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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. sam says:

    Speaking of Oz (or rather, we were speaking of Oz yesterday) : US Postal Service suspends Australian deliveries

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  2. CSK says:

    Corey Lewandowski (or Lewandowsky; it seems to be spelled differently in different places) has lost yet another job, this one as advisor to Kristi Noem. The crackpot website American Greatness accuses (on the basis of several anonymous sources) Corey and Kristi of having an affair. Noem denies this vehemently, claiming she loves her husband. In any event, Kristi has “cut ties” with Corey.

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  3. MarkedMan says:

    @sam: This is what it means when Republicans have control of the government in any way: they install lobbyists intent on destroying the very institutions they head.

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  4. sam says:

    Busted

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  5. Scott says:

    Maybe because it’s Friday but I have nothing really irritating me this morning. So I’m just going to pass on this snarkfest from a self-serving Trump insider (who is just as horrible as the rest of them) who is willing to also cash in.

    Some selected quotes:

    How Jared and Ivanka Hijacked the White House’s Covid Response

    Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau popped into the president’s head. Trump looked at me. “Are you OK if I say this?” That was always a troubling question. Who knew what was going to come out of his mouth? Sure, I nodded. “Trudeau’s mom. She f—ed all of the Rolling Stones.” (In fact, Margaret Trudeau denied having affairs with any members of the Rolling Stones, but later said, “I should have slept with every single one of them.”)

    “No, no. It messes with your body chemistry, your brain,” he said, offering his views on vegetarian diets. “And if I lose even one brain cell, we’re f—ed.”

    It was another example of Jared sticking his nose into things that weren’t his expertise. It felt completely irresponsible and against protocol, which is the epitome of Jared Kushner in the Trump White House.

    An address to the nation is serious stuff, and whenever possible you need plenty of time to prepare properly — unless, of course, you were in the Trump White House, where everything was like a clown car on fire running at full speed into a warehouse full of fireworks.

    When I worked for the first lady in the East Wing, we had all come to call Jared and Ivanka “the interns” because they represented in our minds obnoxious, entitled know-it-alls.

    Just a sampling.

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  6. James Joyner says:

    Upon seeing CSK’s note in last Wednesday’s Open Forum and before posting on Teve’s apparent passing, I sent an email to the account Steve had been posting under as a wellness check. His mom, Gayle, responded last night and confirmed the news.

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  7. CSK says:

    @James Joyner:
    Michael Reynolds posted a tribute at Steve’s obit, as did I, but mine hasn’t appeared yet. I provided the link to the site in yesterday’s Open Forum.

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  8. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    Well, that was entertaining. It has the ring of truth, doesn’t it?

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  9. Jen says:

    @Scott:

    “If I lose even one brain cell, we’re f*$ked.” – Donald

    Well, at least he realizes how few he has–none to spare. Might be the most self-effacing thing he’s ever acknowledged.

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  10. Kylopod says:

    @Scott:

    “No, no. It messes with your body chemistry, your brain,” he said, offering his views on vegetarian diets. “And if I lose even one brain cell, we’re f—ed.”

    To put it another way….

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  11. Joe says:

    @Scott: I went and read the entire Politico article. I was struck by how weak the writing was and how petty the tone sounded. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but I would like to think the White House Communications Director would have stronger communications skills.

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  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    I saw the headline and first paragraph of the American Greatness accusation of a Kristi-Corey affair. Didn’t want to click the link and infect my computer w/AG’s cookies, but I speculated that this is some intramural conservative knife fight and someone is out to get Kristi.

    Remember the Nikki Haley affair accusations, this is similar charecter assasination.

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  13. CSK says:

    @Joe:
    It might have been ghostwritten. Ghosted books are generally not very good.

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  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Mouse that Roared!

    Lithuania vs. China: A Baltic Minnow Defies a Rising Superpower

    It was never a secret that China tightly controls what its people can read and write on their cellphones. But it came as a shock to officials in Lithuania when they discovered that a popular Chinese-made handset sold in the Baltic nation had a hidden though dormant feature: a censorship registry of 449 terms banned by the Chinese Communist Party.

    Lithuania’s government swiftly advised officials using the phones to dump them, enraging China — and not for the first time. Lithuania has also embraced Taiwan, a vibrant democracy that Beijing regards as a renegade province, and pulled out of a Chinese-led regional forum that it scorned as divisive for the European Union.

    Furious, Beijing has recalled its ambassador, halted trips by a Chinese cargo train into the country and made it nearly impossible for many Lithuanian exporters to sell their goods in China. Chinese state media has assailed Lithuania, mocked its diminutive size and accused it of being the “anti-China vanguard” in Europe.

    Ham-fisted Chinese diplomacy has been a topic here during the past several days and this is a wonderful example. Like TFG, Chinese bullying at its heart an admission of insecurity.

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  15. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    The right has been furious at Noem ever since she vetoed the bill banning transgender women and girls from women’s and girls’ sports. She tried to recoup with an executive order barring them, but that didn’t work.

