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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Slow news day.

    Attorneys who successfully sued to force Missouri to enact voter-approved Medicaid expansion argued in a letter to state officials Thursday that delays in implementation not only violate the court order but also federal law.

    The plaintiffs’ attorneys, Chuck Hatfield and Lowell Pearson, joined with Joel Ferber, director of advocacy for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, in a letter to the attorney general’s office questioning why the Department of Social Services would need until Oct. 1 to begin enrolling eligible individuals.

    The letter argued that refusing to enroll newly eligible individuals until Oct. 1 while previously eligible individuals continue to have their applications processed “is not treating these populations equitably” as the court ordered.

    The letter noted plaintiffs expect individuals to be enrolled in a timely manner and that the federal Medicaid Act requires applications be processed within 45 days — with certain exceptions.

    “Not only is Family Support Division’s decision to hold all applications until Oct. 1 in violation of the court’s order, but also a violation of federal law,” the letter read, which was also sent to top DSS officials.

    Rule of law for thee but not for me.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:
  3. mattbernius says:

    I woke up relieved to find out that, while there was destruction and a major power outage, Ida does not appear to have been as bad as Katrina.

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  4. KM says:

    An elementary school teacher took off her mask for a read-aloud. Within days, half her class was positive for delta.

    I missed the schadenfreude thread yesterday so here’s my belated contribution. The reason it’s not mean or “punching down” to have those articles constantly is the article above. An unvaxxed teacher, clearly feeling unwell, not only went in during a plague but took her mask off in front of vulnerable children for something as asinine as reading aloud. You can read aloud through a mask, you just have to put more effort into it – she dismissed her illness as “allergies” without thinking or being tested for the obvious disease answer. Now 50% of her class was infected, endangering them and their families. Her choice to be essentially a biological terrorist set off a chain of events wherein hospitalization and death are tragically possible and even likely depending on the vaax status of everyone else.

    If this woman dies, how do you write the follow up story in a way that doesn’t make her sound stupid, selfish, ignorant or like she got what she deserved based off the facts we know now?

    I’ve never liked the idea of “do not speak ill of the dead”. Just because you died doesn’t mean you weren’t a terrible person in life or did something stupid to contribute to your death. It doesn’t mean we lack basic sympathy or empathy – it means we live in the real world where your choice to dare fate got you the predictable outcome. An abuser shouldn’t get the slate wiped clean if they perish and it’s insulting to the victims to have to give in to one last abuse by not getting to air the truth or be silent while others offer “thoughts and prayers” as a social requirement. These people are abusing America by forcing us to live in fear that an accident or medical issue will be fatal as there’s no room in the hospital to treat us and going about our lives could result in still being infected even though we’ve done everything right for nearly two years now. Right now, people are going to die from Ida’s wrath that would have been fine except the bed they need is occupied by an anti-vaxxer and they won’t be able to get treatment.

    “Anti-vaxxer Dies” stories are recitations and affirmations of the universal truth: f^ck around and find out. Near-instant karma, if you will. There’s no way to report them without citing the reason they’re worth reporting – this person died because of their boneheaded choices in life. Much like the stories about Trump that was poo-poo’d as always negative, it looks bad for the participants BECAUSE they’re bad and the most talented journalist on earth can’t polish that turd.

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  5. Kathy says:

    For some reason, I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    I’d seen it before, long ago (it was one of the first movies the family bought when we got a VCR*), and I’d read the book. Seeing it now, I was surprised how little happens over 2:20+ hours of movie, and how little of it was explained. Not just the very long ending, but all of it. no one even says Tycho magnetic Anomaly even once!

    The visual effects quite naturally look primitive, the movie was shot in 1968. But the ships and their movements are quite realistic (with the exception of the vehicle Floyd et al use to reach the unnamed TMA-1 for a photo op). Pairing a slow moving shuttle with the Blue Danube waltz proved rather hypnotic.

    And, typical for the time, there are no female characters of consequence.

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  6. charon says:

    https://twitter.com/Timodc/status/1431850156995985408

    There’s a reason it’s these “middle management” guys with the tragic stories not any of the famous or prominent commentators who do too cute by half anti-vax stuff…All of them got the jab.

    It’s only the people who aren’t in on the grift who actually die. It’s all so sad

    https://twitter.com/iampliny/status/1431823260547682307

    Every sociopathic organization requires a layer of true-believer middle management

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  7. charon says:

    @mattbernius:

    Infrastructure upgraded after Katrina in response.

    Katrina made landfall at 130 MPH, strong Cat 3.

    Ida landfall at 150 MPH, strong Cat 4.

    Wind gust if 172 MPH at La Fourchon, LA strongest hurricane gust ever recorded in continental U,S.

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  8. Jen says:

    @KM: Yep, I linked to a piece on that story yesterday.

    “The mask was off only momentarily, not an entire day or hours. We want to make the point that this is not the teacher’s fault – everyone lets their guard down – but the thing is delta takes advantage of slippage from any kind of protective measures,” Tracy Lam-Hine, an epidemiologist for the county, said in an interview.

    Yes it is her fault.

    This happened in May, and I suspect was one of the cases/reasons that California enacted the vaccination mandate for teachers.

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  9. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    When I worked for the state legislature here, I was the staff schmuck stuck explaining to many of the members that it was one thing for them to change eligibility criteria for some assistance program on a moment’s notice, but it was quite another to get that change into the software used by intake workers. And that no one got benefits until the software said they qualified. Because of the need to fit such a change into the overall schedule, including generation of the necessary cases for regression testing, the delay typically ran about six months. At one point it was a year because the federal Dept of Ag made a bunch of mandatory changes to what audit software for SNAP had to do, and the Social Security Administration simultaneously made (what seemed to be arbitrary) changes in data transmission formats and those took priority.

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  10. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    That’s somewhat typical for Kubrick film. It’s one of the reasons I love his work–even though I have to be in the mood to watch his stuff, and some of it never clicked with me (Full Metal Jacket).

    One of the most interesting things about the Movie and the Book is that they were written simultaneously. Clarke and Kubrick wrote the movie, and while that was happening, Clarke was writing in all the extra parts that flesh out the story and give some explanation.

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  11. charon says:

    @Kathy:

    I was surprised how little happens over 2:20+ hours of movie, and how little of it was explained.

    Major screwup in film editing, explaining why HAL went nuts.

    There was a real mission, investigate the monoliths, and a cover story, scientific study.

