Sunday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open 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.

Comments

  1. Bill says:
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As If the Platypus Couldn’t Get Any Weirder

    The platypus is nature’s crazy quilt, as this strange creature looks like about a half-dozen different animals all rolled into one. Turns out that platypuses were hiding yet another conspicuous feature: THEY CAN FREAKIN’ GLOW IN THE DARK.

    It’s not enough to be a mammal who lays eggs, sports a duck-like bill and webbed feet, hunts using electroreception, and wields venomous spurs. The platypus also glows green under ultraviolet light. Because of course it does. Details of this unexpected discovery were published earlier this month in the science journal Mammalia.

    Something else I did not know:

    The platypus now joins a very exclusive club, as it’s one of only three known biofluorescent mammals, the other two being opossums and flying squirrels.

    I actually have a blacklight flashlight that I use for hunting hornworms at night. I’m gonna have to use it on the next possum I see and if I get lucky maybe even a flying squirrel or 2 might reveal themselves.

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  3. Bill says:
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Crossroads of the climate crisis’: swing state Arizona grapples with deadly heat

    “I grew up in the desert, in the heat,” Moore said. “But I think about what it’s going to be like in another five years, in 10 years.”

    The thought has been weighing on him – and many other Arizonans – as they cast their ballots ahead of next week’s elections. Even amid a global pandemic, and the economic catastrophe it has triggered, polls find that Americans increasingly cite the climate emergency as a major concern. That’s especially true in regions like Maricopa, where the crisis is already having deadly effects.

    Once a stronghold of western conservatism, Maricopa county has been slowly undergoing a political transformation – and has become one of the fiercely contested election battlegrounds in the nation.

    Asked to choose between a Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, who recognizes global heating as an emergency, and a Republican, Donald Trump, who has called it a “hoax”, a growing number of voters in the Valley of the Sun say they are seeking leadership that will address climate and help their desert home survive an increasingly precarious future.
    ……………………………
    The stark contrast between the parties’ stances can help explain why voters in Maricopa have been increasingly repelled by the Republicans, said Josh Ulibarri, a Democratic pollster based in Phoenix.

    Conservatives here have been slowly leaving a Republican party that has grown increasingly extreme and rightwing. “Climate is part of that,” Ulibarri said.

    Fifteen years ago, Arizona was one of the first states to develop a climate action plan, and climate change – at least in this region – was a bipartisan issue. John McCain, the state’s late senior senator, was one of the few Republican lawmakers in Washington DC to support climate change legislation. But as national and local politics became more polarized, Republican politicians moved right.

    As a result, “college-educated voters and women voters have moved away from Republicans because they don’t believe in science”, Ulibarri said.Many independents recoiled, as well.

    “Science bitches.” -Jesse Pinkman

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “That’s what I do.”

    Meanwhile, trump needs two hands to drink water and a general’s arm to walk down a ramp.

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  6. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Bullies. The GOP have become Jr. High bullies.

    You heard about the bus incident.

    Read the response of the Texas GOP head, Allen West. Outrageous.
    https://www.texasgop.org/statement-biden-bus-incident/

    And the President? “I LOVE TEXAS”.

    Somebody has to represent the f’ing jerks of this country, I suppose.

    Seeiously, WTF? Just “own the libs” is the whole platform?

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  7. sam says:

    Something I didn’t know about (almost) everybody’s favorite Hispanic actor:

    Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito was born in Copenhagen, the son of Giovanni “John” C. Esposito (1931–2002), an Italian stagehand and carpenter from Naples, and Elizabeth “Leesa” Foster (1926–2017), an African-American opera and nightclub singer from Alabama.[Source]

    I suppose I’ll have to make that “Hispanic” actor.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Allen West is an admitted war criminal. That says all one needs to know about the Texas GOP.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: Wow, already 2 Breaking Bad references and it’s not even 9 AM.

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  10. CSK says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:
    Yes; “own the libs” is pretty much the entire yahoo platform.

