Thursday’s Forum

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

Comments

  1. Bill says:

    The Florida headline of the day-

    South Florida man claims he was injured by a Chicken McNugget

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  2. Bill says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Revealed: pro-Trump activists plotted violence ahead of Portland rallies

    Leaked chat logs show Portland-area pro-Trump activists planning and training for violence, sourcing arms and ammunition and even suggesting political assassinations ahead of a series of contentious rallies in the Oregon city, including one scheduled for this weekend.

    The chats on the GroupMe app, shared with the Guardian by the antifascist group Eugene Antifa, show conversations between Oregon members of the Patriots Coalition growing more extreme as they discuss armed confrontations with leftwing Portland activists, and consume a steady diet of online disinformation about protests and wildfires.
    …………………………….
    Another prolific poster is Mark Melchi, a 41-year-old Dallas, Oregon-based car restorer who claims to have served as a captain in the US army………………………………..

    He advised other members to ignore weapons statutes, writing, “I saw someone say bats, mace, and stun guns are illegal downtown. If you’re going to play by the books tomorrow night, we already lost. We are here to make a change, laws will be broken, people will get hurt… It’s lawlessness downtown, and people need to be prepared for bad things.”

    Following these comments, several rightwing demonstrators were recorded using gas and bats on 22 August, where Melchi and his militia were also present.
    ………………………………..
    Melchi’s sentiments in the chat logs were in keeping with fantasies of, and plans for, violence, which are constantly discussed by group members.

    Although some members are connected with extremist groups or militias, on the whole they describe themselves as “patriots”, and they express no clear ideology beyond a hatred of the left, and a preparedness to use violence. The shared allegiances expressed in the group are mostly to the police, the United States and Donald Trump, a person whom some say they are prepared to kill for.
    ……………………..
    Alex Newhouse, the digital research lead at the Center for Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute, said of the group that “the main mechanism that makes these communities so dangerous is the incessant desensitization to the idea of political violence”.

    Newhouse said that the ideas expressed in the group were entrenched in “extreme nationalism – that a few strong men with guns can together take out an evil that is at once imagined as an existential threat, and pathetically weak”. Newhouse added that the group’s discussions “fit within a broader trend of rightwing extremists becoming more accelerationist over time”.
    ………………………………..
    Mary McCord is the legal director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law School, which on Wednesday released a series of fact sheets on anti-paramilitary laws in all 50 states.

    Given details of the content of the chats, McCord said that “this is the kind of thing that might allow authorities to take action”, and that members of the group may “already be in violation of Oregon’s anti-paramilitary laws”.

    Melchi is a real piece of work, but as the story shows, he’s not alone.

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  4. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    To be fair, I’ve seen these purported chat logs, which the Guardian doesn’t bother linking to or providing. They’re all in basic text format, which suggests on face – without some sort of additional validation which none of the outlets reporting seem to have performed – that they could have been invented out of thin air by the orgs “leaking” them just as easily as they could be authentic.

    However, they’re being reported as though they’re indisputable, ostensibly predicated on the desire of those reporting (and repeating) them to believe them to be valid, when in fact they amount to, at best, little more than unsubstantiated hearsay. A lot more skepticism is appropriate here.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Yesterday you stated,

    And James Caan says the N word at least twice in Brian’s Song. Try saying that on a major network television show or movie today…..

    I replied:

    See most any Quentin Tarantino movie, especially if Samuel Jackson is in it.

    Just wanting to say it can be done. Scorcese does it too. It’s been a while since I watched the Sopranos but I’m pretty sure there as well, and I can’t imagine American History X being written without it. I’m sure there are more examples.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Hence my quoting Alex Newhouse, the digital research lead at the Center for Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute.

    I am well aware of my own lack of savviness when it comes to the digital world, so I am not naive. I know how easy it is for some to manipulate/create such shit. I always look for someone outside of the organization passing such stuff on to a news org to verify it. As the Guardian did here.

    Is Alex Newhouse competent to verify it? I suspect so, certainly far more than I. At some point we all have to trust those who have more expertise in areas where we have little to none. I also trust the Guardian to touch base with competent people. Mistakes can be made so my trust is not absolute, but this is another piece that fits into the puzzle of far right violence.

    YMMV.

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  7. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I replied on yesterday’s thread:

    I’m not sure Tarantino would be able to get away with the dialogue of his early films today. The most recent films where he had characters using the N-word were The Hateful Eight and Django Unchained, where the historical context arguably made it more justified than in his earlier works; it wasn’t in quite the same category as the casual way it’s used in films like Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction. It’s notable that the word doesn’t show up at all in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

    I don’t think anyone’s arguing the N-word should never be heard in any film ever again. If you’re doing a movie about slavery or Jim Crow, it would be absurd not to include it. But Tarantino’s early films take almost a naughty pleasure in using the word, like it’s one of those “bad words” mommy will wash his mouth out with soap for saying. That sort of thing has fallen heavily out of favor, particularly among white filmmakers, and Tarantino himself doesn’t really do it anymore. As for Scorsese–has he used it in any recent film? I haven’t seen The Irishman yet.

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  8. CSK says:

    @Bill:
    Gosh, didn’t he say a few weeks ago that if he lost, he’d go and do other things?

    It amazes me that I can remember everything Trump says and his cultists forget everything he says.

