Tuesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “I thought it was a good conversation,” Graham said

    Yes, a “perfect conversation” when reporters pressed the Senator on whether or not he had suggested the GA SOS throw out legal ballots.

    If they are talking about it now, they will do it the next time.

    ReplyReply
    13
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jonathan Katz, hoping for pumpkin snacks@JonathanPKatz
    Why are we not discussing the fact that the vaccine with the good news this morning was partly funded by Dolly Parton?

    Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vacciiiiiiiiiiiiiine

    ReplyReply
    8
  3. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I came over to post that same story, only from the WaPo.

    All I can say at this point is that thank goodness Georgia’s Sec. of State is a Republican. More people need to see how utterly morally bankrupt Republicans have become.

    ReplyReply
    7
  4. Scott says:

    Oh, are Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton too old to blame anymore?

    How Obama-era budget controls have hurt US military readiness against growing China, Russia, Iran threats

    This is the Heritage Foundation annual “2021 Index of US Military Strength”.

    Bottom line: We’ve been spending all our money on the wrong things like counter-terrorism. We need more money for Defense. And it’s Obama’s fault.

    ReplyReply
    5
  5. Scott says:

    In a small subset of the pandemic.

    VA’s active coronavirus cases jump to more than 10,000

    Active coronavirus cases among Department of Veterans Affairs patients reached their 14th consecutive day of record-high levels over the weekend, surpassing 10,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

    On Sunday, department officials reported 10,362 active cases, up 68 percent over the last two weeks and 252 percent over the last two months.

    Demographics are deadly to the VA community (they are old):

    Roughly 5 percent of VA patients who test positive for the virus have eventually died from health complications related to the infection. That figure is significantly above the roughly 3 percent death rate among all Americans infected by the pandemic.

    ReplyReply
  6. charon says:
  7. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This kind of crap from LW (Little Weasel) Graham is one reason why I would love to see the Biden Administration put forward a new civil rights bill, one focused on uniform conduct of Federal elections. Fnck the states on this one; they’ve shown they have no interest.

    ReplyReply
    3
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Anderson Cooper 360°
    @AC360

    “Ya know what? It doesn’t matter,” says @AndersonCooper

    “I was about to start off tonight telling you about you-know-who and what outrage he’s done today, not accepting the results, blah blah blah…it doesn’t matter. It’s done. He is done. He is the past.”

    He barely holds it together at the 3:10 mark when he says, “There’s a kid at home right now, scared to death because his Dad is in the hospital and he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get to see him again. Do you know what that feels like?”

    Something tells me it’s personal, that he knows this child, or that he was once there himself.

    ReplyReply
    10
  9. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Returning to the Moderna announcement: Yes, it is good news, however perhaps we ought to be a bit cautious before declaring imminent victory.
    A couple of questions that have occurred to me. As I understand it among the trial participants for the Moderna study, approximately 95 people contracted COVID. As there are 30,000 participants, that would suggest an incident rate of approximately 0.3% So one of the first questions ought to be is 0.3% representative of the general population. (Even if you allow that 90 placebo innoculated became ill, that represents approximately 0.6% – is that representative of the population in general). I suspect that the participants behavior both before and after being innoculated was more cautious than the general population regarding communicable diseases.

    Second question is this: Moderna’s phase 3 study began in July, I believe that Moderna only completed enrollment in the last month or so. (in September the number of participant had just reached 25,000). So some of the 30,000 have been “in the wild” for just a few months. IMO, if the 95 persons who contracted COVID have been “conducting their lives as normal” for the past 4 months, that is a helpful representation. OTOH, if the 95 have only been innoculated in the past 60 days, the presents a different picture. The efficacy of the vaccine is related to the opportunity to exposure, both from a timed basis as well as a behavior basis.

    Lastly, a bit of anecdotal data: A friend of mine is a nurse practitioner who is part of the clinical trial. She decided that she would be able to tell if she had received the vaccine or the placebo by whether she had any soreness at the injection sight. (She also admitted that if she thought that perhaps she had received a placebo that she would exercise more care in her daily activity). She says that her injection site was indeed sore of a couple of days (not something that one would expect from a saline injection). However, in talking with the clinical trial doctors later, she was told that the trial administrators decided to inject a low dose meningitis vaccine in the placebo so as to mimic injection site soreness, so that participants could not really tell if they got a placebo or the actual coronavirus vaccine.

    ReplyReply
    2
  10. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Ms. Parton always struck me as a good person.

    And a passably fine writer and singer.

    ReplyReply
    6
  11. Sleeping Dog says:

    The last week or so we’ve had some, at times, heated discussions around the divide between progressives and moderate Dems. In the NYT’s Op Eds, Michele Goldberg points out the obvious, both sides need the other and Steve Teles suggests that the US political system is unfair and unreformable, so Dems simply need to accept that and adjust. (sorry too many links will send the post to purgatory.

    While over at the LA Times:

    Portland’s anarchists say they support racial justice. Black activists want nothing to do with them

    While back on the right coast.

    Liberals Envisioned a Multiracial Coalition. Voters of Color Had Other Ideas.

    And more evidence that the vision from Park Slope, Cambridge and Berkeley is a bit myopic can be found in Cali voters rejection of several ballot initiatives promoted by progressives. Even Oregon’s decriminalization of drugs can be viewed as a libertarian victory as well as it can a progressive victory.

    Teles and Goldberg are right.

    ReplyReply
    8
  12. JohnSF says:

    Covid news from Sweden:

    Sweden limits public gatherings as pandemic second wave swells

    Looks like the “minimal controls” approach is not working out as well as some advocate said.

    ReplyReply
    2
  13. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    Yeah, in the first and second wave Sweden had a really high death per pop ratio in relation to her neighbors.

    A virus does not care about public health measures, tactics, or strategies. Viruses are brutally efficient.

    ReplyReply
    1
  14. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Wyatt Cooper, Anderson’s father, died while he was undergoing open heart surgery. Anderson was eleven at the time.

    ReplyReply
    4
  15. de stijl says:

    I feel guilt I got it. I feel extreme guilt I may have infected people during the interim between infection and symptomatic.

    I was so careful. Groceries on Monday mornings (slowest time of the week). Masked, Purell before and after. Ritualized hand washing.

    Come September and October I started to hang out with friends one on one or one with a couple because I was bored and craved normal interaction.

    Hanging out is like a social STI. You have no idea who they interacted with before.

    On the day I was diagnosed, 183,999 other people were too. Mine is mid mild. Many of that daily cohort will die.

    The equivalent to Winston-Salem already have.

    ReplyReply
    10
  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Thanx. Fills in the blank.