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  16. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    halted trips by a Chinese cargo train into the country and made it nearly impossible for many Lithuanian exporters to sell their goods in China

    I can’t imagine why the Chinese think this is productive. Their whole pitch in the Belt and Road initiative has been that China is about business and getting involved with them is predictable and beneficial, whereas if you get involved with the US and the West they are going to meddle in your internal affairs, aka human rights, worker safety etc. These types of actions seem to work directly against that message, yet they keep doing them. And it seems to be having the expected effect.

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  17. Kathy says:

    @Joe:

    The White House Communications Director does.

    The Cheeto Communications Director can’t.

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  18. Kathy says:

    Some good news for a change. Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics report close to a 50% reduction in hospitalizations for their antiviral pill.

    Big caveats, the trial was only of 775 people, and it was stopped before it concluded because the results were very positive. The drug companies have applied for emergency use authorization.

    There’s no need to say this here: naturally this does not substitute for the vaccine, which remains the best defense against COVID, nor of masking, distancing and other preventive measures.

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  19. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    After a certain point, who would sign on with Trump but an incompetent? He may have had a few good, or maybe adequate, people at the beginning of his term, but they all bailed fairly quickly.

    The guy attracts the corrupt and the fourth-rate the way horse droppings attract flies. And who else would work for him anyway?

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  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan: @Sleeping Dog:
    I’m vaguely gratified by this. I’ve been listening for about a decade to various people, often Europeans, talking about the inevitability of China replacing the US as the world’s dominant power. And through it all the old saw about the many slips twixt cup and lip has been playing on the brain Muzak.

    For all the whining – much of it justified – about American naiveté, loutishness, etc…, the US is actually brilliant at making friends and forming alliances. China has nothing like our experience at making friends and influencing people.

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  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    The excuse has been that Trump somehow changed or declined after he was elected. That it was perfectly reasonable to sign on with Trump in 2016 and who coulda knowed he’d be a disaster? Bullshit of course. Trump did not change one iota. Anyone with eyes could see that he was a vile piece of work.

    Trumpies should be treated the way Nazis were in postwar Germany. They should be ostracized, and remain unemployed. Permanently. Fox News can’t hire them all.

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  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Stopping a trial before conclusion because the results are so positive is a huge win. It basically means the results are so dramatically good and beneficial that there is no chance they will disappear with further testing.

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  23. Jen says:

    @Kathy: That’s good news for the vaccinated vulnerable, as well. It’s becoming ever more obvious that protection wanes, and for some that could be problematic, even with boosters.

    I have a couple of friends with autoimmune diseases who take immunity-suppressing drugs to keep their diseases in check, but it makes them far more vulnerable to covid, even with vaccinations and boosters. Having a treatment available is important, I hope the numbers/data are good over a longer term and more people.

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Basically, with the US what you see is what you get when a country is evaluating whether to ally with us. We are already a superpower and have a century’s worth of very public history on how we interact with our partners. The Chinese were basically saying, “help us gain power and influence and we will be all the good things the Americans present and remove all those annoyances.” They seem to think they have attained that power already and no longer need to present that positive message, and so are prematurely showing what a world of Chinese superpower status would mean for their “partners”. And it’s not pretty.

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  25. Kathy says:

    @CSK:
    @Michael Reynolds:

    IMO, the more competent and knowledgeable people would have to constantly tell Benito El Cheeto horrible things like “That’s illegal,” “we can’t do that and keep the economy going,” “that will get thousands killed to no purpose,” “that’s simply not possible,” and something really awful like “but that’s not true.”

    You can see how that would be utterly intolerable.

    I do suppose reasonable people, including the vast majority of the world’s population, expected El Cheeto Benito to move from campaign rhetoric to governing rhetoric, as all politicians do when they find out making promises is far easier than delivering on them, or those more experienced who know what campaign promises are.

    That was a reasonable assumption in 2016, which the tiniest don promptly disproved.

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  26. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I hadn’t heard or read that excuse. The rationale I heard was that a few decent people, fully aware that he was a danger to the country and the world, signed on with Trump to try and restrain him from giving in to his worst impulses. That makes a little more sense to me. But I may be a cockeyed optimist.

    I don’t know how anyone could not know what a despicable creature Trump is. But I’m from the northeast, and he’s been a presence there for almost 40 years. Everyone here knew exactly precisely how loathsome he was and remains.

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  27. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:
    @Jen:

    I’m concerned more about the low number of patients in the trial, and whether it was stopped before conclusive results came up.

    Still, I suppose they measured other things than hospitalizations and deaths, like viral loads, length of hospital stays, need for ICU, etc.

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  28. Sleeping Dog says:

    @MarkedMan:
    @Michael Reynolds:

    China as a bully state, didn’t start under Xi, but it certainly has accelerated under him. During the Clinton years there were debates as to what risk China posed to US hegemony and the China lobby pointed out that despite China’s size, it wasn’t pressing expansion of influence, except through economic means. That changed in the middle Bush years when the Chinese nationalists gained the upper hand in the CCP.

