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Gramarye

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  1. No calling other forumers a "Karen," even if you all disagree on whether it means this insulting thing or this other insulting thing. Unless their username is actually Karen. Then, fine. Apologies to any lurkers who are actually named Karen.
  2. While we can be glad that (statewide and nationwide), the increased number of cases has not translated yet into an increased number of deaths, we don't know that that will remain the trend and it's unfortunately probably not a good bet. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/why-covid-death-rate-down/613945/ (warning: paywall/quota). We might revisit this divergence in cases vs. deaths in a month and realize that deaths were simply a lagging figure. We can of course hope otherwise, and for all our sakes, I hope it is otherwise. If it turns out that deaths continue to drop while cases continue to climb, it's at very least a less bad sign (I'd still hesitate to call it a "good" sign). But that is difficult to say. ETA: Also, though, more importantly, if deaths as a percentage of cases are declining so much, it begs the question of what the death figures could be if mask wearing had not become a partisan political issue and the spread of the top-line figure had been contained. Of course that counterfactual raises other unknowns. Maybe the only cases that would have been prevented would have been the nonfatal ones. But that's counterintuitive, to put it mildly.
  3. Summit County is now level 3, so masks in public are mandatory.
  4. Definitely agreed there (and, in fact, I'd wager, sight unseen but just based on what I know about our politics, I would probably actually repeal more of most cities' zoning codes than you would, including everything you'd repeal and a good deal more).
  5. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    For the first time ever on UO, I am breaking my rule about posting Tweets. Because this series from conservative never-Trumper David Frum, from this morning before any opinions were released, makes me think he has a spy in the chambers of at least one of the Justices.
  6. Gramarye

    SCOTUS

    Correct. This was an admin-law decision. It was only indirectly based on the text of the Affordable Care Act and was not decided under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act or the Constitution. Given the Kavanaugh and Gorsuch decisions, I actually wonder if the president is rethinking his support for letting the Federalist Society be the primary outside group vetting nominees for the Supreme Court if he wins a second term. I haven't read any of the McGirt opinion yet, not even the syllabus, so I'll hold off on that. https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-9526_9okb.pdf But you could also do what real lawyers do and just ignore the actual decision and follow SCOTUSblog instead.
  7. Note: The below is an open letter, and I think it can therefore be reprinted in full. I or other mods/admins can truncate it if we're told otherwise. The most important thing I most wanted to reprint in full was the list of signatories, because it's not a conservative who's-who by even the remotest stretch of the imagination. It includes Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, J.K. Rowling, Margaret Atwood, Nadine Strossen, Paul Starr, and Salman Rushdie, along with a host of journalists and columnists I recognize from other left-leaning publications (Linda Greenhouse, Dahlia Lithwick, Anne Applebaum, Damon Linker, Fareed Zakaria, Emily Yoffe, etc.). A Letter on Justice and Open Debate https://harpers.org/a-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate/ Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides. The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement. This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time. The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other. As writers we need a culture that leaves us room for experimentation, risk taking, and even mistakes. We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us. Elliot Ackerman Saladin Ambar, Rutgers University Martin Amis Anne Applebaum Marie Arana, author Margaret Atwood John Banville Mia Bay, historian Louis Begley, writer Roger Berkowitz, Bard College Paul Berman, writer Sheri Berman, Barnard College Reginald Dwayne Betts, poet Neil Blair, agent David W. Blight, Yale University Jennifer Finney Boylan, author David Bromwich David Brooks, columnist Ian Buruma, Bard College Lea Carpenter Noam Chomsky, MIT (emeritus) Nicholas A. Christakis, Yale University Roger Cohen, writer Ambassador Frances D. Cook, ret. Drucilla Cornell, Founder, uBuntu Project Kamel Daoud Meghan Daum, writer Gerald Early, Washington University-St. Louis Jeffrey Eugenides, writer Dexter Filkins Federico Finchelstein, The New School Caitlin Flanagan Richard T. Ford, Stanford Law School Kmele Foster David Frum, journalist Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University Atul Gawande, Harvard University Todd Gitlin, Columbia University Kim Ghattas Malcolm Gladwell Michelle Goldberg, columnist Rebecca