Saturday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    White Settlers Wiped Miles of Cherokee Trails Off the Map. This Man Is Reclaiming Them.

    The former land surveyor, electrical engineer, and Alabamian anti-logging activist (in that order), is the world’s foremost expert on ancient Cherokee trails. At 68 he’s stocky, with a soft, even face, like a meatier Billy Bob Thornton, and long eyelashes. He speaks softly, with a southern drawl. In this forest, on a warm late-winter day, he wears spectacles and a hearing aid, but also a camo jacket and pants, a waist-pack stuffed with surveying gear and a pistol. It is often in this appearance, a hunter’s getup, that Marshall has personally mapped well over one thousand miles of Cherokee trails across Appalachia, compiling the mappings into a vast database, complete with historical annotations and Cherokee place names. And his boots are waterproof, he notes, as he carefully fords the creek.
    …………………………
    Prior to his trails project, Marshall headed a conservation group in Alabama. He is an ardent environmentalist and near militant in his activism. But while his greenie cred would do well by any Greenpeace tree-hugger, Marshall is also a Republican, gun-owning, bear-hunting Creationist. But if the contrast seems odd, in Marshall’s mind protecting God’s work from the nefarious designs of the state might constitute the very essence of American patriotism. “Wilderness to me is the ultimate expression of freedom,” he says.

    Those who benefit most from Marshall’s efforts are modern Cherokees. His work is funded by the Eastern Band tribe in western North Carolina, to whom all the mapping data will go. It will be used in schools. Riggs, the WCU archeologist, is helping Marshall make the maps interactive, with historical storylines and photos. “This is much more than just trails: it’s the ecology of the trails, the geography of the trails,” he says. “They don’t have this history. They just don’t have it.” Indeed, this is the first time that the trails have ever been compiled into a single source. Marshall also hopes to get some of them protected by the United States Forest Service, who he has collaborated with in the past – the North Carolina state is figuring his trail data into their upcoming forest management plan. Marshall plans to be finished with the whole enterprise in September, when he will hand everything over to the Eastern Band tribe. “This will help them maintain their cultural heritage,” he says. “They’re losing that.”

    Tom Belt, a Cherokee language expert at WCU who is also Cherokee, describes the project’s impacts on the tribe as unprecedented. Like other native peoples, the Cherokees have long struggled to define their own historical identity and nothing is more crucial to that than landscapes. “It may be a town or a gas station to the United States or the state of North Carolina,” Belt says, “but at one time underneath it might have existed a very extensive culturally-based community that doesn’t exist now. That’s the kind of stuff we wanna know. What was the name of that place?”

    He is quite the character. Somebody who’s acquaintance I wouldn’t mind at all making.

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  2. Kurtz says:

    “The Tyranny of Time”

    A reminder that one way to view things becomes imbedded in everything around us and determines what we consider to intrinsic to a person’s value.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Laurie Garrett
    @Laurie_Garrett

    ·
    15h
    In the official tally (which is a significant undercount) the USA #COVID19 death toll now equals the estimated number of deaths in the 1918-19 Influenza.
    When adjusted for undercount, far more Americans have succumbed to COVID than did to flu.

    So, not just like the flu. Whocouldaknowed?

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  4. Teve says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    While scientists across the world have come under attack throughout the pandemic, the threat to Prof Marc Van Ranst is more serious than most.

    He has been targeted by a far-right soldier, Jürgen Conings, who has a vendetta for virologists and Covid lockdowns. The military shooting instructor is on the run with a rocket launcher and a machine gun, and Belgian police cannot find him.

    “The threat was very real,” Prof Van Ranst tells me from his safehouse, as he relives the night he and his family were moved into hiding on 18 May. “The ex-soldier, heavily armed, was on my street for three hours, right in front of my house, waiting for me to arrive home from work.”

    That night police say Jürgen Conings left his barracks with a selection of heavy weapons, and headed straight for the virologist’s home. Marc Van Ranst usually returns from work around the time the man was waiting for him. But on this occasion he came back early and was inside with his family.