    Yes, China bullying does seem to be in opposition of to the stated goals of the Belt and Road initiative, but even B&R was designed to have the benefits flow to China while the costs were paid by the client states. It’s just that the iron fist was shrouded in a velvet glove. The glove is off.

    China will make many small countries wistful for US hegemony and is a strong argument for France’s position that Europe needs a unified, Europe centric defense and foreign policy.

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  29. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Remember the Nikki Haley affair accusations, this is similar character assasination.

    People should do what they’re good at, and character assassination is something GOPs are good at.

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  30. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Trumpies should be treated the way Nazis were in postwar Germany. They should be ostracized, and remain unemployed. Permanently. Fox News can’t hire them all.

    But the Kochtopus can pick up most of them. If they stay loyal. Loyal to the oligarchs, not to Trump.

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  31. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    The rationale I heard was that a few decent people, fully aware that he was a danger to the country and the world, signed on with Trump to try and restrain him from giving in to his worst impulses.

    It would have been a mix. I don’t know how many were doing their best to patriotically restrain Trump in the best interests of the nation, as opposed to signing on for selfish, careerist reasons. But I know how many will claim to have been the good guys in their kiss-and-tell books.

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  32. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Michael, that was a really nice tribute you wrote to Teve.

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  33. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:
    I think a few were trying to restrain Trump, because they knew exactly what he was and was capable of doing. But I also believe that the majority of people he surrounded himself with were the absolute dregs, because who else would work for him?

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  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: The fact that one loves one’s spouse has been shown repeatedly to have little effect on having an affair with someone. If she’d said, “Corey?? EWWWWW! Just… no… NO!” I would believe her, though. As it is, my ambivalence about her overwhelms any desire to consider the truth or falsehood of the assertion. Count me as a DGAF (pun intended).

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  35. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: That actually seemed like a decent sample size. This isn’t like a vaccine, where you are giving it to healthy people and waiting to see how many get sick. All of the enrollees already had COVID. And the reported differences were very significant.

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  36. Monala says:

    @CSK: would you please post the link again?

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  37. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    China as a bully state…

    China isn’t so much a bully as a prideful snowflake. Chinese pride is astounding–and any little thing will set them off in a temper-tantrum. Which is what the situation with Lithuania is: a temper tantrum, not bullying.

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  38. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Oh, I know. But Corey is such a repulsive little snake (apologies to serpents everywhere) that I find it difficult to believe he could lure a woman into bed without drugging her or beating her unconscious first. Apparently he scored with Hope Hicks, though. Then again, Ms. Hicks seems to have perfectly appalling taste in men, as witness her liaison with Rob Porter, accused by two ex-wives of abusing them physically and mentally.

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  39. CSK says:
  40. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The fact that one loves one’s spouse has been shown repeatedly to have little effect on having an affair with someone.

    That occurred to me as well. And her denial almost seems to imply that if she didn’t love her husband, she might be willing to cheat on him–as if her marital fidelity is conditional. I may be nitpicking at her wording, but it just seems like conservatives always have weird ways of justifying their moral behavior, like denying racism by saying they have a black friend, or expressing outrage at Trump’s remarks on the Access Hollywood tape by saying they have wives and daughters.

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  41. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Your temper tantrum is someone else’s bullying. “Prideful snowflake” pretty much means insecure.

    The history of China provides ample evidence as to why they are insecure and also why the country has much to be proud of. But unless they temper their tantrums and learn not to resort to sticks so quickly, they won’t achieve their nationalist goals.

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  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:

    Saying you love your spouse is a tried and true way of defraying accusations of infidelity, particularly among evangelicals. To say “Ewwwww, Corey,” might piss off some R interest group, such as incels, and she wouldn’t want to do that. Plus any personal derogation of Lewandowski, would invite him to dish any dirt he has on her, even implying that the rumor is true (which it could be).

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  43. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That’s a rather strange statement. The Chinese have cut off imports from Lithuania. That’s a very significant and concrete action meant to bend them to their will. When you pound your fists on the ground, that’s a temper tantrum. When you pound your fists on a perceived enemy, that’s a different story.

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  44. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I think you’re right. Corey, ghastly as he is, has a lot of defenders. I wonder what his wife thinks.

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  45. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve been staying away from the discussions about whether the Dem progressives are the devil or the Avengers, whether Pelosi has lost it or Biden’s agenda is failing. We have exactly zero insight into what the real discussions are, the real uncrossable-lines, the real motivators. These are negotiations and negotiations are constructed of grandstanding and puffery. If we don’t get a deal then it is worth discussing what went wrong. But at this point talking about how it is going based on the public statements of those involved is a futile exercise.

    I don’t consider myself an expert negotiator by any means, but even I know in buying a car I don’t lead with “I have to have this car no matter what it is the most important thing in the world to me now let’s talk price”. When I’m in negotiations I’m always “perfectly willing to walk away, I’m not even sure this is the right car for me.” I assume the sales rep knows exactly what I am doing and is similarly working me, “But look sir, I’m throwing in this amazing cap snaffler so you can see that I’m really trying to reach a deal.” Treating these statements as our actual positions is pointless.

