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. Bill Jempty says:

    The world is coming to an endFrom the NYT-

    Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 Lost Nose Wheel Before Takeoff, F.A.A. Says

    A Boeing 757 plane operated by Delta Air Lines lost a nose wheel as it prepared to take off from Atlanta’s main airport on Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It was the latest troubling episode involving one of the manufacturer’s aircraft.

    Delta Air Lines Flight 982 was preparing to take off from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for a trip to Bogotá, Colombia, at about 11:15 a.m. Saturday when a “nose wheel came off and rolled down the hill,” the agency said in a preliminary report.

    More than 170 passengers who were aboard had to deplane, but no one was hurt, the report said.

    A Delta spokesman said the passengers were put on a replacement flight.

    A Boeing spokesman declined to comment and directed questions to Delta.

    The F.A.A. said that it was continuing its investigation.

    It’s been a turbulent period for Boeing, which has been fraught in recent years with safety concerns after deadly catastrophes.

    What this article fails to mention, is that Delta’s fleet of 757ss have an average age of 25 years.

    Compare the above to the local newspaper coverage where the accident happened. Is the Times taking up the Inside Edition school of journalism?

  3. MarkedMan says:

    Trump again just clearing 50%, with Haley as almost the generic non+Trunp candidate getting over 40%. And by the time all the write ins are counted Biden will be over 60%, as a write in.

    Of course it is terrible for the country that Trump is going to be a major party nominee, but given that, these results are good news.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    All things interesting


    Moral of the story? Don’t tease the goat.

  5. Rick DeMent says:


    Biden will be over 60%, as a write in.

    Yes, now I understand all the hand wringing by the Dems over how weak Biden is. I mean trudging though the snow and ice to vote for a guy who isn’t on the ballot and won’t pick up a single delegate for the effort is the hallmark of lazy, unmotivated voters.

    There … now the NYT can just cut and past from that and bingo this mornings hot take. You’re welcome.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Holy moly! Gregg Abbott HATES this abortion ad, one of the most powerful ads ever made.

    RT and use the hashtag #VoteDemRestoreRoe to send it far and wide!

  7. Scott says:

    @Bill Jempty: It’s going to get worse for Boeing before it gets better.

    At United and Alaska airlines, frustration with Boeing’s manufacturing problems is boiling over

    The leaders of United Airlines and Alaska Airlines took turns Tuesday blasting Boeing over manufacturing problems that have led to the grounding of more than 140 of their planes, with United’s CEO saying his airline will consider alternatives to buying a future, larger version of the Boeing 737 Max.

    And from the hometown newspaper:

    Boeing hit by quality lapses, certification delays; Airbus soars to dominance

    While Boeing’s leadership scrambled to contain its latest crisis — following the in-flight door plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 — top executives at Airbus confidently laid out the rival’s success in 2023 and its dominance of the commercial airliner business.

    The data on last year’s jet orders and deliveries released by both manufacturers shows Airbus was the world’s No. 1 airplane maker for the fifth straight year and pulling away from its U.S. competitor.

    Airbus delivered 735 commercial jets last year, compared to Boeing’s 528. And Airbus won almost 2,100 net orders, a new record, versus slightly over 1,300 for Boeing.

    I partially blame the corporate move to Chicago in 2001 when Boeing chose financial engineering of real engineering. Now they are moving to Virginia because of the defense business where Federal government political engineering will take the place of real engineering.

  8. charontwo says:

    The Anti-Trans Crusade Was Supposed to Make DeSantis President. What Happens Now That He’s Gone?

    DeSantis & LGBTQ & TFG

    How did attacking a harmless minority, one few Americans care about or even really understand, become the top policy priority of one of the two major political parties in the U.S.? The answer isn’t complicated, and it has nothing to do with trans people at all. The anti-trans moral panic was manufactured to sell Ron DeSantis as the savior of the Republican party after Trump. Everything else ultimately stems from the miscalculation that tried, and failed, to bring us President Meatball Ron.
    Let’s start with what the moral panic over gender was not. Anti-trans legislation certainly never represented an attempt to address Republican voters’ actual concerns. We know because, in poll after poll, even Republicans place trans issues relatively low on their lists of concerns. Trans panic as a wedge issue also hasn’t been electorally successful, as the midterm elections of 2022 and the off-year elections in 2023 both showed. So what was the point of making it the top priority and overwhelming obsession of the right? Anti-trans politics had just one thing going for it, at least in the minds of Republican consultants: attacks on trans people were what differentiated Ron DeSantis from Donald Trump.

    And the Republican establishment really, really wanted Ron DeSantis to beat Donald Trump.


