Tuesday’s Forum

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


  1. Sleeping Dog says:

    Mr. Putin is obsessed with “making Russia great again,” said Aleksandr Baunov, editor in chief of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s website. “Putin’s Russia builds itself on the denial” of the 1990s, with its reforms, self-criticism and social and economic upheaval, Mr. Baunov said, because to him it represents the time in recent history when Russia was its weakest.

    Like Republican’s Putin seeks to sanitize the history of Russia.

    In a world that is awash in refugees, political, escaping violence, economic, climate, Russia doesn’t have a problem with unauthorized immigration. Even the world’s most desperate, have no interest in moving there. Hardly a great nation.

  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    Dr. Haddock and Dr. Fisher, wonderful names for a marine biologist and a paleontologist, attempting to solve an ancient mystery in the ocean’s depths.

  3. JohnMcC says:

    To those who have thought of refuge in, say, France — they should have 2d thoughts. I see a Tory MP (Mr Craig Mackinley) has advocated having British police, customs agents and … yes … troops on the channel beaches in France to control illegal immigration.

    My news source for brexit issues tells me that Mr Mackinley in the ‘Fool of the Week’.


  4. CSK says:

    Poet Robert Bly, 94, has died. Although he was one of the earliest and most vocal opponents of the Vietnam war, he became most famous in 1990 for publishing Iron John: A Book About Men.

  5. Kingdaddy says:

    The real Fool of the Week is Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, who asked the nominee for federal comptroller whether she ever sent a letter of resignation to the Komsomol (Omarova grew up in the former USSR):


    And the winners for the most ignorant, bilious homunculi are the participants in the comments section underneath that video.

  6. JohnMcC says:
  7. JohnMcC says:
  8. Kathy says:

    I’ve been looking over some of the early pandemic posts here at OTB, around March through June 2020. At the time, I brought up vaccines as a means to quickly bring the trump pandemic to an end. I did expect some people to refuse to take it, especially if the first generation were of low efficacy, but never in my worst nightmare did I imagine the uptake would be so low.

    I’d expected valid medical objections and invalid antivaxx nonsense would push uptake to perhaps as low as 90%, and worried that might not be enough to stop the pandemic.

    I was way off, as it’s become plain.

    I still can’t understand why. Obviously in areas or countries where there are few vaccines available, the uptake is very low. You can’t get vaccinated without a vaccine. But countries and areas with plentiful vaccines?

    This is not just an american problem. In Europe, Spain and Portugal are above 80%, all other major countries are well below this. Austria intends to make vaccination mandatory in February.

    In Mexico we’ve reached 50% of the whole population fully vaccinated, but there are no plans as yet to vaccinate all teens 12 through 17, only those with comorbities or other high risk factors. Naturally there’s no plan for the 5 to 11 shot either, nor for boosters. Some teens and children who live near the border have gone to Texas, Arizona, and California for vaccines.

    So, as we can see, it’s more of a global problem.


    When I went to get mine, as I posted here, it took me a few hours sitting in my car in the line, but it was a joyous time. I was glad to be in line for the vaccine, and eager to get it. I expect I’ll feel the same when I get a booster. It was a time to strike back at the virus, to take charge and really keep it away, or render it mostly harmless.

    The benefits, to yourself adn the world, are huge. the risks are tiny. And unless you have an unexpected allergy or were susceptible to blood clots and got a virus vector shot, it’s all upside and no downside.

    So WTF is wrong with about 30-40% of humanity?

  9. Sleeping Dog says:

    The other day, I was tut-tutted for contending that FaceBook is evil and there were several comments describing benign experiences. Well:

    How Fake News on Facebook Helped Fuel a Border Crisis in Europe

    This is not the case of someone seeking craziness to reinforce a bias, but people looking for an authoritative source and believing that FaceBook provides it.

    I stand by my earlier comment.

  10. JohnMcC says:

    The moderators are welcome to please remove the evidence of my difficulties copying youtubes urls (or whatever they’re called).

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A quiet revolution: the female imams taking over an LA mosque

    When Tasneem Noor got on the stage at the Women’s Mosque of America in Los Angeles, she felt butterflies in her stomach. Facing about fifty women on praying rugs, ready to deliver a sermon – khutba in Arabic – she took a deep breath.

