Monday’ Forum

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

Comments

  1. Sleeping Dog says:

    Everyone sleeping in?

    1
  2. Jax says:

    We are having similar housing issues in our area. I saw an ad for a 252 sq foot studio cabin that looks to be a fancy woodshed with a shitter for $1,000 a month the other day.

    https://www.ksl.com/article/50462461/amid-housing-crises-vacation-towns-limit-short-term-rentals

  3. Jax says:

    Some @MattBernius bait. 😛 I didn’t realize so many states had those kinds of laws on the books, or that the ones who did charged so much.

    https://www.ksl.com/article/50464944/at-249-per-day-prison-stays-leave-ex-inmates-deep-in-debt

    1
  4. Lost in Quebec says:

    @Sleeping Dog

    Everyone sleeping in?

    No, just reading my local newspaper.

    This news both depresses and disgusts me-

    The mother of an 11-month-old boy and her boyfriend accidentally gave the boy a fatal dose of fentanyl in an attempt to calm the baby down, according to the Onondaga County district attorney.

    The baby boy ingested the fatal dose of fentanyl inside a Syracuse apartment in May, according to court papers and prosecutors.

    “I have never seen a baby die of fentanyl toxicity,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Melinda McGunnigle who has worked as a prosecutor for 15 years. “We were shocked when we got the (medical examiner’s) report.”

    The boy’s mother, Elizabeth Sauve, 31, and her boyfriend, Quyen Huynh, 38, were charged Thursday with second-degree manslaughter, McGunnigle said.

    The boy, Liam Sauve, ingested the synthetic opioid because the drug was improperly handled or stored by his mother and her boyfriend, according to criminal complaints filed in Syracuse City Court.

    Both adults are accused of bringing fentanyl into an apartment on West Fayette Street in Syracuse, according to the complaint.

    Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said that his office believes the couple gave Liam fentanyl in an effort to quiet him down.

    People without brains or common sense. Which is what probably caused the Utah volleyball incident too.

    1
  5. Mu Yixiao says:

    The Space Senate Launch System was scrubbed. Next opportunity is probably October.

    $20B over budget, 6 years late, built from “known” technology… and still doing nothing (except getting Boeing execs rich).

    1
  6. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Well, it’s Monday.

    Meanwhile NASA scrubbed the launch of the Artemis 1 (or maybe I) test flight to the Moon and back, due to issues with re-used engines designed back in the 1970s.

    Snark aside, I can see the need to reuse components already at hand, as opposed to designing everything from scratch. There were a number of left over Shuttle engines, after all. But NASA is loosing its image as an agency at the cutting edge of space technology.

    Image matters little practically, but it’s a big deal politically. While SpaceX, Rocket Lab, and even Blue Origin (the big company that really tries), are launching satellites all over the place and developing new launch vehicles, NASA looks like it’s trying to cobble together left over Shuttle parts to launch people to the Moon.

    2
  7. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The next launch Window is September 2nd. they do need to solve all issues by then.

    But there’s another thing. Reusability has been sold to the public as a means to lower launch costs. The Shuttle still is the most expensive launch system ever devised, reausability and all. Now this mix of old shuttle engines and repurposed boosters and tanks is supposed to cost, according to news reports, around $4.1 billion per launch (I assume this includes development costs; it had better).

    As far as NASA goes, ti would seem it costs a fortune to save money.

    1
  8. Michael Cain says:

    Worth noting that the failure that caused the SLS flight to be scrubbed today was something that was supposed to be tested during the prior wet dress rehearsals, but none of the rehearsals got that far. Perhaps none of us should be surprised that there was another glitch as the “test” proceeded farther.

    @Kathy, the NASA IG’s $4.1B per-launch estimate explicitly excluded development costs. From the report,

    The $4.1 billion total cost represents production of the rocket and the operations needed to launch the SLS/Orion system including materials, labor, facilities, and overhead, but does not include any money spent either on prior development of the system or for next- generation technologies…

    ETA, with tongue only partially in cheek: Once the rocket launches it will be under control of software written by Boeing, which should make everyone nervous.

    2
  9. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    That means it’s not as cheap as $4.1 billion per launch…

    BTW, as I understand, NASA chose SpaceX for the crewed lunar lander. As I further understand, this will be some iteration of Starship. So, the way I see things, the SLS at however many billions per launch, won’t be of any use in getting people to the Moon.

    Unless all NASA wants to do is orbit the Moon. that’s doable.

  10. Kathy says:

    About the new COVID boosters, new and improved recipe (now with more Omicron spikes!), I’m getting tired of hearing about antibodies.

    There’s only one simple part of the immune system, and that’s its name. everything else is complicated as hell, and not understood as well as we’d like it to be.

