Friday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A little more rather breathless reporting from the Guardian: Revealed: Republican-led states secretly spending huge sums on execution drugs

    Republican-controlled states are spending astronomical sums of their taxpayers’ money to buy pharmaceutical drugs from illicit dealers in a desperate and almost certainly unlawful attempt to carry out lethal injection executions.

    Documents obtained by the Guardian reveal the full extent of the spending blitz that American death penalty states have embarked upon as they try to restart executions delayed by the pandemic. The findings show that Republican leaders are not only willing to run roughshod over their own state and federal laws, but are also prepared to spend lavishly in the process.

    The most jaw-dropping outlay has been made by Arizona, a state in which Republicans hold both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s mansion. A single-page heavily redacted document obtained by the Guardian records that last October the department of corrections ordered 1,000 vials of pentobarbital sodium salt, each containing 1mg, to be shipped in “unmarked jars and boxes”.

    At the bottom of the document, the record states: “Amount paid: $1,500,000.”
    The Guardian asked Arizona’s department of corrections to explain its costly and apparently unlawful purchase of pentobarbital. The department said that it does not discuss how it obtains execution drugs.

    It also stressed that the information the Guardian was requesting was “statutorily confidential” – meaning that it is secret under court order. A spokesperson added: “Pentobarbital has been administered lawfully and successfully for many years”.

    I’ll have to admit, 1.5 million buckaroos is a bit steep, especially when they could just go down the street and get more than enough heroin to overdose somebody for less than a hundred smackers.

    Other documents obtained by the Guardian relate to Tennessee and Missouri.

    I knew it I knew it I knew it… Misery was not about to be left out of the moral degradation. A state which refuses to provide healthcare for it’s working poor (in defiance of it’s voters) surely would have no problem stooping as low as it took to kill a few of it’s citizens.

    Since then, states have been pushing at legal boundaries in their scramble to evade the boycott of pharmaceutical supplies. “States have switched from one drug to another, crossed state lines to get drugs, paid cash and failed to record the payments to keep the purchases secret,” said Deborah Denno, a professor at Fordham law school.

    Denno added: “All of those actions are violations of state or federal laws, and all of them have ended up jacking up the price of the drugs.”

    Fiscally conservative, Law and Order, Pro-Life Republicans breaking the law, spending exorbitant amounts of money just to get their killing in? Say it ain’t so!

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Shooting at Texas cabinet company leaves one dead and five injured

    The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, offered prayers for shooting victims and their families.

    Of course.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:


    In the past the National Archives, an independent agency charged with preserving government and historical records, has maintained living records of other significant Twitter accounts by linking back to the accounts themselves from its presidential websites. That means users can interact with them, including retweeting and favoriting them.
    This will not be the case with Trump, according to the Politico report, though the National Archives is in the process of preserving tweets from the @realDonaldTrump “as is standard with any administration transition”, said Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy, according to Politico.

    “Given that we permanently suspended @realDonaldTrump, the content from the account will not appear on Twitter as it did previously or as archived administration accounts do currently, regardless of how Nara decides to display the data it has preserved,” Kennedy said. “Administration accounts that are archived on the service are accounts that were not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

    The National Archives will still be making Trump’s tweets visible, including those that Twitter has taken action against. It is working out the best way to do so, said the Nara spokesperson James Pritchett. It is possible the tweets could be saved by screenshot rather than by linking to a live account.

    “Twitter is solely responsible for the decision of what content is available on their platform,” Pritchett said. “Nara works closely with Twitter and other social media platforms to maintain archived social accounts from each presidential administration, but ultimately the platform owners can decline to host these accounts. Nara preserves platform independent copies of social media records and is working to make that content available to the public.”

    trump done been shunned.

  4. Mikey says:

    Prince Philip has died.

  5. Jen says:

    @Mikey: I came to post the same. BBC

  6. Looks like the effort to unionize an Amazon warehouse in Alabama will fail

  7. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Today in 1865 the Confederacy surrendered to Grant.
    Next time you see someone flying a Confederate flag, remind them that the last flag the Southern States flew was white.

  8. Mikey says:


    Fiscally conservative, Law and Order, Pro-Life Republicans

    I know I’m simply restating your point, but still…it’s really amazing how accepted as truth this particular Big Lie has become in American political discourse. It stands firm against all evidence, completely impervious to even the most blindingly obvious fact.

  9. Sleeping Dog says:

    No Wonder They Keep Coming

    Something I’ve noticed about never Trump conservatives is that in rejecting Trump and the modern R party, they often look anew at social issues that libs have been talking about for years and are willing to discuss solutions. Those solutions are likely not the ones that libs are presenting, but recognizing a problem and engaging in an attempt at a solution is at least a start. Unfortunately the never trumpers are a sliver of the conservative thought leaders.

  10. @Mikey: i just saw the news, and he was about to turn 100th in a few weeks too. i was just telling my husband that my Bridal dress is somewhat inspired by their marriage.

  11. Kathy says:


    Dr. Joycelyn Elders had it right: it’s just a love affair with the human fetus.

  12. CSK says:

    All Trump’s tweets seem to be saved here:

  13. Teve says:


    I’ll have to admit, 1.5 million buckaroos is a bit steep, especially when they could just go down the street and get more than enough heroin to overdose somebody for less than a hundred smackers.

