Wednesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. CSK says:
  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    THE TANK IS DEAD: LONG LIVE THE JAVELIN, THE SWITCHBLADE, THE … ?

    We’ve had exchanges here about the future viability of tanks and this is an interesting deepish dive. The article itself is far more nuanced than the headline.

    Projection Alabama style

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  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    The One Way History Shows Trump’s Personality Cult Will End

    Ruth Ben-Ghiat: When somebody like Trump comes on the scene and holds office, it’s really like an earthquake or a volcano, and it shakes up the whole system by gathering in this big tent all the extremists, all the far-right people, and giving them legitimation. The GOP was already going away from a democratic political culture, but he accelerated it and normalized extremism and normalized lawlessness. And so the GOP over these years has truly, in my estimation, become an authoritarian far-right party. And the other big story is that his agenda and his methods are being continued at the state level. Some of these things were on the agenda way before he came in, like getting rid of abortion rights and stuff like that. But these states are really laboratories of autocracy now, like Florida, Texas.

    Don’t get your hopes up.

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  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    I’m a Longtime Professor. The Real Campus “Free Speech Crisis” Is Not What You Think.

    As in the haunted depictions of “the college classroom” in much of the press, students are often remarkably open about their backgrounds and may bring their cultural identity, or queer identity, or neurodivergent identity, or race, or religion, or mental health into our conversations—but not as a cudgel. It’s simply a part of the complex circumstances that shape their perspectives. I’m not going to enumerate examples here; these are their stories that they’re generous enough to share with a classroom community. But I can say that in nearly every class period, a student will bring a facet of their own identity to their reading of a particular text. This used to worry me; I’d think we were drifting away from the safety and rigor of objective discourse into some minefield of interpersonal slights. But I never saw those fears manifested. I am forever impressed by the respect with which they treat one another’s lives. No wonder this image of an uber-liberal, hyper-focused mob snarling back at me in the classroom rings untrue. Who has the time?

    We should remember the elite schools are different.

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  5. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Oh, very much so. The students at a place like UMass Dartmouth (formerly Southeastern Massachusetts University) lack the sense of entitlement and privilege that students at Harvard, Yale, etc. possess. It makes a big difference.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “Dear ‘collective west’ please give Mr Putin a clear exit to save his face and stop this massacre. Please be more rational and humanitarian.”

    Oleg Tinkov

    Yes, “Please dear women, stop making your husbands beat you. Be kind and obedient and he won’t feel so emasculated by your need for a little personal autonomy.”

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  7. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: What gets me down, is that when I read this article a few days ago I realized that there will be an immediate and harsh reaction from people who say that because of his age, gender, religion and his sexual preferences, he should not be credited or listened to. And to the extent they engage at all, it will be to “explain to him” why his lived experience is invalid, and they will complain about the terrible burden placed on them in having to educate ignoramuses like him.

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  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Yup. And they’ll be mostly wrong while he’ll still be mostly right.

    Now it’s been ~50 years since I was an undergrad and environments change, but the college life he describes is a whole lot closer the the college life I experienced than the hell holes of privilege defined by the elites.

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  9. Jax says:

    This is interesting. I liked Evan McMullin when he was running for President in 2016. He’s not a Dem, per se, but he’s probably more Dem than Manchin is in practice. Plus….get Mike Lee out of the Senate.

    https://www.ksl.com/article/50390013/evan-mcmullin-or-party-loyalty-utah-democrats-face-reckoning-in-bid-to-unseat-mike-lee

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  10. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The UK has agreed to extradite Julian Assange, who helped Russia undermine the 2016 Presidential Election.
    It should be very interesting if they can get him to flip.
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/20/uk/julian-assange-extradition-order-intl/index.html

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  11. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jax:

    No one should confuse McMullin with a moderate, even if the independent party claims to be centrist. But even if he were to caucus with the R’s he’s independent enough not to simply line up behind Moscow. Perhaps he’d even in courage Romney to be more independent.

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  12. Kathy says:

    At long last, Moderna has reported on early trial results of a polyvalent vaccine. No link, sorry, because most are just claims from Moderna without any nuance or detail.

    This shot is intended as a booster, and combines the original strain with the Beta variant. A shot mixing the ancestral strain with Omicron is also in early testing, as is a stand-alone Omicron shot.

    About time.

    Pfizer is supposed to be running similar tests, but there’s no info on results yet.

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  13. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    It should be very interesting if they can get him to flip.

    Very unlikely. If Assange fingers Mad Vlad, he’ll be killed and he knows it.

