Friday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open 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.

Comments

  1. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Friday?

    SUPRIIIIIIZE! PAAAAAARTY!
    Yeah, we just thought we’d drop in!
    Where’s your icebox?
    Where’s the punch?
    Ew, house-a-tosis!

    Who’s to blame when parties really get out of hand?
    Who’s to blame when they get poorly planned?
    Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoooo-ooooooooo.

    Crashers get bombed, slobs make a mess.
    Ya know sometimes they’ll even ruin your wife’s dress.
    Crashers getttin’ bombed. (Who’s to blame?)
    Can you pull it back in line?
    Can you salvage it in time?

    What can you do to save a party?
    Parcheesi? Charades? A spur-of-the-moment
    Scavenger hunt, or Queen of the Nile? (WOOOOOOOOOOH!)
    Who turned out the lights! (WOOOOOOOOOOH!)

    Bombed, crashers gettin’ bombed
    crashers gettin’ bombed, bombed, bombed, bombed, well who’s to blame?

    Who’s to blame when situations degenerate?
    Disgusting things you’d never anticipate?
    Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoooo-ooooooooo.

    People get sick, they play the wrong games.
    Ya know, it can ruin your name!
    Crashers gettin’ bombed. (Who’s to blame?)
    Can you pull it back in line?
    Can you salvage it in time?

    WOOOOOOOOOOOH!
    It shouldn’t be difficult!
    Try not to condemn!
    O.K. Who ordered pizza?
    I’ll be tactful when making the rounds
    Be tactful when making the rounds
    and maybeee you can save a parteeee.

    Party gone out of bounds!
    Gone out of bounds!
    Party gone out of bounds!
    Gone out of bounds!

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  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    Did we ever talk about this?

    When misfortunes multiplied during the coronavirus pandemic, observers seized on a four-letter word signaling end of days for the largest state with one-eighth the U.S. population and 14% of its gross domestic product. “California doom: Staggering $54 billion deficit looms,” the Associated Press concluded a year ago in May. “California Is Doomed,” declared Business Insider two months earlier. “Is California doomed to keep burning?” queried the New Republic in October. California is “Doomed” because of rising sea levels, according to an April EcoNews Report. Bulletins of people leaving the world’s fifth-biggest economy for lower-cost states because of high taxes and too much regulation stifling business continue unabated.

    No one anticipated the latest data readout showing the Golden State has no peers among developed economies for expanding GDP, creating jobs, raising household income, manufacturing growth, investment in innovation, producing clean energy and unprecedented wealth through its stocks and bonds. All of which underlines Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement last month of the biggest state tax rebate in American history.

    By adding 1.3 million people to its non-farm payrolls since April last year — equal to the entire workforce of Nevada — California easily surpassed also-rans Texas and New York. At the same time, California household income increased $164 billion, almost as much as Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania combined, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. No wonder California’s operating budget surplus, fueled by its surging economy and capital gains taxes, swelled to a record $75 billion.

    If anything, Covid-19 accelerated California’s record productivity. Quarterly revenue per employee of the publicly traded companies based in the state climbed to an all-time high of $1.5 million in May, 63% greater than its similar milestone a decade ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The rest of the U.S. was nothing special, with productivity among those members of the Russell 3000 Index, which is made up of both large and small companies, little changed during the past 10 years.

    So, to summarize: the death of California has been greatly exaggerated.

    The most trusted measure of economic strength says California is the world-beater among democracies. The state’s gross domestic product increased 21% during the past five years, dwarfing No. 2 New York (14%) and No. 3 Texas (12%), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The gains added $530 billion to the Golden State, 30% more than the increase for New York and Texas combined and equivalent to the entire economy of Sweden. Among the five largest economies, California outperforms the U.S., Japan and Germany with a growth rate exceeded only by China.

    Low tax Texas where everyone is supposedly escaping to? We just ate their barbecue.

    Enlarging its No. 1 footprint with factory jobs, California GDP from manufacturing gained 13% over the past five years to $316 billion in 2020, an increase unmatched by any of the 10 largest manufacturing states: Texas was No. 2 with 9% growth, followed by Indiana at 8%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For all its bluster as being “best for business,” Texas can’t match California’s innovation. California prosperity is rooted in its appeal as a worldwide destination for technology and health-care development. Of the 6,924 corporate locations in the state, 18% are research and development facilities, a ratio that easily beats the U.S. overall (11%), China (15%), U.K. (14%) and Japan (10%). Only Germany, at 19%, has a higher rate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The percentage of Texas facilities for R&D is less than half California’s at 8.2%.

    And drank their long neck, too.

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  3. charon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    That’s all great, but people are still cashing out their expensive houses and relocating out-of-state. (Check U-haul or moving van costs, inbound vs. outbound).

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  4. JohnMcC says:

    It’s a commonplace of most analysis of the Trump phenomenon (and by extension….) that the ‘feeling’ shared by them all is that they are victims and losers, that “America” is slipping out of their fingers. Well, think of that when you peruse the reporting of the most recent PRRI survey.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/09/opinion/religious-right-america.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2021/07/08/new-prri-poll-religious-diversity-unaffiliated-white-christians/

    Spoiler: Evangelicals have seen diminishing numbers claiming their identity during the Trump years and particularly among the young. They are now the oldest religious ‘slice’ of the national pie. They lost and they know it and they’re mad as hell.

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  5. charon says:

    https://twitter.com/DelthiaRicks/status/1413369122533134343

    People infected w/ the delta variant become infectious faster. New research from China suggests anyone infected with delta have ~1000x more virus in their respiratory tracts than those infected w/ the original strain. Image: Numerals show the main mutation sites of delta variant

    https://twitter.com/ashishkjha/status/1412144793682071553

    Realize the choice is not ‘vaccinate or do nothing.’ It’s ‘vaccinate or eventually contract the coronavirus,’ and the risks that come with it.”

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  6. charon says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/04/opinion/covid-vaccine-kids-risks.html?referringSource=articleShare

    That’s the right call. To understand why, it’s important to realize the choice is not “vaccinate or do nothing.” It’s “vaccinate or eventually contract the coronavirus,” and the risks that come with it. Most experts now believe that the virus is destined to be endemic, meaning it will circulate among humans indefinitely.

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  7. charon says:

    @JohnMcC:

    They lost and they know it and they’re mad as hell.

    They represent God and there is nothing they will not do to cling to political power even though they have lost the culture.

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  8. JohnMcC says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Well, good for you and the other Californians on this ‘board’.
    But here’s a (light) question and a maybe larger (heavy) thought I chew on sometimes: When I visit the (SF) Bay Area to sit at the throne of the (97yo) Matriarch, I chat about with folks who I meet through that association. That is, folks who go to operas. And I get the feeling that these folks have the feeling they are living on the precipice of some huge collapse. From earthquakes to earthquake zoning, from urbanization to the effects of drought on almond cultivation, from possible crippling loss of real estate value to the difficulties faced by the Latinx service workers in their long commutes…. I’ve gotten the impression that California’s elites expect the whole thing to end horribly and possibly soon.

    And as I sort of half-assed composed this it occurred… The thinking part of the population of the U.S. lived with that feeling for four years just recently. Serious thought: what changed in America because of the Trump Administration?

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  9. JohnMcC says:

    @charon: And never forget, error has no rights.