    This desperate performance, in the waning days of a failed presidential campaign, represented the culmination of years of work DeSantis put in as governor of Florida to make his name synonymous with the most extreme anti-trans legislation in the country. During his governorship, he pushed for, and got, a full ban on trans children’s healthcare (not genital surgeries but hormone therapy and puberty blockers for kids whose doctors and parents agree that these were necessary steps). He also heavily restricted trans healthcare for adults, censored educational material about LGBTQ+ people for school children in K-12, banned trans teachers from explaining their transition to their classes, banned trans people from using appropriate restrooms in public buildings, and even attempted to ban drag performances in the state.


    We know that Republican elites wanted DeSantis, and wanted him bad. Emails uncovered by the Tampa Bay Times through freedom of information laws exposed how desperately Fox News courted the governor, requesting appearances so often that sometimes four or five requests would come in on a single day. One Fox producer even openly told a DeSantis communications director, “We see him as the future of the party.” Early donations also went wild, and even many mainstream pundits began taking note.
    And, while Fox News was raising the profile of the governor directly with hour after hour of airtime, they and others in the Republican establishment clearly sought just as hard to raise the profile of his signature issues. In the early days of DeSantis’ shadow campaign for president, the focus was on anti-mask and anti-vax posturing, with vaccines being considered a key weakness for Trump, who touted the vaccine as one of his accomplishments even despite the anti-vax conspiracies that rocked his base. However, as COVID-19 faded from prominence (however prematurely and unwisely), the Republican establishment began pushing anti-trans attacks in parallel with their attempts to elevate DeSantis to the national stage.


    Why was this focus on the trans community so sudden, all-consuming, and intense? While reporting has focused on the activists pushing anti-trans laws, it doesn’t really explain why the right blew up a niche issue, beloved mainly by religious crackpots. Why did Republicans want this to be the center of their messaging and policy strategy nationwide? For that, you need to understand that DeSantis was supposed to be the guy.

    In order for DeSantis to win the Republican primaries, as the Republican establishment desperately wanted him to do, Republican voters needed to be primed to see his signature issue as being of paramount importance. Looking past the primary, the Republicans needed the wider US public to start to recognize the issue too. They needed trans people as enemy number one, replacing the immigrants who’d served as the primary scapegoat for Donald Trump.

    A lot more at the link, looking at implications etc.

  9. Kathy says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    Much as I mislike Boeing right now, the Delta nose wheel thing is a maintenance issue rather than a manufacturing defect.


    Airbus also is concerned with making money, and has defense contracts (albeit not with glitzy fighter planes), and their jets don’t come with dangerous, undisclosed software, nor with bad quality control.

  10. Bill Jempty says:

    @Kathy: I agree. This wasn’t a plane just recently constructed.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘The Lord told us to’: US pastor says he stole $1m from Christians to remodel home

    “The charges are that me and Kaitlyn pocketed $1.3m,” Regalado said in the video published to INDXcoin’s website on Friday. “I just wanted to come out and say those charges are true.”

    Regalado added: “A few hundred thousand dollars went to a home remodel the Lord told us to do.

    “We took God at his word and sold a cryptocurrency with no clear exit.”

    God made him do it..

  12. Kathy says:


    I’d add God as a defendant and issue a warrant for His arrest.

  13. Neil Hudelson says:


    While the anti-trans panic is 100% deliberately manufactured, it started long before Desantis was even governor of Florida. When anti marriage equality failed to be an electoral winner, conservatives ran focus groups to figure out what issue could be a wedge issue. I believe it was a focus group in Houston around 2011 where an anti-trans message proved particularly resonant (the city had just elected their first lesbian mayor 12 months before). 2013 saw the first slew of anti-trans bills in state legislatures around the nation. They did not prove to be popular at all, didnt’ really generate much interest among even right wing voters. Then Chelsea Manning happened, and suddenly Republicans had a very easy and visible trans bogeyman to attack. A short time later, Laverne Cox became pretty popular due to Orange is the New Black. More visibility, and suddenly the issue was salient. “Those people” were taking over our institutions, selling out our national security, and probably waiting in bathroom ceiling tiles to watch you poop. The race was on to outdo each other in attacking trans people.

    The trans community faced the same choice all minority communities do when attacked: cower, or fight back. They chose to fight back, leading a lot of liberals–including many commentors here–to conclude that the trans community just one day decided to make themselves the subject of attention, and don’t you know it was a real bad strategy on their part something something winning battles but losing wars.

    Nearly a decade later, Desantis glommed onto it.

    Anti-trans attacks are heinous, and manufactured, but Desantis doesn’t have the mental acuity to be that diabolical that far out. He’s a reactionary in the truest sense. Disney does a thing? React. Trans people exist? React. Never look to see if the issue you’ve chosen is actually a winning issue, just react.

