Tuesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open 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 and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Republican Kevin McCarthy says he walks ‘tightest tightrope’ because of Trump

    Nope, it’s because you’re a craven coward.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Israel is committing the crime of apartheid, rights watchdog says

    Really? Why I never would have guessed.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    COVID19
    @V2019N

    A private school in Miami, citing false claims, bars vaccinated teachers from contact with students.
    Teachers who get the vaccine over the summer will not be allowed to return .. effectively making teachers’ employment contingent on avoiding the vaccine.

    Annie Martin
    @reporterannie
    · 14h
    This private school, whose leader falsely claims spending time around a vaccinated person can affect women’s menstrual cycles, received $350K-$1M in PPP loans last year AND is eligible to take Florida’s publicly funded scholarships or vouchers. twitter.com/PatriciaMazzei…

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  4. Scott says:

    Still below noise level but something to keep an eye on.

    Pentagon Tracking 14 Cases of Heart Inflammation in Troops After COVID-19 Shots

    The Defense Department is tracking 14 cases of heart inflammation, or myocarditis, in military health patients who developed the condition after receiving either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

    The rare disorder, usually caused by a virus, has been linked to COVID-19. But following a number of reports from Israel of patients developing the inflammation in conjunction with receiving vaccines, the Israeli Health Ministry is exploring a possible link.

    Of the 14 cases, one patient, who tested positive for COVID-19 three months ago, developed myocarditis after their first dose of vaccine. The remaining 13 patients developed myocarditis after their second vaccine doses. Eleven received the Moderna vaccine; three got Pfizer.

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  5. Teve says:

    Last year I made some changes to social media accounts. My feeds were relentlessly angering. I was feeling negative all the time. I looked at my feed carefully and it was a few people and orgs that I liked, but who were just relentlessly negative and I was an an elevated and unhappy state all day. Unfollowed/muted them. Was much better almost immediately.

    This morning I wake up and the first three things I see are

    “Can you believe what MTG said?”
    “OMG Guess what horrible asshole voted against protecting Asian women!”
    “Kevin McCarthy said…”

    I can’t live like this. I gotta make some changes.

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  6. The Covid situation in India is worse than what is being reported

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/27/india/india-covid-underreporting-intl-hnk-dst/index.html

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  7. New York will lose one House seat due to 2020 Census numbers. They would have ended up keeping all their seats, and the Electoral College vote they will a lose, if just 89 more people had been counted.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/27/india/india-covid-underreporting-intl-hnk-dst/index.html

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  8. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    We’re bitching about the exact same things here at OTB.

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  9. The Mars helicopter Ingenuity had a very successful third flight

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/25/world/mars-helicopter-ingenuity-third-flight-scn-trnd/index.html

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  10. Teve says:

    @CSK: sure. And I am guilty of it as anybody too. I just can’t be having it rolling across all my social media feeds all day into the night. I just had to block some leftist activist group that was straight up lying about Bill Gates, and added some more names to my muted words on Twitter. I’m not trying to eliminate everything, if I were I’d just go try to read Making Your Own Days which I’ve been trying to get to for a month. It just can’t be nonstop and relentless.

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  11. Teve says:

    @CSK: i’m learning that at least with addictive personalities like mine, social media can be like alcohol. A little bit of it can improve your life, but if you’re not careful it can slip out of control and turn into a demon.

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  12. Long Time Listener says:

    @Teve: that was me, in 2015. I’d wake up in the middle of the night angry; and would spend the remainder of the day that way. Had to delete my FB account (gently recommend that you consider same); and even had to take a series of many months-long breaks even from the relatively low-intensity combat that can take place here, at OTB. Important and liberating.

    I prefer to refer to MTG as ‘BTK’. Gives me a chuckle.

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  13. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    I immediately snooze or block anything or anyone political that comes up on my Facebook page, and always have, simply because I don’t want to witness the inevitable shitstorm that follows.

    I read several people on Twitter, but don’t tweet myself.

    I only comment here at OTB.