    ReplyReply
    1
  17. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    And the alternative to not getting groceries would be starving to death. As for hanging out with others…total isolation for months on end is not only impossible to achieve, it would destroy your psyche even if you could.

    It sounds as if you did everything you could to keep yourself and others safe. Be well, and try not to worry.

    ReplyReply
    8
  18. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    And Anderson’s older brother Carter committed suicide (in front of his mother) when Anderson was 21. There’s been a lot of tragedy in that family.

    ReplyReply
    2
  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    One of the strangest NFL stories of 2020 appears to have reached a conclusion, with robbery charges against the former New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker dropped by authorities in Florida.

    The 23-year-old Baker was facing a possible life sentence after he was charged with four counts of robbery. The allegations claimed Baker, along with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar and two other men, robbed partygoers of thousands of dollars in cash, watches and other valuables during a party in Florida in May. The charges against Dunbar were dropped in August. Baker, a first-round pick for the Giants in 2019, was released by the team this summer.

    However, the case fell apart on Monday when a lawyer in Florida was arrested for attempting to extort money from Baker on behalf of some of the alleged victims. William Dean wanted Baker to pay more than $250,000 to each of his clients. In return they would, according to police, do “anything you want, so long as the money is right.” Baker earned $6m in his first year in the NFL.

    ESPN reported that the alleged victims had already recanted their testimonies last month, saying that Baker “did not directly or indirectly participate in any robbery or assist in a robbery at the scene or elsewhere.”

    Assistant state attorney Paul R Valcore said on Monday the charges against Baker had been dropped after “the alleged victims and the known witnesses have become uncooperative and their credibility is inalterably tarnished.”

    ReplyReply
    2
  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Democrats insist on imagining that every demographic group – ethnic, racial, gender – is analogous to Blacks. They follow the Civil Rights model regardless of whether it applies. So Latinos are an oppressed group just like Blacks. Women are an oppressed group just like Blacks. Gays = Blacks, Muslims = Blacks. Asians = Blacks. They have that one model: oppressed minority, even when the ‘minority’ is over half the population.

    The Black experience is unique. The only other group in that league is Native Americans. Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans all have various beefs but none are analogous to the Black experience. Ditto gays, Asians, etc… As for women, once again the ‘women’s vote’ did not materialize. The Black women’s vote did, but not white women.

    We didn’t win this election, we barely survived it. Half the country voted for a fascist. Half the country was willing to risk civil war. Black vote + Latinx vote + Gay vote + Asian vote + women’s vote + progressive vote = failure in the Senate, failure in the House, failure in state legislatures and a narrow win on POTUS.

    Both the mainstream Democratic election model and the progressive model are bullshit. We scraped by with Biden, but if we don’t re-imagine this and have a very good four years, the Democratic Party will end up like the British Labor Party – incapable of mounting a challenge even to the most heinous of right-wing administrations.

    ReplyReply
    12
  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Damn. I recently went to the funeral of a young man who in a fit of rage grabbed a pistol off the coffee table and blew his brains out in front of his father. I have firearms, but I’ll be damned if I leave them laying around.

    ReplyReply
    2
  22. JohnSF says:

    Back on 5 November I commented about EU intent to bring in “rule of law conditionality” in funding.
    Well, it looks like Hungary and Poland have escalated in response: EU faces crisis as Hungary and Poland veto seven-year budget

    The rest of the EU now faces a choice: back down, or escalate in turn.

    Italy will likely be pressing for backdown; Germany’s initial instinct will be to try and fudge up a compromise.

    But the European Parliament is in a fighting mood on this issue; and a lot of countries are also fed up with Orban’s corrupt use of EU funds.

    One response (prob. German choice)could be to let the new regulations go forward, but offer Hungary and Poland a “face saver” via a referral of the conditionality to the Court.

    If no compromise can be reached, the other states may choose to use an “intergovenmental” approach, bypassing EU mechanisms, as was done in e.g. Greek debt crisis.
    Some states dislike this as it hands power to the big net payers: Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden.
    And it will tempt some to look at possible expulsion mechanisms, especially re. Hungary.

    In any event, Hungary and Poland are piling up a lot of ill will.

    ReplyReply
    4
  23. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    Cooper was also a gay man before it was commonly accepted. Amongst friends he was was jakes, but every encounter outside the warm bubble, or established social relationship, was fraught with caution and potential danger.

    Plus, he was born with a silver spoon. Kids of rich folk feel what that means come adolescence.

    He has struck me as a good dude. Anderson is a cool cat in my book.

    ReplyReply
    2
  24. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    Book / author reco at the bottom of yesterday’s Open Thread.

    I need to investigate Jainism.

    ReplyReply
  25. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Anderson has a baby son, Wyatt Cooper (named after his late grandpa), who clearly brings him great joy.

    ReplyReply
    3
  26. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I was so careful.

    So were many others who caught it.

    Masks give the wearer some protection, but far less than the aggregate reduction in spread if everyone wore masks. One reason I keep going grocery shopping rather than ordering home delivery online, is that all customers and employees wear masks, some even face shields.

    Blame the covidiots who don’t wear masks. You did all you could, they didn’t lift a finger.

    ReplyReply
    1
  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnSF:

    The problem with ousting Hungary or Poland is that it require unanimous consent of the remaining members. Try to oust Hungary and Poland dissents, try to oust Poland and…

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’ve been saying that for years Michael and even regarding Blacks, white progressives lack understanding about what motivates the community. Remember how shocked they were last spring when Blacks rushed to embrace Biden? Identity politics only works on the most superficial level, unless the group identity is homogenized. It works for Rs, rural, white voters who are struggling economically, paired with a wealthy cohort that is willing to manipulate grievance to their own ends.

    ReplyReply
    1
  28. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    I have a newly developed theory about Strongmen and Central Europe.

    I have also been playing too much CK3.

    If you share multiple borders with states as strong or stronger than you, nationalism and ethno-nationalism multiplies.

    IOW, inland states like Poland or Hungary are prone towards Strongmen because of a commonly shared psyche and fear. Xenophobic border friction.

    ReplyReply
    1
  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    You were being human and unfortunately living somewhere that is seeing the infection rate soar.

    Even for me, an extreme introvert, who would rather go to a bar, coffee shop or even travel by myself (my poor wife). My only consistent social interaction since spring, has been a weekly, group motorcycle ride where we brown bag it and eat outside. Friday is looking to be a decent day, so we’ll do it once more. Next week it will rain and after that the bikes normally get put away till March. I’m mourning that.

    You strike me as a bit of a social butterfly, which makes all this even harder. You do what you can.

    ReplyReply
    3
  30. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Forgot to mention my new theory is probably bullshit.

    ReplyReply
    1
  31. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    The unanimity bind, yes.
    And technically, Article 7 measures only allow suspension, not expulsion.

