Sunday’s 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 and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. CSK says:

    “I saved your suburbs–women–suburban women. You’re supposed to love Trump.”

    — Donald Trump, Oct. 17, Muskegon, Michigan

    Damn, he has a way with words.

  2. de stijl says:

    I woke up super early. It was snowing heavy and wet. Lasted a half hour.

    Ten minutes later it was both raining and snowing simultaneously which happens very rarely.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Guns are a way to exercise power’: how the idea of overthrowing the government became mainstream

    Josh Horwitz has been an American gun control activist for nearly 30 years. In 2009, he co-wrote a book warning that the idea of armed revolt against the government was at the center of the US gun rights movement.

    Now, after a year that has seen heavily armed men show up at state capitols in Virginia, Michigan, Idaho and elsewhere to confront Democratic lawmakers over gun control and coronavirus restrictions, more Americans are taking gun owners’ rhetoric about “tyrants” seriously. Some of the same armed protesters who showed up at Michigan’s state house and at a pro-gun rally this summer were charged last week with conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s governor and put her on trial for tyranny.

    Other members of the “boogaloo” movement have allegedly murdered law enforcement officers in California and plotted acts of violence across the country in hopes of sparking a civil war.

    Horowitz spoke to the Guardian about how mainstream the idea of insurrection has become in American politics, and why lawmakers have failed to challenge it for decades.

    The conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

    Long story short, he is not optomistic that violence can be avoided.

    Have you seen any tipping point in how Democratic politicians are now responding to this kind of insurrectionist rhetoric?

    Let me be completely clear: the biggest problem is Republican elected officials, and the Republican who consistently use the insurrectionary idea and cheer on this type of behavior. While I wish Democrats would stand up and not just acquiesce, the Republican party has bought into a “second amendment remedies” idea that is now a danger, a grave danger, to America.

    The Republican elected officials in Virginia thought the gun rights march on the state capitol was the greatest thing since sliced bread. There are plenty of Republican officials who just think this is great.

    For some people, the Constitution begins and ends with “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”, never mind Article III, Sec 3.

  4. Michael Reynolds says:

    I also woke up super early. It’s foggy, but warm enough that I can be outside in my ‘office’ in t-shirt and an open hoodie. Mars has been the last celestial object I see at night through an east-facing window, and the first I see in the morning high in the west.

    I watched Sorkin’s Trial of the Chicago Seven on Netflix. Very well-done, well-written, directed and acted. I was around IRL for the coverage, I’d have been 15.

    I have some admiration for Hayden and Dellinger, Abbie and Jerry, but their decision to go after the Democratic convention had catastrophic results. Their notion that there was no effective difference between Humphrey, a hero of the Civil Rights movement, and Nixon, who was well, Nixon, was smug, arrogant, ignorant and destructive. They elected Richard Nixon. Nixon, who ramped up bombing and spread the Vietnam war to Laos and Cambodia, helping to destabilize Cambodia and empower the genocidal Khmer Rouge.

    The best of intentions, fueled by youthful passion, ignorance and arrogance, helped to cause the Killing Fields, not to mention the Southern Strategy and Watergate.

    So, really interesting group of guys who with all the best intentions helped cause the deaths of millions and saddled us with the worst president prior to the current one. We are still paying the price.

  5. Bill says:
  6. Bill says:
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice: The Town That Went Feral

    If the Libertarian vision of Freedom can take many shapes and sizes, one thing is bedrock: “Busybodies” and “statists” need to stay out of the way. And so the Free Towners spent years pursuing an aggressive program of governmental takeover and delegitimation, their appetite for litigation matched only by their enthusiasm for cutting public services. They slashed the town’s already tiny yearly budget of $1 million by 30 percent, obliged the town to fight legal test case after test case, and staged absurd, standoffish encounters with the sheriff to rack up YouTube hits. Grafton was a poor town to begin with, but with tax revenue dropping even as its population expanded, things got steadily worse. Potholes multiplied, domestic disputes proliferated, violent crime spiked, and town workers started going without heat. “Despite several promising efforts,” Hongoltz-Hetling dryly notes, “a robust Randian private sector failed to emerge to replace public services.” Instead, Grafton, “a haven for miserable people,” became a town gone “feral.” Enter the bears, stage right.

    Nobody could have seen that coming.

    Black bears, it should be stressed, are generally a pretty chill bunch. The woods of North America are home to some three-quarters of a million of them; on average, there is at most one human fatality from a black bear attack per year, even as bears and humans increasingly come into contact in expanding suburbs and on hiking trails. But tracking headlines on human-bear encounters in New England in his capacity as a regional journalist in the 2000s, Hongoltz-Hetling noticed something distressing: The black bears in Grafton were not like other black bears. Singularly “bold,” they started hanging out in yards and on patios in broad daylight. Most bears avoid loud noises; these casually ignored the efforts of Graftonites to run them off. Chickens and sheep began to disappear at alarming rates. Household pets went missing, too. One Graftonite was playing with her kittens on her lawn when a bear bounded out of the woods, grabbed two of them, and scarfed them down. Soon enough, the bears were hanging out on porches and trying to enter homes.

    Combining wry description with evocative bits of scientific fact, Hongoltz-Hetling’s portrayal of the bears moves from comical if foreboding to downright terrifying. These are animals that can scent food seven times farther than a trained bloodhound, that can flip 300-pound stones with ease, and that can, when necessary, run in bursts of speed rivaling a deer’s. When the bears finally start mauling humans—attacking two women in their homes—Hongoltz-Hetling’s relation of the scenes is nightmarish. “If you look at their eyes, you understand,” one survivor tells him, “that they are completely alien to us.”