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  14. Kylopod says:

    @Jax: @Sleeping Dog: Dems attempted something like this in the 2014 Senate race in Kansas, when they backed a right-leaning indie (Greg Orman). I’ve never seen a gamble like this work, especially in a bad cycle for Dems. But I don’t see much of a downside to it, either.

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  15. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I’m thinking to wait for my second booster until one of the Omicron specific ones are available. But I haven’t seen any indication of a timeline yet. Have you?

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  16. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    There’s mention of testing on the original+Beta in 300 people. This strikes me as Phase II. No numbers are given on the original+Omicron.

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  17. Jax says:

    Who’s got baby chicks? ME!!!! 😛

    All arrived alive and healthy, my faith is restored!

    Way to go, Brandon!

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  18. Jax says:

    @Kylopod: @Sleeping Dog: It’s really a lesser of two evils. I don’t think a Dem can win statewide in Utah. I’d rather see McMullin in that seat than another term for Mike Lee.

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: 🙂

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  20. Michael Cain says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Don’t hold your breath. The rules for approval are different when there are already fully-licensed highly-effective vaccines.

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  21. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My theory that “I should order 45 instead of 25 because about half of them are probably gonna die before they even get here” is gonna screw me, now. I’ll be floating in eggs next fall.

    Not necessarily a bad thing, mind you….but keep in mind I still have 65 grown birds in my other chicken coop! 😛

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  22. DAllenABQ says:

    Rod Dreher and his wife are divorcing. She file the petition.

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  23. CSK says:

    @DAllenABQ:
    I see that Dreher was very quick to assure people that there was no question of infidelity on either side.

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  24. Kathy says:

    So, after tons of work from mid-February to yesterday, I finally did something worthwhile at the office: I filled out my vacation request.

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  25. EddieInCA says:

    @CSK:
    @DAllenABQ:

    This part of his comment made me want to vomit – seriously.

    All I can do is pray that they never have to endure what my wife and I have endured, and are enduring. Honest to God, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

    By all accounts Dreher has led a pretty damn good life. It’s not hard to figure out. His wife married the writer of “Crunchy Cons” and over the last 20 years he’s gone from sane center-right conservative who cared about the environment to a fire-breathing theocrat who things trans issues are bringing down western civilization. That he will lose his marriage due to the extreme change of his personality isn’t surprising. Not at all.

    I’m more curious as to what his relationship with his kids are and will be, because if they’re normal 20-sometings, they have gay and trans friends. That’s just the reality today.

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  26. Gustopher says:

    @Jax:

    I’ll be floating in eggs next fall.

    That sounds sticky. And unsanitary.

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  27. CSK says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Dreher says that his marriage has been rocky since 2013. Is that when he started the slide into theocratic and political lunacy? I know he left the Catholic Church earlier than that, and converted to Eastern Orthodoxy over the pedophilia scandal.

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  28. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: The current booster is for anyone who hasn’t had a booster in 4 months. Do you really think they will have this out within 4 months?

    I’m going with the strategy of get the 2nd booster now so when the variant boosters come out, it’s already time for my inevitable next booster.

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  29. EddieInCA says:

    @CSK:

    2013 is when he published the book about the death of his sister. It’s about when he really started to lean into anti-gay rhetoric, which then became anti-trans rhetoric, which has gotten more extreme every year.

    Seeing his evolution has been fascinating from just a human perspective. I got banned from the site for pointing out to him that the Rod Dreher of “Crunchy Cons” wouldn’t recognize (or like, or understand) the Rod Dreher from “Live by Not Lies”, his latest book.

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  30. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:
    @Michael Cain:
    @Gustopher:

    The best way to get an Omicron or original+Omicron shot, is to enroll in the trial(s) Moderna has to conduct. If they are double-blind controlled trials, though, you only get 50/50 odds of landing a shot as opposed to a placebo or, more likely these days, an older Moderna shot.

    I’d go with @Gustopher’s suggestion: take the booster that’s available now and hope for the polyvalent next time.

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  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: True, but the schematic illustration of how the oreometer works is worth the price of admission. The device itself is the star of the show!

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  32. steve says:

    I got banned by Dreher when I told him it probably wasn’t a good idea too encourage his readers to boo Obama if he came to visit his town after a hurricane. Very thin skinned, though it is his blog. unreadable for quite a while. Once every couple of weeks I skim through the leads. Besides gays and trans destroying the world it looks like Orban is now the second coming of Jesus and Trump isn’t so bad after all and we forced Putin, the god loving, queer hating leader sent by God, to attack Ukraine. IOW just another committed right winger. As has been said many times, when religion and politics mix it is politics that always wins.

