Thursday Open Thread

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  1. Interesting article about a person who has been arrested for tweeting false information.

    1. More lying by omission. He was charged with using tweets to deceive people into wasting their votes through sham voting.

      Do you think if you use Twitter to carry out a fraud, you get off? If Bernie Madoff had used Twitter, he would be “free as a bird?” (Pun intended!)

      1. “deceive people into wasting their votes through sham voting”

        He made the equivilent of the old “GOP votes on Tuesday, Democrats on Wednesday” joke.

        Do yo think that is “fraud”?

        1. The thing I would get him for is saying that his posting was endorsed by the candidate. That’s a clearly fraudulent statement, hence wire fraud.

          Anything more strikes me as a very slippery slope….

          1. Telling someone they can vote by means X when you know they can’t is not fraud?

            1. Too lazy to look up the definition of fraud yourself?

              1. Election fraud my poor cultist, election fraud.

                1. Pretty darn strange. Above & below I see many of the usual suspects who have been yelling “election fraud” since Trump lost – folk like Bob, Ben and Ed.

                  Two months straight they’ve been squealing fraud despite having no fraud to point to. Now someone is identified & arrested for honest-to-God fraud and what do they do? Turn out en masse to defend the fraudster!

                  1. I haven’t looked up the politics of the asserted fraudster, so I don’t know if I should rage, considering him a threat to human decency and freedom, or a rage at people overstating this poor, maligned, free spirit jokester.

                    1. He’s a piece of shit. On par with QA, RAK, and the variety of crazy anti-semetic weirdos here that are all probably just RAK pretending.

                2. QA,
                  You don’t believe that election fraud exists.

                  1. You don’t believe that election fraud exists.

                    Depends on the meaning of “exists.”

                    There has been fraud, but I don’t believe there is fraud that remotely approaches significant levels in Presidential elections. There were, after all, three Trump fraudsters caught in PA, so there is some. But I think the level claimed by the “Stop the Steal” lunatics is delusional. There really is no other word.

                    This is not because our systems are perfect or people are breathtakingly honest. It’s because of the nature of things.

                    There is virtually zero payoff to an individual from voting twice, and the penalties are severe. No meaningful number of voters are going to risk it on their own.

                    As to a larger conspiracy, well, “Two people can keep a secret, if one of them is dead.” It strikes me that it would be very difficult to organize a fraud scheme big enough to have an effect and do it undetected. The last such effort was in NC, carried out by Republicans.

                    (I mention Republican efforts only partly for snark. I don’t think that, on the whole, either party’s voters are more or less hones than the others. That means that effort that do go undetected will tend to offset each other to a degree. It also annoys me that all the “accusers” seem to assume that only Democrats would ever engage in fraud.)

                    Now, Brett has pointed out that the real danger is from insider manipulation. True, and you do need some checks to prevent that – the kind of paper trails that Dominion provides, for example. But none of the strict ID laws the GOP is after are going to stop that, because it happens after the votes are cast.

                    Finally, of course, there is the simple point that the Trumpists simply haven’t provided any real evidence of fraud in the election. Every BS claim has been thoroughly, repeatedly, debunked. So I don’t really take them as being presented in good faith.

                    1. ” Brett has pointed out that the real danger is from insider manipulation. True, and you do need some checks to prevent that”

                      A few elections back, election officials in Oregon came across an actual case of an insider engaged in vote fraud, again (coincidentally, I’m sure) by a Republican. In that case the worker was filling in bubbles on undervoted ballots (ballots where the actual voter didn’t make a selection). The total number of affected ballots was estimated to be in the single digits and did not affect the outcomes of any races.
                      https://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-29390-department-of-justice-investigating-alleged-ballot-fraud-at-clackamas-county-elections.html

      2. Do you think if you use Twitter to carry out a fraud, you get off?

        Get back to me when this one is arrested and charged for doing the exact same thing.

        https://twitter.com/mskristinawong/status/795999059987173377

        1. Ah, a tu quoque, always devastating to dismiss the charge at hand!

          1. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

          2. QA learned a new term today.

          3. Ah, a tu quoque

            It’s nice that you learned a new buzz expression, but it would be nicer if you actually learned what it means before you run around mindlessly regurgitating it in multiple threads all of a sudden.

          4. Pure, nonengaged condescension to Queen Amalthea here.

            Wuz, if she used it wrong, maybe explain how.

            1. “Pure, nonengaged condescension…”

              Like nearly every post you make.

              1. Sometimes condescension is warranted, particularly in dealing with today’s wacko-Right. Let’s take two examples fresh from today’s news :

                1. During an on-air interview by Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani first claimed Trump’s rioters were Antifa – but that’s worn, tired, pedestrian lying, long ago discredited. So Rudy decided to blaze entirely new ground: The riot (he said) had been organized by an individual from the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Republican group. Bannon demanded a name; Giuliani demurred..

                Even for Bannon this was too much: “This is why we’re getting blown up all the time,” he shot back. “You can’t throw a charge out there like that and then say, ‘I got a double-secret-probation guy who I can’t mention!’”

                (2) Residents of Georgia are now used to the daily embarrassment of Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, but today’s was particularly bizarre. Back during the California wildfires of 2018, Greene apparently decided to do some “research”. She then posted the results, proud to have singlehandedly identified the cause:

                Space Lasers! They’d been launched into orbit by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, ostensibly to beam energy back to earth. But a cabal of sinister forces then repurposed them to burn a path thru the California countryside for the state’s proposed high-speed rail.

                And how was this scheme hidden from everyone? Per Greene, this was the work of Democrats & Rothschilds, thus covering all the bases evil-wise with both Lefties & Jews.

                This kind of Trump-style freak show is now commonplace in today’s Right. How should a sane & rational person deal with it? Condescension seems a better coping mechanism than abject despair….

                1. “This kind of Trump-style freak show is now commonplace in today’s Right. How should a sane & rational person deal with it? Condescension seems a better coping mechanism than abject despair….”

                  Openly mocking someone for something they actually said is fine, but there have been a few trial balloons sent up for mocking someone for something they didn’t say, which is itself worthy of a round of mockery.

            2. Pure, nonengaged condescension to Queen Amalthea here.

              In response to pure, nonengaged (and ignorance-based) condescension on her part. And…?

              Your assumption that she is open to actually learning anything is wholly unsupported by her posting history.

      3. He said it was voting for Hillary, I didn’t see that he claimed it was actually an official ballot. Sure it could be confusing, but this could be interpreted as conducting an online poll:
        “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home,” he tweeted on Nov. 1 along with a photo of a Black woman standing in front of an “African Americans for Hillary” sign.

        The Tweet had fine print at the bottom that read, “Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Paid for by Hillary for President 2016.”

        Now the paid for by Hillary could be problematic, but I can’t see how the rest could amount to a crime. I am asked to vote for this and that all over the internet, I’m often even told I’m casting an official ballot (like say for the MLB All-star team).

    2. File this under “Political Ignorance”.

      “Don’t go to the booth to vote for Biden. Instead, go jump off your nearest bridge.”

      Fraud? I guess if you’re stupid.

      1. You just knew this answer was coming.

      2. Except he did not say jump off a bridge. He said vote by text or online. I would be dubious, but that is not crazy, and some would believe it.

        But you knew that, and decided to buy into the lie anyway.

        If you are going to put up a defense, at least don’t do a stupid one.

        1. Like it deserves anything better than derision?

          I guess if you’re stupid.

          1. For authoritarians like Vinni the weak, mental, physical, ‘moral, deserve to be preyed upon. Therefore they are not angry at those that harm and take advantage of them, they are only angry when the weak fight back and/or are protected by others.

            1. More newspeak definitions every day.

              If you don’t want people to think you’re stupid…

              1. “If you don’t want people to think you’re stupid…” don’t be a Trump ball washer or a Kraken head.

              2. “If you don’t want people to think you’re stupid…”

                Don’t post after identifying yourself as “VinniUSMC”.

                1. Wow, rubbed both of your brain cells together for that one, eh?

                  1. still have you outnumbered two-to-one.

      3. First, this is about the 2016 election, not the 2020 one. That makes it even dumber because it’s not like the guy was claiming it’s a new way to vote due to the pandemic or something.

        Second, it’s more like if someone coordinated a robocall campaign that encouraged people to cast their vote over the phone, or sent fake postcards that said “fill this out to cast your vote.” Still targeted at stupid people, and also still fraud.

        1. Right. Fraud targets naive people. Most people would not get taken in by “Nigerian fraud,” but some do, and that is why it is criminal.

          This is not technically “fraud,” since fraud involves using deception to get money or a thing of value. But it is deceptive conduct aimed at making people waste their vote.

          The guy could argue that it was obviously a joke, or at least he meant it to be one and thus lacked the necessary mens rea. That is an argument for the jury.

          1. The Nigerian fraud scams rely on the venal proclivities of the victims. The adage that you can’t con an honest person. Taking advantage of someone’s guilelessness is even lower.

          2. This guy wasn’t charged with fraud, he was actually charged with intimidation. Fraud does have to be for property, so that wouldn’t work. Intimidation won’t work either, I see this as more of a virtue signalling prosecution, like the case against the McCluskeys, than a serious attempt at a conviction.

    3. As Scott Greenfield pointed out on his blog, this person is charged with violating 18 U.S.C. [character not on my keyboard] 241, which reads:

      “If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same…They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

      Did this tweet injure, suppress, threaten, or intimidate?

      1. It injured them by using deception to misdirect their vote to a sham voting venue.

        Let’s say I set up a fake voting booth in the local school gym, and send out letters to voters telling them that that is their new voting station, and they should show up to vote there. Don’t you think that is an “injury” to their right to vote?

        This is the same thing, only online, and hence requiring much less effort.

        1. I’m not sure I agree. The tweet in question doesn’t explicitly say that by texting “Hillary” to that number, you are actually casting a ballot. If you set up a fake voting station, you are very explicitly misdirecting their vote.

      2. ” this person is charged with violating 18 U.S.C. [character not on my keyboard] 241″

        Strictly speaking, any ASCII character is available from your keyboard. So the character you want is ASCII value 0245, and can be accessed by holding down the ALT key and typing in the digits 0, 2, 4, and 5 on the numeric keypad. There’s a way to make it in HTML, too. (Proof that I learned something from being an article editor on the law review).

    4. The FBI arrested Douglass Mackey, known as “Ricky Vaughn,” on accusations of conspiring to deprive individuals of their right to vote through “coordinated use of social media to spread disinformation,”

      I don’t see how a non governmental entity, merely giving misinformation, can “deprive” anyone of their right to vote — they still have a right to vote and can still easily exercise that right.

      A registrar of voters or a poll worker could do so however by not sending a ballot, rejecting the voter, or providing false information as “official”.

      If a non governmental entity actually physically restrained or blocked someone with the effect or intent of preventing them from voting, it’s reasonable to pile on the charge of “depriving” someone of their right to vote on top of whatever other charges, such as assault or kidnapping, would have been made even if the purpose wasn’t to stop someone from voting.

      If I tell someone, even knowing that it’s not true, that they can’t hold a protest sign in a public park but do nothing to prevent them from doing so, surely I can’t be prosecuted for “depriving someone of their right to free speech”.

      1. Pretending to be a governmental entity, as happened here, seems an easy way to do it, as the DoJ 1 page press release lays out.

        1. That is what the press release says, but I don’t really see how the tweet in question is “pretending to be a government entity.”

          1. In fact it (falsely) says it’s from the Hillary 2016 campaign, which while above the law, is not a government entity. I’m not sure he can be charged for fraud, because there was no scheme to make money, but it might be a private tort.

            1. If the tweet was just that picture I saw, then I don’t see where it claims its from the Clinton campaign. Is there more to the tweet than the picture?

  2. One of the more interesting stories that recently came out was that of Zheng Shuang.

    She’s a famous Chinese Actress who decided to have two children with her boyfriend via Surrogacy. Surrogacy is illegal in China, so she decided to do it in the US. Then, at 7 months of pregnancy (The surrogates, not hers), she decided she didn’t want the children anymore, and demanded the children be aborted. This being the US, that couldn’t be done. Discuss the following.

    1. For those who are strongly pro-abortion, should the children have been allowed to be aborted, like they could’ve been in China?
    2. Should surrogacy be legal in China, or is it an abuse by the rich of the poor?
    3. What type of fiscal support should the biological mother (Zheng) be required to provide for the children?

    1. Instead of the feigned interest in answers why don’t you save us time and skip to the ‘trap’ you think you’ve engineered here.

      1. Instead of being you, why don’t you save us the time and eat a few thermometers?

        1. Wishing death on those you disagree with. My Trumpistas are the *nicest* folks!

          1. “My Trumpistas”

            You identify as a Trumpista? Better watch your back. I heard Biden will be rounding up Trump supporters, any day now. /s

            1. People call Michelle Obama a “flutis” but I don’t see her blowing any pipe.

              1. People call Michelle Obama an anti-fungal drug? Weird.

      2. No trap, unless you think that it’s perfectly fine to abort health 7 month pregnancies…

        1. Well that sounds like a trap. It’s also a bizarre way to frame normative governing claims. Do I think it’s perfectly fine for a person to shove their fist up their own ass? No. Do I think they should be allowed to do it without government interference? Yes.

          1. You understand there’s a rather significant difference between fisting your own arse and aborting healthy 7 month old pregnancies, right?

            1. You do understand the underlying conflation NToJ is highlighting is the same in both scenarios, yes?

            2. There are things I don’t think are “fine” but which I also don’t think the government should regulate.

        2. Yeah, abort. Remove it and care for it if it’s just as well. But women’s bodies should not be taken over by the government.

    2. 1.) N/A there isn’t enough moral and legal consistency under the current abortion framework to make a call.

      2.) Yes, surrogacy should be legal everywhere. Just like prostitution.

      3.) In the current legal framework she should be required to provide full child support to the birth mother for the next eighteen years. The only person who gets to decide if they want to be a parent or not is the birth mother, and that should apply equally regardless of the sex of the parent that doesn’t want to be a parent.
      In my ideal world, she could sign some paperwork and be relieved of all parental rights and responsibilities within a set time frame of being notified of the child’s existence.

    3. Pro-abortion?

      Not sure who is pro-abortion; pro-choice maybe.

      1. You failed to account for the bloodlust of all the leftists, who want to bathe in the blood of the innocent. Yes, all of them.

        1. Bathe in it? You don’t drink it?

          1. Everyone knows it’s used to make matzoh.

          2. “Bathe in it? You don’t drink it?”

            I don’t, but I am also not a leftist.

            1. ” I am also not a leftist.”

              Do you also have a bridge for sale?

              1. No bridges for sale. But I can get you great deal on this one abandoned steel structure in Paris.

      2. When you’re demanding aborting 7 month pregnancies which are perfectly healthy….and you aren’t even the one carrying the pregnancy….I’m not sure what else to call it except pro-abortion.

        1. A pro-choice person is most likely not going to allow the ‘mother’ to force a surrogate to abort, and that’s because they are pro-choice, not pro-abortion.

        2. I very much doubt that most American “leftists” would support aborting a seven month old fetus based on the whim of a woman who isn’t even carrying it. In the first place, abortion rights are founded explicitly on the rights of the person who’s actually pregnant. Second, waiting until seven months is a bridge too far.

          1. So, it’s interesting. Recent Pew Polling put it at 21% of Americans who thought abortion rights should be expanded to being able to obtain an abortion under any circumstances. I’ll include “any circumstances” to include a healthy 7 month pregnancy if it just wasn’t wanted anymore.

            So, there’s that. But then you get into the surrogacy contracts. And that gets interesting. If you’ve ever read them, they often have a clause that reads something like “If Intended Parents jointly request Gestational Carrier to terminate the pregnancyshe will do so promptly. If Gestational Carrier refuses to terminate,
            Gestational Carrier will have materially breached this Agreement and Intended Parents’ obligations under this Agreement shall cease immediately. ”

            Material Breach is pretty severe, and would put the surrogate on the hook for all types of potential liability and expenses. Probably tens of thousands of dollars if she refused to terminate the Pregnancy. Potentially more. You couldn’t “force” the surrogate to abort the child. But you could bring enough financial pressure to bear that it may be “you abort the child or we bankrupt you”.

            Now illegality is an affirmative defense for breach of contract. I.E., if the action you would’ve had to undertake to stay in the contract was illegal, you may be defended. But, if abortion was legal, no matter the circumstances…. Well…

            1. You will no doubt find a minority which supports abortion rights up until the baby’s head enters the birth canal, but that’s not reflective of where most people, including most “leftists,” are. Please do not assume that the most extreme position you can find represents the views of the left.