    Chris Rock:

    Electric chair? Why don’t they have a Stabbin’ chair? Stabbin’ don’t cost a Damn thing.

    (Sharing of this joke does not constitute an endorsement of capital punishment)

  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Or, using the buzzword popular with today’s Republicans, the Confederacy was cancelled.

  15. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Kathy:

    ‘Pro-Life’ is a way to be self-righteous, holier-than-thou, Without having to spend any money. Giving healthcare to sick people, actual factual human beings, costs money. Prenatal healthcare costs money. Too bad so sad. But giving sanctimonious statements about how these sluts need to keep their damn legs closed and stop trying to murder their precious babies to escape the consequences of their sins? Doing that is Free!

  16. @CSK:

    I’m trying to imagine what historians looking at those tweets 100 years from now will think

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: It’s easy to love something that hasn’t been born yet. Once it starts squalling to have it’s poopy diaper changed or spits up all over one’s front… Well, it’s not so easy.

  18. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    This entire bonkers era, for that matter.
    Ignoring Climate Change…electing a Conman…ignoring a bloody coup attempt…the Tweets are but a small part of the madness.

  19. Teve says:


    I’ve been vilified the entire time I’ve been in the public eye, portrayed as a Nazi since the beginning and often made out to be some kind of arch criminal mastermind, an enemy of decency. I’ve grown thick skin to it all, but I do NOT appreciate being compared to Jordan Peterson

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: That we lost our damned minds.

  21. Teve says:


    Personal case study: if I only gathered news through social media, I would think my state would be doing well with vaccinations — nearly all my friends have had at least one dose. But GA remains dead last in the US. The bubble is real and anecdotal evidence isn’t evidence.

  22. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Probably they’ll be thinking, among other things, that Trump was the most infantile person ever to occupy the presidency.

  23. Kathy says:

    There’s a show on one of the Discovery Network channels called “How It’s Made.” every ep shows how three or four products are manufactured. Sometimes they show artesanal things, but most concern factory-made goods.

    What I find amazing is how many products are almost entirely made by automated machines, with only a little human input which, in many cases, does not require much skill. This is why well-paying factory jobs are disappearing.

    It’s common sense to think that machines increase productivity, which means better wages and more jobs. This was true at the start of the industrial revolution and through much of the 20th Century. But during much of this time, people operated the machines. Now the machines work by themselves. This may increase productivity, but not wages or jobs.

    There are still skilled jobs in manufacturing, which one assumes pay well. But the trend is towards automation. Machines do many things better, faster, and more economically.

    This is also where the supply and demand model of economics breaks down. What jobs are increasingly left for people to do pay less, because they demand less skill (and the low minimum wage doesn’t help).

    Business is not, and never was, about providing employees with a livelihood. It is, and always has been, about providing investors with a return on their investment. It seems that for a time it managed to do both, but, IMO, that was only because it had to. Henry Ford notably paid higher wages to stench the high turnover which, shocker, cost him more money than paying a decent salary.

  24. Teve says:


    Steve Doocy is so offended by Joe Biden saying “no amendment is absolute” that he asks “what about the first amendment,” which has many exceptions in federal law.

  25. Kathy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    There’s a tendency in mythology, which carries over to daily life, to view the people in the past as better than those in the present. The farther back one looks, the better the ancestors seem to be. Hesiod determined five Ages of Man, as the ages of gold, silver, bronze, heroes, and iron (the last illustrated in myth when Odysseus bests Ajax for Achilles’ armor).

    So, low as the Orange Ass set the bar, in the future there will be people mourning the loss of men of his high caliber.

    Yeah, it turns my stomach, too.

    But you asked about historians.

    Well, one trend now is to avoid presentism. That’s the ´practice of judging the actions of people in the past by present-day ethical and moral standards.

    Me, I prefer a dual judgment. What kind of person was, say, Julius Caesar by the standards of his time, and what do we think of him now. he comes off rather well, BTW, compared with many of those who followed in his footsteps. He was also an oddity: power hungry but not tyrannical, and possessed of high abilities in many fields.

  26. @Kathy:

    Business exists to make money. Surely this cannot be a surprise or even controversial.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: My sister in law is involved in the Industrial Gas business and some of her projects include plants that can cost $100M or more, and many times that more in pipelines, etc. Once the construction is done the number of full time employees is sometimes in the single digits, with the guards at the front gate being the biggest factor.

  28. Kathy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    That’s not what the myth of the “job creators” would say about it. That’s been sued to justify tax cuts for business and ever more wealthy rich individuals.

  29. Michael Cain says:


    What I find amazing is how many products are almost entirely made by automated machines, with only a little human input which, in many cases, does not require much skill.

    Machines are really, really good at repetitive tasks. Humans, not so much. I recall reading a case study where the bottom line was something like “The cost of using the machine is slightly higher than the cost of human labor. But when we mechanized, our ‘returned – defective’ rate went down by 90%.”

    Cheap cameras and ridiculously cheap processor cycles are going to make much more stuff subject to mechanization.

  30. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Business exists to make money

    True, but that is not the only reason businesses exist. Society spends a lot of effort on ensuring a physical and legal structure where business owners can make their money. We, collectively have the right to get a return on that investment, and that return isn’t necessarily or exclusively financial.