    During the prayers, the women would follow Noor’s lead, but several would pray four more times after it ended, to make up for any potentially invalid prayers. That is the result of a 14-century-old disputed hadith, that leads some to believe women are forbidden to lead prayers and deliver sermons.

    “I don’t mind,” Noor told me later. “Some people function better with rules.”

    Noor, 37, is part of a quiet revolution in America: at the all women’s mosque, she was celebrating its five year anniversary of practicing the female imamat, a rare and often controversial practice in Islam.

    Women aren’t even allowed to pray in many mosques across the world. In some mosques in the US, women may enter, but are often forced pray in separate rooms – leading some to call it the “penalty box”. Spiritual leaders that have pushed boundaries – by running mixed congregation mosques or running an LGBTQ mosque – have received death threats.

    But at the Women’s Mosque of America, women are using their sermons to cover previously untouched topics like sexual violence, pregnancy loss and domestic violence.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: They’ve been infected with the stupidis ignoramus virus?

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnMcC: In other Brexit news: Post-Brexit scheme to lure Nobel winners to UK fails to attract single applicant

    A post-Brexit scheme to draw the world’s most celebrated academics and other leading figures to the UK has failed to attract a single applicant in the six months since it opened, it has been reported. The visa route open to Nobel laureates and other prestigious global prize winners in the fields of science, engineering, humanities and medicine – among others – was described as a joke by experts after ministers admitted its failure to garner any interest.

    “Chances that a single Nobel or Turing laureate would move to the UK to work are zero for the next decade or so,” the Nobel prize winner Andre Geim told New Scientist magazine, which first reported the news.

  14. Kathy says:


    They’re aiming too high. They should begin by luring the Noble Prize winners, like a certain, fat, ugly, orange-skinned former US government employee whose name escapes me at the moment. If they try to get him to move to the UK, I’ll kick in a few Quid.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A long but very good read:

    It’s the tenth and final round, and Patrick Day is fading. He’s still circling the ring in search of an opening, but his punches have lost the switchblade quickness they had in the early rounds. If he doesn’t do something dramatic, he is going to lose this fight.

    He had once looked like a star: No. 1 amateur welterweight, Olympic alternate, undefeated in his first 10 professional fights. But boxing is unforgiving. One bad loss to a weak fighter, and the glow was gone. Now not even a comeback can restore it. Just a few months ago, he was overwhelmed by a Dominican prospect who called himself “El Caballo Bronco.” On this October night in 2019, at the Wintrust Arena, in Chicago, there is a sense that the 27-year-old Day is fighting for a good deal more than the mid-tier title belt officially under dispute. If this bout does not go well, Day’s career could be over.

    And it is not going well: Day went down in the fourth round and again in the eighth, and he’s way behind on points. “You got no choice,” his coach told him before the final round began. Either he scores a knockout in the next three minutes or he loses.

    So he presses. He jabs, then hooks, then jabs again, but his blows all deflect off Charles Conwell. At 21 years old, Conwell is everything Day once was and more: an 11-time national champion, a 2016 Olympian, a perfect 10–0 since he went pro. He is a defensive virtuoso, but he hits hard enough to crumple a body like cardboard, and even as he repels Day’s blows, he stalks forward in a spring-loaded crouch, peering over the tops of his gloves with a kind of predatory patience.

    Conwell knows that he can wait this round out. The fight is already his. But he also knows, as all boxers do, that people don’t pay to see a 10-round decision. They pay to see a knockout. Sometimes, before fights, Conwell will write himself a short note to hang above his bed. Before this one he wrote I WILL KO MY NEXT OPPONENT AND DOMINATE.

    Conwell throws a straight right and an uppercut left, and another right and another left, the punches flowing together in quicksilver combinations, and all Day can do is bear-hug him. But Conwell will not have it. He shoves Day off. Day tries to wheel away, as he has done all night, but this time his legs fail him, and Conwell is ready for the maneuver. As Day retreats, Conwell stuns him with an overhand right. Day staggers. His guard falls away. Another overhand right whistles by his cheek, but a big left hook hits him square on the chin and he collapses onto the canvas.

