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. Teve says:

    Wanna know how effective Covid vaccines are? In the last month the United States has fallen from 40,000 new cases a day to 14,000 new cases a day. A fall of 65% in one month.

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

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  2. charon says:

    @Teve:

    FL has discontinued reporting.

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  3. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Teve:
    It’s also the measure of a competent Government, and isn’t that nice?
    The vaccination rollout and distribution is one of the biggest success stories of Government action in decades.
    Imagine, for a minute, that Biden (or more appropriately, Clinton) had been in office instead of Trump? How different would the course of this pandemic been?

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  4. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @charon:
    They never reported accurately, anyway.
    There is a significant excess death count there, especially in rural areas.

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  5. Mikey says:

    @Teve: In my county the 7-day moving average of cases per 100,000 has dropped from 68 to 1.6 in the last month. We’re sitting at 59% with one dose, 49% fully vaccinated.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Skeletons of Viking men to be reunited in Danish exhibition

    The skeletons of two Viking age men who were related but died on opposite sides of the North Sea are to be reunited in an exhibition in Copenhagen this month.

    DNA tests on the ancient bones suggest the men were either half-brothers or a nephew and an uncle, according to Prof Eske Willerslev, a Danish evolutionary geneticist based at the University of Cambridge. Both of the Norsemen died following violent incidents.

    The skeleton of the first man, a farmer in his 50s, was excavated in 2005 near the town of Otterup in central Denmark. Analysis of the bones found that he was 6ft, had arthritis in most of his joints, and signs of inflammation potentially indicative of tuberculosis.

    But further markings on the bones – in particular, a violent lesion on the left of his pelvis – are believed to have come from a stab wound that may have proved fatal. “The wound from that blow may have cost him his life because it did not heal,” said Jesper Hansen, chief curator at Odense City Museums. The wound has led researchers to suspect the man took part in the kinds of raids that made the Vikings notorious.

    The second skeleton was unearthed in 2008 under the quadrangle at St John’s College, Oxford. There, archaeologists found the remains of at least 35 young men aged 16 to 25. The men are thought to have been slaughtered in the St Brice’s Day massacre more than 1,000 years ago when – on hearing of a Danish plot to assassinate him – the Saxon king Ethelred the Unready ordered the extermination of all Danes in England.

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  7. gVOR08 says:

    @charon: I live in FL and have been maintaining my own spreadsheet daily. FL claims they’re going to report weekly. Last update was Thursday, I’m waiting to see if they’ll report today.

    I often comment that conservatism is a huge game of make-believe. Let’s pretend W is presidential. Let’s pretend tax cuts reduce the deficit. And DeUseless has been playing let’s pretend this isn’t happening since the pandemic began. And aside from the 35,000 dead people it’s working for him.

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  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Saw a medical expert comment on vaccine safety that we’ve done 300 million doses and they’ve never seen 300 million doses of anything with fewer problems.

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  9. Franklin says:

    Growing weed indoors is terrible for climate change https://slate.com/technology/2021/06/marijuana-climate-change-green-indoor-growing.html

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  10. Andy says:

    Steven,

    You may already know this, but Matt Yglesias had a really nice call-out to your book in his Substack post today:

    https://www.slowboring.com/p/the-fight-for-democracy-is-bigger/

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  11. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    They reuniting the the skeletons? Have they never seen a horror movie? Don’t they know the forces they are likely to unleash??? Heavens to Murgatroyd…

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  12. charon says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    To the extent cases are dropping, it’s mostly blue states. Red states, not so much.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I know I know, I tried telling them, but would they listen to me? Not a chance.

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  14. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: Cases are dropping even in a lot of red states. Fewer people are getting tested so we are not catching asymptomatic cases. The death rate is a different matter. Dropping significantly more slowly than cases, and then only amongst the vaccinated. And let’s face facts, the un-vaxxed are likely to be hanging out together.

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  15. becca says:

    I’m off soon to have my second cataract removal/lens implant surgery, so no coffee for me. Bummer.

    Good news is the 1st surgery was a snap and the result is amazing. It’s a wonderful world of color out there and I couldn’t see it and now I can.

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  16. CSK says:

    @becca:
    Very glad to hear this.

