did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Bretbug

1

This reminds me of the Fartenbury thing, except not as funny because no farts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 7:45 AM
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I don't think I've ever even seen a provost.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:32 AM
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2: I have a vague memory of being at an event when E. Gordon Gee introduced the new provost at The University. What was I doing there? I think the only reason I remember it is because I was trying to write a song - "E. Gordon Gee, won't you please rescue me/ From this bureaucracy?" Anyway, the provost as I recall was a normal-looking human being, not a superhero or a bedbug.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:39 AM
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I have seen Gee. He was walking across the oval ("The Oval"?) with a life-size cardboard photo of himself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:42 AM
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Carried by another man. Maybe that was the provost?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:53 AM
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4: I was actually in Gee's house(not really his house - the official residence of the President of THE University) and shook his hand and exchanged pleasantries.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:08 AM
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You should have tried to get someone fired.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:12 AM
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Are bedbugs just a slightly annoying semi-constant thing that people simply have to live with in the US? You know, like people in the UK have to put up with rain. Is it just a case of "oh well, bedbugs again"? It really isn't something that comes up in conversation much over here.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:13 AM
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8 was me.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:14 AM
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You don't have to read the NYT, but people will persist in bringing it up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:15 AM
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My old office used to have a dog come and sniff for bedbugs every year. I never heard of any being found.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:17 AM
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WOW I hadn't seen that exchange with Leiter before. Did you guys check the IP logs?

By rights I should loathe Stephens, but I find something disarming about his pose of social media naivety. I'd like to condemn him to take the day off and read "The Metamorphosis" without immediately using it as inspiration for an op-ed.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:19 AM
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12.2: We could start referring to him as Brett S.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:38 AM
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Is it Gee as in "brown the onions with garlic and ghee" or Gee as "Golly gee, Mr Provost, your name is real weird"?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:38 AM
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The former, but he's Mormon, so can't eat garlic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:41 AM
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Really?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:44 AM
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Half of that is true.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:44 AM
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I mean, do I hate Bret Stephens (whose mendacity appears to be his stock in trade) more than I hate social media mobs? Should I? I really am torn.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:49 AM
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His last name is pronounced like the highly-clarified butter, and he is Mormon.

I've decided to be truthful, so that ogged will write a recommendation for me when the op-ed writer gig opens up.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:51 AM
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18: You don't really have to choose.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:52 AM
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8 amuses me because two of the three times I've been bitten by bedbugs were on visits to your fair capital city. The other time was a fancyish but old hotel in San Francisco.

There are places where they are endemic. One of them is New York City and its environs. In general, travelers should always practice careful hygiene in hotels to avoid bringing them home (checking the bed, not leaving clothes on the floor, keeping luggage somewhere raised, etc.).

Still, I don't think people talk about them much. There's a stigma to have an infestation of them.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:52 AM
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Mormons are allowed to eat garlic, but stereotypically they would not use it in cooking.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:55 AM
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Thank you Provost Standpipe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 9:56 AM
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18 is a dilemma I find myself facing more and more often these days.

The Bush II years were depressing, but at least it didn't seem like there were quite so many assholes on my "side". Maybe I just wasn't paying attention.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 10:13 AM
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WOW I hadn't seen that exchange with Leiter before. Did you guys check the IP logs?

Me neither.

Fwiw, I can't click through to the original post anymore. Presumably I could access it through the sidebar, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 10:24 AM
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25: I also had that issue because it points to an IP address. Just replace that with the domain name.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 10:33 AM
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It's not in that week of archived front page posts either. I didn't yet try replacing the domain name.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 10:36 AM
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It was before my time. I only recognize the name because somebody complains about him at the other place.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 10:39 AM
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First they came for the Bret Stephenses, and I did not speak out, because it was fucking funny and basically a self-own and will only help his career as a beleaguered contrarian beset by irrationality on all sides, so in that sense "they" didn't really "come for" him at all whereas various forms of genocide are still in progress elsewhere and it's really better to note that FIRST THEY CAME FOR MY ATTENTION and I tried to speak out or something but, I don't know, I just got sucked into arguing about it with like fifteen different randos anyway, deeper and deeper.

Linked from wikipedia:

First to the podium was Bret Stephens, editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post. Stephens, an American who attended graduate school in London, chose to frame his remarks in the context of his personal experiences with Christianity. He spoke of his childhood as the son of secular Jewish parents growing up in Mexico. While his parents chose not to give Stephens any kind of formal Jewish education and no bar mitzvah, they did instill in him an awareness of his Jewishness. While the family never told anyone they were Jewish, relationships with their Catholic neighbours "were not amicable," Stephens divulged. "It was a hostile environment for Jews," he said.