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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    How are Trump and a Jack-o-latern alike?
    Both are orange, empty inside and should be thrown out during the first week of November.

    (stolen from oldgold’s granddaughter)

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  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I actually have a blacklight flashlight that I use for hunting hornworms at night. I’m gonna have to use it on the next possum I see and if I get lucky maybe even a flying squirrel or 2 might reveal themselves.

    This could not be more Beverly Hillbillies. Ozark hunting possum down by the cement pond. We’ve been dipping back into that very smart/stupid show. The writers obviously ran out of hillbilly clichés early on and ended up plugging in ‘possum’ whenever they needed a laugh. Crawdads as an appetizer. The occasional hog jowl.

    I’m pretty sure Jethrene would not be possible in this more woke era. I can’t say that’s a huge loss.

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  13. Teve says:

    @rachelbitecofer

    1. Also, although Biden hasn’t talked about this much, your vote will decide whether America continues as a democracy or becomes some type of authoritarian state w Trump at the helm. He plans to purge the fed gov of all regular people like FBI Dir. Wrey & install hacks as Actings

    2. He’ll do it this way, and when it is challenged the Supreme Court will uphold it as a presidential prerogative even though the Constitution clearly says that the Senate MUST approve of presidential appointments for key positions. He’s already stuffed washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/…

    3. his cabinet full of temps that could not survive confirmation process bc they lack the requisite experience, skills, temperament, and are too partisan for the jobs. And the reason he wants people like THAT in his government is that they will then do unethical and potentially

    4. illegal things. Things like investigating members of the FBI, or even arresting them, because they investigated the Trump campaign for its numerous interactions with Russian agents during the 2016 campaign- something Republicans themselves worried over in realtime in 2016.

    5. Read any academic book on how fascism/authoritarianism takes root and takes over a democracy and guess what- this is pretty much step 1, along w the other clear hallmark of Trump’s presidency- which is that he has convinced a third of the population, the Republican third, that

    6. the entire media system is lying to them. Its very convenient you see, if all Reps think the media system is full of lies & out to get him, bc then all of the terrible & corrupt things it sounds like he is doing, well then they must all be made up! Hussein in Iraq, the senior

    7. Kim in North Korea, and Hitler in pre-war Germany will all tell you how instrumental it is to control the information diet of the population you wish to control. Hitler has radio & took over the newspapers of Germany. Trump has Fox News & the full cooperation of the right-wing

    8. media eco-system. Move his efforts back 30 years and it almost certainly wouldn’t work bc the information control wouldn’t be there. And keep in mind, a good chunk of this is bc Rep voters are self-sheltering away from bad info about Trump. These are psychological tricks that

    9. people use to “protect” their own party, they will avoid bad news about their own party/politicians (people on both sides do this!) In the case we have here, as I have pointed out before, the situation is much worse bc Trump and the RNC have constructed literally an

    10. “alternative facts” universe in which Bill Barr is actually restoring institutional legitimacy to the DOJ & Trump is the most ethically pure person in DC. That it is the GOP that is saving the Rule of Law. This is a story that has been carefully constructed and sold on every

    11. right-wing media outlet for months so effectively that if you go into right wing world you will find that people who were not into Trump, or even overtly anti-Trump in 2016- people who worried about Trump’s coddling to Russia or possible connections to Putin in 2016, have no

    12. internalized this idea that there was some kind of conspiracy against the Trump campaigns led by Obama and Biden and Comey that was geared towards denying Trump the presidency. I mean people like Lindsey Graham! He has gone from 2016 Graham to a man that is convinced of the

    13. above. He has literally gaslit himself. And I’m convinced you could hook him up to a lie detector and he actually believes what he is saying. Its like the whole of them are experiencing a powerful group psychosis. But its dangerous bc it means from THEIR perspective, they

    14. think they are trying to restore law and order and ethics and the fact is, like you can go to international news and confirm this objectively, the fact is, they are destroying the rule of law in America and getting ready to help a crazy man pull an anti-democratic coup! Its

    15. mind-blowing. And you need to understand- this is the ENTIRE party. All of them. This is not the Louie Gohmerts anymore. That is where this started, but bc of Trump- this is now the mainstream of the party. So this is an S.O.S. moment. The Republican Party is totally off the

    16. rails, and following a president who I think is the the midst of a full blown breakdown.

