Thursday Open Thread

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  1. I can’t post anything yet, it’s not Thursday yet here, and UCLA is in the same time zone. Someone is bending the rules.

    1. Use Zulu time, then you’ll be kosher.

      1. Then I’d be late, just as the post was late.

      2. Racist and anti-semitic?

        1. Zulu is an ethnicity and I’m not being anti-semitic; it’s cultural appropriation.

          Please use the correct categories when you’re bashing me.

    2. It’s five o’clock somewhere!

      1. Only at the top of the hour…

    1. Interesting. Might this involve interference in someone elses’ contract?

  2. Orthodox environmentalism, like so many of today’s postmodern progressive pseudoreligions lacks an effective Hegelian antithesis. Sure theres plenty of passive sometimes even powerful opposition. But its nearly all of the crude unorganized visceral self ashamed type of opposition. For all intents and purposes the orthodox position is the academic barometer.

    Maybe we’d help the environment even more if we actually had some serious debate in this arena. Target number one would be why the underlying dogma of a sacrosanct unchanging ecology at all costs is so predominant and unchallenged?

    I mean I’m sure they’re out there but where are all the pragmatic environmentalists who unashamedly profess in news reports that the environment should be safeguarded, but for mankind instead of for some weird mythological earth spirit?

    Where are all the ecologists on documentaries who explicitly and unbashedly see just as much if not more intrinsic value and beauty in the development and flourishing of infinitely more complex urban and anthropocene ecologies than dirtballs of tapeworms, flies, and lice everybody else worships?

    Where are all the academics in their TedTalks dispelling the mythology of so-called ‘paradise untamed nature’ showing that ‘natural’ paradise and even the very fruits of nature as most humans perceive it is often just as much a product of human engineering as the loftiest of skyscrapers?

    I mean sure, none of these ideas are new but they’re for all intents nonexistent in the grand scheme and are very rarely if ever combined in a coherent philosophy. Environmentalism is ripe for some diversity. And no, I mean the intellectual kind. Not the weird kind where its supposedly a whole new field because a lesbian African tribeswoman parrots the same old line.

    1. You seem to have a view distorted through wherever you get your news.

      Professional environmentalists – scientists an lobbyists – make arguments and choose their studies pretty focused on the effects on mankind.

      1. And that would be why they oppose global warming when more people die of cold than of heat: Because they’re concerned about the effects on mankind.

        1. Citation?

          And it’ll have to be something more than freezings vs. heat strokes, you get that, right?

            1. Good grief Brett, you did just what me and Sarcastro said.

              1. Yes, I did, because I reject your demand that my source on deaths due to heat and cold exclude… deaths due to heat and cold.

                1. Great comment. I’ll put ‘something more’ in your pay envelope. And yes, of course, that means that your regular pay must be excluded. You are such a piece of work.

                  great comment

        2. Come on, man. No one claims the problems of climate change are that more people will directly die of exposure to heat or cold.

          1. Anyone who claims to care about human welfare should at least factor that in.

            1. It is factored in. It’s factored into mass starvation, lack of potable water, mass migration, ecosystems being wiped out. Dying of exposure is wrapped all up in there.

              But nobody “opposes” global warming (climate change). There are folks who treat it seriously and believe it can be reversed with immediate and substantial action, and those who think they’ll be dead before it’s a bother and/or that it’s just too costly to do anything about.

              1. “nobody “opposes” global warming (climate change)”

                Nobody “opposes” the fact that climate will always change.

                But plenty “oppose” the hysteria over alleged “global warming (climate change)”

                1. His context was clearly about people who take climate change seriously as “opposing” it. And I responded to that. Ignorant shitheads like you who “oppose” the existence of now objectively verifiable climate changes ere not who I meant.

                  1. Actually on re-reading it’s more likely Brett meant ignorant shitheads like you who hold up snowballs in February and sniff at “global warming.” So I apologize. But I still was not referring to ignorant shitheads like you, Bob.

                  2. “objectively verifiable”

                    Speaking of left wing delusions.

                    1. Bob, this denial has looked increasingly ridiculous over the last decade.

                      OtisAH didn’t even say anthropogenic and you’re still trying to argue.

                      You truly don’t care about facts so long as you’re opposing the libs.

              2. You do know that mile-thick glaciers once covered Boston, don’t you?

                I’m sure it was man-made climate change that melted them…

                1. You could always check and find out.

              3. People dying directly of heat and cold has the advantage of being fairly quantifiable, and far less speculative, than mass starvation, migrations, and extinctions due to climate zones shifting a few miles.

                1. You think things like crop destruction, population movements, drought, loss of freshwater, and extinctions aren’t quantifiable?

                  1. I think they’re certainly quantifiable if they happen. I think that, prior to their actually happening, they’re largely speculative.

                    1. Bit like predictions of a global pandemic were largely speculative, so let’s defund and dismantle pandemic preparedness efforts.

                    2. Things are speculative before they happen. Get used to the idea.

              4. “believe it can be reversed with immediate and substantial action,”
                That is wishful thinking. The inertia in the Earth’s climate system is exceedingly great and at present levels of CO2 in the atmosphere the effects on increasing the temperature are logarithmic with the CO2 concentration.
                CO2 has a mean residence time in the atmosphere of several hundred years. What ever was going to happen over the next 50 years is going to happen nearly regardless of how much humans reduce emissions.
                Therefore the most important investments immediately should be into adaptation to rising oceans and slightly rising temperatures. However, governments are not acting that way.

                1. Lots of programs on coastal resiliency around – we do OK on the mitigate front (though of course it’ll never be enough and the failures will all be headlines)

                  Addressing (via research into geoengineering) is mostly happening in Europe, because the US is paralyzed by partisan politics.

                  And same with cause reduction – we’re doing some stuff, but federally we’re pretty paralyzed compared with a lot of other countries.

                  1. We are doing somethings. Are we doing enough, I doubt it.
                    I do know that NYC has been engaging Dutch engineers to assist in planning for a defense of Manhattan.
                    In the SF Bay Area, in which the Bay has been rising at the same rate for the past 100 years, the politicians seem clueless and new construction (such as the East Bay Bridge had very low lying approaches that need protection

                    1. There is the “Six foot slosh*” to take into consideration. East coast sea levels are roughly 6′ feet higher than West coast sea levels as an effect of Earth’s rotation. So while San Francisco bay’s annual increase hasn’t varied much from the norm, East coast water levels, including those along parts of Texas’ coastline, have.

                      *the “six foot slosh” was my mnemonic for remembering the sea level differences during my oceanography course in college.

                    2. A key factor to consider is that coastal lands are still readjusting after the glaciers melted; In some areas the rock is actually moving up or down faster than the water.

                    3. Brett is right, Granite is actually elastic and now that there are no longer mega-mega-tons of glaciers over New York State, that bedrock is rising and the New England Coastline is sinking — adjusting much like a tennis ball will when you stop squeezing it.

                      One also needs to remember that coastal estuaries were built (over the centuries) by silt deposited during floods so once floods were controlled you no longer had the layers of silt being deposited with each flood. Without the land continually being replenished, it would naturally sink — and this is even more true in filled land where the buried organics also decompose.

                  2. Similarly despite a huge budget surplus the State of CA is doing precious little to reduce the grave threats of wildfires.

                    1. You mean besides a PG&E project to bury much of the power lines that travel through forests and are a common source of the fires? Besides increasing firefighter wages in an attempt to retain them?

                      I’m not sure what can be done to stop morons from using explosive devices to celebrate the gender of their children. Those are probably going to continue.

                    2. “I’m not sure what can be done to stop morons from using explosive devices to celebrate the gender of their children. Those are probably going to continue.”
                      Lock ’em up. Or put them on chain gang work crews clearing brush

                    3. Ever notice how the forest fires always seem to stop at the Mexican border?

                      Mexico allows people to go in and clean out the trash, the dead and dying trees. So when they do have a fire, it isn’t as bad.

                2. Whenever I hear anyone talking about reversing climate change, they’re usually talking in those timescales, so the wishful part isn’t that it can be done, but that people who think people dying of cold means global warming is refuted also think they are intelligent and therefore need to stop those efforts.

                  ‘However, governments are not acting that way.’

                  Perhaps more crucially, private corporations are not acting that way, or any way beneficial to mankind in this context.

                  1. “Perhaps more crucially,”
                    No, private companies are not charged with the public welfare governments are.
                    BTW, I did not talk about the time scales of “reversing” climate changes which are 100 to 200 years, longer than advocates admit to. Rather I was referring to the usual “net zero” by 2050 that is almost unrealistic even if it can actually be acchied.

                    1. ‘No, private companies are not charged with the public welfare governments are.’

                      No, they’re not. And yet, they are, by and large, responsible for the vast majority of human CO2 emissions and pollution and biodiversity destruction, barring, perhaps, the US military. Coastal defences are a necessity, but they’re not actually going to solve the problems.

                    2. “And yet, they are, by and large, responsible for the vast majority of human CO2 emissions and pollution and biodiversity destruction”
                      That is a trivial statement Nige.
                      That is because most productive human action is still taken by private actors rather than by governments.
                      Who feeds you? Governments? No, private entities.
                      Who clothes you? Governments? No, private entities.
                      Who provides your consumable energy? Governments? No, private entities.
                      Your statement is not only trivial; it is baldly ideological.

                    3. Trivial, and true, but obviously you find it a repellant truth. Not a trivial problem, though, that the entities that feed and clothe and provide energy are also the ones destroying our means of survival.

                    4. Corporations produce and governments are supposed to regulate in the interests of the common good.

                      Basically, you’re describing a situation where the government is failing to regulate private industry thus maximizing corporate profits at the long-term expense of the citizenry.

                    5. Nige,
                      Quit the mind raping.
                      I do not find the truth repellent.
                      I consider your statement obvious to a middle schooler.
                      You find non-government action abhorrant by definition; hence I pay you little heed.

                    6. Shawn,
                      You also turn the obvious into a political boogeyman.
                      Your “private industry” ranges fro large corporations to orders of magnitude more family businesses.
                      Your evil “profit motive” is for most business owners making a living.
                      Your politics are getting in the way of your good sense

                3. Even if we’re not actually past the point-of-no-return, for all intents and purposes I think we are. The sorts of action required are great even if we as a society weren’t plagued by greed and ignorance. Being that we are, the likelihood of any sustained effort beyond nibbling at the edges is very low.

                  Note we did stitch up the Ozone hole, but the solution there was was a helluva lot simpler than what is required to seriously address climate change.

              5. The most likely path out is amelioration of effects combined with half-assed reversal attempts, and in 100 years the seas will be higher but nobody will care because robots do everything and people are gorgeous and live long and what the hell were those idiots 100 years ago worried about?

                We are people in 1900 with idiot pols screaming to slam the brakes on the economy because oh noes, leaving us with 1980 level tech instead of 2020.

                Thanks for nothing.

                The only difference is things will be wildly more different in 100 years than from 1900 to now.

                Assuming government doesn’t start rationing and command and control.

            2. ?
              Death from exposure are already small compared to deaths from flooding/starvation and the like.

              1. We are already seeing climate-related migration from Latin America and the political effects it’s having in the US, especially in our Southern states.

                1. “already seeing climate-related migration from Latin America”
                  I doubt it. You probably think that earthquakes are cause by CO2 in the air.

              2. But starvation is basically always just disguised genocide, feeding people has been a solved problem for decades now. You only get significant starvation where local governments find it useful.

        3. I don’t get the point, Brett.

          So what if more deaths are due to heat than cold? Why is that important?

          You seem to be suggesting that increasing temperatures will reduce cold deaths, but not increase those from heat. That’s bizarre. Besides, isn’t it total climate-related deaths we should be concerned with?

          1. “You seem to be suggesting that increasing temperatures will reduce cold deaths, but not increase those from heat.”

            Wow, that IS a bizarre interpretation of what I wrote. Where did that come from?

            It’s my expectation that increasing temperatures would both reduce cold deaths, AND increase heat deaths. Since cold deaths substantially outnumber heat deaths, and global warming has involved nights warming more than days, and winters more than summers, I anticipate warming, for some time, to reduce net deaths.

            1. Where did that come from?

              From what you wrote.

              But Ok, you made it clear. You think the number of heat deaths will increase by the same percentage as the number of cold deaths decrease, leading to a net drop.

              Why that is plausible you don’t explain.

              1. I just did explain. Global warming is ‘filling the valleys’; It’s warming the winter more than the summer, the nights more than the days.

                It’s reducing downwards temperature excursions more than it’s increasing upwards ones.

                1. OK Brett. Thank you.

                  Now here’s another question:

                  How many of the deaths from cold would be prevented if the ambient temperature around the individual were a degree or two higher and all else – length of exposure, underlying physical condition, whatever – were the same?

            2. While we call it “global warming” as shorthand, don’t take that at face value. The planet warms overall but it changes weather patterns which leads to more intense weather–even cold weather. Just ask Texas. Current estimates are that 210 Texans died in that sudden freeze. Meanwhile, the heatwaves the western states are going through are also killing people. It may be thawing up in the Arctic but it’s still cold enough to kill up there and the disruptions in various wind currents are driving that cold weather deeper into the US each Winter.

          2. Analysis of winter and summer warming rates in gridded temperature time series

            “Both major IPCC assessments of climate change (Houghton et al. 1990, 1996), the projected warming is greatest in the higher latitudes, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, and greater in the low-sun season than the high-sun season. These same IPCC reports have noted that the maximum observed near- surface warming has occurred in the winter season over the mid-to-high latitudes of the Northern Hemispheric continental areas.”

            So, winter warms more than summer, and night more than day. Global warming actually moderates cold temperatures more than it enhances hot temperatures, though naturally both happen.

            This is, of course, what anybody with a grounding in engineering thermodynamics would expect. Thermal radiation is function of the 4th power of temperature, so it’s much easier to bring up the bottom than the top, and greenhouse gases warm the Earth by reducing radiative heat losses, not by increasing insolation.

            You don’t increase temperature differences by throwing a blanket over the radiator.

            1. Brett, I honestly can’t tell if you are intentionally trolling or really stupid. I’m guessing it’s trolling.

              But why troll the libs by making yourself look silly? There are so many better ways, even on this topic.

              Krayt had one: how many “progress will be the death of us” panics have there been throughout history, all of them solved BY technology, not because we decided to slow down. (Ozone, acid rain, smog in my lifetime, fear of electricity not too long ago, I’m sure countless others. Trump and his weird fear of windmills.)

              Or, poke at the really dumb “carbon offsets” all the woke companies are touring, where a super-polluting industry can be “carbon neutral” by planting a few trees and crap. It’s a an accounting game, kind of like “non-profits”. If I plant a tree, I’m carbon neutral, and if you switch from your existing supplier to me, you get to count that tree again as an offset to your pollution! Plant one tree, and the whole supply chain is suddenly carbon neutral without reducing carbon emissions at all. (By the way, planting trees does almost nothing to reduce carbon in the long term, since all the carbon goes back when it dies.) It’s a scam.

              Or just mention, like Don, that obviously all the fossil fuels will be extracted pretty soon (moving that around by a decade or two won’t change much), we’re already pretty far gone, and any sort of vast collective conservation action that might make an appreciable difference at this point is a complete pipe dream, even if everyone agreed. I don’t see the people whining about global warming doing the things that they personally would have to do to turn things around, like, get rid of their cars, most of their electronics, downsize their living space, stop eating processed and nonlocal food, etc. It’s just not happening. Virtue signaling does nothing against the greenhouse effect. All that hot air on the other hand… oh man I crack myself up.

              Anyway, I’m sure there are other ways too.

              But a straw man as totally retarded as “people don’t usually die from hot weather” is just lazy.

              1. Randal,
                “all the fossil fuels will be extracted pretty soon ”
                that is not exactly true. There is as much as we want IF we are willing to pay the price. But as demand drops, big oil will diversify even more . And small producers will gradually fall away. We will always need petroleum. it is too much of a raw material for modern life.
                With respect to conservation, I don’t see why you call that a pipe dream. There is lots of from for more energy efficient technology.
                One should not sound like a prophet of doom. Times change; that’s all

                1. I was contrasting a “conservation action” involving self-sacrifice (not going to work) with “solved BY technology” including but not limited to non-carbonated energy (which will work).

                  1. I understand, thanks

              2. Maybe a little trolling, but I am providing cites, after all. I never argue cases I don’t believe, though I’ll sometimes argue them knowing they’ll rile somebody up.

                It really is true that global warming primarily raises the low temperatures, and only to a lesser extent raises the higher temperatures. That’s not a fantasy, it’s genuine science.

                I may bring it up to make heads explode, but I didn’t make it up.

                1. Doubling down on the silly, huh.

                  People’s heads aren’t exploding because it true, they’re exploding because it’s irrelevant. The fact you would say something so empty — with cites! — just proves how blind you are to the real issues.

                  Nobody in the history of the world has claimed that the problem with global warming is that people will die of the heat.

        4. “that would be why they oppose global warming when more people die of cold than of heat: Because they’re concerned about the effects on mankind.”

          Also because they understand the effects of global warming… hurricanes in Florida, wildfires on the west coast, scary ice storms in Texas… and are worried about potential problems, such as productive farmland becoming less productive… that would have far greater effects on mankind.

          1. “hurricanes in Florida, wildfires on the west coast, scary ice storms in Texas…”
            James, these have always happened. Just because PBS blames climate change does not mean that statement stands up to scrutiny even by the IPCC.

            1. Right, even the IPCC won’t back up the “extreme weather events” loons.

              Look, basic physics here: The climate and weather are a heat engine, global warming happens due to added insulation, not added energy input. Global warming is reducing temperature differences, not increasing them.

              You don’t make an engine run harder and faster by throwing a blanket over the radiator. It sometimes helps to have internalized some physics.

              1. In winter, I’m a fan of a couple of pieces of cardboard in front of the radiator — and a lot of diesels (particularly school buses) come with a snap-up covering on the outside.

      2. And then politicians use it to extract donations to ease off on the regations.

        The best corruption has the hoi polloi on board!

        1. In your knee-jerk rush to condemn regulations because rent-seeking exists, you appear to have come out for stronger and more comprehensive environmental regulation and enforcement.

          1. “rent-seeking ”
            What a nice euphemism. In Sicily the Cosa Nostra calls it the “pizzo”

            1. Government corruption is not the mob, Don. It sucks, and we should pay attention to it, but no need to be dramatic.

              1. S_0,
                Not the mob, but their hidden slogan is the same:
                Tutti pagano; tutti pagano meno.”
                Everyone pays, so everyone pays less.

              2. S_0,
                In New England we called such innocent sounding rent-seeking “kick-backs.”

                1. I grew up in NY, I know all about small time corruption in and around the big city.

                  But the mob is a lot worse. More drug selling and assassinations, at least.

                  1. Yes the mob is worse. But not for the reasons you cite.
                    The mob is worse because it corrupts the entire society at the deepest levels One can see that in Sicily, Campania, and Calabria

                    1. I was thinking of the mob in America, but sure.

                      Doing FCPA stuff in Latin America really got me to thinking about the definition of corruption; it was so regularized there it was basically like government policy. Paperwork and everything. Except it was money going directly to individuals. And the consequences were just that you wouldn’t get your license for 2 years till the ‘normal process’ no one used went through.

                      Made me do a bit of poli-sci reading about the effects of corruption when it’s so regularized. It’s still pretty bad – it’s like a headwind on everything a government tries to do, bleeding money and time.

                      So no, the Feds shouldn’t let lobbyists get them to write in exceptions to environmental regs. But that’s also the only way such things got passed at all, given the power of the chamber of commerce.
                      The CoC’s power has waned, but it’s been taken up with groups that seem even more set on no environmental lawmaking occur.

                  2. “So no, the Feds shouldn’t let lobbyists get them to write in exceptions to environmental regs.”
                    I agree

              3. “Government corruption is not the mob, Don.”

                It’s precisely the mob. Governments aren’t categorically different from the mob, Sarcastro. They’re just the dominant mob in an area.

                Government is nothing more than a highly (Sometimes not so highly) evolved protection racket. If you’re lucky you’ll actually get some protection, even. But don’t pay the Don, and you’ll find out who you’re mostly paying to be protected from.

                I realize that this is a horrifying thing to hear, if you worship government. But it’s true: Governments are protection rackets.

                1. Brett,
                  You are exaggerating, but there is a parallel. What you call the government protection racket SHOULD be protection from the lawless committing crime, while the mob protecion is extortion pure and simple. Still the Cosa Nostra gained its footing precisely by the government’s failure to do its job for common people
                  Of course in many countries governments do engage in extortion.
                  But I do not think this is what we are talking about regarding vaccine mandates.

        2. “The best corruption has the hoi polloi on board!”

          “hoi” means “the”, you twit. what are the the polloi up to?

          1. James,
            Thank you for your introduction to Attic Greek.

    2. “Orthodox environmentalism, like so many of today’s postmodern progressive pseudoreligions lacks an effective Hegelian antithesis.”

      What a word salad.

      1. Faux-intellectuals need the *most* attention.

    3. Right, because you’re interested in “serious debate.”

    4. AmosArch, as someone almost pseudoreligiously committed to environmental protection, I tried hard to supply a Hegelian antithesis to your comment. But the struggle defeated me.

    5. I mean I’m sure they’re out there but where are all the pragmatic environmentalists who unashamedly profess in news reports that the environment should be safeguarded, but for mankind instead of for some weird mythological earth spirit?

      You are in as much of a fantasy world as the environmentalists you imagine dominate the movement. Most environmental concerns have to do with direct effects on people – health effects and so on.

    6. I work in this field. Your characterization of the environmental movement is, to put it politely, outdated. A lot of the most important legal work and political organizing is taking place in communities of color located in heavily industrialized urban areas dominated by large sources of air and water pollution. These communities are fighting for safe living conditions for their families. They are not fighting about green parks and spirit trees. Meanwhile, law and order republicans in Texas can’t be bothered to impose fines for even 3% of the illegal air pollution releases, even though many of the worst sources are spewing chemicals like benzene directly into neighborhoods. Note also, that fines that are actually issued are most often lower than the economic benefit of noncompliance. There’s plenty of information about this environmental movement out there. You just have to care enough to look.

  3. This is your occasional remind as to what a real Capitol Hill insurrection looks like and how the media addresses the establishment of a lawless “autonomous” zone by its preferred political party operatives.

    And, while the country is facing double digit inflation and another wave of pandemic, the Dems decide what they need to do is engage in some LARPing fantasy in the form of a select committee designed to generate pure political propaganda and histrionics. Meanwhile, most Americans are wondering when they will get around to finding answers on why violent criminals were never prosecuted for looting, assault, arson, and a host of other crimes, why no one has been held accountable for encouraging this criminal behavior, and why this orchestrated and protracted violence was permitted to run rampant in certain cities for so long.

