Thursday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The defense department inspector general has uncovered evidence that Michael Flynn accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign interests and governments, despite repeated warnings by the DoD and the justice department that his conduct might be illegal, the Guardian can reveal.

    After the retired general pleaded guilty in 2017 to federal criminal charges that he had lied to the FBI during its investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, then-president Donald Trump, Flynn and their supporters claimed that Flynn was the victim of political persecution.

    Flynn’s prosecution, they insisted, without evidence, was the result of a vast conspiracy by the FBI and US intelligence agencies to sabotage Trump’s presidential campaign and presidency. Trump pardoned Flynn in the final days of his presidency.
    Moreover, Flynn’s conduct occurred while he was a private citizen, long before Trump became president. Taken together, this appears to constitute powerful new evidence discrediting Trump and Flynn’s claims of political persecution by those opposed to Trump’s agenda.

    Really?? Why I never would have suspected…

    Give it a break Guardian, this breathless reporting of a fairly minor but newly uncovered fact that merely confirms what we all already knew, is just a wee bit over the top

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Late August 2017 was supposed to be a celebratory time for Joe Arpaio. The former Maricopa county sheriff had just received Donald Trump’s first presidential pardon after being found guilty of criminal contempt of court.

    The pardon meant Arpaio was spared a criminal sentence for a federal misdemeanor that could have included up to six months in prison. At a family dinner at a local restaurant the night he received it, he was barely able to touch his linguine with clams and calamari – he had been too busy fielding congratulatory phone calls and media inquiries.

    But Trump’s pardon could not redeem the political brand of Arpaio, then 85, who was once known as “America’s toughest sheriff,” nor would it help the president’s own long-term popularity in Arizona. Arizona’s electorate was changing, quickly. The state’s extreme immigration laws and Arpaio’s style of enforcement – which in both cases, federal courts had found some aspects unconstitutional – had inspired an energetic, grassroots resistance movement that was reshaping the politics of the state.

    Instead of having his reputation reinstated with the Trump pardon, Arpaio was met with a fierce backlash. “I’ve got two new titles now,” Arpaio told us weeks after he was pardoned. “‘The disgraced sheriff,’ that’s everywhere, ‘disgraced sheriff.’ And the other one is ‘racist.’ … I lost my ‘America’s toughest sheriff’ title.”

    Awwwwwwww, pobrecito…

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A blast from the past: Thinking inside the box: the Welsh teen who tried to post himself home from Australia

    A Welsh man has issued a public call to help find two Irish men who helped him return home from Australia in 1965 by packing him up and mailing him in a crate.

    Brian Robson, a 75-year-old from Cardiff, is looking for two men he only knew as Paul and John.

    Robson was a 19-year-old working for Victorian Railways when he became homesick. But the airfare would have cost about £700 and he only made £40 a month, he told the Irish Times.

    So he came up with a “stupid” plan, to buy a small wooden crate and have himself sent as freight. Robson said the “quite horrific experience” had taken four days, and he had been repeatedly stored upside down.

    Nearly 60 years later, Robson said he wanted to get in touch with the men to thank them and to buy them a drink.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mother of all book deals: Mike Pence signs seven-figure deal for memoirs

    I find it hard to believe that anyone would think Mike Pence’s vapid thoughts could be worth a cross town bus pass but $3-4 million? That’s some expensive out house ass wipes.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I find this hilarious: NRA’s Wayne LaPierre sought refuge from mass shootings on a friend’s luxury yacht

    Embattled National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre feared for his safety after mass shootings in recent years, forcing him to take refuge aboard a friend’s luxury yacht, the gun rights advocate testified.

    LaPierre made the admission in a deposition connected to the NRA’s bankruptcy case in Dallas.

    “They simply let me use it as a security retreat because they knew the threat that I was under. And I was basically under presidential threat without presidential security in terms of the number of threats I was getting,” LaPierre said.

    “And all of us were struggling with how to deal with that type situation with a private citizen with the amount of threat that we were having. And this was the one place that I hope could feel safe, where I remember getting there going, ‘Thank God I’m safe, nobody can get me here.’ And that’s how it happened. That’s why I used it.”

    LaPierre was questioned why he didn’t pay the yacht’s owner, Hollywood producer Stanton McKenzie, for its use or cite it in conflict-of-interest forms.

    “I actually thought that given the security threat that I was under and the fact that NRA was — was at almost a loss as to how to protect somebody with the amount of threat that I was having, that — that my work and the threat that came with it, this was — was a place that I could go and be safe, and it was related to that that I — that I — that I did it,” he said.

    As somebody* on twitter said, the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a rich friend with a yacht.

    ETA * Shannon Watts, founder of the gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense.

  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    Some Principles & Observations About Social Justice Politics

    In which Freddie sums up liberal objections to Wokeness.

    In an effort to be minimally inflammatory I will today use the term “social justice politics” to refer to the political movement you are all aware of, the one which combines several schools of academic progressivism such as intersectionality, trans-inclusionary feminism, and anti-racism with a focus on interpersonal relations as the primary site of political activity, resistance towards economic class as a political lens, and a belief in the essentially immutable prevalence of bigotry, all expressed through an abstruse vocabulary that signals adherence to this movement and its social culture. Here are some basic observations.

    He goes on to make 10 observations, culminating with the use of a ridiculous SJ tweet war over a cartoon character to make his point.

    You might ask why I’ve gone with this trivial example. Why not talk about something more serious? But this is the issue: under this political ethos all things become trivial. The insistence that all things have political valence, no matter how ridiculous; that every last aspect of your life is a potential site of political struggle; and that these struggles are of vast importance even though they have no material impact on the world – these things combine to make social justice politics totalizing and yet unserious, inescapable and thus mundane, unremarkable. Paradoxically the intense emotionalism of this school of politics, the insistence that feeling a particular way amounts to doing something, must inevitably leave its proponents unable to make basic distinctions of priority and practice, unwilling to distinguish between what makes them feel intensely and what could make the largest impact in real-world terms. This is not a popular sentiment, to say the least, but it is true: oppression is not emotional, oppression is material.

