St. Patrick’s Day Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Crews rescue two people from truck dangling over Idaho bridge

    “A rescue like this takes a lot of quick thinking and action but this is what they train for,” she said. “That training just paid off today, and two people are alive because of the hours and hours of training that these emergency responders do.”

    In Texas they’d probably do a cost/benefit analysis.

  2. Mike in Arlington says:

    For those looking to make an Irish lamb (well, originally, mutton) stew from 1900 (and a short summary of the history of the Irish potato blight/famine).

  3. Scott says:

    Noted venture capitalist (and therefore expert on everything) J.D. Vance:

    Mar 13
    We should eliminate the university degree requirement from the officer corps. It’s dumb to make people get a BA before becoming officers anyway, and it may just make the military leadership less woke.

  4. CSK says:

    Trump went on Fox News to recommend that people get the vaccine. The folks at appear deaf to his entreaties:

    Apparently Trump has been duped too many times by deep state globalists to be trustworthy on this issue.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Brexit deal was astonishingly bad, and every day the evidence piles up

    Now we know that British exports to the European Union plummeted by a cataclysmic 41% after Brexit on 1 January, what next? This is not the “slow puncture” predicted, but a big bang. Yet so far, it registers little on the political Richter scale.
    Meanwhile, this Pandora’s box of a Brexit swarms out new pests daily. Take the 83% collapse of a fishing and shellfish industry that was once the Brexit campaign’s talisman. David Frost and Michael Gove seem never to have known that each boatload of seafood needs 71 pages of customs forms; nor did they understand the fatal fish “depuration” rules that left stock rotting on the dock.

    Political optics were all that mattered to these brilliant negotiators, so they thought they could abandon the services and the banking sector, despite services making up 80% of our economy and financial services 10% of tax receipts. So City firms have moved £1.3tn of assets to the EU already, and within one month Amsterdam has overtaken the City as Europe’s largest sharetrading centre.
    There is no upside, so will all this damage ever outweigh the spiritual belief that Brexit saved our national sovereignty? What that trigger might be, no one knows. Labour will plug away, exposing myriad flaws in the dreadful trade deal. The shadow trade secretary, Emily Thornberry, scored a hit this week by forcing the government to reveal no economic impact assessment was ever made on the Brexit deal, despite one for every other trade treaty, even with Albania. No extra penny of advantage comes from Liz Truss’s trade deals, all identical to existing EU deals. Who but remainers notices?

    Well, of course no economic impact assessment was made. That would just create a paper trail of bad faith and they couldn’t have that.

  6. CSK says:

    @Mike in Arlington:
    On the subject of Hibernian cuisine, I always wondered what the difference between corned beef and cabbage and a New England boiled dinner was. Turns out a New England boiled dinner can be brisket, ham, or pork shoulder. The Irish version is strictly corned beef.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    Listening to my Operations manager this morning and his report on our vendors, it just hit me that inflation is coming, for the first time in decades. Across our entire supply line, plastics, metals, IC’s and industrial reagents, prices are going up because of supply chain issues

  8. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: Yes, I think you’re right.

    It has been incredibly pronounced in the building/construction industry. The prices for everything from drywall to lumber have skyrocketed, leading to stupid-high new construction home prices.

  9. CSK says:
  10. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I’m speculating that one reason Trump won’t make a big effort encouraging his followers to vaccinate is that there is marginal upside for him personally if they do and big downside if they don’t. If he says to get it and they do, then Biden will get some of the credit for increased numbers, diluting any benefit to Trump. But if he makes a big pitch for it and it doesn’t move the Republican vaccination rate, it will be an indicator he has lost his influence.

    It goes without saying that Trump wouldn’t consider other people’s lives into his equation.

  11. CSK says:

    Well, it looks as if the pitch Trump made for the vaccine the other night on Fox has fallen on mostly deaf ears.