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  10. Mikey says:

    A quick news item from southwest Missouri: Lake Regional Hospital has lost six patients to COVID since July 1. They lost six in the entire month of June. In May, they lost one.

    Be careful, OzarkHillbilly. Things are going from bad to very much worse.

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  11. sam says:
  12. charon says:

    @sam:

    How many congresscritters did CA gain in the most recent cendus?

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  13. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: This info points to the danger of conventional wisdom. I don’t know how many times over the course of this pandemic I’ve seen laymen say, “Viruses evolve to be less virulent over time.” I don’t know where this idea comes from, but it clearly doesn’t have much relevance here. First, COVID 19 itself evolved from viruses that had less impact on humans. So the original strain itself shows that it ain’t necessarily so.

    The reality is that viruses evolve, period. More virulent, less virulent, same virulence but different surface characteristics. Strains take off or die out based on a lot of characteristics.

    Sure, if a particular strain were to kill so many hosts so quickly that it couldn’t maintain a spread, it would die out. But so far C-19 kills only about 1% of its victims. I’m no biostatistician, but it seems unlikely that is enough to stop a strain.

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  14. CSK says:

    Pfizer claims it’s seeing “waning immunity” to its vaccine, and is recommending a booster. They’re increasing their efforts to develop one.

    The FDA and the CDC have, however, issued a joint statement saying a booster shot isn’t necessary at this time.

    This is going to cause confusion…and frustration. I know what some people will say: that Pfizer just wants to make money.

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  15. Kathy says:

    I thought of two things that should be in every employment contract:

    1) All wages are indexed to inflation.
    2) All wages will be raised yearly by a percentage equal to productivity gains in the past year.

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  16. sam says:

    @charon:

    From the report cited:

    Despite California losing a congressional seat for the first time in history due to slow population growth and some high-profile technology companies and billionaires leaving the state, there is no evidence of an abnormal increase in residents planning to move out of the state, according to the results of a new survey released today (July 7) by the University of California. This research is part of a larger, multi-institution research project led by UC to assess whether there is in fact a “Cal exodus.”

    Key findings include:

    The majority of Californians still believe in the “California Dream.”
    Residents are moving out of state, but not at unusual rates.
    There is no evidence of “millionaire flight” from California.
    California’s economy attracts as much venture capital as all other states combined. [My emphasis]

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  17. de stijl says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    B-52’s!

    My fave karaoke pick because both me and Fred cannot sing properly. We belt. Match made in heaven. Get two folks who can do high register and me as Fred and we rock, Rock Lobster!

    I had two adorable gal pals who were down for karaoke basically anytime. It’s low-key stakes massive fun.

    J killed Give Me Back My Man. She mimicked+. J had a richer, warmer voice than the og version. I just pretended I had a tambourine and frugged in the background. It was awesome. She killed! So impressive!

    B-52’s back catalog is prime karaoke material. If you suck at singing you can always impersonate Fred.

    This is gonna be a B-52’s feastathon today. Thanks, @Liberal Capitalist, you made my day!

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  18. Kathy says:

    I want to get T-shirts made with the phrase:

    I went to get fully vaccinated, and all I got was protection from a nasty, lethal disease.

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  19. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    And you can alternate that with an “I’m with Stupid” t-shirt to wear when around an unvaxxed colleague or neighbor.

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  20. wr says:

    @JohnMcC: “Serious thought: what changed in America because of the Trump Administration?”

    I think people have lost faith that our system is self-repairing and strong enough to withstand almost any shock. The idea that we could get past a terrible president and go back to normal, as with, say Nixon or W. The belief that Americans, despite our huge differences, believe in democracy and freedom over fascism and dictatorship.

    That’s where I think it starts…

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  21. Jen says:

    @CSK: I’m already seeing that (“Pfizer just wants to make money”) wrt potential booster shots.

    The thing is, from a PR perspective they don’t want headlines that read “Despite full vaccination, XXX people are dying. Are vaccines a false hope?” or similar. Bottom line, with claims of high efficacy, it is in their interest to maintain similar numbers, no matter the variants.

    I will happily get a booster every 6 months, every year, whatever, until this thing burns out.

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  22. CSK says:

    @wr:
    For a long time I’ve harbored the incredibly depressing thought that maybe feudalism (with or without God) is the normal human condition.

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  23. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    As will I. My hope is that it will become as routine and easy to get as a flu shot. No biggie. Just include it on your errands list for a particular day: “Grocery shop. Go to post office. Drop off books at library. Get booster.”

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  24. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I don’t know how many times over the course of this pandemic I’ve seen laymen say, “Viruses evolve to be less virulent over time.”

    As far as viruses can be said to evolve “to” a purpose, it is to reproduce in greater numbers. this can have any number of secondary effects as regards the host, namely us. It may become less virulent and more like the common cold. It may reproduce so fast it kills you faster, but not so fast that you can’t pass it on to someone else.

    Another thing to keep in mind are the evolutionary pressures on the trump virus. One is the immune system of the hosts it infects, sure, and another is the immune system augmented by a vaccine. But there’s also pressure to compete with other variants. That’s why we’re seeing Delta displace Alpha in the US, and why it did in the UK already.

    This is important to note, because we don’t have like several variants circulating in more or less equal numbers. We have mostly Delta and Alpha. In a short time, it will be mostly Delta. So the one thing to worry about is: how well does your vaccine protect against Delta?

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  25. MarkedMan says:

    @sam: Virtually every time I’ve heard some Trump Stater gloat over the great migration out of California or New York, the number one reason given is that no one can afford to buy a house there. It never seems to penetrate to them that if housing prices are soaring it is because of demand.

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  26. charon says:

    @CSK:

    The FDA and the CDC have, however, issued a joint statement saying a booster shot isn’t necessary at this time.

    They likely have complex motivations, not just straightforward public health.

    Here is some anecdotal evidence that with sufficient exposure even vaccinated people can become symptomatic with COVID, my guess is such people are significantly infectious.

    https://johnpavlovitz.com/2021/07/06/our-family-got-vaccinated-then-we-all-got-covid/

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  27. charon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It never seems to penetrate to them that if housing prices are soaring it is because of demand.

    It is not that simple.

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  28. KM says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Serious thought: what changed in America because of the Trump Administration?

    A ton of Americans woke up to realize their neighbors were either hateful, insane or willing to let bad things happen out of political denial. They realized it could – and has – happened here. The longest lasting effect of TFG was pulling back the curtains on the abusive and toxic relationship America’s in and just how little many care to do anything about it.

    We’ve lived in a cozy denial that we’ve got a significant portion of the population who’d gladly toss democracy and basic human decency out the wind to get what they want….. and what they want is bad news for everyone else. We like to think our family and friends are good people but suddenly they’ve gone mad with QAnon or imaginary antifa soldiers or the Big Lie. Someone you’ve know all your life could have fallen down the anti-vax conspiracy hole and is now claiming they’re magnetized or 5G is stealing their DNA. Nasty sentiments have broken up families and friendships that may never be repaired because honestly, how can you accept back someone who was looking forward to executions based on internet rumors? They’re cheerfully killing thousands so they can not have to take basic medical precautions and some have actually killed innocent customer service workers asking them to just put on a mask.