    This insistence that we think of everything politically at all times reminds me of the immediate post-9/11 period, when people were talking about “constant vigilance.” If it’s constant, it isn’t vigilance. Likewise, training an entire generation of young people (or, that is, a generation of the progeny of the college educated) that everything is politics won’t make politics more important to them. It will rob them of the ability to become uniquely motivated by political anger. If you have been trained to become enraged by a white teenager wearing a prom dress inspired by traditional Chinese garb – despite the fact that actual mainland Chinese people overwhelmingly viewed it positively – it means that you have no special reserves of feeling, or political motivation, or political vocabulary, to address the fact that the American media has been in an anti-China meltdown for months. You spent your outrage on dresses and the “cultural appropriation” of serving lo mein in a college dining hall. Where do you have left to go when your country is laying the intellectual groundwork for an eventual, actual war against China?

    Again, is vs. ought. The question is not “should the social justice agenda be implemented,” but instead “can the social justice agenda possibly win?” The social justice world is seemingly incapable of making intelligent and strategic decisions about where and how and why to politicize any given issue. The discursive and social practices of that world seem almost designed to make those politics strange and alienating to most people, of any gender or race. It operates as though the world has an infinite supply of outrage and that regular people will respond the right way, when you ring the bell, again and again. And its myopic emphasis on the gender semiotics of Dr. Who, or whatever the fuck, over the day-to-day realities of actual human inequality robs it of both moral clarity and the ability to focus on what actually matters. The problems with this school of politics are abundant, overflowing, and many people who espouse them every day do so purely out of fear of social censure. They can do great damage. But they cannot win.

    Perhaps the time has come for people to be brave enough to define what parts of this political school are worth saving, and what it’s time to leave behind.

  7. Teve says:

    Ha, Dang. The Onion:

    17-Year-Old Asks Friend What It Means When Guy You Like Wants Blanket Pardon

    PENSACOLA, FL—Wondering if this was a sign that their relationship was “official,” local 17-year-old high school student Sophie Garrett was overheard Wednesday asking her friend what it means when the guy you like wants a blanket pardon. “Has a guy ever mentioned something called a ‘blanket pardon,’” said the senior class treasurer to a reportedly more experienced friend, explaining that she didn’t want to look up the unfamiliar term on a school computer and risk getting detention. “He hasn’t directly asked me yet, but I peeked at some of his texts and it was mentioned several times—like, he was almost bragging about it. Not to sound like a prude, but is it normal hand stuff, or am I supposed to do more things, like, under the blanket? I don’t want to feel pressured into it, like when he asked to check if I was wearing a wire, but I don’t want him to break up with me either. Ugh, this is what I get for liking bad boys.” At press time, a note recovered at the scene confirmed that everybody at the school had already heard that Garrett did blanket pardons.

  8. CSK says:

    Perhaps he could have made the effort to get in touch a bit earlier? Like when they were probably still alive?

  9. Paine says:

    Heartwarming WaPo article about the challenges former Trump officials are having looking for work:

    Several former Trump officials told The Washington Post that the job climate was even more difficult than they believed it would be, and Trump and former vice president Mike Pence have kept a coterie of staffers on their payrolls, some because they have not been able to find other work. Some seem to have disappeared. Kirstjen Nielsen, the former head of homeland security who is linked to the family separations at the border, sold her house in Washington, according to a person familiar with the decision, and moved in hopes that fewer people would recognize her in public. Mark Meadows, the president’s former chief of staff, changed his longtime cellphone number. A number of other Cabinet secretaries have struggled to find jobs, while Pompeo is beginning to take political meetings and interview aides as he eyes a potential presidential bid, people who have talked to him say. Many of Trump’s political advisers are still circling the boss, looking for lucrative political contracts out of his $80 million PAC budget.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Old folks spend a lot of time thinking about their past lives and the people they knew and wish they could see again. They were too busy living before.

  11. Teve says:


    “The American economy turns out not to function very well when tax rates on the rich are low and inequality is high.”

    A great @DLeonhardt primer on why corporate profits taxes are de facto wealth taxes, and why raising them, as Biden proposes, is vital.


  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “Press Secretary Jen Psaki is kind of badass at her job, and it’s because of the extremely non-combative way she is just FINISHED WITH YOUR SHIT,” Wonkette observed. “It’s just like … some kind of assassin thing where some idiot asks her an idiot question and she handles it so quickly and quietly and effectively, the poor idiot’s liver is bleeding out before they even feel a thing.”

  13. CSK says:

    True, but being mailed halfway around the world seems like an event that would loom large in one’s mind at any age.

  14. CSK says:

    It must be pleasant to work for a president when your job doesn’t require you to justify endless cascades of utter bullshit.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: She seems to be enjoying herself.

  16. Jen says:

    @Paine: I read that piece yesterday, and it was indeed the feel-good article of the day. I have zero sympathy for those who enabled Trump. The fact that the article details that those who fell out of Trump’s good graces are now gainfully employed was a nice touch.

    @OzarkHillbilly: I enjoy watching her work. She’s very good at her job.

  17. CSK says:

    Well, OANN and Newsmax can only hire so many commentators.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Watching her not suffer fools is good for the soul.

  19. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Psaki is impressive and a delight to watch.

  20. Kathy says:

    I’m near the end of Sagan’s “The Dragons of Eden.” The book deals mostly with the brain, both in people and animals.

    It’s interesting, but it bears noting Sagan was an astronomer and not a neuroscientist. I’m sure when he presents facts these were correct at the time of writing, and taken from reputable sources (he often cites them). But when he speculates, he’s an outsider and an amateur.

    Still, he comes up with interesting questions. Like, why did sleep evolve? He comes up with some interesting facts (predators sleep more deeply and dream more than prey), and speculations (animals too stupid to be quiet at night are better off immobilized for the duration).

  21. Teve says:

    An interesting development…Biden can’t directly fire Louis DeJoy because he’s not a political appointee (i think that’s what I read), but Tammy Duckworth wrote a letter to Biden saying that under 39 U.S.C. §202 he can replace the entire governing board of the Postal Service, and replace them with people who will.

  22. Mu Yixiao says:


    Like, why did sleep evolve?

    A recent theory I’ve heard is that it prevents the visual cortex from being repurposed.

