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623 thoughts on “Speakeasy #2

  1. 354

    rq:
    I agree with awakeinmo and barkeeperin-that sounds tasty on some pork! Tell you what, you buy a pork loin and marinade it with that concoction, and ship it over to me, and I’ll be your guinea pig 🙂

  2. rq
    355

    Tony

    I can’t guarantee it will be in edible format by the time it arrives. 😀

     

    awakeinmo and barkeeperin

    I’ll have to try that while barbecue season is still in season, because I just pictured how that would all go together.

    That all being said, it was supposed to be a jam-type thing for pancakes. Which still works, it just has a mild onion-y flavour to it.

     

    Tomorrow: pears and blueberries and lemon; possibly salsa and/or mediterranean-flavoured vegetables (that just means I add herbes de provence and coriander seeds to a medley of tomatoes, onion, garlic, zucchini and bell pepper, haha).

    Later: raspberries (we have late ones, just kicking off now) and blackberries.

    It’s preserve season. I hate making preserves. But I might as well not waste this goodness, plus there’s a nice feeling of accomplishment, seeing the fruits of my labours set out in jars like that.

    And nobody – nobody! – should eat too many fresh ripe plums straight from the tree. Moderate that shit.

  3. 356

    Senator Martin Heinrich is a Democrat from New Mexico. He is a soft-spoken member of the  Senate’s Intelligence and Armed Services committees. Heinrich researches each issue on which he votes, and he is articulate, which seems to be a rarity in the debate over the Iran Nuclear Deal.

    Henrich’s defense of, and explanation of, the Iran deal is exceptionally well-written. I advise reading the entire essay.

    Albuquerque Journal link

    Excerpt below:

    In the first decade of this century when we were entangled in the War in Iraq, Iran’s nuclear program surged ahead rapidly, adding thousands of centrifuges, building complex nuclear facilities and stockpiling highly enriched uranium.

    In the absence of real negotiations and before the most recent sanctions, Iran built a nuclear infrastructure that went from 164 centrifuges in 2003 to 19,000 centrifuges today and included large quantities of 20 percent enriched uranium that could quickly be enriched to weapons grade material.

    When evaluating the deal we achieved with our allies and partners to prevent Iran from being able to build a nuclear weapon, context, data and details like these matter. Perhaps the most critical data point: Without a deal, Iran could acquire enough highly enriched material for a bomb in 60-90 days.

    With a deal, Iran must reduce its stockpile by 98 percent. It must cut its number of centrifuges by two-thirds. And it must allow 24/7 inspections and continuous monitoring of its nuclear infrastructure.

    Further, a mechanism is in place that will allow inspections of sites should we suspect covert action being taken to build a bomb anywhere else in Iran.

    This accord breaks each path to a weaponized nuclear device, including any potential covert effort. We should welcome each of those developments as major steps toward regional and international security. […]

  4. 357

    Oh, FFS, Texas conservatives! Do you have to push the rabid religious rightwing further off the cliff? Rhetorical question, because, yes, you have done that.

    A conservative guy named Sten Hotze runs a “Faith, Family, Freedom Tour.” You know from the name that the tour is bad news, but it is even worse news for the LGBT community. That doofus Hotze picked up a satirical essay titled “The Gay Manifesto” and ran with it as truth. The 1987 essay was a satire, a satire Mr. Hotze.

    Political leaders like former House Majority leader Tom Delay joined Hotze in presenting this circus of stupid — all in an effort to fight a civil rights ordinance that will be on the ballot in November (Texas is trying to vote on civil rights, again).

    Hotze postured with swords and bibles:

    […] “Our strongest weapon in the fight,” he said, pulling out a sword from its sheath and brandishing it for the audience, “is the word of God. The word of God is like any two-edged sword.”

    He pointed the sword at the audience. “For thousands of years, men fought with swords,” he said. “Can you imagine that piercing right through the enemy like this? That’s what the word of God does. I’ve decided, I’m not going to fight the homosexuals with sweet words. I’m going to fight them with God’s word.” […]

    [Hotze speaking to Christian homosexuals] “You love Jesus? Have you ever heard this, my friend: ’The wages of sin is death?’” […]

    “What you just saw in the homosexual manifesto underscores the evil nature of this battle. […] You have to put on the full armor of God,” he admonished the audience, swinging his sword again. […] He told the audience that “Satanic cults” were driving the “homosexual movement.”

    Gays “want to make Houston another San Francisco,” and “want to make Texas a clone of California.” The next battle, now that the battle over gay marriage was lost, would be over transgender rights. Bumper stickers that read “No men in women’s bathrooms!” were available in the back of the room. […]

    […] “Has anybody ever heard of the Nazis? Were they wicked? OK. What did we send our boys over to do in World War II? What did our preachers pray that would happen in World War II?” They weren’t praying that the Germans would straighten up and fly right. “They prayed, ‘give our boys victory in battle,’” Hotze said. “Sometimes you have to do that when people are totally opposed to God like that, and wickedness rises up.”

    BTW, at the same meeting Tom Delay told the audience that the judiciary can be overruled by the people. Uh, no.

    http://www.texasobserver.org/conservative-texas-steve-hotze-gay-nazis/

  5. 358

    Meanwhile, in good political news for transgender people, the Obama administration hired a transgender woman to fill a senior staff position.

    Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, who formerly served in trans advocacy as policy adviser for the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Racial & Economic Justice Initiative, has been appointed to a senior position in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. She’s set to begin her new role as an outreach and recruitment director in the Presidential Personnel Office on Tuesday.

    The Obama administration has appointed openly transgender people into federal government positions before, but no appointee so far could be considered a White House staffer. […] Another openly trans Obama appointee is Amanda Simpson, who’s currently executive director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives. […]

    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/08/18/in-first-white-house-hires-openly-trans-staffer/

    More examples are given in the article of transgender people hired by the Obama Administration.

  6. 359

    According to a new CNN poll, Donald Trump is now both the first and the second choice of Republican voters from sea to shining sea.

    Trump said that he wants to bomb the oil fields in Syria and Iraq to take away a source of funding for ISIS. Next, Trump says, he would send in Exxon to rebuild the oil field infrastructure so fast it would make your head spin. Then the oil would be ours.

    Despite such statements, Republicans that were polled by CNN said that Trump is the best candidate to handle ISIS.

    [head meet desk] I think the only part of that with which I agree is the head-spinning part.

    Talking Points Memo link

  7. rq
    363

    Isn’t Trump away on jury duty or something right now? It was in the local news. “Trump takes a break from campaigning to sit jury duty”. Now I can’t find the article itself.

  8. blf
    364

    Next, Trump says, he would send in Exxon

    Whilst I loathe Exxon-Mobil, I’d (probably) be very amused at their response to this (part of the) “plan” of teh trum-prat’s…

  9. 365

    rq,

    First thought: “They let him on a jury? Poor defendant.”
    Second thought: OMG PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY VOTE FOR HIM TO BE PRESIDENT.

    *hyperventilating*

  10. 367

    rq

    Tomorrow: pears and blueberries and lemon; possibly salsa and/or mediterranean-flavoured vegetables (that just means I add herbes de provence and coriander seeds to a medley of tomatoes, onion, garlic, zucchini and bell pepper, haha).

    Later: raspberries (we have late ones, just kicking off now) and blackberries.

    :drool:

    That all sounds wonderfully delicious.

  11. rq
    370

    Thanks, Anne. Local news can be a bit slow. But I’m with you – who would want Trump anywhere near their case? Ick.

     

    Beatrice

    Makes me thankful to be on the other side of the Atlantic. Not that that means much, in this day and age of jetliners. 😛

     

    JimB

    Once it’s all done, I’ll prepare a USB version. 😉

     

    +++

     

    Also assorted *hugs*, *good wishes* and *swift recoveries*, as well as *[non-contact gestures of support]*, to Rowan, JAL, and everyone else about whose worries and lives I have been reading of late but not responding. I’ve been a terrible… former Lounger? Barfly? … What were YOB‘s other suggestions? … It’s not y’all, it’s me.

  12. 371

    Maureen Dowd’s defense of Trump is really irritating. (See Tony’s comment above.)

    In other news, Rick Perry is wrong … again.

    […]GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry on Tuesday denied the need for state laws that protect women’s right to a fair wage.

    “Women already get equal pay,” Perry told CNN host Alisyn Camerota. “We don’t need symbolic pieces of legislation jumbling up our code.”

    Perry was defending his decision as Texas governor to veto an equal pay law championed by state Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D) and state Sen. Wendy Davis (D). The legislation, which passed with broad bipartisan support, would have made it easier for women to file wrongful discrimination claims. […]

    Critics of Perry’s veto point out that this act only provides standing in federal, not state, courts, and that the gender wage gap has endured since its passage. […]

    According to the Texas Tribune, 42 states have passed laws similar to the one vetoed by Perry.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rick-perry-women-equal-pay

  13. 372

    The 14th Amendment, and the ways in which conservatives hate this amendment is still in the news. Some journalists are pointing out how misplaced, how stupid, the movement to repeal the 14th Amendment is:

    “It’s genuinely difficult to overstate the radicalism necessary to seek a transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was designed to ensure that slavery could never again happen in the United States and is now integral to keeping the United States free of a permanent underclass of immigrant workers. At its core, birthright citizenship gives immigrants a reason to stay and provide lasting contributions to the United States.”

    http://prospect.org/article/what-ever-happened-maverick-south-carolina

    Republican candidates that want to repeal or amend the 14th Amendment:

    Lindsay Graham, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie

     

  14. rq
    376

    JimB

    haha I applaud your anticipation. I know it’s good to prepare in advance, but I’m afraid you’ll be a couple of days waiting by the time the good stuff rolls around. 😉

  15. 378

    All of the anti-abortion rhetoric is leading to violence (barely thwarted) … again.

    The Wichita Police Department says that a man is in custodyafter he brought knives and an improvised explosive device into the Kansas abortion clinic that was previously operated by Dr. George Tiller, who wasgunned downby an anti-abortion activist in 2009.
    The South Wind Women’s Health Center, whichopened to the publicin 2013 after the building was closed for several years following Tiller’s murder, was temporarilyevacuatedon Monday afternoon after security officials found knives and a small bomb in a man’s backpack.
    No one was harmed, though a police spokesperson said that the small explosive device wasset to explodeand could have been dangerous if it had not been removed. Wichita police, along with the FBI, are nowinvestigating the potential bomb threat. […]

    Think Progress link

  16. JAL
    381

    Thanks everyone. I’m so glad we’re together again here. I don’t know what I do without ya’ll. I don’t have anyone to talk to in meatspace, so this really is a lifeline of support for me.

    OMFG, Pteryxx, that’s awesome! Thank you so much in advance. I really needed some good news. I can’t wait, it looks fantastic. Of course, it’s Hobb so that goes without saying. 😀

    Last night one part of my top row teeth starting hurting, with one in particular leading the way. I couldn’t get any sleep so I cleaned and was awake until 4 am. 2 hours later I get up and ready for work.

    It became an abscess. As I was traveling to work and my plans of sticking through and going to an urgent care after work shattered. I was fucking bawling in public. And I hate crying at all but especially in front of people. It just hurt so bad.

    It’s right by the corner of my nose, check and upper lip. My upper lip sticks out and I can’t close my mouth when I breathe, I feel like I’m suffocating. It’s the size of a fucking golf ball.

    Anyways, I went into work resolved to get through it and not cry. I got as far as the HR door, where I was forced to wait because she was on the phone. A supervisor that’s really nice came up and asked me what was wrong.

    I broke down. She took me into an empty office to talk, she assured me I wouldn’t get fired (but it’s not like she makes the decisions so…) and looked up an urgent care for me. I set off. 3 hours later I go to fill the scripts right after seeing the doc and call the supervisor line at work.

    I talk to my supervisor and explain the situation because he just got in. He says it’s cool, if I can’t come tomorrow just call ahead and bring the paperwork next time I’m in.

    But I’m down a whole day of work at least. I was so tired and numb from pain I fell asleep on the bus and missed my stop. I know I wouldn’t have made it through work if I went back in, but I hate myself for being weak and unable to do it.

    And I still have to confront the manager’s supervisor at my apartment complex.

    Ughhhhh. I’d ask “Why me?” but it’s just how shit works when you need care and you’re stressed so your immune system has had enough and says “fuck it.” But I won’t lie, while walking away from work to go to urgent care, another worker from a nearby company stopped and asked to pray for me together. I agreed. It felt so nice to be hugged and cared about. It’s silly but I feel very alone so it it helped.

  17. 385

    JAL

    Sorry to hear of all the stuff, you have my sympathy. Sounds like work is being reasonable, hopefully that reduces the stress somewhat.

  18. YOB
    387

    JAL: so many hugs and encouraging thoughts for you.

