Sunday Open Thread


I'm obsessed with bodies of water these days. From Drake's Passage that goes between Ushaia, Argentina and the Antarctic, to the amazing waters around Tasmania, just below Australia, I've spent hours looking at pictures and ships and adventure tours.

By contrast, I also love the photo above. It's neither in South America, Australia, Asia nor the Indian Ocean. It's somewhere in Europe. I would love to sit on one of those chairs and do nothing but stare at the ocean. Any guesses?

Have any of you crossed Drake's passage or been to Tasmania? (Not the same as Tanzania in Africa).

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    J, time for a vacation. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 01:22:26 PM EST

    Agreed, there are mistakes, and then there (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 04:54:14 PM EST
    are mistakes. Wearing white after Labor Day, is a mistake, lying and using his credibility to sell a war, is another. Powell, himself, referred to his mendacity at the UN as a "blot" on his record. Some blot.

    The hagiography of some reporting at the time of his death does a disservice to both history and the future. And, of course, there are other "blots" to note.

    His investigation of the My Lai massacre resulted in his characterization of events as, essentially, boys will be boys; there were only good relationships between the Americans and the Vietnamese. Some saw it as a whitewash.

    As President Clinton's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, inherited from Daddy Bush, Powell openly and publicly spoke against Clinton's plan to allow individuals of any sexual orientation serve in the military. His behavior was close, if not actually, insubordination. "Unit Cohesion" was his code name and resulted in President Clinton having to go to a military base and rescind his proposal.

     In its stead, was the odious Don't Ask, Don't Tell. A policy that affected the lives of many gay men and women in military service, only now fully being rectified with changes in discharge status and veteran benefits. And, of course, put the military at a disadvantage when translators, many who were gay, were needed in the Iraq war.

    Less well known, was Powell's role in helping out his boss, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. During the Iran-Contra Investigation, Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh, found that Weinberger was  untruthful regarding records and a diary.

     In 1987 Powell, then his senior military assistant, in sworn deposition, testified that to his knowledge Weinberger did not keep a diary. Four years later, Walsh found he did keep a diary. in 1992, contradicting his statement in another sworn deposition that he observed a diary.  Indeed, Powell helped Weinberger maintain a diary of events. All to support Weinberger's current story.  

    Walsh's final report stated that the 1987 deposition "hardly constituted full disclosure."   "It has been designed to protect Weinberger".  Powell was on the witness list for Weinberger's trial, but on December 24, 1992, days before the trail was to begin, President Bush pardoned Casper Weinberger. (on recommendation of AG William Barr)

    Thank you, (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Zorba on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 12:59:58 PM EST
    KeysDan, for reminding everyone about all of this.

    Want to feel old? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 08:28:57 PM EST
    41 years ago today on October 18, 1980, the Australian rock band INXS released its very first album, the self-titled "INXS." As a 21-year-old college student, I first saw them when they opened for The Kinks at the then-Seattle Center Coliseum (later known as Key Arena and now, Climate Pledge Arena), and was absolutely mesmerized by the late Michael Hutchence's powerhouse vocals and Tim Farrisss' guitar riffs. They belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    As a 29 yo gay man in NY (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 08:44:39 PM EST
    1980 has a whole different set of memories.  I was just chatting with a friend about 1980.  There was sort of official beginning of the gay plague but the best thing that happened that year was this

    I met my partner of the next 9 years. And The Saint opened.  

    The original opening date was set for July 30, 1980, but construction delays forced a deferral to September 20, 1980, with Alan Dodd as disc jockey. The nightclub was a success even before it opened. Membership packs with floor plans were distributed and before the club opened 2,500 memberships had been sold at $150 each for the first 700 members and for $250 for the rest, with a waiting list established.*

    My partner had one of the original $150 memberships.    And was on the construction crew.  In the late 80s at one f the last Saint parties a young guy came up to us and said "how long have you guys been coming here?" Bill said, "as long as there has been a here".

    I just recently found that original member ship pack with the blueprints


    Opening party poster (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 09:08:14 PM EST
    One more bit (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 09:27:25 PM EST
    It was in the building that had been The Fillmore East.  So I had been there before.  For Quicksilver and a couple of others

    Hey, Cap'n, I saw Quicksilver Messenger Service (none / 0) (#26)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 10:13:54 PM EST
    at the Fillmore East also. I wonder if we were there the same night?

    Hope it wasn't your shoes (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 07:26:05 AM EST
    I upchucked on.

    Shrooms (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 07:29:01 AM EST
    That part was over before Quicksilver came on and it was memorable.  Very.

    That's way cool. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 04:42:35 AM EST
    Most all the establishments I once haunted as a young man are now long gone, with one notable exception - Freddie's 35er just off the corner of Colorado Blvd. and Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena, CA. It is still everything a great dive bar should be, with the only difference being 40 years later, it's now (thankfully) smoke-free.

    And on a totally (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 12:46:19 PM EST
    Different topic.
    I am making avgolemono soup (Greek chicken, lemon, rice soup with egg) for dinner.  To be served with crusty bread and a Greek salad on the side.

    AG Merrick Garland's (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 22, 2021 at 01:22:25 PM EST
    testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, brought pointed but civil questions from Democratic members and obtuse and mannerless questions from Republicans, often not allowing Mr. Garland to respond.  

    Not surprising to viewers of Republican members at hearings such as the former guy's impeachments. It is my hope, however, that Mr. Garland will have been disabused, if need be, of the notion that the Republican Party is a real American political party.

    After a long career of being referred to as "your honor", all standing on his entry, along with other graces of judicial and public office, his disrespectful, if not contemptuous, treatment may be a needed eye-opener.

    Attorney General Garland is a well-credentialed man of integrity. His demeanor lawyerly and his temperament between cautious and measured. I am hopeful that beneath his gentlemanly presence is  steely fortitude.   He, and the democracy, need it.


    With apologies to Leonard Cohen (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 25, 2021 at 05:34:55 PM EST
    The Willard Hotel

     I remember you well in the Willard Hotel
    You n Rudy n Steve and Bernard
    Givin' us head on the unmade bed
    Desperate to push the canard

    Those were the reason an' that was DC
    We were runnin' for the money and the cult
    And that was called treason by anyone sane
    Probably still is for those of them left

    Ah, but you got away with it, didn't you, baby?
    You whipped up and urged on the crowd
    You got away, I never once heard you say
    This is crazy
    This is treason
    And all of that jiving around

    I remember you well in Willard Hotel
    You were famous, your pud  a mushroom
    You told me again you don't talk to the help
    But for me you would make an exception

    And clenching your fist for the ones like us
    Who oppress and betray and deny
    You fixed yourself, you said: Well, never mind
    It'll be ugly but we'll make it fly.

    And you got away with it, didn't you, baby?
    You whipped up and urged on the crowd
    You got away, I never once heard you say
    This is crazy
    This is treason
    And all of that jiving around

    I don't mean to suggest that I loved you the best
    I can't keep track of each new messiah
    I remember you well in Willard Hotel
    That's all, I don't even think of you that often.

    Book fires are coming (5.00 / 4) (#99)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 26, 2021 at 05:02:14 PM EST
    The first ones will get a lot of news coverage but it will be old news before long.  Like all the other old news.

    Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R) "has launched an investigation into Texas school districts over the type of books they have, particularly if they pertain to race or sexuality or `make students feel discomfort,'" the Texas Tribune reports.

    "Krause's letter provides a 16-page list of about 850 book titles and asks the districts if they have these books, how many copies they have and how much money they spent on the books."

    here's the 16 page list

    So now Texas GOPers (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Nov 04, 2021 at 08:47:45 AM EST
    want to raise a new generation of snowflakes? Heaven forbid, little Johnny or Sally read something that makes them "uncomfortable."

    Americans are so stupid. I remember being called a communist at my CA jr. hi because I was reading Mao's Little Red Book (I had bought a copy in Hong Kong). Funny, no one called me a nazi when I checked Mein Kampf out from that same jr. hi library. I read that list. Didn't see Mein Kampf on there. Seems they are OK with THAT book.


    What's that smell? (none / 0) (#176)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 01:00:21 PM EST
    Virginia School Board Recommends Burning Books

    November 10, 2021 at 12:19 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 169 Comments

    "The Spotsylvania County School Board has directed staff to begin removing books that contain `sexually explicit' material from library shelves," the Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star reports.

    Said one school board member: "I think we should throw those books in a fire."

    Another added that he wants to "see the books before we burn them so we can identify within our community that we are eradicating this bad stuff."

    yep. That's surely going to make a difference.... (none / 0) (#178)
    by leap on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 02:47:08 PM EST
    Nope! These people are so d@mned ignorant, know no histories. They pop up over and over again, ex nihilo, as if book-burning/banning has never happened before, with results that would surprise them if only they knew. We live with, and are ruled by, idiots.

    The most (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 29, 2021 at 02:50:34 PM EST
    tangible political outcome of this European trip may be President Biden's meeting with Pope Francis. The Pope calling the President a good Catholic and that he should continue to receive Communion at Mass converted a pro forma diplomatic visit into an undermining of reactionary right wing American bishops and cardinals who are attempting to politically embarrass President Biden.

     A national effort is underway  by right wing Catholic hierarchy and their " flock adherents" such as Bannon,  to publicly deny President Biden communion  for his stance on abortion and, thereby, administer reputational sanction.  Such sanction would also serve those bishops and cardinals political efforts against women's choice and separation of church and state.

    This same reactionary wing (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by jmacWA on Fri Oct 29, 2021 at 03:23:40 PM EST
    reactionary right wing American bishops and cardinals who are attempting to politically embarrass President Biden.

    Has no issue with the Catholic justices on the supreme court who ignore the churches guidelines on the death penalty and let an Oklahoma man be executed yesterday.  They are hypocrites.


    It could also be considered a message (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Peter G on Fri Oct 29, 2021 at 03:27:23 PM EST
    to our majority-Catholic Supreme Court on the eve of next week's momentous arguments on the authority of the federal government to challenge Texas's "bounty-hunter" anti-abortion statute. Happily, the Senate yesterday confirmed the brilliant and very effective Elizabeth Prelogar to be the new Solicitor General of the U.S. (chief appellate lawyer for the US Govt; third in command at DOJ), so the government will be able to argue that case in a woman's voice. Fun fact: while a college student, Prelogar competed for the Miss America "crown" as Miss Idaho.