Stephens saw Catholicism as practised in Mexico with its heavy pagan influences as "primitive." Christianity was regarded with fear and contempt and as a Jew, Stephens felt a sense of superiority over those who practised the primitive faith. His views changed when he moved out of Mexico and began to learn about his Jewish heritage through university courses on Jewish texts. "As I acquired an education in Jewish tradition, my negative attitudes toward Christianity diminished," he said.
Stephens met Christians who were thoughtful and serious about their faith. "It was a revelation to me that you could be a sincere Christian and not be a peasant," he asserted. Stephens related that he eventually put aside his "sniggering" about Christianity--a phenomenon endemic to Jewish leftist intellectuals and their admirers. As he became more committed to Israel, it was hard not to notice, he said, that it was Christian conservatives who were amongst the most supportive of Israel.
AIPAC (the America Israel Public Affairs Committee) doesn't deliver the votes for Israel, Stephens contended, "it's the Christian Coalition."

I'm just going to leave that there for my own reference, in case I feel tempted to make common cause with minds like this again.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:09 AM
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While the family never told anyone they were Jewish, relationships with their Catholic neighbours "were not amicable," Stephens divulged. "It was a hostile environment for Jews," he said.

Does this make any sense ? Did the neighbors know they were Jewish or not? Or maybe they suspected?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:17 AM
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It does seem especially silly for someone like Stephens to get upset over people saying mean things about them on the internet.

If you write for the NYT editorial page, generating clicks by inspiring people to hate-read your columns and then post links all over the place saying "OMG look at this stupid thing that so-and-so wrote!" is basically your entire job.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:17 AM
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Maybe his parents were always asking to speak to the manager?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:29 AM
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Does this make any sense ? Did the neighbors know they were Jewish or not? Or maybe they suspected?

It makes perfect sense: Stephens and his parents were practicing dicks, and their daily worshipping at the alter of dicks left the humble peasants with a vague uneasy feeling that the Stephens were dicks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:39 AM
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The primitive peasants did not know they were Jewish dicks specifically, however.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:39 AM
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As he became more committed to Israel, it was hard not to notice, he said, that it was Christian conservatives who were amongst the most supportive of Israel.

To bring about rapture and send you to hell for all eternity, sure. But support is support!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:40 AM
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33: I understand now! They could tell they were Jewish because they worshipped at the altar of a circumcised dick.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:43 AM
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36 before seeing 34 and realizing we have a serious disagreement.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:44 AM
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Stephens met Christians who were thoughtful and serious about their faith. "It was a revelation to me that you could be a sincere Christian and not be a peasant," he asserted

Was this when Stephens discovered that there were rich Gentiles?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:45 AM
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Sometimes the best you can do is offend both sides. Maybe?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:53 AM
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I am not routinely shocked by people's ignorance, BUT WOW. I was also raised in a home somewhat hostile to Christianity, and it didn't take me until St. Grottles-- oh wait though, I did read books as a kid.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:53 AM
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You guys are missing his point. He learned that Christians were also practicing dicks.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 11:58 AM
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I mean, yeah sure, you'd expect to learn that from books too. But here's the defining thing about this guy: most folks when they learn this about Christians are repelled. He felt like he'd found new friends.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:01 PM
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I assure you that point did not escape me! I'm definitely skeptical that his family's neighbors in D.F. were peasants, as opposed to rich Mexican and international capitalists.

To be scrupulously fair, I probably did gain a new respect for Christianity after meeting bright and devout Christians in college. It was indeed not a super common thing in godless west-side Madison in the 90s.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:07 PM
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||

It's been a long time since I had a cab driver try to take me to a clip joint.