    Yay! A Pteryxx sighting! (Also thanks for the links. Good stuff)

     

     

  19. 388

    Two new arrivals. This place is growing nicely. Hello people!

    JAL

    I’ll add my hugs to the pile. I hope you’ll be better soon.

    Lynna

    Next, Trump says, he would send in Exxon to rebuild the oil field infrastructure so fast it would make your head spin. Then the oil would be ours.

    So Trump’s official policy is literally oil war. He’s beyond parody, isn’t he?

    Tom Delay told the audience that the judiciary can be overruled by the people. Uh, no.

    Hypothetically speaking, can’t a new constitutional amendment overturn a judicial decision?

    chigau

    also got green beans, carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, beets

    Pickle the cucumbers in dill and turn the rest into borscht!

    Rowan

    I’m glad the checkup went well.

    —-

    A few days ago Tony mentioned pit-bulls and that reminded me of another incident with my aunt’s Pekinese. We were walking down the same street where a woman was walking her pit-bull. The pit-bull noticed me, stopped, lowered its gaze to look at the Pekinese abomination beside me and started to lick its chops. The woman grasped the leash tighter and asked me to cross the street because she might not be able to hold her dog if the dog decides to pounce. Apparently, the pit-bull was a bit of a cannibal . Or it considered smaller dogs to be a species of squirrels or something.

    Probably was right about the Pekinese – that dog was nuts.

  20. 390

    AlexanderZ

    Ooooooh, about pit bulls and other strong dogs. This is one of my hot button issues. I have been a dedicated dog person all my life. The BIGGEST problem with dogs, if there is a problem, is almost always the owners. If a fool gets a dog that is strong and aggressive and the human is not strong enough to control it in all situations, then that person should not have that dog. Final. No arguments.

  21. 393

    FossilFishy

    Oopsie!  I think I confused you entirely with someone else who was happy about modern medicine and modern medications.

     

    I cringe in sympathy at your description of your, um, adventure in hospital.  I had some funny electrical “shorts” in my heart taken care of by catheter ablation in ’02, and, well, let’s just say that first night on the ward was, um, exciting in the not good way.
    Can I be happy for you (and me) that things are much better now?

     

    Yeah, hot-shot electrophysiologist had said it might even be an outpatient-like procedure, or maybe one night at most in hospital.  Mmmm…nope, that din’ happen…it were 5 nights–and 2 full days of me “on the table”.  yikes.

  22. 394

    rq:

    nobody – nobody! – should eat too many fresh ripe plums straight from the tree. Moderate that shit.

    this made me 707 (I lol’d so hard I fell outta my chair and laughed upside down).  I’m sure you didn’t intend that pun, but DAY-am!

    as one philosopher is said to have said “never eat prunes when famished”.

  23. 395

    JAL
    ohhh, all hugs and best wishes.  I’m so, so sorry–that level of tooth pain is so awful, and an abcessed one is no joke!
    Hope you get relief soon and that it all works out at your job.

  24. 396

     

    And nobody – nobody! – should eat too many fresh ripe plums straight from the tree. Moderate that shit.

    Too many fresh plums…

    shit…

    Quite likely.

     

  25. 397

    So editing a comment for formatting errors is not possible on my iPad.

    re: My previous comment

    And … shit, is me quoting rq.

    Too … likely, is my witty remark.

     

  26. 398

    FunnyDiva I too had an ablation a few years ago to correct an electrical short that caused an irregular heartbeat. It was the second attempt. I was lucky on both occasions that the stay in hospital was brief – just overnight. Also, no strong medication required, so also good. And it worked the second time!

  27. 400

    Some facts about the Birthright Citizenship (14th Amendment) arguments being made by Donald Trump and other Republicans:

    […] Trump claims that birthright citizenship must end because it’s the “biggest magnet for illegal immigration”— it attracts illegal immigrants using their “anchor babies” to reap the benefits of U.S. citizenship. In fact, being the undocumented parent of a U.S. citizen bestows no legal right to even be in the country, let alone to a green card or citizenship […] The law requires that to sponsor an undocumented parent for a green card a child must first reach the age of 21. But at that point—more than two decades after arrival—an undocumented parent who entered illegally is not eligible to apply for a green card in the U.S. The parent must leave and apply abroad. And once the parent departs the U.S., another part of the law bans his or her return for 10 years.

    The “magnet” to which Trump refers is an arduous 31-year-long slog to legal status for the undocumented parent […] Trump and others who oppose birthright citizenship have failed to produce any evidence of hordes of pregnant women streaming across the border illegally (or even legally) to give birth. There’s no evidence that this is a widespread phenomenon—for instance, less than 2 percent of Arizona babies were born to nonresident mothers in 2010.

    […] a person born within the jurisdiction of the U.S. is an American citizen, the 14th Amendment forms the cornerstone of American civil rights by ensuring due process and equal protection to all persons.

    […] The Immigration Policy Center argues that “[r]epealing birthright citizenship would create an underclass of unauthorized immigrants who, through no fault of their own, would be forced to live in the margins of U.S. society, would not have access to health care and basic services, would be vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, and would be at constant risk of deportation.”

    […] the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment has very little to do with immigration; it is fundamentally focused on the preservation of civil rights. Trump’s extremist proposal to end birthright citizenship — whether by elimination or reinterpretation of the Citizenship Clause — comes at the grave cost of abridging civil rights, even hearkening back to the days of Dred Scott, when people were viewed as commodities to be bought and sold. […] Trump would better serve the GOP, and this nation, by proposing serious immigration policy solutions.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/immigration-lawyer-birthright-citizenship

  28. 401

    A man who was part of an armed “patriot” group guarding a gun store in Oktaha, Oklahoma that recently declared itself “Muslim free” accidentally shot himself at the store on Tuesday, according to local reports.

    The unidentified man was part of a self-described “patriot” group guarding the Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear store. Its owners said they began receiving death threats after they posted a sign on their door that said it was a “Muslim free” establishment, according toKOTV.
    The gun fell out of the holster and discharged, with a bullet hitting the man in the wrist, Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson said, according to KOTV and theTulsa World newspaper. The man was expected to survive.
    “I saw several of those gentlemen out there yesterday,” Pearson toldmuskogeenow.com.“The way they were holding their weapons, with the fingers on the triggers, you can tell a couple of these gentlemen have no idea about weapons safety. It’s like the Clampetts have come to town.”
    A “Muslim-free” gun shop in Florida made headlines this week after George Zimmerman, the man who shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, said he would raffle off a painting of the Confederate flagto fundraise for the shop.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/oktaha-oklahoma-muslim-free-gun-shooting

  29. 403

    Just wanted to say “Thanks!” to Lynna for providing the newsfeed here and at Pharyngula.

    Not much that I can comment on, just shake my head in disbelief at times, punctuated by the occasional head-desk or face-palm.

    And keep the Scotch close at hand.

  30. 404

    Tony!

    How did your Pekinese react?

    His brain grew three sizes that day and he fallowed me quietly across the street. Generally he would make a scene when we needed to cross a road, but in that moment he was the very model of doggy reasonability.

    Later that day he took out his anger by barking at his Scottish Terrier neighbor incessantly.

    Biped

    The BIGGEST problem with dogs, if there is a problem, is almost always the owners.

    Completely agree with you. I told this story to my vet recently and she was furious. She had zero respect for people that get pets that they can’t handle – be it large dogs or exotic pets.

    —-

    Found this article today: See where women outnumber men around the world (and why). Nothing particularly new there, except for one thing that I found odd – Latvia has the smallest ratio of men to women among all post-Soviet countries, and by extension all of Europe.

    Fess up, rq, what did you do? 😉

  31. 408

    Alexander Z

    not to mention I can’t type “cables” accurately, nor, apparently, proofread and correct within the edit window.

    Uhm…yeah.  I gotta go all bare-midriff I’m-a just take a pass on the whole superpowers thing.

    I think we’ve found our Speakeasy Band Name:
    Synchronized Womb Blast and the Barflies!

    (click the links, folks, that stuff was Teh Funneeee)

    PS: thanks for the mansplainin’, man! [/snark]

  32. blf
    410

    The mildly deranged penguin suggests laying an egg and finding some dumb male to sit on it whilst you fly off to the tropics for another vacation and more cheese.  It’s easier, keeps those pesky males less pesky, and means moar cheese!  Also, no risk of accidentally igniting something you didn’t want to ignite when lighting the fuse on the baby cannon.

  33. 412

    Dogs.  Toxic slime* with dogs.  I have no patience for toxic slime with aggressive dogs – you know, the ones who think it’s funny when their nasty little yapper rushes out of the yard and tries to bite passers-by, or their big penis substitute chases my small daughter out into the parking lot while she screams and cries and I try to get her back onto the sidewalk  and they just stand there and guffaw, or their pack of wolves comes across the street and chases me as I bicycle by.  You know, the sort of toxic slime who probably could control their damn dog, but why should they?

    Well, that certainly was a long time building up. Years, in fact.  Before anyone goes all “not all dogs”, I’d just like to add that I have met many nice and sometimes adorable dogs of all breeds and sizes.  When I can, I try to at least catch the owner’s eye and smile at them, or compliment them on their well-behaved canine companion.

    Oof.  Maybe I should’ve stayed in bed the pillow fort this afternoon.  I’ll just take my cup of tea and head back there right now, before I smite any innocent bystanders.  [staggers off muttering ” No, Mr Bolty, not now“]

    *I’m currently test-driving a new derangement of epithets, as anuses are perfectly innocent and indeed indispensable organs, and deserve better than to be compared to certain people.

  34. 413

    (work-related)

    OK, I’ve had enough. I’ll be in the far corner of the pillow fort with a Scotch and a “Do Not Disturb” sign around my neck.

    :grump:

  35. 415

    [Offers JimB a soft blankie and more pillows]

    Aged Mum’s caregiver E decided to dump on me today.  One thing, and another, and her feelings are hurt, and the other caregiver is being treated better than her and nobody loves her, and, and, and…

    Part of this is because she wants AM to buy the portable TV she brought for the caregivers’ bedroom so she can get herself a new TV, and I would rather buy AM a new one.  Caregiver E has been pressuring AM about it, I said that if E wouldn’t leave it, AM should refer her to me.  AM told E that I was mad about it, and E toook umbrage, and I got dumped on.

    E is only there a couple of days a month, she isn’t even doing much when she is there, she’s upsetting my mum, I’m frankly tired of the whole damn thing.  If she doesn’t like the way things are, perhaps she should look for other work, because I have neither the time nor the energy to mediate anymore.

    Well, at least I got to use all my excess gall and bile :p

  36. 416

    Tony!

    rough day?

    Yep. Started with  the toilet backing up unexpectedly this morning, and it’s been downhill ever since.

    The work thing is ongoing for the last month or so, should be a short-term thing. Spent as much time this afternoon correcting the other person’s work as doing *my* work that is based on it. Luckily this project isn’t time-critical. The earlier one was, and suffered from the same issues.

    Anne

    [Offers JimB a soft blankie and more pillows]

    Thanks. Maybe keep a pillow or two for yourself, sounds like you could use them as well.

  37. 418

    Thanks guys for your greetings. I have been very busy with stuff and the usual with the Redhead lately. I know I have portrayed myself as a crotchety old bastard for years now on Pharyngula and now that it has declined so much I am wondering why I did that.

    PZ taught me many things, encouraging me and others to be rude to people on the blog who had what I thought were unevidenced opinions. The funny thing is, looking back on all this is that I don’t think he even likes me. (:   I’m also feeling better now that I’m not posting aggressively comments, so personally speaking this may be for the best.

    I’m sorry this is all about me. I just wanted to vent and I’ll shut up now. All the best to anyone I’ve been an idiot to and thanks Tony for hosting this. You’re a fine person.

  38. 421

    Testing… tasting… Is this thing on?…

    Got my laptop back (FINALLY) but only (just) now had time to try it out. It’s been in the shop so long I almost forgot how to log on ! So far so good…

    I did a quick scan of comments posted since last I checked.  I’m sure I missed some important happenings (and will be going back to follow links when possible).

    Why does “Feminazi Powers: ACTIVATE!” stick most in what I call a mind? [Thanks FunnyDiva, I needed that LOL (and near 707).]

    And rq, we are ALL waiting for the answer to AlexanderZ‘s question: “Fess up, rq, what did you do?”  🙂

     

     

  39. rq
    422

    Found this article today: See where women outnumber men around the world (and why). Nothing particularly new there, except for one thing that I found odd – Latvia has the smallest ratio of men to women among all post-Soviet countries, and by extension all of Europe.

    Fess up, rq, what did you do?

