Thursday Open Forum

Have at it.

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


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Brian Schatz
    I would like a president who doesn’t treat the threat of a global pandemic like a personal grievance.

    The president, as he often does, has also focused on coverage of his response, complaining that he is being treated unfairly and blaming the news media. “If the virus disappeared tomorrow, they would say we did a really poor, and even incompetent, job,” he tweeted on Tuesday. “Not fair, but it is what it is. So far, by the way, we have not had one death. Let’s keep it that way!”

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    John Harwood
    Dow futures turned from positive to negative during Trump’s coronavirus news conference

    He has been rattled by the Wall Street reaction to the spread of the virus in places like Italy, lashing out at the news media in tweets and accusing journalists of intentionally trying to harm the stock market.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Above blockquotes from NYT’s Trump Has a Problem as the Coronavirus Threatens the U.S.: His Credibility

    WASHINGTON — When Hurricane Dorian crashed into the Atlantic Coast in September, President Trump assumed a take-charge role in response. But he undermined his own effectiveness after it became apparent that before displaying a map in front of the television cameras in the Oval Office, he had altered it with a Sharpie pen to match his inaccurate forecast of where the storm was headed.

    For years, experts have warned that Mr. Trump has been squandering the credibility he could need in a moment of national emergency, like a terrorist attack or a public health crisis.

    Now, as the coronavirus races across the globe and has begun to threaten the United States, Mr. Trump could face a moment of reckoning. Maintaining a calm and orderly response during an epidemic, in which countless lives could be at stake, requires that the president be a reliable public messenger.

  4. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Malignant Narcissist.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Let’s hear it for Floriduh Woman: Woman accused of leaving boyfriend locked in suitcase until he died

    Authorities in Florida have arrested a woman accused of zipping her boyfriend into a suitcase, recording his repeated cries for help and leaving him locked inside until he died, according to sheriff’s office documents. Deputies with the Orange county sheriff’s office took Sarah Boone, 42, into custody on second-degree murder charges in the death of Jorge Torres Jr, 42, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Boone called 911 on Monday afternoon from her Winter Park home and told dispatchers her boyfriend was dead, news outlets reported.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:
  7. Teve says:

    In the last five days the stock market is down 10%.

  8. Kathy says:

    I recall snippet of dialogue in The West Wing, about the difference between appearing to do good, and actually doing good.

    Trump has taken this a step further: just say we’re doing good.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Florida…

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:
  11. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Trump is claiming that the stock market is falling because of the Democratic debates.

  12. Slugger says:

    I predict that we will see show trials of FDA officials for being wreckers and saboteurs by warning the public.

  13. Teve says:

    @Slugger: Idiots on Fox News are blaming Democrats for scaring people about the virus.

    I’m just waiting to see how they find a way to blame the stock market correction on Obama and/or Hillary.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Predictable.

  15. sam says:
  16. Jen says:

    Great piece by John Sipher on the silliness of on-screen spy fiction.

  17. Teve says:

    I’ve just been told by an epidemiologist friend of a friend that it’s looking like the mortality rate on this virus is going to be about 2%. There was some hope that mortality was only high in Hubei Province. That hope is now dashed. He says they’re expecting it to be 20 times deadlier than the normal annual influenza cases.

  18. gVOR08 says:

    @sam: Trumpsky’s press conference went over well. Dow’s down over 600 points at the moment.

  19. Kathy says:


    I’ve heard Republicans blame the 2007-08 financial disaster on Obama’s election.

  20. wr says:

    @Jen: Yes, real spies don’t like James Bond. Real doctors don’t like Gray’s Anatomy. Real cops hate CSI. Real lawyers don’t like Matlock.

    Why this CIA analyst is surprised that Jack Ryan, of all things, doesn’t live up to her own experiences is beyond me. Has she never watched a movie before?

  21. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: I don’t know if this is true, but somebody on Twitter said Dow futures went from positive to negative during Trump’s speech.

  22. Mu Yixiao says:


    Though I’ve never been a spy, even I see that those tropes are BS. But…they’re action films, and we don’t expect them to be realistic.

    What bothers me more is the everyday things that TV and movies get wrong:

    * Typing: they use 6 keys in the middle of the keyboard, and never hit the space bar

    * Proper display of the US flag: The blue field goes in the top left when looking at it (in a window, the “front” is to the person looking in from outside)

    * Locked doors: Every school (and, I believe, any public building) is required to have exits with “crash bars”. You can’t be locked in. Also… walk-in coolers and freezers have a “crash button” on the inside allowing the door to be opened from the inside, even if it’s padlocked.

