Friday’s Forum

A little bit you.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Kit says:

    Steven, do you have any idea how long these Monkees’ songs run through my mind before finally dying out? How can this stuff still be occupying prime mental real estate decades after the fact, when subjects I studied seriously have just vanished?

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  2. Bill says:

    As promised, a Covid19 and Florida Headline of the day-

    Federal court bans ‘church’ from selling bleach as miracle covid-19 cure

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  3. Teve says:

    @Kit: I watched so much NBA basketball when I was young and impressionable that it’s ridiculous. I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I can see a momentary flash of video and go Hey, that’s Kiki VanDeWeghe!

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  4. Bill says:

    The end is near medical headline of the day-

    Coronavirus found in men’s semen

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  5. Scott says:

    @Kit: Here’s a “cure”. We just streamed (Hulu) a new show called Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist about a young women, who after an MRI that gets shortcircuited, can read people’s thoughts in the form of songs. One of the first episodes has a co-worker singing the Partridge Family’s I Think I Love You. That will replace any Monkee’s tunes. For days.

    Actually, it was a pretty decent show. Fun. Diverting. Except for a plotline that will have you crying in the last episode.

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  6. Kit says:

    @Scott: @Scott: I’m guessing that the cure does not involve listening to that video and then immediately clicking on The Monkees – Daydream Believer (Official Music Video). To hell with it! I’m making a Monkees day of it, hangover be damned!

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  7. Tyrell says:

    We are in an age of home medical devices: temperature scanners, sugar tests and monitors, pacemaker monitors. I have a feasible idea of extending that application to developing a device that would monitor changes and unusual patterns in body functions and processes due to possible germs, viruses, cancers, or bacteria. A device much like a smart watch would be worn and detect these changes. It would send a warning and a report to a program on the person’s computer. In that way these sort of sicknesses such as flu, staph, strep, as well as cancer cells, blood pressure problems, heart arrhythmia could be detected without waiting on appointments or sitting around in the emergency room. The person could send the reports on to their doctor if they so wished.
    This, of course, would be voluntary and not be used by the government to track or monitor someone. It would be completely secure.

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  8. Scott says:

    Discredited Doctor and Sham ‘Science’ Are the Stars of Viral Coronavirus Documentary ‘Plandemic’

    Just finished reading this article. It encapsulates just about everything I hate about our culture, our times, and our politics. Social media whack job can make any claim. It goes viral. It gets endorsed by D-List celebrity-morons. In response, experts make rebuttals (not that they should have to) that are measured and passive, leaving room for doubt. And like Gresham’s Law, all good is driven out and replaced by bad. And the cycle goes on. I see no way out.

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  9. Teve says:

    President Trump thunders that Democrats are trying to drag America toward “socialism,” Vice President Mike Pence warns that Democrats aim to “impose socialism on the American people,” and even some Democrats warn against becoming, as one put it, “[expletive] Denmark.”
    So, before the coronavirus pandemic, I crept behind [expletive] Danish lines to explore: How scary is Denmark? How horrifying would it be if the United States took a step or two in the direction of Denmark? Would America lose its edge, productivity and innovation, or would it gain well-being, fairness and happiness?
    So, here, grab a Danish, and we’ll chat about how a [expletive] progressive country performs under stress. The pandemic interrupted my reporting, but I’d be safer if I still were in Denmark: It has had almost twice as much testing per capita as the United States and fewer than half as many deaths per capita.
    Put it this way: More than 35,000 Americans have already died in part because the United States could not manage the pandemic as deftly as Denmark.
    Denmark lowered new infections so successfully that last month it reopened elementary schools and day care centers as well as barber shops and physical therapy centers. In the coming days, it will announce further steps to reopen the economy.
    Moreover, Danes kept their jobs. The trauma of massive numbers of people losing jobs and health insurance, of long lines at food banks — that is the American experience, but it’s not what’s happening in Denmark. America’s unemployment rate may be 20 percent, but Denmark’s is hovering in the range of 4 percent to 5 percent.

    McDonald’s workers in Denmark pity us

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  10. grumpy realist says:

    @Tyrell: Yes, and wouldn’t it be loverly if the skies rained popcorn and it snowed ice-cream.

    Develop the sensors first and then we’ll talk about it. Either you’re going to have to plant sensors that don’t presently exist inside people’s bodies or you’re going to have to develop an entirely new field of technology. Add to that privacy concerns, human stupidity, error bars, problems in software, and what do you think hackers will do with such a system.

    This is just wishful thinking. Good luck.

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  11. Kit says:

    @Teve: Re: McDonald’s workers in Denmark pity us

    For two years, I lived in Denmark upon first leaving the States twenty five years ago. In the negative column, you’ve got crappy weather (clouds, but not really cold), high prices and taxes, and people who cannot understand Danish spoken with a foreign accent. In the positive column, place everything else, including a terribly large number who speak better English than the typical American. I had mild culture shock. Kids of my generation grew up thinking that America was the best (chants of USA! USA! were nearly nonexistent back then), and that everyone wanted to share in the dream. Seeing a population that was taller, healthier and better educated, living in a country that was far superior in quality of life was… unexpected — Neo-leaving-the-Matrix unexpected. While I haven’t been back in years, I expect that it hasn’t changed much. On the other hand, the good ol’ US of A was in much better shape compared to today.

    Just one small detail that bring out the difference in mentality: 95% of the population pays a voluntary tax to the state church while only 5% believe in God. People just feel that the church is part of their culture and history and wish to see the churches maintained.

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  12. Teve says:

    @Kit:

    I had mild culture shock. Kids of my generation grew up thinking that America was the best (chants of USA! USA! were nearly nonexistent back then),

    When I was a kid, I thought I was stupendously lucky for having been born in America, the greatest country on earth. And if you’re white and male and healthy, at different times in history that was true for some periods. But now? Hahahahahahahahahaha! For six months now the things that I’ve bought and the amount of money I’ve put in my retirement account have been altered by the fact that in a few months I’m going to have to declare bankruptcy and have basically everything taken away. All because I got in a car wreck a while back. We have a nihilist political party that only cares about enriching the already rich at the expense of everyone else, they’re trying to take away millions of peoples’ health insurance in the middle of a pandemic, our infrastructure has been crumbling for decades… at this point I could name you 10 countries I’d rather have been born in.

    Just one small detail that bring out the difference in mentality: 95% of the population pays a voluntary tax to the state church while only 5% believe in God. People just feel that the church is part of their culture and history and wish to see the churches maintained.

    I have a friend who is a liberal Christian and an evolutionary biologist. If every Christian in America was like him I wouldn’t give a shit. But our Christians spend all the time trying to get women who have ectopic pregnancies to die, when they’re not in court demanding to discriminate against gay people.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sea levels could rise more than a metre by 2100, experts say

    The figures for both pathways are more pessimistic than those outlined by the UN intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), which predicts the worst possibility is a 1.1-metre rise by 2100.

    The gap reflects advances in climate science and differences in approach. The IPCC works largely through consensus among scientific working groups, which tends to produce relatively conservative estimates.

    By contrast, the new survey – published in the journal Climate and Atmospheric Science – aggregates the views of 106 specialists, who were chosen because they have published at least six peer-reviewed papers on the subject in major academic journals. As a result, the predictions are more representative of a range of views in the field.

    The higher estimates highlight growing concern about the world’s two biggest ice sheets, in Antarctica and Greenland. Satellite data and on-the-ground measurements show these regions are melting faster than most computer models predicted. Many of the scientists said there was now greater understanding of the risks posed by marine ice-cliff instability, which can lead to the collapse of ice shelves.

    The study was led by scientists at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore with support from seven research institutions across the world, including Durham University in the UK, Tufts University in the US and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

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  14. Tyrell says:

    @Teve: Hopefully the NBA and MLB will get their acts together and get some things going. There are a lot of cities down here who would take the baseball games.
    NASCAR goes back to real racing at Darlington this weekend.
    WWE is having another big pay for view: “Money In the Bank”. The two day Wrestlemania was huge, with the Undertaker literally burying his opponent. McMahon is not sitting around waiting like the other sports organizations. He knows how to make things happen.

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  15. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Plus the Trump incentive: if America were like Denmark, she could sell herself Greenland 😛

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell:

    This, of course, would be voluntary and not be used by the government to track or monitor someone. It would be completely secure.

    What about insurance companies? I can see them saying “We will only insure you if you agree to wear one of these devices so that we can monitor your well being.” I find that possibility at least as dangerous if not even more so.

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell:

    Hopefully the federal govt will get it’s shit together with testing and track and trace so that the NBA and MLB can get some things going.

    Fixed that for you. We will apply the Repeat Customer discount to your bill.

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  18. Kylopod says:

    So, unemployment is now 14.7%, the worst since the Depression.

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  19. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: and U-6, the underemployment number which was 8.7% in march, is now 22.7. One of Barry Ritholtz’s guys said this number is almost inconceivable.

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  20. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Lowest depression unemployment rate ever!11!!!!!!

    We inherited a broken unemployment system from Obama. he didn’t even try to fix the great depression! Claims he wasn’t born then. that’s admittance. the admission he was born in Kenya or some other Trump-hole country! In a hut! I have the greatest huts. Lots of people say that. gold paved. that’s expensive.

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  21. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: After the 2008 crash there was a general sense that that was about the worst it could get in the modern age, and that we had the tools to deal with such a crisis whenever it would strike. What’s happened with Covid-19 fits what they used to say about 9/11: it was a “failure of imagination.” That applies to the crisis itself as well as the idea we’d ever have a president this incompetent, this committed to doing exactly the wrong things. Even Dubya would have been handling this better.

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  22. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: Trump saved the economy, and Obama destroyed it by getting rid of all those Covid-19 tests several years before Covid-19 existed. If you reelect Trump, he will save the economy once again. MAGA’A!

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  23. MarkedMan says:

    @Kit: So that’s the theme? Monkee’s songs? Cool. Cool cool cool.

