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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Heh. At Warren’s calculator for billionaires, she lists a few billionaires.

    Hmmmmm…. I feel like there is somebody missing…. The name is right on the tip of my tongue…

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US health officials are reporting a breakthrough in their investigation into the cause of a nationwide outbreak of vaping illnesses that topped 2,000 cases this week.

    The discovery of vitamin E acetate in lung samples offers the first direct evidence of a link between the substance and vaping-related lung injuries. The substance has also been identified in tests by US and state officials of product samples collected from patients with the vaping injury.

    In a telephone briefing on Friday, Dr Anne Schuchet, principal deputy director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called vitamin E acetate “a very strong culprit of concern” and referred to the discovery as “a breakthrough” in the investigation.

    She cautioned that more work was needed to definitively declare it a cause, and said studies may identify other potential causes of the injuries as well.

    Vitamin E is safe as a vitamin pill or to use on the skin, but inhaling oily droplets can be harmful. It has recently been used as a thickener in vaping fluid, particularly in black market vape cartridges.

    Vitamin E acetate is believed to be used as a cutting agent in illicit products containing THC – the component of marijuana that gets people high.

    Although the substance was detected in all 29 of the lung samples, which came from patients in several different states, more testing is needed to establish a causal link between exposure and injury, Schuchet said, adding that “many substances are still under investigation”.

  4. senyordave says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: MIT students have too much time on their hands.

    Why do I have a feeling that in a generation or two we will be seeing robotic versions of Simone Biles and Lionel Messi?

  5. Teve says:

    A – Always
    B – Be
    C – Closing

    This week I learned that’s not just a fun speech in Glengarry Glen Ross, that’s an actual sales technique that works. It’s called Assumptive Closing, and it is a thing, and my boss is a master of it. High-$$$ sales is a brand new world that I’m very much unfamiliar with.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” asked the boy.
    “Help.” said the horse.

    When he sat down to draw a boy talking to a horse, the illustrator Charlie Mackesy was working out his own feelings
    ……………………………
    Mackesy, who has been a cartoonist for the Spectator and a book illustrator for Oxford University Press, says the straightforward, heartfelt conversations between the characters in The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse were drawn from “conversations I’ve had with my friends about what life really means, what’s important; it was a way for me to think aloud on paper with words and drawings.”

    The first, featuring the horse and the boy, stemmed from “a conversation I had with my friend Bear [Grylls] about what courage really looked like” and “the bravest thing we’d ever done”. While Grylls may be “an emblem of courage”, Mackesy continued, “the bravest thing I’d ever done was when I was struggling and had the courage to ask for help. So I drew it.”

    “I put that up on Instagram and forgot about it, and the next thing I knew was that hospitals and institutions had been using it, and the army had been using it for PTSD, it went crazy. I wasn’t aware of it. Occasionally I’d get emails saying ‘I hope you don’t mind we used it in our therapy unit, it’s helping people realise it’s a brave thing to show weakness’.”

    Mackesy made the drawing at “a time of life when I had lost a friend, when things make you think harder about what really matters”.

    “All four characters represent different parts of the same person,” he explained, “the inquisitive boy, the mole who’s enthusiastic but a bit greedy, the fox who’s been hurt so is withdrawn from life, slow to trust but wants to be part of things, and the horse who’s the wisest bit, the deepest part of you, the soul.”

  7. Teve says:

    Federica Pelzel
    @federicca
    I saw
    @MikeBloomberg
    speak to a group of rich executives end of 2018, when he was already considering running for president. I was so shocked at his views that I took notes.

    Here are the highlights: (thread)

    Federica Pelzel
    @federicca

    He opposes legalizing marijuana and criminal justice reform; used the “gateway drug” argument.

    Federica Pelzel
    @federicca

    He’s against investing in tech education in public schools because -get this- “we invest in computers and then they’re used for porn and to plagiarize homework” , verbatim.

    I could spend a whole thread just on this but there’s more to cover.