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  14. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: FWIW, I’ve gradually dropped all my social media except for friends and family based text message chats, and a photo feed I still update to keep my mother in the loop. I have one Facebook group that is about a very specific issue ( a particular brand of tow-behind camper trailer ) and that is the only thing I participate in. I don’t miss it in the slightest.

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: A long time ago I had a friend who suffered from deep depression. On top of that he had good reasons: His life had gone to shit, lousy job, the love of his life was lost in a sea of heroine and he couldn’t rescue her from it no matter how often he tried, his mother was dying of cancer, etc etc etc. It got so bad that every time I saw him my own clinical depression was triggered.

    I finally just had to walk away from one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever known. I still feel a little guilty about it but I couldn’t help him and it was hurting me. Last I heard he went back to Texas. From time to time I think of him and send a hope his way that he was finally able to turn things around. He certainly deserved it.

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  16. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Words fail me. Here’s the article from the NYTimes:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/26/us/florida-centner-academy-vaccine.html

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  17. MarkedMan says:

    In 1991 I moved to New Orleans and took an apartment next to Audubon Park on Saint Charles. I didn’t have a TV, instead watching VHS tapes through a video card in my Mac. I didn’t listen to commercial radio, just the local Public Radio station. And I didn’t go shopping in malls. I did read the newspaper, but threw away any ads that came with the Sunday paper without looking at them. On the first or second weekend in December I hopped on the street car only to find it decorated with all kinds of Christmas stuff. The next day, at work, I mentioned that I hadn’t even realized we were that close to Christmas. My coworkers looked at me like I was from Mars. For the better part of the last two months the Christmas ads, TV shows, sales, etc had been blasting at them 24/7. It made me realize how much more pleasant the holiday season was for me than it was for them.

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  18. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Astonishing coincidence that countries that are officially democracies but that have been taken over by autocrats who demand a near-religious level of devotion from their followers, unite their base in hatred against part of the population and believe that their will is stronger than reality keep being the ones with skyrocketing Covid cases — first in Trump’s America, then Putin’s Russia, Modi’s India and Bolsonaro’s Brazil.

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  19. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: I learned along time its best to save anger for situations you can actively channel it into action. Social media does the opposite. It triggers outrage and it just sits there inside people–multiplying because they keep scrolling.

    Anger inside the body is like water inside a boat transom–the water will eventually win.

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  20. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: Its designed to be addictive–every detail down to why your feed scrolls vertically rather than horizontally.

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  21. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: When someone is drowning and you try to save them and they pull you under as well–there is only one play unfortunately.

    Perhaps my next life’s adventure will be in a dimension where there are only choices between good/better or good/bad. In this place–there are way too many choice to be mad between bad/worse.

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  22. Neil J Hudelson says:

    Continuing the cooking thread from yesterday, last night I made an incredibly easy and tasty Chicken Paprikash. I used an instant pot, but I think one could use a slow cooker with a few modifications (saute onions and spices in separate pan, add to slow cooker, nestle chicken, cook until the chicken falls apart):

    Finely chop a large onion.
    Saute in instant pot for about 5 minutes, until onions are soft and starting to gain some color.
    Throw in a tablespoon or two of tomato paste, and 2-3 tablespoons of paprika. Stir and heat for 30 seconds to a minute, until everything is fragrant.
    Add half a cup of water, and nestle in 4-6 chicken thighs (bone-in tastes better, but tear off the skins first; they don’t add anything to this dish but fat).
    Set your pressure cooker to “normal/high” and cook for 10 minutes. Let natural release for 10 minutes, then manually release the rest of the pressure.
    In a small bowl, whisk together a cup of sour cream or greek yogurt (the sour cream holds up better, but the yogurt is more healthful) with a tablespoon or so of corn starch.
    Take out chicken from instant pot, stir in sour cream mixture, bring back up to heat with the ‘saute’ function, and stir until slightly thickened.
    Garnish with dill, salt and pepper to taste.
    Serve over noodles.
    Uses ingredients you probably have on hand already, and takes about 30 minutes start to finish.

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  23. Teve says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: that sounds really good

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  24. Kathy says:

    In apparent good news, vaccination for my age group will allegedly begin in May, with registration opening tomorrow.

