Monday’s 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. de stijl says:

    Wide awake at 3am again.

    Yesterday I bulled and caffeined my way into staying awake long enough to hopefully sleep a solid eight hours.

    Crashed out at ~ 10 pm after 22 hours awake and awoke at 1:12am bright eyed and bushy tailed.

    I believe I am cursed to sleep in short blips and bursts at this point. Randomly. Any effort seems to be for nought.

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  2. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    I can’t sleep, either.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: @CSK: Me three.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Yabba dabba deal! California town settles suit over Flintstones house

    * Owner Florence Fang will apply for permits for sculptures
    * Town of Hillsborough agrees to pay $125,000

    I’ll bet they are back in court within the year.

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  5. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Have you seen the pictures of that place? It is magnificent!

    The problem is that younger folks have never seen The Flintstones. They have no idea what they are seeing. Salient for folks 50+.

    I like idiots who fight city hall for stupid reasons. Makes me proud to be an American.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: She’s having fun, and of course, the stick in the mud folks of the town can’t have that!

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  7. de stijl says:

    I was listening to Faith No More and Youtube suggested EMF.

    (First, @JohnSf will plotz at how ’90s that is.)

    EMF was the bane of a fairly great portion of my professional existence. I was directed to replace and remove it as a reporting source.

    EMF was an ur data warehousing project in that organization that was well done for its time in the 90s, but was inefficient and at least 3 days out of date, structurally incomplete in that it never included vital internal systems.

    Good effort. Very creaky. Incomplete. Not timely. Dug in very tightly across a very large company as the go-to reporting source.

    A bugger of a thing to replace. A big, multi-faceted project. So many disparate data sources to collect, correct, rationalize, normalize, store, refresh. Data warehousing projects are easy in concept and very hard at executing.

    Everytime I would present on the project, I would insert at least one “whoah!” and and least one “unbelieveable”. I did not push it. Well, sometimes twice.

    Usually, no one noticed. I did it to amuse myself. Every now and again, someone got it.

    I got a awesome work and IRL friendship out of a person who cracked up when I paired EMF with “whoah” and “unbelieveable” into the same sentence.

    Luke Dutch name. Great dude. SoCal now.

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  8. de stijl says:

    Same project, we contracted a group that was trying sell us data collection and rationalization across disparate systems software called SOLID.

    I did a black power salute a la Linc from The Mod Squad every time SOLID got mentioned. Looking back, I presumed too much there, but it amused me at the time. I am too white.

    Garbage, kludgey, ad hoc “software” that failed daily for months.

    An old school on-staff COBOL guy smoked SOLID and eight on-site folks we fed and housed for probably 7 months months in five weeks of effort after they had failed to deliver. A parallel effort. Brian’s was better in every way. Results, speed, accuracy. He identified deltas off timestamps and only captured them to update our set. Easy stuff now. Hard then.

    The contract was not continued for SOLID. (Black power salute).

    That company ceased to exist the next year. Good, smart, curious people on a good path hamstrung by a fundamentally flawed product still way early in beta. People had to re-write core engine code for every hiccup daily. Poorly scaled start-up stuff. A very expensive mistake.

    We had to recreate Brian’s COBOL genius in more current language and DBMSs to make sure future fixes and updates were sustainable and practicable for our heirs. Sustainability was a core goal.

    Took forever to actually beat Brian at his old-school genius game to replace that component. That man was a rock-solid brainiac.

    It took ~ eight months by a big team to replace Brian’s one man five week kludge.

    Brian is forever solid in my book.

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  9. Barry says:

    @de stijl: melatonin and trazadone.

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  10. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Mike Gravel died

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  11. de stijl says:

    @Barry:

    Tried melatonin in the past when the situation was not as absurd. Next time I doctor up I will relate my experience and ask for feedback.

    I have not slept six hours in a row in months. 4 in a row is a joy.

    Anything harder than melatonin will get a jaded look. I have an addiction trait that I successfully forswore my whole life (except for cigs and I kicked that eventually).

    I do not want to die a junkie. I am predisposed to addiction. Addiction would be bad in that I enjoy my me time uninterrupted and calling up sketchy dudes and going over there seems like a thing I would suck at.

    Btw, weed delivery is brilliant. Ganj is not my drug of choice (made me paranoid 1 time outta 4 so I stopped smoking when I was 22), still the concept and execution is flipping brilliant! More of that, please, as a societal good.

    I shroom hard once or twice a year to clear my head of junk. To see pure. Best while camping with friends in the deep boonies.

    Other than that, kinda a boy scout. A bit of bourbon or tequila. Good beer.

    I am not interested at all in anything new remotely addictive.

    Had I not monitored and regulated my intake of substances, I could slide easily into junkietown. It’s there.

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  12. charon says:

    Here is a poll that says 60% of the public believes the Wuhan lab-leak bullsh!t:

    Do you think that the virus originated from an
    animal market naturally or escaped from a
    laboratory in China?

    https://mcusercontent.com/ca678077bc522bd7bd74bacbf/files/791aa6f6-03a6-a154-3130-1b4eb065a3da/HHP_June_21_Preso_FINAL.pdf

    Also:

    https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2021/06/mark-penn-doesnt-get-all-trumpy-poll.html

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  13. Scott says:

    Trump’s Situation Room shouting match

    Seated in the Situation Room with [Attorney General Bill] Barr, Milley, and [Secretary of Defense Mark] Esper, Trump exaggerated claims about the violence and alarmed officials … by announcing he’d just put Milley “in charge.”
    Privately, Milley confronted Trump about his role. He was an adviser, and not in command. But Trump had had enough.
    “I said you’re in f—ing charge!” Trump shouted at him.
    “Well, I’m not in charge!” Milley yelled back.
    “You can’t f—ing talk to me like that!” Trump said. …
    “Goddamnit,” Milley said to others. “There’s a room full of lawyers here. Will someone inform him of my legal responsibilities?”
    “He’s right, Mr. President,” Barr said. “The general is right.”

    If only more people talked to Trump like that, this country would be in a much better place.

    I am still astounded by the breadth of the lack of character and backbone of what we presumed to be leaders in this country.

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  14. de stijl says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Gravel had one of the most weird candidate commercials ever where he stares into the camera for a full minute. And then he chucks a rock into a lake and walks away. No words. No text.

    2008. A must watch for misguided political statements. He must have thought it profound. He released it under his Presidential candidacy banner. So weird.

    It is absurd and kinda glorious. No way would I want that person anywhere near Presidential powers and prerogatives.

    In 2016, we elected Trump. Between Gravel and Trump, Gravel a trillion trillions to one Trump. God, we dodged a bullet there. It could have been way worse.