    But, there actually might be a sneaky way round it: an Article 7(1) warning notice only requires a Council majority; and it could then be asserted (again by majority vote; and would probably want the Parliament and Commission signed up too) that no state under 7(1) notice was allowed to vote on 7(2) sanctions.
    Boom.
    And let the Court dance with that one.

    But that’s a “nuclear option” move. Merkel would be very reluctant to walk that road, I suspect.
    But Warsaw and Budapest should not assume they can just sit back, grin, and troll it.
    Annoy people enough, they will find a way to deliver payback.

    ReplyReply
    1
  32. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnSF:

    Poland and Hungary’s possible (maybe idle) threat is, expel us and we’ll align with Putin. Of course that would be an awful lot for even the autocrats to convince even their sycophants that after escaping 45 years under Russia’s thumb, they should voluntarily sign up for it. And those subsidies and free travel through out the EU…

    ReplyReply
    1
  33. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I do Vespas. My expensive hobby. We do local meet-ups every now and again. No brand bigotry – all makes and models are welcome. You meet interesting folk. Scooter buddies. The infamous GTA V clip makes the rounds.

    I just know how to build and and maintain a Vespa after a lot of practice. It is calmingly frustrating.

    ReplyReply
    1
  34. JohnSF says:

    Other international news: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership signed by 15 countries, including China, Japan South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines,Vietnam.

    Trump scrapping the TPP could end up being his most damaging legacy, in terms of long-term international interests of the US.

    ReplyReply
    5
  35. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    we’ll align with Putin

    A threat that might have held some weight when Russia was flush with oil money.
    The chances of Orban wangling 8 billion euro p.a.equivalent from Putin these days?
    Orban might as well take up unicorn farming instead.

    ReplyReply
    2
  36. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Music is now essentially free. When I was wee, I spent ungodly amounts on records. Then on tapes. Then on CDs. You had to. Listen to your friends’.

    Now it is free (with ads).

    Money well spent at the time.

    Never would have found Archers Of Loaf had I not found Superchunk – that whole Chapel Hill scene. Listening to and hearing friends shit.

    Wrong by Archers Of Loaf rocks. Harnessed In Slums.

    Web In Front I listen to everyday now.

    Never would have found unless I sought.

    Now we have algorithms. Superchunk -> Archers Of Loaf.

    Free (with ads). Even with stupid ads free is way better. Kids can explore to their heart’s content.

    We gave up anonymity for free (with ads).

    Revolutions come sneaky sometimes.

    ReplyReply
    1
  37. Kathy says:

    As much as Trump is to blame for the atrocious response to the trump pandemic, we have to admit the whole Western world, save New Zealand and possibly Australia, have also bungled their response as well.

    Compare the numbers between the EU and countries like Taiwan and South Korea, and even poor, third-world countries like Vietnam. It boggles the mind.

    Back in the beginning of WWII, Japan invaded several European-held territories in Asia. This led to a major loss of respect for the erstwhile “superior” Western powers in the region. I think we’ll see much the same now. In the next health crisis, I’d look to South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and Taiwan for advice, not the US, Britain, France, or even Germany.

    ReplyReply
    7
  38. Kathy says:

    On lighter, random topics…

    Saturday I couldn’t cook meatballs with chipotle sauce, because I forgot to buy ground beef when I went to the store. I’m brilliantly stupid that way often. I had to put it off till Monday (day off due to a holiday), because that was when I’d scheduled an expedition to get office supplies.

    Having all the ingredients at hand, though, they proved easy to make. the sauce was some tomatoes, garlic, chipotles (canned), and a cup of chicken broth. I then sauteed an onion in a pot, added the sauce, seasoned it (paprika, pepper, cumin, and oregano), brought it to a boil, and cooked the meatballs in the sauce directly.

    The Steelers are 9-0, which worries me. Things don’t work out this well. If they hold it up two more weeks, there’ll be talk of an undefeated season. Things will fall apart then, I’m sure.

    ReplyReply
    2
  39. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kathy:
    Every country in Europe is far more densely populated than the US. In fact you have a collection of New Jerseys and Connecticuts, all borders open, and huge dependency on mass transit. They should logically have been hit harder than us.

    ReplyReply
    2
  40. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Also an introvert. Anxiety prone.

    But if I find a friend I bond pretty hard. A friend can lead you to new potential friends. Friends are a bulwark against the chaos and disharmony.

    I am an introverted social butterfly. Never would have thought to describe myself as such, but that is why dispassionate feedback is essential.

    ReplyReply
    2
  41. Kingdaddy says:

    @de stijl: I’m jealous of your Crusader Kings 3 time. I’ve been too busy to play. Installed, waiting…

    ReplyReply
    1
  42. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Australia and New Zealand are islands.

    Way easier to control entry. If cut entry, you stop new vectors arising. Assuming you can stymie internal endemic spread, you are on the golden path.

    ReplyReply
    2
  43. de stijl says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    CK3 is stupid addictive. Protip: nail your inheritance.

    It is incredibly fun and frustrating. Enjoy!

    ReplyReply
  44. steve says:

    On the local scene, admissions for Covid are up 50% in our network over last week. Length of stay is down from about 10 days in May to about 7 days now. For the first time the percentage of admissions under the age of 60 is higher that those over (52% vs 48%). Very few pts in the ICU. Deaths starting to rise. We are now short on tests again. Had wanted to test patients having elective procedures so we could delay those who are positive and cut down risks for everyone. Not enough tests according to the company that does them.

    Steve

    ReplyReply
    2
  45. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I think the British Isles are islands, too.

    Policy over geography.

    Granted the UK is far more connected than either Australia and New Zealand, but the same can be said of Japan and Taiwan (also islands).

    ReplyReply
    4
  46. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    .

    ..inland states like Poland or Hungary are prone towards Strongmen because of … xenophobic border friction.

    Don’t think that will fly.
    For one thing, these days Poland has a quite sizable coastline 🙂

    Also, this should definitely have Switzerland as a prime candidate for “strongman” rule.
    Also Austria, Slovenia, Czechia, Slovakia. (Even Luxembourg LOL)
    They may have annoying neo-right parties active, but aren’t ruled by strongmen.

    While two very much “strongman” states are Russia and Turkey.

    Back to the drawing board, I’m afraid.

    FWIW my pet theory is that 45 years behind the Iron Curtain retarded social and cultural change, and missed the “modernisation of the conservatives” in Western Europe.
    The shock of rapid changes since then, and some pre-extant history, has left Central Europe vulnerable to appeal of authoritarian/populist leaders.

    All told, Europe has gotten off lightly; and I think the economic/cultural effect of the EU has generally been a stabilising factor.