    1. One of the most worrisome trends — and, as far as I can tell, unprecedented in US history — is the willingness of the right to create a completely alternate reality in which it just simply denies what we all saw with our own eyes.

      During the civil war, there were no comparable claims that slavery didn’t actually exist and that claims it did exist were fake news.

      During the Great Depression, there were no comparable claims that it was all a hoax and all those people standing in line for soup were false flag operatives.

      During the Vietnam War, there were no comparable claims that there was no war and it was just a conspiracy.

      Oh, and neither Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter nor Bush the Elder made bogus claims about a stolen election and whipped their followers up into a frenzy about it.

      No, this is new, and troubling, and is not going to end well.

      1. Krychek….

        Remember the riots in 2016 to stop Trump’s Inauguration in DC?

        1. What strawgrasping.

          As I recall there was like a trashcan fire, and maybe a car got damaged.

          No one stormed the Capitol.

          1. And the inauguration is just a party and is NOT a constitutionally defined action.

            Yes, taking the oath is required, but that can be done anywhere (on a plane, etc.).

            The rest is just show.

          2. Let’s help your recollection a little bit.

            A conspiracy organization by the name of “DisruptJ20” had the stated aim of protesting and disrupting the inauguration of President Trump in 2017. Literally their statement was to “We are planning to shut down the inauguration, that’s the short of it … We’re pretty literal about that, ”

            They shut down checkpoints into and out of the area, rioted, were armed with crowbars, assaulted cops with rocks, causing multiple injuries, firebombed a car, and smashed multiple storefront windows.

            Over 100 arrests were made, in order to eliminate the efforts to stop the inauguration. Luckily, police presence was sufficient for it.

            1. AL: “They tried to shut down the inauguration!”
              Apedad: “Er, the inauguration is not like the certification.”
              AL: “But see my evidence they tried to shut down the inauguration!!!”

              Again, not valuing democratic and liberal values many modern conservatives simply don’t know what the fuss is all about…

              1. You left you some of Apedad’s quote:

                “Er, the inauguration in not like the certification, except for the part that is like the certification.”

                Trying to prevent the president from taking the oath of office by shutting down the inauguration is probably worse then preventing the certification.

                1. Is it?

                  I mean, the oath has been literally taken on a plane.

                  1. So what? You could do the certification on a plane too, if it was an AirBus 380 or something. Neither the inauguration nor the certification were in any actual danger.

                    1. Indeed.

                    2. The Certification requires hundreds of people.

                    3. Did the inauguration get cleared? Did people storm it and proclaim stuff at the lectern?

                  2. The Certification requires hundreds of people.

                    Quite fortuitously, Zoom allows up to 1000 participants.

                2. The point of the inauguration protest wasn’t to prevent Trump from become president but to protest the election of an individual that they believed shouldn’t have been elected.

                  The point of the storming of the Capital was to stop the certification of the election and install Trump in the Whitehouse despite his loss. Oh, and to hang the Vice President because he wouldn’t help.

                  In one case, the intent was speech. In the other case the intent was to overthrow the legally elected government. But sure… they’re exactly the same (besides the guns, gallows, and dead cops.)

                  1. In both cases the aim was to disrupt a legitimate government function. That is why the foreign press has not and will not buy into the description of the Jan.6 riot as an insurrection. That term, bought by the US press and the D party is just language used as a weapon of patisan warfare.
                    Was Jan.6 the occasion of a riot? Yes.
                    Were criminal acts committed? Yes.
                    Should the criminals be punished? Yes
                    But the legitimate government of the US was never in doubt in DC or in Portland OR.

                    1. the legitimate government of the US was never in doubt

                      But all that means is that the insurrection failed, badly. Maybe never had a chance.

                      It says nothing about the intentions of the insurrectionists. When people are screaming “Hang Mike Pence” because Pence won’t go along with their plan to reject the election results, it seems fair to call it an insurrection, however pathetic the fools involved are.

                    2. Game it out a little, Don Nico. Watching it live on television I was astounded that Capitol police did not defend the building and the congress with deadly force. Had that happened, is it out of the question that Trump would have declared a state of emergency, and ordered troops to the Capitol to disperse everyone, including the congress, to await Trump’s determination of when it was okay to resume government as usual?

            2. Yes. I remember Pelosi and Clinton calling them “Beautiful people,” talking about how they were “special,” and beloved.

              And how Democrats in Congress cheered them on, and so.

              Except none of that happened, did it?

              1. Except for John Lewis saying he wouldn’t attend the inauguration because Trump wasn’t a “legitimate president”.


                Seems like support for the protestors to me.

                1. Ah. You’ve found one highly tenuous, example. Congratulations. I guess you, in line with your usual logic, think that outweighs all the praise Trump heaped on the insurrectionists.


            Six injured officers and a heck of a lot more than “maybe a car got damaged.”

            When people are so blind not to see that these issues happen on both sides, it will be impossible to meet on middle ground to stop the violence from BOTH sides.

            1. Stop Killing Black People!
              Is just like
              Stop having democratic elections!

              “6 police where hurt, all with minor injuries”
              Is just like
              140 officers injured on Jan 6th with injuries ranging from minor to death. 17 officers were injured badly enough that they hadn’t returned to work by June. There’s video of officers being beaten with the American flag, FFS.

              “where protesters and police clashed and police used flashbangs and tear gas”
              Is just like
              The capital police used pepper spray (and some took selfies with the insurrectionists.)

              It’s great watching “pro law” conservatives try to worm their way around responsibility for beating cops with the American flag while chanting to hang the Vice President in the midst of overthrowing a legal election. Every time a conservative pulls a pocket copy of the Constitution out of their pocket, remember Jan 6th.

              1. Reading comprehension. My comment was only in his response that the 2016 protests were basically peaceful. They weren’t. I was not comparing them to January 6. That is not in my comments.

                Sadly, too many partisans on both sides believe their side is righteous and never does anything wrong, even when it is easily researched that both sides have issues.

                Pointing that out only drives the partisans to attack the messenger instead of comprehending the comment.

                1. Oh, sweet Kyle, you really have yourself fooled, don’t you.

                  When you say “these issues happen on both sides,” you are comparing the issues.

                  You are trying to use some relatively insignificant protests on the left to justify the right’s multiple-orders-of-magnitude worse Jan 6 insurrection.

                  It’s a logical fallacy called “whataboutism” most often associated with Soviet propaganda.

                  1. You are such an idiot, it is not worth analyzing the whataboutism from the left – Soviet like propaganda.

                    1. This may be a first, everyone! Poor Kyle is now desperately resorting to whataboutism whataboutism. As in “but what about the left’s whataboutism!”

                      A new day is dawning for loser rhetoric.

        2. What Sarcastro said. Also, even if the two were otherwise equivalent, I don’t recall anybody claiming that the 2016 election was stolen. There was grumbling about the electoral college depriving the majority of self-governance, but there were no nonsensical claims of trucks unloading boxes of fraudulent ballots. And my central point was about the right wing alternate reality.

          1. Whining about Russia and the election for Trump’s entire term and doing everything you can to undermine his legitimacy on this basis is gracefully accepting defeat? Who is delusional and living in an alternate reality now? lol

            1. You, but thanks for asking.

            2. You can’t look at the GOP’s big lie on Biden and birtherism on Obama and make any claims about Dems doing everything you can to undermine Trump’s legitimacy.

              1. I do, because both sides are worthless hacks who have no morals or shame and flip flop on situational ethics.

                It’s amazing to watch automata from both sides launch from their echo chambers. Meanwhile the same pols get reelected and continue getting richer and richer.

                The real power of memes is to get you to behave in ways to help them spread, which is independent of the tale they are telling you.

                1. Blind, unnuanced cynicism is great for not needing to think too hard, and feeling superior without working to make anything better.

                  It’s not great for actually interacting with the messy real world in any kind of beneficial or moral way.

                  1. “Blind, unnuanced cynicism”

                    You misspelled “realism”.

                    Krayt made no false statement.

                    1. Throwing one’s hands up and using false equivalence to avoid responsibility is “blind, unnuanced cynicism” and not even in the ballpark with respect to realism.

                      Realism doesn’t whitewash an attempt to stop a legal election and then claim it’s just like protesting the regular killing of Black Americans by the people hired to protect and serve them.

                2. Whiny centrist both-siders are the worst, though.

                3. Are you pretending to be an impartial observer here?

            3. Again, notice the equating of 1. demanding investigations into the role of a hostile foreign power in the other side’s Presidential campaign and 2. voting to nullify the results of the Electoral College and then violently storming the Capitol to try to do the same.

              One of these things is clearly not like the other, and yet the constant equivocation.

              And, note, none of this is necessary to be a conservative, or even a Trumpian for that matter. You could easily say ‘a plus for Trump usually, that he’s an outsider, inexperienced politician, is going to sometimes turn into a negative, he got bad advice and took a bad route, some (a minority) of his supporters liked him so much for finally giving them a voice in national politics that they followed him up on this route in a state of passion, and then some especially bad actors acted out at the Capitol on Jan. 6th. Hopefully he and they will move on and these tactics will be left in the dustbin of history.’

              But they can’t/won’t. Instead they engage in at best an obtuse ‘you too’-ism and at worst an alternate reality (love and hugs!).

              1. “voting to nullify the results of the Electoral College”

                That happened in 2016 too.

                1. Was there, like, a significant difference in number?

                  Lol, again, this kind of thing proves the desperation of the Trumpians on this.

          2. “I don’t recall”

            Let me help you
            Tom Toles, Washington post. “The 2016 election was stolen”
            Hillary Clinton: The 2016 election was “not on the level”
            Hillary Clinton: “You can run the best campaign, you can even become the nominee, and you can have the election stolen from you”
            Greg Palast: “The Election Was Stolen ”
            New York Magazine: “Experts Urge Hillary Clinton to Challenge Election Results”

            Here’s more if you need it.


            1. How many Democrats in the House and Senate voted to challenge the Electoral College results and how many Democrat mobs stormed the capitol to stop the certification in 2016?

              1. Would you like to move the goalposts some more?

                1. Again, he really doesn’t get it.

                  Some columnists saying ‘the election was stolen’ is quite a bit < 'a majority of Representatives will challenge the Electoral College results and a mob will storm the capitol to violently stop it.'

                  But he really, actually can't see it I think, like color blind people really actually can't see certain color distinctions. They know there are these color distinctions from what other people say, and they want to act like they know what that's all about, and so they say things like…this.

                  1. Here’s a question for you Queenie….

                    Let’s say you “really really” wanted to stop the the certification in a protest.

                    Let’s say you “storm” the capitol…and the Cops proceed to remove the barriers, so you can enter. Here’s a nice video. As a protestor….what are you supposed to think?


                    Then, though some magic, like unlocked doors, you manage to get into the Capitol. If you really, really want to stop the certification….do you leave of your own free accord? Why? What type of perverse sense does that make?

                    “YAY! We’ve stopped the certification by occupying the Capitol! Now, let’s all turn around and leave so they can certify the results!”

                    It makes no sense.

                    1. See? Now he’s shifted to ‘if we really wanted to stop the certification would we have done what we did?’

                    2. Like I was saying about alternate realities.

                    3. Krychek…

                      There’s video proof. Cops just removing the barricades. You ever think that you’re living in the “alternate reality”?

                    4. So are you calling the people who have explicitly said that they were there trying to stop the certification liars? It’s not like we have to speculate about their intent here. Some of them say they just caught up in the frenzy or whatever, but many have admitted they were there to stop the certification.

                  2. “Some columnists saying ‘the election was stolen'”

                    You misspelled, “Some columnists and the losing candidate.”

                    Hillary and Trump really aren’t so different, are they?


                      Whoops? Stop being so dumb. You’re smarter than that.

                    2. “Whoops?”

                      Concession and then she later claims that it was stolen. So no whoops?

                    3. I don’t remember her saying it was stolen, but even if she did, she conceded. She did not spend months whipping her supporters up into a mob.

                    4. They are so vastly different that the clownishness of trying to equate them because Trump’s behaviour was too awful to be defensible on its merits is the last shred of intellectual or moral dignity left to his supporters and enablers.

                    5. Whoops yourself

                      “You can run the best campaign, you can even become the nominee, and you can have the election stolen from you…”

                      You really think being on both sides of the stolen election claim helps her?

                    6. You really want to put Clinton’s mild remarks three years after the fact against Trump’s endless screaming shit fit that began even before the election when he realised mail-in voting wasn’t going to work to his advantage but rather than ecourage his voters to use it he went balliistic trying to supress it, and went on from then till now when he still thinks he’s really president and his supporters believe him? Oh sure they’re the same, if you throw out any sense of proportion, decorum or comparable actions.

                    7. So the revised revised position is that mild claims of stolen elections are OK, but screaming shit-fits about stolen elections are not? That’s quite a ways from “she didn’t do it.”

                    8. And sure, I’ll concede that Trump did a better job at falsely claiming the election was stolen. But it’s still the same lie.

                    9. ‘mild claims of stolen elections are OK but screaming shit-fits about stolen elections are not?’

                      Yes. When you compare the two things, one is nowhere near the same galaxy of awfulness as the other.

                      ‘That’s quite a ways from “she didn’t do it.”’

                      Wasn’t MY claim, but she did nothing remotely comparable to the carry-on of your boy.

                      ‘better job at falsely claiming the election was stolen.’

                      It’s the entire Republican Party platform, going forward!

            2. And did Clinton sue?

              Did she send lying POS lawyers to court to try to get the election overturned? Did she call election oficials to try to get theme to alter their counts?

              Or did she, in fact, concede the election?

              Really, your love for false equivalence is just amazing. What BS you spread.

              1. No, she used a dossier she paid for in conjunction with foreign nationals and Russian intellegence agents to promote a lie that Trump “conspired with Russia”, and sabotage the Presidency for years under the fake pretext.

                1. Your typical nonsensical, irrelevant, dishonest reply.

            3. I see a different distinction than the Queen does. The claims of a skewed 2016 election centered around misinformation and political interference, not fraud. (And they weren’t lies, there was misinformation and political interference.) So it’s uncouth, yes, but not a coup attempt or a scheme to undermine democracy. Everyone agreed that Trump won the election, just with some cringeworthy whining about the campaign being unfair.

              2020’s Big Lie is different in that it asserts that Trump actually won the vote count. That’s a much more dangerous tactic than just handwaving about unfairly influencing people to vote a certain way. (And a flat lie.)

              Hillary was saying that she should have won, if only the voters had seen the light. Basically an opinion statement by a sore loser. Trump is saying that he did win. A false statement of fact, and one that will do a lot of damage to American democracy.

          3. ” I don’t recall anybody claiming that the 2016 election was stolen.”

            They said it was hacked. And Hillary said it was illegitimate.

            1. Sorry, how exactly do you hack an election? And however you hack an election, did someone actually make the claim that the numbers were fraudulent?

              1. I have no idea. I wasn’t the one saying ad nausem that our election was hacked for three years.

                1. Whatever they were saying, they allowed official investigations to run their course. Trump wanted legal challenges that would fail to the Supreme Court who would instantly install him as President, and then wanted Pence to install him as President, and is still coming up with three schemes daily that would see him installed as President.

            2. And yet the race was conceded and power was transferred gracefully and with dignity as befits a democracy with functional and respected institutions, and many months ater some remarks were made, and she was told to shut up.

              Y’know, rather than the demented clownshow of the Trump derangment.

          4. A $35 million sham RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA investigation, attempts to pressure electors not to cast Electoral College ballots for Trump, two sham impeachments (the second one when Congress should have been focused more on the growing pandemic), etc.

            Although it was all over the national news, even MSNBC and CNN, staying in your low information bubble, of course you ” don’t recall anybody claiming that the 2016 election was stolen.”

            1. Congress should have been focused more on the growing pandemic

              That’s rich. Trump didn’t give a crap about the pandemic other than to look for ways to make himself look good. Remember, he wanted to quarantine victims outside of the US, so it wouldn’t hurt his numbers.

              1. So keeping infected people out of the country to stop the spread of a novel deadly disease with no known treatment was a bad thing.
                Good thing Europe, China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Canada, etc. didn’t ban travel / sarc

                1. Yeah. It is, you Trumpist moron.

                  He wanted those cruise ship passengers kept on the ship so they wouldn’t count as US cases. Easy enough to quarantine them ashore.

                  And you don’t need to send people to Guantanamo to quarantine them, either.

          5. “claiming that the 2016 election was stolen”
            I don’t know that. But I do know that the Orange Clown lost the 2020 election. Why? because of vote fraud? No.
            He lost because he took the most extreme power dive in American political history in more than 100 years. He lost his own election

      2. “One of the most worrisome trends — and, as far as I can tell, unprecedented in US history — is the willingness of the right to create a completely alternate reality in which it just simply denies what we all saw with our own eyes.”

        “Mostly peaceful protests” caused over $2B in property damage, and dozens of deaths, last year, and involved attempted and sometimes successful murder by arson. So it’s a bit ironic seeing you assert this is a right wing problem.

        1. Right, just go on with your false moral equivalencies. It seems to be all you’ve got.

          1. He’s not asserting a moral equivalency, he’s countering your assertion that alternate realities are the sole province of Republicans.

            It’s a fact that over $2B in property damage, and dozens of deaths occurred in what the media and Democrats continually asserted were “mostly peaceful protests,” and, it’s a fact that the protest in DC on January 6 resulted in zero homicides, save one at the hands of a Capitol cop, no fires, minor property damage, and no weapons recovered from protesters.

            Many believe the election was stolen, and there’s ample evidence to support that, as well as ample behavior inconsistent with innocence on the part of Democrats in the wake of it. “Roughly one-third of Americans believe that President Biden’s 2020 electoral victory was the result of widespread voter fraud, according to a new Monmouth University poll. Thirty-two percent of respondents say fraud was the reason Biden won the presidential election, maintaining a trend that has taken hold over the past seven months. ” That’s nothing to sneeze at.

            1. “and there’s ample evidence to support that, as well as ample behavior inconsistent with innocence on the part of Democrats in the wake of it”

              No, there’s not, and that second part of the sentence helps explain why so many buy into this (behavior inconsistent with innocence!).

              1. I am, in fact, pointing out that it’s utterly ludicrous to assert that false realities are exclusive to the right. Especially after the last few years.

                1. Oh, if you spend enough time on left wing blogs, you’ll occasionally come up with a false reality here or there. “Always” and “never” are dangerous words to use, which is why I try to avoid them, and I don’t believe I used either of them here.

                  That said, the Republican Party at this moment is built almost entirely on false realities. I’m now seeing claims that the Biden Administration should have prevented 1/6 from happening, even though he wouldn’t be president for another two weeks, and of course the crap about it wasn’t violent, it was just a bunch of tourists taking pictures. There isn’t enough natural gas in Texas for all the gaslighting coming from the right.

                  1. Heck, the entire #metoo movement was built on the false claim that it’s been established that women rarely lie about rape.

                    1. I don’t remember ever hearing any leftist, feminist, or anyone else make the claim that women “rarely” lie about rape. The claim made is that women’s allegations about rape are frequently discounted and disbelieved without adequate investigation. Don’t forget it’s not that long ago that “what was she wearing” was considered a legitimate line of defense when a rapist was tried.

                    2. Here’s Jakie Speier making the claim. It’s ubiquitous in these discussions. After all, why would you believe women if there’s a chance they might not be telling the truth.

                      “Don’t forget it’s not that long ago that “what was she wearing” was considered a legitimate line of defense when a rapist was tried.”

                      I don’t think that’s true. Sometimes the accuser’s clothing was allowing into evidence to set the scene about what happened, but I don’t think “she was asking for it” was ever an actual defense.

                    3. You believe women sufficiently to begin an actual investigation about it. Just like if I report my home was burglarized, the police will initially assume I’m telling the truth sufficiently to conduct an investigation.

                      If their investigation reveals I’m engaged in insurance fraud, then they’ll start investigating me. But the initial default is to give the claims sufficient credence to look into them.

                    4. “You believe women sufficiently to begin an actual investigation about it. Just like if I report my home was burglarized, the police will initially assume I’m telling the truth sufficiently to conduct an investigation.”

                      You think rape wasn’t investigated before the metoo movement?

                      And in any event, you don’t need to believe anyone to conduct an investigation. If someone makes a claim, you look for evidence that corroborates the claim, and evidence that contradicts the claim.

                      You don’t form a belief that she’s telling the truth to look for evidence that corroborates the claim, and then form a belief that she’s lying to look for evidence that contradicts the claim. That doesn’t make any sense.

                    5. You think rape wasn’t investigated before the metoo movement?

                      I don’t know if it’s true, but the claim is that there was and continues to be a problem or rape not being investigated a lot as ‘probably too hard to prosecute’ and also that women be crazy. And that caused women not to think it’s worth it to come forward, compounding the issue.

                      That’s the claim RAINN makes at least.

                    6. ‘Heck, the entire #metoo movement was built on the false claim that it’s been established that women rarely lie about rape.’

                      This in itself constitutes an example of right wing alternate reality, if that’s what you got out of the metoo movement.

                    7. “I don’t know if it’s true, but the claim is that there was and continues to be a problem or rape not being investigated a lot as ‘probably too hard to prosecute’ and also that women be crazy.”

                      Rape allegations are often hard to prosecute, especially the he-said/she said variety. Not liking that fact doesn’t change it. And if there was a case where somebody didn’t prosecute a rape because women be crazy, I haven’t heard of it.

                    8. The claim, TiP, is not that they’re not being prosecuted, but that they’re not being investigated because they are hard to prosecute.

                      Hence the believe all women – investigate at least.

                    9. Wow. Talk about an alternate reality. Believe women doesn’t mean believe women, rape reports weren’t investigated until recently, how a woman was dressed was a defense to rape, rape wasn’t prosecuted because women be crazy, etc.

                      Of course we all know at what moment “Believe Women” morphed into “check and see if she’s ever fudged her resume.”

                  2. “I’m now seeing claims that the Biden Administration should have prevented 1/6 from happening”

                    Where did you see that? I never have.

                    I’ve seen lots of discussion about the Dems refusing National Guard at the Capitol and not properly briefing and augmenting the Capitol Police.

                    1. One of the GOP congressmen that Pelosi rejected for the committee made that claim in an interview.

                2. I wasn’t answering your claim, but Publius’

                3. Especially after the last few years.

                  Wow. Who is it who came up with the idea of “alternate facts?”

                  If you think the last few years haven’t damaged Republican credibility, such as it was, you really are deranged.