    One set of programmers told HAL its top priority was protect the mission, different programmers told it top priority was protect the crew. HAL responded to the conflict by going nuts.

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  12. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    And it all goes to a short Clarke story called The Sentinel, about a buried alien artifact on the Moon which sends a signal when it’s hit by sunlight.

    Do you realize we saw Bowman and Poole talk to each other only once?

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  13. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    That was glorious.

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  14. charon says:

    @charon:

    Every sociopathic organization requires a layer of true-believer middle management

    Examples of “middle management:”

    https://twitter.com/iampliny/status/1431823260547682307/photo/1

    https://twitter.com/iampliny/status/1431823260547682307/photo/2

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  15. Kathy says:

    @charon:

    I don’t recall whether any explanation is given in the book. But one was given in the sequel, 2010: Odyssey Two.

    Clarke was exceptionally good at Big Idea short stories, such as The Food of the Gods. Some of his latter novels are very good (notably The Fountains of Paradise), but his best known novels, 2001 and Childhood’s End, are both, IMO, rather lacking.

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  16. wr says:

    @charon: “Major screwup in film editing, explaining why HAL went nuts.”

    That’s one way of looking at it. But Kubrick was a very thoughtful and deliberate filmmaker, and I find it really hard to believe that he made a big oopsie and accidentally left out this explanation. I tend to believe it was a deliberate choice, whether it’s because he ultimately found that explanation unnecessary, misleading, or just wrong.

    Kubrick and Clarke were very different artists, who together managed a brilliant collaboration. But it’s clear from looking at the two resulting works that Clarke liked explanations and Kubrick wanted something else…

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  17. wr says:

    @Kathy: “Do you realize we saw Bowman and Poole talk to each other only once?”

    The emptiness of human communication is one of the themes running through the movie. That scene on the space station, in which the Russians try to get information out of Heywood Floyd about what’s happening on Clavius is really brilliant that way — both sides are pretending to have a friendly conversation, while the Russians are trying to get Floyd to slip up and give them information while Floyd is pretending to tell them the truth while spouting pre-written talking points… and each of them knows exactly what the other one is doing…

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  18. wr says:

    @Kathy: “I don’t recall whether any explanation is given in the book. But one was given in the sequel, 2010: Odyssey Two.”

    To me, that’s Clarke trying to finally win his argument with Kubrick, years later.

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  19. Kathy says:

    @wr:

    I misliked the big emphasis on HAL, and his whole AI family, being incapable of error.

    Also, assume HAL had kept Dave out of the ship. How did he expect to complete the mission alone?

    Speaking of which, why didn’t he take control of Dave’s pod? He took control of Frank’s. Why did Dave and Frank rotate the pod so HAL could see them talking? It seemed unnecessary even if they were not paranoid enough to suspect he could read lips.

    Lastly, what is the movie about? the monolith? The aliens (presumably) behind it? A psychotic computer? A heroic astronaut? All/none of the above?

    I enjoyed the 2010 sequel, both book and movie, much more. The other two sequels, 2061 and 3001, not so much.

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  20. CSK says:

    I never saw the movie. I do, however, recall that Mad magazine did one of its famous parodies: “201 Minutes of Space Idiocy.”

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  21. Scott says:

    2001 was considered an important enough film that our 7th grade English class went to see it in the downtown movie theater. Then, of course, came back to discuss all the symbolism embedded in it. Like the apes using tools, throwing them into the air which became the space station. Or HAL, if you go up the alphabet by one, it spells IBM.

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  22. KM says:

    @Jen:
    It’s absolutely her fault and society needs to stop pretending it’s a “single slip” from someone with a history of anti-vax behavior …. and yes, every day you don’t get the shot is another day you choose to engage in said behavior. It’s like the “lone wolf” excuse we keep hearing about when white guys go nuts and kill; there’s always a trail a mile long of red flag behaviors that keep getting dismissed until it’s too late. Even then, one slip is all it takes to kill so this “not their fault” no-judgement BS means more people die. Fault is not blame or judgement; fault means the onus and responsibility of the situation was on you. We need to place fault were it belongs or this will keep happening.

    I’ve been using the Demon Core when I make this point. Daghlian was exposed for less then a second due to a slip of the hand and it killed him as well as Hemmerly sitting a few feet away in days; Slotin’s screwdriver slipped and a mere second of exposure killed and irradiated others in the room. While accidents and certainly not intentional, no one says it’s not their fault these incidents happened. It was acknowledged their mistakes killed them and led to better safety procedures; Daghlian kept working in his last days to record what was happening and figure out how to prevent it from happening again.

    Anti-vaxxers and maskholes are demanding we not hold them accountable for their “slips” or choices. Recently a student caused a professor to quit because she wouldn’t wear a mask in class and when pressed, deliberately wore it wrong. Now that entire class has been exposed if she was infected and can’t take the class they paid good money to attend; she wrote off her “slip” as a “blessing in disguise” like it’s not her fault dozens of students just got cheated out of hundreds of dollars and can’t graduate if they needed that class in their senior year (like the OP Twitter poster). She made their life harder for no reason other that her stupid behavior but soon we’ll have even more articles talking about how we shouldn’t be so judgey or angry when this crap happens. Name, shame, fire and sue – that seems to be the only way these folks will maybe stop being so selfish.

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  23. Kathy says:

    On further COVID thoughts, I am struck by how many people describe the vaccines as “experimental,” or are convinced the government is experimenting on those who get the shot.

    The second is easy: the US government neither developed the vaccines nor is carrying out much follow up. All that was done by the pharma companies, and they are doing most of the follow up among the phase 3 trial volunteers.

    Of course, when talking about COVID vaccines, most Americans mean those available in the US, meaning the mRNA Pfizer and Moderna, and the virus vector J&J. This ignores other virus vector vaccines, sub-unit vaccines, and even old fashioned dead virus vaccines.

    Virus vector vaccines are recent developments, but not brand new. They’ve been used before. mRNA vaccines are new. Pfizer and Moderna are the first ever approved for human use. But they’re hardly “experimental.” research into using mRNA to produce immune response goes back to the late 1980s, more than 30 years ago.

    The reason we’d never seen mRNA vaccines for human use before now, is that there simply was no need. There has been no widespread pandemic like COVID until last year, and existing vaccines for a multitude of pathogens were sufficient (and had an established manufacturing and distribution infrastructure).

    Having proven, so far, their efficacy, we may see more of them later for other pathogens.