    ReplyReply
    2
  47. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    I am a Vikings fan. Be wary of the hot start.

    1998 haunts me to this day. I sorta hate Gary Anderson still now. But I did get to see Randy Moss in his prime which is so sweet.

    As a Steelers fan you have past triumphs.

    We have none. So close so often can teach you cynicism. I reject that.

    Before I die, I would very much like to see the Vikes as the champs.

    ReplyReply
    1
  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: If they hold it up two more weeks, there’ll be talk of an undefeated season.

    There’s already talk of an unbeaten season. I watched the highlights of their last game and BigBen looked a little shaky here and there. He still has the football intelligence and the arm but his knees and other parts have been beat down at least one time too many. More than once I winced in anticipation of the pain that was about to be inflicted upon him.

    ReplyReply
    1
  49. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    Yeah, I suspected it was shit when I said it.

    There might be a tiny kernel of truth buried somewhere there on proclivity above the norm, but I was basically gassing.

    ReplyReply
    1
  50. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    About the worst scenario I can think of, is the season ending 9-7, and then a quick defeat in a wild card game.

    ReplyReply
    2
  51. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnSF:

    You’re forgetting the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. 😉

    …45 years behind the Iron Curtain retarded social and cultural change, and missed the “modernisation of the conservatives” in Western Europe.

    A reasonable supposition that would also apply to the East Germans.

    ReplyReply
    1
  52. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Fair point.

    Oz and NZ took it seriously and basically killed inbound travel as precaution.

    Britain under Johnson tried to bully a virus whilst changing policy as little as possible.

    Trying to bully or to dismiss or downplay a virus is egregiously stupid. I know, I’m American.

    Islands have advantages if they are used properly. You have to brutally choke your economy and be tyrannical about incoming flights, but the advantage is there if you choose to use it.

    ReplyReply
    2
  53. CSK says:

    I had never heard of the movie A Royal Night Out (2015) until I stumbled across it on Youtube. It’s about the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret being allowed out of Buckingham Palace to mingle with the crowds on VE day. Among other misadventures, Margaret (age 15) gets drunk and staggers into a bordello.

    If you don’t mind the ads every ten minutes, it’s worth a watch. There were a few moments when I laughed aloud, particularly when Margaret inquires of her parents what a “knocking shop” is.

    ReplyReply
    3
  54. Slugger says:

    @JohnSF: I know that I have been harping on this, but Trump’s avoidance of the annual ASEAN summit meeting must have a role in this. Being President might take more than tweeting and a luxury limousine ride to play golf.

    ReplyReply
    2
  55. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    IMO, the time to talk undefeated season is when a team reaches the Super Bowl 18-0, and even then who knows. See New England.

    ReplyReply
    2
  56. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Cubs have announced that Prez of baseball ops, Theo Epstein is stepping down.

    Theo is 46 and what ever he decides to do next, he is already a lock to be inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/11/17/sports/ex-red-sox-gm-theo-epstein-steps-down-cubs-president/

    ReplyReply
  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Yep.

    @Sleeping Dog: Most Cards fans would disagree.

    ReplyReply
  58. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    I have been watching dumb horror movies streamed recently as a distraction. Just hit pause if I need to crash.

    Jessabelle is a bottom tier Blumhouse horror movie very oddly edited. Transitions between scenes are non-existent. BLAM!

    What piqued my interest was it was written by Robert Ben Garant from Reno 911!

    It was pretty crap, but it featured a Landcruiser of that golden vintage.

    ReplyReply
  59. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Most Cards fans would disagree.

    True. I was living in StL in 04 and watched the game at Blueberry Hill before going downtown. Since I liked the Cards, I did feel a bit sorry for their fans. But being a Red Sox fan and being tortured by the memories of disappointments of 67, 75 and 86, not to forget 78 and Bucky efffin Dent (you didn’t know he had a middle name), I was enjoying myself.

    I will admit that I took perverse pleasure in misery of Rams fans in 2002, but they really were obnoxious that year.

    ReplyReply
    1
  60. Jen says:

    @CSK: I read “Young Elizabeth- The making of a Queen” and there is a kernel of truth to that movie. While the story line and details in the movie are clearly fictional, Margaret and Elizabeth were allowed out of the Palace that night. 🙂

    ReplyReply
    1
  61. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Yes; they had to be accompanied by sixteen others, as I recall. No doubt the sixteen others were approved, if not specifically chosen, by Mummy and Papa Windsor. And I can quite envision Margaret getting drunk.

    ReplyReply
    2
  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I will admit that I took perverse pleasure in misery of Rams fans in 2002, but they really were obnoxious that year.

    Yeah, but in our defense we had suffered thru 27 years of the Bidwills’ Cardinals.

    ReplyReply
  63. Kingdaddy says:

    @de stijl: Whatever their record, the Vikings gave us Fran Tarkenton’s amazing scrambles. Or he gave them to the Vikings. Whatever. They were great.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoNEZL-kUuk

    ReplyReply
    1
  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kingdaddy: He was a great one.

    ReplyReply
  65. Mu Yixiao says:

    Interesting review of a study trying to gauge the effectiveness of various COVID responses.

    The main takeaway: It’s really hard to tell what worked best, because it’s really hard to isolate each response.

    ReplyReply
    1
  66. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    That’s true. But the Pats fan’s defense was 40+ years of misery under various owners till Kraft finally hired St. Bill.

    There are fans in a lot of cities that live with mediocre sports teams and it is amazing how quickly when there is a winner that those become obnoxious. Thinking here of some sectors of the Red Sox and Pat fan base. Truly Mass holes.

    ReplyReply
  67. Kathy says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    And a decade earlier the Wrong Way Run.

    ReplyReply
  68. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    supposition that would also apply to the East Germans.

    Yup; I think it does, to some extent.
    Look how at how many votes both der Linke and AfD get in the former East;and how few in the West (apart from AfD in some districts of Bavaria).
    Both are atavistic throwbacks.

    It’s modified a bit by the influence of western Germany (also Ossi resentment of that).
    If East Germany were a stand-alone state, it would be pretty good odds it might be going populist/neo-right

    ReplyReply
    1
  69. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Pfui.
    Try being obliged to support Coventry City in (soccer) football and Worcester Warriors in rugby union, then tell me the meaning of pain.

    ReplyReply
    1
  70. de stijl says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Check Paul Krause and Joey Browner highlight reels for Viking defense studs.

    Some of the shots in the Tarkenton reel showed the old school goal posts at the front of the end zone. That takes me way back.

    So close for so long. I have hope.

    ReplyReply
  71. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    For about 30 years, the Green Bay Packers were at the bottom of the pile–and every game was sold out. In the 1980’s–when Farve came in and they started moving to the top o the pile–the waiting list for season tickets was 18 years. It’s now closer to 25 years.