    That’s your neighbor, America. That’s your brother, your lover, your friend or your co-worker. We’re not the shining beacon on the hill but the asylum that’s let the patients take over. TFG unmasked a lot of people for who they were in the dark and we’ll never have the luxury of not knowing that again.

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  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    @sam:
    @charon:

    An opinion piece, but one item noted about exiting migrants (both in and out of state) is that it is concentrated in low and middle income segments of the populations. With the biggest driver being the lack of affordable housing.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/09/opinion/california-drought-housing-prices.html

    @Michael Reynolds: is justified in a bit of chest beating, but Cal also faces some tough decisions that it is dithering about. Another thing they should be credited with is making tough adjustments to effect climate change. But it is probably not enough, too late, plus there efforts are being undone by their neighbors.

    It should also be pointed out that TX is dithering on many issues, particularly electrical infrastructure.

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  30. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Mmhmm. It’s hard to get those folks to grasp that the economy in CA is too good, performing too well, and that is basically forcing some folks to leave because they’re being priced out of being able to stay.

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  31. charon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Ever hear the words “Proposition 13?” Some pretty dramatic economic distortion associated with that.

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  32. CSK says:

    @charon:
    This is an interesting–and alarming–story, but we’ve known about the possibility of breakthrough infections for quite a while, haven’t we? I don’t diminish the seriousness of the possibility, but the CDC has been consistent that Covid-19 cases in the vaccinated are infrequent and, most importantly, far less serious.

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  33. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It never seems to penetrate to them that if housing prices are soaring it is because of demand.

    No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.

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  34. Sleeping Dog says:

    @MarkedMan:
    @charon:

    The demand is artificially sustained by throttling development.

    Editorial: Bay Area NIMBYs are saying the racist parts out loud over affordable housing developments

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  35. de stijl says:

    Rock Lobster is a stupid fun karaoke song.

    A full 3 mic set-up required.

    That is a sweaty song. Much dancing necessary.

    It fucking rocks.

    There used to be a punk rock karaoke bar on University like two blocks east of Snelling on Tuesday night and Thursday night.

    It was a skip and a jump from where I lived then. Had a a serious line-up of major fucking talent hanging out whaling on stage to grossly inappropriate songs done poorly. It fucking rocked so hard.

    The best feedback I got by far was there by seasoned folks who just watched me and many others make idiots of ourselves. I met Bob Mould there. I had been to dozens of Husker Du gigs. Bob fucking Mould gave me positive constructive feedback.

    He might have been hitting on me. I’m kinda dim on those matters.

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  36. Michael Cain says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Sure, if a particular strain were to kill so many hosts so quickly that it couldn’t maintain a spread, it would die out. But so far C-19 kills only about 1% of its victims. I’m no biostatistician, but it seems unlikely that is enough to stop a strain.

    Given modern transportation, even highly lethal strains can spread much farther and faster.

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  37. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I don’t diminish the seriousness of the possibility, but the CDC has been consistent that Covid-19 cases in the vaccinated are infrequent and, most importantly, far less serious.

    So far, this is true.

    But keep in mind the vaccines, in particular Pfizer and Moderna, were trialed against the original strain, not the variants. They do still follow some of the trial participants, so they know how their immunity holds up and what variants do. one reason I wanted an mRNA shot, is that they were found effective against the Alpha and Gamma variants (Delta was ravaging India at the time, but had not yet been understood well).

    The other problem is that we can’t guess with any accuracy what new variants will emerge, much less when. So our vaccines will be playing catch-up with the variants.

    It should be a simple matter, relatively speaking, to formulate vaccines for several variants, and we know they are related enough that protection from one offers protection, albeit reduced, for the others.

    The problem will get worse if not enough people are vaccinated. That’s still the most important thing.

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  38. de stijl says:

    It was going to be B-52’s Friday.

    Now it became that plus Husker Du and now Bob Mould solo and side projects like Sugar.

    That feels like a very awesome soundtrack.

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  39. KM says:

    I’m not really understanding the outrage over Sha’Carri Richardson, particularly why people are blaming Biden and US drug laws. The Olympics are an international organization with their own rules and can decree whatever they please regardless of it’s legal state in a particular country. For instance, steroids are legal drugs but you sure as hell can’t take them during competitive sports. You also can’t chug a beer or light one up at work despite it being legal as your workplace has the right to set its own rules. She was never going to be able to compete as per existing rules and Biden pushing for her would be a pointless endeavor. She ain’t special enough to try and carve out an special exemption no matter what she thinks.

    I feel like pro-legalization people are trying to use this to push for their cause without really understanding she wouldn’t have been able to compete even if the USA named her. We don’t run the world and we don’t run an international organization that relies on cooperation between nations. She knew better – as an athlete that can compete the world over, you need to follow the rules of wherever you are and not just your home country…. or in this case, state. Should Oregon decree it legal to take all the steroids you want when competing, everywhere else is gonna roll their eyes and disqualify you. Go forth and toke all you want but understand this – you don’t get to walk into someone else’s house and light up just because you can at home. You ask first and if told no, you refrain; whine about it and don’t be surprised you are shown the door. Their place, their rules and Sha’Carri Richardson should have known better.

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  40. CSK says:

    Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and South Dakota are officially “green” on the national Covid-19 map now, meaning that cases have plummeted in all four states.

    But there is one very interesting distinction. In Massachusetts and Vermont, the vaccination rates are very high. (in Mass., over 60% of the population is fully vaxxed.) In South Dakota, the infection rate was very high; people got Covid and recovered (mostly). So, in all four states, herd immunity was achieved.

    I’m glad to live in a state where most people had the brains to get the shot, no matter where they had to go.

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  41. JohnMcC says:

    @KM:and wr: Thanks for your thoughts. Similar to mine. “It DID happen here.”

    As you expanded your thoughts about discovering the number of willing-to-be-fascists that the recent Administration uncovered I was reminded of something about the 3d Reich (I know, I know…).

    Their crimes were committed in the ‘most civilized nation in Europe’. They were the nation of philosophers, theologians, poets, composers and scientists. If any cruelty of the nature of the Holocaust were to happen, it was thought, it would come from Poland or Russia with their history of pogroms.

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  42. de stijl says:

    Sugar rolled out Copper Blue at 1st Ave.

    I had primo tickets. Could have watched from the wings if I’d wanted but I went up front. Wanted the full experience.

    7th St. sometimes goes pretty loud up to 130. 1st Ave. usually goes industry standard 115 to 125 dbs.

    The Sugar Copper Blue show was exceptionally loud. My innards jiggled. That was 140 easily.

    My liver and kidneys resonated. It was very loud. I used to carry cheap earplugs in case and that show it was needed.

    My guts vibrated when I was standing still. It was glorious!

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  43. inhumans99 says:

    @charon:
    Replying before I have read the rest of the comments to say I get that, plenty of people are also in my shoes where if I did not have parents that helped me out during rough times (and they are not helping a junkie/deadbeat son, just a son who struggles to get the high paying jobs that are supposed to be everywhere you look in CA, but seems not to be the case when I actually start looking for them, lol) I would have to move out of my place in Fremont and end up w/multiple roommates (and I am not a room mate guy, lol, everyone in my family laughs at me when they say I can handle that living situation), or do something, anything, maybe even move out of state.

