Sarah Silverman mistakes surveyor’s mark for a swastika, Internet hilarity ensues

Twitchy reports a series of tweets begun by Sarah Silverman when she saw some marks painted on the ground. She thought they were malformed swastikas.

Was this a joke? People thought so. . .

But it wasn’t. . . .

Then the pushback, the funniest of which came from Stephen Miller, a writer and publisher:

I bow to nobody in my love for The Divine Sarah, but she jumped the gun on this one. (I should add that although I may be wrong, she seems to be becoming more of a Regressive Leftist lately.) And her explanation, below, isn’t so great, as she’s comparing the Trump administration to Hitler and the Holocaust. I’m seeing this all over the place now, with the word “Nazis” becoming a synonym for “Republicans.” Time to stop that, folks.

106 Comments

  1. eric
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    She admitted her mistake directly after about 2.5 hours. That seems very reasonable to me. Hopefully she took Mr. Miller’s ribbing in good humor.

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      And also is sensitized through receiving large amounts of unequivocally anti-semitic trolling (I have no reason to doubt her claims on that). Under the circumstances I think she can be given a pass on this mistake – why should she be aware of surveyors’s marks?.

      • Craw
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 2:39 am | Permalink

        Why should she assume the marks, which don’t look like swastikas, are swastikas in the first place? Why should she tell people they need to google what a swastika really looks like, unless she knows it’s not really a swastika? And who should be googling marks?

        • chris moffatt
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          The marks are in fact very like the Woplfsangel symbol, a forerunner of the swastika, and is currently used by neo-nazis in Ukraine. No shame to Sarah Silverman here.

  2. Cindy
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m seeing this all over the place now, with the word “Nazis” becoming a synonym for “Republicans.” Time to stop that, folks

    Hear, hear!

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Even some Germans are making the comparison.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      I’m seeing this all over the place now, with the word “Nazis” becoming a synonym for “Republicans.” Time to stop that, folks.

      Srsly? It is more true now than ever before. Have a gander at White House adviser and spokesperson Steven Miller expounding on separation of powers on all the talk shows this last weekend.

      Or perhaps this is merely a quibble over word choice. Would ‘Fascist’ be more acceptable and appropriate than ‘Nazi’?

      • Jonathan Wallace
        Posted February 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        ‘Fascist’ seems to be much more appropriately used against some of the actions of the Republican White House than against someone expressing the view that drinking bucketfuls of sugary soda is bad for your health…

      • Posted February 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        The intelligence committee is refusing to brief Trump, essentially refusing oversight. That’s a separation of powers too far.

      • Cindy
        Posted February 13, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        I have made fun of Republicans over the years, calling them ‘idiots’ and yes, fascists, however I do think that calling *anyone* who disagrees with you (which is what the illiberal lefties are doing) a Nazi is just plain hysterical.

        Back when I used to argue with right wing evangelicals, they loved to throw “Nazi” around with abandon, in a pathetic attempt to gain the moral high ground. It just made them look like morons.

        I prefer ‘authoritarian’, and that certainly does describe some folks on the right, as it describes some of the folks on the left.

        • Posted February 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          The difference is that the parallels, this time, are substantial and obvious.

          Yes, there’s the whole “boy who cried Wolf” aspect of Godwin’s Law. And also the fact that everybody hears, “Nazi,” and the next thought is, “Holocaust,” and all thinking stops after that.

          But the driving force behind Hitler’s populist wave that launched him into power was his Christian xenophobia coupled with promises to restore Germany’s crippled and crumbling economic and industrial (and social) systems to their former fantasized greatness. And he was there, in modern parlance, to “drain the swamp,” displaying his utter contempt for the institutions of civil government. And nobody took him seriously nor literally until he was too established for anybody to do anything else. Charlie Chapman famously caricatured Hitler in performances that Alec Baldwin would be proud to deliver.

          Maybe Drumpf will be stupid enough to engineer his own crisis the way that Hitler burned the Reichstag, but it’s guaranteed that, sooner rather than later, there’ll be a similar such crisis. Another terrorist attack, a war with one of the nations he’s busy pissing off, even just another Sandy-scale hurricane.

          And then he’ll declare a state of emergency that will last the rest of his life.

          I don’t see any way that future is going to be avoided, which leaves it to us to build around it.

          And, as I note in my other note below, the T-partiers are not merely human, but our very neighbors, family, and friends. We can either demonize them as we do Nazis…

          …or we can recognize the shared humanity with Nazis and get to work with everybody, doing what we each individually are best capable of, to build a better world.

          Cheers,

          b&

          • Cindy
            Posted February 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

            …or we can recognize the shared humanity with Nazis and get to work with everybody, doing what we each individually are best capable of, to build a better world.