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  46. Stormy Dragon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The Chinese have cut off imports from Lithuania.

    It’s also long term counterproductive. The big reason western nations have trouble dealing with China right now is that (unlike the cold war USSR) China is too economically integrated with the rest of the world, so western countries can’t sanction China without hurting their own economies. The more China intentionally decouples itself from global trade, the easier it becomes to sanction them without blowback.

    One specific example is that China right now actually has a lot of control over the video game industry because it can leverage access to its market to demand removal of politically sensitive content, but they now seem to be going to a ridiculous extreme that is likely to make it impossible for a game to do well in both China and the West (e.g. things like “players can’t commit any crimes”) and publishers will have to pick one market or the other.

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  47. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Maybe she believed the spiel that “No one comes to the Cheeto but through me.”

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  48. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    If she did, she took it literally.

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  49. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but our new Chinese overlords aren’t as clever as everyone seems to imagine they are. Their food travels, their manufactured good likewise, but their culture, ideology and world view, do not do well outside of China. Look no further than Hong Kong.

    The problem is the Communist Party. Unlike any western political party, they have zero experience listening to anyone outside of their own cloister. China has a grand total of about 30 years of success, preceded by a thousand years of internal strife, military collapse, technological backwardness, famine, cultural stagnation and ideological insanity.

    China can bully Laos, Cambodia, even Thailand, but Taiwan isn’t having it, South Korea and Japan aren’t having it, and now Australia is rushing to join the US in Cold War 2. And China still has the intractable problem of geography – they’re a trading nation whose trade routes can be shut down any time the US Navy gets the order. Their borders are with restive Stans, a Vietnam that hates them, Russia, the lunatics in North Korea, and in effect, India. That’s not exactly Canada, Mexico and unobstructed access to both the Pacific and Atlantic.

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  50. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: The movie business is fascinating in this regard. For years the big studios meticulously edited their movies to assuage Chinese feelings. Despite this, they never know whether any given movie will be allowed in. Even in the few cases where it is given the nod, a chance comment by a star or a director about Hong Kong, Tibet or Taiwan, or concern about the Uyghurs, can result in an instant rescinding of the approval. I suspect that the current attitude is to plan without China as a market and if it happens to come along, great, it’s a bonus.

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  51. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: [Rim shot]

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  52. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    How else are Republicans supposed to take scripture?

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  53. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Their food travels

    A side note, but Chinese food is not actually very popular in America. There is an American cuisine, also called “Chinese” that is very popular, but the only thing I ever found on an actual Chinese menu that resembled what you could find in that was something like Sweet and Sour Pork.

    In my last year in Shanghai someone opened a restaurant professing to serve American Chinese food. A few of my colleagues tried it and were not impressed. I think it lasted about 4 months.

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  54. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The Chinese have cut off imports from Lithuania. That’s a very significant and concrete action meant to bend them to their will.

    That’s “I’m taking my ball and going home!”

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  55. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Something I’ve been wondering about: I assume there is a refugee flow from the Uyghur regions of China into the ‘Stans. What effect is that having on Chinas Road and Belt initiative there? “Come join us. And ignore the fact that we are stealing the land of people and locking them in prison and slave labor camps because they look like you and share your religion.” Not a very reassuring sales pitch….

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  56. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That’s a very strange view of international trade. By any normal definition that is starting a trade war to exert control over a “partner”.

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  57. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Gods dammit! Now I want jianbing. I hate you. 🙁

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  58. Stormy Dragon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    There is an American cuisine, also called “Chinese” that is very popular

    Just going to push back here, because I strongly disagree with the idea that because the ethnic cuisine of Chinese, Italians, etc. living in America has diverged from their counterparts overseas that this means it is somehow a less authentic expression of their culture.

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  59. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    And the EU response is grinding through the legalistic and consensus building stages.
    Decision due this month, IIRC.
    The EU is by nature (and intention) rule bound and pernickety, and dependent on a consensus of the nations, but once it starts to grind, it can grind exceeding fine.
    See the repeated refusals to back down in trade disputes with the USA.

    Though I haven’t been following this as much as I would have (us British being outside the councils these days) but it may actually be a massive benefit for the EU.
    It could force Germany to, for once, wake up and make a choice.
    And it could also be interesting re. Hungary.
    If Orban follows his “flirt with the dictator” tendencies, he’ll IMO lose his vital support against internal reprisal from Poland, who are on Lithuania’s side in this.
    Matters re. Hungary itself are also coming to the boil.

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  60. JohnSF says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    See also “British Indian” cooking: BIR = British Indian Restaurant is a pretty recognized subset of Indian cuisine.
    Despite the protests of some Indian purists; especially as a lot of “Indian” restaurant cooks are actually Pakistani or Bangladeshi by geographic family background.

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  61. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    Bad CSK! Bad!

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  62. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    If China thinks it can bully the Thais long term, they’re making a serious mistake IMO.

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  63. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’m off to find out whether Doc is going to recommend high doses of gamma radiation or amputation and replacement with cyborg components.

    I’ll be back to discuss china later this afternoon.