    When a part of the brain is under-utilized for it’s “original” purpose, other purposes start using the available processing power (this has been shown in blind people where the visual cortex gets taken over by hearing, smell, or other processes).

    Dreams are primarily visual–thereby keeping that section devoted to processing visual information.

  23. Teve says:


    Still, he comes up with interesting questions. Like, why did sleep evolve? He comes up with some interesting facts (predators sleep more deeply and dream more than prey)

    They can afford to.

    One of the cool things about science is, when I first started reading about it in the 80s, we really had no idea what sleep was for, and now we more or less know the broad outlines. Memory consolidation, and, most importantly, reducing blood flow to the brain and enhancing the action of cerebrospinal fluid washing through the machinery and removing waste products produced by the neurons, astrocytes, and glial cells all day.

  24. Mimai says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Yes, this plasticity theory was proposed by David Eagleman. His book Livewired is great. He’s also a good-natured dude.

    ps, the recent and wildly popular book Why We Sleep is, er, problematic when it comes to the science. Not recommended.

  25. Mimai says:

    @Mimai: pps, to be clear, the plasticity theory is focused on why we dream as opposed to why we sleep.

  26. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Dreams are primarily visual–thereby keeping that section devoted to processing visual information.

    Sleep and dreaming aren’t the same thing. Sleep is something you find in vertebrates generally, but it’s only mammals and birds that have REM sleep, and even then, it’s not clear they all experience dreams. (It’s not like we can just ask them–though I do remember reading a study about lab rats dreaming.)

    REM sleep is especially mysterious because it doesn’t appear to have any energy-restoration purpose, the way non-REM sleep does.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    Interesting discussion amongst the leadership team at my work this morning. For over a year we have requested all people who can work from home to do so, and the people who can’t, primarily factory workers, shipping and receiving and (sometimes) my engineering team, need to mask up, stay apart and a bunch of other things. So far, so good, as we have had no confirmed cases. We are going to change things in two phases: first, allowing people to come back in if they want, and second, a general reopening. For me there were three interesting things in the discussion.

    First, we decided to wait until September for the general reopening, despite the fact that all of our employees have been eligible for the vaccine as front line workers for well over two months now. It was pointed out that day care provisions are still a mess and many camps and other summertime daycare options have already decided not to open this year.

    Second, was the beginnings of the discussion about what the new normal will be when we do have that general reopening. Can people still work from home? If so, who and how much?

    Third, where do the anti-vaxers fit into all this? Are we vaccinated going to be required to wear masks around the vax refusers? Will this breed resentment (hell, yes!)

  28. Kathy says:


    I’ve seen dogs wake up suddenly for no reason, seeming startled, as one would wake up from a nightmare, for example. Of course, given the range of frequencies dogs can hear, it might just be a reaction to some unpleasant auditory stimuli humans are unaware of.

    One of my dogs, a toy poodle named Daisy, one day woke up like this while she was napping next to me. She gave me a very intent, very odd look, then slowly backed away, jumped off the couch, and ran downstairs. She avoided me the rest of the day, but was back to normal the next day.

    I think she had some kind of nightmare involving me, perhaps, and retained enough memory of it to be unsettled for a while.

  29. Teve says:

    @Kathy: dogs experience REM sleep, and it’s hard to watch a sleeping dog make running motions and bark and not think that they’re dreaming.

  30. grumpy realist says:

    @Kylopod: Isn’t the idea that REM sleep is being used to “chunk” memories and store one’s experience in a much smaller space? (who knew that we all had zip concatenation software inside our brains?)

  31. Teve says:


    Eric Lipman, longtime lawyer for the #Florida Elections Commission, was arrested Wednesday on possession of child porn charges after a search warrant was served at his home in #Tallahassee.

    Some wag comments, Q was right about the child trafficking and molesting, they just had the wrong party.

  32. Mister Bluster says:

    This may already be stale news to the scoops around here:

    Former Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo Joins Fox News As Contributor
    In a statement, Pompeo said, “As a now former diplomat and member of Congress, and in this new role at Fox News Media, I intend to give viewers a candid, no-nonsense look at geopolitics, international relations and the America First policies that helped chart the course for unprecedented American prosperity and security.”

    I guess everybody has to have a job.

  33. Jen says:

    @Mister Bluster: I actively despise Pompeo and cannot stand the idea that he is considering running for president. He’s already made one trip to New Hampshire this year.

  34. Teve says:


    (CNN)A major study published Tuesday suggests as many as one in three people infected with Covid-19 are left with longer term mental health or neurological symptoms.

    Researchers found that 34% of coronavirus survivors received a diagnosis for a neurological or psychological condition within six months of infection, according to the research published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry.
    The most common diagnosis was anxiety, found in 17% of those treated for Covid-19, followed by mood disorders, found in 14% of patients, CNN’s Ryan Prior writes.
    The results help light the way for how health care systems ought to continue helping Covid-19 survivors, the scientists said.
    “Our results indicate that brain diseases and psychiatric disorders are more common after Covid-19 than after flu or other respiratory infections, even when patients are matched for other risk factors,” said Maxime Taquet, an academic clinical fellow in psychiatry at the University of Oxford, and a co-author of the new report .
    “We now need to see what happens beyond six months.”
    While the neurological effects are more severe in hospitalized patients, they are still common in those who were only treated in an outpatient setting, according to the study.
    The research is the largest of its kind and involved the electronic health records of more than 236,000 Covid-19 patients, mostly in the US.
    The findings provide a sweeping view of the long-term burden the virus will have on those it struck.
    Other, smaller studies have pointed to the same conclusion. Research in February followed 381 patients treated for Covid-19 at a hospital in Rome, Italy and found that 30% of them experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after recovery.

  35. Teve says:

    @Teve: Pompeo kept urging Trump to bomb Iran, he very much does not need to be president.

