Tuesday’s Forum

One fine day for yet another open forum.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. 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. de stijl says:

    I don’t want to live in a scary apocalyptic story anymore.

    ReplyReply
  2. de stijl says:

    I want compentant government at local, municicipal, county, state and federal levels.

    Exceptional would be be very welcome, but I would gladly accept just base competence.

    ReplyReply
    12
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Don’t move to Misery.

    ReplyReply
  4. de stijl says:

    It will be illuminating to see how The Federalist folks will try to square States’ Rights with Trump’s assertion of absolute total federal authority.

    Many will try. Principles be damned.

    ReplyReply
    12
    1
  5. MarkedMan says:

    Did anyone see the Trump briefing last night? Was it as bizarre and surreal as it seems from the highlights? It seemed that the news media were all but openly mocking him.

    ReplyReply
    11
  6. Scott says:

    I fear this is the next COVID-19 disaster:

    VA reports 200th death from coronavirus

    As of Friday, 200 patients have died from the illness in the VA system. That’s an increase of 26 fatalities from Thursday, marking the biggest one day increase the department has seen so far. On March 30, the total death toll was less than 20

    Across all VA sites, 3,700 patients in VA care have tested positive for the fast-spreading virus. That’s about 12 percent of all of the cases tested by the department, and is almost double what it was on April 2. However, the daily rate of growth in new cases has been under 10 percent for six consecutive days.

    Most of these patients are senior citizens and not well to begin with.

    ReplyReply
  7. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: I think the news media’s patience has finally run out. The Chyrons on CNN were, for want of a better word, astonishing.

    Just think what would happen if the reporters were health or legal reporters.

    ReplyReply
    7
    2
  8. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan: @Scott:

    Yesterday, the relationship between President and media changed.

    CNN and MSNBC aggressively fact checked Trump in real time via chyrons. Both cut away during the propaganda video open.

    I have a “friend” – I guy I know who is kinda a drunky, foolishly brilliant.

    This guy I consider the least capable person I know is more Presidential than our current one we have now.

    I would trust Andrew over Trump any day of the week and Andrew is kinda a fuck-up.

    ReplyReply
    7
    1
  9. Jon says:

    Heh, from CNN

    “In one of the most unchained presidential tantrums ever captured on television, Trump’s Monday display flouted every notion of calm leadership by the commander in chief in a crisis.”

    ReplyReply
  10. de stijl says:

    Andrew knocked on my window last week and said we should talk about something very important about his sofa, sat down on my couch and passed out in a minute. He got a good long sleep.

    Not my front door, but my window, right next to my bed. Aah! So many boundaries broken!

    Still would trust him more than Trump to steer us right.

    ReplyReply
  11. SC_Birdflyte says:

    The last few weeks remind of the statement credited to Warren Buffett: “Only when the tide goes out can you see who’s been swimming naked.” It isn’t just the social distancing, the lack of PPE for health care providers, the scattershot availability of testing for Covid-19. It’s a whole raft of weak points in our society that have lain almost unnoticed for decades. Loss of life is dreadful. Going through a trial like this without learning anything is worse.

    ReplyReply
  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    michaelharriot
    @michaelharriot

    You wanna know what white privilege is?

    Let’s look at the credentials for the “Council to Reopen America”

    1. Mark Meadows: Not only is Mark Meadows not a doctor, but his official gov’t bio also says he only holds a bachelor’s degree.

    That is a lie.

    ReplyReply
    4
    1
  13. de stijl says:

    @Scott:

    What was interesting is that a solid news source called out this President in real time for lying and gaslighting us via a chyron.

    Not “Sources say the President may be overstepping his bounds” bothsiderism, but full throated defiance to absurd assertions by Trump.

    That’s a big fucking deal.

    ReplyReply
    7
    1
  14. Teve says:

    The Root wins headline of the day: “Trump Official Asks Black 60 Minutes Reporter Why They Didn’t Cover Global Pandemics Under Obama. 60 Minutes Pulls Out CVS-Length Receipts”

    ReplyReply
  15. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Like Ivanka And He Went To Jared have better credentials.

    I think some of the best campaign promises Biden could make would be that I will not tweet, and I will not appoint my kin to any government position.

    ReplyReply
  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    CNBC
    @CNBC

    The U.S. shouldn’t bail out billionaires and hedge funds during the coronavirus pandemic, Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya says. “Who cares? Let them get wiped out.” https://cnb.cx/2Rpmjkh

    Chamath Palihapitiya on the U.S. coronavirus response
    Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of investment firm Social Capital, said that the U.S. shouldn’t be bailing out billionaires and hedge funds during the coronavirus pandemic.

    ReplyReply
    10
  17. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    Have you been to Walgreens recently?

    Receipts are like a yard long for 3 items.

    ReplyReply
  18. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Well, it all goes back to the time when the Democratic Prime Minister of Britain, insisted on representing the American colonies in Congress, but he allowed illegals to vote by mail. So our patriots took up the chant of “No taxation with representation!” And installed George I as absolute King and Monarch of these United States of America

    ReplyReply
  19. Joe says:

    @de stijl: Exactly!

    ReplyReply
  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The integrity of the Justice Boof Supreme Court was sacrificed last week, in the interest of voter suppression.
    All over a WI Supreme Court seat, which would have sealed the efforts, in that state, to shrink voter roles and prevent certain groups from voting.
    Last night Judge Jill Karofsky, the Democrat, won that seat away from the incumbent. The first time an incumbent justice had lost a race at the polls since 1967.
    Wisconsinites were forced to choose between their health and safety, and their right to vote. THEY CHOSE DEMOCRACY.
    Anecdotes are not data. But this points to a blue tidal wave in November.