    I get it and agree that living in CA can be a bitch and half, but reading up on citizens being told how to live their lives in places like FL, TX, MO, and all these crazy laws those state Governors are just getting passed with no care in the world whether it is a good law or not, just that is makes Trump happy, yikes!!!!

    I do not have a solution to CA’s high cost of living crisis, but I know that moving to states that are a steady 120 degrees hot through the summer, or where the Governor has his boot on your neck are not the path I want to pursue. Anyone who thinks that someone like Gavin Newsom has his boot on your neck is more full of it than a Christmas goose. Governors like DeSantis, or Greg Abbott are the ones who are abusing their power, power which they could do so much good with but instead from DeSantis we get laws like it is illegal in the state of FL to deplatform Trump, that is such a lame law and dumb use of his authority that I do not know where to begin.

    Maybe the more folks that see the crazy from folks like DeSantis and Abbott, well just maybe that will accelerate the desire of folks to just shake their heads at these shenanigans by the Governors of FL and TX and realize we all need to just abruptly stop humoring a chump like Trump and move on with actually continuing to make America as a whole a grand place to live and set up shop.

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  44. charon says:

    @inhumans99:

    Prop. 13 basically locked in – grandfathered – very low property taxes for anyone who already owned CA property – I know, I was living in an Arcadia house at that time. Not just housing, but department stores, office buildings, oil refineries etc. etc. Pretty soon, anyone moving to CA was looking at super high property taxes, likely several times as high as their new neighbors in similar housing. Plus, of course, high income taxes for everyone to make up the shortfall.

    I get it and agree that living in CA can be a bitch and half, but reading up on citizens being told how to live their lives in places like FL, TX, MO, and all these crazy laws those state Governors are just getting passed with no care in the world whether it is a good law or not, just that is makes Trump happy, yikes!!!!

    I think you are overdramatizing. While I’m sure things have worsened considerably sine I moved away, I found Houston to be a very cosmopolitan city, compared to others in the U.S. .

    I am not a hick, either. I was born in the Bronx, grew up in Westchester county, with 3 uncles and a Grandpa living in NYC. I lived for many years in the Los Angeles area. I have lived in the Chicago area for a few years, in Tulsa similar, and over 6 years in Kuala Lumpur.

    And, now, Phoenix, which I see as very much a hick town compared to Houston.

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  45. KM says:

    @JohnMcC:
    In one of our Zoom Happy Hours last year, an old friend who used to be deeply conservative described it as being the non-abuser parent forced to confront all the horrors that happened under their roof. How could you not know? Why didn’t you know the person you married was a monster and hurting your loved ones? Maybe you did but didn’t want to believe it; you saw the bruises and tears but wanted to believe the story about walking into a door. You had some suspicions or momentary doubts but come on! You wouldn’t have married a a terrible person like that! They love you and they love their family (they say so all the time) and everyone gets a little angry sometimes. They’re good people (you are good people)- they wouldn’t harm a child on purpose!!

    …… …….. …….. until you find out they do.
    And they have.
    And they’re unrepentant and have future plans.

    The idea someone you have a bond with – blood, kinship, ties of nationality or ideals – could be terrible and then casually go about their lives like nothing is wrong is horrifying. TFG gave these people permission to stop hiding in the shadows and be utter asshats in public. He normalized the idea that you can a hateful soul and still qualify as “decent”. Even back in the bad ole’ days, there were some things you didn’t say or do in public that everyone knew was happening; you didn’t air your dirty laundry in public even if we all had some. Now? Now this people wander about with used undies on their heads and 5-week old mustard stained shirts. They are *proud* to be terrible, vicious human beings and we’re supposed to be OK with that.

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  46. DeD says:

    @inhumans99:

    but I know that moving to states that are a steady 120 degrees hot through the summer

    Umm, El Centro?

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  47. Barry says:

    @MarkedMan: The most recent claim was from that expert on ‘evolution’, Epstein (the law professor, not the pimp). I’ve seen it come from a friend, long ago.

    There is one major historical case I’m aware of, syphilis. Apparently when it first hit Europe, it killed in a few years; now it takes decades.

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  48. Monala says:

    I wrote weeks ago that the endgame of the anti-CRT laws is to redefine anything that mentions race or racism as CRT and therefore ban it. The most recent example is from Tennessee, where a group of moms are trying to ban a book about Ruby Bridges. From Wonkette:

    Steenman said that the mention of a “large crowd of angry white people who didn’t want Black children in a white school” too harshly delineated between Black and white people, and that the book didn’t offer “redemption” at its end.
    The Mad Moms also complained about several other books about civil rights, complaining that the teachers’ guides include all sorts of inflammatory words for grammar exercises, like “injustice,” “unequal,” “inequality,” “protest,” “marching,” and “segregation,” any one of which we suppose could cause children to melt into a puddle.

    The formal complaint about the reading curriculum objects that actual historic photos in Ruby Bridges’s book will be dangerous for young readers, mostly because the teacher’s guide “tells students to repeatedly focus on and emphasizes the racist images,” which apparently has a Lovecraftian power to drive little white kids mad with guilt, or little Black kids mad with resentment and fear of white people.

    Link

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  49. Barry says:

    @charon: “Here is some anecdotal evidence that with sufficient exposure even vaccinated people can become symptomatic with COVID, my guess is such people are significantly infectious.”

    There will always be such people. There was a women on some blog’s comments saying that she had been vaccinated against measles repeatedly, and her blood work showed no antibodies.

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  50. inhumans99 says:

    @DeD:
    This reply is to both you and Charon, yes…I am being overly dramatic, but when the average Joe sees Governors jumping through hoops to please someone like Trump vs something like fixing the electrical grid, it just is a bad look for the state of TX. I know plenty of folks from TX, and folks who have lived their in the past, and my father worked in TX for brief spell but liked it well enough.

    The reality is that that plenty of folks in TX and FL, including many of their politicians are quick to lecture us about not being more annoyed that Newsome met w/some fat cat donors at a high end French Restaurant during a pandemic, a meeting that did not directly kill anyone by the way, but fixing your not winter ready electrical grid and instead diverting funds to “build the wall,” or watching as your states infrastructure slowly but surely falls down around your citizens bodies, I am looking at you DeSantis, and deciding that continuing to spew rhetoric that makes Trump happy, those are actions that can get, or have already killed folks. Maybe I am not being as dramatic as folks think because at least the politicians in TX and FL are showing all of America that they need to get their shit together, priorities man….please Trump or make life better for your citizens, it honestly should not be such a struggle to decide on one action or another.

    Anyway, I am getting emotional and will step away from posting on this site for a bit.

    Finally, yes Ded…you are not wrong, parts of CA have crazy long stretches of interminable heat and many of these places are well populated like the San Fernando Valley where i grew up, Santa Clarita, yeah….these places can get as hot as Vegas for days in a row (my parents also lived in Vegas for several years, which is where I was born but I was 2 when they moved to CA).

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  51. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JohnMcC:
    No one’s saying we don’t have problems. We’re a ‘nation’ of almost 40 million people – more than Canada. But the presentiment of doom has been part of Cali since forever: we live on a series of giant faults FFS. When I was 17 I remember my uncle/friend drove out of LA into the desert because of some predicted doom that was supposed to strike. Aaaaand then we drove back.

    @sam:
    Thanks for that link!

