Tuesday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    How We Made: Airplane!

    When we were auditioning for the “jive talk” sequence, the script just read: “Shi-mo-fo.” We apologised to the actors saying that was the best three white Jewish guys from Milwaukee could do. Al White and Norm Gibbs auditioned together and said: “Do you mind if we do our own thing?” We didn’t write any of that, it was all them. They also coached Barbara Billingsley, the passenger who steps in to translate.

    ETA: I wonder if they got paid extra for the writing and coaching?

  2. Kit says:


    Randy: Can I get you something?
    Second Jive Dude: ‘S’mofo butter layin’ me to da’ BONE! Jackin’ me up… tight me!
    Randy: I’m sorry, I don’t understand.
    First Jive Dude: Cutter say ‘e can’t HANG!
    Jive Lady: Oh, stewardess! I speak jive.
    Randy: Oh, good.
    Jive Lady: He said that he’s in great pain and he wants to know if you can help him.
    Randy: All right. Would you tell him to just relax and I’ll be back as soon as I can with some medicine?
    Jive Lady: [to the Second Jive Dude] Jus’ hang loose, blood. She gonna catch ya up on da rebound on da med side.
    Second Jive Dude: What it is, big mama? My mama no raise no dummies. I dug her rap!
    Jive Lady: Cut me some slack, Jack! Chump don’ want no help, chump don’t GET da help!
    First Jive Dude: Say ‘e can’t hang, say seven up!
    Jive Lady: Jive-ass dude don’t got no brains anyhow! Shiiiiit.

  3. Bill says:

    The headline of the day-

    Gobble gobble: Pac-Man turns 40

  4. Bill says:
  5. Teve says:
  6. Teve says:

    Some speculated that Trump’s 2016 victory might constitute one last, desperate, gasp for this demographic coalition. If that were the case, the trade-off might be worth it—especially if it bought time for the GOP to adapt.

    Some thought the answer was to rebrand the GOP into a working-class party that included working-class Hispanics. But Trump chose to fan the flames of racial division, which also served to alienate educated white suburbanites who had once supported the GOP. His actions accelerated the political reordering that was already threatening the GOP’s long-term future.

    He didn’t just burn the village, he sowed salt in the ground, too. He emasculated and destroyed the reputations of a rising generation of Republican leaders, who, depending on their story, will now be viewed as weaklings, co-conspirators, appeasers, racists, phonies, losers, or apostates.

    Consider 2016 conservative runner-up Ted Cruz, who briefly stood up to Trump, only to be tamed by him. Or Marco Rubio, who said he didn’t trust Trump with the nuclear codes, but now warns it would be “catastrophic” for the cause of freedom if Trump loses.

    The most promising young-ish conservatives have been, to some degree, compromised by Trump. If you embrace him, you look weak and intellectually dishonest. If you stand up to him (see Jeff Flake and Justin Amash), you’re toast. And if you try to have it both ways (see Nikki Haley and Ben Sasse), you look calculating, ambitious, and wishy-washy. This might be the worst strategy of all, because you’ll never be Trumpy enough for the Trumpists, but you’ll also end up alienating the rest of us.

    Donald Trump is leading the GOP to the political graveyard

  7. Liberal Capitalist says:

    The memorial Day weekend has shown us that the zombies are out in force.

    Those that have participated in the large group events have been asked to self quarantine for 14 days. Zombies don’t self quarantine. They have no compassion for others.

    Republicans Governors of Ohio and North Dakota are pleading with their citizens to wear masks.

    However the leader of the zombie hoard has not only continued not to wear a mask, but is also ridiculing others for doing so, especially his opponent Biden for wearing one in public.

    People are saying there will be “localized spikes” in COVID-19 cases… I don’t think so. You’ve seen it before: one minute everthings fine, and the next the zombie hoard is overwhelming.

    Those spike will be widespread, as we have no ability to do zombie tracing. Why? Because 40% of the GOP zombies think that Bill Gates will implant a microchip in them.

    To quote Dennis Hopper: Zombies, man… they creep me out.

  8. Liberal Capitalist says:

    If you please, modify my moderation.

  9. KM says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:
    I thought I couldn’t lose any more empathy for the “but mah rights!!” crowd but now they’re trying to conspiracy theory contract tracing. Contract tracing!!! A basic technique we used *all the time* to identify and track down public health threats from food poisoning to STD tracking and suddenly it’s now BIG BROTHER OMG…. all to keep the lie up that COVID-19 isn’t a disaster for this nation due to Trump’s criminal mismanagement.