    Steve

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  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    “No, it’s two different things and you know it,” he said.

    But he does have a point. One is about making people feel accepted and empowered, the other about ridiculing people and being clear that they are unsafe here.

    And the good citizens of Alabama are likely to buy this schtick. Though, if the kids at the school are lucky, he’s still thought to be too stupid to run the state.

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  34. RMR says:

    @EddieInCA
    Dreher banned me too for a couple weeks in January when I pointed out in the comments that he was acting as Putin’s enabler by repeating Kremlin propaganda about NATO expansion being the root of all evil, Russia merely defending itself against Western aggression etc. He has distanced himself a bit from Putin since the invasion started, and especially since the Bucha massacres (and utter destruction of Mariupol)

    I’ve been reading him for 10 years, he was usually insightful back then. Live Not By Lies appears to be insightful (I haven’t read the books, just the very long passages he pastes into his blog), but he is completely missing the point about Putin’s Russia reviving the zombie of Stalinism, and somehow tries to push the round peg into a square whole with the “woke totalitarianism”.

    His years-long fixation with trans issues is disturbing (he made his point the first time, does he really need to repeat all the graphic details dozens of times?), especially now when a whole country of 44M people is destroyed in a senseless war (and 2/3 of the children are either refugees or internally displaced).

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  35. MarkedMan says:

    @DAllenABQ: I followed Dreher for a number of years. He has gone completely off the deep end. The last time I started to read something by him was just a few weeks ago but it was incredibly lengthy and just seemed to be a 100 variations of him appearing to say he decried the war and Putin and the Patriarch but was actually him saying he decried the necessity of the war, because Putin and the Partriarch were forced into it by the gays and the trans.

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  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: They’d been married for 16 years by then. It may well be just a “falling out of love” thing. But I’m not a big Rod Dreher timeline guy, so I don’t know when he started going whacko.

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  37. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    It could well be that. But the way Dreher describes the suffering (his word) of the past nine years suggests something more than two people simultaneously and gradually losing romantic and sexual interest in one another.

    Dreher is fortunate that Eastern Orthodoxy permits divorce and remarriage. If he were still a devout Roman Catholic, he’d have to resign himself to a lifetime of anguish.

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  38. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: Whether or not to get the second booster right now falls into a category of problems that I mentally think of as “difficulty with the menu” problems. The difference between no vaccine and vaccine is like the choice between a sh*t sandwich on moldy Wonder Bread and the best paella I’ve ever had. Incredibly simple to choose and extremely compelling. The difference between getting or not getting the first booster was like the choice between hastily cooked pasta with store brand red sauce eaten from the pot over the sink versus those tasty Korean short ribs done at that nice neighborhood cafe that my wife and I like to go to. Not quite as compelling but still an easy choice. But the second booster is starting to get a little fuzzy. It only seems to provide an increase in immunity for a few weeks. And the reduction in hospitalization is only for about four months. If I knew that I could take it now and get another shot during the inevitable resurgence later this year (flu season when everyone is indoors again?) and that fifth shot would be just as effective as the fourth, the choice would be easy. But right now I’m left deciding whether to take the benefit now or later when there are more cases around. It doesn’t make me anxious because it is more like trying to decide between two good but not compelling choices on the menu. But I have a high tolerance for ambiguity.

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  39. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Dreher’s comments seem pretty typical of Christianist BS: something is proscribed for everyone else, but once you claim you have suffered enough you can pretend that jebus finally revealed his truth to you and he wants you to do this.

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  40. EddieInCA says:

    @CSK:
    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I believe 2013 is two years after he moved his family back to Louisiana to a town of 1700 people, after living Philadelphia, NYC, and Dallas. How long does it take someone to lose their minds going from Philly to a town of 1700? Two years seems about right.

    Me? I wouldn’t have made it a year. My junior high school in Los Angeles had 2000 people.

    1700 people?

    That’s a house party in certain parts of Los Angeles, not a town.

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  41. Kylopod says:

    I’m not as familiar with Dreher’s past as some people here. I used to read AmCon mostly for Daniel Larison’s articles, which focused on foreign policy. Despite being co-founded by Pat Buchanan, AmCon never acquired a reputation for being Nazi-adjacent the way “paleo” outlets are typically thought to be, and a surprising amount of liberals I’ve encountered over the years have expressed a grudging appreciation for some of its content.

