that hood. Plus, dealing with white people all day she would be estranged from black culture, making interaction with blacks fairly awkward.

    That’s my guess? The dudes? Almost all black males in fancy schools are, um, more athletically than scholastically inclined. Jocks tend to be fairly drunken, and dudes’ teammates probably all felt his hair once while they were drinking. Plus, I'll bet all the white girls he dated felt his hair at least or twice.

    Plus, these congressional aides are probably all in their twenties, when slings and arrows from high school still sting. Feeling different is maybe not a sling or arrow, but it took a mental effort to deal with, I am sure.

    The white aides are pretty on the ball to come up with “Aides should be paid more so you can hire fancy blacks away from finance”, and doubly impressive if they can make the case with a straight face. More black aides mean more pressure on Republicans to hire black aides, who act as a fifth column, at worst, or a constant voice for the Dem POV in the office, at best.

    Replies: @Ralph L, @Alden

    , @onetwothree
    @Ian Smith

    One of the English members of "The Experience" (I forget which) said in an interview that he asked to touch Hendrix' hair and Hendrix let him.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Anon
    @Ian Smith

    The only white-touching-black hair I've seen was when Nancy Pelosi dug her claws into the braids of George Floyd's kid on TV.

    If Nancy had been at Emmett Till's funeral, she would have been pawing his conk in that coffin for the cameras.

    Replies: @Polistra, @Rob

    , @Adam Smith
    @Ian Smith

    https://i.ibb.co/XS041DD/House-Speaker-Nancy-Pelosi-2nd-R-D-CA-places-her-hand-on-Gianna-Floyd-the-daughter-of-George-Floyd-w.jpg

  4. milking connections and scoping out which members of Congress will not flinch at a conversation about race, or will allow aides to wear their natural hair.

    Shelia Jackson Lee seems like a good bet, but I have read she has the highest staff turnover rate in the entire Congress. It appears what they want are top jobs with the most powerful members of Congress. If entry level staffers are really making \$30-40k, that is a fairly obvious barrier to entry to weed out everyone who isn’t already part of the ruling class. Seems like it would be tough to live in D.C. even with a roommate and pay back your student loans on \$30k. That might be where they should focus instead of the racial angle.

    • Replies: @Arclight
    @Barnard

    Harking back to my days as a onetime Congressional staffer, literally no one wants to work for SJL, but because she prefers blacks it's a way to get on the merry go round if you are willing to put up with the abuse until you can find another Congressional job.

    Now, the reality in Congress as elsewhere is that any above average black person is a sought after commodity, so if you fit that bill and you tire of Congressional staff pay it is not difficult to transition to lobbying or some consulting gig. Indeed, that is the goal for many of the white staffers as well. So a fairly well put together black applicant has a very good chance of getting their foot in the door.

    On the other hand, if you are merely average or below it soon shows and it's either accept that you will be making $65K a year forever in Congress or find a job in an executive branch agency, as the number of six figure jobs that are springboards to other well paying things are probably 1 in 10. That said, it is accurate that many of the white staffers have sufficient family support to 'serve' as an aide longer than I would guess the majority of the black staffers do, so some resentment is justified.

  5. It’s the unnatural hair that white people don’t want to touch or smell. How do they clean the funky do’s?

  6. Ah yes, the soon to be nappy “American” leadership. The future is so dim we gotta wear night vision goggles.

  7. I think the law should be that they can only have natural hair.

    • Agree: 3g4me
  8. @Ian Smith
    Does any know someone who touched a black person’s hair? Seriously, black women are obsessed with this idea and yet I don’t know anyone who would see a black person and go “Hot dog! I can’t wait to touch their hair!”

    Replies: @Rob McX, @anon, @Altai, @jamie b., @Getaclue, @Rob, @onetwothree, @Anon, @Adam Smith

    Probably some historian will look into the matter a century from now and discover to his shock that, contrary to almost universal belief, there is no evidence of anyone ever wanting to touch a black person’s hair. It might be like the discovery that the Donation of Constantine was as fake as a three-dollar bill.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Rob McX

    Yes, it's the "No Irish or Dogs" sign of our deeply stupid era.

  9. The issue of who can afford to take a high-prestige, low-salary job is far more important than people realize – the people who take these jobs end up with disproportionately high levels of influence.

    The racial angle of the NYT article is a relevant assessment, but an incomplete one: it is class, not race, that works as the largest barrier to Washington jobs like Hill staffer, journalist, NGO employee, etc. What ends up happening in general is the entry-level slots are taken by college grads with no debt and parents willing to subsidize them, and the mid-level slots by people whose spouses make better salaries (e.g., a wife whose husband is a private-sector lawyer). Long-term, they are often held by people who choose not to have children b/c of cost of living and time concerns.

    So assuming that it is important that Hill staffers are representative of America, one should be very worried about the fact that such staffers are very often upper-middle-class kids who can afford low salaries due to family subsidies, and/or ideologues willing to forgo having children if that’s what it takes to have the career they want. Race barely captures how out-of-the-ordinary Hill staffers are when compared to the average American. Ditto journalism, NGO work, etc.

    David Brooks long ago addressed what he called “status/income disequilibrium,” comparing high-influence but low-pay government workers with their high-income, lower-influence private sector counterparts. That analysis is dated at this point. What we have now is subsidized status seekers. Anyone who lives and/or works in DC knows that these folks aren’t using their salary to put a down payment on a \$700,000 condo in Logan Circle.

    When Brett Kavanaugh was in the confirmation process to become a Supreme Court justice, the Post ran an article about how, unlike nearly all other recent justices, Kavanaugh had never worked in private practice (BigLaw). He was a public sector guy, and the gist of the article was that he could barely afford to live in DC, especially in light of the social expectations of his career. The minor scandal about some loan or other that he had taken out was related to this — he didn’t make enough money in the public sector to keep up with his peers, and presumably didn’t have family support or a trust fund to bridge the gap.

    We should care who gets to be an opinion-maker in Washington. The rich, and the ideologically monomaniacal, that’s who it is right now.

    • Thanks: Cortes, Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    @Giant Duck

    Giant, maybe the hair angle is the wrong approach. Pass yourself off as someone willing to be a close associate like Monica Lewinsky...you know, real close.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @The Germ Theory of Disease
    @Giant Duck

    "it is class, not race, that works as the largest barrier to Washington jobs like Hill staffer, journalist, NGO employee, etc."

    You forgot to mention tribe.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Giant Duck


    What ends up happening in general is the entry-level slots are taken by college grads with no debt and parents willing to subsidize them...
     
    A second or third time. They've almost always had been on "internships" before that entry level.

    We should care who gets to be an opinion-maker in Washington.
     
    Or, better yet, start shifting power back to state capitols, village boards, and individual citizens. Washingtonians can have all the opinions they want.

    Replies: @JackOH

    , @Gabe Ruth
    @Giant Duck

    Are these people actually influential though? I know they think they're really important, but that doesn't mean it's true. They've been given any opinion they might hold by their masters, otherwise they wouldn't be there.

    , @Forbes
    @Giant Duck

    Blah, blah, blah. Another article claiming staff jobs in Washington are VERY IMPORTANT so they should be paid more. Cry me another one. The article is just more "plaques for blacks" advocacy.

    Show me the first article quoting anyone who claims they are overpaid...

    , @Russ Floyd
    @Giant Duck

    Geeze Giant Duck... that was a great analysis! –Russ

  10. Since when did anyone have the right to wear their “natural hair” to work?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @James N. Kennett


    Since when did anyone have the right to wear their “natural hair” to work?
     
    Would you prefer to see Terry Jones without it? No thanks!
  11. scoping out which members of Congress will not flinch at a conversation about race

    It’s not a ‘conversation’ it’s a set of ultimatums and unending ethnic provocations. They’re asking for them to passively or even actively support any escalated black ethnocentric and anti-white animosity which shockingly still doesn’t even have much of a class component outside opposing gentrification that they seem to not care about (Given their wealthy backgrounds) outside blacks being replaced with whites. The ones it’s kosher to hate on that is, no discussion of the ever expanding Hasidic enclaves in NYC (How big are they going to get? Will NYC become a Hasidic city?) that try as hard as they can to terraform the environment to push out outsiders like poor blacks.

    I’m still waiting on black activists to take industrial and trade policy seriously but they don’t seem to care. They just want to LARP the civil rights movement despite there not being any discriminatory laws or ascendant social attitudes that negatively target them. The fastest way to lose all social status in America is to be white and say negative things about blacks.

    But, shockingly, none of that has any real bearing on the socioeconomic status of blacks which you’d think black activists would be very interested in.

    • Agree: Jim Christian, Polistra
    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Altai

    The ones it’s kosher to hate on that is, no discussion of the ever expanding Hasidic enclaves in NYC (How big are they going to get? Will NYC become a Hasidic city?) that try as hard as they can to terraform the environment to push out outsiders like poor blacks.


    They're not expanding much these days, prices being what they are. Most of the expansion of Hasidic communities is (with the exception of Staten Island) taking place in suburbia. Also considering the Sixties and Seventies experience of White ethnic neighborhoods in NYC and the attendant loss of wealth, terraforming the environment seems very prudent.