    ReplyReply
    17
    1
  21. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: I note this morning that WAPO has a story on Trump’s “briefing” near the top of the front page of the web edition. NYT has a milder story, mostly concerned with Trump misquoting their Maggie Haberman, deep down under the “politics” tab. It’s noted as on p18 of the print edition. FTFNYT hasn’t learned one thing from 2016. They seem determined to exercise no judgement whatsoever. They’re dedicated to bothsides and will continue covering Trump as though he were a normal president.

    ReplyReply
    4
    1
  22. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    Both The Root and Jezebel are often pegged even by folks we like as niche and overly focused.

    They often highlight really interesting takes and stories worth digging into that I never would have found.

    I am not their target audience at all, but I found a lot of really interesting, compelling stories there. Until.

    It’s really sad that Peter Thielen destroyed that company just because he is a thin skinned libertarian billionaire prick with way too much money and time and they pissed him off by investigating.

    Screw that guy. Seriously.

    ReplyReply
  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Not Floriduh but, Headline of the Day? Woman’s attraction to chandeliers not a sexual orientation, Ipso says

    A woman in a long-term relationship with a 92-year-old German chandelier has been told that her attraction to historic light fittings is not considered to be a protected sexual orientation.

    Press regulator Ipso made the ruling after Amanda Liberty, a woman from Leeds in her mid thirties, complained about an article in the Sun mocking her public declaration of love for Lumiere, her name for an intricate lamp she bought on eBay.

    She argued that the newspaper’s article breached the regulator’s code of conduct which requires publishers to avoid prejudicial or pejorative references to an individual’s sexuality.

    Liberty identifies as an ‘objectum sexual’ – an individual who is attracted to objects. She objected to being included in an end-of-year article by Sun columnist Jane Moore, which nominated her for a “Dagenham Award (Two Stops Past Barking)” prize, simply because of her sexual attraction to Lumiere.

    She also raised concerns about the accuracy of the newspaper’s reporting after the article referred to her being married to the chandelier. She pointed out she was in a relationship with the chandelier but not yet married to it.

    ReplyReply
  24. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    This is beginning to look an awful lot like a dystopian post-apocalyptic world…
    https://twitter.com/alfred_twu/status/1249821283593801728/photo/1

    ReplyReply
  25. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    This would seem to be as close to Instant Karma* as it gets 🙂

    *Yes, I know that’s the title of a song by John Lennon.

    ReplyReply
  26. Paine says:

    I received my $1200 Trump refund this morning. Straight from the IRS to my bank account.

    ReplyReply
  27. de stijl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court voted remotely, safely ensconced in a socially distanced bubble.

    The US SC also voted 5-4 to uphold. They voted remotely to make sure they were safe from infection.

    Both did not see or could not acknowledge the inherent irony.

    I can be somewhat radical, but I never wish harm on someone who disagrees with me. I was sorely tested by that decision. It was inuriating. Crazily so.

    That was Jim Crow shit. 180 polling sites reduced to 5 for all of Central Milwaukee during a pandemic.

    Up until this point, I am not fond of Republicans in general. Straight up D in voting behavior.

    After this point I despise them and everything the stand for and everything they espouse.

    Profoudly. Deeply. Truly.

    Wow, that was incredibly fucked up.

    They declared to me that they were not just a enemy but the enemy and my political enemy.

    They want to kill people.

    That situation was sick, sad, crazy, insane. I lost all respect for all of them.

    I am enraged.

    ReplyReply
    15
    1
  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paine: I wonder in what order they sending them out? By SS#? By last names? My laid off youngest needs his last week.

    ReplyReply
  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Please, stop beating around the bush and just tell us how you really feel.

    ReplyReply
  30. Teve says:
  31. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    According to Cult45, Trump’s assertion of federal authority is a brilliant ploy designed to coerce the blue state governors to re-open their states.

    ReplyReply
  32. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    All things considered, I am not a fan of how SCOWIS and SCOTUS decided that case.

    All things considered I am now fairly pleased.

    My gal won.

    Plus the SCOTUS issued a decision that in future makes mail in voting more systemized.

    At the time, it broke my heart in two. But now, it may blowback big on them.

    ReplyReply
  33. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I can’t really banter about that decision or be snarky; it really, really pissed me off deeply.

    I’m generally a peaceable person, but not on this.

    ReplyReply
  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl:

    My gal won.

    The most impressive part of that fact is that despite the GOP over the top efforts at suppressing the vote in Milwaukee (Madison too? i read somewhere), by holding an election when 180 polling stations were reduced to 5, they lost that SC seat anyway.

    ETA: sarcasm is my default setting, sort of a defensive mechanism that helps me survive in the age of trump because anger is not good for me. You cope in other ways. Different strokes and all that.

    ReplyReply
  35. Kingdaddy says:

    Yesterday, I repeated my occasional experimentation in trying to find common ground, or at least the basis of rational discussion, with a Trump supporter. In this case, the person on the other side, Bob, was raging on Facebook about how unfair the press and Democrats were being to trump. “He could cure cancer, and they’d complain that he’d put oncologists out of work?” Also, Obama embraced Farrakhan.