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  17. CSK says:

    I’ve tried a few times to explain Massachusetts politics, particularly how Republicans so often get elected governor in a deep-blue state.. This sheds some light:

    http://www.politico.com/news/2021/06/08/charlie-baker-massachusetts-governor-gop-492176

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  18. Teve says:

    @amandamull

    Ugh. Why did we ever evolve past being apes. I could be chilling out in some forest, oblivious to email or even the concept of academics.

    @frankbumb

    God: I have created Mankind.
    Angels: you fucked up a perfectly good monkey, is what you did. Look at it. It’s got anxiety.

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  19. Teve says:

    @charon: true, but we are only 6% of the US population. We can’t have made that much of a difference. And anyway we’ve fully vaxxed about half the eligible population.

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  20. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Speeding in Arkansas? Well… that deserves you a killin’.

    … PIT maneuvers are increasingly being used by the Arkansas State Police. Between January 2017 and December 2020, PIT maneuvers were used 306 times, with half of those happening in 2020, according to the local news outlet.

    At least 30 people have died and hundreds more have been injured since 2016 from PIT maneuvers, according to The Washington Post. Eighteen of those deaths occurred after police attempted to stop a person for speeding or another minor traffic violation.

    Source: https://news.yahoo.com/arkansas-woman-suing-police-pit-013247129.html

    The woman in the article actually had the NERVE to state that flipping her car was not a valid action by the officer for going 18 over the limit, and was actively trying to pull over when this took place, was beyond the actions that would be prudent.

    How DARE she question the authoritah !!!

    If you get trained on how to do a PIT maneuver, and it’s FUN to do a PIT maneuver, then you DO a PIT maneuver! Simple.

    Look at it this way: the officer calls in speeding… the officer calls in evading… PIT maneuver video-game-like-fun-occurs… officer is not blamed, person (if they survive) is jailed, AND the insurance company won’t pay for their damaged vehicle. Of course, then there is court costs, fines… Everybody wins!

    If I were conservative, I would insist on saying here: Well, she shouldn’t have broke the law.

    Protect & Serve, right?

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  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Shades of Minnesota circa 1994 when the R caucus was hostile to a popular R governor and awarded the party endorsement of an arch conservative. The broader party wasn’t on board with that and Arne Carlson had a cakewalk in the primary and went on to be reelected by a wide margin.

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  22. Sleeping Dog says:

    Having mentioned a few days ago that we are on a road trip, currently avoiding the heat with air conditioning in Minnesota. I began wondering if we could have made this trip with an EV, So far we’ve traveled through NH, VT, NY, through Watkins Glen, to Dearborn, then Chicago suburbs, to LaCrosse then the Twin Cities and I can’t recall seeing a public charger, even at rest areas. Though we only stopped in rest areas in Indiana and Michigan. This doesn’t mean the trip couldn’t be done, but it would have been a hassle and likely limited the route we could have taken and where we stopped/stayed.

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  23. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog: give me an origin city and a destination city. You got me curious.

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  24. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    re: EV Journeys… You have to have the secret handshake and password.

    As I have been driving electric since 2017, and not a Tesla EV, then the apps that I have been using to find the charger locations are:
    * ChargePoint
    * PlugShare
    * ABRP

    ABRP is great at doing mapping and time planning.

    I had considered Denver to Pensacola, but the DC Fast Chargers were not available one I hit (not surprisingly) Oklahoma and Arkansas. Were chargers available? Yes. Did I want to spend 8 hours waiting NOT overnight? No.

    Car (Chevy Bolt) was sent via Truck down to the Southern Estate.

    On a side note: I am going through the GM Buy-back process. I’m one affected by the bad battery pack in my 2017. It looks like after driving for 3 1/2 years, I may actually make a profit on that car when they finish!

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  25. Jax says:

    The brewery the next town over from me has chargers. I have yet to see any electric cars, but I did notice the row of chargers last time I parked in their lot! Probably due to proximity to Jackson Hole/Yellowstone and tourist traffic.

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  26. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    to Dearborn

    Tell me that you made it to “the Henry Ford” (aka: The Henry Ford Museum / Greenfield Village)

    Truly one of America’s treasures.

    https://www.thehenryford.org/

    The museum is great, but the village is awesone…

    https://www.thehenryford.org/visit/greenfield-village/

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  27. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    New England Republicans are a totally different breed from southern ones. I suspect midwestern ones are, though the distinction may not be as stark. I could be wrong about the midwest.

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  28. wr says:

    @gVOR08: “they’ve never seen 300 million doses of anything with fewer problems.”