    BTW, little known fact, but the Monkees were not really a band as such, but rather four actors with musical abilities who were hired to play a band in a TV show. But they actually invested heavily in the songwriters and musicians that backed them up. We olds will recognize some of these names on their songwriting credits:
    -Neil Diamond
    -Carole King
    – Noel Gallagher (Oasis)
    – Harry Nilsson (Known for his own songs like “Lime in the Coconut”, “Without You”, “Everybody’s Talking’ at Me”, “Me and my Arrow” and on and on)
    – Carole Bayer Sager
    – Neil Sedaka
    – Michael Martin Murphy
    – Frank Zappa (although this seems to be for a novelty song with about ten credits)

    and many, many by Boyce and Hart who wrote hit songs for themselves and others in the 60’s and 70’s

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  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The man who stopped the war: 97-year-old recalls VE Day coded message

    “I finished it,” says Gregory Melikian, 97, “but my heroes are the guys that hit the beaches, so many of whom never came back.”

    Seventy-five years ago, in the early hours of 7 May 1945, the supreme allied commander Gen Dwight Eisenhower selected Sgt Melikian, then a 20-year-old radio operator, to send the coded message to army groups and allied capitals announcing Germany’s unconditional surrender.

    Of the three operators working in the Reims school that housed the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, Melikian was the youngest, an enlisted Illinois University student shipped to France just the year before, and that made him first choice for the US general.

    “We were across the hall from the war room [where the German surrender was signed by the German general Alfred Jodl],” says Melikian. “There was a guy from Texas aged 36, another guy from South Carolina, 27 or 28, and yours truly. Eisenhower’s exact words were: ‘I want Melikian to send this coded message and talk about it for the rest of his life.’ It was 74 words to the world saying that tomorrow, 8 May, at 11.01pm, hostilities will cease and that we will stop shooting at each other.

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  25. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: The Monkees weren’t four actors—they were two actors and two musicians. And while they started out contributing nothing to the music except their voices, they later began to take more control. Mike Nesmith was actually a talented songwriter—he wrote “A Different Drum,” which became a hit with Linda Ronstadt.

    (Fun fact: Nesmith’s mom was the inventor of liquid paper, or “white-out.”)

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  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Tyrell:
    You’re talking about Starfleet’s Medical Tricorder…one of three versions of the device.
    Go back into your mom’s basement and turn Nickelodeon back on.

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  27. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Tyrell:

    McMahon is not sitting around waiting like the other sports organizations.

    McMahon does not run a sports organization. He is to sports as Trump is to governance.

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  28. Stormy Dragon says:

    Is the new theme songs by The Monkees? “A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me”, “What Am I Doing Hanging Round?”

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  29. Kingdaddy says:

    @Scott: The speed with which the Plandemic crap spread across social media was alarming. It was an immediate hit with a lot of the Trumpy friends I have on Facebook, plus an anti-vaxxer friend from high school. It’s sickening. Since we live in a paranoid time, it left me wondering whether it’s looking into the vector of this movie, and who was helping it.

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  30. Teve says:

    This is perfectly symbolic of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic. Mike Pence made a big show of delivering big heavy boxes of PPE to a healthcare clinic. and you might wonder what was in those boxes.

    Nothing!

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  31. @Kit: Well, they are always too busy singing to put anybody down.

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  32. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Scott:

    And like Gresham’s Law, all good is driven out and replaced by bad. And the cycle goes on. I see no way out.

    I’ve actually been starting to sour on the very concept of free speech lately as it’s becoming increasingly obvious that John Stuart Mill’s “the answer to bad speech is more speech” is not actually true.

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  33. @Tyrell: I suspect if you could invent the medical tricorder, you would be a very wealthy man.

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  34. @Stormy Dragon: Monkeyin’ around, indeed.

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  35. @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    You’re talking about Starfleet’s Medical Tricorder

    You beat me to it.

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  36. Kit says:

    @MarkedMan:

    So that’s the theme? Monkee’s songs? Cool. Cool cool cool.

    I’m not 100% sure. Tueday’s clue was “Drop some knowledge.” Even my over-developed frontal lobe devoted to Monkees songs and trivia doesn’t know what to do with that one. Any ideas? And Monday’s clue was the Beetles. Steven is probably setting a trap. Pity his poor students.

    ETA: Ok, I just saw Steven’s reply. So what about Tuesday?

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  37. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: Too coherent.

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  38. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    I know. It’s the best I can do without getting drunk.

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  39. Tyrell says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Thanks for your kind response and the other people who responded to my off the wall idea. After reading of cells being trained to find and attack cancer, I did not think this was too far out of the box. Maybe a project for Musk. There was a time that I well remember when open-heart surgery was rare and only done in a few hospitals.
    “Send men to the moon? Now he has gone crazy” (reactions to John Kennedy’s moon challenge)

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  40. Kit says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I’ve actually been starting to sour on the very concept of free speech lately

    Me, too. The way I read history, the Founders saw how past governments could stop the spread of any information they opposed, and democracy was going to require an informed citizenry if it were to succeed. Little could the Founders anticipate the rise and power of large corporations, and how the internet would allow Joe Average to reach billions.

    I’m unsure of the solution, but I think that free-speech absolutists miss the point. If humanity were starting to colonize Mars and a new generation were to spring up and seriously ponder how a new government and society should be structured, then I have no doubt that the issue of speech, and its relation to an informed citizenry, would be foremost in their thoughts. And I rather think that our age would serve them as a warning.

    I think that the freedom of assembly follows the same principle of ensuring an informed citizenry. Freedom of religion was, I think, an obvious reaction of Europe’s war of religions — two beliefs lead to war and bloodshed, while a great number would (they thought) result in peace. As for the 2nd amendment, I suspect it was born of a lingering suspicion from the colonial days. But the point is that our rights were not a celebration of freedom, come what may of it, but a considered system designed to ensure peace and prosperity for a very dodgy proposition, namely that people could govern themselves.

    ETA The Founders were right to worry about the power of government. Today, however, there are new forces at work, and our intellectual foundations are showing their age.

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  41. mattbernius says:

    So which media appearance has aged worse? That time in 2017 where Mike Pence went on face the Nation to defend the firing of Michael Flynn (“VP: What I can tell you is I knew he lied to me. And I know the President made the right decision, with regard to him.”) or the President’s new Press Secretary calling comments by then-candidate Trump racist and saying that he wasn’t a Republican in 2015.

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  42. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kylopod:

    The Monkees weren’t four actors—they were two actors and two musicians.

    And one of the actors had a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Davy Jones was the Artful Dodger in the original cast of Oliver!), so really only one of the four had no previous professional music experience.

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  43. Kit says:

    From The Guardian:

    In China, tickets for the first days of Shanghai Disneyland’s re-opening, after a three-month shutdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic, have sold out.

    Weren’t some here speculating that Disney would certainly not be quick to reopen? I’ll admit to being surprised, myself.

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  44. Kathy says:

    @Kit:

    In Heinlein’s late novel “Friday”, he envisioned a balkanized America, split into several independent states. These tended to be weak, ineffectual banana republic types, in thrall to what he termed Corporate States. These were large multinational companies that held the real power.

    Sometimes I feel that’s where we’re headed.

    The novel is pretty good and well worth reading.

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  45. 95 South says:

    @Tyrell: The Fitbit checks your pulse, walking rate, and blood oxygen levels. The things you came up with probably aren’t too far off.

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  46. @Kit:

    Tueday’s clue was “Drop some knowledge.”

    That was the start of Hamilton references, but wr sussed it out immediately.

    I need a better system of delineating a restart.

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  47. @Tyrell: There is no doubt it would be cool and wonderful to have some device that worked as you proposed. I am not saying it is impossible. But you have to admit that as presented it sounds a bit, well, fantastical.

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  48. @Tyrell: One thing that does occur, they have trained dogs to sniff out problems associated with diabetes and some other ailments, so perhaps some artificial version of that is on the horizon.

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  49. Stormy Dragon says:

    Another weird Monkee trivium:

    Mike Nesmith was already wealthy before even joining The Monkees, because his mother had invented Liquid Paper correction fluid.

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  50. Kathy says:

    The state of the airlines today indicates a recession in the near future (if we’re not in one now, which we seem to be). Layoffs are expected in September, when the CARES act money runs out. While capacity will increase once everything opens back up, it will likely remain lower than pre-COVID levels for some time, probably years.

    This means there will be a glut of trained commercial aviation personnel, everyone from pilots to flight attendants to ground crew, and from ticket agents to gate agents to back office personnel (dare I say even executives?) BTW, this solves the pilot shortage in the short term, but it will return once the industry begins to grow again.

    Much the same will be seen in other industries, like travel. Who knows what will happen with cruise lines. We may see the same thing in entertainment, personal care, retail in non-essentials, etc. Manufacturing should be back up, as will farming, meat production, etc. But they’ll have fewer customers and those will likely spend less.

    While the pandemic is global in nature, I think we’ll see countries that took the right measures early will suffer less economically. Watch how Taiwan, South Korea, new Zealand, Australia, and Singapore fare in the near future. One indication whether China’s numbers of cases and deaths are accurate, is how the Chinese economy does. That’s a bit harder to hide.

    More on travel later.

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  51. scott says:

    @Kit:

    If humanity were starting to colonize Mars and a new generation were to spring up and seriously ponder how a new government and society should be structured, then I have no doubt that the issue of speech, and its relation to an informed citizenry, would be foremost in their thoughts.

    Just finished reading the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. It goes into great detail about a new government and society should be structured and evolved. It did not go into speech issue but rather economics and environmental issues. On the other hand, Earth was falling apart from population and environmental issues as well as political predations by massive global corporations. It was written in the 90s but it certainly resonates today.

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  52. CSK says:
  53. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kit:

    Little could the Founders anticipate the rise and power of large corporations

    While large corporations have spread misinformation where it’s in their economic interest (i.e. tobacco companies on dangers of smoking, or oil companies on global warming) they’re not really behind the “coronavirus is a crisis actors and you should drink bleach” type stuff. And back before the internet, corporations had far more control over the media environment than they do know, but our media hygiene was generally better.

    It could be argued that there’s not enough corporate control over the media these days.

    I also think freedom of religion is a mistake, at least in it’s current interpretation of “I can ignore the law as long as my imaginary friend says its okay”. The fact so much of the bullshit floating around these days is tied to “churches” is not an accident.

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  54. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:
    @Stormy Dragon:

    Early joke today:

    Q: Why is Trump’s computer monitor full of white specks?
    A: He insisted in correcting a letter himself.