    This has gone *way* beyond partisan action and even “tolerate the nuts”. At this point it’s straight up malice and intent to destroy our national norms and foundations. Attacking such a basic medical and social tool will cause so much harm in the long run by stigmatizing it in the idiots minds. What happens the next time a local government is trying to deal with an E. coli issue and nobody’s to cooperate to help since “that’s Deep State abuse!! I have my rights!!!”? What happens when people are less then truthful or actively decide to lie to the contract tracers for trolling and “pwn the libs lulz!” purposes? If this gets absorbed into the right’s collective memory, it can take GENERATIONS for them to not treat this as an intrusive government overreach that must be resisted unto death.

    I’ve said it before and at risk of being scolded again: may karma be wearing stilettos when she comes for these asshats. They’re killing innocent Americans with their lies and they’re doing for no other reason to trick gullible people into accepting their twisted ideology. This isn’t even Republican or conservatism anymore – it is it’s own beast.

  10. Kathy says:

    Fun fact of the day: Spaghettification is an actual technical term in astrophysics.

  11. sam says:
  12. Moosebreath says:

    And now for something completely different:

    “But when the going gets tough, sometimes the tough have to get silly. And so they did in these suburban Philadelphia towns, where residents have turned the sidewalks in front of their homes over to the jurisdiction of one of England’s most absurd governmental bodies — The Ministry of Silly Walks.”

    Videos from doorbell cameras are included in the article.

  13. Tyrell says:

    Disinfectants safety information *
    Many people are spraying, sloshing, and splishing and splashing bleach and powerful disinfectants everywhere. They are overusing bleaches.

    1- Bleach can be dangerous for children. Adults should do the cleaning and spraying. Many schools are letting children do this, using powerful sprays and wipes.
    2- Bleach in itself has harmful effects on the body: some get severe burns to eyes, skin, and throat.
    3- People are coming up with their own concoctions. Bleach interacts with other household cleaners: this is especially dangerous. People think that they can strengthen bleach with such chemicals as alcohol, Windex, Round-Up, acetone, and ammonia. These can cause powerful burns and harmful gases. Emergency rooms are seeing more of these cases.
    4- Bleach can be harmful to pets: overspray can get into their food and water.
    5- Bleach is not good for the environment: harmful to flowers, insects, and animals.
    6- There are effective, safe alternatives to bleaches. Many swimming pools now use a salt solution.

    The CDC now says that it is unlikely to get virus germs from surface contact with things like chairs, countertops, doorknobs, keyboards, phones, crayons, pens, baseballs, remote controls, and tools.
    So now people can cut back on the spraying, sloshing, wiping. Cleaning supplies should return to normal.
    You can bet that the CDC will soon announce something else that does not spread the virus easily. And we know what that is.

    *Clorox Company, Chlorine Council

  14. Teve says:

    Abstract Algebra was the most fun math class I had in college. I was just about to order a new copy of this textbook when I found the PDF online.

  15. KM says:

    Was scrolling through Disney+ and found It’s a Dog Life. It’s a show about the unusual job that dogs can have; I mean, most people know they can be service dogs for humans but did you know cheetahs get them too?

    The Cincinnati Zoo has a cheetah run and encounter, with dogs for additional awesomeness (not that it needs it). I know what just got added to my post-COVID to do list!!

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: Once when my boys were young I took them to the STL Zoo’s Center for Cheetah Conservation. Most times they just ignore the hoomans on the other side of the fence. This time tho, one became particularly fixated with my oldest. Would not take his eyes off the boy. It was an unadulterated look of murderous intent. As a father, it really freaked me out on a very base level.

  17. Kathy says:

    Hmm. It looks like someone stole the down vote option. Am I missing something?

  18. CSK says:

    I’m missing it as well.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: My guess is, it is in answer to the question, Up/Down?

  20. Mikey says:

    The disgusting slug that currently stinks up the Oval Office tweeted again this morning with the baseless assertion Joe Scarborough had something to do with the death of Lori Klausutis, a staffer whose previously undiagnosed heart condition caused her to pass out and strike her head on a desk, which sadly caused her to pass away.

    Mrs. Kalusutis’ widower, Dr. Timothy Klausutis, wrote a touching and very likely fruitless letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, asking him to remove Trump’s several tweets pushing this bullshit.

