Open Forum

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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. Scott says:

    Just a reminder that the other war is still going on.

    https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Releases/Release/Article/2055265/dod-identifies-army-casualties/source/GovDelivery/

    I have these notices emailed automatically to me so I can spend a short time thinking and imagining and saying a little prayer about these lost lives and their families. I urge anyone to do the same.

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  2. Teve says:

    One of the Pod Save America guys joked that Mike Pence is what happens when you separate Ronald Reagan from his dæmon.

    (For people who don’t get it, it’s a His Dark Materials joke)

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A group of US environmental activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience targeting the oil industry have been listed in internal Department of Homeland Security documents as “extremists” and some of its members listed alongside white nationalists and mass killers, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

    The group have been dubbed the Valve Turners, after closing the valves on pipelines in four states carrying crude oil from Canada’s tar sands on 11 October, 2016, which accounted for about 15% of US daily consumption. It was described as the largest coordinated action of its kind and for a few hours the oil stopped flowing.

    The five climate activists, members of Climate Direct Action, cut their way through fencing and turned the valves. The activists notified the energy companies whose pipelines were being disrupted and posted videos of their protest online and waited patiently to be arrested.

    The horror….

    In a recent intelligence bulletin evaluating domestic terrorism threats between 2018 and 2020, the department included the Valve Turners and described the group as “suspected environmental rights extremists”.

    The document also listed two of the group’s members alongside violent white supremacists and other extremists who have engaged in mass killings, including the man behind the racist 2015 slaying of 9 black church-goers in Charleston, South Carolina.

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    The document also states that “racial and environmentally themed ideologies” were among the primary drivers of terrorist attacks in the United States during this time.

    Mike German, a former FBI agent who is now a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice, wrote in an email that

    the DHS framing is “highly misleading because white supremacists are responsible for the bulk of this violence and almost all of the fatalities that result,” German said in an email. “There is little evidence,” he added, “that environmentalists have engaged in the types of deadly violence that would meet the statutory definition of domestic terrorism, as codified by Congress”.

    Ya think?

    Jessup, a 34-year-old who had served as a driver and videographer live streaming the action in North Dakota. Michael Foster, a former family therapist who lives in Seattle, turned the valve.
    ………………
    Both he and Jessup were convicted on felony conspiracy charges and Foster spent six months in jail. During closing arguments the prosecutor compared Foster to the Unabomber and the 9/11 hijackers. He’s now on probation and barred from engaging in direct action protest for another two years.

    In the more than three years since the action , several states have passed legislation making it a crime to trespass on property containing critical infrastructure.The Trump administration has advocated for stiffer penalties against activists who engage in non-violent direct action targeting fossil fuel infrastructure.

    Carl Williams, executive director of the Water Protector Legal Collective, which has defended a number of DAPL protesters, says the push to criminalize dissent is part of a larger right wing strategy that has also targeted the BDS movement and Black Lives Matter.

    “I think there is a strategy that right wing forces are using to criminalize dissent,” Williams said. “This bulletin shows that dirty hand.”

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    An overwhelming majority of women who get an abortion do not regret the decision to undergo the procedure, according to a new study published in the academic journal Social Science & Medicine on Sunday.

    Researchers surveyed 667 women across 21 states in the US multiple times over a five-year period, tracking each woman’s emotions around their decision to get an abortion. About 95% of women indicated they believe that going through an abortion was the right decision over the course of the study.

    The study asked participants if they had any emotions of sadness, guilt, relief, regret, anger or happiness over their decision. Relief was the most common emotion throughout the five years of the study.

    “For years … there has been a belief promulgated or a claim made that we really need to protect women from the emotional harm that many of them will suffer from when having an abortion,” said Corinne Rocca, lead author of the study and a professor at the University of California at San Francisco. “There was no evidence ever to say that was actually true.”

    Rocca noted that the claim that going through an abortion is a taxing decision has been used by anti-abortion advocates to justify restricting access to abortion.

    Whhhaaaat? You mean they lied to me? That this decision really is best left up to the woman involved? I am shocked, shocked I tell you.

    ETA: “The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion”

    When the Anti-Choice Choose
    By Joyce Arthur (copyright © September 2000)

    The medical director at a Dallas abortion clinic told this story: A white woman from an affluent north Dallas neighborhood brought her black maid in for an abortion and paid for it. While the maid was in a counseling session, a commotion was heard in the waiting room outside. The maid’s employer was handing out anti-abortion leaflets to other women waiting for abortions.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oh and thank you for this Steven. I guess Doug is still stuck in Guantanamo.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just for Bill, Headline of the day: Two arrested after argument escalated into sword fight, police say

    Not Florida, but Texas.

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  7. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Didn’t Doug say a few days ago that the Open Thread is set to post automatically at 5:30 a.m. on alternate days?

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  8. Mike in Arlington says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Not saying that they were right, but I understand.

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  9. Teve says:

    In the Alabama Senate race, the GOP ads are about Ilhan Omar, AOC, and Colin Kaepernick.

    Alabamans must have a lot of ‘economic anxiety’.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I figure the CIA impounded Doug’s server at the same time they renditioned him to Guantanamo.

    @Teve: Hmmm, who knew they were running for the Senate in Alabama.

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  11. Teve says:

    Yesterday at work:

    Customer: I can’t believe they want me to pay $500 for an iPhone.
    Me: Believe it or not, the very first iPhone, in 2007, cost $500.
    Customer: was that the iPhone 5?
    Me:…
    Customer:…
    Me: it was the 1.

    I need to be done with the Deep South once and for all. Need to relocate in a year or so. And given that I’m 43, I want it to be the last move.

    Currently on my mind are Colorado, Oregon, with a second tier of Chapel Hill (again) or Asheville. Open to new suggestions.

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  12. CSK says:

    @Teve: What are your priorities…son?

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  13. Kurtz says:

    @Teve:

    Are you in the Ham or somewhere else in Alabama? And where in Oregon are you thinking?

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  14. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: Eugene or Portland. Rural Oregon is as bad as South Carolina in some parts.

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  15. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: I’m in North Florida, which is better thought of as south Georgia.

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  16. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Teve:
    I’m 61…and I won’t be able to afford to live in CT when I retire. Our taxes are too high. Supporting the Red States comes at a cost.
    Anyway…I’ve been thinking about Asheville, too.

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  17. Teve says:

    @CSK: An average IQ of at least 100 is a big priority. Almost certainly a college town. Lots of libtards to hang with. A place I can still do triathlons. Not somewhere fantastically expensive—I’ve been severely poor before and I’m not doing that again.

    When I say an average IQ of 100 I’m not kidding. Smart people born in this area go to college or into the military if that’s their best option, and they don’t come back here. The average IQ here is “Sean Hannity needs to stop using all them big words.”

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve:

    Open to new suggestions.

    My suggestion is to stay away from Misery.

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  19. Tyrell says:

    @Teve: Have you looked at the Boone/ Blowing Rock, NC? Cool summers, a state university, golf courses, nice hiking trails, reasonable prices.