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  55. Scott F. says:

    @mattbernius: Pence and McEnany both were very clearly being sarcastic back then.

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  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Repeatedly I guess.

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  57. Kit says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    And back before the internet, corporations had far more control over the media environment than they do know, but our media hygiene was generally better.

    I absolutely agree, and that’s why I said I was unsure of any solution. Sometimes I wonder if a simple change might restore a semblance of balance. Most time I doubt it, however.

    I also think freedom of religion is a mistake, at least in it’s current interpretation of “I can ignore the law as long as my imaginary friend says its okay”. The fact so much of the bullshit floating around these days is tied to “churches” is not an accident.

    When you allow any number of religions to take root in a country, there is a tacit understanding that everyone must still follow all the rules. We’ve lost sight of that.

    In any case, I’ll meet your souring on free speech and raise you a souring on the very notion of democracy, at least as it is practiced here. Does anyone doubt what would happen to Red America were it on its own? But as we cannot cut them loose, I cannot avoid the thought that they will pull us under, and probably sooner rather than later. One doesn’t repair such a problem in a single election cycle, or even a single generation.

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  58. EddieInCA says:

    @MarkedMan:

    – Noel Gallagher (Oasis)

    Not to nitpick, but Noel Gallagher was born in 1967. If there was a Noel Gallagher who wrote songs for the Monkees, it was a different Noel Gallagher.

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  59. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I also think freedom of religion is a mistake, at least in it’s current interpretation of “I can ignore the law as long as my imaginary friend says its okay”.

    That isn’t remotely the “current interpretation” of freedom of religion in the courts, even though some right-wingers would like it to be so.

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  60. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kylopod:

    The current interpretation of the court is just words. Just last week we witnessed armed terrorists occupying a state legislature and nothing happened to them because Jesus. Whatever the current rationalization for it is, the de facto reality is that certain religious groups are immune from the law.

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  61. Moosebreath says:

    @Kathy:

    “In Heinlein’s late novel “Friday”, he envisioned a balkanized America, split into several independent states.”

    Not just the US, Canada and Britain had broken apart as well.

    “The novel is pretty good and well worth reading.”

    Agreed. One of my favorites of his.

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  62. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    And back before the internet, corporations had far more control over the media environment than they do know, but our media hygiene was generally better.

    I agree. What I think the damage is with business controlling government policy, is the way wealth accumulates in fewer hands, while wages lag well behind economic growth.

    The phrase “bread and circuses,” comes from Roman times. Back then, urban poverty was a concern, which was addressed by a grain dole (in the form of bread), and blood spectacles and chariot races to keep them entertained.

    America lags on welfare, perhaps, but it has surpassed Rome in means of keeping the urban plebes entertained. The social media landscape serves a huge chunk of that function.

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  63. Moosebreath says:

    @CSK:

    From the article you attached:

    “Last week Ben Shapiro, someone who has made his mark as a skilled debater, tweeted asking “What’s [Biden’s] case for being president, other than Orange Man Bad?”

    And while I could come up with a substantive argument for Biden on the merits, it led me to wonder: Doesn’t the question actually answer itself?

    The badness is enough. The badness is so bad that it’s all that really matters in our politics right now.”

    The problem with Biden just running on “Orange Man Bad” is that Hillary basically did that in 2016. Now, Hillary lost in the Electoral College due to some specific reasons, including Comey’s actions and general misogyny, which may not be in play this year. However, I do agree with the point that for many people that is enough, Biden should be (and hopefully will be) doing more.

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  64. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The current interpretation of the court is just words.

    No it isn’t, it’s public policy, governing everything from polygamy to denial of medical treatment to children to refusal to perform a marriage ceremony to a ban on interracial dating on campus. That’s just a few examples; the list of religiously sanctioned practices that have been banned or curtailed in this country would take pages if not volumes to mention.

    I’ll grant you there are areas where I’d agree the courts have interpreted religious freedom too broadly, such as Hobby Lobby. (There are also areas where I’d argue it’s been interpreted too narrowly—usually those involving religions other than Christianity.) But your statement that “certain religious groups are immune from the law” is not even remotely accurate.

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  65. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kylopod:

    https://s.marketwatch.com/public/resources/images/MW-IF610_michig_ZG_20200430175842.jpg

    In what way is that man accountable to the law? If a group of similarly arrayed Muslims had taken over the capitol chanting “Allah Akbar”, do you think law enforcement would have just stood around doing nothing?

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  66. Tyrell says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Thanks for your kind attention to what I wrote and taking your time to respond. I was a big fan of “Dr. Who” and “Electric Company” years ago, not too much on Nick, except “Sponge Bob”. My top favorite program was “Kung Fu”. I would watch that every afternoon after work. I have not seen it on tv for some time. I might just get the whole series DVD for around $60.

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  67. CSK says:

    @Tyrell:
    You may be able to get it more cheaply. Check Big Lots/Odd Lots. They do–or used to–sell a lot of DVDs at remarkably reduced prices. Purchases can be made online.

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  68. EddieInCA says:
  69. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “That was the start of Hamilton references, but wr sussed it out immediately.”

    Sorry, I was showing off!

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  70. CSK says:

    @Moosebreath:
    Another problem is that for all I enjoyed the article, I think its author, Tim Miller, overestimates the number of Trump supporters who acknowledge that Trump is loathsome. If you visit Lucianne.com, which I regard as one of the premier Trumpkin hangouts, you’ll see that for the majority of people there, Trump has no faults. He’s a great dad. He’s a great husband. He’s handled the pandemic in “stellar” fashion. (Yeah, someone actually said that.) He loves the American people like no one else. He’s the “blue collar billionaire.” He has a full head of hair. (Someone actually said that, too.) He’s the greatest president in our history.

    Since they’ve merged their identities with his, I suppose that they have to think he’s wonderful. Otherwise they’d have to look in the mirror each morning and realize: “Yeah, I’m a creep.”

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  71. Kingdaddy says:

    I do a lot of Google image searches for presentations, web pages, and other content. Whose face keeps appearing in them, in nearly every case, regardless of the search terms? Vladimir Putin. What’s up with that?

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  72. Stormy Dragon says:

    @CSK:

    It can be true both that Trump supporters acknowledge Trump is loathsome and that Trump supporters think Trump has no faults: they consider Trump’s loathsomeness a virtue. He acts they way they would if they though they could get away with it.

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  73. MarkedMan says:

    Okay, “cells being trained to attack cancer”. I’m back to thinking he’s our own version of Ken M. No doubt I’ll change my mind again in a week….

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  74. Scott says:

    @EddieInCA: Good Grief! These people are really making it difficult for me to be a good Christian.

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  75. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon:@Stormy Dragon: I already explained why your statement that “certain religious groups are immune from the law” isn’t remotely true. I gave examples, none of which you have addressed. The incident with armed protesters doesn’t prove your contention true; it’s a non sequitur.

    I absolutely agree that there’s a double standard in the way Christians and Muslims are treated. But that just goes to show why freedom of religion is so important—its purpose from the start was to protect minority religions, not the majority one (which doesn’t need protecting). The freedoms that Muslims and other religious minorities do enjoy in this country are a direct result of the enforcement of the First Amendment and civil rights laws by the courts. Why would you want to strip all that away simply because of the way some Christians are abusing it? You’d just be handing them even more power to foist their will on others.

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  76. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA: For a 2016(!!!) album:

    Good Times! is the twelfth studio album by American pop rock band the Monkees. Produced mainly by Adam Schlesinger (with some additional bonus tracks produced by Andrew Sandoval), the album was recorded to commemorate the band’s 50th anniversary. It is the first Monkees studio album since Justus (1996), marking the longest gap between Monkees albums to date, and the first since the death of founding member Davy Jones. The album features surviving Monkees Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork, as well as a posthumous contribution from Jones.

    The first single from the album was “She Makes Me Laugh”. Penned by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, it was released on April 28 along with a lyric video. The second new track to be released was “You Bring the Summer” written by Andy Partridge, which was debuted by DJ and Monkee-fan Iain Lee on his radio show on May 2, followed by it being made available by Rhino.

    Musicians on the album include Fountains of Wayne members Schlesinger (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion), Porter (guitar) and Brian Young (drums, percussion), as well as Mike Viola (guitar, bass, background vocals), and band members Micky Dolenz (vocals, drums), Michael Nesmith (vocals, guitar) and Peter Tork (vocals, keyboards, banjo).

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  77. Kylopod says:

    @Moosebreath:

    The problem with Biden just running on “Orange Man Bad” is that Hillary basically did that in 2016.

    There are important differences, however. Hillary focused almost entirely on Trump’s character flaws, rather than his policy positions. There was a study in 2017 indicating that the overwhelming majority of Hillary’s attack ads had no policy content at all—they were simply attacks on Trump as a person. I hope Biden doesn’t make that mistake, but I don’t believe he will, especially since Trump is the incumbent and unlike in 2016 actually has a record to critique.

    Biden definitely should put forth a positive agenda, especially as a contrast with Trump’s. But in some ways I think he’s better off the more he seems like a Generic Democrat—something Hillary utterly failed to be in 2016.

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  78. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kylopod:

    The other difference between 2016 is that since he was mostly seen as a TV personality, a lot of people assumed that like most celebrities there was a difference between Donald Trump the person and Donald Trump the character that person performs as a celebrity.

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  79. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    True. There are plenty of Trump supporters who love him precisely because of his ghastly traits. But the Trumpkins I’m thinking of get very, very angry if someone dares to point out that in fact Trump is terribly, fatally flawed. To them, he’s perfect.

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  80. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:
    I’m with you, Tyrell. I don’t think it’s at all too far outside the box.

    I have thermometer, sphygmomanometer and pulse ox in the home. So I can accurately report height, weight, blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation and temperature. I have an iPhone that can show pictures of skin lesions or a red throat. With a simple attachment I could look in my ear and nose and send HD pics to my doctor. With kits I can also do a fecal blood test, send in a urine sample or provide a detailed account of my DNA. It would be child’s play to adapt iPhones to allow a remote doctor to listen to my heart and respiration. My records are all online and can be easily transmitted hither and yon.