    * Cutting the brake lines on a semi causes the brakes to engage, not stop working.

    I will, however, allow for laser noises and explosions in space… because it’s cool.

  23. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Jen: They couldn’t even get the right kind of crabs in season 1 (they used dungeness crab instead of the local blue crabs we have in virginia/maryland/dc).

    It’s a bit silly, but I couldn’t make it much past that point.

    What can I say? I take my crabs seriously.

  24. Jen says:

    @wr: I think his overall beef is that attention is paid to the most minute details (like getting the badge or folders right), but then the actual substance is missed. Americans consistently exposed to ridiculous spy tropes are going to get a warped understanding of the intelligence process, making them susceptible to misinformation.

    I think much of the “Deep state” nonsense we are seeing is a direct result of this. Intelligence is so far from the Hollywood depictions of it that it’s causing problems with reality.

  25. Kingdaddy says:

    @Jen: Everyone, in every profession, hates how they are depicted in movies and TV shows. I’m in the technology business, software development specifically. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen the real nature of the work ever depicted correctly. (Though Silicon Valley gets a lot about software companies right.)

  26. Kit says:


    Has she never watched a movie before?

    People want escapist fantasy until the subject of a film hits upon their little area of expertise. Then they demand a documentary!

    While I can’t remember the title, I do remember this one scene where a computer hacker, our hero, has fallen into the hands of the bad guys. It’s his life unless he can crack the secret code. Within one minute. And with a gun is pointed at his temple. But to really test his worth, a woman simultaneously gives him a blow job under the table. Let’s just say I found that scene riddled with errors and generally misleading to those looking at a career in IT.

  27. Teve says:

    @Kit: Swordfish.

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Nor do all crashed cars catch fire.

  29. Teve says:

    @Kingdaddy: if you like Silicon Valley you’ll like Mythic Quest: Raven‘s Banquet.

  30. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: The worst thing about action movies is any time somebody moves a gun, even slightly, it has to make a loud clicking/slide/chambering sounds. Ugh.

  31. Kingdaddy says:

    The Bible That Oozed Oil

    A good story about the power of wishful thinking, in the face of obvious reasons to be skeptical. This weakness in the human psyche contributes a lot to our current politics.

  32. Jen says:

    @Kingdaddy: Of course. I have worked in PR, and the fact that it’s often depicted as party planning or lying to the press irritates me to no end.

    The difference, of course, is that most professions aren’t *both* shrouded in secrecy and yet essential to our security. I’m not going to read too much into it, I simply thought the article was an interesting read.

  33. Mu Yixiao says:


    That’s okay. Just put a silencer on it so it only goes “pfft!” [ducks and runs away]

  34. Kathy says:


    I find it ridiculous that someone invariably chambers a round as a threat.

    Gee, you were threatening me with an unloaded gun? I wonder if you took the safety off.

    Other media satirizes such things from time to time. In The Simpsons, lots of things blow up when they “crash.” An old web comic strip, User Friendly, once had a longish thread about the development of Movie OS; it did nothing, but show cogent text in large enough font with high contrast, so it would look good on a movie screen.

    On The Simpsons, there’s an ep where Homer winds up being chased by a rhino. It goes more ro less like this:

    Homer: I know what to do. Jumanji!
    Rhino keeps chasing him.
    Homer: Does anything from the movies ever work?

  35. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Going back a ways, I’m old enough to have watched the original Mission Impossible series. The brave tricksters on screen were supposed to be the heroes. The real heroes were the guys who had a map for every secret passage and a labeled diagram for every telephone junction box in Europe, including the Soviet Bloc. And, before the internet.

  36. Kit says:

    @Teve: Thanks! That’s going on my watch list. Instead of thinking of it as unrealistic, I’ll try to think of it as more aspirational.

  37. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That doesn’t bother me too much because there’s a technical reason for it. Silencers in real life, as I’m sure you know, are about as loud as gunshots on TV. If you made them sound like real life, the silencer would sound like a TV gunshot, and a TV gunshot would cause hearing damage. So you have to scale both down.

  38. Teve says:

    @Kit: it was a fun B movie.

  39. Kathy says:

    About bad movie depictions, there was much talk in the aviation blogs when the Sullenberger Miracle on the Hudson emergency landing.