  12. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: My mother was born and raised in Wexford, my father was born and raised in Clare. Neither had ever had corned beef outside the tinned variety until they reached the US. Lamb was the common meat there, beef of any kind was a rarity.

  13. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: Trump was catching a lot of spit for not encouraging vaccination. Now’s he’s said it once so critics can’t say he never did. Just like W Bush said, once, that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11. Ironically, the political term of art for this is “vaccination”.

    You can always count on Republicans to do the right thing. After they’ve caught enough grief for not doing it.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    From a Politico article:

    As President Joe Biden embarks on an ambitious plan to sell his massive coronavirus relief package to the public, conservatives are starting to ask: Did we botch this?

    The overwhelming sentiment within the Republican Party is that voters will turn on the $1.9 trillion bill over time.

    This is what gives me hope for the next couple of years. Republicans increasingly live inside a bubble. It used to be that if they got tired of Fox they had to turn the channel to a real news source, but now there is Newsmax and the other one, so they never have to leave the bubble. As sane Republican Pols have lost power within the Party hierarchy the loons who replace them are more likely to live in the same bubble as their electorate. The net effect is they inevitably feel that the average Schmoe on the outside feels the same way they do. They make tactical decisions based on that assumption and more and more often those are poor decisions. This seems to be what happened in California. The CA Republican Party was gradually taken over by the loons, who constantly insisted that the average California agreed with them and they just needed to run ever more extreme and pure candidates. This mistake caused a continual loss of power until they weren’t able to block changes. CA is now, for the first time in decades, making needed structural reforms. The Republicans constantly screech and wail about everything, but the vested interests know they don’t have to spend much time placating them. They are focused on the Dems.

  15. sam says:

    Ryan Bingham, Bread and Water. Boy’s from Hobbs, New Mexico. Slide work is wonderful.

  16. SKI says:

    @MarkedMan: Yeah, it was from the shared communities the Irish immigrants had with the Jewish immigrants in NYC. The counterpart in Ireland was bacon & cabbage.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:


    And in other news, Boris plans to be Joe’s toy poodle, not understanding that Biden prefers German Shepards that are very protective.

  18. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Boris seems to be hoping that the US can bolster what the UK has lost by throwing in the towel on Brexit. I don’t think that’s going to pan out the way he hopes it will.

  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    Yeah, there is nothing the GB brings to the table that is important for the US. US relations with members of the UK that count, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are already bound closely to the US. An island nation off the coast of Europe is, well, a nice, but at times, dreary place with good beer and lousy food.

  20. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: The food *had* actually gotten a lot better, attributable in no small part to the access to food across the EU. A vine-grown tomato from Spain in the dead of winter is going to be a damn sight better than a hot house tomato from Wales at the same time of year.

    We’ve been going for many years, and the food, at least in the countryside where we head, is nothing short of spectacular. I have a feeling that’s not going to continue to be the case.

  21. Sleeping Dog says:


    Imported food and imported cooks from countries with a culinary tradition. Though the migration of cooks is likely to slow and the cost of the tomato’s will go up.

  22. CSK says:

    That’s very interesting. It also makes sense.

    @Sleeping Dog: @Jen: @Sleeping Dog:
    When I lived in Scotland, I noticed that many of the old-timers would refuse to buy “foreign” food–i.e., produce from Europe. Since it was hard to cultivate anything in Scotland, that limited the locally grown vegetable selection to carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

  23. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Imported food and imported cooks from countries with a culinary tradition.

    Yes, and the free movement and low-price airlines meant far more people traveling, exposed to more cuisines.

    When we go to Scotland we typically stay at the same B-n-B for at least a few days of every stay. We’ve gotten to know the owners quite well. They generally close for 3-4 weeks for holiday, and they typically decamp to Spain, Portugal, or Italy–someplace warm and sunny. Influences are reflected in the foods they serve, as the husband is the chef.

    I’m not sure how Brexit will affect vacation travel–more expensive, perhaps?