    Given how high the prices are for travel to the US, this would suit me fine, if true. I guess I’ll know tomorrow.

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  25. Neil J Hudelson says:

    My grocery store had a sale on bulk sesame seeds of all things. I don’t use them often, but generally if I have a lot of something I’ll find a use for it. And just like that, this comes up in my twitter feed:

    https://www.epicurious.com/recipes-menus/how-to-make-jen-yee-sesame-chiffon-cake-article#intcid=_epicurious-bottom-recirc_99166d68-f9c6-470a-a1e2-e09a11a99416_text2vec1

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  26. Kathy says:

    I saw the doctor yesterday for the latest post-op follow up. Everything’s fine, and the next one is in two months.

    I also noticed a coffee mug on his desk with writing on one side that said: “Don’t confuse your Google search with my medical degree.”

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  27. @wr:

    I think the problem in India is the size of the population and poor health care in poor parts of the c oi country both have a lot to do with this

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  28. steve says:

    MarkedMan- That is the one. Thought it was golden hamsters. Now that Iknow it was Arab hamsters, Syrian, the whole study is suspect! Anyway, I couldn’t remember what masking material they used, but as I said we also have the laser studies and I think others looking at mask materials. All of them seem to decrease droplet spread to some extent. Since viral load seems to correlate with severity of infection I think cloth masks likely help. Lots of other studies also on the positive effects of masks. I wear regular surgical masks or a KN 95 away from work.

    Steve

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  29. Kathy says:

    I’ve been wondering about the George Floyd murder, whether the alleged counterfeit bill he used was actually counterfeit.

    Some years ago in Vegas, I paid for a buffet at the Fremont with a very old $5 note. It was genuine*, and as far as I know the US does not demonetize discontinued bank note designs. Nevertheless, the cashier thought it might be counterfeit. She told me she’d take the note to her manager and meantime could I pay with something else.

    During my dinner, she came to give the note back and told me it was good. She offered to exchange it for a newer note if I wished.

    That’s far different from what went down in Minneapolis.

    *I’ve a minor interest in numismatics, and years ago I had a job where I hand-counted cash almost every day. I know how to tell a counterfeit bank note. Not to brag, but I can literally tell
    with my eyes closed, because the texture of currency, printed on cotton and linen paper, is quite different from that of bond paper, or other common print stocks.

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  30. The latest, and probably the last, of polls as Preasident Biden nears his 100th day in office shows what we’ve seen from the other polls.

    Reuters/IPSOS puts his job approval at 55% and gives him high marks for his handling of the pandemic and the vaccination rollout.

    Averaging the recent polls we find Bidren”s average approval number at 54%

    https://www.reuters.com/world/us/after-100-days-americans-give-biden-high-marks-covid-19-response-economy-2021-04-27/

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  31. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy:

    Your doc would love this: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EvO2BQ5WgAQOoUL.jpg

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  32. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    This reminds me of when the commenters on right-wing websites instruct doubters to “do the research.” The “research” almost invariably involves a careful scrutiny of every crackpot semi-literate blog under the sun.

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  33. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    “Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus…I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”

    Rush Limbaugh said this on Feb. 24, 2020. He may not have been right, but he certainly is dead.

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  34. Teve says:

    @CSK: yeah.

    “Oh you researched it? Where? scholar.google.com? JSTOR? ISI Web of Science?”

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  35. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: He’s actually more correct than you might think. The common cold is often caused by a coronavirus. Of course, he wasn’t “correct” in the way he was implying.

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  36. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Are you kidding? I wouldn’t deign to peruse those house organs of the deep-state globalists. When I want hard, factual info, I go to The Gateway Pundit and The Conservative Tree House.

    @Kylopod:
    Yeah, I know. I’m betting he saw “coronavirus” and “cold” and decided that Covid-19 was just the latter. He also opined that it was being “weaponized” to damage Trump.

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  37. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    I’m betting he saw “coronavirus” and “cold” and decided that Covid-19 was just the latter.

    I don’t know for sure, though I wasn’t intending to be that generous. I just thought he was adopting the common practice of using “the coronavirus” to refer specifically to Covid, and saying it was no worse than the cold–and ironically ending up saying something literally (semi) correct by chance. But I realize now it’s also possible he might have heard the cold is a coronavirus, and thought that itself proves Covid isn’t serious.