            2. I did have to be amused by the testimony of the Capitol cop who was obviously rehearsed to use the word “terrorist” in every sentence. And he had graphic descriptions of threats to his physical safety.
              Was what he described different or worse than what many cops experienced around the country throughout the riots that followed the Floyd death or in the insurrection in Portland?
              Indeed, language is a weapon in the class warfare. What we saw was a demonstration that morphed into a riot. In America the large news organizations have bought into the left’s language of the events. Interesting in Europe and Asia, the more general “riot” is used. This observation is not a defense of wanton lawlessness on the part of rioters.
              Note that even the CCP does not call the demonstrations in HongKong insurrections, although their punishments are life in prison.

              1. ‘Was what he described different or worse than what many cops experienced around the country throughout the riots that followed the Floyd death or in the insurrection in Portland?’

                Probably almost as bad as what many demonstrators experienced around the country at the hands of cops as they demonstrated against police violence.

                1. And your point is?
                  What do you expect when demonstrations turn violent or destructive?

                  1. It depends on wether it’s the demonstrators that turn violent or the police.

                  2. The police this summer were vastly more indiscriminate than just targeting rioters.

                    1. I don’t recall if it was in that thread, I’m sure it was, but one of the more disconcerting ones was the police running down a relatively quiet street, ordering people just standing on their porch to “get inside” and then when that didn’t happen, shot at them with pepper balls.

                      So so many comments were: WHY DIDN’T THEY JUST COMPLY.

              2. I don’t think that someone like him is qualified to be a cop…

                1. Ed,
                  You have no qualifications and even less real background information to make such a claim. But then that is typical for you.

                  1. Don, you don’t know my qualifications because I don’t wear my resume on my sleeve — you might be surprised.

                    That said, the basic principle of a free society is that the public inherently is qualified to judge the qualifications of its servants. Much like the public is qualified to judge the guilt or innocence of a defendant.

                    I’d say the same thing about a capitol police officer who badmouthed Democrats. Or Greens or Purples or whomever.

            3. ‘He’s not asserting a moral equivalency, he’s countering your assertion that alternate realities are the sole province of Republicans.”

              When you literally have no defense other than to try to make both sides equivalent arguments that are just patently stupid. I don’t see anybody saying there was no violence or denying the scale of the damage. Setting the (accurate, oddly enough, given that most protests did actually occur without violence) phrase ‘mostly peaceful’ against an ex-president who literally still thinks he’s president, and has a base that believes him.

              1. You added a bunch of irrelevancies regarding the Orange Clown. Certainly, I never claimed anything about partisan equivalencies.
                I only commented that the testimony was highly rehearsed and delivered in a language with a partisan agenda.

                1. Blame these long threads. My reply was to Publius, not to yourself.

                  1. Objection retracted

          2. It has nothing to do with a “moral equivalency”. That is not how justice is supposed to work. It’s based on the law.

            Many are just guilty of trespassing. It doesn’t matter what the protest “cause” is if you’re trespassing that is what the charge is.

            But these days is your cause is preferred by those in power you get treated quite a bit different by our justice system than if your cause is not preferred by those in power

            1. Exactly this. So-called protesters in Seattle and Portland who fire-bombed federal buildings were just released, no charges. Trespassers in the Capitol building who broke nothing, touched no one, and took some selfies are in prison for months, some in solitary confinement, facing felony prosecutions.

        2. This is dumb. There’s actually no tension between “mostly peaceful protests” and $2B in property damage. If there are 10,000 protests, 90% are peaceful, obviously that doesn’t stop 100 riots from causing lots of property damage.

          There’s not some big movement on the left to say that actually there was no property damage at all, actually it was a bunch of lightning storms that burned those buildings down because lightning is pretty common in the summer. In fact even pretty hard left people decried the violence.

          1. “There’s actually no tension between “mostly peaceful protests” and $2B in property damage.”

            Un huh…

            So, if you have a nice large outdoor event of a few thousand people, and a mass shooter shoots and kills just 1% of the people there….is it a “mostly peaceful event”?

            1. No, but if you have 100 outdoor events and there’s a shooting at one of them, they’re mostly peaceful outdoor events. The vast majority of the protests last summer were peaceful. There were some that were not, regrettably. That doesn’t make the vast majority of protests violent riots.

      3. Krychek_2, I think it is a mistake to suppose Trump’s crowd (for the most part) believe any of the big lie crap. For them, it is almost better that it be flagrantly false. That way it becomes a reliable group-identity trope. It signals loyalist identity, whether derived from genuine inclination to join, or from coerced cooperation.

        They keep spouting as a way to promote group solidarity. What matters to them is that all the lies, all the racism, all the threats, and now the violence, have turned into a kind of political glue to hold their movement together. Experience has taught them that their preferred culture is one they can expect to be shunned by mainstream politics of every description. But they also noticed that the Republican Party cannot win without them. So if they hang together, they get to dictate to Republicans, which gives them an outsized seat at the table of national power.

        Lying in unison is the only way any of them can see that promises them that chance at political power. It works so well, and their political leverage over Republicans is so great, that they can even demand successfully that normal Republicans lie right along with them. To make that happen, they will say anything, and pretend to believe it. It is both a loyalty test, and an organizing principle. They intend to push it as far as it will go.

        That makes them notably more dangerous than they would be if they were just dumb-ass ignorant. History features other political movements that worked that way, and some of those turned out to be memorably dangerous.

        Political power aggregates with success and wains with failure. That part seems to be pretty widely recognized. One commonplace historical conclusion is that it would have been better if movements of that sort got forcefully checked during their inception, instead of waiting for them to gain power through growth, and then paying the far greater price of stopping something much bigger later on.

        1. You may be right; that hadn’t occurred to me. I’ve just been assuming that they actually believe their own crap.

          I will also note, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, that that sort of thing is possible only because of our anti-democratic institutions that give rural voters disproportionate control of our politics. If we had truly democratic elections, in which a New Yorker’s vote counted for as much as a Kansan’s, both in presidential politics and in the US Senate, what we are seeing would have been nipped in the bud. The gaslighters would have gotten control of the GOP for one election, had their heads handed to them in November, and that would have been the last they were heard from.

          1. You mean like the Electoral College? You know how you could change that don’t you? It’s called a constitutional amendment

      4. The problem is the left has been building the histrionics of this since before the actual day. Articles from as far back as before the election openly questioned if Trump would turn over power. We had guarantees from the Joint Chiefs they would not be involved. The left warned us of coups and how Trump might not leave the White House. Heck, even commenters here liked to speculate if the SS would have to “evict” Trump on January 20th.

        Then we had an election which was full of irregularities. In the past, there would have been impatial investigations that most fair minded people would accept the conclusions of when complete. But, the left chose to deal with the issue with censorship and by belittling people who dared question the integrity of the election. If you wanted to talk about your valid questions or theories you got censorship and called a “conspiracy theorist”. The media ran constant stories covering for all the irregularities. This resulted in creating a very substantial number of frustrated people.

        And what do frustrated people do? They tend to go to things like protests and rallies. When there was one in DC probably close to a million people showed up. Of course, if this was a left wing protest we would have heard lines about how the people demanded accountability, etc. Instead the mainstream media painted the rally as some sort of fascist coup like what took over Italy or Germany in the 30’s even before people showed up. The “line” continued with smack “insurrection” and “riot” on the further events of that day with some articles using the terms before any significant action was even taking place on capitol hill.

        Then the media, which had forbid the use of the word “riot” to describe any BLM violence that summer, starts using it like it is going out of style. We get the same 10 second clips of activists from that day, the same old tired stories, the same overly hyped statistics like “six people died that day” (leaving out those deaths had nothing to do with the actual events), and repeat lies after lies after lies. The whole thing has become one manufactured, hollywood style exercise of histrionics. I’m sure the movie will have Matt Damon playing a capitol hill cop who single handedly holds back racist Trump supporters in an overly dramatic two hour production. That is the level of propaganda this entire thing is getting to when in reality it was mostly just some tourists taking pictures with a few mentally ill people roaming around in places they should not have been.

        1. “with a few mentally ill people roaming around in places they should not have been.”

          Lol, Jimmy’s sudden ‘concession’ says it all.

          1. It turns out a few people there were mentally ill. Which explains why their actions deviated so much from the norm of the day which was roaming around the building taking pictures and then leaving when asked to do so.

            I hope those people get help and stop being treated like political prisoners.

            1. the norm of the day which was roaming around the building taking pictures and then leaving when asked to do so.
              But the summer was all BLM violence.

              You can’t even keep your lies consistent.

              1. I’ve consistently said what occurred that day was largely excited tourists who roamed around and took pictures. When asked to leave they did without violence (even picked up the trash on the way out). How is that lying or inconsistent with the actual truth again?

        2. The Joint Chiefs had talks about what to do if Trump tried a coup, chief.
          In other words, our top professional threat assessors say it wasn’t histrionics.

          Frustrated people protest, and at it’s worst it’s like the 2016 inauguration. Frustrated people do not plan to come and disrupt the vital process of our Republic, and assault police to do it.
          A normal political party does not give this kind of attempt political cover.

          This is on tape. There are confessions, there are many many facts you continue to ignore. Because you care neither about reality nor our Republic.

          1. A true Republic might decide to do things Jimmy don’t like so of course that’s not valued.

          2. “top professional threat assessors”

            The Joint Chiefs are strictly administrators and advisors. No command responsibilities.

            “it wasn’t histrionics”

            The Joint Chiefs Chair was in fact hysterical.

            1. And what do you think the Joint Chiefs advise about, Bob?

              Joint Chiefs Chair was in fact hysterical
              You’re an idiot.

              1. “Joint Chiefs Chair was in fact hysterical
                You’re an idiot.”

                General “White Rage” is a disgrace to his uniform and an hysterical ninny.

            2. Bob,
              Each Chief is at the top of the chain of command of his service.
              Your observation is so far off the wall, it is in the next country.

              1. “One branch (10 U.S.C. § 162) runs from the President, through the Secretary of Defense, to the Unified Combatant Commanders for missions and forces assigned to their commands. The other branch, used for purposes other than operational direction of forces assigned to the Unified Combatant Commands”


                Note the “other than operational direction of forces”

                So, I was right and you are wrong again.

                1. And what job does the Chief of staff of the Army have. He is at the top of the chain of command.
                  Get lost Bob with your cherry picking of facts.

          3. “The Joint Chiefs had talks about what to do if Trump tried a coup, chief.”

            Tell him no. I mean, how hard is that?

            1. Generals telling their civilian leadership no is actually not an easy thing in our republic.

              1. To a coup? Do you care to support your claim that Generals refusing to stage a coup in our republic is difficult?

                1. I expect the process of persuading Trump that they would was a lot more so.

                2. Giving the military the unilateral power to define what’s a coup and what’s not has some serious implications.

                  Such a direct nullification of civilian leadership should be avoided at all costs (absent actually doing a coup).

                  1. “Giving the military the unilateral power to define what’s a coup and what’s not has some serious implications.”

                    Nobody’s suggesting that the military has unilateral power to define what a coup is. Where do you get that?

                    1. So who’s deciding whether an order constitutes a coup or not, the president? You’re pretty optimistic if you think he’s going to say “I order you to do me a coup.”

                  2. “Giving the military the unilateral power to define what’s a coup and what’s not has some serious implications.”
                    That is exactly true, S_0. That is why the Pelsoi communication to the JCS was a serious offense against US democracy

          4. So you are so F-ing dumb to buy into a coup led by a group with zero fire arms and led by a shirtless guy in a Viking hat? You are that stupid?

              1. “on grounds” “in car”

                Do better gaslighto.

                1. In summary: We don’t yet have a full list of the firearms present at the Capitol on the 6th, and we may never, but there were certainly some. Officers are clearly not lying/fantasizing/being dramatic when they say they were fearful of there being some.

                  1. “they were fearful of there being some”

                    Now its a mere feeling there were guns.

                    It was a bad riot, no need outside propaganda to inflate it by calling it “armed” or sometimes I even see “heavily armed”.

                    No rioter brandished a firearm let alone used one.

                2. Ha ha gaslighto nice. Yea he’s pathetic.

            1. wreckinball,

              Nobody said they weren’t idiots. Of course they were. That doesn’t mean they weren’t trying to stage a coup, just that they are clueless assholes.

          5. “Frustrated people do not plan to come and disrupt the vital process of our Republic, and assault police to do it.”

            Except for BLM protesters who do it routinely, get the pass from the media, and are almost never prosecuted for it. Like attacking police substations and burning them down. Forcing police out of areas of cities using threats and gang violence. Attempting to burn down federal court houses (which last time I checked were an important process in our Republic). Assaulting officers with fireworks (but that was OK because they were “federal troops” at the time). The list goes on and on.

            You usually just gaslight everyone, but here you are outright delusional if that is what you think.

            1. As you well know by now, protests and even riots are not the same as what the Jan 06 aholes tried.

              Equating a federal courthouse when no one was there with the Capitol doing one of the most vital functions of our Republic just shows how little you have to argue with.

              1. The truth is political violence is find by you as long as it is committed by politically favored operatives. You conflate and inflate to cover up for the fact the left has sponsored, tolerated, and financed a campaign of domestic terror for at least the last 1.5 years largely unchecked. And you know that this whole sham over some tourists is designed exactly to do that, generate more cover.

                1. You ignore the testimony we’ve heard from the Capitol Police, the prosecuting documents, the reporting, the statements of the accused ‘tourists’ themselves, and video evidence.

                  And then you say I’m covering up for some leftist-finance terrorism this summer.

                  You’re just a troll.

                  1. I don’t take it lightly when I have to question the truth and veracity of someone who testifies under oath and in public, but some of those stories were at least embellished or completely fabricated. Considering the sheer amount of video that exists from that day, if there were dozens of people yelling racial slurs at officers it would have been captured and played endless by the media and prosecutors. So far, nothing. And if they had it and were just waiting to release it why not do it the day of the testimony? But still, nothing.

                    Your other evidence is a cherry picked as the media statement of “facts” which is tired, biased, and slanted. There were no weapons that day, but nonetheless, you still try to make bombast by linking to the one case where a gun was found in a car about 1/4 mile away from the building. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. That is the best you can do because that is all you got.

                    It IS pure histrionics to pretend a one time protest, with a few unsavory aspects, was almost a coup or beginning of civil war. Especially when the same people are ignoring domestic terrorist events unfolding on an organized, almost conspiratorial level all across the country. Actual riots that involved guns, explosives, fire bombs, and violence (none of which was at the capitol on the day in question).

                    And if you want to talk about being a troll, nothing more than qualifies you for that title than your repeated sad attempts to paint the protest in hysterics.

                    1. There are weapons other than firearms.

        3. Jimmy, what terrifies me is that Barrack O’Biden has nominated Rachael “Decline to Prosecute” Rollins for US Attorney for Massachusetts.

          This is a woman who as Suffolk County DA (Boston) threatened to fabricate criminal charges against a TV reporter while on camera. See:

          Her as USA is *scary*….

          1. Here you are, Ed, again trying to use derogatory terms to refer to Biden.

            Yet you complain when some one refers to Trump as “Orange Man.”

            What a jackass you are,

            1. Calling him a “Mick” or “Paddy” would be an ethnic slur, not unlike “Orange Man” or “Nigger.”

              Referring to him as Barrack O’Biden merely implies that he is Obama’s puppet — which I believe he is.

              I notice that you didn’t comment on Rollins….

              1. Okay I’m just going to have to accept this a master troll to give you the flimsiest excuse to type out the N word. Because no one in their right minds, right or left, could think “Orange Man” is an “ethnic” slur about Trump and not a comment on his self-imposed skin hue.

              2. Actually, I’m not a huge fan of Rollins.

                But I’m hardly terrified by her appointment, even though I do live in MA.

        4. Jimmy the Dane : “Articles from as far back as before the election openly questioned if Trump would turn over power”

          Would that be the same Trump who spent two months trying to sabotage the election results? Who pressured local GOP election officials in Michigan and Arizona to intervene in his favor? Who asked the Georgia Secretary of State to “find him” phantom votes, even providing the exact number he wanted “found”?

          Remember : Trump asked the Justice Department to publicly announce a voting fraud “investigation” that didn’t exist – solely as an excuse to block state certifications. He filed scores of junk lawsuits and is enraged to this day that “his justices” didn’t put loyalty to him over the law. And it’s the same story with his doggishly loyal Vice President, who refused to block the congressional election vote absent any constitutional basis. Trump criticized Pence even as the mob rioting thru the Capitol building screamed for the veep’s blood. One of the rioters read Trump’s tweet to his fellow insurrectionists with a megaphone.

          Trump ran a two month campaign of agitprop as relentlessly & aggressively dishonest as anything from Tass or Pravda of Soviet days. It was only after everything else failed that Trump sicced a mob on Congress. And then?

          He smugly watched the mayhem on TV, ignoring calls from Congressmen pleading for help to stop the riot. I don’t anyone – media, politicians or generals – needs to apologize for their pre-election concerns about Trump. Those concerns were proved justified many times over.

          1. No.

            This is a lefty meme spouted about Republican presidents going back to the Flintstones.

            (A 1960s TV show.)

            Playing lose with the facts and rhetoric is part of “the game”. Disasterbating about a coup attempt is not.

            1. George Will once pointed to a video of Bill Moyers sitting there saying something like “I honestly believe if he loses the election, [George Bush the Elder] will try to throw a coup to remain in office.”

              1. This in a context not unlike this, where the left was hyperventillating about how fanciful the right wing was in imagining a float in a parade of horribles.

              2. So what? WTF does that have to do with anything? Was Moyers even in public office at the time?

                Why do you try this whatabouttery with trivial BS like that?

                As bad as A.L.

            2. Except you can’t refute the facts I listed and don’t even try. This is bad for you, because even more facts are piling-up every day. The latest development is this : The House Oversight Committee released handwritten notes by acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue from a 27 December phone call with acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Trump. Rosen told Trump there was zero evidence of any voting fraud to even the smallest degree, and then said this :

              Rosen : “Understand that the DOJ can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election.”

              Trump replied : “Don’t expect you to do that. Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen”

              Being a Trump supporter, Krayt, you’ve probably lost all sense of what constitutes corruption. Like someone working alongside a cesspit, you probably no longer notice the smell. So an fyi for you, Krayt : Trump’s demand was the grossest possible corruption.

            3. Saying “no” doesn’t accomplish anything.

        5. So Jimmy, you’re saying that all these MAGA people are so thin-skinned, they just can’t take being called conspiracy theorists by lefties (even when the impartial investigations conclude that there’s no fraud) so they go storm the Capitol as a sort of catharsis.

          I mean, that’s basically right I think. But so, so sad. Sad pathetic, not sad heartbreaking.

          Why are they such sensitive little snowflakes?

      5. Actually, there *were* people who made such claims.

        And the supporters of Andrew Jackson were rather pissed about something….

        And people who believed that Bull Connor was an honest cop who dispensed justice in a fair manner. Seriously…

      6. K_2
        “No, this is new, and troubling, and is not going to end well.’
        You’re being too pessimistic

    2. Your daily reminder of the sad kind of equivocation Trump supporters have to engage in to defend the indefensible.

      1. I agree with you. the capitol insurrection is nothing like the leftwing protests. The leftists actually know how to kill people!

        1. Thank you for proving her point.

          1. I’ve said it before, not being big fans of democracy and small ‘l’ liberal norms and values many modern conservatives truly struggle with identifying what was wrong about the Trump riot. All they’re able to muster is ‘well left wing people did riots, so what’s the big deal?’

            1. “identifying what was wrong about the Trump riot”

              I identify that it is wrong to riot. All riots. No “struggle”.

              You only think one type is bad.

              1. Funnily enough, QA ain’t on here defending ‘one type’ of riot. Youse guys are. And you can’t even defend it on its supposed merits, it’s ‘if black people can clash with police over police killing black people, why can’t a bunch of white people storm a building to prevent the certification of an election we lost, they’re the same thing, basically!’

                1. Riots are riots.

                  1. Yeah, but an insurrection isn’t a riot.

                    One disrupts the public piece.

                    The other disrupts our polity itself.

                    And you’re defending the worse one.

                    1. It was not an insurrection. You are just using a propaganda term for political purposes.

                      “And you’re defending the worse one.”

                      No, the BLM riots were worse. More damage. Just the ones in Minneapolis, let alone the rest.

                      But all riots are bad.

                    2. Your saying it doesn’t really address the social media posts, their actual actions, what they are recorded saying on Jan 06, and what they’ve admitted to afterwards.

                      Your continued attempt to look only at property damage (of 1 day versus nationwide for months) shows you even know you don’t have much to stand on.

                    3. “but an insurrection isn’t a riot. ”
                      You do know that the foreign press never brought the “insurrection” story.
                      It was a riot inspired by a soon to be ex_president with mental illness

                    4. No, it’s clear what they wanted to do and it was an assault on our government.

                      I don’t know that I’d call it terrorism like some do, but it’s not just a riot in intent or location. Insurrection is exactly what it was.

          2. Remember that *immediately after* the storming of the Capitol, after literally fleeing for their safety, the majority of the GOP House representatives came in and voted to nullify the results of the Electoral College. So it’s easy to see how the base who comments here doesn’t get it if the elites in DC couldn’t (wouldn’t?).

        2. You know that a bunch of the folks who killed other people during the BLM protests were rightwing activists, no?

    3. I don’t know why you’re whining about Dems – it was Trump and his pack of weirdo Facebook Follies that finally finished fucking up the image of Republicans as Serious People who believe in the Sanctity Of American Democracy with their bizzare antics and their unreal beliefs and weird fantasies. Concentrate on why you’re letting those guys control your image and your ideology. Unless you think they’re cool, in which case why are you whining and denying and trying to draw equivalences?

    4. “a select committee designed to generate pure political propaganda and histrionics.”

      If that’s what they wanted, they’d have left Jordan on the panel.

      1. I kind of agree. Pelosi should have left him on. It was her tactical error

        1. I disagree.

          Leaving Jordan on would have made the whole thing a clown show.

          He’s a disruptive asshole who has zero interest in investigating what happened. He even said so.

  4. Postulate, for a second, that one or more major US corporations were, essentially Enron. Which of the top 10 would be most disruptive to the economy upon the reveal? Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook, Tesla? Assume the rest are totally on the level, its just the one that has been cooking the books. I think the answer is still the oldie, Microsoft. Even though it gets a lot of hate and glares, almost everyone still uses word, almost all governments and big corps use outlook and excel, and there is no mainstream knowledge base to replace any of it. I don’t doubt there are equivalent and superior open source and other party versions of excel, but think of the time spent learning them. It would be crazy. Obviously, this also means that Microsoft is not Enron, because its value is so incredibly high because we are, essentially addicted to its products, but there it is.