    The full letter is here. I can’t imagine how terrible this must be for Dr. Klausutis, his family, and the family of his late wife. He concludes his letter thusly:

    I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong to him–the memory of my dead wife–and perverted it for perceived political gain. I would also ask that you consider Lori’s niece and two nephews who will eventually come across this filth in the future. They have never met their Aunt and it pains me to think they would ever have to “learn” about her this way.

    My wife deserves better.

    Indeed she does. The President is simply treating her as he does all women.

  21. Kit says:


    Hmm. It looks like someone stole the down vote option.

    But mah rights 🙂

  22. An Interested Party says:

    In yesterday’s open thread, there was a conversation about an Atlantic article about Trump being an unmanly president and why so many working-class white man support such a wimp…along those same lines, I’ve been thinking of the many Republican men Trump has emasculated…Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Jeff Sessions, among others…funny how such a weak man has defenestrated so many Republican men…

  23. Jax says:

    @Kathy: Awwww, poor t is gonna be mad, they stole his outlet for expression of passive/agressive disgust for all us libs in the comments section! 😉 I think that was t, anyways.

    I’m bummed they didn’t replace it with an LOL button. 🙁

  24. Jax says:

    @Kit: See, that totally deserved an LOL button. 🙂

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kit: You got a thumbs up for that laugh.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: t?

  27. Teve says:


  28. Kathy says:

    On other things, SpaceX will try to launch two people into orbit today.

    This is almost as big as the hype, which is saying something. It will change many things. But those expecting routine, cheap space travel will still have to wait.

  29. Teve says:

    @Mikey: The tech Bros talk about their devotion to the ideal of free speech, and it’s purely a coincidence that it happens to line up with the most profitable way to run the business. And the harm it causes to innocent people is an Externality.

  30. Teve says:

    in praise of fallible leaders

    Last week Joe Biden made an off-the-cuff joke that could be interpreted as taking African-American votes for granted. It wasn’t a big deal — Biden, who loyally served Barack Obama, has long had a strong affinity with black voters, and he has made a point of issuing policy proposals aimed at narrowing racial health and wealth gaps. Still, Biden apologized.
    And in so doing he made a powerful case for choosing him over Donald Trump in November. You see, Biden, unlike Trump, is capable of admitting error.
    Everybody makes mistakes, and nobody likes admitting having been wrong. But facing up to past mistakes is a crucial aspect of leadership.

  31. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    I think part of Trump’s success at tearing down other people (it’s not just Republican men) can be attributed to the fact that he’s willing to say things it wouldn’t occur to any remotely civilized person to say. We’re left speechless by his attacks because they are so beyond the pale. And eventually, we’re inured to them.

    Look at what Trump routinely writes on his Twitter feed. It’s insane.

  32. CSK says:

    Perhaps the down button has only been temporarily…masked.

  33. Kathy says:


    I don’t mind much, but for the next few days I will reflexively be clicking on the now blank spot where the downvote used to be. I hope the site admins can live with that terrible, terrible burden they’ve imposed on me for a very short time! 😉

  34. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy: Tomorrow. The SpaceX launch is tomorrow, Wednesday.

  35. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    See, this is what happens when the DeLorean doesn’t hit precisely 88 mph.

    Or maybe I made a mistake, but what are the chances of that? I am always right, except on those occasions when I’m not.

  36. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy: I used to work with a guy who said “spaghettification” is what happens to research source code over time: the process of becoming “spaghetti code”. Research code is particularly bad because it keeps getting handed from grad student to grad student, with the first student graduating and disappearing so there’s no chance to ask what the hell they thought they were doing.

  37. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I saw a video some years ago about how the guys came up with the “jive talk.” I have a few thoughts about this. First of all, as I’ve watched “making-of” documentaries over the years I’ve often been amazed how much meticulous planning often goes into comedy. The entire “jive” scene is less than 90 seconds. Yet it took weeks of planning. People tend to think comedy can’t work unless it’s all spontaneous, but that’s simply not the case for people who understand how it’s done; it only has to feel that way to the audience.

    Second, it’s the sort of scene that some people today might argue has not aged well: nowadays white people speaking “jive” is usually considered just a step above blackface. But there’s just something about the Zucker-Abrahams films–they’ve always got this sense of ultimate absurdity about everything, and it enabled them to get away with stuff other filmmakers couldn’t. Watching the jive scene today, you can’t possibly take it seriously. And the joke’s on the white folks.

  38. CSK says:

    I vote to bring back the down button. I didn’t use it often, but I enjoyed having it at my disposal.