    Good times.

    So call every single person you know, and you THEY know, and you THEY know, and you THEY know….

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  14. charon says:

    I wonder how Rupert Murdoch feels about a fascist power grab. He prefers being in opposition, it’s easier and Fox NC makes more money riling up the rubes when the GOP is out of power.

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  15. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Back in the 90s I bought some gen 1 Soviet surplus night goggles (actually a monocular). It used an external IR “flashlight” that some smarty pants converted to take D cells.

    Barely usable except in really dark. Utterly useless without the “flashlight”.

    One night in northern Minnesota we bombed around in the woods playing hide and seek where the “it” person wore the gear. Last caught got to sport the gear and become the new hunter. We were in our 30s. Drunk and high and shrooming our butts off. Playing around like kids.

    The image was a sickly gray-green and super grainy. A funhouse, nausea-inducing version of seeing. Everything looked bioluminescent.

    The platypus is fascinating. An egg laying mammal. The only extant kind of its family and genus. Bioluminescence is a bonus. Genius critter.

    The next morning we invented grubhub over breakfast but for coffee / tea, bagels / muffins / croissants, local newspaper + NYT, booze and weed, circumnavigating the lake for dockside service but none of us were smart enough to follow that through.

    Great weekend. My face hurt from smiling too much. My voicebox was wrecked. I croaked my way thru Sunday and Monday.

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  16. Teve says:

    Trump is tweeting this morning

    @realDonaldTrump

    Joe Biden called Black Youth SUPER PREDATORS. They will NEVER like him, or vote for him. They are voting for “TRUMP”.

    Narrator: Joe Biden did not say that.

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  17. Teve says:

    @realDonaldTrump

    Our numbers are looking VERY good all over. Sleepy Joe is already beginning to pull out of certain states. The Radical Left is going down!

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  18. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The 90s version of The Beverly Hillbillies was clever and fun. Directed by Penelope Spheeris. Stupid fun a la Dude, Where’s My Car?

    Killer cast. Diedrich Bader (Jethro) is one of my fave voice actors.

    Go take a dip in your see-ment pond.

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I actually have a possum story:

    One night in deer camp by myself (bow season) I’m sitting by the fire contemplating who knows what when I hear a fight break out between critters behind me. Stood up and turned my headlamp on to see who was what. At first I couldn’t see anything but suddenly two pairs of glowing green eyes flashed into existence not 20′ away, and they were running right at me! With LOTS of BARED TEETH!! Damned near shit my pants going up the cabin stairs before I realized it was just a couple of possums and they changed directions.

    @de stijl: An old caving buddy of mine always said his work companions could judge how good a wkend he’d had by the amount of pain he was in on Monday morning.

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  20. Teve says:

    @PaulKrugman

    The final stages of the Trump campaign have involved a lot of flailing. He tried running against imaginary anarchist hordes; when that didn’t work, he tried running against Hunter Biden’s laptop; now he’s running against evil doctors 1/

    Trump’s claim that the pandemic is basically being fabricated by money-grubbing physicians is grotesque; but it’s not as random as it may seem. The shifting politics of doctors are a window into how both America and the GOP are changing 2/

    After Trump accuses doctors of profiteering, medical professionals push back.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/30/us/elections/after-trump-accuses-doctors-of-profiteering-medical-professionals-push-back.html

    Doctors used to be very Republican. Back in 1961 the American Medical Association urged doctors’ wives (hey, it was 1961) to bring their friends over to hear Ronald Reagan denounce Medicare 3/

    But these days doctors tend to be Democrats, for several reasons: they’re often women, they’re generally employees rather than small businessmen, they’re burdened by med school debt 4/ wsj.com/articles/docto…
    Image