    1. Amazon and Alphabet would have the biggest immediately noticeable effect. There would be some disruptions as microsofts integrated services begin to disrupt peoples windows installs and they decide what OS they are going to migrate to if they care about desktops anymore. Apple would be a severe but more of a niche effect as they are mostly a hardware company with a subset of customers. If you are outside of the Apple ecosystem. There is not much immediate consequence except to laugh at the fanbois misfortune. Overall the first 4 would be bigger than Enron which lets face it in most people’s mind was just an interesting story to get mad about corporations and to get the ball rolling on regulations with little noticeable direct effect unless you were a stockholder etc. Facebook, will be mourned by the grandmas who are still actively using it. It will suck or rock that the oculus is finally going to be sold to someone else. The teens on Instagram will find another site. Tesla will be mostly another interesting story. Personally I’m more concerned about the fallout on SpaceX. There will be economic disruption proportional to each companies importance but none of them are irreplaceable or even missed that much. Aside from the harmful effects they have on actually cool projects like the above mentioned. In some cases it will be a cause for celebration.

    2. I’d say Google (Alphabet). Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla sell real products. If it turned out they were cooking the books, it wouldn’t affect the nature of those products, and someone else could sell them if the companies went out of business. (Not to say that there wouldn’t be short term disruptions.) Facebook just isn’t that important, even if it’s big. But much of the online economy is based on advertising with Google. Not sure that’s so easy to replicate/replace — or that anyone would even try if it turned out Google’s business model didn’t really work and their numbers were fake.

    3. You’re looking at products but the biggest disruption would be on the market.

      Apple has $2.4 T (yeah T), market cap and Amazon has $1.8 T, so Apple would “win” your scenario.

      FYI, Facebook has $1 T.

      1. Google has $1.7 T.

        Microsoft has $2.0 T

    4. As I understand it, Enron was a trading and transportation company, they didn’t actually *produce* the energy, merely brokered sales of it and operated the pipelines that transported it.

      Hence Enron’s bankruptcy was more like MicroSquish admitting that there was an unfixable security flaw in all of its software — something that eliminates the value of the product or service itself.

      While a Microsquish bankruptcy would screw Microsquish creditors and shareholders, it wouldn’t destroy the inherent value of the existing Microsquish products. My guess is that the Bankruptcy Court would appoint a receiver to oversee stuff.

      1. “As I understand it, Enron was a trading and transportation company, they didn’t actually *produce* the energy, merely brokered sales of it and operated the pipelines that transported it.”

        Shockingly, you failed to understand it accurately and completely. Enron owned and operated power-generation facilities through various subsidiaries and interlocking corporations.. Enron re-incorporated in Oregon so they could own PGE (Portland General Electric)

    5. “Postulate, for a second, that one or more major US corporations were, essentially Enron.”

      Not that difficult. Enron WAS a US corporation.

  5. Originalism Deep Dive Ep 3/6: Is originalism already our law? How should courts handle precedents and policy? Can a judge change their mind and still be originalist?

    [Now it gets truly deep – the previous 2 broadly were mostly saying things I’d heard before, though with more details and drawing out interesting facets. But now we start with the revelatory parts of the series, and I begin to find more stuff to argue with! -Sarc]

    1. 1. What does originalism mean?
      Some say the way to originalist is that every Constitutional single court dispute is based on evidence on or before about 1790 (or 1868) for the 14th. You could look at precedent only for later applications to new facts. Baude is not of this school, for many of the reasons in the previous segments.

      What Baude means is that judges only use methods of Constitutional interpretation that were permitted originally. I.e. contemporaneous evidence, or precedent both of law and application to new facts. So everything traces back to the original Constitution in some number of precedential steps. Absent a sharp break in the precedents, this looks a lot like what we see today.

      So if the Founders were OK with a common law style of Constitutional interpretation, then so should an originalist. So when arguing with an originalist, be clear if you’re making an empirical claim about the Founders, or a normative claim about what’s the best interpretive method!

      [This doesn’t seem to change practice much at all – it only adds an additional argument one can make – that there was a break in the chain of precedents. This seems pretty normal, Except for Warren Court precedents. See below…]

      1. I have no idea what originalism means.

        Many of the so-called “originalist” arguments seem foolish to me. OTOH, I have been told that my views are actually “originalist.”

        The notion that we are somehow bound by an 18th century understanding of the world strikes me as ludicrous.

        1. You’re bound by whats written in the constitution. It’s not a complicated document. Generally those that read nuance and just invent stuff between the lines are meaning to subvert it.

          1. Textualism != originalism.

          2. “Generally those that read nuance and just invent stuff between the lines are meaning to subvert it.”

            Out of curiosity, does the 2nd amendment say anything about regulation, or is the entire text “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”, and does this text say that they can have whatever kind of weapons that they might want? (i.e. does “arms” mean semi-automatic pistols or smooth-bore muskets)

            1. It says shall make no law. The militia was one of the reasons the high to bear arms was required not the sole reason. No it says nothing about limiting it to muskets.

              You think that the 1790 founders of the constitution are limiting the right to bear arms only to militia members?

              Ha, God just so F-ing stupid

          3. OK. So we’re bound by the ban on “cruel and unusual punishment.”

            We’re bound by the requirement for “due process.”

            No denying “privileges and immunities” to citizens.

            No taking property for “public use” without paying “just compensation.”


            Gee, no room for disagreement about how any of that applies in a specific case.

            1. You really should listen to the podcast, they discuss that.

        2. Even if we were so bound, and even if it was possible to come up with a singular public understanding of one of the most hotly debated documents ever, the idea that judges of all people are going to come up with that understanding over the course of nine months from reading legal briefs prepared by lawyers and doing maybe 4 pages of analysis is the most ludicrous thing of all.

          1. Don’t be silly. They have clerks to read the briefs.

        3. So let’s accept your position that constitutional “understandings” have a time limit, and assume the SC took your position. They then hear a case where one party says the limit has expired and the other party says it hasn’t, and it hinges on that issue alone.

          Did you have a specific time limit in mind? For example, the lifetime of the people who came to the original understanding? I can see some justification for that, in the case of a contract signed on a specific date. It’s harder to justify in the case of a constitution that isn’t supposed to die every few generations.

          Or is it just a subjective rule that as time goes by you are subjectively less bound by precedent?

          1. You talkin’ to me?

            No. There’s not a time limit. What limits 18th Century interpretation is 21st (or even 19th) Century facts and understandings.

            A punishment not considered cruel and unusual in 1792 might be considered C&U today.

            Criminal procedures that might have been considered reasonable and fair, even 100 years ago, are not considered “due process” today.

            And so on. We stick by the principles. But what is deemed to violate them can, and often does, change.

            1. Yeah, I was talkin’ to you.

              I don’t have any problem with using 21st century facts. I also don’t have any problem with using 21st century understanding with respect to new situations that either couldn’t or haven’t occurred earlier, or to questions that haven’t been asked before.

              I’m less comfortable with simply arbitrarily changing when the text, the facts, and core questions asked are all the same. Why do we write down agreements, laws, and constitutions at all? Presumably to lock down an understanding for at least for *some period of time*.

              To take your C&U example. Even if I don’t like capital punishment, I accept that lower courts will (and should) follow a pro-CP SC ruling issued six months earlier. On the other hand, if some neo-Arpaioist jail warden sentenced a man to 50 lashes administrative punishment, I’d expect and want a judge to ignore a pro-flogging precedent from 1921 but I can’t think of a principled reason to justify it.

              1. Are you saying you can’t think of a principled reason for a judge to declare flogging unconstitutional?

                I can. It’s cruel and unusual. Whether it was so regarded in 1921, or 1791, does not seem to me to be relevant at all.

      2. “1. What does originalism mean?”

        It means whatever the “originalists” need it to mean to reach the outdome they’d prefer to reach.

    2. 2. What does originalism is our law mean?
      Warren Court wasn’t originalist, and made a bunch of breaks from the chain of precedent. Most were small. But this allows a special attack on Warren Court precedent that would not apply effectively to most of the rest of the Courts’ history. A few spots previously as well, but few and far between – post-Civil war, is one.

      You can see this not only in what the Court tells us it’s doing (that’s dicta) but in what the Court actually does, and in the arguments made to the Court. [I disagree with this – the changes from a non-originalist paradigm seem vanishing except for arguing to overturn Warren Court precedents, so how would you tell?]

      E.g. it’s never too late to overturn precedent. Most agree; that’s aligned with this style of originalism. So is the style of overturning precedent as ‘this decision was wrong when it was decided. Also see Kennedy in Citizens United, citing his own decent in previous cases upholding restrictions on corporate speech.

      Also how if there is no precedent, everyone’s first principle is originalist. Like recess appointments, or impeaching ex-Presidents. Though these are all in the structural, more directive parts of the Constitution.

      Is this a descriptive argument, cloaked as a normative one? By it’s logic, the Justices decided not to be originalist, then suddenly all the evidence of above that originalism is our law is gone.

      1. Sometimes the Court reads something in the Constitution, that implies a bunch of other stuff, that later Courts have to walk back (say, for example, the Lochner-era rulings based on the 13th amendment. (Wage-and-hour laws are unConstitutional because slavery is prohibited. The logic was 1) slavery is prohibited -> 2) people are free to sell their labor -> 3) states may not pass laws that restrict a person’s ability to sell their labor)
        I’m sure there are many people eager to see the right to abortion walked back in a similar fashion to what happened to the Lochner era.)

        There were a large number of people just certain that allowing people to enter lawful same-sex marriages was going to lead to an open rebellion (yes, this IS about you, Special Ed) but it turns out that leaving the gay people alone did not cause the collapse of socity (sorry, Eddie! I know you had your heart set on it.) I also don’t see a great popular demand to roll back Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, either. Trending towards greater freedom is a good thing, even if it produces freedoms each individual isn’t necessarily keen to experience.

        1. It seems like you go through 2 justifications for overturning precedent – popular demand, and an increase of freedom. Neither of those satisfies as alone sufficient justification.

          The courts act as a bulwark against popular demand. And a lot of the conflicts we have today are at least framed as one group’s freedom versus another.

          I do think there should be reasons to overturn precedent, and I do think Lochner should be overturned, and Roe and gay marriage should stay. But I hesitate to create a formal doctrine of stare, other than you need to explicitly justify when you’re overturning something.

    3. 3. Does this definition of originalism actually mean anything?
      In practice, judging tends to be a mix of the text, original intent, doctrine, practical implications. As they did back in the Founding, and today.

      So is that originalism – that judges should judge like they’ve always judged?

      No judge says they’re overturning the original meaning of the Constitution. A judge can say they’re not moved by consequences, or even by precedent, but they cannot say they are not moved by the text of the Constitution [this seems to conflate textualism with originalism, which is wrong – everyone being textualist doesn’t mean everyone is originalist]. Baude agrees that the type of argument that is used need not be the same as what actually moves judges. Baude claims only that originalism rules the day in what arguments appear in decisions and briefs, not what a judge is actually motivated by. But what we want the public to see is originalism, doesn’t that indicate a norm about what our law is? Baude comes out as a legal realist!!! [If originalism were the norm, I don’t think there would be as much of a debate about originalism]

      There are also academic articles arguing judges should do something else (stronger paradigms of law and economics, for instance). And some judges do follow these articles. Founding judging didn’t have the same relationship with precedent we have – it was not nearly so binding.

      1. “Baude claims only that originalism rules the day in what arguments appear in decisions and briefs, not what a judge is actually motivated by.”

        That’s true. Take the Heller case: Both sides claimed to be engaged in originalism, and neither side genuinely was. It was an argument over which living constitutionalist position would prevail: A neutered 2nd amendment, or just a tame one.

        I do wish these podcasts were in print, they sound interesting.

        1. Brett, you are not the one true arbiter of originalism who determines the genuineness of the arguments.

          The parallel to Chevron is a good one – you can have an opinion and dissent both of which actually rely on Chevron. And then you can have some dude on the Internet who has a third take on how what’s ambiguous and what’s persuasive. And none of them are wrong.

          1. Where nobody is wrong, nobody is right. And if nobody is right, how does the legal system justify itself? Just by the fact that it’s got enforcers, and things will go badly for you if you don’t submit? That’s no basis for the legal system of a free society. A free society needs a coherent basis for understanding the law, that can persuade even the losers, and “I win because the guys with the guns work for me.” doesn’t persuade people. It may make them submit, if you’ve really got the guns, but then it makes them want the guns, too.

            Living constitutionalism is a seductive vice, especially since much that originalism tells you the Constitution means is hopelessly lost already, so even the person inclined to originalism must make compromises if they are in any way involved in the practice or teaching of law.

            Those compromises, those breaches of principle, lead to more compromises, motivated thinking to avoid admitting one is making compromises, and in time, the originalist becomes a living constitutionalist in all but name.

            Much that passes for ‘originalism’ today would not be recognized as such by an earlier generation of originalists, so much of it consists of compromises with non-originalism, and sophistry to rationalize that compromises weren’t really made.

            I don’t really regard a lot of modern ‘originalism’ as real originalism anymore, it has been so compromised by accommodations with the victories of non-originalists, the need to not challenge positively anti-originalist precedents.

            1. But the legal system is not math, in which there is only one right answer. The legal system is wide open to interpretation, and it couldn’t be any other way. Any Constitution written by humans will run up against honest disagreement over what it actually means.

              Granted, some interpretations are so strained that they can be dismissed; nobody is seriously arguing that the requirement that the President be 35 years of age means 35 years on Mars or Venus. But absent such occasional silliness, most of the Constitution really is susceptible to legitimate, reasonable difference of opinion.

              Your problem is that because you’re an engineer, in which you are used to dealing with concrete physical realities, that everything else in life is equally cut and dried. Well, it isn’t.

            2. One of the things I’ve learned in this podcast is that the take you have on originalism doesn’t comport with how actual originalism has *ever* been practiced and studied.
              You do not have access to the One True Originalist Interpretation. That’s not how solving ambiguity works, it’s not how judicial inquiry works, it’s not even how history works. At best it’s an iterative process, though in reality the iterations will continue forever.

              There not being a single objective truth we all know and share does not wreck the judiciary. It’s the institution whose opinions are empowered to be dispositive. That’s not incoherent, nor is it unprincipled.

          2. ” And then you can have some dude on the Internet who has a third take on how what’s ambiguous and what’s persuasive. And none of them are wrong.”

            If one of them is Brett, then one of them is wrong.

        2. They’re called judicial ‘opinions’ for a reason.

        3. “I do wish these podcasts were in print, they sound interesting.”

          I believe Prof. Baude mentioned at some point that they would try to put out a transcript. And it was very interesting, although I found it a little frustrating.

    4. 4. So what does non-originalism look like?
      A moral paradigm as the lodestone of jurisprudence, as some scholars argue.

      Learning about the Constitution like we did about contract law back in the day – slowly learning what makes for the best society.

      Changing a precedent based on current learning about the way the world works, (a pillar of Brown’s logic, though arguably it relies on an originalist pillar as well)

    5. 5. Some originalist applications
      Warren Court stuff [Neither Baude nor Adam Chilton bring this up writ large, that’s all my take]

      Baude sees some potential effects beyond the Warren stuff – maybe no Erie, and no binding precedent/stare decisis – something more like persuasive precedent that becomes more so over time. [which means Baude’s claim about precedent being part of the originalist method of Constitutional interpretation is not as anodyne as it appears]

      Baude thinks incorporation is probably right as a matter of original interpretation via P&I, though he is not completely convinced yet. P&I refers either to the Bill of Rights, or to some similar set that largely overlaps it.
      EPC applying to the Federal Government. Integrate DC schools faster is like the only time it wasn’t used against minority-favoring policies [Baude sites a study on this, so I will have to recede on a claim I made otherwise a week or 2 ago. Though when you bring up sex discrimination and other classes than race, the numbers are not so clear]

      Administrative state is safe from originalists – founding era delegated authority to postmasters, and to tax assessors for administering the first direct tax. Also steamboats?

      1. “Baude thinks incorporation is probably right as a matter of original interpretation via P&I, though he is not completely convinced yet. P&I refers either to the Bill of Rights, or to some similar set that largely overlaps it.”

        I find Senator Howard, in the Congressional debates, persuasive on this question. He quotes Corfield vs. Coryell to demonstrate that “privileges and immunities” already had an established meaning, although it was somewhat open ended. And then asserted that P&I included the 1st 8 amendments.

        So, the latter: the Bill of Rights, plus traditional rights.

        1. So, you intentionally read the tenth out of application against the states?

          1. So, I intentionally read what the people debating it in Congress said.

            The 9th and 10th are different from the rest of the Bill of Rights, in that they are rules of interpretation, not guarantees of rights. They apply generally, at all times.

    6. 6. Digression on stare decisis.
      Strong stare – that once decided it’s over – seems to be something the Supreme Court hews to [So then originalism *isn’t* our law??]. Seems their incentive, to have each opinion be more powerful, and they don’t need to deal with similar cases over and over again.

      Example – affirmative action in higher education. So an originalist looks at Bakke, Grutter, Fischer, or just only look at the 14th? Baude thinks an originalist would look at those cases, but not follow them if they’re “clearly wrong.” Baude would want more the Chevron standard. A band of uncertainty where you follow precedent, but outside of that it’s no longer operable [which is just how stare at the SCOTUS level operates as I understand it. Except for allowing this new style of argument where you appeal to original authority to overthrow a previous precedent – the Warren Killer.]

      But see Barrett, who wants only a weak presumption that a precedent is good law. [Also but see Constitutional liquidation – that if a precedent has been around a long time, it is a worse and worse idea to change it.]

    7. 7. Conclusion
      So here is where we are: We have a way we have nearly always claimed to interpret the Constitution. Shouldn’t we hold people to what they claim? And get rid of judicial cheating and motivated reasoning? [I kinda hate this, because it’s cynicism opens the door wide for the argument that all non-originalists are legal realists and either lying or in denial. Just expanding the definition of originalism, but not changing the delegitimization aspect that really seems unneeded hostility to me, especially given how broad originalism looks under Baude’s paradigm.]

      The important thing is that all judicial arguments include a role for historical evidence about what the law was back then. [So are Breyer or Balkin, both of whom invoke the Founding era, originalists now?]

      [My summation – Baude giveth to originalism a more limited and thus more appealing argument, while he still paints a target on most of the Warren Court precedents originalists for one reason or another don’t like. But he taketh away a lot of the radicalism that appeals to a lot of originalists (see: the administrative state in 5 above)

      Next time – applications of Baude’s positive turn – where will originalism actually take us?]

      1. “I kinda hate this, because it’s cynicism opens the door wide for the argument that all non-originalists are legal realists and either lying or in denial.”

        Pretty much, they are. And you can see this in the way that decidedly non-Originalist justices like Stephens would make a show of faux originalism in high profile cases.

        1. ‘Non-originalists’ usually think history and text are important, just not always solely dispositive.

          1. Right, they conveniently fail to be dispositive wherever you don’t like what they say, and think you can get away with ignoring them.

            But, what exactly IS it that’s dispositive, where history and text aren’t? That’s the question, isn’t it.

            1. This argument is not about originalism, it’s about your usual all libs operate in bad faith.
              There’s nothing to discuss here; you cannot prove your telepathy, and we cannot disprove it.

            2. “what exactly IS it that’s dispositive, where history and text aren’t? That’s the question, isn’t it.”

              Lots of people have written about this, things like function or purpose are common answers. Very few non-originalists argue ‘anything goes’ and originalism doesn’t dismiss ambiguity (originalists disagree with each other quite a bit) or motivated reasoning (orginalists are often accused of simply highlighting certain history over others to reach desired results).

            3. what exactly IS it that’s dispositive, where history and text aren’t?

              I was so annoyed by the first paragraph, I missed this.

              I’ve seen 3 well-defined non-originalist doctrines, but I’m sure there are more. All of these have shown up in SCOTUS opinions before.

              1) Purposivism – the Constitution was a document of principles as much as unwritten intentions. Start with the text, and in the case of ambiguity choose the response that maximizes active liberty.

              2) ‘Living textualism’ – Start with the text again, but words’ meanings have changed. Look to modern understandings of what a person is, what equality is, what speech entails.

              3. Common Law Constitutionalism. Precedent is king, but not god. Who says you need a single referent? This actually looks a lot like what Baud has described as originalist, absent the interrogation of precedent for whether it’s departed too far. Courts look to their previous thinking and extrapolate as required to new sets of facts. In doing so, they will make new legal principles that may in turn be extrapolated. But, of course, stare is not inviolate. With sufficient justification precedent may be overturned, but the justification (practical, moral, textual) must weigh the continuity of the law and persuasiveness of past Courts’ opinions before doing so.
              Lots of countries use this, and it’s not created a plague of legal realism across the land.

              1. “and in the case of ambiguity choose the response that maximizes active liberty.”

                Heck, he may not admit it but this is pretty much what Barnett does.

              2. The obvious problem of deciding that the text won’t be dispositive, is that you’ll keep getting situations where the courts rule, and the population can read the Constitution and see that it doesn’t say that. So you have to be very careful about rejecting the text as dispositive if you want the courts to retain popular legitimacy. You have to restrict it to cases where you have at least a semi-plausible claim to at least ambiguity, that the ruling is a defensible interpretation of the text, not outright precluded by it.

                The problem with your alternatives, is, exactly how often have you ever seen living constitutionalists concede that things have changed contrary to their preferences? And, like it or not, they have to admit the Constitution has evolved away from their preferences, not towards them?

                1. Originalism != textualism. Originalism is not the only textually-based paradigm. In two of the above, the text is dispositive, if it’s not ambiguous.

                  But Constitutional text is ambiguous a *lot*. That’s because a Constitution is not a law. What is the judicial power? What counts as speech? How does a right operate? All those are not clear from the text.

                  Hypothetical: the Court holds that 2 Senators per state is no longer a thing.
                  That clearly contradicts the text. None of the above 3 paradigms allow that reasoning.

                  Unambiguous text remains text.

                  1. The Constitutional text isn’t ambiguous nearly as often as people who find in ambiguity an excuse to read into it what they want, claim. The interstate commerce clause isn’t ambiguous, and you’ve got the courts letting the federal government regulate things that are neither commerce nor interstate. The 6th amendment isn’t ambiguous, but you can get denied a jury trial in a criminal prosecution anyway, even one with the potential to put you in prison for decades.

                    There are plenty of not particularly ambiguous lines in the Constitution that aren’t being enforced.

                    1. “The interstate commerce clause isn’t ambiguous.”


                    2. The interstate commerce clause isn’t ambiguous

                      Says you.

