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. Teve says:

    Goddammit Moderna I can’t sleep. And my arm hurts like a bitch. 10/10 would still recommend!

    ETA and I’m not joking when i say that my one remaining elderly eastern Kentucky relative says there’s no way she trusts “that government bullshit” and will not be taking it.

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  2. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I don’t know how many of you noticed this but Nugent, who has called COVID a hoax, came down with the COVID hoax.

    “I thought I was dying,” Nugent says in a Facebook live video posted Monday. “I literally could hardly crawl out of bed the last few days,” adding, “So I was officially tested positive for COVID-19 today.”

    James recently posted on the Motor City Numbskull.
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/nugent-wonders-why-didnt-we-shut-down-covid-1-through-18/

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  3. Pete S says:

    @Teve:
    I got the first shot of AZ yesterday and i am the exact opposite. Fell asleep in my chair last night, slept longer than normal at night, and having trouble staying awake in front of my computer today. I am so glad to be working from home today…..

    But I will still be going for second shot on schedule. Appointment booked for August

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  4. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Teve:
    Have had both Pfizer shots…tenderness around the injection site was the only issue. But some weird-ass dreams for a couple nights…

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  5. Jen says:

    @Pete S: That’s how I responded to my first Shingrix shot…sheer exhaustion the following day. I could *not* stay awake. First Pfizer shot for covid was considerably easier, but I am taking the day off for shot #2.

    New Hampshire is doing comparatively well in vaccinating people, but I’m still planning on distancing for a while longer.

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  6. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    One wonders when and how SARS-CoV-2 evolved an affinity for hubris.

    @Jen:

    I plan to keep distancing for the rest of my life. It’s great.

    As to vaccine reactions, one coworker got both shots of Pfizer, going to work after each one. he’s showed no symptoms I can see, and worked full days both times.

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  7. Chauvin’s defense team will appeal but they are unlikely to be successful

    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/20/chauvin-appeal-conviction-murder-483921

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  8. Northerner says:

    @Teve:

    I had pfizer, a short term arm pain but nothing more — I’m actually minorly concerned that I didn’t have a stronger reaction (ie is it working)?

    Does your elderly relative distrust all parts of the gov’t, like say the police and military too? Or assuming she’s on gov’t medical assistance, the part of the gov’t that sends her that?

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  9. reid says:

    @Teve: I got my first Moderna almost a month ago. (#2 tomorrow.) I thought I only had a very sore arm for several days, but then I realized I also had carpal tunnel issues, total body stiffness and aches (like I was 20 years older), and a sore back at night. They’re all fading now. Seems like a lot of symptoms for just the first shot, but I suppose it’s worth it.

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  10. Scott F. says:

    @Teve: I slept poorly after my second Moderna shot, then all of the following day was pretty miserable. But, after a second (improved) night’s sleep, I awoke feeling great.

    Now I’m planning my first dine-in restaurant visit in over a year. Absolutely worth 36 hours of ugliness.

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  11. Scott F. says:

    @Teve: Also, drink LOTS of water!

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  12. Kathy says:

    I wonder if Chauvin’s lawyers wash their hands incessantly, or take many long showers, while muttering “out, damned spot!”

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  13. Jen says:

    Oh, Missouri. Gross, gross, gross.

    Missouri Lawmaker Faces Expulsion Over Child Abuse Accusations

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  14. MarkedMan says:

    Random mass shooting with at least one dead at a gas station one of my family member frequents – fortunately they weren’t there. Thanks Republicans, for ensuring there will be no gun control measures passed as long as you have any power! Nothing is more important than ensuring any drunken lunatic can be well armed!

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Just another day in the state of Misery.

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: This kinda cracked me up:

    The first Missouri House member to be expelled was for disloyalty to the Union in 1865, according to the newspaper.

    If they applied that standard today half or more of the elected GOP Reps would be kicked out.

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  17. @Kathy:

    Chauvin’s defense team did nothing wrong They did their job to zealously defend their client within the bounds of the lawm we should be thanking them not condemning them.

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  18. CSK says:

    According to CNN, Chauvin is in “a restricted housing unit” at MCI-Oak Park Heights, about 25 miles from downtown Minneapolis. He’s in “administrative segregation” for his personal safety.

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  19. Pete S says:

    @Jen:

    Ontario is not doing well on vaccinations. Partly supply issues for sure. But the rollout has seemed a bit muddled at best. They are desperately trying to get to 40% of the population with a first shot but the target date for that keeps moving. And then new ideas come up. Last week an announcement came out that eligibility for vaccines would get to lower age groups in postal codes with higher infection rates. We all kind of scratched our heads when the list came out. Yesterday the other shoe dropped – my postal code is the highest in the province that didn’t get targeted for more vaccines but 7 others that were ranked behind us did. Each postal code was placed on a tier. 2 of the areas that got the vaccine targets were ranked 4 tiers behind us. They are represented by PC MPPs (governing party). We are represented by an opposition MPP. This week the government announced they will shut down the legislature.
    @Kathy:
    I like the distancing too. I would like to see masks keep going too but it’s a longshot. Nobody in my house has had a cold or flu in a year and a half.

