Monday’s 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


  1. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    On President’s Day, I read the news and commentaries, and find myself wishing we had the leaders we need, instead of the ones we deserve.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A Virginia high school senior who was born with no right leg and a left leg that ends at the middle of his thigh took home a state wrestling championship – surprising everyone but himself.

    “Really if you work hard, you can do anything – even win a state championship without legs,” Adonis Lattimore said on Saturday, after winning first place in the Virginia high school league class 6, 106lb weight class at the Virginia Beach Sports Center.

    The Virginian-Pilot reported that the Landstown high school senior, who also has just one finger on his right hand, had coach James Sanderlin cheering wildly while the crowd roared its approval during the final seconds as he defeated his opponent.

    “Amazing,” Sanderlin said. “He did all the work. I just get to be a part of the journey. It’s an amazing feeling to watch him do it and have the support of the crowd. It was awesome. He’s a hard-working young man. I’m just speechless.”

  3. CSK says:

    Everybody over at is thrilled to be added to the waiting list:

    It should be up and running in another month. Or two. Or three. Or never.

  4. Kathy says:


    Well, it seems they hired Nunes rather than his cow.

    Big mistake.

  5. Michael Cain says:


    Everybody over at is thrilled to be added to the waiting list:

    Nunes and co. have announced that the platform will be family friendly and use Hive’s cloud-based AI to do comment moderation. Hive is a real company, and content moderation is one of the things they do. Still, there’s some irony to complaining about Twitter and Facebook’s use of classification algorithms, but immediately jumping in with algorithms of their own.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Never? Only if they got everybody’s money up front.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: Anybody actually telling the truth will be banned post haste.

  8. Tony W says:

    A timely reminder that we have a national holiday to celebrate our presidents, but we don’t have one to elect them.

  9. CSK says:

    Yeah; I can’t figure what the deal is there. I think you need to fork over five bucks in order to have a “designated user name,” but I don’t know if that’s five dollars a week, a month, a year, or if it’s a one-time fee. I’m also not sure how you’re supposed to post if you don’t have a “designated user name.” I mean, your designated user name here is OzarkHillbilly, right? And mine’s CSK.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    Everything You Need to Know About Biden’s Messaging Problems with One Easy Test
    Democrats won’t take success for an answer.

    On progressives

    The kvetching is endless. One activist wanted to know how it was “fair” that someone who lives by themselves gets the same number of tests as a household of eight—even though larger families who want more tests can get them by emailing or phoning the Postal Service. Another complained, “I am glad that screening resource is available for free, but just like everything else in this pandemic, that advantage will not be equitably experienced by people of color in this country.”

    Others are claiming that Biden’s COVID test giveaway wasn’t fair because language barriers or a lack of access to the Internet might make it difficult for people to participate. One person at a community health organization commented, “We’ve recently provided some services in a predominantly West African community that speaks a certain dialect from the nation of Gambia, so it definitely wouldn’t serve that community.”

    Again, the Biden administration gets no credit for putting together a thoughtful and effective program. And though perhaps this particular Gambian dialect isn’t covered, the Biden administration has even set up a toll-free hotline where people can order the tests and this hotline provides assistance in 150 languages.

    I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve stifled the urge to slap someone (over 12 yo) who is whining about fairness, instead I simply grumble that life isn’t fair. Why do so many progressives allow the perfect to tarnish the good. Take the win, declare victory and go home, then tomorrow we’ll advance the ball a bit further.

  11. MarkedMan says:

    @Tony W: FWIW, at Johns Hopkins Presidents Day is no longer a holiday and has substituted Juneteenth for it.

  12. sam says:
  13. Kathy says:


    It should be a one-time only monthly fee paid weekly every day.

  14. CSK says:

    Of course. That will appear as $150 on your monthly credit card statement. Such a deal!

  15. Sleeping Dog says:


    Hard to believe that either animal survived that fall.

  16. CSK says:

    Speaking of hard ways to make a living, a Finnish cross-country skier suffered a frozen penis during
    the race at the Olympics.


  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: There’s gold in them thar hills. Otherwise they wouldn’t bother.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: That was the 2nd time that had happened to him. Some people never learn.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: Jeebus.

  20. Kathy says:


    Look for it to be really hard to unsubscribe, too.

  21. CSK says:

    No one will be able to locate the uncheck box.

  22. Sleeping Dog says:


    Brings a whole new meaning to the Aussie concept of cracking a stiffy.

