Memorial Day 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. Teve says:

    CSK:

    And Sidney Powell is saying that Trump could simply be reinstalled as president.

    That procedure is laid out in Article 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

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  2. Teve says:

    Why don’t conservative states use thoughts and prayers to stop Abortion? After all, that’s what they use when people kill real live children in schools.

    -Anonymous

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  3. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Peace be upon the Souls of all of America’s warriors who answered the nation’s Call to Action and never returned alive. Just or unjust cause aside, they said ‘Send Me’.

    May America never forget nor trivialize their sacrifice.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Catholics, including members of the congregation at Westminster Cathedral, have questioned why the prime minister was able to be married in a Catholic church following his two previous divorces.

    Boris Johnson married Carrie Symonds at the cathedral in a ceremony with 30 friends and family on Saturday, planned in strict secrecy and reportedly carried out by Father Daniel Humphreys, who baptised their son Wilfred last year.

    Symonds, who will be taking Johnson’s name, has spoken publicly of her Catholic faith, while Johnson was baptised into Catholicism but renounced it for Anglicanism during his Eton schooldays, according to biographers.

    Catholic law, which does not recognise divorce, usually does not permit the remarriage of those whose former spouse, or spouses, are still alive. Johnson was divorced from his first wife, Allegra Mostyn-Owen, in 1993, and finalised his divorce from his second wife, Marina Wheeler, in November last year.

    Funny that as one who left the church at the age of 14, I know the answer:

    According to the papal biographer Austen Ivereigh, ………………… wrote on Twitter:

    “Boris’s two previous marriages (probably) lacked canonical form, that is, are not recognised in Catholic law. So he (probably) didn’t need an annulment. When the canonical form of marriage has not been observed and the marriage was not later validated in the Church, a simple administrative process is used to declare such marriages invalid in church.”

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  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    An atheist’s ‘amen’ to that.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Police in Hong Kong have arrested a 65-year-old democracy activist as she staged a lone demonstration over China’s deadly Tiananmen crackdown, in a vivid illustration of the zero tolerance wielded by authorities towards protest in the financial hub.

    Alexandra Wong was detained on Sunday on suspicion of taking part in an unlawful assembly as she walked towards Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong.

    An unlawful assembly of one.

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  7. @OzarkHillbilly

    Curch teaching is that cuvil marriages don’t count under Canon Law.

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  8. In addition to remembering those who died for their country, we should try to ensure that we don’t send men and women off to fight unnecessary and unjust wars so there are fewer soldiers to honor on days like this.

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  9. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Info warfare 101: Disrupt solidarity at every opportunity.

    I want people to understand the environment our politics are in. I mean REALLY understand what we are dealing with. In today’s digital age its really hard without the assistance of national intelligence capabilities (and illegal) to know the “who”….but I know the “what” like I know my hand.

    The what is to use information and persuasion techniques to disrupt any coming together…on anything.

    You saw very shortly after 9-11 a crafted campaign to cause Americans to choose a side. Covid had the potential to be a national solidarity causing event–it was quickly made into the opposite. Same with the election…only now…divisive events are being manufactured out of whole cloth.

    This isn’t happenstance or the result of differing points of view. It is a deliberate destabilizing strategy. Even people with differing points of view agree 20-30% of the time….which tells me our political polarization is engineered rather than natural.

    I say that to say it disappoints me that many still continue to discuss politics from a normal frame of reference….as if the normal frameworks of understanding apply.

    Our understanding of Bipartisanship must evolve. It must be pursued at the voter level but cannot be pursued in Congress as a mode of Legislating. At least not in the current environment. Bipartisan legislation would go against the current Republican strategy and therefore is a pipe dream. Thats not to say Republican voters can’t be swayed and reached out to…some of them can. However, Democrats will have to go it alone in governance.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: All marriages outside of the church don’t count under Canon law.

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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Tommy Smothers dead-on imitation of Johnny Carson – Feb 20, 1992

    Too f’n funny for this almost 63 yo.

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  12. Kathy says:

    I was thinking about dark energy.

    the current thinking, if I’m getting this right, is that the farther apart two things are, the stronger the effect of dark energy is on them. this sounds like the opposite of the inverse square law. os let’s consider an analogy, how would light behave in such a regime:

    suppose it’s night and you aim a flashlight at a book from about half a meter away. it would very faintly, almost imperceptibly, illuminate the book. So you move it closer, but then the light falling on the book goes down. If you put the flashlight right against the book, it would be so dark as to be effectively free of light.

    So you move the flashlight away from the book, and it brightens. If you moved the light really far back, say halfway across the universe, it would illuminate the books clear as day.

    Does this make sense to anyone?

    Not that the universe has to make sense to anyone. it just need be internally consistent.

    But then I thought, light spreads with distance. Normal light aimed at a book a short distance away provides intense illumination to a small art of the page. Walk it back and the light grows dimmer, but it illuminates a greater area.

    Ok, so what would our pseudo-dark light do? Does it spread infinitely if close to the book, and does it concentrate to a near point halfway across the universe? Or is the spread the same regardless of the intensity? Does it matter at all?

    Not that I expect to come up with a real insight (how?), but it’s the kind of thing that tends to occupy my mind in the shower. It sometimes leads to a notion self-consistent enough to be used as a gimmick in science fiction.

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  13. CSK says:
  14. @OzarkHillbilly:

    Exactly

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  15. Moosebreath says:

    Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Sunday night said that a Myanmar-like military coup “should happen” in the U.S.

    This is going to end well.

    /sarcasm

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  16. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Sidney made her pronouncement, based on a careful consideration of Constitutional law, no doubt, at something called the “For God & County Patriot Roundup” in Dallas. It was at this event that Michael Flynn claimed we need a Myanmar-like coup.