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  20. CSK says:

    Per ABC, AG Garland has initiated a federal investigation into the practices of the Minneapolis Police Department.

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  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    This morning there was a headline for a column by Andrew McCarthy, touting Waters’ and Biden’s statements as likely grounds or overturning the conviction. Didn’t read it, it was McCarthy after all.

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  22. Justice Department to investigate Minneapolis PD

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  23. Mimai says:

    Interesting book review on grandstanding, particularly the latter half on vain moralism vs. cruel moralism. May have to add this one to the list. Anyone read it?

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  24. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:
    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Half the R caucus is likely more upset about the drowned puppies. After all there is no evidence that R’s care about life after birth.

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  25. Kathy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I meant the kind of arguments they used.

    Imagine a trial where the defendant is accused of shooting someone, and the defense is that a bullet-shaped meteorite happened to impact the victim at the exact angle the defendant had their gun aimed at.

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  26. Kathy says:

    @Pete S:

    I probably won’t wear a mask all the time once the pandemic burns out (if it ever does), but I will definitely wear them, N95 or KN95, when flu and cold are in season.

    There are two reasons for this:

    1) Flu and cold suck, and it’s worth the effort to avoid them. Unlike high doses of vitamin C, masks stand a chance at preventing infection.

    2) You never know when what seems to be cold or flu may be the next dangerous respiratory disease, or even some form of garden variety viral or bacterial pneumonia.

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  27. Mu Yixiao says:

    Regarding vaccine roll-out:

    I’ve been rather impressed by how well it’s going in Wisconsin (at least the southern half, I don’t know how things are going up north). I got a notice from my health care provider about 5 weeks ago, and signed up right away. I got a call 2 days later setting my appointments.

    The clinic where I went was well staffed and well attended. Quick and easy. Others I’ve talked to have been using a Facebook page someone set up to locate open appointments, and they’ve been filling up. A lot of those were at pharmacy chains (Walgreen’s, etc.). And the factory I work at got permission to do vaccinations on-site. The first round was yesterday*.

    The only person that I’ve talked to who wanted a vaccine and had difficulty getting it was, ironically, a 911 dispatcher. Somehow their roll-out became a clusterfuck, and it took her almost a month to get scheduled.

    =========
    * HR assures me that the microchip tracking is working well, and Technical Services says that they’re not interfering with any of our wireless networks. 😀

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  28. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Former Guy’s eighth wonder of the world is now a rounding error.

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  29. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Half the R caucus is likely more upset about the drowned puppies.

    Maybe, maybe half. But I doubt it. When I lived there it was pretty routine to hear of farmers drowning unwanted kittens, or shooting them, etc. There’s a very different set of values attached to animals in farming regions. It’s sort of appalling, especially when one considers that’s where a fair amount of our food comes from–these same legislators are the ones voting to pass bills that make it a crime to secretly record animal abuse in factory farming situations. Now, I know that sounds contradictory, but I’m of the opinion that animals, even those raised as livestock, should be treated ethically and when the time comes, they should be killed quickly and as humanely as possible.

    Missouri is also the state where the legislature overrode a citizens petition that had passed a statewide vote banning puppy mills, IIRC.

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  30. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping Dog:..touting Waters’ and Biden’s statements as likely grounds or overturning the conviction.

    I do try to keep up. However at 73 my memory slips and falls more and more each day. Was the jury sequestered during the trial? If so they would not have been exposed to any outside influence. (theoretically)

    I have served on a Grand Jury (1989) and called for Petit Jury service several times but only heard one criminal case at trial. (guilty) I was a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit that went to trial. (hung jury) I was also a witness for a defendant in a criminal trial that I did not know who I saw being abused by a cop. I did know the cop since before he was on the force and he knew me. In a town this size (or anywhere else for that matter) it could have turned out bad for me but nothing ever came of it.

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  31. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    What do you expect from a state that only outlawed bestiality in 03 or 04. And only then after a UK sex tourism company began advertising excursions to rural Missouri. Beef bayoneting is what they called it. IIRC the sponsors who wanted to spoil the boy’s fun were Claire McCaskill and an R from the KC area, can’t remember her name.

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  32. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I know they were sequestered during the deliberations, but I’m not sure if they were before.

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  33. Barry says:

    @Kathy: “I wonder if Chauvin’s lawyers wash their hands incessantly, or take many long showers, while muttering “out, damned spot!””

    No. They are going to be people who are very comfortable, not with defending an accused murder, but conducting the defense by basically asserting that a police officer is above the law, and has the right to kill people at will.

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  34. Barry says:

    @Kathy: “Imagine a trial where the defendant is accused of shooting someone, and the defense is that a bullet-shaped meteorite happened to impact the victim at the exact angle the defendant had their gun aimed at.”

