Tuesday’s 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


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Spanish police and FBI seize superyacht in Mallorca linked to Putin ally

    Took a tour boat around the bay of Palma on our last visit there. A whole lot of obscenities at anchor there. This from the article caught my eye:

    Before the US sanctions Vekselberg had resettled his family in the US, and he had tried to cultivate close ties with American politicians. He attended Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president in January 2017, and was a board member on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the US’s top universities.

    Respectability, for sale to the highest bidder.

  2. CSK says:

    Lauren Boebert can’t spell…Mickey Mouse. She renders it “Micky Mouse.”

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    How far-right figures like Ammon Bundy cause chaos in US politics

    But Bundy has adapted to new times in US politics as the Republican party has lurched right under the influence of Donald Trump, and far-right militia groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have dominated headlines, including after the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Bundy, however, has attracted far less attention as he built up a state-by-state-level, cell-like network that can host dinners to create a sense of community but also produce on-demand protesters.

    Bundy’s People’s Rights Network aims to form a coalition of militia members, anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, preppers and other far-right travelers. Its size eclipses most far-right groups put together. And many experts see it as a real threat to democracy.

    “They’ve repeatedly shown an ability to mobilize large number of armed far-right activists to threaten, harass, and intimidate public officials,” said Devin Bernhardt, director of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, a non-profit that monitors the far right.

    While 2021 saw a retreat for many of the national far-right groups as they came under intense scrutiny from law enforcement, People’s Rights Network grew last year by 53%. Today it has 33,000 members across 38 states, according to a report from the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights.

    If you aren’t worried, you aren’t paying attention.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: My wife goes by Micky. She would take great exception to that.

  5. CSK says:

    Yes, but Lauren wasn’t referring to your wife.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: That wouldn’t matter anymore than it does when people spell her name Mickey.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    New York is accustomed to high-profile trials, the details picked over like canapés at a cocktail party. But the trial of Lawrence “Larry” Ray, on federal charges of sex trafficking, extortion and conspiracy has caused revulsion and horror, and raised troubling questions that go far beyond criminal justice. Over the past three weeks, jurors have heard how Ray, 62, spent years psychologically manipulating and abusing college students who were roommates of his own daughter at the prestigious liberal arts college Sarah Lawrence.

    Ray’s methods echo the abuse described in other notorious recent cases such as the Nxivm sex cult and the Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking cases. It certainly rivals them for allegations of abuse of the victims. The court heard how one graduate, Claudia Drury, was forced to prostitute herself to pay the ex-convict Ray $2.5m in compensation for what prosecutors call their imagined crimes against him.
    During opening statements, Ray’s defense attorney compared the case to Alice in Wonderland, urging jurors to travel “through the looking-glass” and invited them to view the defendant and the students as a group of “storytellers”.

    The danger for prosecutors in the case, says Murphy, is that the level of alleged abuse is in a sense unbelievable, because it is outside the realm of most people’s experience. “We can get unjust results in cases like this, because the horror of it all makes ordinary jurors who don’t have any understanding so uncomfortable that they have to psychologically distance themselves so it feels OK. They have a tendency to disbelieve, because its so painful to accept the reality. It can be tremendously unfair to victims,” she said.

    I don’t doubt it for a second. Denial is not a river in Egypt.

    In 1995 Ray met Bernie Kerik, an NYPD officer who had risen from being Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s driver to the director of the New York City department of corrections’ investigations division. Ray was best man at Kerik’s wedding, drove Mikhail Gorbachev around town on a trip to New York, and travelled to Kosovo, allegedly to buy US-supplied Stinger missiles back before they fell into Russian hands.

    He became an FBI informant, duping the agency with promises of informing on the mafia in what would turn out to be a cover for his own involvement in mafia-related stock manipulations. In 2015, he worked as a bodyguard for Donald Trump.


    By then, Ray’s alleged prostitution ring was in operation. “He was mind-screwing these kids to the max,” Kerik said after Ray’s arrest. “He was just a sick dude.”

    During the trial, the US attorney’s office accidentally released an unredacted list of 121 clients from across all walks of life in New York’s social elite, including – allegedly – a retired state judge, a well-known architect, a successful artist and senior financial figures. Soon after, Ray claimed to be ill and was wheeled out of court on a stretcher for the second time since his trial started.