    “Unfortunately, he’s a trained sniper with heavy armour, military-grade material and weapons. So, these are the kind of people that you would prefer not to have hunting you,” he told me wryly.
    ………………………………….
    In the days that followed Jürgen Conings’ disappearance, a support group was created for the ex-soldier on Facebook. Before being closed down, it had attracted nearly 50,000 members. It’s this group that worries Prof Van Ranst more than his assailant.

    He even challenged one group of Conings supporters late at night on the Telegram messaging app, later accepting it was not necessarily the smartest thing to do. But it does reveal just how angry he is.

    “These are real people, who really think this man is a hero and that I deserve to die. They are people, living in your neighbourhood, who wage bets on exactly when and with how many bullets he will murder me,” he told me.

    Sucks to be him.

    They (Authorities) admit that mistakes have been made in the investigation so far, and that questions need to be answered about how a military man on a terrorist watch list was given access to a weapons store.

    Seems Belgium is more like America than I would have thought.

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  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    Off on our first road trip since our aborted attempt in March, 2020 and experiencing the issues that restaurants are having. Had 3, sit down meals. Two at moderate priced, entree’s $14-$22 and one at a place borderline expensive, entree’s starting at $30. Service was interesting, one of the moderate places the service was what you would call good for the price point, the other was great. The expensive place was another story. First they were understaffed, appearing to have only one actual server and he was mediocre, then to add to the problem, they continued to seat people, despite their inability to serve the folks who were already in the room. The food was fine, though, I’m pretty sure my salmon sat under the warming lamps for far too long.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The building has stunning Manhattan skyline views, its spa offers deep-tissue massages, and the fancy restaurant off the lobby serves up prime steaks. Best of all, many apartments at the Trump World Tower in New York are selling at a deep discount – assuming the buyer doesn’t mind the name over the door.

    “Fifty per cent of the people wouldn’t want to live in a Trump building for any reason … but then there are guys like me,” says Lou Sollecito, a car dealer who recently bought a two-bedroom unit with views of the Empire State Building. “It’s a super buy.” The purchase price was $3m, nearly a million less than the seller paid in 2008.

    Bargain hunters are swooping in to take advantage of prices in Trump buildings that have dropped to levels not seen in over a decade, a crash brokers attribute to a combination of the former president’s polarizing image and the coronavirus pandemic.
    ………………………………
    An Associated Press review of more than 4,000 transactions over the past 15 years in 11 Trump-branded buildings in Chicago, Honolulu, Las Vegas and New York found prices for some condos and hotel rooms available for purchase have dropped by one-third or more.

    That’s a plunge that outpaces drops in many similar buildings, leaving units for sale in Trump buildings to be had for hundreds of thousands to up to a million dollars less than they would have gone for years ago.

    “They’re giving them away,” says Lane Blue, who paid $160,500 in March for a studio in Trump’s Las Vegas tower, $350,000 less than the seller paid in 2008. It was his second purchase in the building this year and may not be his last.

    Just how much the Trump name is to blame is impossible to say. Many units for sale are in cities that were hit hard by the pandemic or in hotels that had to shut down or in condo buildings much older than their competitors, making comparisons difficult.

    It might be hard to quantify but the negatives of the trump brand are undeniable. Everything t rump touches turns to shit.

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  8. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    It’s so ironic that his brand has turned to shit, given that he initially ran for the presidency as a branding exercise.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Karmic.

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  10. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Karmic and ironic.

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  11. Jen says:

    @CSK: New word! Karmonic.

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  12. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Karmonic. I like it very much.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The 2 go together like peas and carrots, and @Jen: has synthesized them perfectly.

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  14. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Let’s call it “karmonic resonance.”

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  15. Teve says:

    The Salem Hypothesis

    People who claim scientific credentials for creationism are abnormally likely to be engineers.

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Speaking of Karmonic resonance, Memorial Day mic cut: Hudson American Legion Post’s charter suspended, leader resigns

    “Effective immediately, [American Legion Department of Ohio] Department Commander Roger Friend has suspended [the] Hudson Lee-Bishop American Legion Post 464 Charter pending permanent closure,” stated a news release issued by the American Legion Department of Ohio Friday afternoon. “Upon demand, Jim Garrison has also resigned as a Post Officer and we have since demanded that he resign his membership altogether. The American Legion Department of Ohio does not hold space for members, veterans, or families of veterans who believe that censoring (Black) history is acceptable behavior.”