    Whoa, whoa, I’m the one trying to put men back into Latvia, dude! It may not be a football team, but three nice-looking XY combinations from lil ol’ me, that’s gotta count for something!! NOT ALL FEMINAZIS HATE MEN!

    (Actually this ratio is a bit of a source of pain for Latvian women – up to about 30, men outnumber women, but once we get to 40, women are outnumbering men. It’s a combination of unhealthy* lifestyle, toxic masculinity, alcohol, terrible driving culture, and emigration. And source of… superiority?… for Latvian men – “Women should try harder, look nicer, there’s so few of us, and we don’t have to try at all!” This leads to sad, primped, disappointed women and angry, slobbish, entitled-feeling men, especially when the women start marrying furreners.

     

    * By ‘unhealthy’ I mean unwilling to keep tabs on one’s health by going to a doctor regularly, in addition to the usual unwillingness to stop living like a teenager.)

    Speaking of synchronized womb blasts, though, I’ve always been a bit confused about the superhero uniform that has that long strip of material down the front, between the legs, like an extended loin-cloth or something. With a complementary one in the back. Isn’t that kind of a tripping danger…?

    FunnyDiva I’m willing to sacrifice my dignity and my midriff to try for a synchronized womb blast with you!

  40. 423

    On another note

    I just spent a couple of hours touring through old Lounge threads.

    What with the hugs and the kittehs and ratties and money donated, we were pretty awful./sarcasm

     

  41. rq
    424

    Assorted *hugs* and *blueberry-pear jam with lemon-and-ginger* for everyone, with greetings to Nerd, too! You’re allowed to make things all about yourself from time-to-time, too.

  42. rq
    425

    Oh, also, I think life expectancy for men in Latvia is somewhere around 65 (some say 66, some say 67), while for women, it’s around 77. This is usually a source of jokes when the government discusses pensions, and most men don’t care because they’ve got little chance of living long into retirement. 😛

  43. 426

    rq

    Inuit womens’ traditional clothing have a long flap at the back because when you sit on the tundra or the ice, you need a place to put the babby. The shorter one on the front is …

    Dunno what that means about superheroes.

  44. 430

    rq

    Well, since you put it that way, I’m game!  If Anne will uniquely derange a couple of epithets for an incantation, my midriff is at your disposal.

    now, who’s got the protective blast-goggles to hand out.

    nerd: nice to see you.  Good on you with the introspection.  I suspect the speakeasy will be a safe place for you to not have to deploy the curmudgeon persona!

    Rawneris: welcome home. hope it was a lovely trip…also that the hives clear right up.

    chigau: IKR? it astonished me how much finger-wagging there was about the Lounge of all places being unwelcoming.  I was like “When _I_ was your age, blog comment sections were called usenet groups, and noobs were always told to lurk first before wading in…”  And I’m on the young side to be a troo olde tyme curmudgeon (which doesn’t stop me trying, of course!).

  45. rq
    432

    chigau

    Well, I can understand the utility of the flap up North, but if that’s all you got and it’s fluttering around your legs when you’re trying to fight because it’s some sheer, silky material that just won’t stay down and is probably loaded with static, well… you’d think men were designing these superhero get-ups or something.

  46. 433

    I have thoughts on everything that happened, but I won’t pollute Tony’s place with that.

    I’m grateful to Tony for providing this little haven and to you all for moving here (or for unlurking) and being who you are.

  47. blf
    435

    Apropos of nothing much (not even any cheese!  (or peas!!)), for lunch today I was going to finish off the whatever I could subdue once I dared to open the refrigerator door, but at almost the last moment, recalled a local restaurant which is quite good but which I haven’t been to in an ages.

    Just staggered back after a most excellent lunch, albeit few cheeses.  Starter was salmon and cheese wraps, then Normandy beouf with a garlic sauce and green beans, followed by a strawberry and peach soup, then coffee and chocolates, all served with a local red vin.

    Meanwhile, back at the lair, the refrigerator is currently vibrating, not so gently, and the inhabitants are snarling.  I suspect the melon has gone a bit off…

  48. blf
    436

    Everything is going according to plan.

    Rushes (well, staggers carefully) outside, expecting to see several T. rex eating teh trum-prat.  (I was rather curious to see how they would avoid being sick, or, more likely, a spectacular live edition of the reality show Dinosaur Vomiting vs teh thugs — Can You Tell the Difference?)

    Nothing.  Not even a latvian potatoe.

  49. 437

    Anne

    Toxic slime* with dogs.

    I know! Some people think an aggressive attack dog is as much a chav accessory as gilded bling and a switchblade.

    Also, *hugs* for you and JimB.

    Nerd

    I’m glad you’re feeling better and I’m happy for the change in style. Though to be fair, I never considered you to be particularly rude (nor do I consider PZ rude), I did sometimes feel you were talking past me or another commenters. But anyway, relax and enjoy yourself. 🙂

    rq

    Actually this ratio is a bit of a source of pain for Latvian women…

    I know, it’s the same in Russia and Ukraine, with all the same underlining causes, except for emigration. Being in the EU means Latvia has many more possibilities than other soviets, and unlike Russia they don’t have a large immigration of foreign workers from central Asian countries.

    It still doesn’t explain the +3.2 point difference with Estonia or other small Eastern European countries like Slovakia (+9.3!) or Czechia (+11.8!!). Lithuania is close (+0.7), but still has a smaller gap than its neighbor (and practically twin country).

    “Women should try harder, look nicer, there’s so few of us, and we don’t have to try at all!”

    Ugh. Don’t get me started on this. Pretty much every Russian TV program that is aimed at women centers around “how to please your man?” or “how to make sure your man doesn’t leave for another woman who is 20 years younger than you?”. Naturally there are no equivalent programs for men.

    I’ve always been a bit confused about the superhero uniform that has that long strip of material down the front, between the legs, like an extended loin-cloth or something.

    It’s super hot and looks unique, which is the only requirement for mainstream comics “characters”. Besides, comic book heroes threw away any pretense to reasonability when they started fighting crime in their undies.

    How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind

    Basically a variation on the argument from ignorance + god of the gaps (though there might be more philosophy in the book itself, not that I’ll ever read it). Say what you will about the Four Horsemen, their atheism is of a better quality.

    Everything is going according to plan.

    Plan A or B? Does that mean you no longer need the shark tank?

    chigau

    What with the hugs and the kittehs and ratties and money donated, we were pretty awful./sarcasm

    You forgot the cliqueness. Clearly, getting rid of that place was The Right Thing To Do™.

    blf

    Nothing.  Not even a latvian potatoe.

    :/

    Beatrice

    How are you feeling?

  50. 439

    Hi Nerd!

    —-

    Vacation was a success. No sunburn (I’m so pale this nearly qualifies as a miracle), great food, no travelers illness, lots of sleep. Like that’s all I did. Eat, sleep, repeat.

    Did have tiny hives on my arms at varying levels of visibility most of the trip, still have no clue what triggered them. The benadryl last night seems to have helped.

    Flights out were fine, flights back sucked balls. Our pre-arranged transport from the hotel back to the airport told us by phone 11:05am, and then in person 1:30pm (after not showing up for the 11:05) for a 3:45 flight. Thankfully immigration out of the Dominican Republic was faster than immigration in.

    Also, protip, do not fly into the US through Ft. Lauderdale unless you have a massive layover. Like, greater than 2.5 hours. The airport is too small for country (re-)entry, collecting checked bags, going through customs, getting sniffed by the sniffer dog and then re-checking the bag, and going back through regular security. Only reason we made our connecting flight was because it got delayed. Which ment we barely landed and got our luggage in time to catch the last subway train of the night to get home. But we did both so that’s good.

    Here’s another load of *chocolate*hugs*pillows* in any desired  combination and order.

     

  51. blf
    440

    Mike Huckabee blunders his way through Israel press conference:

    Republican presidential candidate calls Russia ‘the Soviet Union’ and implies that the West Bank borders a hostile state rather than Jordan

    Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee delivered a confused and garbled press conference in Jerusalem during a brief campaign stop, which included a controversial fundraising visit to a settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    At times taking positions to the right of Israel’s government, the former governor of Arkansas at one stage described Russia as the “Soviet Union”…

    He also seemed to suggest that the West Bank bordered one of Israel’s enemies, as opposed to Jordan, which has long enjoyed a peace treaty with Israel.

    As Huckabee left the press conference, he also said he was unsure if he would be the first US president to abandon a commitment to a two-state solution, despite having no policy he could articulate on the future of Palestinians.

    The press conference followed meetings with senior Israeli figures, including prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and followed his visit to the settlement of Shilo on the occupied West Bank where he held a private fundraiser with wealthy American settlers.

    Taking a position to the right of even the declared statements of rightwing Israeli ministers who have argued for the annexation of parts of the West Bank, Huckabee … repeated his comments made in Shilo that the West Bank was part of Israel, adding that Israel should be free to expand there.

    There are numerous other completely insane burbles of the huckster quoted in the article, but this completely stupid Java input editor at Mr Tony’s site makes it impossible to quote or comment reasonably.  I have been typing for a full fecking ten minutes now, and simply cannot see what I am quoting or saying (ans this is not the first time, it seems to be the usual behaviour)…!   This response time is absolutely unacceptable, as is this crap of an input editor, so this will be my last comment.  Good bye.

  52. 441

    blf

    but this completely stupid Java input editor at Mr Tony’s site makes it impossible to quote or comment reasonably.  I have been typing for a full fecking ten minutes now, and simply cannot see what I am quoting or saying (ans this is not the first time, it seems to be the usual behaviour)…!   This response time is absolutely unacceptable, as is this crap of an input editor, so this will be my last comment.  Good bye.

    What? Come back! What device are you using? Please don’t go. And if anyone else is having problems, please chime in on the Tech Page. The comment structure is a plugin, and I can certainly find others that might work better. Let me know. I am not an accomplished enough Wizard to write my own plugin, but if anyone here is and wants to help, I’m all ears.

  53. rq
    442

    Nothing. Not even a latvian potatoe.

    That’s ’cause we haven’t had the potato talka yet. In a couple of weeks, once potato-digging season starts, Latvian potatoes will be all over the place. Everywhere!

    Speaking of which, that guy sending out personalized potatoes? I’m surprised he’s not Latvian.

     

    AlexanderZ

    Some of the difference between neighbouring countries re: Latvian men/women ratios I do blame on the local culture, which is different enough from either neighbouring country to have some effect. I couldn’t really tell you exactly which parts of local culture, but it’s little things that also show up in politics, driving, etc. Something very egocentric there, and an unwillingness to see beyond the self-as-centre-of-the-universe. You probably have some idea of what I mean.

    And ‘UGH’ to those women-targeting shows. Hate them. Articles under the theme of ‘Women’ in local media, too – 7 Things Never To Say To Your Man! 9 Signs You’re Not Doing Enough For Your Man! 3 Reasons You Should Shave Your Legs For Your Man! Ummmm, no.

    As for the plan, suffice to say that it is nefarious, indeed, and no tomato shall stand against me. I don’t need no shark tank to dominate those pomodores!

     

    In other news, here’s today’s selection:

    1) blueberry-and-pear jam with lemon-and-ginger (has a bit of a bite, but in a good way! no shark teeth included!);

    2) mild tomato-onion-chili pepper salsa-type thingy;

    3) spicy tomato-onion-chili pepper salsa-type thingy (though I’m sure that, to some tastes, it would also qualify as ‘mild’, but dammit, I tried!);

    4) Mediterranean flavoured vegetables (which just means, as previously mentioned, I’ve added herbes de provence and coriander seeds).

    Ready for your USBs.

     

    Also, yay for Rawnaeris vacation!

     

    Anne *gentle hugs* Hope you figure out what works and what doesn’t for you soon!!

  54. 446

    Anne I hope you feel better soon.  Take it easy, k?

    ______

    I’m supposed to be doing “real” work today (animation projects), but the weather outside is finally cool and dry, and there are weeds that need to be pulled.  Damned fresh air,  tempting me away.

  55. 447

    Hi Nerd, welcome!

    —–

    blf: Sorry to hear of the tech troubles. Hope you, and the MDP, make it back.

    —-

    Anne: Hope you feel better soon.

    —-

    FunnyDiva

    Pillow Delivery!

    *soft whumping sound*

    This sort of “visual” writing that many commenters employ is one of the things I liked about reading the Lounge. I really heard that in my head, and it was a comforting sound last evening. Thanks.

    —-

    rq: USB ports have gratefully received today’s selection.

    —-

    Rawnaeris

    Eat, sleep, repeat.

    That sounds like the perfect vacation.

    —–

    Yesterday’s work issues appear resolved, so hopefully that means I can actually accomplish some things today.

    And, it would appear that some of my tired/worn-out feeling is medication related – test results back this morning. Will review with doctor on Tues.