  36. Teve says:

    Gahhh that should be @Jen:

  37. Teve says:
  38. MarkedMan says:

    Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan has been better than average on the COVID fight (and much better than average amongst Republican Governors, but that’s not saying much.) He made a bad, bad miscalculation recently, though, and it’s costing a lot of lives. A couple of months back, he went all in on reopening, spouting a bunch of Republican talking points in the process. Unlike his counterparts he didn’t try to claim that COVID was overblown or that it was all phony, instead he went with “It’s safe to reopen.” If you take a look at the national statistics, and then compare them to Maryland, you can see the cost. In the US the case rate has leveled off again, and the death rate is slowly declining. But in Maryland the case rate is steadily climbing and the death rate is going up with it. I live near a party spot in Baltimore City with a lot of young adults with money in their pockets and as soon as Hogan announce reopening the masks started coming off again.

    The additional deaths are on his hands.

  39. CSK says:

    Isn’t this all pointless if Trump decides to run again?

  40. Scott says:

    @Jen: Pompeo doesn’t have a chance. He is unpleasant in all ways, politically, socially, and, I hate to say it, physically. Watch how he does on Fox News. I predict that he will not be on very often.

  41. Teve says:



    Bill Mitchell is on Gab arguing with MAGAs about voting. He’s trying to convince them to vote but some of them say they won’t because it’s all rigged.


    If Republican politicians start losing elections because their voters stopped voting, because their voters believed the Republican politicians’ lies about Democrats stealing elections, that will be too funny.

  42. Stormy Dragon says:


    Still, he comes up with interesting questions. Like, why did sleep evolve?

    To use some results from actual science instead of evopsych speculation: one of the recent discoveries with artificial neural networks being used increasingly by tech companies is that as the networks become more complex, they need time to process with no input to avoid what’s referred to as “decoherence”. It’s possible biological neural networks suffer this same issue and that sleep is necessary to keep more complicated animal brains stable over time.

    Artificial Brains Need Sleep Too – Desperate AI Researchers Discover Way to Stabilize Neuromorphic Processors

  43. Teve says:

    It’s possible Warnock and Ossoff were just the beginning.

  44. dazedandconfused says:


    Octopus seem to have something like REM sleep.,flash%20across%20the%20animals'%20skin.

    I suspect sleep is not something that evolved, sleep has been retained from the very beginnings of multi-celled life due to nights. Ways to get the most from sleep evolved.

  45. @Teve:

    It’s also possible that Wornock loses when he faces reelection in 2022.

  46. Sleeping Dog says:


    It appears that there are going to so many R prez aspirants vying for the Trump lane that it might be possible for an old school R to sneak in and grab the nomination. It wouldn’t be anyone you would vote for, but not as odious as Cruz, Cotton, Rubio, Pompeo, or god forbid, Junior.

  47. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Who does that leave? I’m asking seriously. The Trumpkins absolutely loathe Pence, aqnd everybody else is a RINO in their eyes.

  48. Does the performance of the economy in the thirty years since Reagan left office teach us that all the predictions of doom and gloom because of the National Debt have been wrong?

  49. de stijl says:


    Bless Shannon Watts. That’s really clever.

    You can take my yacht from my cold, dead hands.

    If you take away luxury yachts from law-abiding citizens, only criminals will have luxury yachts.

    If history repeatedly kicks you straight in the nads several thousands times over and you choose to double down again and again infinity, you’ve marked yourself as an idiot.

    My thoughts and prayers for LaPierre. (Actually, to his second order victims, but I’m trying to be snarky, damnit!)

  50. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    A cautious, yes. Because economists and politicians either took the wrong lessons from the late 70’s/ early 80’s stagflation or applied those lessons incorrectly to subsequent eras.

  51. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Jim Hoft is oft cited as the stupidest person on the internet.

    I would nominate deBoer. That man could not make a strong argument to save his life.

    LGM has routinely made sport of him for at least a decade.

    Bari Weiss is also gunning for the title.

  52. Teve says:

    Seen on the Tweety Machine:

    “Government is the problem” is dead among voters; Biden sees that

  53. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’m looking at it differently. So many people run in the Republican Primary that they dilute the sane vote. A huge chunk of the party is looking for the biggest loon. Unless there are two enormous loons in the running all the way down the wire, expect some version of Trump or Palin.

  54. Teve says:

    @de stijl: I disagree with Bari Weiss on a lot of things, but I’m sure she could tie her own shoes. As sure as I am that Jim Hoft’s shoes are Velcro.

  55. de stijl says:

    Psaki is a human stiletto. She suffers no fools.

    Compare and contrast to Huckabee-Sanders or McEnany.

    I really like her.

  56. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Doug Mataconis: It isn’t really a binary. It isn’t “any debt is terrible” and “no debt is awesome!” and nothing in between. It also isn’t “any amount of inflation is bad”, IMHO. I think a couple of points of inflation is probably better than zero. Because deflation really is bad, and has a definite slowing effect on the economy. I mean, yeah it’s great if you’re holding a lot of cash, but that’s a small fraction of the population (one that’s quite loud, though).

    The financial wonks somewhat overreacted to the 70’s, and the politicals found it a good way to attack Democratic spending. I do not for a hot second think that Republican officeholders, as a class, think that “debt is bad” as a high principle. If they did, they wouldn’t keep doing these budget-busting tax cuts.

  57. de stijl says:


    That’s fair.

    Weiss is not stupid, but she is demonstrably great at being willfully obtuse. She is great at ignoring the elephant.

  58. Jen says:

    Regarding sleep–I recently watched an episode of NOVA about Antarctic krill populations, which are in slow but steady decline (this is a problem because they are a key food source for many animal species). One segment of the program that was investigating as to why larval krill fed off of the bottom of the ice pack at very specific times of day speculated that circadian rhythms are part of a way of marking time, which is critical to know when migratory habits need to kick in.

    Since sleep is part of circadian rhythms, there could be a link there.

    Regarding Pompeo: While I intellectually understand the reasons and rationale behind saying he won’t be the nominee, I detest him so much I worry. I mean, I loathed Trump and he won, and I detest Ted Cruz and he’s still getting mentioned. I don’t hold high hopes for the wisdom of the Republican electorate.

  59. Teve says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    It also isn’t “any amount of inflation is bad”, IMHO. I think a couple of points of inflation is probably better than zero. Because deflation really is bad, and has a definite slowing effect on the economy.

    An important point. Deflationary Spiral==Depression.

  60. Teve says:

    @de stijl: LGM says FoxNews has a new ‘Comedy’ show. Yikes. That’s going to suck Rocky Mountain Oysters.