                      And our 6A jurisprudence is more based on original intent than just about any other area. The line of cases about serious offenses is full of Thomas and Scalia and Rehnquist and talking about 1700s criminal practice.

                      Besides, the point is not about your personal beefs with what counts as ambiguous – originalism doesn’t have anything to say about that problem either.
                      It’s about your question about what loadstones other than originalism can exist. And they do.

                    3. The Necessary and Proper Clause, which is the authority for Congress to regulate economic activity which substantially affects interstate commerce, is ambiguous.

                    4. Yeah, says me. When the government is telling me what I can grow in my backyard garden, and claims to be regulating interstate commerce, I call BS.

                    5. So you disagree with the holding in Raich, fair enough, a lot of people do. That doesn’t make the commerce clause unambiguous. I mean does it unambiguously prevent the federal government from banning child labor?

                    6. “you can get denied a jury trial in a criminal prosecution anyway, even one with the potential to put you in prison for decades.”

                      Wasn’t it the Republicans who brought us this one, because they wanted to lock up all the “terrorists” without having to give them fair, public trials where someone might notice that they looked a little bit tortured?

                    7. When the government is telling me what I can grow in my backyard garden, and claims to be regulating interstate commerce, I call BS.

                      The government did not claim it was regulating interstate commerce. It claimed it was regulating economic activity that substantially affected interstate commerce.

                    8. When the government is telling me what I can grow in my backyard garden, and claims to be regulating interstate commerce, I call BS.

                      And when you describe Wickard that way, I call BS.

                      Do you have any understanding of the logic of the decision?

              3. 1) Purposivism – the Constitution was a document of principles as much as unwritten intentions. Start with the text, and in the case of ambiguity choose the response that maximizes active liberty.

                “Active liberty?” What is that? Here is a suggestion. Re-read Federalist 10, the famous number by Madison in which the word, “liberty,” is given prominence. See if you can figure out what meaning Madison gave the word there, and tell me what that has to do with whatever you meant when you wrote, “active liberty.”

                1. Madison’s opinions ceased to be authoritative when Madison joined the choir invisible.

                  1. Pollock, they continue as the very best authority when the question is, “What was Madison’s opinion?” And among would-be originalists, that quite often is the question. I bring it up from my point of view as an anti-libertarian, originalism-skeptical commenter.

            4. I mean you don’t like what historians say about history (despite not doing any historical work or original research yourself) so how are you in any position to criticize the left for declining to adopt something from history as “dispositive”?

            5. “Right, they conveniently fail to be dispositive wherever you don’t like what they say, and think you can get away with ignoring them.”

              Originalists do this too. They just apply pretzelier logic to get away with it.

  6. In response to Sarcastr0, and to Don Nico in a post earlier this week on Work From Home (WFH) and productivity, I wanted to continue that discussion to the Thursday open thread. The legal profession will be affected by this trend, and law school students who read VC ought to know the trade-offs involved in going remote. Thanks to Sarcastr0 for opening the discussion, and to Don Nico whose responses prompted me to post here.

    A definition of terms. WFH is best thought of as a continuum. There is ‘Remote Employee’, who does not enter the office at all, except in the most extraordinary of circumstance. There is ‘Hybrid Employee’, who goes to an office location no more than 1-2 days monthly, or goes in when they want. There is the ‘Flex Employee’ who goes into an office on a predetermined schedule at least 4 days weekly. My observation is there are many more Hybrids than Remotes in private industry; more Flexes in government.

    I have done all of them: Office to Flex to Hybrid to Remote in the last three decades (~35 years) in different companies (Fortune 500, Non-profit, Private int’l). The last decade, I have been Hybrid and remote. Here are some observations on WFH, and I’ll tell you why I think the case is compelling for a law student to pursue a legal career with a WFH option. But first….There are trade-offs to think about. It is not all fun and games. In no particular order:

    – WFH blurs (not obliterates) the line between ‘Business hours’ and ‘Personal time’. I have only very rarely seen a WFH employee enforce strict limits on business hours. Europeans are much, much better at enforcing that line between business and personal than Americans.
    – Your day is longer (mostly by choice). You will start earlier, and work some odd hours more frequently (like at night while the baby sleeps, dealing with takings kids to games, activities, etc).
    – Your career advancement is slower. Promotions take longer, sometimes a lot longer. My take is that this results from not being seen by the HQ people: you have to be seen to be noticed.
    – Your initial starting pay is lower. I don’t think the differences are that great, but it is something I have noticed. In my company, Remotes generally start about 3% lower than Office Employees (also varies by geography).
    – You’ll get time-sucking, thankless tasks dumped on you more frequently.
    – Your water cooler is virtual, and it is not the same as the water cooler in the office. You lose out on interpersonal face-to-face communication.

    Sounds like a terrible option, right? If career worship is your goal, it is a terrible option.

    Here are the top WFH benefits I see.
    – No commute…less stress, healthier, significant savings
    – Vastly reduced ‘work clothes’ budget, significant savings
    – This will sound cold, but it is true. Firing a Remote/Hybrid employee is emotionally easier to do.
    – Immense time flexibility: I personally get a lot of chores done during the day that I break into 15-minute units. I shoot for 3-4 of these daily. A 15-minute unit might be dumping clothes in the washer, using my beloved KitchenAid stand mixer attachment to dice vegetables (to cook at home….for more significant savings).
    – For parents, the time you can spend with your child is priceless. Our brief lives are made up of moments in time; the onus is on us to make those moments matter. WFH creates opportunities where more frequent and meaningful moments of time can happen. This mattered a lot to me as a Father.
    – File this under ‘weird stuff you never thought about’. How many times have you been in a meeting where you really wanted to just ‘flip the bird’ at someone but all you could do was roll your eyes? WFH enables the ‘flip-off’ (but NOT on a video call!). I know you’re skeptical, but the stress relief from flipping off someone on a call is considerable. I am really not joking about that one. Try it (but NOT on a video call!!!).

    So why should a young, aspiring law student pursue Remote or Hybrid career options? What is the compelling case? Well, to be honest….this compelling case will vary by person. Here is what tipped the scale for me; it was financial, and then psychological. The Financial: I invested the cost of commute, work clothes, etc into low-cost index funds for a decade. I am FIRE-ing years before FRA. The psychological: My innate desire for autonomy. The day I no longer owe debt to anyone, will no longer need to work for another, and to do what I want…how I want…where I want…why I want is something I cannot put a price tag on. But I know for me (and my beloved wife who is even more fiercely autonomous), it was worth the trade-off.

    VC Conspirators, what are your observations about WFH?
    How has your perception of WFH changed since Covid?
    What trade-offs do you see in WFH? What benefits?
    What would you tell that young law student?

    1. I spent about seven months WFH last year.

      For me, the benefits were:
      No commute (Commuting in Northern Virginia is a bitch.)
      No interruptions, i.e., no one popping into the office and chatting.
      Meetings on time, i.e., no sitting around in a conference room for 10 minutes waiting for it to start.

      I guess the only drawback was the kitchen table sucks ergonomically; if I were to WFH full/part time, then I would get a desk and office chair.

      Overall, I’m glad WFH has become a more viable option (one of the “benefits” of COVID).

      1. apedad, I am fortunate to have a dedicated office in my home. It makes a significant difference. I would call it game-changing. So does the A/V equipment you use. Professor Blackman is actually helpful with that when he writes about ergonomic set-up, monitor placement, etc.

        I personally use three monitors (work laptop can be 4th screen in a pinch) and I will tell you that you can get a lot done working that way. Good office chairs are a must, as well as a good worktop space. I have a 42×84 glasstop (no wood desk), with some supports. It is clean looking. On the end of my desk, I can wheel to the home desktop in seconds and pay bills online or order whatever. I really tried to make the ability to transition for those 15-minute domestic tasks as seamless as possible.

        I am familiar with Rt. 7 and 495 in Loudoun and Fairfax counties. It was terrible. People cannot drive for crap down there. 🙂

    2. I can’t really speak to the legal profession these days, but in general:

      1) How much does the WFH/office choice help the employer? It’s not like a business can do a controlled experiment with each person.

      2) For some, WFH looks a lot less like a choice once it becomes an option. Mostly single parents. And that kinda sucks for them.

      So I don’t think complete employee choice is the completely right choice here. Maybe it should be part of the employment negotiation.

      For me, I just don’t focus at home as well. Plus, weirdly, I like the ritual of the commute. But a lot of my job involves conversations with people, so until everyone is back in the office, I’m out because my workplace phone infrastructure is not comfortable, and also I’m a loud phone talker.
      Not a bad problem to have, but yeah I’m itching to get into the office.

      1. “For me, I just don’t focus at home as well. Plus, weirdly, I like the ritual of the commute.”

        I’m exactly the same way.

        Unfortunately when I do get to work on site a lot of other developers are not which kinda ruins the ability to talk to others at work.

        The benefits of this arrangement are however that I end up getting a bunch of projects because everyone sees me (sort of a benefit I guess) walking around and no one else.

        1. We have some newcomers to the office in September. They’re Fellows, here for professional development before off to higher levels of government service.

          Working remotely would be doing their development a great disservice. I will be pushing for them and me to start coming in 3 days a week.

    3. I always said that I couldn’t work from home because I wouldn’t get anything done. During the forced WFH experiment over Covid, I found that I actually worked extremely well there. (We were Remote for a few months, then Hybrid — going in when I needed to — through February 2021.)

      I don’t have much of a commute anyway, but I found not removing it entirely and not having to get dressed up helped my mornings a lot. I set up a dedicated office with a decent office chair in my dining room and kept to fairly strict office hours, but it was nice being able to just walk into the kitchen to make lunch, throw in a load of laundry, etc. Watching SCOTUS and state high court oral arguments could be done on the nice TV from my couch. And my dog definitely loved being able to be out all day!

      As far as productivity, I think that it went up for the simple fact that I wasn’t constantly getting interrupted. As the appellate attorney, part of my job is answering questions for the trial attorneys. In the office, they’re popping in and out all the time, whenever it’s convenient to them. WFH, they mostly sent emails so I could finish my thought before switching gears to answer them. It also made them think a little more about the question so I didn’t get as many of the frustrating “did you even look at the statute??” questions!

      Overall, I liked WFH and would appreciate if it was offered as an option in the future. My position in particular is very well-suited to it. I’d love an option where I could WFH and come into the office on designated days or something.

    4. C_XY,
      Thank you for noticing the comment.
      You’re correct that the mode of working is a continuum and can vary considerably from task to task.
      Big task 1: Editor-in-chief of a major journal. This is a task that has to be done routinely every day (on average). I set metrics for myself and I use these to check on the other editors, all of whom also have “day jobs.” This task is very well suited to WFH as it can be done any hour of the day and days can be skipped but just not to often.
      Tasks: Class preparation and lecturing is best as a hybrid activity. In-person lectures are more effective than remote. Serendipitous interactions with colleagues are helpful even if not essential.
      Tasks for clients: Some level of in-person interactions are best to establish confidence and trust. Productivity is measured by deliverables. WFH has the great advantage that one can work from early morning to late at night to get the deliverable “out the door.” In other words, the ability to crash work for clients is essential. Aspiring lawyers better get used to that.
      That mode of working also needs “mental health days” to restore one’ intellectual and emotional energies.
      In-close consulting or supervision of employees: Best done on-site with definite hours.

      1. Yeah, I do mental health days quarterly. Usually at the suggestion of my boss who probably notices when I get bitchy. 🙂

    5. A few points:

      1) A minor quibble with your definitions. In tech at least, the “new normal” that seems to be emerging is a 3 days in the office/2 days from home hybrid that doesn’t actually seem to match any of your definitions. (Or just more generally, there’s lots of theoretical shapes of in-office vs. remote splits that don’t fit into any of your buckets so it might be helpful to widen them so that any combination would fit into at least one of them.)

      2) I think the last year and a half have upended a lot of your assumptions. In companies in which various forms of remote work are relatively commonplace, dynamics around visibility, promotion, etc. are likely going to be a lot different than they have been for the norm. In fact, it’s likely that some senior management folks will go remote themselves (see, e.g., the recent dust-up over Urs Holzle from Google moving to New Zealand) which will create a lot more management empathy for remote work.
      3) More generally, the pandemic create a new wave of tools and practices that should address some of the disadvantages that you and others identify. For example, some folks mention liking the commute and there’s actually pretty good research that it’s helpful in setting boundaries around work time in addition to shifting people’s headspace in and out of “work mode”. But that doesn’t mean that we necessarily have to travel to get the same benefits, so Microsoft introduced a “virtual commute” and has had some pretty good results:

    6. “WFH blurs (not obliterates) the line between ‘Business hours’ and ‘Personal time’. ”

      Turned out my former employer considered my position “inessential” and sent me home for unlimited “personal time”. But that meant I got to see how some other people handled pandemic working, and a lot of them wound up working at least as much as they had before the pandemic came. I know a person who manages commercial real estate, and that job became much more challenging as juggling various lockdown orders with maintaining a safe environment (disinfect every surface!) and now comes a further complication… many businesses may well choose to keep a substantial number of workers working from off-premises, which means they don’t need so much office space but do potentially need more meeting spaces… this is going to affect the commercial-property business fairly strongly. I’d expect to see higher vacancy rates in office buildings, and some remodeling work as cubicle farms are turned into meeting spaces.
      Ideally, there will also be a surge in information-security work as all those work-from-home people still need access to corporate(data and information-technology resources. Some of that business will go to offshore providers, but somebody still has to set up the server room with the appropriate equipment and management. If they don’t, expect a surge in legal work next year as people find out how poorly-managed their PII has been.

      1. James, you made a number of good points. In particular, the points wrt the commercial RE market.

  7. The Department of Justice, together with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), today announced that KuuHuub Inc., a Canadian corporation, and two Finnish corporations, Kuu Huub Oy and Recolor Oy, have agreed to a settlement to resolve alleged violations of the FTC Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) associated with the companies’ “Recolor” mobile app and digital coloring book.

    In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States alleged that the Recolor app included a “kids” category targeted at children, and that defendants also obtained actual knowledge that children 13 years old and younger were using and accessing the Recolor app not only to color images but also to use the app as a social media platform for communicating. The complaint further alleges that the Recolor app collected personal information of these child users without attempting to obtain verifiable parental consent, thus violating COPPA.

    I’ve never heard of COPPA.

    It must be a headache for the large sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

    §312.5 Parental consent.
    (a) General requirements. (1) An operator is required to obtain verifiable parental consent before any collection, use, or disclosure of personal information from children, including consent to any material change in the collection, use, or disclosure practices to which the parent has previously consented.

    (2) An operator must give the parent the option to consent to the collection and use of the child’s personal information without consenting to disclosure of his or her personal information to third parties.

    1. I’ve never heard of COPPA.

      It must be a headache for the large sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

      If you check the TOS, you’ll see that the large sites generally require you to be 13 to open an account.

  8. Interesting article out of Israel.

    Turns out about 50% of the people infected with the coronavirus delta variant had been vaccinated.

    Something to consider

    1. That’s as expected. The number of vaccinated requiring hospitalization for COVID is vanishingly small worldwide.

      What I’m watching is that the contagiousness of the vaccinated but infected is not as low as we expected.

      1. More to the point, we should be looking at hospitalization numbers, not overall COVID cases.

        If a large fraction (or more) of these COVID cases are among the vaccinated, then we have much less reason to worry.

        1. As long as we have a large volume of unvaccinated potential carriers, we have an elevated risk of a mutation emerging that is able to successfully infect the vaccinated. And the risk to the people for whom vaccine is unavailable remains significant.

          1. We also have a large volume of vaccinated potential carriers, who can be a source of mutations too.

    2. Not how quickly the headline number drops: “Levy told the state broadcaster Kan Bet that about 40% to 50% of new cases appeared to be people who had been vaccinated, Haaretz reported. He did not appear to specify a time frame for the new cases.

      The figure is likely an estimate, as the ministry is still analyzing the cases. On Monday, Levy said that a third of the new daily cases were people who had been vaccinated.”

      1. American media is still reporting substantially lower numbers of positive detections among the vaccinated. Is that because they’re intentially misleading the American people by underreporting on breakthrough cases, or because they’re intentionally misleading the American people by accurately reporting the false numbers provided to them by a biased and corrupt medical establishment?

        1. Other possible explanations: The statistics are legitimately different between the US and Israel. The Israeli numbers are a short-term fluke. The Israeli numbers are in error. And probably some more….

    3. Armchair Lawyer, just think if you had been on the Titanic:

      “Oh, first they told us it was unsinkable, now they’re telling us it’s sinking. Why should we believe them?”

      “I never saw any iceberg. Nobody I know actually saw the iceberg. HOAX!”

      “Wait, now they’re telling us the hole is below the water line? Oh, how convenient. FAKE NEWS!”

      “You know this is just a conspiracy by the lifeboat industry. You can’t make me get in a lifeboat; I have rights.”

      1. This is perfect.

        There’s a strange and troubling trend among conservatives. Instead of saying things like ‘sure, vaccines are likely safe and this disease is a problem, but you have to weigh the costs of lockdowns and such and I don’t think this or that measure is worth it’ or ‘sure, the evidence suggests global warming but plans to address it are unworkable and/or do more harm than good’ they just go straight to: this is all a big hoax and conspiracy, the problem doesn’t exist.

        I think this has much to do with the ‘alternate’ reality you posit above, there’s a big media bubble of really wacky, fringe stuff out there to feed this. Heck, it’s probably ultimately because conservative voices were shut out (or felt shut out) of respectable information providing institutions and so this weird fringe version became their mainstream.

        1. I think you’re confusing the usual response of conservatives, with the response that liberals are interested in acknowledging. “This is all a big hoax and conspiracy, the problem doesn’t exist” is easy for you to respond to and mock, so you focus on that segment of the opposition, and ignore the harder to respond to opponents.

          The Lomberg view of global warming, (That it’s real, and not obviously more damaging than the proposed remedies.) is actually the dominant opposition view. Likewise for the “lockdowns don’t seem terribly cost effective” view.

          Seriously, how many people have you seen arguing here that Covid is a hoax? Rather than that it’s not as severe as it’s being made out to be, and the response is causing horrible damage to the economy and our liberties?

          1. Fair enough, my wording ‘the problem doesn’t exist’ lends itself to this criticism. But what I should have said is that ‘hoax’ claims often do not deny the actual existence of a problem at all but rather try to undermine its seriousness (see Holocaust denial as an (albeit much more extreme) example).

            The experts can be right about Covid being uniquely problematic and about the efficacy of vaccines, masks and other lockdown efforts and still be wrong in the sense that other factors outweigh them. But conservative Covid arguments quickly devolve into how the numbers are inflated, Fauci is part of the conspiracy, etc.

            And this goes way more for, say, climate change.

            1. “But what I should have said is that ‘hoax’ claims often do not deny the actual existence of a problem at all but rather try to undermine its seriousness”

              Well, I think the numbers ARE inflated. You pay doctors and hospitals a fair chunk of change if they deal with a Covid case, they’re going to find a lot more ‘Covid cases’ than if it doesn’t bring in extra revenue, that’s just human nature, doesn’t require some sinister plot.

              I think it’s fairly widely conceded that a lot of ‘presumed’ cases of Covid might not be, and there’s not a strong motive to disprove it. The actual testing is more reliable, but still doesn’t distinguish between “hospitalized/died” with Covid vs of Covid.

              1. Isn’t there also a motivation not to admit your institution has so many Covid cases?

                1. Not when every pneumonia case declared a Covid case gets you an extra $8K on top of normal reimbursement for services rendered, even if you’ve just presumed it’s Covid based on the symptoms.

                  1. Where, exactly, is this magical $8K appearing from?

              2. Brett,
                The UK does a lot of testing almost 4x more than the US. So I believe their case numbers.
                While we pretty much know how vaccine effectiveness decreases for Delta (10%) we don’t have a similar measure for covid-recovered people like yourself

                1. That’s true. I would expect on basic principles that natural immunity would decline less, because it is less narrowly focused. The immune system naturally attacks all exposed foreign proteins, not just those which would be optimal to attack. But there is a shortage of relevant research.

                  I did find this.

                  “Sera from convalescent patients collected up to 12 months post symptoms were 4 fold less potent against variant Delta, relative to variant Alpha (B.1.1.7). Sera from individuals having received one dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines barely inhibited variant Delta. Administration of two doses generated a neutralizing response in 95% of individuals, with titers 3 to 5 fold lower against Delta than Alpha. ”

                  So, natural immunity at 25% the effectiveness, 1 dose of vaccine was pretty ineffective, and 2 doses of vaccine was 33-20% as effective, nicely bracketing the effectiveness they found for the natural immunity.

                  Sounds to me like natural immunity is about as good as the vaccines against Alpha. When the Delta vaccine becomes available, I’ll likely get it.

                  I hear they’re considering just doing a combined influenza/Covid vaccine this year. I’d take that.

                  1. I may be misreading that, of course, because they didn’t actually describe the natural response in precisely the same terms as the vaccine response. But as I read it, yeah, I’m not fully protected against Delta, the way I pretty much am against Alpha. Neither are the vaccinated, we’re in the same boat.

                    1. Based on that quote alone, I’d read the finding the same as you have. I suspect that is a reason the the UK will actively be pushing a booster vaccine

                  2. Thanks for the citation Brett.
                    The quote looks on point to a epidemiology paper I am in the process of completing. I’ll did deeper

                  3. “When the Delta vaccine becomes available, I’ll likely get it.”

                    If you mean one that is specific for Delta, you’re likely facing a long wait. The existing Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are already effective at keeping people from dying of Delta COVID-19.

          2. Maybe we read different people, but I’ve a lot of claim on the right that global warming is a hoax.

            My own view is that it’s real, and is going to devastate the planet, but the only really effective means of fighting it will shut down the economy, which no politician of either party is going to be willing to do. So we should just be honest: We’re facing a catastrophe that has no politically viable solution, and the only thing we can do is to hope our evolutionary successors turn out to be better at taking care of the planet than we are.

            1. “the only really effective means of fighting it will shut down the economy”

              The only really effective means of fight it would be to shut down China’s economy.

            2. Why not just go all-in on nuclear power?

              I think to some extent the focus has been on responses which would shut down the economy, due to the influence of people who actively wanted the economy shut down anyway.

              1. Because right now it is too expensive in the US and the EU, even if governments were favorable.

                1. It’s too expensive in the US and EU, because the governments aren’t favorable. Nuclear is the rare industry where the regulatory agency has been captured, not by the industry, but by people who want the industry abolished.

                  If we wanted to go all in on nuclear, we could, but it would require regulatory reform. Basically, freezing the design before the start of construction. All the insane costs are due to regulatory changes during construction forcing multiple rounds of alterations. You can’t just go ahead and finish the plant you started, let alone build a second copy of the last plant you finished.

