New Years' Open Thread

Happy New Year everyone!

I took the week off from following the news and blogging. It doesn't seem like I missed much.

It is very cold and snowy here. Not the fluffy kind of snow that makes everything look like a winter wonderland, but the wet kind that turns into slick ice as soon as it hits the road.

The Colorado State Patrol is out in force looking for impaired drivers. They posted this on their Facebook page a few minutes ago, and they think it is amusing:

New Year’s Eve Special Offer:

Troopers statewide will be giving free* rides to intoxicated drivers caught operating a vehicle. Participants can expect a stay in beautiful grey or white rooms, generally about 6×9 in dimensions, with buzzing lights. A toilet is provide just inches from a 1.5 inch mattress, for your convenience. Free photograph and fingerprints will be taken. Company in the room is almost a guarantee, as is a night contemplating poor life choices.

I am more than happy to see 2018 end. I just wish Donald Trump and his family and revolving door staff members would go with it. Barring that, I wish the media would stop its relentless coverage of him and his ignorant comments. [More...]

I think "shelter" will be my go-to word for 2019. The whole world needs shelter from Trump et.al. and the damage they are doing to our democracy. Refugees and immigrants need shelter. Medicare needs shelter. Federal workers (including court appointed counsel who are now under a pay freeze) need shelter. Inmates need shelter from all sorts of things the Jared bill failed to fix (mandatory minimum sentences) or worse, created (excessive terms of electronic monitoring while on supervised release). We need shelter from the War on Drugs and overly intrusive and secretive law enforcement techniques.

In Times Square, the ball is still an hour away from dropping. Despite the rain, the place is crowded. The stage for the performers doesn't have a roof of any kind, and they are all singing and dancing in the rain. Some look pretty uncomfortable at first, and then give in to it. I stopped watching when they showed an Associated Press photo slideshow of the events of the past year and Donald Trump appeared in more than three.

Have a happy and healthy and peaceful new year everyone, and I'll be back posting right after New Years. Until then, I'm sheltering in place.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Therapy Is Coming (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 05:51:22 PM EST
    The GoT marathon has me reading all kinds of stuff about the final season and the coming spin-off

    Brienne recently dropped a great tease-

    According to the 40-year-old actress who stars as the brave, sword-wielding knight in the HBO fantasy drama series, the show's eighth and final season will see you seeking `professional help' at the end of it. Forget winter: therapy is coming. She said: `You're going to need therapy. I think just the show ending is going to send all of the world into professional help.'

    This could be a reference to my personal favorite out there theory.  That everyone dies.  That the seven kingdoms are a metaphor for the seven deadly sins and the White Walkers were actually sent by the old Gods because men have become so corrupt it's time to start over.  Something like the biblical flood.

    They go on: `I believe that the White Walkers aren't the overarching bad guys, they're a force sent by the old gods in Westeros who see that people have become too corrupt and they need to start anew. `Even GoT Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss describe The Night King, saying that he's not really a force for good or evil, "He's just a force of destruction" much like the biblical flood. `This show is known more than any other for subverting expectations and what a subversion it would be if the beings we believed to be the bad guys through the show up to this point were actually sent on a mission by the old gods who don't like what men have become?'

    Meanwhile, back at the spin-off

    Martin wants it called THE LONG NIGHT.  But HBO has not agreed to that title.  It basically the story of the age of heros.  5000-10000 years before GoT.

    The First Men coming to Westeros, and their Pact with the Children of the Forest. Bran the Builder founding House Stark and building Winterfell and the Wall. Lann the Clever winkling Casterly Rock from the Casterlys with nought but his wits. Durran Godsgrief and his feud with the Gods. Symeon Star-Eyes, and Serwyn of the Mirror Shield. The White Walkers' arrival, the Long Night, and the Battle for the Dawn. Azor Ahai, and the Last Hero.

    All of these are legends that have been passed down through the generations of Westeros, and stories we know pieces of. Martin has never gone into full depth on them, but they have been mentioned through A Song of Ice and Fire, A World of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones etc. This prequel, however, isn't actually going to show some of them - and reveal the truths behind what really happened to. As the synopsis reads:

    "From the horrifying secrets of Westeros' history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend... it's not the story we think we know."