    One thing about virus vector, mRNA, and sub-unit technologies, is that they are far, far, far, far safer than the traditional methods of making use of a dead or weakened pathogen. In both of these, there’s a risk of contracting the disease the vaccine is supposed to prevent, if the pathogens are not killed or disabled due to manufacturing error. The risk is small, but it has happened.

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  24. KM says:

    @Kathy:
    But, but, but “experimental” means Science and science means elitist things they don’t understand! Never mind they can’t tell you how established vaccines work, anything new is suspect and frightening because OMG it can go wrong have you SEEN I am Legend?!!?!?111!!

    “Experimental” is used the same way they use “theory” – an incorrect and insulting misapplication of the term for something they want to dismiss as problematic. It sounds official and proper and like they’re smart but really, what they mean is “too newish for me to trust unlike this other new thing I’m cool with” and “yeah, I’m labeling this a guess so I can equate it with my guess”.

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  25. Kylopod says:

    I’ve felt ever since I first saw it that Chris Nolan’s Interstellar was an attempt to do a version of 2001 that was relatively more accessible and understandable to mainstream audiences. Whether that’s a good thing is a matter of perspective.

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  26. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    I’m all too familiar with the anti-science mindset of all too many people. I had to deal with it at home growing up. Fortunately, neither of my science-ignorant (and proud of it) parents ever got the antivaxx bug, nor a distrust of the medical profession.

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  27. KM says:

    Here’s a question for the group: does the owner of a building owe you assistance to move when the building becomes unsafe and must be closed for repairs that have been put off due to the renters own refusal to leave? If so, what level is required – is a reasonable amount of money OK or do they have to foot the entire bill?

    The tenants are claiming they were fraudulently tricked into signing leases during the repairs (which appear to have been ongoing for a while) for up to 18 months with an early release clause. The clause was invoke in May due to the fact they’d need to get into every apartment to plumbing and other work that would render them unsafe to inhabit for sanitary reasons. They’re offering tenants three months’ rent plus a $500 stipend to help with move-out costs. 17 of the tenants are refusing saying it’s not enough and they want more money as Miami is expensive AF to live in.

    I’m leaning towards the company’s side here. The woman interviewed for the article in particular cited May 2022 as her targeted move out date – well beyond the 18 months of the new lease she signed. Her timeline simply doesn’t work even before COVID started messing with her personal finances. Why should she be allowed to hold up repairs that affect the entire building because her personal goal of moving to San Juan is now out of reach? Another complains about being “displaced” and having to pay more for small space in a less-desirable ZIP Code but refused to take the deal, hoping for more money. If you literally can’t live there while it’s not safe due to building damage, you’re not being displaced because of greed but poor regulations and climate change. This is going to keep happening as more and more buildings take so much damage they need to send residents away for repairs that have been put off for years – you can only kick the can down the road for so long before you run out of road. It’s gonna get more expensive to live in climate change affected areas every year and that’s gonna price out a lot of people pretty quickly. Do they have the right to hold up urgently needed repairs or demand full market compensation for moving just because they happen to live in an older or damaged building that had cheaper rent?

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  28. EddieInCA says:

    @KM:

    17 of the tenants are refusing saying it’s not enough and they want more money as Miami is expensive AF to live in.

    I’m 100% on the side of the landlord in this scenario, and I’m usually on the renter’s side of these sorts of disputes.

    Currently, there are over 50 apartments available in Miami for less than $1400 per month. That, to me, isn’t expensive for rent in a major US City. For comparison, San Francisco has one. Los Angeles has 18. NYC has 4.

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  29. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: There’s a marvellous book by Clarke called “The Odyssey File” based off all the communications between Clarke and Haymes when they were working on the filming of 2010. (There’s also an amusing history Clarke puts in at the beginning about undersea communications and how they (didn’t) work.)

    I highly recommend it.

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  30. Jen says:

    @KM: I am pretty sure that the landlord’s side is the one that will prevail.

    Also, side note: most renter’s insurance policies include a loss of use provision that should help the renters out in this type of scenario. Renters insurance is cheap as insurance gets, and well worth it for situations like this.

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  31. KM says:

    A judge asked a mother if she got the covid vaccine. She said no, and he revoked custody of her son.

    She was not, she said, explaining that she has had “adverse reactions to vaccines in the past” and that a doctor advised her against getting the coronavirus vaccine.

    “It poses a risk,” she added.

    Nope – “adverse reactions” is waaayyy too vague. It could be a legit medical problem but is far more likely to be anti-vaxxer nonsense like they spam VAERS with. If she means allergic reaction, those are usually to the ingredients in the vaccine or how it was created (eggs can be involved) which wouldn’t apply to the mRNA vaccines. Not only that, she could have gone fishing for a “doctor” willing to write an excuse like the one that just got fired in FL. This right here is the kicker that shows it’s not about her supposed medical issues:

    Firlit did not indicate if she would get the vaccine, but she said she is appealing the decision because she believes the judge overstepped his authority. She added that taking a son away from his mother is “wrong.”

    To be blunt, she’s a health threat to her child even if she cannot legitimately get vaccinated since he’s too young to qualify. The child’s safety and well-being is supposed to be paramount in custody issues before the court, included shared custody. A mother who couldn’t get vaxxed but wanted to might be pissed off but put the safety of their child first; after all, it would be temporary till the child was eligible at worst. Instead, it’s “you’re overstepping your authority” and “it’s wrong to take kids from their mom”. Kids get taken from moms all the time, lady – you’re not special. If you truly can’t be vaxxed, it’s safer for them to be away from you till they can be. Then there is the elephant in the room – would the mom put up a fuss if the son was vaxxed on the wishes of the father and /or court? If he is, he could visit you safely so that’s something you should be behind, right? Funny how that doesn’t come up in her complaints….

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  32. Monala says:

    @Jen: indeed. After losing everything in a fire last fall, my $25 a month renters insurance policy paid for a month’s hotel stay and food, and $20,000 in replacement items (furniture, clothing, appliances, etc).

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  33. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I read it between the book and the movie release. I think I’ve read all of Clarke’s solo fiction*, and a good deal of his non-fiction (mostly essay collections).

    *Including his one non-SF novel, Glide Path. It’s about a radar station in England during WWII, where a novel radar assisted landing system (ground controlled approach) was tested and first implemented.

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  34. Mu Yixiao says:

    @KM:

    I was just going to post that same story from Ars Technica.