    I suggested that we talk about something other than actual Presidents, and instead see what we thought would be the standards of proper Presidential conduct during a pandemic. What would we want the generic President to be doing? What are the boundaries, if transgressed, would constitute unacceptable behavior?

    He abjectly refused to answer the question, instead repeating his complaints about Trump haters. After several tries, I gave up on continuing.

    There are some people with whom that particular approach to political dialog works. Others, like Bob, will do everything to evade. Stating principles means doing more than just venting. It means taking responsibility for your defense of people who violate those principles, and leaving the shelter of the tribe.

    There are way too many people like Bob.

    ReplyReply
    12
  36. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @de stijl:

    I am enraged.

    If you are not enraged you are either not paying attention, or you are not smart.

    ReplyReply
    2
    1
  37. Jay L Gischer says:

    @de stijl: Gawker Media posted a sex tape without the consent of all people depicted. Gawker’s president, Nick Denton, refused to comply with a takedown order. For this, I think that their president and also their publisher, A.J.Dauerlein, along with Gawker, was fined $100 million. This is what killed Gawker, not Peter Thiel.

    It also so happens that Gawker outed Thiel non-consensually, which is what focused his attention on them.

    This, to me, is just. The fact I don’t find the plaintiff, Hulk Hogan, very appealing, doesn’t matter. This should not happen to anyone, ever. For me, the question raised by Peter Thiel’s involvement is how we live in a society where Gawker could get away with stuff like this unless there’s a billionaire on the other side funding the legal battle. Yeah, we live in a world where billionaires get what they want and the rest of us can suck it. That’s not good.

    But I hate to see Peter Thiel blamed for this. I think he did what most of us would do in his situation (including the money). Blame Nick Denton. This is on him. How many of us would do what he did (nonconsensually publish a sex tape and refuse a court order to take it down)?

    Meanwhile, I see that Jezebel and The Root are still alive. Good.

    ReplyReply
    4
    2
  38. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’m mostly analysis.

    It’s uncomfortable to care that much. Not used to it.

    The way the Wisconsin election unfolded made me engaged and really, really pissed more than I could have predicted.

    I went from bemused outsider analyst mode to super pissed partisan which is a new role I am not entirely comfortable with.

    I became much more visceral in my disdain for R vote suppression sheanaigans after that shit happened.

    Please check me if I get too frothy. This is not the forum for pure partisan vitriol.

    I need to remain objective and not ruled by cognitive bias while still be enraged at what they did and risked.

    ReplyReply
  39. inhumans99 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    You are probably aware of this great Vertigo Imprint (from D.C. Comics) series called DMZ by Brian Wood, it is a great series. Here is the opening lines from the series Wiki page:

    “DMZ is an American comic book series written by Brian Wood, with artwork by Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. The series is set in the near future, where a Second American Civil War has turned the island of Manhattan into a demilitarized zone (DMZ), caught between forces of the United States of America and secessionist Free States of America.”

    I know right…it turns out that for the umpteenth time reality is stranger than fiction but we are maybe closer to the U.S. as laid out in the series than some folks might care to admit. I was telling my Dad over the phone that the next Civil Conflict is going to be bloodless…I have no plans to spill blood if Southerners/Red States want to break apart from Blue/Purple states, I say we let them do this.

    What’s interesting is that if McConnell put a document in front of the elected leaders of Red States and says hey, sign here, than here, and finally here and you are all set. Southern leaders…uhh, all set for what? McConnell, why to secede and no longer be connected to those Godless heathens in CA and NY (not withstanding that the dude typing this out is Catholic and at one point my family thought I might consider becoming a priest…so yeah, Michael Reynolds I still love you even though I have never met you and you rail against organized religion, it’s all good my friend). Southern leaders…hells no to that (as they quickly throw the pen they were going to use to sign across the room)!

    Most things boil down to money and the South needs our filthy lucre. I suspect the South is a bit peeved that the Left and Right coast are putting together these compacts while President Trump lets them flail about as they try to help their citizens.

    ReplyReply
  40. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: well, there’s the western pact and the northeast alliance, and both of those are pretty sane.

    You seem like a western dude, but if Vermont joins the growing northeast alliance, don’t rule them out. But they get winter. I’d pick based on weather.

    ReplyReply
  41. de stijl says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    I do not want to be a Bob, and please call me out directly if I behave like that.

    I need to process my pissed-offedness into a productive channel. Reflexively negative and bitter is not productive.

    ReplyReply
  42. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Gawker was just snarky mean girl gutter trash. Jezebel and The Roots’ commentators are almost exclusively composed of “loud mouths sitting on the bar stool” variety. Not worth my time.

    Jalopnik and iO9, yes.

    ReplyReply
  43. Bill says:

    The Florida headline of the day-

    Florida surgeon general warns social distancing could be needed for a year or more

    This morning around 5:40, I stepped outside my apartment for the first time in 13 days. Dear wife went stairs to feed cats and take her early morning walk but she forgot the keys to get back inside. Alerted by my DW’s distinctive whistle, I stepped outside the apartment and dropped a set of keys over the railing to Leonita.

    Coming soon to Youtube- Bill’s Big adventure or how not to lose your mind during the coronavirus crisis only because you lost it long ago!

    ReplyReply
  44. de stijl says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Your take contains some of the facts.

    ReplyReply
  45. Bill says:

    Writing muses come and go. That is the way it has always been since I first posted a story to the internet twenty years ago this June.