    Doctors, Once GOP Stalwarts, Now More Likely to Be Democrats
    The historic shift, driven by changes in the business of medicine and women entering the profession, comes with the overall movement of college-educated people to the Democratic Party. The realignment…

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/doctors-once-gop-stalwarts-now-more-likely-to-be-democrats-11570383523

    Also, medicine isn’t and can’t be an ordinary business. Doctors are required to swear some version of the Hippocratic Oath, and while they may not always be saints, we do expect and often get a higher ethical standard than from many other professions 5/

    There is, after all, a reason we have TV series about heroic doctors but not about heroic real estate developers. A doctor known for sharp practices who repeatedly bilked his patients would have his license suspended, not become president 6/
    Which brings us to the modern GOP: hostile to science and expertise of all kinds, exalting the profit motive, accusing anyone claiming to stand for higher principles other than religious faith of “political correctness”. Trump isn’t an outlier; he fits right in 7/

    Oh, and I should mention that there’s a remarkable association between modern conservatism and the hawking of quack nutritional supplements 8/

    Ben Shapiro and BrickHouse Nutrition Join Forces to Help You Become a Better You, One Brick at a Time!
    https://brickhousenutrition.com/pages/benshapiro

    So Trump’s war on modern medicine isn’t just a convenient excuse for his pandemic failure. It’s another battle in the right’s long war on rationality and those who defend it 9/

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  21. de stijl says:

    Last night a friend of mine came over.

    Didn’t call or knock. Tapped on my bedroom window at 1 AM. Dude! Appropriateness!

    Fresh out of pysch hospital and rehab. Drunk as a skunk and manic. I had banned him and blocked him for inappropriate behavior, but I’m a softie. I let him in.

    His dad bounced him. He’s squatting in a house his dad bought him that is due for sale this month. He’s mid 40s. He longs for contact with his kids. He love-hates his ex. He is charismatic and funny.

    I kicked him out at 3 before he crashed out in my chair. I kicked him out into a cold morning. His temporary home is a dead house with no utilities he will lose in weeks.

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  22. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I tried spelunking once. Too hardcore for me.

    But I did hook up with an urban explorers set. That was goddamned fascinating. There is a vast system beneath our cities ready to be explored. I took so many pictures.

    The whole thing is highly illegal but we abided by Sierra Club rules – leave nothing, take nothing.

    The hard core folks had dry suits. I did Tyvek bodysuit and hip boots. Masked and gloved and goggled.

    It was a D&D campaign in real time, but no dragons. The dragons were replaced by rats and ghastly no daylight insects and worms.

    It was glorious. Luckily, I never got busted.

    There is an entire man-made cave system under the bluffs across from St. Paul. The scope is massive.

    White Tyvek glows brilliant under UV.

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  23. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @de stijl:

    This is why I have been sober for over 30 years.

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  24. charon says:

    Video clip from the FNC bubble:

    https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1322919782400823297

    Trump supporter Betsy: “I’m getting a little bit nervous for election time in that if Trump does win, I’m afraid of violence, & I don’t think there’s any chance that Trump won’t win unless it’s massive voter fraud. So I’ve signed up to be a challenger, to watch out at the polls.”

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  25. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: But this asshole called Black NFL players “Sons of Bitches”

    Sick of this Mofo

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  26. sam says:

    Perhaps JohnSF can weigh in on this: Support is waning for Johnson’s plague-year Brexit .

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  27. Teve says:

    @realDonaldTrump

    When I originally became your all time favorite President, the Great State of Michigan was hemorrhaging car companies and jobs. Plants were closing and moving to Mexico, and other places. No new plants for decades. I stopped the moves, & now many plants are and have been built…

    Narrator: no new car plants have been built in Michigan.

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  28. de stijl says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    He’s sleeping on a wood floor. Breaks my heart.

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  29. Teve says:

    @AOC

    Saw a Christmas tree up in the neighborhood BEFORE Halloween. Normally I’d bust someone’s chops about it, but you know what? Do what makes you happy. Especially this year. Keep it up till Valentine’s Day if you want. No rules anymore

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  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    a growing number of voters in the Valley of the Sun say they are seeking leadership that will address climate and help their desert home survive an increasingly precarious future.