    In conclusion:

    The distinction between a municipality of eccentric libertarians and a state whose response to crisis is, in so many words, “Learn to Live With It” may well be a matter of degree rather than kind. Whether it be assaults by bears, imperceptible toxoplasmosis parasites, or a way of life where the freedom of markets ultimately trumps individual freedom, even the most cocksure of Grafton’s inhabitants must inevitably face something beyond and bigger than them. In that, they are hardly alone. Clearly, when it comes to certain kinds of problems, the response must be collective, supported by public effort, and dominated by something other than too-tidy-by-half invocations of market rationality and the maximization of individual personal freedom. If not, well, then we had all best get some practice in learning when and how to play dead, and hope for the best.

    I’m gonna have to get Hetling’s book.

  8. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    Ten minutes later it was both raining and snowing simultaneously which happens very rarely.

    You’ve clearly never lived in Ithaca, NY where “Ithash!t” is a frequent and well-recognized (if unloved) form of lake-effect precipitation…

  9. MarkedMan says:

    I often hear people saying something to the effect “I hope terrible thing X actually happens because then things will get so bad even the most crazed supporters will have to realize somethings got to change.” If only that were true we would be living in a much better world. But it’s not how things work. When any group or organization starts to move towards extremism there is a very short window to pull back from the brink. Once that window is passed, the organization starts to drive out the moderates and attract the loons resulting in a downward spiral. The NY Times has an article about the once powerful NYC moderate Republicans and what they have become: basically a race to the bottom where billionaires donate money so politicians can give increasingly racist and apocalyptic speeches to the true believers. Another example is the California Republican Party. Order does not spring from chaos.

  10. DrDaveT says:


    Enter the bears, stage right.

    This gives whole new meaning to the phrase “Government is what separates us from the animals”.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Police officer poisoned by novichok in Salisbury to quit

    The police officer who almost died after he was exposed to novichok during the Salisbury poisonings in 2018 has announced he is quitting the force.

    DS Nick Bailey, who came into contact with the nerve agent when he and two colleagues searched the Salisbury home of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, said he was leaving Wiltshire police after 18 years because he “can no longer do the job”.
    Shortly after searching Skripal’s house following the poisoning, Bailey began to feel unwell. “My pupils were like pinpricks. And I was quite sweaty and hot.” He had gone home, but was rushed into hospital. “Everything was juddering. I was very unsteady on my feet,” he said in November.

    Subsequently, he and his family were not able to return home. “Not only did we lose the house, we lost all of our possessions, including everything the kids owned. We lost all that – the cars … we lost everything. And yeah, it’s been very difficult to kind of come to terms with that.”

  12. de stijl says:


    Between the New Hampshire project and Sealandia project it underscores capital L Libertarianism as a piss poor replacement for communitarianism – the neighborly approach to local disasters: the implicit promise that I will help you and you will help me when stuff hits the fan. It’s a socially retarded response to threat.

    FYIGM does not work in practice. (Eff You I Got Mine)

  13. DrDaveT says:


    I often hear people saying something to the effect “I hope terrible thing X actually happens because then things will get so bad even the most crazed supporters will have to realize somethings got to change.” If only that were true we would be living in a much better world.

    Yeah. If nothing else, the Trump “administration” serves as a conclusive disproof of that theory. I’m still trying to figure out how much of its continued support is based on ignorance of the actual state of affairs*, how much is unwillingness to admit to having been conned, and how much is True Belief in hateful things.

    *For example, actually believing that we now have the strongest economy ever, or the best balance of trade, or a boom in manufacturing jobs, or the best health care in the world, or…

  14. Teve says:

    The first thing I saw on Facebook when I woke up today

    NOVA | PBS

    What is wildfire smoke made of, and how does breathing it in affect our lungs and bodies? Hear from an atmospheric scientist, a pulmonologist, and a pair of veteran engineers on NOVA Now.

    Listen anywhere you listen to podcasts:

    Lance Burnett

    Why don’t they just wear cloth masks? If they can stop a virus, they should be able to stop smoke inhalation too.

    O, to have the confidence of the dumb.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Iran hails lifting of 13-year UN arms embargo as ‘momentous day’

    The Iranian foreign ministry said: “As of today, all restrictions on the transfer of arms, related activities and financial services to and from the Islamic Republic of Iran … are all automatically terminated.”

    The foreign minister described the day as momentous and put the event in a diplomatic as much as a military context. “Today’s normalisation of Iran’s defence cooperation with the world is a win for the cause of multilateralism and peace and security in our region,” said Javad Zarif.

    However, the defence ministry said “unconventional arms, weapons of mass destruction and a buying spree of conventional arms” had no place in the country’s defence doctrine.

    Score another goal for the Pompeo school of foreign policy.

  16. de stijl says:


    One day north of Red Lodge, MT it was foggy sunny rainy sleet hail snowy then sunny again. In late September.

    Come late afternoon we got a quieter campsite down lower elevation, but that was a hell of an afternoon.

    Simultaneous snow + rain can happen at the edge of seasons here but the conditions that can make it happen are rare. Usually it is a or b. Rarely is it a and b.

    And this was snow at the very edge of the concept – so heavy and clumped it fell like white rain.

  17. CSK says:

    This is depressing:

    The minister of health said that “We are really very close to a tsunami. We no longer control what is happening.” All bars and restaurants will close as of Monday, and there will be a midnight curfew.

  18. Teve says:

    Tried to watch Saturday Night Live’s cold open last night, but Jim Carrey’s insane impression of Joe Biden is just no good at all.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 – in pictures

    This one is just otherworldly:

    Baikal Treasure
    This shot of snow hummocks with the ice backlit by the midday sun at Lake Baikal in Siberia was voted the public’s favourite.