    Replies: @Change that Matters

    , @Charlotte
    @Altai


    But, shockingly, none of that has any real bearing on the socioeconomic status of blacks which you’d think black activists would be very interested in.
     
    If our nation’s black communities were prosperous and orderly, there wouldn’t be nearly as much to complain about, would there? The fly in the ointment of professional activism is that activists (including the DIE-consultant types) would put themselves out of business if they ever succeeded in bringing about the change they claim to want. Real, useful change is also pretty damned hard to effect, not to mention unsexy-like industrial policy. So they promote hiring more people like themselves and the right to wear ‘natural hair.’ I wouldn’t say they are all aware of the paradox, but I do think it discourages clear thought about why problems exist.
  12. @Paul Rise
    Which of the pictured people have "natural" hair?

    Is that the point?

    Do white people have natural hair? Did Grizzly Adams have natural hair?

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe

    Paul, occasionally while channel surfing I will pause at CNN to check out Joy Reid’s latest hair style. Coif du jour. Soomeone can throw post up some photos.

    • Replies: @Wade Hampton
    @Buffalo Joe

    Those structures Joy Reid wears on her head aren't hair. They are actually hats.

  13. There are a number of elite occupations, such as Congressional aide and journalist, that aren’t particularly well paid.

    I assume there are expected to be some payoffs down the line for Congressional aides, maybe as consultants or lobbyists, or consultants to lobbyists. Probably the same applies to journalists, but maybe to a lesser extent.

  14. @Giant Duck
    The issue of who can afford to take a high-prestige, low-salary job is far more important than people realize - the people who take these jobs end up with disproportionately high levels of influence.

    The racial angle of the NYT article is a relevant assessment, but an incomplete one: it is class, not race, that works as the largest barrier to Washington jobs like Hill staffer, journalist, NGO employee, etc. What ends up happening in general is the entry-level slots are taken by college grads with no debt and parents willing to subsidize them, and the mid-level slots by people whose spouses make better salaries (e.g., a wife whose husband is a private-sector lawyer). Long-term, they are often held by people who choose not to have children b/c of cost of living and time concerns.

    So assuming that it is important that Hill staffers are representative of America, one should be very worried about the fact that such staffers are very often upper-middle-class kids who can afford low salaries due to family subsidies, and/or ideologues willing to forgo having children if that's what it takes to have the career they want. Race barely captures how out-of-the-ordinary Hill staffers are when compared to the average American. Ditto journalism, NGO work, etc.

    David Brooks long ago addressed what he called "status/income disequilibrium," comparing high-influence but low-pay government workers with their high-income, lower-influence private sector counterparts. That analysis is dated at this point. What we have now is subsidized status seekers. Anyone who lives and/or works in DC knows that these folks aren't using their salary to put a down payment on a $700,000 condo in Logan Circle.

    When Brett Kavanaugh was in the confirmation process to become a Supreme Court justice, the Post ran an article about how, unlike nearly all other recent justices, Kavanaugh had never worked in private practice (BigLaw). He was a public sector guy, and the gist of the article was that he could barely afford to live in DC, especially in light of the social expectations of his career. The minor scandal about some loan or other that he had taken out was related to this -- he didn't make enough money in the public sector to keep up with his peers, and presumably didn't have family support or a trust fund to bridge the gap.

    We should care who gets to be an opinion-maker in Washington. The rich, and the ideologically monomaniacal, that's who it is right now.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Reg Cæsar, @Gabe Ruth, @Forbes, @Russ Floyd

    Giant, maybe the hair angle is the wrong approach. Pass yourself off as someone willing to be a close associate like Monica Lewinsky…you know, real close.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Buffalo Joe


    Pass yourself off as someone willing to be a close associate like Monica Lewinsky…you know, real close.
     
    People mistakenly think Miss Lewinsky was victimized as an "unpaid intern". But she had already been promoted to paid staff when she met Slick Willy.

    The real question is, why? Why her from the entire steno pool? Who else did she impress before Bill?

    Her mom owned a co-op apartment at the Watergate. That can't have been cheap.

    Replies: @Ben tillman, @Alden, @Ralph L

  15. Anon[210] • Disclaimer says:

    Congressional aides are supposed to be smart, well-informed, on top of things, hard-working, and eager to please. That, in a nutshell, is why blacks find it hard to work the job. It’s a white person’s job. Blacks don’t fit the requirements.

    Aides are supposed to be smarter than the congress critters who employ them, and quick enough to prevent their employers from making mistakes. Someone with ghetto manners and ghetto brains is too retarded and clueless for the job.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  16. @Ian Smith
    Does any know someone who touched a black person’s hair? Seriously, black women are obsessed with this idea and yet I don’t know anyone who would see a black person and go “Hot dog! I can’t wait to touch their hair!”

    Replies: @Rob McX, @anon, @Altai, @jamie b., @Getaclue, @Rob, @onetwothree, @Anon, @Adam Smith

    I dated a black girl who had natural hair for a few months. I was hesitant to touch her hair as I thought it would feel like steel wool. I was pleasantly surprised when I did. it was very soft. It doesn’t look attractive but feels good

    • Thanks: Lockean Proviso
  17. @Ian Smith
    Does any know someone who touched a black person’s hair? Seriously, black women are obsessed with this idea and yet I don’t know anyone who would see a black person and go “Hot dog! I can’t wait to touch their hair!”

    Replies: @Rob McX, @anon, @Altai, @jamie b., @Getaclue, @Rob, @onetwothree, @Anon, @Adam Smith

    With children yes, I’ve seen it. (I’ve also seen it with children and non-black males who have close shaved heads) With adults? I’d be really shocked. They act like it’s a constant source of harassment from white people.

    I often compare it to a lot of Arabs talking about Westerners asking them if they ‘rode a camel to school’. Was that happening or was it a stereotype they had about the stereotypes Westerners had of them?

    Do adult white people really commonly ask to touch black women’s hair or is it something that has almost never happened to these black women but which they assume ‘happpens’.

    • Replies: @Barbarossa
    @Altai


    Do adult white people really commonly ask to touch black women’s hair or is it something that has almost never happened to these black women but which they assume ‘happpens’.
     
    I say it's pure projection.

    I'm glad black folks are proud of their natural hair and all, but it's certainly nothing that I've ever felt drawn to run my fingers through!
  18. Don’t forget the brutal trench warfare being fought in the black hair care aisles:

    • Replies: @Lockean Proviso
    @CCZ

    "...none of the caucasian products are locked up, as you can see. They're free to take."

    It's the notion that wares are "free to take" that led to the disparity.

    Anyway, notice how she wants whitey's products locked up too if the black products won't be unlocked: 'If we can't have nice things, then nobody should have nice things.'

    , @Brutusale
    @CCZ

    The big box liquor store near me has ALL the bottles of Hennessy cognac locked up, even the $9.99 small bottle, while there are $150 bottles of superior cognac out on the shelves.

    Reality is brutal.

  19. I thought this was poster for a woke reboot of The Muppet Show.

  20. @Rob McX
    These aides all look like they were photographed by Robert Reich.

    Replies: @Trelane, @Thirdtwin, @Escher

    This what tall people like Steve Sailer, presidents, executives, CEOs and Dan Blocker look like to the average person. Intimidating (to them).
    .

    • Replies: @Dube
    @Trelane

    I won't get another chance to tell my Dan Blocker story, so here goes. A friend of Dan's brought me to his house. He was seated at his bar, and I was kindly received. I saw at his elbow on the bar a copy of Leslie A. White's The Evolution of Culture. I said, anthropologist Leslie White...! He replied, "The anthropologist." I was delighted because White was my hero, and had taken me on for a year as a special student. With delight at finding a fellow fan, I went on to describe White's manner and appearance, and Blocker replied to my description with perfect accuracy, "Dean Jagger."

    Ya never know, do you?

    Replies: @Polistra

  21. I like to wear the hair of my enemies some days.

  22. @Rob McX
    @Ian Smith

    Probably some historian will look into the matter a century from now and discover to his shock that, contrary to almost universal belief, there is no evidence of anyone ever wanting to touch a black person's hair. It might be like the discovery that the Donation of Constantine was as fake as a three-dollar bill.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    Yes, it’s the “No Irish or Dogs” sign of our deeply stupid era.

  23. Color me racist if you must but as cornrows proliferate among young black food service workers, I’m getting sick of seeing strings of hair flipping and flapping around plates of food.

    • Replies: @Polistra
    @PSR

    Works pretty well as a marker for "public dining establishments to avoid" but of course we can't usually see behind the scenes.

    , @Lockean Proviso
    @PSR

    Pack your lunch. Save money, save your health, and avoid reparational saliva garnishing.

  24. @Altai

    scoping out which members of Congress will not flinch at a conversation about race
     
    It's not a 'conversation' it's a set of ultimatums and unending ethnic provocations. They're asking for them to passively or even actively support any escalated black ethnocentric and anti-white animosity which shockingly still doesn't even have much of a class component outside opposing gentrification that they seem to not care about (Given their wealthy backgrounds) outside blacks being replaced with whites. The ones it's kosher to hate on that is, no discussion of the ever expanding Hasidic enclaves in NYC (How big are they going to get? Will NYC become a Hasidic city?) that try as hard as they can to terraform the environment to push out outsiders like poor blacks.