    ReplyReply
  20. Teve says:

    @Tyrell: I spent 10 years in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill. Boone & Blowing Rock are more like vacation places.

    ReplyReply
  21. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I drove straight through Missouri on the way to Washington state three years ago, and I thought I fell into a time warp to 1985. I saw actual video rental places. VHS.

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  22. EddieInCA says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Daryl and his brother Darryl says:
    Monday, January 13, 2020 at 12:33

    @Teve:
    I’m 61…and I won’t be able to afford to live in CT when I retire. Our taxes are too high. Supporting the Red States comes at a cost.
    Anyway…I’ve been thinking about Asheville, too.

    I’m 59, soon to be 60, and while I will be able to retire in Los Angeles if I choose to retire (which I can’t even contemplate right now), I keep thinking ocean front in Ecuador, Costa Rica, or Mexico might be a better quality of life.

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  23. Jax says:

    @Teve: I particularly enjoyed western Oregon when I lived there….spent a lot of time between Eugene, Coos Bay and Medford. I would move back if I had to leave here.

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    I saw Bernie Sanders on Colbert the other night and Steven asked him a few questions about foreign policy. He gave the most vapid,insipid responses and the audience cheered wildly. I sh*t you not. He said words to the effect that his solution to the Middle East is to make everyone sit down at a table and negotiate, and his fans went nuts.

    I worry for our future.

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  25. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Well, the state with the highest average I.Q. is Mass., at 104.3, and it’s quite liberal, and there are lots of college towns and several triathlons…but it’s expensive.

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  26. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    If you have the time and money for it, just gambol about in areas you are considering.

    Telluride is cool, great local brewery, but realize that one month of glorious summer will be overwhelmed by Hollywood folk. Plus it is expensive.

    Check out Durango, Flagstaff, etc. Maybe St. George if you can abide the oddness of fully Mormon Utah. Quick access to so many cool sites, though.

    Do you need a proper metro vibe?

    Also, Montana is great.

    You could get a great joint in Montana cheap. Outskirts of Bozeman or Missoula, or in town if that’s your thing. Out in the back country. Personally, I do like Montana.

    I love where you are as a journey. The world is my oyster, but where to settle down? That is a privilege. Respect it.

    Ignore my advice, btw. I am moving to Duluth on purpose. I love the lake. High up the hill so a good view, or lower down with access. So many possibilities!

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  27. Kathy says:

    I’m currently reading Michael Lewis’ “The Undoing Project” about the work, and lives, of psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky on cognitive biases.

    I find it interesting this duo is not better known, even among people who should know their work. I can scarcely escape this observation, though I learned of them a couple of years ago on a Freakonomics podcast.

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  28. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Teve:

    In the nexus of a “Low Cost vs. MAGA-levels” Venn Diagram, your best bet is to find a Red State with burgeoning–but not yet ‘hip’–urban areas. Pretty much any city that a travel mag has labeled “The Next Portland/Nashville/Austin/Denver.”

    -Boise, ID
    -Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Columbus Ohio
    -Indianapolis, IN
    -Eugene OR, as you already mentioned
    -Louisville or Lexington KY (Great cities, but 10 minutes outside of it in any direction and you’ll be DEEP in MAGA-country.)
    -Grand Rapids, MI
    -Pittsburgh (if you haven’t been in awhile, Pittsburgh is really, really great now.)
    -Salt Lake City

    All those locales, except for Pittsburgh, are solidly blue cities that put you in a solidly red state. But, with all of those except for maybe Louisville, Lexington, and Boise, the population of the city is such that they can have an outsized influence on state politics (see: Indianapolis and Charlotte during the 2015 RFRAs, SLC and medical cannabis). And, all of those states are trending towards urbanization–young people are moving in, high-paying tech jobs are being created, revitalization efforts are underway in earnest. Moving to any of these is an investment on turning a red state purple.

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  29. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    You are cursed.

    You are smart.

    You read interesting books and think “what if?”

    Plus,cognitive bias is so fascinating! Why do we lock on to or engage with things, objects, ideas? Why do we disregard evidence negating things we are predisposed to believe?

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  30. Kurtz says:

    @Teve:

    I grew up in South Georgia, but I was born on the West Coast. I live in Southwest Florida now. Portland and Eugene are both excellent. If I had my choice, i would go PNW. But that’s me and there are plenty of decent places to go.

    Then again, I’m so desparate to get out of the places I’ve lived most of my life that I was looking at housing and jobs in Green Bay during the Packers-Seahawks last night. So I could probably be talked into just about any city.

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  31. de stijl says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    If I could pick a second place, I would go for Missoula. University town, tolerance, good coffee shops, good local breweries, restaurants, pizza, interesting locals.

    I could be a Missoulan, easy. That’s a good life.

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  32. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Some of my extended family lives in Missoula. They seem pretty cool. They are more indigenous in appearance than I am, and have heard some stories about discrimination from the modern Swearengens of the area. But I would be spared that. Otherwise Missoula seems damn cool. Pardon me, d-word cool.

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  33. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    Door county, just up the peninsula from Green Bay is very cool. There are villages up the coast. Pick one.

    Yeah, summer tourists from Chicago and MSP, but one must abide. If your town is cute and the surrounding countryside is spectacular, tourists will show up, yes.

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  34. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    I’ve been to Door County! Fantastic!

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  35. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    Are you native American?

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  36. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    I love your name.

    Heart Of Darkness, Apocalypse Now.

    What you say carries a heavy weight. Dude is Kurtz!

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  37. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I’m 59, soon to be 60, and while I will be able to retire in Los Angeles if I choose to retire (which I can’t even contemplate right now), I keep thinking ocean front in Ecuador, Costa Rica, or Mexico might be a better quality of life.

    Must be something in the air. (Aside from smog and smoke.) I’m 5 years ahead of you, also in LA, also incapable of seriously contemplating not working, but also simultaneously killing time on real estate sites looking at Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Algarve, Porto, Cascais. . . I could be the spindly-legged, big-bellied American wandering around some beach with a daiquiri in one hand and a joint in the other. Somehow LA isn’t quite sunny enough. And the traffic between Silver Lake and the beach!

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  38. Teve says:

    A Fox news blonde just said Cory Booker dropped out because he is lazy.

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  39. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Yes. Paternal Grandfather was full-blooded.* But his second wife was of European descent. My dad looks it, except for the blue eyes he got from her. My natural tone is pretty fair.

    Many people have asked where my family is from–they say I don’t quite look caucasian, but don’t quite look ethnic either.

    *Strong dislike for that term, but easiest way to say it

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  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve:

    Not somewhere fantastically expensive—I’ve been severely poor before and I’m not doing that again.

    Sadly, both Portland and Eugene are probably out then (housing/rental rates). 🙁

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  41. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    What an odd comment to have been down voted. Normally I don’t pay attention nor care, but I’m struggling to figure out what about this post someone found offensive.

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  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: It’s the progressive equivalent of “I’ll just lock Congress in a room until they balance the budget.”

    ETA: I guess everybody likes a “strongman”–unless it’s the other side’s guy.