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  64. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    I know. I’m a devil.

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  65. Stormy Dragon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The movie business is fascinating in this regard. For years the big studios meticulously edited their movies to assuage Chinese feelings.

    My favorite example of this was when Marvel was accused of anti-Chinese bias for casting Tilda Swinton as the previously Asian Ancient One in Dr. Strange when anyone who actually knew about the original character knew the change was actually to please the Chinese government by removing an explicitly Tibetan character from the franchise.

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  66. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I also found it funny that casting, say, a Japanese actor as a Chinese character satisfied the woke police in the US but, if the Chinese actually cared about this kind of thing, would have been considered highly offensive.

    And, if Singaporeans cared about this sort of thing, Crazy Rich Asians would have been ridiculously offensive. All important Singaporeans were shown as exclusively Chinese, with Singaporeans of Malaysian or Indian descent shown in subservient and background roles. Again, done as a sop to the Chinese government.

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  67. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Okay. I can see that point. That makes a denial that will resonate with all audiences equally problematical, though. Fortunately, I’ve moved on to hoping the issue will just go away, so that’s one less audience member to persuade.

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  68. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I can’t imagine what she thinks, but I’m willing to put a my dollar against your donut that she wishes people would stop asking.

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  69. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    because I strongly disagree with the idea that because the ethnic cuisine of Chinese, Italians, etc. living in America has diverged from their counterparts overseas that this means it is somehow a less authentic expression of their culture.

    I agree with you completely in principle, but still contend that American Chinese cuisine doesn’t have much to do with the food that actual ethnic Chinese eat in America. If you go to an American Chinese restaurant and ethnic Chinese are eating there you will often discover they are ordering off menu or, sometimes, a completely separate menu. How do I know this? When travelling back to the US for any length of time with Chinese colleagues they would often scope out restaurants that served “home cooking”. As an example, I was with four or five colleagues in the Boulder area and one night they asked if I wanted to go to get Chinese food. Much to my surprise, the restaurant appeared to be a typical American Chinese one, with lots of non-Asians eating typical American Chinese stuff. But there were also an unusual number of ethnic Chinese there. Many of those, unlike my colleagues, were obviously American, with maybe a grandparent that was speaking Chinese or accented English. The waitress came over and, realizing they were Chinese, proceeded to engage in the typical discussion between waiters and customers – how is this prepared, what is the specialty, etc, etc. No one consulted a menu. (She kept on glancing at me, very concerned that everything would be too spicy and even when I reassured her that it was fine, in Chinese, she kept re-confirming with my colleagues every time they picked a spicy dish.)

    Later when I asked if all Chinese restaurants were like that, with the alternate menu, they laughed and said, no, but if you could find someone that was of Chinese ancestry they could tell you which ones were good. And one guy told me a story about driving from Chinese restaurant to Chinese restaurant in a Southern town in the US and looking in the windows until he found one that had actual ethnic Chinese customers.

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  70. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’m trying to remember the name of this tofu dish I really liked. It was very unusual in that the tofu was textured strips tied into knots. Did you ever come across it?

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  71. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’m trying to remember the name of this tofu dish I really liked. It was very unusual in that the tofu was textured strips tied into knots. Did you ever come across it?

    No. I don’t recall anything like that. The only real tofu dish I can remember is ChouDof (not sure of the spelling on that–“stinky tofu”)

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  72. Sleeping Dog says:

    SHOCK POLL: Majority of Trump Voters Now in Favor of Seceding from the Union

    Not sure this is a shock. What would be a shock to the advocates would be the terms and costs of a divorce. Then there is the persnickety reality that counties Biden won and would be the core of any Blue nation produce 70% of US economic production. Then there is the matter of red state welfare…

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  73. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: A lot of that (Chinese restaurants serving Americanized dishes) stems from the fact that when Chinese first arrived in the US as immigrants, much of the produce was very different than what was available in China, so they modified as best they could. The book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles was a fascinating read. General Tso’s Chicken was a particularly amusing chapter.

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  74. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    That’s a very strange view of international trade. By any normal definition that is starting a trade war to exert control over a “partner”.

    Your first mistake is thinking that the Chinese have “partners”. They don’t. They have “associates of opportunity”.

    Let me take it back a step.

    I don’t claim to be an expert on China. But I spent 6 years dealing with Chinese businessmen from dozens of industries. It took me a couple years to begin to understand the basis for how they think.

    When I was teaching business classes in China, I had to explain to them the metaphors for business that each culture has*. For the Japanese it’s a sword fight (based on “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi). For the Germans it’s a watch (everything working together in precision to make something greater). For the Italians, it’s a family dinner. For the English it’s a state dinner (follow the protocols, say the proper words, make the proper gestures). For Americans, it’s poker. It’s right there in the language: Don’t show your cards, have an ace up your sleeve, penny ante deals, go all in, call their bluff.