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Prehistoric carvings of red deer found in Scottish neolithic tomb

    The deer were found by Hamish Fenton, an amateur archaeologist from Oxfordshire who was visiting the area, and who was exploring Dunchraigaig cairn, a bronze age burial mound, one evening.

    After deciding to explore a burial cist on the side of the cairn, he slid inside with a torch. An archaeology graduate from Bournemouth university, Fenton spotted the delicate and unusual markings on the capstone, or cover, of the chamber.

    “As I shone the torch around, I noticed a pattern on the underside of the roof slab which didn’t appear to be natural markings in the rock. I could see that I was looking at a deer stag upside down, and as I continued looking around, more animals appeared on the rock,” he said.

    “This was a completely amazing and unexpected find and, to me, discoveries like this are the real treasure of archaeology, helping to reshape our understanding of the past.”

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  18. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    That was uncanny.

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  19. EdB says:

    @Doug Mataconis: While I honor my fellow citizens who have perished fighting in our wars, memorial day always brings up these thoughts…

    We should be recognising ordinary people who contribute to preventing wars.

    We should acknowledge that some of our soldiers have ended up dying in battle because at some point they felt military service was their only option for employment.

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  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Qasim Rashid, Esq.
    @QasimRashid

    Trump: I got 5 deferments b/c of my rich dad
    GOP:¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Trump: Escaping STDs was my Vietnam
    GOP:¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Trump: Mocks Gold Star parents
    GOP:¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Trump: Fallen soldiers are “suckers & losers”
    GOP:¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    VP Harris: Have a good weekend
    GOP: This is outrageous!

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  21. George says:

    @Kathy:

    The theory (well, hypothesis, given how very little is known about dark energy — it’s really more a name for the result of accelerating expansion than a theory) is that the energy is part of the structure of space-time itself rather than a force transmitted through space-time (such as light or gravity). Its basically a term in Einstein’s General Relativity field equations (giving energy per unit of space-time) that describes what’s happening (though what is happening is still under review, including questions on how constant supposed constants like Hubbles’ constant are) rather than a description of something material like a photon.

    So the more space-time is between two objects, then the more energy there is between them, analogous to the way you’d say the further apart two objects are in the ocean than the more mass (water) there is between them.

    This is another example of how the math of physics can be very precise and clear (though of course still only be an approximation of physical reality) but translating that math into everyday language and our physical intuition is very difficult. And in the case of Dark Energy, so far the only thing we know is that the expansion of the universe seems to be accelerating, and there’s a term in Einstein’s field equations that describes that possibility, though we have no idea what might drive that term (unlike say the mass in the equation which is directly linked to the mass we can see and measure in the universe).

    Looking over what I’ve written, its hopelessly oversimplified and still not accurate — sorry.

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  22. gVOR08 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    This isn’t happenstance or the result of differing points of view. It is a deliberate destabilizing strategy.

    Quite right. We cannot have bipartisanship between the parties in government when one party insists we not have it. The only way forward is reform of the Republican Party. And that won’t happen until they’re nearly destroyed.

    Whatever Russian participation there is is targeted at destabilization, not any particular policy. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are PhD poly sci and sociology types in the Kochtopus who’ve thought through how to maintain a small, unpopular elite in power. But for the most part it isn’t a group of evil geniuses in a hidden lair, it flows from Rupert Murdoch finding he could make a lot of money telling people what they want to hear and GOP politicians finding they can get elected by attacking the “elites” while taking money from the real elites. It’s evolution more than conspiracy, but it’s very real and it’s destroying the country.

    You’re quite right to say there’s a lot of agreement within the electorate. Biden’s “socialist” agenda is supported by like 2/3 of the electorate. But we have a Republican Party that can win only by exploiting every difference.

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  23. Kathy says:

    I still don’t have a date for my second Pfizer does, but the good news is vaccination for the age group after mine begin this week.

    Getting vaccinated is good. Getting more people vaccinated is better.

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  24. China ended the one child policy several years ago expanded it two children. Now it’s three children and that is due apparently concerning data from the latest census and demographics.

    The problem this faces is that many Chinesest couples are still limiting themselves to one child.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57303592

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  25. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Don’t forget that Trump stood beside John Kelly’s son’s grave at Arlington and turned to Kelly and said: “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”

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  26. Erik says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I’m interested in understanding how info warfare is playing a part in US society. Do you have any reading suggestions that would help me with this?

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  27. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Moosebreath:
    And you had Matt Gaetz, accused sex trafficker and child molester, calling for armed rebellion against the Government. For what reason, other than his pending indictment, I’m not sure.
    The point is that these crazies are firing up the other crazies, and something is going to pop.
    Something needs to be done to send the message that this behavior, over complete bollocks, is unacceptable. The Senate abdicated it’s role in providing accountability. I’m not sure who is going to stand up and fight for this country.

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  28. CSK says:

    Well, Breitbart has now been added to the official Trumpkin shitlist, along with Fox and Newsmax. Now the only trustworthy news source is OAN.

    Breitbart’s big sin is believing that the 2020 election was NOT stolen.

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  29. Kathy says:

    @George:

    Oh, I’m sure I have it wrong.

    This is another example of how the math of physics can be very precise and clear (though of course still only be an approximation of physical reality) but translating that math into everyday language and our physical intuition is very difficult.

    Perhaps we should stop looking for the long-lost math-to human language dictionary and compile a new one 😉

    Seriously, I’m reminded a bit of the phlogiston theory. It required an element with negative mass, which also made no sense. When Priestly isolated oxygen, he called it “dephlogisticated air.”

    I wonder if we’re seeing something along these lines now.

    I’ve probably got this wrong too.

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  30. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    the current thinking, if I’m getting this right, is that the farther apart two things are, the stronger the effect of dark energy is on them.

    Do you have any links to for an explanation of the evidence for this?

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  31. China ended the one child policy several years ago expanded it two children. Now it’s three children and that is due apparently concerning data from the latest census and demographics.

