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. CSK says:

    But they were just a bunch of peaceful patriots, strolling through the Capitol building like any other group of normal, everyday tourists:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rioters-coordinated/

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  2. CSK says:

    Since multiple links seem to cause a problem, I’ll just note that http://www.thebulwark.com has three good pieces today by Charlie Sykes, Thomas Lecaque, and Mona Charen.

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  3. Scott says:

    Here in San Antonio, the Omicron virus is hitting the schools hard. In Northside ISD (100K students), there were 1360 staff absences with only 59% of classroom absences covered by substitutes. In North East ISD (60K) (my wife’s district), there 700 staff absences of which 400 were teachers and about 188 classrooms were not covered by substitutes.

    According the non profit hired to do testing in schools, the test positivity rate is at its highest since August. City wide the test positivity rate is 27%.

    Hospitalization, ICU, and Vent numbers are rising albeit much slower than infections. Thank goodness.

    Actually, I think the rates are higher. Unless you are feeling terrible or need to test for another reason, you won’t bother with a test. At this time of year, there are many ways to get the symptoms. Besides COVID, influenza A and B are circulating, RSV is making the scene. Mountain cedar and molds (which I always seem susceptible to) are high. Cold viruses are floating around.

    Good times to be had by all.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Seattle police exchanged detailed fake radio transmissions about a nonexistent group of menacing right-wing extremists at a crucial moment during the 2020 racial justice protests, an investigation by the city’s police watchdog group shows.

    The radio chatter about members of the Proud Boys marching around downtown Seattle, some possibly carrying guns and then heading to confront protesters on Capitol Hill was an improper “ruse”, or dishonest ploy, that exacerbated a volatile situation, the Seattle Times reported. That’s according to findings released Wednesday by the city’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA).
    …………………………
    Social media posts warning about the Proud Boys group by people monitoring police radio transmissions caused alarm in the protest zone.

    Though some people in the zone may have brought guns regardless of the chatter, the ruse “improperly added fuel to the fire,” Andrew Myerberg, director of the Office of Police Accountability, concluded.

    The 8 June radio chatter was part of an approved “misinformation effort” that police leaders knew about, according to Wednesday’s closed-case summary by Myerberg, which is now under review by police department leaders for disciplinary rulings. Fabricating the group of Proud Boys violated department policies, Myerberg determined.

    Now why would they poor gasoline on a raging fire?

    It appears unlikely, however, that anyone will face punitive actions. The two employees who ordered and supervised the misinformation effort and who Myerberg sustained allegations of policy violations against have left the department, according to the case summary.

    Myerberg didn’t sustain allegations of policy violations against four officers identified as having taken part in the chatter. The officers used poor judgment, but their supervisors were mostly to blame for failing to provide adequate supervision, Myerberg determined.

    Of course, “failing to provide adequate supervision”. It’s not their fault, they’re little more than children. When was the last time you got pulled over by a cop accompanied by adequate supervision?

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  5. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Perhaps I’m under-caffeinated, but I do not understand this at all. What was the hoped-for outcome of such a ruse? Did they think that would make people go home? (If so, they need additional studies of human nature.)

    Or was it for yucks and giggles?

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  6. Scott says:

    Another vaccination story that just pisses me off.

    How politicized has vaccination become? Thousands of U.S. troops are disobeying orders that they get shots

    The latest data from the military show that roughly 30,000 active-duty service members remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, despite a Defense Department mandate issued in August and deadlines that have passed.

    Their defiance of a military order is a striking illustration of how deeply politicized the pandemic has become in the United States.

    Meaning 1.4 million active duty members did their duty. Yet we still get these stupid articles about stupid, ignorant, unreliable, and unfit for duty servicemembers.

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  7. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Even post-coffee, I’m inclined toward “yucks and giggles.” Stupid, stupid, stupid.

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  8. grumpy realist says:

    In spite of the U.K.’s conviction that London will remain the financial centre of Europe even after Brexit, there’s more data coming in showing that it ain’t necessarily so.

    Snigger.

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  9. CSK says:

    Well, Ted Cruz is officially persona non grata in MAGA World now for referring to Jan. 6, 2021 as “a violent terrorist attack.”

    Only Trump stands between them and the Deep State.