    Wait, you’re expecting THE GOVERNMENT to be able to help????? The guys you don’t trust to run anything? The guys you want to “stay outta muh bidnesss?”

    That government? What???

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  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Conservatives here have been slowly leaving a Republican party that has grown increasingly extreme and rightwing. “Climate is part of that,” Ulibarri said.

    Yeah, but being conservatives, they’re still going to complain about their taxes being too high and not want to pay for what climate mitigation is going to cost. If only there was some way to pass the cost onto someone else…

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  32. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @de stijl:

    He’s sleeping on a wood floor. Breaks my heart.

    Not mine. He’s got to do what he needs to do. Either he will get to a point where he chooses to stop, or he won’t. It’s just the way it is.

    If he wants his life to quit sucking, there are a lot of people ready to be there.

    Till then, he can keep blazing his way through the universe. And teh universe keeps getting smaller and worse.

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  33. charon says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Valley of the Sun

    Wait, you’re expecting THE GOVERNMENT to be able to help????? The guys you don’t trust to run anything? The guys you want to “stay outta muh bidnesss?”

    A geographical note: Valley of the Sun = Maricopa country, which is getting a bit blue currently.

    Thanks for the jeering, we are not all toothless Gomers here though.

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  34. Kathy says:

    IMO, conservatives turning blue want a version of the John Galt Plan: lower prices and higher wages, lower taxes and more government services (without more debt).

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  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @sam: Doesn’t that topic come under the subheading “A Day Late and a Dollar Short?” (Or would it be “Euro” in this case? )

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  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @charon: My comment was about conservatives. If Maricopa County is turning bluish, well and good, but a conservative is a conservative is a conservative–sort of like roses in that way.

    @Kathy: Exactly! Thank you.

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  37. de stijl says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    I hear you.

    Every morning is a new day. We choose what we do.

    I regret inviting him in. I implicitly forgave him for being a fucking racist asshole. I implicitly forgave for being a narcissistic dick.

    God damnit, but I am not blind. I see where this leads. I have to cut all ties with him. Again.

    His plan is to fuck up hard again and go back to rehab where there is a bed and meal service.

    28 days after that? He needs to decide.

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  38. Monala says:

    SNL’s cold open last night was rather clever. Joe Biden reads a scary story for Halloween, a version of Poe’s “The Raven” as a foreboding tale about the upcoming election.
    Link

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  39. charon says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    So why jeer at Maricopa, singled out? Conservatives exist everywhere – California, Brooklyn etc. etc.

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  40. wr says:

    @de stijl: “Diedrich Bader (Jethro) is one of my fave voice actors.”

    He guest-starred in one of the first Diagnosis Murder episodes I wrote and he was brilliantly funny… Been a big fan ever since.

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  41. de stijl says:

    @charon:
    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Phoenix is a blue dot. Tuscon is a blue dot. The hippie / hipsters in Jerome and Sedona and Bisbee are tiny blue dots.

    The anglo rural areas are bright red. But acres don’t vote; people do.

    The battlegrounds are the Phoenix suburbs and exurbs.

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  42. Franklin says:
  43. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    This sounds like bragging, but I would have a been a great casting director.

    I can watch an ep1 random show and pick which person is going to pop and roughly how big. Plus I see / get the weirdos but goodies others miss or dismiss.

    Remember Two Guys, A Girl And Pizza Place? First time I saw it I knew that the snarky guy had it. The girl too, but not as much (I loved Traylor Howard on Monk).

    Bosom Buddies – the tall one.

    Perhaps in my next life.

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  44. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..Fuck LBJ

    Tried to UpVote your sentiment but the Thumb isn’t working.

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  45. de stijl says:

    Penelope Spheeris earned her bones as a documentarian and music vid director.

    The Decline Of Western Civilization 1 (punk) and 2 (metal).

