Tuesday’s Forum

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

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    An Indiana state senator has backtracked on his remarks that teachers must be impartial when discussing nazism in classrooms after he sparked widespread backlash.

    During a state senate committee hearing last week about Senate Bill 167, a proposed bill that would ban “concepts that divide”, Republican Senator Scott Baldwin, who co-wrote the bill, said teachers should remain unprejudiced when teaching lessons about fascism and nazism.

    “Marxism, nazism, fascism … I have no problem with the education system providing instruction on the existence of those ‘isms’,” Baldwin said, adding, “I believe we’ve gone too far when we take a position … We need to be impartial.” He went on to say that teachers should “just provide the facts” and that he is “not sure it’s right for us to determine how that child should think and that’s where I’m trying to provide the guardrails”.

    Just the facts?

    The bill prohibits kindergarten through 12th grade schools from teaching students that “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or political affiliation” is inherently superior, inferior, racist, sexist, oppressive. Teachers would also be prohibited from making individuals feel “discomfort, guilt, anguish, responsibility or any other form of psychological distress” when it comes to meritocracy and the notion that it was created by one group to oppress another.

    The bill also prohibits teachers and curriculums from teaching that Indiana and the United States was founded as a racist or sexist state or nation.

    Yeah, I didn’t think so.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Global heating could lead to an increase in kidney stone disease, study finds

    The heat waves, drought, wildfires, tornadoes, atmospheric rivers, floods, land slides, hurricanes, polar vortexes, all just little gifts to us from Exxon, Murray Coal, and their fossil fuel traveling companions.

    But KIDNEY STONES???? They’ve stepped over the line with that!

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Today’s entry in Stupid Headlines: Robert Durst: how a murderer’s death keeps his victims from finding closure

    Ummm, aren’t his victims dead? Isn’t that the ultimate closure?

    Yeah, I know, the families. But still…

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  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    I’d like to send my condolences to @james, knowing that he’s suffering this morning from the bite of the Bull Dogs. Look at it this way, spring football practice is what 4-5 months away?

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  5. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I guess that law prevents teachers from suggesting or teaching American Exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny, patriotism, pledging allegiance, etc.

    Looks like they don’t think these things through.

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  6. Scott says:

    Wife woke up yesterday morning free from COVID symptoms and with enough renewed energy to supervise me all day. She will return to school tomorrow since it will have been 5 days with the onset of symptoms and at least 24 hours with no symptoms. She theoretically not shedding virus anymore. Or at least not much.

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  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Scott:

    Far too many state legislators are that dull, normal kid from your high school class that everyone liked because he was good natured.

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  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    Driver of America’s Murder Spike
    A massive increase in gun sales in early 2020 seems to have contributed to the recent rise in homicides.

    After murders in the United States soared to more than 21,000 in 2020, researchers began searching for a definitive explanation why. Many factors may have contributed, such as a pandemic-driven loss of social programs and societal and policing changes after George Floyd’s murder. But one hypothesis is simpler, and perhaps has significant explanatory power: A massive increase in gun sales in early 2020 led to additional murders.

    New data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) suggest that that indeed may have been the case. According to the data, newly purchased weapons found their way into crimes much more quickly and often last year than in prior years. That seems to point to a definitive conclusion—that new guns led to more murders—but the data set cannot prove that just yet.

    Add to that, over the last 4-5 years there has been a general loosening of restrictions with regard to possession of a gun. More guns + more idiots carrying = more murders.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Nice.

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  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The bill prohibits kindergarten through 12th grade schools from teaching students that “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or political affiliation” is inherently superior, inferior, racist, sexist, oppressive.

    I agree with that. Collective guilt was one of the underpinnings of the Holocaust. We should not teach that any race is inherently anything because a) it ain’t true and b) it’s the core of racism.

    Morally neutral about Nazis? No, obviously. Claim that Germans are inherently racist or brutal? Also no.

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  11. Dude Kembro says:

    Huh. Funny. Twitter says Democrats are the ones obsessed with CRT, and yet the only party passing CRT-obsessed bills are Republicans, while Democrats are passing bills to fix roads and bridges, protect voting rights, and expand access to healthcare and childcare.

    Republicans should start focusing on real issues instead of smearing teachers, banning things they aren’t teaching, and letting it slip that the real motive of anti-CRT panicmongers is for teachers to bothsides racism.

    It’s encouraging that white Gen Z teenagers are rolling their eyes at the “But Their CRT” mass hysteria distraction panic of some of their parents.

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  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    I drove my wife down to San Diego yesterday* so she could attend a bell-ringing ceremony at a kid’s cancer ward. It’s a thing they do when you get through your last chemo and Katherine had worked on a story with this little girl by Zoom. Her parents posed her with a hand-done sign detailing what this tiny, tiny little girl had been through in three years of fighting leukemia. Start with 12 lumbar punctures. And then just keep poking holes and injecting toxic substances again and again and again. That little girl had been to war.

    Somehow I am not in the mood to complain about anything in my life.

    *Yes, of course she drives, but I like to be with her. Also the gas car needed some driving.

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  13. Kathy says:

    While trying to find out more about what led to Pan Am’s failure, one thing keeps popping up: the sale of various valuable and lucrative assets. In particular one that gets mentioned often is the sale of Pan Am’s Pacific routes to United.

    This reminded me of another failed airline, one far less legendary named Aviacsa, which was largely unknown even in Mexico. There’s no direct correlation, beyond the failure of both, but I was reminded of an event involving it in the late 2000s: The airline owed a great deal of money for fuel and fees paid to the government for air trafic and airport services. The civil aeronautics agency ordered it to cease operations until it paid up.

    I asked myself: how is an airline to pay a debt if it can’t fly and earn money?

    It can’t. But then the government wasn’t so much interested in getting paid, as it was in not spending more money on services for a dying airline. and they’d get a little something back when the airline liquidated after going broke.

    But for Pan Am the question is valid: how is Pan Am supposed to make money and keep operating, if it sells off its most profitable assets?

    It can, if it takes the money from the asset sale and invests it in other means for the airline to grow. In Pan Am’s case, this meant building up a domestic network to feed passengers to its international operations. This is something it never managed to do.

    I don’t have a clear picture of what Pan Am did, but I know they kept on selling assets periodically until pretty much there was nothing left. The north Atlantic routes, the Pan Am building, the northeast shuttle, the Berlin hub, etc.

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  14. Kathy says:

    On the COVID front, things are still depressing.

    Starting with an ironic note, His Majesty King Manuel Andres the Last of Mexico, tested positive for COVID for the second time. Of course he’s downplaying it while he isolates. But it’s illustrative of Omicron that someone with prior infection, vaccinated, and boostered, got the trump disease again.