  23. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Maybe they make cute little booties to keep it warm. Available in ethnic sizes of course

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I know where I’d put mine to keep it warm.

  25. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: Probably a small grift of opportunity but the real value in this, which I’m sure they know, is target audience identification. This is the online rally crowd..which they’ll need to mine ideas for messaging campaigns, A-B test campaigns, and keep these people fired up.

    There is strategy here granted they can get enough execution to capitalize

  26. Sleeping Dog says:

    “This forum is heading straight for the gutter” He says while grinning devilishly.

  27. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I think I created a monster.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @CSK: I always have one foot in the gutter and the other on a banana peel.

  29. Tony W says:

    @MarkedMan: Heaven forbid we *add* a holiday. Corporate America might lose $100.

  30. DK says:

    While the Trump right openly roots for Putin to invade Ukraine, conservative leader Candace Owens calls for war against Canada.

    If you or anyone you know is still identifying as Republican, now would be a good time for them to go independent.

  31. DK says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Strategery?

  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Tony W: Corporate America, in general, doesn’t have any of these holidays. My current company is typical of my experience: New Years Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are also a couple of floating holidays that each employee can use for Rosh Hashanah, Juneteenth or whatever. But never in my working life did I ever get Presidents Day or Columbus Day or Martin Luther Kind day off automatically.

    I’m curious: what are others’ experiences?

  33. Kathy says:

    This comment by @Mu Yixiao has me thinking.

    The mainstream narrative is that drug companies, starting with Purdue Pharma, pushed opioids hard for treating or managing pain, largely based on the claim they weren’t addictive. But they proved to be addictive, at least for some, and thus we have an opioid epidemic, along with overdose deaths.

    The first part is mostly true. Opioids were aggressively marketed for pain management, including the claim they were not addictive.

    Is the second part true? Are these drugs addictive? Are they addictive even when used as directed? There’s a lot of writing about how if you chew the pills, you mess up the time release aspect and get all the dosing at once rather than over time. That’s a big difference. And there’s a lot more about them being prescribed even for relatively minor aches (for the record, while in the hospital for hernia surgery and after being discharged, all I was prescribed and given for pain was acetaminophen, aka Tylenol* I found it sufficient.)

    And the last part. If prescription opioids are addictive, regardless of how they are used, have they led directly or indirectly, to overdose deaths in greater numbers?

    It’s worth getting a clear picture. I favor decriminalizing and legalizing all drugs, on the premise they’d be less harmful if regulated, and that the “war on drugs” is far more harmful than even large number of addicts living among us.

    * Actually for after surgery I was prescribed Tylex, also made by J&J, which is like Tylenol pills, except the dose is 750 mg rather than 500. The prescription was for one every 6 hours if needed. That’s less than the 2 500 mg pills recommended for headaches, every 4 to 6 hours.

  34. Sleeping Dog says:


    Everywhere I worked, holidays were New Years (if it fell M-F), Memorial Day, the 4th, Labor Day, Turkey day and xmas, plus a couple of floating holidays. Eventually floating holidays, sick leave and vaca were simply lumped into PTO.

    My wife on the other hand, being a SW working for non profits, got pretty much all the holidays that government offices did. One year when she worked in MA, she received Patriot’s Day, though not Evacuation Day (Suffolk CTY, i.e. Boston only).

  35. Sleeping Dog says:


    For a while my wife worked in a methadone clinic, counseling addicts, she believed that there was a correlation between individuals that became addicted to opioids and had histories of other addictive behaviors/substances. Be they other drugs, alcohol or an activity like gambling. This was something she surmised from reviewing case histories, rather than hard research.

    So the answer to your question as to whether opioids are addictive when used as directed, is likely maybe. When I had bypass surgery, they pretty much fillet you to perform it and screw and glue your sternum together after. You are in lots of pain*. I had a prn, for an opoid and only took it once or twice in the hospital and maybe once my first full day home after discharge. They recommended OTC Tylenol on a schedule till the pain subsided, 2-3 after discharge an probably 7 post surgery.

    *The Doc told me that the pain that men feel following a bypass is as close as they are likely to come to experiencing the level of pain that women feel during childbirth. I have a increased level of respect for mothers.

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: I think it also differs according to genetics. For example, I don’t have the foggiest idea as to how someone can get addicted to Xanax. They tried me on it at one point and it was totally useless: I could either be jittery and awake, or take a half-pill and immediately fall asleep on the desk. There was no in-between. After a few attempts I gave up.