  31. Jen says:

    @Teve: It drives me absolutely crazy when people seem to argue that the Bill of Rights is absolute. There are all kinds of qualifications and exceptions. When confronting these nincompoops I usually start with, “well, you can’t kill a person and claim you follow a religion that requires human sacrifices, and suggest you’re covered under freedom of religion.” For some reason, people do not do well with nuance. This seems particularly the case for FOX News personalities, who seem to play dumb for a living.

  32. @Kathy:

    Job creation isn’t the only reason to want businesses to flourish and profit

  33. Teve says:
  34. Teve says:


    For some reason, people do not do well with nuance. This seems particularly the case for FOX News personalities, who seem to play dumb for a living.

    There are people who can handle gray areas, and nuance, ambiguous information, and competing interests and values. And there are other people who seem to get confused and anxious in those situations, and are strongly attracted to black-and-white answers.

  35. Mikey says:

    IT’S ON

    Biden Creating Commission to Study Expanding the Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON — President Biden on Friday will order a 180-day study of adding seats to the Supreme Court, making good on a campaign-year promise to establish a bipartisan commission to examine the potentially explosive subjects of expanding the court or setting term limits for justices, White House officials said.

  36. Jen says:

    This is crazy, but I’ve learned a new word because of it–superfetation.

    Woman gets pregnant while already pregnant, gives birth to twins conceived 3 weeks apart

  37. Jen says:

    @Mikey: In DC, “creating a commission” is where ideas go to die a slow and quiet death.

  38. gVOR08 says:


    FOX News personalities, who seem to play dumb for a living.


  39. Teve says:

    becoming a librarian, then reporter, working at Fox News, and basically giving up on the Internet ever not being full of harmful trash

    Different shows had, well … There’s a clear point of view at that network, which is clear to anyone who has eyeballs. But you had varying degrees of questions. Shep Smith’s team would ask for, like: this news event is happening, we need witnesses or user generated content. Stuff like that. And then, y’know, “Fox and Friends” would ask the kinds of questions that you might imagine “Fox and Friends” would ask. My favorite “Fox and Friends” question was some producer asking if dolphins raped people.

    ESPOSITO: Hmmm.
    ZADROZNY: Yeah, I don’t know.
    I mean, listen, there are no stupid questions. There are no stupid questions. But, you know, it was during the Obama years, so everything was like: the deficit, the debt, how can we show this with a pile of doughnuts?

    They wanted the mathematical computations to be able to say, like, how many doughnuts equals the debt. That was actually an Eric Bolling segment that actually aired and I remember just screaming at the TV — like, we had all of these TVs, and I was like, nooooooooooo. So a lot of screaming.

  40. Teve says:

    @Jen: they mentioned that the conceptions happened weeks apart but the delivery happened at the same time, which makes sense because once you rupture the bag with the amniotic fluid it’s go time. But in some of the articles they reference other cases where babies were born weeks apart, which makes me think those cases must’ve been a double-uterus situation.

    Biology is messy and bizarre.

  41. gVOR08 says:


    There are people who can handle gray areas, and nuance, ambiguous information, and competing interests and values. And there are other people who seem to get confused and anxious in those situations, and are strongly attracted to black-and-white answers.

    Hence religion. And IMHO liberal/conservative.

    I recall a discussion years ago, quite likely here, about consequentialism. Someone, possibly Doug, commented that consequentialism can’t work because it doesn’t provide fixed rules. Well, maybe fixed rules just isn’t the way the world works.

  42. Paul L. says:

    Add 100 to the Biden lie (False or Misleading statements) list.

    “But you go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want and no background check.”

    “No amendment to the Constitution is absolute” – “President” Joe Biden

  43. CSK says:

    Wouldn’t the presence of two uteri have shown on the ultrasound? And two uteri would require two sets of Fallopian tubes, and probably two sets of ovaries. I think.

  44. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: sometimes. When Steve Doocey incorrectly pronounces a word like imbroglio, it’s because he can’t pronounce the word imbroglio. But when Stanford graduate Megan Kelly can’t pronounce imbroglio it’s because she’s pretending she can’t pronounce the word imbroglio so the 70 year old uneducated white man watching at home won’t call her an uppity bitch.

  45. Gustopher says:

    @Paul L.: So, you support my plans to develop weapons of mass destruction?

    To properly deter aggression at HOA meetings, etc, I’m going to need the full suite of chemical, nuclear and biological. Also a fully automatic rifle with a high capacity magazine or two.

  46. Teve says:

    @CSK: I guess it probably could show up on ultrasound if you knew where to look. It’s extremely rare, but it does happen once in a blue moon.

  47. Kathy says:


    that’s the most exciting news I’ve read since the first impeachment was dropped on Donny’s pointy head.

  48. Mikey says:


    In DC, “creating a commission” is where ideas go to die a slow and quiet death.

    Not always. Some Presidential commissions have been effective and successful. We can only hope this will be one of them.

  49. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: you’re also going to want an F-15 Strike Eagle to carry the nukes.

  50. Mikey says:

    @Paul L.: This statement from the President must have been reported on Fox “News,” because every Trumpist dipshit I know is blathering about it. It’s awful! He’s un-American! Not a real President! Blah, blah, blah, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

    What they can’t do is explain why he’s wrong.

    Because, of course, he’s not.

  51. Teve says:
  52. CSK says:

    I don’t think the presence of a second uterus would be difficult to discern. It’s an obstetrician who reads the ultrasounds. And she or he ought to know.