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  15. MarkedMan says:

    Josh Marshall has a good take this morning on the Kabuki theater the Republicans are engaging in with respect to Biden’s “gaffe”, i.e. re-stating a fact that he and all other Dems have been stating freely during the entirety of the negations, and the compliant Washington Press decision to take their faux outrage at face value.

    I’ve written over many years that despite the seesawing of control in Congress and executive branch, Washington remains wired for the GOP. We’re seeing another striking example of that in the way most establishment DC press outlets are are treating the brouhaha over President Biden’s alleged ‘veto threat’. We started with Biden stating openly what all the parties to the proposed bipartisan legislation know, which is that for Democrats it’s a package deal. Democrats know that. Republicans know that. The reporters know that. And yet the same folks have decided to take the feigned Republican freakout entirely at face value regardless. Politico of all places was closer to the mark on Friday when they noted that it took a day for Republicans to realize they were upset and what about.

    And it’s actually accelerated over the weekend.

    Yesterday the conventional wisdom among DC reporters was that yes this was all known. But Biden stated it too openly. So it was excessive candor that upset a fragile bipartisan coalition rather than any change of strategy or position. But hear Annie Linskey in the Post last night: “President Biden on Saturday reversed a stand he had taken forcefully just two days earlier …” The weekend clarification statement has now gone from being a fuzzy and ambiguous statement muddying up linkage to an abject surrender after a forceful assertion of a new policy.

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  16. Jen says:

    @charon: The lies people tell themselves.

    It’s a lot easier/more comforting to think that covid was some lab experiment gone awry rather than the randomness of the reality, which means that it could (and likely will) happen again. Human beings are very adept at deluding themselves.

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  17. de stijl says:

    @Scott:

    I’m sorta astonished we did not have WW3 via Trump. I kinda expected it.

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  18. Mikey says:

    @de stijl: Ashwagandha may help. I would wake frequently during the night and have problems falling back asleep, but when I started taking ashwagandha this pretty much stopped and I’ve been sleeping through the night pretty reliably. YMMV of course, but it’s non-addictive and has other benefits, so it may be worth a try.

    Here’s a curated collection of research findings from a highly-trustworthy source: https://examine.com/supplements/ashwagandha/

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  19. Kylopod says:

    In 2007 during his first presidential run, Gravel made what in retrospect sounds to me like a Trumpian remark: He declared that, if elected president, and I quote, “I will bring peace between the Israelis and Palestinians and thereby diffuse the entire confrontation between the Islamic world and the West.”

    At the time my thought was that he was taking advantage of his own status as a marginal candidate with no chance of actually winning, a position that afforded him the luxury of saying whatever the hell he wanted; he could say he’d unmelt the polar ice caps and it wouldn’t matter because it’s not like he’d ever be held to his promises.

    Trump, alas, blew that theory of mine out of the water.

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: I have to admit, I haven’t been following this too closely, primarily because I don’t understand the point. Have there been disease outbreaks caused by lab leaks? Absolutely. A few decades ago we came very close to having an outbreak of Ebola in the Washington DC area due to poor handling at a company that supplies animals to research labs. It is a distinct possibility that at least one employee died alone at home of Ebola. There have also been a number of leaks that occurred directly at the labs themselves, all over the world. So could COVID been released from the Wuhan lab who was studying it, or even merely cataloging it? Yes. Should we believe the Chinese government when they deny it? Of course not.

    But I don’t understand the heat this argument is generating. What different does it make to our response where the virus originated?

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  21. Kathy says:

    So, this bank has been promoting their new “numberless” cards for over a year now. the gist is the front of the card has no info printed on it, past the bank’s logo and the card brand. This makes sense, as the real card number is the one on the chip or the magnetic strip, as all card transactions are now electronic anyway.

    But there’s more. The bank claims this makes them safer from fraud and theft, as no one can see the card number, expiration date, or name.

    Then you turn the card over, and there’s the name, number, and expiration date, neatly printed below the card signature line.

    Sure, no person intent on stealing your card info by snapping a cellphone picture of the front would ever think to turn the card over. it’s completely secure.

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  22. Kylopod says:

    Except for Mark Begich’s fluke win in 2008 (where he was narrowly elected in a very good Democratic year shortly after his opponent was convicted on corruption charges), Gravel is the last Democrat to serve in the Senate from Alaska. He came to office in the 1960s when Alaska was still a purple state. He did it by beating a fellow Democrat in the primary (Ernest Gruening), which made him an enemy of portions of the party in Alaska. In 1980 it came back to bite him when Gruening’s grandson beat him in the primary–then went on to lose to Frank Murkowski in the general.

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  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @de stijl:

    True. I remember him fondly for reading the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record, but he certainly had his flaws.

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  24. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Rationally, it would mean we might need better safety protocols in microbiology research labs the world over, and perhaps also in some vaccine manufacturing operations (those that use live or attenuated pathogens), in order to prevent further outbreaks. Also better post-leak containment efforts and systems locally and regionally.

    Rationally, the means to stop the spread of Trump’s Beloved Virus is to wear masks, keep distancing, observing hygiene, and above all getting vaccinated.

    Irrationally, I suppose it means none of what happened was trump’s fault (spoiler alert: much of it was), and even over 600,000 deaths in the US alone don’t matter, because it’s all China’s fault (but no Xi’s fault, because trump likes the flavor of his ass).

    I lack the irrationality to rationalize how the preventive and containment means outlined above would not apply. Rationally, the risk from COVID is the same whether it leaked from the lab, it arose through natural means, or it was shot at us from Apollo’s quiver.

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  25. Mikey says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But I don’t understand the heat this argument is generating. What different does it make to our response where the virus originated?

    My understanding of the right-wing position on this–and maybe I’m not understanding correctly, so FWIW–is that the virus was deliberately engineered by the Chinese government for use as a bioweapon and therefore its release is tantamount to an act of war, so we should nuke Beijing.

    Or something like that.

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  26. charon says:

    @Jen:

    Also the effectiveness of the Conservamedia disinformation complex, especially where amplified by repetition by the MSM.

    https://twitter.com/BBCWorld/status/1409404531096567809

    The belief that Covid-19 originated in a Wuhan lab, once dismissed as a conspiracy theory, has gained respectability although it still remains unproven. Now former President Donald Trump is using this shift in scientific thinking to energise his supporters.

    Trump gloated at a rally in Ohio on Saturday evening, and said he had been proved right.