    Take antibodies, the part we hear the most about. You may also come across the term “neutralizing antibodies” from time to time. These are the ones that attach to the infamous spike protein, thereby neutralizing the virus. But there are also other antibodies that latch onto other parts of a pathogen. We don’t really know whether these are of any use or not.

    I prefer to think in terms of B cell response rather than antibodies. B cells make antibodies, yes, but they also migrate back to the bone marrow and generate or become memory B cells, which store the info on a particular pathogen. This allows for a faster response the next time the pathogen shows up.

    All this is well known. Less so are T cells, which come in a huge variety (killer, helper, regulator, etc.), and which also can become memory T cells for further action at another time.

    The bottom line is that immunity, either from vaccines or prior infection, doesn’t work in the simplistic way we’ve been taught.

    It does work. Note the complete absence of smallpox, or the very few cases of measles even with the multitude of anti-vaxxers. But what seems to happen, as far as I can make out, is not that a pathogen gets stopped dead instantly when it invades someone with acquired immunity. Rather it faces a faster response from the adaptive immune system, and is cleared out sooner, perhaps before it can cause symptoms.

    This is not happening with COVID because the newer variants are not a match for the existing immunity. Similar enough that they are recognized and, overall, cause less problems like death. But different enough one does get sick. None of this, IMO, is a simple matter of antibodies.

    If we’re lucky, Omicron won’t change much and the new vaccines will at long last deliver widespread immunity.

    Provided no new variants arise which can escape the new boosters.

  11. gVOR08 says:

    Big, ambitious projects do tend to be expensive and have problems. I’m generally a space mission and NASA supporter. I still remember standing outside in 1969 staring at the moon, gobsmacked that there were two people there. And I’ll cheer this launch, but with mixed feelings.

    What bothers me is why, two whys actually. The SLS has other planned missions besides going to the moon, but the moon seems to be a prime driver. I’ve seen a few articles on “why are we going to the moon”. They all seem to end with “to establish a permanent base”. Which just pushes the why question back one step. Why a permanent base? What can they do on the moon to justify the enormous cost? Especially given the ability to do it with unmanned equipment that can be delivered with existing launch capability. To be fair, most of these articles note the project was restarted by Trump, implying it isn’t expected to make sense.

    The other why is why NASA. NASA was set up to be on the leading edge. To do near impossible things that could only be done with massive government resources and without a profit motive. Things like the Webb telescope. SLS is, as others have noted above, not cutting edge. It’s just bigger, faster, better. Marketeers drive corporations to do bigger, faster, better with existing technology every day. NASA should be funded to do things that are out there, in more ways than one. Things like an Arthur C. Clarke space elevator, or deep space nuclear propulsion, or lightweight radiation shielding, or asteroid diversion, or dealing with orbital debris. (They have some level of activity on a couple of these.)

  12. Sleeping Dog says:
  13. Sleeping Dog says:

    And in good news.

    Persuadable voters are breaking for the Democrats, NBC News poll finds

    Persuadable voters are breaking towards the party controlling the White House and Congress, which is unlike what we saw in 2010, 2018 or even earlier this year.

    Our poll defines “persuadable voters” — representing about 25% of the sample — as registered voters who are not core Democrats or Republicans, meaning that they’re either hard independents or Democrats/Republicans who aren’t reliable party backers.

    These voters are disproportionately males, ideological moderates, self-identified independents and those living in the exurbs.

    This is what happens when a party nominates candidates from the fringe and are led by a criminal conspiracy.

    4
  14. Kathy says:

    On much lighter notes, over the weekend I watched “Lightyear” and “Soul”.

    As to the first, I found it a perfectly good, but not great, science fiction animated comedy, I probably won’t watch ti again, but I fail to see how it flopped so badly at the box office, and garnered so much criticism.

    The second was amazing. I really got into the notion that souls exist ins some form before life. The film comes up with a suitably surreal place one can sort of comprehend but not understand. It reminded me a bit of The Good Place. I’ll probably see it again in a few months.

    1
  15. Beth says:

    @gVOR08:

    Why a permanent base? What can they do on the moon to justify the enormous cost? Especially given the ability to do it with unmanned equipment that can be delivered with existing launch capability.

    I figured that it is essentially training/practice/feasibility for a trip to Mars. I get that going to Mars looks really sexy right now, but 1. it takes for ever to get there, 2. what happens when something fails? Like, are we going to go to Mars and land with a bunch of people who’ve never done it before?

    It would be way better to send a bunch of unmanned recon & supply missions to the Moon to get all the stuff in place and then start sending people up there to staff it and practice. Off hand, how long would it take for us to get to the Moon, like a week? (I haven’t looked it up). If something went wrong, we could conceivably send help or at least a recovery team. To me, setting up a permanent installation on the Moon makes sense to me if the plan is to then go elsewhere.