  37. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping Dog:..the pain that men feel following a bypass is as close as they are likely to come to experiencing the level of pain that women feel during childbirth.

    May be so.
    All I know for sure is that when my dad was in his late ’40s and passing a kidney stone he stayed on the bed in a fetal position for two days.
    I have managed to make it into my ’70s and never experience such godawful pain.

  38. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Just after midnight last Thursday, a transiting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy vessel shone a military-grade laser at an Australian air force plane conducting coastal maritime surveillance.

    This did not happen in the South China Sea near China’s coastline, but rather in the Arafura Sea, within Australia’s exclusive economic zone off the country’s north coast.

  39. Stormy Dragon says:


    A Virginia high school senior who was born with no right leg and a left leg that ends at the middle of his thigh took home a state wrestling championship – surprising everyone but himself.

    The proverbial one-legged man in an ass-kicking competition?

  40. Mu Yixiao says:


    While the Trump right openly roots for Putin to invade Ukraine, conservative leader Candace Owens calls for war against Canada.

    And the streets will run red-ish with delicious maple syrup.

  41. Stormy Dragon says:


    While the Trump right openly roots for Putin to invade Ukraine, conservative leader Candace Owens calls for war against Canada.

    I’d just like to note that our multiple previous attempts to invade Canada have all ended poorly for the US…

  42. Gustopher says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Canada should put her on a no-entry list. I have no idea if she ever wants to enter Canada, but they should just ban her for life.

    There’s no reason to put up with those people if you don’t have to.

  43. MarkedMan says:


    I favor decriminalizing and legalizing all drugs, on the premise they’d be less harmful if regulated

    A couple of comments.

    First, in medical devices and pharma, labeling cannot be used to mitigate risk. (In FDA-land, “labeling” includes all instructions, warnings, etc, regardless of where they are located.) So if it is reasonable to assume that people in pain will chew these pills in order to get faster relief, you can’t mitigate that with labeling that says, “don’t chew these”.

    As for addiction, we’ll, my wife worked for several years at a woman’s halfway house for substance abuse. Probably half the women there got addicted to opioids through a prescription following surgery, car accident, etc.

    As for legalization, bear in mind that addicts can’t parent, they can’t hold a job, they can’t be part of a healthy relationship. Consider alcoholism. Alcohol is legal but alcoholics still end up alone and living on the street. And alcohol is cheap. Opioids are expensive. You need money to maintain that habit. Where does an addict get money? Eventually, when their resources are gone, through crime. And of course, they don’t stick to the expensive legal drugs but switch to the cheaper crap that criminals sell to them.

  44. Just nutha says:

    @CSK: I suspect no one else does either. Maybe even including FG and Nunes.

  45. CSK says:

    @Just nutha:
    Well, Trump has to make money on it some way before it crashes and burns.

  46. Just nutha says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Isn’t that the one the Chinese call the Southeast China Sea Annex?

  47. Jen says:

    @Kathy: Yes, opioids are addictive to some people, even when used as directed.

    A lot depends on genetics and, interestingly, can be affected by age. Teens are more likely to become addicted than older adults. There are a complex host of factors that can contribute to addiction.

    I’ve known several people who were prescribed opioids for pain management. Two of them ended up dying by suicide after becoming addicted.

  48. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: What’s Evacuation Day?

  49. MarkedMan says:

    @Mister Bluster: My sister passed an incredibly bad stone. She had two children and said the stone was worse. My stones have been pretty bad, but not as bad as hers.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: We banned the Canadian author and naturalist Farley Mowat for life merely for saying the US jets flying overhead bothered his tranquility and he was going to take his rifle out if they didn’t stop.

  51. inhumans99 says:


    Being able to easily unsubscribe and walk away is key. Heck, even Blue Apron made me nervous having to email support that I wanted to stop but they were responsive so there was no drama.

    The folks that sign up have to hope this is not like signing up for something like the Stansberry Report, a service run by an anti-government huckster that was sued successfully by the SEC (the SEC even won when the verdict was appealed).

