Wednesday’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. Bill Jempty says:
  2. Jen says:

    Speaking of Dems over performing in special elections…the Democrat won yesterday’s special election for the NH House, making it four straight special election wins. The district he won leans Republican, and voted for Trump at least once (maybe twice).

    Via the Union Leader:

    Nottingham Democrat Hal Rafter’s victory Tuesday night in a special election for a House seat brings the New Hampshire House one big step closer to an evenly-divided chamber when the 2024 session opens in January.

    Rafter’s win over Republican Northwood Selectman James Guzofski makes it four straight pickups for Democrats in special House elections during 2023.

    Unofficial totals show Rafter winning 55.9% of the vote in both towns, beating Guzofski 641-485 in Northwood and 930-755 in Nottingham.

    Once Rafter is sworn in, House Republicans will have the smallest majority possible over Democrats, 198-197.

    If, as expected, Democrats make another pickup in the deep blue Nashua Ward 4 this November, this would leave the partisan makeup of the House a flat-footed tie.

    There are two independents in the House, one a former Democrat, the other a former Republican.

    There are four House vacancies thanks to two late openings.

  3. Kylopod says:

    Headline that’s gotta be one of the seven signs of the apocalypse:

    “Howard Stern Proudly Declares He’s Woke”

  4. Stormy Dragon says:


    This actually isn’t too surprising, as Stern mostly abandoned his edgy shock jock image quite some time ago (I believe he mostly credits starting therapy and it really changing how he sees life).

  5. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Stern is an interesting character. In the eighties my brother listened to him all the time and so I heard about him second hand. According to him, in that era Stern’s shock jock persona was acknowledged by him as just being an act. He would talk about how ridiculous this stuff was and how, far from living a wild NYC life, at the end of every day he would go back to his house in Long Island and barbecue with his wife and kids. But following the ancient rule of human behavior, “You become what you pretend to be”, he eventually embraced his act. It’s good to hear he eventually came around.

  6. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: While I was never a fan of Stern, I really enjoyed the movie Private Parts, which was his attempt at a personal biopic (and he was surprisingly good in the lead role as himself). I think it can serve as a companion piece to Man on the Moon, about Andy Kaufman (also an underrated film from around the same time), as both films are about performers who liked to toy with people’s expectations about the boundary between their persona and the “real” person behind it. (I also should mention both films are linked by the wonderful actor Paul Giamatti in a supporting role.) In both films there’s a theme that the need of performers like this to continually up the ante becomes like a drug, as the audience becomes deadened to everything they did before, putting pressure on them to be constantly probing new depths of depravity.

  7. Scott says:

    Let the dogs out in our fenced back yard around 0500. The little one got sprayed by a skunk. Let back in the house before realizing it. Annie ran around rubbing it into the carpets.

    How’s your day going?

  8. Jax says:

    @Scott: Oooooh, man, I feel your pain! We had a family of skunks move in under our house, and didn’t realize it until mating season started. There is no more helpless feeling than hearing that mating screech under the floor and not be able to do anything about the stench that soon came after.

    Don’t know if you have an essential oil diffuser, but Young Living has an oil called Purification that you can mix with a little water in a spray bottle to spray on carpets, and run the diffuser with the oil in it, it really helped our situation. Good luck!

  9. Jen says:

    Sen. Tuberville is an absolute twatwaffle:

    Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) told senators that he will attempt to force a one-off vote Wednesday to confirm Gen. Eric Smith to become the new commandant for the Marine Corps, while he maintains his blockade on more than 300 other military promotions.

    Tuberville told Senate Republicans on Tuesday during their weekly conference lunch that he will go to the floor and attempt to bring Smith’s nomination up for consideration, which would tee up a cloture vote unless Senate Democrats object to his effort.

  10. CSK says:


    I really think Coach Tommy is enjoying this.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: HA! Sorry, but other people’s misfortunes are the basis of all humor.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: As Jim Wright has frequently said, ‘Don’t just embrace the crazy, sidle up next to it and lick its ear.’ and the potato head is doing exactly that.

  13. Scott says:

    @Jax: Thanks for the tip. We have an oil diffuser. I’ll get that going. Got vinegar boiling on the stove and bowls in every room. Neighbor said to put charcoal in bowls around the house also. Sprayed the carpet but it may just have to go.

    I was slow on the uptake on the skunk because Annie came in with your mouth starting to foam. And I saw one of the large toads in the back and just assumed that was it. Had to get on washing her mouth out fast in the kitchen sink all the while getting the skunk on me.

    Good times!

  14. gVOR10 says:

    I don’t recall seeing this story mentioned here or in the supposedly liberal MSM, but via Balloon Juice we may have an explanation of how TX AG and career criminal Ken Paxton so easily escaped impeachment. Seems there was a group promising to provide a well funded primary challenger to any TX senator who voted against Paxton.

  15. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: You might want to build a couple of these (took me about 15 mins each) but replace the standard filter with activated charcoal ones. I don’t know enough about what causes the odor to know whether better filters would make a difference. If it’s a molecule, it would laugh at HEPA. If it’s oil droplets then even a cheap filter would get them out. I think the key will be to get it through the charcoal, and that is independent of filter grade.

  16. Scott says:

    @gVOR10: There’s that. Funding by Midland oil billionaire and Christian Nationalist Tim Dunn as well as the billionaire Wilks Bros. They also fund the Texas Public Policy Foundation, traditionally conservative libertarian oriented now drifting toward Christian authoritarianism. Unlike the Axios article, none of this is secret.

    The malevolence is spreading to DC. My congressman, Chip Roy, is funded by the same people. The TPPF’s CEO Kevin Roberts has moved to be the President of the Heritage Foundation. Their big project is to be the Trump government in waiting.

    This is all Republican on Republican violence. BTW, the Bushes, as a political power, are gone.

    By the way, here is Trumpism gussied up in intellectual flim flam.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    Been sitting here all morning with a 5 minute timer so as to stay logged in to my Baltimore Orioles ticket account. In 7 minutes I’m eligible to buy 2 tickets to each of the three potential post season series (we have clinched at least a wild card) and am stressing out. The World Series is not available yet. Wish me luck!

  18. CSK says:

    Here are three tidbits:

    1. L. Lin Wood is a cooperating witness in Georgia in Fani Willis’s case against Trump.

    2. A pro-Trump mayoral candidate in Tennessee, Gabrielle Hanson, was busted for promoting prostitution while a student ar SMU in the 1990s. She said she thought she was working as a booker for a modeling agency. MAGA!

    3. The TSA has revoked Sidney Powell’s trusted traveler status.

  19. Kathy says:

    I wish in today’s hearings Garland would pick the most obnoxious GQP douche and told him: How’s this Congressman? I’ll appoint you special prosecutor on the Hunter Biden case right now, but you have to play by existent DOJ rules and follow the law.

  20. Sleeping Dog says:

    Additional Dr. T bait.

    Is there something unique to the United States that exacerbates partisan animosity, even in good times, perhaps especially in good times? Is this yet another dark side to American exceptionalism?

    A forthcoming paper by Pippa Norris, a political scientist at Harvard’s Kennedy School, “Fractionalized and Polarized Party Systems in Western Democracies,” and a paper from 2021, “Cross-Country Trends in Affective Polarization,” by the economists Levi Boxell and Matthew Gentzkow, of Stanford, and Jesse M. Shapiro of Harvard, forcefully raise the question: What’s going on in this country?

    Norris shows in her paper how the gulf between the Democratic and Republican parties on social and economic issues is extreme compared with other Western democracies.

    The United States, Norris writes, is

    deeply divided into red and blue tribes. Bitter disagreements divide Republican and Democratic members of the party leadership, lawmakers in the U.S. Congress and state houses, and grass roots party activists on the core issues of the state’s role in managing the economy, climate change, and health care, moral issues ranging from reproductive rights to gun control, the role of religion in public life, immigration, racial justice and affirmative action, and foreign policy questions such as U.S. support for Ukraine and the importance of nationalism, as well as profound disagreements over constitutional rights and rule of law, electoral integrity, trust in the authorities, and the legitimacy of American democracy.

    While Norris focuses on “ideological polarization” — differences between the parties on issues — the cross-country trends paper concentrates on what has come to be called “affective polarization.”

    While previously polarization was primarily seen only in issue-based terms, a new type of division has emerged in the mass public in recent years: Ordinary Americans increasingly dislike and distrust those from the other party. Democrats and Republicans both say that the other party’s members are hypocritical, selfish, and closed-minded, and they are unwilling to socialize across party lines. This phenomenon of animosity between the parties is known as affective polarization.

    The column is paywalled, but those who have been following Dr. T’s posts on the state of American democracy will know the gist already.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Got em!

  22. Kylopod says:


    Lin Wood is a cooperating witness in Georgia in Fani Willis’s case against Trump.

    That I admit is fascinating, since Wood is one Trumpist who has always struck me as a true lunatic, not simply an opportunist, which makes me wonder about any value his testimony might provide even if he were to claim to be cooperating. But, I trust that Willis knows what she’s doing.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Bjørn Gulden, chief executive of Adidas, has lamented the end of the company’s lucrative partnership with Kanye West, saying, “I don’t think he meant what he said,” regarding the rapper’s antisemitic comments in October 2022.

    Uh huh:

    “going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE … You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda”.
    “I see good things about Hitler,” said Ye. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler … [Nazis] did good things too.” He added: “There’s a lot of things that I love about Hitler.”

    No no… This is all just a small misunderstanding.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Hooray! Enjoy them.

  25. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I watched the entirety of his interview on Alex Jones last year (through a Youtuber who covered it), and the guy went full neo-Nazi. It was way beyond just a few select quotes. Jones, who is himself a pretty open anti-Semite (he believes in something he calls “the Jewish mafia,” and he doesn’t mean the guys who created Murder Inc.), felt Ye went too far.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: I watched the entirety of his interview on Alex Jones last year

    Wow, that’s some grade A self hate right there, are you getting help for that? On the slightly more serious side, what possessed you to do that??? 😉

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: If I were Willis I wouldn’t want to put him in front of a jury, but I assume if she’s giving him a deal he was able to supply valuable evidence she couldn’t get elsewhere. (IANAL)

  28. CSK says:

    ABC is going to simulcast 10 additional Monday Night Football games to fill in the blanks left in their schedule by the writers’ strike.

  29. CSK says:
  30. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..other people’s misfortunes are the basis of all humor.

    All my humor is based upon destruction and despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease and violence, I’d be standing on the breadline right in back of J. Edgar Hoover.
    Lenny Bruce

  31. Kylopod says:

    @Mister Bluster: Or the classic Mel Brooks line, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”

  32. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It’s not like I’m feeling like defending Ye or anything. That was not a nuanced comment by him.

    AND, (gotta bring in my catchphrase!) I just recently watched this critical review of Downfall, which reminds me that not even Hitler was all evil, all the time. As an old friend of mine once said, “I’m sure Hitler’s dog thought he was a great guy.”

    The YouTube above is pretty on the mark and *cough* somewhat relevant to our own times. I think it’s important to have as accurate a picture as possible of events, as I related in yesterday’s thread about news media.

  33. Kylopod says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Sorry, if you believe that, that’s seriously naive. As I mentioned, I watched the entire Alex Jones interview. He wasn’t making a nuanced point about Hitler being a human being, even though he was trying to pretend that’s what he was saying. He said he loved Hitler (he didn’t just say he loved things about Hitler), and he explicitly questioned whether the Holocaust happened.

    And remember, he was sitting right next to Nick Fuentes, an open neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier.

    Literally the only reason people aren’t calling Ye a neo-Nazi is because they can’t wrap their head around the idea that a black man could be a neo-Nazi. The positions he expressed last year were full-on, overt neo-Nazi views.

  34. Grumpy realist says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I think the best knock-on effect from Downfall has been the number of times it’s been used with redubbing for physics or engineering explanations. There’s nothing better than watching ol’ Adolph rant about generalized Bessel functions or x-ray crystallography.

  35. Kathy says:

    My personal policy is never to link to Xitter. Nevertheless, here’s the latest Tweet from John Fetterman:

    If those jagoffs in the House stop trying to shut our government down, and fully support Ukraine, then I will save democracy by wearing a suit on the Senate floor next week.

    I do link freely to The Guardian. You need to look near the end of the piece, to find out the reason Benito would not wear a mask, is that it messed up his makeup.

    Think how many of his covidiot followers got sick, how many were hospitalized, and how many died, all in the altar of a small, petty man’s vanity.

  36. CSK says:


    Apparently Wood flipped to avoid being prosecuted by Willis. The Georgia grand jury had recommended that Wood be charged for trying to overturn that state’s election results.

  37. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I’m not questioning why he would have incentives to flip, I’m just curious how he’d be considered credible enough to give anything of value to the prosecution.

  38. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: Exactly. As I understand it, and this is based mostly on reading and listening to Preet Bahara and Joyce Vance, you can (1) plead guilty to what you are charged with and the judge might take that into account when sentencing, (2) reach a plea agreement, where you plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for sparing everyone the expense and effort of a trial, or (3) become a cooperating witness, in which case you plead guilty to everything you did, but an agreement is reached to significantly lessen punishment because of the value of your testimony against co-conspirators who were higher up. “Flipping” refers to the last. If that’s what has happened then I have to wonder what information he has that is worth a reduction in sentence. I find it hard to believe it would be against Trump, simply because it hard seems unlikely that Trump was talking directly to a low level loony toon like Wood in the first place. But there are 18 other defendants, and several of them might be considered higher up.

  39. CSK says:


    Good question. Possibly Willis had a set of questions to which he could only provide truthful answers. Or Wood knew that if he answered knowingly falsely, he could be charged with perjury.

    By flipping he’s avoiding (so far) any serious consequences. He’s retired from practice, so he can’t be disbarred in Georgia.

  40. CSK says:


    Whatever Wood knows, it has to be something sufficiently significant for Wllis to offer him a deal.

  41. Kathy says:


    I think it may depend on what physical evidence, like documents and recordings, if any, he can back up his testimony with. Maybe also what other witnesses can corroborate what he testifies to.

  42. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: I have mixed feelings about cases like Kanye West’s. To me he is obviously and seriously mentally ill and only continues to function because he is surrounded by enablers who have a vested interest in his continued money earning capacity. He’s an anti-Semite because he has crazy ideas about Jews, but he has crazy ideas about everything, and that’s because he is actually crazy. I’m not minimizing the damage and harm a famous and powerfully crazy anti-Semite can do, I just have mixed feelings about how much personally responsibility he has, given his mental illness.

    I don’t have any mixed feelings about the Adidas guy. He does not appear to be mentally ill and wants to associate the brand with an anti-Semite because it makes the company, and therefore himself, lots of money. He’s just a dirt bag.

  43. CSK says:

    Somebody hacked DJT Jr.’s Xitter account to announce that Trump Senior had died:

  44. Kathy says:


    It need not necessarily be someone specifically higher up. Say Wood can get the Kraken lawyer, or someone else along those lines,in deep orange s**t, so they think better of their options and get a deal where they rat on Benito.

  45. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: I don’t like treating mental illness as an excuse for bad behavior. There are many good, decent people who suffer from bipolar disorder. Sometimes I’m even willing to look a little charitably at a person’s descent into bigotry as part of mania or psychosis, if there are reasons to think it’s limited to that (for example, John Nash’s occasional anti-Semitic remarks during schizophrenic episodes). Kanye’s a dick, he’s always been a dick, even back when he was making political points I agreed with (like when he called out Dubya for his callous disregard for the lives of black people). He knows what he’s doing, I don’t think it’s all due to mental illness, and I think it’s infantilizing to suggest that it is. That’s what Ben Shapiro was trying to do last year in response to Kanye’s infamous tweet, and it’s also hypocritical because Shapiro was eagerly riding the Kanye train when he was saying stuff like slavery was a choice, white lives matter, etc. Only when he got to the Jews did Shapiro complain–and even then, he tried his hardest to explain it away.

  46. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: I guess I’m influenced by what happened to my wife’s cousin. She was a few years older than my wife and they had been close and spent lots of time together since childhood. Everyone who knew her loved her and felt she was the nicest person (I concur, and I’m a grouch). She developed an aggressive form of cancer that eventually reached her brain and when it did, she changed. She became an absolute religious fanatic but previously had not been interested in anything but the social aspects of her Orthodox Church. She wasn’t just religious, which might arise from fear of death, but fanatically judgemental against all other religions and constantly seeing evil everywhere. She was an intelligent, well educated woman but ended up with simplistic and almost autonomic responses to the world around her. Once towards the end we were visiting and I found these crazy rabidly anti-Catholic tracts on her kitchen table. I suppose it was possible that her fear of death brought out simmering prejudices that were latent since childhood, but I think it more likely that her illness affected her brain in some way that caused her personality to fundamentally change.

  47. CSK says:


    If by Kraken lawyer you mean Sidney Powell, I think she already is in very deep shit. I keep thinking of her filing in the lawsuit Dominion filed against her: She claimed that no reasonable person would believe her statements are factual. In other words: “I’m a habitual liar!”

    She’s a lot like Trump in that respect.

  48. Kathy says:


    That’s one hacker who should be convicted and imprisoned. It’s cruel to get people’s hopes up like that.

    On other things, I’m trying to get the logistics down to cook braised chicken breasts in white wine sauce along with twice baked potatoes, so as to minimize the time the oven is on.

    I think I’ll try parboiling the potatoes first. This means letting them cool and dry. Then they go in the oven at high temp for a few minutes, just long enough to crisp the skin. This is where things get complicated, as they have to cool down again (this is very inefficient).

    So, begin to make the breasts in the pot, along with the aromatics and sauce, while the potatoes cool. Stick the pot in the oven at low temps, Prepare the potatoes for their last trip to the oven, get them in, and take both dishes out when they’re done.

    I’m not satisfied. I think I’m wasting a lot of energy.

  49. CSK says:


    You could try microwaving the potatoes the first time around. Then bake for the second stage.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I suppose it’s possible, but it’s a bit of a bank shot. Would Wood’s deal be dependent on Powell sticking to her deal? And a cooperating witness usually also pleads guilty to everything they have done, even things the Prosecutor doesn’t know about. IANAL, but can’t imagine how Willis would structure such a deal that would allow Woods to mount a defense if Powell’s deal went south, and it doesn’t seem like there would be much in it for Woods if she just said, “your deal’s your deal, regardless of whether I can Powell to flip”.

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Brain cancer is hideous. But Ye doesn’t have it. He is obviously not mentally well, but I am hesitant to absolve him of his antisemitism for that reason.

  52. Beth says:


    The other thing about a deal for Woods is it puts enormous pressure on everyone else to flip and flip now. Personally, if I were the lawyer for any of them save Trump, the absolute first thing I would do is try and talk them into flipping.

    I think there is a real good chance that Trump himself skates. Probably because of jury nullification, but also likely because of his mafia don tactics. That being said, the rest of them are going to roast. Meadows should be shitting his pants. Either he sticks with Trump and goes to jail or he flips and MAGA paints a target on him. Personally, I’d take witness protection over jail any day.

    The rest of them should have cut deals yesterday. Failing that, they should cut them after Chesboro (or whatever) gets nailed.

  53. Beth says:


    I don’t think I’d absolve him of his anti-semitism entirely, but I do feel bad for the guy. If I’m remembering correctly, he’s supposed to be on some pretty heavy duty meds and refuses to take them for whatever bullshit reason. He is/was a huge talent and whatever he’s doing now is just nuking it.

  54. Kylopod says:

    @Beth: He said he’s no longer taking the medicine because it’s being used by Jewish doctors to control his mind.

  55. Bill Jempty says:

    I have tomorrow’s headline of the day and it is a doozy.

    The media is more and more often forgetting the rule it is news when ‘man bites dog’ not when ‘dog bites man’. Wildlife exists. Makes for sensational headlines but trivial news.

  56. Gustopher says:


    I have mixed feelings about cases like Kanye West’s. To me he is obviously and seriously mentally ill and only continues to function because he is surrounded by enablers who have a vested interest in his continued money earning capacity.

    Maybe I’m just a horrible person, but I don’t really care why people are irrational, hateful freaks. They’re dangerous, and that overrides everything. Whether it is Ye having mental illness or Alex Jones playing a character… don’t care as much about the causes as the effects.

    If he was a dog, he would be put down. And we would all be mostly ok with it. “Pity, he was such a nice dog when he wasn’t biting people.”

    I don’t advocate that for people, because people aren’t animals, but he should be gently escorted away from any form of public contact. Defang him. Let him be a hateful shithead without spreading it.

    I crave order. He is a disruption to order.

    As for the hangers on that need him to make money, they should just become “wealth advisors” and leech off his assets.

    (It’s harder to figure out what to do about poor people with similar problems, but they don’t have the reach and the audience, so they’re a lot less dangerous)

  57. Kathy says:


    That’s a good idea. Somehow, I never think of the microwave for cooking.

    Sometimes I’ll heat up corn tortillas in it before making enchiladas. Cold tortillas crack when you try to roll them. Nuking them for 20-30 seconds makes them nice and pliable.


    Just listing all the possibilities I can think of. There’s usually more going on behind the scenes than gets reported.

  58. gVOR10 says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    As an old friend of mine once said, “I’m sure Hitler’s dog thought he was a great guy.”

    Right up until Hitler poisoned her. After which she had no opportunity to realize she had been wrong about Hitler.

  59. Michael Reynolds says:

    Having missed the earlier comment I spent a good five seconds thinking that you were being very relaxed that you wife, Annie, was foaming at the mouth.

  60. Kathy says:


    Ye would seem to be the poster child for conservatorship.

  61. MarkedMan says:


    I am hesitant to absolve him of his antisemitism

    I hear you. Like I said, “Mixed Feelings”. I also live in a big city, and so encounter severely mentally ill people to greater or lesser degrees, every day. Some rant aloud about various things, and some can even sound reasonably well spoken about them until you listen long enough. I don’t really have mixed feelings about responsibility for them, I don’t think responsibility enters into it any more. Inherent mental illness, the depredations of drugs and alcohol, beatings, near freezings, untreated heat stroke, all of these can interact in ways I can’t even imagine (and am grateful I can’t). Is the homeless person on the corner ranting about Jesus and the Devil and the false Christians full of evil (Substitute “Jews”, “Muslims” or anything else as you wish) revealing his or inner bigotry, or perhaps could it be that this person was once a devout Christian themself and the wrecked train yard that makes up their mind is just shuttling a broken down rail car between semi-random pieces of their mental tracks?

    Is Ye there? No, of course not, at least physically. But mentally? I don’t know. Imagine if unethical people’s lifestyle and livelihood (his managers, bodyguards, financial “advisors” etc) were dependent on getting that person I mentioned earlier, the one on a downtown street corner, cleaned up and (mostly) showing up and they were spinning everything said as just speaking metaphorically or outside the box, and the were with them 24 hours a day and had years in learning how to distract them and channel them, would they present as well as Ye? (For very low values of “well”) Put another way, if Ye hadn’t been worth millions by the time his illness was apparent, would he be on that street corner?

  62. MarkedMan says:


    I don’t advocate that for people, because people aren’t animals, but he should be gently escorted away from any form of public contact.

    I think about this stuff a fair amount, especially after volunteering at the local men’s shelter, so take this question not as a challenge but as an exploration: does a high school kid who has demonstrated a propensity for violence and destruction, for lashing out and abusing teachers and classmates, still have the right to be mainstreamed in a regular classroom?

  63. Kathy says:

    Sometimes a I do wonder what Starbucks uses for coffee.

    That said, if a fruit is listed on a product’s name or description, one does expect it contains said fruit. If not, it should be clearly stated that it’s a fruit’s flavor instead.

    Some time ago I got some flavored oatmeal. It comes in one serving packets containing oats, sweetener, and dried fruits and spices. The one advertised as apple cinnamon, contained dried apple bits and powdered cinnamon, for example.

    One read “strawberries and cream flavor,” note the flavor added to the description. It had dried apple bits and artificial strawberry flavoring. It did not have dried strawberry bits. It’s a subtle distinction, but a valid one.

  64. Mikey says:

    Sometimes I do the dumbest shit.

    This morning, for example. I was putting some stuff into the back of our company Chevy Tahoe. It was backed up against a fence, so I had to kind of pop the liftgate and load the stuff in from the left of the rear bumper. When everything was in, I was still standing kind of off the left rear, and I gave the liftgate a good, hard pull to slam it shut.

    Big mistake. My head was in the way. WHAM! Damn, that hurts! I instinctively put my hand on the impact point and immediately felt wetness. Fuck, I cut myself, that’s not good. I pulled my hand away and it was absolutely full of blood. That’s REALLY not good.

    Blood was pouring down my forehead. I leaned forward so as to avoid getting blood all over one of my favorite shirts, and as I was making my way toward the building, I was leaving a significant trail of blood. I was actually shocked by how much there was.

    There was a group of employees outside and they all looked even more shocked. One sat me down in a chair and another did some first aid to stanch the bleeding. My supervisor pulled a vehicle around (the Tahoe, of course, because the universe does have a sense of humor), I got in, we went to the local ER.

    The medical staff got a good laugh out of my story and I got seven stitches in my head and the rest of the day off.

    Apparently since it was a workplace injury, I can get whatever ER charges and copays paid by my employer.

    I am sure the resulting scar is going to be epic. And I am certainly going to be far more respectful of SUV liftgates.

  65. CSK says:

    It should work well, because there’s nothing like a conventional oven for crisping tater skins. Hope they turn out well.

  66. CSK says:


    Make that Jewish space doctors.

  67. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I may not have been clear, but my comment about Ye claiming his meds were brain poison from Jewish doctors was not a joke on my part; that’s literally what he said.

  68. Mimai says:

    Re Kanye and mental health, I don’t have time to wade into this discussion. Instead, I will drop these two essays into the mix for consideration. A typically strident perspective from a gifted writer with lived experience.

    How Convenient, That Kanye West’s Behavior Could Not Possibly Be Influenced by His Mental Illness

    The Incoherence and Cruelty of Mental Illness as Meme

  69. CSK says:


    Oh. My. God. I’d ask you if you were being serious, but I know you are. I recall that Ye started spouting paranoid conspiracy theories after his mother died following plastic surgery in 2007. Donda West had pre-existing serious coronary artery disease, according to the L.A. coroner.

  70. MarkedMan says:

    @Mimai: Thanks for that. I suspect his style (apparently, sarcasm and dickishness) is directed more at the choir than anyone else, but I agree with the gist of this, minus the needless insults and arrogance:

    Because to consider the other possibility, that his serious mood disorder has indeed played some role in his tempestuous behavior, is to invite that which modern political culture can’t abide: moral complexity. In this era of social justice, everyone is divided between the perfectly unblemished victims and the permanently discarded oppressors. If West’s erratic behavior was influenced by his bipolar disorder, we might feel compelled to extend sympathy to someone who’s guilty of saying some unfortunate things; we would sully the perfect distinction between goodies and baddies. We would not be able to sit back in perfect judgment of West and comfortably assign him a place in our binary moral universe. We would be compelled to invite complication, equivocation, uncertainty. And we can’t have that. So we must insist that West’s bipolar disorder, a condition that can provoke extreme impulsivity and lower inhibitions, could not have played any role in his recent behavior. Like I said. Convenient.

    In the background of this attitude lies the widespread, profoundly stupid assumption that to say that mental illness influences behavior is to necessarily fully exonerate someone from the moral or legal consequences of that behavior. Again, moral simplicity and binarism – the mentally ill are the disabled, the disabled are a protected minority group, and members of a protected minority group can do no wrong. But to say that West’s behavior might not be fully under his control is not to say that it’s not within his responsibility. I don’t think his bipolar disorder is fully and simplistically creating his unfortunate behaviors. Someone who commits a crime while psychotic still must face a legal accounting, after all, hopefully in a mental health facility instead of a jail. But I do think that West’s bipolar disorder complicates our relationship to those behaviors. It means that we can’t just assign full blame to him without taking his mindset into account. It means that we have to more thoroughly exercise our moral imagination. It means that we must speak and judge with greater reservation. It means that when we consider the social punishment that we might hand out, we must do so without the crutch of seeing West as entirely guilty or perfectly blameless. It means we must do things the hard way. It’s not convenient.

  71. Michael Reynolds says:

    Great quote. Americans are not capable of anything but binary thinking. We play one dimensional chess.

  72. Neil Hudelson says:


    Re: energy use, perhaps sear the chicken then transfer to the oven? Use the freed up pan to bring together the wine sauce. I’ve had some bad experiences with wine drying out already lean chicken.

    Burner will be on less time, oven energy is already factored in.

    Unless you meant your energy –i find a martini while cooking somehow replenishes mine.

  73. MarkedMan says:

    I don’t normally participate in the food discussions, but FWIW…

    Over the years my wife my wife has developed reactions to certain things. Since she was pregnant with our first, who’s 26 now, her face has broken out like a teenager’s when she drinks red wine, and in the past few years red meat has had the same effect. This sets the scene, as she’s taken the lead and gone off to visit relatives in advance of me joining her on Friday. So… I had a perfectly marbled 8 ounce sirloin from Oscar’s butcher in the Adirondacks, which I froze and saved for just this occasion (my eyes got the best of me and I bought too much under similar circumstances while on vacation there last month). I found the last remnants of a head of broccoli in the vegetable bin, and I poached that in a mixture of lemon juice, soy sauce, rice cooking wine, sweet cooking soy sauce and regular soy sauce. I made a wonderful small salad of arugula, some slivers of feta cheese (Trader Joes, too strong in most cases but wonderful when sliced fine and added as flavoring), sliced tiny yellow peppers and a few tiny tomatoes from her row house garden (one plant in a pot up against the brick wall of our downtown row house), dressed with a few drips of the wonderful thick balsamic vinegar you can get from those olive oil/balsamic vinegar stores cities have (at surprisingly reasonably prices). I salted the steak and covered it with a few cloves of garlic I pushed through a press about an hour ahead of cooking and left it on the counter (alas, okay because we have no pets anymore). And, Idaho tater tots. Frozen, from the freezer section of the supermarket. Because I can’t even think how I would replicate them and they are so easy to cook on the grill at high temperatures, donning the silicone gloves and opening the grill for the merest moment and giving them a shake, over and over. I didn’t sous vide the steak and that was the tiniest mistake because the butcher was obviously a part timer from the second shift and didn’t understand how crucial it was to cut the meat at exactly the same thickness across the whole piece, but I feel I nailed it from the feel of the meat alone because it was just a notch too rare on the thick end and a tad over cooked on the thin, but truth be told, delicious throughout.

    I opened a bottle of red a friend had given us (2019 Unshackled Red Blend from California) about an hour ahead of time to let it aerate, and have just had this with the meal while listening to a remastered version of Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” on a wonderful sound system at “appropriate for me but too loud for her” volumes. Wonderful.

    Net-net, I’d rather be eating tofu/green beans/chili paste (no, really! Surprisingly good!) with her, but there’s no reason to suffer…

  74. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Alcohol makes me sleepy.

    I meant heating and cooling the potatoes* twice rather than once. the microwave is a good idea.

    The sauce for the chicken uses a little wine and chicken stock. I’ve made it before, but without wine. First sear the skin, then deglaze with wine and stock, then throw everything back in and slow cook for a while at low temps. I’ve gotten juicy, tender chicken before, especially the breasts (I think because searing the skin does not cook much of the breas meat at all).

    *I think the Indiana senate delegation spells it “potatos”

  75. Kathy says:


    I had rosacea in my later 20s. One of the many, many dermatologists my parents got me to see, advised me to avoid red meat and red wine. I thought at the time it sounded like sympathetic magic, though he also recommended I avoid hot liquids, including soup (yeah, right).

    Eventually it just went away. I take it that’s not the case with your spouse.

  76. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Rosacea is it exactly. Although, truth be told an awful lot of medical diagnosis is just Latin for the symptoms…