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  9. MarkedMan says:

    @Bill: @OzarkHillbilly:The Republicans are always nattering on about vaguely defined “Traditional Values” that the “Hard Left” is constantly pushing against. But what are the actual values of the Right today? It seems to me that aside from beating up queers and throwing nancy boys out of their businesses, the most obvious right wing value is a dangerously juvenile vigilantism and fascination with guns and killing that springs directly from their debased history with the Klan and other right wing militia groups.

    We are closer to armed rebellion than many imagine. I lay this right at the feet of the right in general and the Republicans in particular, who for decades have encouraged the gun fetishists and racists instead of acting responsibly.

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  10. Bill says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Bill: Yesterday you stated,

    And James Caan says the N word at least twice in Brian’s Song. Try saying that on a major network television show or movie today…..

    I replied:

    See most any Quentin Tarantino movie, especially if Samuel Jackson is in it.

    Ozark,

    If you read my post carefully, I wrote -major network television show or movie today. Tarantino movies aren’t major network (I’m referring to CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox) programming but motion pictures made for the movie theaters.

    As for the Sopranos, that’s HBO. HBO isn’t a major network either. This cable movie channel has featured foul or offensive language as long as it has been on the air.

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  11. MarkedMan says:

    BTW, I find that, at least for this last comment, I didn’t get the edit function when I posted, but when I immediately reloaded the page, it was there and it worked.

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: The last I recall (and my memory could be wrong) is The Departed.

    I am sooooo looking forward to seeing The Irishman. The book* was a really good read.

    *I Heard You Paint Houses, still on my shelf waiting for me to read it again, I’m thinking after I see the film.

    @Bill: Accchhhh, my bad. It’s been so long since I’ve had TV, it’s all just blended together into one blurred video of mediocrity. (not that HBO is in the business of mediocrity, I own a number of their miniseries)

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  13. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    If he’s inclined to verify it, he hasn’t elaborated on how he did so. This appears to have been pushed out by Bellingcat, whose posted validation can best be described as thin and questionable, and taken as gospel by everyone else.

    I’m not saying it’s false, more that as presented it’s far too thin to determine either way and should be viewed with skepticism unless more substantial information is forthcoming . I’m also saying it has a distinct odor of confirmation bias, which sadly has become the odor of journalism as a whole these days. Due diligence is weak, and that leads nowhere pleasant.

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  14. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think you’re right about The Departed. It came out in 2006, and after that he moved away from mob films for a while, with the un-PC dialogue that comes with the territory. (It was also around the time The Sopranos ended.) That’s why I was curious about whether the word shows up in The Irishman, and whether or to what degree Scorsese has been affected by the reckoning of wokeness that’s come over Hollywood in the past few years.

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  15. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Also note (no edit function … 😐 ) that Newhouse is being presented as a commentator giving his opinion on the content of the material, not as a validator of its authenticity. Argumentum ab auctoritate, and we can do better than that.

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  16. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @HarvardLaw92: @OzarkHillbilly:

    So far no news agency is reporting this but for the Guardian. It could well be true, but I’d reserve judgment until some other reputable sources confirm it.

    I do wonder why the primary source for this document, which as far as I can tell is a blog called “bellingcat.com,” chose to share this with a British paper rather than the NYTimes or the WaPo. It’s potentially a big story.

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  17. CSK says:

    Still no edit function for me.

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: We are closer to armed rebellion than many imagine.

    Agreed but I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say “rebellion.” There are right wing groups out there itching for violence, fantasizing about it. Proud Boys, the 3 Percenters, this Patriots Coalition, etc. Some folks within those orgs will gleefully go there and stay there, but I suspect that when things do get real, a lot of them will go, “Whoa, I didn’t sign up for this shit.”

    I’ll admit to telling myself “it’s not that bad” because I remember the ’80s and ’90s when RWNJs were going off the deep end (Ruby Ridge, The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord, Oklahoma City, etc) and we survived it.

    But I also have to keep telling myself it’s not that bad because it certainly feels worse. There are lot more military grade weapons out there, a lot more legal acceptance for the carrying of and use of firearms against others, and we have the example of the Bundy Ranch standoff that was handled with kid gloves and resulted in no prison for any of the participants…

    I hope I’m right and it’s not that bad but I fear you are more correct than I am ready to admit.

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Your criticisms are noted and accepted as valid.

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  20. mattbernius says:

    I’m seeing some questions about Bellingcat. FWIW, the are a well regarded independent international investigative journalism group. I can’t comment on the current story, but their history and track record are good enough that the report should be seriously considered.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellingcat

    I’ll additionally point out that what the are presenting at Bellingcat are screen captures from a chat site. This is a case where its often difficult, if not impossible, to capture the actual “source code” of those posts–and all of that will be text-based as well, so we enter into a recursive argument without getting verified server logs which would be impossible in this type of reporting (and without a court order).

    Note for context: I’m, by profession and training, a qualitative researcher who does a lot of work in online groups and deals with the issues I note above. I also have done with journalists and always heard praise for Bellingcat.

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  21. mattbernius says:

    Here is the Bellingcat article which contains actual screenshots that go along with the transcribed logs:
    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2020/09/23/patriot-coalition-far-right-chat-logs-violence/

    Would this reach the level of court admissible evidence? No (again, we’d want to see the actual extracted server logs).

    But the work necessary to fake all of this would be pretty significant. And again, Bellingcat’s record on investigative journalism is better than most outlets.