    @CSK: Ah, yes. That sentiment does seem to still exist but you can now get curry takeaway just about everywhere, including on Lewis and Harris. It’s changing.

  24. CSK says:

    Oh, there were Indian restaurants galore in Edinburgh during my time there. Getting a curry was never a problem. A lot of other things were–like a decent cup of coffee.

  25. MarkedMan says:

    @SKI: I can vouch for this. Growing up we had every meat unit boiled with cabbage (potatoes separate in our house). Boiled bacon (slabs not slices), boiled beef (not sure the cut, but no bones), Boiled Ham Hocks or the variation: Pickled Pigs Feet (the one thing my parents never made us eat, I suspect because they were hard to get and/or expensive and if the kids thought they were gross, well, more for them), boiled lamb, boiled chicken, boiled ham, and I’m sure if I searched my memory I could come up with a few more meat units. (Oh, yeah. Boiled spare ribs.). None of these were stews or soups, which may technically qualify as boiled, but rather meat and cabbage in plain water boiled for long periods of time, then the water dumped out.

  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: My company has a small UK division. A good portion of it’s value to us that we could ship everything European to there, clearing one set of customs, and then they could ship onto anywhere else. While that’s still what we do for now, it simply means that small staff has picked up the burden of handling a couple of dozen different customs forms and procedures. We would be much better off with an outpost on the continent.

    And in a non-business note, both the senior guy there and one of his long term employees are nearing retirement and have bought homes in warmer European countries to retire in. It was based on the assumption they were free to live there year round. They are wondering when that shoe will drop or if it already has.

  27. CSK says:

    I once ran across a Scottish cookbook that recommended boiling carrots for two hours.

  28. Jen says:

    @CSK: That’s hysterical! You wouldn’t even need to boil them that long if you were pureeing them.

    I do wonder if some of the “boil beyond hope” arose from a history of poor dental care. If you don’t have all of your teeth, or if your teeth hurt, soft foods would be key.

  29. Gustopher says:


    I once ran across a Scottish cookbook that recommended boiling carrots for two hours.

    Is that for making baby food?

  30. Sleeping Dog says:


    …and have bought homes in warmer European countries to retire in.

    That maybe a problem. An acquaintance, who is a retired American living in Normandy with his French wife, mentioned in an exchange, that UK couples in their circle, who had retired to France, were being told that they would be subject to normal foreign tourist restrictions on visa requirements that included stay limits. That was back in January, there maybe an update. Needless to say there was quite a bit of consternation among the Brits.

  31. Bill says:

    How is the “social distancing crowd” dealing with St. Patrick’s day? It’s spring break time for some as well, good thing I don’t have to deal with them….it’s pretty pathetic.

  32. CSK says:

    That’s an interesting theory.
    Apparently not. The health authorities in Glasgow were trying to discourage lower income mothers from giving newborns tea in their bottles.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    I inadvertently read a post by our latest Trumper. Couldn’t even understand the subject, much less the point. Why does anyone engage with him? Sport? You really shouldn’t pick on people like that. Do you make fun of old homeless ladies shouting at you as you walk by?

  34. Gustopher says:


    social distancing crowd

    If you think there is a social distancing crowd, you’re missing the point.

    The introverts and hermits created this fake disease to make all the extroverts adapt to our way of life, because we are tired of having to adapt to the rest of society. It’s just about basic fairness.

    We are sponsored by Big Mask, but truth be told we would have insisted on masks anyway — since we fear eye contact, and we all wear glasses, masks cause our glasses to fog and, voila, no eye contact with anyone. And since everyone has to wear masks, we don’t appear like the insane freaks that we are.

    There is some question about whether Biden is in on this, or whether we have just fooled him. The man is a human golden retriever, needing to touch everyone, so I expect we have him fooled and that he’s miserable. Hopefully he doesn’t start marking his territory like a real golden retriever.

    I also don’t think St. Patrick’s Day, as celebrated here, is properly authentic anyway. The traditional St. Patrick’s Day festivities are to chase snakes, eat potatoes, not eat potatoes and then drink yourself to death in silence. We’ve bastardized the whole thing, and it’s not nearly as good.