    There is a segment in 2 that freaks me out. Some hair band guy lounging in his pool bragging about his new life while absolutely gargling vodka like it was water.

    It is raw and brutal and upsetting AF, but she keeps at it. That man is clearly drinking himself into poisoning or coma or death while on a floatie. It is chilling.

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  46. JohnSF says:

    @sam:
    Well, it’s plainly been a stupid idea from the off, both May’s version and Johnson’s.
    The folly of their approaches is increasingly being realised by the general public, and even the less crazed of those who voted Leave.
    I agree with Keegan.

    But, unfortunately, horribly, it signifies nothing.
    Johnson is constrained by his MPs, and they are hemmed in by the takeover of the Conservative Party base by the “KipperCons”/”BluKip”: people who have shifted back and forth between the Conservatives and UKIP/BxP.

    And anyway, even if Johnson abandons the idiocy of “No Deal”, the minimal deal that may be reached (zero tariff/quota) is still going to be catastrophe for British industry, that the majority of the country still fail to appreciate.
    We needed EFTA-type terms (Single Market membership;plus customs arrangement on top).
    And that road was shut by Theresa May and her daft advisors in 2017.

    Now we face the perfect storm.
    May God have mercy on their miserable souls.

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  47. JohnSF says:

    @charon:
    I wonder if the Valley of the Sun has any connection with a song I can’t get out my head lately.
    Kendra Smith: Valley of the Morning Sun.

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  48. DrDaveT says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    And the President? “I LOVE TEXAS”

    If it had been a mob boss tweeting similar approval of illegal actions by minions, prosecutors wouldn’t think twice about pressing charges for incitement, conspiracy, etc. A pattern of such behavior would justify RICO proceedings…

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  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @charon: Because the one’s in Maricopa County are the one’s who are claiming to have found Jesus at this particular moment. Still, I will admit that I am being unreasonable and am sorry if I hurt your feelings. I hope they really are converts.

    I just am agnostic about it.

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  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Why is it that whenever I make a typo that backs up my status as an ignint cracker, the edit function won’t work?

    Karma, you are a beeyotch.

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  51. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    In Mesa, a boatload worship Joseph Smith. LDS country there.

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  52. Teve says:

    Conversation
    Chuck Lindell
    @chucklindell
    BREAKING: Texas Supreme Court DENIES petition seeking to toss out almost 127,000 Harris County votes cast in drive-thru lanes.
    Denial is without comment.
    1:32 PM · Nov 1, 2020·Twitter Web App

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  53. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    I liked that a lot. X era Exene Cervenka + Dwight Yoakum. Great visuals.

    Is there a fetishization of the American West in the British psyche? Huge, open, empty? Or Ozzie Outback?

    When I saw and drove through Monument Valley I was floored how cooler it is in person. I felt so tiny.

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  54. Teve says:

    Floyd County Democrats cancel a planned rally today ahead of Trump’s visit to Rome because “a large militia presence is expected.” #gapol

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  55. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Varies. Like most things.
    Some like the idea of the great spaces.
    Perhaps one of the draws of emigration (see also, lure of the sea).

    Me, I think I’d be “Ooh! Pretty!”
    Then an hour or so later: “Like, how far is it to the nearest pub,then?”

    Not for no reason that most emigrants to Aus. got to the suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne and decided “OK, this’ll do.”

    Me, I like a bit of wildness, but also a bit of settlement.
    And a town not too far away.
    South-west France or northern Spain, around the approaches of the Pyrenees, is my perfect landscape. Or maybe central Italy (Would be Scotland or Wales ‘cept for the rain and the damn midges!)

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  56. sam says:

    Sigh. Remember when our president was just so fμcking cool.

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  57. Jay L Gischer says:

    @de stijl:

    Last night a friend of mine came over.

    […]

    I find this story pretty heartbreaking, too. I know some people who I fear might end up this way.