    The problem this faces is that many Chinesestcouples are still limiting themselves to one child.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57303592

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  32. Teve says:

    This thread about aging and the comments are great

    https://twitter.com/ChuckWendig/status/1399158757192523781?s=20

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  33. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    None, sorry. It’s just my, very possibly incredibly flawed, understanding after reading countless articles on dark energy.

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  34. Kylopod says:

    Nutcase Pastor Rick Wiles (the guy who referred to the first Trump impeachment as a “Jew Coup”–I keep thinking someone’s going to create a band with that name) has apparently contracted Covid after refusing to get vaccinated.

    Mazal tov!

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  35. Kathy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Adn he’s facing charges, too.

    I wonder, if in view of their former high rank, him and Donnie the Ass could be incarcerated together. Maybe ignominy loves company, too.

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  36. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    From a policy perspective, Bennett isn’t much of an improvement over Bibi as he’s a strident nationalist, opponent of a 2 state solution (which is dead anyway) and advocates expanding Israel’s borders to include the West Bank.

    But he seems to lack the authoritarian streak that Bibi has. Significant in this coalition is that it is happening because of support of the Arab parties.

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  37. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Beth:

    Beth – As to “Do I like the Ryobi electric mower?”, right now, today, the answer is yes.

    However there are a few things that I considered in making my purchase:

    1) I had decided to go electric, as I saw no real reason to purchase a gas mower anymore — no containers of gas laying around, no oil changes or spark plugs, no wondering if it will start in the spring. (…have you seen what they change for gas “cans” now? Crazy! )

    2) I had a predisposition for Ryobi because we already had two Ryobi batteries, so if I needed to swap out batteries, I could. (I checked, and there are people making Ryobi compatible batteries so I should be good for the future at a lower cost than OEM.)

    3) The Ryobi has a 90 day return policy, so If I don’t like it, I can take it back to Home Depot (relatively close) for a full refund. This is a great reassurance, as three months of mowing will let me know if this is for us (it likely is, but still a good feature). Then the 3 yr battery, 5 year mower, and lifetime deck helped as well, especially since the deck is a rigid plastic and not metal.

    4) I live bordering wilderness, and the area that we mow is about 1.5 acres, and sloped. I had considered an electric riding mower for $3000, but that really seemed overly lazy and a heck of a lot of money. Then also riding mowers don’t do well on slopes. And then I would need to find a place to put it as well, and I had no interest in building a shed to store a mower. Plus the batteries in the riding mower are much bigger and non-standard-ish, so if there was a failure I would more likely be S.O.L. — so riding mower is out.

    5) The mower that I purchased for $500 came with two 40v 6Ah battery packs, so in theory that was 70 minutes of mowing time (two batteries raise the price of the mower). And with the other two (smaller) batteries I have, I am sure that I have more than enough power to do the job. That was a big driver for me.

    6) I can push it manually, or have the RWD kick in on the slope when needed. It came preassembled, and has a great single-bar control to adjust height, with a 4 inch max height setting. That’s important here because taller grasses at this altitude will grow better. I’m pretty darned close to high alpine desert, so my growing season is about 4 months, max.

    So, you can see that the drivers for my choice are different than yours. You already have dewalt batteries, so you have that predisposition, and the area that you are mowing is much smaller than I needed to do.

    If I can offer a suggestion: Take a look online at Lowes. They have a few electric 40 Volt mowers that are starting at $250 that come with a battery. If your area is really smaller, then forget about the dewalt batteries, and make a choice based on features that matter to you and the cost. At that price, if it works for 10 years, then you have spent $25 / year to get your yard mowed (and a negligible cost to recharge the battery). That’s a deal.

    This is one to consider, with a 5 yr warranty and good reviews:
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-40-volt-Max-Brushless-Lithium-Ion-Push-20-in-Cordless-Electric-Lawn-Mower/1000192703

    Yeah, I know… overly wordy. But I’m a technology consultant by trade, so user experience and ROI is how this brain works.

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  38. EdB says:

    @Doug Mataconis: …so to maintain a population level, I am reading that it takes just over two offspring per woman (given average mortality), and that has to continue from generation to generation. A couple of generations of one (and two) child policy will take a while to recover from to get back on track…

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  39. Doug Mataconis says:

    A Memorial DAY Quiz

    Which President made Memorial Day a national holiday?

    No Googling!

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  40. George says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Here is a much better explanation than my attempt (I should have just put it in from the start):

    https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy

    A quote from it:

    Then one version of Einstein’s gravity theory, the version that contains a cosmological constant, makes a second prediction: “empty space” can possess its own energy. Because this energy is a property of space itself, it would not be diluted as space expands. As more space comes into existence, more of this energy-of-space would appear.

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  41. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    I think it was Nixon, in 1971.

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  42. @CSK:

    Nixon signed the law that placed it on last Monday in May but was not the one who made it national hpliday

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  43. Mikey says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    This is one to consider, with a 5 yr warranty and good reviews:
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-40-volt-Max-Brushless-Lithium-Ion-Push-20-in-Cordless-Electric-Lawn-Mower/1000192703

    I just got that exact one last week.

    I’ve only used it once, but so far so good.

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  44. Kathy says:

    @George:

    It’s hard to clarify what we don’t know.

    I’d go with Feynman’s alleged quote, “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, that means you don’t understand quantum mechanics.” I also wonder how George Gamow would have had Mr. Tompkins analogize dark energy.

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  45. Mikey says:

    Here’s an extensive thread on the destruction of Tulsa’s “Black Wall Street,” 100 years ago today. Most of us–raised in the American tradition of white-washed history–never learned about this until recently, and even then what we’ve learned may not be properly contextualized.

    (This is only the first tweet in the thread, which runs to dozens of tweets. It’s worth the time.)

    @michaelharriot
    On the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre, let’s acknowledge that what happened in Greenwood was not a spontaneous eruption of hatred.