    Or that the victim, whose throat was cut ear-to-ear, did not die of blood loss, but some coincidence.

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  35. KM says:

    @Doug Mataconis :

    Chauvin’s defense team did nothing wrong They did their job to zealously defend their client within the bounds of the lawm we should be thanking them not condemning them.

    Doesn’t mean they’ll sleep well at night or that they feel morally comfortable with what they did. Defending a murderer is necessary for our system to work but you’re still trying to allow a murderer to escape justice. When I was young, I briefly toyed with the idea of being a lawyer. I was asked if I could defend a clearly guilty person and after some soul-searching the answer was “probably but I could never feel comfortable looking myself in the eye again”. I valued my conscience more than a fat paycheck and am glad I never went down that path.

    Just because they perform a necessary service doesn’t mean they aren’t aware they are attempting to let a terrible person go free or what that means for them ethically and spiritually. I can’t speak for Chauvin’s lawyers but anyone with a conscience is going to have a hell of a time reconciling what happened with their duty and potential career ambitions. Out damn spot, indeed.

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  36. Barry says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    “HR assures me that the microchip tracking is working well, and Technical Services says that they’re not interfering with any of our wireless networks.”

    The Microsoft ads in my peripheral vision are annoying.

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  37. MarkedMan says:

    One thing I’ve always wondered about our legal system is the following: If I understand correctly, a lawyer is not supposed to lie or knowingly allow their client to lie on the stand. In other words, if the client said to the lawyer, “I did it, I killed that SOB”, the lawyer should prevent the client from denying it in court. First, am I correct about that? And second, if so, is it just routinely ignored?

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  38. Mikey says:

    @Pete S:

    Ontario is not doing well on vaccinations.

    https://twitter.com/dgardner/status/1384859972899643395?s=20

    Dan Gardner
    @dgardner
    A UK friend on NHS-organized vaccine appointments: “You just sit and wait and eventually you get a text message saying ‘You have a vaccine appointment on Friday at 2pm’ and you go along.'” Simple, right? So why is getting a shot in Ontario like scoring black market Leafs tickets?

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  39. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: As far as I can tell I have not gotten sick with anything since contracting Covid back in March 2020. That’s an incredibly long time for me to go without sickness–I’m used to having periods of feeling under the weather maybe 2-3 times per year, frequently turning into bronchitis. That’s been the case for practically my entire adult life.

    Of course part of it is that I haven’t been out much–I’ve been working from home the whole time, have been using Zoom and phone as a substitute for physical visits with people, have relied on Instacart and other delivery services instead of in-person shopping (I haven’t walked into a large grocery store since mid-2020). But I’ve also been diligent about masks and social distancing whenever I do go out.

    The fact is, these things work. Whether they’re sustainable in the American social environment after the pandemic winds down is a different matter. I’m guessing the sight of someone wearing a mask in public is not going to disappear anytime soon, even if it becomes less common. And I definitely think Zoom and distance-work is here to stay. The pandemic has created a paradigm shift. There’s been a distinctly sci-fi feel to the entire last year, even though almost all of the technology was stuff that’s been around for years.

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  40. Scott says:

    I guess I’m one of the lucky ones when it comes to shots. Since September, I’ve had a flu shot(double dose), two pneumonia (-13 and -23) shots, two Shingrix shots and two Moderna shots. No reaction except for a needle into muscle pain.

    I remember getting a small pox vaccine back in the day. While everybody else had scars on their arms, I had nothing. Not sure what that all means biologically. Just feel the microchips fighting for control.

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  41. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    What do you expect from a state that only outlawed bestiality in 03 or 04. And only then after a UK sex tourism company began advertising excursions to rural Missouri.

    Washington State outlawed bestiality around the same time. We had an incident. A man died living his dream. Alas his dream was to get f.cked by a horse.

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  42. Jen says:

    @Scott: When were you vaccinated for smallpox? I was an infant, I believe and have always had a very, very light scar, almost invisible. My dad credited the doctor.

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  43. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Jen:

    When I lived there it was pretty routine to hear of farmers drowning unwanted kittens, or shooting them, etc. There’s a very different set of values attached to animals in farming regions.

    We would euthanize them via carbon monoxide poisoning. It sounds harsh, but you have to realize that:
    1. Cats multiply like rabbits.
    2. People dump their unwanted cats (and dogs, but way more cats) on the edges of farms cuz don’t you know farmers need all the cats they can get. At times we would have 20-30 feral cats running around our farm, eating our domesticated cats’ food and creating litters of feral kittens.

    Thirty feral cats turn into 50 feral cats pretty quickly, and so on.

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  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Northerner: There’s a clear and sharp distinction between the things that “we” want from the government–which turn out to be essentials that ONLY government can provide–and the “government bullshit”–stuff they don’t want people who are not part of “us” to have.