    That didn’t take long.

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  17. Mister Bluster says:

    Lest we forget. Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down 53 years ago today. He died the next morning on June 6, 1968. I watched him on TV speaking to the press just after his victory in the California Democratic Primary. He walked off screen and moments later the report that he had been shot came over the air.
    Sometime before midnight two friends and I boarded the Illinois Central passenger train in Homewood to ride to Carbondale, Illinois for the first time to enroll in college at Southern Illinois University. The conductor on the train was listening to his transistor radio. A few miles down the rails he told us that he had heard the report that Kennedy had died.

    November 11, 1963 President John F. Kennedy RIP

    February 21, 1965 Malcolm X RIP

    March 4, 1968 Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. RIP

    June 5, 1968 Robert F. Kennedy. RIP

    It seemed to me at the time that assassination was becoming a part of the political process in The United States.
    May we never return to those dark days.

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  18. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:

    Thanks for the link. My reaction to the essay is somewhat akin to Dennett’s quote about his special loathing of bad arguments for views he holds dear. While I don’t hold the author’s particular view dear, I do think this is a fertile topic for discussion and, thus, was disappointed at the author’s handling of it. A few reactions to the piece (sorry for the length):

    the clock has come to be seen as the thing it was only supposed to represent: The clock has become time itself.

    This is a good point. I wish the author had meditated on it. Alas, they proceed to make less good points.

    Clock time is not what most people think it is…It was created, and it is frequently altered and adjusted to fit social and political purposes… “People tend to think that somewhere there is some master clock, like the rod of platinum in the Bureau of Weights and Measures, that is the ‘uber clock.’

    Show your work (take 1).

    The Earth, we learn, completes an orbit of the sun in 365 days, which determines the length of our year, and it rotates on its axis once every 24 hours, which determines our day. Thus an hour is 1/24 of this rotation, a minute is 1/60 of an hour and a second is 1/60 of a minute. None of this is true. The Earth is not a perfect sphere with perfect movement; it’s a lumpy round mass that is squashed at both poles and wobbles. It does not rotate in exactly 24 hours each day or orbit the sun in exactly 365 days each year. It just kinda does. Perfection is a manmade concept; nature is irregular.

    A perfect example of the “Well, actually…” phenomenon. As usual, it’s annoying and doesn’t bring light to the discussion. But pedants are gonna pedant.

    Capitalism did not create clock time or vice versa, but…

    I knew there was a “but” coming…it was preordained. And as expected, it descended into a Mad Libs version of a “philosophical” essay. Instructions to play: Insert ideological buzzwords/viewpoints into the blank spaces. When finished, read in full and bask in the self-satisfaction of knowing that you are smarter and morally superior to them.

    Clock time, Adam goes on, is often “taken to be not only our natural experience of time” but “the ethical measure of our very existence.” Even the most natural of processes now must be expressed in clock time in order for them to be validated.

    Show your work (take 2).

    Women in particular often find themselves at the wrong end of this arbitrary metric…But in the hospital environment, where the natural process of childbirth has been evaluated and standardized in clock-time units, a woman is pressured to follow what Alys Einion-Waller, a professor of midwifery at Swansea University, has called a “medicalized birth script.”

    [Verb]1. shoehorn – fit for a specific purpose even when not well suited.

    But one can’t help but wonder if the constant framing of the climate crisis in clock time deadlines, which then pass without comment, has contributed to the inability and inertia of many to comprehend the seriousness of what is actually happening.

    Sigh.

    “We can’t say that clock time isn’t important,” Vijay Kolinjivadi, a researcher at the University of Antwerp’s Institute of Development Policy, told me…There’s no way to escape that. But when we are thinking about capitalism, social crisis and ecological breakdown, it gets problematic.” Clock time, he went on, “is always geared towards production, growth and all the things that created this ecological crisis in the first place.”

    First, that first sentence makes my left eye twitch. Second, the preordained “But” appears again. Followed, natch, by the Mad Libs version. Independent thought is hard, and this is all so deliciously ironic given the thesis (if one can call it that) of the essay.

    One of the most affecting myths of clock time is that we all experience time at the same steady pace.