Goldstein, writer Anthony Grafton, Princeton University David Greenberg, Rutgers University Linda Greenhouse Rinne B. Groff, playwright Sarah Haider, activist Jonathan Haidt, NYU-Stern Roya Hakakian, writer Shadi Hamid, Brookings Institution Jeet Heer, The Nation Katie Herzog, podcast host Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College Adam Hochschild, author Arlie Russell Hochschild, author Eva Hoffman, writer Coleman Hughes, writer/Manhattan Institute Hussein Ibish, Arab Gulf States Institute Michael Ignatieff Zaid Jilani, journalist Bill T. Jones, New York Live Arts Wendy Kaminer, writer Matthew Karp, Princeton University Garry Kasparov, Renew Democracy Initiative Daniel Kehlmann, writer Randall Kennedy Khaled Khalifa, writer Parag Khanna, author Laura Kipnis, Northwestern University Frances Kissling, Center for Health, Ethics, Social Policy Enrique Krauze, historian Anthony Kronman, Yale University Joy Ladin, Yeshiva University Nicholas Lemann, Columbia University Mark Lilla, Columbia University Susie Linfield, New York University Damon Linker, writer Dahlia Lithwick, Slate Steven Lukes, New York University John R. MacArthur, publisher, writer Susan Madrak, writer Phoebe Maltz Bovy, writer Greil Marcus Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Kati Marton, author Debra Mashek, scholar Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago John McWhorter, Columbia University Uday Mehta, City University of New York Andrew Moravcsik, Princeton University Yascha Mounk, Persuasion Samuel Moyn, Yale University Meera Nanda, writer and teacher Cary Nelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine Mark Oppenheimer, Yale University Dael Orlandersmith, writer/performer George Packer Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University (emerita) Greg Pardlo, Rutgers University – Camden Orlando Patterson, Harvard University Steven Pinker, Harvard University Letty Cottin Pogrebin Katha Pollitt, writer Claire Bond Potter, The New School Taufiq Rahim, New America Foundation Zia Haider Rahman, writer Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, University of Wisconsin Jonathan Rauch, Brookings Institution/The Atlantic Neil Roberts, political theorist Melvin Rogers, Brown University Kat Rosenfield, writer Loretta J. Ross, Smith College J.K. Rowling Salman Rushdie, New York University Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University Diana Senechal, teacher and writer Jennifer Senior, columnist Judith Shulevitz, writer Jesse Singal, journalist Anne-Marie Slaughter Andrew Solomon, writer Deborah Solomon, critic and biographer Allison Stanger, Middlebury College Paul Starr, American Prospect/Princeton University Wendell Steavenson, writer Gloria Steinem, writer and activist Nadine Strossen, New York Law School Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Harvard Law School Kian Tajbakhsh, Columbia University Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University Cynthia Tucker, University of South Alabama Adaner Usmani, Harvard University Chloe Valdary Lucía Martínez Valdivia, Reed College Helen Vendler, Harvard University Judy B. Walzer Michael Walzer Eric K. Washington, historian Caroline Weber, historian Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers Bari Weiss Sean Wilentz, Princeton University Garry Wills Thomas Chatterton Williams, writer Robert F. Worth, journalist and author Molly Worthen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Matthew Yglesias Emily Yoffe, journalist Cathy Young, journalist Fareed Zakaria
  8. For places like NYC, this topic of the costs of cars and whether going without one frees up a significant amount of budget to live in high-cost, high-density areas is one thing. In most Ohio cities, though, even people who live in the heart of the urban cores cannot realistically go car-free. Yes, some can. But it's a sliver of the population and not easy for others to duplicate; the "low-hanging fruit" in terms of people who can live like that in Ohio cities probably already do. My confident guess is that even most people living in downtown Cleveland own (or lease) cars. Car ownership is not just for sprawlburbs in Ohio.
  9. I don't think including depreciation (a noncash expense) is fair on this point. But the rest is. Including depreciation makes any comparison with non-owned forms of transportation (ridesharing, transit) inherently not apples-to-apples, not to mention not being what a typical reader is going to interpret as the meaning of what you're "paying" for driving when they say someone "pays" $9k/yr to own a car. Maybe that's what you're talking about, and if so, then yes, I think we can be in agreement on that. That's not everyone's definition of "sprawl." By this definition, for example, a lot of the townships outside Akron and Canton are not "sprawl." They have well water and septic systems, and the only four-lane highway coming through is I-77 en route from Akron to Cleveland (OH-18 also forms the southern border of the township). A lot of urbanists do consider Bath Township to be sprawl, though (certainly some that I know personally and interact with regularly, including on housing and planning issues).