    What do you want to bet trump got some off the books action from his former body guard?

  8. CSK says:

    Well, he only hires the best people. He’s said so himself. Many times.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Capitol attack rioter gets 3.5 years in prison for illegal possession of guns

    For years, Fisher established a prolific online presence, the authorities said. Under the alias Brad Holiday, Fisher posted photos of himself with firearms on Facebook and YouTube. In one, Fisher posed in front of a flag that said “Don’t tread on Trump. Keep America great” while grinning and holding a pistol.

    “Can’t wait to bring a liberal back to this freedom palace,” he wrote as his caption. Behind him was a rifle and a shotgun.

    Fisher was also a self-declared dating coach who sold a $150 package of misogynistic supposed tips and tricks for men to pick up women, called “Attraction Accelerator”, the New York Times reported. “How to use online dating to build abundance of women! Never feel that you can’t get women again…with online dating you’ll ALWAYS be getting laid,” his website said.

    In a video posted online, Fisher said, “Is Satanism a good thing? Should we conjure demons to get our goals met like the Left does?”

    He added: “Are women trustworthy in 2020? You tell me. I’ll tell you, No.”

    Just a peach of a guy.

  10. Scott says:

    If Judge Barrett is so concerned about being seen as political, maybe she shouldn’t be making speeches at political venues or participate in political events like her White House celebration of her confirmation.

    With divisive Supreme Court rulings coming, Barrett says: ‘Read the opinion’

    Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett said Monday that judges are not deciding cases to impose a “policy result,” but are making their best effort to determine what the law and the Constitution require.

    In a nation splintered by partisanship and wracked by incivility, Barrett in remarks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library appeared to acknowledge that expected court decisions on reproductive rights and gun control would be seen through a political lens and lead to division. She urged Americans to “read the opinion” and consider the court’s reasoning before making judgments about the outcome.

  11. Michael Cain says:

    Hurricane-force wind gusts forecast for this afternoon. Good that I had to make the scheduled drive down to Denver yesterday :^)

  12. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We have similar “just peachy” guys.

    ‘Weedaholic’ from San Antonio pleads guilty for role in Capitol riot

    A self-proclaimed “weedaholic” from San Antonio has pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor for his role in the Capitol riot.

    Chance Uptmore, 25, pleaded to illegally parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol, one of four charges he had faced in Washington, D.C., in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

    Uptmore still faces trial next week in Texas over pot, psychedelic mushrooms and a gun that were found at his San Antonio home during a raid in which FBI agents investigated him and his father for the Capitol case.

    After identifying the Uptmores from news and social media videos, FBI agents searched their San Antonio home and found several drug-related items that included 16 pounds of marijuana and various THC products, one-third of a pound of psilocybin mushrooms and a loaded, .38 caliber revolver

    Uptmore told agents he smokes a “ton” of marijuana, and then uses the mushrooms “for micro-dosing . . . it helps you get into a flow state,”

    “The Defendant further stated that he smokes ‘hash rosin,’ also known as ‘dab,’ in the morning because it does not leave a strong taste in the mouth, but it is too expensive to use all the time,” the pleading said. “The Defendant characterized himself as ‘mainly a blunt smoker’ who smokes ‘5 to 10 blunts a day, sometimes more.”

    Uptmore also estimated that he spends approximately “$1,000 per month” on drug use and describes himself as a “weedaholic”

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: They’re everywhere. We had a father daughter duo from the small town closest to us get arrested. I forget what charges they were faced with.

  14. Neil Hudelson says:


    16 pounds of marijuana

    Three quarters of an ounce a day. The heaviest stoners I know go through 1/8-1/4 of an ounce a week.

  15. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Three quarters of an ounce a day. The heaviest stoners I know go through 1/8-1/4 of an ounce a week.

    When I was in HS, a kid got busted with 10lbs of weed in a grocery bag in his locker. This was back in the days when you could use tobacco on campus, so he just used it as chew. He was continually stoned all day long, and nobody noticed. 😀

  16. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Is anyone else amused that the jack-assery caucus (Cruz, Hawley, Graham, and especially Blackburn of TN) stood against Justice-to-be-Jackson based on trumped up charges of going easy on pedophilia…at the very same time the State of Tennessee is passing a law that would legalize child marriage?