    The result? One of the biggest failures of a presidential campaign in the last 60 years.

  14. charontwo says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    The result? One of the biggest failures of a presidential campaign in the last 60 years.

    Another result: FL fubarred and lasting damage elsewhere.

  15. Kathy says:

    40 years and two days ago, the Apple 1984 ad premiered during the Super Bowl.

    Me, I find it hard to believe the NFL season was once so short the championship wasn’t played in mid-February.

  16. Barry says:

    @Kathy: Thanks for this reminder.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:
  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    Yep, DeSantis failed. And yet we went from few if any anti-trans laws, to anti-trans laws in half the country. A pyrrhic victory, and not a win on the issue, but a win because DeSantis is just unlikable. As you know, getting laws repealed is many times harder than stopping them before they are written and passed. More anti-trans legislation awaits, held up by court challenges in some instances.

    I’m hopeful that this moral panic will subside. I expect it to. But it will be decades before we can undo the damage done.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I think Ati is my newest favorite. Another from them:

    All things interesting

    i don’t wanna know how long this took

    Stupid human trick, but damned impressive.

  20. gVOR10 says:

    NYT has an article this morning on the 737 door plug. Zero new information, but the best graphics I’ve seen, including a good, but low res, picture of the recovered plug. Nearly intact indeed. The multiple writers provide the expected quality of newspaper writing on technical subjects. Primary is the inability to distinguish between the structural function of resisting pressure primarily provided by the stop pins and pads and the safetying function of the missing bolts, which simply prevent the pins from slipping out of alignment with the pads. I also loved “so-called cotter pins”. (Which safety the castle nuts securing the bolts, assuming they’re present.) That’s like saying “so-called nails”.

  21. gVOR10 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: As with many things, the question is not how it was done, but why?

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    Apparently directed by Ridley Scott. Saw that ad in a bar here in town during the SuperBowl. I remember it well. Couldn’t tell you who won the game without looking it up.

    Full disclosure. This post created on a MacBook Air. My fourth Mac.

  23. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    No word on the irony? The closest we come to 1984 is data mining in smart phones, which Apple pretty much popularized.

  24. Mister Bluster says:

    I have found the link that I mentioned in yesterday’s The Last Day of the Faux Republican Primary thread at 21:12.

    A person seeking the nomination of the Democratic or Republican Party for the office of
    President of the United States who proves to the Secretary of State that they cannot afford the
    $1,000 filing fee by reason of indigence (unable to pay) can submit the required number of
    Primary Petitions along with a Declaration of Candidacy and Assent to Candidacy to the
    Secretary of State during the Presidential Primary filing period. The Secretary of State will
    announce the dates for the filing period. The individual’s name will be printed on the
    Presidential Primary ballot of their political party only if they qualify as indigent and submit the
    required number of petitions in proper form by the deadline. The name of the nominee chosen
    by the national political party will be printed on the General Election ballot.

  25. gVOR10 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I am of late frequently reminded of Pragmatist philosopher, Judith Shklar’s definition of liberals as people for whom cruelty is the worst thing we do. Modern conservatism seems to be a constant search for “others” to whom they can be cruel. I was going to say performative cruelty, and indeed the motive is just to look tough for political reasons, but the cruelty is real nonetheless.

  26. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    And yet we went from few if any anti-trans laws, to anti-trans laws in half the country.

    Yep, that’s why it’s remained a wedge issue. In gerrymandered, red states it’s electorally salient. You can still be clear-eyed about how the issue was propagated–especially avoiding blaming the group being attacked.

    A pyrrhic victory

    I don’t think I or anyone has claimed victory, pyrrhic or otherwise, wrt to trans rights. Watching someone set themselves on fire is not the same as wining against them in a fight. It’s a goddamn disaster out there for trans rights, and a lot of that is due to squishy liberals blaming the victim for the first 10 years of legislative onslaughts.

    As you know, getting laws repealed is many times harder than stopping them before they are written and passed.

    That doesn’t match with my experience whatsoever, or frankly the experience of anyone I know working in legislative spaces.

    It’s actually a hell of a lot easier to get bad laws overturned than to stop them from being written and passed.

    That doesn’t mean the focus should only be on overturning–indeed, I think liberals for my entire lifetime have relied on the courts to be their savior when the dangers of that tactic were readily apparent.

    The right, generally, likes to craft blatantly unconstitutional laws that are pretty easily undermined in court, so long as the court system doesn’t find itself packed with rabid idealogues, and so long as the right doesn’t learn how to craft laws that are diabolical while still constitutionally sound.

    Alas, the system is packed and the right can learn.