  52. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Welp Jim Brown has let his Conservative hood slip a bit. I decided I had under-utilized management talent suffocating under good ole boy glass ceilings. Under cover of “reorganization”, I sneak fired several managers by relocating them to inconsequential departments. My primary department has all female leadership including Asian and LGTB representation. My second most important department is now run by a black female who I stole from another Regional lead after he jump at a suckers bet to trade her for a white male I would have had to let go he was so damn sorry. What a sucker! Shes a star in the making. Of course, I am pro-black so I am making her my protege: Jemisha Brown. A few years under my tutelage and she will dominate this organization or any other she sets her sights on. This is my version of Affirmative Action. Train my people to adapt, overcome, and dominate.

    I expected more push back than I’ve actually gotten from my employees, but the previous group of managers were so damn toxic that they are on board with any change that makes the office environment better.

  53. charon says:

    How can I be so sure there are no women on the CPAC design team, you ask?

  54. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha:
    You could be right. I thought that was the ancestral/historic territorial waters and land illegally squatted upon by the invading hordes from the barbarian West. But then again, I am an illiterate Luddite.

  55. Sleeping Dog says:


    It is the anniversary of the date that the Brits, sorry JohnSF, left Boston during the Revolution. Conveniently it is the same date as St Patty’s day, so all the Irish and want to be Irish for the day can swill green beer and not worry about going to work.

  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: A kidney stone is… It’s a different kind of pain. My first sign that something wasn’t right was when I started pissing blood. This was a Saturday or Sunday morning and I just thought I’d call the Doc first thing Monday morn. Then about 7 that evening, it hit me. It didn’t seem too bad but I knew immediately that this was different and if I didn’t get to the hospital soon I was going to be in real trouble. I spent the next several hours on my side on a gurney with a blanket over my head to block the light, a fan blowing on high on me to cool me down and several shots of morphine. I finally passed it 2 days later, but in the meanwhile I lived on a steady diet of vicodins.

  57. CSK says:

    Oy vey.

  58. Gustopher says:

    @charon: Perhaps the shirt was designed by a fan of Dave Foley.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @sam: Tough cat tho. Held on to it’s prey for the whole trip down. Yikes!

  60. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Ouchies! I’ll pass (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    When I had surgery to get the liver tumor, the doctors were highly entertained by my reaction to the drugs they had in my pump. When they asked me the standard orientation questions, I was lucid, but convinced that I was in the police ward at Harborview, and Nixon was still Prez. Apparently certain drugs contribute to seizures and hallucinations in Luddites.

  61. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, the dinner order WAS to go!

  62. charon says:


    Designed by someone who should have consulted Aunt Flo.

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: “… land illegally squatted upon by the invading hordes from the barbarian West…”

    Yeah, that’s my understanding, too. (And I recall an argument that the islands surrounding Australia and into Oceania were originally populated by ethnic Chinese, but the details are unclear anymore.)

  64. CSK says:

    These idiots fuck up everything:
    A British company is unhappy that TruthSocial appears to have stolen its logo, and the Twitter handle for TruthSocial has belonged to some other organization since 2010.

  65. Mister Bluster says:

    The worst pain that I recall suffering was diagnosed as diverticulitis complicated by an abscess in my abdominal cavity. It came on me suddenly as I was driving a company car home from work. It was so bad I had to pull off the road several times. Got to the clinic the next morning. After the images taken in the morning were interpreted the doctor told me to go to the Hospital Admissions desk, tell them that I was a “direct admit” and there would be a bed ready for me. The next morning a tube was inserted into my belly to drain fluid into a bag that was taped to my leg. The drainage system was removed after several days. To prevent recurrence of the diverticulitis surgery was recommended but had to wait till the trauma caused by the abscess healed. Fortunately for me this all came down during the only time that I was a telephone company employee and not a contractor. The company insurance (Verizon Communications not Verizon Wireless) not only paid 100% of the hospital bill including a weeks stay in a private room in a new wing of the hospital, the company paid me for 40 hours a week for each of the seven weeks I missed work.
    Before I was discharged the doctor told me that if I ever experienced pain like that again to go straight to the Emergency Room. That was 15 years ago. So far, nada.

  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Here’s another teacher shortage anecdote (not to be confused with data, but the program covered in the imbedded CBS News item may indicate a trend that could become data eventually). My state has had experiments with experimental teacher preparation programs, but shortages that would have caused schools to take the place-bound graduates as other than substitutes (our actual shortage area) have not emerged so far. I’d be interested in knowing how Tennessee is screening applicants so that they can guarantee the placement levels the program seems to be promising and whether the salary offered is competitive to what they offer traditional candidates.