  35. Gustopher says:

    Another account speaks of a dying Irish King named Echu who wanted to convert to Christianity. He sent for Patrick, but died before his arrival. Patrick brought the king back to life long enough to be baptized and receive Holy Communion, after which the king passed away a second time.

    If you raise the dead, and then drown them in an unfortunate baptism accident, what is your legal risk? Is it manslaughter if there was depraved indifference? Can the family sue you for damages? Or is it a case of “well, he was dead to begin with, so no harm no foul”?

  36. Kathy says:


    I thought there was an idiot’s strike, but apparently they’re hard at work.

  37. CSK says:

    There’s a good, if depressing, piece in the NYTimes about the “vaccine mess” in Europe. Apparently the continent has more vaccine resisters than does the U.S.:

  38. dazedandconfused says:


    Weekend At Echu’s?

  39. CSK says:

    The proper response to Echu would be Geshundheit.

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I don’t normally link to Lucianne posts but I did today and was reminded of a quip I sent to Luddite yesterday:

    Do you ever listen to someone and think “OMG, you’ve got the IQ of a crayon?-“

  41. sam says:
  42. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    That sums up the average I.Q. of an Ldotter (as they call themselves) quite nicely.

  43. DrDaveT says:


    I think I’ve told the anecdote about a client who kept asking for assurances the beef we sold was gluten free.

    Hey, if you can have organic salt, why not gluten-free beef?

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    @Kathy: we had a “topless” bar here that advertised gluten free lap dances.

    So long as they weren’t glute free. That would be awful.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: @Gustopher: When I was in the produce business, we used to sell what were classified as “jumbo” carrots–we used to call them “horse carrots” sometimes–that came about 20-30 to a 25-pound bag. They were about a foot long and an inch or so in diameter at the stalk end. I would imagine that those could take some time to cook.

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: ” Do you make fun of old homeless ladies shouting at you as you walk by?”
    Are you telling me that EVERYBODY doesn’t do that? Wait…

  46. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I’ve cooked carrots that large. It does take a while, but not anywhere near two hours. And I never saw a jumbo carrot in Scotland. It was just that they liked to boil everything far longer than necessary.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: From what I was reading, in an IQ test competition, my bet would be on the crayon, but maybe I’m too cynical.———————————-

  48. Pete S says:

    @CSK: I think they just overcook everything. My dad was born in Scotland and lived there until he was a teenager, so the food in our house was geared to his tastes. I had moved away to university before I realized that beef did not have to be dark grey all the way through and roughly the same consistency as the plate it is served on.

  49. CSK says:

    @Pete S:
    Yes. The beef was probably good to begin with, but by the time they got finished cooking it, it was like leather. I don’t know why everything had to be so overdone.

    The fish and chicken–if I prepared them myself–were the best I’ve ever eaten. The dairy products and baked goods were excellent as well.

  50. DrDaveT says:


    you can now get curry takeaway just about everywhere, including on Lewis and Harris

    …and eat it in a freezing cold blackhouse while breathing peat smoke and wearing tweed?

  51. DrDaveT says:

    @Gustopher: You are definitely on a roll today, my friend.

  52. DrDaveT says:

    Tomorrow at 11:00 AM EDT, Foreign Policy will be hosting a panel discussion on How to Stop Fake News. I thought some of you might be interested.

    Registration is at

    (No linky button available at the moment…)

  53. CSK says:

    A wee dram (or several) o’ single malt helps mightily to ward off the cold.

  54. DrDaveT says:


    A wee dram (or several) o’ single malt helps mightily to ward off the cold.

    There is exactly one distillery on all of Lewis and Harris these days, though I’m not certain that was always true. If it was, then even their drams were impoverished.