    But, not to pick at old wounds, this is all a bit rich coming from you. For the last few years I’ve watched you bizarrely claim that the trans community were the ones who raised up trans rights as an issue, suggest tactics and strategies that were already being employed and prioritized by trans people fighting back (why research before writing?), and then tut-tutting that the trans community weren’t employing those tactics and strategies that they were employing. That’s subsided in the last year or so, which is great, but come on dude.

  27. MarkedMan says:


    data mining in smart phones, which Apple pretty much popularized.


    Google? Absolutely. Facebook? Of course. Literally their business model. There’s a lot of bad things to say about Apple but monetizing your personal data isn’t one of them.

  28. gVOR10 says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Desantis doesn’t have the mental acuity to be that diabolical that far out.

    DeUseless got a lot of help, ideologically and financially, from Claremont and people adjacent to them.

  29. DK says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    They chose to fight back, leading a lot of liberals–including many commentors here–to conclude that the trans community just one day decided to make themselves the subject of attention, and don’t you know it was a real bad strategy on their part something something winning battles but losing wars.

    As Rev. Dr. King put it in 1963, writing from the Birmingham jail:

    “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”

    The same fairweather allies who were blaming the victim back then are still blaming the victim today. They do not get that many voters respect strength and moral clarity — even when they disagree on the merits.

    I’m pleased Democratic electeds have mostly not taken the anti-trans bait, remaining opposed to the ridiculousness of Republicans’ making life harder for this minuscule minority group. It’s a rejoinder to bothsidesers who claim Democrats are as cynical and self-serving as Republicans. Democrats have nothing to gain electorally from opposing the trans panic laws — there’s no significant percentage of voters in play here. It actually does appear to be about principle.

    Wokeness is a good thing. Very much enjoying DeSantis’s recent failure on the national stage.

  30. Kathy says:


    Smart phones*.

    Regardless of whether Apple mines data or not, I’m sure the apps do.

    *We need a better name for tiny computers that are used less and less for making phone calls.

    A few months back I started watching videos of phone reviews. Not many, and only a couple of sources. They talk a lot about batteries, charging, screens, performance, cameras, data capacity, and seldom a single word about calls.

    Remember when Jobs dismissed complaints about phone call quality, and people laughed at him?

    So, the term “phone” as in short for telephone, no longer makes sense. Oh, it stuck, and people being people it won’t change any time soon. Perhaps then landline phones will be called something else, should they exist ten years from now.

  31. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Above and beyond.

    So, it’s not quite paying people to run, but it’s a bit odd. I mean, how does someone who cannot afford a $1,000 fee hope to run a serious campaign?

  32. Neil Hudelson says:


    I’m pleased Democratic electeds have mostly not taken the anti-trans bait, remaining opposed to hatemongering ridiculousness of Republicans’ making life harder for this minuscule minority group.

    I’ve been absolutely fucking flabbergasted at how much rank-and-file elected dems, at every level of office, have largely locked arms and stood tall against anti-trans attacks. For the last 5 years I keep waiting for that strength to crumble, but with a few exceptions, their spine seems to just be strengthening.

  33. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Michael has a dog in this hunt, you knew that, didn’t you?

    If he gets worked up, it’s because of protective feelings, I feel sure.

    I don’t know that I share his criticisms, though I personally employ very different tactics than some on the left do as regards this issue. There is a reactionary element, it doesn’t seem valuable to me.

    But my take on it is: they are being attacked. Of course they are reacting. Who wouldn’t?

    I think the best strategy is openness and normality. We need to tell our story, not react to Ted Cruz’s garbage rhetoric or Ron DeSantis’ crappy laws, which would be overturned in an instant if we had a decent legal system. It is blatantly in violation of Equal Protection.

    It is true that there has been a big, big upsurge in trans visibility in the last ten years. That probably owes a lot to the Republican efforts you cited, but it has also been a thing in Third Wave feminsm, which has sought to repudiate the anti-trans stance of Second Wave feminism.

    Which is something I like. And well, activists are activists and they act like activists act. I don’t think I can stop them, and I don’t really like shaking my fist at clouds.

  34. Beth says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    A pyrrhic victory

    I ain’t hear no bell…


    I know that Dr. Kings words there weren’t written for me in any way, shape, or form, but that letter gives me immense comfort.

    @Jay L Gischer:

    It is true that there has been a big, big upsurge in trans visibility in the last ten years. That probably owes a lot to the Republican efforts you cited, but it has also been a thing in Third Wave feminsm, which has sought to repudiate the anti-trans stance of Second Wave feminism.

    My hypothesis is that big events cause trans people to fear the closet more than they fear being out. My cohort is the 2016 election. If you talk to trans people a very significant amount of us decided we’d rather die out at the hands of Republicans than die alone and miserable. Covid was another big shock.