  39. EddieInCA says:


    I vote to bring back the down button. I didn’t use it often, but I enjoyed having it at my disposal.

    I downvote this comment.

    See! Done!!!

  40. CSK says:

    Trump is still Twitter-raging about the homicide committed by the person he refers to as “Psycho Joe.” Either he’s crazy/stupid and totally out of the control of anyone in the White House, and needs to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment, or he’s trying to lose the November election.

    I’m voting for crazy/stupid, but my God, isn’t there anyone in the White House who doesn’t recognize this? And could at least try to stop it? Maybe they all know Trump’s going to be booted out of office in less than six months, and they’re busy feathering their nests in the time they have remaining.

  41. KM says:

    Re up/down button: perhaps a range of choices instead? I missed the org post but I think a couple of options might suffice as well as the ability to pick more then one. “Agree”, “Disagree”, “Debatable”, “Contested”, “In Need of Rebuttal”, “Controversial / Offensive Content”, “Hot Take”, “Troll Alert”, “Questionable logic”, “Acceptable Premise”, “WTF are you Thinking?!” or even a star system to indicate a range of support. There’s several comments I’ve upvoted and then immediately posted a rebuttal to because I saw a flaw or wished to challenge a statement. I rarely downvote (prefer a post) but if I do its because the post is so toxic, I feel it needs to be marked as such for reader warning purposes. I’d love to have multiple ways to indicate my feelings /opinions on a post rather then just a binary good /bad.

  42. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, there was a character that showed up a couple months ago, I think all he used as a name was t, it was on one of those forums where we were discussing commenters getting banned. He explained he downvoted every single comment because we’re all idiots. Then he disappeared into the ether again.

    I think there were actually two of them that did that, but I can’t remember what the other one used as a name.

  43. Mister Bluster says:

    @KM:..now they’re trying to conspiracy theory contract tracing. Contract tracing!!!

    I think the term is CONTACT tracing not contract tracing.

  44. Kit says:

    @Kathy: Can we assume that somewhere between your first comment and second you intended to use the down vote in anger? Was it @Teve’s Abstract Algebra recommendation that sent you over the edge? 🙂

  45. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Teve: Re: Donald Trump is leading the GOP to the political graveyard.

    I have had similar thoughts, but I can never be sure that’s not just my own wishful thinking. I think after he leaves office we’re going to find a lot of people who say, “I never liked him”. A lot more than the 60 percent who say that now. But I don’t think the GOP is doomed.

  46. Kathy says:


    I missed that one.

    No, it’s the reflexive downvote of all the PITO apologists, supporters, sympathizers, enablers, people who say they don’t support him but defend his most outrageous idiocies and cruelties, etc.

  47. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    If When Tiny loses in November, Repugs are going to go Donald who? Tiny won’t go quietly into the the night and he’ll throw daily tantrums on twitter, at least until Dorsey gets up the courage to ban him, but the party professionals will move on. Some will attempt to pickup his mantle, while others will try to return the party to 2015 and a few might even try to implement the ideas of broadening the party. It’ll be messy.

  48. KM says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Lol thanks for the catch. My spelling’s been atrocious today – had to go back and edit several posts since spell-check didn’t catch them. I would like to blame the now long nails for the typing – I have no idea how other women prefer this. I’m used to short nails but quarantine means I’ve let them grow out. No fencing to have them broken mid-bout and exercise is down to walks around the park with the dogs. I now have much respect for all the women in the office with professionally-done, 2in semi-claws and still have perfect typing. I’m over here struggling with ragged tips till family comes back from the store with new clippers.

    *edit* ugh, even had to correct this one! The struggle is real 🙂

  49. An Interested Party says:

    Something else for Democrats to worry about?

  50. Michael Reynolds says:

    There is a Utah poll out today. It has Trump up by 3. Three points, margin of error stuff. This is not consistent with other Utah polls, but still, it shouldn’t even be possible with the world’s worst model, to come up with that number.

  51. CSK says:

    Twitter has announced that is “deeply sorry” for the pain Trump’s Tweets about “Psycho Joe” have caused the family of Lori Klausutis, and further that it will be putting into place some measures to address this kind of thing. (I have no idea what, or how.) Apparently they’re not banning Trump, so he’ll be free to continue libeling anyone he chooses.

    I suppose they believe that banning Trump would result in endless trouble from Trump and Cult45.

