Wednesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open 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 and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Why 41 percent of Republicans don’t plan to get the COVID vaccine

    Everything trump touches dies.

    ETA:

    Frank Luntz:

    Republicans believe in personal responsibility. Well, what is more personally responsible than to take a vaccine that will not only keep you safe, it’ll keep your family safe, your neighborhood safe, your friends safe? And they have got to connect the dots.

    I can’t remember when the Republicans believed in, maybe I should say actually demonstrated, personal responsibility.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sidney Powell claims to be an unreasonable person in her court filing.

    In a motion to dismiss a complaint by the large US and Canadian voting machine company Dominion, lawyers for Sidney Powell argued that elaborate conspiracies she laid out on television and radio last November while simultaneously suing to overturn election results in four states constituted legally protected first amendment speech.

    “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” argued lawyers for Powell, a former federal prosecutor from Texas who caught Trump’s attention through her involvement in the defense of his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    In her defense against the Dominion defamation lawsuit, Powell argued that whatever “reasonable persons” thought of her wild claims, Dominion had failed to demonstrate that she herself thought them to be false as she spoke them – a key distinction in defamation cases.

    “In fact,” Powell’s motion reads, “she believed the allegations then and she believes them now.”

    I can’t wait for the judges ruling on this motion.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The US has fallen to a new low in a global ranking of political rights and civil liberties, a drop fueled by unequal treatment of minority groups, damaging influence of money in politics, and increased polarization, according to a new report by Freedom House, a democracy watchdog group.

    The US earned 83 out of 100 possible points this year in Freedom House’s annual rankings of freedoms around the world, an 11-point drop from its 94 ranking a decade ago. The US’s new ranking places it on par with countries like Panama, Romania and Croatia and behind countries such as Argentina and Mongolia. It lagged far behind countries like the United Kingdom (93), Chile (93), Costa Rica (91) and Slovakia (90).
    ……………………….
    The report details the inequities that minority groups, especially Black people and Native Americans face when it comes to the criminal justice system and voting. It also illustrates that public trust in government has been damaged by the way rich Americans can use their money to exert outsize influence on American politics.

    And it points out that extreme partisan gerrymandering – the manipulation of electoral district lines to boost one party over the other – has contributed to dramatic polarization in the US, threatening its democratic foundations. Gerrymandering, the report says, “has the most corrosive and radicalizing effect on US politics”.

    And we know which way the parties line up on this, don’t we?

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  4. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Let me try to get this straight. Powell claims to believe things that she herself said no reasonable person would believe?

    Okay.

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  5. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I can’t remember when the Republicans believed in, maybe I should say actually demonstrated, personal responsibility.

    If there’s anyone who’d be fuzzy on the distinction between personal beliefs and public slogans, it’s Frank Luntz.

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  6. Northerner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Any idea of what percentage of Republican voters don’t take the flu vaccine, or any other vaccine as well? It strikes me as quite likely that many think all vaccines are part of a big gov’t/big science conspiracy, and did so long before Trump.

    I get the sense that Trump saw a big pool of suckers and decided to go fishing, rather than his creating the suckers in the first place. I suspect Trump himself is the type to get the vaccine (personal bravery doesn’t strike me as his long point), even while telling his supporters not to get it.

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  7. CSK says:

    @Northerner:
    Trump did get the vaccine last January, but clearly wanted it kept quiet, possibly on the grounds that it would be unmanly to admit getting injected against an illness he himself claimed was no big deal.

    Someone finally coerced him earlier this month to make a statement urging people to get the shot.

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  8. CSK says:

    You’d think from the utter silence about Sidney Powell on the pro-Trump forums that the woman never existed. “Sidney Powell? Who dat? Never heard of her.”

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  9. Northerner says:

    @CSK:

    Thanks. That’s interesting, considering he and his supporters have been giving him credit for the quick production of vaccines in the first place (one of the silliest of the long list of silly things he and they say) — you’d think he’d want people seeing him taking “his” vaccine.

    In fact, you’d think his taking credit for it would influence his supporters to take the vaccine (ie it must be a good thing if their hero made it all possible).

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  10. Scott says:

    The continuing right wing culture war BS goes on.