              And I see issue upon issue upon issue with surrogacy contracts, even where they are legal. I suspect most judges would find a contractual obligation to have an abortion that the woman doesn’t want to have would violate public policy; it’s one thing to permit abortions and another thing altogether to require them. So that section of the contract may or may not be enforceable. Assuming it is enforceable, seven months is well past viability, so a judge may well find that the fetus has independent rights at that point. Or, a judge could simply treat it like any other contract and tell the surrogate that she knew what she was bargaining for when she signed the contract, so now she’s stuck with it.

              Since none of this has been litigated, and no judge has actually weighed in, this is all speculation. I candidly would not bet the rent on any specific outcome.

              1. I think you’re in the outlier here.

                Among self described “liberals” according to Gallup polling, 54% think abortion should be legal under any circimstances.

                https://news.gallup.com/poll/313094/americans-abortion-views-steady-past-year.aspx

                (You need the .pdf download for the full crosstabs).

                So….There’s that. It does look like the “Most extreme” position does actually describe the majority of the left.

                1. OK, but I have enough experience with polling to know that a lot of people don’t really think through what they’re being asked. If you ask generically “under any circumstances,” a lot of people will just reflexively say yes, but then if you come back with, “does that include right up until the minute the baby’s head enters the birth canal,” a lot of those same people will then backtrack.

                  The same thing happens on the other side, by the way. You’ll find people who say that abortion should always be illegal, and then when you ask them, “What if the woman is a teenager who was raped by her father,” a lot of them will then backtrack too.

                  It’s a sign of people not thinking through the full implications of what they’re being asked, and not a reflection on where people actually are once they do think it through.

                  1. I did a fair amount of looking here. It doesn’t have the same crosstabs, but Gallup in a different poll got pretty specific.

                    “Now I am going to read some specific situations under which an abortion might be considered in the LAST THREE MONTHS of pregnancy. Thinking specifically about the THIRD trimester, please say whether you think abortion should be legal in that situation, or illegal” And after a whole bunch of extreme answers like you propose I.E.: “When the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest”

                    there was “When the woman does not want the child for any reason” And that still picked up 20% of all respondants.

                    There’s a majority of the “liberal” section that really do think “my body, my choice, it’s just a hunk of tissue, and I should be able to get rid of it whenever I want for whatever reason I want”.

                    https://news.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

                    1. 20 percent of all respondents is not a majority of liberals, much as you’d like it to me.

                    2. Like it to be.

                    3. It probably is. The overall numbers compare well with the crosstabs in the previous poll.

                      One can easily see of that 20%, 15% is due to liberals. Since liberals only make up 20-25% of the US population, that would mean a majority of liberals have that position.

                    4. OK, the idea that liberals only make up 20-25% of the US population disqualifies you from being taken seriously. Bye.

                    5. Krychek,

                      You understand, that is relatively pretty consistent that liberals make up 20-25% of the US population. That’s long standing fact. The rest are moderates and conservatives.

                      Seriously, just google “% of Americans who are liberal” and the first line is “Roughly 19% to 26% of the American public is liberal depending on survey and method.”

                    6. Numbers in the mid-twenties are what my googling found.

                      One example

                      “How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him” is common on both sides of the aisle, IMHE.

                    7. “You understand, that is relatively pretty consistent that liberals make up 20-25% of the US population. That’s long standing fact. The rest are moderates and conservatives.”

                      Depends on the specific topic. Lots of people are conservative on some issues and liberal on others. For decades, the Conservatives have been actively working to purge the insufficiently pure Conservatives from their ranks, whereas the liberals have been far less effective at culling their ranks of the insufficiently liberal.

                2. It definitely is not the mainstream position. My hunch is that people who answer are thinking of reasons for abortion, not abortions at any point in pregnancy or even during birth.

                  1. It’s not mainstream among the population as a whole. But is IS mainstream among liberals.

                    1. Uh huh. Your same poll had a massive majority against late-term abortions. How much of that majority would dissolve away if people were actually asked about the reasons behind 99% of all late-term abortions?

                      My guess is we’d be right back with the solid plus-minus 60% support for Choice that has been rock-steady for decades. The anti-choice crowd loves their bullshit narrative about bloodthirsty abortions & late-term pregnancies because that’s the only real solid ground they have. And even then they have to pretend these rare abortions don’t usually have heart-breaking stories behind them.

                      There’s only one real question that cuts thru the posturing and spin : “Do you want to ban abortions?”. The religious-right has always come up short on that question – and by a sizable margin.

                    2. I’ve been living deep in the left coast, working in tech and cannabis for a decade. I know liberals. This opinion is not one I see among them, or among liberal publications.

                      I think you really want this to be their position, because it is obviously more controversial and yucky than the actual mainstream liberal position.

                    3. I’ve presented polling evidence to support my point De Oppresso Liber. Do you have any evidence, besides personal anecdote, to oppose that point?

                    4. I believe I have seen you argue against polls in the past. Surely you must realize that the manner in which the question is worded, and the order in which the questions are asked affects the outcome?

                    5. So that’s a no.

                    6. “I’ve presented polling evidence to support my point”

                      anecdotes at a first-degree remove. Can you identify any specific person who holds the position you ascribe to a whole segment of the population?

                3. “Among self described “liberals” according to Gallup polling, 54% think abortion should be legal under any circimstances.”

                  Indeed, I suspect a majority of “liberals” would give your mom a pass for aborting you now.

                  1. Threatening violence and death?

                    1. “Threatening violence and death?”

                      Mercy and dignity.

                4. You don’t know the difference between crimes and public policy. It isn’t a crime to pre release another person for their own gross negligence. Courts won’t enforce that promise, though.

              2. As for required abortions…. It makes interesting reading. The closest analogy here are “selective reductions” and how multiple biological parents have requested “selective reductions” in otherwise healthy twin or triplets. And the potential fiscal penalties for not complying with the selective reduction.

                https://hastingslawjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/70.2-Jones-1.pdf

                Something to think about.

            2. This contract is plainly not enforceable in any state in the US. It isn’t just illegal contracts that are unenforceable. Contracts against public policy are also unenforceable.

              1. If abortion was unrestricted and legal, how would such a contract be against public policy?

                Would “any” termination clauses be against public policy?

                1. There are lots of contractual agreements that are unenforceable but not illegal. Mary Carter agreements. Pre releases for gross negligence. Procedural/substantively unconscionable arbitration clauses. No damages for delay clauses are unenforceable if the breaching party acts arbitrarily and capriciously. Prevention doctrine. And so on.

                  In this case, the termination provision requires specific performance. Those clauses are rarely enforceable, and never enforceable if they require one party to physically do anything.

        3. When you’re demanding aborting 7 month pregnancies which are perfectly healthy….and you aren’t even the one carrying the pregnancy….I’m not sure what else to call it except pro-abortion.

          Who is it that’s demanding that again? Some Chinese actress? What does that have to do with anything here?

          Why don’t you stop these lame attempts at gotcha questions. They don’t further any sensible discussion.

          1. If you don’t want to participate in the discussion, you don’t have to.

        4. I think it’s safe to say all of us on this website don’t think a pregnant woman should be required to abort a late term child because someone else demands it.

          1. What about an early term child? A selective reduction? A child with a medical issue (like down syndrome?).

            All of these issues have been part of surrogacy contracts. Which should be enforcable? Which should constitute material breach of contract, and be eligible for damages?

            1. None would be enforceable as specific performance. Whether the breaches are material depends on the contract, but some states would still refuse to enforce some of those promises. Not sure why materiality matters, though. You get damages for non material breaches, too.

    4. Because durrogacy is illegal in China, Chinese courts would be very unlikely to enforce any judgement.

      In general, people doing surrogacy should be wary of entering into contracts with people who live in countries (and I believe in some US states) where it is illegal.

      The NJ Supreme Court’s ruling holding that selling a child for cash is a form of slavery barred by the 13th Amendment and a surrogate child has two mothers with the birth mother entitled to visitation etc. similar to a divorce situation (making surrogacy contracts illegal in NJ) struck me as making a reasonable argument, even though it’s a minority position in the US as a whole.

      So I think banning surrogacy is a reasonable position that a US state or country could take. It’s in no way a human rights violation like putting Muslims in concentration camps.

      And obviously, a state can ban aborting a 7th month fetus over a mere contract dispute with no health issues for the birth mother.

      I would say the situation adds a bit of additional weight to the argument that there is something wrong with treating arrangements for the birth of a child as a pure financial chattel contract and tends to strengthen China’s and minority US states’ positions. You can’t simply return the goods and get your money back if you decide you don’t want them after all.

      1. Who knew NJ would take the conservative [and moral] position.

        1. It’s so rare for the conservative position to be the moral position.

          1. Its rare when it isn’t.

            1. This from the guy who repeatedly tells us that winning is the only thing that matters? I’ll take that with a grain of salt.

    5. Aren’t contracts binding?

      1. Depends on the contract. A contract for a 14 year old to provide me with a kilo of cocaine in exchange for sex is not binding.

        1. Also they’re only binding in as much as they allow damages for breach.

          1. Usually. Sometimes they can be used as a basis for specific performance.

            1. Rare, though. For 13th Amendment reasons.

        2. Depends on the contract. A contract for a 14 year old to provide me with a kilo of cocaine in exchange for sex is not binding.

          Maybe you just needed a better lawyer.

        3. I think you got the contract terms backwards.

    6. On #1, she came to the US to utilize US laws. Therefore, US laws apply, even if she decides she doesn’t like some of them. It’s not a buffet, where you get to choose which laws apply to you. It doesn’t matter what the law in question is. She’s the one who chose to have US laws apply.

      1. “. It’s not a buffet, where you get to choose which laws apply to you.”

        Actually, in some ways it is, because you get to decide whether or not to file a lawsuit seeking to have the laws applied, and you can write your contracts with choice-of-law and choice-of-venue stipulations built right in.

    7. 1. I’m not strongly pro abortion so the prompt disqualifies me. The answer is yes, though.

      2. The question is idiotic. The “or” is disjunctive but the answer need not be. Maybe surrogacy should be legal in China even though the rich use it to abuse the poor. But the answer is that surrogacy should be legal everywhere.

      3. If “be required” applies to payments she owes the surrogate, at least as much as the surrogate is reasonably required to pay in support of the child. If “be required” is by the government, at least as much as child support.

      1. “I’m not strongly pro abortion so the prompt disqualifies me.”

        Don’t use a rational definition of “pro abortion” which would exclude nearly everybody, use the Conservative position that anyone who thinks women should decide if their uterii are inhabited or not instead of the government is “pro abortion”.

        It’s amazing how the people who are usually “keep your government hands off my (X)” flip to “The government knows better than you do how your uterus should be used.” until you notice how many of the loudest voices on the topic don’t technically have a uterus in the first place, then it suddenly becomes clear.

  3. So now that Pandora’s box has been opened on over reactions to minor pandemics, how do y’all think the next one is gong to be handled? We get a new pandemic every three years or so (the lowered immune system from over isolation this year is not going to help), and the safety measures look to be lasting at a minimum of two years.

    Many politicians had ulterior notices in overreacting, but much of their base has convinced themselves that the past year was a reasonable way to behave.

    1. Wow, your comment is so chock full of lazy assumptions of bad faith and wrongness on so many…Ugh, the internet…

      1. He’s having a slow Thursday and wants to pick a fight, looks like. Well done not giving it to him.

        1. Damn straight, comrade. No cautionary notes whatsoever have arisen from this… erm, “experience,” and any forward-looking questions about how to keep it from happening again (or getting even worse) next time around are nothing but bad-faith black helicoptoring.

    2. “. . . but much of their base has convinced themselves that the past year was a reasonable way to behave.”

      You mean like gun owners who have a minuscule chance of ever needing a weapon for defense?

      1. You’ll be counting on them when the alien invasion starts. er, I mean the zombie apocalypse… You can’t defend yourself from a zombie with a knife. It just doesn’t work.

        1. Illegal alien invasion of course.

        2. Why not both?

          Alien zombies. Even the aliens are scared.

          1. And so we end up Plan 9 adjacent.

            1. It’s just a short hop to pink angora sweaters….

      2. I was walking my dogs in the urban woods of WNC. They woke up a camper in a tent camouflaged and hidden in a bamboo grove. This was midday and a huge man emerged from the tent and came at me with a long knife. He stopped when I pulled out a pistol and told him to stop or I would shoot.
        Anecdote 2: I reached for my pistol in the small of my back when two street toughs approached me in the darkness of a large shopping mall parking lot. “I will blow both of you away,” I said. They stopped, turned around, and retreated. Truth is, I was faking it.
        Anecdote 3: During the David Dinkins admin in NYC when Manhattan Island was chaos and anarchy, I pulled a pistol on a group of boys who were stalking me and trying to rob me a couple of blocks away from Grand Central Station. They scattered like cockroaches do when the lights come on.
        I’m in my late seventies and sure do appreciate my sidearms. I have another anecdote but these should suffice. The remaining anecdote is too bizarre to relate, but imo a loaded 9mm handgun saved my life. The same firearm saved the late Pete Cole’s life too. He shot two armed assailants with it. They had shot at him first. Lucky for them they survived, both with hollow point bullets in their gluteus muscles.

        1. Good thing under number 3 guns were effectively banned in the city. No one needs a gun when the thugs are trying to run the place….at least that is what the Dems tell us…

        2. ” The same firearm saved the late Pete Cole’s life too.”

          Did you read this before you hit the “submit” button?

          1. Yeah, he’s been dead 40 years and I put up a sort of digital memorial for him. I remember the guy with a lot of fondness.

    3. Over 400,000 deaths and you think it was an overreaction???

      How many deaths are required for you to take something seriously?

      I am regularly astounded by the level of ignorance exhibited on this issue.

      1. You’re begging the question. Those 400,000 deaths could, and likely would, have happened even if we didn’t overreact and attempt to kill the economy. By March, it was already too late. And now, the same people who want to shut down, and continue to shut down, also want to open up the borders and let more people in. Apparently, the only thing being taken seriously is the chance to authoritarian as hard as possible.

        Masks and social distancing would have been fine. Shutting everything down for months, overreaction.

        Ignorance is as ignorance does, to paraphrase a great movie.

        1. I guess the Democrats were wrong. Trump isn’t the next Hitler. He only managed to kill 1/15th of the number of Jews that the Nazis killed.

          1. Trump didn’t manage to kill anyone. Worst dictator ever…

            1. ” Worst dictator ever…”
              Among a long list of things he was just not very good at.

              1. “Among a long list of things he was just not very good at.”

                Yeah, it seems the only thing he was really good at was pissing off lefties, and appointing judges.

                1. “Yeah, it seems the only thing he was really good at was pissing off lefties, and appointing judges.”

                  You’re half right there, which is an increase for you. Congratulations on your progress.

        2. Except trumplicans had problems with masks and social distancing too.

          Most of Asia and Oceania did it the right way, and had better outcomes despite higher population density and proximity to the original outbreak.

          The right answer was to lockdown hard in the beginning, then make social distancing and mask use mandatory. The problem in the US was that certain whole states and individual morons refused to take even basic precautions early on.

          1. ” The problem in the US was […]”

            the problem in the US was that by the time Trump got himself infected, we had already had enough time to learn how to make sure it didn’t kill him. Had that one case been fatal, a lot of people who didn’t think it was a big deal would now be taking it seriously.

            1. If only…

          2. “Except trumplicans had problems with masks and social distancing too. ”

            Trumplicans are a majority of those who live in large, densely packed cities that had terrible outcomes?

            Didn’t this election just show us that 90% of democrats are in 10% of counties or something like that? It’s not Trumplicans in charge of NY, CA, MI, etc.

            “The right answer was to lockdown hard in the beginning, then make social distancing and mask use mandatory. The problem in the US was that certain whole states and individual morons refused to take even basic precautions early on.”

            Early on, corona wasn’t in places where most of those people were. My county, in Michigan, was in single digits when the March lock downs began. Most of the population centers in Michigan are heavily Democrat.

            You’re trying really, really hard to pass the buck.

            1. Cities have high population density and do not control their borders. Unless you can refute the measures taken in Asia and Oceania, you really have no argument.

              1. You’re a fan of borders now?

            2. “Didn’t this election just show us that 90% of democrats are in 10% of counties or something like that? It’s not Trumplicans in charge of NY, CA, MI”

              The most recent map I have says that NY, CA, MI are all still part of the United States, which had a Trumplican in charge of it when the pandemic came here. The response was to try to spread the disease as far and as fast as possible, with out brave, noble leader willing to place his own health at risk in order to do so (knowing he had full access to taxpayer-funded healthcare probably helped with that. No shortage of PPE, staffing, or equipment to treat him, someone else will have to go without.)

  4. I’m currently in quarantine at least until I have a clean Covid test, having shown ‘Covid-like’ symptoms. (Head cold like, too.)

    Had to make an appointment for the drive through test, though they didn’t do much more than provide a testing kit for me to use. And the appointment was the next day, they were booked up the day I left work.

    I think the appointments are just a rationing mechanism. By only allowing so many appointments per day per site, (And far fewer than they obviously could handle.) they control how many tests can be taken.