    I’m still pounding away on my next ebook. When my muse is coperating, I can easily pound out 3,000 words in a day and sometimes up to 5,000 though that large a day will cause me some burnout. 2,000 to 2,500 is very normal for me.

    Even when not under quarantine, I can spend most of a day in front of the 3 PC I have. In between writing, I edit wikipedia, surf the internet, play computer strat-o-matic baseball, and watch some television.

    Yesterday I had a tough day writing up till 2 in the afternoon. I was stuck in my writing and had like 330 words written or one page. Then I got unstuck and in between two and nine p.m wrote another 2300 words.

    Muses are very fickle. When mine refuses to co-operate, I struggle to write ten words. That partly explains why I have about 25 unfinished stories* saved to a PC harddrive and Microsoft One Drive.

    For those keeping score at home, I have three plus pages and about 950 words written for today. A story involving a sorority house, a rape victim, and harness horse racing, plus a touch of magic, to soon be sold on Amazon.

    *Unfinished stories get completed by me all the time. At least 3 of my ebooks were started 10 or more years before I published them at Amazon.

    ReplyReply
  46. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    I think when someone is trying to destroy your country and the rule of law, enraged is the minimum. It’s not partisanship when the other side is evil. And they are. Not mistaken, not misled, not misinformed, evil. Genuinely, actually, evil. Al Qaeda evil. Nazi evil.

    ReplyReply
    10
    1
  47. Bill says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Woman’s attraction to chandeliers not a sexual orientation, Ipso says

    That is headline of the year material.

    ReplyReply
  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @inhumans99:

    not withstanding that the dude typing this out is Catholic and at one point my family thought I might consider becoming a priest…so yeah, Michael Reynolds I still love you even though I have never met you and you rail against organized religion

    It’s not so much organized religion, actually, it’s white evangelicals who are non-hierarchical and can’t even be bothered to paste together a coherent theology. Catholics have their own problems (as I imagine you acknowledge). But a Catholic still at least tries to reconcile faith with reason, something evangelicals would never attempt, it being so much easier to reject reality wholesale. You won’t find a lot of creationists in the RC church.

    When I write religious characters (something I try to do as honestly and fairly as I can) they are most often RC. In the GONE series I included three characters with religious arcs – one (RC) moves from faith to skepticism, one (non-denominational) moves from brutishness to a redeeming faith, and one remains a steady Catholic throughout, and that last guy ends up being the single most admired and trusted character by all the other characters.

    The RC has many, many (many, so many) historical and contemporary crimes to answer for, but no one ever called the Roman Catholic church stupid. They always could write and reason and they certainly did subsidize a fair bit of painting, sculpture, architecture and music. The cultural contribution of evangelicals has been adding a suffix to the word Gawd-uh and Jesus-uh.

    ReplyReply
    11
  49. de stijl says:

    @Bill:

    My sleep schedule is a vague suggestion.

    I am often awake in the wee early hours of the morning.

    I really like to walk, plus I messed up my foot and ankle last summer so I’m supposed to walk for a hour or so 4 – 5 times a week. (It really worked well. It is way better.)

    If you are walking around at 4 am, bring your id with your address. Wear a mask. If somebody is out walking their dog, cross the street respectfully.

    Cops will roll up on you. Shoot a spotlight at you. Stop. Keep you hands loose and out. Say your name.

    I’m a 50 something white guy, so they are less likely to shoot me, but it is really spooky.

    It has increased my visceral empathy for stop and frisk abatement.

    ReplyReply
  50. Tyrell says:

    A fierce storm roared through here Sunday night. It sounded like a jet was landing on the roof. Luckily our power is on and no major damage. A lot of limbs and trees down. One person had a tree down in front and in back of their car, just inches away. Damage was worse on over, with thousands still without power. Through the south over thirty killed and dozens lnjured. But these kind of storms usually are followed by nice weather, and that is exactly what we have now: crystal clear skies and 80 degrees. Lots of people out walking, kids playing, washing cars, spring cleaning.
    Sounds of chain saws fill the air.

    ReplyReply
  51. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    “bring your id”

    Probably should have capitalized that…

    Bring your id, your ego, your superego, your Jungian self.

    ReplyReply
  52. Tyrell says:

    @de stijl: CVS is the same. It’s probably the coupons, which we take advantage of very often. They have good deals on those.

    ReplyReply
  53. inhumans99 says:

    @Tyrell:

    Wow…the nasty weather news is just catching up with me. Genuinely glad to hear you are okay. I hope your power is on and even though it sounds like you are coping just fine, take it easy my friend and be well!! Receiving a double punch from Mother Nature (coronavirus/tornadoes) is rough to endure particularly at this moment in time.

    Stay safe Tyrell!

    ReplyReply
  54. Kathy says:

    @inhumans99:

    Most things boil down to money and the South needs our filthy lucre.

    There’s that. But, also, would the Blue states want to see a wholly owned subsidiary of PutinCo/China on their borders?

    That’s beside who gets what nukes.

    ReplyReply
  55. Kathy says:

    Trump’s Rules on what to do in the event of a fire:

    1) Don’t sound the fire alarm. That will only alarm people unnecessarily.
    2) Don’t evacuate the building. It’s only a small portion that’s burning. The rest is A OK.
    3) Don’t use sprinklers or fire extinguishers. Instead make your own for when the fire spreads, if it does spread. It probably won’t. I know more about fire than the Fire Department. We have it well under control
    4) When someone tries to sound the alarm, stop them. It’s fake news. people are surprised how much I know about fire.
    5) Don’t call the Fire Department. They don’t know anything about fires.
    6) Relax. By the rainy season it will all go out, like a miracle.
    7) If it starts getting too hot for some reason unrelated to the fire, crank up the air conditioner.
    8) No, it’s not getting hot because of the fire. I’m doing a great job with this fire!
    9) We inherited a fire suppression mess!
    10) That steel column was melting when I got here!
    11) I’VE DONE A GREAT JOB!!!