                  1. “because the governments aren’t favorable.”
                    That is not the reading I get from colleagues with long expertise in the reactor business unless by “favorable” you mean the large scales subsidies given by China for nukes in China.
                    The best chance for nuclear revival seems to be from Small Modular Reactors 50 – 300 MW thermal that can be built in reactor factories. Still the first pilot factories will need government subsidies of order $3B to $5B per plant. In that scenario significant economies of scale set in quite fast.

                    1. That simplistic argument holds no water, Bob.
                      Do a web search for
                      “Economics and financing of small modular reactors (SMRs)”
                      S. Boarin, M. Mancini, M. Ricotti, G. Locatelli
                      “Cost estimates for nuclear power in the UK”
                      Grant Harris, Phil Heptonstall, Robert Gross, David Handley
                      in Energy Policy62(2013)431–442

                2. France has nuke plants. Germany, which used to, buys nuke produced electricity from France.

                  The expense is caused by government so can be reduced by government.

            3. “We’re facing a catastrophe that has no politically viable solution”
              That is not right. Humans have adapted to much worse.
              BUT that means that actions must be taken for adaptation that are far more than the token measures now underway.

            4. “My own view is that it’s real, and is going to devastate the planet, but the only really effective means of fighting it will shut down the economy”

              Why would something like a revenue neutral carbon tax devestate the economy? We’ve already seen much faster than expected transition to technologies like electric cars, and very rapid drops in the cost of renewable electricity production. With stronger incentives to account for externalities, it seems like you could mostly just encourage innovation which would probably be bad for oil companies and others who fail to adapt, but while simultaneously providing a lot of opportunities for new entrants. That’s just the creative destruction of capitalism, no?

              1. “be bad for oil companies and others who fail to adapt, but while simultaneously providing a lot of opportunities for new entrants. That’s just the creative destruction of capitalism, no?”
                No. The big oil companies are already morphing into big energy companies. Moreover as depend for oil for transportation drops production will drop and oils for production of chemicals will increase in price. Don’t worry about those big guys. They will survive and prosper just fine.

                1. Fair enough, maybe even the big oil companies will figure out how to re-invent themselves.

                  My general point is that something like a revenue neutral carbon tax would accelerate some changes in energy production and consumption, but there’s no reason to think that it would be overall negative to the economy. Indeed, if it can drive the price of energy down (as we’ve seen with the rapid decrease in the cost of renewable electricity generation) that would be a significant boon for the economy.

                  1. Jb,
                    I would quibble about the revenue neutral, but I agree that a carbon tax at the source is an appropriate and efficient way to drive behavior that need not devolve into yet another program of wealth transfer.
                    “not devolve into yet another program of wealth transfer.”
                    do I believe that US Dems would support the tax without making it into a wealth transfer mechanism? NO

                    1. Well, revenue neutral just means we rebate it back to people somehow. You’re correct that there’s various ways to do this, some of which would allow for wealth redistribution. If there was any Republican appetite for a carbon tax, I imagine “don’t use it redistributively” could be the basis for a compromise.

            5. “My own view is that it’s real, and is going to devastate the planet, but the only really effective means of fighting it will shut down the economy”

              Wouldn’t have if we’d started shifting the economy back when the climate scientists first brought it up. If only they’d mentioned that waiting to get started would make it harder and more expensive to address.

          3. The Lomberg view of global warming, (That it’s real, and not obviously more damaging than the proposed remedies.) is actually the dominant opposition view.

            Is that the point Inhofe was making waving a snowball around in the Senate? I don’t think so.

            What I hear is a lot of “climate always changes – nothing going on – it was cold yesterday, blah, blah, blah.” And from you too.

          4. ‘(That it’s real, and not obviously more damaging than the proposed remedies.)’

            But this is bollocks. If it’s real and sea levels are rising, how are coastal defences against sea-rise more damaging? If it’s real, and the oceans are dying, how are ocean protection measures more damaging? If it’s real and desertification is spreading, and extreme heat events and severe flooding are destroying lives, livelihoods and infrastructure, and mass starvation and water shortages are threatening large populations – HOW CAN REMEDYING THESE BE MORE DAMAGING?

            1. “But this is bollocks. If it’s real and sea levels are rising, how are coastal defences against sea-rise more damaging? If it’s real, and the oceans are dying, how are ocean protection measures more damaging? If it’s real and desertification is spreading, and extreme heat events and severe flooding are destroying lives, livelihoods and infrastructure, and mass starvation and water shortages are threatening large populations – HOW CAN REMEDYING THESE BE MORE DAMAGING?”

              There’s a lot of bollocks in there, that’s for sure.

              The sea is rising at an estimated eighth of an inch a year. That’s 10 inches by the end of the century. A fraction of a typical storm swell. You aren’t seeing flooding due to the oceans rising, you’re seeing it due to people failing to properly account for the actual distribution of storm events.

              Similarly with the rest of your hysteria.

              Here’s your desertification.

              Yeah, if there were actual evidence of the worst case scenarios genuinely happening, it would be worth doing something about.


              1. ” You aren’t seeing flooding due to the oceans rising, you’re seeing it due to people failing to properly account for the actual distribution of storm events.”

                Yeah, that’s what’s happening to Venice. It’s not the ocean coming in, it’s all the storms!

              2. “That’s 10 inches by the end of the century. A fraction of a typical storm swell.”

                Funny that you mention storm swell. One of the predicted effects of global warming is more heat in the ocean. Heat in the ocean is the fuel that makes tropical storms happen. That same effect also makes winter storms bigger and more intense, which makes all those “look at all this snow, where’s our global warming ha ha ha?” jokes stupid.

          5. “I think you’re confusing the usual response of conservatives, with the response that liberals are interested in acknowledging. “This is all a big hoax and conspiracy, the problem doesn’t exist” is easy for you to respond to and mock, so you focus on that segment of the opposition, and ignore the harder to respond to opponents.”

            Y’all have decided to go all-in on your ability to wish it away, which would be fine with me if you were only betting your own life and health on it.

      2. If you don’t understand the science, just say so.

        1. I’m confident that internet commenter Armchair Lawyer doesn’t understand the science. That’s all I need.

          1. Come back when you understand what the legal definition of “Flight Risk” is.

            1. Armchair lawyer doesn’t see law correctly, shocked!

            2. “Come back when you understand what the legal definition of ‘Flight Risk’ is.”

              That’s what trip insurance is for.

        2. Armchair Lawyer, you are the walking personification of the line that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

          1. If you don’t understand the science, just say so.

            The point here is, the vaccine is not 100% effective. If you open up society, remove all the masks, even with a 100% vaccinated population…you would EXPECT more cases of COVID.

            1. Sure, but if it’s negligibly more, and almost all mild cases, who cares? I mean, diminishing returns, man.

              1. You’re missing the point Brett,

                1. It’s not “negligibly more”. The study out of Israel showed 50% of the cases were with vaccinated individuals. That’s with the vaccine that was more effective (Pfizer) at stopping transmission. Throw in the J&J vaccine, and you’re likely looking at 50-75% of new COVID cases being from vaccinated people.

                2. Yes, they tend not to need hospitalization. “Mild”. BUT…(and this is a big but)

                3. Certain people are trying to shut down society again, and re-mask up based on these case numbers. Despite the “mild” cases. They’re transposing stats. Using the old numbers with “cases”, without adjusting for the fact many of the cases are in vaccinated people and are far more mild.


                  The Israeli estimate of relatively high immune escape from Delta that a lot of you were freaking out about now looks like it was the result of sloppy statistical analysis.

              2. “Sure, but if it’s negligibly more, and almost all mild cases, who cares? I mean, diminishing returns, man.”

                But it’s not negligibly more, and it’s not almost all cases. Which is why people care.

            2. Armchair Lawyer, as it happens, I actually have a degree in one of the hard sciences (biology), and I frequently find that you know just enough jargon to be dangerous, without actually understanding the concepts. Your problem is that you don’t understand that you don’t understand the science.

              1. If you don’t understand the concepts, as you admit to….

                Then you don’t have the expertise to judge my understanding. You’re basing your judgement on preconceived notions. Not the science.

                1. “as you admit to” establishes that at this point you’re flat out misrepresenting.

                  1. Sorry, you don’t find that you know just enough jargon to be dangerous? I assumed you were speaking about yourself.

                    Again, you seem to completely miss the CONCEPT that a vaccine isn’t 100% effective…thus vaccinated people can be infected by the disease.

                    1. Ok you’re both stupid and disingenuous.

                    2. “you’re both stupid and disingenuous.”

                      More concisely, he’s a Republican.

                2. “If you don’t understand the concepts, as you admit to”

                  What he said was that YOU don’t understand the concepts. You read about as well as you science.

    4. AL….Israel will not have a firm fix on this for a few weeks = Turns out about 50% of the people infected with the coronavirus delta variant had been vaccinated. Also, Israel predominantly used the PFZ vaccine, FWIW.

      1. Which is the more effective vaccine, when compared to J&J.

        1. Well, the initial data indicates PFZ, MOD vaccines are better than the J&J vaccine at preventing infection. The rate of hospitalization for the vaccinated who then later contract covid is roughly equivalent for the three vaccines. So far (and that qualifier really matters – so far – we really do not know with certainty). We really have no idea how long immunity will last; we are learning as we go along.

          If you are 60+ (or immuno-compromised), and you’ve been vaccinated, think about a booster shot. Israel’s Health Ministry just came out today and recommended that.

          1. Turned out the J&J vaccine was being manufactured by a contract manufacturer that couldn’t handle the job. Wonder if that affected the results?

            1. James….You just never know. I mean, you’d think that the researchers publishing efficacy data would address those kinds of issues. But as we have seen, that does not always happen.

      2. Also when one counts all residents in Israel only 60% of the population has been vaccinated.

      3. I have not seen a comment on what fraction of the infected with vaccines are asymptomatic. Have you.
        In CA we’ve seen that number as high as 50%

        1. The number of asymptomatic vaccinated people is way more than 50%, for the very good reason that people who don’t harbor the virus don’t have symptoms of harboring the virus.

    5. In Israel the daily case fatality rate climbed to between 5% to 6% in June. This month it has dropped back to roughly 0.75%.

    6. A few points here:

      1) As you get closer and closer to 100% vaccination, you’d expect greater and greater portions of new cases to be amongst vaccinated people. At the limit, if everyone were vaccinated, all of the cases will be amongst vaccinated people (duh). Israel has been doing a great job with their vaccination campaign, so it’s not surprising that many of the cases are amongst vaccinated people.

      2) Having said that, in terms of preventing infection and even illness, the Pfizer vaccine seems to lose efficacy quite quickly (over just a few months). Fortunately, it seems to still prevent hospitalization and death. These charts are quite striking:

      3) I’m not a public health person, but I’d take away from this that we probably want some boosters (ideally that have longer-lasting effect against Delta infection) so that we can stop widespread transmission of the virus risking the creation of new mutations/variants, even though vaccinated people are still unlikely to be hospitalized or die from Delta. Of course, this is totally moot when a huge chunk of the population has been gulled by politicians and thought leaders into thinking that they shouldn’t get vaccinated at all.

      1. The fun part is the number of politicians telling people they don’t need to get vaccinated who themselves ARE fully vaccinated.

        1. Which politician is saying “people don’t need to get vaccinated”?

          As opposed to saying “people should have the choice to get vaccinated”?

          1. “saying ‘people should have the choice to get vaccinated’?”

            Nobody is saying this.
            There are some saying “people should have the choice to NOT get vaccinated”, which is not the same thing at all. When people take the choice of not being vaccinated, they aren’t just risking their own health, they’re also risking other peoples’, and the thing is, they don’t want to be treated differently just because they’re willing to decide if other people risk getting sick, which (shouldn’t have to tellyou this) is a dick move. If you object to being treated like you’re being a dick, then (crazy notion) maybe don’t be a disk?

            1. Yeah, I see it. You know what I mean.

      2. 1). Indeed. There’s been a misrepresentation that the vaccine is perfect and eliminates 100% of the risk of infection. It doesn’t. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good (it is). But If you open up society, even with 100% vaccinated people, you should expect a spike in infections.

        2) There’s a lot of data out there. I see higher numbers.

        3) I’m not against boosters. I am against shutting down society again, for cases that we would expect to show up.

        1. ” There’s been a misrepresentation that the vaccine is perfect and eliminates 100% of the risk of infection.”

          Who the hell told you THAT? Hint: vaccinated people have to wear masks again because they have a risk of spreading the virus, even as their body is fighting it.

        2. It will be great if the Israeli data is flawed or not representative for some reason. We’re obviously still learning a lot about Delta.

          I’m generally not in favor of shutdowns, since the risk of hospitalization or death amongst vaccinated people seems fairly low and the efficacy of shutdowns is somewhat questionable. Having said that, it would be really helpful if Republican leaders would help measures like vaccination and (where needed) masking since then we could minimize the chance that we face difficult decisions like a runaway variant vs. the economy. It’s just mind-bogglingly stupid to discourage these low-cost interventions.

          1. Expecting the Republican Party to resume productive participation in modern American society — rather than to continue engaging in anti-social, ignorant obstructionism — seems a longshot.

          2. The choice isn’t between shutdown and not-shutdown. The choice is between intentional, controlled shutdown and uncontrolled, involuntary shutdown.

            Turns out that pretending the virus doesn’t exist doesn’t actually make it go away.

  9. The attacks on Simone Biles by many conservatives has been…interesting.

    1. Your instant turn to bad faith articles about what “conservatives” believe explains a lot …

      Most people understand that as a survivor and as basically a kid (isn’t she like 17 or something) it’s … its hard. Idk if she made the right decision, and there is something to be said for taking away another person’s spot, as US spots are limited, but still.

      1. I was careful to say ‘many,’ and, as the story indicates, it is ‘many.’

        1. The story indicated 2 or 3 out of 5.


          1. 40-60% is “many”

            1. No. 40% is a plurality, 60% is a majority.

              Many is a countable (with the exact number being debatable), not a ratio.

              50% of 2 people is not many.

              1. Not at all surprised to learn that you are bad at math.
                Let me guess, “many” is the number that falls between 2 and “many many”.

        2. Ok … and I can find plenty of liberals, and so long as its not a majority write many allowing me to write pieces like this … look, if you want to now why many conservatives distrust the media, not saying I agree with that distrust, but its there, these sort of things are basically why. So many sites do it.

          If you found something in the national review criticizing Simone Biles, like that is something a conservative can engage with right? Its not some left wing rag explaining someone’s beliefs to them ill faith. It is a somewhat authoritative source of what people actually think.

          The formula is take a bunch of weirdos on one side of the political spectrum, take their statements, already extreme, out of context, and publish. Its not conductive to a good discussion on anything.

          1. Charlie Kirk, Matt Walsh, Clay Travis, etc., are certainly not fringe figures.

            1. Gotta say I never seen any of those names before.

          2. “look, if you want to now why many conservatives distrust the media, not saying I agree with that distrust, but its there, these sort of things are basically why.”

            Everyone knows why. It’s because they don’t tell you what you want to hear.

          3. “The formula is take a bunch of weirdos on one side of the political spectrum, take their statements, already extreme, out of context, and publish. Its not conductive to a good discussion on anything.”

            That’s what happens when you have a group of people that insists on conformity, and doesn’t tell the weirdos who profess to speak for the group to STFU. Other people just may come to believe that you’re allowing the weirdos to speak for you.

      2. Most people understand that as a survivor and as basically a kid (isn’t she like 17 or something) it’s … its hard. Idk if she made the right decision, and there is something to be said for taking away another person’s spot, as US spots are limited, but still.

        It looks like she was 16 in 2013. It’s a difficult position for her to be in. The physical demands are far beyond what most people are capable of, and she’s no less susceptible to mental health problems than any other person.

        It is easy to point and say “look at the millennial quitting”, but for someone competing at that level, dropping out is probably torturing her enough already. The first time I read anything about this, it was made to sound like Simone was just quitting because she did poorly in competition. What do we expect, that her coach will point a gun at her and force her to compete?

        She’s a very talented young lady who made a difficult decision. I wish her well.

        1. This is a very thoughtful comment and why I was careful to say ‘many’ and not say or imply all. Kudos.

        2. A magnificent comment, VinniUSMC. Thank you.

          1. Ha ha, you almost tempt me into unmuting him to find out what he said.

            1. Resist the temptation.

              You’re welcome.

      3. “Most people understand that as a survivor and as basically a kid (isn’t she like 17 or something)”

        She’s 24. A calculation that isn’t hard to come by, when you remember that IOC rules say that female gymnasts have to be 16 to be in the Olympics, and this is her third trip to the Olympics.

        1. She’s a 24 year old millionaire who wore a G.O.A.T. uniform and then when she choked, she realized that was going to be a bad look and bad for her career. She made the calculated move to quit and call it a mental health break to protect her brand.

          She took a spot on a team that could have gone to a non-quitter. She let her country down and let the cheating Russians take gold. “All the pressure!” was in part due to her own arrogance at proclaiming herself to be the greatest of all time. See another spoiled athlete, LeBron James for a similar mindset and attitude.

          This is similar to Connor McGreggor breaking his leg and claiming he was not defeated.

          Needless to say, I’m not buying it.

          1. I do like how some folks are here arguing “no, conservatives aren’t like that” and then we have DOL showing up to make it clear that yes, yes they are.

            1. Since when is DOL a poster child for conservatives?

      4. “Your instant turn to bad faith articles about what “conservatives” believe explains a lot …”

        As does your lecturing anyone about bad faith regarding what conservatives believe, when responding to a comment that doesn’t say a damn word about what conservatives believe. It says that conservatives have been attacking Simone Biles. Are you contending that conservatives have NOT been attacking Ms. Biles?

    2. Many conservatives, including noted 2nd Amendment Rights activist Piers Morgan and Zaid Jiliani “former” progressive.

      Raw Story… Looks like a lefty nutjob conspiracy bullshit site.

      1. Yes, Trump friend and fan Morgan (the 2nd Amendment is not a litmus test for conservatism now, is it?) and Federalist writer Jiliani.

        1. lol, Trump “friend” is the litmus test?

          Shit, I guess Hilary and Bill were conservatives all along.

          1. Lol, being friend (and fan, notice the eliding) now vs. being so in the past might be different?

          2. Trump is far from the litmus test of being a conservative, either. Having an anti-immigrant-cause-jobs policy sits him at the table with Bernie and Cesar Chavez. Which causes the other side to overreact.

            To sum up: politicians are horrible, is the conclusion from every day I’ve been reading here for two web site changes plus two years.

            1. “Having an anti-immigrant-cause-jobs policy sits him at the table with Bernie and Cesar Chavez.”

              Litmus test for being a populist, really.

          3. How interesting it must be to live in a world where Bill and Hill are friends with Trump. Reality check: Hill ran against him, and the Donald can’t stand to be contradicted in even the slightest way in public.

            1. Nothing you said in any way refutes that they were, and likely still are, friends. How short is your memory? Do goldfish beat you in memory games?

              1. ” How short is your memory?”

                Amusing, coming from the guy who can’t remember 2016.

    3. My word choice is “unsurprising.” Unsurprising despite the fact every minute of the Olympics before her decision was spent by many “conservatives” and “Patriots” actively cheering against the USA.

      1. Unsurprising despite the fact every minute of the Olympics before her decision was spent by many “conservatives” and “Patriots” actively cheering against the USA.

        Ok, I’ll bite. What are you referring to?

        1. And I will not. Do your own homework.

          1. So, just some hyperbole then?

        2. “every minute of the Olympics before her decision was spent by many “conservatives” and “Patriots” actively cheering against the USA”

          Its not “many” and its certainly not “every minute”.

          Just the womans soccer team mainly. And some anti-NBA. Becuase of their political positions and one obnoxious purple haired soccer-ette.

          1. It really doesn’t take much, does it?

            1. Three years of AntiAmericanism in sports isn’t insignificant.

              1. Thee years of non-existant AntiAmericanism can come out of nothing at all, apparently.

              2. Funny how these people who play on the American national team are somehow “anti-American”.
                How many medals did you bring back for America, Special Ed?

                1. All the sitting during the anthem is getting eye-roll worthy.

                  It’s not brave, it’s not a protest if it is the new norm. If that behavior is now expected of you, you are simply displaying that you are engaging in right-think.

                  You took the olympic team spot, you knew what you were doing. Stand for the anthem and represent America proudly or get the fuck off of the stage.

                  1. American Women’s Soccer Team Defeated After Opponents Play U.S. National Anthem During Game Forcing Them To Kneel The Whole Time


                    1. When the mainstream has all of the good comedy (and music, and movies, and culture, and . . .), conservatives are required to settle for stuff like this.


                  2. Get the vaccine or stay the fuck in your basements, clingers.

    4. Conversely, watching non-sports pundits immediately celebrate her as some sort of hero has been equally…. interesting.

      In sports, we celebrate those who can perform amazing (and sometimes dangerous) things in times of immense pressure. Lots of people at home on couches could kick a field goal, especially with a little practice. But can they do it consistently and under pressure? Those who thrive in those situations–think Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams–are considered the truly great ones. Those who succumb to the pressure are considered chokers, soft, or limited–think most recently Ben Simmons, who will be traded from Philadelphia because of his playoff performance.

      Biles just told us she can’t handle the pressure. Great. Thanks for letting us know, and I’m glad you said something before hurting yourself. I’ll trust you made the right move for your health and career. But don’t put a GOAT image on your leotard or continue to celebrate yourself as one of the greatest. Because they performed when the spotlight was on them, and you said you can’t.

      Doesn’t make her a bad person any more than my inability to hit 350-yard drives makes me a bad person. But it does means that she has a limitation that other greats did not have.

      1. Biles just told us she can’t handle the pressure. Great. Thanks for letting us know, and I’m glad you said something before hurting yourself. I’ll trust you made the right move for your health and career. But don’t put a GOAT image on your leotard or continue to celebrate yourself as one of the greatest. Because they performed when the spotlight was on them, and you said you can’t.

        Horseshit. Serious horseshit.

        Do you know how many championships Biles has won? Do you have any clue what her record actually is?

        Fuck off.

        1. It doesn’t matter. If Tom Brady had come out the night before the Super Bowl and said, “Hey guys, I’d love to play, but my head just isn’t in the game right now. If I played, I might hurt myself or my team. So I think you’d be better just play the backup,” do you think everyone would be rushing to defend him?