    @charon:
    I haven’t used a U-Haul for about the last dozen moves. California did not win new seats in Congress, but that’s because other states are growing faster in population. And good for them. We are not in dire need of more people, we’re happy just winning every economic indicator. All of them. Plus having the only genuinely great climate in the US.

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  52. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    It’s the old line about the restaurant no one goes to anymore because it’s too crowded.

    The single biggest issue we have is NIMBYism empowered by well-meaning but ultimately catastrophic state environmental laws.

    @charon:
    Meaning no offense, but Houston is not, in my opinion, capable of supporting human life. Certainly not my life. The weather is simply vile. Half the year all you have to do is look out the window and you’ll start sweating. I’ll take 110 in Cali over 90 in Houston any day.

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  53. Kathy says:

    @Barry:

    A virus variant has evolutionary pressures form other variants, too. The one that “wins” is the one that reproduces the most. What this does to the host is not relevant to the virus.

    Bacteria are more complicated, as they have metabolic activity that can be beneficial to the host, witness the microbiome in your gut, skin, mouth, nose, and lungs*.

    But just as not all bacteria can become symbiotic, not all viruses can become less virulent or less dangerous to the host.

    Perhaps we could engineer a variant of SARS-CoV-2 that’s less dangerous, causes milder symptoms, and is more contagious. Such a virus might compete successfully and drive the Delta variant to extinction. Then again, it might not. What it will do is keep evolving, because all lifeforms do.

    * There’s a notion that the mitochondria, organelles found in all cells which produce energy and carry their own DNA, evolved from bacteria capable of living inside other cells (there are plenty of those, some even survive happily inside macrophages).

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  54. Clif says:

    I see Michael Avenatti got 30 months in prison, wonder if CNN is “reporting” this thing? He was the golden boy of the Democrats just 2 yrs ago, even a potential presidential candidate. You’d think he could have found a legitimate way to extort money from big business, even Jesse Jackson figured that out. Oh well, he played with fire.

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  55. Chip Daniels says:

    Re: California;
    Like any nation or state, California is forever poised on the precipice of calamity.
    Because there are no gods steering our fate, there isn’t some iron law dictating that we forever enjoy a harmonious bond of trust and respect for laws and norms.

    Like any liberal in good standing, I would love to say our good fortune is due to progressivism.
    But California, and its leaders, are actually a healthy mix of progressives and small-c conservatives.

    Jerry Brown for example was notoriously tight fisted and cautious about spending, and the Democratic Party is heavily influenced (for both good and bad) by business interests.

    IMO, its this mix that provides the strength.

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  56. CSK says:

    @Clif:
    Yep, CNN reported the news about Avenatti. That was where I first saw it.

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  57. Chip Daniels says:

    @charon:
    Most “Red” states are actually blue cities within a sea of red rural areas.

    Which is the deep divide in America; There aren’t really any such things as “red” cities; Almost all large cosmopolitan cities in America are mostly comprised of centrist liberals.

    And from what I can see, this also helps explain the actions of conservative politicians; most of them, the De Santis’s, the Abbots, really have no interest in actually governing- that is, in picking up the trash and keeping the streets clean and safe, keeping the electricity on; They seem most interested in performative politicking, of grinding grievances.

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  58. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Clif:
    Why yes, Clif, CNN, MSNBC, the WaPo, the NYT, all reported it. And guess what? No Democrats rose to his defense, because unlike Republicans we act on facts, and when the facts show one of ‘ours’ is a crook, we are content to watch that person march off to prison.

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  59. Michael Reynolds says:

    In more good news:

    But the evangelicals who thought they were about to take over America were destined for disappointment. On Thursday, P.R.R.I. released startling new polling data showing just how much ground the religious right has lost. P.R.R.I.’s 2020 Census of American Religion, based on a survey of nearly half a million people, shows a precipitous decline in the share of the population identifying as white evangelical, from 23 percent in 2006 to 14.5 percent last year. (As a category, “white evangelicals” isn’t a perfect proxy for the religious right, but the overlap is substantial.) In 2020, as in every year since 2013, the largest religious group in the United States was the religiously unaffiliated.

    One of P.R.R.I.’s most surprising findings was that in 2020, there were more white mainline Protestants than white evangelicals. This doesn’t necessarily mean Christians are joining mainline congregations — the survey measures self-identification, not church affiliation. It is, nevertheless, a striking turnabout after years when mainline Protestantism was considered moribund and evangelical Christianity full of dynamism.

    In addition to shrinking as a share of the population, white evangelicals were also the oldest religious group in the United States, with a median age of 56. “It’s not just that they are dying off, but it is that they’re losing younger members,” Jones told me. As the group has become older and smaller, Jones said, “a real visceral sense of loss of cultural dominance” has set in.

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  60. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    Most “Red” states are actually blue cities within a sea of red rural areas.

    A fact deliberately ignored by red state boosters. Techies aren’t moving to Texas, they’re moving to Austin, which is a Democratic city, or Houston, ditto. I used to live in Austin and the city was good to me. (Met my wife there.) At times we’ve considered living there again for a year or two, then we remember: humidity and cockroaches. We’ve never considered moving to any other part of Texas. You couldn’t get me to move to Lubbock if you threatened my children’s lives.

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  61. Gustopher says:

    Somewhere a PR dude at Delta Airlines is creating random power point slides about brand recognition and favor ability and just killing time waiting for the Epsilon variant.

    They probably have a happy hour with their friends at Delta Dental, complaining about how their bosses just don’t understand.

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  62. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There’s a big methodology problem with that poll: it’s based purely on self-identification, so it’s not clear if less people are actually evangelical, or if the term has just become toxic so they’re just no longer calling themselves that while still holding evangelical beliefs.

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  63. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    Epsilon has come and gone. There are far more variants than Alpha and Delta, even far more variants that cause concern. Delta is just the most contagious and, apparently, dangerous so far. Not all variants are worse than the original strain.

    BTW, there’s some confusion lately in the headlines of aviation blogs, where you see “Delta” and the post is about the variant rather than the airline.

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  64. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Very interesting–and refreshing–but the last line of what you quoted makes me wonder: Where were the evangelicals/fundamentalists ever “culturally dominant”? The Deep South? The midwest? Certainly not the northeast or the west coast.

    It’s possible I’m completely misunderstanding what’s meant by evangelical; I prefer “fundamentalist” to describe someone like, oh, Sarah Palin. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is, after all, jokingly known as Every Liberal Cause in America. And Donald Trump claimed to be an evangelical because he attended the Marble Collegiate Church.

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  65. sam says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You might like Santa Fe.

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  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    An evangelical is a recruiter, by definition. Hard to recruit when you’re embarrassed to admit that’s what you are. Their beliefs aren’t important, their actions are.

    The Trump Cult is proof in a way that evangelicals have lost faith. The Hebrews didn’t start dancing around the golden calf until they’d lost faith that Moses would ever come down off the mountain. Evangelical Christians got tired of waiting for Jesus to toss liberals into hell, so they found their tangerine calf.

    @CSK:
    The Trump Cult is all about loss of status. Men losing specific male privileges, whites fearing ‘replacement’ and Evangelicals becoming objects of ridicule in an increasingly secular society. If they were stocks all three would be at new lows.

    That said, they remain dangerous and we should stop feeding them red meat. Beware overextended lines and giddy, triumphant charges. The arc of history that bends toward justice isn’t an arc unless you zoom way out. Closer up and it looks like the EKG of a heart-attack victim, lots of peaks and valleys.