    ReplyReply
    15
  56. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Bill:

    Florida surgeon general warns social distancing could be needed for a year or more

    DeSantis staffers removed him from the press conference immediately after that!!!

    ReplyReply
  57. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: According to a poster that someone put up in my Facebook group, it’s 1) people who have filed 2018 or 2019 taxes and have provided direct deposit info to the IRS, 2) (April 24) paper checks to people who have earned $10k or less, 3) (May 1) paper checks to people with income between $10k, and $20k, 4) (May 8) paper checks to people with income between $20k and $30k, 5) (May to September) paper checks out to people with steadily increasing income, 6) (Sept 4th) paper checks out to people with the maximum allowed income $198k married filing jointly…and then after that the IRS will try to contact those who didn’t provide addresses before.

    …however, given the incompetence with which the government has bollixed everything else concerning this coronavirus, I wouldn’t hold my breath on the above deadlines.

    ReplyReply
  58. Bill says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    When I write religious characters (something I try to do as honestly and fairly as I can) they are most often RC.

    I’m Roman Catholic and I have portrayed RC including priests in my stories. I’ve also portrayed other Christians and Ministers. Including a Lutheran Minister who I named for a LM I played correspondence against a long time ago. Peter Swan where are you?

    I also wrote an ebook where part of the plot involved a South Korean woman and Buddhist who converts to Judiasm. Her husband is Jewish. My half sister did convert and my brother-in-law Marty is Jewish. But I didn’t get the idea for the ebook from my sister’s life. To write that ebook, I researched how people convert.

    I’ve only twice had Muslim characters of any importance in my stories because I just know little about that faith. Oddly enough I knew nothing or next to nothing about the Shinto religion or Zoroastrianism but I twice described a Shinto funeral and the rituals that go along with it and had a Zoroastrian in one of the same stories. Though admittedly that idea first came for the Zoroastrian from my editor.

    Some of my ebooks have portrayed some form of religion. Some none at all.

    ReplyReply
  59. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Have you done protestant characters?

    Buddhist?

    Hindu?

    I am not religious and I can easily micharachertize believers. That stuff doesn’t make sense to my brain. I try to observe closely, but it strikes me as false when I try to describe it.

    Where I falter is that I know that x% is for public and y% is private.

    All x is easy. Too easy. The blaring hypocrit.

    I don’t know what y is. I do not know what religious faith feels like internally. It is alien.

    ReplyReply
  60. grumpy realist says:

    Yet another pastor who thought he could ignore the COVID-19 distancing rules and discovers that Nature Bats Last.

    Honestly, why should we have sympathy for these people? It’s like jumping off the roof of a building and being surprised that all the bones in your body get broken.

    ReplyReply
  61. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    If someone from the floor below charges up the stairs with a fire extinguisher, take it, and sell it to the person two floors above if they praise your leadership skills publically.

    ReplyReply
  62. Tyrell says:

    @inhumans99: Thanks for that. Thousands will not get their power back until end of the week. Many lost refrigerated food, that they had finally managed to find. Some grocery stores are going to help them out.

    ReplyReply
  63. grumpy realist says:

    Interesting article about Sweden’s way of handling coronavirus.

    ReplyReply
  64. inhumans99 says:

    @Tyrell:

    Oh man…all that now very precious food stored up destroyed, but you are right, the grocery stores (large and small) will I am sure step up to help out the folks who were hit across the different states.

    It looks like at least several were EF3s and some were wide and long lasting which made them all the more devastating (I remember learning years back that some tornadoes can be over a mile wide and not break apart for quite some time…lasting up to 45m or more, which is just insane).

    The news and pictures of that persons house that was lifted up by the winds and deposited on a highway are something to behold.

    ReplyReply
  65. 95 South says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    no one ever called the Roman Catholic church stupid

    You have. You’ve called all believers stupid.

    ReplyReply
    1
    6
  66. Scott says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Honestly, why should we have sympathy for these people?

    The answer is, yes, you should have sympathy. Because that is how you remain a decent human being. It’s for you, not them.

    ReplyReply
  67. Mister Bluster says:

    Just plain dumb.

    “Let me just say, very simply, I will put it very simply — the president of the United States has the authority to do what the president has the authority to do which is very powerful. The president of the United States calls the shots.”
    “But no, [governors] can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”
    “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be.”
    “The authority of the president of the United States having to do with the subject we’re talking about is total.”
    Supreme Leader and Chairman of the Republican Sex Workers Party
    Kim Jong Trump

    ReplyReply
  68. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Know you are a Clash, Rancid guy.

    I like Superchunk a whole lot.

    If that is your speed also check Archers Of Loaf.

    You tipped me to We Were Indians.

    ReplyReply
  69. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It seemed that the news media were all but openly mocking him.

    You can remove the “all but” in the case of The Guardian.

    Headline: Wounded by media scrutiny, Trump turned a briefing into a presidential tantrum

    Opening: A toddler threw a self-pitying tantrum on live television on Monday night.