            I listened to a great podcast a few months ago. Daryl Davis decided to make friends with a member of the KKK. To show this man that black people are people too. It took years, but it worked. An inspiring story:

            http://www.npr.org/2014/11/14/363896136/the-silver-dollar-lounge

            • Kiwi Dave
              Posted February 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

              What a great story!

              • Cindy
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

                What a coincidence, but PBS just aired this movie about Daryl Davis:

                http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/accidental-courtesy/

                I urge everyone here to watch it if you have the chance!

                A couple of things stood out. First, Davis said that though he did not respect what KKKers had to say, he *respected* their right to say it. Davis’ tactic is to change hearts and minds, and that can *only* be done if we allow people to disagree, so that we can persuade them to change their minds! If we villainize them, if we force them to go underground with their thoughts, nothing will change, they will just seethe with resentment. They won’t stop thinking all of those bad things. Bad ideas *need* to be out in the open so that we can argue against them. Once people go underground, and only speak in echo chambers, their ideas not only become more extreme, but they become more entrenched.

                What was sad is when later on in the movie Mr. Davis was talking with some black people and they told him that changing hearts and minds was a waste of time and they basically accused him of being a race traitor. That he should have been spending time instead within the black community, fomenting hate against white people. What I find disturbing is that if he had been posting tweets such as this:

                That he would not have been accused of being a race traitor.

                I am sick of extremists and their echo chambers. Really really sick of it.

                P.S. For anyone who doesn’t know, Mr. Davis succeeded in turning Grand Wizards of the KKK *away* from the KKK, simply by talking to them.

          • Posted February 13, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            Far too few people are aware of Charlie Chapman’s satirical oeuvre. His legacy has been largely overshadowed by the not-quite-as-talented Charlie Chaplin.

            /@

            • Alpha Neil
              Posted February 13, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

              I love Chapman’s iconic character “the bum”.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

                You can get a cream for that. I think (class 3 problem).

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 13, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

            State of emergency for life is pretty much how the Roman Republic fell to the rule of the Emperors too – sure it took a generation because Caesar botched it & got stabbed but Augustus took up the fight and well buy-buy Republic. It just repeats itself over and over.

            • Posted February 13, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

              …and every autocracy since or before.

              Indeed, for the most part, that’s simply the way things are, in a manner that’s unquestionable even to us to this day.

              Witness, for example, that Queen Elizabeth is still Queen long since past normal retirement age; that Benedict had to rewrite Canon to retire from the Papacy; and that nobody is sure if Emperor Akihito will live long enough for the deliberations over whether or not and how he can retire will reach their own conclusion. And what faery tale even pretends to have a king’s rule end by other than his death?

              …and that’s before we get to North Korea and the Kims, Stalin, even Hitler himself….

              It is the normal state of human affairs for leadership to be a terminal position, in every meaning of the word. Exceptions in history, including the one in America just now coming to an end, are typically both remarkable and, in the larger picture, rare.

              Cheers,

              b&

            • TJR
              Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:08 am | Permalink

              Octavian/Augustus learned the lesson of Julius Caesar very well.

              Caesar: forgave his enemies, and was murdered by them.

              Octavian: murdered his enemies, and lived to old age.

              A cheerful thought.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

                It’s why I liked Augustus – that ol’ sociopath.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

                One for the classicists : arrange the following in order of (political) body count – as opposed to plain military body count : Julius, Octavian/ Augustus/ Tiberias/ Bootie/ Hopalong/ Fiddler.

          • Taz
            Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            And then he’ll declare a state of emergency that will last the rest of his life.
            I don’t see any way that future is going to be avoided, which leaves it to us to build around it.

            Yeah, I don’t buy that for a second. Hopefully Trump will be out of the Whitehouse in four years, but he will certainly be out in eight.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

              Hopefully Trump will be out of the Whitehouse in four years, but he will certainly be out in eight.

              Really? You don’t think that he could get an amendment through the system to allow for a third term in his first term? Do you not think that he’s got the Republican party sufficiently cowed to give him 3/4 of the vote he needs, needing approximately a dozen Democrats that he needs to turn.
              I can well see money plus the Kremlin’s “naughty picture” archives providing the material for that.
              As plan ‘B’, he’s got the Trump-II candidate lining up for the 2024 race already. Imagine that instead of Hiliary as the first female president, it’s Ivanka.

          • FiveGreenLeafs
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

            “But the driving force behind Hitler’s populist wave that launched him into power was his Christian xenophobia … And nobody took him seriously nor literally until he was too established for anybody to do anything else.”

            One reason (I believe) nobody took him seriously in the beginning, (I think) was in all probability, that up until the late 1930s, he didn’t do anything (in the eyes of the contemporaries) that was really spectacularly out of place, in light of the standards at the time, nota bene.