    Chinese business is a competition of thieves. The one who manipulates the best and steals the most wins. Because everyone is doing this, and everyone knows that everyone is doing this, it’s a “fair game”. But it’s never openly acknowledged–that would cause a loss of face. And losing face is the greatest sin. Causing another to lose face reflects back on you. Bad things all around (see below)

    American nationalism is “We’re the best in the world! We’re at the cutting edge!” For the Chinese, it’s “We’re the center of the world. We have been here for six thousand years, unchanged.”** To say that Lithuania is a “partner” would imply that this tiny laowai country is on equal footing with ancient Middle Kingdom. That’s obviously not true. [ibid]

    Now… what Lithuania has done is two things: 1) They called out China on their cheating, and 2) by doing so, they dared to suggest that they are equal–or superior–to China. Which causes immense loss of face to Xi and his minions. Or, as we say in the US “Major butt-hurt”.

    Beijing’s response is not a “trade war”, it’s a temper tantrum. It’s not saying “You must do what I want or I will punish you”, it’s saying “You hurt my feelings! It’s my bat, my ball, and my back yard, and you aren’t allowed to play here anymore!” Then throwing Lithuania’s glove back at them and stomping off.

    The CPC wants to be taken seriously–to be seen as an equal to the US and EU. And any time it’s pointed out that they’re inferior, they stuff something under the bed and pretend it doesn’t exist, or throw a tantrum.

    Look at “Xi and CPC band” as a bunch of spoiled brats who’ve always been allowed to have their way (at home), and you’ll have a good filter for understanding their actions when dealing with the “big boys”. The biggest problem is that, after so much practice, they’re really good at manipulation and thievery–and have the honest conviction to use it however it suits them.

    So I understand thinking of China as being a bully… but it’s a prideful snowflake of a bully (which, honestly, a lot of bullies are).

    =====
    * These are broadly speaking, not necessarily specific to all exchanges.
    ** I’m not saying it’s accurate, just what they believe.

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  75. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: “There is an American cuisine, also called “Chinese” that is very popular, but the only thing I ever found on an actual Chinese menu that resembled what you could find in that was something like Sweet and Sour Pork.”

    American Chinese food is about a thousand times better than Chinese versions of American food.

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  76. Mu Yixiao says:

    On a different note:

    Talked with the doc about my MRI results, and got to look at the images.

    Boy, howdy! I now, very clearly, understand why my shoulder is stabby-ouchie.

    So… we start with a congenitally deformed shoulder socket (it’s too flat). We toss in some osteoarthritis (it looks like a rat chewed on the ball joint for a good long while*). Spice it up with a torn labrum (the cartilage that sits between the ball and socket). Then toss in a 6mm sprig of floating cartilaginous tissue, and garnish with a bit of bone broken off the bottom of the socket. Simmer for 4 months at 98 degrees grind together vigorously.

    Voila! I present to you: The stabby-ouchie. We suggest pairing it with several stiff scotches with an Advil chaser.

    ============
    * I can not stress how fucking shocking it was to see that. It’s not “a little rough”. It literally has big chunks missing from it. Bit of broken bone? Tear? Floating stuff? Okay. But… How the FUCK is that thing not shredding my flesh like a cheese-grater every time I move?!

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  77. Mu Yixiao says:

    Gah!

    The Gods of the Edit Button curse me today!

    I pray to the moderators for their divine intercession in fixing the missing close tag.

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  78. Jax says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That sounds painful as hell! What’s their solution for fixing it?

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  79. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    As long as we can work out overflight rights, they can fuck right off. I would not raise a finger to stop them. But I strongly suspect that a sober look at the numbers would kill the idea.

    It’d be interesting, though. Are Texas and Florida willing to pick up the tab for Louisiana and Mississippi and, well, so many states? Is Florida going to handle climate change and rising sea levels on their own? Who’s picking up the tab for the next hurricane, Wyoming? What about purple states like Wisconsin or Pennsylvania? Will we have great migratory waves of people from Huntington Beach going east while Austin flees west?

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  80. Jax says:

    Does anybody want to bet that in a couple days, there will be a conspiracy theory that Merck’s new anti-viral pill for Covid is actually Ivermectin?

    I saw a number floated that it was going to cost $700 for a five-day round of it.

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  81. Mu Yixiao says:

    @wr:

    American Chinese food is about a thousand times better than Chinese versions of American food.

    Yep.

    I was in negotiations with an employer (who, learned later, had been a big-wig at FoxConn), and everyone knew that I held all the cards.* To “wine and dine” me, they took me to a “steak joint” (yes, this is all in scare quotes for a reason). First of all, there wasn’t a cut on the menu that I could recognize. I can’t remember what they called what I ordered, but what I was served was a square “chipboard” steak. Well-done.

    What do I mean by “chipboard steak”? It’s scraps of meat glued together and pressed into shape.

    I talked politely about business, ate what I could, and never told them I had 3kg of prime Australian tenderloin at home in the freezer. 🙂

    ================
    * After a few weeks of “negotiation”, I got exactly everything I asked for–and it’s not because I’m a great negotiator. It’s because I was basically their only option.

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  82. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jax:

    Not sure yet. The local doc referred me to an osteo specialist. They’ll contact me in the next couple weeks to set up an appointment to go over my options.