    1
  16. Mu Yixiao says:

    @gVOR08:

    Why a permanent base? What can they do on the moon to justify the enormous cost?

    1) Because it’s there.

    2) To set up infrastructure for space-based manufacturing. It’s much cheaper to launch from the moon than it is from Earth. If we’re going out into space (and we are), it doesn’t make sense to manufacture on the Earth, with its deep gravity well. The moon becomes a space-port.

    3) To do manufacturing and science that’s too dangerous to do on the Earth (e.g., anything dealing with pathogens).

    1
  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    everything else is complicated as hell, and not understood as well as we’d like it to be.

    This is why I get frustrated by the “we have the worst public health system!” crowd. While some criticism is justified, the vast majority is based on fantasy-land outlook. How many times did you hear that the CDC needs to have simple guidelines so people don’t get COVID? Well, it turns out that there is no “one weird trick” that will prevent you from getting COVID. The guidance is complicated, because the disease is complicated. And on top of that, people keep shopping for answers that let them off the hook in personal responsibility.

    And Public Health Departments in general were blamed for not making people do things they had no power to make them do. The Republican Party is essentially a party with Mississippi and Alabama values, so wherever they held power you got the health care results you would expect from Mississippi and Alabama. But in the non-trump states the Public Health departments and federal, state and local governments were able to keep things on par with the best countries in the world, which shows what their worth truly was. Judging our public health system on how jackass trumpers behaved tells you nothing. Mississippi has had the worst health outcomes in the US for a century, in large part because the government there is actively hostile to very idea of public health. Thinking that somehow the CDC was going to alter that for COVID was just fantasy.

    2
  18. Jon says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Or the best one:

    4) Penal colony!

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08:

    What can they do on the moon to justify the enormous cost?

    It is the closest place where you can set up a manned base under low gravity, see how the human body fares under that, and develop and test the means to get water, fuel, building materials, etc from local resources. Basically, if we have any chance of siting extend-stay manned missions anywhere, having a test facility just 72 hours away is an incredible asset.

    2
  20. Kathy says:

    @Beth:

    Apollo took about 3 days to get to the Moon (300,000 kilometers more or less). Getting to Mars varies depending on where Earth and Mars are in relation to each other and how fast one can travel, but figure 6 to 9 months.

    what happens when something fails?

    About what you’d expect: people die. See Challenger and Columbia.

    But that’s glib. It depends on what fails, how it fails, and when it fails. Apollo XIII survived the explosive rupture of an oxygen tank, though it was a really close thing.

    Like, are we going to go to Mars and land with a bunch of people who’ve never done it before?

    Well, how else? No one’s ever gone to Mars before.

    We do know rather well what the conditions are like, thanks to the many probes NASA has managed to land there. From surface gravity, to the atmosphere, soil consistency, and even dust storms.

    We know more about Mars than we knew about the Moon in the days of Apollo.

    the two big problems are money and radiation. the money might be available. Protecting against radiation is something else.

    1
  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy:

    ti would seem it costs a fortune to save money.

    In my relatively short time in the world of commerce, costing a fortune to save money seemed pretty common. I wouldn’t think NASA would be any different.

  22. CSK says:
  23. Beth says:

    @Kathy:

    I knew it was short, just couldn’t remember how short. But three days is potentially short enough to save someone vs. 6 months where they’re toast (possibly actually toast with the radiation.

    Well, how else? No one’s ever gone to Mars before.

    We do know rather well what the conditions are like, thanks to the many probes NASA has managed to land there. From surface gravity, to the atmosphere, soil consistency, and even dust storms.

    At this point do we even have anyone suitable with actual pilot experience in landing spacecraft? I’m not being snarky. I would imagine most of the shuttle pilots are getting up in age. It would seem to me to have some practical training between here and the moon.

    One of my biggest frustrations with the space program, and it’s less about NASA and more about Congress, is that we seem to have decided that this is expensive and dangerous and expensive and not worth it unless we can magically make a ton of money doing it. We stalled out in low Earth orbit and wasted a bunch of time. Now we essentially have to start from scratch. This time with a bunch of toddlers screaming that it’s not done already for free and Elon Musk crowning himself God-Emperor of Mars.

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: We could all stop listening. Would that work? (I know it works for me. 🙂 )

    1
  25. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    The world and its problems are so clear and simple when one is five years old.

  26. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I wish I could stop, but it’s like picking at a scab.

    Here’s the whole asinine rant, if you care to spend a few seconds reading it:
    http://www.hotair.com/headlines/2022/08/29/auto-draft-702-n492982

  27. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Trump is by far the fugliest 5-year-old I’ve ever seen.