  67. Mu Yixiao says:

    The worst pain I’ve ever felt seems like a trivial thing, but it was excruciating (not a word I have every used before). A couple months ago I tripped on the stairs and landed on one knee. Ow. Big deal.

    Until I knelt down to do something. To put things in context: I put a square-tine pitchfork completely through my foot. That was a zero–I didn’t even know I had done it. I ran my right middle finger through a table saw. That was a one.

    This was a solid nine. Collapsed on the floor, screaming silently. The best description I have is “kneeling on white hot thumb tacks”. It didn’t go away, so I went in to have it looked at. I thought I might have a bone splinter, or nerve damage, or… who knows what!

    Apparently, I had damaged the fat pad behind the knee cap.

    I damaged some fat–and it’s the most painful thing I have ever felt.


  68. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: My apologies for a totally f’kt up marking of my link and comment. Maybe I’ll get a redo now with a new post.

    ETA: Woo hoo! Got 2 edits. I’m soooo lucky! 😀

  69. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yeah, but at least they’ll never let ME back in a classroom to corrupt innocent young minds!

  70. Beth says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    That makes me feel a lot better about my own Diverticulosis experience. I went to a three day festival and partied like a crazy woman for a weekend and managed to get food poisoning when I got back. About 3 days after that I had excruciating pain up my left side that wouldn’t go away. My Dr. friend was like you have Diverticulosis/itis, go to the emergency room. I partially ignored her cause I am a moron and she’s only a dr. I mean, come on. Anyway, my partner made me go to urgent care the next morning and they sent me directly to the ER. Lucky for me it was only Diverticulosis, but that freaked me out bad. I’m now stuck waiting until March for my PCP follow up. The initial diagnosis was in November.

    As an aside, at the ER for that was the first time I remember getting morphine. I finally got an inkling of why people would get addicted to that. It was nice, but I couldn’t imagine wanting to do that more. I’ve also been prescribed Hydrocodone for all my past surgeries and I can’t stand that stuff. I can’t imagine stronger opioids would be much better.

  71. Monala says:

    @CSK: why would you make such a thing publicly known?

  72. Monala says:

    @MarkedMan: the perks of working for a nonprofit: they don’t usually pay a lot, but they give you all the federal holidays off (except Columbus Day for sensitivity reasons) and even some state holidays (such as Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts).

  73. CSK says:

    I assume the press got hold of it…so to speak.

  74. Kathy says:


    And of course, they don’t stick to the expensive legal drugs but switch to the cheaper crap that criminals sell to them.

    Not to minimize the scourge that us addiction, be it to legal or illegal drugs, but this is precisely one of the things that would be less dangerous if currently illegal drugs were regulated.

    This has happened with alcohol during periods of prohibition and of high taxes or other shortages. Criminals get into the business and adulterate the product. You get things like solvents, wood alcohol, and other things that are poisonous. You don’t get that, at least, from a legal alcohol industry. That’s a different kind of getting poisoned.

    As I said, I don’t want to minimize addiction. It’s terrible. But there’s no reason to add crime, police, violence, and a product even more dangerous than it should be to the mix.

  75. Kathy says:

    Even my inner historian derives no satisfaction from having called it (and yet I lead with this).

    War is on in all but name, as Putin moves troops to the sham states he extended recognition to just today.

  76. Monala says:

    @Beth: I had a surgical procedure last summer, and when I woke up from anesthesia, I started screaming because I was in so much pain. They gave me morphine and within less than a minute, I felt like bliss.

  77. Monala says:

    “Someone else’s kids” advice wanted:

    I have an 11-year-old neighbor with a 4-year-old little brother. I’ve gotten to know them because they love petting my dog when I’m out walking her.

    The 11yo is a good kid and protective of her brother. But today she was giving him rides by placing him in his booster seat on her skateboard and pushing him. They weren’t near any street. Still, the mom in me was cringing at the possibility of the little boy flying off the skateboard and getting hurt.

    I didn’t say anything, but should I have? And if so, what should I have said?

  78. CSK says:

    I know you wouldn’t yell at her or reprimand her. Speak to her in adult fashion. Just say, “I think it’s great you want to entertain your brother, but that might not be quite safe for him.” If sxhe asks why, you can explain.

    Something like that.

  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Diverticulitis almost killed a friend of mine. First she was misdiagnosed, then by the time they figured out what was really going on and the surgeon cut her open it had abscessed. It was touch and go for several days.