    I'm still waiting on black activists to take industrial and trade policy seriously but they don't seem to care. They just want to LARP the civil rights movement despite there not being any discriminatory laws or ascendant social attitudes that negatively target them. The fastest way to lose all social status in America is to be white and say negative things about blacks.

    But, shockingly, none of that has any real bearing on the socioeconomic status of blacks which you'd think black activists would be very interested in.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @Charlotte

    The ones it’s kosher to hate on that is, no discussion of the ever expanding Hasidic enclaves in NYC (How big are they going to get? Will NYC become a Hasidic city?) that try as hard as they can to terraform the environment to push out outsiders like poor blacks.

    They’re not expanding much these days, prices being what they are. Most of the expansion of Hasidic communities is (with the exception of Staten Island) taking place in suburbia. Also considering the Sixties and Seventies experience of White ethnic neighborhoods in NYC and the attendant loss of wealth, terraforming the environment seems very prudent.

    • Replies: @Change that Matters
    @kaganovitch

    You might find this interesting: Inside the N.Y.C. Neighborhood With the Fastest Growing Asian Population.


    The census data also showed that among New York City neighborhoods, Long Island City experienced the fastest growth in residents who identified as Asian, a fivefold increase since 2010. The nearly 11,000 Asians who live in the neighborhood make up about 34 percent of its population.
     
  25. “Natural” hair included extensions, right?

  26. @Ian Smith
    Does any know someone who touched a black person’s hair? Seriously, black women are obsessed with this idea and yet I don’t know anyone who would see a black person and go “Hot dog! I can’t wait to touch their hair!”

    Replies: @Rob McX, @anon, @Altai, @jamie b., @Getaclue, @Rob, @onetwothree, @Anon, @Adam Smith

    In high school homeroom, back in the early 80’s, the black girl who sat behind me would often run her fingers thru my (then) thick red hair.

  27. @Giant Duck
    The issue of who can afford to take a high-prestige, low-salary job is far more important than people realize - the people who take these jobs end up with disproportionately high levels of influence.

    The racial angle of the NYT article is a relevant assessment, but an incomplete one: it is class, not race, that works as the largest barrier to Washington jobs like Hill staffer, journalist, NGO employee, etc. What ends up happening in general is the entry-level slots are taken by college grads with no debt and parents willing to subsidize them, and the mid-level slots by people whose spouses make better salaries (e.g., a wife whose husband is a private-sector lawyer). Long-term, they are often held by people who choose not to have children b/c of cost of living and time concerns.

    So assuming that it is important that Hill staffers are representative of America, one should be very worried about the fact that such staffers are very often upper-middle-class kids who can afford low salaries due to family subsidies, and/or ideologues willing to forgo having children if that's what it takes to have the career they want. Race barely captures how out-of-the-ordinary Hill staffers are when compared to the average American. Ditto journalism, NGO work, etc.

    David Brooks long ago addressed what he called "status/income disequilibrium," comparing high-influence but low-pay government workers with their high-income, lower-influence private sector counterparts. That analysis is dated at this point. What we have now is subsidized status seekers. Anyone who lives and/or works in DC knows that these folks aren't using their salary to put a down payment on a $700,000 condo in Logan Circle.

    When Brett Kavanaugh was in the confirmation process to become a Supreme Court justice, the Post ran an article about how, unlike nearly all other recent justices, Kavanaugh had never worked in private practice (BigLaw). He was a public sector guy, and the gist of the article was that he could barely afford to live in DC, especially in light of the social expectations of his career. The minor scandal about some loan or other that he had taken out was related to this -- he didn't make enough money in the public sector to keep up with his peers, and presumably didn't have family support or a trust fund to bridge the gap.

    We should care who gets to be an opinion-maker in Washington. The rich, and the ideologically monomaniacal, that's who it is right now.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Reg Cæsar, @Gabe Ruth, @Forbes, @Russ Floyd

    “it is class, not race, that works as the largest barrier to Washington jobs like Hill staffer, journalist, NGO employee, etc.”

    You forgot to mention tribe.

  28. @Buffalo Joe
    @Paul Rise

    Paul, occasionally while channel surfing I will pause at CNN to check out Joy Reid's latest hair style. Coif du jour. Soomeone can throw post up some photos.

    Replies: @Wade Hampton

    Those structures Joy Reid wears on her head aren’t hair. They are actually hats.

  29. @James N. Kennett
    Since when did anyone have the right to wear their "natural hair" to work?

    https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article21337351.ece/ALTERNATES/n310p/0_Monty-Pythons-Life-Of-Brian-1979.jpg

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Since when did anyone have the right to wear their “natural hair” to work?

    Would you prefer to see Terry Jones without it? No thanks!

  30. @Giant Duck
    The issue of who can afford to take a high-prestige, low-salary job is far more important than people realize - the people who take these jobs end up with disproportionately high levels of influence.

    The racial angle of the NYT article is a relevant assessment, but an incomplete one: it is class, not race, that works as the largest barrier to Washington jobs like Hill staffer, journalist, NGO employee, etc. What ends up happening in general is the entry-level slots are taken by college grads with no debt and parents willing to subsidize them, and the mid-level slots by people whose spouses make better salaries (e.g., a wife whose husband is a private-sector lawyer). Long-term, they are often held by people who choose not to have children b/c of cost of living and time concerns.

    So assuming that it is important that Hill staffers are representative of America, one should be very worried about the fact that such staffers are very often upper-middle-class kids who can afford low salaries due to family subsidies, and/or ideologues willing to forgo having children if that's what it takes to have the career they want. Race barely captures how out-of-the-ordinary Hill staffers are when compared to the average American. Ditto journalism, NGO work, etc.

    David Brooks long ago addressed what he called "status/income disequilibrium," comparing high-influence but low-pay government workers with their high-income, lower-influence private sector counterparts. That analysis is dated at this point. What we have now is subsidized status seekers. Anyone who lives and/or works in DC knows that these folks aren't using their salary to put a down payment on a $700,000 condo in Logan Circle.

    When Brett Kavanaugh was in the confirmation process to become a Supreme Court justice, the Post ran an article about how, unlike nearly all other recent justices, Kavanaugh had never worked in private practice (BigLaw). He was a public sector guy, and the gist of the article was that he could barely afford to live in DC, especially in light of the social expectations of his career. The minor scandal about some loan or other that he had taken out was related to this -- he didn't make enough money in the public sector to keep up with his peers, and presumably didn't have family support or a trust fund to bridge the gap.

    We should care who gets to be an opinion-maker in Washington. The rich, and the ideologically monomaniacal, that's who it is right now.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Reg Cæsar, @Gabe Ruth, @Forbes, @Russ Floyd

    What ends up happening in general is the entry-level slots are taken by college grads with no debt and parents willing to subsidize them…

    A second or third time. They’ve almost always had been on “internships” before that entry level.

    We should care who gets to be an opinion-maker in Washington.

    Or, better yet, start shifting power back to state capitols, village boards, and individual citizens. Washingtonians can have all the opinions they want.

    • Agree: Ben tillman, JackOH
    • Replies: @JackOH
    @Reg Cæsar

    Reg, back when I was a very minor political operative in the 1980s, I met some of our best and brightest, including young aides and their candidates. The memory makes me want to fucking puke. The social engineering genes in those hand-picked Wunderkinder from elite schools are very strong, regardless of whether they're Republicans, Democrats, or Martians.

    But, that experience is where I first got strong hints that the real decision-making falls within the "Council of 25,000", the lobbies that control the candidates by marking the boundaries of permissible discourse. That "Council" gives a shit about interests, and mostly economic interests. Other quaint notions, such as the common good, public good, national interest, conservatism, liberalism, and so on are permitted to be expressed to the extent they don't abrogate---wait for it---economic interests.

    All the more reason to devolve power from D. C.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  31. @Ian Smith
    Does any know someone who touched a black person’s hair? Seriously, black women are obsessed with this idea and yet I don’t know anyone who would see a black person and go “Hot dog! I can’t wait to touch their hair!”

    Replies: @Rob McX, @anon, @Altai, @jamie b., @Getaclue, @Rob, @onetwothree, @Anon, @Adam Smith

    Every White person I know is basically grossed out by Black hair– no one wants to “touch” it — these Black women are projecting wishful thinking….

  32. @Ian Smith
    Does any know someone who touched a black person’s hair? Seriously, black women are obsessed with this idea and yet I don’t know anyone who would see a black person and go “Hot dog! I can’t wait to touch their hair!”