    Enough parsing the words of a dead moron for the day.

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  38. MarkedMan says:

    Prediction, just for the record. Tucker Carlson is doing a “Glen Beck”, i.e. becoming increasingly unhinged until the pressure finally forces him off the air.

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  39. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    The pressure within him or external pressure from Fox? He’s their top draw.

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  40. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I wonder if there’s a connection? Nah!! That can’t be it. Must be some other group of links.

    Yeah! That’s it!

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  41. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Step 1: Glenn Beck it until they fire you
    Step 2: Tell Newsmax you’ll immediately start but you want 50% of the equity if you can get Hannity over.
    Step 3: profit!

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  42. Teve says:

    With Carlson and Hannity on Newsmax telling viewers every night that Fox is a foreigner-owned deep state organ of the Washington insiders, FauxNews wouldn’t last a month.

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  43. just nutha says:

    Apparently, I’m ahead of the curve. I never had social media accounts to begin with. The closest I came was when I paid for premium service at Classmates for a while, but I never communicated with anyone closely. It was just “Wow! Good to hear from you and glad you’re doing well!”

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  44. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    I have FB and an unused Twitter, as I said. I started a LinkedIn years ago, and was so appalled to be immediately spammed by a horde of crackpots promoting their self-published self-help books that I never bothered looking at it again. I suppose if you’re a writer they think you’ll be charmed to shill their crap for them.

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  45. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK:

    The pressure within him or external pressure from Fox?

    Both? It’s hard to tell what eventually led to Beck’s demise, but at one time he was as popular on Fox as Carlson is now. No-one is talking, but I have to wonder if Beck’s rants had the lawyers at Fox worried. The only thing that will get Fox to do something about, well, anything is the realistic threat of a big lawsuit. If Beck’s ravings had clearly triggered someone to shoot up a crowded government building, Fox could have potentially found itself on the hook for billions.

    With Carlson, this latest thing about telling his viewers to harass parents of young children on the street seems, a) unhinged, b) likely to instigate a lot of angry and potentially violent confrontations involving children, and c) very much a matter of public record with very little deniability.

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  46. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    I deleted Facebook a couple years ago. Never did Instagram other than grabbing my name before someone else used it. I’d be off Twitter – my last bit of social – but for the fact that it’s my only point of contact with fans.

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  47. Kylopod says:

    If Carlson is consciously trying to “do a Glenn Beck,” I can’t imagine why. Beck went on to found the Blaze, which is relatively successful, but compared to his days at Fox he became seriously diminished as a figure in right-wing media.

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  48. just nutha says:

    @CSK: various people over the years have advise me to get a FB and/or Linked-in presence because they would help me “market” myself (as a teacher). Alas, one of the reasons that I left business and went to teaching was that I had never had an affinity for the whole “marketing yourself” thing in the first place. (And yes, both of my careers suffered from that deficit. Mostly though, my careers suffered from my having an “acquired taste”-type personality.)

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  49. just nutha says:

    @Kylopod: I dunno the numbers (and probably care even less), but some people find that 100% of a smaller pie is still more pie than a small slice of a huge one. But that does run against the “size of your footprint” aspect you’re considering, too.

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  50. The 2020 Census revealed the slowest population groeth since the 1930s. I think thetr are several reasons for this.

    1. People are getting married later in life and either choosing to have only one or two kids or, in some cases, not to have kids at all.

    2 Also it is a general rule that population growth slows over the long term. We can see this in several parts of the developed world especially in First World countries.

    3 The main thing that has helped us maintain relatively good populations growth is our openness to immigration. In the end, people who are calling for less immigration like the Trump Cultists are hurting the country because we need the population growth it provides.

    4 Having a child can be explained even with health insurance. Raising that child over thr course of their lives is even more expensive. It’s possible that people are making the choice to have fewer, or no, children for economic reasons or because they would rather enjoy life as a couple.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/interactive/2021/2020-census-us-population-results/

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  51. Mu Yixiao says:

    I dropped FB several years ago. It just got to be too annoying.