            When we view this period from hindsight, knowing what later happened, we often make the fallacy to apply our own knowledge, moral outrage and sense of right and wrong, to the actors alive and active at the time, who lived in a very different world and context. This is (to my mind) a serious mistake if your aim is to try and understand why something happened, or why not.

            Virtually everybody in Europe (at the time, and in our view) were grossly xenophobic, for example, that was not something that was peculiar to the Germans. France also had concentration camps where they placed Jews, and, it was Poland and the Polish Government, who was the first, (as far as I understand) in 1937, to seriously investigate the possibility to deport their whole Jewish population (3 million) to Africa.

            Somewhat later, the French Foreign Minister, Georges Bonnet, drew up plans, do deport France’s foreign Jews (approx 200 000) to Madagascar.

            Bonnet even consulted with his German counterpart, von Ribbentrop on the matter.

            If you want to understand history, you have (I think) put yourself in their shoes, and, try to take on their perspectives.

            The important thing is, that many contemporaries (even exceedingly bright people) did not identify Hitler for what he was, and what he would become, until far to late – they failed. Not, because they were stupid, but, because doing that accurately, in advance, is a very difficult thing to do.

            That insight aught also to temper our belief in any predictions we do today about our own future.

    • Posted February 13, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      + 1

    • Rick Graham
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Donald Trump isn’t Adolf Hitler. George W. Bush was. Or was it John McCain? Mitt Romney?

      Trump hasn’t actually done a single comparable thing to the Nazi dictator. He hasn’t confiscated guns or banned ammunition. He hasn’t banned a race of people from working in the firearms industry, or any other industry for that matter. He hasn’t put the national media under state control, and he doesn’t have a minister of information personally approving which films can or cannot be made.

      They told me if I voted for Trump, fascist stormtroopers would assault gays who dared to speak out. And they were right!

      Self awareness is so rare it should be a superpower.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Jeez it took several years for Adolf to work up to that.

        Give the Donald time…

        cr

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Give the Donald time…

          For tax evasion? Unlawful diplomacy?
          Gaaack! The idea of Trump actually being “diplomatic” … just sticks like Klingons on the starboard bow.

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    They do kinda look like swastikas. I would have thought they were.

    • Craw
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 2:45 am | Permalink

      I would have assumed they were marks I did not recognize, and that maybe I don’t know everything about symbols, and that maybe I shouldn’t jump to absurd conclusions. I would have questioned the assumption that I am a lone brave voice in a rising tide of nazis too.

      • Jonathan Wallace
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink

        Well congratulations for being such a strong-minded rationalist. Obviously we all hope and intend to be rational and objective all of the time but being human we all tend to fall of that at least some of the time (some more than others of course). In this case I think that it is fair to acknowledge that someone who often receives (or at least claims to) messages telling her to “burn in an oven” might be somewhat sensitized to any suggestion of anti-semitic insults, graffitti etc. In this case she quickly acknowledged she got it wrong so why does she deserve to still be the subject of so much disapprobation?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Wow – I was doing all that when I thought the symbols looked like swastikas? I wonder what I do when I see pentagons!

        • Posted February 14, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

          Pentagons or pentacles or pentagrams or pentangles?

          /@

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

            Good question – I wonder what I think when I see all those things.

            • Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

              There are interesting relationships among the dimensions of pentagons and pentagrams/pentangels.

              /@

              • Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

                * pentangles!

                “pentangels” – cherubim with five wings?

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

                Seems rather dark princeish

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

                A lot of the similarity is brought about by the penta.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

                Go play with a copy of Cundy & Rollet. More inscribed and escribed and projected pentagrams than you can shake a great stellated icosahedron at without poking your eye out.

              • Posted February 15, 2017 at 12:29 am | Permalink

                Cool? Tx, Aidan.

                /@

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted February 22, 2017 at 2:03 am | Permalink

                It is (rightly) a classic. It’s the main reason I stuck with wood- and metal- work as long as I could, and fought to take Engineering & Geometrical Drawing to exam level.
                Sadly, I had to agree with the teachers – best to get out of the workshop while both left thumbs are attached to their original hands. (Also, safer for others.)
                Some guys dream of Jeannie, and I do too ; but I also dream of pattern-welding my own broadsword.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      It’s not an unreasonable mistake to make. But to have never seen such signs before is a (to me) bizarre lack of knowledge. I can’t remember when I didn’t know that road-digging crews would sketch the line of their target days before putting “Paddy’s Motorbike” to the tarmac. It’s hard for me to imagine how someone could attain adulthood without encountering that knowledge – and then I remember walking down the street last week and having to explain to my fellow walker why someone had been spray painting the dog turds vivid blue.
      The gaps of knowledge some people can have are remarkable. And that probably includes me – I didn’t get the joke about all the tw**ts of pictures of superb owls a week or so ago. Boy, was I ashamed by my lack of knowledge of the French Tennis Open. (Was it French? Somewhere with a fruit dish for a prize.)