    Naomi Watts is the only offici casting so far.  Which is awsum.  With that blond hair probably a Lannister.  Possibly even Lan the Clever.

    One other bit (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 06:13:19 PM EST
    We recently learned, because The Night King let it slip in an interview, that the giant final battle between the living and the dead that took 2 months to shoot and is being described as the biggest thing tv has ever seen happens in episode 3 of the final season.

    That's halfway through.  Interesting, that.


    Josh Whitehouse (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 09:42:37 PM EST
    From POLDARK is also official

    Cool, Naomi Watts! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 07:23:17 AM EST
    I am a little worried about all that needing therapy stuff hahaha. Stress in my escapism too?

    Well (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 08:01:55 AM EST
    Like everything it's point of view.  Yes Naomi is perfect.  
    Clearly I've been thinking way to much about this but let me try a couple of things on ya.

    Let's consider what we know.
    Jon Snow was dead.  Deader than Elvis.  And the Lord of Light brought him back.  Or the joke really is on the Red Woman.  But let's say R'hllor did the deed.
    Martin has said Snow is Azor Ahai.

    According to prophecy, in ancient books of Asshai[3] from over five thousand years ago, Azor Ahai is to be reborn again as a champion sent by R'hllor.[6] This will occur after a long summer when an evil, cold darkness descends upon the world.


     What do we know about R'hllor?  Well, nothing good actually.
    We know he really likes burning people alive as human sacrifice.  On the list of pros and cons that definitely seems like a con.
    There's this

    At least in one location, Volantis, all those who serve at the red temple are slaves, bought as children and trained to become priests, temple prostitutes, or warriors.[21] Whether this is also the case at other temples is unknown. Thoros, a red priest of Myr, states he was given over to the Red Temple as a young child

    Again, seems like a con.
    And this
    According to the priestess Melisandre, the Lord of Light cherishes the innocent, making them the most precious sacrifice.

    We are short on "pros" I think.

    There is a great line in the episode where Ser Davos confronts the Red Woman about burning the Princess Shireen at the stake.  She says something like 'the Lord of Light told me to
    He screams at her 'if your Lord tells you to burn children alive YOUR LORD IS EVIL'
    I have to say it's hard to argue with that statement.

    Let's consider how the White Walkers treat children.  The only example we have is that great sequence when the Other picks up the baby left in the cold at Crasters
    The didn't harm it.  He treated it quite gently.  The baby never even cried. Mostly just looked up at him smiling and cooing. True, he was turned into a White Walker but it seemed painless.  At least compared to screaming in agony as you burn to death.
    So, for all his good intentions and good looks we have our hero working as the instrument of a deeply and profoundly evil God.

    I guess you see where I'm going.

    Which is the whole undertaking might be dammed.

    That the "flood" idea becomes much easier to imagine.


    Honestly (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 08:10:09 AM EST
    The biggest problem with the flood idea, for me, is figuring out who is worthy of saving.

    The best I can come up with is Sam and Gilly with little Sam and a girl child born to Snow and the Dragon Queen.  Providing a bit of genetic diversity certainly not provided by an aunt and nephew.


    Or (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 10:11:49 AM EST
    We could talk about Trump



    I expect something unexpected (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 03:45:14 PM EST
    Since the Night King is actually a Stark. And the wall was built with spells. Both of those things seem significant now that the wall has been destroyed.

    I read (none / 0) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 05:02:37 PM EST
    They recast the role of the Night King to have more similar features to Bran.
    I was thinking about that watching the marathon.

    Let's say the long running rumor that Bran is some how the Night King is true

    He has been getting more and more detached from humanity.  Let's face it, if you could actually see everything everyone is doing and has done to everyone else you could be forgiven for deciding the human race was and should be permanently fu@ked


    Spoiler alert (none / 0) (#38)
    by ragebot on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 05:32:17 PM EST
    I read the stuff about Bran being magically connected to the Night King and Jon Snow realizes this during a fight with his forces against the Night King when Bran and the Night King's eyes are the same.  Snow realizes he must kill Bran to kill the Night King and does so after Danny is killed.  He then takes the Iron Throne and dissolves the Seven Kingdoms putting various individuals in charge of each one and every one lives happily ever after.