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Amused? No. Not surprised either.

  18. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    ‘Weedaholic’ from San Antonio pleads guilty for role in Capitol riot

    I have gotten high almost every day for the last 50 years.
    I have a masters degree, am a licensed white collar professional, and earn in the 92nd percentile.
    There is no such thing as a “weedaholic.”
    There is, however, such a thing as a “dumb-ass.”

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The plot was worthy of a Dan Brown thriller – two Charles Darwin manuscripts worth millions of pounds reported as stolen from Cambridge University library after being missing for two decades.

    The disappearance prompted a worldwide appeal with the help of the local police force and Interpol. Now, in a peculiar twist, the notebooks – one of which contains Darwin’s seminal 1837 Tree of Life Sketch – have been anonymously returned in a pink gift bag, with a typed note on an envelope wishing a happy Easter to the librarian.

    The bag was left on the floor of a public area of the library outside the librarian’s office on the fourth floor of the 17-storey building on 9 March, in an area not covered by CCTV. Who left them and where they had been remains a mystery.

    Dr Jessica Gardner, who became director of library services in 2017 and who reported the notebooks as stolen to police, described her joy at their return as “immense”. “My sense of relief at the notebooks’ safe return is profound and almost impossible to adequately express,” she said. “I, along with so many others, all across the world, was heartbroken to learn of their loss.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’ve got more than few friends who imbibe on a semi regular/regular basis. A couple may even partake more than is healthy for them. Still doesn’t make them addicted.

  21. Kathy says:


    At the library one slow day:

    “Hey, how about we hide these Darwin manuscripts and see how long it is until someone notices?”

  22. CSK says:

    In a move that will shock and surprise absolutely no one, Trump is trying to rewrite his own history:


  23. Sleeping Dog says:

    From a comment on Charlie Sykes column at the Bulwark.

    Shawn36 min ago
    So, can we finally call Russia what it is? A fascist state? Because all the quibbling over what ‘fascism’ looks like, I feel like we can call a spade a spade. The guy is waging ethnic genocide against a state on behalf of a national volk. He’s more of a fascist than even Franco, and that’s amazing. Putin’s Russia looks more like Nazi Germany than ever, even if we consider Nazism to be distinctly German. Maybe we need a new word to talk about this sort of ethnic genocide going on on behalf of a mythical Russian empire.

    One thing that I fear most is that, as the right in America becomes more pro-Putin, and I expect they will as their screeds against the lgbtq+ community grow, that we’re going to get a bunch of Americans going ‘yeah we need to do the same thing here.’

    Long ago I tired of the, but that’s not really fascism argument, when someone walked and talked like a fascist. The argument would drag out tropes that had the effect of saying that unless the accused in the 21st century wasn’t exactly in line with Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, it wasn’t fascism. Those arguments have the legitimacy of papist debates on how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. This isn’t to say that the accusation of fascism hasn’t been used too loosely. Neither Reagan, nor G. W. Bush are fascists, no matter how repulsive their politics and programs were. TFG, on the other hand…

  24. Sleeping Dog says:
  25. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Alas, your friend wasted (cheap) weed. THC has to be decarboxylated–heat treated–before it has psychogenic effects on one’s system.


    The addictiveness of marijuana was oversold by the war-on-drugs folks for decades. Now the talking point is that weed isn’t addictive at all, which is also not true. I know more than a few people who do not have self control when they are around weed–if it’s in their home, it’s going to be smoked daily. When they don’t have it for a few days, they get irritable, sometimes a headache. All classic symptoms of withdrawal from an addictive substance. And it’s not just anecdote–while studies on long term weed users are frustratingly few, they do exist and more and more are coming out. What those studies are finding is that, indeed, a small part of the population can become dependent on weed, and experience withdrawal symptoms when they do not have it.

    Where weed is different is that when my friend quit nicotine, he became a rage monster whom no one could be around for more than a few minutes. It lasted months. When he quit weed he had a headache for a day, a loss of appetite for a couple of days, was fidgety and bored for a week. Probably quitting caffeine is a worse experience than quitting weed.

  26. CSK says:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene announced this morning via Twitter that Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney are pro-pedophile because they voted in favor of Ketanji Brown Jackson.