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  10. Jax says:

    One of the Houston “anthrax” Q’s has passed on due to Covid.

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  11. Gustopher says:

    Reminder: if you make tater tots today, they are coup day tots.

    You are welcome.

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  12. Kathy says:

    Given the recent guilty verdicts ni the Holmes case, and the prospect she’ll spend over a decade behind bars* (after 2 to 4 more years free while on appeal perhaps), I wonder whether a Theranos fraud is still possible.

    I define it as founding a company based on an idea that would revolutionize a whole field and make boat loads of money, while having nothing at all to back it up, not even active research on implementing the idea.

    I can think of many, many revolutionary ideas: fusion at lower temperatures (not cold fusion, but at mere thousands of degrees, rather than stellar core temps), supersonic flight without a sonic boom and/or with fuel consumption just a smidgen above conventional subsonic jets (as measured per passenger mile), solar cells with 100% efficiency (or above, using quantum effects and making every photon impart energy twice!), a very durable EV battery that can be charged in under 5 minutes and deliver 750 kilometers of range for a family sedan.

    I cannot think of anything that would fool even stupid, credulous people for months, much less for years. eventually you have to produce a working reactor, a plane, a solar cell, or a battery.

    Ok, faking a solar cell would be easy. Just add external power, either concealed from observers or disguised as ancillary equipment. I can see how you’d be able to measure light vs output and declare it, depending on your tolerance fo hubris, 95% or 110% efficient.

    So how did Holmes manage it for so long?

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  13. JohnSF says:

    @grumpy realist:

    In spite of the U.K.’s conviction that London will remain the financial centre of Europe even after Brexit

    Well, more the Brexiters conviction.
    Most people with IQ exceeding room temperature are unsurprised that disconnection from, or best connection at the pleasure of the EU with no treaty rights, the EU regulatory systems for financial transactions, legal enforcements, data regulation etc would have this sort of effect.

    A lot of City firms have been busy shifting parts of their operations to EU centres. And have found that even then, they continue to be squeezed to relocate key functions and capital bookings to within the EU.

    Economist:

    In mid-2020 over 40% of euro swaps…were traded in London. That has plunged to below 10% …
    The Office for National Statistics estimates that financial-services exports to the EU in the second quarter of 2021 had fallen by 31%, or £2bn, compared with the same quarter in 2019. Those to the rest of the world had risen by 5%.

    A point often missed by the Leavers was that free movement of labour was a massive bonus for the UK. In many ways London was the largest single “multinational” city in Europe
    e.g. some pre-Brexit estimates were that London was the “sixth largest French city”
    It tapped massively into Europe-wide pools of top talent in finance, engineering, science, software, arts.
    When some Leavers say “we can gain this or that by condescending to offer some limited free movement” the European governments are amused.
    They have little interest in restoring a net loss.
    The Brexiters have believed their own bullshit about it being just about East European agricultural labourers and construction workers.
    (Or migrant asylum seekers, which was never an EU competency in the first place: asylum and refugees are a national reserved area)

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  14. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:
    OTB: The Punsters’ Paradise.

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  15. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:

    So how did Holmes manage it for so long?

    It was elementary, my dear Watson..

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  16. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    My, the jesting is fast and furious today, isn’t it?

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  17. CSK says:

    Peter Bogdanovich has died at 82. His daughter Antonia says it was natural causes.

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  18. Mu Yixiao says:

    BTW: Happy Epiphany, everyone.

    Tonight you may officially take down your Christmas decorations.

    (Bonus point to anyone who can name the 3 Kings without googling the answer!)

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  19. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: “I can’t reveal specifics because of IP considerations” + cute blonde + wild Silicon Valley enthusiasm + newspapers pushing the story + Holmes buying into her own hype and convincing herself that the technology breakthrough would happen Any Day Now (“it’s just a little lie and I’ll make it up to them later”)

    I noted early on that they didn’t have any analyses/reviews from the medical establishment. That was the red flag to me. All the rest was hype and self-delusion on the part of people who really should have known better. Remember cold fusion? This was cold fusion all over again, just with a Silicon Valley start-up and tech news reporting ecosystem wrapped around it.