    No, the ‘presidential salute’ isn’t a thing — and neither is the ‘vice presidential salute’

    The hotly debated issue of the “presidential salute” is once again making the rounds online, except this time it has broadened in scope to include the “vice presidential salute.”

    Early Monday evening a video began making the rounds on social media showing Vice President Kamala Harris walking to the ramp of Air Force Two and right past a line of saluting airmen. As the vice president strolled by, she rendered no return salute to her honor guard, who were left standing ramrod straight on the flight line in the night air.

    t’s hard to know exactly why Harris didn’t offer a salute in return: Maybe she was busy mulling things over in her mind, like how the presidential administration she’s a part of will handle the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; how best to help the millions of Americans struggling financially due to the economic fallout brought on by said pandemic; how to ease divisions in a country whose capital still has a contingent of National Guardsmen deployed there following the Jan. 6 riot; or perhaps she thought to herself ‘hey, I’m not in the military. I’m a civilian and this isn’t my place.’

    As is Biden.

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  11. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @CSK:
    What Powell is claiming is: “Dominion had failed to demonstrate that she herself thought them to be false as she spoke them – a key distinction in defamation cases.”

    ‘Your Honor, Dominion has failed to demonstrate my thoughts, which are obviously disconnected from the words and written assertions that I made…….’

    Yeah, the Judge’s ruling will be interesting.

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  12. Mikey says:

    @Scott: It’s worth noting Presidents didn’t return salutes until Reagan started doing it.

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  13. Kylopod says:

    @Northerner: There seem to be several conflicting incentives at work here. There is, on the one hand, the anti-vax movement that has existed for years on both the left and right, something Trump himself once voiced support for. Then there’s Covid denial which Trump tied himself so closely to over the past year. He wants simultaneously to take credit for the vaccine despite having spent so much time and space undermining belief in the very thing the vaccine is for. Why should he get a Noble Prize for curing something he said “affects virtually nobody”?

    As for his message encouraging people to get vaccines, I suspect that will be taken about the same from his supporters as his occasional disavowal of white supremacists.

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  14. CSK says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    I take back what I said about the Trumpers ignoring Powell. Qanon, anyway, is in an uproar:

    http://www.newsweek.com/sidney-powell-no-reasonable-person-election-lawsuit-admission-divides-qanon-believers-1578052

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  15. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Don’t forget the Republican guy from Boise, Kansas who voted for Trump, but isn’t going to get the vaccine because Trump is a “New York liberal.”

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A senior Saudi official issued what was perceived to be a death threat against the independent United Nations investigator, Agnès Callamard, after her investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    In an interview with the Guardian, the outgoing special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings said that a UN colleague alerted her in January 2020 that a senior Saudi official had twice threatened in a meeting with other senior UN officials in Geneva that month to have Callamard “taken care of” if she was not reined in by the UN.

    Asked how the comment was perceived by her Geneva-based colleagues, Callamard said: “A death threat. That was how it was understood.”
    ……………………………
    The development will probably bolster the view of human rights experts that Saudi Arabia’s government has acted with impunity in the wake of Khashoggi’s 2018 murder, including through arbitrary arrests of critics of the prince, as well as his potential political rivals.

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I was wondering how damned near every single person on the right was going to react to this assertion that they are just a bunch of whack-a-loon nutjobs as a defense used by one of their own.

    I’ve been saying it for years and they called me a libtard.

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  18. CSK says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:
    That’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel for a defense.

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  19. MarkedMan says:

    I’m always looking for good expositions from people I normally disagree with. I thought this interview in Vox with Sean Illing going back and forth with Charles Kessler was worthwhile. I don’t think it got anywhere, but it made me want to read something form Kessler directly. It’s not uncommon to find someone come into “enemy territory” and come across as reasonable only to find them very different when preaching in their home church. In this case, I’m curious about his reluctance to give concrete examples.

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  20. KM says:

    @Scott:
    Of course the VP wouldn’t return the salute – even under their “logic” that POTUS should do it as the CiC and tradition, she is *not* in the military chain of command and civilians are not obligated to return offered salutes. Nor is there a tradition of VPs returning salutes one could point to like POTUS-forced-saluters can to Reagan.