    Nyx says Happy Halloween (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Oct 30, 2021 at 10:50:31 AM EST
    Nyx Rising

    Nyx is the Greek goddess of the night. A shadowy figure, Nyx stood at or near the beginning of creation.  She was a child of Khaos (Chaos, Air), and coupling with Erebos (Darkness) she produced other personified deities such as Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death).  Her appearances are sparse in surviving mythology, but reveal her as a figure of such exceptional power and beauty that she is feared by Zeus himself
    In ancient art Nyx was depicted as a either a winged goddess or charioteer.
    The theme of Nyx's cave or mansion, beyond the ocean (as in Hesiod) or somewhere at the edge of the cosmos (as in later Orphism) may be echoed in the philosophical poem of Parmenides.

    FYI (none / 0) (#115)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Nov 01, 2021 at 08:34:45 AM EST
    Nyx is the Mom of Thanos. From Den-of-geek:

    What started as a lift from Kirby soon became something wholly unique. Thanos' name is derived from the Greek idea of Thanatos, the personification of death and oblivion. Thanos would soon live up to his ominous moniker.

    Also mom of Charon, the ferryman, and Eros.


    I wish people would stop saying (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Nov 01, 2021 at 08:30:51 AM EST
    yard signs are "important".

    IMO yard signs are stupid.  I have never placed a yard sign or a bumper sticker.   And I always vote.  Pretty sure I'm not alone.

    I think Terry McAuliffe will win tomorrow.  In spite of the "massive yard sign advantage"

    I am almost afraid to breathe (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 01, 2021 at 10:29:20 PM EST
    To be able to break Virginia away from the mental confederacy during Trumpism!

    I think education and Fairfax County schools has been pivotal in the bluing of Virginia.

    Moving here Josh's senior year was an astonishing exposure to the Montgomery County school system and its success. Maryland is more expensive than Virginia. But Fairfax schools need to be at least as good as MoCo schools right? Who wants to get shown up there with Montgomery Co right in your face with it?

    Liberals like ourselves a successful public school system. We will move there, with all of our children.  


    I'm having such a great week (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 09:54:09 AM EST
    I have nothing to do.  Nyx is finished just planning and thinking about that, I have gotten all my business in order and am just waiting until Sat when I go visit old friends in St Louis through my birthday.

    And it's Dexter week.  In the build up to the reboot, which I'm very excited about, they are running a season of Dexter every day.  I know I can stream it anytime but watching it broadcast feels more like a shared experience.

    And I just got a $100 loyalty credit at the dispensary



    I can breathe (none / 0) (#126)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 08:19:55 PM EST
    And we're just really Phucked.

    Nobody trusts Democratic leadership (none / 0) (#127)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 08:25:17 PM EST
    Nobody believes in Democratic leadership taking care of them.

    They have done a great job (none / 0) (#128)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 08:26:59 PM EST
    of proving they can f'ck up a two car funeral.

    The anti-anti-racist ticket in our local (none / 0) (#122)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 10:58:52 AM EST
    school board election (spouting the "education not indoctrination" slogan) has a definite yard sign advantage, due to outside "dark money" funding. But in our highly educated, highly liberal suburban community, I cannot believe they (being three of the four endorsed R candidates) will come close to prevailing. (The fourth candidate on the R side is by far the most qualified candidate, but stands the least chance to win, as she has the support of neither party's apparatus.) The D candidates are not the best either, but at least they are not stalking horses for anti-public-education hedge-fund creeps, like the 3 Rs.

    Good indication (none / 0) (#123)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 11:42:13 AM EST
    of both strategy and expectations in VA.

    Gingrich Says Democrats Will Try to `Steal' Virginia

    November 2, 2021 at 11:31 am EDT By Taegan Goddard 231 Comments

    Newt Gingrich told Fox News that if the Virginia gubernatorial race comes down to a narrow margin, Democrats will try to "steal it."

    Said Gingrich: "First of all if it's really tight they'll steal it, so you can't afford to have a really tight election. You have to win by a big enough margin that they can't steal it."

    About the Rittenhouse jury stuff.  It's odd.  I heard everything I said on MJoe but I couldn't find much print about it.  Maybe that will change.


    Preliminary tally as of 10 pm (none / 0) (#129)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 09:10:42 PM EST
    has the Dem slate for school board with about 3600 votes each, and the Tucker Carlson slate garnering from 476 to 550 votes each.

    And as of 11:45 pm (none / 0) (#132)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 10:46:45 PM EST
    looks like about 7800 for the sane School Board ticket, to 1200 racist dog whistlers. And the best news of all, my wife's favored successor on Township Board of Commissioners (basically, city council) was elected, so my wife will retire happily in January after two four-year terms representing our Ward.

    Near-final tally, racist dog-whistlers routed here (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by Peter G on Wed Nov 03, 2021 at 10:57:52 AM EST
    About 13,800 to about 4400 for school board. Great bubble to live in.

    Jury selected in Rittenhouse trial (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 07:53:59 AM EST
    Is there really nothing that can be done about this?

    Another man said he had been commenting online about the case since it happened, then began talking about his support for the Second Amendment. Schroeder stopped him.

    "I've said it before and I'm going to say it again, this is not a political trial," Schroeder said. "To the extent that this trial is about the Constitution, it's about the right to a fair trial."

    The juror was seated.  After he told the judge he did not think he could be fair.

    A woman was dismissed because she said she thought the fact he had an assault weapon probably meant he was there to use it.

    This same judge said the dead people could not be called victims but COULD be called rioters, looters or arsonists.

    Is this as f'ing insane as it seems to me?
    Can this judge get away with this?  How it this in any way "fair".

    The judge is right on the "victim" (none / 0) (#121)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 10:48:52 AM EST
    ruling. The deceased or complainant should not be labeled as the "victim" in a self-defense case (or similar situations, such as a rape case where the defense is consent rather than identity) until the jury renders its verdict. This is a rather commonplace protection for the defendant's right to a fair trial. "Rioter," "looter" and "arsonist" should depend on there being evidence presented that the particular people he shot had engaged in such conduct, that Rittenhouse knew (or at least believed) this, and that it may have affected his (purported) belief in the necessity of using deadly force in self-defense. The jury selection rulings, if accurately reported, I cannot explain; they sound very wrong.

    This is the problem (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 08:03:48 AM EST
    This guy says Critical Race Theory is the most important issue in the Virginia Election. He also says he has no idea what Critical Race Theory is.

    Republicans have built their church on this BS.  Not just CRT but Dr Seuss, caravans, emails, whatever the outrage of the moment is.  Democrats have to find a better way of responding to this and stop assuming people are not this stupid.

    Clearly they are.  

    YEP (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by jmacWA on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 09:01:44 AM EST
    Clearly they are.

    Crystal clear.  I have to say that I find myself guilty here of believing that 'they couldn't possibly be that stupid'.  I started feeling this way when Newt's 'Contract on America' was announced.  The thing is, IMO, they had some really good planners and had already doped out that people would say you have to be stupid to believe this, so they ran their 'liberal elite' campaign first.  How many of us kept quite because we didn't want to feed into there meme of the 'liberal elite', I know I did.


    58 years ago today on November 2, 1963, ... (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 06:33:28 PM EST
    ... South Vietnam's autocratic president Ngo Dinh Diem was overthrown in a violent military coup d'état against his regime that was both actively encouraged and facilitated in part by the CIA, presumably with the acquiescence and approval of the Kennedy administration.

    Having initially escaped ARVN's assault on Gia Long Palace (the presidential residence) in Saigon via an underground tunnel, Diem, his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu and two loyalists took refuge at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Cholon district. In a subsequent phone call the following day to the American embassy from Cholon, Diem was induced to surrender by U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge with a promise of exile for him and his family in a country to be determined.

    However, once they were in the custody of ARVN soldiers, both Ngo brothers were summarily executed without trial by gunfire and bayonets on direct orders of one of ARVN's coup leaders, Gen. Duong Vanh Minh. At Ambassador Lodge's direction, U.S. embassy personnel dutifully but erroneously reported Gen. Minh's false assurances that the brothers had committed suicide to the State Dept. in Washington.

    The bodies of Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother were returned to Saigon, where they were hastily buried in unmarked graves at the French colonial cemetery of Mac Dinh Chi, which ironically was located next to what was then Ambassador Lodge's own personal residence.

    In 1983, Vietnam's communist government declared Mac Ding Chi Cemetery to be a corrupt vestige of the country's French colonial past and gave family members of that cemetery's deceased residents two months to exhume and relocate their remains elsewhere. The Ngo family had the bodies of Diem and Nhu disinterred and reburied at Lai Thieu, the French military cemetery in Binh Duong Province, 16 miles from present-day Ho Chi Ming City.

    Thinking of my own father on this day, who was a USMC officer serving as a counterinsurgency expert with MACV in South Vietnam. Back then, he had led his attached unit, the 4th Vietnamese Marine Battalion, into Saigon and deployed his men outside Gia Long Palace before withdrawing himself to the nearby U.S. embassy just prior to the initial assault, so as to avoid any later claim of U.S. involvement in the sad events of that day and next.

    Although he subsequently lamented and quickly regretted his own role in helping to facilitate the ARVN military coup in a letter to my mother dated Nov. 5, 1963, in which he openly mused about resigning his commission in protest, my father would continue serving in his capacity as MACV counterinsurgency advisor until he lost his own life 103 days later, while attempting to thwart a Viet Cong terrorist attack on the Capital Kinh Do movie theater within Saigon's American compound, which was then located a few blocks south of Gia Long Palace. He's buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

    May all those who died in the tragic folly that was the Vietnam War rest in peace, and may the rest of us finally if belatedly absorb the obvious and costly lessons of our country's grievously misguided efforts in that misbegotten conflict.


    Election thoughts. (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 10:04:34 PM EST
    When Republicans lose, they blame--fraud and stolen election.

    When Democrats lose, they blame--eac other.

    This year's "education" and critical race theory are last cycle's "economic anxiety".

     When the electorate feels they are not getting improvements in their lives from Democrats in nine months of holding office,, they turn to Republicans who they know will do nothing for them.

    A. non- embarrassing Trumpist makeover with swastikas covered over and without orange makeup is in vogue.

    I am heading out to some diners to confirm.

    If it's as bad as it looks right now (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 10:37:15 PM EST
    maybe at least it with b!tch slap the democrats into, you know, DOING SOMETHING.