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  45. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @KM:

    Most defense attorneys I know sleep quite well at night, regardless of whether they think their client guilty or innocent. They live by their principles that everyone in the system deserves a strong legal defense. And since there are far, far more people railroaded by our system than guilty people who happen to get off scot-free, full throatedly defending someone you think is guilty is just part of how you uphold justice.

    A parallel, I think, is when an ACLU lawyer defends a KKK member’s right to free speech. Do they think the person slimy? Hell yes. Does it bother them that they are defending a slimy person’s rights? Not at all.

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  46. Northerner says:

    @KM:

    The rational I’ve heard from a lawyer friend (who despite being a lawyer is a very nice and I’d say honorable person — and she tells the best lawyer jokes I’ve heard) is that if the defending lawyer doesn’t do their best then they’re basically acting as judge and jury themselves — ie they’ve personally decided their client is guilty and so aren’t giving their client a fair trial.

    Her stance is that its okay for a lawyer to refuse to take a case because they think at the outset the potential client is guilty, but once they’ve taken the case they are morally bound to do their very best within the law to obtain the best possible sentence (not guilty if possible, short term if not etc) for their client.

    And in the case of acting as a free public defender (she does a certain percentage of those) she won’t even refuse a case.

    I think her stance makes a lot of sense given how our judicial system works, and I think the same is true for the American (though not all European) systems.

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  47. @Kathy:

    That is not a fair description of the defense argument

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  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: IANAL, but it seems to me that a person who is going to admit murdering someone to his lawyer would be amenable to said lawyer arranging the best plea deal that can be obtained. Beyond that is the whole “discourage your client from testifying as a general principle” thing for a fair number of crimes.

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  49. mattbernius says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Chauvin’s defense team did nothing wrong They did their job to zealously defend their client within the bounds of the law we should be thanking them not condemning them.

    This, this, 10000X this. In our adversarial system everyone–not just the people you like–deserves a robust defense.

    Again, people’s reaction to defense attornies doing their job–even in a case like this–is EXACTLY why we have a mass incarceration problem in the US. We are all addicted to punishing the people we are sure are guilty and punishing them REALLY REALLY good. It’s just everyone has different opinions about who really deserves it.

    NOTE: This isn’t a defense of Chauvin. It is a defense of our criminal legal system–fucked up as it is. The problem isn’t that Chauvin got a vigorous defense. It’s that most people don’t have access to that. Again, the better solution is to find ways to increase access, not complain that an individual got one.

    The rational I’ve heard from a lawyer friend (who despite being a lawyer is a very nice and I’d say honorable person — and she tells the best lawyer jokes I’ve heard) is that if the defending lawyer doesn’t do their best then they’re basically acting as judge and jury themselves — ie they’ve personally decided their client is guilty and so aren’t giving their client a fair trial.

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  50. DrDaveT says:

    @Barry:

    The Microsoft ads in my peripheral vision are annoying.

    You can turn that off in Teams, but you have to enter your 2-factor ID at least once a day.

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  51. scott says:

    @Jen: Since I remember it, it must’ve been the early 60s. I know I have a yellow vaccine record somewhere since we lived overseas for a couple of years.

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  52. Mimai says:

    @DrDaveT:

    And don’t forget the HIPAA training that you must complete first. And again next week for your booster. Oh, and to access all this, you’ll need to enter your maternal 3rd cousin’s maiden name. Easy peasy.

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  53. @KM:

    The state had the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the job of the defense is to make sure they do so by zealously defending their client within the bounds of the law. Chauvin’s lawyers dis exactly that and they have nothing to be ashamed of in fact we shouldn’t be thanking them for taking on the thankless task someone that the public had already decided that he was gulity.

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  54. Mu Yixiao says:

    @mattbernius:

    I’ve had an idea bouncing around in my head for years: An actual “Justice Department”, not a “Department of prosecution.

    All attorneys, prosecution and defense, work in a pool. They’re assigned by luck of the draw. One case they might be prosecution, another they’re defense. They all work from the same budget with the same resources. (The boss on each side would remain on that side only)

    And every defendant gets a lawyer for free.

    I know it’s a pipe dream, but it sure would be nice if we could get closer to something like that.

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  55. Jen says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: Oh, I know. But that combined with a steadfast refusal to even consider spaying and neutering always sent me up a wall.

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  56. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Northerner:

    I had pfizer, a short term arm pain but nothing more — I’m actually minorly concerned that I didn’t have a stronger reaction (ie is it working)?

    If You Don’t Have COVID Vaccine Side Effects, Are You Still Protected?

    Last month Robert Duehmig and Bill Griesar—a married couple in their 50s who live in Astoria, Ore., and Portland, Ore.—were each relieved to get their second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19. After the jab, Griesar felt nothing more than a sore arm. But for Duehmig, the effects were more pronounced.

    “I woke up during that first night … with the chills and some body aches and just not feeling well by the morning,” Duehmig says. “I really didn’t want to do anything but sleep that day, which is about all I did.”