    That’s the narrative that America likes to portray but what happened on May 31, 1921, is an example of systemic racism.

    A thread

    https://twitter.com/michaelharriot/status/1399119972174110721?s=20

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  46. Beth says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    That’s actually super helpful. Thank you.

    The one I’ve been thinking of getting is:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-21-5-in-20-Volt-MAX-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Battery-Walk-Behind-Push-Mower-DCMWP233U2/314269627

    I currently have one of those old-school mechanical push mowers. I am having trouble actually using the thing. It’s got something wrong with one of the bearings, it needs a sharpen and I have comedically poor upper body strength. So, it’s got to go. It would probably cost me about 100-ish bucks to get fixed and finding someone nearby would be a pain.

    I also tried my neighbor’s gas mower and that was wonderful to watch my kids laugh at me while I tried to get it started.

    I’m also on the near Southside of Chicago, so we’re not talking a huge or difficult area.

    I think the two factors you cited at are swaying me are the batteries and the 10 year cost. I could see getting the Kobalt cause the cost is good and then forgetting to charge the battery. Then I have a dead mower and an incompatible battery.

    At least with the Dewalt I also have a compatible nail gun, drill set, sawzall, edger, flashlight and a couple other tools I use less often. I do have one other Ryobi battery for the heavy ass drill I used to build my house (I can barely lift it, and I retired my sainted Harbor Freight nail gun after the constant unexpected misfires became to scary even for me).

    I have about half a dozen Dewalt batteries and it would drive me nuts to add another incompatible battery to the mix.

    The other thing is the 10 year cost works out to about $40, per year and my neighbor has a surly old guy come out and cut her grass for about $25 per week. Look at it like that makes it a steal for me.

    Thanks. Ha, whoever owns Dewalt should send you a commission.

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  47. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis: FWIW, when I lived in China, the people who worked with me were overwhelmed by the thought of having more than one child. A number qualified for two under various exceptions but none were took advantage. The one guy I know of that had more than one kid didn’t give a crap about the regulations or the disapproval of his peers. He maintains his hou kou ina province and region that basically treated extra kids with a fine. It was just another expense to him and the impression I got was that for poor farmers needing labor, the authorities looked the other way.

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  48. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy:

    the current thinking, if I’m getting this right, is that the farther apart two things are, the stronger the effect of dark energy is on them. this sounds like the opposite of the inverse square law.

    Or it is emitting a negative effect. In your flashlight example, the flashlight would be emitting darkness rather than light, and then it would all make sense.

    Seriously, I’m reminded a bit of the phlogiston theory. It required an element with negative mass, which also made no sense. When Priestly isolated oxygen, he called it “dephlogisticated air.”

    I wonder if we’re seeing something along these lines now.

    That would be my bet. “We have no way of directly perceiving the vast majority of the mass and energy in the universe” seems a little suspect. “We have no way of directly perceiving the vast majority of the mass and energy in the universe, but it has these properties that do not match anything we can directly perceive” seems more suspect.

    Not necessarily wrong but it would be a big surprise if we stumbled blindly onto the right explanation.

    I’m reminded of the blindfolded monks and the elephant, each feeling a different part and believing it is something entirely different (as if the smell wouldn’t give it away), but with someone else getting their reports and trying to figure out that it was having never seen an elephant.

    ——
    Have you ever read the Tom Strong comics by Alan Moore? Phlogiston comes up in some of the flashback stories, along with the confused realization that this cannot be right because phlogiston wasn’t real.

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  49. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    China ended the one child policy several years ago expanded it two children. Now it’s three children and that is due apparently concerning data from the latest census and demographics.

    The One Child Policy was so full of exceptions that it was a joke. The “forced abortion” stories you’ve heard made the news because they were so rare. Even the Chinese thought they were outrageous–and they have a very casual attitude towards abortion.*

    The One Child Policy excluded:

    * Ethnic minorities (e.g., Hmong)
    * Farmers (i.e., pretty much everything west of Beijing)
    * Anyone who was an only child
    * Anyone willing to pay the “tax” for a 2nd child.

    I knew a lot of people who had large families (aunts & uncles) and/or several children.

    The thing to understand about Chinese law is that it’s not “law”. It’s “an excuse for the people in power to do what they want”.

    ========

    *Just how casual hit me when a friend of mine said “I’m going to the hospital next week to kill my baby. My boyfriend says we can’t afford one.”

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  50. dazedandconfused says:
  51. gVOR08 says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    no containers of gas laying around, no oil changes or spark plugs, no wondering if it will start in the spring.

    Yeah. If you have small gas engines you have a hobby, whether you want it or not. I’ve got half a dozen spark plug sockets, I finally said Oh F, and bought one of every size known to man, or at least to Craftsman. A couple years ago all my tricks for starting it failed, so I replaced my old loud, smelly leaf blower with an EGO. No quick run to fill an empty gas can, no mixing oil, no oil stain where I set it down. Just push the button and blow. What a concept. I see no new small engines in my future.

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  52. sam says:

    Jacklyn H. Lucas, the youngest Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor:

    On August 8, 1942, at the age of 14, Lucas enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve at Norfolk, Virginia, giving his age as 17 and forging his mother’s name on the parental consent form and bribing a notary. At 5 ft 8 in (173 cm) and 180 pounds (82 kg) with a muscular build,[4] he was sent directly to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, for recruit training. During his rifle qualification, he qualified as a sharpshooter.

    He was next assigned to the Marine barracks at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. In June 1943, he was transferred to the 21st Replacement Battalion at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, and one month later he went to the 25th Replacement Battalion, and successfully completed schooling at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, which qualified him as a heavy machine gun crewman. He was sent by train to San Diego with his unit. He left the continental United States on November 4, 1943, and the following month he joined the 6th Base Depot of the V Amphibious Corps at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On January 29, 1944, he was promoted to private first class.