    Probably too much to hope for.


    They seem (none / 0) (#135)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 03, 2021 at 04:25:24 PM EST
    to have gotten the message to end the futzing around.

    Local Election News (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by CST on Wed Nov 03, 2021 at 11:36:59 AM EST
    Boston just elected a woman as mayor for the first time in history.  Also the first non-white person for the first time in history.  Also the first person who wasn't born in Boston in about 100 years.

    It's been a long time coming, but Michelle Wu has also been playing the long game building her visibility over time.  Meanwhile, her opponent leaned hard on her "Boston" cred, leaned into the accent, leaned into being raised in the city, leaned into the Boston stereotype as hard as she could and the end result wasn't even close as voters rejected that message loud and clear.


    A front page article (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 04, 2021 at 10:45:02 AM EST
    in today's NYTimes illustrates a big part of the problem.  "GOP Turns Education Into Potent Wedge Issue" carried on for several paragraphs and a turn to page A16 before we learn what  the "education" problem is---teaching something that is not taught, closing schools due to concerns for the safety of the children, their parents and grandchildren.  And then there are the teacher unions and Randi Weingarten the gay president of the president of the American Federation of Teachers who campaigned with Terry McAuliffe (attacked by Senator Cotton as not fit to be a teacher because she does not have children of her own---The nuns who taught me want a word with Tom).

    As I assert, the Republican Party is not a legitimate political American Party and should not be treated as such.  It had no platform in 2020 because it needs none, It's policy is to do whatever it's authoritarian criminal leader wants done. Youngkin was not exactly what they wanted. But he will do. A bullhorn of racism is preferred to a dog whistle.  But, the media is exclaiming Youngkin as the answer to Trumpism-- a less vulgar fascist.  Youngkin pledges never again to close schools.  He won't have to with the progress made on the pandemic and now, children vaccinations.  

    Difficult to message to counter firehouses of manufactured fears and lies.  And, to counter those who do not want those "others" to get something. Better that neither the other nor them get anything.

    Yes. They do. (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 05, 2021 at 01:38:13 PM EST
    "Dow is over 36,000. Unemployment has dropped from 6.3% in Jan. to 4.8%. Over 5 million jobs added, a record. 220 million vaccines in 10 months. And only 30% of country think US is on right track. The Democratic Party has a huge messaging problem."

    -- Former GOP strategist Stuart Stevens, on Twitter.

    Beating all (none / 0) (#147)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 05, 2021 at 02:11:44 PM EST
    expectations: Payroll employment rose by 531,000 in October. Unemployment down to 4.6 percent.  Now children can be vaccinated.  

    But, we are on the wrong track?    I fear the "right track" is becoming the anti-diversity track.  Better vote for Republicans since that party is the white nationalist party.  Easy to vote for since it cleaned up a bit, sort of Youngkinized---put the bull horn on the shelf, talk about Toni Morrison's book and mention Stacey Abrams a lot. Go back and see how Jesse Helms did it.   Keep the pandemic going,  


    The labor shortage (none / 0) (#148)
    by CST on Fri Nov 05, 2021 at 03:00:33 PM EST
    Happening right now is amazing. Labor has the upper hand for the first time in my adult life and it's incredible to see.

    Meanwhile the media keeps printing article after article with businesses complaining about it, trying to get people to panic on behalf of the man.

    It would be laughable if it weren't effective.


    Hope it continues (none / 0) (#161)
    by coast on Sun Nov 07, 2021 at 06:33:16 AM EST
    There is a lot at play in these numbers which accounts for the pessimism.  I hope it continues, but I have a feeling the vaccine mandate, if implemented in January, will reverse these gains.

    Speaking as an NFL fan, ... (5.00 / 3) (#149)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 05, 2021 at 03:28:56 PM EST
    ... it's incredibly disappointing to watch Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers expose himself to America as a 190-proof batshit antivax crackpot, first by having misled practically everyone regarding his COVID vaccine status, and then by appearing on Pat McAfee's radio show to pathetically blame "the woke mob" for the resulting public fallout from his own remarkably poor personal choices.

    You know, after 20 months of really trying to do the right thing by my fellow Americans during a pandemic that's now killed over 750,000 of us, I simply have no more f*cks to offer these antivax Scheisskopfs, who've all loudly and arrogantly proclaimed that there is no us in them because - surprise! - there never was any us in them, nor will there ever be.

    So, f*ck Aaron Rodgers, and f*ck these sports journalists and pundits who prioritize football over COVID by trying to downplay his despicable public statements. If he gets sick, and / or the NFL suspends him for having both openly mocked league protocols and recklessly exposed players and coaches with his self-absorbed behavior, he will have brought it on himself.


    LOL! A 3-word tweet from the Packers, ... (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Nov 06, 2021 at 10:44:05 PM EST
    ... since deleted, likely summed up the frustration of the franchise's public relations office yesterday:

    "Jesus Christ, Aaron."

    "Woke" ??? (none / 0) (#150)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 05, 2021 at 03:57:53 PM EST
    Who uses that term.  I think it might have been used a couple of times in a Berkeley coffee house.  I like politically correct in that it is a better way to insult and be insensitive to others and then claim to be the victim when called on it.

      Rodgers, the poor boy, called up all the victimhood sayings, including "cancel culture". Guess it is our fault he lied-- yes he did say he was immunized  as if he was not deliberatively deceptive. But, he knows what he is doing because he claims "he did his own research".


    Who uses "woke" now (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 06, 2021 at 06:23:35 AM EST
    to the point of beating it several feet into the ground, are people like the DMT-addled Rogan and his 'Intellectual Dark Web' compadres Eric and Bret Weinstein, Ben Shapiro, Sam Harris et al whose political schtick, like Greenwald's lately, is to declare themselves sympathetic to the left while spending 99% of their waking hours attacking only "the woke left" and "cancel culture".

    The Weinsteins in particular, I'm convinced are suffering from intellectual Stockholm Syndrome from being clamped onto the Peter Thiel teat for so long. Whether Thiel has his obsessively-ideological hooks into the others is hard to say.

    Unfortunately,  Rogan is a big influencer nowadays, while he in turn is fuzzy-brained enough to throw red meat to the Alex Jones crowd while making half-baked pronouncements such as recently declaring Tucker Carlson a fair-minded, good faith actor who strives to present all sides of the issues.


    Don't forget about (none / 0) (#154)
    by coast on Sat Nov 06, 2021 at 08:05:28 AM EST
    Maher and Carville.

    I've been looking askance (none / 0) (#155)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 06, 2021 at 09:00:46 AM EST
    at Maher ever since he evoked the domino theory on his show to justify the Vietnam War.

    I think he said at one point "I didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me," whatever the eff that means.

    Now he's perpetually upset about "wokeness," as if anyone gives a sh*t.


    Carvilllle's (none / 0) (#156)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 06, 2021 at 10:12:56 AM EST
    Woke response to Tuesday's election results was among the most inane.  Although Peter.Baker's (NYTimes) "Biden returns from Europe to find a different country" shows that you do not have to be woke to be inane.

    Rodgers also invoked Martin Luther King Jr. (none / 0) (#160)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Nov 06, 2021 at 10:55:36 PM EST
    Needless to say, Aaron's no MLK.

    Rodgers admitted getting his (none / 0) (#151)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Nov 05, 2021 at 05:01:54 PM EST
    medical advice from Joe Rogan. Once he admitted taking ivermectin, I knew he was just another rightwing nutball.

    From some of the other (none / 0) (#153)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 06, 2021 at 06:50:55 AM EST
    things Rogers has said, I suspect he's one of these new hybrid Rogan-adjacent types who's right on some things, left on some things, and borderline whacked-out on some others..

    I do get a little suspicious about these "don't trust Big Pharma" types suddenly cropping up who previously never uttered a peep about Big Pharma and rarely ever utter a peep about the undue influence on policy in general of dark money and corporations.

    The whole thing has a Tucker Carlson bullsh*t-populism stench to it.


    Youngkin the Younger. (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by KeysDan on Sun Nov 07, 2021 at 01:19:25 PM EST
     Glenn Youngkin's 17-year old son, Thomas, attempted to vote illegally on election Tuesday, TWICE.  And, in a precinct in which his family does not even live.

    After presenting his ID, the voting official told the boy he needed to be 18 to vote in Virginia.  The official did offer him the opportunity to register to vote for when he hit 18, but he declined and left the polling place.

    Young Youngkin returned in 20 minutes and insisted he be allowed to vote because he said, a friend also 17, had been allowed to vote. He was, once again, told he was not eligible.

    Since Youngkin, the older, campaigned on "education" he should now champion the teaching of Civics in Virginia schools putting it top on a "parent centered" educational task force.

    And, the reporting of that election fraud by the 17-year old friend is troubling.  There is clearly a need for an audit of the Virginia election, a couple of times.

    Youngkin (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2021 at 03:57:56 AM EST
    is showing himself to be more of a clown by the day. His response to this incident was to lie and scream about "oppo research" and now just released his taxes. Certainly now his whole "election integrity" platform has collapsed because anytime he talks about reforming voting people are going to laugh in his face and point to his son.

    Also either his son was lying about the 17 year old voting or he is withholding knowledge of a crime. I hope the local police question him about this incident.


    Youngkin released (none / 0) (#170)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 08, 2021 at 09:37:07 AM EST
    a summary of his taxes, but not the returns.  It reports a substantial contribution to charity, which sounds good at first bounce.  But interestingly, the Younkins' charitable giving is through their own Foundation, Phos, a non-profit Christian foundation run out of his basement-- no reported staff.

     There is some question as to whether or not the Foundation is distributing at least 5 percent of its asserts annually as required.  Some accounting experts claim it is if certain real estate assets held in LLC's are considered -- those leased to a Church and a religious retreat for a dollar a year.


    What is it? (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 08, 2021 at 11:29:46 AM EST
    Do the Republicans all take classes in "How to grift using a charity?"

    Oh, but (none / 0) (#163)
    by Zorba on Sun Nov 07, 2021 at 02:35:52 PM EST
    KeysDan, we all know that only Democrats commit voter fraud,  don't we?  Don't we???

    Captain (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by jmacWA on Mon Nov 08, 2021 at 03:39:15 AM EST
    Have a great day.