    The unpleasant reaction was reassuring. “I do like to think that it means it’s working, that it’s kicking my system into gear,” Duehmig says. So was Griesar’s vaccine any less effective at protecting him from severe COVID-19?

    Absolutely not, according to experts and data from clinical trials of the Pfizer vaccine. The latter indicated that the vaccine was generally 90 to 100 percent effective against COVID-19 in people regardless of their sex, age, race, ethnicity or preexisting conditions. Yet only about half of trial subjects experienced the sort of systemic reactions that Duehmig did.

    “The big take-home message is that not having side effects, or [having] not as severe side effects, is no reason to worry,” says John Wherry, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

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  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: Just because they perform a necessary service doesn’t mean they aren’t aware they are attempting to let a terrible person go free or what that means for them ethically and spiritually. I can’t speak for Chauvin’s lawyers but anyone with a conscience is going to have a hell of a time reconciling what happened with their duty and potential career ambitions.

    IANAL but I know several including a couple of PDs. That is not what they are doing. As they explained to me, they are holding the police and the prosecutors to account, insuring that they do their jobs to the highest legal standard. And when they don’t? That the accused does not suffer the consequences or their incompetence/laziness/corruptness etc etc etc. In our system, the chances of a guilty person going free is far smaller than it is that an innocent one will go to prison or that a guilty person will be punished far more harshly than they deserve for whatever crime they may have committed.

    As far as the accused being a “terrible person” I hope you never sit an a jury.

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  58. Majority of Americans oppose expanding the size of the size of the Supreme Court

    https://morningconsult.com/2021/04/21/supreme-court-expansion-polling/

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  59. Scott says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I had no reaction to the Moderna; however, I give platelets regularly and the blood bank screens for COVID antibodies. Prior to vaccination, I had no antibodies. After vaccination, they reported a high level of antibodies. Even though I knew I was vaccinated, it was still a small relief to see it confirmed.

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  60. Mister Bluster says:

    @KM:..they are attempting to let a terrible person go free…

    Apparently in KM Land only nice people are allowed a defense.

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  61. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy:

    I meant the kind of arguments they used.

    that some underlying condition killed him.

    I think the prosecution pretty well anticipated and destroyed that line of argument in this case. Incidentally, modern cars produce significant carbon monoxide only if there’s an exhaust leak upstream of the catalytic reactor. To the extent that argument is valid in other cases, shouldn’t the possibility of unknown underlying conditions be something police procedures and training take into account? Shouldn’t assuming the guy your knee is on is healthy and drug free fall under reckless indifference.

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  62. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    In other words, if the client said to the lawyer, “I did it, I killed that SOB”, the lawyer should prevent the client from denying it in court. First, am I correct about that? And second, if so, is it just routinely ignored?

    IANAL, but my impression from fiction and my few interactions with lawyers is that they are very good at avoiding questions for which they don’t want to hear the answers. I seriously doubt that Alan Dershowitz ever asked O. J. “Did you kill them?” In the Chauvin case the video made it pretty much unnecessary to ask Chauvin what happened.

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  63. mattbernius says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Beyond that is the whole “discourage your client from testifying as a general principle” thing for a fair number of crimes.

    100% this. @PopeHat gets into why this is the case quite a bit.

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  64. Jay L Gischer says:

    I once read that John Adams served as defense attorney for one of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre. That perfectly aligns with my understanding of the man and his devotion to principles.

    I would add that by mounting a strong defense, the prosecution is required to make a better case. Should they make that better case and secure a conviction, the particulars of that case are available to the public who can then evaluate it. If it’s strong, the likely evaluation is that “well, yeah, he deserved it” This is a public good, in that it bolsters confidence in the legal system in a way that a plea-bargain, or these secret plea deals do not.

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  65. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis: That will change overnight once they overturn Roe v. Wade.

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  66. @Jay L Gischer:

    Yea he did, and his closing argument was sheer eloquence.

    https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/05-03-02-0001-0004-0016

    His client was acquitted

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  67. @mattbernius:

    It’s rarely a good idea for a Defendabt to take the stand

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  68. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    I kind of summarized the defense as:

    My client did not kill Mr. Floyd. my client just happened to obstruct Mr. Floyd’s airway, while he was having a drug overdose, aggravated by preexisting conditions, and an abnormally high concentration of carbon monoxide in the vicinity of Mr. Floyd’s face.

    The thing about reasonable doubt, is that it has to be reasonable and not just doubt.

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  69. steve says:
  70. Scott says:

    @Doug Mataconis: What else is new? Came across this 4 year old blog post this morning.

    America’s Health and The 2016 Election: An Unexpected Connection

    When the Economist searched for a more powerful predictor of the Trump victory than white non-college status, they found a surprise winner: a composite measure of poor health (comprised of diabetes prevalence, heavy alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, obesity and life expectancy). Believe it or not. this measure of health status predicted a remarkable 43% of the improvement of Trump’s vote percentage compared with the 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney, compared to 41% for white/non-college.