    Federica Pelzel
    @federicca
    He’s against minimum wage and regulation around income and aid for poor Americans who have to hold several jobs just to make ends meet
    Federica Pelzel
    @federicca

    Literally said “you can’t train people to do tech jobs, they’re just not wired that way” when asked about tech education to mitigate job loss because of AI advances
    Federica Pelzel
    @federicca
    He ranted for several minutes about younger generations wanting to retire (?) and how that makes things hard on the economy #okboomer

    Federica Pelzel
    @federicca

    And finally, he said “we need to go back to how things were done in Clinton days, when he’d get 3 democrats, 3 Republicans and take them golfing, then go lock themselves in a room, close the door, smoke cigars and make all the decisions” (all men implied)

    Federica Pelzel
    @federicca

    In conclusion, pls don’t.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @senyordave: Thank Dawg I’ll be dead.

  9. Kit says:

    @Teve:

    High-$$$ sales is a brand new world that I’m very much unfamiliar with.

    Maybe I missed this, but what sort of business are you in? I thought I remembered you saying that you were a tutor.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Top officials at Trump’s EPA impeding inquiry into chief of staff, watchdog says

    Top political appointees at Donald Trump’s environment agency are hindering an investigation into the agency’s chief of staff, who pressured a prominent scientist to alter her congressional testimony to make it more favorable for the agency, according to an ethics watchdog.

    In the latest development of the fight, the inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has forced the agency’s head, Andrew Wheeler to explain his position in a letter to Congress. Wheeler’s top agency lawyer is arguing that political staffers have leeway to decide what information to provide to the watchdog, while investigators are warning that agency leaders are trying to subvert their legally mandated independence.

    The saga is a striking demonstration of how the Trump administration’s defiance of oversight extends past the impeachment inquiry to include agency watchdogs whose non-partisan reputation has historically put them above the political fray.

    The trump admin is an ongoing criminal enterprise. Lock every single mf’in’ one of them up. And Republicans in Congress? They are aiding and abetting, after the fact if not before.

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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:
  12. Teve says:
  13. Teve says:

    @Kit: I tutor math whenever I’m out of a normal job because it’s easy and pays in cash. But it’s more trouble than it’s worth. I just got a job in selling digital services to businesses and it’s very lucrative, but it’s also very Eat-what-you-kill and that is very unlike any skill set I’ve developed previously.

    “You see this watch? You see this watch? This watch cost more than your car.” 😀

  14. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I grew up in a trailer park in North Florida. I can find you native English speakers who wouldn’t pass an English test. 😛

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve:

    it’s very lucrative, but it’s also very Eat-what-you-kill and that is very unlike any skill set I’ve developed previously.

    I never had the stomach for that. “You don’t want to buy this? OK.”

    @Teve: Back in the day I did a lot of caving in TAG (Tennessee/Alabama/Georgia) That backwoods hill country Appalachian…. whatever they spoke, wasn’t English. A translator was a welcome addition to any crew.

    ETA: Mind you, us Ozark hillbillies ain’t much better, I’m just used to it.

  16. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Teve:

    The A-I-D-A thing is real too, it’s called the sales funnel.

  17. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I never had the stomach for that. “You don’t want to buy this? OK.”

    yeah it’s very psychologically weird. you have to learn all these abnormal behaviors, like you never ask somebody if they want to buy. Because that gives them a chance to say no, and once they say “no” they’ll subconsciously start justifying the no.

  18. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I haven’t seen AIDA yet, but I’ve literally witnessed ABC now, and had it explained to me how to do it. I feel like I’ve been dropped into the middle of a Turkish Kung Fu class and have to learn on the fly 😀

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Given some other official decisions I’ve seen regarding language knowledge, this doesn’t surprise me. (Look at what happens to people needing to prove their English language abilities under the Home Office in the U.K.)

    The problem is that once she fell down into the French language bureaucracy funnel, there’s no way to backtrack. Even if she said “hey, I’ll rewrite that initial bit in French and resubmit my thesis entirely in French” they’ve now got their back up and are going to be as pigheaded as hell in not reversing their decision.

    Her best bet is to find a politician to act as a heavy-hitter for her. Plus the article will help.

    (Thanks for the MIT clip. Always nice to see what my old alma mater is doing. And if you think that this indicates that MIT students have too much time on their hands, you should never see some of the other stuff we got up to….)

  20. Kit says:

    @Teve:

    You see this watch? You see this watch? This watch cost more than your car.

    I hope so: I don’t own a car 🙂

    @Teve:

    yeah it’s very psychologically weird. you have to learn all these abnormal behaviors, like you never ask somebody if they want to buy

    Any resources on this that you’d recommend? I find the subject interesting even if I am not made for that sort of thing.