    It make zero sense given the historical, political and military traditions in play. The *only* reason to get cranky about it is you think the “troops” are more important then the actual serving members themselves and demand obeisance from the highest powers unto them. Or hate Dems – that to.

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  21. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    The stone Qanoners will probably manage to convince themselves ultimately that Powell is playing some sort of 64-dimensional chess.

    As for the non-Qanoner Trumpkins, what else can they do but pretend Powell doesn’t exist and that none of this ever happened?

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  22. MarkedMan says:

    I think the reason Trump is not promoting the vaccine right now is simple, and inhumanely cynical: Biden is getting more credit than he is for the vaccination effort. The more lives saved, the better Biden looks. Full stop.

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  23. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Alex Jones and Tucker Carlson have already used this type of defense–though in their case it’s a bit more plausible given their jobs, and aside from the legal issues it fits with the right’s “You libtards can’t take a joke” bait-and-switch they’ve resorted to since Limbaugh whenever called on their BS. What’s unique about Powell is that she’s trying to cast herself in this light when her job was as a lawyer, not a radio or TV commentator. Falling back on “It was just performance art” is somewhat less compelling as a defense than it is for Jones or Carlson, given the venue.

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    @KM: @KM: Even Eisenhower, a former 5 star general, didn’t return the salute as a civilian President. It should be no surprise that it would be Reagan who started this farce. It’s another flag-lapel-pin bit of nonsense.

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  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: As Youngstown Bob points out above, she is simultaneously arguing that it is an impossibly high bar for the plaintiffs to prove she knew the statements to be false, while simultaneously arguing that any idiot would know that they were false. Or is her defense that she’s not just ANY idiot?

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  26. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: I think her defense can best be summed up here.

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  27. MarkedMan says:

    Via the always interesting Futility Closet:

    Punctuation

    Greed

    My life is full, indeed, of gloom.
    I’ve naught, you see; just this small room.
    I need more wealth — that’s misery.
    What joys in great renown! What glee!
    The mace and throne I long to own.
    No crown too grand for me alone.

    Contentment

    My life is full, indeed!
    Of gloom I’ve naught, you see.
    Just this small room I need.
    More wealth? That’s misery.
    What joy’s in great renown?
    What glee, the mace and throne?
    I long to own no crown.
    Too grand for me alone.

    — Mary Youngquist

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  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Yeah, I’m struggling with the cognitive dissonance there, too. The only thing I can cling to is the defense claim that plaintiffs can’t prove that she doesn’t believe what she said. That hints that she’s also not a “reasonable person,” but plaintiffs can’t prove that either, and it’s not relevant to the suit as well. Unreasonable persons have just as much right to sue as anyone else–and probably need it more.

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  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Trump lost; that’s enough to make him a “New York Liberal” right there. Even worse, he had the election stolen out of the hands of loyal Americans across the nation and turned on them, telling them to go home, when push came to shove.

    I think Trump was just a Deep State plot to dangle American Freedom in front of people for a few years, only to pull it away all along. Just like Lucy and the football from Peanuts.

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  30. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: Illing wrote,

    Kesler is a serious person, and at times, this is a frustrating exchange.

    Indeed, but not something I recall Illing saying about anyone else. Illing tried hard, but in the end getting to what Kesler believes proved to be like nailing jello to the wall.

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  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: I do believe “performance art” is rather frowned upon in a courtroom.

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  32. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    What I think the guy meant was that even though Trump was a New York liberal, he was preferable to either Clinton or Biden.

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  33. Teve says:

    @PrettiestFrog

    My neighbor just dropped the cake she was carrying from her car into her house and sat down and cried until her husband carried her into the house and I’ve never felt a stronger connection to any other human being in my life. Baking her a new cake now.

    @coffin_pittstop

    We are all a dropped cake away from crying in our driveways. So kind of you to cook her a new one. That’s what we should all be doing for each other. ❤️

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  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Unreasonable persons have just as much right to sue as anyone else–and probably need it more.

    What they don’t have, is the right to practice law. At the very least this motion should be exhibit #1 in her disbarment hearing.