    In other words from my home I can give a doctor virtually all of the data he’d glean from a check-up. I have to go in for ‘med checks’ on meds I’ve been taking for 20 years without ill effects, and it’s an absurd waste of time, not to mention requiring me to expose myself to all the creepy crawlies in a doctor’s office. The worst illness I’ve had to date – a staph infection – came directly from a doctor’s examination.

    But soon we will be able to do more. Small blood samples can be drawn using equipment derived from finger-pricking devices used by diabetics, and if tests were more sophisticated that small blood draw should suffice to run most tests.

    So keep dreamin’, dude, I’m with you on this.

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  81. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    NASCAR goes back to real racing at Darlington this weekend.

    So we should maybe be looking for an uptick in Covid-19 infections among Darlington attendees in about 2 weeks? Oops, my bad, no fans. Maybe not so much “real racing” after all. (Then again, some people believe that the Mark Calloway actually buried Alan Jones, too.)

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  82. Michael Cain says:

    What’s [Biden’s] case for being president, other than Orange Man Bad?

    Biden’s got a perfectly arguable case that of the people who ran for the Democratic nomination, his experience in the legislative and executive branches make him by far the most qualified to shepherd through enactment of the policies of his party. I think there’s a whole lot of support out there for just getting things back on the Obama track, with marginal improvements.

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  83. Jen says:

    @Tyrell: Monitoring devices are something I watch closely, as a family member has Type 1 diabetes. The issue with most is that they almost always require a fluid sample (blood, saliva, or urine), so devices that are on the skin (like a smart watch) aren’t able to access the sample necessary (and you don’t want a constantly open wound).

    This has led to the development of things such as tattoos that can detect blood glucose changes, and potentially contact lenses that can do the same.

    Devices implanted under the skin would be the easiest, and in fact there’s one continuous blood glucose monitor that is implanted under the skin–all you need to do is wave a smart phone over the area of the sub-dermal monitor and it shows what your blood glucose level is. This is ideal for young kids who get T1 diabetes, as multiple daily blood sampling can be traumatizing for small children. However, they’ve had issues with scar tissue forming and device migration, where it drifts away from the implant site. There’s also the possibility for the body to outright reject anything implanted.

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  84. KM says:

    @Kit:
    I think future generations are going to have to ponder the fundamental mistake we’ve made by making facts equivalent to speech. Because we are so dedicated to the idea that everyone should be allowed to have and voice their own opinions, we’ve allowed the line between belief and fact to evaporate. We’ve essentially conceded to the right to lie as a necessary evil because we accept the damage it causes is less then having restrictions on our speech. We understand that people acting on false info cause great evil in the world but have deemed the collateral damage to be worth it. The balance rests however on the “worth it” part – when the damage to society by allowing people to engage in fake news gets too high, then we’ll see societies start cutting back on free speech.

    Let’s say in this hypothetical Mars colony, a movement springs up that wearing helmets/breathing apparatus restricts your freedom. It’s all a lie, you see – there’s oxygen outside the colony walls and Big Air’s been lying to us for generations to get us addicted to their O2!! How stupid, right? Let them spout off their nonsense since they’re only killing themselves if they go ahead with it, right? Well…. what happens when one of those idiots starts tampering with the atmo controls or breaks down The Wall that the evil government forced on them? Starts setting of noxious gas bombs or forcing their children to breath nitrogen? What happens when innocents are harmed and lose their lives over a clearly false and dangerous “belief”?

    My guess is future societies won’t tolerate this kind of crap nearly as much as we do because they’ll have more to lose. The idiot trying to prove oxygen is a lie can take out the whole colony so that kind of nonsense would get nipped in the bud PDQ. We let it go now because socially we can afford to currently. We may rapidly be approaching the point when we can’t anymore…..

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  85. MarkedMan says:

    [Can an administrator check the penalty box for my post responding to Eddie that, yes, it is the Oasis Noel Gallagher?]

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  86. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @CSK: From listening to various Trump supporters over the years, I think we’re in need of a taxonomy. There are the “what-the-hell” voters, the ones who pulled the lever for Trump almost on a whim—most of those people have already abandoned him. There are the “pragmatists,” people who support him because they like his policies but who are willing to admit at least some of his flaws in temperament and competence. Then there are the hardcore cultists—the category many people incorrectly equate with all Trump supporters.

    There’s also another category, I think, what I’d call “closet cultists.” These are people who make formulaic acknowledgments of Trump’s flaws, sort of like a disclaimer, but who in practice act as apologists for just about everything he does. I’m not just talking about propagandists engaged in concern-trolling, but people practicing some level of self-deception—they don’t consciously realize how much they love Trump. This is an elusive category that’s hard to pin down, and I think there’s a fuzzy boundary separating them from both the cultists and the pragmatists.

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  87. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Never mind. Not sure why I didn’t see it.

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  88. Kit says:

    @KM:

    My guess is future societies won’t tolerate this kind of crap nearly as much as we do because they’ll have more to lose.

    We have a lot to lose, too. And we are losing it. The problem with unfree speech will always come down to: who decides which opinions and which lies are tolerated? And that’s the solution that free speech was supposed to solve. Finding a modern solution will be the work of a generation. A future generation.

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  89. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: I’ve encountered a LOT of “defensive by proxy” Trump supporters.

    They know he’s flawed, but he’s on “their” team and he’s being attacked, so they circle up and defend him even when they know he’s wrong. It’s a warped version of the NATO creed of “an attack on one is an attack on all.”

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  90. Jay L Gischer says:

    Right, with the Orange Man Bad stuff, we are once again grappling with the “don’t pay attention to what he says” idea.

    However, in the martial arts, we are very aware that there is very little distance between thoughts and action.

    If I am supposed to ignore all the crappy things he’s said about trans people, like my daughter, I can point to substantive steps he has taken to prevent them from serving in the military. As if they are somehow sub-humans unfit to serve. This is not just what he “says”, it’s a government policy. I’m sure many on the right celebrate this. This, to them, is an accomplishment.

    Every tweet he makes erodes the credibility of the government and the office of president. Skepticism of the government is healthy, but “I don’t believe a word any of them say” is not. Trust destroyed is hard to rebuild.

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  91. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kylopod:

    From listening to various Trump supporters over the years, I think we’re in need of a taxonomy.

    Why?

    Perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learned in the last 15 years is that people are actually terrible at introspecting their own motivations: why someone does something often has nothing to do with why they say they’re doing it.

    Absent some externally observable difference in behavior, speculating whether there are differences in the interiority leading to that identical behavior is a waste of time.

    Trump supporters all support Trump. I don’t really care to what degree that support is enthusiastic or tortured, because it makes no difference as to the real world effects of that support.

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  92. EddieInCA says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I stand corrected. Had no idea they’d put out an album in 2016. Thanks.

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  93. CSK says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    “Every tweet he makes erodes the credibility of the government…”
    That’s a major part of Trump’s appeal to the cultists. They hate the government. The government is the enemy. And Trump’s enemy.

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  94. In regards to all the “free speech is bad” takes: the problem becomes if speech needs to be regulated, who gets to do the regulating?

    And look, I get the basic impulse. In my darker moments these days I question the viability of democratic government, a subject to which I have dedicated no small amount of timing studying. But I always come back to the fact that all the viable alternatives are worse.

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  95. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    But I always come back to the fact that all the viable alternatives are worse.

    Is it? There are plenty of Western Democracies that don’t take the absolute right to free speech stance the US does and are able to balance protecting free expression with a need to prevent socially harmful speech. Are you really going to argue that, say, Canada is an authoritarian dystopia? This is frankly lazy “We can’t have a Norweigan style socialism because then we’ll immediately turn into North Korea” thinking.

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  96. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    This reminds me of when an acquaintance of mine said, wistfully, that he wished Obama could be a dictator, because there’d be no end to the good he’d accomplish. And I’d reply, “What happens when he’s replaced by someone you hate?” Which indeed turned out to be the case.

    My acquaintance never had an answer.

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  97. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Decades ago Frederick Pohl had an aside in “The Cool War” where one of his characters gets out bed, stumbles to the bathroom, pees, and then his toilet tells him everything was fine*. We are getting closer and closer to that point, on a slow and steady trek, although I suspect the first wave of it will be a slip of paper you drop in the toilet and it communicates your health status to a device.

    You might think that flushing wireless electronic devices down a toilet will lead to horrible waste problems, but even today the size of the actual electronics (as opposed to the packaging) of a low power, non-display, non-human interface, electronic device is a fraction of a gram. And it gets smaller all the time

    *Or maybe he was dying or something. Four decades later I remember the character and the technology but not something trivial like whether the main character was living or dying 😉

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  98. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen:

    in fact there’s one continuous blood glucose monitor that is implanted under the skin

    I’ve actually dealt a bit with the company you are referring to. You could write ten Harvard Business School case studies about the regulatory and reimbursement needles they are threading while trying to become profitable. Not to mention that it appears there is a whole lot of diabetics out there who think that sticking their finger a few times a day is not a big deal. That surprised me.

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  99. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    In regards to all the “free speech is bad” takes: the problem becomes if speech needs to be regulated, who gets to do the regulating?

    Also, I’d note that there’s plenty of speech regulating going on anyways. A lot of the support for “free speech” we see is bad-faith arguments trying to normalize political extremism while they simultaneously try to muzzle non-extremism. It’s a form of unilateral disarmament, that we shouldn’t keep falling for.

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  100. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA: I didn’t either, until I checked a wiki list of their song writers, came across that one, and thought “I wonder if that Noel Gallagher is related to the one from Oasis?”

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  101. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    e.g. We can’t stop people from threatening doctors and nurses with assault rifles because free speech, but we can ban positive portrayals of LGBT couples from schools.

    So as usual in the US, we end up with the worst of both worlds: all the bad aspects of censorship, but none of the benefits.

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  102. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    Hillary focused almost entirely on Trump’s character flaws

    Regular readers know that I don’t have a lot of truck with the “Hillary ran a terrible campaign and that’s why we got Trump” school of thought, but this is one mistake I agree she made and cannot understand why she did. I think it was her first Senatorial campaign that she ran against a loathsome Republican racist hack, essentially a stereotypical Tea Party/Trumper type. And his whole campaign consisted of various shouts of “But It’s HILARY CLINTON!!!!!!” , nothing other than insults. After a month or two of this it just sounded like background noise. That’s pretty much the tone Hillary took with Trump. I think it would have been much more effective on those crucial margins if she had continuously attacked his business acumen. Mocked him for being a realtity TV start that thought his show was the real world. For the older generation I think a Donald Trump = Ted Baxter comparison would have helped. A lot less of the morally reprehensible schtick and a lot more of the clownish buffoon. Laughing at him would have been better than giving him import.

