Monday’s Forum

For all I know, you may be right.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. 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. Teve says:
  2. Teve says:

    @saletan

    Navarro: “We all know about the billion dollars [Biden’s] son took from the Chinese.”

    Stephanopoulos: “That’s not factual, sir. … He did not take a billion dollars from the Chinese.”

    Navarro: “Be that as it may … this election is gonna be a referendum in many ways on China.”

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “The car and camper just over to the south of me are covered. It’s going to get me, too.”
    – Gerald Martin

    May 18, 1980, 8:32 a.m. PT.

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  4. Teve says:

    last night:

    @dbongino

    Obama was the most corrupt President in US history.
    Thank you.
    Have a good night.
    #Obamagate

    @realdonaldtrump

    100% correct!

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  5. Kit says:

    US lockdown protests may have spread virus widely, cellphone data suggests:

    Cellphone location data suggests that demonstrators at anti-lockdown protests – some of which have been connected with Covid-19 cases – are often traveling hundreds of miles to events, returning to all parts of their states, and even crossing into neighboring ones.

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  6. Scott says:

    As a Long Islander in the 60s/70s, I grew up with Billy Joel.

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  7. Teve says:

    Coronavirus is making a universal basic income look better

    By Tyler Cowan and Garry Kasperov

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  8. Scott says:

    Busted: Pentagon Contractors’ Report on ‘Wuhan Lab’ Origins of Virus Is Bogus

    A military contractors’ report circulating on Capitol Hill claims to have evidence that COVID-19 escaped from a Chinese lab. It’s filled with information that’s just plain wrong.

    A shocking report suggesting that the coronavirus was “release[d from] the Wuhan Institute of Virology” in China is now circulating in U.S. military and intelligence circles and on Capitol Hill. But there’s a critical flaw in the report, a Daily Beast analysis reveals: Some of its most seemingly persuasive evidence is false—provably false.

    There is an increasing dangerous trend: Pick a position and look for data to prove it. This will never lead to good ends.

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  9. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    Joel was apparently my cousin’s first husband’s good buddy while growing up.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: There is an increasing dangerous trend: Pick a position and look for data to prove it.

    I just gotta say that that kind of reasoning has been with us since the first caveman prayed for the return of the sun during a solar eclipse . As to whether it is increasing or not, I do not know, but I am skeptical.

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  11. An Interested Party says:

    Did you know that Joe Biden is a pedophile? Just kidding! These really are some filthy disgusting people…

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  12. sam says:
  13. Mikey says:

    @Teve:

    @dbongino
    @realdonaldtrump

    In my entire life, I have never hated anyone.

    Until now.

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  14. Pete S says:

    @Teve:

    I have to give Bongino the benefit of the doubt here – if there is one area Trump knows really well, it is incompetence. In a way you have to respect Trump’s mastery of this ability. Having him call you incompetent is kind of like Arnold Palmer calling you the best golfer, or Wayne Gretzky calling you the greatest hockey player. Bongino is just too blissfully unaware of Trump’s other strengths – projection, lying and stupid insults.

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    NYT- Black Deliveryman Says He Was Blocked and Interrogated by White Driver

    The driver of the white vehicle, who identified himself as David Stewart and said he was the president of the homeowners’ association, approached Mr. Miller’s window and said he would move his car if Mr. Miller told him where he and his co-worker, who is also black, were going.

    Mr. Miller, whose name was visible on his uniform, called his boss to tell him about the situation. Then another man joined Mr. Stewart and asked Mr. Miller why he was there and who had given him the gate code.

    Mr. Miller responded that it was none of their business.

    “I’ve had confrontations before, but nobody has ever had the brass and moxie to use their car and block me and then call back up from a friend,” Mr. Miller, who remained inside his truck for the duration of the altercation, said to his co-worker in the video.

    About 15 minutes into the live broadcast, Mr. Miller told Mr. Stewart: “You do realize this is unlawful detainment, right? You have absolutely no reason and no right to hold me here and block me with your car.”

    “All I need to know is why you’re here,” Mr. Stewart responded.

    “You don’t need to know anything,” Mr. Miller said.

    “I own one-eighteenth of what you’re sitting on,” Mr. Stewart said, pointing at the pavement. “This street is private. This is not city property. This street is maintained by the people that live in here.”

    “You’re being nosy,” Mr. Miller said. “That’s all you’re doing. You’re trying to use privilege, and you’re not getting it from me. Just move your car. Unlawful detainment.”

    Minutes later, the customer who had taken the delivery from Mr. Miller came outside, spoke to Mr. Stewart and defused the situation. Mr. Stewart called the police to tell them that they did not have to come, and drove away.

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  16. Kathy says:

    People who refuse to wear masks because they are uncomfortable, should know that days on a ventilator is no bed of roses.

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  17. @Scott: And we have a winner.

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  18. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Scott:

    There is an increasing dangerous trend: Pick a position and look for data to prove it. This will never lead to good ends.

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I just gotta say that that kind of reasoning has been with us since the first caveman prayed for the return of the sun during a solar eclipse .

    This explains the genesis all religions.

    Except to those who believe in religion.

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  19. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Trump calling someone corrupt (or incompetent), is like Pig-Pen calling someone dirty.

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  20. Teve says:

    @Kathy: like Lance Armstrong attacking someone for doping. 😀

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  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Or Al Capone attacking someone for evading taxes.