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Sincere question: What is it about Cruz that causes Texans to vote for him repeatedly? And what does that say about Texans? I mean, this isn’t some fourth rate congressman representing a failing inner-city or rustbelt district, where hopelessness and mindless rage can cause people to vote for all sorts of losers. This is a whole state, a populous one, a successful one. Why do Texans want this angry clown as their representative to the whole country?

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  21. inhumans99 says:

    @grumpy realist: When I saw your post and before I went to your link, I said to myself that it was more likely that say, Germany was becoming the new financial hub for that part of the world, but Amsterdam being the location is close enough to Germany that I was on the right track.

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  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    I wonder whether a Theranos fraud is still possible

    My take? Absolutely. There is always these massive frauds surfacing, sometimes based on technology (there was a variant of the perpetual motion fraud a few years back that I think got up to 100’s of millions in investment) and sometimes purely financial (Bernie Madoff). If you get enough momentum the crowd of suckers just keeps building. I don’t see any fundamental changes to human nature on the horizon that would alter that.

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  23. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I think a lot of them vote for him because Cruz is the Republican candidate and they’re Republican voters. Come to think of it, the vast majority of them probably have that motivation. Even so, his victory over Beto O’Rourke in 2018 was fairly narrow.

    The fact that he’s personally repellent doesn’t help him, certainly.

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: Tangential question: How does a country benefit by having shares or swaps happen there?

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  25. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy:

    So how did Holmes manage it for so long?

    Big Lies are powerful things. The bigger the lie the more the suckers seek to avoid the awful truth they were suckered in by them. This one’s fatal flaw was the same one Bernie Madoff made though, stealing from wealthy people. That seldom ends well for the perp. Steal from poor people and with good lawyers you get off with reparations and a fine, like creating a fake university or something like that.

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  26. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: Plus we have in the Anglo-American culture the crappy idea that [sincerity] == [proof of truth].

    (I just finished a set of otherwise Z-grade fantasy novels where the heroine, who can detect when people are lying, gets herself constantly into trouble due to this. She keeps thinking that since someone has told her something he sincerely believes it’s automatically true.)

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  27. JohnSF says:

    @MarkedMan:
    For detail, best to ask a financial expert, which I certainly am not.
    That said, the basic benefit will be the companies doing the trades will be making money, which gets taxed (corporation tax, possibly stamp duty and VAT depending on the trade; again need expert here).
    And paying their staff, often quite a lot, which gets taxed.
    And the staff buy things, which gets taxed.
    And the companies people they buy from make money, and get paid, and buy stuff , which gets taxed…

    Of the bigger picture; as separating out swaps, and other trade types, is a bugger to do, and I’m lazy…
    Some stats and details here: The total tax contribution of UK financial services in 2020
    TL:DR – estimated 3% of the workforce (1.1m workers) and 10% of taxes.
    Also Financial services: contribution to the UK economy

    London as whole, which is massively focused on services, and the primary hub for such in the UK, generates about 25% of total UK “economy taxes” (income tax, land and property taxes, and VAT)
    In 2019, 40% of UK financial services exports went to the EU.
    The other major market is the US, also around 40%; rest of the world has the remainder.

    A good summary of potential impact on services sector as a whole of Brexit is The Impact of Brexit on UK Services.

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  28. JohnSF says:

    @MarkedMan:
    A secondary, but possibly beneficial effect could be the benefits to currency balances, market liquidity, and exchange rate strength, of the trades.
    But that would depend a lot on how they are denominated and booked.
    Again, really need an expert here, not my guesstimating.

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  29. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Trickle down.

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  30. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: Thanks. The taxes on the trading companies themselves makes total sense. I’m a little fuzzier on the benefits of staff location. To be honest, I’m a little surprised that companies still put staff where they trade. I thought it was all computers that actually executed the trades that required the milliseconds advantage that comes from proximity and just assumed that it wouldn’t matter where meat staff was located.

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  31. MarkedMan says:

    This is for EddieInCA: First, sorry to hear about the production difficulties. We have about 10-15% under quarantine and that’s bad enough. I can’t imagine what you your life was like over the past month as you struggled to keep it going.

    One question: I thought you had a mandatory vax policy, but you mentioned your unvaccinated people?

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  32. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Going with the Reynolds principle that there isn’t one motivation, I will say there was a strong component of scientific ignorance.