  61. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    If inflation is too low, it encourages hoarding wealth in non-productive uses, since there’s no opportunity cost. Low but manageable inflation forces wealth to at least be put into some productive use to keep its value over time. e.g. if we’re going to have a Jeff Bezos, we’re better off with him having to put money into things like The Washington Post where it creates jobs, journalism, etc. instead of just building a giant Scrooge McDuck style money bin in Seattle.

  62. Stormy Dragon says:


    Hey, I like Rocky Mountain oysters!

  63. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Et alia:

    I had the best dreams when I was ill with Covid and could recall them so much more so than baseline.

    I think my brain is a frustrated storyteller.

    My favorite was about a high-school friend my brain magicked up out of nowhere who was psychic, but only about mundane boring stuff, not anything noteworthy or spicy.

    She was super-bummed that one dude she did not fancy was going to ask her out for an upcoming dance and she then had to come up with a good shut-down without being mean to him. She knew she was going to break a nail on Wednesday but not how or when.

    My brain had me consoling her and bucking her up. “Dude, your brain is cool as shit! No one else has what you have. It’s a one in a million thing. Yeah, it is not as awesome as it could be, but still, it is cool as shit.”

    She was nonplussed with that argument, but thanked me for trying. We hugged.

    I really liked that dream.

  64. de stijl says:

    Speculative evopsych scrying modern behavior is science like alchemy is.

  65. Teve says:
  66. Teve says:
  67. de stijl says:


    I have seen dogs dreaming and their legs semi-activate as if they were running.

    Usually, in humans, our brains shut down our bodies when we dream so we do not physically act out our dreams, but it does not always work perfectly.

    I used to work with someone with sleep apnea who socked his wife in this face inadvertently while dreaming. It was a soft blow, and she was pretty cool about it, but he was devastated.

    I cannot say for certain, but evidence strongly suggests dogs dream.

    What the hell is sleepwalking, btw?

  68. Stormy Dragon says:


    I’m not joking. Last time I visited Denver, I specifically made a point of eating at Buckhorn Exchange for the Rocky Mountain oysters they’re famous for. =)

  69. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Props for “concatenation” properly used.

    Are you a data person?

  70. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    It’s also possible that Wornock loses when he faces reelection in 2022.

    I actually think Ossoff is the more at risk of the two. Warnock has a built in constituency for him specifically due to his civil right activism and leadership position in the black church. Ossoff was the one who won more on being “The Democrat” then his specific merits.

  71. de stijl says:


    Thankfully, I already had anxiety before I got Covid. It did not get worse.

    Actually, lockdown suits me okay and is an anxiety reducer rather than an inflamer, all things considered. Less social obligations = less stress.

  72. Stormy Dragon says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Isn’t the idea that REM sleep is being used to “chunk” memories and store one’s experience in a much smaller space? (who knew that we all had zip concatenation software inside our brains?

    It may have something to do with memory formation, but our memories aren’t localized to specific places in our brain, so the idea of “freeing up space” in your brain makes no real sense.

  73. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    Usually, in humans, our brains shut down our bodies when we dream so we do not physically act out our dreams, but it does not always work perfectly.

    There is a rare disorder known as REM Behavior Disorder where the muscle atonia normally associated with REM sleep doesn’t happen, and the person moves around–essentially acting out their dream.

    The flip side of that is the far more common disorder known as sleep paralysis–something I know a lot about, having experienced it chronically since early childhood. This is the phenomenon where you’re either in the process of falling asleep or waking up, and for a period of time you’re sort of awake but unable to move. It’s a result of REM muscle atonia briefly extending into the waking state.

    People in this state often experience scary hallucinations, most commonly that of a creature sitting upon the person’s chest–an experience that’s apparently the original meaning of the word “nightmare.” (The mare was a creature from medieval folklore that smothered sleepers during the night, as depicted in a famous Henry Fuseli painting.) There are reports of this sort of experience found in cultures all across the world, and it’s believed to be responsible for at least some claims of alien abduction.

    (In case you’re wondering, I have never had this experience–though I have had auditory and tactile hallucinations during sleep paralysis.)

    What the hell is sleepwalking, btw?

    Sleepwalking is something that typically occurs during non-REM sleep (when your body isn’t paralyzed), where you get up and start doing routine sorts of activities that don’t require the conscious mind, but you’re otherwise entirely asleep. It’s especially common in children, but it can happen to adults.

  74. Sleeping Dog says:

    Joel Greenberg, Gaetz’s skirt chasing buddy is copping a plea and expected to cooperate w/the Feds pursuit of Gaetz.

  75. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I actually think Ossoff is the more at risk of the two.

    Ossoff isn’t up for reelection until 2026.

  76. MarkedMan says:

    I guess my vow to follow the Orioles this year is already falling by the wayside. I just hear a lot of banging, to loud and deep to be gunfire or firecrackers, and a few seconds later a long roar. Turns out it is opening day. I assume the loud banging were fireworks or some other kind of display and I went outside just in time to get a repeat of the roar – it was four military jets in formation flying over the stadium.

  77. Mu Yixiao says:


    The flip side of that is the far more common disorder known as sleep paralysis–something I know a lot about, having experienced it chronically since early childhood. This is the phenomenon where you’re either in the process of falling asleep or waking up, and for a period of time you’re sort of awake but unable to move. It’s a result of REM muscle atonia briefly extending into the waking state.


    When I was younger, I would frequently drift into a state of “waking sleep”. Mentally, I was fully awake and aware of everything around me (except sight, because my eyes were closed), but I couldn’t move my body. It was like… I didn’t have enough strength to overcome the inertia. I wonder if that was related.

  78. Mimai says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    You are speaking of hynogogic (while going to sleep) and hypnopompic (while waking up) hallucinations. They are not symptoms of a psychotic disorder, but they can be very distressing to people.

    Somewhat adjacently, lucid dreaming treatment is sometimes used for chronic nightmares, but the data are scant.

    The comedian Mike Birbiglia has written/spoken a lot about his sleep disorder. His book and movie “Sleepwalk with Me” are fantastic.

  79. Mu Yixiao says:


    You are speaking of hynogogic (while going to sleep) and hypnopompic (while waking up) hallucinations.