    Now that I’m writing the newspaper, I went to sign back up (so many groups only list their information on FB)–only to have FB tell me “that’s not a real name”. Oddly enough, it is my real name–the same one I’d used on FB for years. It’s even in my FBI file! They wouldn’t let me on.

    So I tried my “birth certificate” name. It allowed me to join, suggested I “friend” my nephew…. and then kicked me off when I did.

    I have Twitter, but I never look at it. It’s linked to auto-publish tweets whenever I publish an article in the newspaper and that’s all.

    I have Instagram–again for the newspaper. I just publish random images from around town as a “where am I?” sort of game. I have no idea if anyone actually follows it. 😛

    And, of course, I have WeChat. Because you can’t survive in China without it. And… it’s a way for me to keep up with my former students, colleagues, and friends that I gained over the years. 60% of it is advertising*, 25% is pets, 10% is food, and 5% is actually something I pay attention to.

    ====
    * Just to clarify: It’s not paid advertisements. It’s friends/colleagues advertising stuff that they’re selling.

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  52. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    It’s pretty much a given that birth rates decrease as “affluence” increases. When China dropped the one-child policy a few years ago, it had little effect on birth rates (of course the OCP was oddly enforced to begin with).

    Japan is verging on a shrinking population, and Singapore is begging people to have babies.

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  53. @Mu Yixiao:

    Japan’s shrinking population growth is one of the reasons it’s been in a decades long economic funk

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  54. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I don’t watch Carlson, so I wasn’t aware till I saw it reported that he was encouraging people to harass mask-wearers. And didn’t he also encourage people to report the parents/guardians to children wearing masks to the authorities? He’s veering into major league nutcase area here. Child abuse?

    @Michael Reynolds:
    That’s the same reason I made my Twitter account. As for Instagram, I never had any interest.

    @just nutha:
    The whole concept of marketing myself makes my skin crawl. I suppose people assume teachers/professors will be good self-marketers is that they’re used to public speaking, of a sort. It’s true I’m quite comfortable doing public speaking. But “marketing” myself…

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  55. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @just nutha:

    Mostly though, my careers suffered from my having an “acquired taste”-type personality.

    Hey! I resemble that remark!

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  56. Teve says:

    LOL

    @Schwarzenegger

    Today was a good day. I have never been happier to wait in a line. If you’re eligible, join me and sign up to get your vaccine. Come with me if you want to live!

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  57. Scott says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I’ve been engaged since February in my family’s genealogy. Going back into the 1800s when most of the family was on farms, there were a ton of children in each family. As the next generation (late 1800s, early 1900s) moved to the city, the family units were 2-3 children. The process of urbanization results in lower population growth which goes along with cost of children.

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  58. Teve says:

    US replacement rate is currently ~1.9 per 2 people so we need to bring in ~ 1,650,000 people just to keep the population the same.

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  59. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Teve:

    It’s that low? Wow.

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  60. Kathy says:

    Given that vaccines are about 230 years old, with Jenner’s smallpox vaccine being first c.1790, and that there existed inoculation before then (at least for smallpox, no coincidence), it boggles the mind that people are scared or hesitant about them.

    We do not see the same fear about antibiotics, which aren’t even a century old. Quite the contrary, people abuse them as a cure-all when they shouldn’t and are rendering them ineffective. We don’t see that for most other drugs, either, never mind other technologies.

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  61. @Scott:

    All good points

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  62. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    Improvements in medical care also meant that more children would survive to adulthood. I think one of the reasons people had large numbers of children was to ensure that at least some of them would reach maturity. As treatments for illnesses got better, more kids lived. So a couple didn’t have to have eight children in order to end up with three.

    And, as people left the farms, they didn’t need as many farmhands.

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  63. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I saw 1.9 in an article yesterday and that’s what I used to do my 1.6 million immigrants calculation, but you have me double checking and I just checked five sources and I’m seeing anywhere from 1.73 to 2.1. So if I had to bet I would pick 1.9 just as the average of those, but I think there are different ways different organizations measure it and I don’t know the details.