    Death wish territory.

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  71. Florida’s proposed bill on transgender athletes participating in school sports appears to be dead

    https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2021/04/20/florida-transgender-sports-bill-might-have-just-died-in-the-florida-senate/

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  72. Pete S says:

    @Mikey:

    The AZ vaccine has been put in the hands of pharmacies, and they are doing a pretty good job. That vaccine got opened up to people 40 and up yesterday and my wife and I were able to get an appointment Sunday and go yesterday. It is the provincial administration that seems to be problematic. Then on Monday the largest cell phone network was down all day the first full day of signups for AZ and first day of full at home learning after delayed March break.

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  73. Mu Yixiao says:

    @steve:

    Wisconsin is doing well at getting people vaccinated.

    Percent of distributed vaccines give out. That’s an odd metric to use. It says nothing about the percentage of people that are vaccinated. Based on the “at least one dose” number listed at the top of that article, we’re only at about 52% vaccinated (I’m assuming if someone got the first dose, they’ll be getting the second).

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  74. Gustopher says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Majority of Americans oppose expanding the size of the size of the Supreme Court

    I’m not sure I want to see their size increased either. It sounds like a great idea — constitutional issues decided by massive judicial Kaiju fights, but a 600 ft tall Clarence Thomas is going to do a lot of damage just getting to work.

    We could move the court to one of the Dakotas, I suppose.

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  75. Northerner says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Thanks Stormy. Its the sort of thing we intellectually know, but it still helps to see experts explicitly saying.

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  76. @MarkedMan:

    A lawyer who let’s his client lie on the stand is violating several Disciplines Tules and risking a state bar investigation

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  77. Jen says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I don’t understand why the Postal Service is doing this, but no one, I mean no one, should be surprised that public social content is being monitored. Brands do this all the time, and are thought to be derelict if they miss a Tweet complaining about service or the quality of their gym shoes, etc.

    My biggest complaint would be that they are using analysts to sift through the data instead of a keyword based monitoring program (again, there are dozens of these), because that would have a pretty high cost attached to it.

    I’d be shocked if the FBI isn’t monitoring Facebook and Parler for white supremacist activity, but it’s totally weird if the Post Office is.

    There’s a big problem if they’ve somehow circumvented the public vs. private settings, but the article doesn’t allege that.

    The only thing I can think of that the USPS would legitimately monitor for would be online drug sales that use the post office for delivery.

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  78. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I was wondering more about the client who tells his lawyer that they committed the crime, but then asks the lawyer to plead innocent. I assume that technically the lawyer would have to drop the client, but am wondering just how often that happens in real life. I realize it is a rule violation but do lawyers think of it as going 65 in a 55 zone, or as something needing disbarment?

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  79. @Jen:

    It’s true that public social media posts are something anyone can monitir.

    My question is why the USPS is doing this

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  80. KM says:

    @Mister Bluster :
    What the hell?

    For god’s sake people, kindly read what I actually wrote. I noted that for some lawyers, they are aware their client really did what they are accused of like oh, say CHAUVIN and might have a hard time of it. This isn’t some hypothetical innocent getting screwed by the system or railroaded by the police. I’m asking about these kinds of times when the defendant was caught in the act like Brock Turner and the defense is trying to mitigate the damage. The defense lawyer saw the exact same evidence we did. The video, the autopsy reports and probably more evidence that wouldn’t have been eligible to admit into court. Their professionalism aside, the thought had to have occurred that he’s guilty and that their successful efforts would let a killer go. That doesn’t cause even a twinge of ethical or personal angst, knowing your dedication to your job might pervert your sense of justice and someone who committed murder in broad daylight will walk? @Kathy mused on how his lawyers might not feel great about what they did and I replied that yeah, for some people it might be difficult knowing what they know. Guess not.

    I’m not sure when anybody got me claiming guilty people aren’t entitled to an excellent defense. I pointed out it was a necessary service and part of our legal system. And yes, I pointed out Chauvin was a terrible person they were attempting to help free. If the verdict had gone the other way, how many people here would have been praising his defense for a job well done? Or would we have been sadly resigned to justice not being done for the victim once again?

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  81. Kylopod says:

    @KM:

    If the verdict had gone the other way, how many people here would have been praising his defense for a job well done?

    As I recall, Johnnie Cochran became practically the emblematic example of a great defense attorney due to getting OJ acquitted. Dershowitz, too, built his reputation on helping free terrible people, including OJ and Claus Von Bulow.

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  82. Mu Yixiao says:

    In more serious news, scientists have officially counted how many bubbles there are in a glass of beer.

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  83. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kylopod:

    I think OJ did it, but had I been on the jury I would have voted to acquit. Basically the LAPD got caught trying to frame the person who actually did it. As soon as they got a lead investigator on the stand and he responds to “did you fabricate any evidence in this case?” by taking the fifth, it’s pretty much over for me, because I have to ignore nearly the prosecution’s entire case.