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  103. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    @Kylopod:

    From listening to various Trump supporters over the years, I think we’re in need of a taxonomy.

    Why?

    Why? There are several reasons. First, it helps distinguish between those who may be reachable and those who aren’t. As I alluded to, there’s a fallacy I’ve encountered repeatedly suggesting that all Trump supporters are build-the-wall, lock-her-up, MAGA-hat-wearing cultists. If that described all Trump supporters, he’d have lost 2016 in a landslide. His electoral victory absolutely depended on getting the support of reluctant voters. And there’s evidence some of those voters have already crossed the fence. According to exit polls from 2018, 8% of Trump voters supported Democrats in House races. In crucial Senate and gubernatorial races in states like WI, MI, OH, and AZ, it was sometimes as high as 15%. That may not seem like much, but if Biden were to get numbers like that, it would probably guarantee him a decisive victory all by itself. I don’t want to dwell too much on this, because I believe that elections come down more to turnout than persuading swing voters. But we cannot afford to close off any potential avenue of support.

    Another reason is that I think it’s going to be crucial to understanding the Trump phenomenon in the years to come–how someone so obviously unfit for the office came to be supported by so many people. Ever since he first appeared on the political scene in 2015, whenever you looked at how his supporters rationalized their support, you frequently found that they knew at some level that he was a liar. They just tended to assume he was lying about whatever didn’t matter to them. Trump is the quintessential con artist who lets you know he’s a con artist, but leads you to think you will be the one to benefit, unlike all those other suckers. (I find the title of a 2016 HuffPost piece very telling: “Trump’s Neo-Nazi and Jewish backers are both convinced he’s secretly on their side.”)

    In a paradoxical way, Trump’s complete and undeniable awfulness becomes easy for many people to rationalize away because they can’t bring themselves to believe he really is as awful as he seems; they think there must be some catch. At some level I get the temptation to turn him into some unconventional hero; it’s the sort of thing you see in Hollywood movies all the time. (I’ve seen comparisons between him and Rodney Dangerfield characters in movies like Back to School and Caddyshack, the boorish nouveau riche guy who puts all the uptight snobs in their place. I don’t agree with the comparison, but it does give a sense of how many of his supporters view him.) In 2016 Larry Wilmore brought a group of black Trump supporters on his show, and you definitely got some of that feeling with how they explained their support for him; one of them essentially admitted off the bat that Trump was a racist. Listening to various people explaining their vote in 2016, a common line I encountered was, “I’m not voting for Trump. I’m voting against Hillary.” Even in the years since the election, Trump has seemed to attract just as many people who can’t bring themselves to own it as the ones who slobber over him, and it’s an essential part of what sustains his bizarre cult.

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  104. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: Knowing one, it doesn’t surprise me. 🙂

    He’s an adult though, and very active. He’s long resisted any of the tech like pumps and CGMs because he doesn’t want to have a bunch of devices strapped to him all the time. (I get that.) 8-10 finger pricks a day is just daily life now. We looked into that device because nighttime lows are scary AF, and without a CGM that can alarm, you’re basically just hoping that everyone’s alert enough to catch a dangerous drop.

    On the other hand, a close friend of mine’s daughter was around 10 when she was diagnosed a few years ago. Needles terrify her, so getting valid readings was an enormous chore. The daily battles about it–on top of the recent diagnosis and lingering health issues from before they figured out it was an autoimmune disease (T1 is autoimmune)–led to a lot of tears and wild up/down blood sugars.

    I could see the practicality in a CGM that was implanted for her. Unfortunately, her insurance won’t cover it and the cost is pretty high IIRC.

    Still, progress, however incremental, is good.

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  105. Michael Reynolds says:

    Interesting. Is the White House a Covid-19 ‘hot spot’?

    DES MOINES — A second member of Vice President Pence’s staff tested positive for the coronavirus Friday, a day after a valet to President Trump did the same.

    Why it matters: At a time when Trump is encouraging a brisk approach to reopening the economy, the results are a reminder that the virus remains widespread.

    The result delayed a Pence trip to Iowa by about an hour. Air Force Two idled at Andrews Air Force Base with the vice president aboard.

    The person who tested positive wasn’t on the plane. But out of what a senior administration official called “an abundance of caution,” six aides who had been in recent contact with the person were asked to deplane, and remained in Washington.

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  106. charon says:

    @Kathy:

    One indication whether China’s numbers of cases and deaths are accurate, is how the Chinese economy does. That’s a bit harder to hide.

    Disney opening in Shanghai should say something. Also, travel between South Korea and China is happening.

    Maybe the claims about China lying are a bit less than accurate.

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  107. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    In regards to all the “free speech is bad” takes: the problem becomes if speech needs to be regulated, who gets to do the regulating?

    Actually, the exact opposite of regulation might be more successful.

    If we could only come up with some sort of plan, a set of rules, maybe a DOCTRINE that actually would allow people access to airtime to address those things that they strongly disagree with, well… that may bring some FAIRNESS back to the debate between facts and idiots.

    Maybe just a dream, if only we could have something like this in our society… but in a place where money = speech, I don’t believe that we will ever see that.

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  108. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    The individual who tested positive is Katie Miller, Pence’s spokesperson and Stephen Miller’s wife.

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  109. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    I’m not sure the fairness doctrine helps. One thing research is showing recently is that if someone is going around arguing, “2+2=5”, just adding someone saying, “no, 2+2 is not 5” not only doesn’t counteract the spread of “2+2=5”, it actually helps cement in further into people’s minds. We need away to keep “2+2=5” guy off the air entirely.

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  110. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy:

    (dare I say even executives?)

    Lay offs of middle management ones? Definitely. Upper level and C-suite? Never enough of them (and always undercompensated, I might add).

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  111. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kylopod:

    First, it helps distinguish between those who may be reachable and those who aren’t.

    What distinguishes the reachable from the unreachable is that the reachable ones have stopped supporting Trump.

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  112. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    What distinguishes the reachable from the unreachable is that the reachable ones have stopped supporting Trump.

    I disagree. I’m betting we’re going to see a significant bleeding off of his soft support in the coming months, as the economic disaster continues to wreak havoc. This notion that “all his supporters are hardcore cultists who will never abandon him” has always been defeatist nonsense, and it remains so today.

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  113. Kathy says:

    @charon:

    It might.

    I don’t think anything the Chinese Communist Party says is a lie. They’re not Dishonest Don. But I don’t take anything they say as fact, either.

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  114. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Yes, but there’s still a core group of Trumpkins who adore him blindly. I have no idea how big it is, but it sure is vocal.

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  115. KM says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    In regards to all the “free speech is bad” takes: the problem becomes if speech needs to be regulated, who gets to do the regulating?

    By first understanding and accepting “free speech” is too broad a category as we currently understand it. Fact need to be separated out from opinions – you are free to say what you like but if you present an opinion falsely as a fact, that should be actionable. In fact, it *is* actionable in a lot of way since we have the legal concepts like “fraud”, “libel” and “slander”. I might believe myself to be Dr. KM because of all my schooling and practical experience but if I practice without a license, guess what happens? It’s a fact I don’t have medical license so going around treating patients or telling people I have one is a clear lie that can get me imprisioned.

    We keep falling into the trap of “well, since we can’t regulate opinions we can’t regulate telling lies”. That’s absolutely not true, nor is a falsehood necessarily an opinion. We’re overcautious to our detriment and we need to start going after people telling verifiable falsehoods on purpose. This isn’t a disagreement about The Dress or what religion is correct. These are people making up easily disprovable claims with the intent to get a specific reaction for their benefit; in other words, they are running a scam.

    Someone tells you “drinking bleach treats COVID” That’s not an opinion, same as “you can fly, gravity’s a liberal lie”. That’s straight up denial of reality. We need to start separating out unpopular opinions from delusions and treat them accordingly. We used to do that – it’s only recently that we’ve begun accepting lunacy as equal to logic.

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  116. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kylopod:

    This notion that “all his supporters are hardcore cultists who will never abandon him” has always been defeatist nonsense, and it remains so today.

    That’s not what I’m saying though. What I’m saying is that there’s no way of knowing apriori which of those two categories a particular individual falls into, so that time spent establishing elaborate models of the interior mental states of Trump supporters is a waste of effort. They’ll either find a convincing reason to leave or they won’t, and that’s all that matters.

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  117. inhumans99 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I may not have listened to many of those folks’ songs (or at least indirectly listened if they were on the car radio in my dad’s car) but I recognize pretty much all the names. To be fair, I am old-lite, as I turn 49 this year so I am not a spring chicken.

    It also helps that as much as I love listening to Octane on Sirius XM I grew up with a dad into folk music and two out of maybe a total of 3 concerts I have attended in my life were Peter, Paul, and Mary (hearing them sing Puff The Magic Dragon live on stage was admittedly pretty cool), and not long after O Brother, Where Art Thou was released I attended what I believe was called a Down From The Mountain concert at Universal City Walk and I believe at least one of the Coen Brothers was announced as having been in the audience, lots of great folk music. I think the only other concert I attended was Stings’ The Dream Of The Blue Turtles concert at I believe the Greek Theater. I have attended very few concerts….just not my cup of tea.

    Like I said, nowadays I listen to as much junk pop/r&b/hard rock as the next person but I definitely grew up being exposed to some true greats like Crystal Gale, Buffy St. Marie, and as mentioned folks like Peter, Paul, and Mary.

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  118. Liberal Capitalist says:

    OK… Here is a news dump of stories that i found interesting in the last day:

    Surprisingly, from the American Conservative: Anti-Mask Snowflakes Of The Right

    Look, I understand people are mad about social distancing and wearing masks, but a lot of people on the Right are losing their minds.