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  35. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    So it boils down to Powell claiming that at the time she filed all of her suits, she believed something that no reasonable person would believe.

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  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Sweet.

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  37. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Well, in a sense, all trial attorneys, whether for the prosecution or defense, practice performance art in the courtroom. All great lawyers are showmen and showwomen. But the performance has to bear some resemblance to reality.

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  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: We had to put our long time loverboy Labrador down a month ago. He was my wife’s baby. I’ve had to “carry her” a number of times as her grief catches her at the most random of moments. Trying to find another now. S/He won’t replace Woof but I hope will alleviate things a bit for her.

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  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: True enough, but yes, performance art for the sake of performance art is not particularly welcome.

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  40. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Well, in a sense, all trial attorneys, whether for the prosecution or defense, practice performance art in the courtroom.

    The issue is whether that fact is a compelling defense of the lawyer against facing consequences for anything they do in that role. If Tony Clifton punches someone, Andy Kaufman can still be charged with assault. With Alex Jones, there is some argument to be made that his “playing a character” can be a valid defense against facing consequences for some of the things he said. I don’t buy it–but it may have helped him in his divorce case; whether it helps him with any of the defamation suits he’s currently embroiled in remains to be seen.

    As for Sidney Powell, while I have no idea what the outcome of Dominion’s suit will be–I do know defamation suits are hard for plaintiffs to win as a rule–I would be surprised if her motion to dismiss the lawsuit on these grounds will fly.

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  41. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Never replace, but alleviate, yes. And you’ll grow to love the new one just as much.

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  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Yes we will. I’m easy, a thru and thru dog person who most dogs seem to gravitate to in return. Woof was my wife’s first Labrador and she is absolutely smitten with the breed. I understand, they are truly special. We’re getting another rescue, either Lab or Lab/mix. She is looking for candidates on the web and I go visit them, which has become harder on me than I expected because every dog I meet I’d love to take home but for my wife I want the Lab attitude to be very strong.

    It’s funny how many mutts get tagged with the “Lab/mix” label. I looked at one yesterday that had no Lab at all in her that I could see. Terribly sweet and definitely starved for affection, but not at all Lab.

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  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    A bit lost among what else is in the news this little item slid by with scant comment; Judge rules some details of Ghislaine Maxwell court case are too ‘sensational and impure’ to be revealed to public.

    In truth, inquiring minds want to know! We love sensational, particularly when it is impure.

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  44. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    They never can be replaced, but there is always another cold, wet nose that can worm its way into your heart, that you will grieve as strongly when it goes.

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  45. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Lab mixes seem to be as ubiquitous as shepherd mixes. I had a Chocolate Lab mix, and when I was young my family had a shepherd mix. Wonderful dogs. But I’m a sap for virtually all dogs anyway.

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  46. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Given what we already know, it must be breathtakingly grotesque.

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  47. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @CSK:
    Okay, so you guys are confirming your clients incompetent to stand trial by reason of mental defect? Cool!

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  48. CSK says:

    In yet another blow to Trump’s self-image, Virtuoso, a quite high-end travel agency, has eliminated all Trump Org. properties from the listings at its website. Its customer base is described as “very elite.”

    Just the kind of people Trump’s always hankered to attract. Ouch.

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  49. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Welcome to today’s “libtards annonymous” meeting, Ozark. I’m Flat. Want another cuppa coffee? C’mon in and meet the rest of the gang!

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  50. Jax says:

    2nd Moderna shot yesterday. No side effects today at all other than a sore arm. 🙂 My Mom also got her first, no side effects besides the sore arm. I noticed they were using different syringes than the first shot, these had a little leg that seemed to steady it, and longer needles.

    One of the larger counties that has the Pfizer vaccine opened up to 16+, so I managed to get my oldest daughter signed up. Pretty happy about that!

    Currently surfing the internet for someplace warm to go for Christmas.

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  51. charon says:

    @Mikey:

    It’s worth noting Presidents didn’t return salutes until Reagan started doing it.

    When I was in the military I was trained that saluting by civilians was improper. It has always bothered me to see Presidents doing it.