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  67. Michael Reynolds says:

    @sam:
    I like oceans and edges. Not that I ever even go to the beach, I just need to know there’s water nearby. Ocean is best, a great lake is meh, a navigable river is a poor substitute, and smaller lakes are (as we all know) filled with crocodiles, snakes and piranha and surrounded by guys who murder teenagers staying at the cabin.

    We moved once to the mountains – and lasted six months.

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  68. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I know it’s about loss of status. But the idea that evangelicals lost cultural dominance threw me. I know they’re loud, noisy pains in the ass, and in many cases dangerous, but except for parts of the midwest and deep south, where were they ever dominant in the culture?

    I could be misunderstanding what the term “cultural dominance” means. To me it signifies a majority that imposes its views on others.

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  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Yeah, I brought it up a month or so ago (I forget which article prompted me to post it here) and JKB (iirc) replied with the usual BS about everybody leaving. I stated that I thought the worlds 6th largest economy could handle it.

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  70. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Interesting. I, too, have always wondered how people could live not near an ocean. I don’t have to see it; I just like knowing it’s there. This has been true all my life.

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  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: I’m vaxed and masked, and intend to remain that way for quite some time.

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  72. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    Evangelicals do, I think, dominate the rural south-east and up into midwestern farm country. Their power is reinforced by unity, common fantasies, common hatreds. They out-focus mainstream Protestants and Catholics.

    Interesting. I, too, have always wondered how people could live not near an ocean. I don’t have to see it; I just like knowing it’s there. This has been true all my life.

    You never know when you might want to raise sail, sharpen your axe, heft your shield and go a-viking. I might want to plunder La Jolla.

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  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @CSK:

    The longest weekend of my life was spent at the ocean. It lasted damned near a year. Give me mountains, with rivers and lakes galore to explore.

    Different strokes and all that.

    And that’s one of the beauties of California, it has both and damned near everything in between.

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  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Evangelicals dominate here in the hills and hollers.

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  75. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Yes, I realize that fundies (my preferred term) dominate in parts of the deep south and midwest. (I said so, didn’t I? :D) But Jones’s comment that they had lost cultural dominance bothered me, because I don’t think they were ever dominant nationwide.

    Maybe there was a time when they felt they were dominant. Or deserved to be dominant. That I can see. Take my niece-in-law. Please.

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  76. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Whilst you’re plundering La Jolla, would Katherine mind if you rogered a few lusty wenches? That’s what pirates do, right?

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  77. Jay L Gischer says:

    @JohnMcC: It’s hard to say without knowing them, but that could be a coping strategy. Emphasize the bad parts of living here to people from out of state, just so it doesn’t seem like you’re bragging or one-upping them.

    Or maybe they haven’t lived here so long, and are wigged out by earthquakes. That also happens.

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  78. becca says:

    @Michael Reynolds: we live in a small lake community. No crocs or piranha, but cranky turtles and noisy nosy geese abound. There is nothing I enjoy more than taking the pontoon out in the blue hour, listening to Boz Scaggs and just being.

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  79. Chip Daniels says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The Trump Cult is all about loss of status. Men losing specific male privileges…

    I’ve read a few times about how the path to rightwing radicalization for many white men was a bad divorce or custody battle.

    For a lot of white men, it was their first experience with systemic injustice, where all the machinery of society- the police, the courts, the bureaucracy; Cultural institutions like churches and schools- all seemed to form a united front of hostility and oppression to the man who was faced with court ordered separation and child support payments.

    Like the Trumpists who got arrested after 1/6, they are at first bewildered, that “things like this don’t happen to people like us!”

    Then they begin to be receptive to messages of support from the dark shadows who preach a gospel of grievance and conspiracism.

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  80. Chip Daniels says:

    @CSK:
    I think its more that they were allowed to define who is or isn’t a “real American”.
    My example is Star Trek, where the show had this wonderful diverse mix of people but the guy in the big chair was a white guy from Iowa.

    Its like the very definition of a Real American is a white hetero male Christian with a flat Midwestern accent. He may be tolerant of others, but its his world and he is the tolerant host, never the tolerated guest.

    His cultural totems, everything from food to music to fashion to language to dialect; From business and cultural norms and behavior- are all the default “normal” and anything else is just an exotic oddity.

    This is what’s slipping out of their grasp.
    Franklin Graham and the Catholic Bishops don’t hold much sway over what people consider moral, and the culture that formed them is increasingly marginalized and alien.

    They foresee a world where Capt. Uhura barks orders and Communications Officer Kirk meekly says “Yes, Captain.”

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  81. Kylopod says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    I think its more that they were allowed to define who is or isn’t a “real American”.
    My example is Star Trek, where the show had this wonderful diverse mix of people but the guy in the big chair was a white guy from Iowa.

    Played by a Jewish Canadian, but I guess that’s a side point….

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  82. CSK says:

    @Chip Daniels:
    I think you’re right. The midwest, at least in popular culture, was the place where real Americans resided.

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  83. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Well, they dominate enough to hold the national GOP hostage.

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  84. Kathy says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    They foresee a world where Capt. Uhura barks orders and Communications Officer Kirk meekly says “Yes, Captain.”

    That already happened on DS9, with Capt. Sisko and Chief O’Brien.

    I hear Burnham is taking the captain’s chair next season, too.

    Maybe she can preside when Paul and Hugh tie the knot.

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  85. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Sure, but Shatner had the right WASPy look for the part.

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  86. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Well, I’m sure they do dominate in the hills and hollers. That was part of my point.

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  87. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Yeah, he had fair-colored hair and had that classically handsome chiseled look; I bet most viewers never guessed he was either Jewish or not an American. Wikipedia quotes a letter they got from a Southerner after the kiss with Uhura episode:

    “I am totally opposed to the mixing of the races. However, any time a red-blooded American boy like Captain Kirk gets a beautiful dame in his arms that looks like Uhura, he ain’t gonna fight it.”

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  88. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Nichelle Nichols was gorgeous. Still is.

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  89. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Chip Daniels: I’ve read a few times about how the path to rightwing radicalization for many white men was a bad divorce or custody battle.

    For a lot of white men, it was their first experience with systemic injustice, where all the machinery of society- the police, the courts, the bureaucracy; Cultural institutions like churches and schools- all seemed to form a united front of hostility and oppression to the man who was faced with court ordered separation and child support payments.

    There is a fair amount of truth to that but I have to say that for me at least, it wasn’t a united front of hostility and oppression so much as one of overwhelming indifference. My ex was whacked out on all kinds of shit but say the word “drugs” and unless the mother has tracks on her arms and hasn’t bathed in a month while keeping her children not hungry, the reaction was, “Yeah, we’ve heard that one before.”

    I couldn’t really blame them, because I knew they had.

    Even when I won a battle the system reacted with a yawn. I got my ex to convince not one but 2 guardian ad litems that she was unfit to have custody, and both times her lawyer successfully argued that they were biased against her.

    It was true. They were biased against her. It was their job to be biased against anyone who was not in the best interests of their clients (my sons). Catch 22 anyone?

    The 3rd one… Well, let me introduce you to rural county courts, where everyone knows everyone else, and if you ain’t local you ain’t shit. The 3rd one barely got to present a case but only after it was a fait accompli.