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        We all have odd lacunae in our knowledge.

        For example I (scratches around in the garbage pile he uses for a brain) have no idea what a loganberry is.

        (Checks Wikipedia: “a hexaploid hybrid produced from pollination of a plant of the octaploid blackberry cultivar ‘Aughinbaugh’ (Rubus ursinus) by a diploid red raspberry (Rubus idaeus).”

        Oh, right. So now we know. (The picture on Wikipedia is more informative).

        My point being, I wouldn’t criticise someone for not knowing one particular moderately esoteric fact. When they manifestly know very little about anything (as with S. Palin) or pretend they know everything (as with the Drumpf) – then they’re due for ridicule.

        cr

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          have no idea what a loganberry is.

          Relative of the lingenberry which is supplied as sauce with some very tasty cmaembert bakes?

  4. thompjs
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen a lot utility marks on pavement with that orange paint. Not sure what that means.

    • Alpha Neil
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      It’s a pretty standard marker that indicates that you need to check your privilege.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      It means cables or pipes underneath (usually as detected by a cable-location gadget). The straight line marks the centre of the cables.

      cr

      • thompjs
        Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        I see those dashed lines marking phone and other utilities, I just have not seen the S through them before.

        Next time I see the utility guys marking near my office I’ll ask.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          I haven’t seen the ‘S’ either. It’s probably a local (and by ‘local’ I could mean ‘national’) convention, either indicating the type of cable, or (possibly) indicating the possible limits of where the cable might be – since cable locators are never precise to the nearest inch.

          cr

          • ratabago
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            Looks to me like the symbol for A C source. The “S” is elongated, and actually on its side.

  5. Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I like that she admitted her mistake and failure to understand what she saw. I wish more people in the public eye would do so. It just makes it worse to try to hide or deny a well documented clear mistake. Now tRump and his people seem to think it is OK to simply say “nope, did not” and think they are clear of everything dumb they have just done. We punish children who lie and pretend to get out of admitting they did something wrong. Why do we let tRump and his people get away with it? Hugs

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    It’s ridiculous to think those symbols are swastikas; they’re obviously ancient Sanskrit religious symbols — that or crosses doing cartwheels.

  7. BJ
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, I don’t know how much you’ve been following Silverman since the last presidential campaign started, but she definitely went regressive some time ago. She constantly propagates regressive myths and loves engaging in call-out culture.

    I used to love her, but I’ve found her comedy has gotten significantly dumber and easier (and that’s not a comment on regressivism, just on the trend I’ve seen in her comedy since she started and what it has become in the last few years).

    • Posted February 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Hello BJ. I get confused these days with what is regressive and what is progressive in the minds of others. Can you tell me what you mean by “…regressive myths and loves engaging in call-out culture.” I should point out I don’t watch Sarah Silverman so I do not know her comedy? Thanks. Hugs

      • BJ
        Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        I’m talking mostly about tweets of hers I’ve read. Repeating myths like the wage gap, the one-in-five women in college will be raped myth, the calling out of anyone she thinks said something politically incorrect, etc.

        When she was interviewed about how many comedians are now refusing to perform on college campuses because the students are so easily offended, her response wasn’t that the students needed to get thicker skin, but rather, “You have to listen to the college-aged, because they lead the revolution. They’re pretty much always on the right side of history.” She thinks these snowflakes are “on the right side of history,” just like they do.

        A few months ago, to prop up the wage gap myth, she lied about not being paid the same as a male comic at a small club many years ago. It turned out the story was much more complicated and she simply said it was because he was male and she wasn’t. Turns out she had to apologize because the owner of the club came out and told the real story, and Silverman made the (mythical) wage gap campaign look bad with a false anecdote: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/sarah-silverman-apologizes-for-fudging-wage-gap-story-in-psa/

        • Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know what she said about it, but it is true in general that women don’t earn as much as males do in the same jobs. Now I can agree that sometimes there are other factors to take into account but in general it is a sad fact that sex discrimination is real. What is the rape myth? Like I said I have not heard what she promotes, but I am recently seeing this two lefts idea and it seems to change depending on who is writing about it. Thanks. Hugs

          • Cindy
            Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

            So if I get a job as a cashier, and BJ gets a job as a cashier, he will be paid more because he is male?

            • Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

              In many places yes a male will be paid more. Not all places nor in every case. It is even worse in the corporate hierarchy. Hugs

              • Cindy
                Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

                So why don’t businesses and factories across the USA only hire women?

                Just think of the money they’d save…being able to pay women less than men for the exact same job and get away with it.

              • Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

                Sorry that is a strawman. Most place still prefer to hire men, especially corporate offices. Small business and lower entry jobs are actually the best places for wage equality. Here is a great resource for information on this subject.

                http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/

                Hugs

              • Taz
                Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

                If you know of any concrete examples, why haven’t you reported them? It’s blatantly illegal.

              • Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

                Sorry this again is a strawman. For two reasons. In polite company we don’t quiz each other on the size of our paychecks and what we make an hour. Also I don’t personally know any murders but murders do happen. See the point? Hugs

              • Cindy
                Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

                It isn’t a strawman. If it’s 100pct legal to pay women less for the exact same job as men, then i could open a factory and pay women 20% less than men and make some pretty good profit. And my competitors would probably do the same, and we’d all make more money off women’s labour than if we had hired men.

              • Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

                Sorry but it is. The subject is “is there a wage gap between males and females”. The answer simply is yes. It has no question of if you opened a business and hired only female workers and then maybe your competition did the same to follow you. That is sidetracking the conversation.

                The facts are far more interesting than that. Why is there a wage difference? it has to due with sexism. The way some people in positions of power view the male worker versus the female worker. Now if you were a boss that valued male workers more than female workers, the price difference wouldn’t matter to you, you would hire males as you prefer to have male workers. You think they are better. If you end up with a lower job, a job you feel only females should do, or are forced to have a female worker, you simply pay them less.

                So again it is a fact it exists. it has been proven in studies. Hugs

              • Cindy
                Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

                It’s illegal to pay women less for the same job as men.

              • Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

                OK, and ? Cindy sadly many things are done that both shouldn’t be or are illegal. Hugs

              • Taz
                Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

                Also I don’t personally know any murders but murders do happen. See the point? Hugs

                Yes, but the vast majority of deaths are not murder, and we don’t automatically assume they are. The point wasn’t that deep.
                (Also, your passive-aggressive little “hugs” sign-off is annoying, but I’m sure you already knew that.)

              • Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

                Sorry Taz you really don’t know me. If you did you would know I have been using hugs to sign off with since the late 1990’s. I also don’t play games. The fact is you don’t have to overthink the wage gap. It is documented and studied. The interesting thing to consider is this. Will the wage gap disappear as the attitude behind it withers away or will it flip the other way, with females earning more than males. In the corporate world the productivity and creativity of females is becoming well documented and accepted. So as the old stereotypes fall away will there be pay equality or will there be a wage gap based on actual performance rather than unfair bias? That is the really interesting question. Hugs

            • Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

              I like what you have to say about SJWs, but please see my link below.

              • Cindy
                Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

                Thank you I shall check it out.

                Bye for some reason your name has conjured up an image in my head of a steak with musical notes floating off the top!

              • Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

                Lol!

                I’ve replied to BJ below. You may be interested in checking it out and perhaps rebutting.

          • Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            Women under 30 earn more than men in the U.K. The wage gap tilts the other way when they take time off for having children.

            It’s NOT because they are paid less for the same work.

            Having helped negotiate more flexible work patterns for female members of my union I have helped increase that gap.

            • Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

              Yes, my response to Taz just asked that idea. As the old biases and bigotries fade away will people be paid equally for the same job basically under there same conditions / terms or will the fact that studies are showing women to be more productive workers and more reliable also cause them to be paid more for the same job as a male? I find that question interesting. I would love to hear more about how it is working in the UK. Hugs

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

              It’s NOT because they are paid less for the same work.

              That’s one of the tricks – make sure that no two jobs in your organisation are easily comparable in terms of qualifications, required experience and details of hours, responsibilities and bonus structures. Then you’ve (1) divided the workforce into hundreds of single workers, and (2) made a case for unfair pay much much harder to win.
              This has been in the “black book” of Human Remains Manglers for decades. The bits of the job you’re not allowed to write about, or talk about with trainees until you’re really sure that they’re “on message”.

              take time off for having children.

              BOOM! And there goes any chance of making a claim of “equal experience”. Bye, bye! Don’t get hit by the shrapnel.

              Having helped negotiate more flexible work patterns for female members of my union I have helped increase that gap.

              Your job – explicitly defined in Thatcher’s (hawk, spit) legislation – is to work for the best interests of your members. Not for the greater good of of people in your industry, or even of humanity. Members only. No dues, no service.
              I do not condone any of these things. I describe them. I don’t even condemn Human Remains Manglers, for they too are subject to higher manglers and do have the joy of knowing how they’ll be mangled if they fight back or go off message. (I have friends who are manglers.)

