Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Notes from 7 November 2016

Now that Scott’s got email subscriptions working, I’m going to post some of my past meeting notes drafts, starting with this one, to see if it gets out.

We started by discussing meeting process improvement that caused me to return to the Beyond Labels “About Page” which I find still fairly relevant.

As an experiment, we decided to stop the meeting at 12:15, go around the room and have each person say one thing they liked about the meeting and one suggestion for improvement.

Also,  we went around the room and (re) introduced ourselves. Not a bad idea to do from time to time

Scott Alexander on Slate Star Codex Tuesday Should not Change the Narrative.  In case you don’t remember me having pimped him before.

Lots of things can happen tomorrow. Maybe it rains in Philadelphia, that city’s racially diverse and left-leaning voters stay home, and Pennsylvania goes for Trump, winning him the election. Maybe there’s a really good get-out-the-vote campaign among Hispanics, and Florida ends up being Trump 48 Hillary 52 instead of the projected Trump 52 Hillary 48. Maybe the Department of Agriculture announces that Hillary is under investigation for bringing exotic weevil species into the US, and the population turns against her en masse.

And I’m worried that someone is going to confuse this kind of stuff with deep insight into the state of the country.

Relevant to today’s discussion of the creation of divides I have found Scott Alexander’s essay, “I can tolerate anything except the out-group,” enlightening.

Laws governing the Initiative process in Maine” from Ballotpedia, the encyclopedia of American Politics.

Summary of Measure 3, background checks from Ballotpedia.

Bottle bills in the country. From Wikipedia, map.

American Legislative Exchange Council

Wikipedia says funding was on the order of $7M.

Liberal version is SiX “State Innovation Exchange” seems to be a much less well-known and well-funded organization.

Marriage rates in the UK

Number of Marriages and Divorces in England and Wales, 1930–2010

Taking action against Drug Abuse

Surprising drug poisoning by race, 2000 and 2013, from CDC:

Figure 4 is a bar chart showing rates of drug poisoning deaths involving heroin for age groups 18 through 44 and 45 through 64 by race and ethnicity group for 2000 and 2013.
From this article.

Ron’s summary of root causes from discussion on this week’s topic:

  • Female empowerment
  • Breakdown of the family — cultural
  • Taxation and the social safety net
  • Drugs/alcohol
  • Employment and technology
  • (Reagan) and shrinking of government
  • Birth control
    • Options
    • Right to life
    • Abortion


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