  21. grumpy realist says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson: Hey lady, I suggest you pick up a copy of the U.S. Constitution and read it.

    Private companies can put whatever rules they want when it comes to posting. You don’t like it; you don’t have to use them. OK?

    And since Facebook is free, it’s not even like they’re pinching money from your pocket by refusing to allow one of your rambling comments. If you really really want to get your views out, start hosting your own website. Or start your own newspaper. Or hire a hall and give a speech. ANYTHING in fact, aside from your continuous whining about how Facebook is so MEEEEEAN to you.

    How old are you? Three?

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  22. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Be careful, future generations of those robotic dogs will be your home health aid in your declining years.

    @Teve:

    Yup, always close. At the end of every question you answer, ask if your answer satisfied the concern that generated the question, when there are no more questions ask for the business.

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The doctoral student probably corrected the Quebecers French. A friend who has lived in Paris for about 15 years, says Parisians look down on Quebecois because they butcher the language.

  23. Teve says:

    @Kit: I hope to be able to give you good source material, articles, books, on it soon, I’m just entering this world and I know almost nothing about it.

    and by the way if anybody else out there has good suggestions on books, articles, etc, I’m all ears.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist:

    you should never see some of the other stuff we got up to….)

    Heh, too much fun. I already knew what a smoot was but I had no idea he ended up at the American National Standards Institute. Very fitting.

    I loved the “After the talk, a woman came up to him and said: “If you believe that carving those inscriptions into those boards is easy, think twice.” Then she turned around and was gone.”

    Gonna take the secret to her grave.

  25. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog: after three years of college Spanish I learned almost nothing. I didn’t understand why, the whole reason I picked Spanish is if you’re an English speaker, especially living in America, Spanish is the next best language to know in terms of value for effort. Eventually I realized I hadn’t learned it because I just didn’t like it. I don’t like the way Spanish sounds. So I looked around at a bunch of languages to see which ones I like the most, and it pretty much came down to Wolof, French, or Italian. Wolof is out because I’ll probably die having never visited Senegal, French is out because I’ve heard waaaaay too many stories of French people being ridiculous and snooty about the language, and Italian both sounds great and really matches a lot of my historical and cultural interests. So I started 9 months ago and I’m already way beyond what three years of Spanish did for me. 😀

  26. Tyrell says:

    News you may have missed:

    “Sander’s immigration policy: no deportations, no ICE, no Border Patrol” (WND) Maybe some of them can come and live with him.
    “Libertarian candidate in Kentucky governor race got 28,426 votes”
    (VOX) I wonder if they have studied those voters.
    “Medicare Part B: rates and deductibles rising” (USA) Senator Warren, did you see that? That Medicare for all thing doesn’t look too good now.
    “Remains of Massive Jurassic sea monster found in a Polish cornfield” (Live Science) More terrifying and stronger than Trex!
    “Rome puts Moloch god on Display” (Paul Begley) Did Pope Francis bless this pagan statue?
    “ABC News buried Epstein Story” (MRC TV) ABC news does it again. Disney needs to make some changes there.
    “New Kind of Concrete Cracks Much Less Than the Regular Stuff” (Popular Mechanics) Finally an answer to the pesky driveway cracks problem!
    “5.9 Quake Hits Iran” (CNN)
    “Years before complaint, whistleblower’s lawyer vowed to “get rid of Trump” (WND)

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  27. CSK says:

    I’ve heard that Trump hates Ukraine, but not why. I assume it’s personal, because everything with Trump is personal. Could someone enlighten me?

  28. senyordave says:

    @Tyrell: “Years before complaint, whistleblower’s lawyer vowed to “get rid of Trump” (WND)
    The same World News Direct published by Joseph Farah, who is a conspiracy theorist as well as an anti-semitic, racist POS? Why don’t you go all in and reference Alex Jones?

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  29. Kit says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Parisians look down on Quebecois because they butcher the language.

    If you speak French, then you might get a laugh out of this video.

  30. Teve says:

    @senyordave: tomorrow Tyrell’s going to drop the bombshell on us that the whistleblower’s dentist has a cat named Hillary! That changes everything! Trump admitting to the crime on national television basically doesn’t even count anymore!