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  22. mattbernius says:

    Ugh, I miss the edit button which I just realized is gone… sorry for three responses:

    @CSK:

    I do wonder why the primary source for this document, which as far as I can tell is a blog called “bellingcat.com,” chose to share this with a British paper rather than the NYTimes or the WaPo. It’s potentially a big story.

    Bellingcat is based in the UK and run by a British Journalist, Elliot Higgins, who has connections with The Guardian. This is no stranger than if a well regarded NY journalist would take a story to the NYTimes versus going to The Guardian.

    *Edit-and of course, after posting this, the edit button appears for me*

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  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius: Thanx for the additional info. That review of bellingcat’s reliability corresponds with what I have heard elsewhere, but I was doubting my memory.

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  24. CSK says:

    @mattbernius: @mattbernius:
    But surely someone else should have picked up on this by now. The only news agency carrying it, however, is the Guardian.

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  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    So, we’re going to pretend that Antifa wrote this?

    Patriot Coalition Of Oregon
    Click where the left circle is on your screen
    Then tap the members
    Then tap on add members
    John Hufford added Mike Self and Joshua to the group.
    Aug 15, 10:56 PM
    Avatar
    Patriot Coalition Of Oregon
    Put their phone number here
    Avatar
    John Hufford
    Thank you.
    Avatar
    Patriot Coalition Of Oregon
    Tap on add new number
    Brings you to this screen- put their name in here- they can change it to what they want later
    Click this off- unless you want them added to your personal contacts as well
    Then tap add
    Avatar
    John Hufford
    Ok. I’ve got them added.
    Avatar
    Patriot Coalition Of Oregon
    There is also a way you can send them a link directly to them through text message or private FB message as well- let me know if you want to learn that way as well- I use that more than anything- I find it easier and the quickest
    Avatar
    John Hufford

    Nah. Too much stuff that’s too trivial, too ‘housekeeping.’ No one fakes at that level. Thousands of words that have nothing directly to do with the topic. The actually incriminating stuff is a small percentage of the text. Too long, too much work, too well done to be fake.

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  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Man dies after eating bag of licorice every day for a few weeks

    A Massachusetts construction worker’s love of black licorice wound up costing him his life. Eating a bag and a half every day for a few weeks threw his nutrients out of whack and caused the 54-year-old man’s heart to stop, doctors reported.

    “Even a small amount of licorice you eat can increase your blood pressure a little bit,” said Dr Neel Butala, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who described the case in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    The problem is glycyrrhizic acid, found in black licorice and in many other foods and dietary supplements containing licorice root extract. It can cause dangerously low potassium and imbalances in other minerals, principally electrolytes.

    Eating as little as 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could cause a heart rhythm problem, especially for people over the age of 40, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns.

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  27. mattbernius says:

    @CSK:
    It broke yesterday. That’s not the way the new business typically works other than meta coverage (i.e. essentially just repeating/rereporting The Guardian story). I’d suggest giving it a bit more time and I expect–if we see stories–they will start to pick up later today and tomorrow.

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  28. Sleeping Dog says:

    I believe Linda Chavez is more right than wrong here.

    Dems wet dream of a demographic revolution that sweeps and unstoppable liberal tsunami is a wet dream. Like Cubans and Puerto Ricans who have achieved middle class standing, the current Latin American immigrants will be considered ‘white’ in a generation or two, just like the Irish, Italian, Poles, Christian Iraqis, Syrians and Lebanese.

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  29. reid says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was going to post the same thing about Tarantino, but then I thought maybe he meant TV.

    I watched Hateful Eight recently and thought while watching it that he wrote it just so he could get so many people to say the n-word.

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  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Brian Klaas
    @brianklaas

    Thursday update
    New covid-19 deaths, yesterday:

    France: 43
    Italy: 20
    Japan: 4
    Canada: 9
    UK: 37
    Germany: 17

    United States: 1,112

    Population of countries above: 440 million
    Population of United States: 328 million

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  31. reid says:

    @reid: By the way, the use of the n-word felt so gratuitous, along with other faults, that I didn’t care for the movie. It was a drag to finally finish. And I usually like Tarantino’s movies.

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  32. Bill says:

    @reid:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was going to post the same thing about Tarantino, but then I thought maybe he meant TV.

    Brian’s Song was made for television movie. That’s why I limited to that type of television channel. BTW I never watched the remake.

    Talking about the N word in fiction, only one of my ebooks has seen a character use it. A very important minor character with distasteful race views. Other than a couple of short stories, this is the only internet story* of mine I haven’t republished as an ebook. Not because it has the N word in it but because it needs some re-writing and a serious proofreading.

    *- When I published in on the internet in 2007, I had a warning at the beginning of the story. Curiously the story’s theme was about forgiveness.

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  33. ptfe says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: ” ‘Eating as little as 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could cause a heart rhythm problem, especially for people over the age of 40, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns.’ ”

    (Scandanavia collectively raises a dubious eyebrow.)

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  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @reid: He does seem to enjoy having the word in his movies. I was trying to remember if he used it in Reservoir Dogs and I don’t think he does. At one point Harvey Keitel’s character says,

    What you’re supposed to do is act like a fuckin professional. A psychopath is not a professional.
    You can’t work with a psychopath, ’cause ya don’t know what those sick assholes are gonna do next. I mean, Jesus Christ, how old do you think that black girl was? Twenty, maybe twenty-one?

    Which was politically correct before pc was even a thing.