    On January 10, 1945, according to statements he made to his comrades [who smuggled him aboard a ship, bound for a battle on an island whose name they did not know], Lucas walked out of camp to join a combat organization wearing a khaki uniform and carrying his dungarees and field shoes in a roll under his arm. He was declared UA (Unauthorized Absence) when he failed to return that night. He stowed away on board the USS Deuel, which was transporting the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines of the 5th Marine Division to Iwo Jima. On February 8, the day before he would have been placed on the Marine Corps “deserter list”, he turned himself in to Marine Captain Robert Dunlap, commanding officer of C Company. He was taken by Dunlap to the battalion’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel C. Pollock, who assigned him to Dunlap’s rifle company as a rifleman. His punishment for going UA was an administrative reduction in rank to private. On February 14, Lucas had his 17th birthday while at sea, five days before the invasion of Iwo Jima began.

    On February 19, Lucas participated in the 5th Division’s landing on Iwo Jima with C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines. On February 20, Lucas and three Marines who were members of a four-man fire team from one of C Company’s platoons were creeping through a twisting ravine towards or at an enemy airstrip when they spotted an enemy pillbox and took cover in a trench. They then spotted 11 Japanese soldiers in a parallel trench (they had a tunnel to there from the pillbox) and opened fire on them with rifles. The Japanese also opened fire and threw two grenades inside the Marines’ trench in front of them. Lucas spotted the grenades on the ground in front of his comrades and yelled “grenades”. He then jumped over a Marine and dove for them, jamming one of them into the volcanic ash and soft sand with his rifle and covering it with his body, while reaching out and pulling the other one beneath him. One grenade exploded, tossing Lucas onto his back and severely wounding him in the right arm and wrist, right leg and thigh, and chest. He was still conscious and barely alive after the blast, holding in his left hand the other grenade, which did not explode. His three comrades were unharmed, and the Japanese soldiers in their trench were all killed. The three Marines left, believing Lucas was dead.

    Lucas was found by Marines from another unit passing by who called for Navy corpsmen who attended to his wounds and protected him with a carbine from being shot and killed by a Japanese soldier in the trench. He was evacuated by stretcher bearers to the beach, onto an LST to a cargo ship used as a hospital (all the hospital ships were full) and then to the hospital ship Samaritan. He was treated at various field hospitals prior to his arrival in San Francisco, California, on March 28, 1945. He eventually underwent 21 surgeries. For the rest of his life, there remained about 200 pieces of metal, some the size of 22 caliber bullets, in his body — which set off airport metal detectors. In August, the mark of attempted desertion was removed from his record while he was a patient at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Charleston, South Carolina. On September 18, he was discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve because of disability resulting from his wounds following his reappointment to the rank of private first class.

    On October 5, 1945, Lucas, three sailors and ten other Marines, including Robert Dunlap, his former company commanding officer on Iwo Jima, were presented the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. Those in attendance at the ceremony included Lucas’s mother and brother, Admiral Chester Nimitz and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal.

    Lucas receives his Medal of Honor Flag from CMC Gen. Hagee on August 3, 2006.

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  53. Mu Yixiao says:

    A couple days ago I had the audacity to suggest that donations to churches were something more than just… I think the phrase was “paying for the pastor’s jet”.

    Lutherans are helping people who have escaped from North Korea.

    And, apropos of Memorial Day: The US government “enlisted” the help of the Hmong during the Vietnam War. They were promised American citizenship in exchange for their help. They were the ones who gave us vital information. They were the ones who helped us navigate the region.

    And I can’t stress this enough: They were the ones who went into the tunnels.

    The Hmong suffered casualties at a rate 10 times higher than the Americans.

    And when the US military fled Vietnam, they broke their promise and left all the Hmong behind.

    The Wisconsin Lutheran Synod has been an astounding force in bringing over Hmong families that the US government used and then tossed to the wolves. The government saw them as “politically inconvenient”–that includes both Republican and Democrat presidents and congressional majorities. It’s been a very bipartisan “fuck them”.

    It was a church that brought these American soldiers on to American soil. It was a church that found them homes and jobs and resources and community connections.

    I lived in a Hmong neighborhood after college. They were the nicest neighbors you could ever ask for.*

    At the factory where I work, I would say that at least 10% of the staff is Hmong–and that’s office staff as well as assembly. Most of them are 1st generation American (they were born here as citizens).

    When I see them I know that their parents or grand parents fought for America–a country that was not their own–and that our government tossed them aside as disposable. It was donations from Christians that brought those patriots to America.

    We are, today, remembering the sacrifices of these foreigners who fought for us–and died for us ten-to-one–with the promise of becoming Americans.

    Tell me that churches are greedy scams and the government will look out for us…. and I’ll introduce you to a Hmong who’s living in the US.

    ========
    * Except on laundry day. The mothers would bring in the laundry for the entire community and take over the laundromat. If you saw them there, just come back tomorrow.

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  54. JohnMcC says:

    Something I haven’t seen in national news but might be of interest: Congressman Gaetz and his fiancee (amazingly named Ginger Luckey) have been planning to buy a 41′ sailboat in St Pete. And they somehow managed to have $155K get lost. Seriously. The phrase attributed to Mr Gaetz is the money ‘went missing’.

    As an aside, they were negotiating the purchase but went ahead and had the boat name removed and their name for it painted on. Their name for it is ‘Thirsty’. This is a major faux pas in the boaty parts of the universe, BTW.