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  22. Sleeping Dog says:

    Doordash and Pizza Arbitrage
    There is such a thing as a free lunch

    Which brings us to the question – what is the point of all this? These platforms are all losing money. Just think of all the meetings and lines of code and phone calls to make all of these nefarious things happen which just continue to bleed money. Why go through all this trouble?

    Grubhub just lost $33 million on $360 million of revenue in Q1.

    Doordash reportedly lost an insane $450 million off $900 million in revenue in 2019 (which does make me wonder if my dream of a decentralized network of pizza arbitrageurs does exist).

    Uber Eats is Uber’s “most profitable division” . Uber Eats lost $461 million in Q4 2019 off of revenue of $734 million. Sometimes I need to write this out to remind myself. Uber Eats spent $1.2 billion to make $734 million. In one quarter.

    Amazon just bailed on restaurant delivery in the U.S.

    What is it about the food delivery platform business? Restaurants are hurt. The primary labor is treated poorly. And the businesses themselves are terrible.

    These final mile delivery businesses don’t make any sense. A sufficient gross margin would drive away the consumer while causing the restaurant to withdraw from the program. Even car services like Lyft and Uber make no financial sense as there are no economies of scale and that is true for food delivery.

    Amazon has launched its Prime delivery service, which is essentially a cost shift from UPS, FedEx and the USPS to its own contractors. Of course when Prime delivery is fully rolled out they’ll put the screws to the contractors and reduce reduce the payouts.

    Note: UPS, FedEx and the USPS are not simply final mile distributors, they can profit from the port of entry/manufacturer shipping as well as long distance shipping. And if final mile becomes too expensive, sub-contract it as FedEx already does.

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  23. Jen says:

    For the “picking a position and looking for data to prove it” files, the Georgia Dept. of Health has been caught posting some very misleading graphs.

    Where does Sunday take place twice a week? And May 2 come before April 26?

    The state of Georgia, as it provides up-to-date data on the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In the latest bungling of tracking data for the novel coronavirus, a recently posted bar chart on the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website appeared to show good news: new confirmed cases in the counties with the most infections had dropped every single day for the past two weeks.

    In fact, there was no clear downward trend. The data is still preliminary, and cases have held steady or dropped slightly in the past two weeks.

    Apparently the third time in three weeks that they’ve screwed up information.

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  24. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott:

    Pick a position and look for data to prove it.

    The motto of lawyers and conservative pundits.

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  25. CSK says:

    Are Eric Trump and Donald Trump Junior trying to outdo each other in the race to win Daddy’s affections? You have Eric’s claim that the coronavirus is a Democratic hoax that will vanish–like magic!–by election day, and Don’s claim that Biden is a pedophile. Were they each thinking, “Oh, boy, now Daddy will love me best?”

    Sorry, fellas. It’s a contest you’re doomed to lose. The only one of you Daddy loves is Ivanka.

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  26. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    These final mile delivery businesses don’t make any sense. A sufficient gross margin would drive away the consumer while causing the restaurant to withdraw from the program. Even car services like Lyft and Uber make no financial sense as there are no economies of scale and that is true for food delivery.

    If you wanted to buy a Rolex from me I would happily drive it to your house in a limousine and wear white gloves. If you want to buy 100 bucks of Levi’s, I could probably drive that to your house if you’re nearby. If you want a nine dollar burrito…

    Uber has always been a scam. It never made sense. Taxis cost what they cost because that’s what they cost. Uber was only significantly cheaper than taxis because drivers were getting ripped off and Uber was subsidizing 60% of the cost of the rides with investor cash. In 2017 Reuters said that riders are only paying 41% of the cost to the company. And there’s no indication that’s changed. To keep investors from fleeing Uber claimed they would quickly be able to switch to autonomous cars, eliminating driver expense. That’s not fucking happening. Stupid investors thought it was OK for Uber to lose billions because they were gaining marketshare, like Amazon did. But Amazon spent those billions building out infrastructure that they can now charge other businesses to use. Uber doesn’t have any infrastructure. All those subsidized rides are just money gone.

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  27. Bill says:
  28. Kit says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    These final mile delivery businesses don’t make any sense.

    People with money to burn fund these ideas in the hope that with great volume will come great ROI (once new management arrives with the secret sauce for turning volume into profit). A day at the casino for the 1%, trickle down pizza for hoi polloi.

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  29. KM says:

    @Kit:
    Well, that’s a big duh. A group of people publicly protesting having to take sensible precautions to not spread a virus will of course spread the virus because they won’t take sensible precautions. You know how people protest studies to prove water is wet? This is why we have them – to prove simple concepts for those in denial among us.

    These are idiots framing a public health crisis as “you won’t let me do whatever I want, you Nazi” and refuse to accept the concept of non-essential activities in life. Their latest bitch is Boy Scouts not being allowed to put flags on veterans graves and “how can that spread disease?!” I’ve seen this framed as “first they came for Easter (religion), then for Mother’s Day (family) and now the veterans aren’t even safe from liberals!!” What they don’t seem to get is children are MASSIVE infection vectors and anyone pushing this isn’t going to be the social distancing type. Plus thu sneak in at the end of the segment the troops want to go visit the VA and a local nursing home with veterans. They will absolutely bring it back to those veterans they’ll go visit later – what’s more patriotic then killing off what’s left of the Greatest Generation by sending virus-ridden Boy Scouts to their door with a little flag as cover?