    Easy to say until spoons and keys start sticking to you.

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  29. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @wr:

    Easy to say until spoons and keys start sticking to you.

    And shedding… don’t forget shedding.

    Vaccinated folks are just shedding the vaccines ALL OVER the place! Get near ’em, and you’ll be covered in vaccines and microchips.

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  30. sam says:

    Speaking of Massachusetts governors. This I saw attributed to Norman Mailer:

    Endicott Peabody was the only Massachusetts governor to have four cities named for him:
    Endicott, Peabody, Marblehead, and Athol.

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  31. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    I don’t know about that. We were told the vaccines were supposed to kill people, and the vaccinated are actually dying in fewer numbers.

    On a related note, I’m listening to a Great Courses lecture series on infectious diseases. This is pre-pandemic. The lecturer, and MD, has mentioned many viral diseases which produce asymptomatic infections. This happens less often with bacterial infections. He hasn’t said how contagious are people without symptoms.

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  32. George says:

    @Teve:

    Almost certainly a coincidence, similar to previous coincidences involving vaccines and small pox, measles and polio.

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  33. JohnSF says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:
    Nah, that’s spaniels. 🙂

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  34. JohnSF says:

    The guardian demons of the comments seem to have etted my comment re. automatic gearboxes yesterday, so in due regard for its worthiness of being recorded for future historians, a repost (delinkified; you can look up obscure Brit cars yerselves):
    @Mister Bluster:
    @Pete S:
    Torque converter automatics are inherently less efficient, due to the power loss in the viscous clutch.
    Though modern ones with better design, smart engine management and quicker shifts are better, they still have an issue, and likely always will. (It’s one reason for turbo diesels being arguably the best fit for a hydraulic clutch box, as they are inherently more efficient engines, and the auto keeps them close to optimum rpm)

    CV autos are more efficient but horrid.
    Auto-manuals are efficient but temperamental and expensive, and often prone to being nastily jerky.
    DCT/DSG dual clutch automatic types are efficient, and can be fine to drive once you are used to their ways, but have had some reliability issues.
    I drive one, and quite like it; but mainly chose one because I often had to drive in multi-mile queues on my commutes that made a manual a real chore.
    I still prefer manuals otherwise.

    Though I grew up accustomed to both automatics manuals; my father usually had an auto due to his leg injury.
    Cars I learnt to drive in: manual (’cause was mothers) and rear engined Hillman Imp and Dad’s Triumph Acclaim (among others; Dad worked for BL/Austin Rover so had a lot of different cars.
    The Triumph TR8 he had for a couple of months was a particular hoot.
    Only drove it once. 3.5 litre V8 in a small coupe. Eek!
    (Or so I thought at the time; in fact it was a tad less quick than my current modest-ish hatchback)

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  35. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    It rivals the Smithsonian museum of American History. So many great treasures there.

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  36. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnSF: Yeah. I fondly remember my old MG B. But compared to any modern sedan, much less my Mazdaspeed 3 hatchback, it was a truck, a slow, heavy truck.

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  37. Stormy Dragon says:

    @JohnSF:

    Torque converter automatics are inherently less efficient, due to the power loss in the viscous clutch.

    This was true at one time, but is no longer the case. The fuel efficiency difference between manual vs automatic for most new cars is less than 2mpg, and in some models the automatic is actually the more efficient model.

    The real reason you drive a manual is because you enjoy shifting gears while you’re driving. Nothing wrong with that, but you should just be honest with yourself about it being primarily about entertainment and identity.

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  38. Jen says:

    @Kathy: Asymptomatic infections have always piqued my curiosity. It’s just so interesting that people can be carrying an infectious virus around and still not show any symptoms. I’m not sure where or why I zeroed in on this, but have a feeling it was after reading about how HIV basically just hangs out in the body for a while, and people don’t know they’ve contracted HIV.

    Even stranger are prion diseases that can remain dormant for decades.

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  39. JohnMcC says:

    @JohnSF: You sound like a gentleman who could solve a personal mystery of mine. Ever so long ago, say the early ’60s, there was a Dutch-built car with a set of belts that were in effect a constant-RPM engine powering an infinitely variable transmission. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Neither has the intertubes, last I looked.