  20. Mister Bluster says:

    @DrDaveT:..lake-effect precipitation
    My family and I lived on the shores of Lake Ontario near Rochester for the first 13 years of my life. We relocated to the mid west in ’61. I have dim memories of piles of snow on the ground for all but a few weeks in early August.
    When I was living in the Chicago area Warren the Weatherman on WLS-AM called the snow-rain mixture “snain”.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In college I read some Libertarian manifesto and for a few weeks thought it made a lot of sense. But, even way back then, when I tried to match what I had read with the real world it quickly fell apart. The world just does not work that way. Ever since then, for four decades, I’ve been asking anyone I come across that has Libertarian leanings – point me to one actual success story from a government at any level embracing Libertarian philosophy. Not one. Libertarism is essentially Big Foot. If we haven’t seen one by now, it doesn’t exist

  22. CSK says:

    Incredible. Really stunning.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: “We did not want to make life impossible,” he said, contending that isolation and depression are “enemies” along with the virus itself. “So we have to allow for death”

    (the above italicized are my addition. -OH)

    I don’t disagree that isolation and depression can be problems and that for some they can become serious problems but in today’s instant communication everywhere world* I find it hard to believe isolation for a couple weeks is that hard to mitigate.

    *one OzarkHillbilly being the exception to the instant communication everywhere world rule, I have found that while true isolation is a difficult state to attain, with diligence and effort one can achieve at least a temporary state of isolation.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Yep, Abominable snowman, Loch Ness monster territory.

  25. CSK says:

    I was talking about this with some friends, all of whom live quite happily alone, and we agreed that this enforced isolation was no problem in that it was little different from normal self-imposed solitude.

    Of course, we all like to read, and have large personal libraries, which makes all the difference. It’s like that Twilight Zone episode “World Enough and Time”…only we don’t break our glasses.

  26. Sleeping Dog says:


    Or at least—not yet. Statewide, a perverse synergy between conservationist and austerity impulses in New Hampshire governance has translated into an approach to “bear management” policy that could accurately be described as laissez-faire.

    Ah yup, that’s Cow Hampshire on issue after issue. The only thing does well and consistently is spread hot top on the broken roads. Of course they don’t fix the underlying problem that causes the broken roads, so after a winter or two the frost heaves (Longfellow rocks!) create mini mountains that lift tickets could sold on and a few feet away, the roadway collapses into a trough.

  27. de stijl says:

    I spent an autumn and most of a winter in Duluth. Way back.

    Being at the western end of a fairly cold body of water it was not as snow intense as Buffalo. In the late fall NE winds can have that effect like western NY, but it is the cumulative effect of clipper after clipper that adds up through December, January, and February.

    You walk down a residential sidewalk in late January and the piles are chest high both sides. DPD issue no jaywalking citations December through April because it is practically impossible to cross a street except at the intersection.

    I loved it. The extremity of it.

    The problem was driving up the hill. You would just spin and could make little or no progress until plowed.

    This makes me want to listen to Low one of my all time fave bands.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I recognize that my own psychology is uniquely suited to this moment in time. I have always felt most at home wandering the woods by myself or sitting in a chair with a book. It is not for everybody. And while one can’t hug over zoom, a conversation with a beloved sister via it should at least tamp down the psychosis.

  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Simultaneous snow + rain can happen at the edge of seasons here but the conditions that can make it happen are rare.

    Depends on where you live mixed rain/snow storms are quite common in coastal areas particularly in seasonal transition months, but even in the dead of winter. That large puddle that you look across doesn’t freeze, except Alaska, and the water temp will vary from the mid 30’s to the mid 40’s

  30. CSK says:

    I think there are some people who can’t stand being physically alone. They have to have another body in the house/room with them. Obviously you’re not one of those people, nor am I. This isn’t the first time I’ve been grateful for that.

  31. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Do you ever miss four full distinct seasons?

  32. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I heard there was a fair amount of snow in NH last night, though well to the north of you, I think.

  33. Teve says:

    LOL I was just treated the following exchange on Facebook.

    Friend: (posts news story that only 29% of Canadians like the US, down from 73% 10 years ago)
    Rando: Fake News
    Friend: no, it’s not
    Rando: how do u know
    Friend: I’m Canadian

  34. Andy says:

    I’ve been absent from OTB for a while so I probably missed it, but was there a final word on what happened to Doug M., and is he OK?

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I spent an autumn and most of a winter in Duluth. Way back.

    You have my sympathies.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Andy: Word is he is fine, beyond that is private. He is much missed around here.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: MASHA (Make America a Shit Hole Again)

  38. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “I watched Sorkin’s Trial of the Chicago Seven on Netflix”

    I did, too. Found it fascinating that Sorkin found his hero in Hoffman, particularly because when I was a kid (I’m about six years younger than you), my father despised Hoffman and the Yippies. Not because of their politics — my father was a professor at UC Berkeley and I have very clear memories of going on long peace marches in San Francisco in my stroller — but because he thought they were, well, pretty much how you describe them today.

    But I think Sorkin sees the split between Hoffman and Hayden as the gulf between the politics of the early 1960s and the kind that Reagan would adopt to run on and that now have engulfed everything — what Guy Debord describes as the “society of the spectacle.” Sorkin finally gets around to suggesting a synthesis, that you need Hoffman’s sparkle to sell Hayden’s substance, but his heart is clearly with the gleeful Hoffman and the glum Hayden, who seems to have stepped right out of the pages of The Best and the Brightest.

    I’ve got a little more to say on the subject, but it’s about the politics, not the movie, so I will do that in a separate message.

  39. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I am accustomed to northern mid-continental weather.

  40. de stijl says:


    I loved it.

    Duluth in summer is almighty fine. Cool and crisp.

    Duluth in winter is primal and dark. It speaks to me.

  41. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Abbie and Jerry, but their decision to go after the Democratic convention had catastrophic results. Their notion that there was no effective difference between Humphrey, a hero of the Civil Rights movement, and Nixon, who was well, Nixon, was smug, arrogant, ignorant and destructive. They elected Richard Nixon. ”

    I know that this is one of your core political beliefs and I can’t imagine I could ever disabuse you of it. But I think you give them — and all the hippies, for that matter — far too much credit and blame.