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  30. Teve says:

    What’s happening on the border with regard to families and cages and such. Haven’t heard much about that lately.

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  31. MarkedMan says:

    Here’s a good observation from TPM on the thought process of conspiracy theorists and promoters of quack cures:

    … But after skeptics have been skeptical, they are quite capable of accepting evidence. Once something has withstood scrutiny, you accept it. Otherwise you’re in a state of complete nihilism and you can’t believe anything.

    That crucial second step of acceptance is absent in conspiracy theorists. That is where conspiracy theorists are different. Their skepticism is a bottomless, never-ending pit of skepticism about anything related to the official account. And that skepticism is accompanied by extreme gullibility to anything related to the conspiracy. It’s an imbalance between skepticism for anything an official may say and complete gullibility for something some random dude on the internet will tweet out. It’s that imbalance that differentiates conspiracy thinking from standard cognition.

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  32. Bill says:

    @Kathy:

    People who refuse to wear masks because they are uncomfortable, should know that days on a ventilator is no bed of roses.

    Been there, done that, rather not do it again.

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  33. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: An addendum to my comment above:

    I posted this same thing in an extended family group chat, and one relative that participates absolutely falls into this spectrum. While she doesn’t usually discount official accounts she puts them as equal to the random guy on the internet. She’s rarely a fanatic (won’t change her mind, won’t change the subject) and she’s not a Trumper by any means, but she does work herself into a state from time to time. For instance she is truly frightened that somehow Sharia law will become the law of the land, and that government officials are in collusion with MSM and the airlines to cover up dozens of plane crashes each year. In any case, she is the only one who commented on the post and her reply was “Interesting concept”. I’m not even sure what to make of that.

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  34. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    The only one of you Daddy loves is Ivanka.

    Lusts for =/= love. He’d throw her under the bus too.

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  35. Teve says:

    Virtue signaling can be annoying. But vice signaling is worse.

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  36. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:
    I was trying to be polite, though I’m not sure why. Might as well be blunt: You are correct. He lusts after her. I’m not sure he’d throw her under the bus…if they could strike some sort of deal.

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  37. Teve says:

    And by the way, Barack Obama’s not all that articulate. When he reads the off a teleprompter, he can be inspiring, or off of a speech, but when he’s impromptu the “uhms” and the “ahs” it’s like — it’s impossible to listen to.

    -Pete Hegseth

    To paraphrase that old line, Pete, at this point, your comment isn’t saying anything about Obama. It’s saying something about you.

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    In any case, she is the only one who commented on the post and her reply was “Interesting concept”. I’m not even sure what to make of that.

    Isn’t it obvious? All these conspiracies are part of a conspiracy.

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  39. An Interested Party says:

    @CSK: They are the Uday and Qusay of American politics…

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  40. Monala says:

    @Teve: many communities don’t have taxi service, and even those that do, often are notorious for cabs not picking up “certain people” or in “certain neighborhoods.” In many ways, Uber and Lyft fill genuine holes in the need for transportation. It’s a shame they can’t do it in a way that is economical for customers and drivers.

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  41. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    With respect to covering up dozens of air crashes each year: Wouldn’t this be rather difficult? How would you account for the hundreds and hundreds of people dead? Wouldn’t their thousands of relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. notice they were gone? And you would find all of these relatives, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. and silence them…how? What about the wreckage of the planes themselves? How would you conceal that? How would you silence all the witnesses to the crash? And why would the MSM want to cover up air crashes?

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  42. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    But stupider.

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  43. Monala says:

    @Teve: great article.

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  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK:

    The only one of you Daddy loves is Ivanka.

    And he really only wants to [KLANGGGGG]…

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  45. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    With respect to covering up dozens of air crashes each year: Wouldn’t this be rather difficult?

    Not difficult at all. For all the reasons you outline, and more, it would be absolutely impossible.

    Additional reasons: how are the airlines and lessors collecting on the insurance? What about air traffic controllers who see the planes disappear from radar? How do they know whether to call for search and rescue for some but not others? And if they do do for all, what about all the search and rescue people involved in them? What about the controllers at various airports when expected flights fail to show up?

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  46. a country lawyer says:

    @Teve: President Obama’s sometimes stilted and halting speech can be irritating-sometimes maddingly so. But it’s because as a lawyer and former President he is well aware that words have meaning and his will be carefully scrutinized and repeated. You can tell when watching him speak that he is carefully measuring his words to be sure that his thoughts are conveyed accurately and that should they later appear in print his meaning will be clear. Trump is incapable of this.

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  47. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Yeah, I know. This is the trouble with all conspiracy theories–they depend on the cooperation and silence of thousands and thousands of people, most of whom have no reason to be quiet. Remember the “theory” that Sandy Hook was a false flag operation, and all those dead children, their parents, and their teachers were crisis actors? What about the first responders? And the personnel at the hospitals to which the victims were transported? All crisis actors? All silenced? Was the governor of Connecticut in on the plot? All the news reporters?

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  48. grumpy realist says:

    @Kit: In fact, I suspect a lot of these projects aren’t so much due to the original investors looking for a decent business plan with a good ROI, but wanting to hype something with buzzwords until they can get the dumb money investors willing to cascade in. Everyone’s looking for The Greater Fool that they can sell their stocks to. Expect a lot of buzzwords such as “network economics” “social media”, and “cyber currency.”