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  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @JohnSF:..guardian demons

    Re: your post in this thread today (Thursday, 10 June 2021 at 14:31)
    I was confused when I saw the original this morning when I was reviewing yesterdays forum (Wednesday Forum 9 June 2021 14:50) as I am certain I did not see it the many times I scrolled through the entire comments yesterday. But here it is:

    JohnSF says:
    Wednesday, 9 June 2021 at 14:50
    @Mister Bluster:
    @Pete S:
    Torque converter automatics are inherently less efficient, due to the power loss in the viscous clutch.
    Though modern ones with better design, smart engine management and quicker shifts are better, they still have an issue, and likely always will. (It’s one reason for turbo diesels being arguably the best fit for a hydraulic clutch box, as they are inherently more efficient engines, and the auto keeps them close to optimum rpm)

    CV autos are more efficient but horrid.
    Auto-manuals are efficient but temperamental and expensive, and often prone to being nastily jerky.
    DCT/DSG types are efficient, and can be fine to drive once you are used to their ways, but have had some reliability issues.
    I drive one, and quite like it; but mainly chose one because I often had to drive in multi-mile queues on my commutes that made a manual a real chore.
    I still prefer manuals otherwise.

    Though I grew up accustomed to both automatics manuals; my father usually had an auto due to his leg injury.
    Cars I learnt to drive in: manual (’cause was mothers) and rear engined Hillman Imp and Dad’s Triumph Acclaim (among others; Dad worked for BL/Austin Rover so had a lot of different cars.
    The Triumph TR8 he had for a couple of months was a particular hoot.
    Only drove it once. 3.5 litre V8. Eek!

    Then I see your repost today @ 14:31. I hope you didn’t have to retype the entire comment.

    The same thing happened to me yesterday.

    I’m starting to save my comments to the TextEdit function on my MacBook Air before I post them since if my remarks are more than two words long it is a struggle to remember what I wrote initially.

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  41. JohnSF says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Yep, as I said “…modern ones with better design, smart engine management and quicker shifts are better…” i.e. the lock-up torque converter variant
    The last figures I was thinking of were for some years ago but but still indicated about 5mpg advantage to manuals.
    Dunno what the current figure is.

    As I said, I drive a DSG automatic, NOT a manual.
    I just like manuals.

    In my small hatchback a 1.4 engine mated to a DSG gets 40mpg or better on un-congested medium speed (40 to 70) runs. And being as it’s turbocharged, supercharged and the DSG has a sport shift mode, it’s moderately entertaining. 🙂

    Record is, DSG achieves superior mpg to manuals with equivalent engines in VAG vehicles.
    OTOH Ford had enormous issues with it’s “powershift” version of DSG, but now have a new version that should work OK. They hope 🙂

    CVT are the most efficient of all, but are just nasty.
    Which is a totally objective judgement, trust me. 🙂

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  42. JohnMcC says:

    @JohnMcC: Found it! The DAF 600 from 1958 or so.

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  43. Teve says:

    My 2012 Ford Fiesta has been an excellent car for what I bought it for, which was miles per gallon. ~42 hwy. It had one transmission problem from the PowerShift issue and Ford fixed it for free. 55,000 miles and is 9 years old and it drives like it just came off the lot. It’s been to 21 states and across country several times.

    At 55,000 miles the Michelin tires are getting dry rot and on Sunday I’m replacing them with Pirelli p4s, and aside from oil changes and gas that’s literally the only money I’ve ever put into the car after purchasing it..

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  44. JohnSF says:

    @JohnMcC: @JohnMcC:
    Good job you found it; saved me the embarrassment of being wrong.
    I’d have had a wild (automatic LOL) guess at the the NSU Ro 80 and been way off in time, engine and transmission!

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  45. JohnSF says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Didn’t need to retype; I’m similarly using Notepad++ (my long time default text ed) to store and edit comments.
    Except when I don’t, due to being sloppy sod.

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  46. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    From our home on the NH seacoast to now Mpls. From here we’ll take a scenic route (so to speak) to KC and from there nothing is planned, though that will be a turn around point. Possibly a stop in Nashville, but nothing else determined for the return trip. Other potential stops along the way could be Eureka Springs and Hot Springs. If we hadn’t been there we’d likely stop in Memphis

    About 1/2 the trip has been state and US highways rather than the interstates

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  47. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Yes, the Ford Museum is about the only reason I can think of to go to Dearborn. I’ve been trying to get there for years. Only did the innovation museum and sometime in the future will comeback for Greenfield Village.