    That’s par for the course. See the fortunes made by the supplement industry. Therefore, it is not surprising. Including Tyler Schultz’s failure to get through to his grandfather despite holding all the evidence. it’s far easier to understand “they say you’re wrong,” than what proficiency tests are or why it matters how they are run.

    And yet, there was also a distinct lack of due diligence. Take Mattis. He must have known Theranos did not have any of its machines placed in Army medevac choppers, because he oversaw the attempts for the military to test them, and nothing, absolutely nothing, came off it. How did he not call someone high up and ask about it when Holmes claimed Army medics were using Theranos devices while flying injured soldiers off the battlefield?

    It just boggles the mind.

    Maybe I can sell shares on a 200% efficient solar cell.

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  33. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:
    As a character in a novel I read long ago said: “Sincerity of itself is no virtue.”

    I’m sure Hitler was sincere in his belief that Jews needed to be exterminated. I have no doubt the Klan sincerely lynched Black people.

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  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: Something’s hitting our schools here hard, too. I just got a call from the district informing me of a chance to take a “sort of” long-term job substituting on an as needed basis 5 days/week rotating buildings as openings happened at the district salary level I would hold as a full-time employee–a roughly 300% increase in pay. I told the district that I wasn’t interested–5 days a week is too much of a grind at my age and health–but it seemed clear to me that they want to “capture” as many substitutes who work more than one district as they can to work only for them for at least 2 months.

    Everything education is going to start being in short supply, but particularly people. Every class I taught this week (2 days) also had roughly 30% of the students absent. Sick, worried and staying home, capitalizing on the spike to skip? I dunno. But I’ve never seen absentee rates like this before–except on the day the sports team leaves early for an away game.

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  35. JohnSF says:

    @MarkedMan:
    It doesn’t matter so much to the company; it matters considerably to the employee; it really matters to the staff/ops host country (as opposed to the company host)
    Because that host is the one that gets the income tax, and the secondary and tertiary economic benefits.

    A lot of UK companies have been trying to keep their core staff and backroom ops located in London. Because a lot of employees are British and/or quite like being in London; because London has a massive gravitational pull of financial, legal and other services networks; because of sunk costs (and in some cases because UK taxes and regulations are more, *ahem*, flexible).

    But gradually EU countries are beginning to squeeze, insisting that staff and operations move as well, for reasons of regulatory compliance, legal jurisdictions, and data compliance.
    Nominally.
    In reality, because they want that sweet, sweet money.
    And why not?
    Now we are out, there’s bugger all we can do about it.

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  36. Jen says:

    I cannot wrap my head around who would do something like this. It’s…unreal. There really should be some kind of legal recourse when someone *knowingly* behaves like this.

    ‘I Am Just Horrified’: Family Says Grandma Died of COVID After Person Hid Positive Test

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  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Yeah. I commented on Cruz’s “awakening” on another post and am just as confused about it as anyone can be. What’s the game here? I thought that maybe he’s immunizing himself (pun intended) against charges arising out of Jan. 6, but Cruz, despite his name, isn’t brown enough to need to worry even if charges against people within the power structure were pending–which they’re not and are never going to be.

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  38. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: Yuks and giggles mixed with the hope of provoking a response that would have justified going in with force.

    Meanwhile, the CHAZ was basically a block party that didn’t stop. No more or less harmful than the Capitol Hill Block Party that they had every year in the before times, and less violent than the Folklife music festival.

    Anyway, it was further evidence of ACAB.

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  39. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    I think this is the kind of thing Jack McCoy called “depraved indifference to human life,” just before he successfully convicted someone of murder.

    Unfortunately that was fiction.

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  40. JohnSF says:

    If anyone is interested in the latest on events in Kazakhstan, I highly recommend Liveuamap’s twitter feed.
    Some recent post extracts:

    5 planes with Belarusian troops on CSTO mission have landed in Kazakhstan.

    Belarusian Ministry of Defense: SOF of 103rd Guards Airborne Brigade left for Kazakhstan as part of CSTO forces

    Units of the 45th brigade of the SOF of Russian Airborne Forces(Kubinka), airborne troops from Ivanovo and Ulyanovsk were sent to Kazakhstan as part of the CSTO forces. First units have already arrived on the ground – Russian Defense Ministry

    Number of troops of the CSTO in Kazakhstan will be at 2.5 thousand,- said the Secretary General of the organization Stanislav Zas. – If necessary, the number of troops can be increased.