  56. 449

    AlexanderZ,

    Thank you for asking.
    Mornings are absolutely horrible. Once I manage to focus on work and get completely immersed, things get better – I am mostly annoyed or angry because some stuff at work, but at least I’m not completely apathetic.

    Right now I’m the best I’ve felt in a while. I’ve spent about 11 hours at work, so I’m exhausted. NO time for thinking. That’s good. My brain starts showing cannibalistic tendencies if I don’t make it busy with anything else ,and it doesn’t let go once it bites (itself).

  57. 450

    blf

    This response time is absolutely unacceptable, as is this crap of an input editor, so this will be my last comment.  Good bye.

    Huh. I’m not sure if this is serious or a starfart reference.

    I’m hoping for the latter. :-/

  58. 453

    Beatrice

    I’m happy you’ve found a regiment that helps you through the day. However, that’s no substitute for a doctor.

    Anyway, since you’re a mathematician, I thought you’d like this batarang.

  59. rq
    454

    Ugh. Can’t force myself to do anything at work today, even though I promised to do a write-up for a Quasi-Colleague. Oh well, I guess he’ll just have to wait until Monday.

    Or something. I’m going to go play with the printer.

  60. rq
    455

    Also, any of you knowledgeable barflies have any knowledge about Galway and its environs? (The one in Ireland, lest there be another somewhere else in the world.)

  61. 456

    I also wish the Ra-s all the best. I know Lilandra was an infrequent commentator on Pharyngula but her comments were always on the spot, and Aron is always delightful.

    rq

    2) mild tomato-onion-chili pepper salsa-type thingy;

    3) spicy tomato-onion-chili pepper salsa-type thingy (though I’m sure that, to some tastes, it would also qualify as ‘mild’, but dammit, I tried!);

    That’s like a universal addition to every dish. I put something like that in soup, I put it on pasta, I put it when I fry or bake something. It’s even good to eat with nothing but bread and humus. It’s super.

    JimB

    Glad you could resolve your work issues. Best of luck with the medical results – I hope it’s nothing serious.

    Anne

    I’ll join the hugs and well wishes – feel better.

    Rawnaeris

    I hereby do solemnly and sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will never, ever, enter USA through Ft. Lauderdale.

    Glad you’ve had a nice vacation.

    —-

    Currently listening to Queen.

  62. 457

    Thanks AlexanderZ. Nope, nothing serious. Just a maintenance drug I’ve been taking for 20 years. I’m not too surprised that it’s a bit out of whack. Hopefully there won’t be too much trial-n-error to get the right dosage – past experience tells me it can be a bit inexact.

  63. 459

    Aww, blf, don’t go 🙁 I’m with the Wizard, I’m curious what system you’re using, as I’ve been on multiple OS’s and devices, and haven’t had any issues since we got the click-button editing.

    Thanks AlexanderZ, JimB, and rq, thanks for the welcome back.

    And Husband and I are watching the Republican debate on YouTube now.

    I really wish I’d had it live to live tweet. My snark is excellent already.

    Yes, we are masochists.

  64. 460

    Rawnaeris

    And Husband and I are watching the Republican debate on YouTube now.

    Well, that’s a hell of a thing to do after getting back from vacation. I am in awe of your fortitude (intestinal or otherwise).

    En….joy…?? I guess. 🙂

  65. 461

    JimB

    Well, that’s a hell of a thing to do after getting back from vacation. I am in awe of your fortitude (intestinal or otherwise).
    En….joy…?? I guess.

    Well, he’s also playing Hearthstone, and I’m trying to fix the laptop so….”watching” might be a bit of a stretch. But I’m also trying to get him to learn just how dishonest the Republicans running are. Also, Trump is funny in a face-palming way.

  66. rq
    463

    Talk about a flashback to the ’90s. Collective Soul just hit my playlist.

    Funny how sometimes the music is just the background, and sometimes certain songs really stand out, for whatever reason.

  67. 464

    I fell asleep.  I just woke up again.  I’m so tired of being tired.  Still, it’s been worse, like, one day getting stuff done followed by one day sleeping, so this is an improvement.

    Thanks, everybody.  I appreciate your hugs, and return them with interest.

  68. 465

    sff9

    I missed this whole Ashley Madison affair entirely. So they were hacked because they didn’t have enough women on the site? What? That was the big scam – that the site said that there are millions of women on the site and indeed there were millions of women, but not enough millions?

    Talk about entitled MRA shits. One positive news – there were .mil and .gov accounts in there so the hackers might see real justice and the powers that be might notice how dangerous online hacking and doxxing really is. Seeing how it doesn’t only happen to womanly women, but also manly men.

  69. 466

    One thing did come out of the Ashleny Madison hack:
    Josh Duggar, the same guy who sexually molested several of his sisters, and who has long touted himself as some sort of morally virtuous paragon of perfection whilst disparaging and demonizing LGBT people, all under the guise of being a Christian who is living right…spent nearly a $1000 trying to cheat on his wife.

  70. 467

    The biggest thing that baffles me about the Ashley Madison hack is that people want to *cheat* that badly.

    Is ethical polyamory really that hard?

    Edit to add: Husband just pointed out that a lot of people are too insecure or are afraid their partners are too insecure to handle the suggestion. Still doesn’t make sense to me. Monogamy is great when it’s a conscious choice. Doesn’t tend to work well as the default.

  71. rq
    468

    Rawnaeris

    Maybe not hard as such, but definitely taboo in a fundamentally christianized world. It’s not easy to talk about or bring up in a relationship where one party may be less open-minded or more given to jealousy. The reaction isn’t always… positive.

     

     
    Edit: Polygamy – another great thing ruined by religion and religious ‘morals’. If people were more open about their sex-lives and/or sex in general, that it is not the be-all, end-all of relationships, it wouldn’t be so difficult. But you’re supposed to save yourself for sex, and marriage is for life (ostensibly), and it can be (mentally) extremely difficult to get over those hurdles.

  72. rq
    469

    By “more open about their sex-lives” I don’t mean that everyone should all the time be sharing their bedroom secrets… I meant “more able to talk about sexuality and how it affects aspects of their lives”, I suppose. Something like that. It’s late! Brain! Going to sleep! And I still have to drive home. *sigh*

  73. 471

    AlexanderZ, I just caught on this affair thanks to my RSS feed (there also was an article at WeHuntedTheMammoth about how gaters show their firm grasp of ethics by hoping to take advantage of this to smear known SJWs). I don’t know the exact reasons for the hacking, I’m not sure there has to be a fully rational one.

    Tony!, about Josh Duggar, this post by Libby Anne is very pertinent (as are virtually all her posts, really): http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/08/josh-duggar-blames-porn-and-satan-in-public-statement.html

  74. 472

    Tony!

    In all honesty I think him molesting his sisters was infinitely worse than being a hypocrite about his faith and sex life.

    Rawnaeris

    Is ethical polyamory really that hard?

    In addition to what rq has said, there are also honor killings.

    They’re quite common (in the West they’re labelled “spousal murder”, but it’s the same thing) everywhere, but especially in the Middle East. For example, last year it was revealed that for 14 years 10 women of one(!) family have been murdered in an honor killing.

    Why was the information revealed? Because the community closed ranks and the police couldn’t catch even one murderer. They hoped that by going to the press they might get at least some clue on the culprits as a consequence of public opinion.

    They managed to get to the killers of one woman (mother of six), among the three killers were her brother and husband, but all of the other cases are still unsolved.

    So yeah. Polyamory is actually quite hard and in some communities it’s a death sentence, in others it’s “just” complete abandonment by your relatives and friends and being condemned to a life of poverty. Even in USA where honor killings aren’t as much of a threat as in the Middle East a person’s life can be ruined when she doesn’t measure up to social ideals of chastity.

    Men aren’t nearly as victimized by this as women, but they are often physically assaulted, lose their jobs and lose any custody over children.

    —-
    P.S.
    I’m not surprised to see WaPo leading the moralistic charge. May I remind you that that is the newspaper which considers calling Hillary a “mad bitch” as good humor.

  75. 473

    *hugs* to folks.  I will probably comment on some of the current discussions if/when I’m less tired (weather has been hot, which interferes with my sleep, and half the damn state is on fire, which does horrible things to my hay fever).

     

    I have been attempting, without notable success, to get a gaming group together for an in-person game, as the online games I’ve been involved in are mostly on long-term hiatus.  Many people have liked the idea, but no-one seems to be up for actually taking part.  I am depressed and frustrated.

  76. 475

    Dalillama

    hugs.  sorry you’re not feeling good in both the emotional and respiratory senses.

    are you in the half of the state that’s burning, or the half that’s just getting smoke at this point?

    How complicated are these games?  I’m afraid I’m a pretty basic board-game kind of person rather than a tabletop-gamer type of gamer…

  77. 476

    FunnyDiva

    Only the smoke; the dry Eastern half is mostly what’s burning, and the mountains. The game is tabletop, a reboot of the one I was running a year or so ago, but had to stop due to a conflicting work schedule.

     

  78. YOB
    477

    Dalillama: have you tried meetup.com? I’ve had fairly good successes with that and finding gaming groups.

    Also, boardgamegeek.com has a group locater that might be useful, as well.

    last but not least, you could post an ad up at the local-ist gaming store.

  79. 478

    I just read this article on Russian officials destroying contraband food illegally smuggled into the country:

    Authorities earlier this month started bulldozing piles of cheese, peaches and even frozen geese after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the destruction of food smuggled into the country illegally.

    Now police in the Moscow region say they have arrested six people for producing cheese worth some $30 million (27 million euros) with banned Western rennet, a substance containing enzymes used for cheese production.

    Authorities “foiled the activities of an organised international criminal gang in the Moscow region whose members have for a long time been engaged in smuggling sanctioned products from abroad,” police spokeswoman Yelena Alekseeva said in a statement.

    My first thought was WTF?! After all that food could have helped feed many people living in poverty.  My second thought was “an international criminal gang that smuggles in food? What’s bad about that?”

    Those were still my thoughts even after I considered that maybe officials feared the food wasn’t inspected. After all, couldn’t they inspect it?

    So I thought maybe there was some other reason-a really good one-to destroy that food.  After all, the number of Russians living in poverty reached 16.1 million last year. I imagine all that food could have been of great use to many of them. I found this article by Russian political analyst Andrew Korybko which attempts to explain and justify the actions of the Russian government:

    It’s not simply about saving the administrative resources and time that have to be directed to resending the products back to their original destination, nor in depriving a sanctions violator of the opportunity to profitably resell their said contraband back in the EU or elsewhere. There’s also more at play than just supporting Russian domestic producers and ending the country’s foreign food reliance. What’s really happening is that Russia is publicly defending itself from a clever form of psychological-economic warfare being waged against it by the EU, and it’s doing so at this specific time in order to limit the ability of this offensive to interfere with the upcoming general elections in September.

    ‘Psychological-economic warfare’ being conducted via food illegally entering the country?  What does the EU have to do with a criminal organization importing food? He makes it sound like this food was imported as some sort of plot by the EU to make Russia dependent upon foreign aid. But I’m noticing a lack of evidence on his part to support that.

    The first thing that needs to be addressed is the reason why the Russian government is engaging in such a highly publicized destruction of the banned EU foodstuffs. The point here is to hold Russian customs officials to full accountability by retaining a retrievable record of their activity and transparently demonstrating to the people that the law is being complied with. Things brings about another point, which is that it’s impossible to have carried out such an action “quietly” since the whole point of the matter is to enforce a law that was publicly signed by the Russian President. As such, there’s obviously an accessible record of Putin having agreed to the decree, and correspondingly, investigative journalists (both Russian and foreign) that would naturally conduct follow-up reporting on it and monitor its implementation. Under such conditions, it would be scandalous for the government to ‘hide’ the very same activity that it had just recently committed to in public. Even more so, it would have been a conspiracy of epic proportions if the original decree had been ‘secret’ and pictures and/or footage of the Russian government burning and burying food were leaked to the international media. All things considered, this is why Moscow decided to publicly and proudly demonstrate to the world that the President’s law is actively being followed.

    Transparency. Uh-huh. Gotta uphold a law that prevents food from entering the country.  It’s like he doesn’t consider that maybe the law was fucked up in the first place. And I think it was.

    “Agricultural products, raw materials and food items exported to the territory of the Russian Federation, with a country of origin that imposed sanctions against the Russian legal entities and/or individuals or joined said decision, and that are banned from entering the territory of the Russian Federation are subject to extermination as of August 6, 2015,” the decree published by the Kremlin website said.