    My experience did not include hallucinations.

  80. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Thinking back to yesterday’s thread about humor, what you just posted was FUNNY! 😀

  81. Mimai says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Ah yes, I totally missed that in your comment. Perhaps I was rushing to drop some fancy words on this discussion. Apologies and thanks for correcting me.

  82. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve: It’s very hard to find cumulative totals for the number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19, but the US has ~31 million confirmed cases so far. If (say) 5% of those have long-term significant disability, that’s 1.5 million people.

  83. Kylopod says:


    You are speaking of hynogogic (while going to sleep) and hypnopompic (while waking up) hallucinations.

    Well–that requires some clarification. The feeling of being paralyzed isn’t a hallucination–people really are paralyzed during REM sleep, and this occasionally bleeds into the waking state. That’s what sleep paralysis is, and why it happens.

    However, SP is often (though not always) accompanied by hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations, and these sorts of hallucinations can happen without SP. (One note on terminology: the term “hypnagogic hallucinations” has become so popular that people have come to use it to describe what they experience both at sleep onset and while waking up, ignoring the term “hypnopompic.”) The sensation of being stalked or assaulted by some entity is known as the Old Hag phenomenon.

  84. Stormy Dragon says:


    Yes, but I think he’s more likely to lose in 2026 than Warnock is to lose in 2022

  85. CSK says:

    Fox has hired Mike Pompeo as a contributor.

  86. Mimai says:

    @Kylopod: You are, of course, correct to note the distinction.

  87. de stijl says:

    Every now and again, like 5-6 times a year, when I am in the state when I am 9/10’s of the way to being fully asleep my leg kicks involuntarily and jolts me fully awake in an instant.

    What Cosmo Kramer called the “jimmy leg”.

    What the heck’s going on there?

  88. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: Ah! You’re talking about what’s known as a hypnic jerk.

  89. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    It’s called jactitation. Sometimes it’s a symptom of mental or physical illness, but more often not. Usually it’s restless twitching.

  90. de stijl says:


    I get where you are coming from re: Pompeo. He is a rat bastard and would be a wrecking ball.

    But of possible 2024 contenders the likelihood that Pompeo catching fire seems slim to me. He is kinda inherently unlikeable.

    What scares me is a dude/dudette outta left field no one expects and Trump-esque threads the needle outcome.

    That a moron like Trump got elected makes me very gun-shy. We are capable of extremely, foreseeably bad choices, apparently.

  91. de stijl says:

    Sometime late today or early tomorrow I will attempt for perhaps the 87th time to quit nicotine.

    I pretend that one or two don’t really count, but eventually those little cheats add up to buying a carton a week.

    Nicotine withdrawal is decidedly unpleasant. Your brain itches and you cannot scratch. Best bet is to try to ignore it as best you can until it becomes annoying background noise about two weeks later.

    I am not looking forward to this. This will be very unpleasant. It is the right call.

  92. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    Hope-spot: Trump was actually unusually unpopular for a Republican nominee in 2016. Since WW2, only two Republican nominees got a smaller share of the vote in a two person race: McCain and Goldwater. And yes, that means post-Watergate Gerald Ford got a bigger share of the vote than Donald Trump. Romney got a bigger share in 2012 than Trump did in 2016.

    Trump did not win because he got more votes; he won because the Dems chose a historically unpopular candidate that lost more votes than the Republicans did choosing Trump.

  93. JohnSF says:

    “…Sagan was an astronomer and not a neuroscientist.”
    It’s interesting that Sagan seems to have been fascinated by evolutionary biology and neurology.
    In addition to “Dragons…” there’s “Brocas Brain” and “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” .
    IIRC there was an interview somewhere where he said what he’d really like to have been was a comparative xenologist.

  94. JohnSF says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    On some days I’m more inclined to give credit to “evopsych speculation” than to artificial neural networks for value re. mammal-level mentality.

    How far do current networks/AI/machine learning systems really resemble the procedures of more evolution-parsed sentience? Lately I’m seeing a lot of commentary that we may be hitting an “AI wall” again because we still don’t really get how the heck bio-sentience actually functions, let alone at homo equivalent levels.

    IMHO the primary purpose of sleep is so that you can differentiate Monday from the weekend.

  95. Kathy says:


    IIRC there was an interview somewhere where he said what he’d really like to have been was a comparative xenologist.

    There is a field of study called variously xenobiology or astrobiology. It’s the study of extraterrestrial life. Of course, there isn’t a single object of study* as yet, so it’s largely speculative, and consists largely of applying what we know about biology to such environments as we know exist or are expected to find.

    *There are organic molecules known to exist in comets, asteroids, and the atmospheres of the gas giants and Titan. I think amino acids have been detected in asteroids as well. Thus far that’s as close to life as we can get outside our planet.

  96. CNN: Joe Manchin just crushed liberals’ dream for Joe Biden’s first term

  97. Stormy Dragon says:


    On some days I’m more inclined to give credit to “evopsych speculation” than to artificial neural networks for value re. mammal-level mentality.

    The problem is that evopsych “theories” are untestable, so even if they are correct, they’re unscientific. Research into artificial neural networks at least allows for alternatives to be tested and the validity of a hypothesis to be studied at a level beyond just sounding plausible.

  98. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Are you sure you want to “hard quit”?
    I smoked from late teens to a few years ago.
    Averaged about 10 to 20 cigarettes per day (always smoked much more when drinking).
    Four years ago, decided to quit (mainly due to cost: UK cigarettes c. double US price) and got a Juul vaping thing.
    That was it: not smoked since, and have cut the vape down from almost as often as cigarettes to just a few puffs in the evenings.
    So the vape definitely helped me ease down. But it doesn’t work for everyone, I know.

    Still crave a cigarette like crazy sometimes, though.
    Probably always will. Vape just aint the same.
    May take up smoking cigars now and then. LOL

    Best of luck!

  99. Teve says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    CNN: Joe Manchin just crushed liberals’ dream for Joe Biden’s first term

    This liberal isn’t focused on gun control at all, in fact I don’t want Biden wasting political capital on gun control, H.R. 1 and the infrastructure bill are much more important.