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  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Cincinnati? I retired a year ago from Cincinnati to FL. I liked Cincinnati a lot, but what Cincinnati has going for it is being about the smallest city with basically all the big city features. But

    “The Next Portland/Nashville/Austin/Denver.”

    No. I don’t think any magazine said that. Or if they did they lied. What Mark Twain said is still right,

    When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always 20 years behind the times.

    SW FL is not the next Portland either, very red, almost rural, but I haven’t shoveled snow since we got here. And the beaches are better.

    ETA – no, I didn’t downvote you. But I find I have acquired a troll or two who downvote my comments randomly.

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  44. Sleeping Dog says:

    Who Signs Up to Fight? Makeup of U.S. Recruits Shows Glaring Disparity

    Frankly, an issue that doesn’t get enough attention and that should be of concern to policy makers.

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  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson: It must have been the *blue cities are nice to live in* tone of the overall response.

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  46. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I could be the spindly-legged, big-bellied American wandering around some beach with a daiquiri in one hand and a joint in the other. Somehow LA isn’t quite sunny enough. And the traffic between Silver Lake and the beach!

    I’ve been to both Olon and Salinas in Ecuador over the last two years. They’re basically Hawaii at a huge discount. Lots of spindly-legged, big-bellied Americans wandering around with frutity drinks in one hand and joints in the other. You’d just be another gringo. So… perfect. Maybe we should get a duplex….. Ha!

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  47. Bill says:
  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:
    (Currently looking at sites showing property in Olon and Salinas.)

    ReplyReply
  49. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Eugene shouldn’t be as much as Portland.

    ReplyReply
  50. Neil Hudelson says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’m not aware of any travel mag that extolled Cinci (a few have of Columbus though). That recommendation came from a five day business trip I took there last summer. I hadn’t been in a very, very long time, and I was incredibly pleased with the neighborhood my Airbnb was in (Fountain Square I think?), the walk ability of downtown, the live music on what seemed like every block, the quantities of beer that could only be consumed by a city full of Germans, etc. Edit: Graeters Ice Cream. Man, that ice cream. I can over look a lot of poor things about a city for another scoop of Black Raspberry Chip.

    That said, I understand that visiting a city and living in a city are two very different creatures. And that things always look nicer in the summer than in the winter.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I guess so. It was nothing personal, Mr. Downvoter. I grew up in a farming town of 3,000 humans, 50,000 pigs, and one stop light. There were a lot of quaint, charming things about that town-things I wish I could still experience living and working in cities. I visit that town two dozen times a year, and my work has taken me to similar towns across the nation.

    The cities are still better.

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  51. dmichael says:

    @Teve: I won’t presume to offer a specific suggestion because there are too many variables. However, your comment that rural Oregon “is a bad as South Carolina in some parts” doesn’t distinguish rural Oregon from any other western state. They are all islands of progressives in an ocean of conservatives. If you like temperate climates with significant precipitation, then pick Eugene or Portland. If you don’t suffer from seasonal allergies, then Eugene if you are okay with green and yellow as university colors. If you don’t care about auto traffic congestion and the large homeless population, then Portland is maybe for you. Don’t ignore Bend, Oregon. (By the way, I lived for three years in South Carolina and lived for 36 years in Eugene and now live in Central Oregon.)

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  52. CSK says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    Some trolls will downvote you if you say “Good morning.” It’s just what they do. Pay no mind to it.

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  53. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I went to an open house in Olon, and saw a house, 3/2, with a nice yard, literally oceanfront, for $115,ooo, and another one in Santa Elena, two blocks from the ocean, 3/2, with a smaller yard, but a gorgeous upstairs lanai, for $86,000.

    Low cost of living. International airport two hours away. Great medical care. Decent expat community. Win. Win.

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  54. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    Be proud of who you are.

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  55. al Ameda says:

    @Teve: we have friends who are tired of the dumpster fire that is Florida and are thinking seriously of Asheville.

    btw … Oregon and Washington are similar in that once you leave the coastal corridors, the eastern regions of the state are very conservative.

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  56. Teve says:

    I just looked it up and the cost of living is supposed to be 18% higher than the national average in Eugene, and 30% in Portland.

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  57. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:

    I have enormous sidewalks.

    Ten yards on the front, forty on the side. Plus city has determined that my street is essential so they plow the crap out of Hickman, which is the 40 yard footage.

    The blessings of the corner lot.

    My street is a thoroughfare. City plows throw snow onto my sidewalk on purpose. By design.

    I moved a ton or two of snow off my sidewalk yesterday. Several hundred shovelsfull.

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  58. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Reykjavik! Ex-pat life is consistently interesting. You are the odd one always.

    It is an interesting way to live. Grandmother’s up and down the street care about you and wish you well. They go out of their way to welcome you. Give you gifts. Hug you. Icelanders are big on hugging. It’s pretty awesome.

    I love Iceland and Icelanders.

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  59. Neil Hudelson says:

    @al Ameda:

    This is true in pretty much every state (substitute “urban areas” for “coastal corridors.”) Take any city in any state, travel 20 minutes past the suburbs, and you are in conservative country. Doesn’t matter if it’s California, New York, Arkansas or Alaska. In almost every instance, the difference between a Red State and a Blue State comes down to how many people live in the country versus the city.

    Wasn’t always that way–California was still an urban state overall when it was solidly red in the 60s and 70s.

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  60. de stijl says:

    Sigur Ros live at Heima, Hoppipolla.

    Essential Iceland.

    Also, everyone (65% or so) younger than 50 speaks good English.

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  61. Mister Bluster says:

    Someone on another thread stated that Trump “does not pander to the white nationalist. He speaks to all who wish America to be as great as it can be. All people.”

    Who is President Puke speaking to here?
    Trump retweets image showing Nancy Pelosi in Muslim dress in front of Iranian flag.

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  62. Teve says:

    @Neil Hudelson: yeah it’s much more about Urban versus rural, which is why I really enjoyed living in Raleigh, and chapel Hill.

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  63. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    Chapel Hill

    Do you have any idea how much I love Archers Of Loaf and Superchunk?

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  64. de stijl says:

    Iceland punches way over it’s weight.

    The cultural contribution of Iceland is huge, and the population is tiny.

    Tiny, but awesome.

    Pound for pound, Iceland kicks major ass. Like solidly. And it is so starkly beautiful.

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  65. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Well, damn. Nothing like repeating and reinforcing a blatant racist stereotype, is there?

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  66. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    You read interesting books and think “what if?”

    Any book that 1) doesn’t leave you thinking, or 2) doesn’t make you wish you could meet the people or visit or live in the places in it, or 3) doesn’t teach you something, is not worth reading.

    Which, BTW, doesn’t necessarily make it a bad book. I once read a biography of Augustus. it was well written, very clear, very informative, but I already knew all the author had to say about it. So, for me, it wasn’t worth reading. But it was a good book.

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  67. barbintheboonies says:

    I must have struck a nerve again without even trying, my post is gone. If you say you want to discuss something why will you not allow one. One sided discussions are not discussions.

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  68. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Which post are we talking about? The murderous colonialist or my ambiguous facial features?