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  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @reid: No edit function, I agree the Hateful Eight was not one of his better efforts.

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  36. Kylopod says:

    @reid:

    By the way, the use of the n-word felt so gratuitous, along with other faults, that I didn’t care for the movie.

    The movie left me feeling a bit cold, but not because of the N-word. He’s done that even in the films of his I liked. In Jackie Brown, he had Jackson’s character say it so much it began to sound like his version of “smurf.” The following is an actual line from the film:

    “Look, I hate to be the kinda n**** does a n**** a favor – then BAM – hits a n**** up for a favor in return. But I’m afraid I gotta be that kinda n****.”

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  37. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, Reservoir Dogs does use the N-word repeatedly, and often in an unambiguously racist manner (partly because all the characters in it are white, unlike his later films).

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  38. CSK says:

    @ptfe:
    There have been health warnings about licorice for years. Still, I’d like to know what constitutes “a bag and a half.” Is that an 8-oz bag? Four oz? What?

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  39. mattbernius says:

    @ptfe:

    ” ‘Eating as little as 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could cause a heart rhythm problem, especially for people over the age of 40, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns.’ ”

    (Scandanavia collectively raises a dubious eyebrow.)

    Not just Scandanavia… if I suddenly stop posting at least you’ll all know why.

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  40. mattbernius says:

    @mattbernius:

    Not just Scandanavia… if I suddenly stop posting at least you’ll all know why.

    *Checking the bag of licorice next to the deck*
    So lets see, I usually have about 6 of these a day and that’s about 40 to 50 grams…

    *shrugs and pops licorice into mouth while googling*

    which is about 2 oz and I just turned fourtysizsfdgkldsfgldfkghldfhjl;dsfhldkfgldfgbbmcsvkln.nv………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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  41. Bob@Youngstown says:

    I am a bit surprised that there is nothing in todays Forum regarding Trump’s (implied) threat to ‘get rid of ballots’.
    The only mechanism to ‘get rid of ballots’ is judicial. Mounting judicial challenges will eventually lead to SCOTUS. If he can drag out the appeals process into mid December, SCOTUS may well invoke the precedent set with the 2000 Florida ballot counting fiasco.

    Referred for your reading pleasureLink

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  42. Liberal Capitalist says:

    When others in the past have said: “If so-and-so wins the election, I’m leaving the USA”… has never really resonated with me.

    But if Trump steals wins the lection… that is another matter altogeather. Game changer.

    Exit plan: Dual citizenship, Shengen Area. Hope it’s not to late.
    https://usa.mfa.lt/usa/en/travel-and-residence/consular-issues/citizenship-of-lithuania

    Question: Are there any pro-Trump members left in this site? I get that there are those who still refer to themselves as conservativatives, but I do believe that conservatives and Trumpists and gone their separate ways.

    I would not mind hearing from someoen that can state exactly why all of this is “normal”.

    Feel free to change your email name if you want anonimity, but I can’t really understand how any of this is normal.

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  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    That only works if he is ahead.

    @Jen. A few weeks ago you were fretting the number of Trump signs on a weekend trip to Maine. Yesterday we wandered back roads from Kittery to Bidderford Pool and the Biden signs out numbered the Trump signs about 4-1. It seems Kittery, York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunk, Arundel, Bidderford, So Berwick and Eliot are heavily invested in Joe. And there were a lot of signs.

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  44. Matt says:

    @Kylopod: LoL I totally read that quote with smurf instead of the n word and it works lol…

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  45. CSK says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:
    Offhand, I can’t think of any pro-Trump people still here, except perhaps for JKB.

    As far as I can tell, there’s a distinct difference between true conservatives and Trump and his cult. In the first place, Trump has no ideology but for self-aggrandizement. And the “conservatives” who admire him aren’t really conservatives; they’re angry people who feel that they’ve been disrespected and disregarded by the Republican and Democratic “elites.” Trump, the “blue collar billionaire” (hah), is their savior and their champion. They have his worst qualities and he has theirs.

    Trump has two groups of admirers: those who are willing to admit that they love him precisely because he’s a disgusting churl, and those who can’t admit that to themselves, so they pretend that all the dreadful stories told about him are “fake news.”

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  46. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kylopod:

    For some years in street vernacular the word was in vogue. Currently not so much. Haven’t heard anyone call someone “mynigah” for a few years now.
    So it goes…

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  47. inhumans99 says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Trump is sounding more loony tunes by the day. Despite that The Atlantic article referenced in an open forum yesterday about what if Trump refused to concede, I actually feel the article reassures me that all of these fears that Trump will be our President For Life as so unfounded it is not even funny.

    The problem Trump has is that as The Atlantic article notes, unlike dictators/strongmen in other countries that have made sure the fix is in place before people vote, Trump has not done the work to ensure that no one can force him out (or would dare force him out) of the White House on 01/20/21.

    I have already half jokingly said that if like a child he refuses to leave the White House in January then someone might go ahead and treat him like a child and drag him out by his ear, or maybe folks will just work around him. Trying to go about their day pretending a work colleague who could not find daycare in time did not bring their child to work who has been seated at a table and given a screen and told to not disturb anyone because they are working.

    Hey…that is a good idea, let him stay in the White House, give him a screen and have twitter set-up a twitter intranet (Fox could do the same) so Trump can tweet away all day and night and think the general public sees his ramblings but in reality it just looks like his tweets hit the web as only he and him alone can actually see the tweets on his feed.