    3 days in with the 7 in front and to quote Arthur Bach 'it doesn't suck'

    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Nov 08, 2021 at 05:59:24 AM EST
    I'm spending it in St. Louis seeing friends I have not seen for too long.  So far it's been great.

    Happy Birthday! (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 08, 2021 at 08:26:50 AM EST
    Have fun with your friends!

    Hope yours was (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Nov 08, 2021 at 08:06:12 AM EST
    Memorable.    8 hours in and it doesn't suck so far.

    Belated (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 08, 2021 at 08:28:40 AM EST
    Happy Birthday, jmacWA.  You've just turned 70, then?  You're still a youngster!  ;-)

    For any skywatchers out there... (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by desertswine on Mon Nov 08, 2021 at 06:28:09 PM EST
    The Moon, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter are putting on a beautiful show tonite.  They are spread out across the southern sky in a virtual straight line.  Awesome.

    I really do wish the media would stop ... (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 09, 2021 at 01:54:21 PM EST
    ... trying to rationalize the GOP's collective and individual behavior as though that party's embrace of a mindlessly militant and authoritarian white nationalism is somehow nothing more than the normal ebb and flow of politics. It really isn't normal at all - and the more they try to allude otherwise, the worse it gets.

    Interesting Pew survey (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 05:34:03 PM EST
    supposed to tell you where you are on the "Political Spectrum"

    It says I'm "outsider left"

    The questions are laughably loaded but not sure of a better way to ask them.

    I did like this part (none / 0) (#188)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 05:36:31 PM EST

    Outsider Left are the youngest typology group,



    Pew is right.. (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 08:03:37 PM EST
    "More services," whatever that might mean, doesn't necessarily translate into "bigger government."

    For instance, the current military budget is upwards of $700 billion. Maybe we just redirect a hundred billion or two away from the insatiable military/industrial maw and into more life sustaining and enhancing areas, like education and healthcare. Or is the very idea of such a thing un-American?


    Question No 2 (none / 0) (#191)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 08:26:42 PM EST
    is as weasely and manipulative as Question 1.

    As if they don't know that "openness to people all over the world" is an ambiguous way of referring primarily to immigration policy.


    Kind of a problem with surveys (none / 0) (#193)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 09:13:44 PM EST
    in general.  How the question is asked is as important as the question.   Most things are not as simple as A or B.  Or even multiple choice.

    The questions were lame.  


    Just watched (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Oct 17, 2021 at 08:00:55 PM EST
    the two hour HBOMAX doc What happened to Brittany Murphy?

    It's a sad thing but worth 2 hours.  I had sort of forgotten how much I liked some of her performances.

    Good week for tv (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 07:49:40 AM EST
    Succession started a new season last night.
    Invasion starts on Apple+ Friday.  
    Dune was also supposed to start Friday but is now coming Thursday afternoon,
    Foundation continues and is great.
    Chapelwaite dropped the finale on demand yesterday but not gotten there in the broadcast so another week or two of that.

    Have you been watching 'American Rust'? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 03:45:15 PM EST
    It started out as pretty intriguing, with its setting in the economically-challenged communities of southwestern Pennsylvania. But from that promising premise and beginning, it has since become a tedious and tawdry melodrama that's very heavy on the atmospherics - not since director Michael Cimino's 1978 Oscar winner "The Deer Hunter" has the Pittsburgh-area steel towns have probably never looked more oppressive and depressing - but light on almost everything else. I finally turned it off last night at about halfway through the episode, realizing that I had little or no interest in any of these characters. I won't be back.

    I got Showtime (none / 0) (#87)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Oct 24, 2021 at 12:48:27 PM EST
    for the Dexter reboot

    And I've been watching American Rust.  So far I'm liking it a lot.  I'm in e3


    I've been down to (none / 0) (#3)
    by fishcamp on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 07:51:01 AM EST
    Tierra del Fuego, by land, but have not crossed Drake's channel by boat.  Wild and strange country with lichen covered rocks, and small bent bushes.

    And the winner is..... (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 07:55:47 AM EST
    ... who died from COVID-related complications compounded by his struggle with multiple myeloma and Parkinson's disease. Even though he had been immunized against COVID, his immune system was likely too compromised to withstand even an otherwise-mild breakthrough infection.

    Powell became the first Black national security adviser, the first Black chairman of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff and after his retirement from active duty, later served as President George W. Bush's first secretary of State.

    Those acknowledgements out of the way, it must be noted that when then-Sec. of State Colin Powell appeared before the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 and offered what we now know to be a false pretext for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, which ultimately led to the deaths over 125,000 Iraqis and nearly 5,000 U.S. military personnel, he became complicit in a war crime.

    There is some question whether the Bush administration ever fully shared with Powell the truth about Iraqi WMD before he went to New York to cloak the flimsy U.S. rationale for invasion with his highly regarded persona, which was forever stained by that embarrassing and shameful performance. The U.N. declined to sanction the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

    Apparently Powell had harbored significant doubts about the veracity of the case he made to the U.N. But rather than be a good soldier and resign his position as Secretary of State, he played the loyal soldier by allowing the Bush administration to piggyback off his good name for its own short-term ends, and he consequently paid a price for it.

    Powell later expressed regret, in obvious retrospect, for what happened in Iraq. But while he was still held in high esteem in many circles in D.C., his public reputation for being a straight shooter never fully recovered from that foreign policy and diplomatic debacle.

    Now, personally speaking, I believe few people deserve to have others define their lives solely by their biggest mistakes and regrets. But as errors go, the Iraq War was a significant one - the foreign policy equivalent of an own goal, so to speak.

    To discuss Colin Powell's significant legacy of military and public service without any mention of Iraq would be a disservice to that otherwise-honorable man. And I'm of no doubt that he knew and accepted it. That's why in the Bush administration, he stood out as a Mensch amongst toadies, and why he exited public life with more than his fair share of warts, thanks to the company he kept.


    How long before (none / 0) (#9)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 04:59:22 PM EST
    orange doofus releases some kind of cr@ppy statement about Colin Powell?

    He usually has a pretty good grasp (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 06:06:38 PM EST
    on how far he can push it.  I think even he is starting to get the feeling some high profile - elected - Republicans have had just about enough of him.  A couple said so this weekend.

    IMO if he has any brain cells left he will keep his mouth shut about Powell.  At least until the body gets cold.


    So much for Trump's brain cells. (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 11:13:46 AM EST
    Once a POS, always a POS. It's why he attracts so many right-wing dung flies.

    Who were (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 07:12:26 PM EST
    these Republicans that had had enough? I am still mostly seeing them either embrace Trump or pretend that they have no idea what his most recent statement was.

    Google is our friend (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 07:36:14 PM EST
    The thing (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 07:53:21 PM EST
    about what both these guys said is that it's so obviously undeniably true that it almost impossible to take issue with.  Unless you are Trump.  The only thing strange about it is that it's news.  Because it's strange.  Not for long IMO.

    I don't think Trump telling republican voters to not vote is going to be acceptable or avoidable.  They simple can't allow him to do this.

    Most of them would welcome and even drink to a good excuse to cut him loose and toss him over.  Or even a bad excuse.  I think those excuses are coming.

    Of course fortunately for us Trump will never shut up while he is breathing and none of his offenses so far legally merit a death sentence.  


    Well, from (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 05:28:58 AM EST
    what I am seeing play out here in Georgia allegiance to Trump still has currency and probably is gonna be enough for Walker to win the GOP senate nomination. Even Kemp isn't saying Trump lost anymore.

    I agree with Donald--wait and see 'cause we've all heard this before and then poof they turn around 1 week later and embrace Trump.

    As far as Trump telling people not to vote, I don't think the GOP really can do anything about that. He is going to continue to have rallies for his preferred candidates and he is going to continue to talk about how he won the 2020 election.


    I would love to ask (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 07:57:06 AM EST
    those with allegiance to Trump how they feel about him endorsing Stacey Abrams.

    Depends (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 02:20:51 PM EST
    on the level of hatred they have towards Brian Kemp. Most would say we expect Abrams to not do the right thing but I voted for Kemp and expect him to protect us from the "left".  

    But didn't we hear that last January? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 07:46:37 PM EST
    CaptHowdy: "I think even he is starting to get the feeling some high profile - elected - Republicans have had just about enough of him. A couple said so this weekend."

    And then, 234 of the 251 GOP members of Congress rallied around the Trump flags to effectively quash his second impeachment, even while the wingbat insurrection's fatalities were still being buried.

    As Rachel Maddow has repeatedly admonished us, don't listen to what Republicans say. Rather, watch what they do.



    Yeah (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 07:54:23 PM EST
    Well last January he was only telling GA voters to stay home.  And we know how that turned out.

    And as far as watching what they do (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 07:57:55 PM EST
    what they have NOT done is what Cassidy and Hutch did this weekend.  Trump is a loser.  If we stick with him we will lose.

    Lots of unelected republicans have said this.  Not elected ones.


    I think they're right. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 08:32:00 PM EST
    At least, I certainly hope so. But we'll see. The GOP is less a political party these days than a deranged personality cult.

    So do I (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 07:40:26 AM EST
    No doubt the cult will live.  The question is will the Republican Party live.  If it does it's going to have to break from him as a party or maybe form a new party.  But if he keeps doing what he is doing, and he probably will, many republicans are going to jump.  

    The only thing that will do that is losing.  And they are working on that.  By any expected historical norm with redistricting and vote suppression they should take the house and the senate.   If they don't there will be no mystery at all who's fault it is.


    The problem with those historical norms ... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 11:36:39 AM EST
    ...  is that any political analysis citing such norms is premised entirely upon the two parties' past performances in elections prior to 2020, and really doesn't account at all for the electorate's strong aversion at the ballot box last year to the GOP's radical right-wing tilt, which drove Democratic turnout to record levels.

    If anything, Republicans have since doubled down on the right-wing crazy. But far too many pundits are assuming that only GOP voters are motivated in midterms while Democratic voters, having defeated Trump last year, will simply revert to form and not show up.

    Personally, I think that's a faulty assumption, particularly this electoral cycle. But the media's old habits, like their "Democrats in Disarray" memes and themes, die hard.



    Oh (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 12:32:24 PM EST
    I think democrats will be motivated just like last time.  I also think republicans might be motivated.  

    There was record turnout last time.  Trump got more votes than anyone ever in a presidential election.  Except for Biden.