    Apparently, the FBI is looking into it. No word on whether his highly publicized venmo/paypal accounts were involved.

    https://news.yahoo.com/matt-gaetz-says-155k-close-215258663.html

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  55. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..the human body is magic
    For most of us I guess.
    For my friend Joe who was stricken with the polio virus* as an infant his body had to be reinforced with non-magical surgery so he could approach a somewhat normal lifestyle. Some of his vertebrae were surgically fused together to assist his underdeveloped muscles in their job of holding his back in a position that allowed him to sit up straight in the several wheelchairs that he wore out in his 56 years. He had limited use of his arms. His left arm was stronger than his right arm so the bones in the index finger and thumb of his left hand were fused together to form a “C” shape so he could actually hold onto and lift a coffee mug or a beer bottle and drink out of them without assistance or use of a straw. While he could not cut up food once it was diced he had a modified fork and spoon that he could hold onto and lift with his reshaped left hand to feed himself without assistance.
    While I was his full time live in attendant after we moved to San Francisco in 1974 one of the free benefits provided to him by the State of California was a two week stint at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center where he was evaluated and programs were developed to teach him how to use his limited strength to perform mundane functions that able bodied people take for granted like sitting up in bed in the morning instead of waiting for someone to do that for him. They even developed a tool he could use while sitting on the toilet to clean himself. It was a truly liberating event in his life to finally be able to wipe his own ass at the age of 25.
    Several years later after I had left The City he was able to get a job which led to the State of California buying him a new van that was modified for him to drive.
    In 1983 my then girlfriend and I took trip to California. One of our stops was at San Francisco to visit Joe. It was the first time that I ever saw him drive when he picked us up at the old Trans Bay Terminal. I could see the look of pride on his face as he was driving me around instead of me taking him somewhere.

    *I will try to restrain myself from criticizing those MORONS who are against vaccines.

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  56. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    Or it is emitting a negative effect. In your flashlight example, the flashlight would be emitting darkness rather than light, and then it would all make sense.

    It kind of makes sense at first, but then it doesn’t.

    Take a building with a large internal space, like the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. Now, go in one dark night and turn on a regular flashlight one the floor, aimed at the very far off ceiling. You won’t be able to illuminate something that far away.

    Ok, now assume a bright day with the doors opened and all the internal lights on. take the dark flashlight and aim it at the ceiling. Its darkness wouldn’t reach it anymore than the light of the regular flashlight did. In both cases, you’d need the effect to be stronger the farther away you are.

    “We have no way of directly perceiving the vast majority of the mass and energy in the universe” seems a little suspect. “We have no way of directly perceiving the vast majority of the mass and energy in the universe, but it has these properties that do not match anything we can directly perceive” seems more suspect.

    It does indeed. I prefer to frame the matter as “something is attracting matter and we don’t know what it is,” and “something is accelerating the expansion of the universe, and we don’t know what it is.”

    In either case, it may be some sort of exotic matter or energy, or it may not. It may be we misunderstand some aspects of gravity, or it may not.

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  57. Kurtz says:

    @JohnMcC:

    As an aside, they were negotiating the purchase but went ahead and had the boat name removed and their name for it painted on. Their name for it is ‘Thirsty’. This is a major faux pas in the boaty parts of the universe, BTW.

    Which part is the faux pas?

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  58. CSK says:

    @Kurtz:
    I figured that naming it “Thirsty” was the faux pas, but I’d like to know why.

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  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Our understanding of Bipartisanship must evolve. It must be pursued at the voter level

    To attempt to cite what I heard Glen Beck say on his radio screed one day urging just what you’re suggesting here

    But how can we reach out to people who want to completely destroy our country and way of life? What agreement is even possible with such people?

    He was talking about us. Well, me–there’s no guarantee that he recognizes you as even human, sorry to say.

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  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EdB: Twas ever thus. Consider the sons of a Victorian novel.

    Number one son gets the estate.

    Number two son goes into the church.

    Number three goes into the military.

    Number four–well, you hope not to have 4 sons, cause he’s out of options.

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  61. Monala says:

    @Mikey: As Harriet mentions, Tulsa was only one of many black communities destroyed by white mobs. A map of the many locations has been shared around Twitter: link

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  62. Monala says:

    Nikki Haley called VP Harris “unprofessional and unfit” on Twitter in response to the VP’s tweet on Friday telling people to enjoy the long weekend. This despite Haley’s former boss’s frequent inappropriate tweets and disparagement of the military and particularly those who died in service (“suckers and losers”).

    So when Haley tweeted today about how much she is enjoying spending the holiday with her teenage son, and is rightfully getting dragged and ratioed fir it.

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  63. Teve says:

    @CSK: because that’s how you get if you get lost at sea? Just a guess.

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  64. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    It should be noted that the Hmong had an incredibly difficult adjustment to America and the 20th century. Before being sucked into the war, they lived a very isolated tribal existence more 15th century than even 19th. That they succeeded is a reason that we should celebrate immigrants.

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  65. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Beats me. I’ve seen boats with stupider names. I’ve met people with stupider names, for that matter. I can’t figure out why “Thirsty” is a breach of marine etiquette.

    Gaetz himself is, of course, a walking faux pas.

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  66. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod:

    a “Jew Coup”–I keep thinking someone’s going to create a band with that name)

    Reminding us, as I expect you intended, of Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys.

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  67. Kathy says:

    Some random topics.

    One, a few people in my department have caught cold recently (not COVID, classic, common, nasty, brutish, and short cold). One can wonder how, when everyone’s wearing masks. Well, for starters, none of these people bother much with masks, especially not inside the office. Many of them, too, have engaged in activities like dining out and shopping that are allowed under lighter restrictions. Some have also recovered from COVID (what an amazing coincidence!)

    I started streaming Farscape on May 21st. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s a science fiction series made largely in Australia, starring Ben Browder and Claudia Black (who later worked together on the last seasons of Stargate SG1). Its claim to fame seems to be not being Star Trek, and using two rather sophisticated muppets in the regular cast (production spanned 1999-2004 or so; these days they’d be CGI).

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  68. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Thirsty isn’t breech of boat etiquette, the breech is renaming the boat before you pass papers.

    As most everything with regards to Gaetz, it is gauche behavior.