    (I started to write “their drams were even weer”, but that ain’t any kind of English. The OED tells me that there is a history of superlatives, but not comparatives, for “wee”. And for those, there is no consensus on how to spell it — wiest, wee’st, wee-est, …)

  55. Jen says:

    @DrDaveT: Actually…yes. 🙂 There are self-catering cottages on Lewis and Harris, and a refurbished Blackhouse is an option!

    We stayed in one for a few nights while we were there. No peat smoke though, the one we stayed in was equipped with heated floors, which were divine, so not freezing either.

  56. CSK says:

    Lewis and Harris is pretty slick now, with some very highly rated restaurants and hotels. I’m sure the restaurants are serving up a fine selection if drams, wee or otherwise.

  57. Jen says:

    @DrDaveT: Re: the lack of distilleries on Lewis and Harris…I think this can be attributed at least in part to the religious traditions on the island, I vaguely remembered it being sort of teetotaling when compared with the rest of Scotland. It’s also where Trump’s mother was from. Most shops are still closed on Sundays.

  58. de stijl says:


    I am down with cultural culinary heritage, but boiling perfectly good meat and then just tossing the water is brutally triggering.

    Braises, stews. Fantastic!

    But boiled meat is so disheartening. Nature and animal husbandry gives you gold and you willingly transmute it into lead. Reverse alchemy. Blasphemy. Barbaric savagery.

    I am a very pro Maillard reaction person.

    There is some voices now saying browning is not necessary before braising. I reject. There is flavor in browning / searing I want.

  59. Kurtz says:

    I know Joyner changed his picture a while back, but I just noticed something…does his expression remind anyone else of Brian Cox? The actor, not the physicist.

  60. JohnSF says:


    The Irish charge at the Battle of Falkirik….

    Umm, probably best not to put it that way to a Scot.

  61. de stijl says:


    Brian Cox is fantastic. First Hannibal Lector on film in the often overlooked Manhunter. He killed. 😉

    That man is talented at his job. He does “exasperated” exceptionally well.

  62. JohnSF says:

    @Pete S:
    My personal suspicion is that overcooking everything goes back to days before refrigeration etc. when it was probably safer to overcook everything.
    And also by end of winter last years clamped vegetable probably needed boiling for ages to soften them at all.

    I remember reading somewhere that some of the damage to British culinary standards goes to the industrial/agricultural revolutions: the English peasantry was virtually abolished and transferred to the new industrial towns.

    The rural remnant was mostly commercial farmers and landless labourers, and all the produce was sold on to wholesalers. Unlike the Continent, where smallholders selling at a market have always been a major role.

    And the urban working class of the 19th century often had women as well as men working full time; they didn’t have time (or money) for choosy shopping or for elaborate cooking.

  63. de stijl says:

    What is the likelihood of an independent Scotland near future?

  64. grumpy realist says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Heck, I used to grate those babies up with a fine grater for carrot salad. One of the local food stores had them in 10 lb bags.

    Anyone who doesn’t have the brains to CUT CARROTS UP shouldn’t be allowed near anything hot enough to boil them.

  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: As a person who, during 8 years in Korea, never did either a hanok or a monastery stay, I still have to note that I fail to see the point in renting a “traditional” dwelling that is in no wise “traditional.” If it’s the best sort of vacation cottage available, that’s another question, of course.

  66. JohnMcC says:

    @de stijl: Well, there are endless depressing options for Eire and NI in this new land.

  67. de stijl says:


    I like my drams larger than wee.

    I am still a sipper though. Shots are not my speed. I like a hefty glass with two fingers.

    The correct glass and a proper amount makes me feel okay. Getting wicked drunk fast is the antithesis of fun. Slow mellow is my speed.

    With Shrooms I am opposite.

  68. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: Mostly, we sold jumbo carrots to chichi bistros in downtown Seattle that liked larger vegetables for juicing–which was all the rage at that moment. In fact, IIRC, we started inventorying them by request; before juicing, we always ended up with a bag or two that the grower forced us to buy and which we usually ended up giving to a mission or food bank.