    Also, I am very much an activist. I do it a lot here. I’ve been talking about my period all over the place for the last 3 days. The point isn’t to talk about my period per se, it’s to educate people that trans women get their period too. We’re biological women.

  35. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I’m aware. In case any of my post sounded like I was accusing Michael of being anti-trans, let me disclaim that right now. Nothing he’s written has been anti-trans; it’s been generally paternalistic and patronizing, but not anti-trans. I’ve bit my tongue through most of it, decided to say something today when he was a bit patronizing with his “pyrrhic victory” line (or, very possibly, I just misread him because I’m really fucking grumpy today), and will likely continue biting my tongue going forward.

    I don’t have a personal dog in this fight, but in the last 10 years I’ve assisted in launching a statewide LGBTQ Rights Project, followed by lining up a few million dollars over the last 10 years for launching state based Trans Education and Advocacy Project (TEAP). TEAP trains community advocates (in the non-lobbying sense of the word) to build awareness and familiarity among neighbors with this miniscule minority group, undercutting the ‘otherness’ that anti-trans laws rely on. These advocates then are employed as grassroots advocates (lobbying version) to have one-on-one meetings with lawmakers and elected officials. The tactics and strategies TEAP and its partners developed have been disseminated across the nation. If you’ve ever read a story about a red state governor veto-ing an anti-trans law after meeting with trans constituents, that’s TEAP or one of its partners at work. In Indiana, and I would have to say our experience is not unique, we kill a dozen bills in committee each year, use Republican allies to insert poison-pill amendments into legislation we cant’ stop (making it more sue-able by the ACLU and other orgs), and lobby governors to veto laws–quite successfully too, though of course not a 100% success rate.

    Some laws still get through, and the atmosphere is getting worse–more and more laws are introduced each year, and there are only so many hours in the day to fight back. It’ll get darker before it gets lighter.

  36. Beth says:

    In other news, my shrink put me on Strattera yesterday and I took my first dose this morning. I’m glad I have experience with Psychedelics. The come up on this has been brutal. I spent 20 minutes thinking my stomach was going to explode. Now I’m jittery with ALL the motivation and no focus. Too much motivation. I want to run around the block.

  37. Beth says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I’m aware. In case any of my post sounded like I was accusing Michael of being anti-trans, let me disclaim that right now. Nothing he’s written has been anti-trans; it’s been generally paternalistic and patronizing, but not anti-trans.

    Bless his heart, but he’s an ass.

    because I’m really fucking grumpy toda

    Want some Strattera? I’ll run it over to you right now. On foot.

  38. Rick DeMent says:


    *We need a better name for tiny computers that are used less and less for making phone calls.

    Sure but hand held computer is a lot to say. Maybe just go the Star Trek rout and call it a Communicator or Com for short.

    “Dude hit me up on my com when you get back from the weed store.”

  39. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    He can have a dog in the fight, and still offer misguided criticism.

  40. Kathy says:

    @Rick DeMent:

    Cell phones were actual telephones when they first came out, and when they began to gain traction in the late 80s. The change to smart phones happened, in typical fashion, gradually and then suddenly*. So the name stuck, even if people never make calls on them.

    As it happens, I do make quite a few calls on mine, and mostly I call other people’s cell phones. But I also have one without a SIM chip, which can’t make calls at all. I do call it a phone.

    *No, it didn’t spring fully formed from Jobs’ head. Before iPhone, there was Blackberry (with apps). And even before Blackberry, there were “feature” phones with message apps, games, cameras, email, audio players, etc., and you could download apps, too.

    They just had smaller screens of far less quality and no touch interface. But the progression was there.

  41. gVOR10 says:

    I’ve mentioned Rick Perlstein’s new newsletter from American Prospect. I don’t know how long he can keep it up, but he’s got good stuff to say. Well worth the cost of subscribing (a free registration). Today he talks about an upcoming book by John Ganz,

    Most fascist parties and movements—Ganz knows their names, and repeats them often, as a reminder of that contingency—never seized any power. They were footnotes. That’s an important insight to address to observers who cite the sheer ridiculousness, abundant incompetence, and outright insanity within Donald Trump’s movement, and have a hard time placing it in the same universe with the movement that almost conquered Europe. After all, if Hitler’s little gang of beer hall brawlers had failed to achieve power, they surely would have looked precisely as ridiculous as all that. As Ganz puts it, “Everything kind of looks farcical until it doesn’t.”

    “The constitutional system in Italy always remained intact,” even when Mussolini became dictator, Ganz notes. “There was still the king, there was still a constitutional monarchy; he was prime minister. The fascist state kind of superimposed itself on that.” …

    At least as important to the story are the “responsible conservatives” who made their peace with the strongman, believing he could be controlled. Like Germany’s Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, architect of the 1933 coalition that made Hitler chancellor, who said: “In two months, we’ll have pushed Hitler so far into the corner that he’ll squeal.”