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  48. Sleeping Dog says:

    @sam:

    Mailer was repeating that. Might have lifted it for George V. Higgins who lifted it from someone else. It is an old Mass joke from when Peabody was governor.

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  49. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    There have been documented cases of people who test positive for HIV but don’t go on to develop AIDS. I don’t think we hear of these any more, because anti-HIV drugs are so effective most of those who are infected take them, and don’t develop AIDS either.

    I think a big part of the explanation is how the innate immune system reacts to a virus, as most symptoms are such reactions (fever, runny nose, inflammation, etc). Perhaps a mild reaction, or failure to react at all, produces no symptoms, and then the adaptive immune system deals with the pathogen.

    The thing about bacterial infections is that many bacteria produce toxins, which also cause symptoms. That may explain why these infections are more rarely asymptomatic.

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  50. inhumans99 says:

    @Teve:

    My Dad at one point owned a Ford Fiesta, and he then gifted it to my sister who is married and I found out from my parents that my sister’s husband was very nice and gave it to a gardener that worked on their yard on a regular basis who really needed a replacement vehicle for him and his family. My brother-in-law says the gardener who got the car considered it a godsend and was so thankful. So Ford Fiesta’s for the win. To clarify, my BIL was in a position to get him/his wife a new vehicle and instead of trying to wring a few dollars out of the Fiesta by selling it he basically did a good deed and my parents (and myself) were so happy that he helped someone in need.

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  51. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:
    Similarish; mine’s a SEAT Ibiza FR.
    Almost exactly the same size a Fiesta (assuming US and UK Fiesta are similar, must google that in a min) Is US Fiesta a hatchback?

    Bought 2010, as a “very nearly new” ex-dealer car, now at 99,882 miles.
    Chosen because I wanted a combo of auto (for the commute), economy, and not-a-slug.

    Sounds like you’ve had a lot less issues than me though; both front suspension spring needed fixing, water pump went. Plus the big two (done for free): transmission fix and engine replacement!

    OTOH engine replacement actually worked in my favour in a way; the original FR version engine being unavailable, it now has a Cupra version engine under the bonnet, and as a manufacturer/dealer replacement, no insurance hike. Yay.
    Original engine was brisk; now is, er, quite quick.
    Combined with sport mode DSG and light-ish weight, means it can scare the odd unsuspecting beemer-panzer. LOL.

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  52. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You are right that today’s auto boxes and manuals result in the same gas mileage, but despite lock up torque converters there is still slippage when the converter is unlocked. For gas mileage, the real advantage of autos is that the computer controls when the gear change occurs and keeps the engine operating in the most efficient range. Manuals of course are at the mercy of the driver’s inclination.

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  53. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @Sleeping Dog:

    If you’re heading from MPLS to KC and want a scenic route, might I suggest the Wisconsin Great River Road?

    Gorgeous drive along the Mississippi, going through some wonderful historic towns.

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  54. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnMcC:

    DAF was eventually purchased by Volvo and after a time those transmissions faded away. But that tranny is the precursor of modern continually variable transmissions and @JohnSF: is right, nothing sucks enjoyment out of driving than a CVT

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  55. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    The New England Historical Society agrees with you.

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  56. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Thanks for the suggestion, but having lived in Minnesota for 25 years, we’ve been on the GRR dozens of times, including coming up from LaCrosse on this trip. Beautiful stretch of road though. Probably go to KC via Sioux City and Omaha to see what the Missouri River has to offer. It has been a long time since I took that route.

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  57. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    It surely was some statehouse wag that coined that.

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  58. JohnSF says:

    France: the new green energy lords of Europe, LOL>

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  59. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Oh, probably. It’s true that Mailer summered in Provincetown, but he was a New York guy who’d probably never heard of Athol. Marblehead, sure. Maybe Peabody, though that’s a big maybe. And as far as I can tell, there’s no Endicott, Mass. Endicott College in Beverly, yes.

    I actually met Endicott Peabody; I interviewed him for a book I was writing.

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  60. Teve says:

    @JohnSF:

    Sounds like you’ve had a lot less issues than me though; both front suspension spring needed fixing, water pump went. Plus the big two (done for free): transmission fix and engine replacement!

    SEATs are made by VW and VWs can be notoriously unreliable depending on model, year, etc. I’ve personally known two or three people with VW horror stories, though I know somebody with that Ford transmission horror story too, so it really just depends.

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  61. sam says:

    @CSK:

    Mailer went to Harvard.

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  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I just came down that way. You probably already realize this but Interstate 29 sucks, boring as all get out. I try to avoid the interstates when I am going places but sometimes I just don’t have the extra day or 2 for the blue highways. I have no suggestions for the western side of Iowa and eastern NE. Maybe US 75 has something to offer. State Hwy 12 to the north of Sioux City looks real promising.

    Now if you were following the Mississippi I would say Hwy 61 all the way, but I’d bet donuts to dollars you already know that.

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  63. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:
    Well, VAG.
    Units within VAG have a lot of reliability variance

    Using Warranty Wise ratings for examples:
    SEAT are fairly poor at 62%, on a par with VW badge (there’s a reason I picked mine up fairly cheap: roll the dice!)

    Audi are pretty awful: 53%.

    Skoda are WW rated at 64% = par with Nissan; but anecdotage suggests to me Skoda are a lot better than that.
    Skoda are by all accounts proud of their build quality differential; they use VAG supplies, but are reputed to test the hell out of them, and reject even the marginal cases, to the vast annoyance of Wolfsburg.
    But Euro-politics gets involved; there are limits to how much the Germans can tell the Czechs: “Stop making your cars better than we do, dammit!”

    IIRC Skoda Citigo got an 100% rating in the WhatCar survey 2021, only other car getting that being the a Toyota something-or-other

    By comparison:
    Land Rover are eek: 38% 🙁
    Ford, Mazda and Renault 67%;
    FIAT 71%;
    Toyota 80%;
    Honda and Lexus 84%

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  64. CSK says:

    @sam:
    I know, but, like most out-of-staters who attend Harvard, he would have had absolutely no reason to set foot in Athol, which about 60 miles west of Cambridge and a town of no interest to anyone.

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  65. Kurtz says:

    @JohnSF:

    Didn’t need to retype; I’m similarly using Notepad++ (my long time default text ed) to store and edit comments.
    Except when I don’t, due to being sloppy sod

    I have a Word doc on my desktop that consists of aborted posts or edited out portions of comments I did post.

    Every once in a while I read a sentence or two and think, “Wow, I’m glad I didn’t post that!”

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  66. JohnSF says:

    @JohnSF:
    re. Skoda and why I think their WW reliability figs. are a bit misleading; IIRC they’re dragged down by very poor results for the Rapid, and some of the 4×4’s which were just re-badged VW’s.
    Steer clear of those and things are a lot better.
    Also JDPower surveys: IIRC a few year back Skoda came in at 2 or 3; BMW were stone last, LOL.
    And amazingly, Peugeot were #1!

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  67. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You’re right that we drive manual gearboxes because we like it. Many years ago my wife and I cross country skied a little bit. You have to choose between waxed wood skis or non-waxed plastic skis. They had a little quiz to help you decide. One of the questions was whether you preferred manual gearboxes. If so, you probably want to wax.

    Also, they’re generally more reliable and cheaper to buy or repair. As a mechanical engineer, I’ll prefer the solution with a dozen or so moving parts to the one with a hundred. On the other hand, there are few vehicles any more on which you can even get one.

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  68. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnMcC: FYI, and for whatever it’s worth, most snowmobiles use a transmission similar to the DAF. Except the DAF used two, which allowed the belt trannys to also replace the differential. With an inherent limited slip function. Some modern CVTs are the same principle, but use a really trick metal belt instead of rubber. I’ll wait a decade or two to see if they’re reliable.

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  69. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Endicott is one of those captured communities that is now part of Dedham. Plus I can swear, I’ve been through a town named Endicott on the motorcycle, somewhere in western Mass.

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  70. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Besides, Mailer would have been at Harvard in what the 30’s? Peabody was a gov in the 60’s.

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  71. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    There are a lot of odd little towns in western Mass., which as far as I’m concerned is a nice place to visit but a lousy one to live; it’s become a northern suburb of New York and New Jersey.

    I Googled Endicott, and I couldn’t come up with any town so named in Mass.

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  72. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Well… if you decide to take some of the rustic highways through the center of Wisconsin… one goes right past my house. And I have two bottles of J Henry bourbon in the cabinet reserved for guests of worth.

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  73. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    He graduated in 1943 with a degree in aeronautical engineering.

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  74. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kurtz:

    I have a Word doc on my desktop that consists of aborted posts or edited out portions of comments I did post.

    Every once in a while I read a sentence or two and think, “Wow, I’m glad I didn’t post that!”

    I have an entire folder full of those. 🙂

    I can’t remember which ancient civilization it was (Babylonian? Assyrian?) that had the philosophy of “write the laws drunk, vote on them sober” (I’m sure I’m misstating that horribly, but you get the idea). That’s a philosophy I find wise.*

    I will, quite often, open Leafpad (Linux version of Notepad) and write a letter to someone, or an op-ed for the paper. Then I leave it until morning, pull out the important points, tone down the language, and see if I can get a good post out of it.

    Sometimes I get some really good op-eds.

    Other times I remember that “Nope. There’s no way I can speak to that politician without frothing at the mouth.”

    And… since I’ve been to Old People Night at the wine bar, it’s time for me to close this tab and go watch “Irish people try…” on YouTube.

    ====
    * The only problem is that sometimes my fingers hit that “post” button before I go to sleep.

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  75. Kurtz says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I can’t remember which ancient civilization it was (Babylonian? Assyrian?) that had the philosophy of “write the laws drunk, vote on them sober” (I’m sure I’m misstating that horribly, but you get the idea). That’s a philosophy I find wise.*

    IIRC, The Beatles found something similar to be true. They could write their songs on all sorts of drugs. But going in the studio that way produced terrible performances.

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  76. Kurtz says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    It’s hard for me to read any series of verses from Revelation and not picture a dude ingesting some sort of hallucinogen and getting busy on papyrus.

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  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: My current car has a CVT and I don’t have any problems related to enjoying the drive. It’s certainly not the same a driving a manual, I’ll admit, but most of my driving is either freeway or in town driving these days, so I just want to get there.

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  78. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:
    @Mu Yixiao:

    This discussion hits very close to home. I tell my lab that when you get reviews on a grant or manuscript, write the response that you want to write….the one that will give you the most pleasure/satisfaction. Let that sit for x amount of time. Then delete it and write the response that that you need to write.

    This discussion is also very timely, as I’ve spent part of today responding to prickly reviewers on two different papers. Ever since COVID, I’ve noticed a sharp uptick in reviewer prickliness….to my own work and also more generally (I’m on the editorial board of a couple journals). I hope this resets soon.

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  79. gVOR08 says:

    @gVOR08: Florida has apparently not released any COVID numbers today. They reportedly were going to report weekly. This is seven days with no report. We’ll see if they report anything tomorrow.

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  80. Kurtz says:

    @Mimai:

    I read something similar the other day. Do some call it writing in reverse?

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  81. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:

    I’m not aware of that phrase. But it seems to work.

    In my lab, we call it “a good exorcise.”

    For writing more generally, I frequently tell them to “just throw-up on the page…we can clean it up later.” Few things paralyze more than trying to write pretty, clearly, etc. during a first (or second or third) draft.

    I also frequently talk about how I write in order to think…..this strikes many as curiously inverted, but they come around to the wisdom eventually.

    You got a “trick” (or several) that greases the wheels?

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  82. Kurtz says:

    @Mimai:

    I also frequently talk about how I write in order to think…..this strikes many as curiously inverted, but they come around to the wisdom eventually.

    I do this a lot here.

    Reviews of any kind is fraught. It’s a particularly difficult activity in academics. A minefield of bias and pride.

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  83. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:

    A minefield of bias and pride.

    Nailed it! It’s especially bad in groups, eg NIH study sections. Absent a good chair (which are few and far between), these often descend into tacit games of “I’m the smartest / harshest critic.” Good, innovative science gets sacrificed. Doesn’t always happen, but it happens too often.

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  84. DrDaveT says:

    @Mimai:

    I also frequently talk about how I write in order to think…..this strikes many as curiously inverted, but they come around to the wisdom eventually.

    As long as you throw away the first draft and start over from scratch later, when you’ve had a chance to think.

    I have one particular group of colleagues who invariably start to write before they have had a chance to think, and then are handcuffed by the poor draft they keep trying to polish and fix, even though it is fundamentally flawed in multiple ways. I really wish they would think more before starting to write, if the words they start with are going to constrain the final product.

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  85. JohnSF says:

    @Kurtz:
    You should try some of the apocalypses that didn’t make the cut, LOL.

    IIRC some early Protestants thought Revelation should be booted.
    OTOH Anabaptists thought it was the dogs nuts.

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