  28. Michael Cain says:

    @Mu Yixiao(and others):
    Yes, Artemis is a jobs program, specifically for Alabama. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) once said, “America’s crewed space program will always go through Alabama.” He has used his long-time position on the Appropriations Committee to make sure that’s been funded. He’s retiring and will be replaced this November. Tommy Tuberville, the other Alabama Senator, is often on people’s short list for “Stupidest US Senator.” Tuberville has either realized, or been told, that keeping all of those NASA dollars in Alabama is now on him. He’s started talking up the benefits of manned space exploration in general and Artemis/SLS in particular. Not particularly well, but he’s making the effort.

    Someone from SpaceX — head of development, perhaps? — raked NASA over the coals at a public conference recently. She pointed out that NASA had put Starship on their critical path for a crewed lunar landing. But instead of planning lunar missions around Starship’s 50-100 ton capacity, they were still designing missions around a 3-5 ton limit.

  29. Kathy says:

    @Beth:

    The when and how of failure is important, too.

    Consider Apollo XIII. The oxygen tank blew on the way to the Moon. This rendered the command module, the Apollo capsule, uninhabitable, and there was concern the main engine on the service module might not work. They were still attached to the lunar module, so they used the cabin as a lifeboat, and the descent engine to alter the trajectory after rounding the Moon, returning all three astronauts back to Earth alive and well.

    Now what if the tank had blown after the Moon landing? Most likely, three dead astronauts. they might not have had enough oxygen for the return trip. And if the service module engine failed, there would simply be no way to return home. Fuel from the lunar module’s ascent stage wouldn’t have been enough.

    Had the tank blown on the way back, odds are better but not certain. It depends on whether it happened close to re-entry or far from it.

    There’s a reason the mission commander, James Lovell, called Apollo XIII a successful failure.

    2
  30. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    While DeSantis rubs his hands together while chuckling about how this is going far better than hoped. The self-destruction of TFG has reached a critical stage.

  31. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    We can hope.

  32. Skookum says:

    I was taught by my father to ignore sexism, which until yesterday was my preferred approach, as well. From the time I had my first bra snapped at work, through inappropriate advances by senior officers during my military service, through the condescension of white males in the high tech private sectors, I have not pulled the sexist card because I preferred to address any breaches of my boundaries privately.
    I am an infrequent participant in this community’s conversations, although I have been a blog visitor for many years. I enjoy the aggregation of news, analysis, and research findings. The daily back and forth among members requires more time and skill at repartee than I can offer. I have observed since I began participating that there were few women in the merry band. I am beginning to realize why.
    I also realize that the purpose of the blog is to make a profit, and that requires a large audience. Also, candid exchange of ideas and a bit of controversy is necessary to keep interest. I also respect the fundamental right of freedom of expression.
    However, yesterday a female member of the group was labeled with a sexist term. I have been taught and found effective throughout my life to tell a person directly and assertively when I find their comments or actions inappropriate, so I did. I explained that the term used was put-down based on gender not ideas. When the person who made the remark came back with snark, I defined the meaning of overt sexism.
    Today, I find that this issue has, to my knowledge, been glossed over.
    I can’t remember the article, but I was struck by an interview with a person who had lived under Hitler’s fascist regime. The article was published when Trump was first elected. He said that it wasn’t necessary to be a hero, but it was necessary to resist by being good person who made a difference whenever possible.
    The person who made the sexist remark yesterday on this blog uses the technnique of toxic put-downs to create division for no other purpose than to create emotional pain for those with whom xi disagrees. Xis inputs remind more more of trolling Russan bots than a sentient being who wants to help humanity steer its course through difficult times. A William F. Buckley, Jr xi is not.
    I wish this blog had more conservative input to keep it from becoming a liberal echo chamber. But let me be clear: The particular poster that I am concerned about does not provide content other than vitriol. And if the moderators of this blog–and its readers–do not push back on his behavior, then he reduces the norms of civility for this community with impunity.
    I would be sorry to stop being a OTB visitor, but it’s time for the moderators and readers to stand up to this jerk.

    2
  33. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It depends on the money expended and the money saved.

    Spending, say, $1 billion to save $1.1 billion may make sense. Spending $1 billion to save $100 million does not.

  34. MarkedMan says:

    @Skookum: I must have missed this exchange. What thread was it in?

  35. @Skookum: Like MarkedMan, I would like some more specifics.

  36. I found it. It is in this thread.

    @Skookum: I am sincerely asking: I have zero reference for the term “drama llama” being gendered. What I am missing?

  37. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’ve seen a few articles on “why are we going to the moon”. They all seem to end with “to establish a permanent base”. Which just pushes the why question back one step. Why a permanent base?