    The referee doesn’t even bother with the 10-count. It is clear that this fight is over. The crowd is roaring, and Conwell is pounding his chest. He vaults onto the ropes and flexes his biceps, then leaps down and flashes an electric smile.

    A man shoves his way into the ring. His voice is sharp with panic. “Get away! Get—get away from him!” Only now does Conwell turn and see that Day has not moved. EMTs climb through the ropes. Day’s chest heaves and heaves, but he does not blink, just stares glassy-eyed into the floodlights. The crowd has gone quiet. The house music plays on.

    Charles Conwell stands in the neutral corner, rocking from one foot to the other. He blinks a lot. Someone points a camera in his face. He looks out at the crowd and up toward the lights and anywhere but into the lens. He looks across the ring, where physicians are crowding around Day. One checks his watch.

    Conwell looks the way fighters sometimes do after suffering a big knockout, as they struggle to stand, desperate and uncomprehending. He has never felt this way before. He has never been knocked out, and while he has knocked out many opponents, he has never, until this fight, knocked one out cold. He looks at the body convulsing on the mat. And for the first time in his career, he is afraid.

    Can a Boxer Return to the Ring After Killing?
    Much more at the Atlantic link.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Considering the age at which most receive their Nobels, it’s also fishing for those who are mostly past their primes. (which is not necessarily to say they do not have value), I would think resulting in diminishing returns.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:


    John, you may have figured this out. But for others, since there are often struggles with linking to YouTube. Below the video, there is a “Share” link, click on it and a drop down will appear with a URL for that vid and a box that says copy, click that box and paste the link into the comment box. https://youtu.be/JkLJeO97bpw

  18. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, but …

    A Nobel prize-winner will attract a lot of research money and bright young talent. They are far from old and busted.

  19. Mu Yixiao says:

    Kids these days!

    My daily commute is 20 miles through farmland and backroads (I stay off the county highways and save 20 minutes of drive time). A while ago I noticed running cars sitting at the ends of driveways–even though there was no traffic coming. What were they waiting for?

    Then I figured it out. Parents are driving their kids from the farmhouse to the road to wait for the school bus. Okay… some of the driveways are a couple hundred yards long, but… the kids can’t walk that far??

    And there’s one house that does it, where the front door is less than 50 feet from the road! And no, there’s nothing wrong with the kid. I see him out playing basketball in the driveway in the afternoons.

    In my day… Snow hip deep! Uphill both ways!

    (Which is actually true–but hip-deep when you’re 3-foot tall isn’t that much snow. And my house was on one side of the valley and the school on the other–had to go uphill in both directions. 😀 )

  20. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Some parents are still traumatized by Jacob Wetterling case. Those who aren’t fear being called bad parents and reported to child welfare authorities. The world we live in.

  21. Gustopher says:


    Considering the age at which most receive their Nobels, it’s also fishing for those who are mostly past their primes.

    Certainly, prime numbers get less dense as you get further along towards the higher numbers, but there’s still an infinite number above any age… oh, right, lifespans will cut the graph off, but if we want to be that pedantic then they aren’t “mostly past their primes” they’re “past most of their primes”

  22. CSK says:

    This is rich. Business Insider reports that Donald Trump is very annoyed with Donnie Junior for “tethering” him to the aborted senate campaign of Sean Parnell.

  23. Mu Yixiao says:



  24. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: In the (RURAL) area where I live, parents are strongly recommended/required to stay with their children until the bus arrives. Several children had been hit by vehicles waiting in the dark by the side of the road for the school bus.

  25. Kathy says:


    If he makes “Look What You Made Me Do” his campaign song, Taylor Swift will sue his pants off.

  26. CSK says:

    I’d just as soon eschew visualizing Trump with his pants off, thank you.

  27. JohnSF says:

    Oh no, no way.
    Our nitwit quota for this five year plan is already in massive surplus.
    (We already have a spare Johnson that we could do with offloading)

    @Jay L Gischer:
    IMHO it was only ever a catch-headline wheeze by the idiots at the Home Office, intended solely to get a paragraph in the Express/Mail/Telegraph and stroke the base on Twitter and Facebook.

    If you look at how difficult pan-Europe collaboration has become for UK science post-Brexit, and the difficulties for team networking and easy movement of young researchers, it’s utterly unrealistic.
    Fix Brexit – i.e. boot the loony Leave mob from govt and mend fences with an EEA type SM/CU alignment – and then we might start attracting high grade talent again.

  28. JohnSF says:


    Mackinley…advocated having British … troops on the channel beaches in France to control illegal immigration

    OK, who left the paddock gate of the idiot farm unlatched again?

  29. Michael Cain says:


    You have to wonder if the people who designed the program had ever met a Nobel winner. (I have, twice somehow! I doubt very much that they remember meeting me, of course.) Or more importantly, looked at the environment where they currently work. It’s one thing to offer a fast-track visa and/or citizenship. It’s another to offer a many-millions-of-dollars research facility. At an institution with an established reputation in the field that will continue to attract talent. And to fast track all of the research team the Nobel winner has currently assembled around them.

  30. Kathy says:

    NASA is going to crash a probe into an asteroid, on purpose.

    The idea is to test how an impactor works to change an asteroid’s trajectory. This is more proof of concept, as the asteroid is small and the probe won’t change its trajectory much. In the future, this may leas to bigger, faster impactors that can effect a major change (ie enough to get the asteroid* to miss the Earth).

    However, as Dr. Novella points out in the link: “[..] we need a lot of lead time to use this method. The incoming asteroid will need it’s orbit accurately measured, and there needs to be time to design and execute the mission. Travel time to the asteroid can also be a year or longer. But most of all, we need years of warning in order for the tiny changes in the orbit of the asteroid to be enough to deflect it away from impacting the Earth.”

    I wish humanity lots of luck with that. We’ve been trying to get action on climate change for how long? Hell, faced with a deadly, highly contagious virus known to have long-term sequelae, we haven’t done as much as necessary to stop it.

    An asteroid which may hit the Earth in ten years? What has that got to do with the next election?

    *Comets may be a different matter due to higher orbital speeds, more eccentric trajectories, and very different composition.

  31. JohnMcC says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Oye! I never looked.

  32. JohnMcC says:

    @Mu Yixiao: My Sis lived in the Buffalo area years ago. They had to maintain a shelter at the end of the rural driveway for their kids to wait in. And they figured several hundred bucks per kid annually for snowsuits. I bet driving them and waiting is easier for lots of folks.

    But I’m a southern boy. (Snicker)

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Unite The Right ruling is in – defendants liable in total > $26 million

    Yay! 😀

  34. CSK says:

    But…but…there were some very fine people amongst them, according to Donald Trump.

  35. Sleeping Dog says:


    Have they started a Go Fund Me campaign yet? After all, as @CSK: points out, TFG told us that they are very fine people. Too bad the punishment is only monetary.

  36. Mu Yixiao says:


    If you’ve got the gear (and anyone up north should) you don’t need a shelter (though some people build little shacks). But the thing to remember is that a lot of the kids are walking all the way to school. If the law is the same as it was when I was working for the Madison school district, anything under 1 mile, no busses are required.

    And, again: One of the driveways that does this is 50-feet. Tops. The kid can wait in the house where it’s toasty warm.

  37. Kathy says:


    good, but 1) the amount will likely come down on appeal (it usually does), and 2) these “fine people” likely would require several lifetimes to earn that much money.

  38. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    In many places, kids now ride the bus unless they can see the school.

  39. dazedandconfused says:

    No better way to honor Lee then to pick the wrong hill and get trashed charging it.

  40. Mu Yixiao says:

    I give you: Meat-eating bees.

  41. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I agree, but it makes a statement about what is and is not acceptable, and the price getting that wrong carries. That’s important.

  42. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    If you gave them, you can take them back.


    That’s precisely why I hoped Rittenhouse and/or his mother would be sued for every last penny.

  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnMcC: I suppose that it’s also possible that too many children come to school in standard dress for middle school students in my area–cargo or baggy gym shorts with a tee and a hoodie with running/casual/trainer’s shoes–even in the winter. Granted, the winters here are mostly pretty mild, but it does get below freezing for the high for a considerable part of the winter. Not much in the way of snowsuits–or shelters at the school bus stops, either. One of the community charities sponsors a warm coats for kids drive in the late fall, early winter, but I’ve not heard of reports of them ever having to say “stop giving us coats; everybody got one.” All I can say for sure it that the kids that I see are, apparently, hardier than I was (or lack alternatives).

    On my way to the doctor for my protime test, I saw a couple of kids walking across the bridge late to school, one of whom only had a tee–no hoodie. Of course, that late in the morning it was a balmy 37, so he was probably okay.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: That’s easy. The “fine people” among them should be more careful about what groups they align themselves with. Maybe paying fines will help them learn to make better choices in the future. (But I suspect that the really fine ones also have really fine lawyers to help them go banko and dodge the fines.)

  45. Mister Bluster says:

    When I was in High School (Class of 1966) students could not drive to school even if they had a valid drivers license and owned their own cars. There were busses for students that lived more than one mile from the school but I lived inches inside that limit. When I walked the mile on the nonexistent shoulder of the road (sidewalks? you’re kidding!) if I stepped too close to the ditch to dodge the cars the winter wind from across the empty corn fields would just about blow me into the water at the bottom of the slope and I dare not step one foot on the pavement or be killed. Every day I swore that I would never expose my offspring to this. Wasn’t an issue as I never did procreate.
    Finally in my Senior year my dad petitioned the school to let me drive his car to school as my siblings needed a ride to their out of district parochial school after I dropped him off at the train station to commute into Chicago.
    Forcing kids to walk to school doesn’t make them stronger adults it just makes them cold, wet and miserable.

  46. HarvardLaw92 says:


    They still could be, but it’s admittedly an uphill climb to prevail.

  47. Mu Yixiao says:


    If you gave them, you can take them back.

    Nope! No tag-backs!

    And re-gifting is just rude (unless the giver never finds out)

  48. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I can’t speak for much outside of the Great Lakes area, but… we know how to dress for winter. And (at least around here) we tend to be fairly hearty when it comes to dealing with the cold.

    I know for a fact that kids around here walk to school if they’re within the legal limit–I see them walking. There’s also the fact that (for elementary schools) we still have outdoor recess unless it gets really cold–like “below zero F” cold.

    All of that is irrelevant, however, when you consider that this “drive to the end of the driveway” is happening when it’s in the mid-60’s or warmer.

  49. Jax says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Oh, I don’t know, I bought my first drone for my Dad for Christmas, thinking he would LOVE IT, since his dream has always been to be a pilot. He gave it back to me for my birthday in May, and since then I’ve found my second calling. The ultimate re-gifting!

    I’m currently looking at the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced. It has EVERYTHING I need, thermal imaging and 32x Zoom, with a price tag that makes me choke a little. 😛 BUT….given that the bulls we buy generally cost $3,000-$7,000 apiece, I only need to find 2 bulls to justify the expense, right? RIGHT?! 😛 😛

  50. Jax says:

    @Mu Yixiao: We moved to this side of Wyoming (the town calls itself the Icebox of the Nation) when I was 14. I couldn’t quite drive on pavement yet, we have a 3 mile long driveway, so we drove up to the bus stop. One of the first weeks here was one of the coldest on record, one morning it was -50 (could’ve been colder, our thermometer only went to -50) and the only vehicles running were the goddamn school buses. I remember sitting up there in the ranch truck, waiting for the bus, wondering what kind of frozen hell had my parents moved us to. The air was so clear and cold, you could feel your nose hairs freeze immediately and tiny ice crystals floated around everywhere.

    I guess I’ve acclimated since then. It’s only the first -30 that’s hard, after that it’s t-shirt weather if it gets above zero!

  51. Michael Cain says:

    I knew a guy during my undergraduate days who grew up on a ranch in outstate Nebraska. Three miles on horseback to the bus stop — where there was a small corral, shelter, and water tank for the horses — then 20 miles by bus to the school. IIRC, one of the things he said about it was, “It was okay to be on the late bus after activities (sports practice, band, drama club) because the horse knew the way home in the dark, even if it was snowing.”

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: It might be that my going socialist in my declining years has made me soft(er) in the head, but I find myself wondering how much is not knowing how to dress in the winter compared to not having the means available to do more than a feeble attempt at it. Again, our winters are pretty mild (but seem to be getting colder), but we also have significant numbers of students (over 50% in every school in the district and as high as 75 in some) who qualify for free lunches and we’re on the outer rim of the Portland metropolitan zone, so our rents, though still low by comparison, are experiencing upward pressure–and low vacancy rates aren’t helping either.

    As to outdoor recess, the issue here isn’t cold as much as the combination of cold and rain. And my school in Seattle had covered (actually enclosed) play areas built into the building, so I’ve got no dog in the “kids are/are not snowflakes these days” fight. (My junior high and high school both had covered walkways between detached wings of the campus, too. We were really disappointed when a school bond replaced the boardwalks between portables with raised asphalt walkways. On rainy days, we used to have contests to see who could slide on the wet plank pathways the farthest. Sometimes progress really sucks. 🙁 )

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: “I guess I’ve acclimated since then. It’s only the first -30 that’s hard, after that it’s t-shirt weather if it gets above zero!”

    Good to know! I’ll see if I need to revise my outlook on winter raiment.

  54. Mu Yixiao says:


    It’s only the first -30 that’s hard, after that it’s t-shirt weather if it gets above zero!


    Or so I thought.

    My disconnect is that these kids play outside when it’s freezing. They ride snowmobiles (cold+wind chill+dangerous machines).

    But…Walking a little bit and standing for a couple minutes is too much? And “a couple minutes” is literal. I need to leave at 06:40 If I leave a couple minutes earlier, I get stuck behind the “Mr. Lee” (old man in a truck that turns of at Lee Road). If I leave a couple minutes later, I get stuck behind the school buses. Even with one of the very long driveways, a kid wouldn’t have to be outside for more than 10 minutes.

    And the ones with the very long drive ways are farm kids–who are outside a lot more than 10 minutes while doing their chores.

    The kid who’s driven 50 feet from the front door to the road? He has a motorbike, and I’ve seen him riding it through the fields.

    it’s t-shirt weather if it gets above zero!

    Tangential: I was a stagehand in Green Bay (and a lot of other cities in the area–IATSE 470 covers “north-eastern Wisconsin”). It was common for us to be loading trucks (outside, without docks) in our T-shirts when it was 20F. We used to laugh at shows out of Toronto because they’d complain about how cold it was. We’d call them “southerners” (Toronto is several degrees south of Green Bay).

    But all of this really is a “kids these days” thing.

    The winter temps around here are nothing like they were when I was in school. And snowfall is almost non-existent–snowmobile trails have been open for only a matter of days over the past few years, where they used to be a secondary road system for months.

    When I was young, anyone suggesting “I’ll drive my child to the end of the driveway to wait for the bus” would have been laughed at to no end. And now? “I need to drive my child 50 feet to make sure he’s safe and comfortable while waiting for the bus” is apparently the standard.

    This is the generation that is going to become our military.

    I’m supposed to put the security of our nation in the hands of someone who needs his mommy to warm up the SUV and drive him 50 feet so he can wait for the bus?

  55. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Three miles on horseback to the bus stop

    That’s not what I’m seeing. I’m seeing “50 feet from the front door to the bus”.

  56. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It might be that my going socialist in my declining years has made me soft(er) in the head, but I find myself wondering how much is not knowing how to dress in the winter compared to not having the means available to do more than a feeble attempt at it.

    That is absolutely a concern in this area–and we have a lot of organizations who are working to fix it.

    I know y’all hate religion and religious groups, and think that the government should be in charge of all these things, but…

    In my small community of less than 10k, we have two organizations who directly help those in need–through a “community store” which provides goods to those in need, and “community service” which takes people to appointments, buys them groceries, provides basic medical equipment (glasses, hearing aids, etc.), and is even available to help when your colostomy valve comes loose and you need someone to reset it.

    We have a dozen churches doing clothing drives and more. One church does an annual “build a bed” event where they purchase materials and build beds for local children.

    We make sure that our kids have winter clothes–and little to none of the money comes from taxes.

    I believe that Medicare and Medicaid are valuable programs that deserve our tax dollars (though I think that there are better solutions). I think the Marketplace is a great thing, and I have no problem with my tax dollars supporting it (I used the Marketplace for insurance for a couple years).

    But there is no way in the nine hells that DC will create a system that will take better care of our community than we do ourselves. We know who we are and what we need–as does every community in this nation. The worst thing that could happen is to let a group of old, rich, white men decide what’s best for “those people”.