    The Pack is unique in the NFL, however. It’s the only team that’s owned by the city. In fact, it’s the only one allowed to be. The Pack can never leave Green Bay. They’re literally “Our team”.

    Wearing purple on game day will get you dirty looks. Wearing blue will get you an ongoing chorus of “The Bears still suck!”

    We will, however, sit down and have a beer with you.

    ReplyReply
    1
  72. DrDaveT says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Bucky efffin Dent (you didn’t know he had a middle name)

    I did, in fact.

    That also reminds me of the English football joke…
    Q: Which three English football clubs have curse words in their names?
    A: Arsenal, Scunthorpe, and Manchester F$%^ing United.

    ReplyReply
    3
  73. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Well, that’s always struck me a s a bit odd; I’ve heard of almost all the cities associated with American sports teams, but, and I hope you don’t think I’m being rude, where the heck is Green Bay?
    (I know, I could googleit, but why spoil the fun 🙂 )

    ReplyReply
  74. JohnSF says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Arsenal, Scunthorpe, and Manchester F$%^ing United

    Yesss! It’s gone global!

    ReplyReply
    1
  75. Kathy says:

    There are 32 teams in the NFL. If a different one won the Super Bowl each year, the each team would win a championship not quite every generation.

    There’s only one champion, of course. But there are 12 playoff teams. What marks a lousy team from a good one is their chronic inability to make the playoffs (a mediocre one, I suppose, makes the playoffs from time to time but is chronically eliminated in their first game).

    ReplyReply
  76. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    I think west of New England and Carolina, and north of Tennessee 🙂

    ReplyReply
  77. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    Middle and very north.

    Look at a map of the US. Lake Michigan is the one that drops down to Chicago. At the top, there’s a little finger of land that sticks out into the lake. Green Bay is at the bottom of it.

    Green Bay

    And yes, it’s north of Toronto.

    I went to uni there. The campus is on a hill at the very tip of the bay–which freezes 6-10 feet thick. The wind comes whipping down the bay, across all that ice, and right onto the campus.

    So… when they built it, they included an underground concourse that connects every one of the academic buildings. It’s all connected. Once you’re inside, you’re safe from the cold–which gets down to -40C or colder (with wind-chill down to -60C).

    ReplyReply
  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: It’s every long suffering fan’s right to be an asshole after they finally win. Some day the Browns fans will get their long overdue reward and we will have to suffer for it.

    ReplyReply
  79. de stijl says:

    A friend of mine was briefly married to a famous Chicago Bear in the late 80s. He seemed like a pretty good guy. For a Bear.

    Years and years and years later she got married to a old friend of mine from way back from the old music scene.

    I didn’t set em up. They met on their own volition. That was cool – two friend points from different sets connected. Confluence.

    ReplyReply
  80. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    As regards teams and their town, Coventry City FC, formerly a First Divion club and FA Cup winner, has had since 2013 a complicated, acrimonious interlocking series of disputes between the football club, the City Council, the club ownership company SISU, the stadium owners ACL, the Wasps Rugby Union Club (don’t ask), and probably the local traffic warden as well.

    Currently playing in Birmingham in a ground-share arrangement with Birmingham City FC.
    And if you only knew what a dagger “groundshare in Birmingham” stabs into every Coventrian heart.
    Patronised. By Brummies!

    ReplyReply
    1
  81. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    -40 ! Ye gods.
    The USA has a lot of things in it’s favour, but climate is not high on that list!

    OTOH, thinking about it, Sweden can get that cold, and I’d consider living there, so…
    Known a couple of Brits spent some time in Calgary, in Canada, and another in Minneapolis, and they said the thing is, as long as it’s not blowing, and you dress sensible, it’s not too bad because it’s a very dry cold.
    But I should think being by a lake would bugger that up as well?

    ReplyReply
  82. inhumans99 says:

    So Giuliani was the last man standing who was willing to defend Trump’s attempt to steal the election by getting ballots tossed at court in PA today and the case just went down in flames.

    Politico probably could not scrape up as little as 25% of voters who feel that Trump should immediately concede as recently as just 3-4 days back but today 46% say he should concede and I bet some of that 46% is comprised of Republicans. It would be better if the percentage were higher but at least we are moving past more than two thirds of Trump voters not willing to accept reality.

    Finally, to cap off Trump’s very bad news day Netanyahu’s team reports he had a good conversation with President Elect Biden. Netanyahu certainly is not under the impression that Trump will be sworn in again on 01/20.

    Actually, another piece of bad news for Trump is that folks are starting to constantly ask why Graham was so intent on doing Trump’s bidding and encouraging that votes in GA and elsewhere get tossed during recounts, seeing Graham have to come up with a defense of his actions knocks him down a perch as he always struck me as someone who is obnoxiously smug.

    Seriously, the GOP needs to stick a fork in Trump as he is done and they also need to force him to go out onto the WH balcony and concede (if that means grabbing him by the wrist and dragging him to the balcony and forcing him to apologize to America for being such a childish dick than that is what needs to happen). Why let this guy drag them down in GA and potentially during the 2022/2024 elections.

    ReplyReply
    1
  83. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..It’s every long suffering fan’s right to be an asshole after they finally win.

    When the Cubs finally won it all in 2016 I had fun trading high fives with strangers in Cub’s caps and shirts. After several days I saw another guy with a Cub’s cap on.
    “How about those Cubs!!!” I said.
    “I’m a Cleveland fan. I lost a bet. I gotta’ wear this cap till Spring Training.”
    I laughed so hard I almost fell over as he walked away…

    ReplyReply
    3
  84. Mister Bluster says:

    @inhumans99:..Why let this guy drag them down in GA and potentially during the 2022/2024 elections.

    Why not?
    What is it about don’t interfere with your enemy when he’s about to step in quicksand?
    I’d like to toss them a brick or two.

    ReplyReply
    2
  85. grumpy realist says:

    Looks like Trump’s continual hissy-fit about voting by mail cut down his vote sufficiently that that is why he lost Georgia. Trump basically shot a huge hole in his own boat.

    Guffaw.

    ReplyReply
    1
  86. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Cry me a river. I’ve lived in Duluth.

    The school I went to in St. Paul had tunnels. They were locked and verboten. Designed to run services and heating to all buildings on campus. Possibly civil defense. It connected to all except to the new dorms.

    My scholarship job ended up as security. I was extremely ill-suited to the job. Hilariously so. But I could lock doors. And escort folks from a to b. The uni was so cheesy it made me laugh every time I saw myself in a window reflection. I looked like a punk rocker in a cheap cop knockoff.