    Yuck.  No double yuck.


    What in the hell are (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 05:55:22 PM EST
    You selling?

    Heh (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 06:12:17 PM EST
    I would say it's pretty obvious at this point that Bran is some how "magically connected" to the Night King.

    What that connection is and how it ends is central to the whole story.  

    For the whole series we, you and I at least, have been thinking the song of fire and ice was a story about Snow and the Dragon Queen.

    Clearly it's the story of the Ice King and the Fire God

    I was thinking - if you take it in the simplest way - if you are talking about fire and ice, if it meteorological or geological or cosmological, ice always wins.


    So spoilers are saying (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:13:50 PM EST
    Danny is killed?

    Some (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:24:37 PM EST
    One has Tyrion residing their child.

    I think it all bunk and misdirection

    I would be amazed if they actually allowed a real leak.


    I would be surprised too (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:27:42 PM EST
    We have waited a long time for this season.

    Nobody better spoil it.

    This is how I'm getting through these upcoming Trump months.

    That and a little help from my friends


    I think Bran becomes a new (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 05:54:24 PM EST
    Night King? For a new era?

    Or he wargs the Night King and sacrifices himself.

    Which would be devastating because we love Bran. To me he has become a symbol of how people with disabilities develop deeper skills elsewhere.

    If Bran is treated so shabbily, yeah, I'll need therapy.

    If they screw Bran we riot.


    Every version (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 06:03:48 PM EST
    Of "leaked" plot for the new season has Bran dying.  In various ways.

    But there are (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 06:17:38 PM EST
    Plausible theories he becomes king.  After Snow and the queen die.

    How to Snow and Danny (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:15:56 PM EST
    Die in the spoilers?

    Do you really want to know? (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:22:44 PM EST
    Actually both die in one version I saw.   one has Snow going back to the north and Dani I joining him after realizing blah blah

    It's seems pretty clear Kings Landing is goin down.  Remember the vision she had in the House of the Undying?  The throne room trashed roof gone and snowing on the iron throne?

    That seems pretty likely one way or another. Either by Dragon fire or wildfire with Cersi going all "mad king"


    Hey, we always knew the kid was doomed (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:15:14 PM EST
    My kid was always doomed

    I am reluctant to just go along here


    I always sort of thought so (none / 0) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:26:10 PM EST
    If as said he is the "only one who can stop the Night King"

    I do believe that (none / 0) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:33:43 PM EST
    It comes down to Bran destroying the existing Night King by either becoming him or opening a way for the Night King to be killed.

    When the undead dragon plasma cutting torched the wall of spells, status quo is no more.


    One recurring rumor (none / 0) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:41:30 PM EST
    You will like is that Gendry plays a big role in the last season and even that he and Arya get together

    One version has them ruling


    Gendry (none / 0) (#54)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:53:31 PM EST
    After basically confirming Jon Snow is Azor Ahai while opening up about the bombshell that is the King of the North's true parents, Martin has now revealed Gendry has a much bigger part to play as we steer into the final chapter of the fantasy epic. The 70-year-old's latest novel delves deep into the history of the Targaryens, confirming the founder of the Baretheon house, Orys, was a `baseborn half-brother to Lord Aegon, it was whispered,' and thus, sharing blood.

    The text describes the bastard of Tagargeyn blood rising to conquer a king - enter Gendry, a bastard blacksmith and secretly the last Baratheon standing, who should in theory also boast Taragryen blood and be able to ride a dragon. What's more, it's been widely speculated that Gendry is the key to the battle ahead as the craftsman behind dragonglass weaponry - aka the only ammunition against the White Walkers. So, in season eight, if we see Gendry making a dragonglass hammer, you probably know where this is leading. Gendry will be the one to take down not only Viserion but also the Night King.