    Again…half-joking, I think even Republicans are tired of Trump’s inability to grow up and act like a half-way mature adult.

    Of course, if he gets 270 electoral votes than that is that and I fully accept he will be our next President. If he does not, McConnell is not going to fall on his sword for Trump and will accept that Biden won the election fair and square.

    Folks are way overthinking this, if Trump gets the electoral votes I will not even hesitate to shrug my shoulders, say bummer…but it is what it is and congrats on another 4 years Mr. President, but if Biden gets the electoral votes I am also willing to bet that many GOP members of Congress will also not hesitate to go public and congratulate Biden on his win.

    Even if Trump then mumbles every day that “we shall see” when asked if he will leave office on 01/20 it will just become background noise as everyone ignores the ranting of the crazy old man who is no longer the President of the United States when January 20, 2021 rolls around.

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  48. CSK says:

    Mary Trump is suing Uncle Donald, Aunt Maryanne Trump Barry, and Uncle Robert Trump (recently deceased, so I assume it’s his estate) for fraud and civil conspiracy related to her inheritance from Fred Trump.

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  49. Kathy says:

    @inhumans99:

    [..]so Trump can tweet away all day and night and think the general public sees his ramblings but in reality it just looks like his tweets hit the web as only he and him alone can actually see the tweets on his feed.

    Take all your overgrown infants away somewhere
    And build them a home, a little place of their own.
    The Fletcher Memorial
    Home for Incurable Tyrants and Kings.

    And they can appear to themselves every day
    On closed circuit T.V.
    To make sure they’re still real.
    It’s the only connection they feel.

    The Fletcher Memorial Home by Pink Floyd

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  50. Mister Bluster says:

    Trump: “Nobody likes me”

    Trump booed as he pays respects to Ginsburg at court

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  51. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I can imagine Trump in Nov. 4th or 5th saying “Biden couldn’t have won! No one I know voted for him!!”

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  52. Sleeping Dog says:

    Can’t recall that I’ve seen anyone else claiming this with regard to SC term limits.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/supreme-court-term-limits-not-090033996.html

    @Kathy:

    He’ll make the claim that if it wasn’t for fraud, 95% of the people would have voted for him.

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  53. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Your opinion is noted, but you’ll have to forgive me if I say that it has an odor of confirmation bias as well.

    This may all well be true, but on face there isn’t enough “there” there for me to buy it. I’m just tired of innuendo and gossip being presented as the tablets from heaven by media orgs seeking to generate revenue and/or push an agenda, which if we are frank is the character of the vast majority of the media establishment now.

    Journalism – requiescat in pace

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  54. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    To be fair and criticize both houses equally, this gem out of Florida couldn’t be any more blatant …

    Seems the Florida Attorney General wants the FBI to investigate Bloomberg for paying off fines for felons so they can vote. I mean Christ, at least *try* to pretend that it’s not about disenfranchising potential Dem voters … 🙄

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  55. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @mattbernius:

    Which, for me anyway, trips my skepticism feelers. It’s curious, in my opinion, that out of all the media outlets in the world, some purported ANTIFA orglet in Eugene, Oregon chose some obscure British blogger (and apparently only an obscure British blogger) to deliver its message of validated fk’ery to the world. It just doesn’t pass the smell test.

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  56. Joe says:

    media orgs seeking to generate revenue and/or push an agenda, which if we are frank is the character of the vast majority of the media establishment now.

    Journalism – requiescat in pacem

    Can you point to a time when this was less the case than it is right now, HarvardLaw92, because I can think of many eras in US history when it was more the case than it is right now. This is why we should be critical readers of the media – per your thread with OzarkHillbilly – in all eras at all times. The media – and each organization aspiring to be a news source – needs to earn our trust, but we should never drop our skepticism.

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  57. Joe says:

    @Joe:
    I am not sure how I inverted by quote and my commentary, but no edit function, so, whatever.

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  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bill: While I’m having trouble with why a single tooth would need both extraction and a root canal (causing me to conclude that more than one tooth was injured), I have no problem at all believing the McNugget caused the damage, having broken a filling on a maple bar donut once myself. (And the maple bar didn’t even have a defect, the cause was collision geometry, an old filling, and bad karma.)

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  59. mattbernius says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Without a doubt, you can have your opinion about all of that.

    I was simply pointing out that is isn’t a particularly informed opinion or perhaps more specifically an expert opinion. Speaking as a bit of a verifiable expert (feel free to Google me) on this subject (both in terms of the challenges of internet research and the practice of journalism) I can both speak as an expert to the methods that were used and the credibility that Bellingcat has within the broader field of investigative journalism.

    Again, I’m not speaking to the specific of this piece of reportage–I have learned not to do that in the first 48ish hours of any bit of breaking reporting. But I can say that what they have done is in keeping with the type of research I would expect to see given the constraints and that Bellingcat isn’t an “obscure” investigative journalism outlet.

    (Note: I have been following this a bit to see if any other outlets pick it up. So far it’s just Democracy Now and a few blogs… time will tell if this will grow at all or we get separate verification).

    some purported ANTIFA orglet in Eugene, Oregon chose some obscure British blogger (and apparently only an obscure British blogger)

    BTW, the two authors, Robert Evans and Jason Wilson, are both Journalists working in America. Evans has been on the ground in Portland and Wilson lives in Oregon (possibly Portland). So these could (and most likely) have been cultivating the sources for a while. That’s pretty important context.