    He spoke of his belief that the coronavirus was scientifically engineered, in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

    “I said it comes out of Wuhan – it comes out of the lab,” he told his supporters, men and women dressed in red Make America Great Again hats, gathered at the rally, southwest of Cleveland.

    People “went crazy” when he said it, he told his supporters. But not any more. “Now they’re saying: Most likely it came out of the Wuhan lab.” At this, the crowd roared their approval.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57616323?piano-modal

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  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: I was all set to pour cold water on the Ashwagandha thing, as supplements are mostly BS, but a quick check over at PubMed shows some seemingly legit research that indicates positive benefits and little side effects. A review, and a double-blind, random, placebo controlled study for anxiety relief (which may be relevant to sleeplessness).

    But I will add my usual caution that what these researchers used are carefully controlled substances prepared in a research lab, whereas what you buy in stores might contain no Ashwagandha or five times the dosage on the label, regardless of what you pay for it or the name on the label.

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  28. de stijl says:

    @Jen:

    I like that theory that we are in a way much more comforted by human malfeasance than a random occurrence.

    Second theory in a row from you I heartily endorse. You have a gift.

    A known enemy is way easier to blame than nature and time.

    (I am not discounting an inadvertent Wuhan lab leak entirely, but I need solid evidence. Conjecture is not evidence.)

    One thing I know for sure is that Trump and his surrogates insistence that we call COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” was abhorrent and likely was a cause of this year’s anti-Asian violence increase here.

    Actions. Consequences. Ugly racist rhetoric begets ugly racist action.

    Another smear on our honor. I am sick of that and wish we stopped doing that. After Dubya and the attempt to legalize torture and the way that played out I lost major respect for the nation.

    My semi-partner / very close friend (we really need to discuss terms one day) is Chinese-American born in Shanghai. I take this shit very seriously. Both for her and me.

    We as a nation are capable of very shitty actions 40% of us would endorse heartily.

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  29. charon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It remains what it has always been, a possibility but still an unlikely possibility.

    All previous outbreaks have, if identified, been natural crossovers.

    Nose around Cheryl Rofer’s site you can likely find some discussion.

    And, yes, red herring, does not really matter just helps get people angry and distracted.

    https://nucleardiner.wordpress.com/

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  30. de stijl says:

    @Mikey:

    Thanks! Much appreciated!

    I will check it out.

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  31. Teve says:

    The enthusiasm behind this is easy to understand. A lab leak makes it China’s Fault, which means nothing was Trump’s Fault, if you’re poor at reasoning.

    There’s an elderly woman who goes to the nearby Panera every morning who’s always wearing multiple confederate flags and whose car is festooned with them, and Trump stickers, and on the front bumper a confederate plate with the words “IF THIS FLAG OFFENDS YOU THEN YOU NEED TO LEARN SOME HISTORY” and I’m sure she’d be happy to explain to you that it’s all communist China’s fault.

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  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Well, I don’t think there is any question that we need better controls in research labs. I can’t speak to the veracity of everything in this NYT op-ed piece by Zeynep Tufekci, but it matches stuff I’ve read over the years. Here’s an example:

    In 2007, foot-and-mouth disease, which can devastate livestock and caused a massive crisis in Britain in 2001, escaped from a drainage pipe leak at an English lab with the highest biosafety rating, BSL-4.

    Another:

    In January 2014, the C.D.C. contaminated a benign flu virus sample with deadly A(H5N1) but didn’t discover the danger until months later. And in June 2014, it mistakenly sent improperly deactivated anthrax bacteria to labs, potentially exposing at least 62 C.D.C. employees who worked with the samples without protective gear. One month later, vials of live smallpox virus were found in a storage room at the National Institutes of Health.

    In October 2014, after that string of high-profile incidents, the United States paused its funding of new gain-of-function research, with few exceptions. The moratorium was lifted in 2017.

    I remember that moratorium. And China has any number of suspicious outbreaks.

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  33. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Security theater.

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  34. Kylopod says:

    With the whole lab-leak kerfuffle and then the recent report on UFOs, it strikes me that it’s a good time to be a crackpot. From their standpoint, the walls are tumbling down and the scientific community is finally admitting what they’ve been saying all along. That’s not actually what’s happening, but media coverage is helping further that narrative.

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  35. charon says:

    @charon:

    The other point is it does not matter Trump’s response was insufficient, the yellow peril is to blame so there!

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  36. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    I cannot see a Panera and not think Pantera.

    Don’t even get me started on Au Bon Pain as it involves bad masochism jokes.

    Panera does have legit decent bread. Not great. Made from frozen locally but produced in a factory.

    I have had far worse. It does not entirely suck. It’ll do in a pinch.

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  37. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Security hype. In their branches they show videos about it, and have huge posters urging cardholders to request the numberless card even if it’s years til the expiration date of their current card.

    One thing I don’t get is why are some cards still made with raised numbers and letters. I think it’s been over 20 years since I’ve seen a card pressed onto a paper voucher.

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  38. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Related, I cannot pass an IHOP and not say out loud “I want to go to pancakes house.”

    I stopped once. IHOP sorta sucks. If you are jonesing for breakfast fare, tolerable to okay.

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  39. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I hate to break it to you, but those may be the better controls, or rather they’ve been implemented.

    The thing is that no one group of people can think of all possible consequences, contingencies, emergencies, or eventualities. And we know we suck at assessing risk. therefore, we’ll always have a few problems.

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  40. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    One thing I don’t get is why are some cards still made with raised numbers and letters. I think it’s been over 20 years since I’ve seen a card pressed onto a paper voucher.

    You might be surprised at how many stores & restaurants still have those under the counter so they can take your money if the power/internet is out. 🙂

    I just got a new card on Saturday and was surprised to see the number on the back–but not on the front. Obviously, it has to be printed somewhere so it can be used for online purchases.

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  41. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    It’s what people expect now. Programmed into it.

    Fulfilling stupid customer expectations is, yes, part of brand marketing now.

    Soap needs an aroma. A symbolic essence of cleanliness.

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  42. Michael Cain says:

    @Jen:

    …which means that it could (and likely will) happen again.

    And has happened even farther in the past. Apparently severe enough to leave traces in our genome.

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  43. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Obviously, it has to be printed somewhere so it can be used for online purchases.

    Funny you should mention that.

    This same bank, I’ve a card with them, has a phone app for virtual online shopping cards. The way it works, you input your real card number and go through some security rigmarole, then it generates a new number, expiration date, and verification number (the three digits on the back of the card), and that’s good for a limited period of time. That’s what you use to shop online.

    Now copying the number from the phone to the PC keyboard is easy. I don’t know how it works if you’re making a purchase through the phone.