  80. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Everybody is different. Hydrocodone is a god send for me, knocks the edge off the pain without side effects. Percocet on the other hand makes me puke my guts out. Horrible shit.

    Morphine? Oh yeah… Washes over me in a warm golden wave. Doesn’t knock the pain back at all, but it’s a beautiful pain, it glows

  81. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    @grumpy realist:

    The past two years kind of threw age and genetics in our collective face as regards susceptibility to the trump virus, even if only age got explicit mention.

    I think the claims that prescription opioids were not, and could not, be addictive was hugely irresponsible. Right up there with the claims that the Titanic was unsinkable (though the builder never made such a claim, it was largely found in the media of the day).

    I wonder if there were clinical trials to test for addiction, and how they managed to do them.

  82. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: What @CSK: said. And obviously enough, don’t say anything to the parent. That is never taken well.

  83. MarkedMan says:


    but this is precisely one of the things that would be less dangerous if currently illegal drugs were regulated.

    Legitimate drugs are expensive. Stuff cooked up in some disposable losers basement is much cheaper, albeit you will still need to do crimes or beg to get even that much.

  84. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: I meant to add:

    A lot of people have this romantic view of heavily addictive drugs and legalization. They think that the reason addicts lose everything and end up in the gutter is that they are driven to a life of crime because the drugs are illegal (or at least illegal for them to obtain). The reality is that an addict gradually becomes unable to function. The have three states: looking for the next high, stoned, and recovering from their previous high. They can’t hold a job or maintain a relationship. They certainly can’t care for anyone else. And it doesn’t matter if the drug is legal or not. Like I said, look at alcohol. Many alcoholics lose everything and end up in the gutter and alcohol is legal and much easier to kick than opioids. (Easier, but not easy.)

  85. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    My Irish ancestry part (my surname is an Irish one by origin; great-great grandfather from Donegal) can drink, while my British part keeps an eye out. 🙂

    But trust me, green beer is a strictly American concept.

  86. CSK says:

    You make green beer by dumping green food coloring into beer.

  87. JohnSF says:

    On a less happy note, looks like Putin has decided for war.
    May he rot for it.

    First question: will Russians immediately try to secure the Ukrainian held parts of Donetsk/Luhansk, or just the already de facto Russian controlled areas, and keep options open?

    He could try the “just a limited operation” game, and try to maneuver the West out of imposing massive sanctions, hope to collapse Ukrainian morale, and try to panic some Europeans into taking the bait of forcing the “Minsk solution” on Ukraine.

    While keeping the option of escalating further if the West refuses to play his game at this point.

  88. Jax says:

    I had to have extensive oral surgery on my upper jaw when I was 21 due to an abscess created by a piece of cement becoming lodged in my gums from a serious fall onto a cement floor when I was 8. They gave me morphine at the surgical center, then I went with my Mom to pick up my prescription. I’m apparently allergic to morphine, I broke out in hives and had an uncontrollable urge to pick my nose. 😛 My Mom still tells the story of me walking up to the pharmacist with my finger in my nose and asking if there’s a different kind of pain killer that could be prescribed because…..”well, just look at me! This ain’t gonna work! I’m itchy all the way up into my nose!”

  89. JohnSF says:


    …make green beer by dumping green food coloring into beer

    Yes, you can.
    But why on Earth would you?

    In any case, the beer it’s based on is almost certainly lager; which is not exactly a traditional Irish bevy. Give me Guinness or Beamish any day.

  90. CSK says:

    Beats me. I hate beer in any form. And I’m Irish/English/German/Danish. You’d think I’d love it.

  91. Slugger says:

    We should announce our support for the independent republic of Chechnya. We don’t have to do anything; just recognize their legitimacy.

  92. Mister Bluster says:

    How could I forget?
    Sciatic Nerve Pain
    Take a box cutter and cut open the back of your leg from your heel all the way up to your butt cheek.
    Get a saltshaker and salt the wound real good.
    Then light up a torch and melt that salt into the open cut.

    I don’t think I can describe it any other way.
    My job at the time required extensive walking. After a day of this I was dragging my right leg and was able to get time off to visit the clinic. The doctor prescribed muscle relaxants but I couldn’t take the rest of the day off as we were already shorthanded. Don’t remember exactly what the scrip was but it worked fast and I was virtually pain free the next day.