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  60. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Joe:

    Journalism – requiescat in pacem

    No no… it’s “Pace”. He meant “rest in bland industrial salsa”

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  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In my area, we’re still low on deaths and overall infection numbers related to a county population of about 105 thousand, but we’ve been consistent on active cases for about 3 or so weeks now, which means that with “cure” defined as symptoms gone in 28 days, we are still replacement level infections and haven’t “flattened the curve to any degree whatsoever.

    And comparing today to Monday this week we’re up to 134 active cases from 77. And in-person school started in at least one district in the county about… well almost 2 weeks ago exactly. Hmmm…

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  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @mattbernius: 🙂 😀 😛

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  63. Mu Yixiao says:

    Hey Bill: I’ve got a headline for you

    Vietnam police seize more than 320,000 used condoms

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  64. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    That only works if he is ahead.

    I presume “he” refers to DJT.
    I don’t see it that way.

    Consider the following: on Dec 5 2020 the electoral count stands at Biden = 260, Trump = 250, with the only state that is not yet settled is Pennsylvania due to legal challenges and subsequent appeals. Trump pressures the republican Pennsylvania legislature to name it’s own electors (cuz the “will of the people is unclear”). The republican legislature (as is their constitutional right) decides to name all 20 electors – Trump loyalists).
    Trump now wins with 270 electoral votes to Biden’s 260.

    (Now how could Trump muck up and challenge Pennsylvania’s votes – particularly mail-in votes?
    The PA Supreme court recently ruled that ballots received within three days after election day must be included in the final count (so far sounds OK), but instead of ruling that those ballots MUST have been post-marked on or before election day — they ruled that only those ballots that were demonstrably mailed AFTER election day could be rejected. In other words, a ballot that arrives within three days after election day, and DOES NOT have a postmark, must be included in the count (regardless of when it was actually mailed).

    Were I a lawyer, I would institute a lawsuit, claiming that Pennsylvania is permitting voters to cast ballots after the polls have closed and preliminary results are being announced. I would lose at the county level, I would lose at the state level, but I would appeal those ruling to the supreme court – all the while running out the clock to the end of safe harbor.

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  65. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: That’s good to know.

    My husband has taken to counting signs when he’s out on the motorcycle and reporting numbers when he gets home. Of course, he witnessed the blubbering mess I was in Nov. 2016 and is attempting to shore up my confidence. Every report helps. I’m still weirded out by the UNH polling that shows Biden only ahead by 3 pts. here.

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  66. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @inhumans99:

    Despite that The Atlantic article referenced in an open forum yesterday about what if Trump refused to concede

    Tried to find the reference to the Atlantic article in Wednesday’s open forum without success. BTW, the Atlantic article I’m referring to is titled” The Election That Could Break America” by Barton Gellman. It was scheduled for publication for the November issue, but was released early.

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  67. Bill says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Hey Bill: I’ve got a headline for you

    Vietnam police seize more than 320,000 used condoms

    Oh well. That was going to be tomorrow’s headline of the day. I found it about an hour ago at CNN.

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  68. Scott says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    a ballot that arrives within three days after election day, and DOES NOT have a postmark, must be included in the count (regardless of when it was actually mailed).

    Not all mail is postmarked. Everybody assumes mail is postmarked but that isn’t necessarily true.

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  69. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Bob, I’m not letting it keep me up at night. There are folks who are paid to worry about and do something. It’s in their hands.

    @Jen:

    Here in happy Hampton, the Former Reality Show Host has an edge, but in the past couple of weeks the Biden signs have bloomed with the rag weed. North Hampton seems uninterested beyond the homes that always have signs up, even for the primaries and Rye seems to be Joe 3-2.

    This AM’s Globe had an article regarding the FRSH’s efforts here in Cow Hampshire, they really believe they have a chance, though that is being poo-pooed by Dems and independent observers, some of whom are R’s. It’s hard to imagine that if Shaheen hits her expected 10-15% margin how the FRSH could prevail and there is nothing to indicate the Shaheen won’t coast to reelection.

    You mentioned the UNH poll, they also had one about a month ago that showed the FRSH’s approval in NH as being -20, I’d like someone from that organization to explain how someone who is -20 in approval could be only -3 in preference.

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  70. flat earth luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    And the local “Proud Boys” have promised to bring up to 10,000 (keep the CLANG in their places) supporters to a mass protest in a predominantly black/minority part of Portland this weekend. Permits denied by City (“Covid”), and I seriously doubt they can find more than 1,000 determined followers to show up on a rainy weekend, but still…

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  71. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I am baffled by the economics of that. Clearly, labor and time must be almost free, but so is latex.

    I would expect shipping and packaging to be the real cost, with repackaging being even more expensive.

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  72. Tyrell says:

    “Russia claims Venus!” (CNN science). Something has to be up. I did not know they had a viable, working rover on Venus. I would like to see some good videos from it.
    Why would they even want it?

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  73. Gustopher says:

    @mattbernius: This might be confirmation bias, but I am surprised that anyone considers this story implausible or shocking in any way.

    Extremist group makes extreme statements when they think the normies aren’t paying attention. Particularly softboy pretenders who want to feel big and strong with their big and strong guns.

    We see stuff like this from police facebook groups. Why would we not expect it from extremist groups?