    Regarding “adverse reactions”:

    The CDC only advises against getting one of the COVID vaccines if a person has a history of severe allergic reaction to previous doses or components of the vaccine itself. The CDC has identified three ingredients that might cause reactions: in Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots, the troublesome ingredients are mRNA and polyethylene glycol (PEG); in the J&J shot, it’s polysorbate.

    Here’s all the data on myocarditis cases linked to COVID-19 vaccines
    Without having received a previous dose of a COVID vaccine, it’s unlikely that someone would know if they have an allergy to mRNA—no other mRNA vaccines or drugs have been approved. If a patient has an allergy to PEG, they’re advised to get a J&J dose, and if they have an allergy to polysorbate, the CDC says it’s a precaution for receiving the mRNA shot. “Most people deemed to have a precaution to a COVID-19 vaccine at the time of their vaccination appointment can and should be administered vaccine,” the agency says.

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  35. Teve says:

    @ronfilipkowski

    Caleb Wallace, head of ‘San Angelo Freedom Fighters’ to “end covid tyranny” is sedated on a ventilator. He has 3 kids and wife pregnant. He treated himself with ivermectin. Here he in interview: “The science is out there, and it’s saying this is perfectly fine to live with.”

    This moron is now dead.

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  36. Teve says:

    Kevin Drum:

    The most successful evacuation in US history is winding down

    The Kabul evacuation is winding down and it looks like the final numbers will be in the neighborhood of 20,000 Americans rescued and 100,000 Afghans—all in the space of two weeks. I wonder how many people understand just how extraordinary that is in historical context? Certainly the United States has never pulled off anything close to that size, and very few other countries have either.

    And you hardly have to be a Biden stan to understand that there are pretty easy answers to most of the criticisms that have been raised.

    We were suffering almost no casualties, so why didn’t we just stay in Afghanistan? Because things were peaceful only due to the Taliban cease-fire. If we had stayed, the Taliban would have started fighting again and US casualties would have escalated.

    Why were weapons left behind? Because those weapons had been given to the Afghan army as part of the turnover.

    Why was Bagram air base closed? Because we only needed one airport and the military decided that Kabul was a better choice.

    Why was there so much chaos? It’s easy to see how it looked that way if you were caught in the middle of it, but there wasn’t, really. There were thousands of Afghans who wanted to flee the country and they all surrounded the airport hoping for evacuation. There’s nothing anyone could have done about that, and for the most part the crowds were handled well and processed as efficiently as anyone could have hoped for.

    Why did it take so long to approve visas for Afghans who qualified for evacuation? It didn’t. We approved visas for 100,000 Afghans in two weeks! And to the extent that this was slower than it could have been, it’s because the Trump administration deliberately sabotaged the process before they left office.

    Why didn’t we rescue everyone? As always, there are limits to American power. The Taliban controls Kabul, and rescuing literally everyone who wanted to get out was never remotely feasible.

    Why didn’t we start evacuation earlier? Because we couldn’t. As long as the Afghan government was in power, we had to support them. Starting a mass evacuation would have been an obvious signal that we thought they were doomed.

    Why didn’t we know that the Taliban would take over so quickly? That’s a very good question, and it was certainly a failure on our part. On the other hand, literally everyone made the same mistake. There wasn’t a single analyst or reporter on the ground who thought the Taliban would take control of Kabul in less than a month.
    Nothing is perfect. Obviously there were security breakdowns on Monday the 16th. The suicide bombing on the 26th was an enormous tragedy. The future of Afghanistan under the Taliban is likely to be a violent and miserable one for a lot of people. There’s no need for defenders of the evacuation to pretend that literally no mistakes were made.

    That said, if you can look past partisanship; and neocon defensiveness; and individual stories of grief and hardship; and huge crowds on the ground that inevitably gave the impression of chaos—if you can look past all that to the bare facts on the ground, the evacuation of Kabul should go down as one of the shining moments of the US military. That hardly compensates for 20 years of bungling, but taken on its own it was a magnificent effort. No other country was as dedicated as we were to rescuing our Afghan allies, and probably no country in history has ever done anything similar under pressure like this. The final reckoning will be about 120,000 civilians rescued in two weeks with very few casualties. Anyone who refuses to see this as anything but an enormous accomplishment is just refusing to look.

    As for Biden himself, there’s no need to paint him as some kind of hero. However, I’m grateful that he kept his head while so many around him were panicking. Biden stuck to his guns and is finally getting us out of Afghanistan. Regardless of anything else, he has my thanks for that.

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  37. KM says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Aww, didn’t know Ars Technica had one. Probably the more interesting read…..

    Trotting out the “averse reaction” nugget is insidious AF because it is someone trying to take advantage of known issues with older tech to smear newer ones and thinking you’re too dumb or ignorant to know better. It would be the same as if someone told you newer cars explode at the drop of a hat because of the infamous Pinto explosions. That’s made it into pop culture (Every Car Is a Pinto is a trope, after all) so someone trying to sour you on an electric car might emphasize the explodablity of it, what with the weird new tech and all. Can’t be sure, better not risk it……

    It hinges on someone thinking it’s a “reasonable concern” due to past issues and trusting they either don’t know or won’t bother to look into details or basic facts. Good on the judge for not falling for it.

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  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @KM: The more troubling thing to me about this story is that, at least based on the rooms that I’ve taught in, if she was at her desk and students were at theirs–as the article states–this should have been a safe distancing. When I’m sitting at my desk in a classroom, the closest student is 10 feet away. (Yes, the district has measured this.)

    Should she have taken her mask off? No. Should she have realized that she might be infected? Probably, but as a lifetime chronic asthma/rhinitis sufferer currently with COPD as an added bonus feature, I get why she can’t take a test every time she thinks she has symptoms. Did she need to be smarter/more self-aware? Again, probably but who isn’t on that boat? We’re clearly still on the “behind the standard” on the learning curve for this problem. Will be for a long time.

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  39. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy:
    I experience something pretty odd with Kubrick movies. With the exceptions of Dr. Strangelove and Paths of Glory, the first time I see a Kubrick movie I have a WTF reaction, but in the second viewing I am awed by the brilliance. It’s now that I know the story, I focus in the second viewing on how the story teller chose to tell the story.

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  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I remember reading the book before I got to the point in my life that finishing a book had to do with showing the book that I’m tougher than a badly written story. As I recall it was slightly less interesting than watching paint dry and couldn’t manage to finish it before I gave it away/lost it.