    @de stijl:

    I think that’s what people expect from publicity anyway.

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  44. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kathy:

    Security hype. In their branches they show videos about it, and have huge posters urging cardholders to request the numberless card even if it’s years til the expiration date of their current card.

    The thing that amuses me is this enormous push to implement chipped cards combined with a complete failure (in the US anyway, there may be others I’m unaware of) to mandate the most important part of that security feature – the PIN.

    “Here, have a great security feature that we’ve basically bypassed”.

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  45. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    You might be surprised at how many stores & restaurants still have those under the counter so they can take your money if the power/internet is out.

    This exact thing happened to me in the past year. I carry two cards, and only one still had raised numbers

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  46. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Well stated. I am not a fool. I am not going to start taking a random substance before investigation.

    Along with many substances, melatonin works in ways current medical science cannot fully articulate. Basically, it works because we have seen it work. The mechanism is not fully known.

    1. Dendrite-chemical bonding
    2. ??
    3. Sleep

    It’s the gnome-underpants equation for a lot of pharmaceutical stuff we take for granted. Widely prescribed analgesics and over the counter variants have a known effect and an unknown mechanism. It just works.

    Drugs of all types.

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  47. Mikey says:

    @MarkedMan: I used to take a lot of different supplements, but then my daughter got a PhD in biochemistry and physiology and man, she poured cold water all over pretty much everything I took…lol…but now my pee is a lot less expensive.

    The positive plus side is when I come across something new and interesting, all it takes is a phone call and she will take a look at the relevant research and tell me whether she thinks it’s potentially useful/effective, or not.

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  48. Kathy says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Cards in Mexico, credit and debit, have had a chip for many years. Over the past three years or so, most now require introducing the PIN at the point of sale terminal as well.

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  49. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kathy:

    Same here in Europe. Chip and signature is an outlier stemming from the few older machines that still support it which haven’t been replaced yet, and they’re getting fewer & farther between. Basically anything automated (like self-checkouts at the market, the Metro ticket machines, etc.) won’t accept chip-and-signature at all. Chip-and-PIN is the overwhelming norm.

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  50. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Kathy:
    I found myself completing an in-person purchase when the power in the store had gone out. Obviously their “tap to pay” didn’t work, their card reader didn’t work, etc.
    From under the counter the clerk retrieved a blank that normally (years ago) would have been used to imprint from raised characters on the credit card.
    She just wrote the numbers in where the imprint would have gone.
    Imagine that, writing as a useful tool for commerce.

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  51. de stijl says:

    One thing I routinely do is to note color choices and signage choices and textures in retail establishments.

    They are trying to entice a certain reaction from you. Purposefully.

    A great deal of our response is not so much to the product itself but as our response to the milieu. To the intentionally designed product – customer exchange space.

    Employee-only back rooms are not designed to be anything but functional and utilitarian. I.e., it looks like crap.

    Chain restaurants are particularly fascinating in this regard. Look at color choices.

    That exchange space and its design is utterly fascinating.

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  52. Kathy says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    The last time something like that happened, that I recall, was six or seven years ago at a convenience store downtown. They simply were not taking credit card payments.

    I’ve gone to the supermarket during a power outage. They have backup generators to keep the registers, internet, refrigerators/freezers, and about half the lights going.

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  53. Joe says:

    @HarvardLaw92 and Kathy:
    I have my credit card in my phone wallet so I can use my phone wherever their is a “tap” chip reader. A few years ago, I was a store that still wanted the receipt signed and the cashier quipped how useless a signature was for security given that I needed my thumb print to actually open the phone.

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  54. de stijl says:

    @Mikey:

    Yeah. Vitamin supplements mostly make your pee expensive. D vitamins might actually work and some of the B class. Most passes through your GI system intact until it hits your toilet bowl.

    90+% of your daily multi-vitamin you flush away.

    Chains like GNC should be way more regulated than they are now. A lot of the wares they sell are virtual snake-oil. Much essentially unregulated if they nail the package text correctly.

    On-line shit is way worse than GNC.

    Buyer beware.

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  55. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Joe:

    I’ve seen a lot of people doing that here. I love the idea in principle, and it seems cool, but I haven’t actually switched to it. I guess I’m too much a combination of “not ready to take that leap / old(er) fart” and “too prone to misplacing my phone”.

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  56. Teve says:

    @Mikey: most supplements are worthless. I would advise all alcoholics to take Thiamine supplements, though. It can stave off a neurodegenerative disorder seen in many long-term alkies.

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  57. charon says:

    Chains like GNC should be way more regulated than they are now. A lot of the wares they sell are virtual snake-oil. Much essentially unregulated if they nail the package text correctly.

    Blame powerful Senator Orrin Hatch, several big supplement companies based in Utah that prefer non-existent regulation.

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  58. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    I hate to break it to you, but those may be the better controls, or rather they’ve been implemented.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this?

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  59. de stijl says:

    I have been fascinated by the Britney Spears conservatorship case.

    Watched a documentary or two.

    Yeah, she fucked up when she was a young adult. Who didn’t? I certainly did. I don’t really trust anyone who did not and plied the straight and narrow 17-25. *That* is creepy.

    Mormons bug me out a bit. C’mon, give your kids a break! Institute a form of rumspringa. Maybe that it part of the design of mission. But why spend your mission proselytizing? Get out. See life unvarnished.

    The main addiction visible is a dad for his kid’s cash.

    Paul Westerberg World Class Fad

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  60. KM says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But I don’t understand the heat this argument is generating. What different does it make to our response where the virus originated?

    Because those claiming a lab leak are doing so in bad faith – they’re not interested in better lab controls or virus prevention, but shifting blame and inciting racism or violence.

    If it was a lab leak, it was human-caused and they should be punished for all the death and damage it caused. Accident still implied fault and many don’t differentiate between fault and blame, especially if they’re inclined to dislike the group in question. It means they can point fingers at the Chinese and scream about “kung flu”, inciting anti-Asian hate. It’s alright to lash out at anyone Asian if they did this on purpose, right? They can claim Trump didn’t fail them, that their own behavior in spreading the disease is irrelevant in the face of an “attack” and that liberals are not doing enough to avenge or punish this atrocity. They don’t want stronger lab protocol or supervision (and neatly sidestep Trump having yanked our eyes from the lab before this happened) because that would emphasis the “accident” part; it must be nefarious and even if not actively malicious, incomplete enough to not tell the difference.

    They want a Bad Guy, not an explanation and fix of the problem. Reasonable people who entertain the thought of a lab leak work to make sure it doesn’t ever happen again, not go wage war against the schmucks who may just have screwed up and paid the price.