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  69. Kurtz says:

    @Kathy:

    Which book on Augustus did you read?

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  70. barbintheboonies says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: The blue cities like in San Francisco, LA, Portland, Portland, Seattle etc. The homeless defecating all over the streets. Hypodermic needles laying all over the place. Criminals running loose and getting away with robbing and destroying people’s property. When will people get a grip and say enough is enough.

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  71. Lynn says:

    Teve: Eugene

    Ah, the hippy center of North America .. more tats, piercings, and ear gauges than any other place.

    My older son, who has none of those things, has lived there for years and loves it.

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  72. @barbintheboonies:

    I must have struck a nerve again without even trying, my post is gone. If you say you want to discuss something why will you not allow one. One sided discussions are not discussions.

    What post are you referring to? I have deleted nothing. Perhaps it was left on another thread (you have commented on more than one today).

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  73. Kathy says:

    @Kurtz:

    It was Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar, by Tom Holland.

    And now that I looked it up, it wasn’t only about Augustus, but I guess that’s the part I recalled best.

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  74. Kurtz says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I am curious what the post said. But regardless, if you think that our discussions are one sided, then are not paying attention.

    Most of us agree that Trump is a dangerous moron. But we have different concerns about him. And i am quite sure most of us have quite different positions along the political spectrum. Most of us lean Left, but i imagine there are a few ex-GOPers who are all and all quite centrist.

    More than that, there is a variety of opinions on the various topics that get discussed here.

    Not to be overly rude or combative, but if you don’t see that, it may be because you come here with a narrow viewpoint and only equipped with a few answers that you then try to apply to everything you read.

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  75. de stijl says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Towns are insular and very self-protective.

    Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street.

    City’s have a bigger chin. Bring it!

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  76. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    Both.

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  77. de stijl says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I like you.

    I do not approve in any way at all what you say.

    But you come into the lion’s den.

    That is impressive.

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  78. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    I visited Iceland a few months back (wife wanted to see the Northern Lights) and had the best beer or beer-like product ever: Lava Russian Imperial Stout. I’d fly back just for more of that. Also the Punk Rock ‘museum’ that is pretty much just posters on the walls of a subterranean bathroom. And that weirdly compelling concrete church.

    Our time was limited and we were burned out at the end of a long trip, so I’d love to go back and see more of the country.

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  79. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You must witness the outlands.

    It is brutally empty and gorgeous.

    Tiny, insignificant me in this immensity. It stuns you.

    ReplyReply
  80. de stijl says:

    I wanna open a burger bar BBQ joint in Reykjavik. Big ass burgers, rings, sliders, proper American fries fried twice, burnt ends, baby backs, brisket.

    It would square the circle.

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  81. Michael Reynolds says:

    @barbintheboonies:
    If LA and San Francisco are such hellholes, how come housing costs are so high? I can live anywhere, and for what LA costs me I could live like a Sultan in Mississippi or West Virginia. I could have a butler. I could have Mr. Carson ironing my newspaper every morning – though I think that might damage my screen.

    Put it another way, it’s worth a lot to me not to have to live in ‘the heartland.’ Maybe you should ask why that’s the case. Why is it that so many people are willing to shell out tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars, just to stay well away from the places you apparently like?

    We do have large numbers of homeless in LA and San Fran because: 1) If you’re homeless, much better to be on the streets of LA than say, Minneapolis come January. 2) Both cities are very desirable, as evidenced by the fact that you have to be well-off just to buy a starter home.

    It’s capitalism in action, right? Working people check into Travelodge, wealthier people stay at the Four Seasons. You can argue it’s unfair that the rich live better, but that’s a socialist position to take. And you’re not a socialist, right?

    As for crime, yes, we do have crime. But that’s hardly unique. SF has a lower murder rate than Omaha, Nebraska. Both San Francisco and LA have murder rates lower than the major cities in Texas.

    But oh, city bad, rural good, right? Which is why Trump and Limbaugh and Tucker and Hannity all live in Hattiesburg and not New York City. Right?

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  82. de stijl says:

    If you are ever in Iceland just go out into the wilds. Trust me on this.

    The immensity. The sky.

    ReplyReply
  83. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I think Limbaugh moved to Florida years ago to avoid paying NY income tax. But the point remains.

    ReplyReply
  84. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Our time was limited and we were burned out at the end of a long trip, so I’d love to go back and see more of [Iceland].

    I’m an Iceland junkie. Honeymooned there in the early ’90s. Did a cruise there last year. I love nearly everything about the place, though I think they’re going to have a come-to-Odin moment pretty soon with the volume of tourism vs. size of population/land.

    Recommendation: Lindblad Expeditions, Circumnavigation of Iceland on the National Geographic Explorer. Zodiac landings in places tourists can’t get to, genuine expert naturalists and historians and for-real-ethnomusicologist, good food and drink, very high calibre of fellow passengers. Oh, and for sure do the extension with the Blue Lagoon visit…

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  85. EddieInCA says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    The blue cities like in San Francisco, LA, Portland, Portland, Seattle etc.

    I live in LA. And I travel to San Francisco, NYC. and Seattle on a regular basis. Yes, there are homeless there. Why is that? Could it be that people would rather live in the streets in San Francisco or Los Angeles or New York than in an apartment in West Virginia or Kansas? If these places are so bad, why do people from all over the country move here, paying a premium to live here, rather than stay in”real America?” Think about it, for just a moment, if you can.

    The homeless defecating all over the streets. Hypodermic needles laying all over the place.

    You have to stop watching Fox, listening to Hannity and Rush, and speak to people to actually live there. Currently I spend most of my days working in the inner city, literally, next to homeless encampments. I’ve yet to see or experience hypodermic needles, even at the well-known heroin market in Leimert Park. As for defecating, the homeless don’t do anything drunken Frat boys, or drunken constructions workers, or Nascar fans, don’t do every Friday and Saturday night all over America.

    Criminals running loose and getting away with robbing and destroying people’s property.

    So crime only takes place in big cities? Do you know which states have the highest crime rates on a per person basis?
    1. Alaska
    2. New Mexico
    3. Tennessee
    4. Arkansas
    5. Nevada
    6. Lousiana
    7. Alabama
    8. Missouri
    9. South Carolina
    10. Arizona

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/01/13/most-dangerous-states-in-america-violent-crime-murder-rate/40968963/

    Do you notice odd anything about that list? Anything? Other than New Mexico and Nevada, which no one would list as mostly “urban”, it’s red states that have the crime problems. But that won’t change your opinion, even when confronted with facts, because you’re set in your narrative. Facts be damned.

    When will people get a grip and say enough is enough.

    Never. The weather is too good, the jobs are too plentiful, and… hell, the weather is just too good.

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  86. 95 South says:

    @EddieInCA: Nevada is the most urban state in the union.