    That it’s linked to the Kubrick movie explains a lot for me. I like Kubrick as a Cahiers du Cinema type subject, but I fall asleep in his movies. Maybe I should try watching one now that my sleep apnea treatment is working as well as it is.

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  41. Mu Yixiao says:

    @KM:

    Trotting out the “averse reaction” nugget is insidious AF because it is someone trying to take advantage of known issues with older tech to smear newer ones and thinking you’re too dumb or ignorant to know better.

    Before I would go jumping to conclusions, she said “My doctor told me not to get it”. It’s worth taking that at face value until there are more details. If your doctor tells you something, you trust them… right?

    There are a lot of options here. She could be lying. She could be wiggling thing the doctor said to match her own wishes. She could have misunderstood the doctor. The doctor may know something that’s not being reported, and the recommendation is valid. The doctor could have an agenda and is manipulating her.

    We simply don’t know.

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  42. KM says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    She would have been the one to report if she stayed at her desk or not as I doubt there’s video evidence and they interviewed all the kids. Considering she knowingly went to work not feeling well and lowered her mask against guidelines, I’m not sure we can trust that she maintained the proper distance….. or even only did it once. Self-reporters are notoriously unreliable and I’m willing to be she was grilled on this after the fact and CYA was in play. “Of course I stayed back 6 ft! I only dropped the mask for a short while once for a good reason – why would I violate other rules like this one?”

    They say the virus jumped classrooms and they don’t know why but speculate students passing in the hall or other “close contact”, meaning the kids weren’t observed at all times to enforce the 6ft rule. I’d bet every dollar I have the teacher wasn’t the only rule breaker here but seeing as how she was Patient Zero, hers was the worst. Again, not blaming but putting the fault squarely where it belongs – reasonable justifications or not, she’s at fault for the outbreak.

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  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @KM: I suspect the answer depends on what the laws in the jurisdiction are. 😉

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  44. dazedandconfused says:

    @wr: Clarke would want to be Da Vinci, Kubrick would want to be Rothko.

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  45. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I take other people’s allergies very seriously. Just look up anaphylaxis, and nothing more need be said.

    However, occasional and mild allergic reactions are common among many people. They’re usually limited to a rash and clear up within days. Just as usually, narrowing down the source is difficult. It might have been something you didn’t even notice, like an insect bite, or it might be something you ate (see how many different things the average person eats daily, between meals and snacks).

    The problem is many people don’t know they have an allergy until they get an allergic reaction. they also don’t know how serious it is. commonly allergies to peanuts, nuts, and bee stings, are known to be potentially very serious.

    So, yes, a known allergy to a vaccine component is reason enough, medically speaking, not to take it. In the case of COVID, it seems an alternative should be available for most people. This as opposed to the annual flu vaccine, of which there is only one (and those allergic to chicken or eggs can’t take it).

    Both polyethilene glycol and polysorbate are ingredients in many common widely used products, like creams, medication, processed foods, and toothpaste. anyone with such allergies should be aware of them given their prevalence.

    An allergy to mRNA strikes me as unlikely. You body produces mRNA all the time to instruct ribosomes to make proteins, among other things. three’s a reason why mRNA vaccines even possible. they take advantage of existing cellular mechanisms to produce viral proteins to trigger the immune system.

    I suppose the immune system might react differently to loose mRNA floating between cells. But that’s not how mRNA vaccines work.

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  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: As it true of a lot of other things, Covid-19 infection is perfectly fine to live with–unless it’s not. Sadly we have no test available for “not.” The wisest course of action in that case is to assume that you are a “not” rather than a “perfectly fine.” I don’t know why so many people don’t realize this. 🙁

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  47. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    I take other people’s allergies very seriously.

    Having worked in commercial kitchens for the better part of 35 years, so do I.

    Which, tangentially, is why I despise people who say “I’m allergic to X” when what they mean is “I don’t like X, can I get the food with out it?”

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  48. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    I was in elementary school when I noticed kids claiming to be allergic to things that they didn’t like to eat. It’s an attention-getting device. Interestingly, I don’t remember anyone ever claiming to have a peanut allergy.

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  49. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: once a day or so i see some dipshit buying ads on Facebook talking about their Health Freedom cuz this is America and I’m not going to let big-gummint liberals like Joe Biden take away Yer Rights to make Your Own Personal Choice on vaccines etc and it’s its always a Republican running for like State Senator in Arkansas and let’s just say the comments in support of him are…less than expertly written.

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  50. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    @CSK:

    Well, you may add me to your lists.

    I get so fed up with people telling me to try fish or seafood, that I just tell them I’m allergic so they’ll drop it.

    In my, feeble, defense, it’s more than mere dislike. I get mild nausea from the stench of such things, be they cooked or raw, if I’m exposed more than a few minutes.

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  51. Teve says:

    @CSK: My peanut allergy was so bad that one time I very nearly died from it. I actually don’t know what peanuts and peanut butter taste like because my brain rewired to make me averse to it and so if I smell it it just tastes like itchy fire. It’s extremely unpleasant and I can smell a peanut butter cookie from across a room.

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  52. Teve says:

    @Teve: this morning it was Pennsylvania State Rep Russ Diamond IIRC.

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  53. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    Well, you may add me to your lists.

    I get so fed up with people telling me to try fish or seafood, that I just tell them I’m allergic so they’ll drop it.

    Do you do that in restaurants? Because then I’ll have to despise you. Nothing pisses off the cook more than going through cross-contamination prevention protocols because the person is “allergic to tomatoes” only to see them put ketchup on their french fries.

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  54. Mu Yixiao says:

    And China continues its march downward.

    China to Cleanse Online Content That ‘Bad-Mouths’ Its Economy

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  55. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Agreed. Do not pull this “I am allergic to x” in a restaurant unless you have a true allergy.

    It can screw up the entire line, delay other people’s food, and generally wreak havoc on a kitchen.

    Restaurants want to please customers, a “please no X” is sufficient.

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  56. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Not in restaurants, no.

    Back to this morning’s topic, the only other Kubrick movie I ever saw was A Clockwork Orange. I understood that one, but was thoroughly disgusted with the unrelenting violence in it.

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  57. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    I understood that one, but was thoroughly disgusted with the unrelenting violence in it.

    Which was, of course, the point.

    Trivia: The “Singing in the Rain” scene wasn’t written that way. McDowell just burst into song during the take, and Kubrick kept it (unusual for such a controlling director).