    I didn’t see the movie (I already knew all I wanted about the incident), but apparently the plot involved the crash investigators trying to pin blame for the crash on the pilots. This bothered a lot of people, because aircraft accident investigations are about determining what happened, how it happened, and how to keep it from happening again. That’s one big reason commercial aviation keep getting safer every year.

    The purpose is not blaming anyone or prosecuting anyone. usually no one is prosecuted, though some people have been fired or demoted, unless there’s deliberate malice involved.

  40. wr says:

    @Jen: “I think much of the “Deep state” nonsense we are seeing is a direct result of this. Intelligence is so far from the Hollywood depictions of it that it’s causing problems with reality.”

    And as any cop will tell you, CSI seriously hurt jury trials because everyone expected DNA to do the kind of miracles it did on TV. I guess I’m just not sure why this is worth complaining about. Pretty sure Public Enemy and Scarface weren’t exact reproductions of gangster life in the 1930s.

  41. Mu Yixiao says:


    Silencers in real life, as I’m sure you know, are about as loud as gunshots on TV.

    How loud do you have your TV?? Silencers bring down the sound of a gun shot to an average of around 140dB–the OSHA threshold for permanent hearing damage. That’s the same as standing 50 m from a jet engine, and 20dB louder than a rock concert.

  42. de stijl says:


    That was the if not stupidest movie, it was waay up there.

    He was judged at how well at performing Hollywood “hacking” while under the influence of fellatio to prove his skill. Like bad guys so often do to impress their employers. Beyond ludicrous. Deeply offensive. Profoundly mysoginistic.

    That is not serious cinema. It is cringe-worthy crap that skates on big budget visual sense of being a big – ass movie. It has a class A star. It is stupid crap.

    A child’s take. A childish script and story.

  43. sam says:

    I’ve read that the spooks do like John Le Carré, though. Of course, he was a spook himself. A lot of his lingo has made its way into the profession.

  44. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Swordfish was really offensive because it was a major Hollywood movie. Everyone should have known better. Misspent all the talent, and was casually shockingly mysoginistic.

    It was fucking terrible. Irredeemable. Mockingly, laughablgly bad.

  45. Jen says:

    @sam: Yes, they do. 🙂

    The Red Sparrow trilogy by Jason Matthews is also well-received.

  46. sam says:

    I’m in the process of rereading all his spy books now. He’s really a great writer. Someone once said all his spy novels love stories. Truth, that.

  47. sam says:

    are love stories.

  48. Teve says:

    Holy shit, the Dow dropped 1,190 points today. When I last checked it was bouncing around 600 down.

  49. Jen says:

    @Teve: Yep. I think there’s a tweet for that.

  50. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: huh. I don’t remember it being the 130 dB that the internet tells me. I remember it being a little quieter, but it was many years ago.

  51. Jen says:

    @sam: I really enjoyed Little Drummer Girl, but it’s been years since I read it. I’ve read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and several of his other novels but not all of them.

  52. Teve says:

    According to CNBC the Dow has fallen 12% from its high.

  53. de stijl says:

    Another major movie that stepped way out of bounds was The Kingsman.

    The end bit was horrific. Swedish princess promised tushy time if protaganonist saved her. That was a male gaze fantasy transaction.

    Deeply disconcerting about whoever wrote that and approved that and put that into that movie.

    Up until then it was cheeky fun OTT action.

    That exchange was weirdly off the previous tone. Creepy, male oriented, exchange not established. Random woman meets random man. Vows that for rescue, she will exchange. Practically a transaction.

    Profoundly off tone and super male fantasy creepy.

    It was never going to be a “good” movie, but it had the basis to be a fun, stupid movie.

    And they literally chose to include that. It was a conscious choice.

    I am ashamed I sorta liked the first 4/5ths. They suckered me into asceding to a girl meets guy creepy abomination. I refused.

    That is the worst mainstream movie I’ve seen in a decade.

  54. Mikey says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    * Cutting the brake lines on a semi causes the brakes to engage, not stop working.

    This is a great example of how much of Hollywood depends on the great majority of people simply not knowing how stuff works. How many non-CDL holders know how air brake systems work? Hell, I didn’t until my wife got her CDL. But then it made a lot of sense–you want the failure mode of a 40,000-pound vehicle’s brakes to be “stop.”

  55. Mikey says:


    Holy shit, the Dow dropped 1,190 points today. When I last checked it was bouncing around 600 down.

    I guess we’ve learned the level of the market’s confidence in President Trump.