    ReplyReply
  87. barbintheboonies says:

    Respectfully speaking I live on the west coast, and do not need Fox news to tell me the problems close to me. I have watched my community deteriorate before me. The once beautiful place I came to (Portland ) in 1978 went from the best place I ever lived to the worst. I feel sorry for the homeless like most people do, but the people running these places have done nothing to help them. Just allowing them to do the most demeaning things to themselves is unforgiveable. They say they are being compassionate by allowing this to go on, IMO they are doing the opposite. The homeowners are getting fed up picking up needles that their children may pick up. They leave filth behind that the taxpayers are fed up with. Some of these people need help, and are too sick to get it. If we were really compassionate we would be helping them get off the streets. IMO allowing more people into this country and giving them refuge and benefits is not helping. We should take care of the problems we already have first.

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  88. barbintheboonies says:

    @EddieInCA: Look at where you got your info.

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  89. Neil Hudelson says:

    @95 South:

    If memory serves, as of the 2010 census California was the most urban state, with about 9/10 residents living in an urban area.

    Texas and Nevada rounded out the top three. Obviously we are due for a census update.

    ReplyReply
  90. Kurtz says:

    @Kathy:

    Haven’t read that one. I may give it a read when i am deeper into my giant backlog.

    ReplyReply
  91. de stijl says:

    I was very briefly an on the street homeless person.

    I immediately skedaddled to anonymous side streets.

    Homelessness is decidedly unfun. It really sucks, actually.

    You know what rocks? That stupid workshop in a weird area of St. Paul no one goes to. I could live there. I did.

    Roof, water, heat, food. Things get very serious.

    You probably don’t know this, but shut off water lines bleed a tiny amount. Any enclosed structure gains heat just by sun shining on it. Also, make a small enclosed area to sleep. Tents are excellent. Trap your own heat.

    I am here today because I had a night pizza job that paid minimum. I could be warm, I could wash up with hot water, I could eat. I could drink my fill of water.

    My co-workers were literally insane drug addicts. Do not order delivered pizza. Trust me. People injected hard core drugs into their arm. It was nuts, but it was warm..

    You have no idea what cold can do to you. When your pee bucket is frozen solid.

    One time I went to sleep kinda expecting I would die from exposure before morning. It was 12 degrees inside. I’m still here. That was a coin flip.

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  92. Michael Reynolds says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I feel sorry for the homeless like most people do, but the people running these places have done nothing to help them. Just allowing them to do the most demeaning things to themselves is unforgiveable. They say they are being compassionate by allowing this to go on, IMO they are doing the opposite.

    I am in complete agreement on this. It is appalling that in a city as rich as San Francisco, or with the money and resources available in the LA Metro, we haven’t done more. It’s not as bad as tearing little children away from their mothers and putting them in cages, that’s inhuman, but it is nevertheless wrong. At the very least cities buy some vacant land, run in power, water and sewage, set up communal bathrooms and kitchens and let people pitch their tents there. If we can’t build them all apartments at least we could manage a decent campground.

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  93. Tyrell says:

    Tonight I will be scrambling trying to tune in a radio broadcast of the LSU – Clemson Collegiate Championship Football Game. These days the game is no longer on the broadcast stations. If I want to watch it, I must pay for it as it is only on ESPN. That really gets me, since these schools receive tax money. Maybe the government should look into this.
    CBS will be dropping the SEC in a couple of years and those games will most likely go to ESPN. So there you go.

    “But is it ethical for college football to put its postseason title games on pay TV, given the massive subsidization of college athletics by states, taxpayers and students? It’s one thing for professional sports to be shown exclusively on pay TV (though even that is problematic given the massive subsidization of professional athletics, as well), but the migration of college athletics to pay TV is especially troubling. Colleges and universities should be doing all they can to make games as available to fans and working families as possible” (Business Insider)

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  94. Kurtz says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Well, i think everyone agrees with you that these problems need to be solved. But I’ve yet to see you offer up any solutions. Additionally, the person you accuse us of “blindly hat[ing]” just bitches about it and blames Democrats.

    So, you claim that many of the homeless are sick. Great! I agree! So where is Trump’s healthcare plan he promised us?

    Before that, where is the GOP healthcare plan that has been promised since 2009? Because they never unveiled it.

    In fact, can you name a single policy offered up by the GOP designed to help people succeed in having a place to live? Or eat? Or find a decent paying job?

    Interestingly, most federal money for state programs goes from Blue states to Red states. So the high population cities and states subsidize the rural lifestyle.

    It wasn’t all that long ago that Republicans hammered federalism–that states are laboratories for policy.

    But guess what? Whenever the GOP gains sufficient control of a state, they do the same thing to the budget that they do at the federal level. And the result has been poor education, poor healthcare and a massive opioid crisis that hits rural people the hardest. These are are just some of problems that happen when one of two parties only has one answer to everything.

    The thing is, the homeless problem will almost always hit cities harder. It isn’t just because of high living costs; it also is because cities have infrastructure and people that make being homeless a survivable situation. Small towns don’t have this.

    The point is, you can complain all you want, but Trump has done absolutely nothing, proposed absolutely nothing and said absolutely nothing that might help. He just blames everyone else. So, why do you defend him?

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  95. An Interested Party says:

    The blue cities like in San Francisco, LA, Portland, Portland, Seattle etc. The homeless defecating all over the streets. Hypodermic needles laying all over the place. Criminals running loose and getting away with robbing and destroying people’s property. When will people get a grip and say enough is enough.

    As opposed to the red rural areas where so many people are strung out on OxyContin and Fentanyl and there are no jobs other than working at Wal Mart and all the factories are closed…when will people say enough is enough…

    I feel sorry for the homeless like most people do, but the people running these places have done nothing to help them.

    So you wouldn’t paying more in taxes to help homeless people? That’s good to know…

    IMO allowing more people into this country and giving them refuge and benefits is not helping. We should take care of the problems we already have first.

    Oh really? Who do you think picks the fruits and vegetables that you eat? Who do you think builds so many houses and other structures? Do you really think that most homeless people are illegal immigrants? Or that most illegal immigrants sponge off the government for benefits? You need to get out more, sweetie…

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  96. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Housing prices may be a little less stressful, I don’t know. Because I’m single and have no heirs and a relatively low income in my retirement, I go by rents. Rents are not as high in Eugene as they are in Portland, but they are still above average relative to the rest of Oregon. The I-5 corridor from just north of Vancouver, WA down past Eugene-Springfield has become more or less a single urban corridor, just not quite as big as Pugetropolis, so Portland is the high water mark, but the whole region is in roughly the same economic demographic from what I can tell–living in Kelso, WA, ~40 miles away.

    The apartment I rent in Kelso is $550/mo. In Portland, it’s $1200+ you can find it at all. In Eugene, Zillow today shows 2 at $750, but most are in the Portland range. Additionally, there are many fewer units available in Eugene to begin with, but that may be because school is in session. (My needs are simple, so I have a studio. Add about $100-150 where I live to have a bedroom, too.)

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  97. reid says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I like me some imperial stouts, especially in winter. I’ve never had the one you mentioned, but I hope you realize that there are tons of good ones here, too. Shouldn’t be hard to find plenty in the bay area.