    Is the testing capacity saturated?

    1. “Is testing capacity saturated”

      Probably not. There are multiple options, including the drive up option. There are some walk up options (non-symptomatic) that have been relatively well populated, but not an overly long wait.

      1. All the walk up options I could find here in SC were pay. Perhaps it’s just the free tests being rationed.

        1. Perhaps they are being limited. Someone has to pay for them, after all. And if you make something “free” then people will tend to use lots more of it…more than they even really need

          1. True enough.

    2. “I think the appointments are just a rationing mechanism. By only allowing so many appointments per day per site”

      Um, duh?
      In other news, vaccines are rationed, too. It’s almost like they don’t have enough test kits to give everybody who wants a coronavirus test all the tests they might want. Besides, as anyone with a Trump-sized brain can tell you if they don’t do so much testing, the number of COVID cases goes down.

      1. The infection rate is YUGE!
        Are you tired of sneezing yet?

        1. If you start with 15 cases, and pretty soon it’s down to just, like, one, and anyway it’ll go away by itself when the weather gets warmer, but the weather is not getting warmer because that is a hoax led by people who want you to think that the hurricane isn’t going to hit Alabama.

    3. Good luck. Hope you are OK.

      Keep us posted.

      1. So far just a moderate head cold.

  5. One of the larger debates during the pandemic has been the opening of school districts to in-person learning. Recent evidence has come down pretty firmly on the side that schools don’t act as a major vector of transmission.

    Yet the teachers unions STRONGLY oppose reopening schools in many areas of the country, going against the science. In addition, senior members of Biden’s administration have supported this anti-science position. Meanwhile, the children continue to suffer.

    What should be done here about this anti-science position being held, that damages our children?

    1. ” Recent evidence has come down pretty firmly on the side that schools don’t act as a major vector of transmission.

      Yet the teachers unions STRONGLY oppose reopening schools in many areas of the country”

      The news is that few schoolchildren have coronavirus, which means that being near schoolchildren isn’t likely to bring you into contact with someone who has the coronavirus. On the other hand, school-aged children carry almost every other virus known to man, and keeping them from transmitting them among each other is extremely difficult.

      1. Schools generally aren’t acting as a major transmission zone.

        We know this, among other reasons, by comparing those areas with their schools open, compared to those that don’t have the schools open. And the infection rates really aren’t different enough to account for schools being a major transmission vector. We can do this comparison either in the US (IE Florida versus California) or comparing the US to outside of the US (IE Europe) where most of the schools have stayed open. That’s in addition to the recent studies coming out that demonstrate this.

        Meanwhile, we’ve seen deaths of despair spike among school children as schools are kept closed.

        Keeping the schools closed is anti-science and killing the kids…

      2. That’s why they shouldn’t be closing the schools. Childhood is when you need to train up your immune system. A lot of diseases are no big deal if you catch them first as a child, but life threatening if you’re an adult at your first exposure. Covid happens to be one of them, but many of the ‘common colds’ are only minor diseases because almost everyone was exposed to them in childhood.

        We’d be planting an immunological time bomb if we protected our kids against these bugs.

        1. Have you heard of vaccines? Infecting kids with the potentially lethal version of the virus instead of giving them a vaccine is the higher risk means of developing immunity.

          1. According to the CDC, all deaths from COVID for those under 15 total 121. 0-24 goes up to 659.

            That’s approximately 1% of all deaths in the age bracket. And less than 0.03% fatality rate (among confirmed cases, age brackets don’t match exactly).

            1. couldn’t decide whether to stick with the original claim, that schools aren’t transmitting the virus, or to go all in and decide that kids can’t even get the disease, huh?

              1. “couldn’t decide whether to stick with the original claim, that schools aren’t transmitting the virus, or to go all in and decide that kids can’t even get the disease, huh?”

                You really cranked the stupid up to 11 here.

                I responded to a comment made by DW directly above. Do you understand how comment threads work? Never mind, of course not.

                1. “You really cranked the stupid up to 11 here.”

                  Had to. I was writing something for you. Alas, 11 is overestimating your IQ potential. Should have gone for something in the single digits, so you’d get it.

          2. Do you realize that there are literally hundreds of diseases we don’t vaccinate for, because they’re not very serious in children, and adults are largely immune due to having gotten them as children?

            This is one of Chesterton’s fences he’s proposing to tear down.

            1. On the other hand, Terry Bradshaw does ads for one of those viruses that causes annoying (but usually non-fatal) illnesses in kids but can have more serious effects on adults.
              Get the shingles vaccine. You don’t want to have the disease.

      3. On the other hand, school-aged children carry almost every other virus known to man, and keeping them from transmitting them among each other is extremely difficult.

        Which is why schools were shut down well before Covid-19 was known about.

        Oh, wait….

        1. “Oh, wait….”

          No need to wait, you were right. epidemics have shut down schools lots of time in the past.

          1. No need to wait, you were right. epidemics have shut down schools lots of time in the past.

            In most of the U.S.? No.

    2. Kids “suffer” from learning online???

      That doesn’t even make sense.

      1. On line learning only works for certain children, those with an educated, motivated parent at home monitoring it. Good computer et up, wifi and work space also helps.

        It has been completely horrible for special needs kids.

        1. “On line learning only works for certain children”

          This is true for every kind of education. Schooling, in general, tends to poorly serve children at both ends of the bell curve.

      2. They suffer from lack of peer socialization.

        They also don’t learn. On the most basic level, kids who don’t do homework still don’t do homework when it’s all homework.

        1. “They suffer from lack of peer socialization.”

          As does everybody in a quarantine, genius.

      3. They suffer from lack of peer socialization.

        They also don’t learn. On the most basic level, kids who don’t do homework still don’t do homework when it’s all homework.

        See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfYolxKB_5k

      4. Do you care that children aren’t learning and are being deprived of an education?

      5. Kids “suffer” from learning online???

        That doesn’t even make sense.

        It would if you had the faintest idea what you’re talking about.

    3. Anti-science? Sorry but the Democrats are the party of science. The Trump virus (i.e. COVID-19) poses a unnecessarily deadly workplace hazard, just like racism, to the brave teachers of America. We can’t re-open schools until every child, teacher, school administrator, bus driver, and janitor has been fully immunized. Until then, teachers should shelter in place at their homes, teach remotely via Web interfaces, and collect their full salary. #ThankATeacher

    4. I do think that the last year has provided some pretty good arguments against both police and teachers unions. I think we should make it generally easier to have unions in the private sector and generally harder to have them in the public sector.

  6. Recently Biden cancelled the XL-Keystone pipeline permit, despite the ongoing work. This had the effect of throwing thousands people out of work.

    The exact reasons for the pipeline permit cancellation are unclear, as there was no reasonable rule-making period about the cancellation. Nevertheless, it may be assumed that Biden unilaterally cancelled the pipeline permit due to “image” concerns, rather than a scientific reasoning.

    Does this violate the APA or other laws, in any way?

    1. Expect lawsuits from states who claim the shutdown eliminates jobs in construction, maintenance, and refining.

    2. The reason was clear. Activists don’t want the pipeline because they don’t want more oil burned. Anything to do with protecting land is a lie.

      I have no problem with their real reason (well, that’s a separate issue anyway.) I just don’t like the lies.

      1. Why is so obviously a lie to you that that might be a reason? Biden’s coalition involves a fair amount of environmentalists/conservationists and/or Native people’s rights folks.

        1. The more relevant part of Biden’s coalition involves people who own shares of train lines that currently carry the oil. The coalition parts you mention also blow up those trains and/or tracks, making for much worse net environmental impacts than a pipeline.

          1. Of course the vast, vast majority of environmentalists/conservationists and Native Americans don’t blow up trains or tracks. You might as well say parts of Trump’s coalition murders doctors who work in family planning.

        2. Four Words: Lac-Mégantic , PdQ, Canada.

      2. Railroad interests prefer to have the oil shipped by rail.

        1. But environmentalists prefer to have the oil stored deep underground.

          1. “But environmentalists prefer to have the oil stored deep underground.”

            Ok, this made me laugh.

            1. Cool. And it’s even accurate.

      3. So, it’s interesting, because they’ve done studies. And the same amount of oil is going to be extracted from the oil sands either way. The only real question is how it would get to the refineries, and the efficiency of the refineries.

        Option 1: Build a pipeline, powered by electricity, to deliver the oil to the efficient Gulf Coast refineries.

        Option 2: Use rail cars, powered by diesel engines, to deliver it to less efficient refineries.

        The truth is, going without the pipeline ends up burning more oil. But the IMAGE of building the pipeline is bad. So, even though using the existing rail cars ends up burning more oil, for image concerns, the pipeline needed to be cancelled.

        1. they’ve done studies.

          Cite?

          And if building the pipeline makes oil cheaper at its final destination – the implication of your efficiency point – how does not building it increase oil use?

    3. “it may be assumed that Biden unilaterally cancelled the pipeline permit due to “image” concerns, rather than a scientific reasoning. ”

      There’s a saying about assuming and boy would it fit nicely here. Even if you are into some range of climate denial and or think the Keystone isn’t that relevant to that issue it’s at least reasonable that Biden and those advising/urging him to cancel the project think there are good scientific reasons to do so.

      1. They say the best assumptions are in passive voice.

        1. Yeah, I’m going to have to go ahead and steal that one.

      2. I’m assuming Biden is using the same reasoning Obama did to not allow the pipeline. That after YEARS of looking for a scientific reason to stop it, Obama just said “Well, it makes us look bad if we’re trying to lead on climate change, so cancel it”

    4. Transporting oil is a sin in the environmental religion. He canceled it to appease environmental religious zealots.

      1. Yeah, this is why every pipeline everywhere is being protested.

        1. All new pipeline construction is opposed and most are protested. Yes.

          Do you just not know this stuff or are you attempting to create a false narrative?

          1. Do you just not know this stuff or are you attempting to create a false narrative?

            That’s like asking someone like Bernie Madoff if he’s just really bad at accounting or if he’s really a thieving scumbag.

            1. You never know with Sarcastr0.

              He genuinely might not know about pipeline opposition. But he also pretends. So it could be either one this time.

          2. Pretty sure the Keystone CL was special in terms of the level of opposition.
            Maybe consider why.

            1. Especially sinful. Religious zealots are welcome to their own dogma about whatever. There’s no need for the rest of us to swim in those waters.

              They should stop bullying everyone.

              1. You’ve just made an argument against all political activism.

                Way to go, Ben.

                1. Bullying is bad.

                  If you don’t want a pipeline don’t build yourself one. Leave the people who do want one to build theirs.

                  Actual science is in favor of the pipeline, but that doesn’t matter to religious zealots.

                  1. This is very silly.

                    Don’t like a mask-wearing policy, then don’t make yourself one! Leave the government who wants one to enforce theirs.

                    1. Weird, and not very articulate, change of subject.

                      I don’t have a comment on whatever you want to change the subject to. But it seems like you are somehow trying to directly equate bullying people with leaving them alone. Those two things are opposites. So it’s very hard to follow even if I did want to comment on a completely different subject.

                    2. Explain how your very broad logic above doesn’t apply as well to anti-mask protests.

                      Your declaration of what is bullying and therefore bad has no limiting principle – it is therefore vastly overinclusive. Which speaks to it not being very well thought out, and more a convenient story than an actual way protests operate.

                    3. Anti-mask protests have zero relationship to anything. If you want to wear a mask, no one is stopping you.

                      If you want to build a pipeline, there’s an immensely complicated decade-long procedure to follow, and even if you follow it and all the scientific studies are done to validate your design is safe, environmental religious zealots don’t care because transporting oil is a sin to them. So they resort to violence. And when that doesn’t work any more, they enlist politicians to use violence, (a. k. a. “bullying”) on their behalf.

                    4. Anti-mask protests are against government action, just as is the anti-Pipeline protests.

                      You’ve asserted such techniques are bullying, without any particular limit. And with your logic being government action is none of the protesters’ business.

                      You now seem to be arguing that if there are a lot of procedures to follow, then it’s legit government action and protesting is bullying. Otherwise, it’s fine. Is that correct?

                    5. “If you want to build a pipeline”

                      If you want to build a pipeline, first own all the land the pipeline crosses. If you try to use government to force people to let your pipeline cross their land whether they wanted a pipeline on it or not, there’s going to be some pushback.

                      Your defense of “well, they did a study, so there’s no reason to complain about having a pipeline across your property” is dismissed for being as stupid as it is.

                  2. “If you don’t want a pipeline don’t build yourself one. Leave the people who do want one to build theirs.”

                    Across the land of the people who didn’t want a pipeline across their land?

                  3. “Actual science is in favor of the pipeline, but that doesn’t matter to religious zealots.”

                    What kind of science? Fluid dynamics?

      2. Ben is *so* concerned about division in our society…You can tell, amirite?

        1. I’m not the one pushing my religion on people

          1. Ben, Ben, I know you hate to stumble into promoting division, based upon your certainly so sincere comments after the capitol riot about that, so I’m just informing you, in the spirit of unity, that this type of stuff is…maybe…not conducive.
            Lol.

            1. Ok. Not sure what you are trying to communicate with that … but whatever.

              Pushing religious prohibitions onto others definitely divides people and breeds hostility.

              Environmentalist religious zealots should stop trying to bully everyone.

              1. We only have the one environment, though. Bullying people who are doing something stupid to get them to stop trying to do something stupid is about the only option. Like when they take away the fireworks from the people heading out into the California woods during the summertime. It’s not that they don’t think that fireworks are cool, it’s that they don’t like wildfires burning down entire communities.

  7. I asked my spouse the other day, if you had to eat only one type of ethnic food for a month for lunch and dinner, what would it be? Italian was the answer and after some thought I think it’s the right one. So much variety there. Any other contenders?

    1. I’d say Chinese, for the same reason: the wide variety. But it is kind of a silly exercise, because the reason Chinese cuisine is so varied is that China is so f’ing big. It is like saying I would choose “European” cuisine.

      Similarly, the reason “Italian” cuisine is so broad is because of all the different cultural influences (voluntary and involuntary) they have had over the centuries.

      1. Fair enough criticism, I guess if I had to better operationalize the question it would be ‘if you had to eat what generally constitutes ethnic food X as found commonly in the US’ what would it be. Perhaps I don’t know enough about what gets called ‘Chinese’ food under that, but it seems to me there’s not as much variety as what gets called ‘Italian’ But this is truly one of those YMMV questions.

      2. That’s funny, as I perceive Italian, Chinese, and Mexican cuisine as being all made from a small palette of ingredients. Take chicken, beef, pork, and beans as the proteins, add cheese (except for Chinese), combine with pasta or rice or tortilla, add sauce – and Bam! – you have a menu of dozens of things made form the same stuff.

        I would go for French. The same is probably true of French cuisine, but it’s the way they combine ingredients that I like.

        1. Hmm, fair points there.

        2. The good thing is that the question left out breakfast. I’d pick French fro lunch and dinner – fancy, delicate stuff in moderate quantities.

          That would be after the Mexican/Tejano breakfast buffet. IMO the Mexicans are unbeatable on breakfast.

      3. Another reason “Italian” varies so widely is that “Italy” as we think of it only came onto being about 150 years ago. Before that it was a mix of duchies, kingdoms, the Papal states, etc., each with its own history and somewhat distinct cuisine, based on the regional agricultural products.

        So Lombardy is not Sicily. Neither, for that matter, is Normandy Provence. Cuisines are, I think, essentially regional, not national.

        But it is a wonderful country.

      1. I see what you did there…

      2. Vietnamese would fit this – French/Asian fusion.

    2. Thai.

      Though I wouldn’t weep at Italian.

    3. ‘murican, of course.

    4. Maybe I’d actually tire of sushi over a month…..

      1. Don’t eat the month-old sushi.

    5. This one is easy: Japanese. You’ve got sushi, tempura, kobe beef, ramen, katsu sando, curry rice, yakotori. You could eat two meals a day for a week and never have anything vaguely similar. Much more diverse than Italian food IMHO.

      1. The challenge of eating a Japanese diet is sourcing your ingredients. The Japanese fishing fleet covers so much territory that they wound up with fishing boats downwind of Bikini Atoll. (oops) Gojira!

    6. British food obviously. I would preferably only consumer varieties of beer, and occasionally Chicken-Tika

      1. We’ve vacationed in Britain a couple times and we were always able to find good food. Italian restaurants, Thai restaurants, Asian restaurants. That is, except it was hard in Scotland where everything is beige. Never order a hamburger while visiting Isle of Skye. Best meal we had in Scotland was in a Mexican restaurant on Rose St in Edinburgh. Really nice and very dark mole poblano. That was in 1994 — probably changed a bit since then.