    On the Johns Hopkins tracker, Omicron spikes continue to dwarf the 2020 holiday spike and the 2021 summer Delta spike. The deaths graphs do not shoot up so much, but they do shoot up. Omicron is less sever, not mild. It still kills people.

    Now, for some unfathomable reason, countries with higher vaccination rates show a lower deaths rate. It must be some incredible coincidence, right?

    My intention remains not to make SARS-CoV-2’s intimate acquaintance, and I still do all I can to avoid it. But between Omicron’s breakthrough abilities and the maskholes at the office, I may have to be satisfied if it waits until 2 weeks after I get the booster dose.

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  15. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Morally neutral about Nazis? No, obviously. Claim that Germans are inherently racist or brutal? Also no.

    Who was saying Germans are inherently racist or brutal?

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  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Dude Kembro:

    Republicans should start focusing on real issues instead of smearing teachers, banning things they aren’t teaching, and letting it slip that the real motive of anti-CRT panicmongers is for teachers to bothsides racism.

    Everyone, or at least I assume everyone here, has heard Frank Wilhoit’s, “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:
    There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect,” But we should also remember from his comment, “As the core proposition of conservatism is indefensible if stated baldly it has always been surrounded by an elaborate backwash of pseudophilosophy, amounting over time to millions of pages.”

    Republicans will not focus on issues because they cannot. Their issue is that rich people (and “Corporations are people, my friend.”) should not be taxed or regulated, and that is indefensible. It cannot be stated baldly. It would amount to the wolves taking off their sheep’s clothing. And the anti-CRT thing is more insidious than you think it is.

    Once upon a time Tip O’Neill could say “All politics is local”, but all politics is now becoming national. In VA McAuliffe’s commonsense but inartful remark that, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” cost him dearly. Here in FL school board elections are non-partisan. The GOPs are pushing a bill to change that. Why? The CRT thing is a very deliberate effort to use school board elections to support local activism and fire up the base. CRT, whether defined properly or loosely, is a non-issue. As you note, nobody’s teaching little Johnny to hate himself for being white. The board and the teachers would be overjoyed if they could just teach him to add. But if the GOPs can make local school board elections about brave Republicans protecting little Johnny from socialist, race-baiting (boogey boogey)Dems, that will carry over to state and national elections. They desperately need any issue except their indefensible real issues.

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  17. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    But they promised us that more guns would mean we are safer. WTF? Do you think they were lying?

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  18. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08:

    Once upon a time Tip O’Neill could say “All politics is local”, but all politics is now becoming national.

    We’ve discussed this before (wasn’t there a thread on it recently?), but politics has been national for ages already, and even when O’Neill made that remark it was questionable. (I would agree that it’s a lot less true today than it was in the ’80s; the 1994 midterms were a major turning point in that relationship.)

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  19. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    An early, if not the original in a series of Big Lies.

    An added variable is how easy it is to get a gun. In MA, it is tough to get a gun and Boston’s murder total for 2021 was 39 (down from 53 in 2020), Minneapolis, where guns are readily available the total was 96. Plus, earlier in the year I was looking at murders in Boston by weapon and guns made up less than half. I don’t know if that trend continued. In Mpls, the vast majority of murders were with guns.

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  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    I’m drawing a distinction between actions by individuals and groups on the one hand (boo hiss) and nationalities or races on the other hand. Races are neither good nor evil.

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  21. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’m drawing a distinction between actions by individuals and groups on the one hand (boo hiss) and nationalities or races on the other hand. Races are neither good nor evil.

    I got that’s what you were saying, but who were you responding to? I see no evidence from the article that anyone was claiming or even remotely implying Germans are inherently evil. That has literally nothing to do with the story, which is about a state senator claiming schools should be neutral on -isms like Nazism and Marxism.

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  22. Slugger says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Yesterday, I and tens of millions watched a game with lots of cheering, yelling, and celebration. You did something much more important and meaningful at that bell ringing get-together. I’m jealous.
    For the last four years, fans at the University of Iowa football games have saluted the patients at the nearby childrens’ hospital at the end of the first quarter. That’s where the real heroes, the real fighters are.

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  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    Dude, it’s the question of underlying principle. Isn’t that obvious? You can say, ‘Germans have done some bad things,” but you cannot say, ‘Germans are evil.” Substitute literally any race for German.

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  24. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Dude, it’s the question of underlying principle. Isn’t that obvious? You can say, ‘Germans have done some bad things,” but you cannot say, ‘Germans are evil.” Substitute literally any race for German.

    Again, who are you responding to that supposedly disagrees with any of this?

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  25. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    This reminds me a bit of what Eisenhower was purported to have said during WWII when one of his aides referred to another person as “a British son-of-a-bitch.” Eisenhower replied: “You may call him a son-of-a-bitch. You may not call him a British son-of-a-bitch.”

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  26. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I think it was just a random example to illustrate the point about not denigrating people by race or nationality.

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  27. Dude Kembro says:

    @Kylopod:

    Again, who are you responding to that supposedly disagrees with any of this?

    Why ask the question when the answer doesn’t matter. Those pushing But Their CRT mass hysteria panic don’t need a rational target, when their fearmongering strawman will do.

    The notion teachers are teaching kids to hate, teaching that whites are evil, teaching white kids to hate themselves and feel guilty are not just divisive, repugnant lies — but a disgusting smear of America’s hardworking, underpaid, underappreciated educators.

    The radical right and its minions don’t care. All that matters is deflection and distraction. Learning the unvarnished reality of American systems past and present triggers the guilt of the unwoke not because the teacher said “Whites are evil” but because reactionaries know, deep down, they are not bothered white supremacy, anti-Semitism, or segregation.

    Scapegoating teachers and “wokeness” is the deflection. And it distracts from the end goal that Trump Republicans accidentally revealing: they don’t want educators to teach that slavery, Nazism, and Jim Crow were horrible. The mask keeps slipping, that’s all.

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: In a color blind world, I would whole heartedly and unequivocally agree with you. Alas, that is not the world we live in. You know exactly how these laws will be enforced and to what purpose.

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  29. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Was there some sort of sporting event yesterday? My news feeds must be becoming acclimated to who I am; I saw no college sports news whatsoever yesterday.

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  30. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: IIRC, there was a bill before the Indiana legislature some decades ago decreeing that the value of pi would be “3” for use in schools in the Hoosier State.

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  31. Sleeping Dog says:
  32. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “Far too many state legislators are that dull, normal kid from your high school class that everyone liked because he was good natured.”

    Okay. So what happened that turned him into an a$$hat?