  27. Jen says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I’ll say at the outset that I never plan on doing this, but I am curious as to why the step of oven-toasting is necessary when infusing butter. The heat point of clarified butter is around 250 degrees, which is near enough to the 240 degrees that the link you posted says is necessary to decarboxylate.

  28. Lounsbury says:

    Of relevance to the interests here The Phoney War: Not the woke, but Carlson-Corbyn conspiracies are remaking politics.

    Whether evangelical Christian or hard left communist, both elements have an ideological and contested view of the world which sees evil forces vying with good in an almost never-ending battle for control.

    Be they forces of secularism/modernism for the populist right or globalism/capitalism for the populist left, they cast the world as one dominated by evil elites. These elites have deprived the populists of their just place in their societies and stacked the system against them, leaving the populist right and populist left in relative economic decline (which they are) in comparison to the favoured globalist communities. Be it poor white areas in the Midwest which suffer from mass addiction and economic deprivation in comparison to the shiny coastal cities of California and the Northeast, or the areas of northern England where well-paid employment has plummeted in comparison to the roaring success of London, the feeling of being left behind and belittled is very real.

    This unmooring and recombining of political understanding has led to the Carlson-Corbyn axis. In the US, its most vocal leader is the very popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson. It also has a European front including such populists as Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orban and Boris Johnson. On the left it includes not only both the Corbynites of the political and anti-vax ideologies, it has adherents in the Melenchon backers in France and Die Linke supporters in Germany.

  29. Beth says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    The addictiveness of marijuana was oversold by the war-on-drugs folks for decades. Now the talking point is that weed isn’t addictive at all, which is also not true.

    This always frustrates me. My mom was/is addicted to weed. I doubt she goes a day without self medicating herself into oblivion, just like my dad did with alcohol. Trying to explain this to most people is frustrating and pointless. I constantly get “no its not addictive” screeched back at me. Trying to explain that her substance abuse led to part of my PTSD and absolute refusal to touch the stuff just gets me crazier looks.

  30. Scott says:

    @CSK: Personally, I would pay to see Lisa Murkowski do a Will Smith on MTG.

  31. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    I haven’t read those studies, but from where I sit what you describe sounds more like the discomfort of dropping a bad habit rather than trying to kick an addiction.
    People who meditate or practice yoga or exercise regularly or masturbate would probably suffer similar effects.
    I guess you could identify all of those things as addictions. So let’s say that there is a spectrum, and marijuana is at the near-zero end of the range.

  32. CSK says:

    Especially since Greene is good buddies with Matt Gaetz, who seems to have an unfortunate proclivity for very young girls.

  33. Michael Reynolds says:

    Physical addiction usually has withdrawal symptoms. I smoke a cigar or two every day. Go on vacation and don’t smoke for weeks with zero withdrawal. Same with weed. Same with alcohol. I mean, I prefer a world where I can smoke a cigar and a joint and drink whiskey, but it’s not an addiction.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: She’s not old enough to have heard the song:


  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And in much the same way, he wouldn’t want his name misspelled either. Thus, the catchy song to help people remember. As a big Hollywoodland star, he has a lot of leverage in such matters.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    Drum has a chart up comparing the murder rate in all fifty states. It completely reinforces my stereotype of red states as violent sewers full of open-carry loons and militia man-boys.

  37. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yes, she is.

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    if it’s in their home, it’s going to be smoked daily.

    I don’t remember the guy’s name anymore–IIRC, he was a star Portland during the “Jailblazers” era–who on a TV news interview proclaimed he didn’t have a cocaine problem because he could afford all the blow he was shoving up his nose. The “weed isn’t addictive” argument is based on similar theories/viewpoints.

    That being said. People will believe what they want. About God, about weed, about lots of stuff.

  39. Beth says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Sure, but it doesn’t sound like you are using those things to medicate undealt with trauma or a blanket refusal to deal with reality. I also doubt you would suggest that there are no alcohol addicts? The fact that the vast majority of people can use a substance without addiction does not mean that there are some people who, for various reasons, will become addicted.

    Just to stake out my position a little more bluntly, I am an anti-cannabis, lets say “nutjob”. I don’t like it, don’t want to be around it. That being said, I think adults should be able to use most substances they want to in order to make their lives more enjoyable, for whatever reason. Hell, I’ve found some stuff to add sparkle to my life. I just make sure I am intentional and responsible about my use. I also keep my mouth shut (for the most part) about my hatred of pot.