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  31. Kit says:

    @Teve:

    French is out because I’ve heard waaaaay too many stories of French people being ridiculous and snooty about the language

    I think a lot of those stories are basically The Ugly American meets The Ugly Frenchman. Basic tourist french will open a lot of doors. And these days, it seems like everyone speaks english. Still, no language had the sheer musicality of Italian!

    Spanish is spoken in plenty of countries, and some accents sound more pleasing than others, at least to my ears.

  32. Kit says:

    @Teve:

    and by the way if anybody else out there has good suggestions on books, articles, etc, I’m all ears.

    I recently saw a reference to this book and it sounded intriguing, at least based on a couple of reviews.

  33. Teve says:

    I’m halfway through Little Fires Everywhere and it’s due back on Tuesday, I just interlibrary loaned the Ascent of Money, and I’m 4 months behind on the New Yorker Vanity Fair & Wired, but sure let’s have some more stuff to read. 😀 😀 😀 😀

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell: News you may have missed: U.S. Tops World for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery Cost at $75,345

    In that socialist 3rd world hell hole Spain you can get one done for $16, 492. The Netherlands? $15, 742. Switzerland is a capitalist paradise at $36, 509. All of Europe has figured out how to deliver good health care at a reasonable cost, and they’ve done it in about 17 different ways.

    Why can’t the US?

    Oh, and for the record? Our healthcare outcomes ain’t so good neither. (life expectancies, not a perfect measuring stick, but certainly indicative.)

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  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell:

    More news you may have missed: The Whistleblower Complaint Has Largely Been Corroborated. Here’s How.

    When the House impeachment inquiry began more than a month ago, much of the focus was on a complaint from a whistleblower that drew attention to a July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, during which Trump asked for investigations into potential political rivals.

    The whistleblower accused Trump of abusing his office for political gain and laid out a road map that House Democrats have followed in their investigation.

    Trump has spent weeks questioning the whistleblower’s motives and slamming the account for being inaccurate. But as this annotation shows, most of the complaint has been corroborated during closed-door depositions of administration officials, through public statements and from a rough transcript of the call itself, released by the White House.

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @Teve: If you want to blow your mind up, track down a copy of Julian Jaynes’ “Consciousness as the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.”

  37. Teve says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Julian Jaynes

    I’m irrationally wary of Jaynes, because the only person I ever knew who talked about him was a Randroid who claimed that quantum mechanics was bad science because it wasn’t Objective. Is it good?

  38. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Teve:
    This technique always achieves the opposite results with me. We’ve been trying to do some work on the house, calling various tradespeople who are almost always sales people as opposed to people who have the first fcking clue how to actually do what I’m asking them to do. They show up full of determination to sell me something, shades, a sliding glass door, a paint job – something that I’m often quite prepared to buy, something that I actually want – but their transparently manipulative salesman bullshit annoys me to the point that I end up blowing them off.

    I did however contract for some railings and a fence from a crusty old dude who has about half his teeth and the kind of hands that have handled tools.

    Same with cars. We walked into a dealership ready right then to buy a car. But first we had to endure the bullshit. The absurd effort to undervalue the trade-in, followed by what could only be described as sleight of hand which I was supposed to be too fcking stupid to see. Stood up, told the guy to stop wasting my time and walked out. He text and phone groveled for a week. If we ever buy it’ll be from one of his competitors.

    All in all in the last year ‘salesmen’ who think they’re Alec Baldwin have probably lost their employers north of a 100k just by being salesmen. My suggestion to these people and their companies: if you want my money, don’t play me. I wouldn’t buy the cure for cancer from some half-smart sales asshole who thinks he can play me.

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  39. grumpy realist says:

    If anyone is interested in archeological stuff of ancient France (Iron Age and Roman, some medieval) there’s a great YouTuber (Thomas Laurent) who has put together quite a number of mini-documentaries covering, well, anything he is interested in (usually archeological mysteries which he unravels.) You will need to know French, but his documentaries are extremely well done and with a lot of explanatory diagrams.

    (I didn’t realize it until I started poking around on YouTube, but France has its own equivalent of “Living History” museums–a lot of people like to dress up as Gauls, it seems!)

  40. Teve says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Based on what I’ve seen, if you feel like you’re being sold to, the sales person screwed up. The people at this bidness make it seem like you’re just having a conversation. and there’s a 14-day buyer’s remorse period, so if the customer winds up thinking that they got taken advantage of, and they cancel, the salesperson loses the entire commission.