          • BJ
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

            It’s not a wage gap, it’s an earnings gap. Women are not being paid 77 cents for every dollar a man is being paid *in the same job while working the same hours with the same seniority etc. etc.*

            The wage gap is a aggregation of all the money women in the US make in a year versus all the money men make in a year. Once you take into account things like number of hours work (men work more on average), willingness to commute (men are willing to commute farther on average), willingness to negotiate and accept less flexible hours (men negotiate more and women value flexibility of work hours more than higher pay), the danger of the jobs worked by gender which necessitates extra hazard pay (men make up 98% of workplace deaths and 93% of workplace injuries because they work the dangerous, demanding, physical jobs that force employers to pay them more than, say, a nurse or teacher), and many other factors, then the “wage gap” disappears.

            So, it’s not a wage gap, it’s an earnings gap. If women as a whole in the US were receiving the exact same amount of money as men in the US while all of the above being true, there would be a wage gap, and it would be women getting paid more than men for doing less on average.

            • BJ
              Posted February 14, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

              Oh, a few things I forgot to mention off the top of my head: women retire earlier, take more vacation, work less hours when on the job, often leave when they have children and don’t come back, or come back part time, will tend to take jobs where they feel more comfortable (e.g. social environment, hours, boss type, etc.) rather than what gives them the most pay, and many other factors that confound this wage gap myth. And, as with all the others, all these factors are “on average,” and certainly not true of all women.

              It also explains why women between 20 and 30 are actually making more than men: because most of them haven’t yet made these choices or dropped out of the work force.

              • FiveGreenLeafs
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

                Just to pile on a bit, even within the same profession and in the absence of maternity leave and so on, differences tend to accumulate (if I remember correctly) over time, because differences in willingness to take on leadership roles, chance, risks and initiatives.

                Another aspect of this (I think), is what has been called the “The Gender Equality Paradox”.

                In countries like Norway, the more gender equal the the society is, the more profound has the sex differences between different profession within the labor market become.

                Feminist had been certain that with more gender equality, more women would end up working in previous male dominated jobs, like engineers and so on, and vice versa.

                The reality turned out completely the other way around, and the differences in proportion of males relative females in professions became if anything, even larger.

                This is the “gender equality paradox”.

                Harald Eia, and Norway’s public Service broadcaster NRK, made a documentary about this in 2010. Several well known international scientists participate, like Richard Lippa, Simon Baron-Cohen and Anne Campell. (With English subtitles).

                Hjernevask – Brainwashing (Eng Sub) Part 1 – The Gender Equality Paradox

            • Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

              Could you please cite some data showing that men are simply more willing, in general, to do things which earn them higher paying jobs that women aren’t willing, in general, to do?

              And even if that’s a demonstrable fact, there are oodles of articles citing data that shows women are indeed payed less than men for doing the same job:

              http://www.forbes.com/sites/jwebb/2016/03/31/women-are-still-paid-less-than-men-even-in-the-same-job/

              https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0ahUKEwixxdSxgZDSAhXMzIMKHWKRCXgQFggNMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmoney.cnn.com%2F2016%2F03%2F23%2Fpf%2Fgender-pay-gap%2F&usg=AFQjCNGSwDMuwsMol2qGwJxYrMykg2yTdQ&sig2=z2kNg96RNAFgdJi0WBpv8Q

              http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/05/men-still-earn-more-than-women-with-the-same-jobs.html

              https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=5&ved=0ahUKEwixxdSxgZDSAhXMzIMKHWKRCXgQFggVMAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmobile.nytimes.com%2F2014%2F04%2F24%2Fupshot%2Fthe-pay-gap-is-because-of-gender-not-jobs.html&usg=AFQjCNHc-4lieiP_itAOqz3359lG1TINvg&sig2=7K_uQ3i6sj77fNFOV57ByQ

              There are plenty more where that came from.

              Remember that not all jobs are simple “do this very well and narrowly defined task every day” type jobs. Of course a grocery store cashier will earn the same amount whether a man or a woman. But it’s very easy for job descriptions at corporations to be vague enough to allow women to be payed less for holding what in practice amounts to the same job as a man while on the books, and therefore legally, being a lower-paying position.

              These articles also show that women aren’t promoted to high positions the way men are. It’s pure semantics to argue that’s not part of the wage gap.

              • FiveGreenLeafs
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

                Here, an article by Christina Hoff Sommers,

                6 Feminist Myths That Will Not Die

                When Reading through the first article in your list, they state,

                “Aside from blunt discrimination, there are potentially other underlying sociological factors that may explain wage disparity. Women, for instance, tend to be less self-promoting than men… Men may be better networked and therefore more connected to opportunity…

                These factors may have some truth in them, but they sound like excuses.”

                But that last conclusion, depends critically, on the (silent) assumption that there are no (biological) average differences in temperament, dispositions and interests between men and women.

                Because, if there are differences, it might not be an excuse at all.

                And, you can not jump to the conclusion draw on the next sentence…

                “The fact is that companies are paying women less than men. And whether they are aware of this is or not still brings business consequences.”

