Jonah Goldberg, who believes that liberal elementary-school teachers are examples of American fascism, also thinks that teachers stopping bullying cripples American democracy because kids don’t get a chance to work out the rules of playground behavior for yourself, which makes them into fragile snowflakes because protecting kids from bullies is just overprotective parenting. As someone who was bullied, briefly, as a small child, I wonder what universe he lives in where bullies are subject to “bottom-up solutions” other than hitting back (for a lot of kids, myself included, not a practical option).
I’ve seen a number of right-wing objections to anti-bullying programs over the years, mostly centered on the fact kids won’t be able to pick on gays any more. As Goldberg’s National Review colleague David French did another “let them fight” post a couple of months back, I wonder if we’re in for a new wave? Though the emphasis on these seems to be toughness, like that Victor David Hansen post about how living in the country makes him a real man I linked to a couple of days ago.
Of course, coming from the whining wing of the right, where saying “Happy holidays” is an assault and criticizing conservatives is “thought policing,” the insistence all the fragility is on the left makes this argument nonsense anyway.
•We Hunted the Mammoth on the friend zone and Bloomingdale’s “spike your best friend’s drink when they’re not looking” ad. At LGM, Shakezula ponders the weird natural forces that just make these ads appear spontaneously (“a pity there is no process by which people can look at the advertising for their company before it is released and decide, for example, that an ad makes it look like the company condones sexual assault, and – this is the important bit – not run the stinkin’ ad.”).
A study showing rising death rates among working-class whites, but not minorities, has drawn a lot of attention. Echidne looks at some possible explanations that could make the issue a statistical fluke.
•A circuit court has struck down Obama’s executive order against deporting certain immigrants. Scott Lemieux speculates on the effect of a Supreme Court decision, if the court takes the case.
•The FBI asks for Muslim feedback on its new online game about opposing terrorism, but avoids major Muslim organizations.
•Trump says he’ll deport Mexicans humanely, like Eisenhower did. But Ike’s “Operation Wetback” got 88 people killed in just one roundup.
•A nasty bit of misogyny from last year: a social director for one men’s rights site makes up quotes from feminist Jessica Valenti, then explains it was Just a Joke.
•Digby looks at the Koch Brothers’ support for Iowa Senator Jodi Ernst, showing both their ability to spend, spend, spend on candidates and their libertarian priorities: if they can get a fiery free-market champion, it’s OK if she’s a fiery, anti-abortion, fetuses-are-people religious conservative.