    It’s easier to sell to idiots once you’ve gone public, but you need to actually deliver on the barrel a bit more.

    (Living in Chicago–a lot of us here have rolled our eyes over Grubhub for years.)

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  49. Jax says:

    @CSK: Given that these are the same types of people who are currently in the process of deciding 80,000+ dead Americans (and counting) is “fake news/hoax” right in front of our eyes, the fact that they think we’re hiding plane crashes is not surprising.

    I’ve given up. There’s no point in arguing with these fuckers anymore. Let them kill each other off, I’ll just stay far, far away and send thoughts and prayers. I hate them for all the innocent people they are going to kill, but there is no getting thru to them or saving them.

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  50. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    Remember the “theory” that Sandy Hook was a false flag operation

    It’s easy to believe all the impossibilities necessary to carry out such a hoax if the alternative is to recognize there is a problem with guns, which would bring your whole identity into question. Didn’t Holmes say, “Once you eliminate the impossible (liberals are right, guns are bad), whatever remains, no matter how improbable (massive hoax), must be the truth.” Motivated reasoning is a hell of a drug.

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  51. that guy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    And he really only wants to [KLANGGGGG]…

    Something, something, grabbing kittens?

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  52. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    The logical progression must ultimately lead to a conspiracy so vast, it encompasses the whole world, except you 🙂

    That can be done in fiction, see “The Truman Show” (pretty good movie, BTW), or one of the best DS9 episodes, one called “Whispers.” O’Brien is convinced everyone on the station is against him, and it’s not even a spoiler to tell you he is 100% right.

    In real life, I think the appropriate aphorism is: Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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  53. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:
    I can’t begin to imagine the degree of cognitive dissonance required to believe that Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon bombing were false flag operations.

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  54. Kit says:

    @grumpy realist:

    In fact, I suspect a lot of these projects aren’t so much due to the original investors looking for a decent business plan with a good ROI

    I was trying to say the same thing in that the ROI was in selling the sizzle of large volumes to some sucker. But hey, all that money not spent paying taxes has to go somewhere.

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  55. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    I suppose there’s a certain comfort in believing in conspiracies. Number one, they appear to explain how and why awful things happen, number two, you have the warmth and security of belonging to a club of your fellow conspiracists, and number three, you can feel superior to all those who dismiss conspiracies.

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  56. Kit says:

    I know, I know: I’m overthinking this. But still, don’t these RWNJs ever get annoyed that every shitty little operation committed by Team Red invariably comes to light, while the faked moon landing, 9/11, airplane crashes et al hardly leak? I mean, they’ve got to be envious of our competency.

    Anyway, gotta run. A plane full of vaccinated kids is due to crash in the city center any minute, and I’ve got to drop off Hillary’s email server before I go.

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  57. Monala says:

    @Kit: numerous “end times” cults have predicted a certain date for the end of the world, and when that date comes and goes, they just set a new date. Apparently what happens at these times is that those with a shred of doubt often leave, and the remaining true believers double down on their delusions.

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  58. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    Exactly

    @Kit:

    Let’s examine why people invest in these companies, yes to make money, but why these types of investments. A couple of the myriad reasons.

    First: Concentrated wealth.

    Second: Lack of good investment ideas. ??????
    Isn’t that what capitalism should generate, to borrow a phrase, move fast and break things. That’s not happening anymore. After the great recession new business formation cratered, the joke among VC’ers is that they are no longer in the business of turning ideas into publicly traded companies, but turning ideas into fodder for the FAANG acquisition mill. With the result that too often the idea is never heard from again, because the acquirer crushed it, because it was a threat to their business model that they had created and were now collecting rents on.

    I could go on but you get the idea.

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  59. CSK says:

    Whoopsie. Bill Barr said that he does not expect Obama and Biden to be investigated for criminal activity, and Cult45 is not pleased. Not pleased at all.

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  60. 95 South says:

    @Kit: 9/11, the Kennedy assassination, crack invented by the CIA to destroy black communities…that’s all on the LWNJ’s.

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  61. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    I expect that Moscow Mitch and On My Knees Lindsey impressed on Barr that Senate rethugs wouldn’t provide cover for that.

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  62. 95 South says:

    Talk about conspiracy theories, look at Jen. She says the Georgia Department of Health is “picking a position and looking for data to prove it”, indicating they’ve deliberately made mistakes. The article doesn’t prove that, in fact is quotes someone saying the problem is they’re understaffed. If it was a conspiracy to make coronavirus look not as bad, why did they erroneously report twice about children dying? Jen wanted to make a point but the evidence wasn’t there so she accused people of working behind the scenes. A conspiracy theory.

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  63. Kit says:

    @95 South:

    9/11, the Kennedy assassination, crack invented by the CIA to destroy black communities…that’s all on the LWNJ’s.

    I’ll give you the Kennedy assassination. And the LWNJs are without doubt a thing. All this antivaxer crap has adherents everywhere. I just don’t see the those on my side of the aisle as much of a force, be the Left in or out of power. I don’t particularly want their vote, I refuse to offer comfort, and I’d basically like to see these idiots driven into the ocean.