  56. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    The end bit was horrific. Swedish princess promised tushy time if protaganonist saved her. That was a male gaze fantasy transaction.

    The director said it was supposed to be making fun of Bond girls (especially the Moore era, I believe) and how they just fell into bed. He admits that he made a mistake.

    Oddly, the version I saw had already been edited to remove that (the DVD removed that bit of the scene, apparently).

  57. Kathy says:


    It was the Democratic debate.

    Were it not for King Cheeto the Stupid, the Dow would have gone down seven million points!!

  58. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Why not make fun of the obvious Bond stand-in? His sexual awareness needs tweaking, resetting, and correcting.

    There is so much else that could have happened.

    Don’t introduce a “Bond Girl” late third act who says you can have me any way you want me wink, and pass it off as a social criticisism of previous Bond films.

    It is not criticicism, it is mimicry.

    That was a bad call by director, producers, and distributor. All deliberate choices.

    As commentary, it utterly failed. It underlined a Bondian understanding of women as objects, all without providing any new understanding at all.

    The Baywatch remake had more to say about the role of women than The Kingsman.

  59. Matt says:

    @Teve: Depends on the suppressor being used and the weapon/ammo. Using regular ammo suppressors are good for around a 20-35 DB decrease. Basically the sonic boom of the bullet ends up being the loudest part. If you load subsonic ammo all you’ll really hear is the sound of the gun cycling and a bit of a poof. Assuming the gun even cycles because subsonic ammo has substantially less powder then normal ammo which results in less blowback/recoil.

    As stated prior suppressors push the overall sound on long guns down to the threshold of instant hearing damage. That’s why they are allowed for hunting and range use in a lot of countries.

    This thread has made me realize why I don’t watch movies or even TV shows very often.

    As a computer, survivalist, gun, car, mechanical, electrical nerd I can find a lot of ways to lose my immersion in a show/movie I’m watching.

    I had to stop watching walking dead a few seasons in because they kept making really dumb survival based decisions and the gun handling was dumb. It’s hard to feel any tension when you can see that the gun being held up to the hero’s head clearly has it’s safety on.

    Or things like swordfish which made me facepalm…

    Glad to know I’m not the only one to suffer from this problem.

    @Kathy: Yeah Clint tried really hard to paint them as the badguys. That was another movie experience that was ruined by a director who was pushing an agenda while ignoring reality. I assumed the agenda being “government suit = bad”.

  60. de stijl says:


    The Walking Dead deserved your disdain.

    And not just because of tactical survival choices.

    As a story, it focused on one flawed character, which is a great choice, but the focus was that he was *The Hero* which was a bad choice.

    TWD should have focused on Carol.

    Better actor, more interesting character.

    I, myself, don’t care a lot about realistic survival techniques in stories, but I get your take. I can dismiss stuff that disrespects my profession or passion if they muff the details.

    TWD lost it’s way by miffing on obvious story beats. Over-elevating Rick in the cast.

    (Btw, have not read the books.)

    The series was not meant to be a primer on how to conduct oneself in that physical environment, but how folks cope with the end of the world.

    They did okay for a season or so.

  61. Kurtz says:



    It’s funny to me that conspirasists assign IC all these crazy capabilities–planning, clairvoyant foresight, (near) perfect execution–yet somehow some idiot can put it all together with a few thumbtacks, index cards, and a corkboard.

  62. Tyrell says:

    There is this notion with some that there is actually a big difference between the parties. That may have been true some time ago. Now it is more like “tweedle dee and tweedle dum”

  63. de stijl says:

    After reading The Democrats and Dictatorships thread, I recommend a breather.

    Deep breathe in.


    Deep breathe out.

    Let it go.

    My friend wr, recommended World Party’s Message In The Box a while back.

    It is a soothing tune and a good vibe. I recommend as well. As well as being an excellent pop song fun to sing along too.

    There is a possibility you might develop an ear worm; it is a supremely catchy song.

    No worries. I have you covered. The best catchy songs eventually overwhelm the earworm.

    I have a lot of catchy songs in my quiver. You are protected. I can overwhelm any earworm.

  64. de stijl says:

    World Party has the right distribution of optimism to melancholy. That is a hard ratio to master.

    There was a band from a few years later. They had one great song.

    Ned’s Atomic Dustbin wrote Grey Cells Green which will put your head in the right open space.

    Give it a shot.

    It’s inside me. It’s inside us. It’s inside her. It looks like crap 90’s, but that is an awesome song nonetheless. Here it out.