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  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:

    Pretty much I only went to TAC for Larison, but occasionally a lead would catch my eye. Usually I wouldn’t agree with the conclusion, but there could be well argued positions and good analysis, which we all can benefit from reading. But Dreher, nah.

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  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: HA! In my more paranoid moments I ponder the same question. I try to keep 10-12 layers. That number usually provides enough eggs for us, our children, and the ability to gift our neighbor with a dozen every couple weeks. Every year I order a half dozen, alternating between Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks. I am already down to 2 RIRs that I got last summer and my last 3 BRs from the year before.

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  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DAllenABQ: Least surprising news ever.

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  45. CSK says:

    @EddieInCA:
    The Drehers moved to Baton Rouge in 2015/2016, apparently to be near an Orthodox church.

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  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Acyn
    @Acyn

    Psaki: That’s in direct contrast with our predecessor who withheld military aid from Ukraine which McCarthy who is critical of us in this moment defended at the time as “the rightful thing to do” because he claimed there was corruption in the Zelenskyy administration

    Maybe the next time he’ll spend a little time doing some research first .

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  47. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The barred rocks and Rhode Island Reds I have right now are some of the meanest, broodiest tiny dinosaurs I’ve ever had. 😛 Gotta glove up and bring a little stick for them to peck at while you sneak under with the other hand and grab the eggs.

    I got some french black copper marans, a couple kinds of brahmas, easter and olive eggers, welsummers, and I tried two new breeds, cream legbars and splash-laced red wyandottes. My favorites are the marans and brahmas, they’re such big, fluffy gentle hens. My egg basket is gonna look pretty cool with all those different colors!

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  48. Jen says:

    This profile of Dreher in WaPo from a few years ago is horrifying to read, TBH.

    Choice excerpts:

    It takes all of 10 minutes for him to unload his emotional and philosophical struggles in a wannabe hipster coffee/doughnut/slider/brew house, a metaphor for the source of his existential pain and familial estrangement: He got fancy; his family did not.

    We’re here because we can’t be in his home for lengthy reasons shared in emails and conversation and . . . oh, never mind.

    It’s stupid loud. Coffee grinders and blaring music require Dreher to semi-yell intimate moments of extreme rejection.

    This is a doozy/red flag:

    Julie is a constant in his conversation. Two decades ago, Dreher was celibate and yearning for a life partner. “He prayed that God would make him fall in love at first sight,” Mathewes-Green recalls. “I told him, ‘Maybe you should start with friendship.’ ”

    One night at an Austin bookstore, he saw Julie and fell in love at first sight. “He persuaded her and her date to come for dinner,” Mathewes-Green says, “then he placed himself between Julie and her date and just monopolized her.”

    Dreher proposed four months later. They’ve been married 19 years.

    He still reveres his father, a health inspector, who was so unlike him.

    “I was actually an idol worshiper. I realize I put my father in the place of God the Father in my heart,” Dreher says. “I had never really believed that God loved me, even though I’ve been a practicing Christian since my mid-20s.” Still, he says he found some measure of peace after his father’s death in 2015.

    Except he’s still talking about the conflicts. At length he quotes Dante, who saved his life, but not completely. He’s on to Benedict and the monks he visited in Umbria for 10 days. Most likely, there will be another saint or poet who will inspire a 3,000-word post that will become another book in his search for enlightenment.

    He sounds crazy. Absolutely nuts.

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  49. DAllenABQ says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My sense is that Mr. Dreher achieved some success but then got too big for his britches. He used to be readable and at least somewhat sensible. Same thing happened to Tucker Carlson. Maybe too much Hungarian goulash.

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  50. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The Florida Legislature just decided to fuq around with Disney and find out.

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  51. Jon says:

    @CSK:

    I see that Dreher was very quick to assure people that there was no question of infidelity on either side.

    He’s such an insufferable, self-involved, sexuality-obsessed jackass that the one “insight” into the split he wanted to make sure and share was that he wasn’t a cuckold. Lord almighty. And, contra- his surety that people will delight in his suffering (I learned it from you, dad!) I am sorry for them both, and especially their children, and hope it works out as well as is possible for all involved. I hate to see any relationship end. I’d just really like it if he’d learn a little humility, and be less quick to judge others. I mean, not gonna happen, but still.

    Apparently I have somewhat strong feelings on the matter.

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  52. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    This oughta be good.