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  64. Mister Bluster says:

    @Monala:..numerous “end times” cults have predicted a certain date for the end of the world,..

    95 South says:
    Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 15:20

    I’ve always known that the End Times would occur within my life,..the End Times are here.

    More evidence that Trump is the Anti-Christ

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  65. 95 South says:

    @Mister Bluster: I was paraphrasing Nightcrawler. You’re “picking a position and looking for data to prove it”. Why don’t you present the context? It’s illuminating as to why people like Kit think the LWNJ isn’t influential. Your side just doesn’t notice it.

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  66. 95 South says:

    I was paraphrasing Nightcrawler:

    “The fact that I knew something like this would eventually happen is one of the many, many reasons why I never had children….

    I guess people need to keep telling themselves something other than admit the apocalypse is here, and they have very little chance of surviving it.

    I know that I likely won’t survive. I’m glad that my business did really well last year, and I was able to go to cons and meet pretty much the whole cast of The X-Files. I didn’t listen to people who kept telling me to “save for retirement” and other such nonsense. I knew I had little chance of living that long. I knew, I knew, I knew. If the cancer didn’t come back and get me, something else would. I knew, I knew, I knew.”

    ETA – I just noticed you edited around my original comment to make it look worse. So you knew what I was saying.

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  67. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK:

    With respect to covering up dozens of air crashes each year:

    I’ll try to give you an answer in her voice: “Well, you bring up interesting points and I consider those when I think about this, but I also turn to other sources and I try to keep an open mind and consider each one.”

    FWIW, I suspect that some of her more bizarre theories come from her own personal fears. In this case, she is terrified of flying. Can’t be her personal shortcoming so it must be something dramatic outside of her control.

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  68. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I always thought that a sort of argument in favor of conspiracy theories could be made for something like the Kennedy assassination. If the CIA had assassinated him (to be clear, this is a complete hypothetical, and I’m not proposing that) then the only thing to do would be to flood the zone with conspiracies. Encourage every lunatic to publish and every raving radio show host to fill the airwaves. The only way to cover up something of this magnitude would be to essentially to exactly that: cover the little bit of reality with tank loads of lunacy.

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  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    But hey, all that money not spent paying taxes has to go somewhere.

    Word.

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  70. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: The Kennedy assassination has a huge variety of nut jobs clinging on, not just left wingers, thank you very much.

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  71. Pete S says:

    @Kathy:

    A lot of the people refusing to wear masks are well aware that their mask is intended to protect others, not the mask wearer. And they could care less, someone else being on a ventilator doesn’t make them uncomfortable.

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  72. Jen says:

    @95 South: They rearranged the data so that it would look like numbers were plummeting and they got called out on it, and had to apologize.

    “We’re understaffed”–I’m sure they are. It’s sure convenient to be able to lean on that when what they are doing is stuff that anyone who has ever worked with data knows you shouldn’t do.

    Reorganizing charts, changing how you count infections, etc. is just asking to have someone call you out and that has been done now, three times.

    If it’s not intentional, it’s incompetence. You pick, one or the other.

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  73. 95 South says:

    @MarkedMan: The left is responsible for it though. They couldn’t imagine that a crazy communist was worse than the American government. You know they created the CIA crack conspiracy theory, and all the 9/11 stuff. The anti-vax movement started in the Left as well.

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  74. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    If she’s terrified of flying, I would guess that explains her devotion to conspiracies about crashes. But then again, why not just admit to being scared to fly? A lot of people are. It’s not shameful.

    @MarkedMan:
    From that standpoint, yes, conspiracies theories would be useful as cover-ups.

    ReplyReply
  75. 95 South says:

    @Jen: No, YOU picked one. You said it was intentional, and then people went on to complain about right-wing conspiracy theoriests.

    ReplyReply
  76. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: I’m not sure why you think that the “Left” created the Kennedy conspiracy theories. I seem to remember the National Enquirer running many articles about how Jackie was visiting a secret room in the White House because Kennedy was being kept alive on a ventilator in there. And NE was as right wing as any lunatic fringe could be. Having lived through the 70’s when that stuff was at its peak, and read a not insignificant number of articles and books about it, I just don’t see how you can ascribe meaningful political persuasions to most conspiracy theorists. I mean, look at the whole “9/11 was an inside job” crew. They are just as likely to be White Supremacists as New Age Communists.

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  77. Kathy says:

    Changing topics a bit, does the Libertarian party try to run people in local, state, and federal races (like House and Senate), or do they just run someone for president?

    Suppose for some reason, maybe the two main party candidates are aliens from beyond the Moon (apologies to The Simpsons), the Libertarian candidate wins the presidency. What are they going to do? What support for domestic policies, like dialing down or ending all regulation, will they have from the House and Senate dominate by one or both of the major parties? What support from state governors*?

    It strikes me that with the presidency only, not hijacking a major party like El PITO did, even if a Libertarian candidate wins, they’ll be a disappointment to their party and committed followers.

    * As in most governors won’t sue as they do with El PITO Pequeño.

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  78. Jen says:

    @95 South: I believe some of it was intentional. I remain puzzled by how ANYONE remotely competent at their job at *the Department of Health* would arrange a graph with the dates out of sequence. I’m not alone in thinking that they are trying to get away with something, as the article clearly indicates:

    Some of these errors could be forgiven as mistakes made during a chaotic time. But putting days in the wrong order, as the recently withdrawn chart did, makes no sense.