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  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: I seem to recall something like that too. I would guess Karl Rove wasn’t the first *conservative* to opine that they make their own reality.

    ** pretty sure this not a habit confined to conservatives, but right now it feels like they are buried in a fantasy world that changes every day.

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  34. gVOR08 says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: The story that a state legislature wanted to make pi = 3 even has been around forever and is probably apocryphal. But for a HS assignment I wrote a short story about a state actually doing it. I ended it with the state Capitol dome collapsing. Being faith based has short term tactical advantages, but in the end reality bites back.

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  35. ptfe says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There are plenty of fantasies to go around, but it’s incredible how an entire party is currently rooted purely in fantasy. Like, I can point to absolutely no Republican Party policies that are based in objective reality. I’d love to hear one if anyone can up with something.

    This isn’t an “everything I disagree with is fantastical and absurd” comment, either – there’s plenty of gray area in available policy to deal with real problems of real people. But every notable GOP policy that I can think of is currently based on denying fundamental reality or inventing a fantasy world in some way to justify it. Maybe abortion doesn’t fall into this camp? That’s probably the only thing I can think of that qualifies, since it’s weighing “morality”. Are there others?

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  36. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08:

    The story that a state legislature wanted to make pi = 3 even has been around forever and is probably apocryphal.

    Looks like it was real, although it encompassed more nonsense than just the value of pi. It seems like it might have actually become law except for a scientist that happened to be visiting the legislature that day.

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  37. Kylopod says:

    @ptfe:

    There are plenty of fantasies to go around, but it’s incredible how an entire party is currently rooted purely in fantasy.

    It may have reached new extremes in recent times, but it’s been a defining element of the party for decades–at least. Reagonomics? Global warming denial? Death panels? The list goes on and on. I don’t know of any other major party in a developed country that has been so devoted for so long to beliefs that have been conclusively shown to be objectively false.

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  38. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Looks like it was real, although it encompassed more nonsense than just the value of pi.

    With this sort of thing there’s always one element of a story that gets more attention than the rest, like the “Jewish Space Laser” in MTG’s long list of crazy beliefs she’s endorsed, or the Q Shaman at the Capitol.

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  39. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Thanks! And for the record, if I has stations that got college sports broadcasts, I probably would have watched at least part of that game. It’s simply an “out of sight, out of mind” phenomenon.

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  40. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: True, but only because the ARE buried in a fantasy world that changes from day to day.

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  41. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: Thanks for that. Proof that legislative nonsense is not a new phenomenon. And that some contributor to WIKI had too much time on his hands.

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  42. charon says:

    https://twitter.com/macroliter/status/1480917347548475395

    Very important finding: Airborne infectivity of SARS2 Microbe decreases by ~90% within 20 min. The group hasn’t yet tested #Omicron —but overall, this work underscores that crowding indoors drives the pandemic.

    “A decrease in infectivity to ~10 % of the starting value was observable for SARS-CoV-2 over 20 mi, w/ a large proportion of the loss occurring within the first 5 min after aerosolisation.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/11/covid-loses-90-of-ability-to-infect-within-five-minutes-in-air-study

    Coronavirus loses 90% of its ability to infect us within five minutes of becoming airborne, the world’s first simulations of how the virus survives in exhaled air suggest.

    The findings re-emphasise the importance of short-range Covid transmission, with physical distancing and mask-wearing likely to be the most effective means of preventing infection. Ventilation, though still worthwhile, is likely to have a lesser impact.

    “People have been focused on poorly ventilated spaces and thinking about airborne transmission over metres or across a room. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, but I think still the greatest risk of exposure is when you’re close to someone,” said Prof Jonathan Reid, director of the University of Bristol’s Aerosol Research Centre and the study’s lead author.

    Until now, our assumptions about how long the virus survives in tiny airborne droplets have been based on studies that involved spraying virus into sealed vessels called Goldberg drums, which rotate to keep the droplets airborne. Using this method, US researchers found that infectious virus could still be detected after three hours. Yet such experiments do not accurately replicate what happens when we cough or breathe.

    Instead, researchers from the University of Bristol developed apparatus that allowed them to generate any number of tiny, virus-containing particles and gently levitate them between two electric rings for anywhere between five seconds to 20 minutes, while tightly controlling the temperature, humidity and UV light intensity of their surroundings. “This is the first time anyone has been able to actually simulate what happens to the aerosol during the exhalation process,” Reid said.

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  43. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I hear you.

    Driving is low key fun. Driving to be at a certain place is less so, but still rewarding.

    One day this summer I was going to go to Target 3 miles away and on the way I decided to take a 3 hour detour to the Loess Hills. Turned out to be 6 hours. Lunch and getting out to sit and admire the view properly. I took the backroads route.

    I had a full tank and absolutely nothing else to do that day. Why not? I was utterly free from any obligation. So I did.

    I highly recommend just randomly driving long distances. It’s cathartic.

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  44. Jen says:

    @charon: I saw that earlier today, and it’s interesting. Still, either the virus is changing how it infects or there’s something additional at work, because evidence from the number of known super spreader events would challenge these findings.

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  45. Michael Cain says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It seems like it might have actually become law except for a scientist that happened to be visiting the legislature that day.

    When I was working for my state’s legislature, I was asked by one of the budget committee members to run this story to ground during the inter-session period. The bill that was introduced would have made a particular math textbook the only one approved for use in Indiana, in exchange for which the author would waive the royalties on Indiana sales. The book contained an incorrect proof for “squaring the circle” that made pi a rational number somewhat larger than three. It passed the first chamber, then a math professor (from Purdue, IIRC) who was at the Capitol for other reasons was questioned by the leader of the second chamber. Afterwards, that leader assigned the bill to whichever committee served that chamber as “the place bills go to die,” where it did. Most state legislatures have a committee that serves that function.

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  46. Jax says:

    @de stijl: Did you get your heater fixed?

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  47. just nutha says:

    @Jen: It might be that the constant activity at certain kinds of events–shouting, cheering, singing, jumping up and down, waving one’s arms, circulating among people, etc. changes the dynamics of virus spread, buoyancy and what not.

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  48. de stijl says:

    In the aughts I had a gig in Des Moines and I lived downtown Minneapolis. I drove. Could’ve flown, that was in the contract, but door-to-door it was four hours either choice. By driving I didn’t have to do the annoying airport mishegoss. Rental car cuz I was not going to put that many miles on my car.

    Every Sunday I would drive down. Every Friday afternoon I would drive home. Four hours give or take. (3:45 with no stops. 254 miles). I did this for eighteen months. I could rattle off every exit in order from memory.