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  61. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan: @Mikey: @de stijl: @Teve:
    About ten years ago, a friend of mine who’s a professor of orthopedic surgery at the Harvard Medical School got involved in the trials for Vitamin D. I forget the details, but it seems to have been established that D supplements were beneficial for many things, including several that were unexpected.

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  62. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..Vitamin supplements mostly make your pee expensive.

    Quackwatch
    Don’t Waste Your Money
    The best way to get vitamins and minerals is from foods in a balanced diet.

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  63. Teve says:

    @CSK: I’ve seen some evidence for taking more D, and I do that.

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  64. de stijl says:

    @KM:

    If I could give that a million up thumbs I would.

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  65. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    This doctor friend was sufficiently impressed with the testing on D to gift me with a bottle of it on my birthday. Every medical and dental practitioner I’ve spoken to endorses it. It’s the only vitamin I take; I depend on food for the rest.

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  66. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: Consumer Reports used to pick a supplement every year and buy 20-30 samples from different manufacturers, everything from cheapo discount brands to the national chains that have stores in expensive malls. What they found was that the amount of the substance actually in the capsule varied wildly. It ranged from 0% to multiples of what was written on the label. Bottom line: on the rare occasion where the research on this or that supplement is positive, the average consumer has no way to reliably get it.

    CR doesn’t seem to do that any more, but a year or so ago the NYT’s did much the same thing with much the same results. But they took it a step farther and discovered that some of the supplements they tested were contaminated with nut oils, gluten and other potential allergens.

    Basically, although the FDA has nominal oversight over the supplement industry (on the “F” side of their mandate, as supplements are considered food, not drugs) they only intervene when there are a number of high profile deaths. And while there are reams of rules on when you can call your product “Chicken Nuggets” vs. “Chikin’ Nuggets”, there are effectively no rules about what supplements actually contain. It is probably the most perfectly libertarian market we have, and the results speak for themselves.

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  67. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    I do take a daily D because it has been acknowledged as helpful in a pill delivery form by actual scientists. (And some of the B’s for luck.) I likely piss away some / most of the B vitamins I take. Some actual scientists do not discount beneficial effect.

    Until further evidence, that’s a trade-off I’ll take. I’m much more worried about dementia than pissing away perhaps $20 bucks per month on possibly scurrilous unproven B vitamin claims.

    I would consider almost anything to forestall / prevent Alzheimer’s to which I am predisposed towards. (“Consider” as the verb was carefully chosen.)

    Alzheimer’s is horrible. A brain plaque that erases your whole self and your memories.

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  68. Jen says:

    I take Vitamin D because 1) it’s the one with the most real science behind it, 2) it’s very hard to get sufficient amounts in your diet, and 3) many people in northern regions are significantly deficient.

    It’s a fat soluble vitamin so do not take more than is safe. Water solubles (like vitamin C) make for pricey pee, but fat soluble ones can store in your body and get to toxic levels.

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  69. MarkedMan says:

    We are now entering phase two of Mitch’s plan to quash the bipartisan infrastructure bill. He has made it explicit: he will only allow his members to vote for it if it happens first, without a reconciliation bill that the Dems pass on their own. Basically, in exchange for a few Republican votes, give up your entire agenda.

    This was a sham from the get-go and the nitwits in the media got played.

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  70. Mikey says:

    @Jen:

    fat soluble ones can store in your body and get to toxic levels

    One of the (few) things I remember from USAF survival training is if you are surviving in an arctic area and somehow manage to harvest a polar bear for food, do not eat its liver, as polar bear liver stores enough vitamin A to be dangerous to humans.

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  71. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    One of the most known brands of supplements routinely touts that their wares are approved by the ISP.

    ISP is not a government regulatory agency, but is a bought and paid for quasi-regulatory board that does what is told and paid to say.

    Granted the AMA is not government controlled and is a guild control mechanism, but they kibosh unproven claims promptly. Like the hydroxychloriquine nonsense Trump and surrogates got so hyped up on so early on as their get-out-of-jail-free card.

    The “ISP” is utter bullshit. An industry dodge. Bought and beholden.

    Btw, Oklahoma bought several million dollars worth of HCQ because their leaders are idiots beholden to politics.

    Sold it back to the general market last month to great appreciation of Lupus sufferers nationwide where it does have a marked therapeutic effect and idiot politician silly gooses were hogging the supply impacting pricing and availability.

    Everything you read on Facebook is not true, Oklahoma! South Dakota almost pulled the trigger on a major buy too.

    Sometimes the silver bullet is shiny ineffectual trash. Senior government types should not buy into unproven bullshit.

    Who am I kidding? This is the summer when CRT got unconstitutionally banned in half the states including mine. I can be very naive.

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  72. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Lucy

    Football

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  73. de stijl says:

    @Mikey:

    That was very specific training!

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  74. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’m not sure what you mean by this?

    Are you asking me whether you’re sure what I mean? 😉

    I mean fixes for the breaches you mentioned should already have been enacted. The rest is we won’t enact new ones until other unanticipated breaches take place.

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  75. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve been mildly curious as to the scriptural basis for the ancient (1930) Catholic prohibition on abortion. The silliness over Biden receiving communion prompted Garry Wills to write a column for NYT that answers my question. There ain’t none.

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  76. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08: In 2008, Doug Kmiec–who considers himself conservative and pro-life–was denied Communion because he endorsed Obama for president. The bishop who made this decision was later disciplined by highers-up.

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  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: @CSK: @OzarkHillbilly: I’ll sign on as number 4, but in my case, it’s probably because the daytime high here was 111 yesterday and the temperature never dropped down below 90 until about 2 am. In an apartment with only an open window and a box fan, falling asleep was a challenge and I still woke up at 5 (although groggy, not like de stijl). On a more positive note though, the pulmonology clinic at my doctor came up with an addition to my COPD treatment that has knocked the number of times that I wake up during the night from roughly once every hour or two to once during the whole night. For the previous week, I’d gone to bed at about 11 or midnight and awakened at either 6 or 7 am with only one disruption. Not bad.

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  78. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Too late in the day for an edit button, but also note (while I’m bragging) that I had 3 links but no trip to moderation. I got my comment posted the first try. Yay me! Go me go!

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  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: @OzarkHillbilly: I lean more toward agreeing with “highly visible eyesore,” but I also believe in rights of property owners to the extent that said owners aren’t actively infringing on the rights, view, enjoyment of property of others. Lots of other things that are eyesores regarding property (at least in my mind) are also perfectly legal.