    Nevermind how much good that food could do for your people. I realize that Putin is angry over the sanctions in place against Russia, but this just seems petty. Back to Andrew Korybko’s article:

    The most common criticism surrounding Russia’s controversial measure is that the government should donate the smuggled food to those in need, perhaps even to the refugees in Donbass, instead of just destroying it. This well-intentioned and altruistic perspective forgets that that there are concrete health concerns behind the government giving its citizens or other recipients food products of unverified quality, but that’s not all. The main issue is that doing so would only be a short-term solution to whatever problem it was meant to address (be it poverty in Russia or helping war refugees in Donbass), albeit one with major external strings attached that are unacceptable for any self-respecting and patriotic authorities to fully agree to. To begin with, if Russia gave the food to anyone else, it would merely be acting as a conduit for de-facto ‘humanitarian aid’ from the EU to its population, and as with all examples of this type of international assistance, the donor’s image would be enhanced at the government’s expense and could easily be exploited by Brussels for soft power gains. It would also undermine Russia’s message that its domestic issues (even poverty) don’t need foreign interference to solve.

    That’s a lot of words to support a policy that appears to amount to “we’re not going to put this food to good use because it came from people we’re mad at”.

    Moving along, another primary reason behind Moscow’s refusal to give the confiscated food away is that it establishes a dependency relationship between the recipients and the EU donor that could be broken at any time.

    So it’s better to give them no food at all? Da fuq?! Here’s where he gets really repellent:

    On the other hand, there are certainly consequences to this patriotic measure, as the Western media onslaught attests. The US and its EU allies have once more been caught unaware by the fortitude of the Russian government, hence why they’re reacting in such a hysterical manner (much as they did to Crimea’s seemingly unexpected reunification). The objective here is to intensify the information war against Russia by promoting the false idea that Moscow is depriving an unspecified amount of starving citizens from being fed by seized EU foodstuffs. The preconditioned foreign audience is expected to use their imagination in envisioning thousands of disgruntled people queuing up for food that they won’t ever receive (a hybrid mix of the late-Soviet-era bread lines and the recent untrue stories about a ‘food scarcity’ ever since the counter-sanctions). There’s also a domestic component at work here too, since external actors hope that Russian voters will be so upset by the decree and its coverage in the international (Western) media that they’ll vote against United Russia next month.

    If it’s a false idea, then that means Moscow is not depriving its citizenry of food that they could use?  Except that’s just what they did.

    Yeah. See, there are poor people living in Russia. That food could have gone to many of them. But I notice that Korybko has no concern for those who live in poverty. In fact, his entire piece is just an excuse at pro-Moscow propaganda. 

    For those living in and around Russia who might be more familiar with this situation, is there something I’m missing?

  80. 479

    AlexanderZ; thank you for that smack upside the head. I put my foot right in that one didn’t I?

    I’m finding myself mentally groping for defenses and excuses, so I’m gonna just shut up and think for a bit.

  81. 480

    Thanks bragimike.  I thought about contributing the common song, but decided against it for a couple of reasons.  First, my technology is so dated that getting anything loaded to the cloud or whatever is pretty daunting.  Second, it’s still winter here, and because we live in an open plan house all my music gear is out in an unheated shed.  Third, well, we tried this before.  Some of us hoarders started a similar project a couple of years ago (?) it failed in part because I couldn’t do my share.  I still feel bad about that and it colours my willingness to try again.

    Thanks barkeeperin.  I hesitated to post that link because it is a very different thing than yours.  I didn’t want to be seen as being competitive or anything like that.  I liked your clip, that style of playing is something I do rather poorly so I enjoy seeing how others do it.  In the end I decided to post mine because I need to get over this desire to hide the creative things I do until they’re perfect.  And let’s be clear: I’m not good enough for anything to ever be perfect.

    And to that end, here’s another practice vid.  I sing in it.  Badly.  In fact, I can honestly say that your guitar playing is way better than my singing. 🙂  I am pleased with the composition and lyrics though, so there’s that.

    FunnyDiva  I see where we got crossed up now.  Further up thread I mentioned that NSAIDS cured my ulcerative colitis adding “hooray for modern medicine”.   Yup, let’s be happy together that the bad stuff has passed us by.  [lifts a glass to the good medicine]

  82. 481

    Gracie is… not well.

    No fever, but her right hip seems to be bothering her (she responded to gentle probing with teeth), she’s moving even slower than I do, refuses to jump up on things higher than maybe the couch, and she’s been sleeping even more than usual. (Also: she’s cranky as fuck, which is way out of her normal.)

    I’m really hoping it’s just old age and a bum hip, rather than anything… you know… serious.

  83. 482

    sff9:
    Thanks for that Greenwald piece.

    ****

    AlexanderZ:
    I completely agree that Josh’s molestation of his sisters is the far worse action. I hope I didn’t imply otherwise.

    ****

     

    Re: the Ashley Madison hack-

    Here is one person who wasn’t cheating on a spouse, but used the site. He’s a gay man who used AM to hook up with other gay men discreetly. And yes, he has asked for his story to be spread:

    I am from a country where homosexuality carries the death penalty. I studied in America the last several years and used Ashley Madison during that time. (For those of you who haven’t been following the story, Ashley Madison has been hacked and its users’ names and addresses are on the verge of being exposed.) I was single, but used it because I am gay; gay sex is punishable by death in my home country so I wanted to keep my hookups extremely discreet. I only used AM to hook up with single guys.

    Most of you are Westerners in countries that are relatively liberal on LGBT issues. For those of you who are older–try to think back to a time 10 or 20 years again when homosexuality was intensely stigmatized. Multiply that horrible feeling of stigma by a million, and add the threat of beheading/stoning. That’s why I used AM to have discreet encounters.

    I BEG you all to spread this message. Perhaps the hackers will take notice of it, and then, I can tell them to (at the very least) exercise discretion in their information dump (i.e. leave the single gay arab guy out of it). As of now, I plan on leaving the Kingdom and never returning once I have the $ for a plane ticket. Though I have no place to go, no real friends, and no job.

    UPDATE: I have gotten enough money to get car to Riyadh and a plane ticket to the US. I got a PM from a redditor who is in the Kingdom and a paralegal at a a major US law firm with an office in Riyadh (I will be traveling there this weekend). The firm’s has a big pro bono practice that specializes in refugees! And it is very pro LGBT; tor he redditis going to arrange for me to meet with an associate to explain my association. It appears I’m in good hands. I will let you all know more soon! It looks like I’ll be out of here in a few days with a concrete plan of action.

    UPDATE: A bunch of people are accusing me of lying because ‘AM is only for married people.’ AM is actually about “discreet hookups,” and hence its main appeal is to married people, since premarital sex isn’t stigmatized in the West. But it also appeals to gays from regressive cultures, and their website has an option specifically for gays, as you can figure out if you do 5 minutes of research.

    The idiots who claim I’m lying are projecting from personal experience, and forgetting that, for many gay people around the world, being outed is a life-threatening experience. The risks for us are greater than the risks for married Westerners cheating on their spouses. That’s why AM’s promise of discretion appeals to us. (Seriously, you think that there are no gay Muslims on there out of 37 million users?) In any case, that people would accuse me of being a liar on the basis of no evidence–at a time when I stand a serious chance of being tortured, murdered, or exiled–makes me pessimistic about humanity.

  84. 488

    rq,

    Remember how Latvia was ready to welcome refugees by putting them in unrenovated government apartments?

    We’re going to give them old unused seaside resorts, military camps and maybe a freaking castle because supposedly those are the places that can be renovated the quickest.
    Except.. those seaside resorts were used heavily for years by Bosnian refugees and we’ve been lamenting their horrible state ever since. We’ve put thousands of people there, who knows how many over capacity, the places are a wreck now. BUt they are fucking seaside resorts in a country that brags about its tourism. If it was economically feasible (quick and cheap) to rebuild them that would have already been done.

    And now they’re going to invest serious money in restoring them for refugees? Riiiiiight.

    The article mentions field kitchens and toilets. Enough said.
    (since we’re talking old hotels and military barracks, they should already have places for kitchens and toilets, right? Unless making them livable will be as I expect – making them barely livable)

    Oh, and of course all those places are pretty isolated. Military barracks especially. No integration for these people.

    I’m quite pissed off.

  85. rq
    490

    FossilFishy

    Some of us hoarders started a similar project a couple of years ago (?) it failed in part because I couldn’t do my share.  I still feel bad about that and it colours my willingness to try again.

    Umm, I don’t think it was you. I still don’t think it’s you who should be feeling bad about this.

     

    Tony

    re: Russia and food

    Thanks for that summary. It’s an incredible and authoritarian attitude from Russia, but this has been going on on a small scale for years – every now and then they decide a Latvian-manufactured product (or other neighbouring country) is, in some way, substandard, so they stop imports for a while. It’s definitely a psycho-economical type of warfare.

    This food destruction is just taking that stupid, arrogant attitude several steps further – because of the embargo on Russian products, they do the same to other products, and because smuggled food is smuggled, can’t have it contaminating the pure Russian spirits! “See, world, how little we care for your food! We don’t need you!”

     

    Beatrice

    Croatian generosity is immeasurable. Though I heard the Slovenians have just gone and said ‘no muslim refugees!’.

    The phrase “field kitchens and toilets” is way too horrifying to contemplate – do they realize what those conditions will mean in, say, the upcoming winter? And the idea that they can’t even provide these people with running water… And a lot of these refugees are people who don’t even know what ‘winter’ means.

    There is no way this will end well.

  86. rq
    491

    I have to say, I appreciate Husband. I asked him to call the daycare/kindergarten director to get some info about the two younger kids and their possible placements. He’s been after me to do it for a couple of weeks, but I told him I’m sacred and he kinda laughed but said he’d do it.

    And I mean, yesterday I took them to the dentist, today I called and made doctor’s appointments for all of them, and I still have to contact the parents of Eldest’s friends so we can finally have a birthday party for him (*gulp*). Plus this weekend is the choir camp thingy that I’m a bit jittery about. So I figure I’m entitled to get out of one stranger-conversation.

  87. 492

    rq, your ingredients-combinations sound inspired and delicious and make me want to eat them all.

    So I figure I’m entitled to get out of one stranger-conversation.

    Yes you are. This is a particular kind of work that I think often gets semi-automagically assigned to women, especially when it concerns kids’ education or health. I hate it too, with a deep and abiding passion (but I get to do all of it, though at least in our case there’s a reason for that inasmuch as I’m the native English speaker :- )

    And yay, our ballot forms (for the Labour party internal (s)elections) have arrived!

    Thunderbird is misbehaving. Y u no check for new emails automatically any more? Y u make me miss Important Msg until too late?!?!? Damn.

     

  88. 497

    Much sympathy for the gay guy from Saudi Arabia, hope things got better for him in the month since he posted that. Someone in the reddit thread suggested he might be refused a refugee status if officials don’t find him convincingly effeminate, or if he can’t provide proof of a past relationship, and that’s quite chilling.

  89. 502

    Incidentally, from France24:

    In a news conference near the scene at a railway station in Arras, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the two passengers who overpowered the suspect were “particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances”.

     

    There was some confusion as to the nationality of the two servicemen who restrained the attacker, with some reports suggesting they were both American. Other reports said one of them was American while the other was British.

  90. YOB
    503

    …with some reports suggesting they were both American. Other reports said one of them was American while the other was British.

    Either one is equally plausible, as is the possibility they were from yet a third (or fourth) country’s military. It is not uncommon, at all, for members of differing militaries to associate when in proximity to one another. The bond of military service tends to be quite strong.

    At least, it is according to my own experience.

  91. YOB
    506

    Beatrice: oh, that sucks. I would loan you my profound hearing loss, if I could. It comes in quite handy at times like those.

    Tony: email inbound

  92. 508

    Last night we went for Mexican food.  This is not easy to come by, here in the Frozen North.

    It was in a small, family-run restaurant.

    It was rather good fucking awesome!

  93. 510

    wmdkitty, whew!

    Beatrice, hugs and noise cancelling earmuffs heading your way.

    Husband has decided to barbeque.  Corn, assorted veg, and potatoes.  Which is nice, but he uses a lot of oil and butter, and he may throw in some chorizo because he and the Daughters like things spicy.  Excessive amounts of fat and spices are what kicked off my original gallbother attack, so I am not going to feel safe eating more than a little, and he’ll be hurt.  I asked him to keep one of the ears of corn fairly plain, but who knows if he’ll remember.  I love him, but sometimes he is singularly lacking in common sense.  At least this time there’s no bacon in the plan.

  94. 511

    Why do Friday afternoons feel like they pass sooooo sloooooowwllllyyyyyy.

    I was ready to go home 2 hours ago; sadly have another 1-1/2 hours to go (plus the always “joyful” Fri PM commute).

  95. 513

    Rawnaeris

    That wasn’t intended as a smack. Not even as a noogie 🙂

    wmdkitty

    Good thing it’s nothing serious with your kitty.

    Tony!