    You might (stress the might) want to try his final film: “Eyes Wide Shut”. It’s definitely a Kubrick movie and one that I think he knew was going to be his last so he just took it to the wall.

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  58. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Not even if Nicole Kidman made out with herself.

    I may glance at Dr. Strangelove if I ever find it on streaming somewhere.

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  59. Kathy says:

    On other news, the fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes, begins jury selection tomorrow.

    Funny how “white-collar” crime trials take years and years to get going after the crime takes place, and how few defendants have to wait in jail.

    From the link:

    Holmes and Balwani had a secret romance when she was Theranos’ CEO and he was its president and chief operating officer. Now the two are blaming each other for the company’s downfall.

    “You’re both right.”

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  60. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    Have you read The Lost Worlds of 2001?
    It’s a real insight on how the story evolved, and the massive amounts of backstory that got left out of the final versions (of movie and novel).

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  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I had a peanut allergy when I was in elementary school (still do, but it seems not as bad now). The difference is that mine was medically documented. In fact the swelling from the reaction covered up the what reaction there might have been on the scratch above and below the peanut scratch. The allergist said it was the biggest test welt he’d ever seen.

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  62. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:
    Interesting.
    Drum and Rothkopf in The Atlantic making virtually identical arguments.
    Looks like the “line to take” has been decided.
    Both very convincing, rhetorically, but with one tiny problem.

    They are bollocks.
    They utterly refuse to concede any failing on the part of the current administration, and it’s pretty clear that the motivation for this is primarily political.
    They will see no fault or failure, because they want to see none.

    Withdrawal may have been both necessary and unavoidable; but it was not handled well, and partisans can repeat a thousand times “It was, it was, it was.”
    Still won’t make it so.
    Any more than the denials of culpability by the partisans of Trump can erase his acts.

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  63. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    I haven’t, but I’ve heard of it.

    I’ll put it on my reading list.

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  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Me too. Not only can I smell it from across the room, I also get that slight dizzy reel from the nausea wave. That hasn’t changed. Don’t like being in a 5-Guys because of the smell of the potatoes frying in the peanut oil. [shudder]

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  65. Kathy says:

    Hypothetical:

    If an AIDS vaccine became available next year, would you take it?

    I’ve very low risk factors. So of course I would. There’s nothing wrong with lowering a low risk even lower.

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  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’ve never played “cross contamination” at a restaurant. I just don’t order things where the cross contamination is a risk. My food allergies are very small in number and easily managed, though. (But when I was still allergic to potatoes and fish, I didn’t ever order anything deep fried.)

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  67. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: A cousin of mine was riding a bus in Israel and ended up in the hospital due to residue from Bamba, a popular peanut butter-based Israeli snackfood that’s been linked to low incidences of peanut allergy among the Israeli populace due to early exposure to it in childhood.

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  68. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    I have a feeling it’s out of print. Just Amazoning…
    Yep, looks like most recent printing 1992.

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  69. Jen says:

    @JohnSF:

    Well, Olivia Troye, a former national security aide to Mike Pence, has said pretty much the same: Trump’s behavior and staff pretty much assured that it would be impossible to have this be a smooth process.

    She specifically calls out that wretched being, Stephen Miller, for his efforts to FUBAR the special visa process as much as humanly possible.

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she’s telling the truth. Given Miller’s background, no one could argue with a straight face that he didn’t do everything in his power to keep as many Afghans out of the US as he could.

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  70. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I just don’t order things where the cross contamination is a risk.

    Umm…. I’m going to guess you’ve never worked in a commercial kitchen?

    For peanuts, for example: The cook needs to check every ingredient that has been used all day long. If any of them have peanuts (or associated legumes!)*, your food needs to be prepared with entirely new utensils (not used since washed last night) in a separate area of the kitchen–definitely away from the fryer, on new cutting boards, etc.

    ====

    People always get this wrong. Peanuts are legumes, not tree nuts. A peanut allergy can also be triggered by various legumes.

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  71. wr says:

    @dazedandconfused: “I experience something pretty odd with Kubrick movies. With the exceptions of Dr. Strangelove and Paths of Glory, the first time I see a Kubrick movie I have a WTF reaction, but in the second viewing I am awed by the brilliance.”

    It’s the same way with a bunch of film critics — they almost unanimously hated Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut when they were released, and then years later started whispering about them as masterpieces.

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  72. wr says:

    @Scott: “Then, of course, came back to discuss all the symbolism embedded in it. Like the apes using tools, throwing them into the air which became the space station.”

    I’m sorry your elementary teacher misled you. It wasn’t so much a tool that the ape threw in the air, but a weapon. And it doesn’t cut to the space station, it cuts to an orbiting nuclear bomb…

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  73. CSK says:

    I didn’t mean to imply that there aren’t such things as food allergies; sorry if it seemed that way. My animus is against people whom claim to be allergic to foods that they simply dislike. It is an attention-seeking device–look at me!–plus, it puts an unfair burden on the cook and other people who might be dining with the “sufferer,” who probably will refrain from ordering something they really like for fear the sight or smell might kill the allergic person. It’s controlling and manipulative.

    I’ve known a few (mercifully, only a few) demanding people like this. No one at the table could order fish. Or beef. There’s a word for people like this. That word is “asshole.”

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  74. wr says:

    @JohnSF: There is, however, a new and fascinating book called Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke and the Making of a Masterpiece. Lots about Clarke, lots about the collaboration.

    ReplyReply
  75. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    There are ways around that. Used books if nothing else.

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  76. JohnSF says:

    @Jen:
    Yes.
    The arrant hypocrisy of Republicans seeking to place the bame on President Biden, but overlooking the malice of Miller, the stupidity of Trump, the cynical mendacity of Pompeo and Khalkhizad, is sickening.
    I may have, and will continue to, criticise the current administration, but I think they have been acting in good faith.
    The same cannot be said for the previous crew.

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  77. JohnSF says:

    @wr:
    Ooh! Must get that.
    @Kathy:
    Are inter library loans an option where you are in Mexico?

    ReplyReply
  78. Mu Yixiao says:

    None of My Students Remember 9/11

    Every fall, Beloit College does a “Incoming freshmen have never heard of…” list. And every year that I read it, I bash it. e.g., one year it said “incoming freshmen have never listened to a vinyl record”–when vinyl was doing great–and even outselling CDs in several genres that were popular with young people.

    The article linked above is different, though. It’s about remembering.