    They damn well better name that base Moonbase Alpha.

    https://youtu.be/4SpX8bVEmJo

    The storing of nuclear waste on the dark side of the moon is optional. Particularly since it will cause a magnetic explosion outside our understanding of the laws of physics. (I do appreciate Space: 1999 telling us it’s premise is bullshit, while reminding us that our understanding of physics could be wrong at some level…)

    2
  38. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    As defined by Wiktionary, “a histrionic person.” Though it is clearly a derivation and de-gendering of drama queen, which I’ve always viewed as a dig at a melodramatic, gay male.

    Didn’t pay much attention to that discussion as verbal food fights are not as fun to watch as those with real food.

    1
  39. Gustopher says:

    @Skookum:

    I also realize that the purpose of the blog is to make a profit, and that requires a large audience.

    I doubt that the blog makes much money. I think it is mostly a hobby for our hosts.

    (Also, text on the Internet is easier to read with a blank line between paragraphs, rather than a single line break. I don’t mean this as a dismissive thing — you’re trying to be understood, I see the single line breaks, and I just think it would help the comment from being a nigh impenetrable wall-of-text.)

    On your main point: I don’t think of drama llama as sexist — it’s a straightening of an anti-gay slur, so there’s that. Llamas can be of any gender (are there non-binary llamas? if only they could tell us!), and they rhyme with drama.

    Sir Reginald Lounsbury is a complete condescending twit though. I would hazard that you find his entire demeanor offensive and are searching for some specific, unimpeachable thing to be offended by. But I could be wrong, and there is something I am missing about drama llamas.

    2
  40. @Gustopher:

    I also realize that the purpose of the blog is to make a profit, and that requires a large audience.

    I missed that!

    I can assure everyone that this blog is not a for-profit affair–quite the opposite!

    4
  41. Skookum says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: It’s a synonym for drama queen. Also connotes hysteric behavior.

  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Hard pass! I know I’d get sucked into reading whatever drivel the guy who posted the screed clip wrote and I’d either end up disappointed in my fellow humans or laughing so hard I wouldn’t be able to get anything else done.

  43. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    There was no attached drivel. It was just a screenshot of Trump’s idiotic rant. As I said on another thread, he appears to be trying to incite an insurrection.

    Lindsey Graham is also predicting “riots in the streets” if Trump is indicted.

  44. Skookum says:

    @Gustopher: No, I not searching for some unimpeachable offense to avoid listening to his views. He is a troll who is cruel to many on this blog. If he had simply responded to @Beth like he did everyone else, I wouldn’t have pointed out his behavior. But he chose to diminish her input by labeling her as a hysterical woman.

    1
  45. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I can assure everyone that this blog is not a for-profit affair–quite the opposite!

    And I’ll take that as an opportunity to point my co-inhabitants of this comment section to the “Become a Patron” button on the upper right and, if they haven’t done so already and have a few extra dollars kicking rattling around in their pocket, to sign up to cover a bit or two of bandwidth every month.

    8
  46. Beth says:

    @Skookum:

    Well, look at that. I didn’t go back there cause I was already, ahem, “activated”*. I’m not sure I think of the exact term “drama llama” is gendered, but I definitely see where you’re coming from. I realize my “screw you” doesn’t really require an articulate response, but as someone who seems to pride himself in being erudite and posh, he could have done way better.

    I think people can get caught up in whether the exact phrasing “drama llama” is sexist or not, but I’m pretty sure the intent is. “Drama Queen” is used similarly in that it’s deployed against more femme-y, Twink, gay men. The point is that women, and only women are dramatic and don’t think.

    This is something I’m getting more and more, discouragingly, used to. Men see my name and their brains shut off. They tell me how to do my job, they ask if I’m an assistant, they dismiss what I’m saying out of hand. Thankfully I haven’t been groped yet, but I’m sure that’s coming.

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Thank you for reminding me. I keep meaning to donate and forget.

    *hooray therapy!

    3
  47. Kathy says:

    Over my vacation I finished “Blowout” by Rachel Maddow. It’s partly about the modern oil business, and partly about the modern oil business in Putinland, formerly known as Russia. There’s a lot of useful info about how Putin operates and why. Notably Maddow claims the post-2014 sanctions that really hurt Putin, was the need for Exxon to remove its assistance and expertise from an oil field development in the Kara Sea.

    After that I read “90% of Everything,” by Rose George, about aspects of the modern shipping industry (heavy focus on container ships).

    And now I’m going through Fiona Hill’s take on opportunity in “There’s Nothing For You Here.” Largely it’s autobiographical, noting the circumstances of poverty in northeastern England in the 1980s, and her trajectory from there to the US foreign policy establishment.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Granddaughter’s Day. Just now sent them with MawMaw to return them home.

    eta: hope we get our deposit back.