    I’ll admit I was just a kid in ’68. but I was growing up in one of the most liberal parts of one of the most liberal communities in the country — academia in Berkeley. And these people, all proud Democrats, had simply come to hate LBJ, and by extension HHH. The voting rights bill didn’t matter, Medicare didn’t matter… all that was swept away by the war. And not only the war, but the awareness that Johnson had chosen this war, was continuing it for no reason, and — most crucially — had been lying about it all along. (All of which, by the way, turned out to be exactly right.) And because HHH would not or could not distance himself from Johnson on the war, they came to hate him as well.

    Was this ultimately self-destructive? Of course it was, in the same way some Democrats let their dislike of Hillary Clinton keep them from the polls in 2016. But it’s really hard to get a majority of a party to vote for someone they hate, even if the alternative is the other guy winning — that’s not just 1968, that’s an immutable fact of politics.

    The problem for Humphrey was not hard hats hating hippies and thus turning out for Nixon. It was that the Democratic party was irreconcilably split over Vietnam, with a huge percentage of its voters believing it had taken the country into an illegal, immoral and unwinnable war and was sacrificing the lives of thousands of American boys (and uncountable Vietnamese citizens) — there was simply no way to bring that party together.

    And meanwhile, only one candidate was promising to end the war quickly. True, Nixon was lying when he said this and I’m sure most Democrats saw through him. But when you’ve got one guy lying about how he wants to end the war on one hand and a guy who has been right in the thick of keeping it going on the other, are you really motivated to run to the ballot box?

  42. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “I’m gonna have to get Hetling’s book.”

    I’m about half way through it. It’s brilliant and funny, somehow managing to lay out just how awful these libertarians were while still finding their humanity and never sneering at them.

    And man have I learned a lot about the history of bears in America! And about what a ludicrous place New Hampshire is…

  43. Kathy says:

    Breakfast suggestion: grilled cheese sandwich with gouda, turkey, browned onions, and chipotle mayonnaise, topped with Dijon mustard.

    Next time I’m putting in mushrooms as well as onions.

  44. charon says:


    I’m still trying to figure out how much of its continued support is based on ignorance of the actual state of affairs*, how much is unwillingness to admit to having been conned, and how much is True Belief in hateful things.

    Trump’s Triumphs of the Will
    Why do Trumpsters love Trump?

  45. de stijl says:


    No official statement as far as I know.

    He left.

    My opinion is that his work load was too high and he burnt out. He shouldered a big burden for years.

    The day to day articles that Doug was doing is hard-core yeoman’s work and he was nailing it.

    I wish him all the best.

  46. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    Not even a little. Even when I know we desperately need rain, even if it’s been 30 days of uninterrupted sunshine, I still hate a rainy day. Having survived Portland, ME, Minneapolis and Chicago, I am done with cold. Having likewise survived the Florida panhandle, Orlando and Sarasota, I am over humidity.

    From the South Bay to the Valley
    From the West Side to the East Side
    Everybody’s very happy
    ‘Cause the sun is shining all the time
    Looks like another perfect day
    I love L.A.

  47. de stijl says:


    I am a person that needs and sometimes craves alone time. For every hour I am in the wider world, I need an hour alone to destress.

    This was a major factor in relationships that broke or failed to take hold fully that might’ve.

    I need alone time like oxygen.

  48. Teve says:

    Wow. Ron Johnson went on Fox News today and said that Hunter Biden‘s computer (fake) has child porn on it.

    Stupid people with shitty values.

  49. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Humidity is the worst. My body copes poorly.

    I did a gig in Orlando in August and my lord it was stupid. That was devil’s bunghole hot, sticky, and stanky.

  50. Teve says:


    Hunter Biden’s laptop is a disaster for the entire Biden family, but especially for his father, Joe. It is now a proven fact, and cannot be denied, that all of that info is the REAL DEAL. That makes it impossible for “50%, or 10%” Joe, to ever assume the office of the President!


    Joe Biden is a corrupt politician, and everybody knows it. Now you have the proof, perhaps like never was had before on a major politician. Laptop plus. This is the second biggest political scandal in our history!

  51. de stijl says:


    Shitty people relying on Russian disinformation to harm a fellow American with different policy preferences to address issues facing all of us for short term political advantage.

    Faking like he is a patriot.

    What the fuck happened to Republicans???!

    They trust Putin and distrust, dismiss, and attack American intelligence services.

    It is god damned crazy. America first my butt. It is any means to destroy the internal “enemy” even embracing propaganda from states actively working to effect our downfall.

    This is insane.

  52. Teve says:

    Wow. Didn’t know this.

    what a moment: American hero @GeorgeTakei explaining to @PeteButtigieg why Gene Roddenberry couldn’t tackle LGBT issues on the original @StarTrek – the episode w/ the interracial kirk/uhura kiss was the lowest-rated ep, because networks in the south wouldn’t air it. #TrektheVote

  53. Bill says:

    @de stijl:

    I did a gig in Orlando in August and my lord it was stupid.

    I did recruit training and after corpsman school was assigned there(June to August 1979, March 80 to October 82). Summer in Orlando, 8 months out of the year and little to no wind, it was not a lot of fun. Except I was close to South Florida while my mother’s health was declining. Then I did Subic Bay from 87-89, heat, typhoons, and earthquakes. Oh my!

    Back to recruit training, cases of heat exhaustion were common. I saw and or treated a couple of dozen at least. Even saw one case involving an RDC.

  54. Teve says:

    @de stijl:

    What the fuck happened to Republicans???!

    60 years of going after the dumb uneducated racist southern white vote.