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  98. Kathy says:

    @Kurtz:

    For a really good, long, deep look into Rome, I recommend Mike Duncan’s “The History of Rome” podcast (it’s free), as well as his book “The Storm Before the Storm: The beginning of the End of the Roman Republic” (this one’s not free).

    After Duncan’s podcast ended, with the fall of the Western Empire, I tried to look at a more in-depth history of Rome. I think all in all, Duncan covered things pretty well. the added depth has come from reading about other civilizations contemporaneous with Rome, like Carthage, post-Hellenistic period Greece (that sounds so contradictory), the Gauls, the Goths, the Huns, etc.

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  99. Kurtz says:

    @Tyrell:

    In the case of NFL football, they have an antitrust exemption that was negotiated to allow the 32 teams (fewer at the time) to operate independently.

    One of the conditions of the deal was that the NFL had to allow broadcasts to the public. Gregg Easterbrook has argued that the exclusive deal between Directv and the NFL violates this deal because there are a significant number of Americans who cannot receive the satellite signal or have leases or deeds that restrict dish installation.

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  100. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: WA! Even I could handle that! Sounds good. As I noted in another post, just like at the turn of the previous century, lots of Americans are choosing to retire to foreign countries. The difference now is that the people so choosing are doing so because they can’t afford to live here anymore.

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  101. Kurtz says:

    @Kathy:

    Great podcast!

    ReplyReply
  102. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @al Ameda: In Washington, there are a couple of exceptions. Spokane and the Yakima Valley are purple trending blue. They are also both significantly less white than the balance of Eastern Washington. Just sayin’.

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  103. Mister Bluster says:

    @Tyrell:..Tonight I will be scrambling trying to tune in a radio broadcast of the LSU – Clemson Collegiate Championship Football Game.

    I am listening to the pregame show for the contest on my MacBook Air using this link:
    http://www.espn.com/espnradio/play/_/s/espn
    Sure sounds like the ESPN Radio call will follow.
    I am using the laptop. Don’t know if game will be available on a phone.

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  104. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    My handle usually has “Colonel” added to it. But it’s spelled weird. Oddly, it looks edgier spelled incorrectly. One time, I got a random XBox Live voice message from a dude:

    Dude, you don’t know me, but I just wanted to tell you your Gamertag is badass. Effing awesome, bro.

    I didn’t friend him.

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  105. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @barbintheboonies: Sometimes when I reload the page or come back to the site after having briefly visited another site (say 10-20 minutes later), my most recent comment appears to be missing. When that happens, I reload the page and my comment reappears in the spot where it was. I don’t know why this happens nor do I care. If that doesn’t work for you, by all means continue to believe that people are out to get you and are suppressing your opinion out of spite. It still probably won’t be true, but you will be able to say “but I did what you said to…”

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  106. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    Aww. You should have.

    Dude was reaching out.


    How does spelled Colonel get pronounced kernal? It’s just crazy pants.

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  107. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @barbintheboonies: I visit Portland frequently and yet have never stepped on one of the hypodermic needles or stepped in the human feces that are “all over the place.” I suppose that it would be possible that I just go to the wrong places, but since I travel on Max (the light rail system) there, it isn’t likely.

    Nonetheless, I agree with you on one feature of the issue. Homelessness is a serious problem and society needs to stand up and say enough is enough. Unfortunately, because I’m channeling my inner leftist more and more as time goes on, saying enough is enough starts with demanding that the owners of capital repatriate the 10 or so trillion dollars sitting in foreign banks to avoid taxation and start using it to pay people for the work that they do instead of trying to con the rest of us into agreeing to be taxed so that the US can establish a universal base income to help the underemployed. When they prove to me that they’re not rich enough to pay people enough for working, we can start looking at UBI. But not now!

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  108. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: Why did this get downvoted? CA, NJ, and NV are within a few tenths of a percentage point of each other in being the most urbanized state, all within a whisker of 95%

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  109. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: Sounds great, but $11-23,000 sounds a little outside of my optimal price range. Clearly, you and I don’t travel in the same circles, but that’s not uncommon for me.

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  110. de stijl says:

    There is something deeply dehumanizing about not having a chair to sit on.

    It is a situation I don’t expect everyone to get initially.

    Being homeless is really horrible. You feel stupid and weak and defenseless. Overwhelming fear.

    If you are wanting to rid yourself of clothes, give it to the nearest homeless shelter. Socks, shoes, t shirts, anything. It will get used and it will be heartily appreciated.

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  111. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I gave you an upvote because the downvote someone left there looked sooooo lonely (or ronrey if you’re Kim Jung eun) there all by itself.

    What the sick bleep who downvoted you objected to about your comment is a mystery to me, though.

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  112. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell:

    Tonight I will be scrambling trying to tune in a radio broadcast of the LSU – Clemson Collegiate Championship Football Game. These days the game is no longer on the broadcast stations. If I want to watch it, I must pay for it as it is only on ESPN.

    Yeah. It’s interesting to me that considering all the anger and bloviation that went into the propaganda for creating a “real” national championship playoff scheme, it’s not commercially viable enough to attract mass-market network television.

    What’s up with that? (And thank you for reminding me that I wanted to comment on this. Now I’m off to the gym to watch part of the game. 🙂 )

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  113. Teve says:

    The blue cities like in San Francisco, LA, Portland, Portland, Seattle etc.

    A few months ago my friends Jen and Josh moved from Florida to Portland. I’m looking for a place to move next summer and they’re suggesting Portland or Eugene, and they are over the moon with life there. I was in Portland three years ago. It was lovely.

    If I want to see a real hellhole I’ll go to Lowndes County Alabama where people are getting goddamn hookworm.

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  114. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    It wasn’t a snub. I don’t think he wanted me to friend him. Maybe he was scared I would sned him strange poems or something.

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  115. Kurtz says:

    Anybody who is around Portland, eat at Devil’s Dill sandwich shop. During the week a buddy and I spent in Portland, we ate there three times! I usually don’t eat many places multiple times on a vacation, but it was too good not to do it.

    In the intervening years since that trip, I have had multiple dreams about those sandwiches. And of course, after all the obstacles I overcame to get there, I squeeze the sandwich, open my mouth and… Wake up.

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  116. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    I feel you. He did use “bro” unironically.

    I like the option of sending people random bits of poetry.

    In the room women come and go
    Talking of Michaelangelo

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  117. An Interested Party says:

    Here’s one solution that might help alleviate the homeless problem in California…

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  118. Bill says:

    @CSK:

    I think Limbaugh moved to Florida years ago to avoid paying NY income tax. But the point remains.

    My father moved to Florida for the exact same reason in 1976.

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  119. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    I have a recurring dream where I am desperately trying to get somewhere, but I can’t.

    Every path circles back or dead ends.

    A frustrating dream or a dream about frustration.

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  120. Teve says:

    When I walked out of Powell’s bookstore I immediately saw the Doc Martens store. I just realized they sell those boots so you won’t get stuck with all the hypodermics!

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  121. Bill says:

    My wife is very hot right now in more ways than one. Yesterday, my 59 birthday, she bought a $5 and $2 scratch offs. They paid $50 and $4 respectively. Tonight we paid $10 to play bingo. She won the 2nd coverall and last game of the night. That paid $40. What’s next the PCH sweepstakes?