  69. de stijl says:


    Welcome aboard the AJJ bandwagon!

    Sean Bonnette does a weekly AJJ Live From Quarantine series and it is always interesting and sometimes great. Good for having on while cooking.

    He is my favorite songwriter of the recent past. Anxiety distilled.

    John Darnielle rocks too.

  70. Mimai says:

    All this talk of Scotland has me nostalgic. As a young lad, I spent a week in Dunoon playing soccer. I don’t remember where exactly we stayed (maybe at the uni?), but I do recall it was the only place on our travels where we had separate 4-person cottages. We quickly approached a lord of the flies situation, so it was probably for the better that we only stayed a week before moving along.

    Don’t recall much about the food (it was merely fuel to us) but I do recall how wonderfully the locals treated us. Seemed like the first car always stopped to give us a lift when we were hitchhiking around the peninsula – we fancied ourselves quite the risk-takers (ha!).

  71. Jen says:


    Brian Cox? The actor, not the physicist.

    Hahaha, this is a common qualification phrasing in our house, either this way (actor not physicist) or the reverse (physicist not the actor).

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I fail to see the point in renting a “traditional” dwelling that is in no wise “traditional.”

    My husband does all of the vacation planning. He thought it’d be neat, but is also wise enough to know that a truly authentic blackhouse, freezing cold and full of peat smoke, would not make his wife terribly happy. 😉 It was also one of the very few options available as we were there before Easter, which is apparently when things open up.

    @JohnSF: Overcooking as a food safety practice is definitely part of it.

  72. Mister Bluster says:

    @Gustopher:..drink yourself to death in silence.

    Thirty some years ago in Sleepytown there was a bar named Mundo’s. It was named after Mundo.
    He was a Viet Nam vet who went to college on the GI Bill.
    After he graduated from Sleepytown U he bought the bar he had lived in while he allegedly attended college and continued his life of drinking and partying and bartending and buying drinks for underage girls.
    Mundo was Irish and the bar had an Irish motif of Green shamrocks painted all over the place and posters of all the Irish whiskyes anyone could hope for. At Mundo’s Saint Patricks day started a good week before March 17 and by the time it rolled around Mundo’s was in full swig.
    I’m not sure which St. Patrick’s Day it was but must have been around ’84-’85 Mundo had a lot more than one too many, passed out and fell backwards on the floor alone in his room. Someone discoverd him and called an ambulance.
    It was too late. A few days later I met a guy who was working in the Emergency Room when they brought Mundo in. He was already dead. When he passed out and fell on his back he regurgitated and choked to death on his own vomit.
    He had survived a tour in Viet Nam but St. Patrick’s Day in Sleepytown killed him.
    RIP Mundo

    Happy St. Patricks Day to all!

  73. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:

    What is the likelihood of an independent Scotland near future?

    Pretty high IMHO; the Scots voted to remain in the EU, as did Northern Ireland. And the subsequent Conservative disdain for consulting with the devolved government has not gone down well with a lot of Scots.
    It is still arguably not wise economically, but then nor was Brexit, so the Tories have damaged that argument badly.
    A sizable number of Scots now think that if they are going to suffer economic damage anyway, it may as well be for their own cause.

    Plus Johnson is toxic in Scotland: he’s the sort of blustery, arrogant upper class English type that does not play well north of the border. Even when he tries to shore up the unionist position, he tends to make things worse by being unable to resist baiting the SNP. (Scottish Nationalist Party)

    And the Tories have morphed from being the “Conservative and Unionist Party” of old (still their formal name) into in large part sort-of an “English Nationalist Party”. See also their lack of concern for the damaging effects on Northern Ireland on their negotiating position with the EU.

  74. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Death by intoxicant is not inherently bad.

    We see it as a wasted life and lost potential. They saw it as a pointless slog. Their call.

    It is not mine to question. I wish they were more realistic and open. Most suicidal ideation fades quickly if someone exposes themselves to loved ones.