    It’s great that that guy managed to escape (or at least in the process of doing so). Fuck those AM hackers and fuck everyone who supports them or gloats over the hack.

    Beatrice

    Who are the refugees? Where do they come from?

    rq

    but I told him I’m sacred

    LOL! This has made my day.

    chigau

    Funny thing, I never had Mexican food. Ever. Not many Mexicans here and I don’t trust local variations on Mexican food. I’ll have to add “eating Mexican” to my to do list.

    Tony/Wizard

    I’m having problems loading the site, and it seems like it can’t handle the bandwidth (I’m not writing it on the tech page because after I left my comment on the The lack of concern for Russian citizens by their own government is repugnant post, that page is still loading).

    Have you reconsidered putting ads to pay for extra bandwidth? Or even going to FTB since its servers are now underused? No pressure (I can still read everyone in the emails), just wanted to place a suggestion.

  96. 514

    Hey! The page loaded pretty fast this time!

    So you get a new article – Donald Trump’s appalling reaction to a hate crime committed in his name:

    Two Boston men were charged Wednesday in the beating of a homeless Mexican man.[…]

    Here’s what police say Scott Leader told them to justify the assault: “Donald Trump was right — all these illegals need to be deported.”

    Here’s what Donald Trump said when told about the alleged assault[…]: “I haven’t heard about that. It would be a shame, but I haven’t heard about that.” Then the crowd buzzed, and Trump added: “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate. I will say that, and everybody here has reported it.”

    This. This is why hate speech is a crime – it’s a magnified call to murder and violence. This crime was committed in Trump’s name, but all of the lesser inciters – the other candidates, the party that allows these kind of views, the various radio shows and TV networks – also have blood on their hands.

  97. 515

    I don’t know what The Wizard has done, or if thar’s just my phone, but the new comment window is at the bottom om my phone now so yay for that.

  98. 519

    Beatrice, if I could I’d be tucking you into the pillow fort for a nice quiet sleep right now.

    Dinner was, well, substantial.  Hamburger, not chorizo this time, corn, potatoes, yellow squash, tomatoes, eggplant, and onions.  I only ate half my burger, and it was still way too much.

    Husband is a chemist by trade and an experimental cook at home, and this time of year he likes to burn things, or steam packets of things on the barbeque.   The results vary.  Don’t ask about the juniper berries in the marmalade.  Just… don’t.

  99. 520

    YOB, opposablethumbs, AlexanderZ, chigau, rq, FunnyDiva, Beatrice, Rawnaeris and JimB:

    Thanks so much for your comments, it means a lot to me. As you know I’m up often during the night to attend to the Redhead, so I thought I’d look in here again.  A nice quiet sleep isn’t something I’m accustomed to, but you have to adapt.

    Where’s cicely and her pouncehugs? There might even be Nerdhugs in the future!

    If I have occasional relapses into the old Nerd on Pharyngula, please forgive me, guys. I am trying to be better.

    Anne, Cranky Cat Lady, the Redhead and I love juniper berries.

  100. 521

    “I told him I’m sacred

    Yes. Yes you are.

    *snorfle*   Nice catch YOB.

    Of course, could be it wasn’t a Tpyo. : )

     

     

     

    Nerd of Redhead:

    Cicely pounces on the barflies on occasion– so watch out!

  101. 522

    Anne,

     

    I think I’ll spend the day in the pillow fort. A sleepless night really didn’t help with the general feeling of despair.

     

    AlexanderZ,

    In answer to your question yesterday about refugees – it’s immigrants and refugees that we are required to take in by the European Union . A lot of Syrians I suppose. People from North Africa, Middle East… same as all around Europe.

    Finally, today I read a compassionate article condemning politicians and the wider public showing little to no empathy, especially considering our own situation in the last 25 years.

  102. 523

    There is a huge influx of refugees trying to enter Macedonia. Macedonian government has declared a state of emergency , sent military to the border with Greece and they are letting only a small trickle of refugees enter.

    The idea apparently is to let in at the time only as many as they can immediately transport to Serbia, where they will again be faced with military and fences preventing them from entering Hungary.

    Considering the sorry state Macedonia is in, I can almost understand them. But I would hope some more fortunate countries could help them to at least set up a camp on the border, where refugees would have some food and a  shelter. They are left to fend for themselves under the open sky, right before the border, waiting to be let on a train.

  103. 524

    alexanderZ, well it triggered some introspection, and once I found myself groping for reasons and excuses, it seemed wiser to stop.

    hi Donqui! I don’t think I recognize your ‘nym, so welcome in. And you and Tony! are very much right, I was so wrapped up in exasperation and schadenfreude of cheaters getting their cumuppence that I didn’t even stop to consider that it was a world-wide used website, I was being very US-centric in my thinking. So…yeah I hope no one is harmed past reputation. 🙁

     

  104. 526

    Thanks, Tony!

    Beatrice, thank you for the answer.

    Hello, dõki! glad you could make it here.

    Saad

    Some days I feel quite pessimistic about the next U.S. elections

    Come on, don’t be so negative. Trump may not even be the nominee, and even if he is he’d lose to every Democrat nominee and their pets.

    Granted, by that time his rhetoric would shift the Overton Window even further right and the number of hate crimes would sharply increase, but there’s nothing to do about it short of jailing inciters for hate speech.

  105. 527

    What worries me about Trump is the thought that the other Repubs might make promises/favors to him in exchange for him dropping out.  I can’t shake the notion that that is the whole reason Trump is even in the race–not tot win, but to get a payoff to leave.

  106. 528

    awakeinmo

    It all comes down to Trump’s ego – the one quality he has in abundance. I doubt that his ego will allow him to throw a race when he is a likely winner, I also doubt that he is capable of such strategic thought. Besides, what favors can they offer him? He’s a billionaire. There is hardly anything more they can do for him specifically without major legislation – something that President Trump can do more easily.

    A question for our local philosophers and historians: Have any libertarians or the like* been persecuted by a clearly conservative/far-right regime?

    *I understand that libertarians are mostly confined to USA, so any sufficiently ideologically similar group, i.e. groups that combine a single-minded focus on personal liberty to the exclusion of any other human right with strongly regressive or otherwise extreme capitalistic views.

  107. 529

    A special shout out  for my neighbors in the building block next door for parking their car in the middle of a one-line, one-way road and playing their car horn for the past ten minutes without stopping – without you my life would have been that much more boring.

  108. 530

    AlexanderZ:
    I share Saad’s frustration with the USAmerican political system. For me, it’s not just Trump, though there’s an element of that. The problem is that so many people who *do* vote are willing to do so out of party loyalty, or because they like how a candidate speaks their mind, or bc of some other concern that doesn’t relate to their ability to run a country. It’s frustrating to watch people support Scott Walker given all the shit he’s done. Or the people who support Ben Carson because he’s a smart [former] neurosurgeon. That many of the supporters of candidates like them don’t care much about how their policies would affect others is a huge problem I have as well. I think there’s plenty of reasons to feel down (sometimes) about the political system in this country.

  109. 531

    Macedonian police have given up ,  immigrants have torn down the fence and passed over the border to Macedonia. They are now waiting for trains to take them to Serbia.

     

    Reporters are writing about devastating scenes where parents were trying to pass their children over the fence, begging the reports to take their children and take them over the border. Families getting separated with some on Greek side or the no man’s land and some in Macedonia.

     

    I’m not sure what happens to them in Serbia and if they can even enter Hungary. Will have to do some more reserach.

     
    German government is reported to be considering trying to tear down Schengen (agreement allowing for free crossing of borders inside EU) because of huge numbers of immigrants seeking asylum in Germany.
    According to law, an immigrant is required to seek asylum in the first country they enter. Those are usually Italy or Greece.

  110. 532

    On one hand, those two countries claim they can’t deal with such an influx of people, on the other a lot of immigrants themselves would rather seek asylum in countries other than Italy or Greece.

    Germany is one of the more desirable countries so they get a lot of people trying to enter.

     
    I know I have already recommended this movie about a group of immigrants illegally traveling from Italy to Sweden, posing as a wedding party, but I can’t recommend it enough.

    http://www.iostoconlasposa.com/en/

  111. 533

    Hm, the latest reports say that 1. Macedonian police weren’t shy in employing violence and 2. they haven’t given up and the fence was breached only in one place, letting only some of the people through.

     

    TO make it worse.

    – Macedonians let people in no man’s land or on their own side starve

    – Greeks are selling them overpriced food and water

    Fuck everything.

    Oh, and Italian coast guard is saving people from another capsized boat <i>right now</i>.

     

     

  112. 534

    – Macedonians let people in no man’s land or on their own side starve

    – Greeks are selling them overpriced food and water

    Godfuckingdammit, what’s wrong with people? Selling overpriced food to refugees? The lack of compassion it takes to actually do that… I can’t even understand it.

    ***

    BTW, Beatrice, I’ve been thinking about why the thread you proposed to curate never appeared on Pharyngula. I think it’s possible PZ didn’t see your email for some reason, maybe? I just find it weird that you never got a response and the thread never showed up, it’s not like he has been turning any idea down as far as we know. And there is obvious interest and relevance in a thread to discuss these kind of issues, IMO. I really wonder what happened.

  113. 535

    What thread did Beatrice want to curate? BTW, I think all of these news items that she has posted (thank you, Beatrice!) can be x-posted on the Political Madness thread. The treatment of refugees is without question mad.

    Tony!

    The problem is that so many people who *do* vote are willing to do so out of party loyalty, or because they like how a candidate speaks their mind, or bc of some other concern that doesn’t relate to their ability to run a country.

    That’s true for every democracy, not just the US. It’s also one of the reason why I started following a political scientist’s blog some year ago. One of the many interesting things he said (no link – it’s all in Hebrew, and the bastard hasn’t been updating for months) is that “party loyalty” doesn’t exist in the way we think it does.

    Yes, people stick to a certain party (mind you, he was talking about multi-party systems, and this may not apply to USA) as a convenience (that is, it allows them to participate politically without wasting too much following various political developments), but they aren’t mindless zombies. They often change parties when either their original “party home” stops supporting their basic political agenda, or when several parties support that agenda and they feel secure in their own party’s success.

    So, what you may see as party loyalty is actually a comfortable way of saying “I fully support this party” without being seen political or forcing yourself to research issues. Furthermore, “being able to run a country” is a subjective view. You may not think that a politician who intentionally destroys public education is capable of running a country, but a religious fundamentalist may find them just perfect for the job.

  114. 536

    Nightjar,

    I will have to check how exactly I worded that email, but I think I might have not been decisive enough about curating the thread and instead wrote it more like a suggestion of something that could work.

  115. 537

    Beatrice

    If you sent the email just before or during PZ’s vacation, it could be just lost in his inbox.

    You could send it again.

  116. 538

    AlexanderZ, I was referring to this. It’s a good point that the non-US political stuff would fit into Lynna’s thread, but I can think of a few things that aren’t exactly moments of political madness and would be covered by a “world outside of the US” kind of thread. Even if PZ thought those two topics would overlap too much, he could have least have made Beatrice a co-curator.

    ***

    Beatrice,

    Oh, ok, I guess that’s a possibility too. But it’s also possible that the email got lost somewhere, as chigau says. Sending it again may be a good idea if you’d like to curate such thread. Or you may not actually feel like curating it, in which case I’ll gladly keep reading you over here! I was just wondering, nothing more. 🙂

  117. 539

    Kinda ‘rupt
    Hi Nerd.

    Beatrice:
    Sympathies on the noisy neighbors.
    I just can’t even with the treatment of refugees.  Anywhere, really.
    Chigau:
    One of my favorite things about Portland (I’d like it more if I could afford to eat out) is that one could eat three meals a day at different eateries, serving food from different places, and not repeat yourself for a month or so.
    Tony!:

    The really weird thing to me is that they don’t seem to consider how the policies would affect them, let alone other people.


    AlexanderZ:

    (mind you, he was talking about multi-party systems, and this may not apply to USA)

    It really doesn’t.  I have personally interacted with people who vote Republican because their parents were Republicans, even though they don’t actually agree with most of their positions.  It’s like Catholics who use birth control, get divorced, and basically ignore what the Pope says, but they still give the church money and defend it.

    Furthermore, “being able to run a country” is a subjective view.

    It kind of isn’t, too.  ‘Being able to run a country’ is generally shorthand for ‘being able to ensure economic prosperity, domestic tranquillity, and a lack of foreign troops marching in the streets.’  There are actually objective ways to determine what policies do and don’t lead to those sorts of outcomes, and no matter what fundamentalists believe, cutting education isn’t one of them.

     

    So, as I mentioned previously, the Eastern half of the state is on fire.  Today, weather conditions are such that the smoke of that is hanging in a choking pall over Portland.  It’s so thick that the sunlight looks brown.