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  41. Teve says:

    I hate going to dealerships. The whole value of CarMax is they don’t do that shit to you.

  42. grumpy realist says:

    @Teve: (Weird–there’s absolutely nothing linking Jaynes to Rand or Objective philosophy. Wonder how that critter came up with that.)

    Jaynes basically is claiming that what we call consciousness is a relatively late development in human mentality and there’s actual evidence for a pre-conscious “mixed” state of thinking in humanity where humans carried out most of their activities by habits and then handed governor functions over to the other side of the brain (the “bicameral” split) when necessary, which gave instructions through internal voices, a.k.a. the god(s). Basically, he thinks that everyone was schizophrenic back then and hearing voices. He draws evidence from mental illnesses, the Iliad and the Odyssey, figurines, Egyptian cave paintings, Sumerian images, etc.

    (Archeologists and neurologists have nibbled away at some of Jaynes’ initial assumptions, but AFAIK no one’s managed to disprove his overall thesis.)

    It really is one of those books you read and then put down, saying “Wow!”

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I found the way to deal with sales man was just to say, “This is what I want. Give me your best deal in writing.” And then walk out. Do that at several dealers saying, “Beat this.” and take the best deal. I probably pay a little more but it’s worth it to skip all the bullshit.

  44. Slugger says:

    I worked as a low level test tube washer and rat feeder one summer in college. The head of the lab was a Quebecker from Montreal. One day we were visited by delegation of scientists from the Institut Pasteur outside of Paris. He spoke English to them the whole time even though I trotted out my high school French. Later I asked him why he avoided the language of Racine and Montaigne with them. He told me that he was embarrassed by his Quebecker accent which he was sure the delegation would consider a sign of ignorance. They treated my French with good natured encouragement. Just one anecdote.

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  45. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: That was the rationale for Saturn. No dealership nonsense, stated price, no bargaining. Apparently GM found it insufficiently profitable, Saturn’s out of business.

  46. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Last time I bought a new car I went online and got email quotes from half a dozen or ten dealers. Got, I think, a pretty good deal.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Teve: I don’t know how things have changed (and I would have to assume that they have), but my French teacher in college (early 80s extension class) was from France and told us that it wasn’t particularly uncommon for speakers outside of major cities and white collar professions to speak “broken” French–without all of the marker endings and designations for masculine and feminine and so on. Still, Ozark’s story is one of those “it only could happen in Quebec” things like the English Language bookstore that was prohibited from having an English Language sign because the district it was in in Montreal didn’t allow bi-lingual signage. 😛

  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist: @Teve:
    I read that book when it first came out. To the extent it was wrong it was by oversimplifying. It isn’t just ‘bicameral’ the brain is a whole collection of modules specializing in different things. And yes, what we call consciousness is a collaboration between various modules. I have no idea whether his historical theories are correct, but as to the brain, yep, we contain multitudes.

    Then, roll it ahead a few decades and when I was researching BZRK I spent way more time than was good for my mental health looking at scanning electron microscope pictures and hi-def video of micro-flora and fauna that live on and in the human body. I was touring schools at the time and the metaphor that worked best in explaining this was that we are each our own Brazilian rain forest.

    Neither in brain or body are we a single discrete organism – each of us is an ecosystem containing uncountable species of bacteria, viruses, fungi and various tiny arachnids. Our bodies are in a constant state of war against invaders, in which battle we sometimes employ mercenary bacteria, helots, that support the front line Spartans of defensive cells. Atop this ecosystem rides the brains, plural, doing whatever they/it can to keep the rain forest from being burned, eaten, stabbed or starved.

    We are neither rocks nor islands (sorry Paul Simon), we are each of us a whole little universe. Right now, inside each of us, cancer cells bloom constantly and are shut down by mechanisms over which we have no direct control. Our lives depend on a war within us which is indifferent to the distant part of us that thinks and reads and watches TV. And when we at last die there is a pretty good chance (in the developed world) that we’ll die because the stupidity of our brains finally overwhelmed our body’s heroic efforts to keep us alive.

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  49. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Slugger:
    In my youth I was perfectly fluent in French, to the extent that mes copains in Ecole Emile Zola (Go Fighting Berets!) often refused to believe I was American. But over time. . . Today, with my much-degraded French I often find it hard to follow French people speaking French, but have a much easier time with Québécois French.