    That wasn’t because Cochran was a genius, it’s because the LAPD is terrible at their jobs.

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  84. Mister Bluster says:

    @KM:..This isn’t some hypothetical innocent getting screwed by the system or railroaded by the police. I’m asking about these kinds of times when the defendant was caught in the act like Brock Turner and the defense is trying to mitigate the damage.

    The last time I was in a jury pool the Judge addressed each individual prospective juror and asked them one at a time: “Our criminal justice system operates on the asumption that an accused defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Do you have a problem with that concept?”

    I’ll repeat that query to you KM: “Our criminal justice system operates on the asumption that an accused defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Do you have a problem with that concept?”

    Hypothetical innocent? Who woud that be?

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  85. Jen says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Agree, that is odd, especially since they don’t appear to be monitoring for illegal activity using the post office, the whole article was about protests. It is strange.

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  86. Northerner says:

    @KM:

    I suspect a lawyer would say that they could personally be sure someone was guilty and yet be wrong. Being sure of something is not the same thing as being correct about it — that’s common in science, in engineering, and I suspect at least as common in law. Part of being a competent professional in all these fields is understanding that we might wrong even about things we’re 100% sure about. That’s why there is peer review in science, and actual trials in law.

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  87. gVOR08 says:

    @Northerner: This sort of thing comes up in life all the time. The difference between what you know and what you officially KNOW. As an engineering manager there were constantly things like: I may know Jake is a lazy employee, but I can’t say I KNOW Jake is lazy until I have documented the evidence. I may, as an experienced engineer, know that a structural piece is too weak, but I’ll have the analysis done before I say I KNOW it’s too weak. It’s always possible I’m wrong, but it isn’t a question of doubt so much as having gone through the process.

    A lawyer may know his client is guilty, but he doesn’t have to act on that unless his client tells him he’s guilty or he otherwise KNOWs his client is guilty.

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  88. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    I’ve heard two postures by defense attorneys regarding their clients.

    One is that they have to know whether the client is guilty or not, the better to plan their defense. The other is that it’s not the lawyer’s place to say whether the client is guilty or not, as it is for the jury to decide.

    I don’t buy the second one.

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  89. KM says:

    @Mister Bluster :

    I’ll repeat that query to you KM: “Our criminal justice system operates on the asumption that an accused defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Do you have a problem with that concept?”

    No because innocence in a court of law and not actually have committed the deed are not the same thing. Yes, you are innocent under the law until proven guilty even if you murder someone in the street in front of dozens of witnesses. Yes, that means I keep an open mind and let you present your case in a fair and impartial manner if I’m on a jury. However, objective reality is still a thing and yeah, that video exists.

    People really need to stop equating assumption of innocence under the law with the ability to determine objective proof if the act happened or not. That’s why it’s called an legal assumption and not an objective fact; it’s the benefit of the doubt as that’s the just option to make an accuser prove their case. You can understand and exercise both concepts at the same time. It’s not that hard. Being impartial doesn’t mean being stupid or sacrificing your sense of reality; it means accepting ethical principles and acting in an unbiased manner as possible. Chauvin did this in plain sight. That’s a fact since the whole world got to see it. He was innocent under the law till it was proven from the second he did. Neither of those statements are contradictory.

    Geez, ask if defense lawyers feel guilty sometimes and suddenly everyone starts questioning if you believe in innocence under the law. No lawyer anywhere ever has had a twinge of guilt or regretted helping a known killer or child molester walk because they muddied the waters enough? Never ever because they Believe in the Cause so very righteously? No doubts at all? OK sure, whatever. I’m a bad person for daring to second something someone else brought up. Defense lawyers never question themselves and I’m terrible for having asked it because it’s never gonna be a thing. How dare I ask if someone has issues with how their job might make them compromise their personal morals to do the best job they can.

    Feel better now ?

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  90. Mimai says:

    @gVOR08:
    @Northerner:

    Robert Burton has written a lot on certainty. His book “On Being Certain” is a few years old now, but still very good. The neuroscience of certainty is particularly interesting. Humans are endlessly fascinating.

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  91. gVOR08 says:

    A few days ago we had a little discussion of Tucker Carlson. LGM has a post today on Carlson. On Carlson’s college year book page he listed himself as a member of the “Dan White Society”. White is the guy who murdered Harvey Milk. It’s worth a glance at the link for his picture. He looked like a smug dork with a bow tie in college.

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  92. gVOR08 says:

    @KM: Wasn’t part of the plot in Cape Fear that the defense lawyer, knowing his client was guilty, declined to present a piece of exculpatory evidence.

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  93. @Jen:

    That is the part that I don’t understand.

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  94. KM says:

    @gVOR08:
    Confession time: never saw it. In fact, I’m that person that’s never seen a lot of classic movies and relies on pop culture osmosis but all I’m coming up with is Sideshow Bob and the rake bit.

    Worth a watch?