  10. I'm not debating the point about the taxes collected:spent ratio; I'm well aware of the evidence on that. But the "quality of life" issue is much more subjective, and as you note, people may consider other things more important. Higher density makes it easier to economically offer more public services at scale, but not everyone needs that and some people don't even want it. But more importantly, the "quality of life" argument is absolutely alien to people who consider density a negative per se, who aren't moving to the exurbs to get better services or schools or to escape perceived lack of safety (and before you jump on that point, I agree that cities are not as dangerous and exurbs are not as safe as the stereotypes suggest), it's specifically to get away from people. These are the people who talk about how "overcrowded" the country is despite us having a fairly low-density country overall.
  11. I certainly get the geometry (area increases geometrically with radius) and resources-per-area argument. However, I think there's still room to differentiate between two types of sprawl: that which hollows out the urban core and that which merely adds onto it. Ohio clearly has significant problems with the former. New York and San Francisco, not so much. As for the definition of a "successful" city: Isn't that kind of a vague question to ask anyone? We could brainstorm a dozen qualities a successful city should have, and most people would agree on most but not all of them, and some of them would be very difficult to quantify. No one is holding up the examples of the decaying sprawl of Detroit as an example of a "successful city," but that doesn't mean that all low-density development is preordained to end up like that.
  12. Free housing is not a human right, and histrionics like this do not advance the goal of eviction relief. Not to mention since that woman is likely uncollectible, that family got effective $4000 of free rent before facing eviction, which is cold comfort now that they're actually up against it but could have been significantly worse. Socialist housing activists often pretend that landlords are endless wells of disposable cash, charging rent just to be cruel to tenants. Not only does that not describe most small-time landlords, it doesn't even describe most moderately large landlords. There does need to be more charity and nonprofit housing, but you can't forcibly turn every landlord into a charity. See above. The fact that the family is clearly in need of charity does not make it right or good for the state to compel the landlord to provide it. If charitable aid is not available for people in this situation, that is a larger cultural failing that cannot be handwaved away by simply making the landlord provide what needs to be a more broadly shared burden, whether through government-based or nonprofit-based programs.
  13. When it comes to declining to enforce laws, actually, in many respects, county sheriffs do have that power. And it is considered democratically accountable because they are democratically elected--the only law enforcement official that can be directly removed by the voters. County sheriffs cannot pass laws. They cannot interfere with federal, state, and municipal (city) law enforcement enforcing laws that are properly within the jurisdiction of those respective entities. They do not have veto power over laws passed by county councils in counties that have them (which matters even if the sheriff is declining to enforce a law passed by county council, because other entities in the county might have concurrent jurisdiction). But if they are given 5,000 laws to enforce and only have the resources and manpower to enforce 100, they have the discretion to decide which ones will be let slide and which ones will not. And there are many instances I could think of in which you would probably be glad that have that discretion, even if this particular sheriff is using that discretion in a way in which you thoroughly disapprove and would be a basis for you to vote against him next time he's up for reelection.
  14. Parts of the sheriff's remarks appear reasonable to me, though other parts make it clear that he's obviously in the anti-mask crowd overall. Things like this, though, I actually think make some sense: The sheriff is asking all Butler County residents to not call 911 to report someone not wearing a mask. “I’m not a scientist, but I want you to know the police are busy…Don’t call 911 because someone is not wearing a mask. If the health departments want to control who is not wearing a mask, let them put a little yellow light on their car and they can stop people and go in,” he said. I wouldn't want 911 lines jammed by people reporting non-mask-wearers, and in fact, overall, I'd much prefer that health departments take lead on this and leave the sheriffs and other "hard power" law enforcement agencies out of it to the maximum extent possible.
  15. And in news about news becoming non-news: Cuyahoga County was slated to debate a mask ordinance, but tabled it because the DeWine order made it moot: https://www.wkyc.com/article/news/local/cuyahoga-county/cuyahoga-county-to-consider-making-masks-mandatory/
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