  52. senyordave says:

    @An Interested Party: I don’t see too many economists predicting a v-shaped recovery. I have seen numerous predictions that of the 39 million people filing for unemployment, a significant number (10 million+) of those jobs are gone. More than 20% of small businesses are already gone. Travel-related jobs make up more than 10% of all jobs, and that industry is in deep trouble. No question that the June – October jobs reports will be big, but overall unemployment is expected to be 10%+ through year-end. And the US economy will take a bigger hit than countries that handled Covid-19 well. Biden needs to tie everything to Trump’s mismanagement, the complete lack of a federal response.
    Americans have short memories, and I am not convinced Trump can’t win, but I do think his odds are long. I want to start seeing a flood of ads talking about his lack of response.

  53. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    For years Trump has been telling lies about voter fraud.
    Now he is telling lies about vote-by-mail.
    We have had 44 peaceful transitions of power in this nation’s history.
    I bet we don’t have 45. Trump is laying the groundwork for not leaving the White House.

  54. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There is a Utah poll out today. It has Trump up by 3. Three points, margin of error stuff. This is not consistent with other Utah polls, but still, it shouldn’t even be possible with the world’s worst model, to come up with that number.

    Utah seems to be filled with the kind of voters who are a rarity these days: hardcore conservatives who dislike Donald Trump. The state gave Romney 73% of the vote in 2012. In fact, before 2016 it was common for the Republican to get over 70% in Utah; McCain’s 62% was relatively low by historical standards. But Trump got only 45%, with more than 20% going to McMullin, the largest share a third-party candidate has received in any state since 1992. I think McMullin has indicated he won’t run this time, so the question is where the former McMullin voters will go. My guess is Trump will ultimately win the state by a comfortable margin, but relatively narrowly compared with previous Republicans: say, 55-40% or something.

  55. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve argued that Biden should pick a VP who won’t motivate Trump voters by triggering negative partisanship. The expert on such matters, Rachel Bitecofer, disagrees. She feels Biden needs to energize the left wing of the party. She cites Wisconsin, where Trump won by <1% and she characterizes 6% of the vote as protest. She feels Biden needs to energize the Bernie wing, perhaps by choosing Warren.

    I expect Biden's team have people with a deal more expertise, and a deal more data, than me gaming it out. I'm good with anybody with a D after their name. Which technically excludes Bernie.

  56. inhumans99 says:

    @Bill: @Jay L Gischer:

    I think that the GOP was doing a bit of whistling past the graveyard pre-2016 otherwise they would have seen the rise of Trump coming and put together a “never Trump” type movement together in-time to head him off at the pass (as it is, the never-Trump movement will always be known as a movement that was too little too late and doomed to fail).

    Sleeping Dog also pointed out something that I think will blunt President Trump’s post-Presidency (assuming he does not win, a big assumption but I will roll with it)…there is no need for Twitter to let an ex-President go on a daily tantrum using their platform and ex-President Trump can pitch a fit if he is kicked off twitter but his threats to sue and sic the justice dpt on Twitter will ring much more hollow than they do now once he is no longer in the White House.

    He can also go to OAN or some other fringe “news” sites but I think in their heart of hearts these sites know that having Trump as a team member will not help their cause and just shine more of a light on their sexist attitudes, ignorance, racism, etc., stuff that they relied on to dribble out to sites like Facebook will have a spotlight put on them which will just cause these sites to constantly have to be doing damage control (the slow drip of ignorance making its way onto “legitimate” sites like FB and Twitter were always their friend).

    I am at a point where I say who cares if someone helps our President create his own tv network, because many folks only hang on his every work when he is on CNN/FOX/OAN and other networks due to his political title, once that is gone he is just another old white blowhard that folks will have no overwhelming urge to book airtime for to spew his inane senile racist ramblings.

    There are already folks like Limbaugh and Alex Jones out there who have been doing their schtick for decades and President Trump will now have to prove that he can bring his base along with him to worship at his altar if he wants swim with the big boys and I think that might be much harder to pull off than he thinks.

    I believe that an ex-President Trump will be shunned by a majority of his once ardent supporters just like the upper crust of New York shunned him and that is what stresses him out.

    Lets face it, your average Mid-Western working class stiff will have a new horse to back, Biden is an old white guy just like most of the working class who voted for President Trump so they will gravitate to Biden and leave President Trump behind in the dust.

    That is why President Trump was reported on Politico a few weeks back as having a melt down and yelling that he will not lose to Joe fricking Biden but I think all the tantrums in the world may not stop that from becoming a reality.