    I know, if faced with dire medical news, I will choose an exit brought about by me, and by my will, on my own time, over the degrading certainty of time and disease and inevitable decrepitude.

    Give me and people who think like me an out over systemic organ failure and dementia.

    I need that. The figurative ice floe.

  75. Mimai says:

    Re the recent discussion about trans kids and sports. This video is raw, honest, and powerful. “Let them have their childhoods. Let them be who they are.”

  76. de stijl says:

    Not being a Briton I have little to offer but my uninformed opinion, but referenda there seem to play by rules I do not fully understand.

    Specifically, Scottish independence and Brexit. How binding for how long?

    They were Remain folks advocating for a new referendum on Brexit but that went nowhere. Akin to the vote on Scottish independence several years back.

    I understand a little of parliamentary politics, but I have huge blind spots too.

    Are such referenda treated as “permanent” only so long as one party / coalition holds the plurality? Once done, can’t be undone, strikes me as really problematic.

  77. CSK says:

    John, when I lived in Scotland, the SNP incorporated everyone from monarchists, who wanted to restore the Stuarts, to Communists. The common goal–and it was about all they had in common–was an independent Scotland. Is that still true?

  78. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: Aha! Thanks for clarifying for me.

  79. de stijl says:


    Rs pretending to care about Tile IX is kinda cute. Hypocrisy pushes them into a weird, perverted advocacy.

    That will last until this no longer fits their immediate need.

  80. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Shoot, Cracker, I looked over there today, and it occurred to me that the entire group had the IQ of a broken, peeled down crayon.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, I’ve known for decades that the two of us yell back at them… but I didn’t realize we were the only ones. (insert head/desk emoji here, please)

  81. flat earth luddite says:

    @grumpy realist:
    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    After Grandma’s brothers sold the dairy farm, I went by years later for look-see. The ultimate owners were a supplier for a pet food manufacturer, and they grew “filler” veggies on the quarter section that used to be the farm. Carrots they were “harvesting” were typically 18-24″ long or more, and as big around as my forearm. Suckers would have required a worm-drive skill saw to cut, and hours in a pressure vessel. OTOH, they explained to me that they did make EXCELLENT filler for wet doggie dinner.

  82. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: I’m currently enjoying the more polished off-by-one-letter AJR, who do happy songs about depression.

    Their latest, “Way Less Sad” is stuck in my head today.

  83. de stijl says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    I got shipped to the country to my mom’s parents’ every summer my mid youth as free labor.

    Hated it. Hated them. My great grandfather was interesting at least. Loved his Saturday morning AWA wrestling.

    Later, I drove by their old place. It was a two hour’s trip from home. It felt due to do a drive-by look see.

    The house was torn down and replaced. The new house was on a different spot. Owned and occupied by strangers.

    I knew I hated that place, but the changes were jarring. That place I hated did not exist anymore.

    I sensed I should have felt elated, but instead it was melancholic. Weird day trip.

  84. de stijl says:


    Well placed hey hey heys.

    Heartily approve. Made me happy.

  85. flat earth luddite says:

    @de stijl:
    YMMV indeed. Grandma’s and her brothers’ were the safe places for me, growing up. They’d offered to transfer the farm to me, but even in the mid-70’s, I could see the writing on the wall for non-corporate dairy operations. In their area, they were “big” with 1/4 section and 300 dairy cows. These days, a “small/medium” operation in the US has maybe 3000 cows. Completely different game, and one I’m happy to have escaped. But when I went back, the house they brothers had built when they returned from WWI was gone, as was everything else on the acreage. Bittersweet was there, hammered into place when I stopped in “town” and found stuff from their old house in a local used “salvage” store.

  86. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mimai: I am still a little surprised they didn’t drag him out for a good old fashioned tarring and feathering.

  87. Bill says:

    @Kathy: you mean the blue state teachers unions? yes, i c that….what a tragedy…. just breeding more democrats to perpetuate the idiocy. Pity they don’t teach basic economics anymore- but then there’d be fewer democrats around if they did.