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Well then maybe her family was one of those “television is a Satanic tool to enslave the minds of the young” families. I can’t explain why she wouldn’t know the song and am not willing to accept the idea that the good citizens of whatever state she comes from would elect an illiterate buffoon to high office.

    I also will refuse to defend the good Representative if people from her state choose to correct my assumptions about their fellow electors. Balance in everything.

  41. Kathy says:

    So, about the stolen commercial airplanes in Russia…

    The situation is growing complicated. Most leased planes have been registered in Russia, not following the usual procedures. Still, if they’re flown outside of the Putin Empire, they can be repossessed. So for now they mostly don’t fly abroad. And of course there’s no way for lessors to send crews to repossess the planes inside Mad Vlad’s realm.

    Some lessors have begun to request payments from their insurers. Insurance companies, as we all know, don’t show much enthusiasm at paying out money. Expect weeks if not months of negotiations.

    If/when the insurers pay, the lessors won’t care anymore who has the planes. But the insurers will. After all, they can now repossess the planes and sell them (possibly to the same lessors they paid), in order to recoup their losses.

    We’re talking large amounts here. Insurers don’t pay off claims on whole fleets rather than on individual planes which are damaged or destroyed or stolen. So I’d expect the insurers, if they pay, will do it on installments over months or years. If/when they can recover some aircraft, they’d be returned to the lessors as payment in kind, or in lieu of payments owed.

  42. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Hey, Lauren’s an educated person. She got her GED at age…34.

    She’s especially good with the English language; she claims her favorite pronoun is “Patriot.”

  43. Neil Hudelson says:


    I think the point of decarbing it by itself is just quality control. You may be using veg oil instead of butter, or vodka to make a tincture, and wouldn’t have a visual queue that the flower has reached a high enough temperature.

    If you threw weed into butter and then clarified the butter–ensuring everything got up to 250 degrees or so–you probably wouldn’t have a problem.

    I find it all way too much work. If, as a parent of two toddlers in a prohibition state, I’m lucky enough to somehow come across some weed, why would I waste hours cooking butter, then brownies, then wait another hour+ for it to take effect, when I could just roll a joint in a minute?

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I haven’t read those studies, but from where I sit what you describe sounds more like the discomfort of dropping a bad habit rather than trying to kick an addiction.

    Headaches are usually a sign of physical withdrawal, not habit breaking, ditto loss of appetite and a few other markers. Addiction withdrawal, like addiction itself, is on a spectrum. Withdrawal from heavy alcohol dependency can itself kill you. Withdrawal from heroine is supposedly just the worst hell to go through. Withdrawal from caffeine is usually irritability and a headache–but make no mistake, it’s withdrawal.

    In many ways, this all reinforces the pro-legalization argument.

    Alcohol: very addictive when compared to other additive drugs. Dependency often is life destroying. Behavior while addictive is ruinous. Quitting can also be literally life destroying.

    Tobacco: very addictive when compared to other addictive drugs. Use is incredibly harmful to health, including long term damage that remains after quitting. Quitting often turns you into a monster for a month or two.

    Weed: addiction is very rare, though exists. Dependency generally annoys people around you, but doesn’t ruin one’s life. Very, very little long term health side effects that we know of (rare cases of COPD, but not much else). If you are one of the rare addicts, quitting is a minor discomfort for a few days.

  44. Jen says:

    I have no withdrawal symptoms when I stop drinking (something I do periodically, usually to try and drop a few pounds), but alcoholics can suffer such bad withdrawal they end up in the hospital. There are some who take pain medication after surgery and stop with no issues, others become addicted.

    Some people get addicted to substances that alter mood, whether it’s alcohol or pain meds or weed. Others don’t.

  45. grumpy realist says:

    Also there’s some evidence that smoking weed during one’s younger years (teenage) can have physical effects on the brain if one’s genetic make-up predisposes one that way.

    We still really don’t know much about the brain and how it works. My own feeling is that our present mental health technology (pharmaceuticals et al.) is still at the level of doing surgery with a meat axe.

    And the number of people with mental health problems who have ended up going into psychology themselves is distressing. OK if you’ve been cured, otherwise you’re just spreading your crap out to a population of unfortunately very vulnerable people. (I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard about therapists who are exhibiting narcissistic or other Cluster-B traits.)