    I sincerely believe he will become a has-been that folks no longer care about at a surprisingly fast speed. This is what will let us slowly rebuild our Republic and maybe not get back to to a post-2016 political normalcy but let us undo some of the damage he has wrought and adjust to a new political normal.

    Just like what we consider “normal” in our day to day life will be the same as what we were used to pre-Covid…but different.

  57. CSK says:

    I just read that 60% of Bernie voters would be comfortable with Warren.

  58. Kylopod says:


    I expect Biden’s team have people with a deal more expertise, and a deal more data, than me gaming it out.

    But expertise can only take you so far when experts disagree. The whole “energize the left wing” vs. “appeal to the center” debate, as well as “win over swing voters” vs. “ramp up turnout,” don’t enjoy any broad consensus among experts.

  59. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’m discounting all polls. The “skewing” under Romney and the failure to predict Trump seem to be errors in turnout models. How can anyone have any confidence in a turnout model right now?

    Also. I keep seeing stories that say Trump is down X with seniors and Y with women, and Z with blue collar workers, etc., but somehow overall he stays at 42, 43. How does that work?

  60. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: I literally just saw that tweet. Her exact words were

    But for god’s sake- don’t structure your strategy around winning over Republicans- they’re NOT voting for you.

    She thinks the GOP is pumped for Trump and it’s going to be a turn out election.

  61. Teve says:

    @Kit: hey! If there are some math geeks out there who just didn’t take certain advanced courses, abstract algebra is the bees’ knees. Just don’t be daunted by the first four chapters, chapter 5 is when you get to permutation groups, and it’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

  62. Kylopod says:

    Some years ago there was a meme called “Hasid or Hipster?” in which they’d show pictures of bearded men in New York and you’d have guess whether the person was, well, a Hasid or a hipster. It even found its way onto Jimmy Kimmel’s program.

    It occurred to me the other day that they could do a similar quiz now where the choices are “Bandit or Ordinary American?”

  63. Kathy says:

    Remember the open invitations in Puebla I complained bitterly about all month? They had us coming to the office to work them, naturally, plus some people int he office had to go to Puebla for meetings and to deliver the proposals, and then to listen to the results. Not to mention they asked for samples, which meant lots of people going to warehouses to get them.

    Well, of the 9 invitations, six resulted in everyone being disqualified (which is extremely unlikely), one is yet to be determined, and two are awaiting a final judgment on price.

    I’m about as angry as I’ve ever been in my life.

  64. reid says:

    @Kylopod: Yes, Mormons are a fairly principled lot, it seems, unlike a lot of evangelicals.

  65. CSK says:

    This is a life-and-death (literally) issue for African American men. Say you’re a black man, oh, maybe late twenties, and you want to buy some beer or wine for the weekend. You walk into the liquor store with your face mask on…and some jittery sales clerk, assuming you’re about to rob the place, calls the cops. Or pulls a gun from underneath the counter and shoots you.

  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’ve seen arguments by Nate Silver that 2016 polls were actually within margin of error. But I share your skepticism when I see this group and that group supposedly down while the top line number stays static.

    Something odd is going on. Rasmussen which consistently gave Trump his best numbers saw a big surge in ‘disapproves’ which then went back to the usual range, and now is seeing another surge in disapproval. It’s odd.

  67. Michael Cain says:

    @CSK: Where I live, Hipanics are about 20% of the population and African-Americans about 4%. When I was out running my errands this morning I noticed that black people generally weren’t wearing masks, but Hispanics were. I forget who said it but, “Like the Irish and the Italians before them, Hispanics will eventually be regarded as ‘white’.” There’s still a long way to go, but it’s clearly started here.

    The other thing I noticed this morning is the number of grandmothers out shopping with five-to-eight year old kids. The US isn’t going to be really “open for business” again until day care and grade schools are open.

  68. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Yikes! Now it occurs to me that if you gave that quiz, a lot of white people would just list the black people as “bandits” and the whites as “ordinary Americans.” (Or at least do it disproportionately.) It might even be a good sociological experiment.

    I was just reacting to the fact that the guy in that pic I linked to is wearing a cowboy hat, so with the mask it makes him look like one of those old Western outlaws.

  69. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I forget who said it but, “Like the Irish and the Italians before them, Hispanics will eventually be regarded as ‘white’.

    It bears repeating that Hispanic is a very broad category, which includes people with brown skin as well as pale, blue-eyed blonds. (It also includes a fair number of black people.) It includes people with names like Martinez as well as names like Johnson. It includes people who speak fluent Spanish as well as people who don’t know a word of it. Americans as a whole may perceive “Hispanic” as a subcategory of nonwhite (though the US Census disagrees), but it’s not going to be consistent when it comes to how they react to individuals.