    Trump isn’t the threat as much as all the “moderate”, “establishment” Republicans who empower him, the McConnells, McCarthys, Grahams, Romneys, Kochs, … who know what he is but can’t bring themselves to do anything about it for fear without him they’ll lose power. Also the big story yesterday about Wall Street being indifferent to Trump. We should invent a meme, “von Papenism” to describe what the Republican Party and a lot of other people are doing to normalize and empower Trump.

  42. MarkedMan says:


    Regardless of whether Apple mines data or not, I’m sure the apps do

    I often find myself cast in the role as Apple defender, which pisses me off a bit as I have a lot of complaints about their products. But I’m going to do it anyway. Apple sells you things and charges you for them. Facebook and Google gives you things, and then sells you. When it comes to security and privacy, Apple is definitely one of the good guys. How good? A couple of years ago they changed the way their phones and iPads reported back to Google and Facebook (and the myriad others like them) and it is costing advertisers in the pocketbook, to the point where there was an attempt to get Congress to legislate against it.

    You are right about the apps. Ever notice how companies ask you if you will share their location data? In return they offer you some benefits, such as Wegmans automatically switching their shelf layout to the store I’m actually in. But that’s incidental, as what they are doing is literally selling your location data history to whoever wants to buy it. So some years back Apple made it more granular: you could share your location data constantly as it used to be, or share it only when you are using the app, or share it just this once. I’ve had a message pop up on my iPhone at least a dozen times in the past year that a “reputable” business has just asked to switch from “when using the app” to “always on”.

    Here’s the incredible thing. Alongside these changes Apple made the App manufacturers tell you exactly what data they collect and they display it prominently in the App Store before you download. A lot of the “free” games and stuff collect insane amounts of data. It’s all right there, and yet people still download them. I see stuff in the top ten list that are little more than data collection bots.

  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson: The arc of history bending toward justice only happens to the extent that people will pull that direction. If you want to say you’re for justice you have to act for justice. Every. Time. Even when you won’t win.

    Appealing to the moderates, identifying causes as “too small to matter,” worrying about how it polls, and such are signs that one is not pulling hard enough, and bend toward justice is already too slow.

  44. MarkedMan says:


    We need a better name for tiny computers

    To my kids, or certainly those ten years younger, “phone” has no connection to voice calls, so I doubt they would see any need to change the name.

    For that matter, how much of your time on a computer is spent computing?

  45. Kathy says:

    On other things, the Madonna lateness lawsuit is heating up.

    I fully expect not to hear much more about it, and to never learn the outcome unless I go looking for it. But I think there’s merit to it.

    Consider travel. The EU has regulations for compensation regarding delays and cancellations. Given the high price of tickets, made more so by junk fees, something similar might be appropriate. The price makes walking away from a concert hard, too.

    Ditto for the limited dates available. If your flight is delayed, there are alternatives, or you can take one the next day. it’s not as though there will be five different Madonna concerts in town every day year round.

  46. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: I just want to point out that the location tracking thing isn’t theoretical. Tinder, for f*cks sake, sells your location data for a hefty amount, and a wing nut Catholic group used it to identify Tinder users who spend a lot of time in Catholic locations such as churches, charities, archdiocese offices etc and then publicly outed the priests.

    Why the hell would anyone with a secret to keep agree to give Tinder real time location data? Did they even realize they had done it?

    I just had a thought. For all you Android users out there, do you have to approve tracking requests? Do you get the same granularity as on the iPhone?

  47. Kathy says:


    For that matter, how much of your time on a computer is spent computing?


    If the processor didn’t process data, you’d have a glowing screen showing nothing.

    How much of your time on a computer involves you making mathematical operations, it varies a lot. I do a lot of such computation when drawing up price lists, market studies, etc. research institutions the world over have computers that do nothing but math/data analysis. Then there are banks stock exchanges, brokerages, engineering firms, manufacturers, commerce, etc.

  48. Kathy says:


    I’ve location history turned off in my Samsung “phones.” also, several apps that require location permissions, do show an option “only when using the app.” I have deleted apps if they won’t work without some permission I’m unwilling to grant.

    As to your larger post on apple, all that may be so. It is still something Apple, however unwittingly, helped bring about by packing a useful computer in a cell phone case. Google made it worse, no question. It was a data broker from the start.

  49. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: The word computer existed in the 1600s. It meant “person who computes.”

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Hah! FWIW, here’s why our modern day computers are called that. They replaced these people So back in the day it was literally about mathematical computations and nothing else. If it wasn’t for Ada Lovelace…

  51. DK says:


    I know that Dr. Kings words there weren’t written for me in any way, shape, or form, but that letter gives me immense comfort.