          It doesn’t take away the fact that he already has 7 Super Bowls. But it would absolutely be talked about and affect his legacy. It wouldn’t matter if he called it “mental illness” or not. He backed out at the last second, and it’s a fair thing to consider when judging his legacy. Hell, people still talk about Pippen choosing not to play in one play in 1996. If he came out now and said it was because he couldn’t deal with the pressure of taking the last shot, people would be okay with it?

          I’m not going to look at her situation different than other athletes just because she’s a woman.

          1. ‘do you think everyone would be rushing to defend him?’

            I think most decent people would.

            1. Jay Cutler, a good NFL QB, had a knee injury in a playoff game and still got tons of sh*t about it from fans.


            2. Probably not. Most people who were not Patriots fans hate Tom Brady.

              1. The Cheatriots are of no interest to anybody who matters.

          2. Biles just told us she can’t handle the pressure.

            You’re full of shit. Of course it matters. When was the last time you competed for a world championship? She’s won 19 gold medals at that level. But can’t take the pressure. Right.

            It wouldn’t matter if he called it “mental illness” or not.”

            Putting mental illness in quotes demonstrates what an ignoramus you are.

            1. “She’s won 19 gold medals at that level.”

              …and then quit mid competition.

              Think of the woman/girl who was the first place non-selectee for the olympic team. I bet she wishes Simone had let us know before hand that she can’t cope.

              1. Think of the alternate for the team that had to stay home because of a COVID test.

            2. I put it in quotes because those are the words she said and the words Brady said in my hypothetical. That, in fact, is why they are called quotation marks.

              Yes, she handled the pressure before. Chuck Knoblauch used to know how to throw to first base. Then it went away and he started flinging everything into the dugout. It happens. Great golfers fall by the wayside, not because they can’t physically play, but because they get in their own heads. It happens. And when it does, we don’t celebrate those people as much. I’m not going to treat her with a different standard.

              1. You remembered who Chuck was. Joe Namath is a doddering pitchman for Medicare now, but he’s still the guy who led the Jets to the massive upset in Super Bowl III.

            3. If her time has passed, that is life in sports. That’s all.
              Maybe she tries a comeback. That sometimes works also.
              Just don’t diminish the accomplishment of the woman who won gold this year.

      2. “Because they performed when the spotlight was on them, and you said you can’t.”

        Simone Biles performed when the spotlight was on her. Splendidly, almost uniquely.

        1. Until at the last second she didn’t, citing pressure. If last February, Tom Brady announced the night before the Super Bowl that he felt that he wasn’t in a place mentally where he could perform any longer. That if he tried to do so, he’d likely hurt the team or would risk injury. That they should play Winston instead, people would react with shock and say that he quit on his team. And if they lost, people would blame Brady.

          Now, I get that the danger of playing in the wrong mental state presents more of a risk to someone flipping 15 feet in the air. So better to resign than gut it out and hurt yourself. But it doesn’t change the fact that, when the pressure was turned up the most (a good deal of which she brought on herself), she felt she had to drop out.

          1. Brady is a cheater. Does that influence your assessment?

            Tiger Woods could not handle the pressure; he couldn’t even handle basic family obligations, human decency, etc. As a result, he was unable to perform when it counted for extended periods. Yet some — including you, apparently — continue to hold him in high regard.

            You seem to be extraordinarily and unusually eager to diminish Simone Biles.

          2. ” they should play Winston instead, people would react with shock and say that he quit on his team.”

            Reality check: Late in a game, needing to score to win, it was 4th down and Tom threw the ball away, then whined to the refs that he wanted another down. But no, he never once quit.

            What do you want her to be, Kerri Strug? It’s been done, man.

      3. ‘But don’t put a GOAT image on your leotard’

        No, do. Don’t give the opinions of white conservative culture warriors out to attack a succesful black woman at the first sign of weakness an inch. Because fuck those guys.

        1. Always the race card.

          Purple hair soccer-ette gets 100X the grief from 100X as many conservatives than Biles got.

          1. Purple hair soccer-ette

            No sexism from Bob. No sir.

            1. Its a Smurf reference.

              1. “Soccer-ette” is a smurf reference? And so what if it is?

              2. Whyich one of the Smurfs had purple hair? I don’t remember that one.

              3. An American athlete playing for her country, who took all the pressure on herself to help her teammates, and then came through and won a World Cup for the US. But let’s cut her down because she doesn’t like Trump. TDS indeed.

          2. “Purple hair soccer-ette gets 100X the grief from 100X as many conservatives than Biles got.”
            Well, that makes it OK, then.

    5. As is often the case, Adam Serwer completely nails it:

      And it’s also hilarious that it’s coming from people like Charlie Kirk and Matt Walsh: bloggers and trolls
      with no real skill set other than riling people up in some of stupidest ways imaginable.

      1. “Adam Serwer completely nails it:”

        If so, a first!

        1. He also nailed the “cruelty is the point.” You’re a star witness for that thesis.

          1. It wasn’t the point so no he did not “nail it”

            1. Uh huh. Then why do you promote extremely cruel people to positions of authority? Why do you yourself revel in vice signaling? Why are as we speak some of the biggest Trump pundits imaginable getting thousands of likes for attacking Simone Biles?

              The cruelty is the point. Be a better person and start dealing with it.

            2. I mean seriously: you had Trump telling a cheering crowd how funny it was when Ali Velshi got shot by a rubber bullet. You support that guy. He has no content other than being cruel. It’s the point for you.

              Maybe you balk at the word “cruelty” because it makes you uncomfortable. But it’s what you support.

              And let’s not forget this: after detailing three examples of horrific abuse that still resulted in QI, you mockingly
              said “need a tissue?”

              The only thing that could motivate such a response is cruelty. You thought it was funny I was concerned about the plight of people who were brutalized. You know who does that? Cruel people for whom just saying cruel and vile things is an end in itself. That’s you to a T. You’re just a more posh version of Atkenberg.

              1. Do you need a tissue?

                1. No. But you need some self-reflection, my dude.

                  Seriously, when I describe the facts of a brutal event, and your response is “need a tissue” how do you think that reflects on you and your character? I mean in your head you think you’re being clever and cute. But in reality you’re being mean, callous, and lacking empathy. But you don’t have to be this way.

                  1. Its pretty simple, I don’t care what you think of me.

                    You can mute me anytime you want. Free yourself from the horror.

                    1. “Its pretty simple, I don’t care what you think of me.”

                      That’s the problem! You need to care Bob, for the good of your own soul you need to care. Not because I of what I think or say, but because it is the right thing to do!

                      Before you mute me, get this through your head: mocking someone with “need a tissue” after they describe something horrific makes you look like a bad person. You shouldn’t do it if you want to be considered good, which deep down, I think you do.

                      You would never say “need a tissue” to the people I was actually talking about. I doubt you’d even dare say that if I described my own experiences with pain. I would never ever say that to you if you were describing some human tragedy. But you think you can get away with it because this is online, and not real life.

                      Be better. I believe in you.

                      (I know you’ll ignore this or say some mocking comment, but I haven’t given up on you yet.)

                    2. Bob supports my theory that people who are from Ohio but have left are solid people, like our astronauts. People who remain in Ohio come in two major categories…

                    3. “good of your own soul you need to care”

                      You are not my father, mother, wife, sister, brother or rabbi. Not even a friend.

                      Self appointed busybody scold. Completely full of yourself.

                      “I haven’t given up on you yet.)”

                      Please do so at your earliest convienance.

                    4. No. Not until you admit that saying “need a tissue” in response to human tragedy is rude, mean-spirited, and shows lack of character. Just admit it, and say you’ll be better next time. It’s not that hard!

                    5. Also, you definitely care a both what I think and I am getting to you. Now you’re justifying not listening to me by listing a bunch of people who won’t bother to call out your horrid attitudes.

                      By the way, do you think your Rabbi would approve of you saying “need a tissue” in response to me saying a child being accidentally shot by a cop aiming for a dog should have had a civil damages remedy?

                    6. *about

                    7. “Its pretty simple, I don’t care what you think of me.”

                      Which is of interest to who, exactly, in your imagination?

                2. “Do you need a tissue?”

                  If decades after graduation from law school I were still living in No Count, Ohio, checking deeds to $45,000 duplexes for typographical errors and living on the discredited and defeated political fringe, I doubt I would be commenting much on others.

      2. Wow. I hadn’t seen that Charlie Kirk quote before.

        What a giant fucking asshole that guy is. Celebrated on the right, I suppose.

        1. The disaffected, desperate, defeated, and deplorable right loves Charlie Kirk.

          It’s part of what makes stomping movement conservatism into submission in the culture war continue to be such an enjoyable and important endeavor.

      3. Let’s be blunt.

        The criticism of Biles is great evidence of just how despicable the right wing in the US is.

        These are just disgusting people, and their allies, including some of the conspirators, need to realize that.

    6. Meh…

      I look at it this way. She has an injury. She can’t perform because of that. It sucks. I don’t blame her for it. I don’t think it’s necessarily something to celebrate either. It’s like breaking your leg and pulling out. It’s something that you need to do.

      1. If sporting at that level is high drama, then it’s a moment of exquisite empathy for someone who is losing a chance of gold through no intrinsic fault of her own, so you’re mistaking celebrate for sympathise, and defending people against predatory conservative assholes is also something that needs to be done.

    7. I’ve been watching Olympics coverage on the local station in Atlanta. The noticeable thing about what they’re putting out is the amazing success of the Olympic team from Georgia. I guess there’s some other athletes from other states, maybe, but except for the one swimmer from Alaska, they’re not getting mentions.

  10. Former Senator Mike Enzi died in a bicycle accident earlier this week. To see what kind of people liberals and Democrats are, read the comments on the story in WAPO.

    1. “To see what kind of people liberals and Democrats are, read the comments on the story in WAPO.”

      Strangely enough, Aladdin’s Carpet cannot seem to find his pearls to clutch over *this* (and unqualified) generalization!

      Bad faith indeed.

      1. “Strangely enough, Aladdin’s Carpet cannot seem to find his pearls to clutch over *this* (and unqualified) generalization!”

        Is it more than 3?

        1. Unqualified, what does it mean?

          1. “Unqualified, what does it mean?”


      2. Notably he posted after you and yes, I am equally critical of posts like these.

        You know, life gets a lot happier when you stop assuming bad faith in everyone.

        1. “Your instant turn to bad faith articles about what “conservatives” believe explains a lot …”

          Physician heal thyself.

    2. Yeah, not gonna whattabout that. It’s a bad look.

      There’s this dirtbag left aesthetic that was on the rise during Trump. It’s not about actively cruel policies, but it is about unneeded dickery as though that’s praxis. It seems to have peaked now that Trump’s not there, but it’s certainly still around.

      1. Ugh the dirtbag left is the worst.

        1. dirtbag partisans suck, no matter what flavor.

    1. Those comments are horrible. Many people suck. You think everyone on the right will make classy comments when Nancy Pelosi passes away?

  11. Despite Massachusetts being somewhat more liberal than NJ, the Massachusetts classic rock station, as opposed to the NJ classic rock station, actually understands its audience is not. I can live with this.

    Lowell, MA is a depressing city. I was there the other day. It used to be the center of the American Industrial revolution, but it failed to adapt for 150 years and now its very run down. There is a story there imo for most of America.

    1. Pittsburgh had this issue, and is now a computer science innovation hub. It takes money and not being in denial, but it works.

      The UK has some really interesting get well plans for old cities. Especially since their wealth is much more geographically concentrated.

      1. I personally think that get well plans for people, as opposed to cities, is the ticket. I’d argue that cities were a response to the limitations of communications and transport technology, you had to concentrate a lot of people in small areas for them to collaborate on getting things done.

        But cities have drawbacks, too; Through all recorded history cities have been population sinks, due to crime, bad health, and people just… not reproducing! Indeed, the ‘birth dearth’ that’s currently plaguing developed nations is at least in part a consequence of increasing urbanization.

        The thing is, cities are a response to technological limitations which we’ve mostly overcome now. We shouldn’t be trying to save cities. We should be trying to wind them up gracefully.

        1. Maybe people in cities have lower birth rates because they enjoy their lives more there (more career opportunities, better arts scene, etc.,) apart from having and raising children?

          1. Yes for those that value money, leisure, and play. Empty shells of humanity.
            No wonder cities are filthy pits of despair.
            No concert, are museum visit, can equal supper with family around a table.

            1. “my values should be other’s values!”

              1. Your comment [“enjoy their lives more”] fits this description so take the beam out of your eye.

            2. People in cities can also have supper with family around a table.

            3. Wait do you really think that people in cities don’t have family dinners?

              1. In the suburbs, dinner happens between the drive-through and home.

              2. Some people, apparently, can only imagine what life might be like in a modern, successful, educated, skilled, advanced community.

                Very sad.

          2. Cultures and societies that don’t reproduce, die. They no longer exist.

            The only real way to win any culture war is to pass it to your kids.

            So yeah, enjoy your life, but you are a dinosaur.

            1. “The only real way to win any culture war is to pass it to your kids.”

              That is an intensely stupid statement.

              Many of our best citizens have overcome the lessons and limitations of our parents. Bright flight, for example, overcomes childhood indoctrination to vivid effect in (1) the communities on the right side of bright flight and (2) the communities on the wrong side of bright flight.

          3. From an evolutionary survival standpoint, does it actually matter WHY they’re not reproducing? Suppose we scattered delicious birth control pills in a park, and some photogenic species like wolves started going extinct; Would it be alright because the pills tasted good?

            1. Since humans are the only species on the planet that consciously change their own reproductive behavior, yes.

              Like the movie… you have a choice. Unlike a raccoon, you are more than the sum of your genetics and phenotype.


              1. So, you’re saying that you’re cool with human extinction, so long as it’s the result of individual choice?

                In population biology, there’s the concept of an “attractive sink”. An attractive sink is a location or behavior pattern that reduces reproductive fitness, (Hence, a “sink”.) but the animal is drawn to it anyway, due to an inability to perceive the maladaptive nature of it. Say, a pleasant meadow full of a good tasting, toxic plant.

                For humans, cities are attractive sinks.

                1. Rotflmao at “human extinction.” There are almost 8 billion people in the world. Of all the things that can lead to our extinction, lower birth rates will not be it.

                  1. ” Of all the things that can lead to our extinction, lower birth rates will not be it.”

                    But if we lower our birthrates, and THOSE PEOPLE don’t, they’ll outbreed us and our Way of Life will be destroyed!!

                    MY birthrate is pretty low, as I lack the reproductive equipment to grow another human being inside of my own. I decline to become alarmed by this. My brother and his wife have 4 kids. My daughter and her husband plan for lots (though, of course, that may change once she has the first.)

                  2. Don’t understand the distinction between where you are at the moment, and the direction in which you’re traveling? Just because there are a lot of people doesn’t mean we can sustain negative population growth forever.

                    1. “Just because there are a lot of people doesn’t mean we can sustain negative population growth forever.”

                      Somebody missed the point that there isn’t negative population growth, much less negative population growth forever. Oops.

                2. I know what an attractive sink is. I used to teach differential equations.

                  Baltimore (as an example) is losing population, has been for decades, so I am not sure you are correct. Eventually, taxes get so high, crime so bad, the school system so horrible, people leave.

                  Which they are in fact doing.

                  Cities do evolve, but its an arduously slow process. The bureaucracy and politicians fight at every step. Whole blocks in Baltimore need to be condemned, taxes and laws reformed. I read a story a few years ago that it costs $300,000 to bring a $50k rowhome “up to code” – which is absurd because it does not cost that to build a new house in the burbs. I read a different story that some of the tax liens in Baltimore are decades old and the city simply refuses to take the loss and sell.

                  1. On the other hand, a decade ago, Portland, OR began a bit of a growth spurt, Rents surged as there weren’t enough apartments and houses for all the people who moved there from other places. They haven’t always handled the growth well, but that doesn’t stop people from moving there.

            2. Cultures and nation don’t continue only by having babies.

              1. Evolutionary biology is a fact.

                1. “Evolutionary biology is a fact.”

                  So is gravity.

              2. Yes, actually they do only continue by having babies. Or, occasionally, by adopting them at an early age.

                1. Have some faith in the allure of our civilization. Or talk to an immigrant for a moment about America.

                  1. Really? When was the last time you made a white heifer sacrifice to Juno?

                    1. You think Ancient Greece died because it didn’t have enough babies?

                    2. Alexander the Macedonian ran out of foreign lands to conquer.

                    3. Ancient Greece was conquered by the Romans.

                      When your conquered, you can no longer pass on your culture to your kids.

                      There is an evolutionary lesson in there for the open borders crowd.

                    4. You also can’t pass on your culture to your kids if you don’t have any.

                      You can bring in adults with their own cultures to replace you and your culture, of course, if the only thing you care about is that your country will probably retain its name, and possibly even its language.

                    5. “Ancient Greece was conquered by the Romans.

                      When your conquered, you can no longer pass on your culture to your kids.

                      There is an evolutionary lesson in there for the open borders crowd.”

                      On the other hand, Ancient China was conquered by just about everybody. Which is why there aren’t any Chinese people today.

                  2. “Alexander the Macedonian ran out of foreign lands to conquer.”

                    No, there were more lands for him. He just died before he got around to it.

        2. Cities cannot be judged in isolation, and neither can rural communities. Or suburbs. They all depend and are influence by one another.

          Cities are good for some people, bad for others.

          Wanting to eliminate cities seems more about the politics of the rural-urban divide than any understanding of how societies work or should work.

          1. I want to stop encouraging cities, that would be enough.

            1. Who’s “encouraging” cities?

              Companies want well established labor pools and access to: money markets, advertisers, insurers, transportation hubs, i.e., seaports, airports, railway.

              Workers want quality/variety/quantity of life items (access to restaurants, culture, sports, entertainments, etc.), housing, schools, etc.

              These are the natural results of cities and no one is “encouraging” cities.

              Now, in the 21st Century and the rise of the internets, workers (and companies), may have more flexibility in where they’re located – but again, no “encouraging.”

              1. hmmm. The “natural result” of Baltimore City seems to be crime, high taxes, poor services, and dirt and filth everywhere. Unless you work at Johns Hopkins, in which case you can look out your window at the crime, high taxes, poor services, and dirt and filth, then commute to the burbs and send your kids to a nice school from your 4000 sq ft 1/2 acre property.

                1. Actually, cities contain multitudes.

                  What you choose to reduce them to is telling about you, not about Baltimore generally.

                2. Sure, that’s the situation right now but it’s also NOT the result of Baltimore being a city.

                  Baltimore was a pretty important and successful seaport waaaaay back in the day (because of the reasons I listed above).

                  Maybe Baltimore “fell” because it lost some economic importance (maybe the rise of Newport, VA, a little south drew away shipping).

                  But that is externality.

                  1. Also, if you’ve been to Baltimore, you know it’s not like wall-to-wall the Wire like dwb68 assumes.

                    1. I used to live and work in Bmore. It is pretty much wall-to-wall Wire. Its become a lot worse since 2014.

                    2. I’ve spent enough nights over there to know that it’s like any other city, with good neighborhoods and bad.

                    3. “I used to live and work in Bmore. It is pretty much wall-to-wall Wire. Its become a lot worse since 2014.”

                      You could leave, and that would improve it substantially.

            2. Good luck with that. The bureaucratic / political resistance to change seems impossible to overcome.

              One does wonder what Baltimore City will be like in 100 years. ick.

              1. The UK doubled their medal count in one day.

                If this trend continues, everyone in England will have a medal by mud August.

            3. You want to “stop encouraging cities”? What does that even mean?! Cities have existed for over 6000 years. What would you replace them with? Where would the billions of people go? What would happen to the All Holy Economy? Or *gasp* your property values?!

              More evidence that “Brett Bellmore” is a random comment generator set to the highest contrarian level.

              1. Cities drive economic growth. Brett’s against that. The only wealth that matters is owning farmland and serfs.

              2. Try to keep up with changing times: What’s the economic case for cities when you have videoconferencing?

                Cities were a way to deal with the limits of communications and transportation technology: You couldn’t collaborate with people on a project if they were too far away to meet with you in person on a frequent basis.

                Urban centers haven’t been the locus of material production for a long time; Too expensive to site factories in them. Remote work being jump started by Covid means they soon won’t be the locus of intellectual production, either.

                1. “What’s the economic case for cities when you have videoconferencing?”

                  That’s where the stadiums are where the pro teams play. And also the stadium-worthy musician tours. (When you hold them in rural areas, you get Woodstock)

                2. “What’s the economic case for cities when you have videoconferencing?”

                  The cities have good broadband, and the not-cities tend to, well, not. videoconferencing over slow links is highly unsatisfactory.

                3. “Too expensive to site factories in them.”

                  Depends on what you want to make/build. They apparently make mattresses right in Atlanta, if their local TV ads are to be believed. And Intel does manufacturing in Hillsboro, OR, which is an “urban center” in the sense that you can’t get anywhere between 7-9 AM or 5-7PM unless you are quite patient.

                4. Some people want to live in a place where you can walk to a bunch of stuff.

                  Cities don’t only exist due to labor forces.

                  1. “Some people want to live in a place where you can walk to a bunch of stuff.”

                    That doesn’t sound like Americans.

            4. Looks to me like what we “encourage” is suburbs and rural areas. Where are the great subsidies for the cities?

            5. “I want to stop encouraging cities”

              What’s civilization ever done for you, right?

      2. “Pittsburgh had this issue, and is now a computer science innovation hub.”

        Pittsburgh is unusual.

        It had severe problems. A collapsed steel industry (and heavy reliance on it by families and other businesses). A location in Appalachia, surrounded by struggling (and failing) communities for hundreds of miles in every direction. A ‘traditional,’ poorly educated, and aging population.

        It also had uncommon assets, prominently including two first-level research and teaching institutions (Pitt and Carnegie Mellon). It still had the trappings of success — medical facilities, big-league sports teams, cultural institutions, wealthy foundations, major airport, architecture — left over from the period during which it was a leading American city but inconsistent with its current, diminished circumstances.

        It also had some civic-minded leaders who recognized and addressed the problems. Legacy concentrations of wealth (steel, aluminum, glass, coal and coke, oil, railroads) provided the opportunity to transform some ideas and efforts into successful results. Pittsburgh turned some negatives (its Appalachian location; an aging population) into positives (a handy location for modern distribution systems; a good laboratory for medical research and development).

        Pittsburgh is not out of the woods yet but it is still in the game. It is developing a younger, educated, skilled, modern population (although it is still surrounded by seemingly hopeless desolation, beginning roughly 20 miles from city limits and in every direction). It attracts and can build forward-looking, cutting-edge businesses. Downtown Pittsburgh is modernizing (more residential properties, bike lanes, hiking trails, riverfront development). If it can focus on its strong attributes — such as an attractive cost of living coupled with big-league amenities — it might become an American success story again.