  70. DrDaveT says:


    Abstract Algebra was the most fun math class I had in college.

    We discovered in grad school that our class split unequally between a majority (including myself) who understood math geometrically and a minority (including my roommate) who understood math algebraically. Communication between the two groups, other than at a purely formal level, was effectively impossible.

  71. Michael Cain says:


    Yes, Mormons are a fairly principled lot, it seems, unlike a lot of evangelicals.

    A Mormon acquaintance once said to me, “The evangelical Baptists think they’re persecuted. Phpht. The Mormons were run out of states repeatedly and chased across a continent.”

    Salt Lake City proper has been reasonably Democratic for quite a long time. The Republicans in the state legislature cheerfully admit that they have gerrymandered the state to keep Salt Lake City from electing a Democrat to a US House seat. Wasn’t enough in 2018. Redistricting after the next census should be fun. Utah voters (narrowly) passed a ballot initiative that took as much redistricting power away from the state legislature as they could (Utah can’t do constitutional amendments by initiative.)

  72. DrDaveT says:


    I don’t see too many economists predicting a v-shaped recovery.

    I’m predicting a ϣ-shaped recovery.

  73. CSK says:

    @Michael Cain:
    I suspect some of those maskless 4% might be fearing what I fear for them.

    I didn’t think you were bring racist. You’ve made it pretty clear from your past comments that you’re far from a white supremacist. But I remember being struck right away, weeks ago when the mask request was made, that this was going to cause problems for African-American men, who at the best of times have to live with the burden of being assumed to be criminals. I can probably stroll into a bank with my lower face covered and transact my business without incident. But then…I’m not an African American man.

  74. Kylopod says:


    I didn’t think you were bring racist.

    Um….thank you, I guess. I didn’t think anyone was suspecting me of being racist.

  75. Kathy says:

    In a rational world, trump would not have won the Republican nomination, as all other candidates were better qualified for the job (including Ben Carson).

    Further, in a rational world not only would Trump have lost to Clinton, but done so by a big margin, like losing Texas, Georgia, Florida, and Arizona big.

    Therefore, we are not living in a rational world.

  76. CSK says:

    Well, when you remarked that a lot of white people would automatically assume that a mask-wearing AA man would be a bandit, it raised the possibility that you thought there was a chance someone might think that you yourself felt that way. But clearly that’s not the case.

  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Or as Robert Stack said often during filming, “The jokes on us!”

  78. Michael Cain says:


    We discovered in grad school that our class split unequally between a majority (including myself) who understood math geometrically and a minority (including my roommate) who understood math algebraically.

    Wonder where that leaves me? I have a BS in math (and comp sci) and an MS in an applied math field. For me, math starts with set theory and algorithms, then goes on from there. Pictures and notation — what I think most people think of as “geometrically” and “algebraically” — are both useful tools, but they’re not the foundations. At least for me.

    Eg, rigorously proving “A continuous real-valued function defined on a closed real interval achieves its extrema” doesn’t use either pictures or notation. And algorithms to find those extrema. Then extend to an arbitrary number of dimensions.

  79. Teve says:

    “And algorithms to find those extrema” what?

  80. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: maybe because of physics, I visualize all math. The way permutation groups first made sense to me were as rotations.

  81. Michael Cain says:



    A colleague once described me when I was the senior guy on the technical research staff: “Mike’s extremely accessible. You can ask him questions, and get answers. He’ll be excited about it. Sentences. Paragraphs! All the words are English. And it’s all completely opaque.”

  82. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Eg, rigorously proving “A continuous real-valued function defined on a closed real interval achieves its extrema” doesn’t use either pictures or notation.

    “Rigorously proving” is the “purely formal” level that I mentioned at the end. Guessing that a continuous real-valued function defined on a closed real interval achieves its extrema involves, in my case, a picture in my head. I was talking about mathematical intuition, not proof.