    Suez Canal is blocked, story found at LGM:

    https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/03/so-you-think-youre-having-a-bad-day

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  52. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Yup, that’s why it will be so entertaining. Unless the judge dismisses the case or she pleads, a trial will bring all or most of that out.

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  53. Jen says:

    @charon: It’s probably only locally funny, but my favorite reaction to that Suez Canal story is a tweet that the driver previously attempted to take a moving truck on Storrow Drive.*

    *Storrow Drive has a passage with notoriously low overhead clearance and EVERY YEAR someone moving into one of the area’s many colleges ends up with their stuff all over the road from not realizing just how low the clearance is.

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  54. charon says:

    @Jen:

    When I was working in Malaysia, we were buying gas turbine power generators for offshore platforms from a company in San Diego, CA. These things went for 7 figure prices back in the 1980’s when this happened.

    One of these was loaded on a truck to be driven to the dock, truck driver was given specific instructions what route to drive. Driver took a different route, smashed the thing into an overpass and destroyed it. Not good.

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  55. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    Ah yes, the evergreen September, Boston Globe front page picture of some poor abused U-haul or similar truck stuck under a bridge. I sometimes wonder if the Globe will hear about this on a police scanner and then just runs a file photo. My favorites include, a young woman in tears, a father obviously agitated in a still photo and the mother shooting death ray glances at him and 3-4 young guys standing there, staring at the truck and bridge. You would expect a comment balloon with, WTF, dude

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  56. CSK says:

    It’s a historic day in Boston: Kim Janey, the first woman and first Black mayor of the city, has been sworn into office.

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  57. CSK says:

    The Maine legislature is considering a proposal to make funeral pyres legal. The only other places in the U.S. that do so are in Colorado.

    Perhaps people have o.d.ed on Game of Thrones?

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  58. Scott says:

    How to get Hispanics to vote Republican.

    They Just Moved Into an Austin Neighborhood. Now They Want to End One of Its Traditions.

    Car clubs have gathered for decades at “Chicano Park” in the East Cesar Chavez neighborhood. But residents of a new luxury apartment building have started calling the police to stop them.

    The fleet of several dozen cars pulled into East Austin’s Fiesta Gardens, or “Chicano Park” as locals call it, on a recent weekend with the booming of powerful stereo systems announcing their arrival. After a few loops around the park, some drivers—most of them Black and Latino men in their twenties and thirties driving customized lowriders, bright, candy-colored slabs, and jacked-up trucks with flashy chrome rims—packed into a nearby middle school parking lot. Some unloaded barbecue grills, toddlers, and pit bulls, then cracked open beers, and blasted Texas hip-hop and Tejano music. Others joined a slow-moving carousel that flowed from the parking lot into the street and back again, swerving from side to side and occasionally screeching their tires, unleashing plumes of white smoke that covered the block in a light haze.

    Some variation of this assembly has taken place nearly every Sunday afternoon since the early nineties. But now many residents of The Weaver, a newly built luxury apartment building across the street—whose website promises renters access to a “community that is rich in history and tradition”—have decided it’s time for the weekly event to come to an unceremonious end. Some of the building’s residents defend the car club gatherings and note they predate The Weaver residents’ arrival in the neighborhood, but many others have grown tired of the loud music, annoyed by the traffic, and turned off by the smell of skidding tires. One particularly vocal tenant, a non-Hispanic white woman with short blond hair who appeared to be in her fifties, claimed that smoke from the tires was killing nearby trees and that traffic from the gathering would make it impossible for an ambulance to reach her in the event of a medical emergency (though two other roads to the apartment building remain accessible at all times). Another Weaver resident voiced more generalized criticism, calling the event a “display of toxic masculinity.”

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  59. Teve says:

    with the booming of powerful stereo systems announcing their arrival.

    So they’re assholes.

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  60. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:

    So it boils down to Powell claiming that at the time she filed all of her suits, she believed something that no reasonable person would believe.

    Not just “…at the time…”. Her lawyers are arguing that she still believes something that no reasonable person could take seriously, which sadly distinguishes her from Tucker.

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  61. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    So she’s arguing–or her legal team is–that she suffers from mental defect? Is that it? In that case, she should be prepared to surrender her law license.