    True, he was not specifically writing about trans rights. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the mindset doesn’t apply.

    After reminding the audience about the crucial Civil Rights Era leadership of queer blacks in the Kings’ orbit, Mrs. King had this to say in 1998, on Lambda Legal’s 25th Anniversary:

    “For many years now I’ve been an outspoken supporter of civil and human rights for gay and lesbian people. I’ve always felt that homophobic attitudes and policies were unjust, and unworthy of a free society, and must be opposed by all Americans who believe in democracy.

    “I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind that Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’

    “I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.”

    Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King knew that people pushing for justice, equality, and democracy have to stick together where appropriate. We won’t always agree, but have to keep expanding the tent. Especially against reactionary and regressive forces that never stop coming for us.

  52. DK says:


    I see stuff in the top ten list that are little more than data collection bots.

    Name names, homie!

    Gah, y’all are such teases sometimes.

  53. DK says:


    In other news, my shrink put me on Strattera yesterday and I took my first dose this morning.

    I need to ask you for an update in a month, after you stabilize a bit. I have ADHD but I’m too allergic to stimulants for Adderall.

    So I just suffer through, with behavioral strategies. No fun.

  54. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I’ve watched you bizarrely claim that the trans community were the ones who raised up trans rights as an issue,

    You saw no such thing. I know perfectly well where the attacks are coming from.

    What you’ve seen from me is disagreement over trans athletes because it’s a losing issue, a side issue that gives the other side a purchase. And I think it is unjust. If I were coaching the trans side I’d have said drop the athletic angle, lighten up on neologisms and pronoun fights that are irrelevant in the end because that will evolve naturally, spend less time hunting heretics and more time trying to gain rather than alienate allies, focus on the necessary: public accommodation, name changes on documents, access to meds, employment and housing protection.

    You have utterly misrepresented my position, which is disappointing coming from you. If I thought trans issues should not be raised, why the fuck would I have written 1200 odd pages in three books with a trans character as a lead? I’d be blaming myself, no?

    Unbelievable. Do you need a whipping boy that badly? If you’re that allergic to debate, that incapable of nuance, or that confused by the difference between end goal and tactics, read someone else.

  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR10: Like I said, stupid human tricks. The question is not why it was done, but why not?

  56. Kathy says:


    As late as the fifties, Asimov has a class of high ranking people in The End of Eternity known as “Computers.” One of them, Senior Computer Twissell, plays a central role in Harlan’s story.

    I also did several papers on “the history of computers” in school. I’m aware of what the term means.

    I maintain my answer. Computers handle data mathematically. Whether one is showing you cat videos or flying your 737 MAX 8, they’re computing, literally, 100% of the time.

  57. Kathy says:

    How is this news: Hunter gatherers were mostly gatherers

    Hunting is hard and uncertain. Come. We needed to domesticate dogs to hunt better, and it was still hard. Not to mention that throughout recorded history, after agriculture was entrenched, meat was never the main part of most human diets (it’s possible the Inuit were a major exceptions, there being few plants in and near the arctic circle for long stretches of the year). Meat is cheap, relatively speaking, because of industrial farming practices.

    Beyond this, there’s this hilarious error:

    The analysis also indicated that large mammals, such as deer or llamas, made up most of the meat in the diet, rather than smaller mammals such as birds or fish.

    I added emphasis, but otherwise it’s cut and pasted exactly as published.

  58. Beth says:


    So I went with Strattera because of a concern with stimulant meds. The concern being I would like them way too freaking much. After today’s experience I think that was a good call. My initial impressions are:

    1. The come up was garbage. Similar to MDMA, but way less pleasant. I was very nauseous for about half an hour, then I got really anxious for about 10 minutes (partially overlapping), and then it was blast off.
    2. I am noticeably high. I can feel the inside of my brain. I’m having trouble talking on the phone.
    3. I have ALL the motivation in the world. Too much.
    4. I have zero focus.
    5. However, once I decide on a task, it gets done. Like, holy shit, it gets done.
    6. I have really bad Seasonal Affective Disorder. Usually my brain is grey and cloudy in the winter, now it’s full of rainbows.
    7. I emptied the dishwasher, when it was done, not two days later and not after being told 4 times. I’m about to attack a pile of laundry,
    8. Appetite is gone. I had to force myself to finish a bagel. The upside is that before I would have a bagel, a bag of chips and some skittles. Eating anything sounds terrible. However, I would kill for a Panera Death Lemonade right now. I don’t think I’m going to sleep tonight.
    9. I’m grinding my teeth something fierce.