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  53. JohnSF says:

    Meanwhile in the UK!
    The Greased Piglet (a.k.a. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson) continues to wriggle away from the danger zone re. lockdown gatherings and misleading Parliament.
    Sir Keir Starmer is no longer Mr Nice Guy.
    But as the Conservative Party MP’s have soured on Chancellor Sunak as an alternative (and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is keeping her head down; also, is a dimwit) looks like they’ll stick with Johnson.
    For now; the May local elections will be the real test of voter opinions.
    If they go badly for the Tories, Boris could yet find himself booted.

    To shore up the right, therefore, the government is trowing chum in the form of an absolutely disgraceful scheme to transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda.
    It’s not even “offshore processing” as some Conservative spokesmen have claimed, bad as that would be.
    Check the fine print, and anyone transferred whose claim for asylum succeeds will be granted asylum in Rwanda.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury made a blistering condemnation of it at the weekend.
    Cue Tories bleating about the Archbishop being a “virtue signaler”.
    Well, yes.
    Sort of a key bit of the job description, actually.

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  54. dazedandconfused says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I don’t think that is what Tinkov is saying. If Tokyo could find a way to make a truce with Godzilla, would it not be wise to do so?

    This is shaping up to be Ukraine hosting a war of attrition on their own soil. Realism has nothing to do with fair. To advocate a way to avoid years of horror is not about justification. He obviously believes Putin to be mad or has made a big mistake and there is little to no prospect of Ukraine ever marching on Moscow to depose him.

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  55. Michael Reynolds says:

    A few weeks back I speculated in comments that Ukraine’s request for Polish Mig-29’s might yet be met, but with a cover of deniability.

    Ukraine is getting a lot of weapons and defensive equipment from Western allies, including military helicopters from the U.S. in the Biden administration’s latest $800 million aid package, but fixed-wing fighter jets have been a heavier lift. The U.S. rejected an offer from Poland to transfer Polish MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, but Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday that Ukraine’s military has gotten new aircraft from somewhere.

    The Ukrainians “right now have available to them more fixed-wing fighter aircraft than they did two weeks ago,” Kirby said. “And that’s not by accident, that’s because other nations who have experience with those kinds of aircraft have been able to help them get more aircraft up and running.” The U.S. has helped provide Ukraine with airplane parts, “but we have not transported whole aircraft,” he added.

    When a reporter asked how many new aircraft Ukraine has received, Kirby said that “without getting into what other nations are providing,” Ukraine has has been “able to increase” its “aircraft fleet size, I think I’d leave it at that.”

    So not jets, just spare parts for jets. Enough ‘spare parts’ that the Ukrainian AF now has more jets in the air after two months of war than they did at the start? Uh huh. Question Mr. Kirby: are they also getting weapons for those jets made out of spare parts? And out of curiosity, are F-16s making their ways to these unnamed countries handing out spare parts?

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  56. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    My take is similar to yours. I think Tinkov knows Putin is no longer rational, so he needs a face-saving way of getting out of Ukraine. Or God knows what he might do in retaliation.

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  57. JohnSF says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    …there is little to no prospect of Ukraine ever marching on Moscow to depose him.

    But there is a very real prospect of Ukraine grinding the Russian army into bloody gobbets.
    And what becomes of the kleptocracy if its guardians are lying dead on the plains of Ukraine?
    The Donbas Battle will be the test.

    Incidentally, “realism” really has very little to do with reality.
    It appears to be largely an ahistorical conception of a particular school of “international political science” scholars who seem to have missed the point that we are no longer living in the 18th Century.
    That was done better in the original versions by Taylor, Kissinger etc.
    And missed the points Thucydides, Machiavelli and Hobbes were trying to make in the first place.

    If Tokyo could find a way to make a truce with Godzilla, would it not be wise to do so?

    If Godzilla could be trusted, maybe.
    But if not, and you have a nice sharp knife to hand, perhaps better to just chop Godzillas nuts off?
    To combine your analogy with Ozark’s 🙂

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  58. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I have a sneaky suspicion said “spare parts” are traveling to Ukraine in rail containers.
    In the form of “spare parts” assembled into curiously MiG-29 shaped assemblies, for ease of component identification.
    Minus the ejector seats.
    Which are in the next wagon.
    Just parts of an aircraft, you understand.

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  59. Jen says:

    @Michael Reynolds: For some reason, I’m picturing really, really large IKEA boxes with names like MiiG on them. Too far-fetched?

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  60. senyordave says:

    Can someone explain what this means?
    “The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable,” Musk tweeted in response to an article on Netflix’s shares falling 20%.