  53. CSK says:

    Sixteen thousand people are being evacuated from St. Vincent in the Caribbean because a volcano is about to erupt. Four cruise ships are en route to take the evacuees to neighboring islands.

  54. Teve says:

    @CSK: I honestly don’t know, all ultrasounds look difficult to my untrained eye. But sometimes we don’t see things if we’re not expecting to see them.

  55. CSK says:

    Devin Murphy, Matt Gaetz’s legislative aide, has resigned, citing the difficulty of working in a “media circus.”

  56. Paul L. says:


    “No amendment to the Constitution is absolute” – “President” Joe Biden

    So The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is Constitutional, It is illegal to record any government official at any time and Law Enforcement can access any corporation’s records without a warrant.

  57. Paul L. says:

    I suspect you will not be able to afford nuclear weaponry or even pay for their upkeep.

  58. Mikey says:

    @Paul L.: These examples are not the defenses of your position that you think they are.

  59. Teve says:

    @Mikey: i’m sure Paul has some skill at something, but law-thinking isn’t it 🙂

  60. Jen says:

    @Paul L.: So, if someone who claims to follow original Biblical teachings and believes that human sacrifice is a necessary, it’s okay to, say, sacrifice another human? Would that be covered under freedom of religion?

    The rights we are granted under the Bill of Rights do have limits. If you are arguing otherwise, you do not understand the Constitution.

  61. dazedandconfused says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m trying to imagine what historians looking at those tweets 100 years from now will think

    “History is a joke the dead play on the living” -Voltaire (IIRC)

  62. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..$3900.00/year…

    I just watched the opening scene of a L&O CI episode where a gossip columnist sitting in his car late at night, takes a stick out of a pack, pushes in the cigarette lighter on the dashboard and BOOM! car explodes, he’s dead! If that happened in your neighborhood two or three times a week you would probably just stop using the car lighter and spark up with matches.
    One thing that I did after 35+ years of inhaling toxicologically significant chemicals and groups of chemicals, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (benzopyrene), tobacco-specific nitrosamines (NNK, NNN), aldehydes (acrolein, formaldehyde), carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxides, benzene, toluene, phenols (phenol, … Source was to carry a box of toothpicks in my shirt pocket. Just like a pack of butts they were always there and did a lot to compensate for the loss of oral fixation that the chokes provided.

  63. MarkedMan says:


    And IMHO liberal/conservative.

    Some days I think this is right. But on the other hand I know an awful lot of self identified liberals that believe in some variety of magic fairy dust (crystals, diet, positive thinking, etc), which to me is usually just a way for people who can’t handle ambiguity or risk try to compensate.

    My niece and her husband are on the extreme liberal end of that divide, yet firmly believes that if they only eat the most organic and natural Vegan foods possible, and never take anything artificial into their bodies (including vaccines) they will never get sick. There is absolutely no evidence for such a belief and quite a bit against it, and she is a very smart woman, so I presume it is a coping method for their fear of illness and disease.

    It took me many years to realize that the people most fearful about something weren’t the ones who would learn the most about it and carefully analyze how to avoid the subject of their fear, but were instead the ones most likely to fiercely latch onto some random magic fairy dust and stick with it all the way to destruction. And I honestly don’t see much of a pattern with respect to political persuasion.

  64. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: “Imbroglio is one of those words that I’ve read many times but can’t remember if I’ve ever heard it pronounced. I’m thinking the “g” is silent? im-BRO-lio?

    I have an awesome written vocabulary which is not nearly matched by my spoken one. And, suspiciously, my written vocabulary is heavily skewed towards words with lots of vowels and common consonants (acai, anyone?) that work very well in crossword puzzle solving.

  65. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: Somehow I don’t think a gun nut is going to parse that nuance.

  66. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: i’ve gotten most of my vocabulary from reading and have been mispronouncing quite a bit over the years; in middle school there were several years where I pronounced the word façade “Fah Kaid” 😀

    But! Several online dictionaries have a button that will play a pronunciation of the word and I use that feature frequently. For example, I recently found out that the word Niche was most commonly pronounced Nitsh. Neesh is a recently popular pronunciation.

  67. Paul L. says:


    but law-thinking isn’t it

    Oh Goody a defender of Qualified Immunity

    10th Cir. holds that police officers are entitled to immunity even if they actually subjectively believed they were acting illegally, by detaining somebody who filmed them beating somebody else.

    (What matters is whether a circuit court had said so.)

  68. Paul L. says:

    “parse that nuance.”
    Bad Faith Gaslighting about their goal of total Gun registration and confiscation except from Law Enforcement caste who keep us safe.

  69. dazedandconfused says:

    So who had the worst week, Derek Chauvin or Matt Gaetz?

  70. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: for the record, both Miriam Webster and pronounce it “ im-brōhl-yōh”

  71. Teve says:

    OK, looks like Paul doesn’t understand the term ‘gaslighting’ either. Damn buddy get a new hobby. You’re just not good at this.

  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Also, while needing maintenance and repairs from time to time, no machine ever filed a workman’s comp claim.

  73. Teve says:

    Paul L. says:
    Friday, April 9, 2021 at 14:01

    but law-thinking isn’t it

    Oh Goody a defender of Qualified Immunity

    I had a relative like this who passed a few years ago. He also wouldn’t know a point if it jumped up and bit him on the huevos. 😛

  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Huh. I thought it was the govt that made money. 😉

  75. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: I thought denouement was pronounced duh-NYOO-mint until I heard it said aloud in a college course one day.