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  64. just nutha says:

    Haven’t followed closely, so this may be old news for y’all, but it’s an interesting take on Andrew Yang.The money quote:

    This is the disadvantage the celebrity candidate faces in Democratic politics, at least if they’re running against conventional politicians and don’t have the party establishment on their side. (Al Franken could win a Senate primary, in other words, but he never could’ve beaten an incumbent in a primary.) A certain type of Democratic voter—the type most likely to show up to vote in oddly timed primary elections, in fact—practically fetishizes “experience,” even if that experience might make a candidate less popular to the broader electorate that votes in the general election (see: Clinton, Hillary).

    So when the actor and activist Cynthia Nixon ran against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2018, she never stood a chance, despite her fame and popularity. Cuomo was a known quantity with years of vital experience as a bad governor; she was just a celebrity.

    That’s the brilliant thing, then, about the Yang approach: Become a celebrity by running for president, and you immediately legitimize yourself. Millions of people have already seen him standing on a debate stage—as an equal—with a crowd of senators and the current president. Yang looks like a serious politician because he played one on TV. [emphasis added]

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  65. Teve says:

    @Kathy: the old saying about how you don’t get any credit for disasters you prevent, only disasters you fix? Vaccines prevent illness invisibly, antibiotics swooped in and saved my baby’s hearing when she was crying her head off.

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  66. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Back in elementary school, it struck me as unfair that so many of my classmates got to stay home sick, sometimes for over a week, while I attended nearly every day. Looking back on it, the reason was usually measles and rubella.

    I don’t have vaccination records*, they were not a thing in my day, but I do recall many doctor’s visits to get vaccinated for this and that. So it may be I didn’t get to stay home because I was vaccinated and many classmates were not.

    After the COVID vaccine, I intend to get the shingles vaccine, and later boosters for all the childhood vaccines if necessary or recommended.

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  67. flat earth luddite says:

    And now for something completely different…

    On February 11, Donald Trump Jr. sat in front of his computer for a video deposition. He swore to tell the truth. But documents and a video obtained by Mother Jones—and recent legal filings—indicate that his testimony on key points was not accurate.

    The matter at hand was a lawsuit filed in 2020 against Donald Trump’s inauguration committee and the Trump Organization by Karl Racine, the attorney general of Washington, DC. The suit claims that the inauguration committee misused charitable funds to enrich the Trump family. As the attorney general put it, the lawsuit “alleges that the Inaugural Committee, a nonprofit corporation, coordinated with the Trump family to grossly overpay for event space in the Trump International Hotel. Although the Inaugural Committee was aware that it was paying far above market rates, it never considered less expensive alternatives, and even paid for space on days when it did not hold events. The Committee also improperly used non-profit funds to throw a private party [at the Trump Hotel] for the Trump family costing several hundred thousand dollars.” In short, the attorney general has accused the Trump clan and its company of major grifting, and he is looking to recover the amounts paid to the Trump Hotel so he can direct those funds to real charitable purposes.

    Donny Jr. lied? Lied? YOU MEAN HE LIED??? I’m shocked, shocked I say.

    And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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  68. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    You reminded me of a story from the first grade: I had chicken pox, and my mother kept me out of school an extra day. When I returned, the teacher, a ghastly old bitch named Mrs. Flynn, informed me–in front of the class–“Only one week for chicken pox.” Did she think I kept myself out of school? I was six, ffs.

    The old bitch picked on me relentlessly all year long, blaming me for things I didn’t do. It never occurred to me to say a word to my parents. But I attribute my extreme hatred of school till college on that horrible old bag.

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  69. Teve says:

    So this happened

    @HawleyMO

    The corporate media and the woke mob don’t want you to read this book. They tried to cancel it. They failed. One week until publication – order here

    Amazon Link to ‘The Tyranny of Big Tech’

    @Teve

    The tyranny of big tech must be why you’re selling it on Amazon and advertising it here on twitter. Gotta admit, you’ve got the same respect for your supporters as I do.

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  70. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    You have to admit that he’s pinging all the right heartstrings: “woke mob” and “corporate media.”

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  71. Kathy says:

    Well, that was a nice surprise. The government vaccine website is open to register for my age group.