    4
  49. MarkedMan says:

    @Skookum: Lounsbury is, well, Lounsbury. His default modes are derision and sarcasm and often seems to confuse tedium with high wit. So don’t take this as a broad defense of Lounsbury. But I would point out that, If I read the thread correctly, it started with Lounsbury making one of his jabs at the left in general, without any mention of Beth in particular. She responded to that comment by saying “Screw you! I’m out!” Before that, she had a well spoken and insightful comment about the subject of the post, but to be fair she preceded it about being so annoyed by the fact that James had even made his post that she almost snapped her phone in half. I wouldn’t have thought twice about that because Beth is very vocal in her opinions, as I am I and many others on this blog. Lounsbury too, but the difference is that I often don’t bother to read more than a sentence or two into his posts before I say “here we go again” and give up, whereas I know that I often have to get a sentence or two into Beth’s posts before I even know where she is headed. What some might think of as being overdramatic I see is as, essentially, Beth’s punctuation.

    And, of course, Lounsbury accusing someone else of being overdramatic is just funny on its own.

    5
  50. dazedandconfused says:

    @Gustopher:

    If one were to to to the effort of breaking nuclear waste (roughly the weight of lead) out of earth orbit, the place to send it would be the sun.

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I have 2 words for everyone griping* about the scrubbed Artemis I launch. James Webb Space Telescope. Ok, that’s 4 words, sue me.

    * not that I disagree with any of you about the approach of this return to the moon. It is more than a little penny wise and pound foolish. But still, the James Webb…

    1
  52. Beth says:

    @MarkedMan:

    whereas I know that I often have to get a sentence or two into Beth’s posts before I even know where she is headed.

    I hope that’s a good thing. At a very minimum, I always hope that I’m at least interesting in substance or style.

    What some might think of as being overdramatic I see is as, essentially, Beth’s punctuation.

    I’m a fairly bratty person. I don’t do drama just for drama’s sake. I do drama to make a point or push particular buttons. I generally try to be fairly controlled. I want to have a discussion and be animated, but not overly annoying or a jerk. Offline I spend a lot of time moderating myself because I’m an intense person and can burn people out.

    Yesterday was an exception. I straight up exploded. I knew that’s where I was heading and why I made a point to ignore it the rest of the day. I wouldn’t have made any point, just spewed.

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  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Skookum: I have pushed back against him on several occasions, to the point where he now avoids me. My last comment about him was that he he sometimes appears to be intelligent but his propensity for gratuitously insulting anyone who dares to disagree with him points to an inferiority complex and highlights only that intelligent or not, he is about as smart as a box of rocks.

    My advice is to ignore him. He thinks he is a Doberman and wants everyone to think he is a Rottweiler, but the reality is he’s nothing but a very small mutt.

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  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Skookum: And yeah, definitely not a money making operation.

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  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: I set up a monthly donation. Just $5 but I ain’t rich.

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  56. JohnSF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    As I’ve said before, I don’t think Lounsbury is always aware of the emotional tone of his comments, when read by Americans.
    And can trip over his own vehemence.

    1
  57. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Beth:

    They tell me how to do my job, they ask if I’m an assistant, they dismiss what I’m saying out of hand.

    Oh, Beth. Been there, done that (only on the other side of the fence). Not only got the hat and t-shirt, but they threw in the memorial beer cozy too. Started in our industry (aka Arkham Asylum?) back in the early-mid 80’s. I’m working in Puddletown for a major temp agency. The agency’s tagline was “We’re the ***-girl People”. So, in walks this short stocky dude, hair in a ponytail, mustache and goatee, 3-piece suit, saying, “Hi, I’m your *** girl, where’s my desk?” I’ve spent 30 years being confused with the attorney and ripped by the other assistants because, frankly, I look too butch for the club.

    I enjoyed your rip yesterday and felt your pain. I’ve known too many in your position. Law school grads paying 8% interest on a 10-year note, living in their parents’ basements, driving a 15-year-old car, and hating every degrading minute. I remember one who went postal in the office when he realized that (a) 3 legal secretaries in the pool were making more than he was, and (b) we were more valued in the law firm than him. (c) was the fact that he could have gotten a raise by going across the street to Micky D’s and gotten a job as an assistant manager trainee.

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  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: I don’t know, but I long ago gave up giving him the benefit of a doubt.

    1
  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: After I replied above, I had a thought: Autism?

    I’m doubting it tho. His attacks are far too personal.

    3
  60. Skookum says:

    I’m almost 70 and getting crankier by the day. Consequently, I have less tolerance for labeling anyone in any way that diminishes them. Lounsberry has made clear who he thinks he can label and get away with it. If he labels one of us, he will eventually label all of us. The undermining of civility and meaningful discourse leads to authoriatarianism and–I’m not being hysterical–defining certain groups of people into “other” categories that make it easier to remove them from positions of leadership, intellectual thought, and even everyday life. Laugh if you will, but if Lounsbury comes for Beth and me, he will come for you, too.