    The only reason I can come up with for my acceptance of the lack of…. The lack of anyone really caring about it all? Is the fact that I had already been thru the grinder of the court system a couple times and knew they didn’t give a rat’s ass about anyone who wasn’t rich.

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  90. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: You are missing my point:

    When Evangelicals say jump, the GOP hops. Repeatedly. In fact the national GOP is hopping to the Evan tune right now. If one is a Republican anywhere in this country and one wants anyone outside of their state to take them serious, one had damned well better get the evangelicals mentioning their name in a favorable way. One might be able to get elected Governor in MA without them, and if that is the height of their aspirations fine and dandy.

    But if any Republican wants more than that? Good luck without them.

    @OzarkHillbilly: This is the comment I thought you were replying to. If you hadn’t gotten there yet, my apologies.

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  91. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Wikipedia quotes a letter they got from a Southerner after the kiss with Uhura episode:

    There was also much controversy in the 90s when two women kissed.

    Today in Discovery, there’s an interracial gay couple.

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  92. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    An evangelical is a recruiter, by definition. Hard to recruit when you’re embarrassed to admit that’s what you are. Their beliefs aren’t important, their actions are.

    If “Podunk Evangelical Church” renames itself “Podunk Protestant Church”, they’re still recruiting people into the same extremist religion as before, but under this survey’s methodology, all those people left Evangelical Christianity because they no long call themselves “Evangelical”.

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  93. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    The back button seldom works for me, but I think I can figure out to which of my comments you were responding.

    I’m not disagreeing about the power the fundies have over the GOP. My argument was with the phrase “cultural dominance,” as if it existed nationwide. As you yourself said, being a Bible-thumping yokel* won’t get you elected in Mass.–nor anywhere in the northeast or west coast.

    I use the word “yokel” deliberately, since some of these people seem to take pride in being yokels, and go out of their way to flaunt their yokeldom as if it were evidence of their superiority.

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  94. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Boardroom
    @boardroom

    In association with @uninterrupted
    , Netflix is releasing a three-part docuseries on @naomiosaka

    “Naomi Osaka: Playing By Her Own Rules” will be released July 16th and includes @KingJames
    and @mavcarter
    as executive producers.

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  95. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Speaking as one who refers to himself as an Ozark Hillbilly, I don’t see these terms as a pejorative or a compliment, no matter what meaning the person making the utterance might be wanting to convey.

    From the case of Moore v Moore
    337 S.W.2d 781 (1960)
    Lowell R. MOORE, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Minnie MOORE, Defendant-Appellant.
    No. 7821.
    Springfield Court of Appeals, Missouri.

    August 24, 1960.

    In respect to plaintiff’s evidence that Minnie once referred to relatives of the plaintiff as hillbillies: We suggest *789 that to refer to a person as a “hillbilly,” or any other name, for that matter, might or might not be an insult, depending upon the meaning intended to be conveyed, the manner of utterance, and the place where the words are spoken. Webster’s New International Dictionary says that a hillbilly is “a backwoodsman or mountaineer of the southern United States;often used contemptuously.” But without the added implication or inflection which indicates an intention to belittle, we would say that, here in Southern Missouri, the term is often given and accepted as a complimentary expression. An Ozark hillbilly is an individual who has learned the real luxury of doing without the entangling complications of things which the dependent and over-pressured city dweller is required to consider as necessities. The hillbilly foregoes the hard grandeur of high buildings and canyon streets in exchange for wooded hills and verdant valleys. In place of creeping traffic he accepts the rippling flow of the wandering stream. He does not hear the snarl of exhaust, the raucous braying of horns, and the sharp, strident babble of many tense voices. For him instead is the measured beat of the katydid, the lonesome, far-off complaining of the whippoorwill, perhaps even the sound of a falling acorn in the infinite peace of the quiet woods. The hillbilly is often not familiar with new models, soirees, and office politics. But he does have the time and surroundings conducive to sober reflection and honest thought, the opportunity to get closer to his God. No, in Southern Missouri the appellation “hillbilly” is not generally an insult or an indignity; it is an expression of envy.

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  96. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Good God, that’s florid.

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  97. Chip Daniels says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’m the quintessentially Republican demographic- White, male, middle aged, gainfully employed, Christian, hetero.

    I find myself enraged when I see those videos of cops brutalizing people, and have all manner of dark thoughts of vengeance, of “what I would do if…”.

    Then I have to remind myself of what a privileged candyass I am. I mean, the experience, even vicariously, of systematic brutality and injustice where the bad guys wear uniforms and get away clean is so shocking to me, so alien, that it feels like the world has slipped off its axis, the sky ripping open.

    I have to remind myself that there are literally billions of people in the world for whom this sort of thing is a day ending in Y, just a part of the natural normal fabric of their existence.

    I think of Adam Serwer’s observation that the very people (white men) who have benefitted so much from liberal democracy are often the first to scorn it when it doesn’t deliver things they want.

    Trumpists seem like this, the sort who really have no legitimate fears of a liberal world yet imagine themselves in some existential fight because a world where they don’t run things is a fate worse than anything they can imagine.

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  98. de stijl says:

    @sam:

    Sante Fe is a damn fine town.

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  99. Teve says:

    @RawStory

    GOP’s Madison Cawthorn: Biden may use door-to-door vaccine program to ‘take your Bibles’

    Gotta say, he knows his supporters.

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  100. Kylopod says:

    I never thought I’d see the day when going door to door was considered anti-Christian.

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  101. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Judges are paid to be florid. Or at least they think so. Either way, I am rather fond of the quote.

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  102. charon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    When Evangelicals say jump, the GOP hops. Repeatedly. In fact the national GOP is hopping to the Evan tune right now.

    So are we conflating political dominance and cultural dominance? Politically, the evangelicals dominate the Federal courts, also the courts in states such as Texas. They dominate GOP primaries pretty much everywhere that is not the Northeast, thus the GOP primary process nationally also. So, lots of political moxie.

    But culturally? Once upon a time, Hollywood movies had married couples sleeping in twin beds. More recently, a crucifix in a jar of urine set off a big brouhaha. More recently, a Virgin Mary partially made of elephant dung was pretty poorly received, at least by the pecksniffs.

    But now? Would many people really care about an elephant dung Virgin Mary?

    Whose opinions do Netflix, HBO, Starz, Marvel Comics, Vogue care about – their paying customers or some noisy non-paying prudes? I would think the evangelicals can go pee up a rope as much as any of those care.

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  103. de stijl says:

    I need some touch up and likely some recoloring. A couple hundred easy on touch up & some color. A thou on a possible new piece.

    Yeah, looking for a new piece.

    My local guy got up and went during the pandemic. I now have no obeisance to any local shop or to any dude/dudette. I could get ink from anyone local.

    The closest joint gives off a RW/Nazi vibe just by name and signage. Iron Heart Tattoo has an explicit call out to the Wehrmacht in the shop name. Hard pass. Not my vibe at all. Maybe I’m reading them wrong. Still, gotta pass. Too many danger points evident.

    I am looking at Skin Kitchen. Maybe Creative Images.

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  104. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Be proud of your name!

    That was super cool.

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  105. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @charon: So are we conflating political dominance and cultural dominance?