    Show your work (take 3).

    Another thing that annoyed is the fetishization of indigenous cultural conceptions of time. As if their conceptions are somehow inoculated from the very same things the author rails about in this essay. A clock by any other name…

    I’ll stop now. And apologize again for the length. I’m feeling a bit spicy this morning. Must be the scrambled duck eggs with Hatch chilis I ate for breakfast.

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  19. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    We almost did in 1980-81, when John Lennon was shot and killed and Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II were shot, all within 6 months of one another.

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  20. Mister Bluster says:

    September 5, 1975
    Attempted assassination of Gerald Ford in Sacramento

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  21. Unsympathetic says:

    NC Lawmakers ban Coca-Cola because they speak out against election laws in another state

    Yet another example of the cancel culture of hypocritical conservatives – the true snowflakes.
    This shows that “conservative R’s” are simply SJW’s in a different direction.

    Coca-Cola did certainly calculate the cost-benefit of taking this stance and will profit from this. Of course Coke doesn’t actually care about voting – they just want people to buy their stuff.

    I’m glad to see the “Party of Free Speech” finally showing their true colors.

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  22. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    And on Sept. 22 of that year Sara Jane Moore fired 2 shots at him in San Francisco.

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  23. George says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Thanks, that’s an excellent find.

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  24. George says:

    @Kurtz:

    Its an interesting article, though I think the author underplays that time actually is part of our reality, as real as space (hence space-time). How we respond to time is cultural, but time itself seems to be real rather than a social construct, in the same way that gravity seems to be real rather than social (ie not believing in it doesn’t allow you to safely walk off 1000 foot cliffs).

    How we divide time is as arbitrary as how we divide space (ie meters or feet etc), and there’s no absolute need for either to be uniform (ie there’s no absolute reason either every day or every mile should have the same length). But its certainly convenient for science and engineering work — not sure I’d want to walk over a bridge designed by engineers who used arbitrary and changind definitions of length and mass.

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  25. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK:The verb form of the noun Karmony. Using the first opportunity I get. “The Karmony of Insurrectionists blaming Trump lies to get out of jail–is delicious.”

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  26. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Mister Bluster: Here’s a personal evolution that I think reflects those times for some of us. John Kennedy’s assassination devastated me in high school. I really wanted to be one of the best and brightest. When MLK was murdered I was undergoing SERE training in Little Creek, VA and again I felt truly saddened by the death of a hero. When Robert Kennedy was murdered I was deep in the Mekong Delta and my reaction was, “Tough Sh!t.” It took many, many years to get away from that attitude.

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  27. CSK says:

    According to the Daily Mail, Trump is intrigued by the idea of becoming Speaker of the House and “wiping out” the last two years of Joe Biden’s first term.

    Whatever happened to reinstatement to the presidency this August?

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  28. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    It must be very difficult for the insurrectionists to decide whether they’re brave patriots or saps who got suckered by a con man. If they’re brave patriots, they get fined and go to prison.

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  29. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mr. Prosser:..It took many, many years to get away from that attitude.
    I’m glad that you didn’t come home in a body bag.

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  30. Mister Bluster says:

    News Flash…
    It has been reported that former President Trump is travelling to Surry County, North Carolina where local officials have banned Coca Cola machines and replaced them with all new Karma Kola vending devices. Insiders close to Trump have leaked that the 45th President truly believes that anything with the word Karma must be magical and if he drinks enough it will surely promote his ascension to the Speaker of the House of representatives.

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  31. Kurtz says:

    @Mimai:

    First, glad you’re still around. There has been a thread or two that prompted the thought, “where the eff is @Mimai?”

    Second,

    A few reactions to the piece (sorry for the length):

    Please don’t ever apologize to me about length (or girth, unless it’s super thin but even then. . .)

    Third, I wish I could do the Twitter thing and say,” links are not endorsements.” But maybe that goes without saying around here. Well, that and it seems more like an exercise in CYA or deliberate misdirection. Kind of like Jordan Peterson’s “… Thoughts?” after tweeting a link to the one day Texas had zero reported covid deaths.

    The obsession with indigenous time is akin to the parallel obsession with ‘traditonal’ remedies in the homeopathic world.