    “It’s just cuckoo,” said state Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, who sent the letter outlining his concerns to the governor’s office on Monday. The bar chart that stirred the latest controversy was revised shortly afterwards. “I don’t know how anyone can defend this graph as not being misleading. I really don’t.”

    A spokeswoman for DPH told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the chart was incorrect because of an error in how it sorted dates. An aide to the governor told Holcomb that a software vendor caused the problem, Holcomb said.

    But you’re going with hardcore incompetence, that’s fine.

    PS–you realize that the “pick a position and find the data to go with it” was first used earlier in the thread, right? And that I was riffing on that?

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  79. Mister Bluster says:

    Context

    95 South says:
    Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 15:20
    Right, of course there’s nothing wrong with Nightcrawler. I made it all up.

    But you know, I’m a Republican, and I sometimes walk around thinking how many people want me dead, and I will treat them no better than they treat me. I’ve always known that the End Times would occur within my life, one of the many reasons I never had kids. I knew, I knew, I knew. People tell me I have a bad attitude, but they say it as a defense shield because the End Times are here. I don’t care if I die. The liberals can kill me but they’ll never defeat me, because one day they’ll die too.

    Do you see it now?

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  80. 95 South says:

    @Jen: I’m not going with anything. You did. If people are going to complain about unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, I’m going to point out they didn’t complain about yours.

    ReplyReply
  81. 95 South says:

    @Mister Bluster: There’s the reference to Nightcrawler’s crazy rant. Do you remember it? I quoted it. She said she had always known the apocalypse was coming during her lifetime. She said “I knew, I knew, I knew”. When people didn’t pay attention to how crazy it was, I rephrased the comment as if a right-winger said it, hoping the reader would be able to recognize the craziness once their political blinders were removed.

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  82. Scott says:

    @CSK: Of course, he threw it out there. He didn’t say there wasn’t any reason to investigate, just that he won’t.

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  83. Kit says:

    @95 South:

    It’s illuminating as to why people like Kit think the LWNJ isn’t influential. Your side just doesn’t notice it.

    I just know that I’m going to regret engaging, but, ok, let’s hear it: tell me how LWNJs push their agenda onto the highest level of government, and how we don’t even notice it because that’s what we believe in our bones. I’m looking for the equivalent of kids in cages, and neo-nazis being fine people. I want examples that were beyond the pale a generation ago, but are now embraced, and which you find morally repugnant. I’m really curious. Show me what you’ve got. Tell me what disgusts you such that you find the Left equal to or worse than the Right.

    My guess is that you will come back with someone somewhere said something. Classic whataboutism.

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  84. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I seem to remember the National Enquirer running many articles about how Jackie was visiting a secret room in the White House because Kennedy was being kept alive on a ventilator in there.

    Boy, this brought back a memory. When I was in college (1973), Dick Gregory (the comedian) came and spoke in the gym there. I remember very clearly him stating that he know for a fact that Kennedy didn’t die until July, 1971. That he was in a coma in Palm Beach, Fl all that time being taken care of by his mother, Rose. Let’s just say I was skeptical.

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  85. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    I remain puzzled by how ANYONE remotely competent at their job at *the Department of Health* would arrange a graph with the dates out of sequence.

    They ran out of Sharpies, and office supply stores are closed because of the lock down.

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  86. 95 South says:

    @Kit: If you’re already admitting you’re going to call it whataboutism, then let’s not engage.

    ReplyReply
  87. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    If this clarifies anything, it seems Barr was talking about Durham’s investigation not leading to a criminal investigation of either Obama or Biden.

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  88. Jen says:

    @95 South:

    If people are going to complain about unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, I’m going to point out they didn’t complain about yours.

    I’m willing to guess that it’s because they recognize that I was not putting forward an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory. I was using a prior reference to people effing around with data to springboard to a piece that showed…people effing around with data. The article didn’t say it was being done intentionally, but it did interview several people who made statements such as:

    “I have a hard time understanding how this happens without it being deliberate,” said State Rep. Jasmine Clark, D-Lilburn, who received her doctorate in microbiology and molecular genetics at Emory University. “Literally nowhere ever in any type of statistics would that be acceptable.”

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  89. Kit says:

    @95 South: I told you clearly what I wanted. Show me how the radical Left came to dominate the mainstream Left such that I should blush. Don’t make reference to the Right. Help me to either understand myself or to understand you.

    Since you like to engage in a close reading of other’s post, let’s take a look at the following:

    My guess is that you will come back with someone somewhere said something. Classic whataboutism.

    And you:

    If you’re already admitting you’re going to call it whataboutism, then let’s not engage.

    Does that strike you as just? But, please, answer my other request first.

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  90. Mister Bluster says:

    @95 South: ..ETA – I just noticed you edited around my original comment to make it look worse. So you knew what I was saying.

    I have provided context so now what you stated does not look worse, as you say, it just looks bad.
    I never know what you are saying.

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  91. wr says:

    @95 South: “9/11, the Kennedy assassination, crack invented by the CIA to destroy black communities…that’s all on the LWNJ’s.”

    You mean that 9/11 didn’t happen? Kennedy was never assassinated? That’s some pretty good conspiracy-theorizing by these people.