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  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I have no problems with LDS people. For the past 20 or 30 years the ones I’ve known have been better human beings than a lot of the evangelicals I’ve known. Probably most of my life for that matter. Fundies can be good people, but we tended to be pretty insular and isolated when I still traveled in that company. These days, I’m not optimistic about the future no matter who wins next week. Having a good nation/society means having good people who elect wise leaders. I don’t see that–especially at the national level. A few here and there, sure, but generally… meh…

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  59. Monala says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I agree. When I lived on the East Coast the only LDS members I met were missionaries. Then I moved to the West Coast and LDS members are active members of the community. And most who I’ve met are good people.

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  60. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I have checked Unleash The Archers and I love it.

    Thanks! I owe you one.

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  61. Teve says:

    Conspiracy theories are entertaining. I like The X-Files as much as anybody. But when somebody believes in stupid conspiracies I hate it. Because I hate stupid shit.

    A friend on FB:

    Just a reminder it’s November, where is this vaccine someone promised?

    Some dumb acquaintance of his:

    Sitting in the same file with the cure for AIDS and Cancer

    My reply:

    if you were a researcher who knew how to cure AIDS you would immediately file a patent on it and become the first person worth a trillion dollars and a Nobel Prize in medicine. The conspiracy makes no sense.

    If I’m wrong somebody please let me know how.

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  62. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’m an atheist and I’ve found Mormons to be much better people than average. I have few problems with them, and they have few problems with me. They have a great sense of community, which is probly why they live longer than average.

    (Don’t @ me, people, I know they have problems, every group has problems.)

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  63. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:
    You are spot on.
    Vaccines take massive application of highly skilled people, biomedical computing resources, and laddering-up bio/chem lab to test to batch to mass scaling, and the testing stages.
    I got a brief rundown on this from a bioscience lecturer; it is serious work.
    And not something you can short-cut around.

    OxfordUni/AstraZeneca are working like heroes on this.
    So are others around the world.
    So are the teams working on fast-testing, and on therapies.

    The failures have been primarily political: to level with people on the need for a long grind of masking, distancing, hygeine, contact-limitation, local lockdown response, etc.
    And failure to develop national scale sub-24 hour test/trace/control systems.

    Australia has just announced ZERO cases in the 24 hours between 20:00 on Friday and 20:00 on Saturday.
    New Zealand is keeping the level below 100 total.

    It can be controlled, given effort and appropriate systems and social response.
    Then, even a partial and time-limited vaccine would suffice.

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  64. Teve says:

    @JohnSF: unfortunately for us, once you get beyond a certain number of infected people you can’t even do test/trace/control anymore, because the threat could come from any direction. I’m not a medical statistician so I can’t say this as an expert, but it feels like with millions of cases all over the place in America we just can’t do this anymore and it’s hopeless.

    The consequence of having a narcissistic idiot in charge for The first year of a pandemic. Or, the booming European cases suggest that people get tired of restrictions and you just can’t get a handle on it period. I don’t know.

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  65. Teve says:

    48 hours from know we might know it’s all over.

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  66. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:
    You can still grind it down; just get R below unity.
    Or, to put it another way, average infection by a case until cured/dead is one person at most.
    It CAN be done.
    Australia did it; New Zealand did it; China did it; South Korea did it; Taiwan did it.
    It isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either.

    And once we get sub-24 hour testing online, it will be a massive help.
    BUT: it requires a serious, consistent govt. message, and a responsible social reaction.
    In both Europe and America all too often the pattern has been “cases are down, hey, great, that’s it, let’s get back to normal and party-eeyy!” Oops.

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  67. Teve says:

    @JohnSF: the stupidest facet of the tragedy is how they convinced people it was lockdown vs the economy.

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  68. Teve says:

    An example of how the online bleeds into real life, I went to Jacksonville today with a friend who was born in New York, and I was watching the news on my tablet while she was driving, and I said hey do you know the Whitestone Bridge, some Trumpers have just shut it down to honk and blast microphones about Trump, and she said, “Wait, does that go to the Bronx?” And I said, I think so.” And she said, “WHAT THE FUCK? THAT’S A MAJOR BRIDGE ARE THEY TRYING TO PISS PEOPLE OFF?”