|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:08 PM
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44: Where are you now, Barry?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:14 PM
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A clip joint.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:15 PM
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Lol, in Athens back in my hotel room with the fine Acropolis view.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:16 PM
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I'm not sure whether this is a communist or socialist neighborhood. I know it's not an anarchist one.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:17 PM
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Graffiti is everywhere. Athens has a bit of NYC in the 70s and 80s vibe. Enough that I wondered if getting mugged was a possibility here and I stopped carrying so much cash around. Apparently it's pick pocketing you have to worry about.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:21 PM
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Back to the OP, I just love this so much. That twitter post had what, 3 or 4 likes and no RTs? And didn't tag Stephens. What a thin-skinned petty-ass bitch he is.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:24 PM
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Interview with the entomologist that identified the Bretbug.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/08/bret-stephens-bedbug-david-karpf-interview.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:26 PM
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Barry! Athens! In 2008 we had a dish in Athens, called just "Cretan bread" on the menu, that has become a family legend of peerless delectability. Let me know if you find anything like it. (It's basically a giant veggie- and cheese-stuffed toasted roll. It blew our minds. If we knew where to get some now, we'd fly over and mug you for it.) Also we shared a pitcher of mavrodaphne dessert wine that was a pretty amazing way to get toasted and roll.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:27 PM
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I read "The Double" in college but was never quite sure what it was about. (for ogged, for the last line)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:42 PM
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52 I'll keep my eye out for it. Sounds delicious.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 12:55 PM
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You should also try something called orzo or ouzo. It tastes like expired cough medicine and kicks like bottom-shelf vodka.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 1:00 PM
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Interview with the entomologist that identified the Bretbug.

That's a very good interview.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 1:02 PM
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No way, i got seriously fucked up on ouzo in college. Can't stand the stuff.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 1:06 PM
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You guys know you're supposed to mix it with water right? So it tastes like diluted cough medicine.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 1:09 PM
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Or you could mix it with rice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 1:10 PM
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And boil it, so the alcohol evaporates off, leaving you with aniseed-flavored rice. Probably cheaper to buy aniseed though.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 1:13 PM
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I recall drinking retsina when I was in Greece. I think the scenery might have been what made it palatable.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 1:25 PM
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No way, i got seriously fucked up on ouzo in college. Can't stand the stuff.

Man, you're not the only one. We did mix it with water, and it seemed so fun to watch it turn cloudy like that, but, uh ...

On Bret Stephens, I can't get past his response to the professor: "I'm often amazed about the things supposedly decent people are prepared to say about other people -- people they've never met -- on Twitter. I think you've set a new standard". It's not clear to me that this man is qualified to comment on current affairs in the first place, if he (apparently sincerely) believes that being compared to a bedbug is the worst that's said on twitter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 1:44 PM
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I like both retsina and ouzo, perhaps for ideological reasons; that's what everyone drinks in Gerald Durrell's books about his Corfu childhood, so I grew up thinking that was the way I ought to roll. I think the mavrodaphne evening that lurid remembers was preceded by daytime ouzo for me at least. It went down so well with all the fried food and strong coffee.

After we drank the pitcher of wine and the spontaneous street party started (this was in Psyri, somewhere around Plateia Iroon) we had to catch a midnight train to the airport, where our cheapo red-eye was delayed for hours and we both came down with colds, staring at vases in the airport museum while our brains swam around in our heads.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 1:55 PM
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It's been a long time since I had a cab driver try to take me to a clip joint.

I don't know what a clip joint is, but rather than google it, I'm going to presume that it has something to do with Clippy and joints.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 1:56 PM
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Gerald Durrell's books about his Corfu childhood
Loved these so much.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 2:05 PM
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Are bedbugs just a slightly annoying semi-constant thing that people simply have to live with in the US?

It's very regional (some cities yes, others no), and follows a recent resurgence after decades of being kept down effectively by insecticides, it seems.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 2:29 PM
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See that what's happens when you don't let the city spray DDT everywhere the way God and The American Way intended.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 2:46 PM
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Ouzo I can take or leave, ideally leave, but Retsina is the drink of the gods. When I was in Greece last year, it had been several decades and I got the feeling that they'd dialled down the resin, which was disappointing but that might just have been a question of branding, or maybe the special wimpy stuff they keep for tourists.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 3:41 PM
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Arthur Dent carried around a bottle of retsina in Hitchhikers' Guide.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 3:44 PM
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He also apparently emailed the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs separately. So Stephens decided that not only he needed to reach out to me to talk about civil discourse on the internet, but that he also needed to make sure that everyone above me in GW's hierarchy was aware of this so that I could get in trouble for it.

That's quite a tantrum. Having a chip on your shoulder about academia is a thing, though....