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  61. senyordave says:

    Oops, I read on:
    In his jab at Netflix, Musk could be taking issue with efforts from Netflix to become more inclusive both in its shows on the site, as well as its workforce. Last year, a Netflix diversity study revealed that representation of LGBTQ+ individuals and characters with disabilities were rarely featured in Netflix shows.
    Forgot that not having only white males on shows is very offensive to some white males. Apparently, their fragile egos can only take so much.

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  62. JohnSF says:

    @Jen:
    Actually fairly old Swedish joke:
    Ikea GRIPEN

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  63. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    OMFG! I’d read superficially about the Rwanda thing, but thought it was a deeply misguided scheme for off-shore processing, not this kind of idiot’s nightmare.

    Why not just close the border, fill up the Chunnel and be done?

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  64. JohnSF says:

    Also rumours of other IKEA products that may be shipped:
    The brand new this years model NASAMS.
    And the older, and legacy named, but ever popular, Panzerhaubitze

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  65. Matt says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Your link doesn’t work.

    The tanks being used in Ukraine are old, improperly equipped, and operated by poorly trained conscripts for the most part. Those tanks also rarely have proper infantry support.

    The tanks being used in Ukraine are literately decades behind modern MBTs including Russia’s own T-14. That means they lack any form of APS or modern defense systems. Of course none of them have blow out panels because they use the poorly designed Russian arm snatching auto-loader which results in a lot of ammo being put in a vulnerable area. Those tanks have basically nothing in the way of electronic warfare capability.

    Drawing conclusions from the Ukraine conflict based purely on the performance of tanks there is a bad idea..

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  66. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There was a rumor during the time frame of your comment that Migs in Egypt could be made available with F16’s being the replacement for the Egyptian air force. That the jets were coming from a non-NATO country made the transaction less provocative.

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  67. EddieInCA says:

    On this very website about two years ago, I told you all that Netflix eventually would be bought by another company or taken over in a hostile takeover.

    Everyone in entertainment knows that for the last five years, Netflix has basically been a Ponzi scheme. They have been spending more money than they’re taking in for a long time. A long long time. They made ridiculous deals with producers that never had any chance of recoupment. They have failed to monetize their user base. Their product is entertainment vehicles that people watch them discard. Nobody’s watching the “Adam Project” multiple times. Their hubris has led them to believe that they would have never ending subscriber growth. Well, as many of us predicted. Disney+, peacock, Apple TV+ and others have offerings as good, if not better than Netflix.

    My only regret is that I was not short the stock yesterday. A lot of people made a lot of money today while others lost even more.

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  68. Sleeping Dog says:
  69. gVOR08 says:

    Dreher hasn’t banned me yet, just deleted some of my comments. He did a column a few weeks ago, something about fighting liberal pedophelia. I commented to just mention Denny Hastert and Roy Moore. To my surprise, Dreher allowed it, but he replied “What about. What about. WHAT ABOUT.” Weirdly later that day my comment was still up, but he’d deleted his reply. Haven’t figured that one out.

    I started reading Dreher on and off when Larison was still on board, and wasn’t Bruce Bartlett on TAC? Read it daily for awhile, and got an early warning some conservatives were going anti-corporate. But now I almost never see a column of any interest. And most of them have a bio lines like, “X is an intern’s assistant at TAC.” or “Y is a senior at Hillsdale college.” I think TAC is broke. There may have been some financial stress on the marriage.

    I am impressed with Dreher’s ability to write what looks like about 5,000 words a day. Of course quality suffers.

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  70. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    Thing is, the asylum seekers almost never come via the Tunnel.
    If you’ve ever traveled using it you’ll know why.
    The Calais Terminal is a fortress.

    They come via little boats.

    The obvious humane solution is pre-border application for asylum.
    With (longer term and needing a lot of good will) some sort of return to the EU Dublin Agreement system.
    But that would involve making a deal with the EU rather than feeding b.s. to the base, so fat chance of sanity there.

    Thing is, legal commentators reckon it’s wide open to challenge in court.
    And some cynical political commentators (what? me?) think that’s the idea: a nice headline grabbing “behold the enemies of the people” court case to rev up the Right.

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  71. Gustopher says:

    @JohnSF:

    But there is a very real prospect of Ukraine grinding the Russian army into bloody gobbets.

    And a very real prospect of Ukraine not being in any better shape than that Russian army.

    Negotiating peace with Russia would just be giving Russia time to rearm. But, during that time, Ukraine could also rearm and/or Putin could drop dead.