    Her sister was stranded at Manila airport after an erupting volcano caused its closure. She will be flying home Wednesday now. Cross your fingers.

    One last thing- What’s going on with Tax Act? They nearly doubled the price for the software to do the 1120 form for a S corporation. I guess I will do a paper return. Before my battle with cancer, I made $$$ every year doing income tax returns for H&R Block or a small tax office in Riviera Beach.

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  122. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    I am wearing Doc boots right now as I read this. Black laces, btw.

    Am I a cliche?

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  123. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Maybe you should talk to your architect, it sounds like they are playing tricks on you.

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  124. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    My favorite boots are Navy surplus recruit training boots. Comfy, mid calf, full box steel toe. Vintage 1996 or so.

    You can kick a lot of Nazi punks with those boots.

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  125. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    At the very least cities buy some vacant land, run in power, water and sewage, set up communal bathrooms

    A version of that took place in Minneapolis last winter. Over the summer and fall a large homeless encampment developed in a former railroad yard. As winter approached it was decided to leave the camp in place, but set up large, circus-like, tents for the individual tents to be set up. The day-to-day management was left to a social service agency funded by several local Native American communities. That made sense as the land the encampment was on, now belongs to the tribes and most of the homeless were Native Americans.

    What took place was interesting, the Soc Serv Agency set up separate accommodations for those who would give up drugs and alcohol. They offered support and drug treatment and importantly help finding permanent housing and jobs. By late spring, nearly all of those who took the SSA up on the offer had found permanent housing and the rest went back to the streets.

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  126. Teve says:

    @de stijl: are you also wearing flannel and shorts?

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  127. de stijl says:

    Doc Marten boots, flektar pants, white socks, listening to Har Mar Superstar. Comfy cardigan.

    I am a cliche, but I embrace it.

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  128. de stijl says:

    Flektar pants rolled up high. I am not a savage.

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  129. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Sounds great, but $11-23,000 sounds a little outside of my optimal price range.

    Well, I was pitching it specifically to Michael, but I hear you. There are lots of cheaper ways to see Iceland (but no cheap ones, I think).

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  130. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    I like the option of sending people random bits of poetry.

    Kudos for the Prufrock.

    I do not know which to prefer,
    The beauty of inflections
    Or the beauty of innuendoes,
    The blackbird whistling
    Or just after.

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  131. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I used to live in the same building as Robert Bly. Enough to say “Good morning” in the elevator.

    In the early 90’s when he was King Shit of Shit Mountain. Holy crap, he sucked. I liked his wife’s work way more. Carol Bly was good, Robert, not so much.

    I always wondered where he was going. A poet doesn’t have office hours.

    Same building, a childhood friend’s dad. He was really a decent guy. Shout out to Mr. Chiodo!

    And ex-governor Wendell Anderson. It was an odd building.

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  132. inhumans99 says:

    Hmmm….I wonder if this forum is about to shut down. I do not think Steven has enough bandwidth in his day to devote to this site and quite frankly I am okay with that….it was fun while it lasted.

    I could be wrong, but I wish James/Doug/Steven and many of the regulars on this site the best future possible and hey, it is a small world and we might cross paths with each other on other sites. I actually hope my post gets people to gently mock me in a day or two when it turns out that this site gets back into the swing of things over the next several days and my predictions of the demise of OTB turned out to be quite premature.

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  133. Mister Bluster says:

    @Bill:..tax returns…

    Several years ago I worked for Jackson Hewitt. I was scheduled for hours at the local Walmart and the local JH office. The Walmart kiosk was ok because when things were slow I could watch the NCAA March Madness Tournament games on the company computer.
    The local office was in a building that some 30 years earlier housed by far the best BBQ joint in town that also sold fried rice and egg rolls. Myself and everyone else that I knew that frequented Jin’s wept tears of genuine sorrow when that place closed. Even though it had been all those years later when I was doing taxes there the aroma of the ribs still haunted my palate.
    I was bad for business. Many shifts I was the only one at the Walmart location. When I found out that customers were paying as much as $200 or more for refunds of maybe $1500-$2000 I would ask people if they had logged onto the IRS website to check out the free and low cost income tax service that was available on the internet. I even wrote it down for them. IRS.gov
    I told them if that did not work out for them to come back and Jackson Hewitt would be glad to take their money.
    I always advised them to wait for their money instead of using the Instant Refund. Loan sharks cost less.

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  134. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: I tried to listen to the game on espn from my computer, but the live radio feature wouldn’t play. Now I’m sad. 🙁

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  135. de stijl says:

    Dead Kennedys Nazi Punks Fuck Off

    Great sentiment then, still applicable today.

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  136. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I used to wear boots from the Army Navy Surplus store when I worked in the produce warehouse. They didn’t last really long, but neither did more expensive boots, so I didn’t lose anything for it. (We had huge water pooling in the rooms that held salad greens and lots of decaying matter would get pounded into the leather every day, so uppers wouldn’t last any longer than the soles. Some guys wore rubber pacs, but I never got used to them.)

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  137. Jax says:

    @inhumans99: We went through the same thing last year about this time.

    Doug is really the backbone of the operation, so I don’t know if we can keep entertaining ourselves past 30 days.

    It will be a shame, if we can’t, but I totally understand from the host’s standpoint.

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  138. Jax says:

    If Doug is happier without having to contribute to this blog, and the whole thing shuts down, I’m ok with that, too. It’s been a good ride!

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  139. de stijl says:

    A great band that everyone forgot.

    The Fall

    I’m totally wired

    I loved that guy’s inflection. Smith always reminded me of Ian Curtis. Manchester was a mad, mad town. Some towns just catch shards of God and just explode, a virtuous cycle, everyone supporting and encouraging one another, gyring upwards.

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  140. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I liked that story, and you are a true gent!

    I never knew Jin’s, but I still miss it anyway.

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  141. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    Holy crap, he sucked.

    Yeah.

    Ever read anything by Michael Chitwood? He’s the most recent poet I’ve found who didn’t suck. Also, Scott Cairns, whose Possible Answers to Prayer is perhaps the perfect poem for our time.

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  142. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Dude, I am a Wallace Stevens freak!

    Thirteen Ways is just..gah! I am so happy!

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  143. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Judging by how you framed it, wouldn’t wellies be the best option?

    We are having a discussion about boots.

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  144. de stijl says:

    IFC some late nights (weekends maybe?) shows reruns of Pee Wee’s Playhouse.

    That was poetry.

    Cowboy Curtis was crushing on Miss Yvonne and she back, so adorable. But Cowboy Curtis was played by Laurence goddamned Fishburne!

    Holy crap this show was so fucking mental!

    SHUT UP CHAIRY! No one likes you.

    Possibly best show ever aired. This was on Saturday mornings. Pitched to kids. Impressionable, malleable kids. Pee Wee’s Playhouse was a kid’s show. That is insane.

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  145. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..true gent!