    Replies: @Rob McX, @anon, @Altai, @jamie b., @Getaclue, @Rob, @onetwothree, @Anon, @Adam Smith

    My guess is that extremely culturally black blacks do not end up as Congressional aides. These are elite blacks, whether by their parents’ status or by being smart (for blacks) and getting a scholarship to boarding, or at least private, school. Because the schools were only nominally integrated, they made white friends. Teen girls are involved with doing each other’s hair and such. Because the black girl felt left out, and kids are curious, they all felt her hair. That made her feel incredibly self-conscious because the girls who had been saying “ooh your hair’s so x. I wish mine were more x or y” felt her hair and said “oh. That’s what it feels like, thanks” instead of oohing and aahing and being affiliative. She felt left out too, and maybe could only have her hair done when she went home. Not a lot of black hairdressers in the small New England towns of so many boarding schools.

    Girls who went to Episcopal High School, smack in a not-super-good area of Richmond, Virginia, might have found local hairdressers, but black culture is less cosmopolitan. Even if she had been from the hood, she was not from that hood. Plus, dealing with white people all day she would be estranged from black culture, making interaction with blacks fairly awkward.

    [MORE]

    That’s my guess? The dudes? Almost all black males in fancy schools are, um, more athletically than scholastically inclined. Jocks tend to be fairly drunken, and dudes’ teammates probably all felt his hair once while they were drinking. Plus, I’ll bet all the white girls he dated felt his hair at least or twice.

    Plus, these congressional aides are probably all in their twenties, when slings and arrows from high school still sting. Feeling different is maybe not a sling or arrow, but it took a mental effort to deal with, I am sure.

    The white aides are pretty on the ball to come up with “Aides should be paid more so you can hire fancy blacks away from finance”, and doubly impressive if they can make the case with a straight face. More black aides mean more pressure on Republicans to hire black aides, who act as a fifth column, at worst, or a constant voice for the Dem POV in the office, at best.

    • Replies: @Ralph L
    @Rob

    Girls who went to Episcopal High School, smack in a not-super-good area of Richmond, Virginia

    EHS is in Alexandria, next to the Episcopal Seminary. You must be thinking of Trinity Episcopal School.

    Replies: @Rob

    , @Alden
    @Rob

    Girls don’t fuss with each other’s hair at school. They do it at home. Especially with the current fad of green blue pink red purple high lights.

    The witching about black hair goes back to the black is beautiful movement almost 60 years ago when black militants preached stop pressing your hair and adopt a natural style. Big and frizzed out. Ironically it was a similar style to
    the big puffy styles White women wore.

    As soon as black women obeyed the militants and started wearing the natural hair style the complaints began that Whites were sneaking up
    behind them and touching their hair.

    Blacks keep repeating the same old same old. This is the same crap their grandmothers were whining about 60 years ago.

    If blacks had White or Asian hair they’d just find something else to complain about. Office too hot or too cold unflattering fluorescent lights long way from the parking lot insufficient lunch time anything and everything

    Replies: @Rob

  33. @Altai

    scoping out which members of Congress will not flinch at a conversation about race
     
    It's not a 'conversation' it's a set of ultimatums and unending ethnic provocations. They're asking for them to passively or even actively support any escalated black ethnocentric and anti-white animosity which shockingly still doesn't even have much of a class component outside opposing gentrification that they seem to not care about (Given their wealthy backgrounds) outside blacks being replaced with whites. The ones it's kosher to hate on that is, no discussion of the ever expanding Hasidic enclaves in NYC (How big are they going to get? Will NYC become a Hasidic city?) that try as hard as they can to terraform the environment to push out outsiders like poor blacks.

    I'm still waiting on black activists to take industrial and trade policy seriously but they don't seem to care. They just want to LARP the civil rights movement despite there not being any discriminatory laws or ascendant social attitudes that negatively target them. The fastest way to lose all social status in America is to be white and say negative things about blacks.

    But, shockingly, none of that has any real bearing on the socioeconomic status of blacks which you'd think black activists would be very interested in.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @Charlotte

    But, shockingly, none of that has any real bearing on the socioeconomic status of blacks which you’d think black activists would be very interested in.

    If our nation’s black communities were prosperous and orderly, there wouldn’t be nearly as much to complain about, would there? The fly in the ointment of professional activism is that activists (including the DIE-consultant types) would put themselves out of business if they ever succeeded in bringing about the change they claim to want. Real, useful change is also pretty damned hard to effect, not to mention unsexy-like industrial policy. So they promote hiring more people like themselves and the right to wear ‘natural hair.’ I wouldn’t say they are all aware of the paradox, but I do think it discourages clear thought about why problems exist.

  34. @Altai
    @Ian Smith

    With children yes, I've seen it. (I've also seen it with children and non-black males who have close shaved heads) With adults? I'd be really shocked. They act like it's a constant source of harassment from white people.

    I often compare it to a lot of Arabs talking about Westerners asking them if they 'rode a camel to school'. Was that happening or was it a stereotype they had about the stereotypes Westerners had of them?

    Do adult white people really commonly ask to touch black women's hair or is it something that has almost never happened to these black women but which they assume 'happpens'.

    Replies: @Barbarossa

    Do adult white people really commonly ask to touch black women’s hair or is it something that has almost never happened to these black women but which they assume ‘happpens’.

    I say it’s pure projection.

    I’m glad black folks are proud of their natural hair and all, but it’s certainly nothing that I’ve ever felt drawn to run my fingers through!

  35. @Buffalo Joe
    @Giant Duck

    Giant, maybe the hair angle is the wrong approach. Pass yourself off as someone willing to be a close associate like Monica Lewinsky...you know, real close.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Pass yourself off as someone willing to be a close associate like Monica Lewinsky…you know, real close.

    People mistakenly think Miss Lewinsky was victimized as an “unpaid intern”. But she had already been promoted to paid staff when she met Slick Willy.

    The real question is, why? Why her from the entire steno pool? Who else did she impress before Bill?

    Her mom owned a co-op apartment at the Watergate. That can’t have been cheap.

    • Replies: @Ben tillman
    @Reg Cæsar

    *Whom* else.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @Alden
    @Reg Cæsar

    Her Mom’s second husband was Peter Lewis multimillionaire owner of Progressive Insurance and other companies. Lewis arranged for Monica’s internship. And paid for the Watergate apartment.

    , @Ralph L
    @Reg Cæsar

    But she had already been promoted to paid staff when she met Slick Willy.

    No--that was the key to the whole scandal that the media ignored.

    She testified (and told Tripp on tape) that they had sex before she got the paid job, which made her testimony germane to Jones's lawsuit, and Currie hiding the gifts, Ron Perelman's and Vernon Jordan's dealing to buy her silence, etc, obstruction of justice. Clinton lied under oath that it started after she became a paid employee because he wanted to avoid that.

  36. @Reg Cæsar
    @Buffalo Joe


    Pass yourself off as someone willing to be a close associate like Monica Lewinsky…you know, real close.
     
    People mistakenly think Miss Lewinsky was victimized as an "unpaid intern". But she had already been promoted to paid staff when she met Slick Willy.

    The real question is, why? Why her from the entire steno pool? Who else did she impress before Bill?

    Her mom owned a co-op apartment at the Watergate. That can't have been cheap.

    Replies: @Ben tillman, @Alden, @Ralph L

    *Whom* else.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Ben tillman

    "Whom" sounds clumsy at the beginning of a sentence. "To whom" or "of whom", yes, but there is no preposition in this case. Whom is likened to him, yet I can't think of a sentence in decent English that starts with "Him..." Can you?

    There are cases where it's a toss-up, e.g., than he vs than him.

    Replies: @The Germ Theory of Disease

  37. What these black women (there are no black men by percentage) don’t understand about Capitol Hill is that there are no EEOC requirements. These black broads are in the same boat as the White and jewish feminists that show up in DC with a shitty degree. You work an internship until you’re noticed. Your shitty Studies degree means you know nothing of economics, the law, medicine, industry or anything useful that they can use to help write policy. You’re nothing if you’re black because you’re worthless, not even worth keeping around to answer the phones. So here they are, proven worthless with their bad brillo-heads and shitty degrees trying to strongarm Capitol Hill into an EEOC posture. Not happening. If Ginsberg was never going to hire black law clerks, good luck getting the White feminist jewish ladies of Capitol Hill to hire brillo-heads with faces full of bad attitude knowing full well the trouble they’re going to cause, even as interns. They’re a cancer. Capitol Hill doesn’t even have a vax mandate, they aren’t about to hire militant black women. And they don’t have to, NYT articles or not. Just saying.

    BTW, Colin Powell, burn in hell, you lying, thieving, murderous mother fucker. May your suffering equal that of millions of people and all our Vets, misguided though they may have been.

    • Agree: Tony massey
  38. @Rob McX
    These aides all look like they were photographed by Robert Reich.

    Replies: @Trelane, @Thirdtwin, @Escher

    Anything at eye-level looks like a Mugshot. Anything from above looks like a security camera frame. And the photographer is already down there kissing ass.