  100. de stijl says:


    I have no problem with Sagan straying outside the lines.

    Yeah, some was speculation, but interestingly so. Prompts testable hypotheses.

    Public facing, explainer scientists have a massive and underappreciated role in society. The heads down folks deserve a shout out too, but public facing scientists get dissed by their peers as dilettantish spokesmodels unfairly.

    As a wannabe polymath I heartily appreciate folks like Sagan and de Grasse Tyson. I need hand-holding through the tricky bits.

  101. Mimai says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The problem is that evopsych “theories” are untestable, so even if they are correct, they’re unscientific.

    This isn’t true as a blanket statement. As with any field, evopsych and its advocates/practitioners are worthy of criticism. But critics often erect a strawman version instead of engaging with the best version of the field, which can be and is scientific.

  102. CSK says:


  103. CSK says:

    Whew. For a while there, my comments weren’t being posted.

  104. de stijl says:



    I am gun-shy about nicotine gum or patches and nico vaping. I’ve tried all before and the problem is it scratches that itch I want gone from my brain.

    Nicotine crutches like gum, patches, vaping ignore the fact I am addicted to nicotine which is the big issue.

    Obviously, they are a much more healthier alternative to cigs, but I need a hard stop.

    This going to suck so hard. Cold turkey is pretty brutal.

  105. JohnSF says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    According to one bioscientist at my workplace (casual convo with little old ignorant me, so take with a cellar-full of salt):
    There may be ways of testing some limited subsets of evopsych, but it will take a lot of work, money and computing power.
    Richard Dawkins was working around the edges of the concept years ago.
    Essentially reducing a “evopsych” concept to algorithmic terms and running in as a “competitor” in iterated “hyper-complex prisoners dilemmas”. Then comparing predictions of behaviour to observation.
    According to said biologist problem is psychologists keep trying to jam their philosophical priors into the process.

    Still, seems to amateurish me more likely to be productive than yet another attempt to analogise minds on x current technology. (“The mind resembles a steam engine/factory/chemical refinery/telephone exchange/computer… “)

  106. de stijl says:


    I’m cool with this take. It is a valid field.

    However, lay practitioners have made speculation seem like science. It’s science adjacent and raises interesting hypotheses.

    Provability is the rub.

  107. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    but public facing scientists get dissed by their peers as dilettantish spokesmodels unfairly.

    All too often, I know.

    Sagan should get a pass because he also wrote The demon Haunted World, in which he makes a very strong case, and provides the means, for embracing critical thought at all levels.

    I don’t mind speculation. But in this case it’s advisable to take it lightly because he’s not an expert in the field he’s speculating about.

  108. Stormy Dragon says:


    Still, seems to amateurish me more likely to be productive than yet another attempt to analogise minds on x current technology. (“The mind resembles a steam engine/factory/chemical refinery/telephone exchange/computer… “)

    How is “reducing a ‘evopsych’ concept to algorithmic terms and running in as a ‘competitor’ in iterated ‘hyper-complex prisoners dilemmas'” not itself “basically analogizing minds on x current technology”?

  109. Mimai says:

    @de stijl:

    However, lay practitioners have made speculation seem like science.

    Oh man, don’t get me started!

    @de stijl:

    This going to suck so hard. Cold turkey is pretty brutal.

    Godspeed my friend. Sounds like you have the wisdom of experience, so hopefully it will serve you well. To quit is to relapse. Keep trying until it sticks. And keep reaching out to supporters (here) for reinforcement, pep talks, etc.

  110. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:

    “…Sagan straying outside the lines.”

    I suspect that he didn’t think he was (or at least not much)
    And that he was correct in this viewpoint.
    Sagan was primarily a planetary astronomer, and especially interested in both “exotic” locales for earth-type biochemistry, the influence of biology on planetary scale geophysical processes, and possible extra-terrestrial sources of organic chemistry.
    If you look at it that way, and especially from the long range perspective, planetary astronomy and biology are likely to be closely connected.

  111. JohnSF says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Because, if I understand the concept correctly, it is based on trying to model behaviour and “run” competing behaviour models in an “evolutionary” environment.
    It may use neural networks as a tool; but is sceptical of their value as a model.
    There is a history of using whatever the latest “cutting edge” technology we have as a model of mind, but with limited success.

    And the current AI models seem to be regarded by at least some biologists as two much of a “black box” for comfort.
    Again, this is way beyond my expertise, but I’ve heard it put sort of as follows:
    “It’s like bloody underpants gnomes again. Phase one, input; phase two ?; phase three, results. It’s the details of the ? we need to know but don’t. Let alone whether it even remotely resembles what goes actually on in zoology.”

    There’s a great article out there somewhere (but I’ve lost the reference, of course…) whose general thrust is: “How does human consciousness and animal intelligence work? We don’t have a f*cking clue.”

    Perhaps trying to analyse and dynamically model evolution of behaviour might give us some idea of what could work in reality, and thus what to look for in mechanisms for implementing behaviour.

  112. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: I don’t hold high hopes for the wisdom of the Republican electorate.

    One thumbs up for this.

  113. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Funny… I’m thinking about it. I have eaten all kinds of shit all over this world but I can not rule out, or in, Rocky Mountain Oysters.

    Yes, I did spend large amounts of the 70s and 80s blitzed out of my brains. Why do you ask?

  114. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I had the best dreams when I was ill with Covid

    One word: Chantrix.

    The best dreams I ever had were when I was taking Chantrix while trying to quit smoking. HOLY COW… better than acid. I have heard from a number of folks that they could not handle the dreams. I loved them. Shit… I’d take chantrix for the dreams alone.

  115. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: What the hell is sleepwalking, btw?

    I had a roommate who was a sleepwalker. I could tell you stories, everything from walking around in the back yard buck naked to all but taking a suicide dive out a 3rd floor window to almost getting shot by a couple of cops. And far far weirder shit.

  116. de stijl says:


    A Fox News “comedy” show featuring Greg Gutfeld offends my sensibilities. It will be so bad. My prediction is a bad impression of Dennis Miller.

    I had a roomie who was a stand-up comic. He would practice and refine and just throw that bit in the garbage after weeks of effort.