    The agonizing story of Tara Reade

    If I were an old friend of Reade’s and she told me this same story privately over the course of a year, I doubt I would question her account. The brain processes traumatic experiences differently, making it difficult for some survivors to share them as a linear narrative. And the personal nature of a sexual assault can saddle victims with feelings of shame and doubt. It’s not easy to talk about. Many sexual assault survivors never speak of the experience at all.

    But I’m not an old friend. I’m a journalist. Reade came to me because she wanted to share her story with the world, not just with me. It was clear in our conversations that she understood the difference. I listened to her, I interviewed relevant sources, and I returned to her many times in an attempt to get more information to help me find more corroboration.

    Reade’s latest allegation is far more serious and comes in a far more fraught political context. The story that both she and her corroborating witnesses are telling has changed dramatically. This leaves me — all of us — in an agonizing place.

    Can’t decipher Trump-speak? Meet Margaret, the computer bot

    “It was still trying to punctuate it like it was English, versus trying to punctuate it like it was Trump,” Frischling recalled…
    Today Margaret better understands Trump’s speech patterns, and more importantly, better understands Trump — his tics, his tells, his tendencies and habits — than perhaps many Americans do.

    Kushner Details His Wild Idea to Use Russia’s Secret Comms

    The president’s son-in-law and top aide, Jared Kushner, suggested having Trump’s future national security adviser use secure communications at the Russian embassy to communicate with Russian generals, according to newly released transcripts from the House Intelligence Committee.

    The suggestion, made during a December 2016 meeting with Michael Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, was ultimately nixed by the Russian ambassador, according to Kushner.

    Kushner’s proposed back-channel with the Kremlin has been widely reported, but this is the first detailed, on-the-record account by him of the incident. The Washington Post reported in May 2017 that Kislyak relayed the proposal to his superiors in Moscow at the time.

    Infectious Disease Expert Dismisses McEnany’s ‘Preposterous’ Coronavirus Testing Claim

    Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College and a medical analyst for CNN, fired back on “CNN Tonight.”

    “We have to test everyone and probably repeatedly,” Sepkowitz told host Don Lemon, echoing the view of many public health experts, including members of the Trump White House coronavirus task force.

    “It’s preposterous to think we can reopen the country safely without knowing who’s got what,” Sepkowitz added.

    Sepkowitz likened it “to trying to cross a busy street with your eyes closed. You can’t do it. You have to know what’s going on.”

    “It’s just so fundamentally absurd that I think we’ve lost track of how preposterous an idea this is that we don’t need the tests,” he said. “It’s completely illogical. Not acceptable.”

    And finally, my favorite:

    SURE, THE VELOCIRAPTORS ARE STILL ON THE LOOSE, BUT THAT’S NO REASON NOT TO REOPEN JURASSIC PARK

    “Trump is shrugging off warnings by scientists that the easing restrictions taking place across the country could cause tens of thousands of deaths” — CNN, 5/6/20
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Hello, Peter Ludlow here, CEO of InGen, the company behind the wildly successful dinosaur-themed amusement park, Jurassic Park. As you’re all aware, after an unprecedented storm hit the park, we lost power and the velociraptors escaped their enclosure and killed hundreds of park visitors, prompting a two-month shutdown of the park. Well, I’m pleased to announce that, even though the velociraptors are still on the loose, we will be opening Jurassic Park back up to the public!

    Now, I understand why some people might be skeptical about reopening an amusement park when there are still blindingly fast, 180-pound predators roaming around. But the fact of the matter is, velociraptors are intelligent, shifty creatures that are not going to be contained any time soon, so we might as well just start getting used to them killing a few people every now and then. Some might argue that we should follow the example of other parks that have successfully dealt with velociraptor escapes. But here at Jurassic Park, we’ve never been ones to listen to the recommendations of scientists, or safety experts, or bioethicists, so why would we start now?

    As some of you know, Dr. Ian Malcolm, our lead safety consultant, had recommended that we wait until the velociraptors have been located and contained before reopening the park, so he wasn’t thrilled when we told him the news. I believe his exact words were “you were so preoccupied with whether you could reopen the park, you didn’t stop to think whether you should.” Talk about a guy on a high horse.

    That said, you’ll be pleased to know that, rather than double down on our containment efforts, we’ve decided to dissolve the velociraptor containment task force altogether, and focus instead on how we can get people back into the park as quickly as possible. So rather than concentrating on so-called life-saving measures like “staying in designated safe areas” or “masking your scent,” we’ll be focusing on the details that will get our customers really excited, like a wider selection of fun hats, a pterodactyl-shaped gondola ride to the top of the island, and a brand new Gordon Ramsay designed menu at the Cretaceous Cafe.

    In addition to satisfying our customers, the decision to reopen the park is also about allowing the furloughed employees of Jurassic Park to get back to the work they love. Could we have continued to pay their salaries for several months until we got the velociraptor situation under control? Definitely. We’re the wealthiest nature preserve on the planet after all. And will some of the employees returning to work have their limbs torn off and tossed into the air like a juggler tossing bowling pins? Undoubtedly. But we’re confident that with a few safety precautions put in place, we’ll be able to keep the level of workplace injuries and deaths just below levels that would elicit widespread public outrage. And keeping things just below widespread public outrage levels is our gold standard for all of the decisions we make here at Jurassic Park.

    And speaking of injuries, I want to take a moment to thank our Jurassic Park EMTs. They’re the real heroes here, am I right? In the process of responding to velociraptor attacks, many of our EMTs get mauled and dismembered by velociraptors themselves. That’s why, as a sign of appreciation, we will be repainting the Jurassic Park ambulance with the words “Hero Mobile” in big bubble letters. We think this is a far more meaningful token of gratitude than the salary increase they requested.

    I know many of you out there are going to be hesitant to return to Jurassic Park knowing there are still velociraptors roaming the preserve, but rest assured things will return to normal sooner rather than later. The life expectancy of a velociraptor is only 15-20 years, so we’re confident that these attacks will eventually run their course.

    In the meantime, will more visitors die? Yes. Will more Jurassic Park staff die? Yes. But know that their sacrifice will not be forgotten — we plan to erect a small plaque dedicated to all of the velociraptor attack victims in the far back corner of the gift shop next to the T-shirts that say I SURVIVED A VISIT TO JURASSIC PARK AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT. It’s the least we could do.

    So pack your suitcases, and get ready to be reacquainted with the newly reopened, and only slightly more dangerous, Jurassic Park! And remember, life finds a way… unless you’re one of the unlucky ones that gets attacked by a velociraptor, then you’re probably screwed.

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  119. Kathy says:

    At the risk of being pedantic, I want to draw a distinction between asymptomatic and presymptomatic.

    The former means one is suffering from an infection but displays no symptoms. The latter means one is infected but hasn’t shown symptoms yet.

    This seems like a tiny iota moment, but it isn’t. assuming one can have SARS-CoV2 infection asymptomatically, then it’s wrong, and dangerous, to assume that a positive test unaccompanied by symptoms means the person won’t get sick. It may mean that if more than 14 days have passed sine infection, and certainly 14 days after the test result. But chances are they will get sick at some point. Ergo, they are presymptomatic.

    This matters, because I’ve heard of people testing positive who still feel fine, and assume they are ok, or that they’ve recovered already, and in no case do they believe they can infect anyone else.

    Somewhat related, around March 3rd I caught what I thought was a cold (I think I mentioned it here). This was early int he spread of the pandemic, and when Mexico’s cases were officially well under one hundred. I know whom I caught it from, too. One of the drivers in the company, as I rode in the delivery van’s cab with him to deliver samples, and eh was sick.

    Now, a cold with me usually takes a week to run its course, sometimes as long as ten days. Rarely it lasts longer. This one took almost three weeks. I no longer think it was a cold, but it wasn’t bad. there was a lot of nasal congestion, but no fever, pains, headache, and not much of a cough. It kept me up at night often, as I woke up parched from breathing through the mouth. I’m left wondering what it was.

    I don’t think it was SARS-CoV2. That early the odds are terrible about it. But the man I caught it from delivers orders all over the city, many of them to government hospitals. So he had much better odds of catching anything, even COVID-19. Above all, though, the symptoms did not match what the more common COVID-19 symptoms are.

    This was 2 months ago. No one at the office or at home got sick between then and now. So whatever it was, ti seems to have left us alone now.

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  120. Liberal Capitalist says:

    moderation bots be bringin’ me down… damn deep state algorithms!!!11!

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  121. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    …six aides who had been in recent contact with the person were asked to deplane, and remained in Washington.

    Of course, how long they were on the plane before being taken of may have brought us to the famed corner of Day Late and Dollar Short. (Although, they may be required to wear masks when with the Veep–don’t want him getting sick ya kno.)

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  122. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @inhumans99: I, too have not been much of a pop concert goer over the years, but in my case, the inhibiting factor was not taste, but that I have seldom made the kind of money necessary to go to concerts. While I was in college, I could go to the symphony or opera for about a dollar if I was willing to wait for an unclaimed ticket (majored in music history, so this opportunity was quite a boon), but concerts have always been kind of a luxury item to me.

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  123. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’ve only listened to two singers live. Joan Manuel Serrat in the 80s or 90s (I forget exactly). He’s a Catalan singer whose songs are mostly in Spanish, he’s a really good poet. The other was Olivia Newton John in las Vegas in 2014 (awesome! though she didn’t sing “Tied Up”*).

    Pat Benatar played in Mexico on March 7th, just before the pandemic exploded all over. I’d have gone, but work was so effing heavy, I was just too tired to make it. Seeing the latter COVID-19 developments, it’s just as well I didn’t go to an arena packed with thousands of people.

    *This is a one-time situation
    Take my affection
    Give me love or rejection
    Honey, do what must be done
    This is a one-time situation

    What does it matter
    who’s been taken in?
    Oh, what does it matter?
    When there are two hearts aching to begin.

    Here’s the opportunity
    Come and take it to the Nth degree!
    Don’t be nervous I don’t have to be
    Tied up in promises,
    Ooh, tied up in words that cut too deep
    Tied up in promises
    we could never keep.

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  124. CSK says:

    According to The Daily Beast, Team Trump wants to repurpose drive-in theaters so they can be used for rallies, featuring Trump projected onto the big screen.

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  125. Monala says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I can’t help but think of Mike Pence visiting the Mayo Clinic and not putting on a mask.