    • LOL: Almost Missouri
  39. Neither ‘congressional aide’ or ‘journalist’ are elite occupations. There are people within those categories who might be classified as ‘elite’ (e.g. the majority counsel to one of the judiciary committees or the national editor of the Bezos Birdcage Liner). Facially, they’re not that badly paid, either. The federal government has satisfactory benefits. Cash compensation varies according to classification. There are 20-odd classifications. ‘Staff assistants’ have a median salary of just shy of \$45,000 a year (similar to secretaries’ nationwide) while ‘chiefs of staff’ have a median of \$172,000 (similar to dentists’ nationwide). The trouble would be the rents, the traffic, and the working hours.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
  40. @Ben tillman
    @Reg Cæsar

    *Whom* else.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    “Whom” sounds clumsy at the beginning of a sentence. “To whom” or “of whom”, yes, but there is no preposition in this case. Whom is likened to him, yet I can’t think of a sentence in decent English that starts with “Him…” Can you?

    There are cases where it’s a toss-up, e.g., than he vs than him.

    • Replies: @The Germ Theory of Disease
    @Reg Cæsar

    The iron blue pencil of Grammar Nazi strikes again!

    As usual, Reg Caesar is correct here. Style, elegance, and clarity of meaning trump and outweigh strict grammatical purity in this instance. English is a highly plastic language, and a very stylish one, never forget.

    As with all Grammar Nazi rulings, this ruling is final and beyond appeal.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  41. @Ian Smith
    Does any know someone who touched a black person’s hair? Seriously, black women are obsessed with this idea and yet I don’t know anyone who would see a black person and go “Hot dog! I can’t wait to touch their hair!”

    Replies: @Rob McX, @anon, @Altai, @jamie b., @Getaclue, @Rob, @onetwothree, @Anon, @Adam Smith

    One of the English members of “The Experience” (I forget which) said in an interview that he asked to touch Hendrix’ hair and Hendrix let him.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @onetwothree

    Hendrix wore his hair in emulation of Bob Dylan.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  42. @Reg Cæsar
    @Ben tillman

    "Whom" sounds clumsy at the beginning of a sentence. "To whom" or "of whom", yes, but there is no preposition in this case. Whom is likened to him, yet I can't think of a sentence in decent English that starts with "Him..." Can you?

    There are cases where it's a toss-up, e.g., than he vs than him.

    Replies: @The Germ Theory of Disease

    The iron blue pencil of Grammar Nazi strikes again!

    As usual, Reg Caesar is correct here. Style, elegance, and clarity of meaning trump and outweigh strict grammatical purity in this instance. English is a highly plastic language, and a very stylish one, never forget.

    As with all Grammar Nazi rulings, this ruling is final and beyond appeal.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @The Germ Theory of Disease


    Style, elegance, and clarity of meaning trump and outweigh strict grammatical purity in this instance.
     
    Thanks. I'm a stylist, not a prescriptivist. (Or "prescriptionist", per Corv's sockpuppet.) Who cares if using Me and him as a subject is "right" or "wrong"? Either way, it's moronic.

    (And rude. I was taught that the second person should precede the first, as common courtesy.)

    As with all Grammar Nazi rulings
     
    No, not even a Whig Prig. More of a Reposi-Tory.
  43. White people who already have those jobs seems to be seizing on the argument that their pay should be raised in order to persuade the most talented blacks to take those jobs rather than go to work at, say, Goldman Sachs.

    Maybe the next innovation will be for each talented black to be paid for multiple full time jobs (or get degrees from multiple elite colleges) at once. That would be one way to achieve something resembling representation in line with their proportion of the population.

  44. @Rob
    @Ian Smith

    My guess is that extremely culturally black blacks do not end up as Congressional aides. These are elite blacks, whether by their parents’ status or by being smart (for blacks) and getting a scholarship to boarding, or at least private, school. Because the schools were only nominally integrated, they made white friends. Teen girls are involved with doing each other's hair and such. Because the black girl felt left out, and kids are curious, they all felt her hair. That made her feel incredibly self-conscious because the girls who had been saying “ooh your hair’s so x. I wish mine were more x or y” felt her hair and said “oh. That’s what it feels like, thanks” instead of oohing and aahing and being affiliative. She felt left out too, and maybe could only have her hair done when she went home. Not a lot of black hairdressers in the small New England towns of so many boarding schools.

    Girls who went to Episcopal High School, smack in a not-super-good area of Richmond, Virginia, might have found local hairdressers, but black culture is less cosmopolitan. Even if she had been from the hood, she was not from that hood. Plus, dealing with white people all day she would be estranged from black culture, making interaction with blacks fairly awkward.

    That’s my guess? The dudes? Almost all black males in fancy schools are, um, more athletically than scholastically inclined. Jocks tend to be fairly drunken, and dudes’ teammates probably all felt his hair once while they were drinking. Plus, I'll bet all the white girls he dated felt his hair at least or twice.

    Plus, these congressional aides are probably all in their twenties, when slings and arrows from high school still sting. Feeling different is maybe not a sling or arrow, but it took a mental effort to deal with, I am sure.

    The white aides are pretty on the ball to come up with “Aides should be paid more so you can hire fancy blacks away from finance”, and doubly impressive if they can make the case with a straight face. More black aides mean more pressure on Republicans to hire black aides, who act as a fifth column, at worst, or a constant voice for the Dem POV in the office, at best.

    Replies: @Ralph L, @Alden

    Girls who went to Episcopal High School, smack in a not-super-good area of Richmond, Virginia

    EHS is in Alexandria, next to the Episcopal Seminary. You must be thinking of Trinity Episcopal School.

    • Replies: @Rob
    @Ralph L

    Huh, you are right! My cousin went to EHS, I thought. Maybe he went to Trinity? His dad taught at Trinity College. I know that for sure.

  45. @PSR
    Color me racist if you must but as cornrows proliferate among young black food service workers, I’m getting sick of seeing strings of hair flipping and flapping around plates of food.

    Replies: @Polistra, @Lockean Proviso

    Works pretty well as a marker for “public dining establishments to avoid” but of course we can’t usually see behind the scenes.

  46. @CCZ
    Don't forget the brutal trench warfare being fought in the black hair care aisles:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRdRUMbZkdY

    Replies: @Lockean Proviso, @Brutusale

    “…none of the caucasian products are locked up, as you can see. They’re free to take.”

    It’s the notion that wares are “free to take” that led to the disparity.

    Anyway, notice how she wants whitey’s products locked up too if the black products won’t be unlocked: ‘If we can’t have nice things, then nobody should have nice things.’

  47. @PSR
    Color me racist if you must but as cornrows proliferate among young black food service workers, I’m getting sick of seeing strings of hair flipping and flapping around plates of food.

    Replies: @Polistra, @Lockean Proviso

    Pack your lunch. Save money, save your health, and avoid reparational saliva garnishing.

  48. @Barnard

    milking connections and scoping out which members of Congress will not flinch at a conversation about race, or will allow aides to wear their natural hair.
     
    Shelia Jackson Lee seems like a good bet, but I have read she has the highest staff turnover rate in the entire Congress. It appears what they want are top jobs with the most powerful members of Congress. If entry level staffers are really making $30-40k, that is a fairly obvious barrier to entry to weed out everyone who isn't already part of the ruling class. Seems like it would be tough to live in D.C. even with a roommate and pay back your student loans on $30k. That might be where they should focus instead of the racial angle.

    Replies: @Arclight

    Harking back to my days as a onetime Congressional staffer, literally no one wants to work for SJL, but because she prefers blacks it’s a way to get on the merry go round if you are willing to put up with the abuse until you can find another Congressional job.

    Now, the reality in Congress as elsewhere is that any above average black person is a sought after commodity, so if you fit that bill and you tire of Congressional staff pay it is not difficult to transition to lobbying or some consulting gig. Indeed, that is the goal for many of the white staffers as well. So a fairly well put together black applicant has a very good chance of getting their foot in the door.

    On the other hand, if you are merely average or below it soon shows and it’s either accept that you will be making \$65K a year forever in Congress or find a job in an executive branch agency, as the number of six figure jobs that are springboards to other well paying things are probably 1 in 10. That said, it is accurate that many of the white staffers have sufficient family support to ‘serve’ as an aide longer than I would guess the majority of the black staffers do, so some resentment is justified.

  49. @onetwothree
    @Ian Smith

    One of the English members of "The Experience" (I forget which) said in an interview that he asked to touch Hendrix' hair and Hendrix let him.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Hendrix wore his hair in emulation of Bob Dylan.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer


    Hendrix wore his hair in emulation of Bob Dylan.
     
    Whereas Paul Simon wrote "A Simple Desultory Phillipic" to mock him. And did a good job of it.

    Fun fact: The lyrics include

    I been Ayn Randed, nearly branded
    Communist, 'cause I'm left-handed
    That's the hand I use, well, never mind

     
    Few know that Simon actually is left-handed because he plays guitar right-handed. Hendrix could play both orientations of strings both ways, merely by happenstance. That would have been fun to watch him do live.
  50. @Trelane
    @Rob McX

    This what tall people like Steve Sailer, presidents, executives, CEOs and Dan Blocker look like to the average person. Intimidating (to them).
    .

    Replies: @Dube

    I won’t get another chance to tell my Dan Blocker story, so here goes. A friend of Dan’s brought me to his house. He was seated at his bar, and I was kindly received. I saw at his elbow on the bar a copy of Leslie A. White’s The Evolution of Culture. I said, anthropologist Leslie White…! He replied, “The anthropologist.” I was delighted because White was my hero, and had taken me on for a year as a special student. With delight at finding a fellow fan, I went on to describe White’s manner and appearance, and Blocker replied to my description with perfect accuracy, “Dean Jagger.”