    Now to wait for an appointment.

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  72. Teve says:

    @CSK: cancel too. 😛

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  73. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    After the COVID vaccine, I intend to get the shingles vaccine

    Did you have chicken pox in the past? If not, you aren’t (yet) at risk for shingles. If you did, you really want to do anything you can to avoid the possibility. Shingles utterly sucks.

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  74. Kathy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I don’t think so. I don’t recall getting any of the common childhood diseases. I don’t know if I was vaccinated against it either.

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  75. Teve says:
  76. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    This has been happening…forever. Years ago, a friend of mine reviewed books for a regional monthly. He was ordered to do a hatchet job on John Updike. He refused. He was fired.

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  77. Kurtz says:

    @Teve:@CSK:

    Heh. I’m not even sure at this point where I first saw this guy’s commentary. It wasn’t even the content of his post about racism, but the form. Probably at least 2500 words with no paragraph breaks. So I looked up his name, and his LinkedIn popped up, along with a personal website and a Researchgate profile.

    According to his LinkedIn, he graduated from a CSU school. I recall, I think, that it was a BA in English. This was from his Facebook page I think, but alas, the link to it suddenly stopped working over the last couple days.

    His employment listings were all sort of odd temp jobs, sign spinning and the like. A few of the earliest listings appeared to be writing and editing science websites that are now defunct. But the most recent employment entry is, “Physicist at Education & Neighborhood Development.”

    His RG bio states “I am a physicist.” And claims a PhD. His institution is listed as American Physical Society” with no position specified. It also includes the sentence, “I am an expert in almost every academic field.”

    In one of his rants, again with no paragraph breaks, he goes off on people who think they understand science, but don’t. In another, he claims one commenter is a fake, because he doesn’t think dark matter exists. Which, to be fair, there is a fair amount of evidence that it does and the alternative models that don’t require it seem to be inadequate. But those models are developed by actual physicists.

    He also runs a modeling agency for children.

    Something is off about this guy. Why it matters to me? Tf knows? But I have to say, I did enjoy attempting to pull threads for a little while.

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  78. CSK says:

    @Kurtz:
    Crackpot. I’ve used that word several times today.

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  79. Kurtz says:

    @CSK:

    From what I can tell, he gets the science correct. (Though I’m not a physicist) But I wouldn’t be surprised if he is more or less plagiarizing what he reads.

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  80. Teve says:

    So tired of people on Twitter saying I’m not getting the vaccine because there’s only a ___ percentage of death from the virus.

    Anybody who frames the only possible harms from the virus as death and ignores the potential strokes, heart attacks, blood vessel damage, tooth loss, brain fog, fatigue, etc. that can occur in more than 10% of survivors is a deliberate liar or a dumbass.

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  81. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: when I was young and naïve I thought oh, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein these guys were all just geniuses and ‘smart’ was this kind of scalar quantity that spread over all fields. We are encouraged to think that by stupid notions like IQ. Later you get more wisdom and realize oh, you can be a plumb genius in one area and crazy as shit in a different area. Kurt Godel is one of the greatest logicians to have ever lived, and yet refused to eat any food that had not been first tasted by his wife, and when she got too ill to do that he starved to death. I’ve got a few more examples in mind but I’m feeling lazy so you can look up John Hagelin if you like. There are several examples in Creationism of people who did impressive things like get Ph.Ds in engineering from MIT and then spend the rest of their lives doing calculations about how Noah’s flood must’ve happened. There are lots of examples, some of them straight grifters and some of them legit believers, but the general advice is, “just because they got a PhD at one point doesn’t mean they aren’t crazy.”

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  82. Kurtz says:

    @Teve:

    It’s not that. I know that. Polymaths are exceedingly rare. I suspect the number of them has decreased despite the increase in population, because of hyper-specialization. But that’s just a suspicion.

    I’m skeptical he actually has a PhD at all. Just a suspicion and I could be wrong. But as I looked into it, the more all of it seems sketchy. More like a confidence game.