    I wasn’t born when JFK was shot. I was 8 when Saigon fell–old enough to have remembered it, but too young to watch the news or understand it even if I had. I remember the events around the challenger explosion, but not the actual event.

    I can tell you amazing details about what I was doing and what happened in my “bubble” on 9/11.

    It’s my “JFK” moment. My “Pearl Harbor” moment.

    I have to wonder… what will that moment be for this generation?

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  79. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    I’ve heard of inter-library loans, but I’m afraid I haven’t been to a library since around 1991 or so, and that was at school.

    ReplyReply
  80. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    There are ways around that. Used books if nothing else.

    Z-Library. Tens of seconds to find it, download in single-digit seconds (at least at my house).

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  81. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: And Republicans have been doing everything they can to stifle the will of the people in this state for at least 30 years. Forgive me if I find your perfectly reasonable explanation that I was already quite aware of hollow. These fuckers will never do the right thing until somebody is holding a gun to their heads.

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  82. Stormy Dragon says:

    One interesting bit of 2001 trivia:

    In the novel Discovery’s trip ends at Saturn. It was switched to Jupiter in the movie because they couldn’t come up with a way of doing Saturn’s rings that didn’t look obviously fake.

    Since 2010, 2061, and 3001 treat the movie as canon in cases where the book and the movie diverged, this can create some weird moments if you read 2001 and 2010 back to back.

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  83. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Considering the fact that I have always thought 2001 was one of the most boring movies ever made but found Interstellar to at least be entertaining, I think it was a good thing.

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  84. Mikey says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I have to wonder… what will that moment be for this generation?

    It’s not a moment, but a year–a pandemic year (and then some, sadly) that will define them for the rest of their lives, in innumerable and sometimes terrible ways.

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  85. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: The tenants are claiming they were fraudulently tricked into signing leases during the repairs (which appear to have been ongoing for a while) for up to 18 months with an early release clause. The clause was invoke in May due to the fact they’d need to get into every apartment to plumbing and other work that would render them unsafe to inhabit for sanitary reasons.

    I’m going with the renters. There is absolutely no way in hell the landlord didn’t know the plumbing needed major renovation and that the apartments would be unlivable when that day came when he rented them out so he could collect rent until that day came.

    He’s a scum bag piece of shit and needs to be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

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  86. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    In my, feeble, defense, it’s more than mere dislike.

    A couple of people in my wife’s family, including my wife, are in the same boat. I don’t know if it’s genetic, or their bodies warning them about incipient allergy, or what. My wife says that all seafood (including fish) smells to her like a working harbor at low tide. She can walk into a home and know immediately whether anyone has prepared seafood in it within the last month.

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  87. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I think this is an interesting question and sort of an “it depends” thing.

    The most defining moments you mentioned are when American institutions were attacked: Pearl Harbor (military base), JFK (president), and 9/11 (financial and government institutions were attacked).

    Saigon falling is important but I don’t know if that’s a “I remember exactly where I was”-level of event.

    The Space Shuttle exploding is another–most people can remember exactly where they were when they heard (or saw) that happen.

    I add the Beirut Embassy bombing to my list, mostly because we were living overseas and my parents lost close friends in that attack, but it’s not a memory I share with most of my peers because most of them didn’t have that level of connection to it.

    For it to be something nearly universal, I almost believe it has to be something that happens HERE, in the US. Anything else just feels too remote to most Americans.

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  88. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Thanks. that looks like a great resource.

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  89. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    I may glance at Dr. Strangelove if I ever find it on streaming somewhere.

    That was my father’s favorite film, and is in my top 5. My family has an endless supply of quotes from it that we break out at appropriate (and inappropriate) moments.

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  90. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Getting one’s doctor to write a letter is not hard to do. they do it all the time. I have had it done a number of times.

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  91. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I have to wonder… what will that moment be for this generation?

    Superhurricane Zeke.

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  92. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Name a withdrawal that was handled better.

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  93. Kathy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    She can walk into a home and know immediately whether anyone has prepared seafood in it within the last month.

    I’m not at that level. And I suspect some of it may be psychosomatic (I can handle canned tuna, and can even eat it if I’m literally starving).

    In small amounts, I can even ignore it with a little effort. Say if someone at the same table or nearby enough, is having such things. Not at a seafood place, though, where it permeates everything. Not at the supermarket’s seafood counter, but I can avoid that.

    One time we were putting samples together, and a coworker asks me, “does this fish smell all right to you?” I nearly burst out laughing. Of course it smelled nauseating.

    Another time, at a friend’s wedding, the menu consisted of a vegetarian appetizer (mostly mushrooms), cream of salmon, and some sort of large shrimp for the entree. My friend did recall I don’t eat seafood when the wedding planning went on. Unfortunately he didn’t ask me about it, so the restaurant where the reception took place tried to serve me some kind of fish.

    I have to wonder why it’s so hard to understand such things, especially for people who know me*. Anyway, I asked the waiter ro please remove the dish, he explained it was special order. I explained it was making me nauseated. He suggested I could remove the cooked cadaver (it even had a tail and head and eyes still on it), and eat the rice bed it was served on.

    So I reasonably asked, “If I served you a turd on a bed of rice, would you eat the rice after removing the turd?”

    This offended him so much, he left the plate right in front of me.

    *About a year earlier, this same friend invited a bunch of us for a large meal at his uncle’s ranch way outside the city. They served paella that time.

    Yeah, his family was cursed.

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  94. Teve says:

    Ben Collins:

    A quick thread:

    A lot of people have asked me this week: Where did this ivermectin obsession come from? Who could possibly benefit from it?

    Most importantly, why did my antivaxx aunt start eating horse goo from the tractor store?

    It’s complicated, but here are some answers.

    thread

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  95. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    Thanks. that looks like a great resource.

    Also, for someone in Mexico (you) or the US (me), generally illegal once you get to content newer than what Project Gutenberg provides. That’s not the same as unethical, I don’t think. Complicated questions in some cases. Much simpler in the case of technical journals. No one should be able to price developing countries and amateurs out of science and engineering.

    I have, on a couple of occasions, dug deep enough in terms of information to be able to send an author a check, along with a note that says, “There is no way I can buy a copy of your book that generates revenue for you. Please accept the attached payment for the enjoyment you provided.” Both of them were cashed.

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  96. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Absolutely no argument. Just an observation that even with the best intentions, sh*t gets in the way. I wish you the same success we have had in the last 16 years with moving that side from control to insignificance.