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 3:55 PM
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I thought that was a towel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:19 PM
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I love that Trump is now denying that there are bedbugs at his hotels.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:41 PM
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Someone could probably get him to pug fucking at his hotels if they somehow made it seem anti-Israel or pro-Islam.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:45 PM
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Or even pig fucking. Stupid autocorrect.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:46 PM
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Pug fucking would hardly be less bad.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:47 PM
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I mean, a grown pig is a sizable beast. Pug's look a lot more fragile.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:47 PM
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-'


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:48 PM
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Jerry Falwell, Jr. isn't comfortable having sex with people unless they're also in the propertied class, apparently.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:48 PM
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If it's grown, it's a hog. Technically.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:51 PM
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He's not a peasant, Minivet.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:51 PM
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I understand that the most effective way to get bedbugs out of a mattress is to pee on it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:52 PM
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Crosswhite Fitness? CrossFit Whiteness?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 4:55 PM
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It would be unethical to suggest Falwell is paying off former or current sexual partners of either himself or his wife, so let's avoid that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:00 PM
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Well if you only fuck rentiers, that's what you get. Hypothetically.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:06 PM
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84 to 81! 84 to 79! (not factorial, just jubilant)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:13 PM
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Hold on there, Hick. If a grown pig is a hog why is a baby pig a piglet?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:15 PM
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lourdes, if you figured it would someday come down to me sitting on the couch adducing dozens of punchlines for "What do you get when you fuck rentiers?", I'm sorry to be so predictable.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:16 PM
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It's like baby, child, adult.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:17 PM
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In other thrilling news the sharp scratchy object in my eye which I thought was a piece of rust or possibly brass from a shattered padlock proved in fact to be merely an eyelash. So that's all good.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:19 PM
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87: The monopolization of valuable assets.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:21 PM
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87: That's one of the Oompa-Loompa songs they cut, I guess.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:22 PM
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What the actual fuck


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:23 PM
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I'd believe Roald Dahl had it in him. Rhymes with "arrears."


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 5:30 PM
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The best part is that they may have brought the trainer with them on the trip to Florida where they met the poolboy. (The article is slightly ambiguous about whether this was the same trip or a different one in the same year.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:00 PM
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Geez, I had no idea Stephens was Jewish. I just figured he was another over-entitled white-boy. My bad. Now he's a shonda fur de goyim.


Posted by: Chetan Murthy | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:06 PM
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possibly brass from a shattered padlock

Your secrets are safe here. As far as I'm aware, this site isn't visible to the pub... oh, right. As my parting shot for the day, then: I did not know the backstory on the NYT op-ed section, because who has time for that shit, but apparently they got the metaphorical bedbugs from the Atlantic:

In 2016, James Bennet left his esteemed job at The Atlantic to run the editorial pages for The New York Times. His op-ed page became a sped-up version of his Atlantic, and the essential nihilism of either [sic; each?] endeavor was laid bare. Ideas are valued to the extent that they provoke, and because both outlets sit within a broadly liberal consensus, special value was assigned to provocations from their right flank.
At the Times, Bennet brought on a skeptic of both campus rape statistics and climate science. And Bari Weiss, another new contributor and opinion section editor, has positioned herself as a feminist apostate. People at the paper like to talk about the hires as matters of intellectual rigor and viewpoint diversity, but all they're doing is draping a philosopher's toga around a troll.

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:19 PM
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You aren't supposed to shoot a padlocks. Even Americans know that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:36 PM
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All the Atlantic writing I see (ie. get linked to by other people) is good. Do they have shitty op-eds?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:38 PM
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Yes. I only read it for the articles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:39 PM
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Anyway, unless James Bennet is a time traveler, he can't be responsible for David Brooks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:40 PM
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Who said anything about shooting?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:41 PM
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You said "shattered". That's how we shatter most things here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:42 PM
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And in fact I averted my eyes with utmost caution; at which point, evidently, an eyelash came loose.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:42 PM
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Yeah, I'm willing to make a special distinction for NYT hires after Nov 2016. Subscriptions shot up as the unthinkable happened, and people wanted to be informed as the world slipped off its axis. So, naturally the NYT doubled down on trolling its huge new readership. And acts like this trolling is some kind of fucking virtue.

I guess the one thing they've done is completely if inadvertently discredited the notion that conservatism can be presented in good faith.

I know I've said this before.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:48 PM
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You know what, that bedbugs line actually does seem pretty offensive now that I type it out. I regret it. Let's substitute "conservative-virtue-signaling wave of new hires."

Bennet isn't responsible for Brooks, but apparently Ross Douthat left Bennet's Atlantic tutelage for the NYT in 2009.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 6:51 PM
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I feel like actual conservatives are out there to be found and present a case coherently. The trouble for the media's purposes is, they'd all be Democrats.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 7:05 PM
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WOW I hadn't seen that exchange with Leiter before. Did you guys check the IP logs?