    No, and I never alluded to such. But the 2 influence each other. To speak of one without acknowledging the other is myopic. My comment was merely to say it plays a part.

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  106. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I have a Santa Fe angels story. Literally saved my life. Well, maybe that is a little hyperbolic but it’s still a nice story.

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  107. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    But first Madison said they might go door-to-door to take your guns.

    Guns, then Bibles. He does know his audience.

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  108. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @charon: But culturally?

    And just for the record, there is an evangelical culture. It does not dominate across the country, but the same can be said for all other cultures in this country. We are a really weird mix.

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  109. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    If you post No Solicitors on the outside of your house visibly does that apply to evangelical proselytizers, Mormon missionaries, or to Seventh Day Adventists.

    Technically, none of them are British lawyers.

    No thanks, I do not want a copy of The Watchtower.

    A guy with a clipboard asked me out of the blue my religious affiliation a few years back.

    I immediately responded “None. You know what I’m feeling feisty today so mark me down as ‘Atheist’.”

    He looked as if I had slapped him. Swallowed and started his spiel. “No thanks! Have a great day.”

    Walked on.

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  110. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Share if you want to. Open thread.

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  111. Kurtz says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    I have to remind myself that there are literally billions of people in the world for whom this sort of thing is a day ending in Y, just a part of the natural normal fabric of their existence.

    I think of Adam Serwer’s observation that the very people (white men) who have benefitted so much from liberal democracy are often the first to scorn it when it doesn’t deliver things they want.

    Trumpists seem like this, the sort who really have no legitimate fears of a liberal world yet imagine themselves in some existential fight because a world where they don’t run things is a fate worse than anything they can imagine.

    My question:

    is this a second order belief based on other perspectives about the world or is this the belief that modulates assessment of truth-claims?

    Or:

    Is it the rug that ties the room together or is it the room that determines what rug works with the Nixon bowling poster?

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  112. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I like “No Tresspassing. We’re tired of hiding the bodies.”

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  113. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: the story of Passover suggests that Yahweh’s Reps going door-to-door Isn’t Always Great.

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  114. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy:
    For an example from that era it’s hard to beat casting of David Caradine instead of Bruce Lee for the series Kung Fu. The networks were not convinced the public would watch a show with a Chinese person in the lead role.

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  115. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: It’s almost 7 :30. I fcked up my shoulder Sunday (badly) and am not sleeping very well, so… Bedtime is closing in fast.

    Maybe some day. It’s just a small story about the kindness of strangers. Even after all these years, I remember them.

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  116. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I used to live in Austin and the city was good to me.

    I did two years there on “American Crime”, and feel the same way. In Texas I could live in Austin and San Antonio. That’s it. Houston and Dallas are just too spread out (says the guy from Los Angeles.) What’s the difference? Hills and mountains. LA has them. Houston and Dallas don’t. Having valleys makes a big difference, at least to me.

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  117. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    I have a nice rug. Not sure if it ties the room together. I know I would prefer it if Euro anarchists not urinate on it performatively.

    And no weasels in my tub!

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  118. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Any time you are ready.

    Crash out and sleep well!

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  119. EddieInCA says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    And that’s one of the beauties of California, it has both and damned near everything in between.

    That’s the biggest plus in my opinion. From my house in the San Fernando Valley I can be….

    …at the ocean in 35 mins. Malibu in 45 minutes.
    …in the forest in 30 mins.
    …at a ski area in 1hr 45 mins.
    …at a mountain lake in 1 hr 35 mins.
    …in the desert in 50 minutes.
    …an island in 2 hrs (including the hour long ferry ride)
    …downtown in one of the great cities in the world.
    …in Beverly Hills in 40 mins.
    ….in Disneyland in 1 hr 30 mins.

    So I’m not going anywhere.

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  120. Beth says:

    @de stijl:

    I had a bunch of missionary type knock on my door and ask me what I was. I replied atheist and they kinda shrugged.

    Then they asked what everyone else was. I told them the truth that I was surrounded by Catholics and they were all at church.

    The missionaries begged me to come with them to get away from “the satan worshippers”. They promised to keep me safe. I declined and told them I was going to go back to playing Halo and enjoying my quiet time. They were seriously distressed.

    I found it hilarious. The Catholic less so.

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  121. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    Most trespassing laws are written that unless the property is fenced off, the person has to have been notified they’re not welcome before it becomes a crime, so the purpose of the “No Soliciting” sign is that you don’t have to personally confront them and tell them to leave (and thus risking retaliation) before calling the police.

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  122. CSK says:

    @Beth:
    So…it’s better to be an atheist than a Papist whore who takes orders from a scarlet monster who lives in Rome?

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  123. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Beth:

    I had a bunch of missionary type knock on my door and ask me what I was. I replied atheist and they kinda shrugged.

    If you really want them to leave quickly, the correct answer is not “I’m atheist” but “I’m an apostate”.

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  124. Kathy says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    It’s a measure of how fu**ed up that time was, when people would watcha show with a Chinese lead character, so long as he was played by a white actor.

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  125. de stijl says:

    @EddieInCA:

    San Antonio is a good town. Great food!

    Even the touristy bits are interesting. I did a gig there and they put me up in a hotel on the Riverwalk about 5 minutes by foot to the job. A very pleasant few weeks. It was mid-winter so heat was not a concern.

    Dallas is not my cup of tea. Do not get me wrong. I might be utterly mistaken. I was holed up in some hotel east suburbs that overlooked a freeway. My job was at an office park that could have easily been in Office Space. I ate at Denny’s or Outback. No fun. My first hear of Blur’s Song 2 was in Dallas in a rental car on a crappy radio.

    Good airport. I like the trams.

    (Googles release date of Song 2.) 1997? You must be joking – that is nearly 25 years ago. Can that be true?

    (Does math in head). Yes. It is true. Dallas in April. Whoa!

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  126. de stijl says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    Carradine was kinda a bad ass. He traveled from town to town righting wrongs which The Hulk totally stole for Bruce Banner.

    He knew the five point palm exploding heart technique in Kill Bill v2. And he shuffled off this vale of tears in an interesting way in a Thai hotel room.

    Not to be confused with Five Finger Death Punch the band.

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  127. Beth says:

    @CSK:

    I guess so? That was the weirdest part.

    @Stormy Dragon:

    They were pretty bored by the fact I’m an atheist. Like they got it all the time. They positively freaked about the Catholics though. It was one of the stranger missionary experiences I’ve had.

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  128. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “From my house in the San Fernando Valley I can be….at the ocean in 35 mins. Malibu in 45 minutes.”

    It’s been a few years since I decamped from SoCal, but I don’t recall being able to get from the western edge of Santa Monica to the ocean in 35 minutes…

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  129. wr says:

    @de stijl: “He traveled from town to town righting wrongs which The Hulk totally stole for Bruce Banner.”

    To be fair, both shows were stealing from The Fugitive…

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  130. DrDaveT says:

    @wr:

    To be fair, both shows were stealing from The Fugitive…

    Heh. I’ve been reading Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries, and thinking exactly the same thing…

    Do you remember a short-lived SF TV series from the 70s called The Immortal? A man whose blood can cure almost anything — and so The Very Bad Guys and The Government are both after him, as he moves from town to town trying to stay under the radar, but not willing to not help when he can… Sound familiar?

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