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Now it is more like “tweedle dee and tweedle dum”

    I know just what you mean. DEMs want everybody to be able to access good healthcare without going bankrupt in the process. Repubs want you to die horribly, but not before they have stripped you of every single dime you have.

  66. de stijl says:

    Thematically, I always see those two as of a pair.

    I cannot define why.

    Just do.

  67. de stijl says:

    I pull over my car and listen to Grey Cell’s Green. Paramore’s Misery Business, and Kanye’s Power.

    Whenever they come on.

  68. Kathy says:

    Trump joke of the day:

    One fine day in February 2021, Mr. Trump goes missing.

    An exhaustive search of his apartments in Trump tower fails to find him. The police are called and fail to find him. President Bloomberg (j/k) generously lets the FBI join in the search. But there’s no trace to be found of the orange man.

    Years pass without a sign of Trump anywhere in the world. Sightings are reported now and then, but they are all mistaken, false, or hoaxes.

    Until one day, a plumber making repairs to the Trump Tower water heaters moves some boxes and crates to get a pipe, and finds a desiccated, rotted corpse with a lot of expensive jewelry, and a piece of white cardboard inscribed in black Sharpie that reads “No one beats ME at hide and seek!”

  69. An Interested Party says:

    Trump also boasted that his administration has done an “incredible job” dealing with the coronavirus…

    This trash isn’t just trolling Democrats, he’s trolling the entire freaking country…

  70. Kathy says:

    When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

    When you read a long book on a particular topic, for example on heuristics, every issue seems explainable by what you just learned in that book. And it goes further. When you read a long book on, say, Hatshepsut (a long-reigning Egyptian queen in the New Kingdom era) , many current issues seem to relate to her life.

  71. de stijl says:


    I have not read Dreher in months because he bores me.

    One thing I took from Rod Dreher is that I book I read and liked months ago is the most important thing possible to understand this issue.

    Here is a quote I marked before this issue actually came to light. It super applies.

    Dude was shameless. Any issue was utterly relatable to the last book that rang his bell.

    Every issue.

    It was oh so predictable.

    If Dreher has read something recently that rang his bell, every issue is, in his nod, best understood through that prism.

    Dude is a junky.

  72. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Seems I’m in bad company. And not the good bad company worth being in.

    I see it, partly, as a sign that I really got into the book and remember it. But also as proof of availability and recency biases (from a book on heuristics, natch). Being aware of biases does not prevent one from engaging in them (same book), but being unaware of them virtually guarantees it.

    I think it requires making new habits, like checking one’s self for biases (many books). For example, what other book relates to what I think relates to book X? Or, if 1984 seems to apply to the current US administration (soi disant) because Orwell made incisive observations on disinformation as a tool of governance, does Brave New World say something about it as well?

    I think it does, though on a different level. a cultural one. and a more stable one. Not constant re-writing of the past, but implanting “truth” with hypnopaedic “lessons” like “ending is better than mending.”

    In both cases it’s a way of stuffing the individual into a mold designed to fit the state’s purpose, after all.

    So thought is useful, and one should always engage in it. You may learn something new that way, or realize something you hadn’t before.

  73. de stijl says:

    Oh my golly, I was not dinging you, I was solely focused on Dreher.

    In no way was I denigrating your take and I apologize if that was what was heard. Not my intent at all.

    I was riffing on something else.

    I am very sorry.

    If I do have a problem with you I will state it clearly. I do not.

    I was solely talking about Dreher.

  74. de stijl says:

    In retrospect, I can easily see why you reacted as such.

    Believe me, I was going at Dreher, not you.

    So sorry for the misunderstanding I should have been savvier.
    This is all on me.

    I apologize.

  75. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I am very sorry.

    Don’t be. Sometimes after reading a book, or while reading it, I want to 1) talk about it and 2) reduce all the world to the book’s subject. Ergo my comment earlier.

  76. de stijl says:


    Appreciate your graciousness.

  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl:

    They did okay for a season or so.

    For me, this is the big issue with American concept television productions. Nobody will admit when the story is finished. The producers did the same thing with The Good Place. The story was finished at the end of Season One. Trying to stretch it out only made the show seem more desperate with each ensuing season til they finally admitted that they couldn’t figure out how to end it at all and came up with everybody committing metaphysical suicide (and abandoning their “loved ones” to eternal loneliness unless they suicided, too [not even good paganism, let alone anything else religious]).

  78. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I enjoyed the whole of The Good Place, though I wasn’t quite satisfied with the ending.