    We had keys. We had keys to the tunnels.

    A smart fella might have scampered off to Wallgreens and copied that key mid-shift because tunnels are super cool.

    A discrete fella would only invite his nearest and dearest friends on late night jaunts into the underground lairs while they were drunk and high.

    A smart fella knows his environment 360 and 3D including underearth structures.

    In my ethos, I was a kick-ass security guard. Per my putative boss – an often drunk ex-St. Paul cop – I had a bad attitude. Telling you that is stupid when it is demonstrably stupid is not bad attitude. It’s reasonable.

    I got the midnight to 8 am shift a lot. Cool by me. I explored everything.

    Campus cops nowadays are entirely different.

    Back then it was a bunch of kids and a Security Director whose main job was to drink Irish coffee while we pretended he wasn’t a boob and an incompetent fool and got on with the job.

    If someone is giving me money, they are getting best effort.

    ReplyReply
    2
  87. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    When the Twins beat the Cards in 87 I broke my vocal cords. I was living downtown and just went downstairs and high-fived every idiot who walked past until my hand hurt.

    That was a good night. Couldn’t speak properly for three days.

    ReplyReply
  88. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    Cry me a river. I’ve lived in Duluth.

    Who was complaining? I love a brisk winter. I was just letting the Brit know what real weather is like. 🙂

    @JohnSF:

    Known a couple of Brits spent some time in Calgary, in Canada, and another in Minneapolis, and they said the thing is, as long as it’s not blowing, and you dress sensible, it’s not too bad because it’s a very dry cold.

    Dry makes all the difference. When I was a stagehand in uni, we’d often be loading trucks in our t-shirts when it was about -7C. When it gets that cold, it’s all “surface cold”, you come in side and shake it off. Shanghai area, was far worse. 1C and 80% humidity–bone-chilling cold that soaked in and didn’t leave until summer… when it would get up to +40C w/ 95% humidity*.

    But I should think being by a lake would bugger that up as well?

    You have to remember: in the winter it’s not a lake. It’s a glacier. It’s a giant block of ice that sucks all the moisture out of the air as it passes over.

    * When I was in China I had a lot of British colleagues–most had been there as long as I had, but there was a young kid (22-23) who came over. Somewhere in the spring he mentioned how hot it was. It was 27C. We all looked at him and laughed. When I told him it regularly got up to 40C he didn’t believe it. I believe it was that year that August had 20 days at or over 40.

    ReplyReply
    1
  89. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    This reminds me of the famous London Times headline that read: “Temperatures in Seventies Again Today; No Relief in Sight.”

    ReplyReply
    3
  90. Mu Yixiao says:

    @CSK:

    ROFLMAO!!

    ReplyReply
    2
  91. Mu Yixiao says:

    Randall Munroe of xkcd is normally snarkilly funny. But he can also strike at the heart.

    Ten Years

    And… oddly inspirational (I’d never seen this before).

    ReplyReply
    2
  92. Sleeping Dog says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Then there is the Massachusetts governors joke: Which Mass Gov had 4 communities name after him? Answer, Endicot Peabody. communities, Endicot, Peabody, Athol and Marblehead.

    @JohnSF: John, the Red Sox 86 years between winning the World Series, only the Chicago Cubs waited longer.

    ReplyReply
    1
  93. Mu Yixiao says:

    Yesterday’s religion discussion made me think of this:

    Babylon 5: Earth’s dominant religion. (YouTube)

    ReplyReply
    3
  94. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Nah, the Browns will never win.

    ReplyReply
  95. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Spoke to a Cinci Reds fan the other day. He’s ecstatic that Trump lost and now he can go back to wearing his Reds cap without getting dirty looks.

    ReplyReply
    2
  96. de stijl says:

    Check the moon tonight. The tiniest sliver. Really great dusk here.

    ReplyReply
  97. ImProPer says:

    A major turn of events for team orange. Famed New York Attorney, and Trump’s personal consigliare, Rudolpho,”Rudy the Ruse” Giuliani, is being let loose in the ongoing election legal battle. Giuliani, with an impressive track record representing Trump, is an odds on favorite to keep it going. 0-30?,
    0-40?, 0-100? Who knows? Skys the limit with the old Ruse’s legal talent, coupled with his influence.
    According to the NYT. The details are being hashed out now. Link below

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/17/us/politics/giuliani-trump-election-pay.html

    ReplyReply
  98. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Thanks. I enjoyed that. There were dozens.

    ReplyReply
  99. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Ha! That gave me a giggle or 3.

    ReplyReply
  100. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: 3 words: Lake. Effect. Snow.

    ReplyReply
  101. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I think you may just be right, but I pray (to a god I don’t believe in) otherwise.

    ReplyReply
  102. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    @CSK:
    I don’t like the thought of -40;
    But I really hate the thought of +40C w/ 95% humidity.
    Us western Europeans are just not used to that sort of thing.

    I’ve heard a lot of people say the climate in east Asia and the eastern half of North America are rather similar; while Europe is more like the American west coast.

    OTOH 80% humidity is about par for a lot of Britain in winter; and a long spell at around 1C is not that unusual.
    Plus the midwinter sun rises at about 8:00 am, peaks at 15 degrees elevation, sets at about 4:00 pm. If there’s heavy low cloud, which is common, it’s dark till 9:00 and after 3:00.
    Squelchy, soggy, gloomy.
    Home.

    Perfect climate if you ask me; SW France/NW Spain; similar to California but a little more seasonality, and a bit more rain.

    ReplyReply
  103. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Thanx. I love “fingernail moons” as my late oldest sis called them.

    ReplyReply
    1
  104. DrDaveT says:

    @JohnSF:

    Coventry City FC, formerly a First Divion club and FA Cup winner

    I’m crushed — you mean they’ve ruined the joke in the classic Monty Python World Forum: Communism sketch???

    So we’ll go on to you, Che.
    Che Guevara: Coventry City last won the FA Cup in what year?
    (Cut to Che looking equally dumbfounded)
    No? I’ll throw it open. Coventry City last won the FA Cup in what year? (they all look blank)
    No? Well, I’m not surprised you didn’t get that. It was in fact a trick question. Coventry City have never won the FA Cup.

    ReplyReply
    1
  105. flat earth luddite says:

    @Mu Yixiao
    :
    Thanks for sharing both links. The cancer one in particular moves me. Just passed my 9 year cancerversary last month. Stage IV colon cancer diagnosis, and just confirmed that I’m still clear.

    As for the Captain – chess in a Chinook? As Inspector Gadget used to say, “Wowsers, Penny!”

    ReplyReply
    2
  106. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    I’ve heard a lot of people say the climate in east Asia and the eastern half of North America are rather similar; while Europe is more like the American west coast.