                The evidence that there really are behavior differences, and that these differences are part of our evolutionary baggage, is (to my mind) today, no longer an issue of debate, at least in serious science, outside sociology departments and postmodern women studies.

                Se for example, Diane Halpern, Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities: 4th Edition

                Several of the articles you link to appears to fail to take this into account. Se also my comment above, about the “Gender Equality Paradox”.

              • Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

                The fact that there are physiological and psychological differences between men and women is not, all by itself, relevant. You can’t just say “there are differences, so the apparent gap is justified”. You have to demonstrate that the specific difference being used to explain the gap is in fact a population-wide trait and that it really has gap-producing power.

                I hope resistance to acknowledging the gap isn’t a symptom of wanting to have a realistic view of biology. I accept the biological differences between men and women. Those differences don’t account for women who have jobs and get paid less than men who have similar jobs, nor does it account for fewer women executives. Don’t cite the tired “family/pregnancy takes up too much time ” argument. I’ve seen my fair share of male executives frittering away plenty of time in bars and on the golf course. If a guy can fulfill his executive responsibilities and spend half the work week on a golf course then a woman can fulfill those same responsibilities and be a mom. My wife does it. AND, she gets paid less than her immediate predecessor in the same position, who was a man. The company claims her official job description is a little different, but she dies the same damn job.

              • FiveGreenLeafs
                Posted February 15, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

                musical beef,

                “The fact that there are physiological and psychological differences between men and women is not, all by itself, relevant. You can’t just say “there are differences, so the apparent gap is justified”.

                As a matter of fact, I did not.

                I said,

                “Because, if there are differences, it might not be an excuse at all.

                I have marked the crucial words in bold.

                The problem today, is exactly the opposite, that the studies you refer to, very often don’t take this possibility into account. And, until they start to implement research methods that are sensitive to average differences in temperament, talents, interests and behaviors, you have absolutely no idea why differences in outcomes exist, and they are in all practical scientific and causal terms, worthless.

                This is a direct analogy to the research in sociology, that claimed that for example children to smokers became smokers because they imitated their parents.

                The researchers experimental designs didn’t take genetics into account, and they could therefore easily explain all variance they observed in environmental terms.

                It was only when people started to make studies that were sensitive to genetics, that this error was finally exposed. Contrary to popular beliefs and expertise alike, the parents effect on their children was virtually nill, zero, zilch.

                It turned out that genetics on average accounts for 50% of the variance, and the rest is due to unknown environmental factors, but the likely culprit is thought to be influence by the children’s peers.

                Virtually 40 years of work in the social science today in these areas are utterly worthless, and have to be redone using methods that are sensitive to genetics.

                And the same is true in regards to these studies of wages. Until they are redone with research designs that are sensitive to, and take these differences into account, you can not rely on their results for any causal conclusions.

                If you have not read it, and want to learn more about parents and children, I would strongly recommend, Judith Rich Harris excellent book, “The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do”

  8. Kevin
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    That’s how I write ‘x’. Pretty funny, though.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      I knew it looked familiar.
      Statistics 1.2.1 : how I wrote the chi in “chi-squared test”. (Binned my Stats longhand notes 2 or 3 moves ago.)

  9. Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    It’s worth noting that there’s a lot more to Hitler and the Nazis than killing millions of people, a majority of them Jewish.

    And that starts with a realization that Nazis were, themselves, human — and that they were serious and sincere about trying to make the world a better place. Their fears were utterly baseless, to be sure, with not even the slightest hint of grounding in reality…but the fears themselves were all too real, and those fears compelled them to do all they could to mitigate them.

    We would all do well to remember them with no small bit of compassion and forgiveness and sympathy.

    Not their ideas or actions, certainly!

    But the people themselves, the human beings?

    We have the benefit today of hindsight. We can see the path they were on, where it led. We know how the story ends.

    But they, themselves, at the time, did not.

    And neither does Drumpf nor his T-Party.

    They are leading us down a very dark and very dangerous path, yes. There will be tragedy and suffering, without doubt.

    But, should we fail to maintain our compassion for them, we will only serve to make the path that much darker and more dangerous, to cause even greater tragedy and suffering.

    For, in the end, they’re still your neighbors, your cow-orkers, your family, your friends. We are all close in some sense to many people who voted for Drumpf — just as was the case in Germany almost a century ago.

    We’re going to come through to the other side, one way or another.

    Would you rather do so in shame of the various evils you yourself committed in the defense of your fears, or with pride that you managed to continue to work to build a better world even as large chunks of it came crumbling down around you?

    Don’t forget that history always looks most favorably on the steadfast world-builders. What stories do you want to tell your grandchildren about this time, and what do you want them to retell about you to their grandchildren?