  76. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: It’s always possible they really are as stupid as they sound.

  77. OzarkHillbilly says:


    citing the difficulty of working for a clown in a “media circus.”


  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: The google says, /imˈbrōlyō/

  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paul L.: Speaking of gaslighting.

  80. Mu Yixiao says:



  81. Teve says:


    Teve says:
    Friday, April 9, 2021 at 14:08
    @MarkedMan: for the record, both Miriam Webster and pronounce it “ im-brōhl-yōh”

    Once I get re-employed and have some Ameros coming in, I cannot wait to throw this goddamn iPad in a dumpster and get a tablet that has Google speech transcription.

  82. CSK says:

    I recall a friend of mine who taught at the Harvard Business School in the mid-1980s being puzzled that the students referred to “neesh” markets. Maybe it started there.

  83. Teve says:

    @CSK: Merriam Webster has both pronunciations these days.

  84. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Doug Mataconis: How about “F**K! How broken was this society, anyway?”

  85. Teve says:

    Wonkette, my bolding

    Earlier this week, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case filed by Laura Loomer and Superlawyer Larry Klayman’s Freedom Watch* against Twitter, Google, Apple, and Facebook, in which they claimed that those companies had violated their First Amendment rights and conspired to repress conservative thought by banning them from their platforms. The case was dismissed because social media companies are not the government and therefore cannot violate anyone’s First Amendment rights. As absolutely hilarious as this circus would have been, that is probably for the best.

    (Full disclosure Larry Klayman is still suing your Wonkette.)

    In order to commemorate this event, Loomer says she is considering getting the docket number from her case tattooed on her arm, just like the numbers concentration camp prisoners had tattooed on their arms during the Holocaust. Because being kicked off of Twitter is apparently the first step right before they send you to the gulags. That is not actually a joke, because on some dope’s YouTube show that she and Klayman recently appeared on, Loomer did in fact claim to be living in a “digital gulag” and insisted that this would eventually lead to conservatives being thrown in concentration camps and then murdered.

  86. Kathy says:


    I think French words that entered English long after 1066 have retained their original spelling, making it hard for English speakers to pronounce them properly. The spelling or pronunciation should change in time, like boeuf (or something like it) became beef.

  87. Paul L. says:

    What is the point of your law-thinking?
    law-thinking states that Ted Stevens, Cliven Bundy and George Zimmerman are currently serving long prison sentences.
    Michael Mann got a huge payout from National Review and Exxon was convicted of Climate Fraud.

  88. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Doug Mataconis: No, but it does call upon the society and the government to do what they can to assure that businesses accomplish their aim in the context of providing valuable and real goods and services. (And no, “the Market” doesn’t care about that factor at all–see “Collateralized Debt Obligations”.)

  89. CSK says:

    Anne Beatts, who was one of the first and very few women writers for SNL back in the seventies, has died. She was 74.

  90. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: The spelling or pronunciation should change in time

    Heh, I live in an area that was first settled by the French in the late 1700s. A lot of French names in the area that have been butchered beyond all recognition. 2 that drive my Spanish born wife, who is also fluent in French, absolutely crazy are the Courtois Creek (pronounced Cote-a-way) and Fourche a Renault (pronounced Four-shana) I of course pronounce them just as the locals do.

  91. Mimai says:

    @Teve: (and others)

    This comes up a lot in the scientific literature. It’s always a delight to hear the various ways that (highly educated and accomplished) people butcher it when speaking at conferences.

  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: The interesting thing to me is that when I was a young rightwing nut ball (Luddite can confirm that this was true long ago), I would have seen the Prager U narrator for the second half of the video as portraying conservatives as dim-witted and been offended. How times change (or am I just a prejudiced right wing nut ball still?).

  93. Kathy says:

    Late in “The Dragons of Eden,” Sagan delves into computers. the books was written in 1977, so you might expect this to be a bit outdated. At one point, he describes Pong.

    The bit that struck me was his estimate that there were then about 200,000 digital computers in existence, but that by the next decade there will surely be tens of millions. He wasn’t wrong, but I wonder if Sagan ever expected there to be over a billion of computers, not in existence but sold* each year?

    *In 2019, according to some quick research, about 1.5 billion smartphones were sold. A smartphone, IMO, is a small and very portable computer which has a phone call app.

  94. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I would’ve gone toward (because of 2 separate conceptions) 2 fetuses each in its own amniotic sac, but biology is probably the nadir of my understanding of science–which is already pretty low.

  95. Kathy says:


    In Egyptian history, one name that crops up very often is that of the god Ra. On audio books and podcasts, about half the people pronounce it “rah” and half “ray.”

  96. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Florida woman who coughed on cancer patient in store gets 30 days in jail

    A Florida woman whose image went viral when she coughed on a fellow customer at a store last year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.

    A judge in Jacksonville on Thursday also ordered Debra Hunter to pay a $500 fine, serve six months probation and participate in a mental health evaluation along with anger management, David Chapman, communications director for the state attorney’s office in Jacksonville, said in an email. She was also ordered to cover the costs of the victim’s Covid-19 test.