    When he thought he had a decent joke he would do it in front of a mirror repeatedly and try out phrasing and intonation and stance and gestures. It was pretty fascinating.

    He was a super good dude, but after awhile I just used headphones when he was deep in practice mode. It was cool. An easy accommodation.

    Also, we watched hours and hours of stand-up comics. I am now a semi-comedy nerd. If you wanna talk late 80s early 90s stand-up I am your go-to dude.

    Bits that crack up your friends often do not work on-stage. The larger audience does not have that same shared background.

    Comedy as a biz is super hard and requires a big brain, and very hard work, and even then you might get booked at the local Laff Factory if you fellate the owner. Maybe.

    A brutal business.

  117. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Damn man, I tried to quit for 20+ years. Chantrix is what made it possible. Well, that and fear. The 2 years before I made the plunge I was smoking 4 cigs a day. Literally. 1/2 on the way to work. 1/2 when I got there. 1/2 at AM break. 1/2 at lunch. 1/2 when I got off work. 1/2 when I got home. 1/2 at the end of the day, and another half I usually cheated into there.

    My first 2 months on Chantrix were great, all the dreams, none of the withdrawals. The 3rd month…

    I got scared. I knew it was time to shit or get off the pot. If I didn’t quit I would be dead in 5-10 years. I quit. It was a psychological barrier I couldn’t get thru without the the certainty of my own mortality that pushed me thru.

    And no withdrawals. My fear of them was wholly in my head. Well, that and my past experiences with them.

  118. Teve says:


    Daily Beast: In two late-night Venmo transactions in May 2018, Matt Gaetz sent accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg $900. The next morning, over the course of 8 minutes, Greenberg used Venmo to send three young women varying sums of money totalling $900.


    On the next episode of “Columbo’s 5-Minute Mysteries”

  119. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    A Fox News “comedy” show featuring Greg Gutfeld offends my sensibilities. It will be so bad. My prediction is a bad impression of Dennis Miller.

    I’ve seen clips from it, and believe it or not, it’s worse than Dennis Miller. It’s one of the most painful, pathetic things I’ve ever seen–but then I’m a liberal, what do I know.

  120. Teve says:

    @de stijl: when I realized that the number of recognizable professional stand up comedians was significantly smaller than the number of NBA players, it hit me how rare an ability that is.

    I’ve also watched a lot of stand-up and listened to hundreds of hours of podcasts by standups and a lot of them say it took about 10 years for them to really feel like they knew what they were doing. Which made 22-year-old Eddie Murphy’s Delirious all the more mind blowing.

  121. DrDaveT says:


    How far do current networks/AI/machine learning systems really resemble the procedures of more evolution-parsed sentience?

    It is, at best, a tenuous analogy. What Deep Neural Networks do in a machine learning application is a lot closer to simple linear regression than it is to what happens in starfish brains, much less mammal brains.

    That said, the article was talking about neuromorphic processors, which are deliberately closer to the biological analogy, but also not yet known to be useful in new ways.

  122. de stijl says:


    I cannot smoke cigars.

    After a bit, I forget the protocol and inhale as if it were a cig. Usually about 20 minutes in or there about.

    Everything tastes like cigar for the next three days.

    In my defense, I am kinda an idiot.

  123. Mimai says:

    @de stijl: Sometimes an idiot is just an idiot.

  124. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @de stijl:
    Years ago went cold turkey from 2-3 packs a day. ‘‘Twas extra hard b/c spouse refused to try.
    What I think helped me was I replaced a cig with 2-3 oz of unsweetened grapefruit juice.
    Good Luck.

  125. DrDaveT says:


    (“The mind resembles a steam engine/factory/chemical refinery/telephone exchange/computer… “)

    I just finished a novel that had one of my favorite takes on this, as a throwaway line:

    Consciousness is a legislature, but it’s not clear whether it’s corrupt, incompetent, or both.

  126. de stijl says:


    This is from past attempts, but will apply next time I do the weekly stock-up run.

    It is distinctly odd to not buy cigarettes in a joint where you normally buy cigarettes. It is as if the world is knocked off the proper axis and is not working properly.

    This thing you “need” is now irrelevant.

    You have to consciously remember to forget.

    $75×52 is a fairly healthy amount of scratch.

  127. de stijl says:


    I am thoroughly addicted to WTF with Marc Maron podcasts.

    That man is brutally honest about his bad aspects. It is quite astonishing.

    I find it really refreshing and clarifying. I try to critique myself as he routinely does.

  128. de stijl says:


    I am also a moron. Clinical definition Grade A moron.

  129. de stijl says:


    One of my favorite visual gags is The Treachery Of Images by Magritte. The “this is not a pipe” painting.

    Ceci n’est pas une pipe

  130. de stijl says:

    Seems appropriate:

    Junkie Church by AJJ.

  131. de stijl says:

    AJJ have a song about Temple Grandin called oddly enough, Temple Grandin.

    Also a follow up called Temple Grandin Too. Subtly named.

    Sean Bonette is one of my favorite people on this planet, perhaps most favorite.

    A hearty poke in your normie jaundiced eye, and a stab to the chest, is a fairly standard opening lyric for him. A stiletto to your soul too just because.

    He writes bracingly honest lyrics. Makes you sit up straight and go “Whoah! What the fuck did I just hear?” The best lyricist about mental illness ever.

  132. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: It is distinctly odd to not buy cigarettes in a joint where you normally buy cigarettes.

    Yep. It’s kinda weird but an old friend once explained how she had a most intimate relationship with cigarettes. Touching, caressing, kissing them 20-30 times a day. I had never thought of it that way before.

    It’s been 11 years and I still want a cig at least once every day. If I ever get stage 4 cancer, I’m gonna start smoking again.

    Good luck breaking up with that toxic lover.

  133. Mimai says:

    @de stijl:
    Unsolicited suggestion from someone who has run a lot of smoking cessation groups: If at all possible, at least during the initial withdrawal period, try to modify your activities so as to minimize relapse triggers. Eg, don’t shop (or even drive by) joints where you typically bought cigarettes. Now is not the time to test your resolve.

    Also, if you’re open to mindfulness, you might look into urge surfing. Of course, you may already be familiar with these (and other) things. Regardless, best wishes and respect for trying again.