Aging, labiaplasty, awkward sex, American manufacturing

Conor Friedersdorf being reasonable about Oregon.

This. How to deal with the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Cologne and Hamburg, via Christine Bowman

A New Hampshire bill to decriminalize prostitution, sponsored by three women, inspired by Amnesty International. Free State indeed! via @melissagira

Something I thought I’d hate, but ended up liking: Why should wives have to answer for their husbands’ actions? Camille Cosby, Hillary Clinton+ the marital double-bind via @lainnafader

Is monogamy good for women? by @OMGchronicles

“We are all loving, smart people. We all have different gifts. Last year one of my kids needed extra help in a certain subject at school. I was so proud of my unique family. One parent recognized our child was struggling; another set up a study plan, a third got a physical to see if there was a vision issue, the fourth adult made the whole thing fun by finding creative study ‘games.’ If this isn’t a village at its best—I don’t know what is.”

Can poly make you a better parent? via Poly Porcupines.

“I was about a year out of a 14-year marriage, and as a 40-something I was extremely interested in sex. What I wanted to say to her was: ‘If you had a new lover, you’d find your libido. It’s not that you’re no longer interested in sex; it’s just that you’re no longer interested in sex with your husband.'”

For middle-age moms like me, divorce can be the best aphrodisiac

Well, shit. “Obama, you need to stop throwing psych disabled people into the sniper’s crosshairs of political expediency. Your order urges the public not to add stigma to mental illness and people who have mental health related conditions or psych disabilities, yet its very substance directly contradicts this purported objective. Your order relies on stigma and fear around psychiatric disability, mental illness, madness, and neurodivergence by including this very section, let alone including it as part of your goal to keep guns ‘out of the wrong hands.'” via Amy Mastrine

“You might find this slightly interesting but no one is going to make a Lifetime movie out of ‘butch bisexual intellectual thinks strip clubs are horrible. Finds out she’s wrong.'” If they did, I’d watch the shit out of it. Angela Keaton is killing it lately.

Today in things I don’t know how to feel about, @JanuarySeraph tweeted: “Banned by PayPal, Square, Stripe, etc for selling adult products? Join this class action lawsuit to win a min of $4k” with a link to a tweet from @violetblue with a link to Blue’s 12/2 piece on PayPal, Square, banking sex discrimination and the news story on the suit.

On the one hand, not a fan of anti-discrimination lawsuits for reasons discussed in previous editions of this newsletter. On the other hand, financial services are so duo- and monopolistic that sex workers really have had trouble finding reasonable accommodations. On the third hand, bitcoin.

Study shows that unfounded concerns that they might be undervalued and discriminated against caused white men to get so nervous they threw their job interviews. Imagine what founded concerns that they will be undervalued and discriminated against does to everyone else? Other takeaway: “Currently, diversity initiatives’ strongest accomplishment may actually be protecting the organization from litigation — not protecting the interests of underrepresented groups.” via @evacide via @CHSommers.

35 Things that Surprised Me Before 35

Why I got a labiaplasty in my 20s

21 Times Tumblr Got Really Awkward Hilarious About Sex via Cynthia Bell.

Whither American manufacturing? “The way the presidential candidates have been talking about reviving manufacturing jobs has not been very enlightening, and in some cases they have been willfully obtuse. Their statements are meant to appeal to disaffected workers, but they both oversimplify the problems and ignore the real source of trouble.” Emma Roller is right that GOP frontrunners are either ignorant, posturing, or both when they blame outsourcing for the decline in US manufacturing jobs. She focuses instead on the role of innovation in the decline in demand for American manufacturing labor. But she ignores that impact collective bargaining has had in hobbling American workers’ competitiveness against foreign labor and machines by making American workers both more expensive and less profitable to employ.

On the one hand, moving from an economy based on agriculture and manufacturing to one based on information and services is an undeniably good thing. It’s a sign of a mature economy, and it’s associated with higher rates of innovation and higher standards of living. To complain about it seems akin to looking at the invention of the car and bemoaning the death of the horse and buggy. On the other hand, an information and service-based economy leaves stupid, mean people who are strong, aka low-education men with not enough to do. Stupid, mean white men with not enough to do is why Donald Trump and MRAs are a thing.

When I visited Germany two years ago I was struck by their thriving manufacturing sector. These aren’t factory jobs like we have in America, where the work is mindless and a union contract dictates what workers can and can’t do. German manufacturing is comparatively autonomous, high-tech, well-respected, and skilled. As an anarchist I only support reforms to promote manufacturing that don’t increase government size or scope. These reforms include removing government subsidies for foreign labor, ending the minimum wage, ending forced unionization, and ending trade restrictions. But if one is going to support using government to promote American manufacturing they should look to Germany. One low-government German-style reform is school choice, which would help America follow Germany’s lead in creating a workforce that is capable of doing high-tech jobs even without college degrees.

Germany’s success has also been helped by public-private partnerships, government promotion of flexible working practices, no minimum wage, and government-subsidized reduced working hours which enabled employers to adjust to changes in demand for labor without hiring and firing.


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