    At the low end is steroid injections (which don’t fix anything, they just cover the pain). In the middle are some sorts of orthoscopic surgeries. At the high end is a should replacement.

    So… it’s time for me to obsess over WebMD for a couple weeks 😀

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  83. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    First, remove all nukes from red states. all of them. ICBMs, cruise missiles, tactical nukes. Second, shut down all breeder reactors in red states, and remove all nuclear material.

    Third, have a civil war. It should be short.

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  84. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    Does anybody want to bet that in a couple days, there will be a conspiracy theory that Merck’s new anti-viral pill for Covid is actually Ivermectin?

    Do you really think it will take that long?

    I saw a number floated that it was going to cost $700 for a five-day round of it.

    Yes, but unlike a monoclonal antibody infusion, it will offer no additional short-term protection, should one recover from COVID. This should make it more attractive to all the covidiots.

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  85. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Sorry to hear that. I will share my hard won knowledge of shoulder troubles…

    For some reason (I’ve been sorta told it’s due to generally poor circulation and the joint’s fairly recent invention, evolutionarily speaking) shoulders heal slow and there are many pitfalls to dodge. I will leave it to the experts to elaborate, but I feel compelled to mention that you MUST listen to them in the re-hab, and do what they say and how they tell you to do it.

    I made the mistake of imagining those exercises they gave me were ridiculously whimpy…paid for that with an extra full year of trouble, and was deemed lucky to have managed to dig myself out of that hole. They tell you to only lift cans of soup, that’s all you do. Don’t jump the schedule. It’s that blank place on old maps labeled “And Thar Be Dragons!”

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  86. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: oK. Call it what you want. But it is an attack on Lithuania’s economy through trade.

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  87. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    For the English it’s a state dinner…

    Addendum:
    Where someone has p!ssed in one of the soup bowls, and it’s most likely yours.
    And someone else has monopolised all all the liqueur chocolates ahead of time by virtue of rank.
    And it may turn into the Red Wedding if they drink too much.

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  88. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @Michael Reynolds:

    I strongly suspect that what really appeals to the secessionists is the idea of Civil War Redux. They’d really love any excuse to grab their guns and start shooting.

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  89. JohnSF says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Saw this by Manoj Joshi at the Indian Observer Research Foundation and thought of you: first rate summary of the sort of perspective on the Australia strategy I think you will probably agree with.
    (I’ve been trying lately to get more up to date with policy debates in India)

    Still not entirely convinced myself; but I’m famously stubborn 🙂

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  90. Mu Yixiao says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    I will leave it to the experts to elaborate, but I feel compelled to mention that you MUST listen to them in the re-hab, and do what they say and how they tell you to do it.

    No argument from me there.

    I already went through 6 weeks of PT before the MRI to see if that would be enough. It was every day at home, with weekly visits to the Therapist to assess and adjust. I went into the second appointment with a list of notes on every exercise for each day. She set it aside. 🙂 But… but… I have detailed feedback! 🙂

    Even though it didn’t fix the underlying problem (which it can’t, but we didn’t know that), it did help an amazing amount with the secondary issues. The “all the time” pain disappeared, I got range of motion back to almost normal, I realized just how out of shape I am… Lots of good stuff. 🙂

    There are many, many ways in which I am stubborn. Arguing with the people who know how to make me better is (generally*) not one of those ways. And… PT for the shoulder is actually a place where it’s particularly relevant for me. The mother of a childhood classmate had a radical mastectomy and failed to do the PT she was told to. She lost use of that arm–completely. I can still see her with her left hand always in her pocket–because she couldn’t move it.

    I don’t want to be like that.

    =============
    * The biggest exception has been medication. I’ve had several doctors insist that I would need pain meds after a procedure. I just threw the scrip away. And I fought until the last minute to stay off of blood pressure meds. Not because I’m opposed to them, but because once you start, that’s it. You are now dependent on meds for the rest of your life. That’s a milestone I just didn’t want to hit.

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  91. senyordave says:

    No surprise that this is a Trump appointed judge:
    Rejecting the recommendation of prosecutors, a federal judge sentenced a Jan. 6 rioter to probation on Friday and suggested that the Justice Department was being too hard on those who broke into the Capitol compared to the people arrested during anti-racism protests following George Floyd’s murder.
    U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden questioned why federal prosecutors had not brought more cases against those accused in 2020 summertime protests, reading out statistics on riot cases in the nation’s capital that were not prosecuted.
    “I think the U.S. attorney would have more credibility if it was even-handed in its concern about riots and mobs in this city,” McFadden said during Danielle Doyle’s sentencing for entering the Capitol on Jan. 6 with a throng of other rioters. Prosecutors recommended two months of home confinement for Doyle, who is from Oklahoma.
    This is the giveaway:
    Despite these concerns, McFadden said Doyle’s behavior was not excusable. He called it a “national embarrassment,” and again likened it to the police brutality protests following the death of George Floyd last year that made “us all feel less safe.”
    This comment came from a judge, not Tucker Carlson!