    I think you're off the mark there. (none / 0) (#94)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Oct 25, 2021 at 01:47:55 PM EST
    He's still pi$$ing on the grave of the John McCain every chance he gets.

    Nothing (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 09:01:01 AM EST
    but crickets

    Kind of big news for him to ignore this long.  Eventually he will arrange for someone to "ask" so he will have an excuse for dumping on him.

    Probably not today.


    Ha (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 09:03:09 AM EST
    This literally popped up while I was typing that

    Trump criticizes media for treating Powell 'beautifully' in death


    Funny (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 09:49:03 AM EST
    When I posted that first comment there was nothing.  I looked.  That was the point.  Then when I tested the link that one thing popped up.  Now that link is a full page of Trump on Powell.

    Gotta love the inter tubes


    Fast track (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 06:35:00 PM EST
    That point acknowledged, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee had ordered all state employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18 or face termination. My friend, who is Washington State University's head football coach and the highest paid public employee in the state, revealed himself to be an anti-vaxxer last July and then publicly defied the governor's order.

    So, you can now make that "WAS Washington State's head football coach." Because per the governor's earlier directive, Coach Rolo was fired today by WSU, halfway through the season despite the Cougars having posted a 4-3 record thus far, including three straight victories over Cal, Oregon State and Stanford just prior to his dismissal.

    Yes, Rolo's a Republican who voted for Trump, but he's still my friend, who I've known for over 20 years. I'm just incredibly embarrassed for him. To be perfectly blunt, Rolo's refusal to get vaccinated was an absolutely insane reason for him to have first risked his dream job, and then lost it. He arrived in Pullman, WA in Jan. 2020 with a reputation as a fun-loving guy who instilled in his players a winning attitude. He's now departing with the label "anti-vax crackpot" attached to his professional credentials.

    As I noted earlier in other threads, the time for asking people nicely to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is over. Now, it's about the consequences for such willful defiance. I just never figured that such consequences would come raining down upon the head of someone I've known for a long time. I really thought Rolo was smarter than that.

    While Gov. Inslee will no doubt receive a lot of flack - particularly from the football-loving WSU alumni association - for Rolo's ouster, kudos to him for holding firm and not making exceptions. I feel very bad for my friend, but he left WSU with no choice but to follow through on Inslee's order and terminate him.

    The cult of Trumpism has rendered some people lobotomized intellectually.

    Good. (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by leap on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 08:43:02 PM EST
    Good to see that dumb-$h!t go. Plus it really angers me that the damned univsersity football coach gets paid more than $3 million per season. Why on earth??! And great kudos to Gov. Inslee.

    I'm sorry he's your friend, Donald.


    I'm not going to make excuses for Rolo, ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 03:55:13 AM EST
    ... because honestly, I've already made my own hardcore position on the subject of COVID vaccines perfectly clear and to paraphrase the late Jane Addams, it would be immoral for me to then make an exception of my friend.

    But more to the point, every aspect of Rolo's posture on this matter was inexplicable, inexcusable and abhorrent, from his failure to show leadership as a coach / role model and inability to do what was best for his young and impressionable players, to his selfish embrace of anti-vax sentiments and refusal to hold himself publicly accountable for it.

    Further, Rolo was given every opportunity by the Northwest sports media since his position first became known last July to publicly explain himself, but his responses were practically incoherent. Unfortunately, four of his assistants followed his example and likewise refused to vaccinate, and they were also terminated today. They forced WSU's hand, and the school really had no other choice.

    He is still my friend, but I'm just incredibly disappointed in him. I really expected much better.



    What I personally find most offensive (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by Peter G on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 12:39:03 PM EST
    is his (far from unique) apparently false assertion of entitlement to a "religious" exemption. As someone who has counseled and advocated for genuine conscientious objectors (mostly, to war) for decades, I am horrified at the casual way people are now making such claims, and seemingly often getting away with it. Nothing like the hurdles of skepticism and demands for explanation and justification that COs to the draft (or seeking discharge from the military) face are anywhere to be seen in the casual acceptance of these fools' seemingly casual assertions.

    Rolo's prospective lawsuit is groundless. (none / 0) (#61)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 04:14:07 PM EST
    He is a Roman Catholic, as am I. And there is nothing in Catholic doctrine, that I know of, which precludes one from vaccination against potentially deadly diseases.

    It is my understanding that opposition to COVID vaccinations from a minority of Catholics is based almost entirely upon the Fox News-disseminated falsehood that the vaccine itself allegedly contains elements of fetal stem tissue and cells. It does not.

    Fetal cell lines - cells grown in a laboratory based on aborted fetal cells collected generations ago - were used in testing during research and development of the mRNA vaccines, and during production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That's the extent of it.

    But speaking for myself only as a practicing Catholic, with over 700,000 dead from COVID thus far in our country, our attention and efforts really need to be focused now on saving lives, and not on some misguided personal fidelity to an obsolete and morally dubious theological doctrine.

    Further, The Vatican itself agrees.



    That's very interesting, Donald, thanks (none / 0) (#63)
    by Peter G on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 07:13:58 PM EST
    for the explainer. As a matter of First Amendment "free exercise" doctrine, of course, an individual need not conform their own religious scruples to those officially propounded by the church they belong to, even assuming they belong to an established church. An individual Catholic, for example, may be a sincere pacifist, while most Catholics feel free to join the military, and may or may not subscribe to the Vatican's official interpretation of "just war" theory, for example. Similarly, many Catholics are firmly opposed to the death penalty in all cases on religious grounds, while most are not. I guess, if Rolo would feel the need to sacrifice a $3 million salary rather than allow a life-saving medication with that tangential relationship to abortion to enter his bloodstream, I have to consider the possibility that he is sincere in his belief, even if it seems illogical to me.

    In Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905), ... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Oct 23, 2021 at 06:06:17 AM EST
    ... the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' compulsory smallpox vaccination law over the challenge of a Pastor Henning Jacobson, who alleged that the law violated his religious liberty rights, and contended that he had a right under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to avoid mandatory vaccination.

    By a 7-2 majority, the Court held that the Commonwealth was not in violation of the 14th Amendment:

    "[I]n every well ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand[.]"

    Justice John Marshall Harlin I further held that the Commonwealth did not violate the Free Exercise Clause:

    "[T]he liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good." (Emphasis is mine.)

    So, I think we're on pretty solid ground here, legally speaking. Personally, I've reached a point in this pandemic where I can no longer consider any such possibility that far-right Republicans are sincere in their beliefs about COVID vaccines and vaccine efficacy, and are therefore acting in good faith in their opposition to mandatory COVID vaccination policies. And that's because they're neither. Rather, their sole aim / purpose is to obstruct, deny and demoralize Democrats and independents.

    In 1948, Sir Winston Churchill offered the following observation about the rise of fascism in Europe prior to the Second World War:

    "It is my purpose, as one who lived and acted in these days, to show how easily the tragedy of the Second World War could have been prevented, how the malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous, how the structure of and habits of democratic States, unless they are welded into larger organisms, lack those elements of persistence and conviction which can alone give security to humble masses, how even in matters of self-preservation, no policy is pursued for even ten or fifteen years at a time." (Emphasis is mine.)
    - Sir Winston Churchill, History of the Second World War, Vol. 1: The Gathering Storm (June 1948)

    A militant GOP radical right presently poses the single greatest existential domestic threat to our republic and its democratic institutions since Confederate forces launched successive waves of massed infantry attacks over a three-day period against the Union Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, PA in July 1863.

    The American republic survived that harrowing and historic moment because 105,000 Union soldier-volunteers held firm along the entire line, and at an enormous personal cost - 23,049 total casualties, including 3,155 killed. 14,529 wounded and 5,385 captured or missing.

    Now, we're obviously not there - yet. But we're also likely a lot closer to our own modern-day Fort Sumter moment than I think many people would otherwise care to admit. Yes, political conditions have deteriorated that much since last January 6, and in surprisingly short order. We need to be a lot more urgent and resolute in our approach to meeting this challenge. And that means an acknowledgement on our part that there is no point anymore in trying to further reason with the irrational and rationalize the illogical.

    As crazy-stupid as it appears, the Trump-dominated Republican Party is living in its own private Idaho. Fact and truth mean nothing to them. They have their certainty. What we need to do is stay grounded in reality, and realize that the threat before us doesn't necessarily have to make any sense at all to still be very real.

    I'm sorry if I sound like my guitar strings are wound a little too tight, but because of my job helping to coordinate / oversee our county's COVID response and mitigation efforts, I've received two death threats in the last month alone. The last one, strangely enough, came from the aforementioned Idaho. The f*ckin' dummies didn't disable Caller ID before dialing the number.

    Over in Honolulu six weeks ago, hundreds of right-wing Trump militants stormed a City Council hearing, attempting to disrupt a planned vote on a resolution in support of the mayor's order that all county employees bee vaccinated by November 1. HPD had to be called to clear the building.

    Anyway, we now have an armed police presence outside our office at our own County Building, pre-screening all who enter our premises. I can't begin to tell you how depressed I am that it's actually come to this.

    I'm not so worried as to be paranoid, but I also can't afford to not take it seriously, either. While I obviously didn't sign up for the COVID cray-cray when I agreed to take this position in 2019, I'm now determined to see it through and outlast them. But  I'm also exhausted, and my hair has gone almost completely gray.



    Sheesh... he was pulling in.. (none / 0) (#21)
    by desertswine on Mon Oct 18, 2021 at 08:33:08 PM EST
    3 million a year.  What a trade-off.

    It has always (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Zorba on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 12:58:48 PM EST
    driven me crazy how much so many universities pay football (and other sports) coaches, versus how much they pay their faculty, how many adjunct faculty they have (that they pay less and give no benefits to), how much many of them have cut funding for things like libraries, science labs, etc.
    But they can pay their football coaches millions of dollars.
    I have heard people justify this by saying that the sports programs "bring in so much money," but how much of that money goes towards academic programs?

    I don't know what the stats are right now. (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 03:35:27 PM EST
    But I do remember reading that of the 284 NCAA Division 1-level athletic departments that were in existence 10 years ago, only seven of them were then operating in the black. That surprised me back then. Over the ensuing decade, I think it may have actually gotten worse.

    Speaking as a former NCAA Division 1 scholar-athlete, I support college sports, which provide a window of opportunity for gifted athletes to attend school when they otherwise might be unable. The vast majority of us who graduated have gone on to professional careers wholly unrelated to the sport we played.