        1. UMass Lowell is a significant university that started as the Lowell Textile Institute, became the Lowell Technological Institute and then got merged with the Lowell Normal School to become the University of Lowell in 1972, and then folded into the UM system in 1991.

          Lowell is adjacent to two Interstate Highways (I-93 and I-495) and has an active rail line (with another nearby) that are kept in very good shape because they are used by both the MBTA & Amtrak.

          However, Lowell has a serious problem with illegal alien drug gangs — and they distribute well up into Maine.

          1. ” Lowell has a serious problem with illegal alien drug gangs — and they distribute well up into Maine.”

            Damn those illegal aliens, coming here and taking jobs away from American drug dealers.

    2. That was my impression of Lawrence, MA also. A town that was important 200 years ago, but was pretty beaten down and seedy.

    3. “. . . it failed to adapt for 150 years and now its very run down. There is a story there imo for most of America.”

      Can someone please tell West Virginia that coal is dying and to get with the 21st century.

      Much obliged.

      1. Can someone please tell both political parties to do something about useless corporate mergers so West Virginia is not dependent on coal.

        Much obliged.

        1. You oppose enabling the market to sift this? Government intervention — picking winners and losers — is your answer?

          1. Rev, these guys rarely know what they’re saying from one post to the next. The only important part is that their response be the opposite of whatever some Lib has said. The words and concepts used for that are whatever they need them to be.

        2. What decent Americans should do with respect to West Virginia is to encourage the smart, ambitious young people to depart at high school graduation and to seek education, opportunity, and modernity elsewhere, on strong liberal-libertarian campuses (Ohio State, Pitt, Michigan, Penn, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western, etc.) and/or in successful, modern communities.

          Plus, America should ensure that a lifeline for those refugees is effective. Good people do not fault minors for having losers for parents. Also, we will need all of the educated, skilled, reasoning, decent, modern citizens we can get. Some of them, believe it or not, could come from West Virginia if we get them out of there early enough.

      2. “Can someone please tell West Virginia that coal is dying and to get with the 21st century.”

        But but but Trump said that “clean” coal is a growth business with unlimited upside! And to prove it, he pretended to operate a shovel!

  12. Predictions, can the US women’s soccer and men’s basketball teams pull it out and win the Gold?

    I’ll say yes to both.

    1. Well, the women’s 3×3 basketball team just might be able to have already done it.

      Neither soccer nor basketball are sports that interest me, so I plan to continue to have no opinion whatsoever regarding the Olympic variants of either one of these sports. Now, if only someone would tell NBC that I don’t give a damn about swimming, either…

      1. OK, no more swimming coverage. But also not enough coverage of my new favorite Olympic sport, BMX freestyle.

    2. Yes to women’s soccer, no to men’s basketball.

  13. CDC new mandates based on research rejected by peer review.

    So the study the CDC is flogging is from India, looking at vaccines not used in the US. The research failed peer review.

    The CDC is not inept, they are corrupt.

    1. It would depend on why the rejections, since this is fast moving.

      I recall a UK vaccine manufacturer (years pre-covid) being shut down and their stock trashed, because they weren’t following the UK equivalent of the FDA’s rules on factory cleanliness and procedures.

      This impacted the US because we needed the vaccines, having no local sources (due to lawsuits supposedly).

      All I could do was scream take the stock and test it the hard way! The procedures are to increase likelihood of proper stock, but are not the only way.

      Indeed, such is to avoid having to do it the hard way. But if flu lives are on the line to the tens of thousands that year…

    2. Wait, there is research? CDC seems to have promised the research “later.” I have not seen any official links to actual research anywhere.

      1. It has been posited, how did the CDC find a study that was not published since it failed review…unless someone at the CDC is a peer reviewer. used the parts it needed to support their demands.
        But the new standard were released on Tuesday, citing new studies. They said today the you release the research Friday. Why do they have to first curated the research before they release it? And the CDC is so confused as to why people dont trust “science”

        1. ” how did the CDC find a study that was not published”

          Somebody said “Hey, check this out!” and attached a copy to an email to somebody in the CDC. As if they’d have an interest in seeing early research on matters of contagious disease for some reason at CDC.

          1. Not everyone understands how educated professionals operate. Some don’t even want to understand.

          2. So they studied research that failed peer review. Sounds exactly how the CDC has being “doing science”

            1. Isn’t that how Republicans do it?

      2. Well, if they didn’t clear it with you, what’s the point?

    3. “The CDC is not inept, they are corrupt.”


  14. So, I watched Luka Donic put up 48 points in an Olympic basketball game recently. The *Slovenian* team he is on had quite a lot of NBA players. What do you think accounts for this? It seems like it undercuts the ‘nature’ side of the ‘nature’ vs. ‘nurture’ argument, but interested to hear theories (or better yet, evidence) as to this rise in Eastern Europeans in basketball.

    1. Basketball in eastern euro countries has been building for the last 2-3 decades. After The Dream Team rolled through town it really took off. The people are fairly tall and are capable of learning to dribble and shoot a basketball. And when they got their start they were known for adhering to The Basics. If nature v nurture applies, EE bball is an example of both. Dunno why you think it would undercut either.

    2. “. The *Slovenian* team he is on had quite a lot of NBA players. ”

      I can explain it this way: The NBA pays better than whatever the Slovenian equivalent of McDonald’s is.

  15. Long time lurker here, just curious about this court case…
    Activision Blizzard Inc is being sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for the rotten treatment towards some of their female employees. Every case I’ve ever heard like this was brought on by the women who were mistreated. Walmart, Amazon, Google, Goldman Sachs, and Twitter, just to name some of the recent ones, were all brought in civil court by the complainants. Why is this case being executed by the State of California?

    1. “The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the state agency charged with protecting Californians from unlawful discrimination in employment. If there has been a violation of civil rights laws, DFEH can pursue damages on your behalf.”

    2. Most states — as well as the federal government — have agencies that investigates complaints and sometimes brings claims on behalf of employees. (For the feds, it’s the EEOC.) Of course, these agencies have limited budgets, so they can only take on a small percentage of claims. They have criteria that they use to decide. But why this particular one? No idea why.

      1. It costs money to launch a lawsuit, even if you have a clear case, which workplace harassment often is not. So if you can’t afford to bring a case yourself, you wait for the state to have a go, then if they win, it’s easier to find funding for your lawsuit, or you can get a lawyer willing to take the case on contingency.

  16. I have an obscure legal question: The other day I was watching a “Gunsmoke” episode. In it Festus questioned a suspect about how he (the suspect) had come to acquire a certain mule (probably stolen). My first thought was: should he produce a title or registration for Festus? This brings up the question as to the origins of Automobile titles. Did they have a basis in common law? Did somebody just make it up?

    1. A subsequent owner of the mule could have a bill of sale which is a common law idea. No idea how the breeder of the mule would prove ownership.

      1. A brand?

        1. No wonder your kids won’t talk to you.

    2. Manufacturers started issuing Certificates of Origin — not sure if on their own initiative or in response to a legal mandate but there were some conventions in Detroit in the 1950s where the various state authorities all agreed upon standard rules.

      That’s how we got the standard 6″ by 12″ license plate with all four holes in the same place.

      And the VIN helped the manufacturer because most of it identifies stuff about the vehicle, only the last six numbers or so are the serial number of the vehicle.

    3. Not a title, a bill of sale.

  17. Whats up with all the black and brown people at the gun range? I thought the 2nd amendment was racist. Or something.

    1. Wow, I heard all the progressive heads exploding from here!

      1. That was just an echo in your own hollow head.

      2. Actually it was heads hitting the desk as they all fell asleep.

  18. When CNN questions CDC masks-for-the-vaccinated*, and liberal news outlets demand the data, the Biden admin is in deep deep trouble.


    1. “For every 20 people, one or two of them could get a breakthrough, they may only get mild disease, but we wanted them to know they could bring that mild disease home, they could bring it to others.”

      A mild breakthrough case is NOT a reason to wear a mask, in order to save the moron who refuses a vaccine, lmao.

      I got the shot, and I will get the 3rd booster when its out.

      1. A mild breakthrough case is NOT a reason to wear a mask, in order to save the moron who refuses a vaccine, lmao.

        If it were truly the case that the only people who could suffer were “morons who refuse a vaccine,” then I would agree with you. Let all those morons die. Might play havoc with GOP electoral chances, but it’s worth it to save me the mild inconvenience of wearing a mask.

        But those aren’t the only people who can suffer. People under 12 can’t be vaccinated yet. And even vaccinated people can get sick — the vaccines are very effective, but not 100%, and while most such infections will be mild, not all will. Most importantly, though, the more the virus spreads, the more it mutates, and the more it mutates, the more it has a chance to mutate into something which the current vaccines don’t protect well against.

        That having been said, I agree that mask mandates aren’t ideal. Rather than pussyfooting around with them, just go to the heart of the matter: vaccination ought to be mandatory.

        1. Statistically, for people under 12, the virus is not that big a deal.

          1. 20 deaths per million infections. Comparable to the common cold. Even the CDC wouldn’t tell you to vaccinate somebody under the age of 12, because the downside of not being vaccinated is so slight, you’d be hard put to ever justify ANY risk from vaccination.

            1. Sigh. For the millionth damn time, hospitalization is not No Big Deal just because the person lives.

              1. The science is not on your side.

                Hospitalizations and deaths for children 17 and under is comparable to pneumonia – nobody wears a mask of cancels school in an entire district for pneumonia.

                1. Because pneumonia is not nearly so virulent.

                  1. The extra transmissiblity is already accounted for in the numbers.

                  2. Virulent: “extremely severe or harmful in its effects.”

                    Pneumonia is vastly more virulent than Covid if you’re 12 years old. If you’re 12 years old, Covid has a virulence comparable to the common cold.

                    1. Numbers wise, for 17 and under, in terms of hospitalizations and death, COVID and pneumonia are about equal, and either is twice as bad as influenza (source: CDC data).

                    2. “Covid has a virulence comparable to the common cold.”

                      No problem then. 12-year-olds NEVER catch colds.

                2. “nobody wears a mask of cancels school in an entire district for pneumonia.”

                  They do shut down universities because of meningitis outbreaks.

                  1. Perhaps not any more, if clingers have any say.

                    Virus-flouting, bigoted hayseeds may be becoming my favorite culture war casualties.

                    1. Why would the clingers have any influence at the university? They avoid the places, because people learn things there, instead of just “knowing” the right answer.

            2. “20 deaths per million infections. Comparable to the common cold.”

              In the sense that 20 and 0 are the same number?

          2. Statistically, for people who are not dwb68, then dwb68 doesn’t care HOW sick you get.

        2. “Might play havoc with GOP electoral chances”

          Blacks [95% not GOP] have the lowest vaccination rate by far.

          1. “Blacks [95% not GOP] have the lowest vaccination rate by far.”

            Republicans (0% not GOP] have the lowest vaccination rate, after actual 10-year-olds.

            1. Just making stuff up, I see.

              1. Yep. I totally made up the fact that 10-year-olds have a low vaccination rates, based solely on the fact that there is no vaccine for 10-year-olds to get.

      2. “A mild breakthrough case is NOT a reason to wear a mask, in order to save the moron who refuses a vaccine”

        Some of the unvaccinated morons are non-morons who actually have a reason not to be vaccinated, such, say, being under 12 years old.

        1. Those under the age of 17 have an IFR, Infection Fatality Rate, of 20 per million. If you’re going to mandate things on the basis of risks that low, Covid vaccinations to protect 12 year olds would be way down the list.

          1. The point that you missed in your rush was that some people who aren’t vaccinated aren’t actually morons. They have actual reasons for not being vaccinated.
            The rest ARE morons.

            1. I did miss that this was a rare occasion of you being sensible, and for that, I apologize.

              1. I wouldn’t expect you to be able to recognize “sensible”.

                1. …and for that, I absolutely DO NOT apologize. Ye reap what ye sow.

    2. the Biden admin is in deep deep trouble.

      Deep deep trouble? Oooooh! Sounds scary! Doesn’t matter, though; after all, he’s going to be resigning by August so that Trump can be reinstated, right?

      1. If he resigns, Harris takes over.

        Judging from the Democrat panic over her polling numbers, thats the real problem.

        1. Won’t matter, if Republicans can get enough voters disenfranchised in enough states.

      2. “Deep deep trouble? Oooooh!”

        My favorite track on The Simpsons Sing the Blues.

  19. Democrats: Arrest people for not wearing masks.

    Shoplifting, theft, rioting, looting, and murder… not so much.

    1. You haven’t heard yet that those are now civil rights for black people? At least according to Soros-funded DAs and police chiefs.

    2. Internet twit dwb68: “Endandering the health and life of other people is fine with me, because politics!”

  20. A question for the Conspiracy:
    I don’t know if this has been a problem in earlier campaigns, but this year there seems to be a lot of PACs with misleading names. That is, money you donate doesn’t always go to the candidate or even the party that was stated when they sent out the appeal for funds.

    Is this type of fraud even actionable in any practical sense?

    1. It does seem to have gotten quite common. It’s the latest thing in political warfare: You get twice the bang for the buck if you can deceive your opponent’s supporters into funding your side.

      1. What do you get if you trick stupid people into supporting paying off your debts because they think they’re helping you fight election corruption?

        You get the kraken, and a string of lost lawsuits.

        1. In point of fact, I stopped donating to Trump about 5 days before the election, when I figured he’d no longer be spending it prior to the voting being over. Unlike some people, I know when the fight is over and lost.

          Politics is horribly scammy, but there’s convincing stupid people to donate to who they think they’re donating to, and then there’s deceiving stupid people into donating to the enemies of the people you made them think they were donating to.

          The latter is twice as scammy, and much more arguably criminally so.

          1. “Unlike some people, I know when the fight is over and lost.”

            Wisdom from Birther Brett-turned-Stolen Election Fraud! Brett.

        2. Not to mention sanctions hearings, disbarments, reprimands, and the opportunity to pay the Democrats’ legal fees.

          Would Trump use some of his swindled cash to help the lawyers and perhaps litigants ordered to pay legal fees associated with Trump Election Litigation: Elite Strike Force?

          Spoiler: History provides some guidance along this line.

    2. If you send your money to the America for American Americans PAC, you’ve waived your complaint about where the money winds up.

      1. How often do these grifters think ‘no way these rubes will fall for this one’ . . . and then collect another million or two from the clingers?

  21. “vaccination ought to be mandatory.”

    And then what, arrest people for not having a jab or wearing a mask?

    How is that going to look in 2022 when Democrats are arresting people for not getting a vaccine, then not arresting people for shoplifting, theft, rioting, looting, assault, and murder.

    While also decriminalizing drugs**.

    And also, defunding the police. lol.

    You really cant make this up.

    ** which btw I support. But the cognitive dissonance is crazy.

      1. I think Pelosi has an ulterior motive. If she can banish a few opposition members from the House for the rest of the day because their masks slipped down to their chins, she’d love to do it. And if she enforces it in a biased manner there isn’t going to be a 2/3 majority for an “I appeal the ruling of the chair!” which is the only recourse.

    1. Yep. These people are sick! The Regime must end.

      1. Peacefully, of course.

        1. You mean, by, say, simply voting them out of office? That’s always worked quite well, except for the last time that happened.

          1. Voting in national elections is pointless.

            1. I absolutely do NOT want to talk YOU out of this position. By all means, continue to not vote if that is your choice.

    2. “And then what, arrest people for not having a jab or wearing a mask?”

      Naw. send them off to the leper colony with the other plague carriers.

    3. “While also decriminalizing drugs**.

      And also, defunding the police.”

      If you’ve decriminalized drugs, you don’t need any police to enforce the not-law. And you’ll want some funds freed up to provide for overdoses, and for idiots who don’t understand what “defunding the police” means beyond the bumper-sticker version popular in conservative media.

      1. “don’t need any police to enforce the not-law”

        Not quite since there is still theft, assault, burglary, robbery, and homicide. Also gun laws.

        Instead: You could decriminalize drugs *and guns* – that is, constitutional carry – but instead of defunding the police, fund them exactly the same and focus on violent crimes.

        Instead, “defunding the police” has become don’t prosecute anyone for anything.

        1. “Not quite since there is still theft, assault, burglary, robbery, and homicide. Also gun laws.”

          Right, you need cops to enforce those, because those are laws. But you don’t need them to enforce things that used to be laws but are now not-laws.

          “‘defunding the police’ has become don’t prosecute anyone for anything.”

          To stupid people and Conservatives, to the extent that these words aren’t synonyms.

  22. Happy Thursday. Everyone get back to work and do something productive. Thanks.

    1. Leaving comments here is the most productive use of time imaginable.

  23. Is it constitutional for the government to divest from a company, because the company refuses to deal with a political party?

    1. Why wouldn’t it be?

      1. Because the govt can’t punish for political affiliations?

        1. Tell that to the American Communists that Senator McCarthy kept telling us about.

          Now, to work with the word punish. It’s punishment when they take away something you were entitled to have, such as freedom (by sending you to prison) or money( by imposing a fine) that was yours. But it’s not punishment to say you can’t have money that isn’t yours, and never was yours.

  24. Lockdowns Helped Five Tech Companies Gain Trillions in Value While Collapsing Main Street

    Roth highlighted the arbitrary, inconsistent, and selective application of shutdowns — ostensibly mandated to reduce coronavirus transmission — which broadly exempted big box stores and online retailers such Amazon and Walmart. The world’s most highly valued companies increased their market capitalization while small businesses were forced into closures and bankruptcies.

    1. Walmart’s a tech giant, now?

      1. And apparently Facebook and Twitter suddenly started retail businesses?

        1. Facebook does sell real products, such as the “Portal”.

      2. Are you too stupid to read at a 4th grade level?

        1. Are you so stupid that you write at a 4th grade level?

          No? Not smart enough to do it?

  25. Pointless with almost 500 posts already, 98% the usual SQL queries on various echo chamber databases, but any real opinions on the constitutional issue of Nancy Pelosi fining congressmen who refuse to wear a mask when coming into the chamber to vote?

    The idea is that, by fulfilling their costitutional obligation and getting a fine, she is decreasing their salary a little bit, which is forbidden to government during the session, by the Constitution itself.

    1. Would it be constitutional to have them evicted?

      1. kicking and screaming the whole way out

    2. I think there’s approximately zero chance the judiciary will have any interest in taking this case. The judiciary defer to Congressional leadership on far more substantial matters, such as whether a supposed law was actually voted on by the members. They won’t even blink at permitting this.

      1. The judiciary don’t actually have any authority to take an interest.

        1. That will be their excuse, certainly. They’ve used it to ignore much less defensible actions by the Congressional leadership.

          1. It’s almost like the Constitution wanted divided federal powers, or something.

    3. Which part of the Constitution covers Congressional masks?

      1. “The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. [This arguably prohibits docking their pay, unless the alteration in their pay is ‘ascertained by law’.] They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; [And this arguably prohibits restraining them from entering the legislative chambers.] and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”

        To be clear: I think some of Pelosi’s recent rules are objectively stupid, such as requiring vaccinated members to be masked, or requiring members to personally escort any visitors to their offices from the entrance to the building.

        But being objectively stupid doesn’t make a policy unconstitutional.

        I believe these policies are being abusively and selectively enforced.

        But this would only get you as far as an as applied challenge, wouldn’t make the rules facially unconstitutional.

        Where the rubber starts to hit the constitutional road, is that these ARE ‘Pelosi’s’ rules, and whatever Congress as a body might be entitled to do, this does not imply that one member could be entitled to do them on behalf of that body.

        But none of this matters, because the judiciary aren’t going there. They routinely let the leadership of Congress get away with much worse and clearer violations, such as violating the Constitution’s quorum clause, or refusing to take notice of proof that said leaders are actually lying about a bill having passed both chambers.

        They won’t even blink at giving Pelosi a pass for this sort of thing.

        1. “To be clear: I think some of Pelosi’s recent rules are objectively stupid, such as requiring vaccinated members to be masked, or requiring members to personally escort any visitors to their offices from the entrance to the building.”

          To be clearer, this quote from you establishes that YOU are objectively stupid.

  26. 500 protestors were arrested for entering the US Capitol. The other 1,000 protestors were FBI agents.

    1. That must be why so many firearms were collected.

    2. When you’re crazier than Jimmy.

      1. Joking aside, it’s quite something how they arrange entire criminal schemes with numerous FBI conmen all working together and egging on the target to take a step.

        BuzzFeed, of all places, just wrote a great piece of actual investigative journalism on this in the Michigan case.


        “The government has documented at least 12 confidential informants who assisted the sprawling investigation.”

        It’s lending itself to satire.

        From the article:

        “An examination of the case by BuzzFeed News also reveals that some of those informants, acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported. Working in secret, they did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects. Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception. The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them…

        This account is based on an analysis of court filings, transcripts, exhibits, audio recordings, and other documents, as well as interviews with more than two dozen people with direct knowledge of the case, including several who were present at meetings and training sessions where prosecutors say the plot was hatched. All but one of the 14 original defendants have pleaded not guilty, and they vigorously deny that they were involved in a conspiracy to kidnap anyone…

        Since its founding 113 years ago, the FBI has relied upon, and often paid, confidential informants to aid in criminal investigations. . .The tactic has a decidedly mixed record. Informants have helped make cases that averted terrible violence. But informants have also coerced innocent people, falsified evidence, and even committed murder while working for the FBI. The bureau’s reliance on informants, much criticized in the 1970s, received renewed scrutiny in the wake of 9/11, when they were used to probe Muslim groups for alleged involvement in Islamic terrorism… if the defense is able to undermine the methods used to build the Michigan case, it could add weight to the theory that the administration is conducting a witch hunt against militant groups — and, by extension, that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a black op engineered by the FBI.”

  27. Remember when the top political issue was whether or not it was legal to operate an email server?

    1. No, not really. It was always legal to operate an email server, the issue was failing to configure it to back up to the government’s system, failing to turn over all work related emails on leaving employment, and violating regulations having to do with handling classified information.

      But the actual email server? Perfectly legal, never any question about that.

      1. You know we’re talking about W’s email server, right?

        “the issue was failing to configure it to back up to the government’s system, failing to turn over all work related emails on leaving employment, and violating regulations having to do with handling classified information.”

        Oh, I guess you did.

        1. We’re talking about more than one email server, I suppose, but the point is, it was never illegal to have your own email server as a government employee. All the illegality would be in what you did with it.

          So, OF COURSE, anybody who did illegal things with it would try to pretend the issue was really the one thing they were on safe ground with.

          1. Of course, with no convictions, there’s also no evidence that anyone did anything illegal with their email servers.

  28. When you see, “699,” what can you say, but, “700.”

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