    Interesting. L. Lin Wood, whom Powell had initially hired to represent her in this case, will have his license to practice law revoked by the Georgia bar if he doesn’t agree to a mental health evaluation.

    Loons of a feather flock together.

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  62. Sleeping Dog says:

    There goes the neighborhood.

    @Scott: beat me to it

    <a href=”https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/austin-car-clubs-gentrification/” rel=”nofollow ugc”>They Just Moved Into an Austin Neighborhood. Now They Want to End One of Its Traditions.

    This is why 30 years ago agricultural states started passing right to farm laws, the entitled elites take a shine to a locale and then seek to obliterate what attracted them in the first place. This AM’s NYT has an article on the gentrification of Paris’ Latin Quarter that is now too expensive for students and now the cafés and bookstores that gave it the character are being forced out and replaced by luxury boutiques. Shades of Harvard Sq.

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  63. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    A mental illness defense in a civil trial. Hmmm.

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  64. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Clearly it was the best they could devise.

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  65. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    I want a Viking funeral or a sky burial (google it-it’s basically birds and critters eating your corpse.)

    My reaction every time I’ve seen a dead body is that “X has left the building”. Whatever force that animates us has left the body leaving a limp simulacrum of a human.

    Traditional Western burials in coffins in a cemetery: it is alien and baffling to me. Why would anyone want that?

    When attending funerals now if it is open casket, I no longer step up for the viewing. That makeup caked object is not my friend, it was her or his vessel. George has left this mortal coil and looking at what housed him sickens me.

    Burn me. Scatter my ashes. Or let some bugs get some nutrients. Please do not bury me in a casket in makeup and my best suit. It’s creepy and wrong.

    If not funeral pyre, then med school cadaver would be acceptable.

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  66. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Yeah; I don’t care much what happens to my corpse, either. Why should I? I have no further use for it.

    It’s no different from cremation, really, but I assume some people will object on the grounds that it’s pagan.

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  67. Monala says:

    @Jen: I witnessed this happen (probably not the particular incident, because it was 30 years ago). A truck driver tried to clear Longfellow Bridge, its cab smashed into the bridge and got stuck, and the driver kept going.

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  68. Jen says:

    @CSK: I read the wonderful book by Mary Roach, Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers a number of years ago. I really liked the idea of being tree food. You basically get buried in a biodegradable pod made out of fungus that has a tree seedling–you basically end up decomposing and feeding the tree.

    Not widely available option because there are laws about where you can deposit human corpses, but I really liked the idea. Have science take anything usable and then let me feed a tree.

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  69. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Traditional Western burials in coffins in a cemetery: it is alien and baffling to me. Why would anyone want that?

    To keep disease from spreading off putrefying flesh, and to keep insects and scavengers from consuming the body. Or that’s the most likely reason people began doing such things before civilization.

    In Egypt, often jackals were able to dig up corpses and eat parts of them. Later on, the god of death, tombs, mummification, and other associated aspects, Anubis, was pictured with a jackal’s head.

    Cremation, or something close, was the common practice in other places, such as Greece, with only the bones remaining to be buried.

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  70. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I could go for that. Are you speaking of “green burials”? They sound good to me.

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  71. de stijl says:

    @Jen:

    I quite like the thought of becoming a tree. As a nutrient farm. I could sign up for that.

    I bought a ficus from a hippieish local store. I later did not appreciate the larva and bugs. I poured some store-bought chemicals on that shit. Nature is awesome, but I prefer my home to be relatively insect free.

    I bug bomb my basement twice a year.

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  72. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:

    The notions which complete this pretzel appear to be that since she really truly honestly crosses her heart and wishes to die believes it…she has immunity from charges of slander under the 1st Amendment. And that one does not need a license to practice law on FOX News.

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  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  75. de stijl says:

    I learned today that a woman who helped me greatly after my mother died has passed from Covid. She was 54.

    My mother was in mid stage Alzheimer’s and left behind one hell of a mess. Diabetic as well. Left dozens of discarded syringes and rotted food and bottles of insulin on the floor. She eventually forgot to inject herself.

    Veronica helped me clean up my mom’s place. Her husband is a contractor and he helped me out so much getting the house ready for resale.