    Hunter was arrested last June after she was recorded deliberately coughing on the other customer during an argument with employees inside a Pier 1 store.
    Hunter’s husband told the judge they had faced numerous hardships leading up to the incident, including losing everything they had in a house fire, FirstCoast News reported.

    “It was like air being inflated into a balloon, and it finally got to the point where she couldn’t handle any more air,” Hunter’s husband said in court. “And then she finally rubbed up against something and just popped.”

    Hunter told the judge her family has paid the price for her mistakes, adding that her children continue to lose friends, and that they don’t go out in their community any more.

    “I watch as my kids lower their heads and turn the opposite direction, so they won’t be recognized or approached,” she told the judge. “And I know exactly what they’re feeling because I do the same thing.”

    Before ordering jail time, Duval county court judge James Ruth said she was struck by the fact that Hunter’s testimony focused less on how she may have harmed the victim and more on how her actions affected her own family.

    “Her children didn’t create this problem and her husband didn’t, and she talked about how it changed her world and she was getting nastygrams on Facebook and things of that nature and they can’t go to their country club or wherever,” Ruth said. “But I have yet to see any expression, or a significant expression on her regret about the impact it had on the victim in this case.”

    The 30 days and 6 months probation might be appropriate but it feels light to me. I see it as the equivalent of pointing an unloaded gun at a person and pulling the trigger.

  97. Mikey says:

    @Kathy: “It’s spelt ‘Raymond Luxury-Yacht,’ but it’s pronounced ‘Throat Wobbler Mangrove.’

  98. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: That’s interesting; I’ve always pronounced it “nitch.” I wonder what the difference is? 😉

  99. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I’ve always said Rah, probably because of some movie I saw. Which come to think of it in The Mummy they speak of the book of Amun Ra (Ahmoon Rah), the Book of the Living.

  100. Mimai says:

    Ha! There’s a metal band from California called Ra, specifically named after the Egyptian god. And of course there’s the trippy jazz musician who went by Sun Ra.

  101. Kylopod says:


    On audio books and podcasts, about half the people pronounce it “rah” and half “ray.”

    When the Harry Potter books first came out, a lot of people weren’t sure how “Hermione” was pronounced (even though there had already been famous people with that name, such as the actress Hermione Gingold). In the early audiobooks for the series, Jim Dale keeps pronouncing it “her-MAH-nee.” Then in the fourth book, there’s a scene where she explains outright how her name is pronounced, and it’s transcribed in the book itself: her-MY-oh-nee. When the audiobook gets to that scene, Dale pronounces the transcription as it’s shown–then a moment later goes right back to saying her-MAH-nee.

  102. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: @Teve: My diction class as a graduate music student taught me that the “gli” blend in Italian is always pronounced “ʎ” (which I to this day can still not distinguish from “Y” as in “yes”). I assume that in the “glide” (the second example) the adjacent stressed vowel somehow mutes or eliminates a perceived schwa at the end of the non-glided example, but I tended to over analyze this kind of stuff.

  103. Teve says:

    The right-wingers are now calling on people to, in Ben Garrison’s words, “Burn Your Levis”.

    Why, you ask? When heinous, un-American communist globalist Soros-ordered gun-grabber statement did the Levi’s CEO make? He said:

    “We’re not trying to repeal the Second Amendment. We’re just calling for legislation that will make our world a safer place.”

    In the past week, the Wingers have Cancel Cultured Coca-Cola, baseball, and Levi’s.

    Keep it up, Wingers!

  104. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Heh. Writing over the software in the human brain isn’t so easily done.

  105. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: my ‘gli’ (i’ve been learning Italian for about two years now) is just Yee. In some dialects of Italian it has a very unique sound, but there are a few dialects where it really just sounds like Yee, so I’m not stressing.

    Ugh. That reminds me I really need to get back to studying double object pronouns, and I really don’t wanna. Cazzo! 😀

  106. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: I first learned the term in French language class and always pronounce it “DAY noo [nasal inflection] mah.”

  107. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Some others from around Misery:

    Milan–pronounced My-lan
    Chouteau–pronounced “show-toe”
    And, my favorite, Versailles, pronounced “Ver-sails.”

  108. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Well, one can always hope… No, just for today, I’m going to try to be a better person.

  109. Kathy says:


    Ancient Egypt endured for so long, there were many changes in its culture. Ra was the head god, much as Zeus in the Greek pantheon, but in time Amun gained ascendance*. Syncretism being what it is, they were conflated into Amun-Ra.

    *There’s some speculation that Akhenaten set up his monotheistic cult of the Aten as the state religion, in large part to strip power away from the Amun priesthood, who owned a great deal of land in Egypt (technically the god owned the land).

  110. Teve says:

    @Jen: I told the story a few years ago on this site, but long story short, I’m in a rental car lost in eastern Kentucky supposed to be headed to a funeral and I keep pulling over and asking strangers where Versailles is and they keep saying they don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, and after five or six times the next guy said “wait a minute…you mean Ver-Say-Leez?” And at that moment I could’ve murdered people.

  111. Teve says:
  112. Mimai says:

    Somewhat surprised it took so long. In some parts of Mexico, Levi’s are considered currency, brought back and handed out as gifts by those whov’e (just for you) been working north of the border.

  113. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Recently Smokey Robinson put out a video wishing Jews a Happy Chanukah–except he pronounced it the Archie Bunker way: cha-NOO-kuh. With the ch in “chicken.”