  55. Teve says:


    Which would mean that Rudy has been sitting on a hard drive full of child porn for however long he had it. Not sure THAT is the slam dunk those guys want, either…

    Stupid, stupid fucking people.

  56. Kylopod says:


    what a moment: American hero @GeorgeTakei explaining to @PeteButtigieg why Gene Roddenberry couldn’t tackle LGBT issues on the original @StarTrek

    There’s something I’ve wondered about for a while. You know how gay and bi performers drop hints of their orientation years before coming out, often by cheekily referencing some stereotype? Elton John had “The Bitch is Back.” Rob Halford had “Hell Bent for Leather.” Freddie Mercury–I mean, jeez, the very name of his band! Well, in Star Trek IV there’s a scene where the ship is hovering over Golden Gate Bridge and Sulu says, in a very smug tone of voice, “San Francisco: I was born there.”

    That was nearly two decades before Takei came out.

    I’m no hardcore Trekkie (I’ve never watched an entire episode of the original show) and I don’t know when Sulu’s birthplace is first mentioned in the series. But let me tell you, it would not surprise me if either this was Takei’s idea or it came from some writer who knew of his orientation. (Takei, incidentally, was born in LA.)

  57. CSK says:

    I agree with all this, but there’s more to it than just what the author lists. As you know, I check daily. The commenters over there see, or claim to see, a totally different person from the one we do. They see (or claim repeatedly that they see) the greatest president we’ve ever had, an avatar of masculinity, a businessman of unparalleled brilliance, an accomplished statesman, a devout Christian, a wonderful father, a loving and faithful husband, and a loyal friend. His only flaw is that, out of the goodness of his heart, he sometimes trusts the wrong people.

    Of course, there’s more than ample proof that Trump is the exact opposite of all those things. But int the eyes of his supporters, it’s Trump and true patriotic Americans against…us.

  58. de stijl says:


    I only do breakfast food on weekends. I cannot tell you why.

    Friday I ate roast pork and potato planks and mixed spring greens salad at 6:30 am.

    Saturday I did sunny side up eggs and bacon and English muffins with so much butter.

    What work I do now is remote consulting and for people I’ve worked with for decades.

    90% of my year is mine. I sleep when tired and eat when hungry.

    I totally embrace your scheme of eat whatever you want whenever you want in reasonable portions.

  59. Michael Reynolds says:

    Our eldest daughter is in the streets of the Bay Area fairly frequently of late, either demonstrating for trans rights or as Antifa supporting BLM. Being the person she is she has an app that’s a sort of dead man switch – if she doesn’t click on it after a certain period of time it sends us a notice along with her last GPS location.

    She’s made a lot of, well, let’s call them ‘challenging’ decisions in her 23 years – she’s got my DNA, we didn’t expect her to be anything but challenging. But the thing we are proudest of is that this materially spoiled, very loved child of privilege is passionate and committed to justice. (We’ve talked/argued politics since she was maybe 12.) She hits us up at least once a week to support some bail fund or trans shelter or medicos helping out Antifa wounded.

    Nixon beat Humphrey by half a point. I think it’s inarguable that some of that was the result of Chicago 1968. HHH did not get the chance to make his case at that convention. He was boxed in by LBJ, by Daley, and by Hayden and Rubin et al. I generally reject single cause explanations, so I don’t think it would be fair to blame the SDS or the Yippies for Nixon, but they were a contributing cause.

    Humphrey was a hero. In 1948 he stood up at an earlier convention and demanded that the Democrats embrace civil rights. “Get out of the shadow of states’ rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.” 15 years before I have a dream. When SDS decided that there was no difference between Nixon, a notorious red-baiter, and Humphrey, they were flatly wrong. Objectively wrong at the time, and shown to be wrong by history.

    There’s a rather beautiful moment in the film (I wish I had the quote) when Bobby Seale basically lays out for Hayden the difference between their rebellion against their fathers, and his rebellion against ropes hanging from trees. The white peace movement was so focused on Vietnam they forgot about Civil Rights. Much as at times Antifa has overshadowed BLM.

    My kid, like the best of Antifa, knows who she is and what she risks, which is far less than the Black kid standing beside her in a demonstration. Arrest my daughter and a hard rain of lawyers is going to drop from the sky. That’s probably not how it would go for the Black kid. But the fact that she gets it does not mean she has any power to stop some hothead from smashing windows. She can’t edit every sign. She’s not the one deciding where to protest next.

    I do understand wrong decisions based on imperfect knowledge. I voted for Nixon in 1972, so, I’m not pretending to preternatural wisdom. But I was 18. Hayden et al were not kids, he was 28 in 1968, Abbie Hoffman was 32. Dellinger was 53 FFS. They could have known better, they should have known better, but they only saw Vietnam. They lost the big picture, and as a consequence, they moved the needle toward 8 years of Nixon, with all that meant for history.

    My daughter, 23, by contrast, sees the bigger picture. She’s been taught about 1968 and Kent State as well. She knows some history. Along with my recklessness she inherited her mother’s patience and willingness to learn. She is focused on trans issues, but has bandwidth to spare for BLM and for economic inequality. Swap her for Tom Hayden and I think the outcome would have been better. I think she’d have known who the real enemy was. God knows she’s light years ahead of where I was at her age. If I’m hard on Hayden et al it’s in part because I’ve seen smarter. But at the same time, I am acutely aware of what a useless twat I was at 18, at 23 and at 28.

  60. robert sharperson says:

    @CSK: And his quote in Pennsylvania. He has no clue on how to court suburban white women. So sad.

    “So can I just ask you to do me a favor: suburban women, will you please like me?” Trump told the crowd in Johnstown, Pa. “I saved your damned neighborhood, OK?”