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  80. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    You people must be suffering in this. (It’s hot where I am, too, but not 111 degrees–rather, a relatively temperate 92.) I’m glad you’ve been able to get some relatively uninterrupted rest.

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  81. MarkedMan says:

    Missouri offers the clearest example. Over the past week, it has reported more new Covid cases per capita than any other state, and they are concentrated in rural areas that have low vaccination rates, as Charles Gaba, a health care analyst, has noted. In the parts of the state with high vaccination rates — like the metro areas of Kansas City, St. Louis and Columbia — the number of new cases remains very low.

    What do those three cities have in common? They are not controlled by Republicans (2 Dems, one “Nonpartisan”). Screw the “philosophy”, it’s all about competence. The modern Republican Party does not attract competent people. Vote them in and mismanagement and chaos will ensue.

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  82. CSK says:

    Sunday’s and Monday’s open forums had 23 comments each. It’s only 1:16 p.m. and we’re already up to 81 here today. Odd how that happens.

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  83. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Sunday’s and Monday’s open forums had 23 comments each.

    This is Monday’s Open Forum. What time zone are you in?

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  84. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    I meant just Sunday’s forum. That’s what sleep deprivation will do to you. As for zones. I may be in…The Twilight Zone.

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  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I found it confusing too, but just last year, I had an emergency service call for my car and had to go with the driver to his office afterwards to have the charge processed because my card didn’t have embossed numbers on it. Wild.

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  86. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Oi! 113F? Man, I feel you. That is hell on earth.

    I hate heat. Give me January any day.

    You can always wear another layer in winter. But, in damned heat you can never get more naked than naked.

    Pro-tip:

    Cool showers or baths. Baths work better.

    Stick your head directly into your refrigerator’s freezer for a few minutes. Pull out shit if your noggin won’t fit.

    A cool bath tub soak will melt away body temperature faster than anything. Stay in until your fingertips get pruney. Get deep so only nose and eyes are above water. Repeat when necessary. Use water to dissipate body temperature. Especially, keep your brain cool.

    I came fairly close to dying one day when I decided to mow the lawn when it was 98F and feels-like was 115 due to the dew point.

    I was not thinking correctly near the end and tried to bull through to the last bit until my body just quit. I laid on the half mown lawn panting and my heart thump thump thumping for 20 minutes before I even thought I had the energy and wherewithal to attempt to stand up. Standing took a long time. I had to do it in stages.

    Spooky! Don’t be as stupid and mulish as I was then!

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  87. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: It’s all a matter of taste–of which I have none, I’ll admit–but I like IHOP occasionally. Denny’s, too. But I’ve always had a taste (or lack thereof) for diner food. I had friends in Korea who didn’t like going out to eat with me because “you always want to go have bibimbap at a shikdang.” They had a point, I guess.

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  88. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    the daytime high here was 111 yesterday and the temperature never dropped down below 90 until about 2 am

    OMG, I’d combust on the spot. Sympathies – hope it gets cooler soon.

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  89. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I take Vitamin D–a blood test several years ago revealed that it’s level in my blood was only about half of normal. It’s reached the bottom of the normal range now, so I take supplements to keep it there.

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  90. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:

    Iirc, until “quickening” – that is, when baby starts kicking, then it is a pregnancy. Before then, it is a maybe thing.

    The Catholic hierarchy and its stance on birth control has caused untold pain and despair.

    Meanwhile, its appointed agents were vectors of evil sexual brutality nearly immune from any justice.

    What hath man wrought? (God has nothing to with that business.)

    Amongst the major world religions, Catholicism leads the pack in leads the pack in harm done to innocents by a mile. The others are nearly as bad.

    My spicy take of the day.

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  91. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: As I was noting to Luddite yesterday, the weather we’ve been having is exactly like the weather at this time of year in Korea–except that the humidity there was usually 80% or higher and the monsoon season usually starts in about 2 more weeks. 6 or so weeks of ridiculously high temperatures accompanied by periodic torrential rainstorms. (Although the monsoon season was significantly milder most of the years I lived there. Some people blame climate change. Others blame Chinese currency manipulation. 😉 )

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  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Today’s the last “hot” day. The high will be 108. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for a balmy 86 for the high. But it’s the start of a cooling trend–slight, but temperatures will drop into a more normal range for the area over about a week. On the bad side, the drought will continue with another 7 to 10 rainless days in addition to the 10 or so we’ve already run up.

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  93. Kathy says:

    The one weather advantage of Mexico City (and much of central Mexico for that matter), is that the rain season coincides with late spring and early fall, meaning it’s very cloudy and thus cooler in the summer.

    The one disadvantage is that it rains pretty much every day between early June and mid-September. Torrential rains are common, hail is less common but not unheard of. Drainage is ok, but tends to fall short with heavy rains, especially when trash accumulates in the streets and blocks the drains and sewer pipes. Traffic tends to come to a standstill.

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  94. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I have a super soft spot for diners. Give me the blue plate special!

    IHOP and Denny’s are adequtely serviceable if you need fuel. Perkin’s is a slight step up. Ember’s if you are from the upper Midwest. All share a common ethos of if want breakfast food at 10:30pm we will hook you up.

    The local joints is where it is at. Chains exist to give you uniform food.

    You can judge a short-order man or woman on eggs and on french fries. Both require a keen eye and experience. Any monkey could do a decent burger. I’m indifferent on pancakes; I’m a waffle man, myself. Although I do enjoy saying “I want to go to pancakes house” a lot. Stormare is a personal hero.

    I was not hungry before but now I have a huge hankering for steak and eggs – medium rare and sunny side up with runny yolks and a side of french fries crisp and hot. A1 on the steak.

    When you know a joint well enough and you see a good cat you trust manning the grill, life gets better that day. A good diner is heaven on earth.

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  95. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    the weather we’ve been having is exactly like the weather at this time of year in Korea–except that the humidity there was usually 80% or higher

    Exactly the same around Shanghai. With the bonus that it’s on a flood-plane filled with canals of semi-standing water. The poured-concrete buildings are a giant heat-sink (both summer and winter) and will radiate heat into the apartment at night.

    My last year, I only had one standing AC unit downstairs. I spent a couple weeks sleeping on the dining room floor in front of it. Nasty shit.

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  96. Jen says:

    This WaPo piece about the coming tidal wave of evictions is sobering.

    I’ve wondered about the effect of the eviction moratorium, particularly the impact on small-scale landlords. I have a few friends who decided to rent properties rather than sell them (one inherited a home that was across town from where she lived, she didn’t want to move as it would have put her farther away from her job/more than doubled her commute time, for example). For the most part their renters have remained employed, so they are okay.

    In the article, the landlord profiled is almost as poor as the renters.