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  69. Teve says:

    After the whole, “let’s run Biden’s bus off the road” thing I have liberal friends who are exchanging gps coordinates.

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  70. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Teve: And this is why I don’t believe in the shy Trump voter.

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  71. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    I have checked Unleash The Archers and I love it.

    Cool! I stumbled into them and was totally blown away.

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  72. Teve says:

    48 hours from now i think the problem will be solved. If it isn’t, i think we’ll stand up to the situation.

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  73. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    It’s nerd metal with a kick ass singer. What’s not to like?

    The Mountain Goats have a new studio album out as of last weekend if you’re into folk punk. Spotify for certain although I think all of the tracks are on YouTube now too. Getting Into Knives. Still processing it.

    The title reminds me of the classic My Valuable Hunting Knife by Guided By Voices.

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  74. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I totally spaced on Flagstaff. Which is dumb because it is pretty cool. Solid Mountain town vibe.

    I kinda suck at skiing, but I enjoy it. Tried boarding – fell down a lot. Landing on your butt makes more sense than face planting is the main lesson I learned. I max out at blue square. Anything steeper gives me vertigo.

    Makes sense. I sucked at skateboarding too. The cool thing is that snow doesn’t give you road rash.

    I kill at SSX and SSX Tricky (It’s tricky tricky trickay – Bless Run DMC). My video gaming skillz are better than my IRL skills. LB + XAYB. I could nail the MegaUbers.

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  75. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: Mormons believe that we are all part of a community (even if you don’t believe — they get around that obvious us vs. them problem by … um … baptizing the dead non-believers), and that we all have a responsibility to that community.

    I like them. We differ on what the community should look like (but only by about 20-30%), and how to get there (again, by 20-30%), so there really is a lot of common ground. And it was not long ago that they were being persecuted, so they often realize that minorities have rights that need protecting. Not so good on the gays though, but it wasn’t so long ago that they were really bad on black folks, so they’re learning.

    As a queer liberal atheist, I have more in common with Mormons than I do with Libertarians (supporting pot legalization will only get you so far) or evangelicals, or ultra-wealthy transnational corporations, or lower-middle class white folks who believe the cause of all their problems are minorities taking their jobs.

    As a rule of thumb, decent people who I just disagree with a lot.

    It would be nice if they would stop baptizing Anne Frank though.

    Mormons, guys, I get, you’re just offering her a spot in Mormon heaven if she wants it, and that’s sweet, and if she’s burning in eternal hellfire I’m sure she is appreciative, but at this point it’s getting to be nagging. If you ask a girl out that many times it’s creepy and stalky, and the same thing goes to inviting her deceased spirit to your heaven. She’s either there, or she said no, or the whole thing is bunk. Leave her in peace. Ask again in a couple hundred years if you really want to be sure, maybe, but leave her alone for a century at least.

    And you really undercut it by posthumously baptizing Hitler too. I’m pretty sure they don’t want to be roomies in the afterlife. Posthumously baptizing the Popes though — that’s a little awesome.

    Feel free to baptize me after I’m dead though. Mormon heaven sounds better than eternal hellfire. Or I’ll just be dead and it won’t matter. Whichever.

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  76. de stijl says:

    Some of the most decent people I’ve ever met were LDS. I think it is designed in because it is pretty much across the board decency and niceness from my experience.

    You have to internally acknowledge the way the greater church has treated black people and their own queer youth but and big but (I so flashed back to Peewee’s Big Adventure just then) they would be awesome neighbors push comes to shove during a blizzard or somesuch.

    I am an atheist by nature but I have been playing with Asatru. The mythology is freaking bonkers. It’s obvious bullshit but isn’t it all? Cool bullshit is better than lame bullshit.

    I will never self-identify as such that would be performative and false, but it is bad ass. Plus it needs to be actively disabused of the Nazis who tried to steal it.

    I am super into “ancient” Nordic folk right now. It thrills me deeply.

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