    Veronica was a vital woman and made exceptional salsa and tamales. We clicked. Became friends.

    I was very touched and sad when her husband sent me an e-mail. If not for Covid, I would have flown down for her funeral.

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  76. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “What they don’t have, is the right to practice law.”

    Where is THAT in the Canon of Legal Ethics? Have you any idea just how many lawyers you’re willing to make jobless? (and do you even care 😉 ?)

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  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Yeah, pretty much. Contortionists don’t have this much flexibility. 🙁

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  78. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Tyrell is a good guy.

    Not someone I agree with often, and stuck in a Mayberry RFD view of the world, but not actively bad. Won’t ever be buddies, but he’s alright in my book.

    (I believe Tyrell presents as male. I could be wrong.)

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  79. inhumans99 says:

    @Jen:

    Someone on a different site pointed me to a youtube video several years back of an overpass nicknamed The Can Opener and while it was funny to watch the compilation of poor schlubs in RVs losing their air conditioning units, or trucks getting stuck I also felt so bad for the drivers of these vehicles. Also, it looked like a small number of folks in RVs did not even realize anything sticking up from the ceiling of their RV/Mobile Home (such as an air conditioning unit) was sheared off when they went under the overpass. That must be quite the unpleasant surprise when they get to their destination and finally noticed how thrashed the ceiling of their RV is.

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  80. DrDaveT says:

    @Jen: I’m leaning toward donating my corpse to one of those law enforcement forensic science farms where they study decomposition patterns in order to be able to gather better evidence from human remains. Perfectly green, adds to the general body of knowledge, uses up no valuable real estate, and it’s free of charge.

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  81. Teve says:
  82. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: @Sleeping Dog: When I lived in Seattle, a favorite drive was through the University of Washington Arboretum on Lake Washington Boulevard. Many new residents of the city like to drive through the arboretum on their way to their new (mostly upscale, but some student housing) abodes. The U-Haul office in the neighborhood used to have a photo of a truck with the box partially torn off to remind renters that they shouldn’t take Lake Washington Boulevard to their new home no matter how beautiful the arboretum was. (7 ft. bridge clearance–ouch!)

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  83. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    You have my deepest sympathy.

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  84. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: @de stijl:
    I think Tyrrell pooped in sometimes in the past few days. Perhaps last week.

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  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: There are limits to everything, love of nature included. 😉

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  86. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    The Body Farm novels?

    You gotta admit, it’s a hell of a set-up for decent murder mysteries. Not great, but surely adequate to good.

    I read recently that the UT prof behind the body farm idea was looking for new outposts in various climates / conditions. Judging when insect larva hatch is subject to local conditions, or body decay. Needs more data.

    I would sign up for that.

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  87. CSK says:

    @CSK:
    Dammit, I meant to say popped. Sorry, Tyrrell. No offense intended, I assure you.

    Oh, for a reliable edit button.

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  88. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    “pooped in” was a very cool typo.

    More human than human is our motto – Tyrell Corporation

    He could be a Nexus-series replicant. It would take a Voight-Kampff test to determine.

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  89. de stijl says:

    I lived in an apartment for years where every spring was spider central. Turns out living next door to the boiler room has down sides.

    It was cool in that it cured me of fairly acute arachnophobia. I still inherently dislike spiders, but they no longer creep me out as much. Not co-existence okayness, but I no longer squeal in terror and run from the room.

    Actually now, I quite enjoy squishing them. Filthy, venomous eight-eyed bastards.

    The trick to bug-bombing is do your last dose late fall so no would-be parents survive until spring when all the little creatures hatch.

    Disrupt the cycle. Prevention is key.

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  90. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    It was cool in that it cured me of fairly acute arachnophobia.

    I’ve had a similar experience.

    I have an intense fear of centipedes, also known as chilopodophobia, which happens to be the source of my screen name.

    But I am also mildly arachnophobic, and I became considerably less so after getting used to seeing them in my apartment.

    I don’t claim to understand much about arthropod intelligence, but I have a hard time believing spiders possess boredom. You can enter a bathroom and notice a spider in the same spot and same position it’s been in for days.

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  91. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..Can Opener
    Sik Fuk that I am, this is all that I could think of after watching that.