    This seems like something that could steamroll local economies in a number of states.

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  97. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    I’m a waffle man, myself. Although I do enjoy saying “I want to go to pancakes house” a lot. Stormare is a personal hero.

    You could switch to the Tom Hank’s character from The Ladykillers: “Madam, we must have waffles! We must all have waffles forthwith! We must all think, and we must all have waffles, and think each and every one of us to the very best of his ability…”

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  98. Mister Bluster says:

    Federal court dismisses FTC’s antitrust case against Facebook
    A D.C. federal court on Monday dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust suit seeking to breakup Facebook’s social networking monopoly, dealing a massive blow to Washington regulators’ attempt to rein in Silicon Valley’s giants.

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  99. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: According to Pivot, a great tech podcast, venture capital for the last decade has almost completely refused to fund a startup if ‘compete with Facebook or Google’ is in the business plan. That’s a problem for competition.

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  100. Michael Cain says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    I always thought it was going to be a long shot. First to get the judge to agree that social networks with no charge to the end users is a market. Second that given the large numbers of alternatives — Twitter, the blogosphere, etc — that Facebook held monopoly powers.

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  101. Michael Cain says:

    @Teve:
    Need to go back to the 1990s. Then the requirement of the venture funding firms was “What’s your plan for being acquired by Microsoft?”

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  102. Mister Bluster says:
  103. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: It’s not what I am doing with my property (which I am sure somebody would object to if they could actually see it) but I can not find it within me to object when I can always look in a different direction.

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  104. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Stupid is as stupid does.

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  105. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    the end users, namely us, are not the market. We are the product. the market is made of people and businesses that advertise on such platforms, or otherwise make use of them in a way that generates income for them.

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  106. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: A lot of the colour stuff you see in fast food joints is planned out because they want to have their own “design style” that they can get a trademark on. Indeed. Interesting what you can get a trademark on….but don’t try to trademark something that the USPTO considers “ornamental only”. That’s what design patents are for.

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  107. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: Seeing as Numbers Chapter 11 (iirc) has commands a priest to perform abortions on philandering women, I coulda told you that. 😉 Funny how God is not similarly upset with philandering men.

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  108. DrDaveT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You could switch to the Tom Hank’s character from The Ladykillers

    Yes, but then I would have to remember that there was an appalling travesty of a remake of The Ladykillers, and that Tom Hanks of all people was in it, and that my wife and I afterward couldn’t believe that we had stayed all the way through it without walking out to do something fun instead of watching a horrible travesty of a classic film.

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  109. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Actually, according to ol’ Wiki, the men didn’t get off any easier…

    Maimonides further writes: “When she dies, the adulterer because of whom she was compelled to drink will also die, wherever he is located. The same phenomena, the swelling of the belly and the rupture of the thigh, will also occur to him. All the above applies provided her husband never engaged in forbidden sexual relations in his life. If, however, her husband ever engaged in forbidden relations, the [bitter] waters do not check [the fidelity of] his wife.”

    It’s also not clearly talking about abortion, and ol’ Wiki says that is just one interpretation.

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  110. Stormy Dragon says:

    @DrDaveT:

    While not their best movie, I liked their remake of The Ladykillers, although I guess that’s because I thought the fact it was an appalling travesty was the entire point of the movie. They go to all this effort setting up this overcomplicated heist only to have it predictably fail and then the televangelist character ends up with the money because he’s got a far more simple scam going.

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  111. Joe says:

    @de stijl:
    Washington DC used to have a local chain of breakfast only storefronts, normally with a counter only and about a dozen stools. The one near us was normally manned by a guy who must have been a trained teppanyaki cook because he could put out a 4-person order essentially simultaneously and he was a show to watch. We went one day when there was someone else. Breakfast was a train wreck with a full 20 minutes between first plate and last.

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  112. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Too many words, although I appreciate the sentiment. Waffles kick ass.

    My brain has enough capacity to accurately remember “I want to go to pancakes house.” on command.

    The Coen brothers write remarkably quotable dialog.

    I speak atrocious Swedish. Mockably bad. But better than 99.999% of Americans and the software they were going to use was like an old friend so I got the gig. Central Stockholm.

    I met a guy and we clicked. We hung out after work a lot. He would fill me in on nuances of directives I got during meetings that I missed entirely or the actual meaning – I learned that this is due Thursday that meant BOD Thursday not EOD Thursday. A big difference.

    One fairly drunken evening he told me he loved the way I spoke Swedish like a drunk child.

    My brain has a better inherent grasp of English so I chose to remember that as “You speak Swedish like a drunken toddler.”

    That cracked me up so hard. I appreciated the honesty.

    It is hard to sit in your room and watch TV when you don’t understand 2/3 of what’s being said. So I loved going out. That, or read.

    I cannot even imagine the ways I butchered verbs and tenses and conditions. I apologize.

    Good project. People went home at 5pm. Relatively very low stress. It was not insane crunch madness. I needed low stress.

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  113. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Yeah. Canals–natural or man-made–full of brackish water are always a great addition. 🙁

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  114. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    full of brackish water

    Yours had water?? Ours had some grey stuff that either rose and fell with the tide… or was slowly breathing.

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  115. CSK says:

    Trump’s lawyer says Trump won’t be charged by Cyrus Vance.

    Mike Lindell says the Supreme Cpourt should immediately reinstate Trump to get rid of communists.

    And Trump himself has accused Bill Barr and Mitch McConnell of betraying him over the election results.

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  116. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    If there’s a mosquito problem, then it is water.

    @CSK:

    I don’t think we’ll ever see Donnie the Ass wear the much-deserved orange jumpsuit.

    Someone should tell his base that if he were to reach the Oval office again, he’ll be as ineffectual the second time around.

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  117. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Just a late update. It’s 7:29 am in Seoul; weather app tells me it’s currently 73F, expected to be a balmy 85 later. Unfortunately, the humidity is 86%. Wa! OTOH, down the road from Cracker, south of Portland, it’s a sucky 111F, and 19% humidity. At 2 am this morning, it was 80F and 50% humidity. Blech!

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  118. Kathy says:

    On better news, I’m reading “An Elegant Defense” by Matt Richtel. It’s a book about the immune system. Thus far there are equal parts explanations of immune system components, as well as history on how some of them were discovered (did you know starfish embryos are transparent? I didn’t).

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  119. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    His base doesn’t care if he’s ineffectual. He owns the libs, and that’s enough for them.

    More than enough.

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  120. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Then they’d demand a third term, or that the Senate declare him president for life, or crown him king, or anoint him emperor of the world, or take God to task for not kissing Orange Ass.