      2. We sampled a lot of really good beer while in Britain. Among my more disappointing experiences there, however, was coming upon a bunch of British people partying while drinking Budweiser, and not the Budvar Budweiser; AB Budweiser. Travel 5000 miles to get to the land of good beer and there they are, drinking the swill I was trying to get away from. But, keep your thoughts to yourself is good advice in such circumstances. Particularly as a guest in their country.

        1. …keep your thoughts to yourself is good advice in such circumstances…
          Always good advice, I think.

        2. ” Travel 5000 miles to get to the land of good beer and there they are, drinking the swill I was trying to get away from.”

          The land of good beer is in the Northwest United States. Can’t stand in the city out of sight of a brewpub. Turn away and there’s another one, half a block down (behind the weed store if you’re in Portland.)

          1. Good American brewed beer was a lot harder to find back in 1994. Now, there is good beer everywhere. Decent ales became available earlier, I think, than good Pilsner style lagers. Now, even in Houston, you can find good locally brewed Pilsners and ales. St Arnolds offers a number of excellent brews among them 5’oclock Pils and Art Car IPA. For my taste, as good as the imports from other American brewers, or better.

            1. Doesn’t matter where you go, beer is still rotted grain.

              It was bad enough when there were just wine snobs, but now we have beer snobs, too, AND coffee snobs.

  8. Bezos opposes mail-in voting for those voting too unionize an Amazon facility. An Amazon spokesman:

    ‘… the best approach to a valid, fair and successful election is one that is conducted manually, in-person….’

    Someone posted something about this on twitter, and twitter responded thus:

    “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”

    Really?

    1. You expected anything else? The party line is that the public must be protected from dangerous information. This kind of thing is to be expected.

      1. If true it’s certainly dumb but don’t you think a less nefarious explanation is possible (such as over-reaction by low level moderator/algorithim to all the election related disinformation that proliferated recently)?

        Oh, of course, this is the internet, what was I thinking?

        1. And the reason those moderators are blocking anything that could be seen as implying there was fraud in the last election is? Look the only reason over zealous moderators are doing this sort of thing is because of the reason I said. Just like anti porn crusades inevitably result in pictures of beast feeding mothers being censored, this is an expected outcome of the crusade against the public accessing and sharing information.

          1. “And the reason those moderators are blocking anything that could be seen as implying there was fraud in the last election is? ”

            Because there was a bunch of downright silly disinformation flooding their platforms on that topic recently and they don’t want their product involved in that? I mean, it’s not as sexy and nefarious, just completely reasonable…

            1. If you would have told me a few years ago that liberals would be endorsing increased corporate power over individuals a few years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it.

              But here you are.

              Many liberals now think corporations must censor our speech for our own good. Not liken that power could be abused or anything.

              1. I don’t think this is increasing corporate power over individuals (I have never had a Facebook or Twitter account and don’t feel oppressed in any way).

                1. Oh, well…there you have it. You personally don’t use communication media that hundreds of millions of other do, therefor control/manipulation of those mechanisms aren’t of any real consequence.

                  1. Missed the point.
                    If you don’t like the way FaceBook or Twitter run their services, don’t use them and the problem solves itself.

                    1. Missed the point.

                      Yes, you certainly did.

                    2. You’re going to double down on missing the point?

                      Well, that doesn’t affect anybody but you, so knock yourself out.

        2. If such a less nefarious explanation were true, you would think that Twitter would un-flag that tweet in the five days since it was made. They didn’t, which says either they think it deserved to be flagged, or that their moderation is so awful that they cannot fix even failures that get a lot of attention from the public.

          1. Is it that much attention? I’m betting the vast majority of the general public is like me and had never heard of it (in fact, an almost equally vast majority probably don’t know that Amazon is having a unionization squabble right now).

            1. I’m betting the vast majority of the general public is like me and had never heard of it

              But, but. It’s all over OAN and Breitbart.

              1. “It’s all over OAN and Breitbart.”

                If you say so. You seem to watch a lot of those sites based on your repeated similar comments.

        3. Not only had this perpetrator election fraud not been arrested and charged for doing exactly the same thing that another Tweeter did (in the opposite direction), in spite of it being repeatedly reported to Twitter her account is not only still active, she remains a Blue Check Mark.

          https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1354547988778070018?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1354547988778070018%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fen-volve.com%2F2021%2F01%2F28%2Fa-democrat-was-exposed-committing-same-election-fraud-scheme-that-trump-supporter-was-just-arrested-for-no-action-is-being-taken-against-her%2F

          1. Maybe it’s the provable number of people who were misread, Wuz.

            Read the 1 page DoJ release before you go off, next time.

            1. Uh…I did read it, you twit. All they cited was how many texts were sent to the number in question “on or about and before election day” (with no indication of how many were sent AFTER election day). We also have no idea how many of those were legitimate dumbasses and how many were just goofballs sending the text for shits-and-grins. So don’t strain yourself jumping to unsupportable conclusions.

              Also note that the only reason they have those numbers in the case the pursued…and don’t have those numbers in the case(s) they haven’t pursued…is because, y’know…they haven’t pursued the other case(s), Einstein.

    2. Classification algorithms sometimes make false positive errors and other blindingly obvious statements that anyone who has ever worked with computers could tell you.

    3. “Bezos opposes mail-in voting for those voting too unionize an Amazon facility.”

      Yes, there it is, another person claiming that mail-in voting isn’t fair to someone who wants to be able to control the vote.

      that IS the point you were trying to make, here, right?

  9. The winner of the FEOUTS (Fantasy election of the United States) competition, drawn by lot after a three-way tie, is NOVA Lawyer. The champion’s prize is a $100 Amazon gift certificate (or perhaps another issuer’s gift certificate, if requested).

    The runner-up, drawn by lot, is rilldrive. That prize is a $50 Amazon gift certificate (or similar certificate).

    Third-place (no prize, but tied for lead): Sam Gompers.

    I ask the winners to contact me by responding to this comment, enabling us to arrange delivery of the prizes (and determine by proximity whether a huge bottle of beer is to accompany either prize).

    1. There’s no way he won, Gompers was ahead at first and therefore had to have won overall. Must be rigged!

      1. Frankly, I won by a landslide, and anyone who tells you otherwise is fake news.

  10. Any suggestions for a relatively short sci-fi novel (under 250 pages)? My taste run more PDK than Heinlen/Asimov.

    1. PDK? Do you mean PKD?

      1. Yeah, typo (though I claim it was the subtle influence of VALIS on me).

        1. Well, others might be better at newer scifi, but if you’re looking for “classic scifi” (like the authors you listed), then:

          1. Roger Zelazny. More known for fantasy/sci fi in an Arthur C. Clarke way (Lords of Light, Amber), you can either try Nine Princes in Amber (very short book) and see if you like it, or Jack of Shadows (stand alone, also short).

          2. Ursula K. LeGuin. Left Hand of Darkness is a little longer than your limit, but a classic for a reason. Also numerous short stories and other books.

          3. Niven and Pournelle had a lot of good stuff. They actually collaborated on a modern re-telling of Inferno (Dante) which was neat.

          1. Just put a hold on that Inferno, thanks!

            1. I’ll second Niven’s early work. Ringworld series was fantastic. The Integral Trees was the first of his works that I read, and it hooked me on his stuff for years. It’s not as well known as his other works, but is truly strange and unique hard sci fi.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Integral_Trees

              1. I agree, but if he is looking for Phil Dick-like stuff, he might not be looking for Niven. Have you read Niven’s short fiction about the detective Gil Hamilton? In particular one called ‘Death By Ecstasy’ is very good.

                1. I have. I loved all of Niven’s stuff when I was younger. I grew out of hard sci fi once I discovered writers who can actually write a human character that is three dimensional. I read Jonathan Lethem (who has a few detective sci fi novels of his own) when I am in the mood for something weird, but with relatable and complete characters.

              2. “I’ll second Niven’s early work.”

                Try “Dream Park”. it’s a murder mystery set in a videogame set in a theme park. Or the standalone novels “Lucifer’s Hammer” and “Footfall” (but not back-to-back… when they pitched “Footfall” to the publisher the publisher liked some of the story, so instead of writing “Footfall” they reworked part of “Footfall” into “Lucifer’s Hammer”. Note: These are both epic (ie, long) novels. For something shorter, there’s “Inconstant Moon”. If your library has DVD sets, see if they have the revival of “The Outer Limits”, because one of the later seasons has an adaptation of “Inconstant Moon” with the sexy bits cut out.

            2. “Just put a hold on that Inferno, thanks!”

              There’s a sequel, too. Because of course there is.

              1. Another tangent:
                The three “the Magicians” novels, from which a SYFY series was made (the TV show uses the first two novels, rearranged, before venturing off to a completely different path around season 3.
                The quick summary is “Harry Potter” for adults, because in these books magicians don’t start right after grade school, they start in graduate school.

    2. John Brunner’s Web of everywhere, Total Eclipse, and Timescoop, might fit your length criteria. Stand on Zanzibar is much longer, but worth the read.

      1. Thanks, these Brunner’s sound good indeed, I had not heard of him before. Unfortunately my local library doesn’t seem to carry these titles but I can perhaps ILL for them.

        1. Consider seeking out “the Shockwave Rider” as well It describes a slightly offbeat twisted future which turned out to have some similarity to what we actually got.

    3. Roadside Picnic has the tone you want.

      1. Read it, loved it, but thanks!

    4. Peace War by Vernor Vinge. Most of his stuff is a lot more hard Sci Fi than even Asimov, but Peace War is both shorter and closer to PDK.

      1. There’s also Pohl’s Merchants of Venus. And Gateway, another Hugo winner.

        Podkayne of Mars is good, too, if you get the edition with the proper (original) ending.

        These aren’t related except for all being set on an inhabited Venus.

    5. Alfred Bester: The Demolished Man or The Stars My Destination.

      Samuel Delany: The Einstein Intersection or Babel-17 or The Ballad of Beta-2. He has other great novels but much longer than your limit.

      Roger Zelazny: Lord of Light or Jack of Shadows or This Immortal

      Ursula K. LeGuin: The Dispossessed or The Left Hand of Darkness or The Lathe of Heaven

      William Gibson: Neuromancer and it’s two sequels (sort of); Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive

      1. Don’t forget Mr. Gibson’s short-story collection “Burning Chrome” which has stories set in the same background as Neuromancer.

        Also recommended: David Brin’s Uplift novels (skip the first one and start with Startide Rising, then go to the Uplift War, and then get as far as Heaven’s Reach. If you find these novels as enchanting as SF fandom did (Startide Rising and Uplift War won Hugos) you can finish the cycle with the other three uplift novels.

    6. Little Fuzzy, by H. Beam Piper.
      It’s available from Project Gutenberg.

      Piper wrote two sequels (one of which was missing for several decades and thought lost before a copy of the manuscript was rediscovered. and there are two sequels by other authors. Go ahead and ignore John Scalzi’s reboot of the novel. Most of Piper’s works form an interconnected future history, but are also long out of print and hard to find.

      My book collection is currently in storage and relatively inaccessible, which limits my ability to make recommendations.

      1. Another selection available from project Gutenberg is Arthur Conan Doyle’s (yes, THAT guy) “The Lost World” about a modern day (well, when it was written it was modern day) world with live dinosaurs in it that didn’t need any genetic engineers in it, nor any characters who could be played by Jeff Goldblum. Yes, the second Jurassic Park novel’s title is a direct homage.

  11. The Democrat/progressive movement has never before acted so stridently to squash the opposition. This will not end well.

    1. What are you talking about? You know in the 1930’s they *actually tried* court packing, unionization was much higher, etc., Come on.

    2. “The Democrat/progressive movement has never before acted so stridently to squash the opposition.”

      This is why there is an epistemological failure in this country. On the one hand, you have people saying this, and others continuing to post about election FRAUD11!!!!111!!! (that’s a Mick reference, for those who remember).

      On the other hand, there are those of us who are reading the increasingly detailed accounts of how Trump prepared for weeks before the election to prematurely declare victory because he had been briefed on the red mirage; that is why he had spent all that time attempting to de-legitimatize mail-in votes, that is why he was so angry and Fox for calling Arizona. He was going to call victory no matter what happened in the actual election that night. Combine that with everything we have learned- from the calls to the local election officials, to having repeated and heated meetings looking to replace acting AG (and the reasons that Barr resigned), to having surrogates float the ideal of martial law, to the eventual … let’s call it issue … at the Capitol.

      In other words, we all live in the same reality. But for some people, what happened was those evil liberals stole the election, and then the mainstream media and RINO colluded to keep Trump for exposing the lies. Or something. I’m unclear on all of this, either because I’m not part of this group, or because I’m sane.

      On the other hand, there is a group of people that sees that America was very, very close to falling away from Democracy, and while our institutions BARELY managed to survive it, the fundamental issues that led to that point remain, and the institutions themselves are now hollowed out. In other words, we got lucky, and because we can’t even get agreement on that, we’re not going to fix it.

      In other words, we dodged a bullet, but people can’t even agree that someone took a shot.

      In other words, there are people who keep saying, “Hey, no harm, no foul. It’s just like EV posted.*

      *Seriously, that EV post of December 28, 2021, did not age very well. “That’s bigger than one man, whatever his personality might be. And indeed, that the system works with the sore losers is ultimately a greater testament to it than its working with the gracious ones. True, it’s not Jan. 20 yet. But my prediction is that (setting aside the surface matters related to the epidemic) it will be a Jan. 20 of an inauguration year much like any other.”

      Well, not exactly.

      1. Alternatively, the media helped coordinate a conspiracy by explaining the timeline and framework for stealing the election, aided by illegal but widely copied changes to state election procedures. When people expected the election to act like previous ones, this was given as proof that those people were malicious and trying to undermine the country.

        1. It did behave like previous ones, the only change was the increased use of mail in votes, once you take that into account the results came in just as long term election observers completely expected. The problem is that Trump’s base is heavily, as he put it, poorly educated (and likely not well acquainted with election history) and unusually motivated to believe in him (I could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue…), and so they are going to believe in some really silly stuff as long as he keeps telling them it. Of course, that stuff was not only silly but also quite dangerous to the norms and institutions that undergird our democracy.

          You can tell this was a strange Trump cult thing, there was little to no comparable movement to claim that, for example, the House was stolen. Trump didn’t care about that and so neither did his followers.

          1. Please compare rejection rates for mail-in ballot rates in 2020 to every previous election. They’re not even close. 2020 was unlike previous elections, in significant ways. Absentee ballots were arranged and handled very differently. Saying it behaved like previous elections is bad fiction.

            1. Please read the decisions in the 64 or so court cases that Trump campaign initiated on this matter. Pay special attention to the ones where Trump campaign withdraws their suit rather than present evidence.

            2. ” Saying it behaved like previous elections is bad fiction.”

              The more unpopular candidate lost, just like in 2020, 2012, 2008, 1996, 1992, 1980, and (just going back as far as my memory does so I don’t have to look anything up.

        2. people expected the election to act like previous ones,

          What are you talking about?

          In 2016 Trump carried WI by 23K votes out of about 2.9 million.

          In 2020 Biden carried it by about 20K votes out of 3.3 million.

          How is that a dramatic, radical, change?

          1. Indeed, if that fact pattern makes you have to concoct and believe the many silly election charges out there then sheesh.

            1. “Truly, whoever is able to make you absurd is able to make you unjust.”

              (aka, those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities)

          2. I’m glad you have help from other “people with different opinions” moving those goalposts.

            1. What goalposts did I move?

              What are you talking about? Do you even have a point?

          3. “How is that a dramatic, radical, change?”

            The D’s got enough voters to show up at the polls to win the election, and to do that, they needed a lot of help from Trump.

        3. “Alternatively, the media helped coordinate a conspiracy by explaining the timeline and framework for stealing the election”

          The election was not stolen, despite Mr. Trump’s efforts to do so.

      2. “This is why there is an epistemological failure in this country.”

        I know! Nobody views things the same way as me! It’s terrible!

  12. My mother grew up north of Harbin, Manchuria, near the Siberian border. So when I was a bare-footed kid growing up in the fifties we ate lots of borscht, chop suey, salads with Chinese spices and bamboo shoots, and some spicy Indian foods she picked up from other missionary families. It was great cuisine, and I credit it with my relative good health in my late seventies.

    Right now I am craving a good pot of chili, Southern Living recipe, with plenty of red kidney beans, sour cream, and crackers.

    1. I unironically made chili last night in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. Plan on making some Italian white bean soup with kale and mirepoix tonight.

  13. It is time for the Ds to get rid of Schumer and Pelosi. The Ds need retail-politics type leaders—Sam Rayburn/Lyndon Johnson types who know how to pressure a few opposition figures to turn votes around in Congress.

    With Schumer and Pelosi, the Ds have donor-politics type leaders. They remain tongue-tied—clueless about framing issues. With donor-politics you never have to bother with that, so they never learned to do it.