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  92. wr says:

    @95 South: “If you’re already admitting you’re going to call it whataboutism, then let’s not engage.”

    And Brave Sir Robin runs away again…

    ReplyReply
  93. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: I think that was a little much of a stretch. Now that you mention it I remember the post but did not connect it at the time. I assumed you were being sarcastic, but didn’t parse the reference

    ReplyReply
  94. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @MarkedMan: Exactly. We’ve visited Dealey Plaza in Dallas twice. Both times, conspiracy theorists were hawking their books. You could cover the entire plaza with the conspiracy wacko publications that have sprung up.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95 South says:

    @MarkedMan: Seriously? I said the same thing she did, I just switched a few words. That’s terrifying to me. I specifically called out Nightcrawler using the strongest words I have ever used. When people gave me thumbs down votes, I repeated her comment with the word “Republican” in it so people could process it without blinders. I said “End Times” instead of “Apocalypse”. It wasn’t even sophisticated rhetoric. I ended it saying “do you see it now?” Don’t you notice I said things I’ve never said before, paraphrasing or even quoting word for word the earlier comment I was complaining about? Anyone reading it who hadn’t already decided what they thought about it by the author’s name would have understood it. Like anyone who’s really upset about conspiracy theories would have noticed Jen accusing the government of lying to her without evidence of deliberation or malice. If I said the same thing she did right now, except about New York, and used her name, would you understand it’s a reference to her?

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  96. Jen says:

    @wr: Appropriate inclusion of a Monty Python quote always will get a thumbs-up from me….

    ReplyReply
  97. Kathy says:

    @Pete S:

    A lot of the people refusing to wear masks are well aware that their mask is intended to protect others, not the mask wearer. And they could care less, someone else being on a ventilator doesn’t make them uncomfortable.

    We should pity them for their inability to see the obvious, no?

    People tend to conform to social norms. If almost everyone wears a mask, people who don’t will feel uncomfortable and out of place. Likewise if only a few people wears masks, they will feel silly. So the more people start to wear masks, the more people will follow, and the safer everyone will be.

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  98. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I did an experiment with this thread today and skipped all of the posts from 95 South and replies to such posts. It really speeds up the reading process with less stress, too. I realized that I’ve become fatigued with Pearce’s stand-in, but the flame wars and protestations that “you just don’t want to hear anyone who disagrees with you” (a trait that 95 South has already glommed on to) are yet to come. Laissez les bon temps rouler.

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  99. Bill says:

    @Jen:

    Appropriate inclusion of a Monty Python quote always will get a thumbs-up from me….

    Garek quotes score well too.

    ReplyReply
  100. CSK says:

    Ken Osmond, aka Eddie Haskell, has died. He was 76.

    ReplyReply
  101. Mikey says:

    Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine to protect against coronavirus, dismissing safety concerns

    I hope this medication gives him every bit of protection against COVID-19 that medical science has ascertained exists.

    ReplyReply
  102. Mikey says:

    For those who recall my comment saying my brother has COVID-19, I’m happy to report his case has been relatively mild and he is starting to feel better. Once he meets the criteria for full recovery (symptoms gone and two negative tests in 24 hours) he is going to find out if he’s a good candidate for plasma donation.

    ReplyReply
  103. Matt says:

    @MarkedMan: Indeed I was first exposed to 9/11 is an inside job via white supremacists who insisted it was the jew’s fault.

    ReplyReply
  104. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    The goal is to be the last man standing, so that pretty much everyone has to use your service, at which point they can charge monopoly rents and rely on metcalfe’s law to prevent competition from appearing.

    It’s the same reason why Facebook is so entrenched even though everyone hates it, yet every competitor that appears can’t get any traction.

    ReplyReply
  105. CSK says:

    @Mikey:
    That is good news. Thanks for letting us know. And I salute your brother.

    ReplyReply
  106. JohnMcC says:

    @Mikey: Saw that on the TeeVee, too. In the background part of the news they replayed Mr Trump’s remark that ‘lupus patients don’t get Covid’.

    You will be surprised. He is actually not correct.

    Don’t know how that happened.

    ReplyReply
  107. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: Like I said, I assumed you were being sarcastic but didn’t immediately associate it with NC’s comments. Those comments were in a different thread, right?

    ReplyReply
  108. MarkedMan says:

    @Matt: Exactly. I remember this running theme that “all the Jews had been told to stay home from work that day”. The mind of a conspiracist is such that they believe 1) the evil Jews were willing to kill thousands in a spectacular way to get America to fight their war in the Middle East, 2) that despite that depraved mindset they couldn’t bear the idea that Jews would die too, 3) That they had a list of all the Jews who worked in a gigantic structure housing hundreds of different companies, 4) That the night before the act they risked it all by, what? Telephoning everyone on that list? 5) That not a single one would report it to the authorities, 6) That not a single one had a close gentile friend, spouse or lover that they would warn, who would in turn report it to the authorities. Is there really any point in having a discussion with people like that. When my four year old told me her intricate theories on the latest Barney the Purple Dinosaur show, that was amusing. When a grown human being starts spouting similar nonsense but involving death and destruction all you can do is back away.

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  109. Jen says:

    Like anyone who’s really upset about conspiracy theories would have noticed Jen accusing the government of lying to her without evidence of deliberation or malice.

    …after she pulled quotes from an article…ah, you know what, I’m not bothering.

    I think a ‘Bless your heart’ is in order here.

    ReplyReply
  110. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It’s the same reason why Facebook is so entrenched

    Purely anecdotal, but amongst my crowd (late middle agers of a liberal bent) Facebook has fallen into disuse. Not for any large scale reason but simply because it’s not worth wading through the ads and crap and constant begs to “click this”, “do that”, etc. They do seem to use Instagram a lot. So Anecdotally, they are goners. 😉

    MarkedMan’s law of hardware and software – everything is too big to fail, until it isn’t. Just ask Compuserve, Compaq, Motorola’s mobil phone business, US Robotics, MySpace, well, you get the point

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  111. MarkedMan says:

    On another thread an off topic discussion of the endless rural/urban debate popped up and it got me to thinking: I grew up in the suburbs of a major city. At various times in my life I have lived in the downtowns of various US cities, the outskirts, the suburbs, semi rural areas where my lot bordered corn fields, or in other cases, giant protected NYC watershed forests, and another, protected wetland forests of the Chesapeake bay. My two extremes are two years in a village of 400 people with no electricity or running water and brutal dirt roads that only saw one passenger lorry a day (and my sky blue 100cc dirt bike on the weekends!) and 4 years living in the heart of one of the largest and most modern cities in the world, Shanghai (Jing An Chu, to be exact). And after all that, I have absolutely no value judgement for comparing. They were all cool places to live, given the time and circumstances. Well, except Atlanta. I just never really liked Atlanta.

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  112. An Interested Party says:

    I’m still waiting for anyone to provide evidence that the crazy Left has ever achieved the political power that the crazy Right currently has…can anybody provide some evidence of this? Anyone at all…

    ReplyReply
  113. Stormy Dragon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Purely anecdotal, but amongst my crowd (late middle agers of a liberal bent) Facebook has fallen into disuse. … They do seem to use Instagram a lot.

    Instagram IS Facebook

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  114. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    In the background part of the news they replayed Mr Trump’s remark that ‘lupus patients don’t get Covid’.
    You will be surprised. He is actually not correct.

    No, not surprising at all. I wouldn’t have imagine that he’d be right about that–or pretty much anything else. 😉

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  115. Mister Bluster says:

    @95 South:..Don’t you notice I said things I’ve never said before, paraphrasing or even quoting word for word the earlier comment I was complaining about?

    Oh get over yourself. You are just not that clever.

    ReplyReply
  116. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: The name is the thing. Just a few days ago, a friend was telling me how much he hates Microsoft products. We were talking on Skype.

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  117. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: I and my friends have been using Facebook a lot during the lockdown, but most of the stuff is us posting pictures of spring flowers and videos of our pet dogs out running around.

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  118. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I know they are owned by the same company but my experience of the two of them is worlds apart. My interaction with instagram is that once a month I get an email that says “look what your peeps have been up to” and I click it and I see their pictures. If there are ads I don’t notice them.

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  119. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Let’s not forget that Facebook cemented their advantage by buying Whatsapp and Instagram. Instagram in particular was cutting deeply into Facebook.

    ReplyReply
  120. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    A few years back I noticed I was spending lots of time on Facebook, so I dropped some people and publications I’d been following, in order to make the news feed shorter.

    A few days alter, I realized I was spending as much time on FB, and the news feed seemed about as long. I got more content from people, businesses, and publications I did follow. By now I’m down to following very few people, publications, or businesses, and the news feed is still as long as the Mississippi.

    So now I just browse FB late at night near bed time, when it’s easy to get fed up at the news feed and just turn it off and go to bed. Some days I don’t even remember to open the web site on the phone.

    Oh, that, too. I uninstalled the FB app from my phone last year and access it only through the web. I don’t trust their app not to collect data even when it’s not running.

    That just leaves all the Google apps the phone is near useless without, and Netflix, Audible, Kindle, Kobo, and Scribd. So, plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose*, right? But if FB has a saving grace, for me, is that it led me to this blog.

    *The more that things change, the more they stay the same.

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  121. Teve says:
  122. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve:

    What’s happening on the border with regard to families and cages and such. Haven’t heard much about that lately.

    Funny you should mention this…[spoiler: the news isn’t good]As the nation remains focused on COVID-19, the U.S. government has aggressively begun to rush the deportations of some of the most vulnerable migrant children in its care to countries where they have been raped, beaten or had a parent killed, according to attorneys, court filings and congressional staff. MAWA!!!! KAW!!!!!!

    ETA: And a lot of people are saying that the Covid scare is a fake news thing that racists in the Administration came up with to draw attention away from what was happening at the detention camps. I don’t know, but a lot of people are saying so, you know?

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  123. Teve says:

    @ cringely

    I have taken that drug to prevent malaria in India and it made me feel terrible. There’s no way he’s been on it for a week or he’d be making us share his pain. It’s another lie.

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  124. Stormy Dragon says:

    @MarkedMan

    Instagram and Facebook now are really the same application, just with two different UIs sitting in front of it. That’s why the original founders left, because it was getting sucked into core facebook and isn’t really a separate thing in any meaningful sense anymore.

    ReplyReply
  125. flat earth luddite says:

    @CSK:

    Sorry, but you’re all wrong. By all evidence to date, the only person The Donald loves is… The Donald.

    ReplyReply

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