    In somewhat related news (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 04, 2019 at 07:38:28 PM EST
    History channel has a new UFO series starting next Tuesday that actually looks pretty good.


    Starring Little finger


    Lots of speculation about (none / 0) (#23)
    by ragebot on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 03:04:05 PM EST
    GOT.  So much so that while I have seen plenty of claims about what will happen none of them really interest me.

    I have to say I got bummed out on it a while back when it kinda screwed the pooch with how the Dorn peeps were portrayed so differently from in the book.

    This youtube vid may be of interest.


    Really? (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 03:19:58 PM EST
    The Storyline That Ruined Game of Thrones

    What a lot of whinging.  To quote the Hound.

    Yes, everyone has an opinion of or about this series.  If they have followed it and often even if they have not.

    I have only read the first book.  But I know a lot about the books.  IMO the departure from the Dorne story is not the biggest or most important departure.  Or the second biggest.


    But yes (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 04:58:26 PM EST
    I agree the rampant so called leaks gets tedious.

    The stuff above grabbed me because it's so implausible

    Close to impossible to believe.  On the other hand it seems to me they will need to some how deal with the fact the power bringing Snow back from the dead at least once -rumor censored- is a evil fu@king blood thirsty thing.

    None of the allegedly leaked scripts do this.  Plus they are going the absurd lengths to prevent leaks.  So I don't really trust any of them.

    More interested in creative speculation.


    Meet (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 05:49:16 AM EST
    the new Flake
    It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not. When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.
    same as the old Flake
    It is not that all of the president's policies have been misguided. He was right to align U.S. corporate taxes with those of global competitors, to strip out excessive regulations, to crack down on China's unfair trade practices, to reform criminal justice and to appoint conservative judges. These are policies mainstream Republicans have promoted for years. But policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 10:10:49 AM EST
    But it sure landed with a splash.  

    Check out DRUDGE

    RNC member floats proposal to thwart Trump primary challenge

    Let's hope they do it.

    I've decided removing Trump might be a bad idea. Leaving a third of the country screaming about a coup
    He needs to be beaten.  Badly.  Soundly.  In an election.

    Evidence may require removing him.  But a humiliating defeat would be way better.


    The best (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 01:52:09 PM EST
    thing about Trump hanging around until 2020 is the fact that he is going to kill downticket. Can you imagine if Mueller comes out with direct evidence of him conspiring with Putin to undercut an election? Nobody is gonna vote for any Republicans outside of Cult 45. Also removing him may be something the GOP is going to be begging Nancy Pelosi to do. Oh, boy, would I love to watch that happening after all they have said about her.

    ... as is expected, then congressional action to remove Trump may well be imperative. The general public's angry denunciation of President Nixon's infamous "Saturday Night Massacre" 45 years ago is what finally gave the move for his impeachment its sea legs and compelled Congress to act.

    It will be interesting to see whether public opinion reacts similarly to evidence that the Trump campaign was actively colluding with the Kremlin to game the 2016 election. The worst-case scenario, of course, would be a finding that the hacking by Russian intelligence services into state election databases compromised 2016's announced results to the extent that those results could no longer be considered reliable.

    We should also remember that in Aug. 1974, even as congressional support for Nixon collapsed with the revelation of the "smoking gun" tape -- in which the president committed felony obstruction of justice by ordering the CIA to put the clamps on the FBI's investigation of the Watergate break-in, six days after the burglars' arrest -- he still commanded the loyalty of well over half of the GOP's voter base.

    Given that this base has only gotten more partisan and strident over the subsequent 45 years, I don't expect that sort of GOP support to change for Trump. Most Republicans will continue to applaud him, and may well further dig in their heels even in the face of evidence that Trump's campaign betrayed the country to its biggest adversary.



    Yes (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 05:31:07 PM EST
    He might also be impeached but not removed.  With the right wing noise machine screeching Clinton Clinton Clinton.  

    Electorally that might not be bad for us.  We might get rid of Donald and Mitch in the same election

    But I  actually think that op ed from Mitt is interesting.  Interesting timing.  He could have come quietly.  I think Mitt thinks Trump is a goner.  And he wants to be the one the pick up the pieces.