    Worse, with politics moving at a pace normally seen only during actual revolutions, Schumer and Pelosi can’t keep up. For a brief moment after the Capitol attack, Trumpism teetered between extinction and resurgence. It would have been better if Schumer and Pelosi had noticed.

    Until a few days ago, Mitch McConnell was out in public, begging the Democrats to help stave off resurgent Trumpism. Democratic leadership did nothing. Probably, it’s already too late. McConnell is back in a defensive crouch. Leading Trumpists are trekking to Mar-A-Lago to get marching orders.

    To stop that trend, Congress ought to be actively investigating, with an eye to expulsions of members complicit in the Capitol attack, or who continue lying about Biden’s election victory. Nations fall victim to appeasement at moments when decisive action feels too dangerous. That is the U.S. right now.

    Knowing what he doesn’t have to work with in Congress, Biden is wearing out pens signing executive orders. No one knows better than Biden the ultimate futility of that method. He needs congressional backing; without it he has no alternative. It feels like the wheels are about to come off the Democratic electoral victory, already—right at the moment when the Democratic establishment thinks Biden is doing his best.

    1. Not saying your overall point doesn’t have merits, but usually you don’t ditch the leadership that was in charge when you get a trifecta.

      1. Fair point. But make it a point to notice, you are talking like you are looking backward, while events are moving forward, really fast.

        1. Events are moving forward at a standstill, waiting for enough Americans to get COVID vaccinations. Every damn one of us has more time than we know what to do with right about now.

          1. Not the Trumpists, insurrectionists, and religious nationalists. They are regrouping frantically. In the face of that, if Pelosi and Schumer have time on their hands, that is very bad.

            At least Biden is going as fast as he can. Problem is, the way things are now, Biden will shortly come to a halt, far out in front of his support, and totally exposed.

    2. The way forward for Democrats is to get retail-politics leaders, who know how to win votes from the ranks of the opposition, while persecuting the opposition by threatening to expel members of Congress for wrongthink. Riiiight.

      If you think Congress should expel members who were complicit in the January 6th rioting, start with Schumer and Pelosi, who are senior enough to give direction to the Capitol Police on how to secure the Capitol building and grounds.

      1. Sigh. The most serious push to expel any member from Congress is that QAnon nut from Georgia, and I doubt even that will go far.

        1. Lathrop said that push should be extended and broadened, implying that anything less would be “appeasement”. He does not seem to realize that he is pushing for the kind of regime that demands appeasement from others.

          1. I can’t quite figure out your criticism. Can you say more?

    3. I would say the Democrats need to act like they won the last election. For years, the GOP strategy has been to act like they won the last election whether they actually did or not, and since Democrats actually did win the last election, perhaps they could act like it.

      1. Guess it is hard to pretend you “won” when a guilty mind knows the truth…

        1. We all know Leprechauns and Unicorns took away Trump’s votes, Jimmy!

          1. And its that exact attitude that is going to keep people believing the election was rigged. So keep it up.

            1. What’s going to keep people believing it is that they are deranged fools who believe Trumpist lies.

              Why do you want to destroy the country?

            2. The election allegations are laughable Jimmy. Trump literally argued that because he was head in the early returns that his losing in the end was evidence of something nefarious. That’s as dumb as arguing that because you were ahead at the start of the 9th inning you had to have won the game. Anyone who watches elections knows that cities reporting late and breaking for Democrats by wide margins is as common as having elections on Tuesday.

              If you and some of his hard core supporters want to keep believing in something that stupid, go ahead, you’re literally demonstrating that there’s literally nothing that can be done to assuage you.

              1. There is lots in politics that is laughable, but people still believe them. For instance:
                -Global warming….err climate change…err the new ice age….err whatever we are calling it now
                -Systemic racism
                -“Mostly peaceful protests”
                -The “extreme right” is the problem
                -Children can “select” their gender

                The list goes on and on.

                Stupid people believe stupid things. The Left has craved out most of their positions entire political existence based upon this. It works for them because 1) they have programmed people to believe this stuff and 2) libs are dumb. But we should focus on #1.

                In politics it doesn’t matter if something is true. All this truth stuff is relative. What matters is does an issue get the people out, active, and voting. That is pretty much it. By censoring anything election fraud related you are creating and reinforcing a rallying cry. YOU think people who believe it are dumb (but they already think you are dumb for various reasons) and that doesn’t matter. What matters is if that issue is going to get them to the ballot box come election day. And, I’ll let you in on a secret, if you don’t want an energized right doing that in 2022 and 2024 I would stop it with the whole bit against election fraud. But, you won’t listen, so keep it up and enjoy the outcome.

                1. Look, those things are not as analogous (this isn’t to say those positions are correct, just that they’re not in the ‘if I was ahead at first I must have won’ ballpark of obvious stupidity) but even arguendo they were, if the best you can do is a tu quoque on massively stupid, you’ve not won anything. And, what’s most laughable here is that you’re just trying to give people who think Trump is a silly menace some friendly advice…

                  1. I will repeat this, because it’s an important anecdote to remember when engaging with that person:

                    *****************************
                    One afternoon, Gene mentioned whatever the current outrage du jour on Fox was. (This was well before Trump’s reign, by the way.)

                    He fixed me with his baleful, watery stare, and said, “Obama was born in Kenya, you know.” […]

                    So I dead-eyed Gene and said, “You don’t really believe that. I know you don’t.”

                    I will never forget the look that crossed his face. Because it was familiar. It was the same shit-eating grin my racist stepfather used to wear when spouting Rush Limbaugh dittohead shit at the dinner table. It was the same wink-wink-nudge-nudge all the f***ing white supremacists and Satanic Panic assholes give.

                    Gene absolutely, positively did not believe that Obama was born in Kenya. But he would continue to say he believed it, no matter who asked, to the end of his life. Because he thought saying he believed it absolved him of responsibility.

                    ******************************

                    There are some people who, bless their cotton socks, really truly believe the whole election FRAUD!!11!!!!! thing.

                    And then there are those who are just saying it; it’s performative. They won’t stop saying it. They will shift the conversation to all the TERRIBLE THINGS your side is doing. But saying it is just a way to absolve themselves of responsibility for the other things they believe in.

                    Those are the people that are even worse than the true believers.

                    1. I have a similar tale : Years ago I used to do a yearly beach thing with a group of friends who were rabidly conservative. We’d do long heated arguments over the latest bit of untrue nonsense they’d heard on talk radio.

                      It’s almost impossible to corner someone willing to accept a shameless lie, and some of these fights were fought with passion for ages. But the rare time I forced acknowledgement that 2+2=4 something strange happened : It suddenly became a joke. They “believed” as long as it was easy; they “believed” as long as it was comfortable; they “believed” as long as they could get away with it. When they couldn’t? Their old belief was tossed casually aside.

                      That’s Jimmy the Dane on election fraud. He’s having a good time with his bullshit. He won’t stop as long as it’s a cheap & easy pleasure.

                    2. Huh funny story because that is exactly what happened in the mid 2000’s with a race baiter of the day got caught of camera in exactly the same circumstance.

                    3. This is damn close to an admission by Jimmy.

                    4. “There are some people who, bless their cotton socks, really truly believe the whole election FRAUD!!11!!!!! thing.”

                      Yup. Just like there are two thirds of Democrats who believe that Russia tampered with vote tallies in 2016. People believe a lot of dumb things. Heck, some people even believe that President Nixon was impeached and removed.

                    5. Wow. It’s almost like my personal racist and misogynistic stalker goes through threads just to comment on my posts.

                      Almost like JuvenileNickName wishes people would take him and his comments seriously and engage with him …

                      Unfortunately, he is who he is. Now, go talk to your fellow travelers like Aktenberg.

                2. Jimmy, on the issues you list, on the one hand we have professionals who spend their entire lives studying those issues who say one thing, and on the other hand we’ve got you who simply doesn’t believe it because it goes against your world view. Why should I trust you over the experts?

                  1. Modern contra conservatism in a nutshell

                  2. “Experts” that are paid to forward the liberal agenda based upon things that are designed to drive that agenda. Sure sign me up to believe these “experts”….

                    1. The only way you can tell which experts are real is if they agree with JtD.

                    2. Or don’t take money from DNC, Inc. and claim that everything you are advocating is no way linked to the politics which seems to be driving it.

                3. Jimmy the Dane: In politics it doesn’t matter if something is true.

                  There you have it. GOP nihilism, straight from a nut shell.

                4. “There is lots in politics that is laughable, but people still believe them. For instance:
                  […]
                  -Children can ‘select’ their gender”

                  Is that something YOU believe, Jimmy? I’ve never run into anyone who said they believed that. If that were true, then transgenderism would be fixable by simply making children select the gender that matches their reproductive organs. Or is that something that children can “select”, as well?

              2. btw-I’m actually being too fair to the Trumpistas here, a better analogy would be it’s like arguing that since you were ahead at the start of the 9th inning *against a team that regularly scores disproportionately in the late innings* you therefore can’t have lost due to several scores by the other team in the 9th.

                All this stupidity just to soothe the fragile ego of a politician. Amazing.

                1. Poor Jimmy still thinks the Atlanta Falcons won the Super Bowl. After all, they were way ahead of the Cheatriots, weren’t they? No way they could get back in that game without help from a massive conspiracy.

            3. No, Jimmy, the people who believe the election was rigged are not the kind of people who are going to be swayed by reason and logic, so from that standpoint, it doesn’t matter what the Queen’s attitude is. She’s not going to reason people out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into in the first place.

              Trump is a con man who made a lot of money over the years by separating fools from their money. Why would you believe he’s telling the truth about this?

              1. What’s strange is Trump began telling the suckers he would claim fraud months before Election Day. For most of us that’s easy to understand : A huckster prepping dupes for a con. Knowing the high likelihood Biden would win, Trump wanted to prepare the way to sabotage an election he lost.

                You have to wonder how the gullible & willing fools (like our Jimmy) see that. If Trump sincerely believed the election would be stolen you’d think he would have acted to forestall, identify or oppose the theft.

                But there was none of that. Trump’s “warning” to his dupe-base were words alone; just more empty bullshit like the endless stream that flows from his mouth.

                1. So Trump was going to stay in the White House and the Secret Service were going to have to evict him right? Or are you going to be honest that all of this crap was just gaslighting as well?

                  1. It was Trump’s supporters who kept baying he was going to stay, fight and win, despite the electors casting their votes in the state, them being transmitted, etc..

                    And it was Trump who, along the way, kept telling them this was a legitimate path. Because he ‘really’ won because he was ahead at 10 pm on election night.

                    Laughable stuff.

                  2. Well, he did attempt an insurrection at the Capitol. And he did pressure the Georgia Secretary of State to change the votes. So the fact that he didn’t specifically stay in the White House and get evicted doesn’t detract from the primary point.

                    1. “he did attempt an insurrection at the Capitol”

                      Saying something a billion times doesn’t make it so.

                    2. Bob, you denying something a billion times doesn’t make it not so.

                    3. He called Michigan state legislators to the White House. No one recorded that conversation so we don’t know if he gave them a tally of votes to “find” like he did in Georgia.

                      He directly called an election official in the Georgia state government, bypassing the Governor & Secretary of State. Trump pressured the official to “find” fraud that wasn’t there.

                      Some nobody in the Justice Department cooked-up a scheme to prevent Georgia certifying their election results. He would prepare an “official” letter claiming the DOJ was investigating election fraud in that state & demanding they revoke their certification. There was no such investigation – it was all a lie – but the scheme had Trump near firing Justice’s acting head to install the nobody in his stead. It took the threat of mass resignations to torpedo the scheme.

                      Trump spent two months continually & systematic lying. This was the Big Lie, that (fantasy) fraud had taken the people’s vote from them. It was lying on the scale of old Soviet Russia agitprop : inflammatory, virulent, vicious & destabilizing. The rioters heard Trump’s lies and followed his wishes. That why Trump watched the mayhem on TV with glee and refused to take calls from congressmen trapped inside the building.

                    4. “Well, he did attempt an insurrection at the Capitol. And he did pressure the Georgia Secretary of State to change the votes.”

                      He also asked his supporters in North Carolina to try to vote for him twice, and he “won” in NC…
                      No wonder he was so sure there was vote fraud in last year’s election!

                    5. “Trump spent two months continually & systematic lying”

                      This is a gross understatement.

                2. Dem attempts to commit fraud are indeed very predictable

                  1. Like I said, sure Ben, Soros’ army of Unicorns and Leprechauns stole all the Trump votes. How else would someone who won four years ago by a razor thin margin lose now in a razor thin margin? Lol.

                    1. How else could an incumbent who’d never once broken 50% approval ratings his entire term lose?

                    2. “How else could an incumbent who’d never once broken 50% approval ratings his entire term lose?”

                      Just because he was the least effective and least popular President in modern times doesn’t mean he didn’t have supporters who were willing to subsidize his time cheating at golf in order to get some court appointees they liked.

            4. “And its that exact attitude that is going to keep people believing the election was rigged.”

              The kind of dimwit who believes the election was rigged aren’t the type to listen to facts, observations, or evidence, and most of the time, they can be safely ignored. Right up until they grab a rifle and go to investigate the secret pedophile ring that operates in the basement of a restaurant that doesn’t have a basement.

        2. “Guess it is hard to pretend you ‘won’ when a guilty mind knows the truth…”

          Especially, if you keep insisting that you won as you pack up your household and subsequently slink off to Florida.

    4. “expulsions of members”

      Pray tell, oh wise one, how do you get 2/3 votes to expel?

      Senate tie and 6 vote majority in the House. Please enlighten us rubes wit your wisdom.

      1. The left will say something like “the right must own their extremists or become them”, but oddly never make that false moral equation when it comes to their own extremists who are right now rioting in Portland, shooting fireworks at police, and burning buildings.

      2. Bob, the comment to which you are responding assumed that it is proven that some members actively aided the rioters. I agree with you that the realities of our current politics is that not even that would be sufficient for most Republicans to vote to expel, though I’m having trouble coming up with what fig leaves they would come up with as an excuse.

        But, in a sane, rational society, actively aiding insurrectionists strikes me as something that should be grounds for expulsion. So I would tell the Democrats to go ahead and make their expulsion motions, and let the GOP vote them down. I would then look forward to hearing the GOP explain to the center why they think those colluding with rioters should be allowed to remain in the House.

        1. Stunt votes never work out. See Electoral College Objections.

          Nobody will care in 2022 how some stunt expulsion vote turned out.

        2. “the comment to which you are responding assumed that it is proven that some members actively aided the rioters.”
          “I’m having trouble coming up with what fig leaves they would come up with as an excuse.”
          Reagan’s 11th Commandment.

      3. Bob, lets pretend to give the problem to Mitch McConnell, and let the Democrats rely on the kinds of tactics he favors.

        Here’s what McConnell might do:

        He would decide to try the cases en bloc. Before the trial, he would use a simple majority to pass a rule that the accused were not entitled to vote in their own cases. Then, with enough accused members on trial, behold, a 2/3 majority among the members who were still entitled to vote. Easy to do in the House where so many would be accused, maybe a bit harder in the Senate. But all done according to the Constitution.

        Maybe the reaction would be as outraged as it was in the case of Justice Barrett. Equally futile, too.

        Not that I’m really suggesting doing that. Just speculating what it might be like if the Democrats behaved like Republicans. Thanks for playing.

        1. Thanks for being insane.

          1. What’s wrong, Bob? Flagrant violation of norms? That bothers you?

      4. “Pray tell, oh wise one, how do you get 2/3 votes to expel?

        Senate tie and 6 vote majority in the House. Please enlighten us rubes wit your wisdom.”

        You could expect the other Republicans to do what’s best for the country. Unless you’re saying that’s not what they’re there for.

    5. Oh, yeah, expelling legitimately elected members of the opposition party, how better to calm things down when half the opposition’s base already thinks you stole the election?

      1. Ok, now do it with not certifying the legitimately elected Electors of the opposition party.

        1. Brett’s all about calming things down, as long as it means Democrats don’t do anything.

          Now ask him if the Republicans have any responsibility to calm things down by, say, conceding that Biden won legitimately and that the claims of fraud are nonsense.

          1. I’ve said that I think he won legitimately, for a disturbingly low but perhaps sufficient value of legitimately. All sorts of cheating going on, but Trump might have lost an honest election, too. He certainly kept fighting too long.

            Did Democrats have any responsibility to calm things dow during last years much larger riots?

            1. You’ve certainly not tried to engage with anyone here who argues Trump secretly won, Brett.

              So looks like Bernard’s point about your unity being partisan is standing up pretty well.

              1. Not that you noticed, anyway. I was quite clear about Benford’s law not being applicable to real elections, for instance.

                1. I agree you’ve said you think there was no voter fraud just the courts not following the law as you see it.

                  But you didn’t call anyone out. Which is fine – I rarely call out RAK.

                  But it does mean arguments about Dems can calm things down ring pretty hollow.

                  Until the GOP leadership stops playing footsie with Biden being illegitimate, unity isn’t possible.