  61. Michael Reynolds says:

    I saw the Kirk/Uhura kiss live, with my mother in the room. We knew right away what it was, what it meant, and how ballsy Roddenberry was to go there. We stopped breathing. It was a moment, as historic in its way as the moon landing eight months later.

  62. de stijl says:


    I was a content person for a very short lived blog where every Tuesday was Sulu clips and riffing.

    This was after he had come out.

    Oh, my!

    Takei is a personal hero.

  63. CSK says:

    @robert sharperson:
    He made the identical plea to suburban women in Muskegon, Michigan last night.
    The man has a remarkable facility for combining groveling with bullying.

  64. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I saw it, too, with my parents and siblings present. No one turned a hair. It was no big deal to us. In fact, it was no deal at all. I didn’t realize at the time what an uproar it would cause in the south.

  65. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Randy Newman could do sarcasm and irony straight like nobody’s business.

  66. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @CSK: And you know what the amazing thing is? Within the plot of the episode, the kiss wasn’t even consensual. Kirk and Uhura were being forced to kiss by some aliens who had kidnapped them. As far as I know (bearing in mind I’ve never watched the show beyond some clips), there was no implied romance between the two characters. Yet even that was enough to set off the bigots.

  67. Michael Reynolds says:

    We had just relocated from the Redneck Riviera, Niceville, Florida where we’d been threatened for having Black kids over at the house, to Urbandale, Iowa, where there were no Black people. It was a, ‘OMG, are they really doing this?’ moment.

  68. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    He intended irony but ended up writing the theme song for Angelenos. A bit like Bruce and Born In the USA.

  69. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I think our young people will save us.

    Your daughter amongst them. Perhaps at the forefront. We need a new, hard tweek to our ethos because we kinda fucked this up.

    In 1980 I thought that my generation would solve our ills. We moved the ball down the field a few yards, yeah, but in a practical sense we failed to do what was needed and what we intended.

    God bless our kids. Speed on!

  70. CSK says:

    There’s a whole Wikipedia entry on it!

  71. Sleeping Dog says:


    Yeah, the Globe mentioned 7″ around Jefferson and Rangely ME, that may as well be Canada. It was 35 at the house this morning and now is a balmy 54.

  72. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “They could have known better, they should have known better, but they only saw Vietnam. They lost the big picture,”

    It’s so easy to see that now, fifty years on. At the time, I’d suggest, a lot of people thought Vietnam WAS the big picture. That is was such a betrayal of everything America was supposed to stand for that nothing else mattered. (And remember, too, that hero after hero of the young and the left had been murdered in the previous five years…) If Bobby hadn’t been murdered there would have been a Democratic candidate to rally around, one who was not compromised by the war. (And yes we know now there were other compromises — but again, hindsight…)

    Humphrey was indeed a hero, and probably would have been a very good president. But just as Colin Powell lost all credibility forever after the moment he chose to carry W’s water and make that lying speech to the UN, HHH had lost his by being unable to oppose the war.

    I don’t mean to relitigate the 68 election. Nixon was indeed one of the worst presidents in history, and most of the good things he’s credited with — like the EPA — were really a product of a Democratic congress with a veto-proof majority, so Nixon could sign and claim victory or veto and be seen as a loser.

    But things inevitably look a lot different when you’re inside them than half a century later. Those were crazy times…

  73. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: ” If I’m hard on Hayden et al it’s in part because I’ve seen smarter.”

    I think the primary miracle of the American Revolution was that the people angry enough to rise up were also the people smart enough to make it work. That is almost never the case and that’s one reason so many popular revolts are crushed or just fizzle out.

  74. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “He intended irony but ended up writing the theme song for Angelenos.”

    I believe that the city offered to adopt the song as its official theme but only if he would replace the line “look at that bum over there, he’s down on his knees.” Newman declined.

    Still, when I ran the LA Marathon many years back, that’s what they played to start the race!

  75. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There are at least a dozen or so black people in Urbandale now. Some of them are not adopted by infertile white couples. 🙂

    Urbandale is way different from when you experienced it then. It is now where UMC whites and strip malls collide. Think Thousand Oaks with newer buildings. When West Des Moines folks get white fright, they move to Urbandale.

    Des Moines has an active and effective BLM corps. They are doing a really good job at getting out the good word.

  76. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Ah northern, mid continent weather, Alberta clippers, waking up on Memorial Day and looking out the window and thinking you slept through summer as the sky and air has the feel of November, autumn beginning is mid August, I could go on.

  77. Sleeping Dog says:


    He thinks it is cute and sexy.

  78. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: Summer in FL is like winter in Duluth, don’t go outside except for short walks to or from an air conditioned/heated car. My brother lived in Duluth for Several years. Visited him for a week at Christmas. Never broke -20. I’ll take Florida. And the beaches are better.

    This is the really nice time of year in FL. Temps have dropped and the tourists aren’t here yet

  79. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Well, he has another think coming, doesn’t he?
    “Cute ‘n’ sexy” are not the first two words that spring to my mind when I ruminate on Donald Trump. “Churlish ‘n’ stupid”? Check. “Loud ‘n’ crass”? Check. “Vulgar ‘n’ trashy”? Check.
    Definitely not “cute ‘n’ sexy.”

  80. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: i’ve been through Minnesota a lot over the years in every direction. Never got above negative 20 in Duluth? I don’t buy it.

  81. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    You speak as if you know.

    In White Bear Lake there used to be a thing – a contest. They towed a junker car out on the lake ice. Set up an official timer.

    You had to bet on the day, hour, minute that the junker went down. Winner gets a car or RV whatever. The proceeds went to city funds.

    It was brilliant because people were betting on when spring would be sprung this year.

    March is hard. Winter should be nearly spent but at least in my neck of the woods is the actual snowiest of all the months of winter.

    April is a total tease. On April 6 – 62 and sunny. April 7 – 8 inches of snow and blustery. April 9th – 67 and sunny.