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  61. Skookum says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have several family members with autism, and they are incredibly gentle, loving souls. They can’t understand sarcasm and reading facial expressions is difficult. Doesn’t fit Lounsbury.

    1
  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Skookum: I’m 63… no, 64 now… with a body that is just flat worn out from 35+ years of carpentry and many many years of caving. I am plenty cranky too. Forget Lounsberry (I like your spelling better). He thinks he can label everyone and get away with it. The truth is, in his circles maybe he can. Most people instinctively shy away from conflict, just because it isn’t worth the trouble.

    Here’s the thing tho. He isn’t coming for anybody. Not here, nor any place else either. Why? Because he’s all alone. He’s nothing but a penny ante pissant with an inferiority complex. He pisses everybody off.

    I have said elsewhere, he may be intelligent or he may he have a talent, but he is not smart.

    Ignore him or not, as you choose. But please, stick around. We can use your voice.

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  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Skookum: My experience (limited tho it is) agrees. Sometimes they can say tone deaf things, but they aren’t mean. Lounsberry? He’s just an asshole.

  64. Beth says:

    @JohnSF:

    I tend to agree with @OzarkHillbilly: , but I think you’re on to something. His comments tend to evoke a much more visceral reaction from me. I’m more than willing to engage with people here when I disagree with them, him intend to gloss over.

    I think I mentioned my dad is English and he did his level best to install in me a particular version of English Middle Class-ness. He failed miserably, mostly because the only people he hated more than the Scots and the Irish were the English. The Welsh were saintly cause his mom was Welsh. He was a strange racist. Anyway, anything that approaches my dads sort of BS gets an automatic rise out of me.

    @Skookum:

    Thank you. I appreciate that.

    1
  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth:

    The point is that women, and only women are dramatic and don’t think.

    I was going to weigh in on this earlier, reminding people that once upon a time hysteria was considered a women’s ailment, but I hoped that someone with more street cred than ol’ cracker here would weigh in. Thanks!

    2
  66. dazedandconfused says:

    @Beth:

    The quantum physics of space funding is every bit as eerie and counter-intuitive as quantum theory in general is. For instance, every penny that has been spent in space is still here on earth.

  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: But you’re just falling into the lefty trap of assuming that you can draw conclusions about people you don’t know. Only righties conservatives are fully enough aware of human nature to do that. (And it helps that lefties are predictable.)

  68. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The term hysteria is derived from the ancient Greek word for uterus, hystera. The math does itself.

    1
  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Skookum: Interesting. I just turned 70 and am getting more mellow with each passing year. And there are even people who can testify to that fact. Luddite’s story about me telling the customer that there was nothing wrong with him that beating him senseless and leaving him for dead in the wet cooler (tender leaf goods storage) is accurate, for example.

    I was a colorful guy in my youth. Still am, but I’ve gone from Crayola shades to more complex hues.

    2
  70. Beth says:

    And now for something completely insane.

    https://www.advocate.com/news/2022/8/29/armed-drag-brunch-defenders-shield-against-far-right-texas

    It’s hilarious that one of the bigots calls the Anti-Fascist with an AR15 a “pussy”. He was big mad that someone calmly showed him up.

    I am an anti-gun fundamentalist. The problem is that everyone on the Right thinks everyone on the Left is like me. Instead, the Left is more like that Anti-Fascist than me.

  71. Jax says:

    @Beth: I think that’s a major mistake most Republicans make about “lefties” or Democrats. They think if there’s a civil war, they’re gonna be the only ones with guns. Kinda like how Russia thought Ukraine would just roll over. It’s not gonna go down like that.

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  72. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: The proper treatment for hysteria was a hysterectomy.

    Dragging a woman into an operating theater and cutting out a part of her body is quite sure to remind them of who is in change and get rid of any hysterical ideas like women voting or owning property!

    But I still think Drama Llama is so far divorced from the word “hysteria” that those darker connotations are basically not there.

    It is definitely in opposition to a dispassionate “manly” demeanor, by letting emotions show, so I can sort of see @Skookum’s point, but I think it’s a stretch. I think it’s used not just for someone who is being emotional, but someone who lives for the drama more than the results.

    That said, Comrade Lounsbury is pretty useless, and I wouldn’t want to give him any benefit of the doubt when he is repeatedly such an insufferable schmuck to everyone. I skim over his comments, and only reply when I can make it amusing for me. Basically, on my drama llama days.

    1
  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Well, as a country boy, I have guns. Ifn’s anybody wonders, I know how to use them. I doubt well enough to turn back a SWAT team or a Marine platoon, but against a bunch of cosplay specialists?

    Yeah, I think I might persuade them otherwise.

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  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: But I still think Drama Llama is so far divorced from the word “hysteria” that those darker connotations are basically not there.