            2. “All sorts of cheating going on, but Trump might have lost an honest election, too.”

              If he couldn’t cheat his way to victory, why assume that he could have done it without cheating?

            3. Did Democrats have any responsibility to calm things dow during last years much larger riots?

              Here is one set of comments by Biden.

              On Sept. 7, 2020, four days after police shot and killed a self-declared anti-fascist activist in Washington state as they moved in to arrest him on suspicion he had fatally shot a right-wing counter protester in Portland, Oregon, Biden condemned Antifa in an interview with Pennsylvania NBC News affiliate WGAL (here). Asked by reporter Barbara Barr, “Do you condemn Antifa?” Biden responded, “Yes I do—violence no matter who it is.”

              In the days following the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25, 2020, Joe Biden wrote on his blog, “Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not.” (here ) He again condemned violence, looting, and the destruction of property on June 2 in Philadelphia ( here) and on July 28 in Wilmington (here) .

              At a speech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 2, he said, “There’s no place for violence, no place for looting or destroying property or burning churches or destroying businesses […] we need to distinguish between legitimate peaceful protest and opportunistic violent destruction” (here).

              On Aug. 30, he condemned violence at protests in Portland (here) by releasing a statement on his campaign website (here), which said, “The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable […] as a country we must condemn the incitement of hate and resentment that led to this deadly clash. It is not a peaceful protest when you go out spoiling for a fight” (more here) .

              During the first presidential debate on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio, Biden reiterated his stance on violence and looting. At the 1:03:44 timecode here , the former vice president says, “I’ve made it clear in my public statements that violence should be prosecuted.”

              Any other questions?

      2. So the Democrats are supposed to give ground because half of the the Republican Party believes patent falsehoods?

        Because that’s really what you are arguing.

        No one is supposed to to criticize Greene because some delusional Republicans might not like it?

        1. “No one is supposed to to criticize Greene because some delusional Republicans might not like it?”

          The loonies are citizens and deserve to have their voices heard. They don’t have to be taken seriously, however, and nobody should be trying to address their delusional concerns in any way except by counseling them to get over their delusions.

    6. “Until a few days ago, Mitch McConnell was out in public, begging the Democrats to help stave off resurgent Trumpism. Democratic leadership did nothing.”

      They impeached the dude, but it turned out Mitch wasn’t actually interested in protecting the country from Trump(ism).

  14. A couple posts from yesterday discussed state laws that prohibit employers from firing employees for the employees’ expressive activity. I was wondering: do those laws ever violate the employers’ First Amendment rights?

    In the vast majority of cases, the employers’ First Amendment rights won’t be implicated because hiring and continuing to employ someone isn’t expressive activity that is itself protected by the First Amendment. But suppose I run a business in which some kind of expressive activity essentially *is* the business. Let’s say I’m the CEO and lead singer of a Christian band that makes a business of performing concerts throughout venues in my state. My group’s songs are overtly religious, and as part of advertising our concerts, we hold ourselves out as striving to follow Christian morality in all aspects of our lives.

    I then find out that one of my employees–say, the technician who does the sound mixing during our concerts–spends his weekends attending Satanist cult gatherings in which he and his followers espouse the kind of depraved debauchery that would make anyone (not just good Christians) blush just to hear about it. Can I fire that employee if I believe that his continued presence as a member of my company would inhibit the Christian message that my group is trying to impart with its songs and advertising? And if one of the statutes discussed yesterday would prevent me from doing so, has that statute infringed on my First Amendment speech or association rights?

    1. Well, the law is always changing. Especially when it comes to the issue of religion and corporations (especially closely-held ones).

      The general rule is that anti-discrimination laws are not categorically immune from First Amendment challenge.

      That said, as a practical matter in individual cases- good luck. Courts routinely hold that preventing discrimination in the work place is a compelling government interest.

    2. Yeah, I’ve never understood why California’s Leanord Law doesn’t violate private schools right of expressive association. I know the issue was litigated, but not very well.

    3. I think if something goes to the nature of your organization itself, it’s related to the business and you can fire him. If you’re in the specific business of selling a specific world view, then having people on staff who undermine that world view is a legitimate business concern. So if you came to me for advice, I’d tell you you can probably fire him.

      If the Ku Klux Klan opens an office, can they refuse to hire a black receptionist? Probably.

      1. How desperate for work must that receptionist applicant be?

    4. “A couple posts from yesterday discussed state laws that prohibit employers from firing employees for the employees’ expressive activity.”

      Can they be fired for not showing up for work on the 6th? How about if they phrase it not as firing them for what they did on the 6th, but as accepting their resignation as exemplified by not showing up for work on a work day?

      1. I assume that scheduling a vacation day in advance would protect you against that line of attack.

        1. If they had done so, and had the vacation day approved.

        2. How about being fired because you engaged in criminal behavior on your scheduled vacation day?

          Or are you still claiming that most of the rioters just thought they were strolling in for a tour, and didn’t notice the smashed windows, the screaming and yelling, etc.?

          1. Criminal action that isn’t related to the workplace is something that isn’t related to the workplace, and therefore largely falls under the heading of “nunna the employer’s beeswax”.

  15. Some things I think I think about five less-prominent Who — or Whoish — songs worth a listen:

    1) I’m Flash (John Entwistle and Alice Cooper, from the So Who’s The Bass Player anthology album and from Flash Fearless versus the Zorg Women)

    2) The Dirty Jobs (magnificent, often overlooked, from Quadrophenia)

    3) The Naked Eye (an Odds ‘n Sods toss-on; look for the Toronto ’82 performance)

    4) A Quick One, While He’s Away (not so quick — nine minutes; try the Rock ‘n Roll Circus version)

    5) To Barney Kessel (Pete solo, tribute to one of his heroes, from one of the Scoop albums)

    and, speaking of Barney, here is one from Chuck Berghofer.

      1. Boomer? I listened to Green Day this morning.

        1. So did my Boomer neighbor while he was blasting the Oldies station and doing yardwork.

    1. The best part of A Quick One is where Pete wanted to use cellos, and was told by Kit Lambert that they didn’t have the budget. So Pete and John just sing “cello cello cello cello…”

      1. This seems worthy of investigation.

        1. Hit play at 6:57 of the song.

          1. I will direct my attention to the background vocals at that point, but likely enjoy the entire song. I have always liked it — especially the Rolling Stones Rock ‘n Roll Circus version.

            1. The version on the extended Live at Leeds release is pretty good also. In my humble opinion that is the best live album of all time.

  16. It was generally reported this week that the Senate voted 55-45 against Rand Paul’s point of order that the Senate trial of Trump is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president. Paul argued that since 45 voted with him, the trial is a waste of time because we know for sure there at most 55 votes to convict.

    However, I though the vote was to table debate on the point of order. That is, the 55 who voted yes summarily dismissed the point of order, while it is possible that some of the 45 who voted no might later on conclude Paul is wrong after further debate.

    Is my understanding correct?

    1. I think your understanding is correct.

      I also think that even if there is a zero likelihood of Trump being convicted, the trial still needs to go forward. We cannot have a president incite an insurrection and then make no effort at all to hold him accountable. If the Republicans choose to let him off the hook, that’s on them, but at least the Democrats did their duty.

      1. As a constitutional matter, once he’s been impeached, the trial isn’t discretionary.

        And if Trump incited an insurrection, when are we removing all the Democrats who incited the riots? Much more explicitly called for them than Trump did the events of Jan. 6th.

        1. Do you think there could be a difference between an insurrection and a riot? I mean, we do have two different words for them. One of them is in the Constitution some, while iirc the other is not…

          1. I don’t see a lot of difference between attacking a federal building, on the one hand, and attacking a federal building, on the other. Unless maybe you want to notice that only one set of attacks involved trying to burn the building down with people trapped inside.

            It’s gross hyperbole to call the events of January 6th ‘insurrection’, but if you’re going to lower the bar that much, some of last year’s riots easily cleared it.

            And if you’re going to call Trump’s speech ‘incitement’, an awful lot of Democrats need to be charged with it, too, and on much clearer grounds.

            1. Invasion that injured 140 cops, and looks to have been out for politician blood.
              versus grafiti.

              Yeah, you’re wearing some pretty dim glasses if you can’t tell the difference there.

            2. Brett Bellmore : It’s gross hyperbole to call the events of January 6th ‘insurrection’

              Until rioting to prevent the certification of a U.S. presidential election becomes more commonplace, I think a little hyperbole is called for.

              Of course nothing in Trump’s two month effort to sabotage an election causes Brett the slightest unease. Not the agitprop lies. Not pressuring state officials to alter vote tallies. Not the banana republic conspiracies roiling the Justice Department. Not the obvious junk lawsuits. Not the riot or Trump’s reaction to it.

              Per Brett, it’s all good. What’s the big deal about undermining democracy when loyalty to the cult is at stake?

              1. Lest anyone forget, there actually WAS a known solicitation of vote fraud for the 2020 election. By… Donald Trump, in North Carolina. A state Trump “won”.

            3. .It’s gross hyperbole to call the events of January 6th ‘insurrection’, but if you’re going to lower the bar that much, some of last year’s riots easily cleared it.

              No. Not close. The Capitol riot was bluntly an attempt to overturn the Presidential election. It was an attack on our political system – an effort to – not to stretch things too far – violently overthrow the government.

              Setting buildings on fire is arson, or even attempted murder, but this is in fact insurrection. These people wanted to overthrow the government. They were willing to kill, and did kill, to do so.

              The murders weren’t attempted.

              The two thing are not comparable at all, Brett. Not at all. Your rationalization machine is overheating.

        2. BUT WHAT ABOUT??????

        3. Brett, if the Republicans thought they had grounds to expel any Democrats for anything they said or did during the riots, that would be just too good an opportunity to pass up, and I’m sure they’d have already introduced expulsion motions. The fact that they haven’t is telling.

          Nevertheless, if you think such expulsions are appropriate, let them be introduced, and let’s talk about them. On their own, and not as an excuse to derail an examination of Trump’s conduct.

          1. Brett, if the Republicans thought they had grounds to expel any Democrats for anything they said or did during the riots, that would be just too good an opportunity to pass up, and I’m sure they’d have already introduced expulsion motions. The fact that they haven’t is telling.

            “I’m going to kill you because I just know you’d do it to me if you had the chance.”

            1. Wuz, if I could buy your opinions for what they’re worth and then sell them for what you think they’re worth, I could pay off the national debt and still have enough to retire.

              1. Ditto your real IQ and what you think it is.

                1. Nuh-uh! YOU are!

        4. “As a constitutional matter, once he’s been impeached, the trial isn’t discretionary.”

          “I call this trial to order”
          “Motion to dismiss”
          “Motion seconded”
          “roll call vote”
          (votes come in)
          “the motion carries, the trial is over.”

          If the Majority Leader wants it to be over quickly, it will be.

          “And if Trump incited an insurrection, when are we removing all the Democrats who incited the riots?”

          When idiocy reigns, and riots become equal to insurrection.

          1. That’s about how I anticipate it going down, but they need to do at least that much. If they actually care about the Constitution, of course.

            And like I said, I don’t see a lot of difference between attacking a federal building, and attacking a federal building. Unless you want to discuss attempted arson of inhabited buildings, or setting up autonomous zones.

            You set the bar for insurrection low enough to call January 6 a case of it, the riots clear the bar easily, with a much clearer case fo incitement.

            1. ” If they actually care about the Constitution, of course.”

              If it’s about who cares about Constitution more, Trump loses from the outset, as he’s clearly never even read it.

              ” I don’t see a lot of difference between attacking a federal building, and attacking a federal building. ”

              Well, (apparently this has to be explained for the slow, and for Brett, as if that weren’t redundant (redundant is a word which means needlessly duplicated)), it depends on what’s IN the building. Some jackass out in the Siuslaw national forest tips over a portapotty because they think it’s funny… that’s not an insurrection. Some group of jackasses storms the Capitol building to try to stop votes from being counted, that’s an attempt at insurrection. See how those are different, Brett?

              1. Gosh, surprisingly, Brett didn’t come back to defend his intentional stupidity.

    2. “Is my understanding correct?”

      In theory, yes. Procedure votes do not bind the later substantive vote. Some of the 5 GOP {cough, Sasse} might also vote to acquit.

      I practice, procedure and substance almost always coincide these days on big issues.

      1. This is a very telling comment. Sasse got an 86% rating from the American Conservative Union and an 85 by Heritage. He consistently votes conservative and takes conservative positions. But he’s critical of Trump’s rhetoric, election denialism and comportment. So to Trumpists like Bob he’s not a real Republican or conservative.

        The party and movement is now all about Trump the person.

        1. “he’s not a real Republican or conservative”

          Not at all. He’s both.

          He’s also a spineless, backstabbing weasel. Even by low political standards, he has the consistency of jelly

          1. Because he won’t defend your cult leader’s every action?
            Again, very telling, comments like these.

            1. I disliked Sasse before Trump got elected.

              But you go on making your assumptions.

              1. Sure, sure. Gotta serve the Don.

          2. Bob from Ohio : “He’s also a spineless, backstabbing weasel. Even by low political standards, he has the consistency of jelly”

            Gosh. Bob has principles! I wonder what he made of Trump’s behavior to poor pathetic Pence?

            Spineless, backstabbing weasel barely begins to cover it. Here’s someone who served with dog-like loyalty & devotion for four years and Trump shivved in the back as a sop to throw to his mob. That being the same mob that was soon rampaging thru the Capitol braying for the Vice President’s blood. And this was all over the ludicrous pretense Pence could somehow overturn the election.

            Has there been a political betrayal in modern U.S. history so ugly, vicious & mindlessly stupid? Let’s check if Bob’s cult membership is still in good order: Let’s get his opinion on this particular lowest of low standards…..

          3. ““he’s not a real Republican or conservative”

            Not at all. He’s both.

            He’s also a spineless, backstabbing weasel.”

            But that’s redundant.

    3. In practice, Paul’s procedural point was dubious enough that all it really amounted to was polling the Senators on whether they’d vote to convict.

      And, of course, a Senator could easily believe Paul wrong on the procedural question, but view Trump as being innocent of the charges anyway. So there might be more than 45 votes to acquit, not fewer.

      1. Or Paul might be telling the truth and he really believes an impeachment once the President no longer holds power is unconstitutional.

        1. What really matters is if anyone in the future believes it’s Constitutional. Because if they don’t, then even if Trump is convicted it won’t matter.

        2. As discussed here, Trump WAS impeached while still in office. He just hasn’t been tried yet.

          Look, as politicians go, I think Paul is about as good as it gets. He’s still wrong about this.

          1. I agree that Sen. Paul is wrong about this. I very much disagree that he’s “as good as it gets,” but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he isn’t doing this for ulterior motives, or just to virtue signal to Trump supporters.

  17. Jay Inslee says killing thousands of good paying American jobs is a good thing. Need to get those Americans on the government dole!!! Self sufficiency, independence, dignity . . . these are dangerous things that stand in the way of the agenda. Ship those jobs to the other side of the globe!

    CHRIS CUOMO: “[H]ow do you finesse the aspect of the other party…on this, they’ve got a great angle. Every time you do something that’s green, you’re taking green out of their pockets. Keystone Pipeline, costing jobs. No more drilling, costing jobs. Jobs matter more to people than the environment when you look at polls. How do you bridge that gap?”

    JAY INSLEE: “We do not want to shackle our children to the dead weight of jobs that aren’t going to exist 30 years from now.”

    1. It doesn’t work when you follow your strawman with the actual quote.

      1. Does he agree with the Biden administration’s actions, or not? If he agrees with it, that means he thinks it’s a good thing, right? Let’s start there.

      2. It doesn’t work when you follow your strawman with the actual quote.

        From the virtual mouth of this forum’s foremost expert on straw man argumentation.

        1. All you do is call people names.

          1. SarcastrO, I just had a text from God, who tells me that he’s read Wuz’s comments over multiple times and still cannot figure out what on earth Wuz is talking about.

            1. I can figure it out. The fellow (?) doesn’t like losing arguments, but doesn’t dislike it enough to get better at constructing arguments.

              1. I can figure it out. The fellow (?) doesn’t like losing arguments

                He wasn’t responding to any argument I made, and I find it pretty difficult to lose arguments that I didn’t make. See if you can figure that out.

                1. “I find it pretty difficult to lose arguments that I didn’t make.”

                  And yet here you are, losing another one.

                  1. “I find it pretty difficult to lose arguments that I didn’t make.”

                    And yet here you are, losing another one.

                    It’s funny when dolts like you spike the ball and do a victory dance in your own end zone.

                    1. It’s funnier when you don’t even realize which end zone is which.

            2. SarcastrO, I just had a text from God, who tells me that he’s read Wuz’s comments over multiple times and still cannot figure out what on earth Wuz is talking about.

              Your god is an illiterate dumbass…who clearly made you in his image.