    Ya never know, do you?

    • Replies: @Polistra
    @Dube


    Ya never know, do you?
     
    Wow, I definitely don't. Never heard of a single person whose name you mentioned. My grandparents might have. But they've been dead for years.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Dube

  51. @Dube
    @Trelane

    I won't get another chance to tell my Dan Blocker story, so here goes. A friend of Dan's brought me to his house. He was seated at his bar, and I was kindly received. I saw at his elbow on the bar a copy of Leslie A. White's The Evolution of Culture. I said, anthropologist Leslie White...! He replied, "The anthropologist." I was delighted because White was my hero, and had taken me on for a year as a special student. With delight at finding a fellow fan, I went on to describe White's manner and appearance, and Blocker replied to my description with perfect accuracy, "Dean Jagger."

    Ya never know, do you?

    Replies: @Polistra

    Ya never know, do you?

    Wow, I definitely don’t. Never heard of a single person whose name you mentioned. My grandparents might have. But they’ve been dead for years.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Polistra



    I won’t get another chance to tell my Dan Blocker story...
     
    Never heard of a single person whose name you mentioned. My grandparents might have. But they’ve been dead for years.
     
    Dan Blocker played the big brother of Michael Landon, who later played the father of Melissa Gilbert, who later served as president of the Screen Actors Guild. Her predecessors included Patty Duke, Ed Asner, William Schallert (who played Patty's father), Charlton Heston, and Ronald Reagan.

    Lemme guess...you've never heard of any of these people, either. Kids today...

    , @Dube
    @Polistra

    The late Dan Blocker was a widely beloved TV cowboy actor. You wouldn't guess that he'd choose to read work by the president of the American Anthropological Association. Leslie White defined culture as that which depends on the distinct human ability to create symbols. Dean Jagger played the business manager of the traveling gospel ministry in Elmer Gantry, and yes, he looked like Leslie White. You can live happily and well without knowing this, but it's richer to realize that green means go could be symbolized with any other color.

  52. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    @Reg Cæsar

    The iron blue pencil of Grammar Nazi strikes again!

    As usual, Reg Caesar is correct here. Style, elegance, and clarity of meaning trump and outweigh strict grammatical purity in this instance. English is a highly plastic language, and a very stylish one, never forget.

    As with all Grammar Nazi rulings, this ruling is final and beyond appeal.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Style, elegance, and clarity of meaning trump and outweigh strict grammatical purity in this instance.

    Thanks. I’m a stylist, not a prescriptivist. (Or “prescriptionist”, per Corv’s sockpuppet.) Who cares if using Me and him as a subject is “right” or “wrong”? Either way, it’s moronic.

    (And rude. I was taught that the second person should precede the first, as common courtesy.)

    As with all Grammar Nazi rulings

    No, not even a Whig Prig. More of a Reposi-Tory.

  53. @Ian Smith
    Does any know someone who touched a black person’s hair? Seriously, black women are obsessed with this idea and yet I don’t know anyone who would see a black person and go “Hot dog! I can’t wait to touch their hair!”

    Replies: @Rob McX, @anon, @Altai, @jamie b., @Getaclue, @Rob, @onetwothree, @Anon, @Adam Smith

    The only white-touching-black hair I’ve seen was when Nancy Pelosi dug her claws into the braids of George Floyd’s kid on TV.

    If Nancy had been at Emmett Till’s funeral, she would have been pawing his conk in that coffin for the cameras.

    • LOL: Alden
    • Replies: @Polistra
    @Anon

    How many George Floyd kids have turned up over the past year? I bet that's a closely guarded secret. But $27 million has a way of bringing people out of the woodwork.

    They'll have to be doing DNA tests, right? Funny how this same extended family had absolutely no use for the man when he was alive.

    , @Rob
    @Anon


    If Nancy had been at Emmett Till’s funeral, she would have been pawing his conk in that coffin for the cameras.
     
    I did not read that as conk. I will not say what word I thought it was, but I will say that my way was funnier and just as true.
  54. @Polistra
    @Dube


    Ya never know, do you?
     
    Wow, I definitely don't. Never heard of a single person whose name you mentioned. My grandparents might have. But they've been dead for years.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Dube

    I won’t get another chance to tell my Dan Blocker story…

    Never heard of a single person whose name you mentioned. My grandparents might have. But they’ve been dead for years.

    Dan Blocker played the big brother of Michael Landon, who later played the father of Melissa Gilbert, who later served as president of the Screen Actors Guild. Her predecessors included Patty Duke, Ed Asner, William Schallert (who played Patty’s father), Charlton Heston, and Ronald Reagan.

    Lemme guess…you’ve never heard of any of these people, either. Kids today…

    • LOL: Jim Christian
  55. @Anon
    @Ian Smith

    The only white-touching-black hair I've seen was when Nancy Pelosi dug her claws into the braids of George Floyd's kid on TV.

    If Nancy had been at Emmett Till's funeral, she would have been pawing his conk in that coffin for the cameras.

    Replies: @Polistra, @Rob

    How many George Floyd kids have turned up over the past year? I bet that’s a closely guarded secret. But \$27 million has a way of bringing people out of the woodwork.

    They’ll have to be doing DNA tests, right? Funny how this same extended family had absolutely no use for the man when he was alive.

  56. @Ralph L
    @Rob

    Girls who went to Episcopal High School, smack in a not-super-good area of Richmond, Virginia

    EHS is in Alexandria, next to the Episcopal Seminary. You must be thinking of Trinity Episcopal School.

    Replies: @Rob

    Huh, you are right! My cousin went to EHS, I thought. Maybe he went to Trinity? His dad taught at Trinity College. I know that for sure.

  57. @Anon
    @Ian Smith

    The only white-touching-black hair I've seen was when Nancy Pelosi dug her claws into the braids of George Floyd's kid on TV.

    If Nancy had been at Emmett Till's funeral, she would have been pawing his conk in that coffin for the cameras.

    Replies: @Polistra, @Rob

    If Nancy had been at Emmett Till’s funeral, she would have been pawing his conk in that coffin for the cameras.

    I did not read that as conk. I will not say what word I thought it was, but I will say that my way was funnier and just as true.

  58. @kaganovitch
    @Altai

    The ones it’s kosher to hate on that is, no discussion of the ever expanding Hasidic enclaves in NYC (How big are they going to get? Will NYC become a Hasidic city?) that try as hard as they can to terraform the environment to push out outsiders like poor blacks.


    They're not expanding much these days, prices being what they are. Most of the expansion of Hasidic communities is (with the exception of Staten Island) taking place in suburbia. Also considering the Sixties and Seventies experience of White ethnic neighborhoods in NYC and the attendant loss of wealth, terraforming the environment seems very prudent.

    Replies: @Change that Matters

    You might find this interesting: Inside the N.Y.C. Neighborhood With the Fastest Growing Asian Population.

    The census data also showed that among New York City neighborhoods, Long Island City experienced the fastest growth in residents who identified as Asian, a fivefold increase since 2010. The nearly 11,000 Asians who live in the neighborhood make up about 34 percent of its population.

  59. @Reg Cæsar
    @Giant Duck


    What ends up happening in general is the entry-level slots are taken by college grads with no debt and parents willing to subsidize them...
     
    A second or third time. They've almost always had been on "internships" before that entry level.

    We should care who gets to be an opinion-maker in Washington.
     
    Or, better yet, start shifting power back to state capitols, village boards, and individual citizens. Washingtonians can have all the opinions they want.

    Replies: @JackOH

    Reg, back when I was a very minor political operative in the 1980s, I met some of our best and brightest, including young aides and their candidates. The memory makes me want to fucking puke. The social engineering genes in those hand-picked Wunderkinder from elite schools are very strong, regardless of whether they’re Republicans, Democrats, or Martians.

    But, that experience is where I first got strong hints that the real decision-making falls within the “Council of 25,000”, the lobbies that control the candidates by marking the boundaries of permissible discourse. That “Council” gives a shit about interests, and mostly economic interests. Other quaint notions, such as the common good, public good, national interest, conservatism, liberalism, and so on are permitted to be expressed to the extent they don’t abrogate—wait for it—economic interests.

    All the more reason to devolve power from D. C.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @JackOH


    Reg, back when I was a very minor political operative in the 1980s, I met some of our best and brightest, including young aides and their candidates. The memory makes me want to 🫂ing puke.
     
    If you weren't in Ohio, I'd swear you were Bill Kauffman. You might enjoy his one novel, set in that milieu.

    https://img.thriftbooks.com/api/images/m/c35184751c7de6ba4ad30719661cb8c2e5138610.jpg

  60. Yes, because no other profession involves “a long process of networking, milking connections.”

  61. @CCZ
    Don't forget the brutal trench warfare being fought in the black hair care aisles:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRdRUMbZkdY

    Replies: @Lockean Proviso, @Brutusale

    The big box liquor store near me has ALL the bottles of Hennessy cognac locked up, even the \$9.99 small bottle, while there are \$150 bottles of superior cognac out on the shelves.