    There’s a good case for spelling the holiday as Hanukah, to prevent people from making mistakes like that. Even though the ח isn’t exactly a simple-H sound, it’s close enough that it doesn’t sound ridiculous to people who know Hebrew, the way the “tsh” sound does.

    The thing is, there are Hebrew words with that letter where the “tsh” has been standardized in English–notably the word cherub. If that word had entered English today, it probably would have been spelled herub or even heruv. But it came as part of a Biblical transliteration many centuries ago, when people just didn’t pay attention to getting those details right.

  114. Teve says:

    @Mimai: thank’s. 😛

  115. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: The church I grew up in had a missionary to the Jewish population of Washington who pronounced it exactly the same way. Hmmmm…

  116. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Versailles is a pretty depressing place, it just feels used up, like all the joy is gone. I’m not sure why.

    I like Peculiar, MO, pronounced just like you think. The story behind it’s naming goes that when this town got their post office they were asked what to call it and their new post master said, to “Just give us something peculiar.” Done and done.

  117. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: There’s a genre on Youtube of “reaction videos,” and it includes young people listening to older music for the first time. I saw this guy reacting to “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco, and he kept pronouncing the titular name as “uh-MEE-dee-iss,” and seemed to have no idea what it was a reference to.

  118. Kurtz says:

    It’s almost as if Peter Thiel doesn’t own a mirror. Cynical pursuit of currency at all costs is more corrupting than politics; power is more than a kissing cousin to nihilism.

  119. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: While W was president I saw him on TV discussing treaties or weapons or something and he said “nuclee” and stopped in mid word with his deer in the headlights look. Then he reset and said “nuke-uh -ler”. While he paused you could almost hear the wheels going, “Rove told me never to say it like that. What was it I was supposed to say? Oh yeah, I got it.”

  120. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: I’m not surprised.

  121. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: Thiel is simultaneously a very smart guy and a completely blinded libertarian ideologue. I do read him occasionally, because there are often a few smart insights mixed in with the Randroid drooling.

  122. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Years ago I got a cab at Boston Logan Airport and gave the driver an address in a suburb, Peabody. I expect it was largely an act, but he went “Pee-body? Pee-body? Oh, pihbuhdee.”

  123. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08: Recently I saw a Fox News clip where one of the guys said “Democratic Party” then immediately corrected himself and said “Democrat Party.”

  124. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod: Univ of Illinois had a public radio station that played some classical. (Still have it, but way more professional, and I suspect only loosely affiliated with the U.) They apparently had broadcasting students as volunteer DJs. One evening a guy announced he wa going to play the “the Seventh Symphony of ……..Duh MIT re………Shosh…..TOCK…oh… vitch??”

  125. Mikey says:


    “Democrat Party.”

    One of many imbecilities left to us by the thankfully-dead Rush Limbaugh.

  126. Kurtz says:


    About half those quotes reveal him as a Libertarian-when-convenient and stunning lack of self-awareness about companies he either runs (Palantir) or has strong influence over (Facebook).

    The working class Libertarians I’ve spoken with think they are and behave as if they’re speaking truth to power. When I hear people like Thiel speak, it just seems like a convenient tool to maintain power.

  127. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    How times change (or am I just a prejudiced right wing nut ball still?).

    Yes, times have changed… and while you’re no longer right winged, you’re still my wacko nut ball brother of suburbia. Of course, this means whichever side wins the revolution, we’re still gonna get our a****** put up against the wall before our last cigar!

  128. Teve says:

    America may be close to hitting a vaccine wall

    Take a look at that state by state map of where vaccines are being administered at below average rates and above average rates.

  129. Kurtz says:

    To the gamers in this little community, I highly recommend playing Disco Elysium.

    To the readers, but non-gamers in this little community, I can say that you should give it a try.

    There is a ton of depth in the story, and like any good post-apocalyptic world, uses are funny-mirror to give an almost clearer picture of our own times.

    They just released a final cut, and I have a feeling I’ll be diving right back in despite having more important things to do and an insanely long backlog of games I’ve been meaning to play.

    CK3 and Persona 4 Golden may be waiting yet again.

  130. CSK says:

    What was Limbaugh’s explanation for that usage? His followers use it all the time and it irritates the hell out of me.

  131. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: The usage (which is really Democrat as an adjective, not just the phrase “Democrat Party”) is decades older than Limbaugh, though Limbaugh helped popularize it and make it practically ubiquitous in right-wing media.

  132. Jen says:

    @CSK: Right-wing nutters don’t like the implication that only Democrats adhere to small-d democratic principles, which they somehow got to by having the word “Democratic Party” (as opposed to, I suppose, Republicans being considered the non-democratic party?).

    Like most of what they seem to glom onto, it’s a dumb epithet derived by dumb people. If it requires explanation (which this does) it isn’t working.

  133. Kathy says:


    I think you answered your own question.

  134. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: The article you link to is pretty scary. Shows my home sate of FL below average for vaccination, and I expect the author is right, we’re going to hit vaccine reluctance long before herd immunity. They characterize reluctance as a red/rural thing. I saw an article last week, I though 538, but I couldn’t find it when I went back. It claimed the real variable was education. That might account for DC and Puerto Rico being low.