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  126. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    This description sounds like mine when I had double pneumonia at the end of last June, but I ended up in the hospital for four and a half days. I got worried when I couldn’t shake what I thought was a cold after 2-3 weeks, went to the doctor, and the doctor checked me into the hospital. I was allowed to go home and grab my laptop and a few books first.

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  127. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    One assumption I made was that I got a different cold bug when the first one was winding down. That has happened to me before. But every single cold I can recall having began with a scratchy, annoying feeling of having something stuck between the back of my mouth and my nose, including those occasions when I was sick and caught a different one. This time that didn’t happen halfway through, so I rejected that assumption.

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  128. Teve says:

    A lesbian coworker just told me “I thought Pat Benatar was hot. But look up the bikini photos of her daughter.”

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  129. Bill says:

    @CSK:

    According to The Daily Beast, Team Trump wants to repurpose drive-in theaters so they can be used for rallies, featuring Trump projected onto the big screen.

    There are supposed to be just seven drive-ins left in Florida. Maybe they can play this movie first.

    I can’t recall my parents ever taking me to a drive-in though there was one about 5 miles from our house and a mile from the business my father owned. I did however see Goldfinger at one in a double feature with Inchon.

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  130. Kingdaddy says:

    The anti-vaxxer crowd really is just another group of conspiracy theorists. I had a brush with them today, because I dared to post some information from Snopes addressing the misinformation in that “documentary.” A high school friend had published a link about Plandemic, and I felt obliged to respond to the praise it was getting. I didn’t know that her feed was a hang-out for a lot of anti-vaxxer friends.

    Wow. They are just not open to information, under the guise of telling you how you’re not open to information. And what information can you trust? Not anything but fringe blogs from “alternative medicine” quacks and people with IDs like GreenSmoothieGirl. For them, any mainstream news outlet or authoritative source of information is just part of the conspiracy that wants to “own your mind.”

    My high school friend actually got screwed by Wells Fargo. However, she and her friends use that event as evidence that, just because there was one corporate conspiracy, all corporate conspiracies must be true. Oh, and facial coverings will make you sick.

    Man, this depresses me, going into the weekend.

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  131. Teve says:

    @CSK: yep. “Oh, you guys are just ‘ orange man bad’”. Yeah, we are.
    Orange Man is bad. Real fuckin bad. Horribly bad. So-many-people-wouldn’t-be-dying-if he’d-taken-this-shit-seriously bad.

    I’m trying to imagine what would’ve happened if 76,000 Americans had died from a new virus in 2 1/2 months and Obama had gone on TV and said “I don’t take any responsibility.” They would have stormed the white house.

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  132. Teve says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    My high school friend actually got screwed by Wells Fargo.

    I got screwed By Wells Fargo. I’ve never even set foot in a Wells Fargo. They bought a regional bank I had an inactive account in, in North Carolina, got my information, signed me up for financial products, found my new address in Florida, and started sending me bills for service fees. That’s one of the reasons I love Elizabeth Warren, it was her CFPB that stopped those assholes.

    But I have a friend now who works for Wells Fargo, and he argues strongly that those were a few corporate assholes and they have been removed from the company and the company has taken measures to correct it, and I am a jerk for bringing it up because it’s not the same company anymore, etc. etc.

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  133. Kathy says:

    @Bill:

    I remember having gone to a drive-in once, but not what movie, nor much else about it.

    There was one drive-in on the freeway I took on the way to high school every day, but by the 80s it had morphed into an empty lot where people sold used cars on weekends. By the 90s they built the country’s first Office Depot store there.

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  134. @Stormy Dragon:

    Is it? There are plenty of Western Democracies that don’t take the absolute right to free speech stance the US does and are able to balance protecting free expression with a need to prevent socially harmful speech. Are you really going to argue that, say, Canada is an authoritarian dystopia? This is frankly lazy “We can’t have a Norweigan style socialism because then we’ll immediately turn into North Korea” thinking.

    This is not what I understood the previous musings to be about. Hate speech laws don’t change the prevailing media or even social media issues that are being discussed.

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding the discussion.

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  135. @Stormy Dragon:

    But I always come back to the fact that all the viable alternatives are worse.

    I think you are misinterpreting what I said, insofar as I would consider any number of other countries, likely including the ones you mentioned, as more democratic than the US.

    I will chalk this up to my comment being short and vague and perhaps revisit the topic later in a more complete form.

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  136. @Stormy Dragon:

    Also, I’d note that there’s plenty of speech regulating going on anyways. A lot of the support for “free speech” we see is bad-faith arguments trying to normalize political extremism while they simultaneously try to muzzle non-extremism. It’s a form of unilateral disarmament, that we shouldn’t keep falling for.

    I think you are really misreading my point.

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  137. @Stormy Dragon: I was trying to find what sparked me comment, perhaps it was this from @KM:

    We’ve essentially conceded to the right to lie as a necessary evil because we accept the damage it causes is less then having restrictions on our speech. We understand that people acting on false info cause great evil in the world but have deemed the collateral damage to be worth it. The balance rests however on the “worth it” part – when the damage to society by allowing people to engage in fake news gets too high, then we’ll see societies start cutting back on free speech.

    All well and good, but how does society then determine what is true and when and how to stop the lies. This is easier in the abstract than it is in the practicality. Who will determine truth and who will enforce the sanctions against the liars?

    And while I agree that the Millian answer you note above seems inadequate, I would note that Mill did not think that more speech would necessarily solve the problem of falsehood immediately, but that it might take time (and the truth-teller might get killed in the short run)..

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  138. @Michael Reynolds:

    Interesting. Is the White House a Covid-19 ‘hot spot’?

    There would be some poetic justice in that, I have to admit.

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  139. @Liberal Capitalist: By definition, the Fairness Doctrine was a regulation.

    To be honest, I am not sure that a fairness doctrine could be implemented in the current media landscape the way it was to TV and radio back in the day.

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  140. @Stormy Dragon:

    We need away to keep “2+2=5” guy off the air entirely.

    How? By what standard can you dictate that error cannot be broadcast, printed, or posted? This is my exact point. Who gets to determine who is in error and who isn’t and how is it enforced?

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  141. Kylopod says:

    One of my earliest memories of a movie theater was a drive-in showing of E.T. when I was 5. We played on a playground near the theater screen, and of course we ate Reese’s Pieces.

    I always liked drive-ins because I enjoyed the relative privacy, though I only went a handful of times in my life as they had essentially gone obsolete by the time the millennium rolled around. In hindsight, it was a precursor to why I generally prefer watching movies at home to going to a theater.

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  142. @KM:

    Someone tells you “drinking bleach treats COVID” That’s not an opinion, same as “you can fly, gravity’s a liberal lie”. That’s straight up denial of reality. We need to start separating out unpopular opinions from delusions and treat them accordingly. We used to do that – it’s only recently that we’ve begun accepting lunacy as equal to logic.

    I am not sure any of that is new (off the top of my head I can think of the patent medicine guys of the late 19th/early 20th century and televangelists).

    Access to the public is easier now. It also means we all see it more.

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  143. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I think what a lot of people don’t get about George Washington’s morality was just how pragmatic it was. He understood that no matter what good intentions one had at the outset, a system that justified torturing enemy soldiers or lifetime terms of office inevitably became corrupted. You simply cannot torture, no matter what the initial justification is, because it will eventually be used on lesser and lesser justifications.

    The real way the Republican Party became corrupted was by letting the hard decisions fall on the wrong side. Once it was done with the Southern Strategy it just became easier and easier, until we arrived at the thoroughly corrupt, actively evil and supremely incompetent Party we have today. Washington would have predicted it. Republican giant Jacob Javits did predict it. Once started, no one with enough stature was ever able to turn back the fetid tide.

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  144. Kylopod says:

    @Kingdaddy: I’ve mentioned the anecdote before, but around the time Rush Limbaugh was going around claiming that Michael J. Fox was faking his Parkinson’s, one of my great-aunts who was extremely right-wing began parroting that claim, and as proof, she pointed to the fact that her brother (my grandfather), who also had Parkinson’s, didn’t display Fox’s symptoms. My grandfather didn’t shake, so Fox had to be faking his symptoms.

    What you may have trouble believing from hearing this story is that this great-aunt of mine was a relatively intelligent, sensible woman in her normal life. It’s easy to underestimate the power of confirmation bias, and people who embrace crackpottery often will find examples in their personal experience that supposedly confirm it.

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  145. Jax says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: This is why I feel we’re in such dangerous territory, and not just from the virus. Targeted misinformation is going to kill many people. How many dead people is it gonna take before we’re like “You know what? Shut your lying piehole, or go sit your ass in jail.” I mean, these are hard questions, but it’s fairly obvious we cannot continue this way, much like we decided yelling “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater is a crime.

    I have no answers, just an overwhelming sense of dread and resignation that a lot of innocent people are going to die before we figure this out, and somehow find a plan that works.

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  146. Erik says:

    @Kylopod:

    Trump is the quintessential con artist who lets you know he’s a con artist, but leads you to think you will be the one to benefit, unlike all those other suckers.

    Or like the magician that tells you how he is going to do the trick as part of the way he tricks you into believing it is real magic

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  147. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I don’t recall you writing about this. I’m fascinated. Why did Limbaugh think Fox was faking his Parkinson’s? (Factoid of zero import: Fox had his operation at the same hospital where I was immured for my double pneumonia last June.)

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  148. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Who gets to determine who is in error and who isn’t and how is it enforced?

    Pick any of the numerous western democracies who have set up ways for handling this because they’re not on some absolute right to free-speech trap and copy the way they do it.

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  149. KM says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    How? By what standard can you dictate that error cannot be broadcast, printed, or posted? This is my exact point. Who gets to determine who is in error and who isn’t and how is it enforced?

    I think you’re trying too hard to be philosophical on this one. I completely understand where you are coming from – Quis custodiet ipsos custodes is the ancient question. You’re right to worry about that considering who we have in power and the lengths they’re going to spread misinformation.