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  74. Jax says:

    I see Michael Caputo (he of the “there’s a deep-state cabal in the CDC/shadows on my ceiling” kerfuffle…..geez, was that just last week?! Time flies in upside-down Trump world, I guess) has been diagnosed with metastatic head/neck cancer.

    Not well, indeed.

    https://buffalonews.com/news/michael-caputo-receives-metastatic-head-and-neck-cancer-diagnosis/article_e1bcb148-fe77-11ea-862a-d375b2b7683d.html

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  75. flat earth luddite says:

    @Jax:
    While I think he gives incompetent buffoons a bad name, and while I certainly heard/saw/thought strange things during chemo days, I certainly don’t wish this on anyone. Ugh.

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  76. Kathy says:

    Idle thought:

    Had the Soviet Union held on and stumbled until the present, or adopted a Chinese style mixed totalitarian economy, would we not think Capitalism as it exists now is on the brink of collapse?

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  77. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Joe:

    I agree with everything but the Latin 🙂

    Pacem is accusative, pace is ablative. With respect to “in”, they have different effects. The accusative would confer “into, or towards”, while the ablative would confer “located in, or on”.

    Consider:

    et ascendit in caelum (accusative) in comparison with vere passum, immolatum in cruce pro homine (ablative)

    I spent too many years being taught by Jesuits, trust me … 😀

    Pace is correct 🙂

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  78. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Scott:

    Not all mail is postmarked

    Very true, that is why the position of the PA supreme court seems to be in contradiction to the notion that legitimate ballots must be beyond the control of the voter at the close of election day.

    It would have made so much more sense that they would rule that a ballot submission must establish that it was no longer in the voter’s control by requiring affirmative evidence (such as a postmark), rather then permitting a ballot that could be been submitted to the post office after election day because it carried no or an illegible postmark.

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  79. Jax says:

    @flat earth luddite: My first thought was “I wonder how much of what he said is a result of the cancer….”

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  80. JohnMcC says:

    @Tyrell: Hey Tyrell! Thank you for dropping in here. I looked up ‘russian rover on venus’. It’s a future projection. No such thing at present. And the whole world is laughing at the Russians about that colonizing attempt at Venus.

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  81. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Gustopher:

    I am baffled by the economics of that

    I don’t know how things are in Vietnam, but in China this story wouldn’t be surprising. It’s amazing the amount of work they’ll go to to cheat you (because labor is worth nothing, money is money).

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  82. Kathy says:

    @JohnMcC:

    A little knowledge.

    Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System, despite being farther from the Sun than Mercury*. In addition it has an atmosphere about 90 times denser than Earth’s, or about equal to being underwater at 890 meters.

    The Soviets did land a few probes there. Some returned data and photographs, but one survived for more than a few minutes in such hellish conditions. A rover would be kind of pointless, as it might cover a distance of a couple of steps before becoming inoperative.

    Trivia: no Soviet or Russian probe has yet made a successful landing on Mars.

    *I think day side temperatures in Mercury are higher, but this balances by the night side temperatures well below zero. While Venus has a night side, too, the dense atmosphere keeps the heat in, making the planet nearly isothermal.

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  83. gVOR08 says:

    Republican friends used to ask me why, since I was concerned about the economy, I didn’t vote Republican. Explaining, via economic theory and history, proved a waste of time. Kevin Drum summarizes a Moody’s Analytics forecast of the economic consequences of a Trump or Biden victory. Moody’s says,

    The economic outlook is weakest under the scenario in which Trump and the Republicans sweep Congress and fully adopt their economic agenda. In this scenario…it is not until the first half of 2024 that the economy returns to full employment…unemployment remains persistently higher…labor force participation rate that never fully recovers to its pre-pandemic highs…real after-tax income does not change much during the president’s term…The economy suffers in Trump’s second term, as we expect he will double down on the foreign trade and immigration policies he pursued in his first term…The significant increase in tariffs during Trump’s first term—from an effective tariff rate of 1.5% when he took office to a peak of more than 6% just prior to the Phase One deal—acted like a tax increase on the U.S. economy, hurting U.S. manufacturers, transportation companies, and farmers in particular. More of the same is expected in Trump’s second term.

    Drum, being Drum, adds a neat bar chart showing even the S&P and corporate profits better under Biden.

    GOPs claim to be the party of business and the pre-COVID economy is Trump’s best thing in polls. In reality, Dems are the party that’s good for business, at best GOPs are good for certain businesses.

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  84. flat earth luddite says:

    @Jax:
    No way to know for sure. All I can say from my experience with the mix I was taking for nearly 4 years of week on/week off chemo, some of the best disassociated thinking since my draft-age days. Fortunately, I was unable to work, so most of my thinking revolved around coffee (4 shot 20 oz mocha, dark chocolate, extra hot, extra whip) and nausea.

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  85. mattbernius says:

    @Gustopher:
    Again, I’m holding of commentary on the content of the article itself. I’ve only had a chance to scan the more indepth piece.

    I suspect that, for some, there may be a bit of unarticulated personal confirmation bias at play created by the “antifa” connection. For others, there’s most likely a similiar bias moving in the opposite direction because of the Trump/militia connection.

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  86. mattbernius says:

    @Jax:
    I saw that about Caputo’s diagnosis earlier today. That definitely can account for mood swings and behavioral shifts. It’s also very possible to be in both a physical and mental health crisis simultaneously (and often one can lead to the other). Either way, I hope he gets the help he needs.