    Military transport aviation arrives in Ulyanovsk to load the 31st separate guards air assault brigade

    And, of course they do:

    Russia considers events in Kazakhstan as an external-inspired attempt to violently undermine the security and integrity of the state – Russian Foreign Ministry

    And this is so considerate:

    Taliban calls for calm in Kazakhstan

    And it looks like Erdogan has picked his side:

    Turkey believes Kazakhstan will overcome the current issues and that the Turkish government is ready to provide any assistance if needed.

    (Turkey has considerable involvement in the Central Asian states: Turkmen language is very closely related to Turkish; mutually intelligible)

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  41. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: One or both of my kids have been sick in a continuous cycle since Thanksgiving, and none of the illnesses have been Covid. The oldest is so sick of being sick, she’s asked to go back to virtual school this next semester. The youngest has been sick since school got out for Christmas break, and she’s missed all of this week because of an RSV related cold. If she didn’t struggle so badly with virtual school, I’d consider taking her out, too.

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  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Indeed. If people think they want it, and you say you are building it, they will come.

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  43. Joe says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Melchior, Balthazar and Caspar – no Google; but numerous listenings to Amahl and the Night Visitors.

    I am stunned that Kathy did not beat me to this.

    Happy Epiphany!

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  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: “How did [Mattis] not call someone high up and ask about it when Holmes claimed Army medics were using Theranos devices while flying injured soldiers off the battlefield?”

    Because he stood (as an insider) to come out however the product turned out so stopped thinking about it? Because he was too busy with other things to follow this very small piece of his whole life? Because he didn’t GAF? Lots of available explanations.

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  45. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’ve noticed many scams involving complex things explained in “simple” terms that leave out all relevant information. Technology and finance qualify.

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  46. JohnSF says:

    @inhumans99:
    Paris and Frankfurt are the big general banking and trading rivals; Amsterdam is specializing in share trading; Switzerland and Luxembourg are big in private banking and hedge funds.
    Dublin is trying hard to pick up “English speaking” markets business e.g. European operations services for US companies.

    As London is second only to New York in the global finance rankings, any losses are a sizable meal for any other European city.

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  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: WA! I’m so sorry for you and your kids. Schools are petri dishes in the best of times–especially winter times–and this ain’t no best of times situation. And I feel for your youngest. I’ve tried remote learning and it just doesn’t work for me (in addition to it being sort of a cash cow for some universities by offering people classes knowing that as many as 90% of the students won’t finish the class, but we won’t bring that up now). Remote is hard for some of us. The kids it works for come out pretty good though, just like homeschooling. The real goal (and trick) to the whole schooling thing is getting your kid into a setting in which the kid will thrive if said kid has needs (of any kind whatsoever) beyond the norm. Add that smaller towns have fewer total services for students…

    Good luck. Keep taking care of your kids and you.

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  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Joe: I only had Melchior but have only played a suite from “Amahl” once in junior high school. (It was a year of a perfect storm–a flautist and violinist who were both section leaders in All State Orchestra with an equally strong cohort (just not quite All State level, but several were All City) of other musicians and Ellie O’Brien and me, not competitive, but good enough on oboe (me) and bassoon to not embarrass the others. I don’t know why (actually I suspect that I do), but I’ve never watched the opera.

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  49. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It isn’t just Mattis, but the whole effing board that failed to do any kind fo governance (ut then, look at the current times). Also, why would anyone invest tens of millions in a fantasy?

    The last isn’t rhetorical, I’ve some suspicions.

    Take Rupert Murdoch (and keep him!) He invested around $140 million. More important, he owned the Wall Street Journal, where Carreyrou published his expose. He could have killed the story (not so simple, I know, but he didn’t even try). When the implosion came, he sold his shares back to Theranos for $1 and got a tax write off on his investment.

    So, that’s one reason.

    Another is the IPO. many venture capitalists who pour millions into tech companies, sell all or most of their shares at IPO time, at a very tidy profit. It takes time to get to an IPO, as well as lots of publicity and some kind of working product. Theranos was short the last, but imagine if it had gotten to an IPO.