    I’d kinda like the intoxicated feeling to go away, but it’s fun for today.

  59. MarkedMan says:

    @DK: Fair challenge. Since I’m on my iPad I went to the App Store and looked at the top ten free games. Number one is “Wood Nuts and Bolts Puzzle”, which appears to be more or less what it says in the title. Here’s what it says in the description: Data used to track you: Purchases, Location, Usage, and device ID. Location is the specifically called out as being attached to your identity.

    Sure, people complain about companies tracking them and selling their data, but how many even attempt to stop it. That’s the #1 free game on the iPad!

  60. MarkedMan says:


    Computers handle data mathematically.

    While true, it’s a little like saying, “Automobiles are used to deliver Chinese food”. Computers spend a high percentage of their cycles doing things other than mathematical calculations.

  61. Kathy says:


    No, it’s like saying computers handle data mathematically. Therefore everything they do involves computing. When you stream a video you don¿’t see nay mathematical computation taking place, but that’s what various chips do to show the video, or play a game, or process a document, or browse the web, etc.

    You made a good point that kids these days grew up not associating phones with phone calls. I wonder what they do when told telephone is derived from the Greek terms for distance and sound.

    Most tools don’t change their function and retain their name.

  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Hunter-gatherers were mostly gatherers, says archaeologist

    Well of course Hunter was mostly a gatherer, that was his business model.

  63. gVOR10 says:


    We need a better name for tiny computers that are used less and less for making phone calls.

    I recall a cartoon of some gen Zer saying he really liked his new phone but he didn’t much use that app where you dialed numbers and talked to someone.

    I don’t know what to call phone/computers, but if you recall a couple years ago NASA did a compressed video of the travels of a Mars rover. I was standing there gobsmacked realizing I was watching video, from Mars, on a computer I’d taken out of my pocket. There are days I’m impressed by the 21st century.

  64. Beth says:


    Mars, a world we have populated entirely with robots. That always blows my mind.

  65. gVOR10 says:


    The word computer existed in the 1600s. It meant “person who computes.”

    I haven’t seen “Oppenheimer” yet. I don’t know if they show the rooms full of women with mechanical calculating machines being handed worksheets, doing a calculation, filling in a blank, and passing it on. The women were called “computers”.

    I’m, just barely, old enough to have used Friden or Marchant mechanical calculators as computers, in one form or another, were taking over all that. Anybody need an antique slide rule?

    Breaking a calculation down into an algorithm, creating data sheets that expressed the algorithm, and supervising the execution of the calculation, which could take hours or days, was, IIRC, Richard Feynman’s chief job at Los Alamos.

  66. Kathy says:


    There are days I’m impressed by the 21st century.

    The very definition of “gradually and then suddenly.”

    You know a technology is mature when people complain more than they marvel about it.


    Mostly dead robots. Creepy.

  67. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I love words that stay around past their “use by” date. Foe example, I still hear (older) people say they will dial a number, even those who grew up with touchtone phones. People still “ring” a door “bell”, even though a string pulling a bell had disappeared from general use by the time I was born. Electric buzzers or gongs hooked to a button replaced them.

  68. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Oh, and we still “drive” cars, long after they ceased to be propelled by a team of horses that required driving.

  69. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: One of the most interesting examples to me is the evolution of the words “movie,” “film,” and “television.” These all originally referred strictly to specific technologies–a strip of material featuring images rolled through a camera and projected outward to create an illusion of a single moving image; a cathode-ray tube converting radio waves into images on a screen.

    Gradually, though, the terms have become abstracted from those technologies, particularly TV after the development of cable, satellite, and eventually streaming. There’s part of me that still finds it weird when programs on Netflix or Hulu are called TV, even as I’m watching them on my laptop or even iPhone, and they aren’t part of any regular schedule on the streaming service’s part, and meanwhile, those same services are showing some movies that are concurrently in theaters.

    Film, too, has been increasingly applied to processes that aren’t, well, film anymore, such as digital.

    Also, having grown up in the ’80s and ’90s, one of the most exciting things for me that happened in the decades that followed was the development of shows that felt cinematic in quality–which was absolutely not the norm when I was growing up. But that only highlighted the blurry conceptual line we draw between a show and a movie (or the oddly oxymoronic TV movie) once they aren’t tied to a particular technology. The only real difference at this point is that a show is basically just a set series of short movies, even though we rarely put it that way. (I’ve heard people offhandedly refer to a show as “a film” and then pause, think about it, and correct themselves.) Of course, back in the ’30s and ’40s they actually had serialized short movies, like the Three Stooges or the Spy Smasher. You’d go out to a theater to watch them, but they were essentially the precursors to TV shows. There still was a technological boundary separating the two. At this point, that boundary is almost completely meaningless.