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  92. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    I’ve seen some interviews with “Civil War” fanbois; they don’t seem to get that post-Napoleon, the main role of the infantry with muskets was to screen the artillery; they were the main killing machines.
    And an infantry formation that advanced against emplaced artillery was so much dogmeat.
    Unless they were very, very lucky.
    They could try looking at photographs of the Petersburg Lines and see if that hellscape appeals.

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  93. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    Also, didn’t realise till the other day where the name “Boogaloo Boys” comes from.
    Apparently the origin is “Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo”.
    Ha ha ha, very f’in funny, lads. Not.

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  94. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “What do I mean by “chipboard steak”? It’s scraps of meat glued together and pressed into shape.”

    I’d still rather eat that than the pizza…

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  95. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Call it what you want. But it is an attack on Lithuania’s economy through trade.

    No. It’s really not. It’s more of an attack on China’s left foot.

    David Scott of the Centre for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC), who has also written extensively on the rise of China, is sceptical however that Lithuania will face any significant, long term repercussions.

    I do not think that China’s veiled threat to stop all trade with Lithuania is particularly credible,” Scott tells Emerging Europe.

    “China has a large (ever increasing) trade surplus with Lithuania. In 2020 Lithuania’s exports to China were some 357.76 million US Dollars; whilst China’s exports to Lithuania were around 1.34 billion US dollars,” he says, adding that, “in other words, at present China benefits from trade with Lithuania, while Lithuania does not – from a balance of trade point of view.”

    Source [Emphasis added]

    Going back to my metaphor: China really wants Lithuania to play with them. China got mad and told Lithie to “go away and never come back!”

    Now China doesn’t have a friend to play with. 🙁

    (And it could cost China $1.3 Billion just from that one tiny country.)

    Plus all the cold shoulders and lack of invitations to the birthday parties of Lithuania’s friends. She has 26 really close ones. (Plus that one that’s no longer part of the club, but is kinda rich, so they still talk to him.)

    I don’t know how you can possibly see this as anything other than China being a snowflake. They have a population 522 times that of Lithuania, and a GDP 249 times as large. And China is “bullying” Lithuania by… running away? And looking like a snowflake in front of the world?

    You know what? That’s not a bullet to the foot, after all. It’s probably an arrow to the knee.

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  96. Mu Yixiao says:

    @wr:

    I’d still rather eat that than the pizza…

    Eh. Where I was, we had Papa John’s. That’s acceptable.

    And the first place I lived had “Oasis”–an honest-to-god American bar owned by a guy from Chicago. Hands-down the absolute best hamburgers I have ever had in my life. And amazing hand-made pizzas (not Chicago-style, unfortunately). I introduced so many Chinese to that place, and they fell in love with the food.

    Then John’s kids got to be school age, and he refused to have them taught in China, so he took his family back to the US and sold the bar to someone from Singapore.

    After that, the pizzas made Tombstone look gourmet.

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  97. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    The Red Staters seem to think that since they “have all the guns,” they’ll prevail.

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  98. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Imagine their shock when they find out they don’t.

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  99. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: That was excellent. Reasoned, long term thinking. Narrating from the Indian perspective but calmly interpreting the perspective of the other players. I only wish our top tier main stream media would devote some space to this kind of thing, at least online.

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  100. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    I wonder if they have the faintest clue about approximately how long a bunch of fat dudes in camo with AR-15s and rilly cool special forces stylee fingerless gloves will last against a battery of artillery with drone IR target spotting and cluster submunitions.

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  101. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @JohnSF:

    I wonder if they think Trump will lead them to victory.

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  102. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @dazedandconfused: It’s that blank place on old maps labeled “And Thar Be Dragons!”

    Just for the record, that piece of map isn’t blank. I’ve been there. Literally.

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  103. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: At the low end is steroid injections (which don’t fix anything, they just cover the pain).

    Wrong. Just wrong. Steroids aide in healing. The healing is weak, one still needs be careful to not push it too far too soon, but it is real… But one needs to give it time.

    Once was slated for an expedition. Tore up my ankle 3 months before it was scheduled. 6 weeks before I was due to go it was still fucked up. Went to the Doc. He told me, “The healing is weak, one still needs be careful to not push it too far too soon,” and shot it up. I didn’t. I was very careful. And the whole time I was underground I kept that sucker wrapped tight as a virgin’s… you know.

    It worked out.

    Presently dealing with an old arthritic, bursitic, left shoulder that has been shot up so many times, I long ago lost count, they no longer work.

    So it all depends on how much use and abuse.

    After 35 years of framing, hanging, and caving, mine are fucked. I hope yours are not quite.

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  104. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Heh, now reading back further. Doc described my right shoulder as looking like it had been thru a cheese grater. Not kidding, those exact words.

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  105. gVOR08 says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    and the (shoulder) joint’s fairly recent invention, evolutionarily speaking

    Yeah. I mentioned mine was probably due to tennis and that rotator cuff’s seem to be a problem for tennis players and baseball players. The doctor replied, “And volleyball players.” It allows the arm to move above horizontal, but it doesn’t like you to do much there.

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