          2. All you do is call people names.

            “Foremost expert on straw man argumentation” is a name?

  18. The World Economic Forum wants you to know that there is nothing sinister about its globalist masterplan — aka The Great Reset — for a New World Order. It says so in a promo video, released to coincide with its annual Davos summit (which is taking place online all this week).

    In the video, the WEF admits that some people think that the Great Reset sounds like ‘some nefarious plan for world domination.’

    1. But nothing could be further from the truth, the video goes on to insist. The Great Reset is simply “an opportunity to build a better world.”

      If people think otherwise, it claims, it’s all the fault of the ‘broken system’ and the ‘pandemic.’

      “It’s not surprising that people who’ve been disenfranchised by a broken system and pushed even further by the pandemic will suspect global leaders of conspiracy.”

      So says the WEF. But could there be a more plausible explanation for people’s concern about the Great Reset: that they’ve started to do their homework and don’t like what they’ve discovered.

      For many years, the annual Davos cavalcade of private jets and limousines was something of a joke: ‘billionaires coming to tell millionaires how ordinary people should live.’

      But since the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, people have been paying much closer to attention to what this annual plutocrats’ shindig in Davos actually entails: a totalitarian world takeover in which a tiny elite will control every aspect of the lives of ordinary people, reducing them to the status of Medieval serfs.

      In the past, the WEF has not been secretive about its aims. In 2016, it released a video in which it boasted about a future where no one owned any property.

      Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better.

      Last year, the WEF’s founder Klaus Schwab even wrote a book celebrating the pandemic not as a crisis but an opportunity for a ‘new normal.’ . . . https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2021/01/27/trussst-usss-were-not-evil-claims-wef-great-reset-promo-video/

    2. Needs more SPECTRE

      1. Pass your comment on to the WEF to let them know your input . . . but pray tell, how would the WEF add more specter?

        1. I think your conspiracy theory needs more SPECTRE. Come on, swing for the fences (well, in your case the parking lot).

          1. Excuse me, I’m just reporting what the WEF is proposing and talking about. Nothing more, nothing less.

            1. M L boy journalist, sure!

  19. Anyone holding GME? I bought around 17 but sold most of it around 3x. Just holding some token amounts for entertainment purposes.

    1. It appears America’s disaffected, gullible losers have reacted to the revelation that Q lied to them (and that Trump is just a disgraced, flabby loser soon to be evicted) by participating in a few doomed, dopey stock runs.

      I am grateful my children and grandchildren will have the opportunity to compete economically with these people.

      1. No, it’s mostly liberal millennials on Reddit. AOC and Rashida Tlaib are on the one side and calling for a Congressional hearing, while you are taking the other side of Citadel and Ken Griffin.

        https://twitter.com/justinkan/status/1354853920762253315

        1. It’s so shocking that your analysis of this so so off-kilter, despite your obvious care and effort in gathering information.

        2. My side believes that overmatched, inept, disaffected idiots have rights, too. I would enable deluded, angry incels to buy GameStop shares until their moms stop subsidizing it.

          1. Me too. The point is, those angry idiot incels are mostly left wing.

            1. I have not observed persuasive evidence supporting that assertion.

            2. Yeah, they tend to be misogynist libertarians. Which party do you think fits better in that?

            3. “The point is, those angry idiot incels are mostly left wing.”

              How long have you been left-wing?

  20. What do you think about the mandatory diversity statements that are now in vogue for faculty applicants (see, for example, Abigail Thomson’s note in the American Mathematical Society – https://www.ams.org/journals/notices/201911/rnoti-p1778.pdf).

    1. As a faculty member, what do you think?

      Many universities, based on at least some academic research, think diversity is good for their student’s overall education and so they’ve adopted it as a key component or part of their mission. Why is it interesting that they’ve started to ask applicants to address how they could help the institution on this?

      1. It’s not as simple as asking how faculty will address diversity … the applications ask how faculty will address a specific understanding of diversity (e.g., that merit-based decisions do not sufficiently address the holistic challenges of attaining a diverse campus).

        In other words, applying faculty are being asked to endorse a political position. Maybe ok for private universities, but I would imagine that this is a problem for public universities. I would also argue that setting up litmus tests for applicants necessarily lowers academic merit by reducing the applicant pool.

        1. I’m curious, how is it more ‘political’ than asking faculty how they will teach the importance of the ‘Canon,’ or ‘experiential learning,’ etc?

          The very existence and therefore mission of a public university is ‘political’ (they are thought to serve some political good), no?

          1. To add: There’s a big debate about whether it’s best to focus on ‘content based’ learning (like E.D. Hirsch) or ‘process based’ learning (think Dewey). It’s not just an educational debate but a political one.

            If a university decides to take sides and make one a major component or goal of their mission, what’s wrong with asking applicants to address how they will meet the goal/mission? Is it wrong because the applicant can, rightly, say ‘that’s a political debate about what the best learning and learning goal should be?’

          2. Let’s place it in starker relief by considering a more obviously controversial direction (which, unfortunately, is not too far astray of reality in this country not so lon ago):

            Let’s say that the president of the university was a Eugenicist (no offense Eugene) interesting in promoting this particular field. Would it be an acceptable application question to ask how faculty have supported Eugenics in their academic pursuits?

            1. “Let’s say that the president of the university was a Eugenicist (no offense Eugene) interesting in promoting this particular field. Would it be an acceptable application question to ask how faculty have supported Eugenics in their academic pursuits?”

              I’ve been asked far stranger things. Back when the school I worked at at the time was launching its nursing program, a substantial part of he waitlist was male, so the hiring interviews had some questioning regarding gender expectations for nurses, but the questioning didn’t mean much, because at the time finding people with the proper educational qualification to run a nursing program in a program still seeking initial accreditation who weren’t already working more than full-time as nurses was very difficult because of the shortage of nurses our program was intended to help address. It turned out that people with Master’s degrees in Nursing were extremely rare, and the few that existed were busy managing nurses in hospitals for around 60 hours per week. Once we got the program accredited we found qualified instructors by finding people with baccalaureate degrees in nursing and occupational experience in that field, but we had to have program management positions held by the few candidates we could find with Master’s degrees and sufficient free time to put the program together.

        2. “I would also argue that setting up litmus tests for applicants necessarily lowers academic merit by reducing the applicant pool.”

          That would explain the dismal performance of most conservative-controlled college campuses.

          1. well, that plus their utter contempt for academic achievement.

      2. Hmmm, so they drew faulty conclusions based on word play. The studies you refer to are about diversity of background, which race is an extremely poor way to determine.

        1. No, they’re not.

      3. Will Ebonalgebra be taught? Where Black children learn that 2+2 does in fact equal 5 because it’s listed on the Democrat platform?

        1. Of course math and the English language are totes the same, which is why I’m sure you meant to write that in Shakespearen English!

  21. Armchair Lawyer asked above if Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone pipeline by EO violated the APA.

    My immediate thinking was what did Trump do.

    But then I thought, I should avoid measuring Biden against Trump.

    So from now, if I decide to address an issue, I’m going to avoid the whataboutTrumpism and address the issue.

    1. Your integrity is appreciated and I agree with the general point. But I would stress that in some cases, you should feel free to bring up things that might be labeled with this brand new term “whataboutism” for the specific and narrow purpose of questioning whether particular individuals are arguing in good faith, and also for the purpose of identifying legal standards and norms. It’s not relevant to what is right on the merits, and it’s not necessarily pertinent to what is “legal.” And of course you should generally presume good faith. But nonetheless..

      1. Trump’s extremism has been defeated by American democracy. Now is the time for President Biden to moderate and normalize the new executive powers first exercised during the Trump presidency.

      2. The funny thing about the “whataboutism” trope is that it is meant to absolve the person from having to respond to double standards, bias, and similar forms of treatment which is what their double standard helped them avoid in the first place.

        Example:
        “The capitol hill thing as a violent insurrection”
        “Oh yeah what about the summer of BLM riots”
        “That is whataboutism so I don’t have to respond…I’ll just use the double standard, media bias, and selective report of that circumstance to serve as cover for my other bias and double standards.”

        1. Whattaboutism is when you try and deflect from the substantive thesis of an argument.
          I’m sure you want to change the argument to be about double standards or really anything about liberals, but that is also deflection.

          And that is exactly what you use it for, because you cannot stand to have the ball in your court. Actually talking about the merits conservative actions is an anathema to you, and maybe you should think about why.

          1. “Whattaboutism is when you try and deflect from the substantive thesis of an argument.”

            This describes ad hominem, tu quoque, red herring . . . just about anything really.

            “Actually talking about the merits conservative actions is an anathema to you, and maybe you should think about why.”

            Are you talking to yourself out loud? This is the best example of PROJECTION I’ve ever seen.

            1. Any fallacy, yeah. Not any *thing*.

              You don’t think I talk about liberals and Dems, good and bad?

              1. The last 4+ years has been one large exercise in avoiding actually talking about the merits of conservative policies. Just start yammering about racism, every time. I’m referring to your side generally.

                1. Trump gave people a pretty powerful reason to think racism was at issue.

                  1. so say RACISM, INC (TM)

                2. last 4+ years has been one large exercise in avoiding actually talking about the merits of conservative policies

                  Yeah, I’ve talked a lot about the *flaws* in conservative policies. Pointed out costs, or maybe noted the benefits are not evident.

                  Is that a fallacy I’m unaware of?

                3. “The last 4+ years has been one large exercise in avoiding actually talking about the merits of conservative policies.”

                  Assuming, arguendo, that there ARE merits of conservative policies.

                4. M L movement conservative policies get nowhere with me. I’ve backed a fair number of conservative polices over the years. Some conservative policies are friends of mine. Movement conservative policies aren’t conservative.

          2. “And that is exactly what you use it for, because you cannot stand to have the ball in your court. Actually talking about the merits conservative actions is an anathema to you, and maybe you should think about why.”

            Once we can decide on some ground rules on what is acceptable and not I’m happy to engage in that conversation. Until then I will just keep on pointing out that your tactic is to hold the Right to an unrealistic standard while endorsing other activity by the Left using a completely separate rulebook.

            1. But you’re not really arguing, debating, or conversing, are you? Not in any substantive fashion. You’re just distracting and deflecting.

              Now that’s certainly acceptable, but I (and others) can also point out how you almost never try and defend conservative actions as described in this blog.
              And we can draw conclusions about what that means about your purpose here.

              1. don’t you know it’s totally immoral and wrong to draw inferences about people based on the things they do or say? It really, really hurts their feelings when you call them “racist” or “sexist” based solely on the latest racist or sexist things they had to say.

        2. Does your reflection not show up in mirrors? It’s not I think you are a vampire, but you seem to be the least self-aware person in the world.

          1. Do you know how many vampires died during the late 80’s because of Reagan’s inaction towards the HIV epidemic? Vampires have been loyaly voting Democrat since Abraham Lincoln became a vampire hunter.

            1. “Do you know how many vampires died during the late 80’s because of Reagan’s inaction towards the HIV epidemic?”

              In fact, I happen to know the exact number. Don’t you?

              1. Hint: It was 0.

        3. “The funny thing about the ‘whataboutism’ trope is that it is meant to absolve the person from having to respond to double standards, bias, and similar forms of treatment which is what their double standard helped them avoid in the first place.”

          The funny thing about whining about being called out for “whataboutism” is that you never have to explain why you think person X’s or Group Y’s wrongdoing excuses wrongdoing by Person A or Group B. There’s a reason “OH YEAH?, WHAT ABOUT […]?!!” isn’t a valid criminal defense.”
          But all my friends were doing it, too, mom…

          1. Pollock, there’s a reason your arguments on whataboutism fall flat. Everybody else is doing whataboutism, so that makes it okay.

            1. I see what you thought you did, there.

      3. ” But I would stress that in some cases, you should feel free to bring up things that might be labeled with this brand new term ‘whataboutism'”

        Around the time you were ten years old or thereabouts, when you tried to argue that your own misbehavior should be tolerated because all your friends were doing it, too, you mother should have told you quite firmly that just because someone else got away it doesn’t excuse your own wrongdoing. Failure to grasp this simple concept, that most of us learned as children, fuels most complaints about having your current attempts at whataboutism brushed away as inconsequential.
        So, If President Biden does something wrong, and anyone tries to defend it by saying Trump did the same thing and worse, that whataboutism is whataboutism and should be rejected. Trump was a bad President and his wrongs don’t excuse anyone else’s wrongs, period, end of story.

  22. Biden’s tax plan would destroy small family farms, leading to more corporate conglomeration of farmland.

    https://www.lonesomelands.com/new-blog/2021/1/24/americas-family-owned-farms-now-face-the-greatest-threat-to-their-existance

    And perhaps that’s exactly the intent. Bill Gates recently became the largest single farmland owner in the US.

    1. I don’t invest in mom and pop farms. I invest in the S&P500 and now I’m ready for the Biden Bump to my 401(k)!

      1. Good. Put all your money in the casino, use margin too!

        1. But don’t put it in a hedge fund that bet against Gamestop.

      2. Since Nov 3, S&P is up a bit less than 10%, down from being up about 14%.

    2. To what degree should the government shield uncompetitive operations from the market? How should one’s opinion on that question of taxpayer-funded privilege to be influenced by the skin color, education level, and voting patterns of the proprietors of the shambling businesses?

      1. Are you talking about the billions in farm subsidies that overwhelmingly go to large corporate farm operations? Yes, that policy unfairly hurts small family farms as well. I think the government should stop doing that but Biden wants to do more of it.

        1. Yeah, it is inequitable, and the Farm Bill sucks, as folks on either side know. And yet small farms lobby alongside their corporate competitors for continuing the huge farm subsidies in the Farm Bill every year.

          Because the competition isn’t what’s driving the farms out of business, it’s the margins. And a rising Farm Bill floats all marginal profit boats.

  23. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/jounalists-against-free-speech
    Oy vey! Why are all of these Soviet Jews suddenly opposed to free expression? Did they hate the Soviet Union because it suppressed freedom of expression or because they weren’t in charge of what could be expressed? Regardless, I’m glad that major corporations have exercised their right to freedom of association and banned any right-wing bigot who dares to question the cultural narratives propagated from our elite institutions. Anyway, be sure to donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League to aid in the fight against intolerance in America!

    1. You’re handling this razor thin Democrat majority so well!

      1. Donate to the American Civil Liberties Union and help suppress fascist speech!

        1. Try not to be so fragile dude.

  24. Anymore news on the GameStop incident?

    1. The goyim know. It has been shut down. You can now only sell GME stock on Robinhood. If you don’t like the terms of service, start your own brokerage firm.

      1. This news is out-of-date and does not reflect the current state of affairs.
        Meanwhile, the actual business of Gamestop remains amazingly fragile and isn’t a good long-term portfolio investment. They’re turning away from videogames as a core product to retail, and now they sell t-shirts and other merch at much higher prices than competing retailers. Wal-Mart and Target continue to consume their market share.

    2. Melvin Capital claimed (or had CNBC claim for them) that they closed their positions. But that appears to be a lie.

    3. Also, I’m not a securities lawyer, but I thought the SEC outlawed naked short selling in 2008.

      1. I have absolutely no clue what a naked short selling is.

        1. Short selling is when I borrow your tendies, sell them on the market, and buy tendies for you in the future when the price is hopefully cheaper and I pocket the profit. Naked short selling is when I short tendies but the tendies don’t exist.

          1. The tendies exist but your mom gives them to your wife’s boyfriend instead of you.

            1. Mommy Xev Bellringer would never do that to me! Besides, my bank account has a healthy surplus of Good Boy Points.

        2. You own a stock worth 10. Your brokerage can “lend” the stock to a borrower.* The borrower sells the borrowed stock for 10, pocketing 10 dollars. Before the borrower has to pay back/return the stock, the price declines to 2. They buy the stock for 2 and pay it back, profiting 8 less interest expense.**

          It’s naked because if the stock price rises, the borrower’s loss exposure is theoretically infinite. If it were covered, I suppose by purchasing call options for example, then their loss exposure would be limited.

          *You can instruct your brokerage to make the shares unavailable for lending, apparently.

          **It seems “shorting” is often colloquially used to refer to any type of trade designed to profit from a decline in stock price, such as purchasing put options. But that’s different.

          1. This is a good explanation, thanks.

          2. “You can instruct your brokerage to make the shares unavailable for lending, apparently.”

            You can hold the shares directly in your own name instead of holding them in a brokerage account.

        3. Naked short selling is conducting a short sale against a share of stock that is not specifically identified, and so might not actually exist.

          1. Ah, you are right! What I wrote above is partly wrong. I can’t read good.

        4. “I have absolutely no clue what a naked short selling is.”

          that’s when you sell your shorts with no shorts on.

  25. What on earth is going on with the trading platforms which are only allowing customers to SELL but not to BUY certain stocks (e.g. Gameboy) — and how is this not collusion with certain hedge funds with an estimated $8 Billion liability from selling the stock short.