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  69. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Ah, thank you. I appreciate the info.

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  70. JohnMcC says:

    @Kurtz: @CSK:
    Gosh! Sorry for being unclear. Boats are frequently named for family members and treasured past associations. (Old joke: Want your wife to like the boat? Name it for her.)

    Before he actually owned the boat he took the liberty of changing the name from ‘Old Poppy’. Then the sale fell through and someone is left owning a boat they don’t have the same association with. There’s nothing intrinsically ‘wrong’ with naming it ‘Thirsty’.

    Not something to mention when trying to join some ritzy yacht club.

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  71. JohnMcC says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Since the Americans who they met during the Viet Nam War were universally CIA and SOG spooks I considered it a marvel they actually wanted to move here.

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  72. Kurtz says:

    @CSK:

    That was my initial reaction, but I didn’t understand why that would be faux pas unless that connotation of thirsty has traveled into the wider vernacular.

    So, I moved on to thinking that he had not taken legal ownership at the point he replaced the name on the vessel itself.

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  73. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnMcC:

    A small story. When we were in Mpls a young Hmong couple moved in next door, she barely looked 16 and neither knew more than a few words of English. Very nice folks. After they were there a few months they had a large family gathering, he insisted that I join them and in fact came to fetch me on the appointed day. I was directed to sit at the head table with the family’s elder men, an honor, between her uncle and a young cousin who spoke decent English. Through the cousin, I carried on a conversation with the uncle who was about 10 years older than I, he regaled me with stories about working with the CIA. Except for the fact that, initially they were abandoned by the US, he expressed no regrets.

    He was thankful that they finally made it too America, but he was concerned about the young had changed. Doesn’t matter the culture, the elders will always complain about the youth.

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  74. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I read a story (Minneapolis Public Radio, I think) that the State Department handed over the relocation contract to the various churches in 1975.

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  75. Kurtz says:

    @JohnMcC:

    It just seems like common courtesy to not deface the vessel until one has ownership. Meaning, rather than alter, maybe wait until it wouldn’t be considered defacement.

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  76. Kurtz says:

    Gaetz and I are around the same age. I had thought his name was familiar when he started making national news. I had assumed that this was due to seeing or hearing his name when he was in state politics.

    I was wrong. A few weeks ago, I saw an old tweet of his that referenced being a state champion in debate. So I looked. It turns out that I had crossed paths with him at tournaments a few times, but all but a couple were large, national circuit tournaments. I was never paired against him, but there were one or two that we may have met.

    I am curious why he changed schools for his senior year. He was quite successful at the Wake Forest debates–I think he won top speaker, but lost in the first elim. I suspect that after changing schools, he was stuck with an inexperienced partner and took the second speaker on both sides. If that’s the case, it’s a bit easier to get higher speaker points in most cases. Which may explain the result.

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  77. Teve says:

    He was thankful that they finally made it too America, but he was concerned about the young had changed. Doesn’t matter the culture, the elders will always complain about the youth.

    It seems to be a fact of human nature, that when people get around the age of 60 they start becoming convinced that these kids nowadays just aren’t as good as kids used to be.

    https://historyhustle.com/2500-years-of-people-complaining-about-the-younger-generation/

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  78. Teve says:

    @Kylopod:

    Conservative pastor Rick Wiles has apparently fallen ill with COVID-19 after condemning the vaccines that fight the disease, baselessly claiming they’re being used to carry out a “global genocide.”

    Wiles—the founder of the conspiracy-promoting TruNews website and the senior pastor of Flowing Streams Church in Florida—asserted on this show in late April that he would not get vaccinated against COVID-19 and would survive the “global genocide.”

    “I am not going to be vaccinated,” he said. “I’m going to be one of the survivors. I’m going to survive the genocide.

    He added, “You and I are witnessing the first global mass murder and it’s being led by Satan’s team on the planet. You must survive it. Do not be vaccinated.”

    A Saturday email to supporters of Wiles was sent out by Flowing Streams Vice President Raymond Burkhart. In that message, Burkhart said Wiles had been transported to the hospital.

    “Rick is very much in need of your continued prayers. Today, he was taken to the emergency room, and under medical advice, was admitted to the hospital. He is currently on oxygen and is expected to remain there for a number of days,” he wrote.

    In a previous Friday note to supporters first reported by RightWingWatch, Wiles’ organization asked for prayer and said that the pastor was “very weak.” It explained that Wiles’ fever had subsided and that he did not have any “respiratory issues.” But it said that there was concern over how fatigued he continued to feel. The letter included a prayer for supporters to repeat.

    Polling has shown that conservative white evangelical Christians are one of the groups most likely to be skeptical about COVID-19 vaccines. A mid-February survey conducted by Pew Research showed that about 45 percent of white evangelicals said they “definitely” or “probably” will not get vaccinated against the virus.

    I blame Obama.

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  79. Teve says:

    Seriously though, when he recovers, expect a whole bunch of “the devil tried to kill me! but I believe in THE LORD and THE LORD saved my life PRAISE JESUS!” bullshit.

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  80. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    If he recovers.

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  81. Mikey says:

    For everyone wondering.

    “Urban Dictionary: Thirsty” https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thirsty&amp=true

    Thirsty
    A synonym for horny.
    Guy 1: Man did you see Amber last night? She totally wants the D.
    Guy 2: Yeah man, she’s so thirsty.

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  82. Teve says:

    @Kathy: yeah, but 2/3 of the Covid deaths have been people older than Wiles. He is very likely to recover.

    And if he doesn’t recover, well that’s just the Lord calling his faithful servant home, and you now need to route your donations to whatever troglodyte offspring he left in charge of the grift.

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  83. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    IIRC that would have been to Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities. A large number of Hmong were re-settled in Mpls/StP and others moved their from where they had been settled. The time frame I’m thinking about was the mid 90’s, but the process of relocation took years, so a contract in 1975 would make sense.