    But that said, I think it's absolutely insane that college football coaches and men's basketball coaches should be amongst the highest paid public employees on a state's payroll. Few if any are actual teachers. The breed is purely ornamental.

    Guys like Alabama's Nick Saban and Clemson's Dabo Sweeney are currently pulling down eight-figure salaries, while poorly-paid adjunct and untenured faculty at my own alma mater, the Univ. of Washington in Seattle, are having to double and triple up as roommates just to keep a roof over their heads in an expensive city where the average rent is about 120-140% AMI.

    These institutions of higher learning really need to rethink their priorities.



    I've always thought that (none / 0) (#43)
    by leap on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 02:19:34 PM EST
    fancy-pants football coaches' salaries should be dependent on ticket sales, if they are so high-falutin' brilliant at what they do. And NOT my tax dollars. Let them get paid for how many paying people they bring in to watch their games.

    Coach Rolo is (or was rather)... (none / 0) (#45)
    by desertswine on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 03:25:22 PM EST
    the highest paid state employee in Washington.  For fielding a team ranked 66th in the nation.  He had a 4 and 3 record.

    Nick Saban at Alabama (none / 0) (#47)
    by jondee on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 04:40:39 PM EST
    one of the poorest states, is getting paid $9 mil a year.

    Assuming it's true that college football programs 'bring in a lot of revenue,' how is that revenue getting dispersed? Because it doesn't seem like a high % of Alabamans get to go to college or are inspired to value higher education.


    Studies of the real costs (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Towanda on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 07:53:21 PM EST
    of athletic programs find that they do not pay their way.

    The real costs -- unlike the numbers usually given -- factor in all sorts of things that those numbers leave out, like utility costs of offices.  I can attest that such costs usually are included in assessing academic programs, to their detriment at budget time.

    And if you factor in opportunity costs lost, opportunities for other students if funds for athletics were allocated to academic programs, the real cost of college athletics is just tragic.

    And the emotional cost to faculty of coping with pressures to pass jocks who don't care about classes -- not all, by any means, as I have had some great students who were athletes, but I also had to cope with the jocks who don't care, and their coaches -- and that cost is immeasurable and also has impact on other students of faculty subjected to such pressure.


    For one of my limited elective courses at (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 08:52:36 PM EST
    University of Michigan I chose history of WW II. Professor Reichenbach. (We never actually got to WW II.). A very good course.  Many football players in the class, which always puzzled me.

    Wow (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 03:27:49 PM EST
    Homicide Charges Recommended Against Bolsonaro

    October 19, 2021 at 3:39 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 45 Comments

    "A Brazilian congressional panel is set to recommend mass homicide charges against President Jair Bolsonaro, asserting that he intentionally let the coronavirus rip through the country and kill hundreds of thousands in a failed bid to achieve herd immunity and revive Latin America's largest economy," the New York Times reports.

    "The extraordinary accusations appear in a nearly 1,200-page report that effectively blames Mr. Bolsonaro's policies for the deaths of more than 300,000 Brazilians, half of the nation's coronavirus death toll, and urges the Brazilian authorities to imprison the president."

    Boomerville? (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Oct 20, 2021 at 06:36:32 PM EST
    I like Faceplant.

    So, they are going to change the name of Facebook.  
    Why?  I mean i understand why.  But really, why?  Do they seriously think that will change anything.  Other than the name.  I agree with Rick Wilson they can call it Miss Mary Sunshine's Cute Kitten Memetown  and it will still be exactly what its always been.


    They would (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Oct 20, 2021 at 07:49:16 PM EST
    be better off spending time cleaning up the name and reputation of Facebook than trying this avoidance technique.

    I don't think there is anything (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Oct 20, 2021 at 08:15:53 PM EST
    he could do that would draw more attention and scorn that this.  Such a laughably transparent attempt to distract.

    Seems like Facebook management as usual to me.


    Imagine (none / 0) (#53)
    by jmacWA on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 04:29:04 AM EST
    the money collected by the Management consultant who convinced Zuckerberg that this is going to solve his problems.  I am skeptical that he came up with it himself, but then again, it is a pretty lame idea so maybe.

    How far have we declined? (none / 0) (#54)
    by coast on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 07:00:22 AM EST
    Apparently to the point where rather than stop a man from raping a woman, we instead stand there and film it.

    I hope there is some way to charge those who idly stood by as this was occurring.

    Apparently, that was "not the true (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by leap on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 06:04:22 PM EST
    narrative."  The police make up the narrative they want, and pass it along to credulous/incompetent media.

    How can people believe what police say, anymore? And yet, they seem to be immune to any consequences of their lying.


    For the first time in over 100 years (none / 0) (#82)
    by Peter G on Sat Oct 23, 2021 at 01:35:04 PM EST
    Delaware County, Pa. (where the subway incident occurred, as that subway line terminates a couple of miles over the western border of the city), has a fair-minded, independent prosecutor, who is not afraid to speak out, even when the police are not in the right. Not exactly a "progressive D.A.," as in Philly, Chicago, San Francisco, etc., but just an honest liberal. A very refreshing change.

    That IS refreshing to know that. (none / 0) (#83)
    by leap on Sat Oct 23, 2021 at 03:16:31 PM EST
    Now we'll see what he will do with this situation, if it comes to him.

    I respectfully disagree (none / 0) (#56)
    by Peter G on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 08:47:04 AM EST
    Except where there is a pre-existing special relationship with the victim, such as parents, failure to act to interfere or prevent someone else's criminal conduct is not a crime, and should not be. Otherwise, witnesses would be incentivised to not come forward, and would be entitled to take the Fifth and remain silent when questioned -- or even when subpoenaed to testify -- about what they saw.  (BTW, and irrelevantly, I take that same train sometimes to get from my office to downtown Philadelphia. Been on it many times, with all sorts of other folks.)

    I agree (none / 0) (#57)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 12:44:11 PM EST
    No, you cannot charge them, but you can scorn and disparage them for not, at the very least, calling 911.
    (Personally, I would have tried to smack him on the head with my cane, but that's just me.  And I may well have then been arrested for assault.  Although I doubt a jury would have found me guilty, if it went that far.)

    Agreed. Thank you. (none / 0) (#60)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 03:48:09 PM EST
    While failure to act pre-emptively when one witnesses a criminal act may well be a moral failing, depending of course upon the circumstances of the case, it is not and should never be considered criminal conduct.

    You're of course absolutely (none / 0) (#78)
    by coast on Sat Oct 23, 2021 at 08:12:54 AM EST
    correct as usual Peter.  But as the father of a daughter and husband to a wife, I couldn't imagine simply standing there filming something like this.  I'm by no means a fighter.  I've got the dad bod of dad bods - heck I pulled a hammy getting a beer out of the fridge before.  But I would hope that I would have the courage to step in and stop such an attack.

    Another lesson: Don't jump to conclusions (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Peter G on Sat Oct 23, 2021 at 01:27:21 PM EST
    based on initial TV-news versions of initial police reports. Excellent piece on this by Philadelphia Daily News columnist Jenice Armstrong.

    It's national DUNE day (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 08:20:20 AM EST
    It was worth the wait (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 09:02:48 PM EST
    Really.  Hard to stop in the middle but it's amazing

    WHAT a surprise (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 09:02:02 PM EST
    when it becomes news she if f'ing up everything to save rich people and corporations from a tax increase....she changes her mind.

    Sinema Agrees to Broad Tax Hike Outline to Fund Biden Agenda

    She still has to go.

    The media should stop characterizing it (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Peter G on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 09:07:03 PM EST
    as a "tax hike" or "raising tax rates." All they are doing is partially restoring normal, reasonable tax rates in the upper brackets that were indefensibly slashed just a few years ago.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#68)
    by jmacWA on Fri Oct 22, 2021 at 04:07:56 AM EST
    A return to Eisenhower rates would be a hike, although, not one I would think unwarranted.  What the rich and corporations seem to forget is that they get more benefits, though some are intangible, from the taxes they pay.  

    Calling all history buffs. Re Napoleon. Any (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 21, 2021 at 10:56:57 PM EST
    recommendation re a biography?

    I have two suggestions. (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Oct 31, 2021 at 05:41:41 AM EST
    If you are interested in that fascinating period of history, I would recommend The French Revolution and Napoleon: Crucible of the Modern World by Lynn Hunt and Jack R. Censer.

    But if you are just looking for a straight-up biography of the man himself, then I recommend the appropriately named Napoleon: A Biography by Frank McLynn.



    So weird (none / 0) (#70)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Oct 22, 2021 at 04:14:39 PM EST
    A prop gun---A gun (none / 0) (#71)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 22, 2021 at 04:57:56 PM EST
    used as a prop.  A live round in it, somehow.  tragic and curious.

    someone put the live round (none / 0) (#72)
    by leap on Fri Oct 22, 2021 at 05:09:23 PM EST
    in the prop gun. It didn't just jump in on its own. Horrible horrible. I can't imagine what Alex Baldwin is going through.

    It says further down in the article (none / 0) (#75)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 22, 2021 at 09:35:59 PM EST
    that blanks are included in the category of "live round".

    Also, apparently what's called a 'squib round' (an actual bullet), can, through negligence, be left lodged in the barrel of a prop gun, and then be fired out of the barrel when a blank is discharged.

    I believe that's how they determined Brandon Lee was killed.


    Rachel was talking about this tonight (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Oct 22, 2021 at 09:51:04 PM EST
    she used Mare of Easttown as an example of a production that used CG.  No "live rounds" of any kind,

    It's an obvious safer choice but I understand why they might want things like recoil.  Seems like there should be ways to do that to.


    Brings to mind a story I first heard (none / 0) (#79)
    by Peter G on Sat Oct 23, 2021 at 01:07:52 PM EST
    from my father, who joined Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre as an errand boy and sound-effects extra in 1938, upon graduating from City College in New York. During Welles' anti-fascist-themed stage adaptation of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" (which he called simply, "Caesar"), Welles as Brutus actually stabbed cast member Joseph Holland, as Caesar. My father's understanding at the time and for some time later was that the "prop knife" had jammed and failed to retract as designed, but it is now thought that Welles, for some crazy "theater genius" idea of his own, had decided he could use a real knife that night to do the assassination scene.