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  83. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kurtz:

    It wasn’t even the content of his post about racism, but the form. Probably at least 2500 words with no paragraph breaks. […] According to his LinkedIn, he graduated from a CSU school. I recall, I think, that it was a BA in English.

    What the fork???!!!??? And then I realized that he’s probably young enough that he might have ended up being taught by the teacher who wrote her master’s thesis about a dynamic new editing method she’d discovered. I remember the department chair telling that the meeting with this woman was going to be difficult because our chair wasn’t quite sure how she was going to explain that if the method was as good as claimed, the thesis wouldn’t have had 4 misspelled words and 5 glaring grammar flaws on the first page.

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  84. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: yeah I know, I remember a conversation a few years ago with a guy who said, “isn’t it amazing that we used to have leaders like Thomas Jefferson who was an expert in economics and history and geology and blah blah blah”? And I wish I did, but I didn’t think until later, say, “yeah and in Jefferson’s time you could probably be an expert geologist by reading a 200-page book. Now that’s probably the first semester.” 😛

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  85. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: if you really want to see some crazy shit, look into the creationist Dr. Kent Hovind, whose Doctorate came from Patriot Bible University*, whose campus was tracked down to a single level residence in Del Norte Colorado. He wound up going to prison after claiming his tax evasion was totally legal because he was a church. 😀

    * if that doesn’t sound legit, I don’t know what does.

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  86. Jax says:

    @Teve: ROFLMAO!!!!!! We have a new food truck. They call it….hold on, while I laugh a little harder…..

    OTB. Off The Bench, specializing in Americana, basically. Hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, whatever you can get at a sports venue, and I THINK they still have a liquor license….temporarily, anyways. They used to lease one of the restaurant spaces in town but decided going mobile was cheaper.

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  87. Teve says:

    @Jax: the more food trucks the merrier. If we had a Korean barbecue one in this little hick town I wouldn’t be so stocked up on Sesame oil and Hoisin sauce 😀

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  88. Teve says:

    “Hi, Guangzhou? This is Teve, from America, uh…Florida Prefecture…listen, I gotta little ‘diastolic’ thing happening, and I was wondering if I can get some low salt Hoisin sauce? Low…salt…Hoisin…sauce. Yes. ….hello?”

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  89. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    I still think “Off-Track Betting” when I see OTB.

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  90. Jax says:

    @Kathy: So does Google, when I’m out of town. 😛

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  91. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I’ve listened to Hovind. I thought the evolution part was interesting. I didn’t care much for how his theology colored his worldview on most of the rest of life. As I recall, he acknowledged up front that his degree was not from an accredited university. I don’t think he should have tried to embezzle the money that people gave his organization and agree that sending him to prison was the right thing to do.

    For my take on the matter, I think his theories are as plausible as any others that I’ve heard. No, I don’t think his materials should be taught in school. Then again, I don’t believe that having faith in the evolutionary theory is critical to understanding biology at the level at which we teach the subject to 10th graders either. But I got no dog in the fight, so teach what you want. I took biology and got my passing grade. Jumping through the hoop ended my interest in biology except as an occasional passing curiosity.

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  92. Kurtz says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Then again, I don’t believe that having faith in the evolutionary theory is critical to understanding biology at the level at which we teach the subject to 10th graders either.

    I disagree with that. If only because believing evolution doesn’t require faith in anything but observation. And because evolution is pretty much the central theme of biology.

    The only religious ideas evolution discredits are very specific interpretations.

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  93. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “I think the problem in India is the size of the population and poor health care in poor parts of the c oi country both have a lot to do with this”

    Population and poverty are always at the base of all of India’s problems. But instead of fixing things, Modi has been running the country as a Hindu nationalist, rallying up the majority to hate — and even kill — the Muslim majority. Like Erdogan, he started out as a reformer, then realized reforming was hard but demagoguing was easy.

    Bolsonaro, on the other hand, has always been a sleazy criminal.

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  94. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: “Shingles utterly sucks.”

    I had a mild case a couple years back and it just kept me in bed for a few days. But my wife has been essentially crippled by pain since October and is only now just beginning to recover. Worst part was that for months there was no physical manifestation, so doctor after doctor could not explain why she was in so much pain she could barely stand up…

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