    But if not, and you have a nice sharp knife to hand, perhaps better to just chop Godzillas nuts off?

    What if, instead of a sharp knife, you have a suicide vest?

    The reality is somewhere in between, but it’s not a sharp knife. Ukraine has nothing that can end this quickly and continuing is a lot of pain and suffering.

    Fighting on is probably worth it, but definitely has a high cost. A higher cost than a lot of the cheerleaders like to acknowledge.

    I’m reminded of the brothel keeper in Catch-22 explaining that Italy will last forever because it is weak and that it’s better to live on your knees than die on your feet. Not sure that’s the best strategy, but it should always be considered.

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  72. Matt says:

    @Michael Reynolds: As I stated Ukraine’s air force was very poorly maintained. Just getting spare parts to do some proper maintenance would be enough to get many of those planes back to flying condition. The core of the planes were already there.

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  73. grumpy realist says:

    @EddieInCA: Dreher kicked me out of commenting because I kept pointing out the stuff he got wrong (in law, history, or whatever).

    For someone who keeps nattering on about “Live Not By Lies”, he’s certainly extremely sloppy about double-checking his facts.

    And yeah, he’s gone off the deep end and has been doing nothing more than letting out shrill yelps about transgenders and Hungary for many months now.

    No comment about the demise of his marriage; I hope the best for both of them.

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  74. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    @Matt:
    Also, Ukraine is using very similar tanks, barring not have being pilfered for parts and some clever upgrades, but far more effectively.
    IMO there’s a lot not making it into the news re. Ukraine armour use esp. in Donbas, because the UA are being understandably cagey on the subject.

    The Ukrainians keep asking for MBT’s and if anyone should know about their utility, it’s them.

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  75. Gustopher says:

    @senyordave: That’s clearly what it means. Too many brown people, women and queer folk.

    It turns out that if your family fortune comes from Apartheid Era South African emerald mines, you have a few issues.

    I really wish the family of Nicola Tesla would come out with the Elon Musk toilet snake — toilet snakes even elongate, so the same is not too bad.

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  76. Matt says:

    @Matt: Shit hit enter too fast.

    “I would just say, without getting into what other nations are providing, that they have received additional platforms and parts to be able to increase their fleet size,” Kirby said.

    The “platform” would be the core of the plane.

    Since Russia has abandoned the airports and most of Ukraine outside of the far east/southeast the Ukranian air-force has room to operate.

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  77. JohnSF says:

    @Gustopher:
    The Ukrainians don’t seem to think so.

    Ukraine has nothing that can end this quickly

    Ukrainians I’ve spoken to expect to be fighting, very bloodily, for months, if not years.
    Their current expectation is that Russia will crack first in a “WW1 turned up to 11” scenario, because Ukraine will just be the tip of a NATO/EU logistic spear.

    Heavy artillery plus guided munitions in quantity (if you look at some online footage of UA shoots, indications are they are already using TGM/PGM in quantity) could enable Ukraine to wreck the Russian formations in the south-east on a scale even greater than their victory in the Battle of Kyiv.

    If the Ukrainians want to end this on terms, fine.
    At present they seem to think those terms will be, largely, their terms.
    With a bit of “oh, no NATO, honestly, pinky pledge” nonsense to windo dress it for Putin.
    And that’s the best he’ll get.

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  78. Michael Reynolds says:

    @senyordave:
    I have my own Netflix theory: premature cancellation and lack of definition in acquisitions. TV series are not movies, movies are date night and a series (book or TV) is a long-term relationship. If you repeatedly bail on a series after two seasons you’ve trained the audience not to invest in your series going forward. I understand their reasoning, but their reasoning is outdated. They need to be stickier and that IMO is the job of long-running series.

    As for what they put on the air, the whole throw everything against the wall and see what sticks approach stops being effective when other streamers are cutting you off from their creative. Throwing everything against the wall can be effective but only if you’ve got some meatballs in there, and they don’t have a lot of those.

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  79. JohnSF says:

    @Matt:

    Since Russia has abandoned the airports and most of Ukraine outside of the far east/southeast the Ukranian air-force has room to operate.

    They had room anyway.
    Operating out of the camouflaged road/airstrip sites in the Carpathians, and elsewhere in the south west.
    It’s a very large area with a lot of very hilly and wooded country.

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  80. Matt says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Thank you that was actually better then I expected as I’ve been running into a lot of articles of people just declaring tanks are obsolete because… UKRAINE!!!.. Somehow these “experts” never notice the myriad of issues with the tanks being used and their deployment. Combined arms exist for a reason.