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  84. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    And if he doesn’t recover, well that’s just the Lord calling his faithful servant home,

    I hear the rooms at the basement are far more scenic and interesting to spend time in. Warmer, too.

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  85. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    That’s my wife’s thought.

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  86. Jax says:
  87. Mister Bluster says:

    U.S. Army Center of Military History
    The Origins of Memorial Day
    April 1866
    Carbondale, Illinois. Inspired by seeing a woman with two children putting flowers on graves in rural Hiller Cemetery, just outside Carbondale, Ambrose Crowell, Russell Winchester, and Jonathan F. Wiseman clean and decorate other graves that day; then organize a wider-scale memorial observance at the larger Carbondale Woodlawn Cemetery on 29 April 1866. 219 Civil War veterans march to the cemetery, Southern Illinois’ own Major General John A. Logan gives the principal address. Sexton James Green makes memo of the occasion on a flyleaf of old family book, complete with date, location, etc. Carbondale, therefore makes the claim of the first organized, community-wide Memorial Day observance in United States. In 1866 Carbondale Memorial Association, Inc. starts movement to establish its “first” claim. Illinois Congressman Kenneth Gray* introduced House Bill No. 12175 to this end, to make Carbondale’s Woodlawn Cemetery a national landmark.

    *The Prince of Pork.

    I drive by the Woodlawn Cemetery almost every day.
    GB

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  88. Teve says:

    @NickKristof

    Michael Flynn says the US should have the same kind of coup d’etat that Myanmar had. Remember: Myanmar’s military is overturning elections, shooting protesters, torturing students, destroying the economy — and it’s fresh off a genocide of the Rohingya.

    @paulkrugman

    The American left asks why we can’t be like Denmark, with universal health care, low child poverty, and high life satisfaction. The American right asks why we can’t have a murderously repressive regime like Putin’s Russia, or now Myanmar. OK.

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  89. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: @Teve:..the human body is magic…
    For most of us I guess.

    As one who’s body is inflicting even more pain on him than he did on it over the years, I can’t argue with either sentiment.

    The things I did… in spite of and even because of… And the things coming back to haunt me now…

    I am very grateful for every single one of those very magical moments. My memories far outweigh my pains.

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  90. Teve says:

    Pastor Rick Wiles, speaking about people foolish enough to take this lethal COVID-19 vaccine:

    “the only good thing…is a lot of stupid people will be killed off.”

    Meanwhile, I got a double dose of the pimpin’ vaccine, and I’m fine, but he’s on oxygen.

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  91. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: FWIW the “the human body is magic” line is sarcastic when read in context.

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  92. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Ok, this does not speak well of me. I hope he dies.

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  93. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    Thanks. I had not heard of that.

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  94. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If only the virus would pick and choose MORE people exactly like him….we might be able to have nice things.

    My empathy bone has been shattered when it comes to anti-vaxxer’s of ALL flavors. They had their chance, and they blew it. C’est la vie, survival of the fittest, etcetera, etcetera, for all eternity.

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  95. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Speaking from a life lived, sarcasm is… well, does not quite fit my sentiment here.

    I climbed out of Sotano de Las Golandrinas with the swallows and a fcked up chest box and I would not trade a single second of the experience.

    I am sure this makes no sense at all to you but it explains much of my life. I have been very fortunate, having seen and done things most people can’t even imagine. And to repeat, I have been very fortunate.

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  96. Jax says:

    @Kathy: It was funny you brought it up earlier today, then it showed up on KSL!!!

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  97. Teve says:

    @TheAndrewNadeau

    ancient egyptian: whoever disturbs the mummy will suffer a horrific curse. did you write it down so they know?

    scribe: I drew a picture of a bird & then a dog guy an’ then a different bird

    egyptian:

    scribe: 2 birds total

    egyptian: u know what it’s fine they’ll figure it out

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  98. Kylopod says:

    @Teve:

    Meanwhile, I got a double dose of the vaccine, and I’m fine, but he’s on oxygen.

    In fairness…. The anti-vaxxers are saying that those who take the vaccine will be dead in 10 years. They’ve got some time to be proven right.

    And now that the Bard has shuffled off his mortal coil little more than six months after taking Pfizer, maybe we’re starting to see the beginning of this mass genocide take effect.

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  99. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: no vaccine we’ve ever used has been linked to a negative side effect that took more than 6 weeks to show up. Not that they know that.

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  100. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Erik: This can get you started so you understand the “order of battle”.

    https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R45142.pdf

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  101. Kurtz says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Thanks for this link.

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  102. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Then the feeling is mutual 😉

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  103. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Tell me that churches are greedy scams and the government will look out for us…. and I’ll introduce you to a Hmong who’s living in the US.

    Your binary portrayal of this is a straw man. The real question is whether more actual good would be accomplished if the dollars given to churches were instead given to secular charities, or paid in taxes to the government.

    It’s trivially easy to find charities that turn more of their donations into tangible aid than churches do, on average. That one’s a no-brainer — you do much more good giving to a community food kitchen or to Jose Andres’s World Central Kitchen than you do by giving to a church that might spend some of it on helping people.

    The question of whether federal spending programs are more efficient at helping people than churches (on average) are is trickier, but I think it’s obvious that federal spending could be more efficient than church giving. To start with, you could put the first few billion dollars toward tax collection, which would multiply the available funds by a factor of 8 to 20 (depending on whose analysis you believe). Also, supporting the federal workforce consumes a smaller fraction of the revenue than supporting the church does, at least for federal aid programs.

    If you want an apples to apples comparison, you have to compare how churches actually spend their money against how the government actually spends tax revenues. Or you could compare how churches could spend their funds against how the government could spend tax revenues. Either way, churches don’t look very efficient — after all, their primary mission is to support the church and its ministry, not to do charitable work.

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