    I don’t see that.

    “East Asia” runs from arctic to tropical. Eastern US is all temperate. Shanghai–the area where I was–is about middle N/S latitude for China. It’s about as south as you can go in the US–and that’s in Texas (Houston).

    And with the exception of Spain, Portugal, and Italy, Europe is about the same as the norther quarter of the US and well into Canada. Most of Europe is comparable to Canada. The UK is entirely north of the United States.

    ReplyReply
    1
  107. JohnSF says:

    @DrDaveT:
    We did indeed. 1987.
    Coventry 3 – Tottenham Hotspur 2

    So about 5 years (?) after the Pythons sketch (the bastards).

    For other Americanians: FA Cup roughly equates to the superbowl, I guess.

    Though, by and large, apart from Coventry (because it was the family hometown) I don’ really care at all about football.

    Rugby is more my thing.
    So, I end up living in a county where the team keeps bouncing between Premier League membership and relegation to the Championship.

    US doesn’t have a comparison here IIRC; franchises can’t be relegated from their leagues?
    Imagine the humiliation if you could.

    ReplyReply
    1
  108. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Thanks for those. I always found https://xkcd.com/162/ (link button currently missing) delightfully touching, as well. (From its permanent pin to the home page, I gather many other people do too…)

    ReplyReply
    1
  109. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: The UK is entirely north of the United States.

    Yes, but is moderated by the gulf stream. Latitude is not the lone measure of it.

    ReplyReply
    1
  110. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Yep. You can actually grow palm trees in southwest Scotland. That is one weird sight.

    ReplyReply
    2
  111. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    I was thinking more about North America as a whole than just the US.

    And surely, Florida is pretty damn tropical by most accounts.

    If you ask me, if it’s got alligators, python, and giant insects
    a) it’s tropical
    b) I’m not going there to investigate the details further.

    Europe vs America latitude comparisons are massively skewed by the Gulf Stream effect.
    Comparing even Pacific coast to Europe you need to offset a lot to compensate for that effect, east coast even more.

    There are differences, yes (mountains trend more E-W in Asia, more N-S in America; Asia has the influences of the monsoon fringe in summers, Siberian airmass in winter, etc.)
    But the general pattern is similar-ish across hemispheres
    E North America, NE Asia, E Australia, SE Africa, SE South America (adjusted for latitudes and currents) all tend to humid summers, dryer winters; rainfall peak in summer.
    W North America, W Europe, W Australia, SW Africa, SW South America: dryer summers, humid winters, rainfall peak in winter.
    Not absolute of course; e.g. due to maritime effects Shanghai humid and less cold in winter; California is markedly dryer in summer than SW Europe etc.
    But there is an overall pattern.

    ReplyReply
  112. de stijl says:

    Cities by Talking Heads is a really interesting song. On Fear Of Music it was chilly and forbidding and great.

    By 1984 in Stop Making Sense Byrne had discovered Afro rhythms and syncopation. That song plays very differently. Still great but quite different.

    My favorite album title of all time is More Songs About Buildings And Food. How fucking there is that?

    The Big Country blew my teen mind.

    Reykjavik goes by UTC0 / GMT but it should be one zone west so the clock is an hour off.

    It is extremely dark in the winter. Wan, slanted sun on clear days. And summer is bright as brass. Well, can be depending on cloud cover. The transition is thrilling.

    ReplyReply
  113. Mu Yixiao says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Absolutely. That was part of my point. Brits often don’t understand what “north” means in the US with regards to weather because they’re very protected due to the ocean and the jet stream.

    The entire UK is north of Green Bay, but -40C is unthinkable to them–whereas it’s “a little colder than normal” for us. 🙂

    On a side note before I go watch some (British) TV before bed:

    In Green Bay, there was a McDonald’s that–during the winter–would tie the price of a cheeseburger to the official temperature (F). So… if it was at the freezing point (32F/0C), a cheeseburger would cost 32¢. They had a disclaimer that said “Offer only good to 1°”. Otherwise, there were way too many days that they would have had to pay people to eat cheeseburgers.

    ReplyReply
    1
  114. Jax says:

    They’re really gonna try to ratfuck the electoral college vote. 😐

    https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2020/11/17/wayne-county-election-certification/6309668002/

    ReplyReply
  115. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Come off it. You are far smarter than that bit of snark. Philadelphia PA is half a degree latitude north of Palma, Mallorca. Ever see a palm tree growing next to the Liberty Bell? They line the streets of Palma.

    Climate is more than latitude.

    @JohnSF: gets it.

    ReplyReply
  116. JohnSF says:

    IIRC re. climate, the closest analogue to the UK climate in North America is Portland. But with the big difference that you can go fairly short distances from Portland and get to places with very different climates?
    And Portland doesn’t have quite as short winter days; or as long days in summer, which is the other side of the coin: on Midsummers Day, if it’s clear, twilight begins at 4:45 BST and dusk ends around 10:30 BST

    ReplyReply
  117. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Brits often don’t understand what “north” means in the US with regards to weather

    Sorry, my bad. I missed that nuance.

    ReplyReply
  118. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    I was thinking more about North America as a whole than just the US.

    And surely, Florida is pretty damn tropical by most accounts.

    If you ask me, if it’s got alligators, python, and giant insects
    a) it’s tropical
    b) I’m not going there to investigate the details further.

    Florida is sub-tropical (It’s just north of the Tropic of Cancer) It actually spans the same degrees of latitude as Egypt.

    On the other hand, Oz has crocodiles, boa constrictors*, and giant spiders that eat birds. Most of it is sub-tropical, too.

    * Neither boa nor pythons are native to FL or OZ. The ones in the wild are pets that were introduced to the wild.

    ReplyReply
    1
  119. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    IIRC re. climate, the closest analogue to the UK climate in North America is Portland.

    That’s probably the best comparison. The Pacific NW is far north, but they get the benefit of warm winds off the Pacific. Compare a January day in Seattle to the same one in Bismark, and you’ll see a startling difference.

    ReplyReply
    1
  120. JohnSF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Actually re palm trees in Scotland: image

    Rather straggly palms, I grant, but palms nonetheless.
    Southern parts of the western Isles are weird, climate-wise.

    ReplyReply
    1
  121. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    …pythons are pets that were introduced to the wild

    But the key thing is: Pythons!!!
    Also: Alligators!!!
    Also: Giant insects!!!

    Oz has crocodiles, boa constrictors*, and giant spiders that eat birds

    Eeek!

    Not to mention drop bears.

    ReplyReply
    1
  122. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Talked to someone who had been to Iceland; he said imagine Highland Scotland, then turn the amp up to 11.

    ReplyReply
  123. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    I’ve never known which team to pull for in EPL. Certainly not the big bois with billion pound payrolls.