    I actually had no idea (none / 0) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Oct 22, 2021 at 05:10:44 PM EST
    these guns are so dangerous
    I remember the actor in the eighties Jon Eric Hexum, I'm probably spelling that wrong, but I didn't remember he shot himself in the head with a "prop" gun,

    I also didn't know the great lengths they apparently go to, not pointing them at anyone - using blast screens, routinely when using them.

    Inventor idea. Invent a safe prop gun.  Doesn't seem like it would be that hard.


    As any sane gun-owner will tell you (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Peter G on Sat Oct 23, 2021 at 01:12:30 PM EST
    (I am not a gun owner, but do know some): You do not point a gun at anyone, for any reason, unless you intend to shoot them. Not if you are "sure" it "isn't loaded," certainly not "in fun," or to demonstrate a point, or anything. Just never.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Zorba on Sat Oct 23, 2021 at 05:10:16 PM EST
    We are gun owners, and we would never point a gun at anyone, even if we had checked to see if it was unloaded.
    However, I have to say that many, if not most, actors, are not familiar with gun safety, and depend upon the prop people and the armorer/weapons master to make sure that the guns used are safe.
    I would blame the weapons master and the prop people for this one.
    This is why you hire people to make sure that all is safe.

    Jon-Erik Hexum knew the prop gun ... (none / 0) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Oct 24, 2021 at 01:57:14 AM EST
    ... he was holding contained blanks. They were on an extended break from filming the TV series "Cover Up" on October 12, 1984, and Hexum was goofing around with other cast and crew. He removed all the blank cartridges but one and feigned playing Russian Roulette, unaware that a blank fired at point-blank range (no pun intended) can cause serious injury.

    When Hexum pulled the trigger on the remaining blank cartridge, it fired, and the concussive force of the discharge fractured his skull and caused a fatal brain hemorrhage. He died six days later.

    On March 31, 1993, while filming a scene for "The Crow" in Wilmington, NC, actor Brandon Lee was likewise killed by an improperly handled prop gun. It was later determined that there was a dummy round still lodged in the prop gun's barrel and nobody had inspected the weapon and cleared it prior to its use in the fatal scene.

    When the prop gun was fired at Brandon Lee by a co-star, the concussive force of the ignited blank cartridge effectively propelled that dummy round out of the gun barrel as a live projectile, which struck Lee in the abdomen. Despite efforts by hospital personnel to save his life, he died during surgery.



    Why was Baldwin pointing the gun at the camera? (none / 0) (#86)
    by fishcamp on Sun Oct 24, 2021 at 08:32:16 AM EST
    Were they filming a POV of the shooter or was Baldwin clowning around, as he is known to do?

    but a bunch of people I know know and/or have worked with her.

    My understanding (which may change as more info is released) is that it was a POV shot of the shooter (Baldwin).

    Supposedly, the gun had been use earlier in the day on a gun range to get some B roll, and a round was inexplicitly left in the gun.

    Also, the gun was handed to Baldwin by the 1st AD and he also announced "cold gun." All of this is in opposition to any standard set protocol for gun safety.

    Apparently the armorer was the young daughter of a well-respected set armorer with decades of experience, and of course it is the armorer who is supposed to be responsible for all weapons and safe set practices.

    Apparently, the set was a full-on sh1t-show across the boards from day 1.

    There is also a large union/non-union rift in this story...


    Serge Svetnoy (none / 0) (#89)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Oct 24, 2021 at 02:04:51 PM EST
    My vision of the RUST tragedy.
    I have received hundreds of calls, text messages, letters with words of support and condolences since the day of the tragedy with Halyna Hutchins, and I'm very grateful to everyone. Yes, I knew Halyna, not for a year. I worked with Her on almost all of her films. Sometimes we've shared food and water. We've been burning under the sun, freezing in the snow on the shoots. We took care of each other. Yes, I can say with 100% confidence she was my friend.
    I also received many calls from different mass media sources from multiple countries asking to tell what happened; also from numerous institutes and universities for the students to know what needs the most attention.
    Yes, I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life and injured the director Joel Souza. I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands.
    I want to tell my opinion on why this has happened. I think I have the right to do it.
    It's the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism.
    The negligence from  the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce  that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this;
     the person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it.
    I'm sure that we had the professionals in every department, but one - the department that was responsible for the weapons. There is no way a twenty-four-year-old woman can be a professional with armory; there is no way that her more-or-less the same-aged friend from school, neighborhood, Instagram, or God knows where else, can be a professional in this field.
    Professionals are the people who have spent years on sets, people who know this job from A to Z; These are the people who have the safety on set at the level of reflexes; they do not need to be told to put the sandbag on a tripod, fix the ladder on the stage, or fence off the explosion site. They have it in their blood.
    I'm calling out to the Producers!
    We have a fascinating and amazing job, but it's also dangerous. We film in the mountains, in the open water, underwater. We have explosions, shooting guns, car crashes, electricity after all, and much more.
    To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people who are close and your lives as well.
    I understand that you always fight for the budget, but you cannot allow this to happen. There should always be at least one professional in each department who knows the job. It is an absolute must to avoid such a tragedy, like the tragedy with Halyna.
    I do not wish anyone to go through what I went through, what her husband @Matt Hutchins and her son Andros went through, and the actor Alec Baldwin, who has been handed a gun on set. He has to live with the thought that he took the life of the human because of unprofessional people.
    Dear Producers, by hiring professionals, you are buying peace of mind for yourself and the people around you. It is true that the professionals can cost a little more and sometimes can be a little bit more demanding, but it is worth it. No saved penny is worth the LIFE of the person!
    And finally, dear Producers, please remember that it's not you who are giving the opportunities to the people you hire make their money; it's the people you hire who help You make Your money. Remember this!
    I also want to thank the camera operator @Ried Russell, who was with us and helped save Halyna. Thank you to the set medic @Cherlyn Schaefer who did everything she could to save Halyna's life.
    We all loved Halyna.
    May God Bless her soul.
    Rest in Peace.
    And God protect Us All.

    Alec Baldwin was the Executive Producer (none / 0) (#97)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Oct 26, 2021 at 04:23:36 PM EST
    Alec Baldwin's film company, El Dorado Pictures, is producing Rust.

    bq.  El Dorado Pictures is home to actor Alec Baldwin. El Dorado Pictures develops scripted and unscripted projects under the ABC Studios banner. The production company's development executive, Mallory Schwartz, oversees the production slate and Baldwin is the executive producer.


    Yup, thanks. I just saw that today. (none / 0) (#98)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Oct 26, 2021 at 04:54:14 PM EST
    We'll see how this all shakes out.

    I think that pretty much sums it up. (none / 0) (#90)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Oct 24, 2021 at 07:09:45 PM EST
    The root cause of most all accidents involving human beings is some level of negligence and / or carelessness. From your description, it sounds like the film crew for "Rust" had that in abundance. They apparently blew off several key protocols and guidelines for the handing of firearms on a set. Attention - well, media attention, anyway - is focusing on first assistant director Dave Halls who, as you noted, handed the weapon to Alec Baldwin and announced on set "cold gun."

    President Biden's (none / 0) (#74)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 22, 2021 at 08:15:38 PM EST
    town hall on CNN last night was very good.  The president was candid, folksy, and humorous.  He is very effective in this forum, mixing a command of the facts and details of the infrastructure bills as well as presenting the stumbling blocks with the persona of a caring granddad.  

    Today (none / 0) (#91)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 25, 2021 at 10:45:18 AM EST
    Is bring the plants in from the decks day.

    Followed closely by leaf blowing day(s)

    I am not bringing mine (none / 0) (#92)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Oct 25, 2021 at 11:48:35 AM EST
    in until frost. So far at least it has not been cold enough.

    I'm going to be away (none / 0) (#93)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 25, 2021 at 12:32:03 PM EST
    for a few days.  I don't want to hear on the news my plants have frozen.

    With all the pushback to gas powered (none / 0) (#96)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Oct 25, 2021 at 06:43:28 PM EST
    leaf blowers and lawn mowers this is an interesting commercial.


    Life imitates Game of Thrones (none / 0) (#100)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Oct 27, 2021 at 04:41:21 PM EST
    I think the WSJ has a point (none / 0) (#101)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Oct 28, 2021 at 04:22:26 PM EST
    to quote George Sanders; an idiotic one, but a point.

    Defending Trump's Letter to the Editor

    October 28, 2021 at 4:27 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 125 Comments

    The Wall Street Journal defends running a letter to the editor from Donald Trump arguing that the 2020 election in Pennsylvania was stolen:

    "We trust our readers to make up their own minds about his statement. And we think it's news when an ex-President who may run in 2024 wrote what he did, even if (or perhaps especially if) his claims are bananas."

    Joseph Goebbels (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 29, 2021 at 03:14:00 PM EST
    Claimed that if a lie is repeated often enough it becomes the truth.  The printing of this banana's pack of lies by the WSJ is irresponsible journalism.  It would never get published in the news section and being an editorial piece without at least a companion firehouse of correction is no excuse.  There was a big backlash before the WSJ offered the lame response that it is news when Trump lies.

    Don't choose extinction (none / 0) (#102)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Oct 28, 2021 at 04:49:22 PM EST
    This includes me. And maybe you. (none / 0) (#107)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Oct 29, 2021 at 04:59:28 PM EST
    Unfortunately we won't see the (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by fishcamp on Sat Oct 30, 2021 at 04:26:09 PM EST
    Northern lights way down here, but I did see them quite regularly while growing up in Oregon.  Quite the fantasy for a child.  My gramps used to tell all kinds of spooky stories about them.  Special times back then.

    Happy Halloween, everyone. (none / 0) (#110)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Oct 31, 2021 at 05:01:05 AM EST
    Today's Question is for those who are parents,  grandparents, uncles and aunts: What is (or was) your favorite candy to secretly poach from the kids' trick-or-treat bags after they returned home?

    Mine is the little bite-sized Milky Way bars. My wife prefers Twix.

    Smarties (none / 0) (#112)
    by jmacWA on Sun Oct 31, 2021 at 07:19:19 AM EST
    Not sure why, since I am really not a candy person, but I have always liked them

    All I know it that I really, really hate... (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by desertswine on Sun Oct 31, 2021 at 12:19:02 PM EST
    candy corn.  It's the worst candy ever made.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#124)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 02, 2021 at 05:12:27 PM EST
    I've long suspected that around 100 years ago or so, somebody came up with the crazy idea of inventing an edible Crayola crayon, and candy corn was the logical result of that brainstorm.