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  50. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’ll repeat here what I said on the other thread: My guess is that Cruz realizes that if Trump runs Cruz has no chance against him in 2024, and is trying to see if he can bring him down early. If the Dump Trump movement doesn’t pick up steam he will revert to his ass kissing self, secure in the knowledge that Trump is always willing to accept ass kissers back into the fold.

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  51. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    the whole effing board that failed to do any kind of governance.

    But the board was a sham. It was not a serious board in any vein. No one knew medical devices or Pharma. It was a board picked for their names and marketability, not for any real expertise. In addition to the infamous George Schultz:

    At one point, Theranos’s board also included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; former Defense Secretary William Perry; former senators Sam Nunn and William Frist; Richard Kovacevich, a former chief executive officer of Wells Fargo & Co.; William Foege, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control; Gary Roughead, a former U.S. Navy admiral; Riley P. Bechtel, a former board chairman of Bechtel Group Inc., and James Mattis, a former U.S. Marine Corps general who later served as a defense secretary in the Trump administration.

    Kovacevich has a business background, but as you might remember, during his reign Wells Fargo was in the business of committing fraud against their customers. Riley Bechtel is the other businessman on their, but Bechtel the company is primarily defense and government contracting based and Riley isn’t the guy who built it, rather, just a son. On top of that he had to step down due to Parkinson’s, so was in declining physical and perhaps mental health. William Foege has a medical connection but it was in public health. Nothing to do with device development, nothing to do with FDA clearance, nothing to do with anything that would benefit Theranos purported mission.

    There isn’t anyone on the board who had the remotest idea what it takes to bring a medical device to market. That can’t have been an accident.

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  52. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: It’s culture war today, culture war tomorrow, culture war forever.

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  53. flat earth luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Now why would they poor gasoline on a raging fire?

    Things may be different there now, but when I lived there, SPD’s standard response to “Why” was along the lines of “Why the FQCK not?” @Gustopher will know better than I if that response has tempered in the 40 years since I left.

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  54. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    To me this says sublime indifference, or dereliction of duty. If I were to oversee something I know nothing about, I’d ask plenty of questions and seek advice from outside experts.

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  55. Kathy says:

    @Joe:

    I must have missed it.

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  56. Kathy says:

    Hey, good news for a change. Registration is open for a booster dose for those 40 and older. No idea when I’ll get it or what I’ll get, but this saves me a trip to the border.

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  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @flat earth luddite: Considering that the guy SPD sent as an “expert” in conflict told a crowd of several hundred that he deescalates conflicts by drawing his service revolver and shoving it in the suspect’s face during his keynote address (IIRC) a few years back, I would guess not much has changed. 😉

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  58. Just nutha ignint crackerd says:

    @Kathy: “If I were to oversee something I know nothing about, I’d ask plenty of questions and seek advice from outside experts.”

    Which is why people like you (and me, as far as that goes) don’t get selected to serve on boards. Boards don’t “oversee” most of the time; they merely get paid a lot more than the Raider Girls get to cheerlead.

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  59. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: for the solar cell idea, insist that you’ve got nanostructured surfaces which allow for the capture of 100% of the photons. Oh, and a very special GaAs superlattice structure incorporating nanotubes which allows the device to act like a quantum computer as well. Say “obviously Bell’s theorem shows….” When someone looks at you sideways about the 200% efficiency claim mention “tapping into zero-point vacuum energy” and “the Casimir effect”. And insist you’ve obviously got really, really strong intellectual property protection because you’ve filed “for a provisional patent!”

    (….you can probably tell the sort of stuff I end up having to beat my head against. Daily.)

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  60. Gustopher says:

    @grumpy realist: Most solar panels reflect the photons away, so they only get one photon bounce for power — this revolutionary design uses a fractal reflective pattern to capture the photons, getting an average of up to 6.02 bounces before escape (which is close to a theoretical maximum of e times pi). With a 14% drop off in energy per bounce (and an accompanying red shift in the photons frequency), we’re still talking an initial 523% increase in power generation. Admittedly, that drops to about 400% due to the heating of the air creating lensing effects — actual percentage varies with barometric pressure and humidity.

    Obviously there is a provisional patent, etc., an attractive blonde, and some old white men in lab coats.

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