    Ok. that’s British media. But still. 😀

    ReplyReply
  70. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Oh, Lawd. That Guardian piece was delicious.

    ReplyReply
  71. Joe says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    There are way too many people like Bob.

    Don’t be Bob.

    ReplyReply
  72. gVOR08 says:

    Kevin Drum has been tracking Coronavirus data regularly and feels it’s peaking. This seems consistent with, say, what’s going on in New York. He feels the models were pessimistic for unknown reasons. (My guess would be bad data from China, or the denser population of China.) He also feels social distancing is less effective than thought. Effective, but not game changer effective.

    If he’s right, we’ll peak soon, although individual states will see different timing. It may be clear in a few weeks that the worst has passed. So maybe May or June we’d start easing out of shutdown, or into some sort of rolling restrictions.

    I’ve been referring to this as the “neutron bomb” recession. Facilities are intact. demand is, if anything, pent up. Many individuals are hurting, but for the most part we still have money. Only the people are missing And they’re eager to fill back in. My feeling is the economy will come back with a rush.

    I’d be feeling cautiously optimistic, except that a lot more people will die before this is over. And it won’t be over until we either develop herd immunity, an uncertain prospect, or an effective vaccine.

    As soon as this recedes from crisis levels, Trump will declare victory and say he was right about everything all along.

    ReplyReply
  73. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:

    If we maintain current social distancing strictures we will be maybe 4 – 5% infected but recovered by late May.

    You need at least 80% to over 90% for herd immunity.

    We ain’t going nowhere without a vaccine, or very strong South Korea style testing, tracing, and containment strategy. And currently we cannot do SK style because we lack the people and infrastructure to do it.

    ReplyReply
  74. Mister Bluster says:

    @gVOR08:..Kevin Drum has been tracking Coronavirus data regularly and feels it’s peaking.

    I am far more interested in objective data and evidence instead of “feelings”.
    Let’s not be like Trump.
    Trump puts a little too much stock in his ‘proper feelings’
    ————-

    Insight, untested and unsupported, is an insufficient guarantee of truth.
    Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic (1929)

    ReplyReply
  75. gVOR08 says:

    @Mister Bluster: Drum doesn’t do “feelings” except as supported by data. We are reaching 0% growth in death rates, which, if it holds, is by definition the peak. Which is not the same thing as it being over.

    ReplyReply
  76. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: We have a peak with social distancing in place. I think de Stijl is just pointing out that it’s not a natural state peak. If we go back to our previous behavior it could start rising again.

    ReplyReply
  77. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: A single hospital in NYC tested every pregnant woman admitted for coronavirus and found a 14% infection rate, almost all asymptomatic. I don’t even know what to think about that.

    ReplyReply
  78. Teve says:

    George Stephanopoulos had a completely asymptomatic case, while his wife was sick as a dog. There’s an unknown factor involved.

    ReplyReply
  79. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’ve invested all my optimism in November 3rd 2020.

    Demand will still be there, but oil prices are still down, and the travel industry will take a major, long-lasting hit. This means massive job losses, many of these well-paid, at oil companies, commercial aircraft manufacturers, airlines (this may solve the pilot shortage in a very grim way), hotels, restaurants, etc.

    In the US there is a very big probability Boeing will have to be bailed out. I don’t know that it should be, but it will be. Me, I’d set up incentives for a rival company.

    also, the c. $2 trillion spent by Congress and El Cheeto, necessary as it is, will come due. No clue what that will do to interest rates, credit, etc.

    ReplyReply
  80. Mister Bluster says:

    @gVOR08:..Drum doesn’t do “feelings” except as supported by data.

    Phenomenon supported by data are properly called evidence. Not feelings.

    ReplyReply
  81. grumpy realist says:

    @Scott: Then I guess I’m not a decent human being because I have absolutely NO sympathy for idiots who get themselves killed and who have probably spread COVID-19 to a large part of their clueless flock. I’m sorry he died, but if his dying is going to be what convinces his parish and his family to actually practice the required social distancing and that no, Jeezus ain’t gonna magically protect you simply because you pray–well, then, GOOD RIDDANCE.

    The data was out there–this was an idiot who preferred to believe in the power of prayer over cold, hard medical data. His decision–and now he’s dead.

    ReplyReply
  82. DrDaveT says:

    @gVOR08:

    We are reaching 0% growth in death rates, which, if it holds, is by definition the peak.

    0% overall for the country. That’s “declining in the earliest epicenters” and “still growing fast in new regions”. Other countries have discovered that there’s no law saying your nation only gets one peak. Social distancing is the only reason we don’t have 40,000 dead already and still doubling every 3 days.

    ReplyReply
  83. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?

    ReplyReply
  84. Tim says:

    In the thread on hoarding, @Steven L. Taylor mentioned business models being permanently changed because of this pandemic. I thought I would mention one (very small) business changing it’s model because it’s very near and dear to me and owned by my wife.

    For the past ten years, my wife has been a certified Square Foot Gardening instructor and has had a business teaching that and other small, organic vegetable gardening methods in a variety of ways. She has had a number of speaking engagements, some pro bono and others for pay, classes in our home and in her garden, adult education classes at the local community college, and occasional consulting for individuals and small groups in their homes and neighborhoods. She’s been looking into switching primarily to online training via live webinars and prerecorded session and this situation just pushed her into making that happen quickly… VERY quickly.

