hailsatanJeffrey Taylor of Salon says “Hooray for Satan and Satanists!”

Eitan Hersh explains how Democrats suppress the vote! Okay, the headline is hyperbolic, to say the least, but off-schedule elections aren’t just for Republicans! (Neither is trying to disqualify potential voters by making voting more difficult, which you sometimes see Democrats do in districts with military bases.)

At some point the conversation seems to be shifting (according to some) from “An enduring Democratic majority is inevitable” to “an enduring Republican majority will be illegitimate.”

Freddie wants the Democrats to move beyond the Coalition of the Cool. I understand where he’s coming from ideologically, but tactically it seems to have worked pretty well.

Ardis E Parshall explains (sympathetically) the Mormon policy on children of gay parents.

Sarah Conly explains how China’s recently terminated One Child Policy was a good thing. Leaving aside the central question, I’m not sure how you can separate the enforcement mechanisms (which Conly opposes) with the policy itself.

Relatedly, we’ve recently discovered the best chance of life outside our solar system.

With the Fifth of November come and gone. Bradley J Birzer writes about how V for Vendetta represents the graphic novel at its best.

Karan Mahajan looks at the history of Asian America.

Katie Herzog reports on the decline of the alpaca in the US. Only tangential since they’re two different things, but one of the things I miss about the west is the llamas.

No more free rides for some gay couples.

Scott Sumner believes we owe Texas our thanks. Norway, on the other hand, thinks that “Texas” is shorthand for crazy.

Barbara McClay hates tipping. PEG dissents.

The perils of being casual about sex and serious about consent.

Relatedly, Rebecca Traister argues that we need to be talking about the ways that consensual sex can be bad.

Bjorn Lomborg thinks we’re focusing too much on wind power.


Category: Newsroom

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

27 Responses to Linkluster Million Hindi Speakers

  1. On tipping, I’m in the awkward position of agreeing with the bolded part of this quote from the McCloy article:

    But if modern-day diners end the tipped wage, they should also be willing to end the tip. And if they can’t let go, they should question whether their generosity is really as pure as it seems.

    And disagreeing with Emmanuel-Gobry’s claim that

    there’s a grandeur to tipping. There is a beauty to this simple transaction, to rewarding a job well done with a just recompense. There is a beauty to someone who tries to do their job well, and with a smile. It should be rewarded — and without tipping, it won’t be.

    I try to tip well, even for poor service. My official reasons are that I can at this point in my life afford it and should share the wealth and that service work involves a master-servant dynamic that’s so open to abuse, I at least owe it to make sure the servant is as generously compensated as possible. But unofficially, I can’t discount that it’s at least partly a power trip and self-regarding move on my part.

    And contra Emmanuel-Gobry, I don’t think there’s anything “grand” or “beautiful” about tipping. I do think there’s something good about good service and service with a smile and about that service being rewarded. So I don’t deny his point entirely. But this is a situation where I, as the customer, have (most of) the power and where in some cases at least the service worker’s livelihood depends on my and others’ generosity.

    • Murali says:

      I’m a big fan of “you pay for what you get.” Thus, I don’t see why I have to pay the same for substandard service that I would pay for excellent service. Look, smiling all day while being on your feet is tough. I know that. I have worked in a job that requires that. But it is work. And it is par for the course. More importantly, it is not so difficult as to be unreasonable to require from people.

  2. fillyjonk says:

    The “grand gesture” of tipping seems very much like the lord of the manor distributing largesse to his vassals.

    I tip well (usually, I will not tip if the service is really abominable, and I’ve occasionally gotten rude, cold, abominable service – it’s a problem with being a usually-solo diner some times) but it does seem kind of uncomfortable.

    I admit I feel conflicted – I think there should be some incentive for people to do well at their jobs and especially not be surly to the people paying their salaries. But similarly, I’ve known enough people who waited tables and who told me what their “actual” hourly wage was.

    And yeah – I have been very blessed in my life and can afford to tip well. Though I admit I still would like, as a customer, some recourse for letting bad service be called out. (There are a few restaurants I no longer will patronize, because of the way I was treated there. And yeah, I know: I should write them a letter or something, but some places have a way of putting letters like that up as a form of “public shaming” of “bad” customers.

    • In my single days, going out to eat alone was really hard for me, too. Speaking just from my own experience, I don’t recall wait staff being rude to me so much as (sometimes) ignoring me. It’s not a good feeling.

      • By the way, I agree with your analogy to the lord of the manor. That’s one reason why my decision to tip bothers me. I do question my own motives regarding it.

        Obviously, if my life situation went downhill and I could no longer afford it, I might become more discerning in whether and how much I tip.

      • fillyjonk says:

        Maybe a gender difference? I don’t like to think that but it’s possible.

        I remember being left unattended to for 10 minutes plus in a chain restaurant at a not-busy time: I was seated, handed a menu, and then no one came. When the server finally came, her excuse was “I thought you were waiting for someone.” I told the seater I was alone.

        It could have been a misunderstanding but the service was slow and minimal the rest of the visit. Have not been back to ANY outlets of that chain. (One is set to open soon in my town, think I will probably still avoid it)

        • The gender difference has probably got a lot to do with it (and for what it’s worth, I’m not disputing your experiences). I don’t blame you for avoiding that chain, and I’m sorry you have had to go through that.

        • Michael Cain says:

          Many years ago, on a business trip as a rather junior member of technical staff, in a fancy restaurant in Chicago, the waiter gave my “take no guff from anyone” female department head the menu without prices and me the one with. The ensuing discussion — and I use that term loosely — between my boss, the waiter, and the head waiter was interesting.

  3. James K says:

    One of the things that I found hard about tipping the last time I visited the US is that there are a pile of unwritten rules about tipping that are entirely opaque to outsiders.

    • Glyph says:

      15-20% for decent food/taxi service. A little more for better/extra service. Slightly-less if bad service.

      At the bar – $1 per drink, unless it’s a super-fancy expensive mixed/craft drink that took some time to prepare, in which case go higher. If you are just getting a bigger round of cheap/easy drafts or whatever, slightly lower than exactly $1/per is acceptable (for ex. tipping $5 on a round of 6 drafts would be fine).

      • Glyph says:

        I guess I should be clearer – if you are getting food AND drinks, or running a bar tab, just follow the 15-20% rule on the whole tab.

        The second “bar” para is if you are just drinking and paying for each round as you go.

  4. aaron david says:

    To pile on with the tip thoughts, I once ate at a retaurant that had a no tipping policy (its name was similar to Cheese Penis) and it was the worst service I have ever had. Make of that what you will, but the food was mediocre, which is sad for a world famous restaurant.

  5. trumwill says:

    Re: Tipping

    I’m actually almost entirely on McClay’s side on the subject.

    I say “almost” because I do like that the tipping regime gives restaurants flexibility to pay its people according to how much work they do. From what I recall studies have demonstrated that the actual correlation between service quality and tipping is low, but it is the case that the more tables a waiter takes care of – and the busier things are – the more money they will get.

    But the tax situation, the arbitrariness of it all… I think the minimum wage exemption should be lifted. That way, if the minimum wage does go up, it’ll at least have the benefit of starting movement away from the tipping economy.

  6. Peter says:

    Thanks to their larger size llamas have found an unusual economic niche. Ranchers in western states use them to protect their sheep flock from coyotes, a function they perform quite well. Large dogs also can serve that purpose, but they sometimes forget their training and eat the sheep themselves.

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