    It messes with your head. Autumn progresses correctly. Spring is random.

  82. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    Randy Newman could do sarcasm and irony straight like nobody’s business.

    We short people are aware of that.

  83. de stijl says:


    What is your reason for living?

  84. Teve says:


    People do not line up in record numbers three weeks before election day to vote because they’re happy with the way things are going. He’s going down, and it’s going to be a landslide.

  85. Sleeping Dog says:


    You my friend are living in a reality based world. Donald, not so much.

  86. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    I lived in Mpls for 25 years. Moved there in September and on Nov 4, the high was 4. I do say that the springs, while unpredictable, can be very lovely. Unlike here in New England where we are lucky to see more than 2 consecutive sunny days till Memorial Day, the its summer.

  87. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Yes, there’s practically no spring here. Forget March and April. May can be lovely, though, with the leaves on the trees just bursting out and all the flowering shrubs.

  88. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: That’s because you don’t live in the PNW. It rains and snow at the same time all the time here. More often than not, in fact.

  89. de stijl says:


    Could be hyperbole, but there are cold snaps that last a few days.

    The average in the depth of late January in Minneapolis high temp is 23 on January 21.

    I know that from memory.

    Btw, there is a certain character to late January sunshine – it is yellower than normal and extremely clear. The dewpoint is like -5F so essentially there is almost no water vapor between you and mother Sun and it is glorious!

    For a two or three day visit not getting above -20 in Duluth is believable.

    Coldest I ever experienced was -48 NW of Duluth at a friend’s cabin.

    That bites hard, but with the proper gear is totally doable. Pay attention to toes, fingers, and ears carefully and nip inside if you need to.

    We tossed a bucket of water in the air. Total bust – it went up and came down as room temperature water.

    Smart girl went inside and fetched the spritz bottle she saw under the sink and that totally worked. The trick is surface area and time.

    It was cool – they had a sauna. If you bake yourself in a sauna for 20 – 30 minutes and step outside you steam. If you jump in a snow bank and then jump back up the snow just slides off you. You steam like a motherfucker.

    It is really intense. Most alive I have ever felt.

    In 2001 there was a four day stretch in Minneapolis where it never got warmer than -12F overnight was -30ish. It was an anomaly, but it did happen.

    I was working with European expats and they were freaking out. It was funny.

  90. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I apologize. I should have recalled your nym.

    We talked about Nye’s a couple of month’s back.

  91. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    The coldest week that I experience in Mpls was 1996 or 97, the high for the week was -1 or-2 and there was a 3-4 day stretch that the high was -20. At my house the low for the week was -38 ambient, thankfully no wind chill as the air was still.

    At work on the -38 morning, the few of us whose cars started, entertained ourselves by throwing cups of hot water into the air and watching them vaporize.

    Yes the sky can be beautifully clear in January. Favored winter activity was taking a book to the greenhouse at the Walker Sculpture Garden or over to Como Park and the greenhouses there.

  92. grumpy realist says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Heh, “spring” in New England is nothing more than 1 month of rain and churned mud. Then we get three glorious days and then bam, hot and sticky summer.

  93. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I haven’t heard a live human voice in about 4 or 5 days. Normally it doesn’t trouble me too much, but for some reason this is different. I’ve never been a “cabin fever” type, but I’m starting to feel it sometimes these days. First time in my life.

    I suspect that some of it is that by now most years since I got back from Korea, I’d be working 3 or 4 days a week, but this year administrators with nothing better to do are covering the empty classrooms when teachers are away for doctor’s visits and such. Not that there’s even much coverage required at all. Still, it would drive me bonkers if I was still teaching full time. Administering distance education is not what I’d gone back to school for 4 years to do. The corrupting of young minds was the only part that ever mattered to me.

  94. Teve says:


    “The Lord said to me I’m going to give our President a second win.”

    President Trump attends the International Church of Las Vegas service in Nevada with Hope Hicks and Kayleigh McEnany. They aren’t wearing masks.

    Hundred dollars says your god’s full of shit Sparky.

  95. Teve says:

    Ugh. The edit problem is for the birds.

  96. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: It wasn’t a big deal in my family either, but I grew up in Seattle. Every classroom I was ever in from the Kindergarten on had at least one kid from a mixed race marriage of some sort. Lots of them were “war brides,” including my mom although she was Irish so the only off part of that was my dad being of Italian heritage. But Italians and Irish had become white by then, so it was a nothing burger combo.

  97. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..The edit problem is for the birds.

    You can say that again…
    Look! There’s the EDIT Button! Might as well use it.

  98. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    In 1996 I lived a block off Hennepin and Franklin. Liquor Lyle’s is best bar ever – maybe CC Club. I would go to the Walker all the time. My gf was a docent.

    In the early 80’s I went to uni in St. Paul and the greenhouse / arboretum at Como Park was the best place to do class reading. 35 cents bus ride.

    In February, the smell of actual growing plants is intoxicating.

    We might have seen one another. That’s really cool. Peace!

  99. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Stand Up Franks, too. I totally remember you.

    I should have recognized your name. I apologize for spacing out. That was uncool on my part.

  100. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I have warm feelings for those who corrupt young minds. Don’t have much use for those who want to mold young minds.

  101. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @wr: On that recommendation, it has moved to the top of the list.

  102. Teve says:


    Can we trade @chucktodd for @TovaOBrien? Like, now?

    watch this clip of Tova

  103. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    D@mn, Stand Up Franks. Saw an old guy, maybe 70’s and built like a fire plug completely destroy a couple of frat boys who were harassing him. You could see the regulars, who knew what was coming, jockeying for the best view.

    Gone now, replaced by some hipster joint. That strip club that was closer to Washington is gone as well. There goes the neighborhood. Mostly, I was a West Banker, Palmers, the 400, the Viking and sometimes the 5 Corners, but made it over to Lyles and the CC on occasion. Of the WB bars only Palmers survives.