    After learning the ins and outs of Zoom, and putting out some announcements via her business Facebook account and other social media, it’s been an even bigger success than she expected. She quickly learned that the hardest part is keeping up with answering the individual emails from people signing up for classes, and paying through her website, while also pulling together the Powerpoint slides for new topics to provide something new on a regular basis.

    She is now switching everything over to a service called Kajabi that specifically caters to people offering online training which will incorporate both live and prerecorded sessions, and offers a website and web services for point-of-sale, signup for classes, marketing, etc. Once that is in place, she will be able to take a breather and concentrate primarily on the teaching and development of new content.

    I retired from the federal government four years ago, but she is busier than ever. I’m certainly proud of her accomplishments, and she loves what she does. I’m getting good at staying out of her way and keeping myself (and the dogs) quiet when she is live or recording in her makeshift studio upstairs.

    ReplyReply
  85. Jax says:

    @de stijl: If you can get your mailing address to our gracious hosts, and they can send it to my email address, the gal at the liquor store is going to order a case of toilet paper for me. I will send it to you!

    I posted this over on the anti-hoarder thread, but it might be dead by now.

    ReplyReply
  86. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: State’s Rights is easier than you make it out to be. State’s have the unencumbered and unimpinged upon right to do those things that supporters of State’s Rights want the states to do and to take whatever actions are necessary in accomplishing those goals.

    Everything else is abuse of process. See? Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy.

    ETA: It’s very much like the simplified device for teaching English-language spelling rules: each word in the English language has it’s own spelling rule. See how simple that is? Very easy to remember. 😉

    ReplyReply
  87. JohnMcC says:

    @gVOR08: Noticed in NYTimes today that the IMF predicts a lengthy recession with world GDP shrinking by at least 6%.

    ReplyReply
  88. Kathy says:

    Does it occur to anyone else maybe Trump threw a tantrum on purpose yesterday, because maybe his ratings were slipping?

    I don’t really think so, but when I ask the question I feel as though I’m asking” Does it occur to anyone else that water is really wet?”

    ReplyReply
  89. Mister Bluster says:

    the wrong side of the bed

    …no. The wrong side of the bed would be under the mattress.

    ReplyReply
  90. Tyrell says:

    @Teve: There is one situation that I read about nearby. One person was in their 80’s, coughed for a month, had no fever. The second person had some symptoms for a week or so: couldn’t taste or smell and felt very tired. The third person had no symptoms at all. All three are in the same household.
    Back in February there seemed to be a lot of people who thought they had the flu. Most stayed home and rode it out per most doctor’s directions (“no need to come in, stay home and rest”).
    Makes one wonder how many out there have had it since December.
    “WHO approves China re-opening wet markets” Are you kidding me?
    “Buy American”

    ReplyReply
  91. Kurtz says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I just started reading the comments. I also saw only the highlights. One of the comments I saw argued that every reporter in that room should have defended continued Collins’s line of questioning. The commenter also argued this should have happened much earlier in the Presidency.

    I agree.

    ReplyReply
  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: K-thug is being unfair. Mitch McConnell wants to save his own job as much as any other Republican wants to save his or her own job. They just don’t care about saving your or my job.

    ReplyReply
  93. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    It’s really sad that Peter Thielen destroyed that company just because he is a thin skinned libertarian billionaire prick with way too much money and time and they pissed him off by investigating.

    Vikings fan auto-correct or typo?

    ReplyReply
  94. Kurtz says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Did you read that whole Harriot thread?

    ReplyReply
  95. Kurtz says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Did you read that whole Harriot thread?

    And yes, this was priceless:

    The U.S. shouldn’t bail out billionaires and hedge funds during the coronavirus pandemic, Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya says. “Who cares? Let them get wiped out.”

    Better than the Roy Moore spokesman talking about being sworn in on a Bible.

    ReplyReply
  96. Just nutha ignint crackerd says:

    @grumpy realist: Wasn’t it John Calvin who once said that if he fell into a river he would rather be rescued by a pagan who could swim than by a bishop who couldn’t?

    ReplyReply
  97. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kingdaddy: I have engaged in that exercise (on a face to face basis, via the internet is a waste of time) Sometimes I succeed at finding common ground. Sometimes I don’t. But doing it face to face forces them to acknowledge that I am a human being with a different opinion.

    Something that sometimes I think more people on both sides need to realize.

    ReplyReply
  98. Kurtz says:

    @Teve:

    K-Thug must have been bangin a playlist of 2Pac, Cassidy, and classic Ice-T while he wrote that column.

    Damn. Murder on Fifth? Trump is already dead.

    ReplyReply
  99. An Interested Party says:

    @Kurtz: Nothing like a little eating of the rich

    ReplyReply
  100. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl:

    Please check me if I get too frothy. This is not the forum for pure partisan vitriol.

    Sorry, no will do. Sometimes I just figure people need to vent. Hell knows I do from time to time. I will NOT tell somebody they are over the line. Yesterday I commented about how much I admired a 78 yr old woman leaning on her walker for hours so she could vote even tho she knew it might be the death of her and how she was afraid of that possibility.

    I could not say how much that enraged me. I might be in jail if I had. So instead I said how much I admired her courage. Sarcasm was not enough, and it still pisses me off.

    ReplyReply
  101. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist: Thanx. Sounds like he and his wife should have it soon.

    ETA: and my wife and I should be able to cover them until it comes. and after if necessary.

    ReplyReply
  102. EddieInCA says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I could not say how much that enraged me. I might be in jail if I had. So instead I said how much I admired her courage. Sarcasm was not enough, and it still pisses me off.

    I’ve. had to pull away from my regular news viewing since the pandemic started. The sh*t that Trump is spouting daily is bad enough. But the silence, the absolute fvcking silence, from Republicans THAT KNOW BETTER, is maddening. And that the bullsh*t spouted daily is being taken as factual from 40% of the country. But it’s just wrong. It’s evil. It’s beyond the standards we’ve had as a country. And…. silence.

    When I think if things like Merrick Garland, or the Tan Suit, or Benghazi, or godd*mn emails, I want to explode due to the incomprehensible level of hypocricy.

    ReplyReply
  103. Kurtz says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Oh, shit!

    In a way, it’s regrettable that we have to resurrect a catchphrase with ties to the Reign of Terror, a period of turmoil in which thousands were put to death in France on the flimsiest grounds; this opens the door for today’s reactionary right-wingers to paint popular demands for the wealthy to pay their fair share as “excessive” and “dangerous.” But, as Mark Twain pointed out in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, this Terror was the coda to a longer, agonizing, state-enabled age of cruelty that took countless victims. So if “eat the rich” harks back to chaos and bloodshed, it also conveys the determination of the masses to remake society, along with a willingness to endure the paroxysms of that change. Most importantly, it targets the architects of our current misery without conservative/liberal buzzwords. All the better to debunk the disastrous misconception that Trump captured the White House thanks to the working class.

    Nothing like a little Mark Twain to remind people that there was an actual Left tradition in this country. It may be easy to dismiss Chomsky, Sanders, and AOC. But try calling S. Clemens unamerican.

    I am said to be a revolutionist in my sympathies, by birth, by breeding and by principle. I am always on the side of the revolutionists, because there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute.

    –Mark Twain

    ReplyReply
  104. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @95 South:

    You’ve called all believers stupid.

    I’ve never called believers stupid, but I have called all believers extremely naive people. Wanting to believe an all seeing, all powerful God loves them even tho he inflicts childhood leukemia on one of their children (who dies at the age of 14) and Downs Syndrome on another.

    What the fuck kind of god does that?

    And don’t give me any of that “God has a plan….” or “God called them home…” bullshit. That is a cowards way out. God is either a royal ass sucking dick who takes extreme joy in inflicting pain on the innocent and the guilty alike.

    Or…

    He doesn’t exist.

    You pick.

    ReplyReply
    3
    3
  105. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kurtz: Yes I did.

    ReplyReply
  106. Teve says:

    I has a sad. I am only 100 pages away from the end of The Amber Spyglass.

    ReplyReply
  107. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And you are certainly entitled to that view as a matter of opinion or preference. My problem with most atheists is they often live within conceptual frameworks that are equaly as simple as lay Christian theology.

    Setting up a binary strawman to attack based on the age old “problem of evil” is pretty elementary. Not only is it insufficient to broad brush an entire group of people as naive (which I’m sure includes a significant portion of commenters and a couple of our hosts here)–but it also doesn’t prove what you think it does.

    ReplyReply
    1
    1
  108. DrDaveT says:

    Anyone else out there gobsmacked that Trump’s complaint about the WHO is the they were “untruthful”? Seriously? Isn’t this like Pee Wee Herman complaining that someone lacks gravitas?

    ReplyReply
  109. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Normally, I both understand distancing measures like humor or cold analysis as a coping mechanism.

    It works.

    Until it doesn’t.

    The Wisconsin decision really angered me.

    I know how to be disdainful. Bone deep anger is new and uncomfortable.

    ReplyReply
  110. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    I am a Vikings fan. A homer.

    Between Thiel and Thielen, I choose the productive member of society who also catches passes and probably pays more in taxes both net and as apercentage than that other guy.

    ReplyReply
  111. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: ,
    @Kurtz:

    Speculators are speculators. Add risk management, and ton of quants, call it a hedge fund, but it is speculation.

    Speculators should get wiped up and out if they choose poorly.

    They add no value to the underlying economy. Very little marginal utility at all beyond juicing very rich people’s dividend income and net worth.

    Speculation is gambling. Sometimes you get two ones. Thanks for playing. Your investors lost their bet.

    Glad someone else picked up on that story.

    ReplyReply
  112. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    The irony was miles deep in that release, but a blame shifter shifts blame. It is what he does. WHO, Ds, the media, China, CDC, urban elites, whatever works today will get blame shifted.

    You cannot stop him. And he absolutely will not quit.

    ReplyReply
  113. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I am going to endeavor not to be too frothy.

    Catch and cull bias. Not be too reflexively anti-R or anti-Trump while realizing Trump is terrible, historically awful at his job, and the party I don’t vote for is cool with infecting and killing citizens who want to vote.

    This will be a difficult summer and autumn.

    ReplyReply
  114. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Not could, but would rise again.

    ReplyReply
  115. de stijl says:

    Watching Doris Kearns Goodwin on my TV, and I swear she of all folks has a splash of pinkish magenta in her hair.

    Would not have predicted that, but so cool.

    Giving Notorious RBG a hard run.

    ReplyReply
  116. Monala says:

    @Just nutha ignint crackerd: reminds me of the story of the man whose house is flooding. As the waters rise, he cries out to God to save him. When someone in a boat and a helicopter offer to rescue him, he turns them down because “God will save me!”

    He drowns. When he arrives at the pearly gates, he asks why God didn’t save him. God replies, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter!”

    ReplyReply

Speak Your Mind

*