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  95. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08:

    Wasn’t part of the plot in Cape Fear that the defense lawyer, knowing his client was guilty, declined to present a piece of exculpatory evidence.

    Yup–the Scorsese version. The lawyer is defending an accused rapist. He discovers evidence that the rapist’s victim had a history of sexual promiscuity, and this was a time when that sort of thing was used against the prosecution of rapists. So the lawyer buries the evidence, and the rapist is convicted. The rapist learns the truth while in prison, and thereafter plots his revenge. (The original film from 1962 was simpler: the lawyer was part of the prosecution, and the rapist went after him for getting him sent to prison.) It’s occurred to me that the scenario might be an example of when morality and ethics are in conflict.

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  96. @MarkedMan:

    The defendant does not pleas “Innocent” that plead guilty or not guilty

    If it’s not guilty then there is trial at which the state must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The job of the defense is to hold the state to to their burden and protect the defendant’s rights

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  97. Mimai says:

    @KM:

    Earlier in this thread I posted a link to a book review on moral grandstanding. I suspect you’ll find it satisfying wrt your dismay.

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  98. Kathy says:

    RAM has to be the most wasted substance on Earth.

    I just copied a 22KB file on two different thumb drives of 16GB each.

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  99. Mikey says:

    I took my 16-year-old son for his first Pfizer shot this afternoon. He’s certainly happy to be getting it, and I feel great relief that all three of us are going to be fully vaccinated.

    My adult daughter lives in Phoenix and hasn’t gotten vaccinated yet, which is a bit worrisome, but she is self-employed and works 100% online so she doesn’t have to come in contact with anyone outside her “bubble.”

    The local evening news had an item about vaccine demand outpacing supply here in Northern Virginia and there’s serious consideration of moving vaccine from the lower-demand rural areas here.

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  100. Mikey says:

    Republican Senator John Kennedy was talking to Stacey Abrams about the new Georgia voting laws and said “tell me specifically, give me a list of the provisions you object to” and she went on long enough to make him sorry he said that.

    https://twitter.com/LEBassett/status/1384911355724111872?s=20

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  101. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: No because innocence in a court of law

    Just feel the need to point out that there is no such thing as “Innocent” in a court of law. There is “Guilty” and “Not Guilty”. It may seem like pedantics, but it is an important distinction. A person is never required to *prove they are innocent* in a trial, the prosecution however is in fact required to prove “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt”.

    However, once one has been proven to be “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” the standards change. Proof of actual innocence may not be enough on appeal as the standard is “has s/he received a fair trial”? Which to be honest considering the resources the DA has versus the resources available to most defendants, a fair trial is as rare as hen’s teeth. So the question really boils down to, “Did they dot all the “I’s” and cross all the “T’s”?

    All of which is just to say that the American judicial cares very little about actual justice. We are quite satisfied with the appearance of it.

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  102. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My kingdom for an edit function. I see @Doug Mataconis: beat me to the “innocent/not guilty” distinction.

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  103. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: F’n coward.

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  104. JohnMcC says:

    @KM: Just a lurker but with a strong urging to you, if you watch ‘Cape Fear’, to watch the Robert Mitchum version.

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  105. DrDaveT says:

    @gVOR08: @KM:

    Confession time: never saw it.

    Oh yeah; it was a movie (twice). I’d forgotten; I assumed he was talking about the John D. MacDonald novel. But then, I’ve always been a MacDonald fan…

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  106. Northerner says:

    @gVOR08:

    It goes deeper than documenting evidence. I did an undergraduate and masters in physics before switching to engineering. One thing every physicist I’ve ever talked to (including a couple of Nobel Prize winners) has said is that no physicists can now be sure of what we know. That certainty existed until the start of the 20th century, when physicists were sure they knew what they knew — in fact Lord Kelvin stated that physics had solved most of the problems within the field, and saw only two small clouds were on the horizon: the null result in the Micheleson-Morely experiment, and the problem of black body radiation. The first led to special relativity, the second to quantum mechanics (as it often said, not only was Lord Kelvin a great scientist, but he really knew how to pick his clouds). Since then its taken as a given in physics that everything we think we know may be wrong — physics is the process of making better theoretical models rather than for finding out what is actually true.

    And knowing what’s true and what isn’t is relatively simple in physics compared to complex systems like the human body, or the human brain, or society. To a very large extent, our certainty of things is an illusion that vanishes the deeper we look into it.

    That’s one of the biggest arguments against capital punishment — there is a very long history of people being sure someone was guilty, and then being wrong. The Innocence project is an excellent source for examples of misplaced certainty.

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  107. Northerner says:

    @Mimai:

    Thanks, I’ll look for it. Its interesting how much we still trust that feeling of certainty despite all the times in our lives when its proven wrong, on matters big and small.

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  108. Mister Bluster says:

    Seen on Facebook:

    I’m amused by all these people so angry about the government telling them what they can and cannot do.
    Welcome to having a uterus.

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