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  50. Teve says:

    @grumpy realist: that sounds ridiculously interesting. and a little bit like Snow Crash. It’s definitely the case that we do a humongous amount of thinking unconsciously.

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  51. Teve says:

    The open threads on this site are some of the best things on the internet.

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  52. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: I have a friend who works at a Dodge dealership and last week he made $2,000 selling three cars. The dealership way is extremely profitable, but not from me. 🙂

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, but look at the bigger picture aspects of it. Back in the early 90’s my pulmonologist cousin was able to not only purchase a lake front home in Hunt’s Point (the neighborhood adjacent to where Bill Gates built his mansion) but also do a quarter million remodel on it ANDindemnify his neighbor to the tune of over $100k for obstructing said neighbor’s view of the lake. And he didn’t even own a boat to berth at the dock on his property!

    Is that great or what? What other nation affords people this sort of opportunity? MAGA!

    ETA: You certainly don’t get that sort of economic power for your medical profession from doing discount bypass surgery like they do in Europe.

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  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: Some individual dealerships do it out where I live, but it seems to be an acquired taste kind of thing. If you have the feel for it, it works fine, but not everyone can do it.

  55. Scott says:
  56. Scott says:

    @Teve: @OzarkHillbilly:

    If you want to listen to English you can’t understand, watch Letterkenny on Hulu. Takes place in Northern Ontario. Never realized that Canadian is a foreign language. Have to watch it with closed captions. Besides being hysterically funny, the word play is amazing. And fast.

  57. Michael Cain says:

    …says Parisians look down on Quebecois because they butcher the language.

    I wonder how much of this is natural drift?

    A friend of mine works at Intel research. He did the field work for his PhD in the Azores, and makes return visits often enough to keep his Portuguese up to snuff. Intel sent him to Brazil to conduct a particular study because, well, Portuguese was in his personnel records. He tells a wonderful story about the 20 minutes he and his main contact at Intel Brazil spent trying to speak Portuguese with each other before giving up and agreeing to use English.

  58. Scott says:

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-wants-to-call-hunter-biden-and-the-whistleblower-to-testify-at-impeach-hearings?ref=scroll

    I think Schiff should grant their requests. But only after Mulvaney, Pompeo, NSC and White House lawyers, Pence, and Trump testify under oath.

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  59. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson: Well, I don’t much endorse the name calling. But I don’t like Facebook much. Or, like, at all. I hate that they want to inject themselves into private conversations, and that they, like most internet media, make private conversations public.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: I last bought a truck at a dealership 14-15 years ago. Car shopping has changed a lot since then.

    @Teve: Getting a down vote for this comment, I think it’s safe to say you have acquired your own personal troll. Be sure to feed it well and often. 😉

  61. Bill says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    My suggestion to these people and their companies: if you want my money, don’t play me. I wouldn’t buy the cure for cancer from some half-smart sales asshole who thinks he can play me.

    People trying to sell something too often take the buyers to be fools. Here’s something that happened to me yesterday.

    I applied for a part-time job as a political canvasser. The interview was done in a office very close to my home and there were 5 other people there applying and to be interviewed.

    Before the interview, the Fieldworks person explained who the canvassing was for. A group that is opposed to deregulating electricity here in Florida. That’s fine, I have no views one way or another.

    To convince applicants this is a good cause, the interviewer brought up some history. He mentioned the 2003 blackout and said deregulation could cause things like that to happen again. He even said that blackout affected Florida.

    No it didn’t. I said nothing. People who try to sell something but use scare tactics or talk down to people turn me off.

    I’m not likely to be hired is the vibes I got from yesterday. (All I wanted was to make some extra $$$ so in order to buy a new desktop PC. My current one is over 10 years old) They don’t have any training slots open at present was the reason given. If that’s true, why are you interviewing people? Just more bs.

  62. Tyrell says:

    @Michael Reynolds: The last time I went to buy a car turned into a seven hour torture treatment. First there was the musical chair sales people rotation. I would get a price and then another sales person came in and we had to restart the whole thing. They would pull the bait and switch thing. Then the funny numbers that kept changing. I would have walked out but my car was dying and I needed a car quick. I probably signaled that somehow.
    We finally got the price to what I wanted and then came time to sign; but low and behold they had added on a bunch of fees that they said were required. Required by whom? They never explained any of them. By then I was ready to get out of there so I signed. I was totally exhausted, but hopped up like crazy on their “free” coffee, soft drinks, and candy bars. I later told a lawyer about all that and she said they all of them do it, just forget it.
    I wish there was a process that did not involve the car dealer.