    Reality is brutal.

  62. @Giant Duck
    The issue of who can afford to take a high-prestige, low-salary job is far more important than people realize - the people who take these jobs end up with disproportionately high levels of influence.

    The racial angle of the NYT article is a relevant assessment, but an incomplete one: it is class, not race, that works as the largest barrier to Washington jobs like Hill staffer, journalist, NGO employee, etc. What ends up happening in general is the entry-level slots are taken by college grads with no debt and parents willing to subsidize them, and the mid-level slots by people whose spouses make better salaries (e.g., a wife whose husband is a private-sector lawyer). Long-term, they are often held by people who choose not to have children b/c of cost of living and time concerns.

    So assuming that it is important that Hill staffers are representative of America, one should be very worried about the fact that such staffers are very often upper-middle-class kids who can afford low salaries due to family subsidies, and/or ideologues willing to forgo having children if that's what it takes to have the career they want. Race barely captures how out-of-the-ordinary Hill staffers are when compared to the average American. Ditto journalism, NGO work, etc.

    David Brooks long ago addressed what he called "status/income disequilibrium," comparing high-influence but low-pay government workers with their high-income, lower-influence private sector counterparts. That analysis is dated at this point. What we have now is subsidized status seekers. Anyone who lives and/or works in DC knows that these folks aren't using their salary to put a down payment on a $700,000 condo in Logan Circle.

    When Brett Kavanaugh was in the confirmation process to become a Supreme Court justice, the Post ran an article about how, unlike nearly all other recent justices, Kavanaugh had never worked in private practice (BigLaw). He was a public sector guy, and the gist of the article was that he could barely afford to live in DC, especially in light of the social expectations of his career. The minor scandal about some loan or other that he had taken out was related to this -- he didn't make enough money in the public sector to keep up with his peers, and presumably didn't have family support or a trust fund to bridge the gap.

    We should care who gets to be an opinion-maker in Washington. The rich, and the ideologically monomaniacal, that's who it is right now.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Reg Cæsar, @Gabe Ruth, @Forbes, @Russ Floyd

    Are these people actually influential though? I know they think they’re really important, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. They’ve been given any opinion they might hold by their masters, otherwise they wouldn’t be there.

  63. @Rob
    @Ian Smith

    My guess is that extremely culturally black blacks do not end up as Congressional aides. These are elite blacks, whether by their parents’ status or by being smart (for blacks) and getting a scholarship to boarding, or at least private, school. Because the schools were only nominally integrated, they made white friends. Teen girls are involved with doing each other's hair and such. Because the black girl felt left out, and kids are curious, they all felt her hair. That made her feel incredibly self-conscious because the girls who had been saying “ooh your hair’s so x. I wish mine were more x or y” felt her hair and said “oh. That’s what it feels like, thanks” instead of oohing and aahing and being affiliative. She felt left out too, and maybe could only have her hair done when she went home. Not a lot of black hairdressers in the small New England towns of so many boarding schools.

    Girls who went to Episcopal High School, smack in a not-super-good area of Richmond, Virginia, might have found local hairdressers, but black culture is less cosmopolitan. Even if she had been from the hood, she was not from that hood. Plus, dealing with white people all day she would be estranged from black culture, making interaction with blacks fairly awkward.

    That’s my guess? The dudes? Almost all black males in fancy schools are, um, more athletically than scholastically inclined. Jocks tend to be fairly drunken, and dudes’ teammates probably all felt his hair once while they were drinking. Plus, I'll bet all the white girls he dated felt his hair at least or twice.

    Plus, these congressional aides are probably all in their twenties, when slings and arrows from high school still sting. Feeling different is maybe not a sling or arrow, but it took a mental effort to deal with, I am sure.

    The white aides are pretty on the ball to come up with “Aides should be paid more so you can hire fancy blacks away from finance”, and doubly impressive if they can make the case with a straight face. More black aides mean more pressure on Republicans to hire black aides, who act as a fifth column, at worst, or a constant voice for the Dem POV in the office, at best.

    Replies: @Ralph L, @Alden

    Girls don’t fuss with each other’s hair at school. They do it at home. Especially with the current fad of green blue pink red purple high lights.

    The witching about black hair goes back to the black is beautiful movement almost 60 years ago when black militants preached stop pressing your hair and adopt a natural style. Big and frizzed out. Ironically it was a similar style to
    the big puffy styles White women wore.

    As soon as black women obeyed the militants and started wearing the natural hair style the complaints began that Whites were sneaking up
    behind them and touching their hair.

    Blacks keep repeating the same old same old. This is the same crap their grandmothers were whining about 60 years ago.

    If blacks had White or Asian hair they’d just find something else to complain about. Office too hot or too cold unflattering fluorescent lights long way from the parking lot insufficient lunch time anything and everything

    • Replies: @Rob
    @Alden

    I’m pretty sure they would in the dorms at boarding school. A fair chunk of the blacks you see on tv, like a good half of the “experts” on MSNBC, went to boarding school. That’s where they made the connections that enabled them to be a talking head on tv. What, you think they went to public school and then became experts on whatever policy? Nope. If girls do hair stuff at home with their friends, in groups, the black girl in the clique was probably invited, too. Listen to blacks on television. They don’t have “black” accents. They have American received pronunciation learned at school, frequently boarding school. Most of their friends in their teenage years were black. They invited all their friends to hang out, Not like they schedule particular blocks of time in their free time at school.

  64. @Reg Cæsar
    @Buffalo Joe


    Pass yourself off as someone willing to be a close associate like Monica Lewinsky…you know, real close.
     
    People mistakenly think Miss Lewinsky was victimized as an "unpaid intern". But she had already been promoted to paid staff when she met Slick Willy.

    The real question is, why? Why her from the entire steno pool? Who else did she impress before Bill?

    Her mom owned a co-op apartment at the Watergate. That can't have been cheap.

    Replies: @Ben tillman, @Alden, @Ralph L

    Her Mom’s second husband was Peter Lewis multimillionaire owner of Progressive Insurance and other companies. Lewis arranged for Monica’s internship. And paid for the Watergate apartment.

  65. Take a blonde woman to Africa or an Arab country and see who’s doing the hair-touching.

  66. @Giant Duck
    The issue of who can afford to take a high-prestige, low-salary job is far more important than people realize - the people who take these jobs end up with disproportionately high levels of influence.

    The racial angle of the NYT article is a relevant assessment, but an incomplete one: it is class, not race, that works as the largest barrier to Washington jobs like Hill staffer, journalist, NGO employee, etc. What ends up happening in general is the entry-level slots are taken by college grads with no debt and parents willing to subsidize them, and the mid-level slots by people whose spouses make better salaries (e.g., a wife whose husband is a private-sector lawyer). Long-term, they are often held by people who choose not to have children b/c of cost of living and time concerns.

    So assuming that it is important that Hill staffers are representative of America, one should be very worried about the fact that such staffers are very often upper-middle-class kids who can afford low salaries due to family subsidies, and/or ideologues willing to forgo having children if that's what it takes to have the career they want. Race barely captures how out-of-the-ordinary Hill staffers are when compared to the average American. Ditto journalism, NGO work, etc.

    David Brooks long ago addressed what he called "status/income disequilibrium," comparing high-influence but low-pay government workers with their high-income, lower-influence private sector counterparts. That analysis is dated at this point. What we have now is subsidized status seekers. Anyone who lives and/or works in DC knows that these folks aren't using their salary to put a down payment on a $700,000 condo in Logan Circle.

    When Brett Kavanaugh was in the confirmation process to become a Supreme Court justice, the Post ran an article about how, unlike nearly all other recent justices, Kavanaugh had never worked in private practice (BigLaw). He was a public sector guy, and the gist of the article was that he could barely afford to live in DC, especially in light of the social expectations of his career. The minor scandal about some loan or other that he had taken out was related to this -- he didn't make enough money in the public sector to keep up with his peers, and presumably didn't have family support or a trust fund to bridge the gap.

    We should care who gets to be an opinion-maker in Washington. The rich, and the ideologically monomaniacal, that's who it is right now.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Reg Cæsar, @Gabe Ruth, @Forbes, @Russ Floyd

    Blah, blah, blah. Another article claiming staff jobs in Washington are VERY IMPORTANT so they should be paid more. Cry me another one. The article is just more “plaques for blacks” advocacy.

    Show me the first article quoting anyone who claims they are overpaid…

  67. I went to a large medical facility for some tests. The CNA who took my blood pressure, weight, etc. had long, black braids down over her shoulders. They looked quite dirty and her hair was sort of tangled in her mask elastic. Didn’t look very hygienic to me. The braids were her natural hair, not extensions. How do these get washed? Ugh. I had no inclination to touch her hair. Wild hair, whether black or blond, does not look professional or clean to me.

  68. Re hair touching: went to Mexico when our son was 7. He had blond hair and women would just walk up to him and touch his hair. He was not happy.
    My sister had blond, straight hair in her younger days. She taught 5th grade in Baltimore. In the first days of September, black girls used to ask to touch her hair. Some asked how she got her hair so straight.