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  121. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    If there’s a mosquito problem, then it is water.

    No mosquitoes.

    Here’s Taicang (one of the cities I lived in)

    All that “water”. No mosquitoes. The occasional smell of a slurry trap… but no mosquitoes.

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  122. Mu Yixiao says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    It’s 7:29 am in Seoul; weather app tells me it’s currently 73F, expected to be a balmy 85 later.

    One of the best experiences I had during my Chinese stay was a visa run to Seoul in the middle of winter. It was -8C and sunny. I pulled off my hat, I pulled down my hoodie, I opened my coat, and I basked in the warmth of a dry, sub-freezing day.

    99% of my Chinese friends freaked out at how “cold” it was when I posted on WeChat. Only my friends from Harbin (at a latitude just under the Canadian border) understood why I was enjoying it so much. Back in Shanghai, it was just above freezing with 60%+ humidity. Cold and wet. Soaked into your bones and never left.

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  123. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Maybe they can worship his embalmed remains.

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  124. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    That’s not the complaint that the FTC filed. And it’s not how US antitrust law works, generally. It will be enormously difficult for the FTC to win an argument that “advertising to people who use Facebook as a social medium” is a stand-alone market where antitrust applies. And then they have to show that Facebook is discriminating illegally. Holding a monopoly is not unlawful under US antitrust law. Certain business behaviors are banned once the court decides it’s a monopoly. And broadly, the court will give the company a chance to correct its behavior.

    The Microsoft case in the late 1990s is instructive.

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  125. Teve says:

    Every day when I tell people their furniture order is going to take 2-3 months, I hear some “it’s cuz Joe Biden’s payin all these lazy scumbags to sit at home.” Uh no. It’s because dozens to hundreds of global companies are involved in your order and global ‘Just-in-time’ supply lines have been disrupted by a deadly virus that has killed millions. But rich people and FoxNews want your dumb ass to believe that, so why would I bother correcting you.

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  126. Kurtz says:

    @Barry:

    trazadone

    I took that for a bit. But I woke up with, um, a condition that reminded me of the disclaimer in Cialis commercials. Painful like LBJ riding a wire fence. Plus, impossible to hide in anything other than JNCOs with an extra four inches of waist size.

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  127. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:

    “Somewhat” random, are you familiar with the band Dischurch? They’re from a port town in Sweden. Check them out, as I think you’ll appreciate my rec.

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  128. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:

    I’m guessing a ram, camel, or bulldog.

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  129. Mikey says:

    @Joe:

    Washington DC used to have a local chain of breakfast only storefronts, normally with a counter only and about a dozen stools.

    Waffle Shop? There was one across the street from Ford’s Theater, that place was total nostalgia and a great cheap breakfast.

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  130. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The Replacements have a quite good song off Don’t Tell A Soul album (not their best) called Portland. Well bonus track on the re-master, but not released as an album track. Bits and pieces got re-written into Talent Show which was on the original album

    It’s too late turn back
    Here we go

    An interesting shuffly thing with intriguing lyrics.

    Best song off that album is Achin’ To Be which is a brilliant song. The “Just like me” lyric at the very end kills. I’ll Be You is pretty good too.

    I hope this finds you well. It looks like tomorrow is gonna be cooler for you. Stay safe.

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  131. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Teve:

    It’s because dozens to hundreds of global companies are involved in your order and global ‘Just-in-time’ supply lines have been disrupted by a deadly virus that has killed millions.

    I work in an industry that is quite decidedly left-of-center (Hollywood, Broadway, etc.)

    I get regular “just asking” e-mails wondering “when will my stuff be fixed?” I have a boiler-plate response that very politely says “Have you seen the fucking news?! We’ll fix your shit when we have the fucking parts to do it! Making sure your evangelical pastor has enough lights to put Metallica to shame is really not at the top of our to-do list.”

    Fortunately, I’m mostly dealing with the dealers, not the end-users. The dealers understand (though it may take a couple additional e-mails to drive the point home).

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  132. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    I’m going to make a radical suggestion:

    Listen to your body. Sleep when you’re tired, do things when you’re awake.

    “8 hours of sleep” is an artificial construct. There’s dozens of studies that argue more or less is better. And there are far more that show our sleep needs change as we age.

    If you’re not holding down a “9 to 5”, don’t worry about your schedule. Fuck the clock, sleep when you’re tired, annoy people on the internet when you’re awake. Have pancakes or Pop-Tarts at 9pm, and grill a steak with sautee’d mushrooms and onions at 5am.

    And, of course, it’s always Miller Time somewhere. 🙂

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  133. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I hear you. It’s not radical. It’s practical advice.

    As I typed that I am willfully trying to force myself to stay awake until 10pm after sleeping a grand total of 3.25 hours last night.

    I acknowledge it is likely a lost cause.

    I would settle for any discernable pattern at all. The randomness is maddening.

    As to the it’s 5 o’clock somewhere thing I have just this week had bowl of chili some fritos and a healthy pour of tequila and a beer for dinner at 6 something am. “Fuck it! I’ve been awake for hours and I am doing this now.” It’s quite liberating.

    I enjoyed that a lot. That frisson of a guilty slash guilt-free pleasure.

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  134. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Kwater–the national company that provided drinking water–was pretty aggressive about making sure that estuaries of all sorts were kept free of foreign pseudo-liquid or liquid-like substances. Pollution of water supplies was a big deal because the mind set was that the nation was always one bad rainy season away from national-level water shortages.

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  135. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    And a late update. 22.22 hrs, it’s down to 77F/ 53% humidity. We may be in the 60s before morning. Sleep well Cracker!

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  136. Kurtz says:

    @Mimai:

    I am not familiar with that band.

    Well, I am now slightly familiar. It took some Googling, because the first search gave me results for the punk band Discharge.

    Your specificity helped, after I explained politely to Google that this was a Swedish band, it sent me to their page on Bandcamp.

    Not my usual style musically. But it is just weird enough that I listened to many tracks. I think I’m as entertained by the cover art and the titles of albums and song as I am by the music.

    I am disappointed that what appears to be an album, O.R.G.A.S.M.: Orwellian Religious Guerilla Anarchist Sadistic Monster is nowhere to be found among the recordings.

    Out of curiosity, was it the cover of God Gives You AIDS that led to you recommending them at this particular juncture? I ask because it depicts Jesus on the cross sporting an erection.

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  137. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:

    It’s a very obscure band. Not my go-to style of music either. But it has its place and relevance. My rec was somewhat oblique, cross-cutting. The “dead horse” album is my favorite…..thematically.

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