    1. “RobinHood” is a dumb platform that people shouldn’t use, but it made its way by being free, free, free. So how does it make its money? Literally by selling all of their users trading information to hedge funds.

      1. Nothing in life is free. If someone is giving you something for no monetary consideration they are definitely getting that consideration in some other way.

        1. So…maybe all those Parler data leaks were part of the plan the whole time!

        2. So, how do Schwab and Vanguard, et al, make money? Is it the management costs on the funds that they market?

    2. The first rule of the stock market is the big guys always win. On the bright side, you can earn $15/hr at any wagie job by 2025.

      1. “On the bright side, you can earn $15/hr”

        Maybe even more than that if you take full advantage of government payouts while sitting on your couch smoking pot.

        1. In 2025, real counterculture badasses will be smoking tobacco because weed being legal will make it lame. On the other hand, tobacco will be taxes out of existence by then making it the true choice for arm chair revolutionaries.

          1. Growing tobacco plants under the power lines.

          2. God, I wish AOC would be the humidor to my Clinton “cigar”.

            1. Or you could try making love to a pile snow….probably about the same feeling…

              1. Why give up the liver. It’s been so loyal for so long.

            2. How is the Volokh Conspiracy’s self-described non-partisan civility standard project progressing, Prof. Volokh?

              Asking for the liberals you censored for using terms such as “cop s-ccor” and “sl@ck-j_w.”

              1. I understand, but it’s about time to let this one go. You’ve made your point, valid, in my estimation, but it’s long looked like a sad attempt to achieve victimhood. Not unlike something Trump would do.

                It’s time to stop looking up this dead horse’s ass.

                1. ” it’s long looked like a sad attempt to achieve victimhood. Not unlike something Trump would do. ”

                  Trump has never been a victim of anything. Always with the winning! So much winning…

  26. LMAO!
    https://www.adl.org/education/references/hate-symbols/5-words
    Remember Goy! Exercising your right to remain silent when confronted by police is a form of white supremacy!

  27. I find it knee slapping hilarious that the liberals in this thread are so tone deaf and opaque that while screaming about how Trump is some sort of huckster who has defrauded the public, can’t see that the institutional left has been doing that with their Marxist ideology for the last 50 years which they have bought hook, line, and sinker. That is a considerable amount of any lack of self awareness if you ask me.

    1. I find it knee slapping hilarious you don’t have a clue what Marxism is…..

      1. Oh, that’s easy. Marxism is anything JTD disagrees with.

      2. Marxism is a fun word you can use to add a little razzle-dazzle to your word-salad rant. If you really want to make a point, you can even consider working in the phrase “cultural Marxism”, just to let people know you definitely know what you’re talking about.

        1. If “cultural Marxism” is too difficult for your audience try the original layman’s term, “The Jews!”

        2. Just the way you use “fascism”

          1. Hardly. The only times I’ve used the term fascism on here is in reference to commenters who’ve either talked about massacring liberals or leftists, or talked about the inferiority of certain races based on genetic characteristics. If you’re aware of a better label for persons holding those sorts of views, I’m all ears.

            1. We are supposed to think it is dumb to believe the election might have been rigged, but you seem to think there is no way genetics and intelligence could EVER be linked. So who is the fool again?

              1. “We are supposed to think it is dumb to believe the election might have been rigged”

                Who told you that? No, what is dumb is believing that it WAS rigged, for sure, because there’s simply no other way the least effective, most unpopular President in modern history could have lost the election.

            2. The word you’re looking for is “idiots”.

        3. Seems to have worked out for Jordan Peterson. All except for the addiction part.

      3. I find it hilarious that you have to gaslight people on the definition of Marxism because you don’t want to own that is what you are advocating.

        1. Marxism is anything Jimmy the Dunce doesn’t like.

        2. This the third or fourth instance of Jimmy using “gaslight” or “gaslighting” in this thread. Somebody has learned a new word!

          I think it’s time to dust off an old quote from Inigo Montoya…..

          1. “Never trust a Sicilian!”

    2. Can’t tell if he genuinely thought this was a clever analogy, or just a troll.

    3. “I find it knee slapping hilarious that the liberals in this thread are so tone deaf and opaque that while screaming about how Trump is some sort of huckster who has defrauded the public, can’t see that the institutional left has been doing that with their Marxist ideology for the last 50 years which they have bought hook, line, and sinker.”

      Not just Marxist ideology. They’re about to get rid of women’s sports because they’ve convinced themselves that men can be women, ffs!

      1. ffs : for fuck’s sake (a euphemistic initialism used to express exasperation, frustration, anger, etc., without explicit vulgarity).

        (I looked it up)

        Really? You suffer exasperation, frustration and anger (without explicit vulgarity) over the Democratic Party’s secret plan to outlaw women’s sports ?!? Dude, you need to get a grip……

        1. Exasperation, mostly.

          It’s not secret.

          1. TwelveInchPianist : It’s not secret.

            Don’t doubt that a second. I bet the Dem’s nefarious plan to outlaw women’s sports bounces off the inside of the Right’s hermetic bubble so often you can barely hear yerself think for the echoes.

            Hell, no wonder you’re exasperated, frustrated and angry. All that din!

            1. I don’t play women’s sports, what do I care? I’m exasperated that both sides have such a fragile hold on reality. One side thinks they won an election that they lost, the other thinks that men are women, I mean, yeesh.

              1. One side thinks that they get to tell the other side what they think. yeesh, indeed!

      2. Identity politics is an offsheet of cultural Marxism. And I really don’t have a problem with it when the Left starts using it to eat their own. They can go fight with the feminists for awhile about sports. Maybe it will keep them from trashing one area of the country for a few months.

        1. “cultural Marxism”

          Drink.

        2. “They can go fight with the feminists for awhile about sports. Maybe it will keep them from trashing one area of the country for a few months.”

          Unfortunately the straight-up bullshit that the gender theorists are peddling about gender dysphoria (which is a real thing) is making its way into schools and screwing up children. The UK is starting to figure it out, but they’re reacting by limiting the freedom of parents and children to access medical treatment.

        3. You need to learn that “identity politics” is not anything new. It’s long-standing feature of American politics.

          WTF do you think white supremacy is, if not “identity politics?” Was Jim Crow not identity politics? Is voting for someone because they are a “good Christian,” or Italian, or Irish, not “identity politics?”

          What do you think race-based dislike of Obama, or of Harris, is, if not “identity politics?”

          “Cultural Marxism.” Fucking joke.

      3. No, they’re not.

        1. At least you are trying straight up denial instead of your usual gaslighting….

        2. “No, they’re not.”

          A man has already beaten the UK women’s deadlift record. He identified as a woman while lifting the weight.

          1. “A man has already beaten the UK women’s deadlift record. ”

            I would imagine that rather more than a few have done so.

            1. “I would imagine that rather more than a few have done so.”

              Ah, but not by identifying as a woman. That makes all the difference, you see.

              1. TwelveInchPianist : “Ah, but not by identifying as a woman”

                Nonsense, of course:

                “Rapper and Oxford graduate rapper, Zuby, stoked the flames of a burning debate when he took to Twitter to demonstrate that male athletes shouldn’t compete alongside women. The Southampton native posted a series of videos of himself in a gym apparently ‘destroying’ various female weight-lifting records. But he did so whilst ‘identifying as a female’ as a tongue in cheek response to the issue around biologically male athletes taking part in female competition.”

                In short, some guy in a gym stops his weight routine and sends out a silly tweet. That’s taken by one of TwelveInchPianist’s handlers, who decides he’s just chump enough to fall for it. So TIP gets his daily programming (perhaps by a cable plugged in the base of the skull), then dutifully shows up here exasperated, frustrated and angry.

                Me? I say fine. Being scammed with this nonsense is preferable to TIP being scammed with election fraud lies. (Remember, there are only so many hours in the day for TwelveInchPianist to be scammed)

                https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6765965/Rapper-beats-female-weightlifting-records-identifying-woman.html

                1. Yeah, this is his new thing. He reads some outrage-do-jour internet sites, and then doesn’t appear to bother to google for countervailing opinions.

                  He used to do some kind of critical thinking, he’s said the first Trump impeachment and Cavanaugh made him decide it was no longer worth it.

                  1. SarcastrO, suppose when TIP posted comments here, he did it while identifying as a woman—maybe even kept his nickname, but put a gender-bender twist on it. I’ll bet a lefty like you would then agree with everything he said.

                    My apologies for invading your specialty.

                    1. Heck, I’d probably be wokeness-bound to ask hyr out!

                      Thus, we’re about to get rid of the Internet for cis men.

                    2. Stephen Lathrop : “…TIP posted comments here, he did it while identifying as a woman”

                      With twelve inches no less ?!? That’s really fighting nature!

                    3. “With twelve inches no less ?!? That’s really fighting nature!”

                      Just pull it inside-out, like an old sock.

              2. “Ah, but not by identifying as a woman. That makes all the difference, you see.”

                To you, apparently. How is this binding upon me? Oh, you say it isn’t, never mind then.

          2. A man has already beaten the UK women’s deadlift record. He identified as a woman while lifting the weight.

            Even if the facts are exactly as alleged, that does not really sound like they’re about to get rid of women’s sports.

            1. If you define ‘women’s sports’ as “sports reserved for women” it most certainly does.

              1. Even if I allow your question begging, “about to” is in no way established in any kind of universal sense.

              2. “If you define ‘women’s sports’ as ‘sports reserved for women’ it most certainly does.”

                Except if you define it like that, the list of sports to be eliminated is either nil or close to it. What sports are reserved for women? Field Hockey? Heptathlon? Child-bearing is still reserved for women, but isn’t really a sport.

      4. Hilarious indeed. Now do the one about you identifying as an attack helicopter.

        1. “Now do the one about you identifying as an attack helicopter.

          Helicopters don’t attack, people do.

  28. A moral failure by libertarians?
    A few weeks, a felt eternity ago, a comment on CNN caused my indignation. When reporting on Scott Atlas, the short time face of Trumpian Covid denialism, one of the moderators in lieu of an explanation dismissed some bonehead observation by him: “He is a libertarian.”
    Coming on CNN, it wasn’t surprising but it raised my suspicion that both the journalist as well as far too many people considering themselves libertarians have a short-sighted notion of what libertarianism in many of its incarnations stands for. (Exclude from the outset the anarcho-capitalists in the vein of Rothbard and Rockwell as well as that peculiar creature, “objectivist” Ayn Rand.)
    One modern US-American (right-wing) definition of libertarianism reads: “[libertarians] believe that individuals should be free to behave and to dispose of their property as they see fit, provided that their actions do not infringe on the equal freedom of others.” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/libertarianism-politics)
    The final clause under all circumstances is a challenge for libertarians. It only makes sense when exceptions do exist and are recognized as such by libertarians. If each and every time the exceptions are invoked and then denied as such, the definition does not make sense.
    On the other hand, epidemics are the dream of any statist. If there is one instance where government action might be called for, this is it. It is therefore natural for libertarians to be suspicious whether the government action really is needed.
    The much abused notion of “cognitive dissonance” is present. Let me rephrase the definition as a general rule:
    (A) Let us avoid at the utmost government action infringing on our personal liberty.
    On the other hand, we have the claim:
    (B) Historical evidence shows that in an epidemic some sort of curtailing of free movement is called for.
    Leon Festinger asserted that the dissonance between the two propositions produces “cognitive stress” and that our natural inclination is trying to reduce it (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Festinger). I am not going into every detail of each and every mechanism to do so and just show the most salient ones.
    One way out is to harden the definition of libertarianism, i.e.
    (A’) We must avoid under all circumstances government action infringing on our personal liberty.
    While quite seductive, on closer inspection such a sweeping assertion cannot be upheld because it doesn’t provide for solutions when people don’t play by the rules ─ that is when their action infringes on the liberty of others. (Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell beg to differ.)
    (A”) Communal action might be required but not coercive one by government. That is, government would provide all the statistical data, the means for mitigation, testing and vaccine development indispensable for fighting an epidemic. (I guess the small deviation of not allowing foreigners from infected places into the US most libertarians would tolerate.) The dilemma on how to impede people from infringing on others’ liberty however would remain without resolution. That could be neglected when the number of people disregarding advice is small enough, as to not affect the acceleration of virus transmission. It never was.
    Let’s now consider (B). The very first thing is to challenge the very fact that there is an epidemic;
    (B’) There simply is no epidemic: While initially quite popular, evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. Still, you’ll hear from far too many people that the numbers are deliberately falsified and inflated.
    (B”) The actions proposed are not adequate to fight the epidemic:
    Yet evidence accumulated over the centuries shows that the main way of transmission of the virus is human interaction; consequently, you got to cut it. Additionally, over the last year governments throughout the world have constantly been behind the curve, the lock-downs too late and their lifting too early. Yet the lock-down invariably produced the ─ as expected: dephased ─ effect. There is a very strong case to be made that intervention at the earliest possible moment would have produced the least infringement on individual liberties. And would that not be the goal of libertarians?
    (B'”) The actions proposed might be helpful to suppress the transmission of the virus but the secondary effects are too harmful. Yet if the lock-down is delayed, the effects will only pop-up at a later point in time, and with a vengeance. Scientists and politicians, and libertarians in particular, grapple with the epidemiological dilemma: if you act in time, you might prevent the propagation of the epidemic, thus “proving” to skeptics that your actions were unnecessary altogether.
    How many times do you bang your head against the wall before you admit to unpleasant truths?
    Why do I think there is moral failure here?
    Quite obviously, I do think that not infringing on the liberty of others is a moral demand superior to securing your own unfettered liberty. I understand Cato’s David Boaz ─ whom I quoted ─ does so, too.
    You might argue that caring for your own health is not anyone else’s business. However, unless once infected you are willing to rot in a quiet corner where nobody else is interacting with you, you will endanger ─ infringe on the equal freedom of ─ others, and already challenged health care officials in the first place.
    Too many libertarians took the easy way out and accommodated their reasoning ─ their reducing cognitive dissonance ─ to their natural inclination to conclude that what must not be, cannot be. Overcoming this temptation to me is also a moral imperative. Thoroughly challenging your own thinking ─ admitting that there might be contradicting principles ─ is a prerequisite for defending libertarianism.

  29. Trump’s last minute extension of Secret Service protection to his family and associates has been cited as abusive. Isn’t this something that Biden can easily undo if he wishes to? Did Trump somehow make his decision difficult or impossible to change?

  30. ” Did Trump somehow make his decision difficult or impossible to change?”

    Pulling Trump’s SS protection detail can’t be done until he’s convicted.

    On the other hand, what Biden CAN do is tell the Secret Service to stop paying money to Trump’s hotel businesses for rooms for the protection detail. If Trump wants them close enough to do something about a threat to his safety, he can comp them a room.

    1. At the very least Jared & Ivanka should now let their protection detail use one of the six toilets in their house:

      “U.S. Secret Service agents in Washington’s elite Kalorama neighborhood have had to worry about death threats, secure perimeters and suspicious strangers. But with the arrival of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, they had a new worry: finding a toilet.

      Denied use of the half-dozen bathrooms inside the couple’s home, the Secret Service detail spent months searching for a toilet to use on the job. After resorting to a porta-potty, as well as bathrooms at the nearby home of former president Barack Obama and the not-so-nearby residence of Vice President Pence, the agents finally found a toilet to call their own.

      But it came at a cost to U.S. taxpayers. Since September 2017, the federal government has been spending $3,000 a month — more than $100,000 to date — to rent a basement studio, with a bathroom, from a neighbor of the Kushner family”

      1. They could follow the lead of the insurrection mob, and just go wherever.

  31. Has anyone claimed RAK’s election pool?
    I claim first in line for the inevitable forfeiture of the Amazon gift card. While I did not physically submit a card, I remember all my predictions, and they were all winners.

    1. Yes.

      I interviewed Chris Squire for a radio program. Ten or fifteen minutes. I do not remember much of it — my familiarity with Mr. Squire consisted of holding his album for a minute or two immediately before the interview began — but it probably was the second-worst interview of my broadcasting career.

  32. Executive orders in first week in office:

    Clinton: 0
    Bush: 0
    Obama: 5
    Trump: 4
    Biden: 32

    What a shitshow! Time to return governance to the States.

    1. Bare numbers. Which you know is not a good metric, just a good headline.

      I know you don’t do bumper sticker thinking. Or didn’t used to. Nowadays you just seem to check out breitbart and the like and post whatever makes your knee jerk without bothering to let it filter though your brain at all.

    2. “Executive orders in first week in office:”

      Is this a measure of the problems facing the nation when each new President takes over the government? I mean, if you take over a smoothly-running operation, you can afford to go hit the golf course a few times in your first week. But if the cockpit’s in flames and the ground is approaching fast, a lackadaisical approach seems poorly-thought-out.

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