    I came to love that drive. Even on an interstate. Get a sit-down burger and fries at the Happy Chef in Mason City – Happy Chef rocks. Pee at the rest stop south of Owatanna. Listen to music, space out, watch the world roll by.

    Driving, in and of itself, is fulfilling. (Except for that one time near Faribault when a big rig almost killed me. That sonofabitch near killed me because he did not check his rear view mirror.)

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  49. de stijl says:

    @Jax:

    Yeah. Dude came by this morning. Done in forty minutes. Solenoid (I have no idea what a solenoid is, or what it does, but that was the problem).

    Meanwhile wearing many layers until the house warms up. The furnace has been running continually since 9 this morning.

    I had a space heater for my bedroom. Brisk night, but I had a down comforter, a wool blanket, and another blanket on top, plus I layered up.

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  50. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    I have no idea what a solenoid is, or what it does

    When my dad first met my brother’s future father-in-law, he marveled at how socially weird he was (in a good way–we’ve got a lot of socially weird people in the family, including my brother and myself) that he began a conversation talking about solenoids.

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  51. Michael Reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’m not defending the law, certainly not the parts that are neutral on Nazis. I’m talking about the principle. And we cannot have collective guilt by race, sex, religion etc… So the part of the law you cited that raised objection to such collective guilt, I object to.

    @Kylopod:
    I feel like I must have had a stroke, because you’re a smart commenter but I have no idea WTF you’re talking about. Holocaust/German is an example. It could be pogroms/Russians, or Viking raids and Danes or torture and Japanese. ‘Peoples’ are not guilty, guilty people are guilty.

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  52. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I’d far rather hear about solenoids than be forced to listen to an extended dissertation about her clots given by a menopausal individual.

    This happened at a dinner party. At the table. The entree was roast beef.

    Talk about socially awkward.

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  53. Sleeping Dog says:

    @just nutha:

    He realized that as a dull-normal (not that he’d admit it), he wasn’t going to prosper and get the pretty cheerleader on his smarts and initiative, forget about wealth. So decided to become a grifter.

    Think about it, the most obnoxious, full of themselves people you know, realize they’re dumb and @sshattery is a cover.

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  54. Monala says:

    This McSweeney’s article is brilliant, and exactly where I am as a parent right now: Here’s why you’re wrong for supporting either in-person or virtual school right now

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  55. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    Solenoid is a really good word. It sticks in your head.

    I have now looked up solenoid. Kinda know its function now. Why did mine go busto? When I was gone it got really cold here so furnace was cycling on and off repeatedly every day.

    Big problem dodged, though. Last house I had to get a whole new furnace installed because of a cracked unrepairable heat exchanger that was leaking / pouring unburnt natural gas throughout the house via ducting. Cost me 4000 bucks.

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  56. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I feel like I must have had a stroke, because you’re a smart commenter but I have no idea WTF you’re talking about.

    I know we’re talking past each other, and I’m trying to get to the crux of the argument without sounding condescending, but let me make one more stab at it: Usually when a person makes an assertion, there’s a larger context to why they’re saying it. If I say “Eating children is wrong,” that usually implies I heard someone who claimed (or at least I perceived they claimed) that eating children is fine. So when you keep talking about how Germans aren’t inherently evil, I’m not saying I disagree with you, I’m saying nobody in the discussion disagrees with you, so I’m wondering why you found it relevant to make this statement in response to the story about the Indiana senator, because (to me, at least, and I don’t think I’m alone) it comes off sounding like you’re implying somebody in the story was making anti-German remarks, and I couldn’t find anything in the article suggesting that (and believe me, I looked). I’m perfectly aware anti-German prejudice is a thing; I know there are many (mostly older) Jews who refuse to buy German products, I know Germans are sometimes unfairly stereotyped in popular culture as being Nazi-like (usually in a joking way, but still). But that’s not what the dust-up in Indiana was about at all.

    There is a style of argumentation which irritates me to no end in which a person makes a kind of backhanded straw-man disguised as a mundane observation. For example, a couple months ago someone here defended J.K. Rowling’s transphobic remarks by claiming she was merely arguing that “biological sex is real.” Now, it’s true that Rowling asserted that biological sex is real, and I also happen to agree with that assertion. But it’s simply untrue that this is why she was criticized, and the person was implying in effect that the people criticizing her were claiming that biological sex isn’t real. And from what I’ve seen, “Biological sex is real!” has become a kind of mantra among the anti-trans crowd, and it’s pernicious not because the statement itself is inherently unreasonable, but because by making that statement they’re implying the other side is saying something different–which is false. And they’re trying to make their own position (which is to dehumanize trans people) sound not just reasonable but completely mundane.

    People do this all the time. I think of that time Rubio argued that most Americans are conservative because (this is a paraphrase from memory), “They believe in the Constitution. I know that’s a weird concept.”

    Now, I have no idea why you would imply someone in this story was making anti-German remarks, and it’s entirely possible I misunderstood what you were saying and that’s not what you were intending to imply. But if so, what were you trying to imply, or argue? What was your purpose in bringing up anti-German prejudice as an example of the folly of bigotry? What does it serve to highlight about this story? If you think I’m being dense, trust me, I’m not the only person here who had this reaction to your argument, and if by some chance I am being dense (which I admit is possible) I vouch that I’m being totally sincere in my density, so it would be helpful if you humored me for a couple moments and explained the reason for your remarks, and what they were specifically aimed at in the story of the Indiana senator.

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  57. Monala says:

    @Jen: how? The thing about superspreader events is that people are around each other for an extended period of time. So while each breath from a COVID-infected person might only stay airborne for 20 minutes, they’re expelling ongoing breaths, and the people around them are inhaling it.

    This is very different than, say, shopping in a store while masked, thirty minutes after someone infected has been there. For people doing only the latter, this is good news.

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  58. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Okay. I can see how that works. Thanks.

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  59. Sleeping Dog says:

    @just nutha:

    I don’t think we’ve heard from @james all day. Maybe he took bereavement leave.

    Dr T, are the flags at half staff in Alabama?

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  60. just nutha says:

    @Monala: Yeah. Despite (or maybe because of–who can know?) my ongoing conversation with Gustopher, Luddite, and Ozark yesterday, I have no idea what the least worse choice is either.

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  61. Modulo Myself says:

    What’s so dumb about the anti-CRT stuff is that they treat collective guilt re: race with incredulity. Like how is this possible? Gee, I wonder if there are phrases like, ‘The sins of the father are visited upon his children” or myths about ancestral sin cursing families. Collective guilt exists because obligations left by the dead are owed by the living. The left did not make this up out of nowhere to divide America. And the anti-CRT stuff is not going to be effective in places where there’s some culture. It will just create more incels and more brittle and fragile authoritarians at the margins.

    There’s an Orwell essay where he translates the ‘race is not to the swift’ verse from Ecclesiastes into impossible modern jargon. I feel like the modern right is at the point where it’s intentionally trying to turn universal ideas into jargon invented by the left because they no longer understand the original idea.

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  62. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    But I wasn’t implying anything. There was no implication, nor was it a straw man argument, it was an example. The guy from Indiana was correct in saying that we should not label races, etc… as culpable.

    I think – and please correct me if I’m wrong – you assumed I was making some sort of backdoor argument in favor of his proposed legislation. I was saying that part of what he was saying is actually quite true, but that does not (at least to me) imply that I support the law. Risking another example, 2 + 2 = 4, and that is true, but (2 +2) x 6 does not equal 8, even though the 2 + 2 part is correct*. Or, you could correctly say, ‘Jews tend to have large noses,**’ but if you went on to say, ‘that’s why they control the media,’ you’d be an anti-semite.

    *As always, don’t trust me on numbers but I think that’s correct.
    ** See my profile.

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  63. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Collective guilt exists because obligations left by the dead are owed by the living.

    No, that is not true. Let’s say I’m a Turk* born in 1980. Did the government of Turkey carry out a genocide against Armenians? Yes. Should I feel guilt for that? No.

    Now, should I as a Turk tell the truth about the genocide? Yes. Should I as a decent, patriotic Turk regret the genocide? Of course. But guilt? (the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime)? No, because I haven’t committed a crime.

    As a patriotic Turk would it be appropriate for me to wish my country would get as right as it can get on that matter? Yes. But that’s not guilt. Contemporary Germans have zero guilt for Hitler. Danes have no guilt for Vikings. Japanese have no guilt for Nanjing.

    When the Allies firebombed Hamburg and killed thousands of Germans it wasn’t because those Germans were guilty – many may have been opponents of the Nazis. We killed those Germans – including a lot of children – because it was the best way we had of defeating the Nazi regime.

    *’I’m a Turk, just don’t call me Shirley.

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  64. Monala says:

    Since I hadn’t read yesterday’s open thread, I turned to it to see the discussion on school closures that just notha mentioned. In the process, I saw Mu Yixiao’s posts about the CCP trying to crack down on Western influences in order to promote Chinese culture.

    One of the examples of so-called “Westeen influence” is supposedly “effeminate men.” Mu rightly pointed out that this is BS. But it made me recall a discussion I saw online recently (I think on Quora) about the Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

    Now I’ll preface this by saying that I don’t know any of the discussion participants IRL, so I can only take their word that they are who they presented themselves to be.

    It began with someone Asian saying that the movie was offensive because its hero is so unattractive, and other Asian people agreeing with the OP. Several non-Asian people responded along the lines of, “In what world is actor Simu Liu not hot?!”

    The response by the Asian participants is that Marvel never took the time to determine what is considered hot in China. Several people shared links to articles and photos of men who are considered the hottest actors in China. Every single one of them looked like a K-pop star. In other words, they all looked very young, pale, and androgynous if not “effeminate.”

    So the non-Asians in the discussion argued that an actor who looks like a K-pop star would not be considered believable in a superhero role to most Western audiences. My biggest issue is that they all looked like teenagers, no matter what their actual age was, and few Westerners would be comfortable with someone looking so young in a hero/sex symbol role.

    Anyway, to get back to Mu’s comment, it makes me wonder who is driving the “effeminate men” issue in Chinese entertainment, because it doesn’t seem to be coming from Western audiences.

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  65. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy:

    On the aviation front, what’s going viral at the moment is a hilarious clown who crashed his own plane for Youtube hits. YCMTSU, particularly how ridiculous the attempt. Considering the fire hazard he risked in the mountains of CA, he’s going to be doing time for this, probably a lot.

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  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Monala:
    China is trying to get their people ready to play the role of newly-minted superpower. They’re pushing masculinity because: soldiers. Also, they’re desperate to increase their fertility rate.

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  67. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The guy from Indiana was correct in saying that we should not label races, etc… as culpable.

    But that’s not what he said (at least not in any of the quotes from the article–were you reading a different source?). The bill claims to prohibit teaching that any race, sex, etc. is superior or inferior, but that’s not what the state senator said that was the subject of this article. Here is what he said:

    “Marxism, nazism, fascism … I have no problem with the education system providing instruction on the existence of those ‘isms’,” Baldwin said, adding, “I believe we’ve gone too far when we take a position … We need to be impartial.” He went on to say that teachers should “just provide the facts” and that he is “not sure it’s right for us to determine how that child should think and that’s where I’m trying to provide the guardrails”.

    He was not arguing here for neutrality on races or nationalities, he was arguing for neutrality on ideologies. The problem with that argument is that what he’s proposing is impossible. There’s no such thing as teaching history in a way that’s completely neutral. All history as it’s recorded and taught contains narratives. This is inescapable. The narrative we teach to children about the Nazis may be overly simplistic in parts (WWII wasn’t so much good vs. evil as flawed democracies with their own racial baggage joining one of the most brutal, repressive regimes of the 20th century to defeat an equally brutal, repressive regime that posed a more immediate threat), but it’s still more than justified.

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  68. Dude Kembro says:

    Contemporary Germans have zero guilt for Hitler.

    Zero truth here, as someone with both a Bavarian best friend and a group of Berlin-based friends I visit regularly, inc. twice last year.

    As a people, the Deustch are mature and intelligent, serious and inflexible, and matter-of-fact to a fault. While this can be maddening at times (they have no conceit of customer service), Germans can handle — even appreciate — stress and discomfort in ways a relatively stupid, immature people cannot.

    Too many Americans think we and our kids are entitled to be happy all the time, even if it means lying; Germans are less inclined to shield themselves from negative emotions.

    For Americans, “This thing is bringing up feelings of guilt” equates to “This thing is saying that awful event is my fault and my responsibility, this thing must be destroyed!” Because everything here is me me me. With the Deutsch, it’s more like, “This thing is bringing up feelings of guilt. Why is that? Let me pause to reflect. Ah, well, it is what it is.”

    Germany had gold bricks embedded in sidewalks, each with named Holocaust victims and dates the doomed were snatched from that address. They’re everywhere a constant reminder. America could not handle that. It would be “These woke bricks everywhere are blaming me for the Holocaust and making my kid hate himself! Ban them! But leave up the monument to Himmler, otherwise we’re erasing history.”

    Hence how Berlin, Prague, Copenhagen and Brussels became viable relocation options pending Trump 2.0. Ah, to be surrounded by smart, normal, well-adjusted people.

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  69. dazedandconfused says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Tangentially, I wouldn’t say the Germans today suffer from collective guilt either, but it did change them. They are reminded of the horror it caused semi-daily, through monuments and bits of destruction still in evidence, and their democracy is remarkable in it’s preference for boring, colorless, and intellectual national leaders who serve for long terms in office. They acquired a healthy wariness of strident nationalism.

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  70. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:

    “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or political affiliation”

    Obviously I disagree as to ‘political affiliation’ since I made quite clear that no, we cannot treat Nazis neutrally. Where I agree, it’s as to race, sex, etc…

    @Dude Kembro:
    If individual Germans wish to feel guilt it’s a free country, but that’s a personal decision. But I’d ask them if there’s some sort of time limit on that. Because in addition to the Holocaust and WW2, there’s WW1, and the Franco-Prussian War, and the colonies in Africa, and that Roman legion they wiped out. It seems a bit silly to to me to wear a hair shirt over something someone else did before you were born.

    To be clear: I am not guilty for the Trail of Tears. I wasn’t born, I didn’t vote in 19th century elections, and at that point in history my ancestors were busy being chased by Cossacks. It would be absurd for me to feel guilty. This is Original Sin thinking, and to be clear, I also feel no guilt for Eve and Adam eating apples.

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  71. Michael Reynolds says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    They acquired a healthy wariness of strident nationalism.

    Speaking as an occasional Jew and full-time human, I am on-board with that.

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  72. de stijl says:

    An extremely weird thing I learned last night:

    If the ambient temperature is near to your refrigerators interior temperature, it never kicks on. If the fridge never kicks on, the freezer also does not kick on too. They are linked, at least for my bargain basement low-end fridge.

    So everything in my freezer sort of warmed up to just above freezing. Not spoiled or anything, just barely thawed. I took a flank steak out and it was way more pliable than should be out of the freezer. Usually, a cut like that would be a solid brick.

    I checked other frozen things too and all were slightly thawed.

    A thing I would not have predicted, but it makes perfect sense in retrospect.

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  73. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    Teaching the full truth of history I support absolutely, as history, as events we (believe) happened. But I disagree with creating narratives that distort that history to reach a moral lesson. It is true that Genghis was a mass murderer. It is not true that the lesson we draw from should be that we can never trust a Mongol.

    I am baffled by this conversation. If I wanted to be tendentious I’d ask you whether you agree that Jews should be considered guilty for killing Christ? Because that’s collective guilt in action.

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  74. Kylopod says:

    @Dude Kembro: Many years ago I was talking to a fellow and I mentioned that my grandparents are Holocaust survivors. He said he was of German descent and deeply ashamed of what they did to the Jews.

    I’m never sure quite how to react to moments like this; it’s almost like that Key & Peele skit where they keep encountering so many obsequious, apologetic white liberals they’re actually relieved when a guy is finally racist to their face. I think the concept of being proud or ashamed of one’s ancestors is idiotic. But I don’t want to press too hard on this point, because it’s so much better than the alternative, and I can’t even put into words how grateful I am that anti-Semitism is not what it was in my grandparents’ day, and where the Nazis’ crimes are almost universally recognized as abhorrent. Even when people do stuff like comparing vax mandates to the Star of David or Fauci to Mengele–as deeply offensive as those comparisons are, they still are derived, however imperfectly, from the notion of Nazis as supervillains. If it wasn’t so pervasive, nobody would feel the need to appropriate it.

    One crucial difference between America and Germany is that the latter is not the same friggin’ country as the Third Reich. Here, we’re still claiming to follow the same Constitution that declared blacks as 3-5ths people, the same Founding Fathers that owned slaves. The difference between then and now was evolution, not revolution. So with us, it’s not about ancestry, it’s about being part of the same institutions that once committed all those crimes, so the legacy isn’t as easy to separate.

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  75. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “The guy from Indiana was correct in saying that we should not label races, etc… as culpable.”

    Except that he is an Indiana Republican legislator, and as such when he said we should not label races as culpable, what he meant was it should be forbidden to teach that slaveholders were white and slaves black, because that’s collective guilt.

    It’s the difference between saying “All Germans are inherently Nazis” and “Nazism was a product of Germany and the Germans in the 1940s.” One is a prejudiced judgment, the other a statement of fact.

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  76. Michael Reynolds says:

    The other reason this is a dumb argument is that collective guilt indicts every single human being, since every single human being is in some way associated with historical antecedents guilty of horrible shit. Which leave us all guilty forever and all time. And when everyone is guilty, no one is guilty.

    That German girl I tried (unsuccessfully) to seduce in Crete 40 years ago? I don’t think she worked as a guard at Dachau. She didn’t kill Jews, I didn’t bomb Dresden.

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  77. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    Do you honestly think I don’t know this guy’s motives?

    If a man says 2 + 2 = 4 because he’s hoping to amaze you and then steal your car, 2 + 2 still equals 4.

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  78. Dude Kembro says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    But I’d ask them if there’s some sort of time limit on that…It seems a bit silly to to me to wear a hair shirt over something someone else did before you were born.

    The Germans don’t conflate “I may feel guilt pangs when I hear about the Holocaust” with “I am being told that I am personally guilty for the Holocaust and being ordered to wear a hair cloth.”

    Again, it’s an intelligence and maturity thing. They’re not inclined to turn everything into a personal psychodrama ripe for divisive political meltdown. They don’t need a time limit because, unlike us, they’re not prone to self-absorbed tantrums over asinine strawmen insisting German teachers are teaching kids to hate themselves because they’re German.

    We tolerate such smears against our hardworking, sacrificing American educators to appease the insecure, fragile, and bigoted, the Deutsch would never. They’d tell the anti-CRT hysterics, “This is what we’re teaching, grow up, get over it, get over yourself.” They would have rewarded McAuliffe for saying, “Profesional educators know what they’re doing, they’re not your babysitters.”

    The Germans come a long way. While we’re devolvinh, because everything is me me me me me me. “I didn’t bomb Dresden” Because why refiect when we can immediately make it about I I I and me me me?

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  79. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Also, they’re desperate to increase their fertility rate.”

    Too bad the problem isn’t a lack of sperm, it’s a lack of women since so many girl babies were aborted or killed or adopted overseas during the one-child period.

    Did it never occur to anyone in the government that any policy that led to a huge imbalance in the numbers of boy and girl babies would one day cause problems?

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  80. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    You’re talking about a government that did not consider the possibility that ordering farmers to run off and make steel (along with several other glaring issues) might just lead to famine.

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  81. Kathy says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    I don’t know what criminal penalties he may accrue, but there’s the matter of ownership and insurance. Planes are expensive, even little one-engine private planes. If it was his and he made an insurance claim after crashing on purpose, that’s textbook insurance fraud. If he rented the plane from someone else, then the owner’s insurer, or the owner if the plane’s not insured, can sue for damages.

    At the least, the FAA and/or NTSB ought to sue to get him to pay for the investigation.

    You know, if you want to crash a plane on purpose, for whatever reason, there are ways to do so legally. NASA famously crashed a Boeing 720 (a 707 variant) in the 80s to test a fuel additive that might prevent fires after a crash, and took the chance to get tons of other data on crashes in general.

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  82. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Do you honestly think I don’t know this guy’s motives?”

    I have no idea. Someone was talking about his bill and you cherry-picked some words and started to champion them. It’s nice to hear you’re not attributing them to this Republican clown and his bill, but I really don’t know why you started down this road.

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  83. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “If a man says 2 + 2 = 4 because he’s hoping to amaze you and then steal your car, 2 + 2 still equals 4.”

    Ah — I think this is where the disconnect lies. Because someone was talking about the man who was trying to steal our car and you jumped in to defend the concept of 2+2=4, and in context it came across as you insisting that no one else but you — and presumably the car theft — could possibly understand the concept of 2+2 equalling four and you were going to explain it to everyone.

    That’s my read, anyway.

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  84. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “You’re talking about a government that did not consider the possibility that ordering farmers to run off and make steel (along with several other glaring issues) might just lead to famine.”

    Yes, but I’m sure they made up for that by ordering intellectuals and other degenerates who had never seen a farm to plant crops.

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  85. Dude Kembro says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    It is not true that the lesson we draw from should be that we can never trust a Mongol…I am baffled by this conversation.

    Because you are conversing against your own strawman arguments maybe?

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  86. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    No, I was dealing with a specific portion of a proposed law. This is not a new and revolutionary idea. In fact, back in my law librarian days, I used to help assemble what are called ‘legislative histories,’ in part to look at motivations, examine the hearing transcripts, and to parse language that may be slipped in, language that may be contradictory, random drive-bys, etc… Legislation goes through drafts, and during that process the language is looked at clearly, so that in writing maritime law, for example, no one sticks in a clause to the effect that navigation of the seas should be free except for Danes because Vikings.

    What’s happening here is people unable to look outside their own partisanship take any question as an attack and a reason to launch a heretic hunt.

    But I’m terribly, terribly sorry for my obvious guilt in suggesting that any part of anything ever proposed by any Republican could make any kind of sense whatsoever. Mea culpa. Please don’t burn me.

    Jesus Fucking Christ, people. Oh, sorry, I shouldn’t mention Jesus, what with having such guilt over those darn pharisees.

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  87. Modulo Myself says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Teaching the full truth of history I support absolutely, as history, as events we (believe) happened. But I disagree with creating narratives that distort that history to reach a moral lesson. It is true that Genghis was a mass murderer. It is not true that the lesson we draw from should be that we can never trust a Mongol.

    I am baffled by this conversation. If I wanted to be tendentious I’d ask you whether you agree that Jews should be considered guilty for killing Christ? Because that’s collective guilt in action.

    You are literally comparing a German who feels guilty about what the Nazis did with Nazis who carried out the Final Solution. The funny thing is you’re like case closed on collective guilt, and not maybe my logic is deeply flawed here.

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  88. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    Driving is low key fun. Driving to be at a certain place is less so, but still rewarding.

    The “best” way to get to my job is via 2 state highways, a county highway, and a city street.

    I take a hodgepodge of rural back roads, and that city street. The distance is exactly the same (20.1 miles), and (if I don’t get stuck behind “Mr Lee”, “Farm Boy”, “V+” or (gods forbid!) “The Putter Wagon”), it takes the same time–or up to 20 minutes less. And most days? I never see another car.

    I have Google Maps in my car set to “avoid highways”. If it takes me 10 minutes longer to get to dentist but I don’t have to deal with traffic on the beltline? Super bonus in my book.

    And (yes, this is ramblng)… in uni I was one of the few people with a car (70’s Chevy Malibu–lots of room). My friends and I would do “random drives”.

    * Pick a road and start driving.

    * At any upcoming intersection (including on/off ramps), roll a die.
    At a T: 1-3 is left, 4-6 is right.
    At a 4-way: 1-2 is left, 3-4 is forward, 5-6 is right.
    At an on/off ramp: 1-4 is stay on the highway, 5-6 is take the ramp.

    Alternate version:

    Bring along one friend’s 4-year-old daughter and let her decide at every intersection*.

    We found some great places.

    ===================

    * At every intersection we asked her “left, right, or forward”. She kept saying “forward!”. When we hit a T-intersection and she said “Forward!”, we had to explain that it wasn’t an option (she was disappointed).

    It was an hour or so into the drive when she looked at her mom and asked “When are we going to get to Forward?”

    A car full of geeks both laughed and despaired at the same time. 🙂

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  89. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy: They crashed that 720 at a prepared test crash site, this guy dropped a plane with gasoline into dry brush in CA. He’s toast, unless the FAA determines the cause of engine failure was a broken crank or something like that. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/91.13

    That’s just the federal charges. The state of CA takes a very dim view of anything which recklessly could cause a brush fire. I imagine he may be on the hook for insurance fraud as well.

    The NTSB report is probably a year away.

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  90. Monala says:

    @Monala: I visited Quora to find the discussion I’d seen. While I didn’t find that particular discussion, there are quite a few others about actor Simu Liu’s looks.

    In one, a Chinese woman made some interesting comments about the source of the different beauty standards in China vs the West (in contrast to some who blamed “anti-Asian prejudice is why Marvel cast someone ugly as Shang-Chi”). This woman wrote:

    Beautiful men in Chinese and some other East Asian cultures are desired to have more feminine, delicate and refined features. …

    And no this isn’t a “recent thing” it has been going on for at least a couple of centuries. Old Chinese television series and films are full of these looks for any male role that is of a “romantic” hero type role. …

    It came from the aristocratic childe (gong zi, 公子)look, that good looking men carry themselves with gentle and stoic dignity, and are civilized and well-educated, as oppose to the overly masculine look that reminds Chinese people of violent barbarian brutes.

    In fact Europe had a similar movement in the 1700s baroque era, where aristocratic men wore fancy feminine wigs and even wore make up, and it’s where the idea of a “gentleman” came from. …

    However in Asian countries like China the stimulus was bigger. My hypothesis is that it may be at least partially due to the China’s constant efforts to repel invaders who were of nomadic people such as the Mongolians and Manchurians, so the ultra masculine look became undesirable.

    (Ellipses for places where she inserted numerous photo examples).

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  91. just nutha says:

    @wr: I always just assume that it’s virtue signaling and move on.

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  92. Kathy says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    If he didn’t break the crank himself, of course 🙂

    Crashing airplanes, even for valid tests, is so expensive it doesn’t get done often (though components and fuselages are tested past the breaking point, to determine just what that point is). Unlike cars, for instance, which undergo routine crash testing.

    Still, I think a plane crash can be arranged in advance to minimize damage on the ground and for ease of cleanup afterwards.

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  93. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I did a 10 day road trip where we picked a direction every morning. The only rule was not backtracking. If west yesterday, east was off the table. Plus, we had to think up a new choice method everyday. A bit of federal or state land at the end where we could camp was the best option. Plus, stop at anything vaguely touristy. No interstates.

    Rock, paper, scissors. Thumb wrestling. Cribbage. Blinking. Standing on your left leg. Poker. You name it.

    We didn’t always come close enough to free camping some nights. My one and only KOA experience. A motel in Tucamcari, New Mexico.

    Overall, a great trip. Random is interesting.

    3 dudes in a car going forward towards nowhere. The 4 year old daughter thing would be cool. Forward!

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  94. Mister Bluster says:

    Test
    Work Map

    Had no idea that this would work. It’s a map of all the places I worked in the landline telephone industry over 35 years. The only one that was not a telephone related job was San Francisco. I drove to all of them in my personal truck that I used on the job except the one by LA. The company flew me there.
    Every one was a road trip. All kinds of roads. Interstates. US Highways. State Routes. County Roads. Back Roads and places wher there were no roads. Loved every mile of it!

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  95. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    A message says I need permission to access the map.

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  96. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I am baffled by this conversation. If I wanted to be tendentious I’d ask you whether you agree that Jews should be considered guilty for killing Christ? Because that’s collective guilt in action.

    I want to stop there for a moment and ask other OTB commenters for their opinion on something. Look at the above quote from Michael. Was Michael implying here that I advocate the concept of collective guilt? Am I crazy for thinking that’s what Michael was implying I believe? Because if that’s not what he meant, then I can’t make heads or tails of what point it is he’s trying to make here.

    If that is what he’s saying, then it’s a bizarre thing to say, given that I already explicitly disavowed the concept of collective guilt repeatedly in this thread.

    This whole conversation, Michael, began with an article about an Indiana senator who said schools should be neutral when teaching -isms like Nazism and Marxism. Your response was that Germans shouldn’t be held collectively responsible for the horrors of the Holocaust. I asked you who was arguing that they should be. Your response? Germans shouldn’t be held collectively responsible for the horrors of the Holocaust. I then asked you, again, who you were arguing with, and I pointed out that nobody in the article was claiming Germans are inherently evil or racist.

    Your response? Germans shouldn’t be held collectively responsible for the horrors of the Holocaust.

    Frustrated that this conversation was going in circles, I tried to explain in more detail why your comments were not relevant to the topic and seemed to be creating an implied straw man. At that point, you said “The guy from Indiana was correct in saying that we should not label races, etc… as culpable.”

    I then pointed out that’s not what the Indiana senator said. I quoted what he said and showed you directly in his words that he wasn’t making the argument you claim he was making.

    Your response? Genghis Kahn doesn’t prove all Mongols are bad and the New Testament doesn’t prove all Jews are bad.

    You don’t see the problem? Throughout this conversation I have been disputing the relevance of your points by challenging you to explain why you keep “refuting” arguments that literally no one is making. No one claimed Germans are inherently racist or brutal. No one claimed Mongols shouldn’t be trusted. These statements come off as a weird non sequitur relative to the posted article, yet so far you haven’t shed any light on how they aren’t a non sequitur. Every time you’ve had the chance to explain thus far, all you do is simply restate the point I was asking you to explain the relevance of. My argument is simply that no one is arguing Germans are inherently bad, and every time I make this point, you reply that Germans aren’t inherently bad. You keep responding to my point about the irrelevance of your statement by simply repeating the statement. You’re baffled by this conversation? Please, I urge you, look over this thread again–I’m describing exactly how it went.

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  97. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..permission

    Oh well. I figured it was too good to be true.
    I have no idea how to fix this.

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  98. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    This whole debate/discussion has gone completely off the rails. I think that Michael, in his initial citation of the Germans, was tossing off a random example of attributing to an entire race/nationality an undesirable characteristic. He could have said “all the Irish are drunks” or “all Poles are stupid” or “all the French are sex-crazed” or any of the other stupid, cruel, tedious ethnic slurs I’ve heard in my life.

    It was an example, or at least I took it as such. Don’t make more of it than what it is.

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  99. de stijl says:

    Even if we can’t see it, it was worth the doing of it. You got to remember and relive days gone by and some of them were good days. I hope you enjoyed doing it.

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  100. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Or, you could correctly say, ‘Jews tend to have large noses,**’ but if you went on to say, ‘that’s why they control the media,’ you’d be an anti-semite.

    But, isn’t the promotion and hiring process at the major media outlets still determined by fencing with one’s nose?

    Are you claiming that the larger nose provides no advantages for fencing with one’s nose? That’s absurd.

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  101. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    No, that is not true. Let’s say I’m a Turk* born in 1980. Did the government of Turkey carry out a genocide against Armenians? Yes. Should I feel guilt for that? No.

    Now, should I as a Turk tell the truth about the genocide? Yes. Should I as a decent, patriotic Turk regret the genocide? Of course. But guilt? (the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime)? No, because I haven’t committed a crime.

    But what if you are a Turk living on land that was cleansed of Armenians? What if a significant part of your livelihood could be traced back to the fact that the Turks murdered a bunch of Armenians and took their land and property?

    I wouldn’t use the term collective guilt for something that no one still alive actively did, but perhaps an obligation?

    (Or if America was built on an Indian burial ground using slave labor… to pick an absurd example — I don’t know whether reparations are due, but we have an obligation to at the very least work to end the structures that keep them impoverished)

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  102. flat earth luddite says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    Jeeze, talk about a complete waste of communal oxygen! I’m sure we’re going to see him in a major state-wide election as a candidate soon. Or as a certain B. Bunny noted years ago, “What a maroon!”

    @Mister Bluster:
    Probably meant persimmon.

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  103. de stijl says:

    Ya know, I learned that sometimes the best solution is to shut up and walk away. I love a spirited debate up to a point.

    Nothing material is gained or lost here with the back and forth. Walking away is a fine option.

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  104. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I didn’t even get that far. All I got was “wouldn’t you rather open this file on Google?”

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