  63. Gustopher says:

    @Tyrell: Have you met @Ms. Cris Ericson? I think you two probably have a lot to talk about.

    I’m not saying it will be a love connection (I have no idea if either of you are available, or what your sexual orientations, preferences and predilections are), but I think you might have a fascinating discussion about the nature of reality, and whether it’s a good thing.

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  64. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    This technique always achieves the opposite results with me. We’ve been trying to do some work on the house, calling various tradespeople who are almost always sales people as opposed to people who have the first fcking clue how to actually do what I’m asking them to do. They show up full of determination to sell me something, shades, a sliding glass door, a paint job – something that I’m often quite prepared to buy, something that I actually want – but their transparently manipulative salesman bullshit annoys me to the point that I end up blowing them off.

    Blowing them off is a kindness. My mischievous side gets the better of me, and I start making them laugh at increasingly offensive jokes. Then they try to bond by sharing one of their own, and I get all offended at them.

    A good salesman should have a variety of techniques, and be able to identify and adapt. I’m sure I fall for them all the time. But some salesmen have a whiff of Scaramucchi and I just can’t help myself.

  65. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: 6 or fewer downvotes usually just means the Trump Chumps are mad at you. 1 downvote probably just means a Trumper is angry their kids didn’t call them on their birthday again, or the DMV finally took away their license cause they failed the eye exam too badly this time.

    4
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  66. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Meanwhile, George Lucas’ desire to make Midichlorians the cause of the Force was reviled.

    I would have loved a sequel trilogy that focused on someone developing a cure, so the people of the galaxy could live their lives unmolested by the crazed reversals of fortune caused by a small group of people infected by midiclorians. A medical drama.

    I’m thinking Chewbacca and a medical droid on the run in the Millennium Falcon, having abducted Han and Liea’s kid as a test subject. The medical droid can complain about the unsanitary conditions of the Falcon and wonder if anyone ever cleaned the thing.

  67. Teve says:

    The stupidest decision of the prequels–which weren’t altogether terrible–was to make the droid army look like goofy skinny toys. It’s impossible to build tension in a fight with goofy Happy Meal toys.

  68. Teve says:
  69. Kit says:

    @Teve: I’ve almost down voted you on several occasions, but simply because I get so furious about some outrage that you posted. My instinct to punish temporarily confuses the message with the messenger. Hasn’t happened yet but it’s only a matter off time. Apologies in advance.

  70. Teve says:

    @Scott: sure as God’s got sandals that’s a good show.

  71. Teve says:

    @Kit: downvote away 😀

  72. Jax says:

    @Teve: Open Forum is definitely the best thing on the internet. You just never know what the thread will be about, some only have a few comments, some turn into full-fledged information sessions that I generally walk away from feeling like I at least learned something that day!

  73. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: That first downvote was me. It was too perfect not to.

    But that second downvote? That might be a genuine Trumper “angry their kids didn’t call them on their birthday again, or the DMV finally took away their license cause they failed the eye exam too badly this time.”

  74. CSK says:

    @Bill: Sometimes employers will put out fake casting calls to determine if any of their employees are looking for jobs elsewhere. I am not saying that that is what happened in your case. Just a possibility.

  75. Matt says:

    @gVOR08: Well it didn’t help that they had problems with plastic parts and body panels cracking during winter in the colder regions of the USA…

  76. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher: @Teve:
    I get the ritual downvotes, too. My money’s on @Guarneri. @JKB is a lying sack of sht but he’s less of a coward than Guarneri who only comments when he thinks – in his deluded little mind – that the coast is clear. Whoever it is is too dumb to realize we’ll know and thereafter discount that lone down-vote as irrelevant. Gutless spite – the hallmark of the Trumpaloon.

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  77. Joe says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Is the A-I-D-A by V-E-R-D-I or by J-O-H-N?

  78. grumpy realist says:

    @Michael Cain: I’ve always felt it’s really cool when two or more of us are using a totally different language that none of us are native speakers in to communicate.