    Thank you.
    Before I worked at JH I had done my own taxes for years. On some jobs I was paid as an employee on other jobs I was self employed and was paid on a 1099. Since I traveled the country to ply my trade there were years that I filed at least two or three different state income tax returns along with the IRS 1040.
    I always figured if that I could read and write and add and subtract I could fill out a tax form.
    On two occasions over the years I received letters from the IRS stating that I had not reported income. The word audit was never used in the correspondence but it was clear that they had reviewed my filings.
    Since I had copies of everything I had filed I drew big red circles around the amounts that they claimed I had not reported and sent it all back to them.
    I never heard from them again.

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  146. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Steering folks towards the free option makes you a true gent. Bad employee, but a real deal decent human.

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  147. Teve says:

    @Jax: there’s a robust commentariat here. As long as we get an open thread every couple of days, we could probably cruise through spring.

    Trump just tweeted that he alone saved coverage of pre-existing conditions. With one year of the presidency left, Republicans will try to load up your kids with even more debt in order to give hedge funders and Walton grandkids even more cash. Ollie North is complaining that the dastardly Obama enabled Iran to get missiles. A blonde FoxBot just said Cory Booker’s problem is he’s lazy. The entire Republican Party is a gushing fountain of malicious idiocy.

    We’ve got plenty to keep ourselves busy. 🙂

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  148. de stijl says:

    It was four of us crammed into a two bedroom.

    My roommate had a serious gf, so I decided the best bet was to live in the closet down the hall. They wanted and deserved privacy.

    Hetero me lived in a literal closet for several months. It was cool, it was just a bed – a place to sleep. All the chill stuff happened in the common area. The Twins won their second World Series.
    Jon broke Jake’s tv by chucking a beer at it. Bob had to pay for the phone porn bill in a public, humiliating way.

    Every morning we showered and put on ties and went to our respective drone factories. Every night we became as fucked up as possible that allowed you to get up at 6:30. Weekends were intense.

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  149. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    I almost mentioned the Dead Kennedys when you mentioned good boots for kicking Nazis. A friend of mine bought the Nazi Punks Fuck Off shirt and wore it to school. He got through half the day before a teacher or some other person made him turn it inside out.

    Living in the closet? Your name is now Lazlow

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  150. Gustopher says:

    @inhumans99: I don’t want want to speculate on Doug’s absence, since I suspect that would just drive him crazy, but if James and Doug have lost their passion for blogging, I don’t see the Steven Taylor joint working as a daily blog — mostly because he doesn’t really have the time, but also because the differing perspectives are part of what make this site work. Many of his best posts are effectively a response to someone else’s.

    It would be nice if our hosts found one or two new posters. But, totally up to them. It would be different, and I could see not wanting to. I’m sure our hosts will figure out what works for them.

    (Part of me wonders what would happen with a script that every day posts a link to the third article off WaPo or NYTimes, quotes two paragraphs and adds “heh, indeed.” I expect it would go disastrously off the rails with some terrible news. Maybe some machine learning to pick from a few canned phrases…)

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  151. Gustopher says:

    @Teve:

    Trump just tweeted that he alone saved coverage of pre-existing conditions.

    A more conventional Republican President — one with the ability to form plans, for instance — likely would have been able to kill ObamaCare, so Donald Trump might have saved coverage of pre-existing conditions. From a certain perspective.

    Seriously though: A bill that reverses ObamaCare, but keeps the pre-existing conditions coverage and the under 26 kids on parents, plus block grants to the states… that could have passed a Republican House and Senate. And it would have been terrible.

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  152. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Terminators are right around the corner: Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots

    I can just see the little fucker’s hopping down the rubble strewn street firing their laser weapons at people’s knee caps.

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  153. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: The Trump administration and 20 republican states are involved in lawsuits that are trying to kill the entire thing. They’re asking courts not to rule until after the election.

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  154. Teve says:

    @realdonaldtrump

    Really Big Breaking News (Kidding): Booker, who was in zero polling territory, just dropped out of the Democrat Presidential Primary Race. Now I can rest easy tonight. I was sooo concerned that I would someday have to go head to head with him!

    28.9k retweets 155k likes

    No policy would fix America instantly, but deporting those 155,000 people would be a big improvement.

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  155. @inhumans99:

    .I wonder if this forum is about to shut down. I do not think Steven has enough bandwidth in his day to devote to this site and quite frankly I am okay with that….it was fun while it lasted.

    We are in a lull. Doug is offline for now. James and I do not have the time to post at Doug’s rate, but we both remain committed to the site and I am sure Doug will be back soon.

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  156. Jax says:

    @Teve: Yeah….did you see where Mnuchin doesn’t want to inform the taxpayers how much supporting the Trump family’s lifestyle is costing us until after the election, too? I mean, could they get ANY more obvious that the numbers are bad and might offend even the cultiest of Trumpies?

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  157. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    I had the armband.

    Dead Kennedys had a great logo.

    Lazlow, as in Real Genius? That was a good movie.

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  158. Jax says:

    The Russians hacked Burisma in November?! You don’t say. (I almost just eyerolled myself right off my chair)

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51103556

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  159. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    The choices made by a portion of the homeless population make it impossible to help them. There’s a degree of freedom in that life – no responsibility beyond survival. The predators like it, the hardcore addicts don’t feel they have a choice and the mentally ill are often hard to control or help. Some of this is the lingering effect of de-institutionalization from decades past.

    Back in like 1975 I was working with my charming ne’er do well uncle-by-marriage supposedly rehabbing a flop house hotel in Crockett, California. There were a couple guys who’d been living there for years. There was a dive bar (or as we said in those days, a bar) not 200 yards away, the rooms were spartan but decent. Some of the tenants were nuts and their rooms smelled of piss. One was a depressed alcoholic who’d been a professor at UC Berkeley. We even had our very own fugitive, Eddie, who’d done unspecified bad things and was now a sort of handyman. But I don’t think flophouses are still a thing. I think all these people or their counterparts now live in tents under freeways. Indeed, when last I drove through Crockett it seems the flophouse had been torn down to make room for a park.

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  160. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “James and I do not have the time to post at Doug’s rate,”

    That’s what I figured. It IS the start of the new term…

    ReplyReply
  161. @barbintheboonies: BTW, I am a little disappointed that you did not acknowledge the time I took to try and sort out your accusations of deletions and censorship, as well as the efforts by several commenters who offered helpful suggestions. This was all in the context of you making a number of unfounded accusations about the general tone of discussion at the site, as well as a comparison of general opinion around here as tantamount to groupthink over feces-smeared artwork.

    Perhaps there is some room for re-assessment of your position.

    ReplyReply
  162. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jax:.. Yeah….did you see where Mnuchin doesn’t want to inform the taxpayers how much supporting the Trump family’s lifestyle is costing us until after the election, too? I mean, could they get ANY more obvious that the numbers are bad and might offend even the cultiest of Trumpies?

    I don’t believe that they will disclose anything after the election if Pud wins.
    See Trumps tax returns.
    Absolutly nothing he spends taxpayers money on will offend his stooges. They already worship him for screwing Stormy Daniels.

    ReplyReply

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