  93. JohnSF says:

    Putin’s speech on the announcement of the Russian move into Donetsk/Luhanks area of Ukraine is something else.
    Utterly, terrifyingly, howling mad. (Note: a few of these quotes are from other official in responses to Putin’s questions to them, clearly prepared in advance)

    “Populistic bullshit like human rights and prosperity…”
    “A bomb under the USSR was the right of republics to leave the USSR”
    “Contemporary Ukraine should be called The Vladimir I. Lenin Republic of Ukraine. And then they tore down his statues and called it de-communization. You want decommunization? We’re prepared to show you what that really means for Ukraine.”
    “Ukraine has never had traditions of its own statehood… the Ukrainian state is built on denying everything that invites us, the historical memory of millions of people”
    “We can’t let these nationalist feelings (of Ukraine) be the foundation of a state,”
    “The radicals who seized power in Ukraine organized terror and a series of murders went unpunished […] we know the criminals by name and will do everything to punish them.”
    “We need negotiations, but only with the US. Everyone else will do what they tell them.”
    “They are hiding their true goal – to destroy the Russian Federation.”
    “The US and Nato have shamelessly turned Ukraine into a theater of potential military action against Russia, Ukraine’s armed forces may well be commanded directly from Nato HQ.”
    (regarding Ochakov).. “It is a city Russian army has conquered in 18th century. It is Novorossia! You deny your own past! You call it colonial! So be consequent!”
    “Russia has done everything to ensure Ukraine retained its territorial integrity,”
    “We know there will be sanctions, but after while, the West will come to us and beg for relationship.”

    This is the scariest, most detached from reality, most aggressively insane speech by a national leader I can think of in European affairs since the 1940’s.
    Bloody hell.

  94. Kathy says:


    I have the notion of not prosecuting addicts for using drugs.

  95. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    A two front conflict a-brewing? Joy…

  96. Kathy says:


    Not to make light of it, but Vlad does know trump is no longer in power, nor likely to return in time to affect the situation, right?

  97. dazedandconfused says:

    IF the Ukrainian government decides to go into a shooting war with Russia. Remains to be determined if they determine that’s both doable and worth it.

  98. Michael Reynolds says:

    It’s so unhinged it makes me wonder if Putin just got a fatal diagnosis from his doctors.

    It’s not the speech of a confidant man. It’s the speech of a desperate man looking for legacy, looking to be Vlad the Terrible. On the plus side it makes it harder for the Germans to focus solely on money.

  99. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: That’s my point though. Not prosecuting them for using drugs only goes a very short way to keeping them safe. As their lives fall apart they can’t hold a job and start getting involved in crime. First they get fired for stealing from their employer or not showing up for work, then they get kicked out of their house because they can’t make mortgage or rent or they drive their family away and the family kicks them out. They break into cars and so forth. And unless you give them free drugs of their choice until they finally overdose and die, they look for cheaper and cheaper alternatives, which mean criminals and drug cartels.

    Almost all of the women in the shelter my wife worked at ended up there because they had almost died of an overdose and they expressed a genuine convincing desire to go clean. And most of them failed. Some had terrible back stories but many had supportive families who would do (and had done) just about anything to help them get clean.

    The fact that the drugs were illegal were of little consequence to where they ended up. And if anyone could walk into a store and buy these highly addictive drugs, many, many, more people would end up in the same place. Opioid addiction means loss of friends, family and self. Making opioids illegal doesn’t change that.

  100. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnSF: And Chicago dumps a bunch of dye and turns the Chicago River green for St. Paddy’s Day.

  101. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    It’s the speech of a desperate man looking for legacy, looking to be Vlad the Terrible.

    Or perhaps he is falling out of favor with the Oligarchs and is looking the generals and priests, the Glorious Russia crowd

  102. Beth says:


    The reality is that an addict gradually becomes unable to function. The have three states: looking for the next high, stoned, and recovering from their previous high. They can’t hold a job or maintain a relationship. They certainly can’t care for anyone else. And it doesn’t matter if the drug is legal or not.

    I’d just like to point out that there are plenty of addicts that are able to function, they hold down jobs and roughly maintain relationships. My parents were two of them. My dad was (is? I haven’t talked to him in years) an alcoholic and my mom was addicted to pot. I don’t have a relationship with either of them for other reasons, but I know my mom keeps a relationship up with my sisters.

  103. Beth says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Should we take bets on if Putin just declares himself Tsar, with or without some made up historical bs?