    One of my Chinese friends I regularly communicate with in Japanese because she doesn’t know English and I don’t know Chinese, but we both know Japanese.

    Then there was the motorboat trip I took from the Venice airport over to Venice itself, sharing the boat with four other people–we quickly discovered that French was the one language we had in common.

  79. Carol says:

    Just read an article at buzzfeed about how trump is trying to lure male black voters to the republican party. Liberals often wonder why republican base voters are so loyal to trump and/or the republican party when it hasn’t done anything at all for them. Trump is using that argument against Democrats to change black men’s voting profile. One of the claims is that Democrats concentrate only on black women and ignore black men, which seems to me a smart way to accomplish their goal. Would love to hear from any black men who comment here.

    Seems to me that the republican establishment excels in psychology and marketing.

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/darrensands/donald-trump-black-vote-2020

  80. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Looks like you now have 2. 🙂 Job well done.

  81. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Carol:

    Seems to me that the republican establishment excels in stupid psychology and idiot marketing.

    FTFY. I am not a black man but over the years have befriended more than a few. They may or may not be as smart as their sistren, but when they aren’t they still aren’t stupid.

  82. An Interested Party says:

    Seems to me that the republican establishment excels in psychology and marketing.

    Oh good luck with that…and trotting out tokens like Ben Carson isn’t really going to help all that much…just because Trump has fooled non-college educated white people doesn’t mean he can fool black men…

  83. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: cheers! That WAS too good to pass up. But then my secret admirer followed behind you. 🙂

  84. Carol says:

    I received a email response for my comment about a buzzfeed article above from ozarkhillbilly that is not recorded here on this thread. Is my email open to everyone? If so, why is this factoid not announced? Or, better said, where is the warning?

    What’s more, Ozark don’t ever email me again.

  85. Jax says:

    @Carol: I have occasionally accidentally clicked on the “notify me of followup comments via email” button and had that happen, but it’s weird that the comment itself didn’t show up on the thread!

  86. Jax says:

    @Carol: As far as I know, nobody’s emails are available to the commentariat, only admins. I can’t see any, anyways.

  87. An Interested Party says:
  88. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: The last time I bought a car it took me longer to pick the model I wanted than it did to complete the transaction. On the other hand, my situation might have been different from yours in that I had just returned from 8 years in Korea where I didn’t own a car so I had no trade in. Additionally, I was paying cash. Finally, I was buying the base model of the smallest car in the line. Did I get the “absolute best deal?” Probably not, but considering that I was out the door at under $20k including 5 additional pre-paid service visits, window coating that makes the rain sheet instead of streak, and an insurance rider that provided replacement value for the car instead of low book minus deductible (I would have passed on that but it was the lowest cost thing I bought that day), I suspect that there wasn’t much to save in the first place.

    If I ever buy another car (so far, I’ve been averaging about 8k miles a year, so I expect the car to outlive me), I’ll probably go back to these guys again.

  89. An Interested Party says:

    Is this how Trump wants to make America great again?

  90. Gustopher says:

    @Jax: Often the website is cached in the browser, so you don’t see updates for some period unless you hit refresh.

    Also, I think the “notify me of followup comments” is just broken, and turns itself on sometimes. Either a gremlin in the system, or a weird bad ui thing. I get the comment emails sometimes.

    @Carol: To the best of my knowledge, no one can see your email other than the admins. The email also doesn’t have to be real — there’s no confirmation steps, I think it’s mostly just there if you want to set up a custom picture through gravitar.

  91. Kit says:

    @Gustopher:

    Also, I think the “notify me of followup comments” is just broken, and turns itself on sometimes. Either a gremlin in the system, or a weird bad ui thing. I get the comment emails sometimes.

    Apart from one wild flurry on August 22nd, I haven’t received any email comments since July.

  92. Tyrell says:

    @Gustopher: i appreciate your comments and recommendations.

  93. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Carol: IF it actually happened, it wasn’t me. And I say IF because I have absolutely no idea of how anyone could get your email. It is literally not possible for me to have discovered your email addy. I’m nowhere near smart enough.

    Besides, I’m not a stalker.

  94. CSK says:

    @Carol:

    If you look, you’ll see that the email was from OTB, not Ozark. We can’t email commenters unless they, personally, provide us their addresses.

  95. Kathy says:

    It seems Chavez Jr. is out in Bolivia.

  96. Kathy says: