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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My “neighbors”:

    HILLSBORO — Jefferson County prosecutors Wednesday charged a High Ridge man with assault in a machete attack.
    ……………………
    Police said Treece was still on the loose Wednesday afternoon, a day after he was accused of hitting a man with a machete inside a gas station convenience store in House Springs. Officers were searching for him throughout the day Wednesday, although they weren’t continuing the large-scale manhunt they conducted Tuesday near State Highway MM.
    ……………………………….
    According to online court records, Treece was convicted in Jefferson County in a previous assault after he fired a crossbow at an acquaintance he accused of damaging his car on July 19, 2018. Authorities said he injured the man’s hand with the crossbow, then Treece fired an AR-15 rifle at the man’s feet. The case also involved alleged threats to police and a search that stretched to central Missouri. He pleaded guilty the next year and was sentenced to three years in prison; but Judge Darrell E. Missey suspended execution of the sentence and put Treece on probation, according to online court records.

    A probation violation was filed with the court on July 26. Treece is also facing a pending charge in Jefferson County for domestic assault in May. The arrest warrant said Treece is a persistent offender with four felony convictions, including unlawful use of a weapon in St. Louis city and assault and resisting arrest in Columbia, Missouri. The judge in the Columbia case ordered Treece to undergo anger-management training, among other requirements.

    Just a peach of a guy.

    Treece’s father, 65-year-old Steve Earnest Treece, was just convicted in July of fatally shooting his wife, Donna Treece, who was Ted Treece’s mother. The father lived in Cedar Hill Lakes in Jefferson County and stood over his wife’s body on the front porch of their home during a five-hour standoff with police on July 11, 2018

    .

    The apple didn’t fall far from that tree.

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  2. de stijl says:

    When I was young I squatted near Half Time Rec. A bar in the back-end of nowhere St. Paul.

    It was my local when I had dollars to spend.

    It was Irish. The owner. Half the staff was dodging the INS. The owner got in trouble for a donation to some entity the government deemed sketchy. IRA adjacent.

    Best Irish / Celtic bands played there. It was pretty epic. Many a night I danced.

    I met a love of my life there.

    Thousands Are Sailing – The Pogues

    Nowadays, it’s a country bar. I wanna throw up knowing that.

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  3. Scott says:

    For the second time this month, San Antonio was without EMS service for a small period of time due to COVID, meaning that if you call 911 you would have to wait for an ambulance to become available.

    In response, Gov. Greg Abbott’s war on the vaccinated living continues: Gov. Greg Abbott bans mandates on COVID-19 vaccines regardless of whether they have full FDA approval

    Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday announced an executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates regardless of a vaccine’s approval status with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    He also said he was adding the issue to the agenda for the current special session of the Texas Legislature.

    The order comes two days after the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. That raised questions about the fate of a previous Abbott order that prohibited vaccine mandates, but only for those under emergency authorization.

    Also, in Texas: ‘Intentional misuse’ ivermectin poisonings on the rise in Texas

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning people to stop using a drug meant for livestock to “treat or prevent” COVID-19.

    Ivermectin is meant to treat worms in cows and horses, but calls to poison control centers show people are trying to use it to treat COVID-19.

    According to the Texas Poison Control network, ivermectin exposure calls have increased by 38 over the last year. In August 2020, there were no cases of ivermectin poisoning, but so far this August, there have been at least 16.

    Just wait until people find out their dog’s heartworm medicine contains ivermectin, making it far more common.

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  4. de stijl says:

    Booze Brothers do a half-decent punkish cover of Thousands Are Sailing.

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  5. steve says:

    Most health care facilities have mandatory vaccinations for the flu, at least in the NE. Will Texas go ahead and outlaw those also? Wonder about the National Guard? Will federal rules prevail or state law?

    Steve

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  6. de stijl says:

    I know I have pitched Outkast’s Hey Ya! as the the song of the century.

    Wilco’s Jesus etc. is a god damned close second place.

    Man, I love that song.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Pro-Publica: What the US Didn’t Learn in Afghanistan, According to the Government’s Own Inspector General

    The chaotic collapse of the Afghan military in recent months made starkly clear that the $83 billion U.S. taxpayers spent to create and fund those security forces achieved little. But a new report this week by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction also reveals the depths of failure of the United States’ entire 20-year, $145 billion effort to reconstruct (or construct, in some cases) Afghanistan’s civil society.

    John Sopko, the special inspector general since 2012, has long chronicled the government’s miscalculations. In his latest lacerating assessment, he concluded that “the U.S. government continuously struggled to develop and implement a coherent strategy for what it hoped to achieve.” The U.S. effort was clumsy and ignorant, the report says, calling out the hubris of a superpower thinking it could reshape a country it didn’t understand by tossing gobs of money around.

    The new report is a sweeping look back over America’s two decades in Afghanistan, which left 2,443 U.S. servicemembers and more than 114,000 Afghans dead. The watchdog agency has, for 13 years, consistently and accurately pointed out consequential flaws of the many reconstruction programs at play.
    ……………………….
    “This was not a matter of ignoring what was said as much as not wanting to come to grips with the issue, and it was a deliberate choice not to deal with the problems,” said Anthony Cordesman, a policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It wasn’t even a triumph of hope over experience; it was a triumph of political expediency over meaningful policy making.”
    ………………………
    “If the goal was to rebuild and leave behind a country that can sustain itself and pose little threat to U.S. national security interests,” the report says, “the overall picture is bleak.”

    SIGAR’s analysis of the future is equally forbidding. The U.S. is exiting Afghanistan, but history shows we’ll likely jump into nation building again. SIGAR’s report notes that it’s the “11th lessons learned report” in the series, but the heading for the report makes it quite clear that, if the U.S. government is the student, the message hasn’t sunk in. It’s called “What We Need to Learn: Lessons from Twenty Years of Afghanistan Reconstruction.”

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Meant to add at the end:

    But go ahead and tell me how terrible it is that Biden finished the job trump was too gutless to.

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  9. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    Don’t most dog owners already know about ivermectin? There’s some in a drawer not ten feet from where I’m sitting typing this. I’m not tempted to ingest it.

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  10. Mu Yixiao says:

    Opaque software decides if you’re allowed to remain a US citizen.

    SOFTWARE USED BY the Department of Homeland Security to scan the records of millions of immigrants can automatically flag naturalized Americans to potentially have their citizenship revoked based on secret criteria, according to documents reviewed by The Intercept.

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  11. Scott says:

    @CSK: But you’re not nuts. And I don’t believe most people actually read the labels of medicines whether for people or pets.

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  12. Michael Cain says:

    @CSK:
    I don’t know what they used to to control worms in dogs back when my father was a kid. My grandmother always said that he basically lived in his grandfather’s kennels in the summers, so “Come the first of the month, it was deworm the dogs, deworm Don.”

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  13. Kathy says:

    @Scott:

    One of these days, someone in the crazy (red) states will outlaw vaccinations.

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  14. Jen says:

    @Kathy: A bill was introduced by a Republican legislator in Ohio that didn’t quite outlaw vaccinations but did remove all requirements for ANY vaccinations. I don’t think it got very far but the fact that it was even introduced is frightening.

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  15. KM says:

    @steve:
    They’re willing to burn it all down to stay committed to the lie. The GQP Govs are in too deep and trying to back down or moderate now is fatal to their careers and possibly them if the nuts turn on them. There’s a line that once you cross, you cannot come back from no matter how advantageous because everything you’ve done before that is too ruinous or unforgivable. They passed that line weeks ago. The official authorization was their last chance to leave crazy town safely with some cover but it’s too late.

    Scott and DeSantis would rather take out public health rules as a whole if it meant not admitting they’ve screwed up royal on COVID. Flu shots, MMR, whooping cough, even tetanus – it’s all gotta go as mandatory because otherwise you have to explain what makes COVID different with no actual facts or evidence. All the anti-vaxxer “logic” would apply to the other shots as well so if you buy it for one, you have to buy it for all. There’s no more niches to carve out…..

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  16. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    It’s funny, because I always thought of ivermectin as a heartworm preventative for dogs and cats. I had no idea till recently that it was also used on larger animals.
    @Michael Cain:
    I don’t know, either. I do know that heartworm can kill dogs. Thankfully, I never lost a dog to it.

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  17. Teve says:

    @Kathy: Republican dumbasses are already dumbasses on Global Warming and Evolution, Vaccine Sorcery is the next step. 😀

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  18. CSK says:

    Well, here’s a wowser of a headline from an article posted at Lucianne.com:

    Communist Biden Regime Plans to Put “Anti-Vaxxers” on “No Gun” List So Americans Can’t Defend Themselves from CDC Internment Camps.

    It’s from something called “Natural News.”

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  19. Scott says:

    @CSK: One of my dogs that I got from the shelter was heartworm positive. It’s transmitted by mosquitoes. She was about 1.5 years. We treated it and since then I make sure all the dogs (3 of them) get their monthly dose of prevention.

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  20. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    So glad your dog recovered. Ours gets his ivermectin monthly.

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  21. Kathy says:

    @CSK:
    @Scott:

    All my three dogs got medication only when the vet prescribed it. They also got all their vaccines.

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  22. Teve says:

    @CSK: over in the evolution trenches, Natural News is known as a major bullshit provider.

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  23. de stijl says:

    What is third place for song of the century?

    I have no idea.

    I have a billion ideas for the 20th, easy. 21st is trickier. Too new.

    Sia, maybe? Titanium is a fucking boss song. The David Guetta version.

    No way 17 year old me would have got the cathartic pull of EDM beats. I outlived that foolish bastard, thank deity. He was very angry and alone.

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  24. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Every med I ever gave a dog was prescribed by a vet. I wouldn’t know how else to get them.

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  25. CSK says:

    An explosion was just reported as having taken place outside the Kabul airport.

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  26. Michael Cain says:

    @Jen:

    I don’t think it got very far but the fact that it was even introduced is frightening.

    Sometime, if you have a week or two to kill, read all of the bills introduced in your state’s legislature during a session (for three sessions, my job required that I read ~20% of the bills in my state). A frightening number of them will be crazy, from all across the political spectrum. The good news is that the process largely works, and most of the crazy ones die quietly in a committee, never receiving a serious hearing, and in some cases no hearing at all.

    My state requires that every bill introduced receive at least a committee hearing with the opportunity for public comment. To make that manageable, members can only introduce five bills per session unless they get special permission from leadership. There are still crazy bills of all sorts.

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  27. Jen says:

    @Michael Cain: Oh, I am WELL aware of the nuttery that gets introduced. I was the legislative aide to a state senator for several years. 😀

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  28. KM says:

    I work in a Kansas City emergency room. I know who’s to blame for COVID frustration

    Once again, we’re being told we shouldn’t be so harsh in judging the plague carriers out there. Among the nuggets of wisdom are:

    There is so much attitude of superiority on both extremist sides.

    Literal bothsiderism because of course your ignorance is just as valid as solid facts. Being anti-mask and anti-vax is de facto pro-plague whether you like it or not. Reality doesn’t give a damn about your feelings or what misinformation you choose to digest – reality wins so there is a correct side here.

    The important thing is to keep an open mind, to continue to do research and maintain a humble attitude that acknowledges there are things we are still learning about COVID-19, and, I hope, will continue to learn. Maintain a hunger for more understanding, for new information.

    Maintain compassion for the fact that so many people are utterly terrified and have suffered loss.

    dO yoUr resAercH!! That’s what got us into this mess – idiots taking advice online from “research” instead of trusting actual, verifiable science. Anyone doing “research” ain’t hitting up medical journal or learning epidemiology – they’re not on the CDC’s website or asking their doctor the details about the vaccine. It means crappy misinformation at best and deliberately crafted lies designed to fleece your wallet and set you up to get sick.

    Stay humble, stay hungry for new info? Again, peddling the false narrative that “since we don’t know FOR SURE” it’s OK to engage in foolish behavior than trust the info we do have. How many times do you need to test water is wet before you’re sure? Should you stay hungry for more info in case that changes or stay humble that you can’t possibly trust your own sense to confirm it’s wet?

    You’re terrified and suffering because of your choice. You didn’t get vaxxed and now you’re hospitalized. That’s a direct result of your actions. Compassion doesn’t change that you did this to yourself and are now an unnecessary burden in an overwhelmed system. The people who deserve compassion are those who did the right thing but are suffering or losing because of your choices; most of us are out of f*cks to give and are saving them for the innocents in this scenario. I would love to be able to care deeply about all these folks’ self-inflicted problems but you know what, we’re human and that’s not how it works.

    Finally, it’s reinforcing the narrative that its not OK to be mad at strangers stupidly endangering your life and health for no good reason. It is essentially telling vaxxed America to not complain about a suicide pact we never agreed to. We’re supposed to be kind and patient with them as they kill themselves and us by destroying our healthcare system and wreck the economy. If someone told you they didn’t believe gas was flammable and started pouring it all over the neighborhood, are you supposed to kindly not hurt their feelings or feel frustrated they’re gonna burn the place down? Do you humbly just let them do it since you can’t know for certain gas is flammable, that info came from elite scientists and we could get new info at any minute? How much of my property needs to get torched before it’s fine for me to get angry at their insanity?

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  29. Scott says:

    Was just watching CNN on the explosions in Kabul. They have H. R. McMaster on spewing an entirely skewed mass of disinformation with no pushback by the anchor. Just infuriating. Will see if they have another analyst that will balance it.

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  30. de stijl says:

    I am no@Michael Cain:
    @Jen:

    How nutty?

    I need anecdotes. Power hungry local pol celebs go nuts when they hit capital city. Feed me deets.

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  31. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    According to Reuters, it was a suicide bombing.

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  32. Mister Bluster says:

    @Michael Cain:..read all of the bills introduced in your state’s legislature during a session

    The Illinois 102nd General Assembly Legislation web page lists 2097 Senate Bills and 4000 House Bills.
    I’ll get back to ya’…

    Afterthought. The Illinois General Assembly membership includes 59 State Senators and 118 State Representatives. That’s 177 legislators producing 6097 proposed Bills.
    Can’t accuse them of slothfulness.
    —————
    EDIT KEY!!! After initial post of comment!
    Now if I could only apply this EDIT function to these proposed Illinois General Assembly Bills.
    Dr. Taylor can you work on that?

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  33. keef says:

    @Scott:

    Need someone to tell you the suicide bombers were “mostly peaceful” do ya?

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  34. keef says:

    I wonder if Biden has called Peter Alexander yet……….

    Have a good day, sycophants.

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  35. Scott says:

    @keef: Oh, just shove it. I’m talking about the dishonest rhetoric revolving around “surrendering to the Taliban”, mixing terrorist groups into one large amorphous mass, playing the blame game as if he had nothing to do with it. Watching Jim Sciutto just sit there nodding as if he doesn’t have a thought in his head or an intelligent question to ask. What is the point in breaking news to bring on a guest with a clear agenda to spin an incident? That should be done later with multiple viewpoints after the fact of the matter.

    I usually know there is no point in discussing anything with someone who just wants to score points but this kind of thing just pisses me off.

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  36. sam says:

    Trifucta

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  37. CSK says:

    @keef:
    Perhaps you would be so kind as to translate the following for me. I don’t speak Trumpish:

    http://www.rawstory.com/trump-taliban-leader-question/

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  38. mattbernius says:

    Folks, lay off Keef. He only has one hand to type with at the moment, because he’s furiously masturbating at the thought of how great it is that these suicide bombings are happening, killing both civilians and American soldiers, because those deaths will really own the libs.

    It’s the only pleasure he gets…

    Well that and those ivermectin superiorities he takes to own all of us. Nothing like demonstrating your a sheep by taking sheep dewormer.

    Seriously, if he wants to continually demonstrate what a shitty human being he is, why should we try to stop him.

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  39. mattbernius says:

    @Scott:

    They have H. R. McMaster on spewing an entirely skewed mass of disinformation with no pushback by the anchor. Just infuriating.

    For folks curious about this, McMaster was discussing how the Taliban are aligned with Isis and most likely supported this attack. The two groups are not allies (and it appears that Taliban guards were among the dead in the attack).

    Also most of us forget that prior to 9/11 there was an ongoing civil war in Afghanistan between more or less those two groups (or between the Taliban and people who would go on to form ISIL).

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  40. CSK says:

    @sam:
    Well, that does reveal new dimensions of stupidity.

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  41. Scott says:

    @Scott: @mattbernius:

    I usually do make it a point not to “bandy crooked words with a witless worm”. And I usually avoid cable news because it usually sets me off.

    Time to go to the gym.

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  42. Neil J Hudelson says:

    If anyone read yesterday’s bullsh!t NYTimes article “The Cotton Tote Crisis,” Angus Johnston has a great thread tearing it apart. I had caught a few of the issues with the study (only looking at organic cotton), but Angus goes much, much deeper into its flaws.

    Angus Johnston
    @studentactivism
    ·
    18m
    So if your primary environmental concern is ozone depletion, and your tote bag is (1) organic cotton that was (2) irrigated using electricity from (3) natural gas that was procured (4) a long distance away from the power plant, you’re bad and you should feel bad.

    But otherwise?

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  43. Michael Reynolds says:

    @keef:

    Have a good day, sycophants.

    From the man who still can’t get the orange stains off his tongue.

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  44. Kathy says:

    It might not be the worst idea for a troll to ask himself, “Is it worth crawling from under my rock to make an ass out of myself in this particular way?” before posting.

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  45. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:
    It does not appear that Angus (I may have missed it) includes the environmental impact of washing the cotton tote many, many times over its lifetime (electricity and/or gas, water, the manufacture and packaging of detergent) since to fail to do so carries risks of bacteria.

    It doesn’t really matter. China is still building coal-fired plants and we’re arguing over which bag is going to destroy the environment?

    A total of 247 gigawatts of coal power is now in planning or development, nearly six times Germany’s entire coal-fired capacity. China has also proposed additional new coal plants that, if built, would generate 73.5 gigawatts of power, more than five times the 13.9 gigawatts proposed in the rest of the world combined. Last year, Chinese provinces granted construction approval to 47 gigawatts of coal power projects, more than three times the capacity permitted in 2019.

    China has pledged that its emissions will peak around 2030, but that high-water mark would still mean that the country is generating huge quantities CO2 — 12.9 billion to 14.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually for the next decade, or as much as 15 percent per year above 2015 levels, according to a Climate Action Tracker analysis.

    We are actually making moral judgments about people based on their grocery bag of choice. The triviality. It burns.

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  46. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    It does not appear that Angus (I may have missed it) includes the environmental impact of washing the cotton tote many, many times over its lifetime (electricity and/or gas, water, the manufacture and packaging of detergent) since to fail to do so carries risks of bacteria.

    Negligible, unless you are running a special load to wash a bag.

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  47. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kathy:
    Keef, AKA Drew, AKA Guarneri, AKA some douche-y sports car name I forget, is a desperate man. He’s been wrong about everything, forever, and he lacks the moral fiber ever to admit error. So naturally he clings with increasing desperation to any little thing that he imagines validates his beliefs. Doubling down on stupid. And, much like his Man-God, he’s a needy little fellow, desperate to be accepted and acknowledged and admired.

    The great thing con men have going for them is that once a mark has been conned the mark faces a choice: admit they were played (and call the cops), or double down. The weak double down. The con man is safe to continue his grift.

    That’s our boy Drew. Too fukkin stoopid to look two moves ahead and realize he’s driving down a dead-end road, too weak to admit it and turn around. Now he’s pounding his steering wheel, raging away as he drives through the tall corn, desperate for someone to blame, when it was his hands on the wheel the whole time.

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  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:
    The entire issue of bags is negligible. It’s vacuous, self-congratulatory performative virtue of the cheapest kind.

    I know all the bien pensants think it’s important that we do anything, no matter how small, but the net effect is to trivialize the danger ahead. Sure climate change may lead to millions starving, but look! I got a cotton tote! I did my part.

    OMG, the Nazis are rolling into Poland, but I’m going to show them! I’m gonna have a Polish sausage for lunch in solidarity. Praise me for my virtue.

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  49. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    It doesn’t really matter. China is still building coal-fired plants and we’re arguing over which bag is going to destroy the environment?

    This boggles my mind–because China is leading the world in renewable energy.

    China is the world’s leading country in electricity production from renewable energy sources, with over double the generation of the second-ranking country, the United States. By the end of 2019, the country had a total capacity of 790GW of renewable power, mainly from hydroelectric, solar and wind power.

    In the “American Industrial Park” in Kunshan, the street lights down the main road each have their own tiny wind turbine and solar panel to power them.

    Flying into Pudong Airport in Shanghai, you see field after field of off-shore wind turbines.

    And yet… they’re building coal. WTF?

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  50. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Michael Reynolds: That’s an odd take, but ok.

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  51. Jen says:

    @de stijl: Ask and ye shall receive. I give you…

    America’s 50 Worst State Legislatures

    The article is a few years old, but gives you some idea of what we’re up against.

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  52. Scott says:

    @mattbernius: Exactly. That was made me start to sputter.

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  53. de stijl says:

    There is no proof Chief keef is Guanari, etc.

    It could be a new troll. I would welcome that. Only hosts can look at ip address shit.

    We are a bit insular. Insular is bad. Getting shook up is good.

    If keef is that guy I’m cool with that. He/she has the right. If keef is new, that is cooler still.

    I’m cool with keef. Bring it.

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  54. inhumans99 says:

    @mattbernius:

    Yeah, Queef does seem to be happy a suicide bombing took place in Afghanistan, which is such a profoundly sad thing to be happy about. However, life is too short to let folks like Queef get under my skin, so I agree that we can just let Queef be Queef and simply ignore his posts.

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  55. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    There is a huge gaping hole in renewable energy: storage. The wind blows, or the sun shines, you get electricity, and you can make toast. The wind dies down, or it’s night and no toast. . . unless you’ve found a way to store the electricity for later use. Coal burns any time of day or night, regardless of weather.

    Until we figure out how to store and retrieve all that green energy we’re going to need a more reliable source of juice. The answer is nuclear, obviously, but Chernobyl and Fukushima killed a few people in dramatic, TV-worthy fashion, while coal pollution only kills millions in un-dramatic ways. Meanwhile in France 70% of their power comes from nukes and they are net exporters of power.

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  56. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Oh, I know Natural News is crap, but it’s the sort of thing they eat up over at Lucianne.com.

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  57. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We are actually making moral judgments about people based on their grocery bag of choice. The triviality. It burns.

    Vice signaling has done wonders for the right wing, building a strong sense of identity and belonging that translates into party loyalty and enthusiasm at the polls.

    Why tear down lefty virtue signaling so much, when it’s on harmless shit? We should all be using cotton tote bags, to own the Republicans.

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  58. JohnSF says:

    BBC reporting bomb attack at Kabul Airport
    Intitial indications dozen or more dead,

    At least two explosions have been reported near the Abbey Gate, being used for evacuations at Kabul airport. One blast was near the Baron Hotel, being used as a staging post by Western nations for evacuations
    A Pentagon spokesman confirmed there had been a “number of US and civilian casualties” in the attack. There are pictures of bodies at the scene
    US officials also say there were reports of gunfire
    The bombings come hours after US and UK officials told their citizens to avoid the airport, citing an imminent threat from militants

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  59. JohnSF says:

    Reporting heard on BBC Radio:
    Suicide bomber attack; thought to be an ISIS-Khorasan operation.

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  60. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    Keef is Guarneri is Drew. That’s not in doubt.

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  61. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’m with you on this. Nuclear has its problems but waste disposal can be highly contained with a relatively small footprint. As for renewables, I think the mass power storage issue will be solved within 10 years or less. It is already moving forward on small scale home storage.

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  62. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    Why tear down lefty virtue signaling so much, when it’s on harmless shit? We should all be using cotton tote bags, to own the Republicans.

    I know it was a facetious question, but a serious answer is because we’re trivializing a genuine life-or-death issue. The sky is falling and we’re pretending grocery bags are relevant. Not to mention irritating and inconveniencing shoppers for no reason. It’s dark comedy.

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  63. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Scott:
    Having now bought an e-car (Volvo Recharge) we’re going to add some panels and a wall battery, but I am very skeptical about the real environmental impact. I just think it’s fun to have a vehicle we can ‘refuel’ independent of any outside source, gas station or electrical grid. You know, for when the zombie apocalypse comes.

    I sort of follow the developments in energy storage and there are some fascinating efforts under way. So, maybe 10 years, but as we both know, sometimes that 10 years gets extended.

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  64. charon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    . unless you’ve found a way to store the electricity for later use.

    Elevated pond and water turbines, proven technology that is already used. Pump the water back up when the Sun is shining.

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  65. Michael Reynolds says:

    @charon:

    Molten salt works, too, apparently.

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  66. de stijl says:

    I had a very close friend who was a bartender and went by “chief”.

    He was exceptionally good at the social aspect of bartending. Everyone loved him even when he low-key dissed you.

    He made enough bank to rent a river facing unit on the 25th floor of a 26 floor building. That’s fairly big cash. Back then, $1200 a month. Dude was a bad-ass at his job.

    You would think it’s easy to hang out when you live in the same building. It’s not a dorm. You always have to call first and ask.

    My friend Pete lived on my floor two doors down and we always called and ascertained before knocking. It was protocol. De rigueur. Expected. Civil.

    I wanna hang with my dudes when it’s cool and not push it. Everybody needs down time. And that needs to be respected.

    One thing I noticed is that asking if Chief wanted to come down to my joint and play co-op games was pretty akin to ascertaining consent for frisky business.

    Is it okay if I ask you to pick up the controller?

    Pete was feeling poorly so he booked a doc appointment. He got home three weeks later after a heart attack and a double bypass and recovery. He had a heart attack while wired on a nordic track type machine. Talk about irony.

    His ex showed up. He asked me gently and very reluctantly to locate, secure, and remove his adult erotica stash as it would be easily found by her.

    I was pretty chuffed. A het dude asking another het dude to to grab his erotica stash is a pretty big freaking deal.

    I had no problem with that at all. Pete was extremely disconcerted that he had to ask. Don’t worry. I got you, dude. And no judgement either. Your erotica is your business.

    Pete’s ex was a handful. That whole spiel about respecting boundaries when you are friends but live in the same building was alien to her. A very pushy person.

    Later Chief and I bullshitted and ballparked a service that would secure and remove your erotica stash in the event of incapacitation or death. Family does not need to discover your stash. That would be super uncomfortable.

    Ninja that shit out and everyone is happier.

    We never followed up. The concept is great, but the logistics is uber hard.

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  67. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The technologies needed to solve LDE (Long Duration Energy) are mainly already here, but there are market and policy forces inhibiting full deployment. A big part of that hole can be solved by grid and infrastructure improvements–currently the wind needs to be blowing in the Colorado region in order to get wind power in the Colorado region. [Side note: today’s wind turbines are efficient enough at low wind speeds, and placed high enough in the atmosphere, that it’s rare for the wind not to be blowing.] And this is a problem that needs to be dealt with regardless of renewables–we’ve had a few blackouts in major metropolitan areas in the past decade plus which could’ve been avoided with better infrastructure and policy.

    On the technological side, the silver bullet side, for all intents and purposes LDE storage has arrived. There are a slew of new techs coming online or that have come online in just the past year or so. To be clear, these techs (the most exciting is probably Form Energy’s iron-based air cathode battery, but also Tesla’s continued push to build out 100MW lithium batteries, various Flow batteries, that bizarre crane-and-cement barrels from Energy Vault) are either just coming into the market place or have only been there for a year or two, so they are not well known. But, they are developed past the theoretical point, and are now being built into the energy grid. (There are also some cool techs in the development stage, but far too many neat storage potentials crash and burn to get excited about something theoretical).

    If you follow LDE development, right now kind of feels like what smartphone tech was about 18 months or so before the iPhone was announced. The tech was there, there were many players pushing entirely viable products into the market (Nokia, Blackberry), and the tipping point was about to be reached. Just no one quite knew what that tipping point would look like.

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  68. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    are now being built into the energy grid.

    I should state, “built into AN energy grid” as I think my first post implies they are all being built in the US. Energy Vault’s initial projects are in Switzerland, Tesla in Australia, etc. I believe Form Energy is partnering with a Minnesota utility company for their first build, but I could be wrong.

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  69. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Let us know what your payback is on this investment. Oh and you can add a line item for entertainment value.

    ReplyReply
  70. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Ever heard of good old Carlo Rubbia, formerly of CERN and hi plan for large scale molten salt storage of soalr power in North Africa, southern Spain and southern Italy.
    Long term plan for linkage to the pan-European grid interconnectors to supply northern Europe.

    Also an advocate of thorium reactors as the best long term energy baseload supply, and designer of the neutron beam accelerator technique for “burning” radioactive waste material: waste is largely dealt with and you extract energy from the process.
    Win-win.

    Modern technological societies can switch from carbon based economics, if we have the will.
    Probably not by pure market means though, which gives some ideologues the squits. Tough.

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  71. Scott says:

    In other news:

    Capitol Police officers sue Trump, extremists, alleging conspiracy, terrorism on Jan. 6

    Seven officers from the United States Capitol Police are suing former President Donald Trump, his longtime adviser Roger Stone and members of far-right extremist groups, alleging they conspired to use violence Jan. 6 to attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

    The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday morning, alleges that Trump and the other defendants conspired with one other through the use of force, threats and intimidation that culminated in the attack on the Capitol.

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  72. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Maybe yes. Maybe no.

    But can keef bring it?

    I fundamentally dislike conflict for a host of reasons, but I know it is healthy if done well.

    I welcome keef. Bring it.

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  73. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    I have a line in the “extra instructions” sheet in my will that says “all electronic storage media goes to Paul”. My only concern is that some of it will be in defunct formats so he can’t get copies for himself. 🙂

    Back when we were running our own servers, we’d occasionally get hacked by people sharing pirated games. Paul would swap out the file with stuff like horse/dwarf porn (renamed to the game file) and let it run for a day before locking it down. 😀

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  74. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @JohnSF:

    The issue with Thorium reactors is that they have, in my mind, been a promising new tech for about 15 years, but no one has yet to design a commercially viable reactor. If you’re looking at $63 per megawatt hour for *current* advanced nuclear generation, with a longer build time and no real scalable efficiencies, versus $34 for onshore wind and another $20 for LDE, both with comparatively short build time and scalable efficiencies, nuclear is never going to be chosen and especially not thorium whose first generation generators will be even more expensive.

    I’m entirely for scaling down our base load generation needs and then supplying those needs with nuclear, but for that to happen there’s going to need to be major policies at the federal AND state AND local level. That’s as big of a hill to climb as any obstacle facing renewables.

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  75. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: *major changes to policies. My kingdom for an edit button.

    ReplyReply
  76. de stijl says:

    AJJ

    Junkie Church

    Fucking great song.

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  77. @de stijl:

    But can keef bring it?

    If by “bring it” you mean make cogent arguments for his position/POV, the answer would appear to be “no.”

    I would certainly welcome him to work a bit harder at it, however.

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  78. mattbernius says:

    @de stijl:

    But can keef bring it?

    Depends what you mean by “bring it.”

    If you mean make a coherent argument beyond “libs are bad,” the reality is no.

    If it’s doing the discussion equivalent of inartfully taking a crap on the floor in the middle of a cocktail party he wasn’t invited to while screaming “you all are idiots and I’m the smartest and best person here!!! I don’t know why I keep coming back to crap on your floor!!!”, then he’s your man.

    He doesn’t engage in actual arguments. He’ll spam links from zerohedge, right wing media, and IDW adjacent websites. And responding to his arguments with facts is the quickest way to scare him off for months.

    Honestly, in terms of bringing it (or bringing a grounded alternative view) JKB “brings it” so much better than he does.

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  79. @Michael Reynolds:

    Keef is Guarneri is Drew. That’s not in doubt.

    I have had my doubts about this/have not been sure why you are so certain. The “keef” version strikes me a devolution of the previous incarnations if that is the case.

    I will say that “keef” posted twice as “Drew” in the last year or so, whether on purpose or as a slip of the autofill, I cannot say.

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  80. @mattbernius: I see we had similar thoughts. 😉

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  81. mattbernius says:

    As always @Steven L. Taylor you put things I’m trying to communicate into a more concise and polite form.

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  82. @mattbernius: I may have been more polite, but you were more evocatively accurate.

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  83. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “I know all the bien pensants think it’s important that we do anything, no matter how small, but the net effect is to trivialize the danger ahead. Sure climate change may lead to millions starving, but look! I got a cotton tote! I did my part.”

    It’s been my understanding that the primary reason for banning plastic bags is not concerns about climate change, but about the tons of eternal plastic clogging our sewers, our streets and our oceans. Doesn’t seem that “performative” to me, but then I don’t reflexively lash out at anyone who has the audacity to claim to care about anything.

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  84. JohnSF says:

    @mattbernius:
    It’s (as ususual) considerably more complicated than that.
    ISIS-K and a large section of the Taliabn dislike each other (to put it mildly).
    And some of ISIS-K were linked to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s HIK, which was the Islamist faction that the Taliban were at “war” with in the late 90’s .

    BUT (and here’s where it gets twisty) Hekmatyar had been the Pakistan ISI’s “favoured son” and indeed attacked the Islamic State of Afghanistan in Kabul.
    However this is NOT, repeat NOT ISIS but the umbrella group of former mujaheddin Hekmatyar had fallen out with, who ruled in Kabul after the fall of the Soviet backed government in 1992.

    After the failure of the HKI attack in 1994, Hekmatayar and Pakistan quarreled, and the ISI began sponsoring the Taliban as their new best pals.

    ISIS-K itself may be disliked by many Taliban, and viewed as dangerous fanatics by Pakistani leadership. But they have good relations with the “Haqqani Network” which is both a semi-detached associate of the Taliban, and has deep connections to some ISI factions (but by no means all: Pakistani army reportedly highly dubious about them).
    (And, very unlike most Taliban, Haqqani was an active anti-Soviet fighter; and at times have co-operated with HIK)

    And guess who is currently “acting governor” of Kabul for the Taliaban?
    Khalil Haqqani.

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  85. wr says:

    @de stijl: “But can keef bring it?”

    Maybe you’ve been gone, but those of us who have been here can tell you the answer is no.

    Unless you mean “cut and paste rehashes of the dumbest people on pro-Trump websites.” That he can bring. But I’m not sure why you want that. It’s just boring.

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  86. Long Time Listener says:

    @JohnSF: Of course, this kinds of who’s-who-in-the-Zoo won’t be a part of the ‘analysis’, in the coming days.
    All the more reason to give these folks many thousands of miles of distance….

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  87. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    There is no proof Chief keef is Guanari, etc.

    Ok, but when you’re engaged in delousing, it’s rather trivial to know which particular louse one saw.

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  88. Mu Yixiao says:

    @wr:

    It’s been my understanding that the primary reason for banning plastic bags is not concerns about climate change, but about the tons of eternal plastic clogging our sewers, our streets and our oceans.

    But then… plastic bags aren’t the problem (and neither are straws). The majority of large plastics in the oceans come from fishing gear, while most of the micro particles (which is what people tend to be talking about) comes from artificial fibers–it’s from washing your clothes, not using plastic bags.

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  89. JohnSF says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:
    I honestly don’t know enough to judge thorium reactors (or any other specific design)
    It was just that Rubbia has been pushing for de-carbonisation for donkeys years, and saying a mix of technologies will be needed.
    I’m mainly intrigued by his concept of using the Sahara Desert as solar power generation and storage facility for Europe.
    I think he’s been involved as consultant on the Ourazazate Noor solar/salt project in Morocco which is backed by a Euro/Morroccan consortium with finance from the European Investment Bank.

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  90. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @wr:

    I did find it odd that MR took a thread about how science reporters got a study wrong as “making moral judgments about people based on their grocery bag of choice” and “vacuous lefty virtue signaling” while somehow ignoring the climate crisis.

    But, I honestly couldn’t really tell who MR was mad at: me for posting a thread I found on twitter into an open forum? The NYTimes for even bothering to care about this study (which, if so, entirely fair point and one that I agree with), that people on twitter generally interested in environmental concerns would take time to dissect a currently-popular article about an environmental issues, or someone else? And so, I just figured he was cranky this morning and ignored it.

    I do think if reporters at the paper of record could misinterpret a study about something as small as the environmental impact of grocery bags, it doesn’t bode well for their ability to report on things as large as climate change.

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  91. mattbernius says:

    @JohnSF thanks so much for this detailed breakdown.

    I have been trying to avoid commenting on things that are outside of my expertise, but I thought this was an area where a “quick and dirty” description would be helpful to add context to the initial comment.

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  92. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    MR is basically in the middle of radicalizing himself into an anti-anti-Trump Republican.

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  93. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    It was just that Rubbia has been pushing for de-carbonisation for donkeys years, and saying a mix of technologies will be needed.

    I’m amazed this still needs to be pointed out, when it’s effingly obvious.

    Consider electricity, which is generated in pretty much every last speck of land on the map. For well over a century, we’ve had plants that burn coal, oil, or gas, as well as hydroelectric dams, and more recently nuclear plants. Yet no one opposes universal electricity generation on the grounds that there isn’t one, and just one, means of doing so.

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  94. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    I was trying to induce proper contrarianism. Subtly. Yeah, like I could pull off subtle.

    And let’s just face it. We are extremely insular here. We need new blood.

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  95. grumpy realist says:

    Japan is one of those countries that has been trying desperately to get off oil/LNG and hop over to renewables/nuclear for some time. I’ve got a great report on all the different types of renewables they’ve been testing, and it’s definitely totally different technology for each geographical area. Japan more or less has to do this, since the energy demands and possible energy production techniques differ so much in each location.

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  96. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:
    Jesus Christ, I’m not mad at anyone.

    Listen, I could waste time larding everything I write with qualifiers but since I already do quite a bit of that it seems like a waste of time, particularly with a bunch of people who have reason to @wr: know my politics. Apparently any questioning or criticism is taken as an attack. The whole country is as tenderly sensitive as a Renaissance nobleman. For the record, though I do bite my thumb, I do not bite my thumb at you.

    Am I going to have to resort to emojis? Or do I have to recapitulate my rather obvious Leftist politics in every comment to avoid accusations of heresy? Is criticism or skepticism directed at ‘my side’ no longer allowed? Isn’t that one of the many problems we have with Republicans?

    As a rule you should assume that I am not angry (when I am it’s pretty clear) but rather amused, skeptical and most likely just avoiding work.

    As for the suggestion that I hijacked the thread, I note that this is the open forum. So I get to take conversations wherever my little brain wants to take them. Right?

    @wr:
    The conversation began with a comparison of plastic vs. cotton, and danger to sea life was not brought up, unless I missed it.

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  97. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    That first @wr is something I’d fix if I had an edit button.

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  98. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    In some ways the replacement of current electricity generation by non-hydrocarbon means, and even considerable decarbonization of transport, may turn out to be relatively easy.
    What I suspect is going to be really tricky, particularly in Europe, is domestic energy.
    IIRC in US about 45% of households use gas; in Europe it’s around 90%; and gas also supplies 90% of the total energy use of connected households: heating, hot water, cooking.
    Households are about a 40% of total energy use

    This is going to be the very devil to change over, and there’s barely been a start made.

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  99. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You sounded angry. You were not, and I was mistaken. My apologies. FWIW, and if it wasn’t clear in my response to WR, I didn’t actually care one way or the other if you were angry and took no offense at the perceived anger. I wasn’t calling on you to modulate how you write, I was just expressing (mistaken) bemusement.

    I’m not sure what you mean about suggesting you hijacked a thread. I don’t believe one can hijack an open forum, and I certainly didn’t try to suggest otherwise.

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  100. Neil J Hudelson says:

    Speaking of LDE “Hawaii building huge new battery, bidding farewell to coal:”

    When Hawaii’s last remaining coal plant ceases operations on the island of Oahu in September 2022, the state will turn instead to a giant battery to ensure the grid keeps functioning smoothly. The Kapolei Energy Storage facility (KES) will rank among the largest stand-alone batteries in the world, at 185 megawatts/565 megawatt-hours. It is contracted with utility Hawaiian Electric to keep the grid running for the next 20 years, a crucial interval leading up to the 2045 deadline.

    […]

    Large batteries of recent vintage typically serve a bulk capacity role: Their primary job is to deliver a bunch of electrons in the hours when the grid needs it. KES will do that, but it will also carry out several rarely performed but highly valuable tasks.

    First, the battery will be able to jump-start the grid if some calamity knocks it out — grid wonks call this “black-start capability.” Islandwide blackouts hit Oahu in 2006 and 2008 after an earthquake and a lightning storm, respectively. Tsunamis and cyclones threaten to wreak similar havoc in the future.

    Second, Plus Power specifically designed the battery to prevent the grid from shutting down in the first place. KES will reserve 50 megawatts of capacity to push out in a fraction of a second if grid frequency falls out of safe range, an event that can precede a cascading grid failure. Texas infamously came within 4 minutes and 37 seconds of a frequency-related collapse in its February winter storm, which could have knocked out power to many in the state for weeks.

    […]

    KES will have considerably greater impact, as it adds up to roughly 17 percent of the 1,100-megawatt peak demand on Oahu.

    Holding capacity for 17% of Oahu’s 1 million people, all on just 7 acres of an abandoned industrial park, is pretty cool.

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  101. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “But then… plastic bags aren’t the problem (and neither are straws).”

    Here is the standard right-wing reason for never doing anything — because something else is always the real problem.

    Yes, micro-plastics are a big problem. I’m sure fishing gear is, too, although I have never heard of this being as big an issue as, say, plastic bottles.

    But plastic bags are a part of the problem, and unlike the others you bring up, it’s one with a pretty easy and painless solution — stop using plastic bags. And not on an individual basis, because we both know that kind of personal choice makes no difference at all. Stop on a societal basis by banning them. And yes it’s true, China hasn’t banned them yet and continues to spew out huge numbers of plastic bags (at least I assume that’s true — would be nice if it weren’t), but the bans in American states greatly lessens this one aspect of the problem and allows us to focus on the next ones.

    Your argument is like fossil-fuel lovers who say there’s no point in reducing our emissions because India continues to emit a whole lot. But India’s emissions plus our emissions is a whole lot more than India’s emissions minus ours. It’s called dealing with a problem step by step — and one might even call that a conservative solution, if all of American conservatism hadn’t decided that if you can’t entirely fix a problem immediately — and ideally with a tax cut for billionaires — then it’s not worth tackling at all.

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  102. wr says:

    @de stijl: “And let’s just face it. We are extremely insular here. We need new blood.”

    No disagreement. But tainted blood doesn’t help anyone.

    It would be great to have a conservative commenter here as smart and articulate as our host. But a troll popping up and screaming “libtards suck” just gives everyone a headache.

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  103. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I thought it was a clever approach to targeting a comment, and I’m going to continue to give you credit for it as if it were intentional.

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  104. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    Anyone who tries to make me cook on an electric stove top will be met with a 9″ cast-iron frying pan to the side of the head.

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  105. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Apparently any questioning or criticism is taken as an attack”

    Honestly, no. What is taken as an attack — well, by me, anyway, won’t claim to speak for anyone else — is your frequent use of right-wing, even Trumpy, name-calling against those you find too lefty. If I want to hear about “vacuous lefty virtue-signaling” and all the rest, I can subscribe to Larry Elder’s newsletter.

    If some liberal uses his NPR totebag to carry his organic broccoli home, it’s really not meant as a personal attack on you, but so often you sound like one of those Floridians who are personally offended because someone chooses to wear a mask.

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  106. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Yeah, cooking is the biggest obstacle for electrifying households. Electric water heaters are a bit slower, but really not a big deal. The differences in heating are negligible. But unless you want to upgrade your electric range to an induction top–and potentially replace all your cookware to be induction-friendly–cooking on an electric top is just so damn inferior. And I know from personal family experience a lot of people just can’t have an induction top–if you have an LVAD, or possibly just a pacemaker, induction tops can kill ya.

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  107. Kathy says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    That is so un-Texan.

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  108. Mu Yixiao says:

    @wr:

    Fishing nets make up 50% of the plastic in the ocean.

    Here is the standard right-wing reason for never doing anything — because something else is always the real problem.

    The US accounts for approximately 1% of the total “mismanaged” plastic in the world. Plastic bags are a tiny amount of that 1%. Banning plastic bags is doing essentially nothing to mitigate–much less solve–the problem. It’s a feel-good act that has no practical results.

    Typical left-wing approach: do what looks good without taking a look at the actual numbers and coming up with a solution that actually makes a real difference.

    Things like…

    Deposits on plastic bottles–people will do a lot to get those few pennies back.

    Effective filters on washing machines so the plastic fabrics don’t go down the drain–add similar filters at the treatment plants, and you’re going to get most of it.

    Streamline municipal and county recycling systems so it’s easier for people to recycle.

    Charge for “trash” collected at homes and businesses, but pick up recyclables for free.

    Develop more plant-based plastics which bio-degrade (not just photo-degrade).

    Put more funding and research into the development of microbes which break down plastics completely.

    There are plenty of things that I believe should be done to deal with plastic waste. Putting so much emphasis on one that does nothing is a waste of time, money, and resources.

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  109. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    cooking on an electric top is just so damn inferior

    A student violin is demonstrably inferior to a Stradivarius, but what percent of amateur musicians are good enough for it to make a difference?

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  110. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    For a Stradivarious? Few, but I think that’s the wrong comparison. A Johnson guitar is demonstrably inferior to a Taylor guitar, and the percentage of amateur musicians which are good enough for it to make a difference is (and sorry to be technical here) “a buncha them.”

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  111. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    And I’m sure there’s a bunch of home cooks where gas vs electric makes a difference too, but I’m betting for the vast majority you would not be able to tell whether their food had been cooked on gas or electric range.

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  112. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    I think it might be more a case of the NPR tote guy having a tendency to scold everybody else for not using NPR tote bags to carry their organic broccoli (and G-d help you if you didn’t buy organic). The left can be just as tribal and judgmental about their sacred totems as the right. Case in point: people tend not to hate Teslas / Priuses so much as tend to hate Tesla / Prius owners. Just saying.

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  113. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    And I’m sure there’s a bunch of home cooks where gas vs electric makes a difference too, but I’m betting for the vast majority you would not be able to tell whether their food had been cooked on gas or electric range.

    I can cook on an electric stove. And you probably couldn’t tell the difference–because I’m not going to serve you crap that didn’t cook right.

    Mostly it’s not about the food itself, it’s about the process. I can’t go from sear to simmer in a couple seconds on an electric. A lot of electrics have flat surfaces over them–which means all your pans have to have flat bottoms. And… a host of other things.

    Gas is easier. It’s both more forgiving, and able to give more precise control.

    And… “home cooks”? You mean… like 50% of the population?

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  114. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Stormy Dragon: To be clear, I think for *most* people it’s not the biggest deal. But for a significant number of people–cooking enthusiasts, people large families and quick cooking demands–it’ll be a deal breaker, regardless if the end product is the same.

    I can make a Johnson guitar sound pretty good (and, hey, shoutout to Johnson. They make cheaply priced guitars that are heads and shoulders above comparable cheaply price guitars), but if I have to choose I’m going to buy* a Taylor because they are just more fun to play. I know quite a few home cooks who, upon purchasing a home, ran a gas line to the kitchen. I considered it for my current home, and still consider it every few months.

    *Well, not really. Taylors may sound beautiful, and their action may glide like a blade on ice, but they are fragile little f*ckers.

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  115. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    “I think it might be more a case of the NPR tote guy having a tendency to scold everybody else for not using NPR tote bags to carry their organic broccoli (and G-d help you if you didn’t buy organic).”

    Ok, but, like, does this actually happen? Never in my life have I see someone scolded for the type of bag they use. Is this an actual phenomenon? Because it seems like a red herring, but perhaps it actually happens in uber-liberal enclaves?

    I’ve actually seen the tesla/prius hate, so no argument there. I don’t get it. I think Elon is a preening asshole, but with the exception of their safety issues I think Tesla is a fine car. The last time I was in a Prius I had to fold my legs up like I was preparing for a gynecological exam, but I don’t hate people who can happen to fit inside one, nor begrudge their choices.

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  116. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Have you any idea of how many people don’t read the label/informational insert on the medications–OTC and prescription–that come through their doorways? I don’t either–and I know it’s not you or me–but it probably is a bunch of people.

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  117. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    It was just a hypothetical example using his construction, which I’m sure you grasped. Similarly, Tesla owners tend to be like vegans – true believers who will never miss an opportunity to proselytize about their pet cause in nauseating detail and scold anyone who doesn’t share / buy into it. It’s almost the textbook definition of obnoxious, not to mention self-defeating, which is the actual point that was being made. Don’t be pedantic.

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  118. CSK says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:
    I avoid Walmart like the plague, but there have been occasions when I’ve had to shop there. On one such occasion the check-out clerk demanded to know what I was going to do with my plastic bag. I had a really smartass reply on the tip of my tongue when I noticed there was something a little off about the kid. I kept my mouth shut and merely smiled.

    One doesn’t expect to find eco-warriors in Walmart. But this was Northamptom, Mass.

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  119. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: You get them from monthlyshippmentsofpetsuppliesandtoys.com. I see their ads on streaming channels all the time. One of the ads features a cute lop bunny wearing a yellow safety vest.-

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  120. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    @Neil J Hudelson:

    We live in a world where the most popular selling pickup comes with a speaker hidden under the dashboard that plays a digital recording of a V8 engine, because even though the current V6 engine is in every way superior to the V8 it replaced, consumers balked because it didn’t sound powerful enough.

    So yeah, I’m sure lots of home cooks insist on a gas line for the kitchen. My question is if there’s actually a need for this, or if it’s mostly just that they feel more manly playing with open fire in the kitchen.

    The reality is gas ranges add significant safety and health risks and even ignoring the climate change aspects, we’d be better off if they were phased out. Most of the resistance to all electric is an emotional attachment created by decades of gas industry advertising.

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  121. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Have you ever used an induction stovetop? I’ve cooked on a gas range and thought I’d never willingly convert to an electric range, but now you’d have to take my induction range out of my cold dead hands. It’s super responsive and really powerful.

    I have encountered a couple of small problems like that it boils water super quick, and it can boil over sometimes when I’m not watching because I expect it to take longer. The other problem is that GE built it with touch controls, which can be a touch challenging to fine tune the heat (although that just might be a question of acclimating to the controls) and liquid splatters on the control surfaces can change their settings (in combination with the whole “boiling before you expect” caused a couple of initial mishaps in the Mike from Arlington household kitchen, but we’re a lot more careful now).

    And the other things you and others said are also true, you need induction compatible cookware, it can cause problems with pacemakers and you need to be a touch more gentle than a gas stove because it’s a ceramic/glass top and if you slam a pot on it, it will break. So it’s not without issues, but I’ve found them to be small (it helps that my cookware set was one that I bought when I was in college in the …. well, a long time ago, so it wasn’t like they didn’t need to be replaced).

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  122. Mu Yixiao says:
  123. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Minus a prescription?

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  124. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    My question is if there’s actually a need for this, or if it’s mostly just that they feel more manly playing with open fire in the kitchen.

    It’s got jack shit to “feeling manly”–especially when so many women are doing the cooking. A gas stove is a superior instrument for cooking.

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  125. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @mattbernius: “and it appears that Taliban guards were among the dead in the attack” is just a fake news lie. It’s amazing we keep falling for this stuff. 😉

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  126. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    And he advertised this on Facebook. What a genius.

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  127. mattbernius says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    My question is if there’s actually a need for this

    Define “need.”

    Generally speaking, gas is better for cooking. You are able to control the pan temperature better and it allows you to go from high-heat to low-heat cooking much bettter (as the surface doesn’t retain much residual heat. Perhaps if we made the jump to induction cooking then that isn’t as much of an issue. It’s also better for certain types of ethnic cooking (in particular wok recipes–though most home stoves don’t have a burner that produces enough heat to truly match the experience you have on a professional stove).

    From a baking perspective, electric is far superior.

    All that said, I suspect that many home cooks are not at a level skill that is high enough (or are trying complex recipes frequently enough) to notice the difference between gas and electric.

    For the record, we have a high end electric stove. We didn’t opt for induction when we bought this stove and to some degree I regret making that choice, though like what @Mike in Arlington mentioned, the touch versus dial controls really turned me off of the models that I looked at.

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  128. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    Have you ever used an induction stovetop?

    Briefly. They’re very popular in China. But… I don’t think they’re going to work very well with my antique cast-iron frying pans.

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  129. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    JFC everyone is testy today. In my comment I pointed out that I had experienced the Tesla/Prius phenomenon that you outlined, but hadn’t experienced the tote bag thing. I asked simply if this was something you experienced. Nothing in my comment was pedantic. I wasn’t calling you a liar, I didn’t say your comment was off base, I was simply asking if this was something that actually occurs because people have different experiences than I do and I’m genuinely curious about other people’s experiences.

    Which is why I took pains to corroborate one of the things you said based on my own experiences, and then stated regarding the bags “maybe this is something that happens in uber-liberal conclaves.” If I’m not mistaken you and MR both live or have lived in uber-liberal conclaves. Living in a deep-red state where the liberal enclaves are anything but, I was trying to better understand your perspective. Sorry to have fucking triggered you by asking an entirely innocent question.

    I was expecting a “yeah man, I’ve seen it” or “nah, I was just being facetious” but sure, go with being an asshole.

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  130. Mu Yixiao says:

    @mattbernius:

    It’s also better for certain types of ethnic cooking (in particular wok recipes–though most home stoves don’t have a burner that produces enough heat to truly match the experience you have on a professional stove).

    Gods… I wish I could get the “blowtorch in a ring” style of cook top that the street vendors in China used. Just one of the burners? Please?!

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  131. mattbernius says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    I feel the same way about having an oven that can get closer to pizza temps without regularly frying out its control board.

    And yes, I’d love to have that street vendor cook top too. I’d feel much safer with the wok honestly. I hate using the flat bottom one on the electric stove.

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  132. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    I lived in Westchester. Not sure I’d characterize it as being uber liberal, but I take your point. Paris, indeed France as a whole, is a good deal more conservative than folks would imagine them to be.

    I was mainly trying to say that the left can be just as aggressively obnoxious and tribal as the right when it comes to their pet causes. Apologies for the misunderstanding

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  133. JohnSF says:

    @Mike in Arlington:
    @Stormy Dragon:
    @Mu Yixiao:
    @Neil J Hudelson:
    I’ve used both electric and gas; gas is way better.
    Electric hobs just can’t vary the heat quickly enough or fast enough.
    I’ve never encountered a chef who’ll use electric for their primary hobs (secondary is different, for slow boils etc) or grills; though some will for ovens.

    IMO due to this and the sheer mass of the infrastructure in Europe (as I say, 90% households on mains methane: there’s a genuine reason for Germany wanting Nordstream 2) this niche is going to get filled by non-fossil source methane/hydrogen blend.

    Usual protest is “but methane is a greenhouse supergas”: true, but the methane pipe grid is not very leaky (though some storage is, and needs fixing).
    Too leaky for pure hydrogen, though, unless you want houses going boom on a regular basis.

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  134. JohnSF says:

    @JohnSF:
    European and UK gas grids, that is.
    What the US one is like, I haven’t the faintest idea.

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  135. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Yeah, I wouldn’t call my old cookware “antique”, rather “old” and “beat up”, so it wasn’t a sacrifice for me to give that away to a friend. My (Lodge of the same “vintage” as my other cookware) cast iron frying pan and griddle had a ring around the outside that helped center it on a cooking element, so I had to give that away too.

    @mattbernius: Give an induction top a try to check out how quickly it can go from light simmer to hotter than a supernova. I nearly burned some onions I was sautéing because I cranked it to 11 for less than a minute… I was really surprised at just how quickly the cooking temp increased even for the short time I did it. It also boils water around 20% faster than gas or standard electric.

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  136. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: I’ve never put any of my reusable grocery bags in the laundry. I acquired most of them upon returning from Korea from a friend who had too many and gave me his old more worn ones, so many of them are probably too fragile to launder. Beyond that, I can’t remember the last time that I put ANYTHING into a grocery bag that wasn’t wrapped. I don’t live in a big city so there’s no public farmers’ market to go to. If I had one, I’d probably take a string bag and bleach it after I got home in the sink, like I did in Korea, though.

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  137. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Ok, wait. Is THIS actually a thing? Ford is actually manufacturing speakers in an engine because manly men were afraid the vroom vroom was too quiet?

    SMDH.

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  138. Mike in Arlington says:

    @JohnSF: I’ve read that there is a concern about indoor pollution when using a gas range. And yeah, the fan/vent/hood helps, but in some houses it may not be adequate to remove the pollution (the pollutant the article specifically mentioned was NOx). I’m not an expert, so I can’t evaluate whether what appears to be a metastudy is sound, but here it is:
    https://rmi.org/insight/gas-stoves-pollution-health

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  139. Stormy Dragon says:

    @mattbernius:

    You are able to control the pan temperature better and it allows you to go from high-heat to low-heat cooking much bettter (as the surface doesn’t retain much residual heat.

    People are also paying through the nose for multi-layer pots and pans or antique cast iron whose main selling point is that they retain heat better, so I have a hard time squaring the “you need this gas range so you can change the heat quickly for this pot that resists changing temperature quickly”. Likewise, I do a lot of cooking at home (I’m not Jaques Pepin, but I’ve done some pretty complex stuff), and I’ve never done a recipe that required lots of rapid temperature changes.

    Everyone says “gas is better” but is it?

    Consumer Reports, for example, when they measured it found that electric ranges were actually superior:

    Gas or Electric Range: Which Is Better?

    So again, is gas actually better? Or is it just one of those things everyone thinks is true because of advertising?

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  140. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    America’s best-selling cars and trucks are built on lies: The rise of fake engine noise

    Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you’ll hear a meaty, throaty rumble — the same style of roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades.

    It’s a sham. The engine growl in some of America’s best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. And it’s driving car enthusiasts insane.

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  141. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    SMDH even harder, to the point it’s banging into my desk.

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  142. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Stormy Dragon: The big thing I notice between the two is that there is a visual indicator telling you how high or low your heat setting is with gas. That makes it tons easier to accurately adjust the heat level on a given pot by looking at the height of the flames.

    With electric, even my beloved induction range, you have to judge based on the position of the dial (or the LEDs on the touch panel). I think some Samsung induction ranges have blue LEDs along the ring of their induction elements that light up around the pot, and adjust their intensity, to indicate how hot that element is, but I don’t know if that’s as accurate as the flames on a gas stove.

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  143. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @de stijl:

    Kief can bring it alright.

    Oh, wait, KEEF. Yeah, no he can’t.

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  144. mattbernius says:

    @Mike in Arlington:
    I have been thinking about getting one of those induction stand alone burners. This is a good reminder to give them a try and my birthday is coming up.

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  145. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @mattbernius:

    Do it. You’ll like it. My induction hot plate is what’s stopped me from running a gas line. (Sorry, Stormy, no amount of fact and logic is going to persuade me that I don’t like cooking on gas as much as I think I do.)

    Some have even gotten rid of the range top all together.

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  146. Mister Bluster says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:..banging into my desk.

    Be sure to slip Mr. Microphone into the desk drawer first so the thud will come through your transistor radio.

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  147. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    Sorry, Stormy, no amount of fact and logic is going to persuade me that I don’t like cooking on gas as much as I think I do.

    One of my favorite human psychology is weird stories was a study where they gave subjects Coca-Cola in a coke container and coke in an unlabeled container and asked which they preferred and most preferred the coke in the coke container. The weird wrinkle is that they did this while scanning them in an f-mri and the results showed that they weren’t just imagining the difference: the visual aspects of the container was actually affecting how their taste cortex processed the flavor.

    So I believe you truly do like cooking on gas more. I’m just saying that sensation may be driven by things other than the actual experience of cooking. =)

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  148. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    That’s utterly astonishing.

    In Cyril Kornbluth’s classic story “The Marching Morons,” cars have speakers that make rocket noises, so the morons will be happy to believe their cars are very advanced, very cool “rocket cars.”

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  149. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: @Mu Yixiao: Growing up in the land of Reddy Killowatt as I did, I’ve used electric ranges most of my life. I’ve also used gas at restaurants at which I worked and I had a gas cooktop in Korea (no range, though–oven’s are pretty pricey there). It’s probably because I’m used to the process, but I really don’t see any significant difference. The “instant on” feature of gas is greatly exaggerated in my mind, but whatevs. In the PNW, where most of our power is hydroelectric, gas has a significantly different ecological footprint. Out in the Midwest where you guys are, I suspect the energy footprint is different and a gas range may not have the impact it might in other places. As always, individual mileage will vary.

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  150. flat earth luddite says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    …bags to carry their organic broccoli (and G-d help you if you didn’t buy organic)

    I usually respond to these smuggies that I vastly prefer organic to inorganic broccoli. Then I walk away while they look confused, and SWMBO is muttering under her breath about what a smartass I am. I’m usually sent back to the car, so we both win.

    And if you really want to light them up, ask about the carbon footprint for making a paper bag.

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  151. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Don’t know. All of my “pets” are polyester fiberfill, so they don’t need monthly deliveries of toys and meds. (The bunny in the vest was cute, though.)

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  152. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “Banning plastic bags is doing essentially nothing to mitigate–much less solve–the problem. It’s a feel-good act that has no practical results.”

    I’m looking out my window at the trees planted in the median. You know what I’m not seeing? Plastic bags stuck in the branches. Maybe that doesn’t mean anything to you. Maybe you like seeing never-to-decay plastic bags all over the place. I don’t. That’s a practical result.

    “There are plenty of things that I believe should be done to deal with plastic waste. Putting so much emphasis on one that does nothing is a waste of time, money, and resources.”

    By all means we should be doing them. Please explain to me how stopping plastic bag blight is in any way impeding this.

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  153. Kathy says:

    When bad things happen to bad people who deserve it:

    Powell and Wood, among others, have to take legal education classes. Also pay legal fees to Detroit and Michigan.

    This is on top of lawsuits filed by Dominion.

    I expect the Kraken to file suit any day, given the damage Powell did to his image.

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  154. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “The US accounts for approximately 1% of the total “mismanaged” plastic in the world”

    Have no idea where you come up with this statistic — maybe the scare quotes around mismanaged has the answer? (“No, honey, if it’s swirling around in a giant vortex in the middle of the ocean, that doesn’t mean it’s mismanaged — we want it to be there…”)

    But National Geographic strongly disagrees with you. They claim that the US is responsible for more plastic waste in the ocean than any other country. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/us-plastic-pollution

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  155. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “Case in point: people tend not to hate Teslas / Priuses so much as tend to hate Tesla / Prius owners. Just saying.”

    I have to say I was at my nephew’s wedding this past weekend — in Western Marin County, so you can imagine the lefty vibes — and I spent much of my time there with my cousin-by-marriage, a man I like a great deal, whom I even invited to live with my wife and me when we were in Pasadena and he needed to take a job in LA. (He and his wife live in Oakland.) And I swear to god this lovely man spent at least an hour preaching about how much he loves his Tesla, how great the Tesla is, all the various cool places he goes in his Tesla…

    I do think a lot of Tesla owners bring it on themselves…

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  156. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “I think it might be more a case of the NPR tote guy having a tendency to scold everybody else for not using NPR tote bags to carry their organic broccoli (and G-d help you if you didn’t buy organic). The left can be just as tribal and judgmental about their sacred totems as the right.”

    Of course they can. Yes, there are annoying people on both sides. And when they scold you, I will support your right to stick their organic brocoli, totebag and all, right up their ass. But saying that because there are some scolds on the left, we should sneer at all of them is simply bigotry.

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  157. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “Paris, indeed France as a whole, is a good deal more conservative than folks would imagine them to be.”

    Because many Americans are morons who have no idea what any place outside their own trailer park is like.

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  158. wr says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “So again, is gas actually better? Or is it just one of those things everyone thinks is true because of advertising”

    I don’t feel like playing “spot the contrarian” today, so I will just say that in my many decades I have cooked primarily with gas and sometimes with electric, and I greatly prefer the experience of cooking with gas. Maybe if I’d grown up with an electric stove I would feel different, but I didn’t so I don’t.

    By the way, who is better Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal? Rembrandt or Van Gogh? Ireland or Scotland? There are so many pointless arguments we can have on subjects like this. Meanwhile, several people who seem quite dedicated to cooking here have told you they greatly prefer gas. Why are you trying to convince them their own experience is wrong and your knowledge is right?

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  159. Stormy Dragon says:

    @wr:

    Because humans as a group are terrible at self-introspection. Why people think they do things often has very little to do with why they actually do them.

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  160. mattbernius says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Consumer Reports, for example, when they measured it found that electric ranges were actually superior.

    Reading through the way CR tested the ranges, and what they were able to reliably quantify, the test is biased towards electric (in so much their focus was on consistency and cooking at specific temperatures).

    What is missing from that test is the reality of cooking a lot of recipes where depending on stage you are varying temperature and how best to do that. That said it’s also really difficult to test for heat control in terms of switching temps.

    They are also not testing on other cooking variable (like using a burner to roast a pepper).

    I think we are deep into the weeds here. And also I will again acknowledge that induction also changes the equation. And again, I’m someone who does a lot of advanced cooking. I can make an electric stove work, but there are a lot more accomidations that need to be made.

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  161. Matt says:

    @de stijl: In today’s world an encrypted external drive clearly labeled “porn” and a locked box labeled “sex toys” would probably be sufficient for family/friends to leave well enough alone. In both cases you give fair warning to the contents and restricted their ability to view said contents. Bookmarks on the other hand…

    Deceased Belongings Clean-Up Services are a thing though.

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  162. wr says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “Because humans as a group are terrible at self-introspection. Why people think they do things often has very little to do with why they actually do them.”

    And it’s your job to show us deluded humans the error of our ways?

    And just speaking for myself, I’m pretty sure I have a better idea of why I do things than, say, you do, considering how you’ve never even met me and all.

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  163. Mike in Arlington says:
  164. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @mattbernius:

    (like using a burner to roast a pepper)

    Yes, that’s definitely something I can’t do on a range ring. Instead, the last time I needed to (about 20 years ago, I would add) I blanched the peppers to remove the skins and then roasted them in the oven. Worked fine as I recall. With just me now, I usually just buy chile rellenos at one of several Mexican restaurants near my house. Not as good as homemade though, I have to admit that.

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  165. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    I won’t argue with that at all. 🙂

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  166. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    But saying that because there are some scolds on the left, we should sneer at all of them is simply bigotry.

    It was more a “down with scolds of all varieties! Put them to the torch!” 🙂

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  167. Mu Yixiao says:

    @wr:

    One last post before I go to sleep.

    Have no idea where you come up with this statistic — maybe the scare quotes around mismanaged has the answer? (“No, honey, if it’s swirling around in a giant vortex in the middle of the ocean, that doesn’t mean it’s mismanaged — we want it to be there…”)

    “Mismanaged” is a term that basically refers to “pollution”. It’s plastic (in this case) which has not been recycled, reused, or properly disposed of–it’s been tossed somewhere. Look up any serious article on plastic waste and you’ll see the term.

    The information comes from science.

    In 2010, an estimated 5 to 13 million metric tons (Mt) of plastic waste entered the ocean from both developing countries with insufficient solid waste infrastructure and high-income countries with very high waste generation. […] Between 0.14 and 0.41 Mt of this waste was illegally dumped in the United States

    So… using the minimum amount of plastic entering the oceans, and the maximum amount of plastic that was illegally dumped anywhere, the US could only have contributed 8.2%

    But National Geographic strongly disagrees with you. They claim that the US is responsible for more plastic waste in the ocean than any other country.

    Go back and read the article. It says that the US produces the most plastic waste. It does not say that it produces the most plastic pollution.

    Let’s look at what the article actually does say:

    In all, the United States contributed up to 2.24 million metric tons into the environment in 2016, and of that, more than half—1.5 million metric tons—was along coastlines, meaning it had a high probability of slipping into the oceans.

    [emphasis added]

    NatGeo is playing around with definitions. It’s suggesting that “near the ocean” is going to be “in the ocean”.

    Let’s look at how that stacks up… (total mismanaged*/ocean)

    China 8.80 / 3.53
    Indonesia 3.20/1.29
    Philippines 1.90/0.75
    Vietnam 1.80/0.73
    Sri Lanka 1.60/0.64

    So…Sri Lanka (pop. 21.8M–right between Texas and Florida) produces 390% more plastic waste than the entire US. Per capita, that’s 73 times as much plastic waste as the US.

    Even if you bump the US contribution up to what NatGeo says (2.24 MT), Indonesia produces almost twice the plastic trash per capita. Vietnam is 3 times per capita.

    Banning plastic bags will have exactly zero impact on the amount of plastic in the ocean, and only an RCH of impact on trash on land.

    I’m looking out my window at the trees planted in the median. You know what I’m not seeing? Plastic bags stuck in the branches

    I’m looking out my window. You know what I see? Ground ivy in my grass. Obviously that means that ground ivy is a serious problem throughout the world and we must do something to stop it. /s

    You can toss out anecdotes and “what everyone knows”, or you can look up facts, stats, and studies and get a better understanding of what the reality is.

    Democrats are the party of science…. right?

    Banning plastic bags will make the problem less noticeable. It won’t do anything to actually solve the problem. It will, in fact, make it harder to solve the actual problem, because it will make people think they’ve done something–and… “I’ve already done something, why do I need to do more?”

    FWIW: I have a couple canvas bags that I usually use when I’m shopping. When I don’t have my canvas bags and I have a “sizable” load, I use paper bags. When I only have a few items, I’ll get plastic–because I understand the environmental costs of creating paper–even recycled.

    ============
    * Oh! Look! There’s that word used in a news article.

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  168. DrDaveT says:

    @mattbernius:

    Reading through the way CR tested the ranges, and what they were able to reliably quantify, the test is biased towards electric (in so much their focus was on consistency and cooking at specific temperatures).

    In general, Consumer Reports is aimed at a very specific user group. Their reviews of automobiles, for example, care greatly about how well the vehicle accommodates child seats, how much road noise can be heard, and how the vehicle performs in side airbag tests. They do not care much at all about handling, acceleration, road feel, or appearance. It’s not surprising that they reach very different conclusions from (say) Road & Track.

    Consumer Reports gives very high ratings to pressed steel chef knives made by Chicago Cutlery. They are inexpensive, will hold an edge, and have reasonably comfortable and durable wooden handles. No professional chef or serious amateur would use one except in direst extremity. There’s no contradiction there, but you need to understand who they are rating for.

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  169. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Our high-rise doesn’t have gas. We roast peppers by coring and quartering them, brushing them with oil, and putting them under the broiler skin-side-up until charred. Move the charred quarters into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let them steam and cool, then peel the charred skin off. Works beautifully, and the result is much better than commercial products.

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  170. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Between 0.14 and 0.41 Mt of this waste was illegally dumped in the United States

    Without taking sides here, I’ll note that you also just palmed a card, by shifting from all pollution sources to “illegally dumped” only. Not all microparticle plastic in the oceans comes from illegally dumped sources. Indeed, not all macropollution comes from illegally dumped sources.

    I suspect the truth is somewhere between the two numbers being cited.

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  171. mattbernius says:

    @DrDaveT:
    Completely agree. And honestly not casting shade on them for serving their audience. I’m simply pointing out the biases of that particular test.

    And again, I think that for the vast majority of folks, the difference between electric and gas is negligible to non-existent. I also can say that for people doing certain types of cooking, there is a noticable difference on certain applications (and those were not accounted for in that test).

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  172. mattbernius says:

    @DrDaveT:

    We roast peppers by coring and quartering them, brushing them with oil, and putting them under the broiler skin-side-up until charred. Move the charred quarters into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let them steam and cool, then peel the charred skin off. Works beautifully, and the result is much better than commercial products.

    We do something similar. Though we will just roll them up in the foil we line the pan with and then drop them in a gallon sized ziplock bag. Same effect. Less clean up.

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  173. Stormy Dragon says:

    @DrDaveT:

    There’s also a big loophole in the “in the United States” giving how much of our garbage we ship overseas…

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  174. de stijl says:

    This aversion and downright hostility towards taking small steps is weird to me. We can take small steps and large ones simultaniously. It’s pretty easy in fact.

    When I was working on large projects one of the fundaments was to eliminate small system problems now because they create ripple effects that alter the system environment.

    If you had a dead mouse in your kitchen you would clean it up.

    In the big scheme it’s not a big deal. You can cook anything you want. No big deal. Just step around the dead mouse corpse.

    It is marginally meaningless. 4 steps out of several thousand per day.

    But it might attract carrion feeders. Maggots need a host. A dead body to feed upon.

    No sane person would allow a dead mouse in the middle of their kitchen. It is a small problem but it is wise to eliminate that problem now.

    Eliminating a small problem now makes the system cleaner even if the marginal utility is low. And a clean system is easier to analyze and, hopefully, reconstruct in a saner fashion.

    Banning plastic bags is small potatoes.

    When I was a kid trash and littering was a fairly big issue. There was crap everywhere. We, as a society, decided that littering was going to become unacceptable. Throwing empties out your car window was a thing that was socially taboo.

    It worked.

    I use totes when I to the grocery store myself. If I buy more than the volume allows I go for plastic. I have never in my life lectured someone about that if they choose differently. I pay attention to my business.

    If I have extraneous plastic bags at home I stick a bunch of bags into one bag and deposit them into the handy recycling container in the entry space next week. Easy peasy.

    Incrementally attacking a problem is better than doing nothing until we can do something bigger tomorrow. Incremantalism works.

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  175. de stijl says:

    As to #3 I would nominate Kokopelli Face Tattoo by AJJ. Doomed, I know. A fool’s offering.

    A kokopelli face tattoo is when your buds draw a cock and balls on your face with a sharpie because you passed out. Being intoxicated is cool. Drinking until you pass out is uncool.

    Dudes are teaching you a lesson. I would not do it. Would not be a party to it if someone broached the subject. Would argue against it.

    But, dude, you drank yourself into oblivion. There should be consequences for ill-advised behavior. Just not permanent marker dick on your forehead consequences. Something less assholish. It’s college age bullshit.

    AJJ would never fly as #3. Too obscure. And Bonnette has a very distinct style of first person lyrically to go very extremely dark and weird. Normies do not get AJJ. The vibe and the intent.

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  176. de stijl says:

    “Hating you won’t make you suck any less”

    That’s damn solid life advice. One I struggled with. Letting go.

    The kicker later in the song:

    “Hating you won’t make *me* suck any less”

    Change the pronoun and it changes everything.

    I am down for self-criticism. Even self-hatred if it leads to positive change.

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  177. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    I don’t get offended over opinions rationally expressed (unless there’s some hidden hate motive.) My purpose in coming here is to have my ideas, proposals, etc… beaten up. This place is my beta testing ground, my red team, my whatever the current term of art is. I’m never after a win per se, I’m after the truth. (Or sometimes a laugh). Which sounds grandiose and self-serving, I grant, but is actually true.

    I’m just trying to figure things out. @wr, and the best way I know is basically to replay my days as a high school debater. (Cue: knowing eye roll). I propose, you shoot down. Or you propose, I shoot down. If we all try our hardest and fight fair, regardless of who prevails, we may just have ourselves a bit of truth. It’s trial by combat around the breakfast table. I’m pretty good at it, so if someone beats me it means something to me. If I just nodded along to avoid conflict what would I have? A comforting consensus?

    I come partly from a cliché loud Jewish family where everything was a cause of raging debate and combatants were regularly referred to as ‘you son of a bitch,’ but with a very self-aware sense that it was all a game we enjoyed and no one was really mad. When I was four I’d sit and listen to the adults, with their newspapers in hand, go at it over evolution, communism, race, history, the media etc… I have this vivid memory of a raging battle between Sam, my hard-ass, slumlord, used car dealer grandfather, and my mother, on evolution. Sam took her apart, and I knew it meant something. And some time later I have this lovely clear memory of Sam hiding a smile when I beat him in an argument, I don’t recall the topic, just a rush of OMG I just figured something out. Not, ‘I beat Sam,’ but OMG I just stumbled into something true.

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  178. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “It was more a “down with scolds of all varieties! Put them to the torch!” ”

    Works for me.

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  179. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “Banning plastic bags will make the problem less noticeable.”

    Yes, because plastic bag waste won’t be a problem. Solving one part of a problem is a good thing, not a bad one. It shows that solutions can work. You sound like one of those lefties who vote for Trump or Bush because they believe that things will get so bad that everyone will naturally come around to their way of thinking.

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