    Speaking as the father (grand) of 4 going on 5 g-daughters, I can see a direct connection. When was the last time you saw the term applied to a (not gay) man?

  75. JohnSF says:

    @Beth:
    The thing is, I’m fairly certain Lounsbury is not British.
    In fact, I have a vague recollection he once said so himself, but can’t find the reference.
    Maybe I’m mis-remembering.
    And I suspect English may not his first language.
    For that reason, he may perhaps not appreciate how his phrasing comes across to others.
    Especially to Americans, who in my experience, often tend to be considerably more polite than Britons.
    (Also, he can be rather pompous: and this is ME saying that! Pot meets kettle.)

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  76. @Skookum: Let me say this: the term was not immediately obvious to me as sexist, nor do I think it was to others. So, I want to assure you that no one was condoning sexism and, I can especially assure you that James and I did not ignore it for the sake of keeping readers.

    I will further admit that my main associate with the term is from a song/chant that my kids did when they were in elementary school that included a happy llama, a sad llama, a drama llama, and a big fat mama llama (as well as a camel, a moose, and a fish). So, there’s that.

    But note: I immediately took your concern seriously and went looking for the comment (which I had not read).

  77. @JohnSF: Quite frankly, he often comes across to me as if he is playing a character.

    (I will also confess to rarely reading his comments these days–but will note that while he is often a jerk, he at least seems to have an actual point of view and is usually on topic).

  78. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    Lounsbury uses British/English spellings and locutions, which could mean he’s Australian, Canadian, or a New Zealander.

    You? Pompous? Please.

  79. Skookum says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Thank you for listening.

    For those who still think I’m pulling the sexism card without merit (not you):

    I pay little attention to most comments, and rarely comment myself. I’ve observed Lounsbury’s toxic behavior, felt compassion for those on the receiving end, but didn’t feel call him out in deference to freedom of expression and, frankly, I didn’t feel like a member of the gang.

    It is really irritating when some men, who have never had their intellect or writings trivialized because they were female, question my motivations for calling Lounsbury out and then mansplain to me why it wasn’t sexism.

    I came to the defense of Beth because he used a label to diminish her input as hysterical.

    Maybe it’s because I don’t feel the need to prove myself as a woman, as I’m accomplished in several professional circles dominated by white straight men; maybe it’s because I’m getting old and just can’t tolerate sophomoric sh*t in general; but I really think the reason I called Lounsbury out is that at the age of 67, I know the difference between criticism of an argument that is weak and criticism of someone to put them in their corner because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, or any other condescending label.

    The overturning of Roe vs Wade communicated quite clearly that women are not equal in the eyes of many, and because of ugliness and violence towards Blacks that was unleashed under Trump, I AM vigilant about the same thing happening to anyone whose liberties are protected–or not protected–by the Supreme Court and not by Constitutional amendments or bi-partisan legislation.

    Once again, thank you for listening.

  80. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    My little personal working theory (sorry if this offends, Lounsbury, but you do invite speculation :)) is that his background is non-. or least part, English speaking, but possibly in place where English was not-so-uncommon second language (I even have a guess as to where) and educated in a bilingual school.

    He uses English idioms, but sometimes not quite in the way a native speaker usually would.
    And sometimes the grammar is formally correct, but a bit unusual sounding to a Brit.
    Has a slightly old-fashioned, formal feel at times.
    But also more idiomatic than most of non-English who grew up unfamiliar with the language, and learned it as an adult.
    Though closer to British than American.
    If my guess is correct, his teachers or interlocutors were English-native.

    If he’s Aussie or Kiwi I’d eat my hat.
    And I shouldn’t think Canadian or South African either.

    Anyway, all just guessology on my part.
    Coupled with a few remarks he’s made over the last couple of years.

  81. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    My little personal working theory (sorry if this offends, Lounsbury, if you’re looking in, but you do invite speculation 🙂 ) is that his background is non-. or least part, English speaking, but possibly in place where English was not-so-uncommon second language (I even have a guess, or perhaps two guesses, as to where) and educated in a bilingual school.

    He uses English idioms, but sometimes not quite in the way an Anglo usually would.
    And sometimes the grammar is formally correct, but a bit unusual sounding to a Brit.
    Has a slightly old-fashioned, formal feel at times.
    But also more idiomatic than most of non-English who grew up unfamiliar with the language, and learned it as an adult.
    Though closer to British than American.
    If my guess is correct, at least some of his teachers or interlocutors were English-native.

    If he’s Aussie or Kiwi I’d eat my hat.
    And I shouldn’t think Canadian or South African either.

    Anyway, all just guessology on my part.
    Coupled with a few remarks he’s made over the last couple of years.
    But still, likely as not wildly off the mark.

    2