    Mitt Romney kicked Trump while he was down. (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 08:26:05 PM EST
    Then he kissed Trump's a$$ when he was up after the election, because he wanted to be Secretary of State. Now he's back to kicking Trump because he's down again. While I've certainly no sympathy for Der Trumpenfuhrer, who's clearly a bum, Romney's op-ed showcases his penchant for drifting in a calculated manner with the political winds -- which, of course, is entirely reflective of his own nakedly opportunistic character.

    No argument here (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 03, 2019 at 08:39:44 AM EST
    Why does the GOP (none / 0) (#22)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 02:29:27 PM EST
    hate democracy?

    The more I hear Nancy (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 03, 2019 at 11:36:16 AM EST
    The more I like her.  I think she was born to be in this place at this time.  I can not imagine anyone more perfect to go against Trump.

    He is not going to know what hit him.

    Yesterday her daughter said "she can cut off your head and you won't even know you are bleeding"

    Go girl.

    I stopped by CNN (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 31, 2018 at 10:53:07 PM EST
    For about five minutes and one of their hosts was at some kind of pot party smoking big fatties on camera.

    I was impressed.

    There is a spammer (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 31, 2018 at 10:53:39 PM EST
    Hitting multiple threads

    thanks I'll find and (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 01:49:40 AM EST
    zap him/her

    No way (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 11:56:38 AM EST
    I fell asleep at 10:30ish I think.

    Last year I thought about asking for an Instant Pot for Christmas but I have a pressure cooker and I was already doing some meal items in it so I didn't. This year though I asked for the Ninja Foodie, it is basically an Instant Pot with broiling and air frying features. So we have been trying out different foods cooked in it and we ate too much too early last night.


    Yes! (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 12:15:01 PM EST
    Too funny (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 07:08:17 AM EST
    How do they decide who to send? How do they figure out who can still speak newsworthy-like when they are high?

    Happy New Year to all... (none / 0) (#3)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 01:05:28 AM EST
    big storm blowing thru tonite.  Staying in and hunkering down.

    Happy New Year, Jeralyn. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 05:26:52 AM EST
    It was a mellow New Year's Eve tonight. Our cul-de-sac has an annual block party, so it was a good excuse to stick around home. It's 1:40 a.m. HST and it just started raining about 45 minutes ago. Everyone's in bed but me.

    Enjoy the day, everyone.

    With apologies for echoing Cheeto (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 11:20:32 AM EST
    It turns out I completely agree


    I even approve of THE ALL CAPS

    Happy New Year to all! (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 01, 2019 at 12:58:20 PM EST
    Hope you are all having a lovely and relaxing introduction to 2019. Hard to believe the century is pushing 20% over. Oy.

    And in less pressing news, literally, the release of "adlerpoems," originally scheduled to be published today by Dr. Cicero Books, has been pushed back a month due to printer disputes and meteor activity. Thank you for your patience. The Mgmt. XO

    Trump free GLOBES (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 02, 2019 at 10:16:33 AM EST
    On Sunday.  I like it.

    The first-time Golden Globes MCs interview each other (with The Hollywood Reporter's help) about their "five days" of prep, taking advantage of the "looser atmosphere," why they will avoid Trump

    Commission report available. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jan 03, 2019 at 07:58:17 AM EST
    Best of 2018 - Guinness World Records (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 03, 2019 at 04:41:37 PM EST
    I watched/played the Black Mirror interactive (none / 0) (#33)
    by McBain on Thu Jan 03, 2019 at 06:41:25 PM EST
    movie, Bandersnatch a couple nights ago on Netflix.  If you have a compatible device you can make decisions for the lead character from time to time.  It's more of a gimmick than a film but it was kind of fun.  Like the old Choose Your Own Adventure books.

    Netflix has been bragging about the success of another one of it's recent films, Bird Box. In general, I think Nexflix makes decent TV shows but their movies lack a certain production value.  They get quality talent to be involved but something is usually missing.  Maybe they're rushed?