  69. @Alden
    @Rob

    Girls don’t fuss with each other’s hair at school. They do it at home. Especially with the current fad of green blue pink red purple high lights.

    The witching about black hair goes back to the black is beautiful movement almost 60 years ago when black militants preached stop pressing your hair and adopt a natural style. Big and frizzed out. Ironically it was a similar style to
    the big puffy styles White women wore.

    As soon as black women obeyed the militants and started wearing the natural hair style the complaints began that Whites were sneaking up
    behind them and touching their hair.

    Blacks keep repeating the same old same old. This is the same crap their grandmothers were whining about 60 years ago.

    If blacks had White or Asian hair they’d just find something else to complain about. Office too hot or too cold unflattering fluorescent lights long way from the parking lot insufficient lunch time anything and everything

    Replies: @Rob

    I’m pretty sure they would in the dorms at boarding school. A fair chunk of the blacks you see on tv, like a good half of the “experts” on MSNBC, went to boarding school. That’s where they made the connections that enabled them to be a talking head on tv. What, you think they went to public school and then became experts on whatever policy? Nope. If girls do hair stuff at home with their friends, in groups, the black girl in the clique was probably invited, too. Listen to blacks on television. They don’t have “black” accents. They have American received pronunciation learned at school, frequently boarding school. Most of their friends in their teenage years were black. They invited all their friends to hang out, Not like they schedule particular blocks of time in their free time at school.

  70. @Reg Cæsar
    @Buffalo Joe


    Pass yourself off as someone willing to be a close associate like Monica Lewinsky…you know, real close.
     
    People mistakenly think Miss Lewinsky was victimized as an "unpaid intern". But she had already been promoted to paid staff when she met Slick Willy.

    The real question is, why? Why her from the entire steno pool? Who else did she impress before Bill?

    Her mom owned a co-op apartment at the Watergate. That can't have been cheap.

    Replies: @Ben tillman, @Alden, @Ralph L

    But she had already been promoted to paid staff when she met Slick Willy.

    No–that was the key to the whole scandal that the media ignored.

    She testified (and told Tripp on tape) that they had sex before she got the paid job, which made her testimony germane to Jones’s lawsuit, and Currie hiding the gifts, Ron Perelman’s and Vernon Jordan’s dealing to buy her silence, etc, obstruction of justice. Clinton lied under oath that it started after she became a paid employee because he wanted to avoid that.

  71. @Polistra
    @Dube


    Ya never know, do you?
     
    Wow, I definitely don't. Never heard of a single person whose name you mentioned. My grandparents might have. But they've been dead for years.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Dube

    The late Dan Blocker was a widely beloved TV cowboy actor. You wouldn’t guess that he’d choose to read work by the president of the American Anthropological Association. Leslie White defined culture as that which depends on the distinct human ability to create symbols. Dean Jagger played the business manager of the traveling gospel ministry in Elmer Gantry, and yes, he looked like Leslie White. You can live happily and well without knowing this, but it’s richer to realize that green means go could be symbolized with any other color.

  72. @Steve Sailer
    @onetwothree

    Hendrix wore his hair in emulation of Bob Dylan.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Hendrix wore his hair in emulation of Bob Dylan.

    Whereas Paul Simon wrote “A Simple Desultory Phillipic” to mock him. And did a good job of it.

    Fun fact: The lyrics include

    I been Ayn Randed, nearly branded
    Communist, ’cause I’m left-handed
    That’s the hand I use, well, never mind

    Few know that Simon actually is left-handed because he plays guitar right-handed. Hendrix could play both orientations of strings both ways, merely by happenstance. That would have been fun to watch him do live.

  73. @JackOH
    @Reg Cæsar

    Reg, back when I was a very minor political operative in the 1980s, I met some of our best and brightest, including young aides and their candidates. The memory makes me want to fucking puke. The social engineering genes in those hand-picked Wunderkinder from elite schools are very strong, regardless of whether they're Republicans, Democrats, or Martians.

    But, that experience is where I first got strong hints that the real decision-making falls within the "Council of 25,000", the lobbies that control the candidates by marking the boundaries of permissible discourse. That "Council" gives a shit about interests, and mostly economic interests. Other quaint notions, such as the common good, public good, national interest, conservatism, liberalism, and so on are permitted to be expressed to the extent they don't abrogate---wait for it---economic interests.

    All the more reason to devolve power from D. C.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Reg, back when I was a very minor political operative in the 1980s, I met some of our best and brightest, including young aides and their candidates. The memory makes me want to 🫂ing puke.

    If you weren’t in Ohio, I’d swear you were Bill Kauffman. You might enjoy his one novel, set in that milieu.

  74. @Ian Smith
    Does any know someone who touched a black person’s hair? Seriously, black women are obsessed with this idea and yet I don’t know anyone who would see a black person and go “Hot dog! I can’t wait to touch their hair!”

    Replies: @Rob McX, @anon, @Altai, @jamie b., @Getaclue, @Rob, @onetwothree, @Anon, @Adam Smith

  75. @Rob McX
    These aides all look like they were photographed by Robert Reich.

    Replies: @Trelane, @Thirdtwin, @Escher

    Many of them seem to be copying the “Obama campaign poster” facial angle.

  76. Reg, thanks for your kind words, and, ditto, your many contributions to the readability of the commentariat here.

    You may also like Ohioan Mike Lofgren’s The Party Is Over. He’s a onetime D. C. staffer, too, whose deft and persuasive writing pretty much savages the idea there’s anything salvageable under our current system of government. I bought Party for \$5 from Thrift Books.

    • Replies: @JackOH
    @JackOH

    Maybe I ought to throw out this rhetorical question for readers:

    How could any ordinary German of the 1930s, or an ordinary Russian of the 1930s, actually make a considered judgment that something had gone wrong, and maybe very wrong, in his country? You're having coffee in Berlin, or tea in Russia; you have folding money in your wallet, and consumer goods at home.

    You see and hear rumors of irregularities, but they can be laughed off or explained away. Besides, those irregularities are perpetrated by the authorities, and, what's more, they're perfectly legal.

    Now what are you supposed to do?

  77. @JackOH
    Reg, thanks for your kind words, and, ditto, your many contributions to the readability of the commentariat here.

    You may also like Ohioan Mike Lofgren's The Party Is Over. He's a onetime D. C. staffer, too, whose deft and persuasive writing pretty much savages the idea there's anything salvageable under our current system of government. I bought Party for $5 from Thrift Books.

    Replies: @JackOH

    Maybe I ought to throw out this rhetorical question for readers:

    How could any ordinary German of the 1930s, or an ordinary Russian of the 1930s, actually make a considered judgment that something had gone wrong, and maybe very wrong, in his country? You’re having coffee in Berlin, or tea in Russia; you have folding money in your wallet, and consumer goods at home.

    You see and hear rumors of irregularities, but they can be laughed off or explained away. Besides, those irregularities are perpetrated by the authorities, and, what’s more, they’re perfectly legal.

    Now what are you supposed to do?

  78. @Giant Duck
    The issue of who can afford to take a high-prestige, low-salary job is far more important than people realize - the people who take these jobs end up with disproportionately high levels of influence.

    The racial angle of the NYT article is a relevant assessment, but an incomplete one: it is class, not race, that works as the largest barrier to Washington jobs like Hill staffer, journalist, NGO employee, etc. What ends up happening in general is the entry-level slots are taken by college grads with no debt and parents willing to subsidize them, and the mid-level slots by people whose spouses make better salaries (e.g., a wife whose husband is a private-sector lawyer). Long-term, they are often held by people who choose not to have children b/c of cost of living and time concerns.

    So assuming that it is important that Hill staffers are representative of America, one should be very worried about the fact that such staffers are very often upper-middle-class kids who can afford low salaries due to family subsidies, and/or ideologues willing to forgo having children if that's what it takes to have the career they want. Race barely captures how out-of-the-ordinary Hill staffers are when compared to the average American. Ditto journalism, NGO work, etc.

    David Brooks long ago addressed what he called "status/income disequilibrium," comparing high-influence but low-pay government workers with their high-income, lower-influence private sector counterparts. That analysis is dated at this point. What we have now is subsidized status seekers. Anyone who lives and/or works in DC knows that these folks aren't using their salary to put a down payment on a $700,000 condo in Logan Circle.

    When Brett Kavanaugh was in the confirmation process to become a Supreme Court justice, the Post ran an article about how, unlike nearly all other recent justices, Kavanaugh had never worked in private practice (BigLaw). He was a public sector guy, and the gist of the article was that he could barely afford to live in DC, especially in light of the social expectations of his career. The minor scandal about some loan or other that he had taken out was related to this -- he didn't make enough money in the public sector to keep up with his peers, and presumably didn't have family support or a trust fund to bridge the gap.

    We should care who gets to be an opinion-maker in Washington. The rich, and the ideologically monomaniacal, that's who it is right now.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @The Germ Theory of Disease, @Reg Cæsar, @Gabe Ruth, @Forbes, @Russ Floyd

    Geeze Giant Duck… that was a great analysis! –Russ

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