  88. de stijl says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    Seeing stuff you grew up around in a consignment store would hurt. It would hurt me, and I had a very different experience than you.

    I’m glad you had a better experience than me. Truly.

    Hate is a problematic feeling. You can reconcile with time and distance, but a kernel remains.

    Acceptance is difficult.

  89. Mimai says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hold tight to the small victories.

  90. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Pity they don’t teach basic economics anymore

    You mean that “piss on people and tell them it’s raining gold is a rich man’s way of saying IGMFY?” Because I learned that lesson decades ago. What’s taking you so long?

  91. CSK says:

    The IRS has given us one month’s grace: Tax returns need not be filed till May 17.

  92. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mimai: As a fellow parent of children in difficult circumstances, I am proud of the man. The issues I faced were not quite as stark, but to me at least every bit as difficult. I had those same kind of “moments” where I could no longer deny reality.

    I just have very little faith that my state lege will do the same.

  93. Pete S says:


    You may well be right. But in the end I kind if go with the Mike Myers quote – “most Scottish cooking is based on a dare” ….

  94. de stijl says:


    People II: The Reckoning is on my daily playlist. Has been since 2017 when a friend reccoed them to me. Wow! That first experience was intense.

    Usually comes on mid-morning. It’s invigorating. Smack! Okay, I’m fully awake now.

  95. Mimai says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: [earnest nod of respect right at ya’]

  96. de stijl says:

    Big Country, The Skids, The Waterboys, Garbage.

    Why are we talking about Scotland on 3/17?

    Fisherman’s Blues is one of my favorite songs ever. Local Hero is one of my favorite movies.

  97. Jen says:

    @de stijl:

    Why are we talking about Scotland on 3/17?

    I’d have to recheck the thread, but probably my fault. 😀 When it comes to Scotland, it usually is…I love love love it there.

  98. Mimai says:

    @de stijl: Lots of great guitar players hail from Scotland. Mark Knopfler, Angus and Malcolm Young, Stuart Adamson (as you know), John Martyn, Stuart Braithwaite, etc… Remarkable pedigree.

  99. de stijl says:


    My earworm of the day in Letter From An Occupant by The New Pornographers.

  100. CSK says:

    Actually, I think it was my fault this time.

  101. JohnSF says:

    I’d say so; it’s “civic nationalism” rather than right wing nationalism, and and a very wide spread of shades within it.
    It would (will?) be interesting to see how long it would hold together as a single party after independence.

    Speaking as a British/English unionist I’d be sad to see it happen; but I can see why it might well occur, and why Scots might want it. And I think the SNP would not be a bad government or a bad neighbour to have in the event.

  102. JohnSF says:

    @Pete S:
    They challenge each other to capture the elusive wild haggis!

    My apologies to any visiting Scots 🙂
    In fact some Scottish restaurants have a very high reputation; the local beef, lamb and seafood is the finest quality.
    Not to mention the whisky.
    Scottish wine, not so much… 🙂

  103. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Well, seeing as the name “Scots” originally referred to an “Irish”grouping, it’s sort of approriate.

  104. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:

    …referenda there seem to play by rules I do not fully understand.

    To quote that great political philosopher Captain Hector Barbossa: “the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.”

    Essentially, whoever holds power can bend the rules to suit their purposes. Witin certain, very broad, limits.
    There are no legal requirements for required majorities of populations or voters, no definite time boundaries.
    The EU referendum was not even technically a binding referendum, but an advisory one.

    The EU referendum could, in theory, be overridden at any point; practically, the UK (or possibly its residuum by the time it happens) won’t be prepared to contemplate rejoining for a decade, at a guess. Not to mention the EU is likely to be very wary.
    A sort of EEA/EFTA style single market and customs arrangement is far more likely.

    As to Scottish independence, that would very likely in pracrice to be a one way street.