    I recall Easterbrook’s (non-judge version, so Gregg, not his brother Frank) running item about why the NBA clock has tenths of seconds on it along with other examples of faux precision, reasoning that “humans can’t perceive tenths of seconds.” Well, Gregg, tools can.

    I concur with your critique: this essay has plenty examples of good idea to explore; poor execution. Nevertheless*, there is fertile ground within it for criticism of time’s role in our culture.

    *Yeah, I know. But it’s not but; it’s inevitability notwithstanding.

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  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Kim Wexler’s Ponytail
    @MadisonKittay

    ·
    11h
    A story in 4 screenshots.

    Got kinda dusty in here.

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  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It may be that I have no sense of value–and many people are saying this, I would add–but anyone who spends $3 million on an apartment unit, no matter where it is, has more money than sense. And I don’t care how marked down it is either.

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  34. Gustopher says:

    @Teve:

    People who claim scientific credentials for creationism are abnormally likely to be engineers.

    The truly dangerous ones are the software engineers. No actual engineering training, and working in an industry where as you go from project to project, you have to become a “superficial expert” in some business domain. The jump to “well, I can solve anything…” is so easy to make, and then they can support any crazy shit.

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  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Certainly fast enough to suit me. Does anyone know if this is the same Garrision that does the “Rambo Trump” cartoons? I know the name is pretty common, but that would be soooo rad.

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  36. Kurtz says:

    @George:

    Absolutely. When I post things, my typical goal is to a.) get people to think, and b.) try to get an idea how people think and why they believe the things they do.

    I find people abhorrent and objectionable. Even the good ones and the ones, good or bad, who I hold affection for. Eff em all.

    :goes back to trying to find a reasonably priced digital audio recorder and lav mics.;

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  37. Gustopher says:

    My cat purrs when she’s stressed. Put her in the carrier to take her to the vet, and there’s a loud purr the entire time, and she gets super clingy and cuddly. It’s cute, but it makes me suspicious when she is purring.

    My cat also sometimes shifts into a muderous rage. Claws out, “playful,” desperate to attack something. She’s a cat, and a tortie, so this seems normal.

    But she often combines these, and becomes a cuddly, purring adorable beast who will try to kill anything that comes near — like me. This is inconvenient as cuddle/kill hurts. If often means that I haven’t been playing with her and the laser pointer enough.

    But the purring with the muderous rage has me thinking… is she distressed that she is losing control to her violent outbursts? Do cats have that level of introspection?

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  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I would think that the verb form might be “karmon” as dropping the “y” that marks some nouns creates a verb form in some cases–though most verb forms from nouns are simple (?) gerunds. In this case, “karmon-ed” or “karmon-ing” would sound better and be more amenable to pronouncing without stumbling that “karmonied.”

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  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: No edit for Cracker today 🙁 .
    I would have added that no matter how the verb creation goes, “-ic” will always mark a modifier, not signal an action. Now, anyone who wants to can feel free to show me a verb that ends in “ic.” 😉

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  40. Kurtz says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    No, that’s Ben Garrison.

    It’s also not Jim Garrison, the attorney who brought charges in the JFK assassination and subsequently played Earl Warren in Oliver Stone’s film.

    One more cameo from that film: Russo, one of the bases for the composite character played by Kevin Bacon, was the guy in the bar who shouted, “They oughtta give him a medal for shooting Kennedy.”

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  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Did the Daily Mail happen to flesh out how FG becomes the Speaker? As for how it works in FG’s fever-ridden imagination–I suppose that it’s the historical firsts of a former President becoming Speaker, followed by the first Speaker ever elected President in the next election. But I definitely want at least a pallet load of what he smokes or drinks–and it ain’t Diet Coke; I’m confident of that.

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  42. dazedandconfused says:

    @Teve:
    I’ve noticed a pattern of certain areas of highly and almost exclusively STEM educated people towards binary thinking. OBL was a structural engineer, his ideological god-father Al Zawahiri was a physician. We all know of the shortcomings of the Drs Paul.

    There is some information out there of engineers being excluded from juries just for being engineers, as they can become excessively argumentative when dealing with shades of grey. They fall into the trap of insisting whatever is in their heads be proved absolutely, IOW, somebody must prove a negative to them.
    The noted exception in that Salem theory is chemical engineers, this supports my guess as to the root cause, as chemistry is a field that humbles everybody.