  104. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Sleet. We usually get a solid month of it in Britain.
    (Well, not that much, but it feels like it; sleet is very common in winter here)

    Heh. The picture from England, in Cumbria “Wet Sleddale”.
    That’s the truth. Gets about 130 in of rain a year there; IIRC about the same as the damper bits of Washington State.

  105. de stijl says:


    This was not sleet. It rain and snow simultaneous. Apparently this is not uncommon in the PNW or in New England coastal areas by prior comments.

    It is very rare here mid-continent.

    Sleet is quite common here.

    And a fairly common occurrence here is the combo of either sleet and rain, or sleet and snow. Very occasionally graupel.

  106. flat earth luddite says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @de stijl:
    A very good friend of mine reminds his students that if they’re going to change the world, then don’t make the mistake our generation made of going after the money first. Change the world, THEN sell out.

  107. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: While I was in ed school, I read an article about Meyer’s Briggs testing as the results related to two specific types–NJs and NPs–noting that they comprised most of the teachers in the K-12 system because, particularly S-types (sensing as opposed to iNtuitive) don’t usually become teachers. The crux of the article was that the Js most often saw the goal of education to be to produce replicas of themselves while the Ps saw the goal as providing the tools one needs to not require teachers at some given point in the future.

    A secondary point that the author made in passing was that while NJs represent about 35% of students they made up 85% of the teaching staff and over 90% of the administration. The author felt that the statistic was important because he or she subscribed to a theory that the only student cohort that responded positively to NJs were… other NJs. The author speculated that a significant amount of the unrest and dysfunction of schools could be ascribed to the imbalance in personality types among staff overall but that the imbalance was unlikely to correct because Js prefer to work with other Js and control most of the hiring process. On a more positive note, Js were better than Ps at maintaining discipline in their classes–a trait that I can admit laxness about.

    An interesting theory, if nothing else.

  108. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    That’s fascinating.

  109. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The Myers-Briggs typing is basically bullshit.

    It is pseudo-science adjacent.

  110. de stijl says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    A problem with the theory is that everyone needs money for rent, basic utilities, food, and at least two or three sets of clothes, laundry. No one today does anything today without internet. A vehicle makes life way easier in most of the US outside of the folks who live and work in major cities.

    Base is ~ $30k per year. Adjustable by region. NYC or SF double that just on rent.

    Let’s pick a low cost of living place like Omaha. You’d need ~ $30k for an ascetic life in a studio apartment.

    Ignoring any student debt.

    You sort of have to sell out a bit before you can even start trying to change the world in your off hours.

  111. de stijl says:


    Per your comment the other day mentioning Velouria ( ah ah ah ah ah). It reminded me I have been ignoring The Pixies for awhile now and they were basically the co-backbone of my listening habits back then.

    I have been mainlining The Pixies and Black Francis and Kim Deal for days.

    Thank you. I’ve missed them. Bad oversight on my part but they just sorta slipped off my rotation. Never again!

    My top faves tonight is:


    Head On (a cover Jesus and the Mary Chain song which also kicks ass)

    Ask me tomorrow and I will likely have new faves.

    This monkey’s going to heaven.

  112. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:


    However, I don’t recall ever mentioning the size of the portion 😉

  113. de stijl says:



    Whatever you want, whenever you want, as much as you want.

    I like that. That is a good lyric. It works in many arenas.

  114. de stijl says:

    Speaking of word play…

    A really good friend of mine started seeing another good friend of mine. I was the yenta.

    When you are friends with someone their name becomes a thing you no longer think through.

    His name is Chance. Super solid dude. Trust him with my life. If he’s for it, I am too. If he’s against it, I hate it more. Love him.

    I knew a young woman. Spunky. Smart. Stand-up great person. (Smart is the best). Destiny, a friend of mine fancies you hard. Do you want to chat?

    They were instantly a couple. I earned my yenta spurs. They clicked bang right then.

    It never occured to me that Chance and Destiny was the oddest / coolest pairing of names.

    When you know someone well the name is reflexive – the verbal placeholder for the themness.

    It took me two months to realize I had hooked up Destiny with Chance as words instead of people. It had never occurred to me how awesomely stupid and funny that was. Nearly had an aneurism I laughed so hard at myself.

    Six months out they broke up. I suck as a matchmaker. She was smarter than him and wanted more – good call. Do not settle.

    It took me months to see the obvious.

  115. DrDaveT says:


    Sleet. We usually get a solid month of it in Britain.

    ObFlandersAndSwann: “We had a lovely spring last year. I missed it though; I was in the bathroom.”

    January brings the snow,
    Makes your feet and fingers glow.

    February’s ice and sleet,
    Freeze the toes right off your feet.
    Welcome, March, with wint’ry wind,
    Would thou weren’t not so unkind.

    April brings the sweet spring showers,
    On and on for hours and hours.

    Farmers fear unkindly May,
    Frost by night and hail by day.

    June just rains and never stops,
    Thirty days and spoils the crops.
    In July the sun is hot,
    Flanders: Is it shining?
    Swann: No it’s not!

    Both: August, cold and dank and wet,
    Brings more rain than any yet.

    Bleak September’s mist and mud,
    Is enough to chill the blood.
    Then October adds a gale,
    Wind and slush and rain and hail.

    Dark November brings the fog,
    Should not do it to a dog.

    Freezing wet December, then…
    Both: bloody January again!

  116. de stijl says:


    Nice! Every month has its barb.

  117. JohnSF says:

    Does anyone know if the commenting/comment editing issues are browser related?
    I tried to post a while back, it promptly vanished!
    Tried re-posting, had a message “looks like you’ve already posted that” but comment still not visible, even after closing browser, reopen and refresh.
    Also, annoying.