  83. Tyrell says:

    @Bill: Bill, this is an interesting article from USA Today:
    “Humans not meant to be alone” (Alan Gomez). There are many people who live alone, and have been shuttered in going on for three months now. It is bad enough when you have family or friends with you but alone is bad. Doctors and psychologists are seeing widespread, serious problems from it.
    It’s called “cabin fever”. Of course, the most famous case of that is the infamous Donner Party tragedy of 1864 which occurred in the mountains of California. I won’t go into all the details for obvious reasons. PBS has a good documentary about it and there are some case studies.
    “Ordeal By Hunger” (George Stewart). “The Donner Party Chronicles” (Frank Mullen). “The Best Land Under Heaven” (Michael Wallis) The amazing thing is that half (44) survived. Donner Pass is one of the most beautiful areas in the US. If you go there in winter, tire chains are a must.
    Dr. Fausi said that there will “irreparable damage” if the closures last much longer.
    He also praised the procedures and protocols that South Carolina is using to reopen.; “South Carolina is an example for other states”

  84. Jax says:

    @Tyrell: You don’t have to “whisper” about what happened to the Donner party, my dear, we all know they ate the dead. I hear we taste like chicken, which I always found a little surprising, I would suspect it to be more like a cross between pork and beef….anywho….

    They did not eat each other due to “cabin fever”, they ate the dead because they were starving to death in the mountains in the dead of winter. It wasn’t “for fun”, it’s because they would’ve died if they didn’t. “Cabin fever” is what happens when you are stuck alone with the same people for too long, and if you read back into any “pioneer” newspapers, it’s most often when the husband kills the wife and kids in a fit of rage. Occasionally the mother did the murdering, but that was pretty rare.

    Think “The Shining”, not the Donner party.

  85. Teve says:

    @Jax: i’ve heard it’s called long pork because we taste closest to piggies. Interviews with cannibals over the years have shown that some say it’s like pork and some say it’s more like veal.

  86. Moosebreath says:


    “some say it’s like pork and some say it’s more like veal.”

    I guess we don’t use our muscles enough to taste like beef.

  87. Mister Bluster says:

    @KM:..I would like to blame the now long nails for the typing…

    I hear contract tracing in news reports on the radio all the time. It’s usually while I am driving so I miss who said it but I guess it’s a news reader or a public official. I usually yell at the radio “It’s CONTACT not CONTRACT!” like I think that they can hear me.

    Nine Inch Nails

  88. Jax says:

    Oh, I hadn’t seen this come up on the Open threads the last couple days, but did you all see the protestors hung an effigy of Beshear from a tree in Kentucky? What in the actual fuck is wrong with these people?!

    I’m really glad I’ve been too busy fencing pastures to dwell on it much, but it still just….rankles a little bit, that in 2020, these dumbasses think any reference to lynching anybody to save “their freedumbs” is ok.

    I mean, everybody knows if you’re gonna save your freedumbs, you use a guillotine and put the head on a pike. Der.

    Sorry, it’s possible I’ve been too long in the sun the last few days. 😉

  89. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jax:..I hear we taste like chicken,..

    I read that as “I hear we taste like children…”
    I didn’t even do a double take.
    Only when I read it again did I realize how bad my brain farts are getting…

  90. Jax says:

    @Mister Bluster: See, now, that deserved an LOL button, too! 🙂

  91. Teve says:

    Paraphrase from something I saw on the Twitter:

    ‘I’m confused by these people saying that they’re not sheep, so they want to get haircuts. All sheep do is get haircuts!’

  92. Jax says:

    @Teve: There’s a meme going around Facebook about the “new normal”, and every Trumpsky I know is sharing it, saying they refuse to accept this “new normal”.

    That’s the thing about change. It happens whether they want it or not, and all of their crying, screaming, and flailing about will not change it. There is no going back to “pre-COVID”, or the Reagan years, or the Fabulous Fifties. There is no gun, weapon, or special ammunition that will stop “change”. There are 100,000+ dead Americans and counting, and their family’s lives will never be the same again.

    I don’t even want to know how many dead “human capital stock” it will take before social media shuts Trump down. Probably way more than I’m comfortable with.

  93. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: I’ve been seeing another meme over the past couple of weeks:

    Marijuana is legal. Haircuts are not. It took fifty years, but the hippies have finally won.

  94. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: HA!

  95. al Ameda says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Something odd is going on. Rasmussen which consistently gave Trump his best numbers saw a big surge in ‘disapproves’ which then went back to the usual range, and now is seeing another surge in disapproval. It’s odd.

    I’ve told friends that for me the Biden-is-ahead-adjustment factor is negative 7 points – that is, if Biden is polling 48-41 in say, Michigan, I consider it to be dead even.

    I continue to believe that only Trump can beat Trump. Biden has to minimize the unforced errors and let his communications staff and surrogates like the Lincoln Project run ads that use all the material that Trump has put out there to attack Trump hard.