    IMO, too much or pure STEM makes for massive trees with very shallow roots.

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  43. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, Wayne Allyn Root suggested the notion when he interviewed Trump on his podcast yesterday, to which I did not listen, and Trump professed interest.

    Apparently one does not have to be an elected representative to serve as speaker, although all speakers have been.

    I assume this whole idea is premised on the assumption that the GOP will win the house in 2022, and then select Trump as speaker.

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  44. Mister Bluster says:

    Several years ago when things were catching up to me I would find a hit of blotter acid and listen to this song with my headphones on.
    Time just didn’t matter any more.

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  45. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:

    Re your first – The recent topics and/or tones of engagement around here haven’t resonated with me. So I played around with guitar tones instead.

    Re your second – Touché!

    Re your third – I did not take it as an endorsement. Indeed, your “reminder” made that clear enough for me. But I don’t think you can assume what “goes without saying around here.” (gestures upward to my point about tone)

    ps, Good recent attempt at a thought exercise. Your initial framing was clear enough.
    (horse-water)

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  46. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Good to know you can’t long bullshit people on this forum. I had no idea if it were a noun or verb so I simply made it up. Works more times than not but eventually you have to pay the piper. Unless you’re Donald Trump–and you just keep digging. LoL

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  47. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Most people would have to work long and hard to achieve such a feat. the turd could just run for any seat in Congress in any safe red district, then expect he’d be named speaker if the GOP takes the House.

    Because, you know, who’d be a better speaker than one who can make the party get in line just by throwing a tantrum?

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  48. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    “Engineers are not scientists.” Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

    Or words to that effect.

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  49. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Trump doesn’t have to run for representative. The GOP majority in the House can just appoint him speaker.

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  50. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I know. We went over this when some enthusiastically proposed Stacy Abrams as speaker in 2018.

    On the cons column: it’s never been done before, the GOP would be better off appointing a half-eaten ham sándwich as speaker, and what trump doesn’t know about the way the House and Congress work dwarfs what he mistakenly thinks takes place there.

    In other words, it’s very likely to happen, if the GOP takes the House.

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  51. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: Also, doctors. In fact, I think doctors are worse. But I would think that, since when it comes to engineers, I are one. Engineers are taught some degree of reasoning, doctoring is pretty much all rote. @dazedandconfused: speaks of the “Drs Paul” as examples. For Rand, shouldn’t that be “Dr” or Dr (sic)? He’s certified not by the American Board of Ophthalmology but is essentially self-certified by his own National Board of Ophthalmology. Apparently he couldn’t get along with his profession any better than with his neighbor.

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  52. Kathy says:

    I had to run a quick errand at the supermarket today, around 1 pm.

    But for the universal use of masks, you’d think the pandemic was over. Not only was the place crowded, people didn’t even bother to pretend to observe social distancing. I replaced the KN95 mask I had on with a better fitting N95 one.

    Yes, case numbers have been coming down in the past few weeks, yes I got two doses of Pfizer, but I still don’t feel like taking any chances. Imagine catching COVID when cases are coming down and after the second vaccine dose. Wouldn’t that be stupid?

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  53. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    At first blush, I laughed at the very notion that Trump could be Speaker. Then I realized, to my chagrin, that this could actually happen.

    I keep thinking of an ancient Mad magazine parody in which an ignorant, churlish yokel becomes president of the U.S. by some bizarre accident of fate. The piece ends thus: “I’m the president, ain’t I?” he said, as he slammed his hand down on the nuclear launch button.

    Well, he did.

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  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I can see the possibility of the GOP winning back the House (and the Senate, as far as that goes), but McCarthy stepping back to let FG become the Speaker? Right. Sure. That’ll happen in a cocaine heartbeat. 😉 –

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  55. Gustopher says:

    I think Trump should absolutely run for a House seat in 2022, just kicking someone out in a primary. Who represents Mara Lago?

    Oh, that district went Dem by 59-39. Oh he should run. That would be a fun result.

    But assuming he went with a safe red seat, he would then discover that if he wants to be top dog in media coverage every day, he’ll have to work for it. And he’s not up for that.

    Yeah, he should run.

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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Also, I always get Wayne Allyn Root confused with a guy on Washington State’s death row with the same or similar last name who was the plaintiff in a famous appeal here. Something about morbid obesity causing a hanging to become a decapitation, thereby forbidden under “cruel and unusual punishment.” Maybe Luddite has a better memory than I do and can fill in the gaps.

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  57. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, if McCarthy doesn’t stand down and allow Trump to assume the speakership, then the MAGAs can invade the Capitol again, and show ’em who’s boss.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    This Root was a Palinista back in the day.

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  58. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “Effective immediately, [American Legion Department of Ohio] Department Commander Roger Friend has suspended [the] Hudson Lee-Bishop American Legion Post 464 Charter pending permanent closure,” stated a news release issued by the American Legion Department of Ohio Friday afternoon. “Upon demand, Jim Garrison has also resigned as a Post Officer and we have since demanded that he resign his membership altogether. The American Legion Department of Ohio does not hold space for members, veterans, or families of veterans who believe that censoring (Black) history is acceptable behavior.”

    This. Made. Me. Smile. SO. Much!!!

    If anyone ever asks: “OK, Black Lives Matter, so what can I do?” THIS is one of the best examples of Black Lives Matter in practice.

    Be honest, acknowledge history, don’t put up with racism. Shut that shit down.

    F’kn A.

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  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Well, I would agree with you, but real estate agents always say everything is location location location. I think they are correct, but my ideal location of 12.5 acres about halfway between Podunk MO and Pisshole AR, the free market doesn’t agree, it thinks any location in t rump tower NY is worth a lot more.

    Different strokes…

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  60. Kathy says:

    @CSK:
    @Gustopher:

    I don’t think trump would run for a House seat, even in a newly gerrymandered district named after him in Florida, because that’s clearly a lower position to the one he already had as a federal government temp.

    As to being speaker, he might demand it if the GOP takes the House in 22, and I’d like to see how the party and House leadership would manage to keep him away from it. You don’t say no to the king, and much less to the God King Emperor Savior Jesús, even if he will wreck everything.

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  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: On the no accounting front, Luddite sent me word of a listing for a one bedroom/one bath house in NE Portland (and a not particularly safe part of NE, IIRC) selling for #349,900. Location, location, location my arse.

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  62. George says:

    @Teve:

    Its still a tiny proportion of engineers who are creationist. I’ve only met a couple, and I’ve met and worked with a lot of engineers.

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  63. Mimai says:

    @Gustopher:

    Methinks cats have awareness without insight and dogs have the inverse.

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  64. Kurtz says:

    @Mimai:

    As the steward of an old, part Maine Coon cat and a slightly smaller Poodle-Bichon rescue, I’ve watched the two of them interact a lot.

    They seemed pretty adept at communicating with each other within very little time. Of course, this was after the cat chased the dog into a corner. The dog flipped over in submission. The cat cared not at all; he had a point to make. He gave the dog five or six good swats to the head and ran off.

    From then on, they were friends on the cat’s terms. The dog seems to know with every tail flip or whisker twitch what the cat is communicating.

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  65. Kurtz says:

    @Gustopher:

    I read a long time ago that when they want something, cats purr at the same frequency of a human baby’s cry.

    No idea if that matters.

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  66. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: Giggling….mine don’t purr when they want something. They stretch up and pose on the sides of couches like they’re pooting rainbow farts and unicorns. The special needs kitty looks like the stereotypical hipster in skinny jeans when she does it….annnnnd it always makes us laugh, so I guess she’s got us pretty well played. 😛

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  67. Gustopher says:

    @Kurtz: I’ve heard that, but it makes no sense — a baby’s cry is a hateful shriek several octaves higher than a cat’s soothing purr.

    When I had the senile 22 year old cat who would get lost on her way back to bed from the litter box in the middle of the night, she had that hateful shriek. (I had to put a litter box in the master bath, and position night lights… poor, sweet, senile cat who looked like a well-loved teddy bear with rumpled fur and a few weird smells… wasn’t her fault that somehow the way from the litter box was harder to navigate than the way to the litter box)

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