    Cheers,

    b&

    • Posted February 13, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      “Nazis were, themselves, human — and that they were serious and sincere about trying to make the world a better place.”

      The 1st half is undeniable, but I strongly disagree with the second one. The Nazis were not trying to make the world a better place, but to advance their community at the expense of everyone else. (I am now reading Mein Kampf, with disgust.)

      • Frank Bath
        Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Enjoy!

      • Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        They thought advancing their community was the same thing as making the world a better place.

        • Craw
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 2:51 am | Permalink

          They were in particular trying to make it a more *beautiful* place. They were obsessed with art and (their standards of) beauty.

        • Posted February 14, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          Yes, from this angle, you are right. B. Russell wrote something in the same sense in “History of Western Philosophy”.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          Who doesn’t?
          [CLANG] (sound of gauntlet hitting the ground, hard)
          WHAT did you just think about my grandfather?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      What stories do you want to tell your grandchildren about this time,

      I’d be very interested to tell them the story of how I was vasectomised 20 …. ummm, 24 years minimum … before their parent’s birth. I’m sure that story is going to have more twists than a strangulated hernia.
      (I don’t claim prescience. Just cynicism.)

  10. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    People are pattern-recognizing creatures.

    The glaringly obvious example is the thousands of Christian who thought there was a cross in the rubble of 9/11 (it would actually be surprising if this did NOT appear really)

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      of course in the present case the marks were genuinely intentional patterns (even if not swastikas).

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      (it would actually be surprising if this did NOT appear really)

      Indeed. Engineering specifications for approved shape, welds, and stiffener bracing plates in joint pieces for I- and H- beams for use in building frames require 20% ± increase in strength over the design criteria for the beam. So the beams buckle in their length, not in the joint. The reason being that too many failures occurred when people designed their own joints, trying to save 30kg of steel here, or a row of rivets there. Not permitted : use designs from one of these playbooks of joints, within their specs. Or pay for your exact, entire building design to go through independent structural analysis while the client waits.
      The riveted long lap (?) joint wrapped around the strong-enough cruciform joint indicates (1) the age of the building (people still riveted things instead of welding!) and (2) the long lap failed and bent before the joined beams, and was therefore the weakest point; therefore inadequately designed.
      I think I’d be optimistic to hope that construction magnate Trump would know this (weak joints can always be strengthened by folding wads of cash into inspectors pockets), but having done IT support for beer and rock climbing with a friend who built pre-fab building parts for construction … well you listen to the woes of their business while feeding them rope from the belay. And on the next pitch, they listen to geological woes.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        What is apparent to me about the WTC is that it could have happened, quite by accident, at any time since the towers were built. (Though probably not to both at once). The designers didn’t make enough allowance for the effects of a full fuel load (though this is of course hindsight).

        (It had already happened, a B-25 hit the Empire State Building in 1945, though the building survived).

  11. dooosp
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    She’d get a shock if she visited a few asian countries.

    • Posted February 13, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Or even the Navajo nation. It is a symbol for good fortune in many cultures, and has been so for millennia. It was hijacked by the Nazis for forty years, and we let them keep it by not reclaiming it. We should have reclaimed the swastika the way Lincoln reclaimed the song Dixie, as a prize of war.

  12. Posted February 13, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    The Nazis stole the ancient Sanskrit symbol of good luck. Not all have abandoned it though. There is a town in Northern Ontario, named after the Swastika Mine, which itself was named after the symbol of luck. The town still carries the name. Not a hotbed of neo-nazism, just a small working-class community which refused to let the nazis steal their name. But then, Canadians are a funny lot. Ask the citizens of Dildo, Newfoundland.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Saw a Bollywood movie on TV a while ago, with a nice swastika in the credits, made by Swastik Productions. I’d guess in Bollywood the swastika has the old good-luck connotations and no Nazi connotations.

      cr

      • Pali
        Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        I have no idea whether or not this is the case, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if WWII memories in much of Asia are more focused on Imperial Japan as the great enemy, while in Europe and NA we pay more attention to the Nazis.

  13. Kurtis Rader
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    I happen to be listening to the audiobook version of “Christian Nation” published 3.5 years ago. I’m only halfway through the book. It posits Sarah Palin as our president who turns our country into a theocracy in response to a terrorist attack. It uses verifiable quotes from the right-wing to set the stage.

    I did not vote for either member of the Bush family or Reagan. Yet I did not feel such existential dread when they were elected. Listening to “Christian Nation” I can’t help but wonder if under the Trump administration we might become a theocratic society like Saudi Arabia.

  14. TJR
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Those symbols are clearly the Greek letter chi.

    Were there any rho symbols nearby?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Which just look like P’s. Maybe it’s a Jesus scavenger hunt.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        You’d go batty in Russia. Have you seen the Cyrillic alphabet?

        cr


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