  135. DrDaveT says:


    but it’s pronounced ‘Throat Wobbler Mangrove.’“

    Actually, it’s pronounced “throat-warbler mangrove”, but the Brits are silly people who think “warbler” and “wobbler” are pronounced the same.

    I was once listening to a British radio word-game show (“My Word”, for those who care) and was disgusted when the answer to one question depended on believing that “wart” and “what” are homophones.

  136. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: It wasn’t Limbaugh. It was Frank Luntz, the GOP messaging guru. He came up with “death tax” and “government takeover” for healthcare and “climate change” because “global warming” sounds like a bad thing. His research showed people had positive thoughts about “democratic”, so one of his little word games was to use a different word for the Party.

    Republicans come by lying naturally, but Luntz worked hard, and profitably, to make them better at it.

  137. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    That’s interesting; I’ve always pronounced it “nitch.” I wonder what the difference is?

    There are a number of French words that have been borrowed into English and are variously pronounced. A famous example is “garage”, which features in Dorothy L. Sayers’ novel _Busman’s Honeymoon_. Workingmen pronounce it “garridge”; upper-class people (and people with pretentions) pronounce it the French way. This was confusing to me as an American, since nobody of any class pronounces it “garridge” over here.

    I suspect that, as with garage, the original French pronunciation is supplanting an anglicized pronunciation of the borrowed word. This only happens when the French is pronounceable using English phonemes; the French pronunciation of “hors d’oeuvre” (or the name Favre) is not going to make a comeback.

  138. Kylopod says:


    It wasn’t Limbaugh. It was Frank Luntz, the GOP messaging guru.

    Understand, though, that neither of them invented this practice. There are references to it from as early as 1923. Herbert Hoover used it, as did Bob Dole in 1976 (when he used the phrase “Democrat wars”). Limbaugh definitely helped popularize it. Luntz may have also contributed, though he certainly didn’t invent it.

  139. CSK says:

    @Kylopod: @Jen: @gVOR08:

    Thank you.

    Did I?

  140. CSK says:

    Matt Gaetz is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee.

    It sounds so endlessly, churlishly stupid. To my ears, anyway.

  141. Stormy Dragon says:


    I usually start with, “well, you can’t kill a person and claim you follow a religion that requires human sacrifices, and suggest you’re covered under freedom of religion.

    When I make that argument, I usually claim to worship the Aztec Sun God, Huītzilōpōchtli, and that I believe human sacrifices are necessary to make sure the sun keeps coming up every morning.

    That way, if they think they’re clever and come back with saying they’re okay as long as the sacrifices consent, I’m set up to respond that the sacrifices only work if they’re taken in war, so it’s actually vitally important for us all that they don’t consent.

  142. Stormy Dragon says:


    America may be close to hitting a vaccine wall

    Take a look at that state by state map of where vaccines are being administered at below average rates and above average rates.

    Counterpoint, I’m not even allowed to sign up to get in line for a vaccine until Monday, and my state will not be open to all adults until the 19th.

  143. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    As of April 19,New Hampshire will be opening up vaccine appointments to anyone, including out-of-staters. The news article I read didn’t specify, but I assume you have to be over age 16.

  144. CSK says:

    A very large monitor lizard invaded a 7-11 in Thailand. It wreaked considerable havoc, but happily the Slurpee machine survived unscathed.

  145. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod: True enough. Luntz didn’t invent “Democrat party”. He also didn’t invent “climate change”. Climate scientists use the term to cover non-warming effects, like localized cooling, stronger hurricanes, and ocean acidification. And they use the phrase loosely, often interchangeably with “global warming”. Luntz just advised GOPs say this, not that. And now GOPs, having themselves made “climate change” common usage, argue that scientists saying “climate change” is proof they’re doing… something suspicious … because reasons. And it’s Luntz who taught them to always say “Democrat Party”.

  146. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I don’t know where you live but CSK’s post immediately below yours suggests New Hampshire? If it’s New Hampshire, on that graph it’s listed as having dispensed a Way above average percentage of the vaccines it’s been supplied with. Your delay in getting it makes sense then, they’re using them up as fast as they get them, and your neighbors are signing up left and right. On the flipside, here in Trump Country I got the shot 15 days ago because so many dip shits are declining it.

  147. Sleeping Dog says:


    Peabody is easy, try Haverhill or Worcester.

  148. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Oh, you mean “Hay-vrill” and “Wister”?

  149. Kurtz says:


    A famous example is “garage”, which features in Dorothy L. Sayers’ novel _Busman’s Honeymoon_. Workingmen pronounce it “garridge”; upper-class people (and people with pretentions) pronounce it the French way. This was confusing to me as an American, since nobody of any class pronounces it “garridge” over here.

    I pronounce it, “car hole.”

  150. Stormy Dragon says:

    I’m in Pennsylvania.

    Phase 1b (front line essential workers) only opened this monday, Phase 1c (other essential workers) opens next monday, and then Phase 2 (everyone still left) opens the 19th

  151. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: maybe just a political holdup then? Here in Florida 40 and up went live 18 days ago, 16 and up went live 4 days ago.

  152. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: The pronunciation is a neuro linguistic programing technique: democRAT

    Helps anchor a visceral disdain in the subconscious–or so the theory postulates. As I’ve stated before– personalities in the Right Wing Media Complex makes very “liberal” use of these techniques. Trump was by far the master of them.

  153. Teve says: