Wednesday’s 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


  1. drj says:

    A joint op-ed by two Israeli MPs in the WSJ:

    The West Should Welcome Gaza Refugees

    Europe and the U.S. accepted millions who fled earlier wars.

    Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich:

    I welcome the initiative of voluntary relocation of Gazan Arabs to countries worldwide. This is the right humanitarian solution for the residents of Gaza and the whole area after 75 years of being poor refugees. […]

    The small area of the Gaza Strip, which doesn’t have any natural resources or independent sources of income, has no chance of independent, economic, and diplomatic existence in such high density long-term. Therefore, the only solution to end the suffering and the pain of Jews and Arabs alike is for countries around the world who truly want what’s good for the refugees to accept them along with support and economic aid from the international community, including the State of Israel.

    All this, of course, while there are 700,000 Israelis living in illegal settlements on the occupied West Bank.

    What a country…

  2. EddieInCA says:

    Democrats sympathize more with Israel than with Palestinians

    With the exception of one age group – those under 29 – Dems support Israel over the Palestinians, and, overall, Dems approve of Biden’s handling of the crisis 62%-21%.

    Yep, that Biden is sure too old to get the job done.

  3. Stormy Dragon says:


    To put the above in context, the Netanyahu administration’s plans to expel the entire population of Gaza have been leaked:

    Leaked document fuels concern Israel plans to push Palestinians from Gaza into Egypt

    So it’s hard to see those two statements as anything other than attempts to put a smiley face on ethnic cleansing.

  4. drj says:


    With the exception of one age group – those under 29 – Dems support Israel over the Palestinians

    Democrats sympathize (not “support”) more with Israel than with the Palestinians by the following margins:

    Israel: 27%
    The Palestinians: 20%
    About equal: 35%
    Not sure: 18%

    Paints a rather different picture…

  5. Stormy Dragon says:


    One thing I noted is that while Democrats are the most likely to think Israel is doing too much, they are also most supportive of aid for Israel. There’s a certain irony in Israel’s continued sidling up to the Republicans in that while they’ll rhetorically end up with a freer hand, they’re effectively advocating for their own abandonment as a practical matter.

  6. MarkedMan says:


    I welcome the initiative of voluntary relocation of Gazan Arabs to countries worldwide

    Literally, the definition of ethnic cleansing.

    Ethnic Cleansing: The mass expulsion and killing of one ethnic or religious group in an area by another ethnic or religious group in that area

  7. SenyorDave says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Netanyahu is an authoritarian asshole who feels at home with Republicans. Plus, he and a large part of the conservative parties in Israel are bigots, so naturally he allies with Republicans.

  8. SenyorDave says:

    @drj: Hey, when you have an enabler like the US backing you, they probably figure go for it.
    Here’s a solution: Have Israel pay $1 milion for each person to leave. Then they will have countries lining up to “resettle” them.

  9. Scott says:

    Meanwhile, in Texas:

    Texas secessionists feel more emboldened than ever

    Standing in front of a massive state flag on Saturday, Claver Kamau-Imani outlined his utopian vision of a Nation of Texas that he believes is just on the horizon.

    No taxes or Faucis, no speed zones or toll roads. No liberals, no gun laws. No windmills, no poor people. A separate currency, stock market and gold depository. “Complete control of our own immigration policy.” World-class college football, a farewell to regulators. And unthinkable, unimaginable wealth.

    “We are going to be so rich,” he chanted. “We’re gonna be rich. We are gonna be rich. We. Are. Going. To Be. Rich! … As soon as we declare independence, we’re going to be wealthy. I personally believe that our personal GDP will double in five to seven years.”

    “The independence of Texas is good for humanity as a whole,” he added to cheers.

    Kamau-Imani is a Houston-based preacher.

    Of course.

  10. Stormy Dragon says:


    I’d be happy to let them go.

  11. Bobinyoungstown says:

    I sympathize with both the people of Israeli and the people of Gaza, however I have no sympathy for the governments of either.
    I’m reminded of the Vietnam protests, where my objection to warfare was conflated by the press/polls with a support of communism.

    I am also very wary about pronouncements of “intelligence” reports, having been burned with the “weapons of mass destruction” debacle in Iraq.

  12. Jen says:


    “…No windmills,…”

    Texas produces more wind power than any other state. It’s a critical part of that state’s energy infrastructure. What an idiot.

  13. Stormy Dragon says:
  14. Neil Hudelson says:
  15. OzarkHillbilly says:


    no poor people

    No poor people??? But who will they exploit? I know I know, immigrants, they’re not people. Same as it ever was.

  16. Kathy says:


    I wonder how the electoral math would work out for the union. Texas has 35-40 EC votes, if memory serves. These would need to be reapportioned. I’ve no idea how that would go, but likely they’d be diluted among several states. The GQP might never win another inversion without that massive amount of concentrated red votes.

  17. CSK says:


    I think the plan is not to have immigrants, documented or otherwise, as its final goal.

  18. Kathy says:


    Of course it is (nudge, wink).

  19. Scott says:

    @Scott: What stood out to me is “world class football”. Who the heck are they going to play? Each other? UT and A&M won’t be in the SEC any longer. Texas Tech, TCU, or Houston? Maybe in any given year they might rise. But no, football would be decidedly mediocre.

  20. Jen says:

    @CSK: I’m sure everyone will be happy to do their own yard work in 100-degree heat. :-/

  21. Franklin says:


    I welcome the initiative of voluntary relocation of Gazan Arabs to countries worldwide.

    Replace Gazan Arabs with the word Jews and watch hilarity ensue. And by hilarity, I mean mass outrage at the obvious anti-semitism.

  22. Franklin says:


    The small area of the Gaza Strip, which doesn’t have any natural resources or independent sources of income

    Also, is the Mediterranean Sea not a natural resource. I may be showing my ignorance here, but are there no actual ports along the Gaza Strip?

  23. Stormy Dragon says:
  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: If they did that, half of Texas businesses would have to shut down. I mean, who would do all their roofing? Hang their drywall? Wash dishes in their restaurants?

  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: The “Burn it all down, whatever replaces it will be better” of secessionists (Brexiteers, anti-NATO’ists, etc) exists on the left, right and the middle. It’s often just a basic failure to understand reality. I mean, sometimes can be done right. If I’ve got a car and it is a so old it’s a maintenance nightmare, then junking it might be the best solution – provided I buy its replacement before I do so. Same with a house, or my job that pays for my food, etc. IMO this basic failure to plan for the replacement before you junk what you have indicates a fundamental lack of maturity. It’s a kid’s response to an adult problem.

  26. Stormy Dragon says:


    Did you know there’s a giant gas field right off the shore of the Gaza Strip?

  27. Kathy says:


    Think of Texas kind of like a Gulf oil state.

    Past oil, Texas does have other industries I’m largely unfamiliar with. Two of relevance are XpaceX and Blue Origin. Do you suppose the government will allow NASA to rely on foreigners for launch services? And what about the military’s launch needs? The Pentagon subsidizes space launch companies to maintain launch readiness. Subsidies going abroad? I’d like to see that.

    Also, chances are parts of Texas might secede to remain in the US. I’m sure the Texas National Guard is an efficient fighting force, but they won’t be able to hold out logistically against the whole US armed forces.

  28. Beth says:

    Well, who’s got two thumbs and the ‘rona! weeeeee. Started with a little tickle in my throat Sunday night and then I got hit by a truck Wily E. Coyote style. I spent all day asleep yesterday and am feeling slightly better today. I’m stuck in bed though. I must of caught a weird variant that the vax did nothing to stop. Paxlovid seems to be helping?

    The worst part, I had a three day party bender planned for this weekend.

  29. Beth says:


    I wonder what they are going to do when the rest of the world lines up to say, “no”.

  30. Jen says:

    @Beth: I hope you feel better very soon. I think some people just get socked regardless of vaccination. I’ve mentioned here before that my dad had alllll the shots and boosters and had a horrible case of covid, he was bedridden for 2 weeks. My mom and sister, vaccinated at the same times/same manufacturer, both were around him and figured they were doomed so took only mild precautions around my dad. Neither of them ever tested positive.

    It’s such a weird-AF virus.

  31. JKB says:

    Hamas beheads and bakes Israeli babies in ovens. IDF provides incubators and evacuation to Palestinian babies at hospital where Hamas has a military command facility.

    The gnostic religion behind the National Socialists in Germany and that still remains in the shadows today believes that Jews are a threat to civilization and intermixing corrupts others. But every day Israel exists, every day it thrives creating a civilization out of barren desert the anti-Semitics, and the Nazis have their cult beliefs disproven. The Cult of the Dialectic that pervades the non-STEM academia is disproven. That is why the professors and their useful idiot students must tear down posters and attack Jewish students.

    As I said just days after October 7th, they revealed themselves and will be reviled. You can have your free speech, but not be free of the consequences when others decide not to hire or associate with you.

  32. drj says:


    I wonder what they are going to do when the rest of the world lines up to say, “no”.

    “You see? They never cared about the Palestinians. They just hate Jews.”

    (Not to say that antisemitism isn’t a real issue, but Israel’s government sure knows how to milk it for all that it’s worth.)

  33. Kylopod says:


    every day it thrives creating a civilization out of barren desert the anti-Semitics, and the Nazis have their cult beliefs disproven.

    Please don’t make anti-Semites sound like a ’50s doo wop group.

  34. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I was about to comment that Texas has a hugely diverse economy apart from oil, but thought a I better look that up. And it turns out that half of it’s total exports were based on oil, so you have a fair point. Although in fairness Texas has a far greater service economy than most oil based regimes, although I can’t find a number for how much of that is essentially an export vs. how much is generated within Texas

  35. Mister Bluster says:

    Which useful idiot said this:

    Those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and their entire existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House,..

    A) Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung
    B) JKB

    Bonus points for answering the question: Does it matter who said it?

  36. Franklin says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I did not! Poked another little hole in these Israeli PMs’ reasoning.

  37. charontwo says:


    Kamau-Imani is a Houston-based preacher.

    Government at the state level in TX is a Christian theocracy. The big blue cities like Houston, not so much. This is just a would-be theocrat fantasy, na ga hoppen, not enough people that crazy.

    There is a popular belief in TX that TX retained the option to secede when it was admitted to the Union, because it had previously been the independent Republic of Texas, a nation. Unfortunately for that theory, a different binding precedent was established in April, 1865.

    RIP, Zander.

    Good morning. This is Zandar’s Dad. I am sorry to tell you that he passed away over the weekend, peacefully in his sleep. Fortunately, his computer was on and open to this page but I don’t know if I will be able to post again. This blog was Jon’s passion. He was an ardent advocate for justice and for our Democracy. He was brilliant. He was funny. He never stopped believing in our country but he never stopped fighting the “stupid” and there was plenty of it for him to fight. He was thrilled with KY reelecting a Democratic governor, and he posted up until Friday, but he was feeling sick over the weekend and when he went to bed Saturday night, he thought that he would feel better when he woke up, but he never did.


    Zandar’s full name was Jonathan David Mott. He was born on 6/8/75 in Omaha, NE. His obituary should appear soon on the the Hickory Daily Record website,

    Thanks and please VOTE.

  38. Gustopher says:


    no poor people

    There are two ways of solving that problem — eliminating poverty or eliminating people.

    Since they need someone to do the cheap labor, I would assume they are either going to redefine them to not be people, or jail them for poverty and sentence them to work.

  39. Kathy says:


    I wonder what percentage of the Texas GDP is oil. Exports, i take it, means to other countries, not other states.

    BTW, I neglected to observe NASA keeps the Johnson Space Center in Houston. That’s not only where they run all their crewed missions as well as some others, but also where most astronaut training facilities are. I’d like to see the compensation the US would extract for that, not to mention Army, Air Force, and Navy bases.

  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    I have great powers in the realm of physics. “Z-Space.” Also known as MSU – Making Shit Up.

  41. gVOR10 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Per your link,

    Although it is legally under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority as a result of the Oslo Accords, Israeli forces have prevented Palestinians physical access to the offshore region and its resources.

    Boy I didn’t see that coming. /s

  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    Gaza is not a nation and thus has no maritime rights. If, for example, they wanted to run fishing boats they’d have to get Israeli permission.

    Widening out a bit there is a real potential for conflict around maritime rights in the eastern Med between Greece and Turkey. Short version: Greek islands, some basically a stone’s throw from Turkish beaches, have rights which severely limit Turkey’s ambitions. It’s another insoluble mess of the kind the ME is so good at producing.

  43. Gustopher says:


    Replace Gazan Arabs with the word Jews and watch hilarity ensue. And by hilarity, I mean mass outrage at the obvious anti-semitism.

    Are you calling my “Use A Spare Dakota As A Jewish Homeland” plan antisemitic? I want to use the army corps of engineers to move their Wailing Wall and enough top soil to cover the whole “God gave them this land”*. I welcome them into our country, and am willing to give them an entire Dakota — their choice of north or south! Would an antisemite do that?

    Obviously not. It’s the people in the Dakotas that I have no respect for, not the Jewish Israelis.

    Some of my best friends are Jews, but I don’t know any Dakotans.

    (Moving top soil is no stupider than putting up a wire in Manhattan and claiming that it extends the home for the sabbath.)

  44. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: You can’t have an ethnostate without ethnic cleansing or apartheid.

    If you support Israel as a Jewish State, then you have to support one of the two.

    I think ethnic cleansing gets a bad rap. It’s bad, but… Historically, it is implemented with genocide and violence, and that is less than awesome, but no one has seriously tried a mass resettlement with carrots rather than sticks. If it can be done, and that is a big if, it may be a less worse war crime than constantly bombing a civilian population. And less worse is … not good, per say, but less worse.

    I don’t think moving Gazans a few miles west into Egypt would solve anything though. It would just make Egypt into another Lebanon, with a border region attacking Israel and getting routinely bombed.

    If the government of the State of Israel is serious about a carrot-based ethnic cleansing, the best and most humane process would be the orderly movement of Israelis to a Spare Dakota, along with resettlement funds to move Spare Dakotans to Other Dakota.

  45. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: Wow. Just wow.

    Isreal would have an overwhelming majority Jewish population far into the future, essentially indefinitely if it wasn’t currently annexing land with 4-5 million Palestinians. So what you are really saying is, “Yes, there is ethnic cleansing going on. But it’s only because we are stealing their land and so therefore we have to. So no harm.”

  46. Gustopher says:


    Hamas beheads and bakes Israeli babies in ovens

    I’ve not been following the baking, but the beheaded babies story has no primary sources or photographs, and everyone reputable who has repeated it has walked it back.

    Given the amount of propaganda and lies, I would be wary of believing in any specific atrocity unless it is well-documented with first hand confirmation.

    I would be similarly wary of believing in the good deeds of the IDF that are intermixed with bombing, sniping, etc. This war is being fought with propaganda as well as bombs and missiles.

    I would be especially wary of random Twitter posts and pictures, as they are routinely being shown to be pictures of other wars, movies, etc., used to provide fake evidence for fake narratives.

    An Israeli government spokesman recently tweeted out claims of Palestinian crisis actors (Pallywood, he called it), using behind the scenes footage of a movie.

    Was he fooled, or was he doing it deliberately… you can decide for yourself.

  47. Matt Bernius says:


    I’ve not been following the baking, but the beheaded babies story has no primary sources or photographs, and everyone reputable who has repeated it has walked it back.

    Unfortunately, it appears that the beheadings did happen:

    Update, Nov. 14: Israeli officials invited journalists to see some of the remains of victims of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack and speak with the forensic pathologists working with the bodies. Dr. Chen Kugel, who is in charge of Israel’s National Center of Forensic Medicine, told those reporters that the ages of victims ranged from 3 months to 80 or 90 years, according to a Nov. 6 article published by The Media Line, an American outlet that covers the Middle East. “Many bodies, including those of babies, are without heads,” the article said. “Asked if they were decapitated, Kugel answered yes. Although he admits that, given the circumstances, it’s difficult to ascertain whether they were decapitated before or after death, as well as how they were beheaded, ‘whether cut off by knife or blown off by RPG,’ he explained.”


    I think parsing the specifics of those deaths is a really problematic route to go down. A large number of civilians of all ages were brutally killed by Hamas during the attack.

    Likewise, an even larger number of civilians have been killed as collateral damage in the ensuing siege on Gaza.

    And none of those civilians deserved what has happened (or continues to happen) to them.

  48. Scott says:

    @charontwo: OTOH, Texas may have the right to split into 5 states. And a couple of those states may wish to remain with the US.

    Divide and Conquer

    New States of Convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas, and having suf­ficient population, may hereafter, by consent of said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the Federal Consti­tution…
    —From the Joint Congressional Res­olution providing for admission of Texas to the Union, 1845.

  49. Scott says:

    Are not going to talk about Congressional behavior that wouldn’t be tolerated in most households?

    Markwayne Mullin is unbowed after nearly coming to blows in a hearing Tuesday: “I’m not afraid of biting.”

    Oh … and Sen. MARKWAYNE MULLIN (R-Okla.) clarified his fighting bonafides after he nearly came to fisticuffs with Teamsters President SEAN O’BRIEN yesterday: “By the way, I’m not afraid of biting. I will bite,” Mullin said. “I’ll bite 100%. In a fight, I’m gonna bite. I’ll do anything. I’m not above it. And I don’t care where I bite by the way, it just is gonna be a bite.”

    Now if I were in the House, I would be sharing some reading with the good Congressman.


    Despite being comprised of the Terrible Twos and/or Threes, I am quite fond of the toddler age. It’s really amazing to see how kids learn at that age and how they learn to piece things together. The saying goes that kids are sponges and it’s spot on. They learn a lot those first five years; but, I think that their brains are especially spongy at that age. That said, I think all parents or caregivers can agree on one thing. It is also the biting age, which is a huge challenge, and one of the reasons that books about biting for toddlers is so important.

    This isn’t to say kids or people don’t bite after they grow out of this age bracket, but this is where it really begins. And for whatever unfathomable reasons, toddler teeth are as sharp as a velociraptor and that ish hurts. A lot.

  50. Beth says:


    I too like to bite when things start getting frisky. Is Mr. Markwayne also saying he’s a biting bottom? Is that how he shows his love, affection, and oral fixation?

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    We need to lighten up the tone here! Allow me to share a couple of bumper sticker themes/memes/bon mots that I saw the other day.

    Using Fox News for information is like imagining you’re a marine biologist because you watch Spongebob Squarepants.

    And on a less sanguine note:

    A woman voting Republican is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.

  52. Slugger says:

    @Scott: A Texas independent of the USA has a majority of Spanish speakers. Soon their schools will hail the Alamo as the site where gentes amatan de la libertad won a victory against slave holding land grabbers from los EEU.

  53. Gustopher says:

    @Matt Bernius: It’s really weird that it would be updated a month after the fact, after so many people had walked back their reporting. And, if they cannot determine if the head was removed by knife or RPG, that seems to suggest they are still unsure about basic facts.

    The initial reports of 40 decapitated babies is still overselling it. Not that I am pro-decapitation, pro-baby, or think Hamas aren’t capable of it. Hamas is a bunch of awful people who do awful things.

    My larger point, of information being wildly distorted coming out of Israel/Gaza still stands though. Information being distorted to provoke an emotional reaction and cut off rational thought.

    I think this also results in Israel making many of the same mistakes we made after 9/11, except those mistakes are happening in its own (occupied) borders and when it goes badly will go badly much closer to home.

  54. Gustopher says:

    @Slugger: You can’t have an ethnostate without ethnic cleansing or apartheid.

    If you support Texas as a White State, then you have to support one of the two.

    (I assume Preacher Claver Kamau-Imani may not support a White ethnostate, being brown, but he seems to be of the Church of Ye nee Kanye West*, so who can tell?)

    The fine Preacher tweeted out this once:

    The 16th Amendment is a violation of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Repeal and #AbolishTheIRS! #TEXIT

    Amendments, how do they work? (Alternately: Numbers, how do they work?)

    *: this statement is not intended to be literal truth, but might be for all I know. Black Republicans of the looney variety confuse me.

  55. Kathy says:

    Finally I found a flu vaccine. In fact, I found three.

    Past the government restricting its use by state healthcare agencies to vulnerable populations, everyone else got started later this year. Last year I got it the last week of October, and I could have gotten it two weeks earlier easily. It’s already halfway through November, but now it’s available in several pharmacies.

    I figure I’ll get it Saturday after going to the supermarket. And make sure it goes on the left arm, so as not to spoil the week’s cooking.

    I’m making the second iteration of marinated chicken thighs, this time reserving the peanut butter for the sauce. And hopefully I won’t forget the coconut milk for the rice this time.

  56. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    We need to lighten up the tone here!

    Well, we can try.

    Here’s one: how long is a long time?

    I think it depends “for what”. If an elevator doors takes a minute to close, that’s a very long time. For most other things, one minute is not a long time.

    So take this hypothetical:

    Suppose sentient beings set up an immortal, very capable AI and give it one task (not that one). Namely, to determine a means to preserve life past the natural end of the universe, whatever and whenever that end happens to be (ie Big Rip, Big Bounce, Big Heat Death*, etc.)

    Ok, if one hundred billion years later the AI is till working things out, was that a long time? The universe will last far longer than that (latest estimate I read is that red dwarf stars can last trillions of years, producing energy every second of those years). So the deadline is far away.

    Now, the problem may have no solution, but assuming it does, is one hundred thousand million years a long time? If the AI does nothing but study the universe in pursuit of its one goal, wouldn’t it have learned all it can possibly learn by then? Including the obvious “replace itself with an even more capable successor to carry out the one task.”

    *No one calls heat death big or puts in in capitals, but I didn’t want it to feel left out.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Slugger: I expect that an early legislative act would declare Spanish speaker not persons/citizens/whatever.

  58. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    On a lighter note, I finally got my covid shot today.
    Apparently part of the delay was Luddite, the rest of the delay was having to wait for the microchips from the flu shot and DPT vaccine to stop interacting with each other.

    As I wandered through Costco following the shot, I noticed that my 5G and 6G reception weren’t any better, but my connection to their Wi-Fi hotspot was nearly instantaneous. Well played Costco.

  59. Gustopher says:


    I figure I’ll get [flu vaccine] Saturday after going to the supermarket. And make sure it goes on the left arm, so as not to spoil the week’s cooking.

    I don’t think the flu vaccine will significantly affect the flavor of your right arm, if that is what you are cooking, so that concern may be misplaced.

    However, cooking the arm you were vaccinated in would likely interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccination. I have not seen any peer reviewed studies covering this, though, so this is just a layperson’s semi-educated guess. Consult with qualified medical personnel and chefs as needed.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Boy, am I glad I had other things to do today.

  61. Jax says:

    @Gustopher: You’re killin me, here. 😛 😛 You’ve been at a superior level of fuckaboutery all day!!

  62. SenyorDave says:

    Interesting article about the hospital Israel raided, discusses how hospitals are protected under international law, how they can lose that protection, and how the protection starts again (probably doesn’t matter since Israel seems to only use international law when it benefits them). WaPo article, but does not appear to have a paywall.

  63. SenyorDave says:

    @Gustopher: Based on what Bibi has said in the past why would you assume they are mistakes?

  64. DrDaveT says:


    I must of caught a weird variant that the vax did nothing to stop.

    I caught the ‘rona on a small cruise ship in the summer of ’22, and it hit me the same way — some minor cough and scratchy throat, but mostly incredible fatigue. I slept nearly a full day around, in a hotel room in Croatia. Two days later I was fine. And yes, I was fully vaccinated for the time, which I think means I’d had 2 rounds.

  65. DrDaveT says:


    Historically, it is implemented with genocide and violence, and that is less than awesome, but no one has seriously tried a mass resettlement with carrots rather than sticks.

    Does the partition of India count?

  66. Kathy says:


    Based on the many variants of the trump virus, plus what we’ve learned about vaccines against respiratory viruses*, and my very incomplete understanding of the immune system and infection, the relevant efficacy of vaccines should be measured in the rates at which they prevent severe disease (ie does not require hospitalization), and death.

    Most symptoms in any disease are caused by the actions of the innate immune system. Vaccines help most inasmuch as they have the right or nearly right antibody producing B cells, and the right or nearly right helper and killer T cells.

    These two matter as they impede viral replication, and also shut down the cells that produce cytokines. The latter are what gets the innate system all riled up. And the innate system operates in a “we need to destroy the villages in order to save the province” kind of way.

    The Paxlovid ought to help, as it messes with viral replication inside the cells. It may even do that without killing most cells, as opposed to what killer T cells do. Just make sure you take the full course of it.

    *I think vaccines against bacterial respiratory infections, like pneumonia, perform better.

  67. Beth says:


    Thankfully, I can already feel it receding. Like, it was blammo, you’re dead, and now i’m like, half dead. This is still awful. I took an edible and hopefully when I wake up tomorrow it’ll be better. It has to be, I have a party this weekend. Well, I was supposed to have 3 parties, but I’m standing firm (for now) on one.


    I think that ended up with a lot of sticks.

  68. al Ameda says:


    Meanwhile, in Texas:
    Texas secessionists feel more emboldened than ever

    I have no objection, let them go.
    My passport is updated so I should be able to visit friends and family members without any problem, right?