  118. 541

    To those feeling frustrated and sad about the political system in the US and how little actual policies matter, you are most certainly not alone. Let me just say this. We’re having elections in less than two months. The hot campaign topics right now:

    – One of the parties made some outdoor signs with unemployment numbers. But never mind the numbers. They used a photo of a person in those signs, but the person in the photo is not actually unemployed in real life. Hence, scandal.

    – There was going to be a TV debate with representatives of all parties with seats in the parliament. The two parties currently in government are running together as a coalition. They refuse to participate in the debate unless they are allowed to have two representatives there. Communist party was quick to point out that they are in a coalition too (with the Greens). Confusion ensued.

    Policies? Who the fuck cares about them!

  119. 542

    Dalillama

    I have personally interacted with people who vote Republican because their parents were Republicans, even though they don’t actually agree with most of their positions.

    It’s common here for Likud and Labor voters. However, many of those voters had no trouble to leave those parties once they saw a significant political shift, most noticeably in the formation of the new centrist party Kadima by Ariel Sharon in 2005. By now that party has died just like Sharon, but at the time it was the largest party and relied on “hereditary” Labor and Likud voters.

    It’s like Catholics who use birth control, get divorced, and basically ignore what the Pope says, but they still give the church money and defend it.

    Catholics haven’t been giving two-shits about the Pope since the 4th century. Being a complete and utter hypocrite seems to be the main historical theme of Catholicism, from the peasants all the way to the Popes.

    Again, what I’m saying is based on research in a completely different culture, but people will affiliate a religious or political group even if they don’t believe in that group’s ideology. They will do so because that group offers them an identity which, for whatever reason, they find important. If the ideology of their “home group” would change, even a change that is consistent with the people’s ideology, they are likely to abandon it.

    This happened several times to Israel’s Labor and it’s predecessors (that party has a knack for changing it’s name almost every election). That party has portrayed itself as politically moderate (relative to the Likud) and socialist. It’s elite were various socialist leaders. With time that socialist elite became Israel’s capitalist elite, but the party and voter patterns remained unchained. So how did it lose most of its political power? The Oslo agreement (by the later assassinated Yitzhak Rabin) which was the only major peace agreement so far between Israel and Palestine, the entrancement of working-class

  120. 543

    Dalillama

    I have personally interacted with people who vote Republican because their parents were Republicans, even though they don’t actually agree with most of their positions.

    It’s common here for Likud and Labor voters. However, many of those voters had no trouble to leave those parties once they saw a significant political shift, most noticeably in the formation of the new centrist party Kadima by Ariel Sharon in 2005. By now that party has died just like Sharon, but at the time it was the largest party and relied on “hereditary” Labor and Likud voters.

    It’s like Catholics who use birth control, get divorced, and basically ignore what the Pope says, but they still give the church money and defend it.

    Catholics haven’t been giving two-shits about the Pope since the 4th century. Being a complete and utter hypocrite seems to be the main historical theme of Catholicism, from the peasants all the way to the Popes.

    Again, what I’m saying is based on research in a completely different culture, but people will affiliate a religious or political group even if they don’t believe in that group’s ideology. They will do so because that group offers them an identity which, for whatever reason, they find important. If the ideology of their “home group” would change, even a change that is consistent with the people’s ideology, they are likely to abandon it.

    This happened several times to Israel’s Labor and it’s predecessors (that party has a knack for changing it’s name almost every election). That party has portrayed itself as politically moderate (relative to the Likud) and socialist. It’s elite were various socialist leaders. With time that socialist elite became Israel’s capitalist elite, but the party and voter patterns remained unchained. So how did it lose most of its political power? The Oslo agreement (by the later assassinated Yitzhak Rabin) which was the only major peace agreement so far between Israel and Palestine, the entrancement of working-class Sephardi politician and the arrival of new centrist parties drained Labor of most of its voter base. Because, while the party styled itself as leftist, its voter base was militaristic, capitalistic and very white. The moment the party moved sufficiently from its original image its life-long voters abandoned it as well.

    The same, I think, will happen to those Catholics you describe. They may not follow Church teachings, but if the Church changes it’s church music and appearance to something more modern to cater to, say, blacks and Latino Americans, they’ll probably won’t hesitate to abandon it.

    Edit: damn it, I can’t delete my first accidental post.

  121. 544

    AlexanderZ

    The same, I think, will happen to those Catholics you describe. They may not follow Church teachings, but if the Church changes it’s church music and appearance to something more modern to cater to, say, blacks and Latino Americans, they’ll probably won’t hesitate to abandon it.

    AFAICT (I am not and never have been a Catholic), American Catholics tend to have quite segregated congregations; White Catholics don’t attend the same churches as Hispanic Catholics, so they don’t see or interact with any such changes.  Black Catholics are a very tiny demographic in the U.S., so there’s no real pressure for the overall American hierarchy or individual churches to make any changes on their behalf.

  122. 545

    Hi all. Went camping yesterday. Supposed to be for two days, but the forecast said it would be 60 at night, so we planed for 60, and… it was colder than that. Close to 50. Up most of the night due to the cold. 🙁  So, left late afternoon today and came home, which I’m now exceedingly glad for because I just checked the forecast again, and it said 53 for tonight, and that’s 53 in town, not right next to the lake breeze where we were. But, had a great time otherwise. We hadn’t been camping in a couple of years, and I PROMISED we would go this summer but hadn’t, so at least got that box checked off and it was fun. Now home, sunburned, tired.

    Gallbladder is a mystery. Got it imaged Thursday, and of course after a half hour on the university of google image search think I saw all kinds of things while imaging that are most probably other actual organs. 😉  GP called Friday first thing, which was just because they’re punctual, right? And then called again at 5:30 just because I hadn’t gotten back to her and she didn’t want it still on her plate on Monday, I’m sure. Ok, I’m a bit nervous. But I feel stupid worrying when it will probably all be ok. Just wish I could call tomorrow.

    ETA: OH WOW THERE’S A TEMP EDIT FEATURE I LOVE THIS SO MUCH THANK YOU

  123. 546

    carlie, appendages crossed for a good report for you and your gallbladder.

    The Gallbother still wakes me up every morning, but at least I know what the pain is, so there have been no more panic attacks to add to the wacky fun.  I am living dangerously; I had my coffeeshop breakfast this morning, in a reduced-fat version, and we’re getting Mexican takeout tonight.  So far so good, but I will continue to be careful.

  124. 547

    This was in my Spam folder:

    ADDUPTO 3 Inches TO YOUR PENIS!
    Buy Xtrasize to take control over your sex life and become a man you?ve always wanted to be! ORDER NOW

    Just thought it was funny.

  125. YOB
    552

    Facehugger wine glasses: I MUST HAVE NOW!!!!!

     

     

    Any old punk fans? Guess who I planned on seeing next weekend but turns out they’re playing RIGHT now cause I messed up the days? Death! My buddy that owns the  venue is going to try to get me a signed t-shirt, but damn it, I wanted to see them sooooooo bad.

    I haz a aging punk sad. ( totally the worst kind of sad.)

  126. YOB
    553

    Imma go watch “Young Justice” to make me feel better.  (Cause early 2010’s kid superhero cartoons are totally punk, donchaknow.)

     

  127. 555

    YOB,

    Any old punk fans? Guess who I planned on seeing next weekend but turns out they’re playing RIGHT now cause I messed up the days? Death!

    And I was like:

    Hey, of course I rememb- wait, what do you mean “punk” and “playing right now”? *clicks link*

    Ooh. I see. Never mind!
    *surreptitiously hides her remastered copy of Leprosy under wings*

  128. 557

    Yeah, I didn’t specifically mean Trump. I’m almost certain he won’t come even close to winning.

    I mean the fact that whether black people, women, LGBT and immigrants are human beings is still a perfectly normal mainstream political conversation. That’s fucking infuriating and depressing.

  129. rq
    558

    but I told him I’m sacred

    THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TOSS OFF A COMMENT AND LEAVE FOR THE WEEKEND. Everybody laughs at you.

    *sigh*

    🙂

     

    I will return to more normal commenting in another few hours.

  130. 560

    Like I just said at Pharyngula, I just went on a journey through creationist-land. I stopped by Uncommon Descent, Institute for Creation Research, Evolution News and Views, Answers in Genesis, and Creation Science Movement. I saw stupidity you wouldn’t believe. I facepalmed and headdesked.

    And I’m not feeling very well, I think my brain is (understandably) revolting against me.

    I need a drink.

  131. 562

    I went to work all day today to clean my office. I’ve decided that I really need to make it more amenable to people sitting and talking, because I’m the program chair and will be for the foreseeable future, and people come to me for stuff now. (I got this position last year, so this year was the first of constant people and things and omg I have no room).

    Picture a floor to almost ceiling bookshelf, 38 inches wide, only it’s actually a storage cabinet so the shelves are double-deep. Two rows of books on the top 4 shelves, stuff stored in the bottom two. After today, it’s totally empty so I can have facilities cart it off. I did put together 6 boxes of journals for storage in the lab, and several current textbooks went into the prep room for general use, but the rest of it is now GONE. Like, I filled a blue dumpster bin 2/3 fill gone. Old textbooks, books I never read and will never read, books I read and didn’t have any use for, and worst of all, almost all of my college notes (gasp!). I am a collector, so it hurt. But I was in the mood, so it was a little easier than I thought it would be. And doing it on the weekend helped, because I had the feeling of open time (and it was found time, since we still should have been camping), so I could sit and leaf through the notebooks and remember that class and basically say goodbye to it. I sound totally weird now, I’m sure. Lots of books just got chucked without a second thought, but some if it took more mental effort. I did save the things I couldn’t bear to part with.

    Now on to part 2, which is finding a 2-drawer filing cabinet somewhere on campus (they’re pretty rare), and condensing my 5-drawer cabinet down to that plus maybe a little more boxed storage. Then I’ll have a corner free where I can put a floor plant and a chair and maybe a small end table. In the meantime, my office looks like a tornado hit – there is a 2-foot deep layer of stuff on every available surface. It would have been better if I had thought of this more than a week before the semester starts. 😉

  132. 564

    Let me tell you this, Tony. This right here? That four-legged snake fossil? It’s not a transitional fossil. It’s proof, PROOF, that God cursed serpents. PROOF, I tell you!

    Yes, forget the drink. Pass me a whole bottle, please.

  133. 565

    I love how creationists put the cart before the horse with claims like that. I’m like “oh, so you believe god cursed serpents and this is proof. I’m still waiting on you to prove your god exists. I’m not going to entertain anything else until you prove that. Good luck.”

  134. 566

    I love how creationists put the cart before the horse with claims like that.

    They put the cart and the horse all over the place, it’s a mess.

    But I do love how they constructed that article.

    First section: see, scientists found this fossil, they described it like this and that and they think it sheds light on this and that, here’s a bunch of photos and figures. They say it is a transitional fossil. But… is it?

    Second section: remember that in the Bible blah blah Eve blah snake blah curse *an awful lot of bible-thumping*

    Third section: Now, please note we are *not* saying that this was an escapee from the Garden of Eden! We’re not! We’re just going to strongly imply it. Blah blah, proof that leggy snakes that did not crawl on their bellies once existed, blah blah, proof of rapid burial during a global flood, blah blah blah *more bible-thumping* blah *give us money now*

     

    Then you move to the next article and it’s some bullshit about “claiming the rainbow back”. Yuck. I didn’t even click on that one, I figured adding a dose of bigotry on top of an overdose of stupidity would be too much.

  135. 567

    carlie,

    Like, I filled a blue dumpster bin 2/3 fill gone. Old textbooks, books I never read and will never read, books I read and didn’t have any use for, and worst of all, almost all of my college notes (gasp!). I am a collector, so it hurt. But I was in the mood, so it was a little easier than I thought it would be.

    I will need to get in that mood in about a week, when I’m finally taking a week off (like, wow, a whole week, I can’t even believe it!). And the attic… it is stuffed.

  136. 568

    Looks like some of you have been engaging in the ritual cleansing of the hive.  Well done!

    I’m hot, achy,sleepy, grumpy and sometimes sneezy.  I’m just going to stay in the pillow fort, because I am fit company for no sentient beings.

    There’s another fire up near Big Bear.  Anyone in the vicinity, I hope you stay safe.

  137. 569

    *gentle hugs*, Anne.

    ***

    I’m off to bed. I was going to say something to this idiot, but fuck it. I’m tired and sleepy and all I was typing were insults anyway, so you know. Better get some sleep first.

  138. 570

    This just in on the “Big Bear City” fire:

    http://abc7.com/live/

    One person, suspected arsonist, has been taken into custody.

    4:35 pm Pacific Time as I type

    Wind is gusting,

    400 – 500 homes threatened, evacuation order in effect

    This is about 40 miles from where we live.