    There are counters to the javelin ranging from Active protection systems such as the Israeli Trophy system to thermal maskers designed to mess with the thermal image that the missile uses for target guidance.

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  81. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Interesting. Egypt, eh? Well, they’re obviously going to get some better toys. I wonder how Israel feels about that?

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  82. JohnSF says:

    @Gustopher:

    …the brothel keeper in Catch-22 explaining that Italy will last forever because it is weak and that it’s better to live on your knees than die on your feet.

    Heller understood very little about Italy.

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  83. Matt says:

    @JohnSF: The fuel? the ammo? The fact that mig29s like to ingest shit lying on the ground/strip?

    Road air strips sound great until you actually have to do them. Doing so in the mountains is vastly more difficult.

    Which is probably why most air based kills have been drone based..

    To pretend that not having access to their major airports was no big deal is to deny reality..

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  84. Michael Reynolds says:

    Interesting deep dive, new empirical research on the connection (or not) between police numbers and crime, as well as addressing the question of disparate impact.

    I’m not going to try and summarize but I know a few people here are into the issue.

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  85. JohnSF says:

    @Matt:
    I doubt Hostomel is usable.
    The other Kyiv fields may be.
    So perhaps that gives an advantage for Donbas operations vs. Lviv and other south west.

    But IIRC the MiG-29 was designed for “rough strip” operation; and a lot of roads in Ukraine were explicitly built to double up as airstrips.

    Ukraine have certainly concentrated on using drones for attacks; but the MiG-29 isn’t really a ground attacker anyway. That’s the Su-25’s job IIRC.

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  86. dazedandconfused says:

    @JohnSF: I knew this would offend those who prefer grinding Russians to bloody bits over peace.

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  87. Just nutha says:

    @Jax: Time for a Jax’s Home style Chicken Soup startup?

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  88. Just nutha says:

    @CSK: I think it’s possible that dreher is one of those hair-shirt type guys who seeks anguish as a spiritual discipline. I’d like to be wrong about that though.

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  89. CSK says:

    @Just nutha:
    Possibly someone given to self-dramatization.

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  90. Matt says:

    @JohnSF: The German’s ditched their mig-29s for a buck each for several reasons including the ingestion issue and the fuel guzzling.. The system used for rough strip operations requires a lot of maintenance to function and last I knew there were still issues with it.

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  91. steve says:

    One thing I think people keep missing on the Dreher story is that he ended up being correct. Gay marriage destroys marriage between men and women. His marriage was good then we got gay marriage and now his marriage ends. True cause and effect here. (Couldn’t possibly be his fault in any way.)

    Steve

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  92. Thomm says:

    @dazedandconfused: do you know what “peace” means to the Ukrainian population? The following genocide that has been outlined by official Russian documents has been clearly planned out. An example is anyone claiming Ukrainian heritage is different than Russian is to be, “de-nazified”. They have already slaughtered civilians and deported Ukrainian children into Russia. Maybe listen to their neighbors like the Baltic states, Poland, and others who have been trying to sound the alarm about Russia’s ambitions for years. They know this is a fight for their national survival as does anyone else who has paid any sort of attention.

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  93. JohnSF says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    I knew this would offend those who prefer grinding Russians to bloody bits over peace.

    It doesn’t offend me.
    My preference would be for peace, but depending on the terms.
    More precisely, that those terms should be acceptable to Ukraine.

    There is a “realist” (hah!) case that, for Europe, it is preferable to compel Russia to come to terms with a subordinate status in our sphere of interest.
    And a rather more valid one, that it would be preferable if the political culture and outlook of Russia changed from one of authoritarian kleptocracy and zero-sum strategy.

    However, it wold be ethically dubious (not that “realists” should complain about that) and probably counter-productive to try to compel Ukraine to wage a war of attrition to achieve such ends.
    In any case, prolonged sanctions should get the job done..

    Ukraine alone should be the decider on the terms of settlement of this war..

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  94. dazedandconfused says:

    @Thomm: You’ve confused peace with surrender.

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  95. joe says:

    @EddieInCA: He cancelled me as well for some anodyne comment.

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  96. Rob says:

    @Jen: Right now Dreher is wandering the Holy Lands and raving about Jews and Transexuals. I kid you not. I think the cognitive dissonance he’s been living with for so long is catching up. His wife dumping him is probably just to much. Wondering how loony he has to get before TAC…asks him too take a sabbatical?

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