    Macaronesia (none / 0) (#136)
    by Jack E Lope on Wed Nov 03, 2021 at 07:10:35 PM EST
    ...is my guess.  

    We (none / 0) (#137)
    by FlJoe on Thu Nov 04, 2021 at 05:46:29 AM EST
    are doomed, these latest election results prove that there is nothing that can tarnish the Republican party, NOTHING.

    We are doomed (none / 0) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 04, 2021 at 07:13:49 AM EST
    if democrats don't stop imagining tarnishing the republicans is a winning strategy, or a strategy at all,  and give people something to vote for.

    The whole Democratic Party looks feckless, rudderless and completely unable to govern.  The spectacle of the last few months is about as bad as it gets.

    If you are not a political person who holds strong leftist beliefs what reason would you have had to vote for democrats yesterday?

    Except republicans are bad.


    The badness of (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 04, 2021 at 08:00:16 AM EST
    the Republican Party has been normalized.  Just nine months ago the Republican president incited and organized a putsch so as to overthrow the government. The Republicans have been so successful, with the aiding and abetting by not only Fox but also mainstream media, at erasing its danger to democracy that the voters do not care.  Just a normal reaction,  tourists.

    And, Republican strategy to prolong the pandemic for political reasons by opposing public health measures and, thereby kill citizens is viewed as something a normal political does--a reasonable policy to be considered along with use of yard signs.

    The Democratic Party is in disarray because it wants to govern and help citizens in the face of a fascist movement, .The debates and differences are all within the Democratic Party, The expected  broader discussion is absent given  the  absence of a legitimate  American party in opposition.

    Despite the serious obstacles theDemocrats have almost defeated the pandemic with vaccine distribution, enacted the Cares Act, but $1200 in pockets, unemployment insurance enhancements, and kept a robust economy.  And more to soon come'


    If you turn on MSNBC (none / 0) (#140)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 04, 2021 at 08:17:01 AM EST
    you can hear everything you just said 100 times a day.  

    It's true of course.  

    The people who voted for the Trump clone in VA don't care.  The democrats have to do something,  they not only have to wake up and govern they have to start explaining everything you just said PLUS all the benefits of what they just passed.  Soon.

    The messaging lately has been disgraceful.  Even for democrats.  They have managed to frame this so that the largest investment in social programs in a generation will be seen as a "loss".  
    ONLY 1.whatever trillion!   far less than the 3 or 6 or whatever the F they promised.
    The republicans did not do this.  The democrats did.

    I completely agree with Nancy.  As usual.  They have to do something.


    The squad (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 04, 2021 at 04:06:35 PM EST
    screeching about 6 trillion or whatever was ridiculous. Manchin is drunk on his own power. A large part of this is having Bernie as head of the finance committee in the senate. He really should never be in any leadership role. Schumer has surprisingly been better than I thought but I never had high expectations for him. I would rather Amy Klobuchar be majority leader. Can you imagine?

    As far as conservatives and their Trumpian talking points I have started calling all of them liars and pointing out how they lie about everything. I am not going to waste one more minute with their white grievance politics.


    Maybe the grownups (none / 0) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 04, 2021 at 10:39:42 AM EST
    will take charge now.

    Pelosi Tells Democrats She Wants Votes This Week

    November 4, 2021 at 11:57 am EDT By Taegan Goddard Leave a Comment

    "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a closed-door meeting with Democrats that her plan is to hold a vote on President Joe Biden's economic agenda bill Thursday night, and then hold a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Friday morning," CNN reports.

    Really? (none / 0) (#144)
    by coast on Thu Nov 04, 2021 at 03:16:25 PM EST
    Hasn't she set 3 or 4 dates for a vote that have never come to be?  She's has the President down twice.

    Infrastructure Bill Passes (none / 0) (#157)
    by CST on Sat Nov 06, 2021 at 01:10:29 PM EST
    On the one hand - great, infrastructure is important!

    On the other hand - there is a huge labor shortage in civil engineering/construction right now and the industry is already overworked and the one thing no one figured out is how the work is actually going to get done.

    The program (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 06, 2021 at 01:58:42 PM EST
    Funding is spread out over about eight years which should facilitate implementation.  But, the country is in a position much like after World War II---pent up demand and low supply of goods and services.   It will be a challenge, but it will get done as long as Democrats govern.  

    Anybody been Following the Rittenhouse Case? (none / 0) (#174)
    by RickyJim on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 08:53:55 AM EST
    I haven't but some of what I've read says that the self defense part seems to be prevailing while the illegal possession of firearms is still very much alive.

    I clearly don't understand the Wisconsin law (none / 0) (#175)
    by Peter G on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 09:26:55 AM EST
    of self-defense. In Pennsylvania, the fact (it seems to be a fact) that Rittenhouse voluntarily put himself in the situation of "needing" to use self-defense by his own wrongful or illegal actions would disqualify him from invoking the "justification" of self-defense for his use of deadly force.

    Is your comment about "provocation?" (none / 0) (#177)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 01:57:52 PM EST
    If so, I believe this is what Wisconsin law says about that:
    (2) Provocation affects the privilege of self-defense as follows:

    (a) A person who engages in unlawful conduct of a type likely to provoke others to attack him or her and thereby does provoke an attack is not entitled to claim the privilege of self-defense against such attack, except when the attack which ensues is of a type causing the person engaging in the unlawful conduct to reasonably believe that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

    In such a case, the person engaging in the unlawful conduct is privileged to act in self-defense, but the person is not privileged to resort to the use of force intended or likely to cause death to the person's assailant unless the person reasonably believes he or she has exhausted every other reasonable means to escape from or otherwise avoid death or great bodily harm at the hands of his or her assailant.

    (b) The privilege lost by provocation may be regained if the actor in good faith withdraws from the fight and gives adequate notice thereof to his or her assailant.

    (c) A person who provokes an attack, whether by lawful or unlawful conduct, with intent to use such an attack as an excuse to cause death or great bodily harm to his or her assailant is not entitled to claim the privilege of self-defense.

    The term "assistant" makes me think this law is based in the age of "dueling."


    So the Relevant Portion in This Case Is: (none / 0) (#180)
    by RickyJim on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 03:29:49 PM EST
    In such a case, the person engaging in the unlawful conduct is privileged to act in self-defense, but the person is not privileged to resort to the use of force intended or likely to cause death to the person's assailant unless the person reasonably believes he or she has exhausted every other reasonable means to escape from or otherwise avoid death or great bodily harm at the hands of his or her assailant.

    I don't really understand (none / 0) (#183)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 04:21:30 PM EST
    the "assistant" part

    oops strike that comment (none / 0) (#185)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 04:23:22 PM EST
    my eyes read "assailant" as "assistant."

    And subsection (c) I would say (none / 0) (#184)
    by Peter G on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 04:22:58 PM EST
    as well

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#186)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 04:33:48 PM EST
    I assume it is the defense's job to convince the jury that Rittenhouse's intent was not to "use such an attack as an excuse to cause death or great bodily harm to his or her assailant?"

    I wouldn't assume anything of the sort (none / 0) (#192)
    by Peter G on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 08:50:18 PM EST
    It seems, as best I can tell, that if the defendant offers "some evidence" on the various requirements for self-defense, then the prosecution in Wisconsin has to disprove the "privilege" of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt.

    ah, yes, that makes more sense. (none / 0) (#197)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Nov 11, 2021 at 11:00:15 AM EST
    He won't win any Oscars. (none / 0) (#190)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 08:18:36 PM EST
    That act on the stand today was laughable. Worsf fake crying ever. Hope the jury sees through it.

    Right after he was arrested (none / 0) (#198)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 11, 2021 at 06:02:18 PM EST
    I predicted that he would not be convicted. Seems even the judge wants to make sure that that "poor little boy" walks free.

    Especilly (none / 0) (#199)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 11, 2021 at 06:46:06 PM EST
    the judge.

    Sorry, (none / 0) (#200)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 11, 2021 at 06:50:56 PM EST

    Shedding light on what (none / 0) (#179)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 03:19:51 PM EST
    was meant by "education" by Virginia Republican voters.  The County School Board in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, voted unanimously to remove books that they define as "sexually explicit" from the district's school libraries.

    What was not unanimous, and showed a big split, was whether to just remove the offending books or to remove such books and then burn them. The leader of the burn faction wants to read such books first to check them out and then burn them.

    The concerns seemed to focus specifically on a young adult fiction book called "33 Snowfish" by Adam Rapp, which is about runaways and has LGBT themes. A school board member claimed that having Rapp's book on its shelves means that the schools "would rather have our kids reading gay porn than about Christ."  

    Unfortunately, there is no education policy guidance on what to do for books on-line, since the internet was not available in Germany in the 1930s. So this remains a dilemma.

    I hope no one tells them (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 10:14:28 PM EST
    about the Miller's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

    It's hotter than a pool party at Jerry Falwell Jr's house.


    He knows it when he sees the cover (none / 0) (#195)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 11, 2021 at 06:51:03 AM EST

    Texas Governor Orders Criminal Probe Into School Books

    November 10, 2021 at 11:00 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 224 Comments

    "Conservative furor over what is taught in public schools reached a fever pitch in Texas on Wednesday, as Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced a criminal probe into what he called `pornography' in school libraries, his third directive on the matter this month," the AP reports.

    "Abbott released two previous letters this month decrying the availability of `pornography' in school libraries."

    Every time (none / 0) (#181)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 03:41:11 PM EST
    any of this comes up, everybody needs to look at Glenn Youngkin and ask him if this is what he wants to happen.

    Trump v Youngkin (none / 0) (#182)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 10, 2021 at 04:19:45 PM EST
    Both would agree with the Board of Education. Trump would shout his agreement and provide the matches. Youngkin would speak softly and smile nicely but tell the Board to get its own matches.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#196)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 11, 2021 at 09:36:01 AM EST

    Quote of the Day

    November 11, 2021 at 9:45 am EST By Taegan Goddard 39 Comments

    "I'm really worried about a return of Donald Trump this time, because this time, the Velociraptors have figured out how to work the doorknobs."

    -- Former Bush speechwriter David Frum, in a conversation with Matt Lewis, on why Donald Trump's second term would be even worse.