  139. 572

    Some people are psychopaths. I don’t know how else to account for the impulse toward arson. The fucking fire is up to 85 acres. This is small, as forest fires go, but it grew from 10 acres to 85 in less than a half hour. I wish everyone luck.

  140. 574

    biped!?
    Fucking hell! Best wishes, and hopefully no-one’s hurt.
    YOB:
    Oh, wow, I haven’t used meetup.com in a dozen or so years; I never had any success, but it might well have grown since then.  My posts in game shops have proven a total flop.

    AlexanderZ:

    A question for our local philosophers and historians: Have any libertarians or the like* been persecuted by a clearly conservative/far-right regime?”

    None that I’m aware of, although they’ve helped to run them (See Chile).

  141. 575

    That was an interesting diversion – the power to my whole neighborhood went out around 4:45, came back on about 5:35.  I just got through resetting all those clocks, and decided to check SCE’s outage map to see what had happened.  1179 homes without power, it said.  Metallic balloons in the equipment, it said.  There is no technology that cannot be defeated by pure brute stupidity.

    Hee hee, I wonder if the power went out to the catholic church during one of their rituals.  It’d serve them right, the people there are horrible.

    Biped!?, stay safe.

  142. 582

    Oh good! I didn’t want to go back through that dumpster. Had to go garbage diving last week b/c I threw away a receipt that turned out to be needed for a return. 😀

    Protip: if you cook with a lot of spices right before bedtime, you might inhale some and then spend half the night coughing them back up.

  143. rq
    585

    Sooo Latvia officially turns 96 this year (there’s a bit of a lacuna in identity in the middle there, but those years count towards age!), and the (new) National Library has decided to celebrate by showing people exactly what you can do in a library.

    Is it wrong that I had some very naughty thoughts on reading that headline…?

  144. rq
    587

    Also, I am once again reminded that I am not a Real Woman (TM).

    A Real Woman (TM) is moderate and reserved, simple in taste yet willing to indulge anything that life offers, does not seek out men in clubs, has elegant taste in clothes and requires accessories, though she must also be thrifty, and she never shows her weariness; she does not offer up opinions, pays attention to detail, has secrets, keeps perfect house, does not flirt openly (but does so – and this is specific, so listen up, ladies – by lowering her voice and peering out from under her eyelashes) and because there are not enough Real Women (TM) left in the world, men have trouble being Real Men (TM).

    (Yup, an article about women ended with a huge What About Teh Menz?)

    Oh, the person mansplaining Real Women (TM) was (in fact, to everyone’s surpreez!)… A REAL MAN (TM). A ‘healer’. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  145. 589

    *scatter-shooting pouncehugs at all and sundry*

    ‘Mornin’, all.

    I am now, officially, old.  Riding herd on Grandson for a week—while Son and New Daughter-in-Law honeymooned—has flat worn me out.  I want a nap so bad.

    Did I miss anything particularly new/exciting/worrisome?

    Jumping in at the first mention of my ‘nym:

    Nerd: Where’s cicely and her pouncehugs? There might even be Nerdhugs in the future!

    Right here! 🙂
    Future Nerdhugs accepted. 🙂 🙂

    ….

    Saad:
    Some days I feel quite pessimistic about the next U.S. elections.

    Me, too.

    ….

    carlie: Here’s hoping that your gallbladder has not entirely gone over to the Equine Dark Side.

    (later)

    You…you threw away books?!?!?

    *fainting in coils*

    ….

    And the same wish for Anne, as well. (About the gallbother, not about the *fainting*.)

    Care to join me in a sarcastic, “Intelligent Design! *snort*?”

    (later)

    Arson?  Oh, fuck, what is WRONG with people?

    What, indeed.  I’ve never understood this.

    Fingers crossed that they can knock this one down quickly.

    Yes.

    ….

    *hugs* for Nightjar (and brain).  The Lands of the Comic Sans (not quite a rhyme, but I’m still gonna go with it) are perilous to explore—too many non-Euclidean chains of “reasoning”.  Too much out-right Stoopid.

    ….

    Tony!, I suspect that at this point, Cosby—and his team of bottom-feeders—are hoping prevent a court trial while his lifespan/clock runs out.

    (not sure whether Before or After)

    I love how creationists put the cart before the horse

    And yet, somehow, the Horses always escape unscathed.

    ….

     

  146. 590

    and because there are not enough Real Women (TM) left in the world, men have trouble being Real Men (TM).

     

    Hm.  I’m a man and I’m real.  It doesn’t even take that much work, so I don’t know how one could have trouble being a real man.

  147. rq
    591

    Biped?!

    I didn’t have an on-campus boyfriend in university. Well I did for a little bit but he was kind of a cheater and liar. Considering other things, it’s the lying that made him a cheater. I was perfectly happy to date a polyamorous man because he didn’t lie about it.

    Anyway, sadly enough, I have never had any romantic adventures in the stacks. 🙁 And most Latvian libraries aren’t large enough to try anything now.

  148. rq
    592

    barkeeperin

    The problem is that you don’t capitalize and you aren’t trademarked. *tsk tsk* All these independent brands, what is the world coming to…?

    And anyway, how do I know you’re real? You’re just a bunch of pixels on a screen – not even ink letters on processed cellulose!!!

     

    Anne

    Just reading the requirements was exhausting. I might have to nag Husband for a bit to regain some of my internal balance. 😛

  149. 593

    Ah memories. I had this hunky boyfriend, several years younger than moi, and a large library available nearly 24/7. He was a romantic sort and we had this Lady Chatterley’s lover fantasy that was quite fun. Library love.

  150. 595

    Fun story – the university library was where Spouse first told me he loved me. 🙂  I can’t explain why, except that he finally got up the nerve then and wasn’t going to wait for a more appropriate location.

    I like how “Real Women” are full of contradictory traits. That way they can say that women aren’t understandable.

    So, verdict is multiple gallstones. No other info except a referral to a specialist, and I don’t know how long it will take to get in. Woo-hoo!

  151. 596

    carlie, gentle hugs and sympathy.  I hope you can get an appointment with the specialist soon.

    Did they at least give you some decent pain meds?  I found that the 8hr generic Tylenol I take for my arthritis anyway helps get through the early morning gallbother attacks.  If you can take acetaminophen, it might be worth a try.  The heavy-duty stuff I got from the ER doctor knocks me out, so I’m saving that for times when I’m desperate.  At least being careful about eating has had one benefit – I’m losing weight gradually, which is always the best way.

    Oh, and try to avoid too much research on the internet, there’s a whole lot of gallstone woo out there.

     

  152. rq
    597

    Anne

    Damn, I was hoping to sell carlie some of my New! Improved! Calcium-filled Homeopathic Anti-Gallstone Crystals, now available as a set of 10! Shucks.

    More seriously, I’m glad you seem to be getting some control over symptoms and suchlike. I wish they’d stop bothering you at all. The gall!

     

    carlie

    *anti-gallstone hugs*

  153. rq
    601

    Rawnaeris

    I am ashamed to say that I have no idea what the Doctor Who theme sounds like. Actually, not that ashamed. 😀

    (That’s my general go-to in transliterating my lascivious ooh-ing over the imagined details of someone’s potentially salacious personal story. Comes with waggly eyebrows, widened eyes and suggestively pursed lips. I am now forced to find the Doctor Who soundtrack and incorporate this heretofore unknown musical aspect in my real-life performances of this particular expression.)

  154. 602

    Hahaha rq, I figured that out after I scrolled back up and saw what it was a reply to. However, I’m quite fond of the Doctor Who theme, in particular for the 9th to 11th Doctors, 12s just lacks enough theremin. 🙂

  155. rq
    603

    opposablethumbs

    If you’re around, your comment 147 on the Amazon/Seattle thread over at Pharyngula just brought about the biggest and rather horrifying lightbulb moment just now.

    Like one of those things where you hear someone say something that on the surface sounds normal, but for some reason makes you feel uncomfortable and uncertain, but you’re not sure why… And no, it’s not you, it’s the phrase “arbeit macht frei” and it may have just resolved the choir issue for me: one of the men in the choir kept using that phrase (in Latvian) both evenings over the weekend, and I couldn’t figure out why I was getting negative associations. No, he wasn’t using it in a particular joke-y or black-humour-y fashion. He would just sort of throw it out at the end of sentences kind of randomly. It all came together reading/translating the phrase from your comment in my head.

    He was also unaware that islam is an abrahamic religion, but that’s another story.

    Anyway. That was all rather random.

     

    Rawnaeris

    I shall be sure to listen to the theme from all seasons (A Theme for All Seasons!) and then we can bemoan the lack of theremin together.

    Or disagree ferociously, whichever. 🙂

  156. 604

    Wow, weird and disturbing, rq! Was he deliberately referring to the concentration camp signs, or do you think it’s even conceivable he didn’t know?

    (and he didn’t know Islam is one of the abrahamic fairytale trilogy??? blimey)

    Mind you, I think if I was hearing somebody say it in another language rather than quoting it in German I probably wouldn’t click right away either. Brr. That’s chilling.

  157. rq
    605

    opposablethumbs

    It was just something he added to other topics, so I can’t speculate as to his reasons behind using it like that, or whether he knows what it refers to. Concentration camps or related topics (not even Hitler, so there, Godwin!) didn’t ever come up over the weekend. This is why it seemed weird that the phrase was discomfitting, because there was no direct reference to it’s origin (or at least, the reason it is known as the kind of phrase it is), and it’s not like, at face value, it’s a terrible phrase.

    I mean, he was telling me about his colleague who smokes a lot and is from [other European country] and just sort of appended “darbs dara brīvu” a couple of times randomly.

    It’s even creepier in retrospect.

  158. 606

    rq:

    That is very creepy, yes.  That phrase is actually kind of creepy on its own, but these days is indelibly tainted by that particular usage.  The anecdote made me think of A Nous La Liberte, a French movie L and I watched with my dad.  At one point, one of the protagonists is napping in the sun by the river when two cops roughly awaken him and ask “Why aren’t you at work?  Don’t you know that in work there is freedom?!” , whereupon the scene immediately cuts to a teacher leading a group of schoolchildren in chanting “Work is necessary, in work there is freedom”. We paused the movie and stared at each other in astonishment. “Did they really?” “Yes, they really just said that”.  Then we passed a bowl to insulate our brains from the creepiness of it all, checked the date on the film (1931), and kept watching.  At various other points, convicts and factory workers are required to sing the same chant.  Good movie, though, I recommend it.

  159. rq
    607

    Dalillama

    Wow, jarring re: the movie.

     

    And also, haha, I laugh at myself, because choir camp indeed did include a passing discussion about the Holocaust (though Offending Member was neither present nor within earshot at the time), as a choir colleague was telling how a friend of hers, whose significant other is member of a men’s musical group that commemorates the military past with dramatic and sad music, was touring the locations of concentration camps this summer.

    So there, Godwin, after all.

  160. 610

    Tony!

    Shyamalan’s making a sequel, after thoroughly fucking up a truly awesome cartoon with the first one?

    “HELL NO” doesn’t quite convey the message, here…

  161. 611

    One of the many problems with adapting A:TLA is that it was a serialized show that works best in a tv format. Even if the first movie were successful and there were a whole trilogy, I don’t think it would work well. There’s just so much material that would have to have been stripped out. I know a good writer could distill much of the essence of the show into 3 movies (sort of the way adaptations of the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings worked), but there are many details that would have gotten left on the cutting room floor.

    I felt the same way about a potential Buffy: The Vampire Slayer live-action movie. The serialized format of the show is part of what made it work. I think an hour and a half movie just isn’t the right format for the Buffy or Avatar.

  162. 614

    chigau:
    Sorry, I wasn’t clear. AFAIK, there are no plans. I was just referring to the possibility which was floated after the series was cancelled (damn, was that really over a decade ago?)

  163. 618

    A squishy chair would be nice, maybe even something pampasan-like. A contoured chair would work too. For some reason, I picture PZ in one of them.

  164. 620

    Not only are some xenophobic, Nazi-sympathizing Germans protesting against refugees being taken in, but a refugee shelter (still empty, luckily) was burned down in eastern Germany.

     

    <a href=”http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/10/us-germany-immigration-idUSKBN0N11WP20150410″>source</a>

  165. 621

    Beatrice:
    From your link-

    “It was over the top whoever set the building on fire but it’s the government’s fault for not informing us sooner about their plans to put a shelter here.”

     

    Blaming the government for the actions of arsonists? It seems someone isn’t happy with the idea of refugees living in the same city as he does.  Blaming the government means he perceives the shelter as undesirable.  I’m betting he doesn’t view refugees as humans trying to escape war, famine, poverty, and sexual violence.  No, probably thinks of them as ‘other’. Sight.

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