    However, there *is* a baseline to reality. There are basic fundamentals that can be measured, test and confirmed by…. well, by everyone. For instance, the sun rises in the east and 2+2=4. Now, if in your reality the sun rises in the south and 2+2=47, it’s on you to be able to replicate that for us to verify. We can’t slide into solipsistic despair or navel gazing when someone starts screaming the sky’s orange. We *all* call it out because we all can see it’s wrong. Communal reality makes that determination. Evidence and expertise makes that decision.

    Again, we’re not talking about differences in opinion or political philosophies. Unpopular is one thing, death-inducing is quite another. We’re talking about people making up insane, easily disprovable claims getting the benefit of the doubt from “free speech” they shouldn’t. This isn’t a disagreement or alternate way of viewing the world – it’s intentional deception and malicious delusion being given equal respect to verifiable fact. You can’t yell fire in a crowded room for shits and giggles so you certainly shouldn’t be allowed to scream out a bomb threat because you think they’re hiding mole children under the seats.

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  150. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Why did Limbaugh think Fox was faking his Parkinson’s?

    Why? How about he’s a jackass?

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  151. Stormy Dragon says:

    @KM:

    You can’t yell fire in a crowded room for shits

    BTW, you may want to look up the history of this phrase, because you’re not really helping your argument by invoking it.

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  152. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Well, of course he’s a jackass, but he must have offered his audience some sort of reason for positing this about Fox. I don’t think you can say “Michael J. Fox is faking his Parkinson’s” without giving something resembling an explanation for proposing that. Can you?

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  153. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: There are still drive-in theaters? Where I live, the land they’d been on was sold to speculators decades ago.

    (And how would Trump know about drive-in theaters anyway?)

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  154. Tyrell says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Thanks for your attention to my idea and your kind response.
    I know of a few people who got infections while they were in the hospital.
    I was in the hospital some time ago with an unusual strep infection and ended up staying several days until they figured out what was going on. I made a full recovery, thanks to the doctors giving me a load of high power vitamins and some kind of steroids. After that, I have had nary a cold. They told me a person can carry the strep germ for a year or more with no indications.
    I am researching genetics and immunology.

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  155. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: In that vein, Canada seems to think they can adequately define military style firearms.

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  156. Mister Bluster says:

    Steven L. Taylor says:
    Friday, May 8, 2020 at 14:18
    In regards to all the “free speech is bad” takes: the problem becomes if speech needs to be regulated, who gets to do the regulating?

    You do.

    Steven L. Taylor says:
    Friday, May 8, 2020 at 09:55
    @Teve: He was banned for being a rude jerk, and he persists in reinforcing that it was the right decision.

    It’s that time again…

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  157. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..I don’t think you can say “Michael J. Fox is faking his Parkinson’s” without giving something resembling an explanation for proposing that. Can you?

    Rush Limbaugh can say anything he wants and his sycophants believe him.
    Evidence? Who needs evidence?

    The presence of gorillas calls into question the concept of evolution.

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  158. Erik says:

    @CSK:

    I don’t think you can say “Michael J. Fox is faking his Parkinson’s” without giving something resembling an explanation for proposing that. Can you?

    Sure you can if the people you are talking to don’t care if there is an explanation. It becomes a case of “my facts” vs “your facts.” My guy might be a liar, but maybe it’s your guy who is lying. Why don’t you waste a bunch of time proving that it’s my guy and not your guy. That would be great. Then you won’t have the time or attention to notice all the other shit my team is pulling. Bonus points if the thing my guy said was so outrageous that you got upset enough that you are also emotionally exhausted.

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  159. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I think his campaign staff raised the notion of drive-ins to him, and then explained to him what they were, if that was required. He appears to be gung-ho on the notion.

    @Mister Bluster: @Erik:
    Yeah. I suppose so.

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  160. Kingdaddy says:

    @Guarneri: You are a waste of space. No argument, just snark. Please go away.

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  161. CSK says:

    Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy has died of Covid-19. He was 75.

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  162. Erik says:

    I get it @CSK, a lot of this doesn’t make sense to me either, and I didn’t mean to sound condescending. I’ve been reading a bunch of threads from https://twitter.com/teri_kanefield/ where she does a good job of putting a lot of this stuff in both historical context and within the academic literature on fascism. One of the points she makes repeatedly is that losing your cool when faced with this kind of stuff doesn’t help. So I’m trying really hard not to lose my cool. And trying to spread the word a bit too I guess.

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  163. CSK says:

    @Erik:
    No offense taken.

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  164. Monala says:

    The White House is the new Hot Zone. Trump’s valet, Pence’s spokesperson (who is Stephen Miller’s wife), Ivanka’s personal assistant, and numerous Secret Service agents have tested positive for Covid-19.

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  165. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    How? By what standard can you dictate that error cannot be broadcast, printed, or posted? This is my exact point. Who gets to determine who is in error and who isn’t and how is it enforced?

    Make Google And Facebook liable for the consequences of the content that they promote.

    Gun enthusiast gets radicalized and shoots brown folks? If YouTube was recommending white supremacist videos, let the victims families sue for damages. Same with anti-vaxxers and other conspiracy theorists.

    I’d start very specifically with recommendations — things where the company or its algorithms are making an editorial choice.

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  166. @Stormy Dragon:

    Pick any of the numerous western democracies who have set up ways for handling this because they’re not on some absolute right to free-speech trap and copy the way they do it.

    Do you have a specific example in mind?

    While I can think of examples like specific prohibitions in Germany about Holocaust denial or other cases that outlaw hate speech, I am unaware of any rules, laws, or structures that would accomplish what you seem to be advocating for.

    It feels like you are making assumptions about something that doesn’t exist, but I would be happy to be corrected.

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  167. @KM:

    I think you’re trying too hard to be philosophical on this one.

    I actually think I ma being extremely practical.

    We’re talking about people making up insane, easily disprovable claims getting the benefit of the doubt from “free speech” they shouldn’t.

    There are laws that stop you from, for example, trying to sell bleach as a medicine.

    Forget 2+2=5, what is an actual example you want enforcement against?

    Again, we’re not talking about differences in opinion or political philosophies.

    Different philosophies (such as one’s views on welfare) can have life and death consequences. (See, also, wars). Where is the line?

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  168. @CSK: As I recall Limbaugh thought he was doing it for attention to push liberal causes. I don’t recall the exact details.

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  169. @Mister Bluster: Indeed. Sigh.

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  170. @Gustopher:

    Make Google And Facebook liable for the consequences of the content that they promote.

    Gun enthusiast gets radicalized and shoots brown folks? If YouTube was recommending white supremacist videos, let the victims families sue for damages. Same with anti-vaxxers and other conspiracy theorists.

    How are you going to prove causality in that case? Did the guy become radicalized because he saw the videos or did he seek out the videos because he was already radicalized?

    I agree that there are real issues here, but all I am seeing in this comment thread if wishful thinking about how to fix them.

    I am not advocating from a free speech absolutist position, nor am I engaging in simplistic slipper-slope arguments. It is easy to say “make the bad stuff illegal” but a lot harder to actually accomplish, especially when you have to write broad laws to determine what fits in what category.

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  171. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Bruce Cook, the Andover, MA surgeon who performed the operation on Fox at a hospital about 10-12 miles from where I’m typing, would be surprised to hear that it was all a charade.

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  172. @CSK: I am not defending Limbaugh, if that is the inference.

    I thought his treatment of Fox was gross.

    I was trying to answer a question.

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  173. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Oh, I know. And I was pleased to have an answer to the question. I really was curious as to why Limbaugh would make such an idiotic assertion. And one so easily proven false. Did Limbaugh actually think the hospital helped to fake an operation just to promote liberal causes?

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  174. @CSK: I am to the point where I can only assume that Limbaugh cares not one whit about truth or logic as he spins his malignant tales.

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  175. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Well, he’s like Trump in that regard, isn’t he?

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  176. Erik says:

    @CSK:

    Did Limbaugh actually think the hospital helped to fake an operation just to promote liberal causes?

    Doubtful, so we have to ask ourselves what purpose does this, or indeed any of the obvious lies told every day by the president and members of the administration, serve then? Some possibilities:
    -“flooding the zone with shit” (per the Bannon playbook) makes it harder to find the truth. It also makes the truth easier to disbelieve because there are so many lies people become skeptical of everything
    -it makes people angry. Angry people are distracted and exhausted
    -straight up cruelty is part of the fascist playbook. Although authoritarian followers are being hurt by the fascist leaders, their anger can be directed toward, and discharged by cruelty, toward “enemies” thereby immunizing the leaders from that anger

    I’m sure there are other reasons as well, and of course they are not mutually exclusive.

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  177. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Forget 2+2=5, what is an actual example you want enforcement against?

    Actual example: I think we should have a law similar to the German Strafgesetzbuch section 86a that covers the Confederate flag.

    Contrary to your prediction, the inability for neo-nazis to wave swatstika flags has not caused Germany to fall into tyranny.

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  178. @Stormy Dragon:

    I think we should have a law similar to the German Strafgesetzbuch section 86a that covers the Confederate flag.

    Banning a symbol, or set of symbols (which fits broadly into what I have acknowledged) is very different from someone policing truth in mass media.

    How would a law like that keep the 2+2=5 guy off the air?

    This is the part I do not understand.

    Contrary to your prediction, the inability for neo-nazis to wave swatstika flags has not caused Germany to fall into tyranny.

    I said nothing of the sort. Do I not get any credit/an assumption of good faith in my positions after year and years of writing and engagement on this site?

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  179. wr says:

    @CSK: “Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy has died of Covid-19. He was 75.”

    I met S&R many years ago, when their manager flew me and my then partner out to Vegas to see their show and talk about writing their first TV special.

    The show was great, although it was odd to realize that Roy was checking us out in the middle. Later he said to his manager, “Bernie, I see you have brought us another set of Choos.” But he said it with a twinkle, and since Bernie was incredibly Choo-ish, I think he was being playful.

    Would have liked to do the project, until Bernie explained his vision of the show, which was to be the ET of TV specials. “I see a great void. We travel through until we find a giant white egg floating in the middle of the nothingness. Then the egg cracks open, two white tigers leap out and the universe is created.”

    Didn’t want to say no to a job, so I instructed our agent to find out the most anyone had ever been paid to write a TV special, and then demand twice that…

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  180. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: @wr: I find it incredibly ironic that Roy survived getting mauled by a tiger, only to lose his life to Covid-19.

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