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  97. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Actually I have. My point being that when I go to a restaurant, my 69 years of having had food allergies give me an advantage in looking at the menu so that I don’t ask “can that be made without the tuna in it?” I simply don’t worry about cross contamination because I order things that minimize the risk. (And fortunately, the only times I had anaphylactic shock, it was related to my allergy shots, not eating in a restaurant.)

    To give a specific example. One day I was at a fast food joint and wanted an item, but when I saw “this item is made in a facility that also processes tree nuts,” I passed. Easy peasy. My mom was in charge of this process until I was about 12 or 13, and I learned how to do it from her really well.

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  98. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: If it wasn’t ivermectin, it would be something else. And it will be something else in a couple months anyway.

    I’ve spoken before about a fellow I once knew who lost his medical license after he was found to have been treating cancer patients by giving them injections of hydrogen peroxide. Later he was promoting colloidal silver and claiming to consume it himself.

    Some quack medical cures, while potentially distracting people from getting the treatment they need, are in themselves relatively harmless. But there seems to be a tendency among these folks to gravitate toward things that are actually hazardous to one’s health, not merely ineffective. Maybe it’s partly that they’re drawn to the colorful and outlandish. Or maybe it’s because it better enables them to build a narrative of the medical establishment working to suppress the truth, on the grounds that the experts are only issuing these dire warnings because they’re scared of losing power and prestige.

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  99. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: And I also know how the “associated legumes” exception works, too. For years, I had reactions to green peas and lentils, but not beans. Chili? OK. Split pea soup? Pass. Falafel balls? No for 45 years, but okay now. But as I noted above, my food allergies have been pretty unspectacular. More of a nuisance.

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  100. KM says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Normally I would agree with you but everyone in the article inerviewed were renewals. They were aware the building needed repairs as they were living in it since the 2017 storm that caused it or moved in before the new company purchased it in 2020. It sounds like a lot of them have been mad about the repairs taking ages but won’t leave so they can be finished – a Catch-22 not in their favor.

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  101. Teve says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Also, for someone in Mexico (you) or the US (me), generally illegal once you get to content newer than what Project Gutenberg provides. That’s not the same as unethical, I don’t think. Complicated questions in some cases. Much simpler in the case of technical journals. No one should be able to price developing countries and amateurs out of science and engineering.

    I used to worry about that. Now I just make sure my VPN is turned on. It’s based in Switzerland and they deliberately don’t keep traffic records. If the US government asked for my traffic history, after they stopped laughing they’d tell them those records don’t exist.

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  102. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: You haven’t seen The Shining? That’s the one I would recommend, if you aren’t put off by horror movies.

    (Dr. Strangelove is also good, but a bit too absurdist for my tastes more often than not)

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  103. Jax says:

    @Kylopod: Purely anecdotal, but everybody I know who’s dosing themselves with Ivermectin/hydroxychloroquine is also easily taken in by MLM/pyramid schemes, and that’s been their modus operandi their whole damn lives. They sell Scentsy, Young Living, DoTerra, convince people to invest in their “millionaire in a day” cryptocurrency schemes, etc. etc.

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  104. Teve says:

    @Jax: a lot of cryptocurrency people, too.

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  105. Teve says:

    @Jax: one relative i have who refuses to get vaxxed, 25-30 years ago she got a chain letter in the mail and was excited about being a millionaire soon.

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  106. Jax says:

    @Teve: A local gal really talked herself into believing that she did, indeed, change that Nigerian Prince’s tire in the dead of night on the side of the road. Last time I talked to her, she was STILL sending that mf’er money in hopes of getting her big check. I mean, it was like TEN YEARS she’s been trying to get that money. Everything she makes off her Scentsy, Young Living, etc….goes to the Nigerian Prince that “has her money, except there’s still some bank fees”. Nobody’s been able to talk sense into her, apparently.

    AND….according to Facebook, she’s also a big fan of Ivermectin. 😛

    I always thought the virus that killed stupid would work much faster and more accurately.

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  107. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    If it wasn’t ivermectin, it would be something else.

    Yup.

    As I mentioned, my parents never rejected modern medicine. But for minor matters, they did like pseudoscience remedies sometimes. Many years ago I hit my knee in a fall. Nothing major, but it hurt and it swelled. So I took aspirin and applied ice. My parents also insisted I take some homeopathic “remedy.”

    By then I knew better than to argue with them. I took the vial of sugar pills, and flushed one down the toilet every day without fail.

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  108. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: Oh yah, I love The Guide Path….

    Have you ever read Amazing Stories? It’s Clarke’s reminiscing about the Sci-Fi pulps that he read when growing up (plus a lot of snarky comments about the crappy “science” that showed up in some of the stories.) Great fun.

    There’s also at least one book out there which is a collection of Clarke’s scientific papers and publications–damned if I remember the title but we had a copy in the physics library and I remember spending an enjoyable afternoon going through it. (It also contained Clarke’s essay “You’re on the guide path–I think” which is based off his WWII radar experiences and again is very engaging.)

    (I have a ton of Clarkeania which I inherited from a friend who could never pass up any book by Clarke he ran across at the local used-book store. Many of them were printed on what was definitely NOT acid-free paper and are in the process of disintegrating, sigh.)

    I actually got to talk with Clarke at one of the first conferences dealing with Space Elevators. He was in Sri Lanka and we were somewhere in the American Southwest–(Santa Fe?) hooked up by video feed.

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  109. Jax says:

    Here we go. Most of Wyoming started school last week. Today is the first time we’ve had 1,000 positive cases.

    We have a decent governor who’s gotten many death threats. Our local public health officer (also my GP) had to leave town because of the death threats.

    https://sites.google.com/wyo.gov/covid-19/home

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  110. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of his scientific papers, or that I’d understand them if I read them. I know he proposed using a flat (0 degrees over the equator), geosynchronous orbit for communications satellites, which has since been named the Clarke orbit.

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  111. wr says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “Falafel balls? No for 45 years, but okay now.”

    After 45 years of allergies, what inspired you to try another one and find out it was okay?

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  112. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr: I actually had forgotten that I was allergic to chickpeas because I hadn’t eaten any for a really long time (last time was when I was about 12) and encountered them in a Lebanese buffet restaurant I’d gone to with some friends and tried one. Even though I’m Italian by heritage, ceci beans had not been a feature of my diet that I needed to avoid–for example, there’s no family minestrone recipe.

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