    Edit is working. Must be an omen.

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  92. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..Sik Fuk that I am,..

    Watched it at least three times before I saw the reflection of his face in the broken glass. And then I had to watch it again.

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  93. flat earth luddite says:

    @CSK:
    @de stijl:
    As Cracker will attest, my family relations were somewhat fraught. At one point, I promised the aunts/uncles tickets to my funeral. At sea, past the 12-mile limit, in a flaming longboat. I’ve since mellowed (well, and outlived them all). Scatter my ashes or put them in a planter, it’s all good.

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  94. Teve says:

    @chrislhayes

    Just a reminder that the Democrats are one random, awful sudden illness or death away from losing their majority and Breyer should probably consider that.

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  95. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    You named yourself by your phobia?

    That’s kinda bad-ass.

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  96. Jax says:

    @de stijl: I don’t mind spiders if they mind their own space. I even have a couple corner spiders with names. They catch a lot of bugs for me (living way out of town in the middle of 4,000 flood-irrigated hay meadow leads to a bounty of bugs), so as long as they stay out of my bed and my shower, they can do their jobs. 🙂

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  97. de stijl says:

    @Jax:

    If out of my vision spiders do their thing down in the basement, I am conceptually okay with that. I know they kill others insects that are present in homes. I don’t have to like it, but it is true.

    If they are upstairs, I smush them. Too many eyes, they freak me out.

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  98. Teve says:

    Woohoo! The elderly Trumpers around here must be scared off’n’a Fake News Libtard Bill Gates Coronavirus vaccine, cuz I just got an automated call telling me I have an appointment at noon tomorrow to get it!

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  99. Jax says:

    @Teve: It’s so crazy. When I made the appointment for my daughter, in a town of 25,000 people plus outlying areas, they had over 700 appointments available JUST for the Pfizer vaccine on two Wednesday’s. Apparently every vaccine gets it’s own drive-up line to the event complex.

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  100. Jax says:

    How are we gonna reach herd immunity at this rate?!

    That said, maybe some of them are waiting for the J&J vaccine? One and done? I didn’t look at how many appointments for that they had available.

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  101. Teve says:
  102. Teve says:

    I hope I get Pfizer or Moderna, but I have a friend who worked on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and that one is pretty good, it’s just not quite as good as the others.

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  103. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    It affords 100% protection against hospitalization and death, as far as I know.

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  104. Teve says:

    @CSK: sure. What’s’it’?

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  105. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    The J&J vaccine. If that’s what they’re offering, take it.

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  106. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Teve:
    Congrats, your dudeness! Things are starting to open up on the vaccine front here on the Left Coast. We’re getting automated messages regarding surrounding “nearby” County’s regarding availability of vaccine SWMBO has received an offer of vaccine in Harney County… Which is about a 7 hour drive away. She’s going to wait…

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  107. Mimai says:

    @Jen: Mary Roach is a national treasure! I would love to have a long dinner with her.

    Caitlin Doughty also writes about this stuff, most famously in Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and From Here to Eternity. She covers a lot of the, er, options that commenters have mentioned. All with a cross-cultural perspective.

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  108. Mimai says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Ha! This brought back some memories. That stretch of road is indeed beautiful. I used to do a running route along it, through the Japanese Gardens, up Madison, and back to the UW. One of the many “loves” in my love-hate affair with Seattle.

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  109. Jax says:

    Pretty good example of useless laws on the books. Maaaybe Idaho will sign on, but I doubt 4 other of the 6 required states will. I honestly don’t even see how it can be enforced, people will just buy their computers and phones outside of Utah.

    https://www.ksl.com/article/50132355/gov-cox-signs-measure-to-require-porn-filters-wont-take-effect-unless-5-more-states-join

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  110. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @charon: It reminds me of an investigation in which I was part of the team working the problem back in 2002. It seems we had ordered 2 emergency diesel generators. When the time came to install them, workers found the crankcases full of water. It turns out that the supplier had removed the mufflers and exhaust manifolds so they would fit under the overpasses en route. However, when they got to us, no one bothered to read the storage instructions, which specified to reinstall the mufflers before placing them in storage.

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