    There’s comedy that’s just for laughs, and then there’s comedy that tackles serious subjects. The Good place was about ethics, morals, and justice.

    What I did notice is that despite being called The Good Place, we see very little of the actual “Good Place.” This brings up a thought: three is a great deal of discussion, and adaptions and satires, of Dante’s Inferno, but little about his conception of Purgatory and Heaven.

    It’s almost as though happiness is boring. ergo the notion (spoiler alert) that the actual Good Place is screwed up, with ennui and boredom dominating life

    But is it? Asimov held that good times make for soporific history. Sure, but are good times boring for the people living in them? they seem to breed nostalgia. The Roman Empire under the Five Good Emperors, the US in the 1950s (though not for minorities), etc.

    I’d love an exploration of how an ageless, immortal being would keep themselves from getting bored out of their minds.

    One that comes close, and not very, is Luis Wu, a two-hundred year old man in Niven’s Ringworld series. He’s had several different careers, several spouses, I don’t think many children, and once in a while he takes years off from the worlds of Known Space.

    We saw some of that with Tahani, IMO. Mostly we’re told she mastered many skills and did many things she anted to do, and then she was the one that didn’t walk through the door.

  79. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Kristen Bell is super charismatic. And you have Ted Danson.

    I can see it going too long.

    There is a lot of money to be made.

    Mr. Robot should have been a one year show. It was spectacularly new and different.

    Mr. Robot is about Elliot. About his inability to cope, about morphine addiction and using suboxone to cope. About hacking his therapist. About social anxiety, and not feeling able to join. About a new dog and kind of, maybe a girlfriend. Both of which might be delusions.

    I wish fsociety was a delusion.

    The UK is better than us at small, self -contained series. 8 or 12 episodes than tell the truth of the concept and don’t fuck around too much. No stupid supblots.

  80. Matt says:

    @de stijl: Oh yeah I liked the first season for a whole lot of reasons despite my nitpicking. I even enjoyed most of season 2 but I was basically gone by season 3. I did enjoy the comics a lot more but that might be because of the different medium and my age at the time.

    I agree with your take on Rick.

  81. de stijl says:


    You relate new ideas and concepts to a framework you’ve developed informed by a cool interesting book you read.

    It’s a common conceit.

    Dreher annihilated your idea of neobibliocentricity by pushing it too far and too often and too widely.

    Like I said, dude is a junky. He cannot withstand the urge.

    Whatever he encounters a thing he comments on (which usually involves uppity young folk not keen on biblical bromides on silence in sin),

    He super alludes to the last book that revved him up. Quotes it 3, maybe 5 thousand words. Allows the book he read to overwrite his impulse of genuine moral reaction. Dude outsources normal human.reaction.

    Quotes another 7 thousand words vaguely applicable.

    You think you are fixated on last book you read. You do not get how fixated Dreher is. He punches it into everything. It fascinating to watch.

    Are you going to produce a piece fully dependent and outsourced to last book you read? Of course you will! You’re Rod dig-in Dreher.

    Give us a other 6000 words block-quoted, please, sir.

    Well done! That was a complete, standard Dreher piece. As expected.

    Back when dude took comments, he was persnickity about not stifling the White power dudes because that would not allow the full spectrum to comment.

    Dude banned me first comment. Allowed Mr. White Power to comment and tag along for literally years.

    Dreher is likely going to go full red pill within the year. I called it.

    He is not a well man.

  82. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Some books are more useful than others, naturally. But once in a while I come across an idea that seems to explain a whole lot. heuristics is one, moral licensing is another.

    I heard history as this analogy once:

    Events are like a huge blackboard covered in print and drawings. In the present, you stand close to the board, so you can see it clearly but are limited to a small portion. as you recede in time, you get a wider view, but things aren’t so clear.

    I think this is incredibly apt, and it explains why it’s easy to walk into a huge mess, that years alter has people wondering “why couldn’t they see where things were heading?” or “how come they didn’t see what was happening?”

    Sometimes an idea or a book about an idea makes you feel like you can see the whole board with perfect clarity.

    It doesn’t, though it does uncover parts. But when you feel it does, the urge to wrap the whole world around it is strong.

    I don’t know if this is another kind of heuristic, or availability, or just some quirk of mine, or what, but no overarching theory of mind or events will let you say “aha! so this is how the decline of the Roman Republic influenced the drug war in the 1980s and the rise of data mining in the 2000s!”

    No matter how much I want it to.