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  87. Gustopher says:

    @mattbernius: I have no doubt that someone will do a dump of antifa.org or upper-east-side-antifa.io or whatever and find similar stuff.

    And there’s doubtless Q message boards, and environmentalist, animal rights, effective altruism and every other group that gets less than 15% support where young men are angry and spouting off about using force to make everyone live as they desire.

    But perhaps my assumption that N% of all young men as disaffected, frustrated, angry freaks distributed evenly throughout the set of all young men is wrong.

    But it’s why I am not surprised that BernieBros are worse than AOC fans — gender.

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  88. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: The way I eventually concluded that it works is that Republican/conservative policy is better for capital really only for holders/owners of capital (the capital itself is not affected by policy in any meaningful way that it cares about). And mostly only because of tax policy.

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  89. Bill says:

    @JohnMcC:

    And the whole world is laughing at the Russians about that colonizing attempt at Venus.

    There is no need to colonize Venus.

    From Star Trek The Next Generation

    Data: There once was a girl from Venus whose

    Captain Picard put a halt to the limerick.

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  90. Kylopod says:

    @Bill: I actually for years had a Mondegreen along those lines with Shocking Blue’s “Venus.”

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  91. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Centurion: What is this then? Romanes eunt domus, “People called Romanes they go the house”?
    Brian: It..it says, “Romans, go home”!
    Centurion: No, it doesn’t! What’s Latin for “Roman”? [grabs Brian’s ear] Come on, come on!
    Brian: Romanus!
    Centurion: Goes like?
    Brian: Annus!
    Centurion: Vocative plural of annus is…?
    Brian: Anni?
    Centurion: [writes] Romani. And eunt? What is eunt?
    Brian: “Go”! Let-
    Centurion: Conjugate the verb “to go”.
    Brian: Ire; eo, is, it, imus, itis, eunt!
    Centurion: So eunt is…?
    Brian: Third person plural, present indicative. “They go!”
    Centurion: But “Romans, go home” is an order, so you must use the…?
    Brian: The… imperative!
    Centurion: Which is…?
    Brian: I!
    Centurion: [twisting Brian’s ear] How many Romans?
    Brian: [yelling] I.. Plural, plural! Ite, ite!
    Centurion: [writing] Ite. Domus? Nominative? But “go home”, it is motion towards, isn’t it, boy?
    Brian: Dative, sir! [The centurion promptly draws his swords and presses it against Brian’s throat. Brian yells:] No, not dative! Not the dative, sir! No! The… accusative, accusative! Domum, sir, ad domum!
    Centurion: Except that domus takes the…?
    Brian: The locative, sir!
    Centurion: Which is?
    Brian: Domum!
    Centurion: [writing] Domum… -um [sheathing his sword] Understand? Now, write it out a hundred times!
    Brian: Yes, sir, thank you, sir! Hail Caesar!
    Centurion: Hail Caesar. If it’s not done by sunrise, I’ll cut your balls off!
    Brian: Oh, thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. Hail Caesar and everything, sir!

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  92. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mikey:

    LOL, that movie is a classic. Hilarious scene 😀

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  93. mattbernius says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    LOL, that movie is a classic. Hilarious scene

    Agreed. And it helps that a good chunk of the Pythons had to learn Latin as part of their (English) public school upbringings.

    HL did you pick up Latin in grad school or in college? I wish I had an ear for languages and had an interest to learn Latin when I was young. As it was I barely made it through Spanish.

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  94. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @mattbernius:

    Primary school years and undergrad. My parents thought that the rigors of a Catholic education would outweigh the potential personal costs of being a Jewish kid in a Catholic school, so that’s where I was sent. In retrospect I’m glad that they did.

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  95. mattbernius says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Especially for your profession. My wife’s a Federal Clerk and she has always appreciated her latin training.

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  96. de stijl says:

    @Matt:

    Brainy Smurf was the worst.

    Should have been called Plan Went Awry Smurf.

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  97. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: Someone somewhere has to write 50 Shades of Blue, an all smurf/smurfette bondage romance novel in the style of 50 Shades of Gray.

    Not that they should read the original first, god no.

    “I’ve come to smurf your pipe,” Handy Smurf said, entering Smurfette’s Mushroom House. “How about I smurf your pipe?” Smurfette replied.

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  98. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    How is Smurfette the only female?

    Either Smurfette has very resilient uterus or cloning. The timeline where all the Smurfs are same age as Smurfette suggests cloning.

    I suggest that The Smurfiverse is akin to Starship Troopers and is a cheeky subversion of Nazi tropes and Gargamel was the real hero. Possibly with Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible.

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  99. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    One of my fave sitcoms of the decade was Dakota Johnson as a mom to an infant and Nat Faxon as the idiot friend. It was delightful. Ben and Kate.

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  100. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Young men can grow up smart and savvy and self-contained.

    An either / or of BernieBro or Trump Douche is a false choice.

    Most young men grow into adulthood well and fine.

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  101. JohnMcC says:

    @Kathy: Thank you. And yes, I did know the facts of the inferno-like conditions on that planet. In fact, it was reflecting on the greenhouse effect of the Venus atmosphere that convinced me of anthropogenic warming through CO2 effects happening here.

    I’ve confronted several RWNJs in my family with the remark – which planet is warmer, the one closest to the sun or the one with the greenhouse atmosphere?

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