  46. JohnSF says:

    Some news from Europe:
    European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen announced that Hungary will face proceedings under the Commission’s authority to cut funding to countries that breach EU lawfulness standards.

    Czech Republic sends c.50 T72 M4CZ tanks to Ukraine.
    Soviet T72 but with major Czech upgrades to NATO combat standard.

    EU announces new Russian sanctions package to be put to a Council vote:
    Banning imports of coal, wood, chemicals
    Further export bans including semiconductors, computers, hydrocarbon production plant, other electrical and transport equipment.
    Russian ships and trucks to be denied any access to the EU.
    Ban all transactions with VTBank and another three Russian banks.
    Dozens more individuals to be added to the EU sanctions list.
    (A lot of these have already been implemented by various countries, but will now become all-EU rules)

    Still no proposals to cut oil and gas imports EU wide though.
    Though again, some countries have already implemented full or partial bans.

  47. Scott says:

    @JohnSF: Adjacent news.

    Defense Production Act Title III Presidential Determination for Critical Materials in Large-Capacity Batteries

    On March 31, 2022, the president signed a determination permitting the use of Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III authorities to strengthen the U.S. industrial base for large-capacity batteries. With this action, the president gave the Department of Defense (DoD) the authority to increase domestic mining and processing of critical materials for the large-capacity battery supply chain.

    The United States depends on unreliable foreign sources for many of the strategic and critical materials necessary for the clean energy transition, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese used in large-capacity batteries. Demand for such materials is projected to increase exponentially as the world transitions to a clean energy economy.

    The DPA Title III authorities enables DoD to undertake actions, including but not limited to, feasibility studies and modernization projects for mature mining, benefication, and value-added processing projects to increase productivity, environmental sustainability, and workforce safety. It also allows for by-product and co-product production at existing mining, mine waste reclamation, and other industrial facilities.

  48. Gustopher says:

    @Jen: People get addicted to gambling (the experience creates chemicals in the brain, and the addition is really more to that chemical cycle). Is weed more or less addictive than gambling?

    It’s definitely cheaper. Shifting gambling addicts to weed might be an effective harm-reduction strategy.

  49. Kathy says:

    I made the mistake of binging on Severance, and now I have to wait until Friday for the season finale.

    The show raises some interesting questions. I don’t think of any practical or real application, given the premise is absolutely impossible, but very interesting to think about, and offering many possibilities for ramifications which could be used in other types of stories.

    That aside, and spoiler free, I’ve a question: what do the severed employees do for lunch?

  50. JohnSF says:

    Meanwhile, UK government continues to have its head firmly in the sand.
    Leading UK semiconductor manufacturer Newport Wafer Fab sale to Dutch subsidiary of Chinese company, Wingtech will not be halted.
    Appeals had been made to block on national security grounds.

  51. Beth says:


    Egg bar?

    Seriously though, it’s probably something absurd and brutal, like bologna on white bread with mayo sandwiches.

  52. Jen says:

    @Gustopher: I have no idea if gambling is more or less addictive than weed (I am also left wondering about variations, such as hashish, to which I have seen addiction referenced).

    Gambling is not my thing, it stresses me out to even watch people at a casino.

  53. Kathy says:


    Too sporadic.

    I don’t think they eat lunch. Not because we’ve never seen them do so (remember, we never saw bathrooms on the Enterprise), but because different departments would mix and clearly that’s sacrilegious.

  54. Beth says:


    Yeah. Something about that scene made me really want deviled eggs. I don’t know why. I’m sure those were like paste, saw dust and food coloring, but they looked really tasty.

    Anyway, wasn’t there like at least one scene when they were in the like kitchenette and they were eating. I thought that was implied to be lunchtime. I had to rewrite that after I wrote “breakroom” and shuddered.

  55. Kathy says:


    Problem with binging is I tend to miss details. I recall a table scene, but I think the only time I saw food, other than the various “parties,” was from the vending machine.

  56. Jen says:

    A congressional candidate in New Hampshire allegedly voted in both the NH and NJ presidential primaries in 2016.

    Anyone want to guess which party he belongs to?

  57. Gustopher says:

    @Jen: Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party?

    Lock him up! Lock him up!