    I like a cold brown ale, so Newcastle was a possibility. I could bring coal there and be intentionally laughed.

    I love Manchester the city, but Man U was too dominant too long. It would be akin to rooting for the Dallas Cowboys. But that scene back then – Joy Division.

    Have you seen 24 Hour Party People?

    Man City used to be dog food compared to Man U but they got good.

    West Ham makes me laugh – East Ham couldn’t be bothered to show up apparently. Tottenham Hotspurs intrigues because that is one bad-ass rooster.

    I have zero idea where West Ham is or Tottenham is in England.

    Coventry is second tier. Will totally root for The Blues when they get back up to first tier.

    I need an EPL team to root for now. Preferably northern. The plucky underdog that punches over weight.

    ReplyReply
  124. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    It’s the Gulf Stream!

    ReplyReply
  125. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Well there’s always Millwall, with their distinctive song:
    “We are Millwall, lovely Millwall!”
    “Nobody likes us!”
    We don’t care!

    A rather argumentative bunch..
    But Championship, not Premier.

    Tottenham and West Ham both London clubs; there are a lot of London clubs;
    In addition to ‘Spurs and the Hammers, in the Premiership, there’s Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, and Fulham; plus in the lower leagues but still “names” Queens Park, Wimbledon, Charlton etc.
    (There used to be an East Ham: never did much, folded about 2006)

    Man City have got big on the strength of money power: they’ve had an almost bottomless purse from the Emirates ownership.

    Pretty much all PL clubs these days are wealthy though: even the lesser ones will take in c. £150 million p.a.; Man U takes about £750 million plus

    Northern clubs left in the PL (not counting Midlands clubs, ‘cos Midlands aint North and aint South) and excluding the Mancs’ are: Burnley; Everton; Leeds United; Liverpool; Newcastle United; Sheffield United.
    You could do worse than Liverpool IMHO (my second favoured team on the basis that I lived nearby when they were on their glory roll in the 70’s/early 80’s) who are doing well recently.
    Hardly underdogs, though. About 3 in the Premiership right now.
    It’s been a funny year; Man U are down at 14.
    If you want a real underdog, Sheffield or Burnley, but one of those two is unlikely to be in the Premiership next season.

    Or, you could wise up and follow rugby instead. 🙂

    ReplyReply
    1
  126. EddieInCA says:

    Manchester United fan here. So much so that I get up at 5am to watch the EPL whenever ManU is playing that early.

    When I lived in London, my local team was QPR, as I lived in Ealing, with Ray Wilkins as the Player Manager. They were in the Premier League then. I think they’re in the Championship now, after being relegated down League One. Heck they’re in 18th place now, so they might get relegated again.

    At that same time, Charlton, Wimbledon, Fulham and QPR were all in the Premier League, in additional to Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, and West Ham United. Almost half the EPL was in London.

    ReplyReply
  127. de stijl says:

    Northern Minnesota looks like inland Sweden or Finland.

    Flat, wooded, lakes, ponds, bogs. A few differences on tree species. Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan too.

    Post glaciated melt water land. Here it all melted into Lake Superior with little lakes at the low spots.

    You could throw a rock in a random direction and likely hit a person named Anderson or Virtanen or Paulson or Peterson or Kukkinen.(Btw, don’t throw rocks randomly; that would be rude.) Plenty of Germans too.

    Finns tended towards mining areas in the Iron Range Arrowhead of Minnesota or in the UP. Swedes and Norwegians south of the forest in arable land. The miners had radical ideas about unionization.

    My buddy has a cabin outside of Hayward, WI. The culture is fascinating.

    There is a belt of Italians from Eau Claire north to Superior and NE towards Iron City because they got hired on to build rail spurs.

    Cumberland, Hayward, Hurley, and Hell was a saying. Noting towns of perdition and notable carnality. The last is figurative.

    ReplyReply
  128. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    I need an EPL team to root for now. Preferably northern. The plucky underdog that punches over weight.

    Come over to the toffee side!

    I root for Everton, which is a town just across the river from Liverpool. So, northern! Also, underdog! Also, employed a US goalkeeper for many years! Lovingly known as “the toffees”.

    I started rooting for Everton when my favorite team (Swansea City) got relegated, and my favorite player (Icelander Gylfi Sigurðsson) was sold from Swansea to Everton. It’s a team that has been occasionally very good in the past, and has occasionally flirted with relegation — not MFU or any of the other perennial top-4 teams (Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham).

    I can respect a Spurs fan, though.

    ReplyReply
  129. DrDaveT says:

    Nobody’s going to read this so late at night, but I can’t resist.

    I just cooked the best meal I’ve made in many years. We’re declaring it to have been Thanksgiving Dinner retroactively.

    Entree: beef tenderloin steaks (about 3/4″ thick), pan-seared in rosemary brown butter and topped with Boursin
    Starch: diced parboiled-then-roasted Yukon Gold potatoes and parsnips tossed in olive oil, herbes de provence, cracked pepper, and provencale herb salt.
    Veg: steamed French green beans, sauteed in a pan sauce made from the meat drippings and beurre manier deglazed with Calvados
    Beverage: 2011 Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape

    No dessert required.

    ReplyReply
    1
  130. de stijl says:

    I like Millwall the way you describe it. That fits my vibe.

    Could also see Newcastle or Sheffield.

    Too ignorant to know know the team names. I will guess the Newcastle Coals and the Sheffield Steel. Now I’ll look em up….

    Newcastle United? Boring!

    Sheffield is The Club? That is so boring it turned the circle and becomes kinda bad-ass.

    I looked up Millwall FC and the top listing for related Google searches was “Is Millwall safe?”

    Okay. That is *the* ultimate tie breaker. Millwall it is then. I will order the jersey. Possibly the scarf. Millwall is my new club.

    Secondarily on Newcastle since they’re Premiere League.

    ReplyReply
  131. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Okay, Everton and Newcastle. I’m trusting you on this.

    ReplyReply
  132. de stijl says:

    One year I did a NCAA bracket based solely on team names. Not that Michigan would conceivably face Wisconsin in Round 1.

    Does a wolverine beat a badger in a straight up battle? Hell yeah, Wolverine wins. That was the strategy.

    I went thru all 64 and ranked em thusly. Cost me 20 bucks and it was fun as hell.

    It did better than you would expect. My actual bracket did way better, but mascot vs. mascot non-viable but fun way to waste a day thinking on it.

    Eagle vs. Warrior. Who wins? The eagle cannot kill a human outright but is likely way faster during a dive for the warrior to defend against successfully. I eventually chose the eagle in a death by a thousand cuts scenario.

    ReplyReply

Speak Your Mind

*