I vaguely alluded to it the recent time Leiter came up, but obligatory archive links aren't a thing anymore, or I just got lazy.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:26 PM
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AIIIIYYYYEEE. My good friend is running for Assembly in AD1 special election and the results are coming in. It is a super long shot, but oh man if she won. I keep hitting refresh and she and the main Republican keep trading the lead.

https://vote.sos.ca.gov/special/state-assembly/district/1


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:36 PM
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I gave her too much money and wrote so many postcards.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:37 PM
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I tell myself that it is a mail-in election and it'll take days. But I want to know now!!!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:38 PM
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Probably won't know until Sept 5th. That's so long to wait.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:46 PM
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Wow, good on you. But if this is the primary and there's a second Republican further back in the running, it's a long shot in the general no matter what, right?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:46 PM
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I think her only real hope was a surprise win today. It looks like the second Republican is a spoiler for a Republican win today, but it will be a shocker if she wins.

If anyone deserves it though, she does. She's actually a good person who likes people.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:50 PM
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There was a period where The Atlantic seemed to me to be going for people in the opinion/commentary genre who could be characterized as a member of a particular group (liberal, conservative, etc.) but unreliably so. A conservative who might occasionally say liberalish things or vice versa, but mostly staying within conventional boundaries.

I see now that Bennet also hired Ta-Nehisi Coates, and I remember thinking at the time* that he seemed to fit the "unreliable" mold, based on some stuff he wrote early on that I can no longer remember, but I think had to do with how he approached writing about things like structural racism vs individual responsibility. But then I quickly came to the conclusion that Coates was not in any sort of "unreliable" mold, and that maybe whoever hired him at The Atlantic ended up surprised by how things turned out, hopefully in a good way.

I also could have been totally wrong in my impressions about all of this because I was not a regular Atlantic reader.

*I wasn't aware of Bennet's role back then or at any time until this thread, but it seemed like someone was following a particular philosophy in how they were hiring.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-27-19 8:54 PM
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So reuters have lawyers, too And U.S. President Trump's now-jailed fixer, Michael Cohen, has said he helped the Falwells suppress racy personal photos, as Reuters reported this May, in the months before Cohen persuaded Falwell to endorse Trump's 2016 White House bid. There is no evidence that Cohen's efforts to suppress the photos were a quid pro quo for Falwell's vital political backing.
Perish the thought


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:40 AM
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Markup failure. Sorry.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:41 AM
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Don't apologize to me. Apologize to my lawyer.


Posted by: Opinionated Reuters | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:58 AM
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In defence of Bennet, and of people who do his job, it is really difficult to hire honest and interesting opinion writers partly because the market does not want them. On the whole, the ideal amount of novelty in an opinion piece is of the order of 5-10%. The rest of the time readers want their existing prejudices entertainingly confirmed. Any public performer is constantly struggling between two pressures: most of their audience wants them to become a karaoke act performing their own greatest hits; some wants to hear new material (and the pressure for novelty in journalism is constant).

So the idea of hiring a columnist who will disagree with most readers most of the time, but sometimes, unpredictably, make them think a little is not inherently ridiculous. This doesn't excuse a self-important bullshit merchant like Bret Stephens. There is a difference between someone who is honestly wrong and someone who is a paid mouthpiece of movement conservatism (or its analogues over here). I myself would hire Rod Dreher if I were in a position to do so simply because he does try to think for himself from an interesting set of first principles. Similarly Andrew Bacevich. I don't even regret S****s M***e as a columnist rather than an editor -- and in my day I published both the Ayatollah Khomenei and Prince Phillip. On the same principle, the WSJ should have hired Krugman.

But this runs into the further problem that trolling your own readers becomes a lazy temptation for the columnist in question.



Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 2:14 AM
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This interview with Karpf is fantastic
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/08/bret-stephens-bedbug-david-karpf-interview.html


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 4:37 AM
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This too: https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/amp28829576/bret-stephens-bedbug-david-karpf-interview/


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 4:44 AM
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It's like Dumbledore said about evil creating the seeds of its own destruction when it tries to destroy enemies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 4:53 AM
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It's great that Trump has to keep publicly denying his hotels have bugs. Next week, if somebody says the New York Times offices have urine on the floor, can we make him deny the pee tape?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 5:05 AM
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Trump dunking on Stephens while denying his resort has bedbugs is sending me so much


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 5:09 AM
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Promising to pardon his minions if they steal land to build The Wall is the kind of thing that used to attract outage back before everybody realized there's no morality that the Republican Party will stick to if it inconveniences Trump.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 5:16 AM
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Can the queen say that mid-October is inconvenient for her because of Corgi-watching season and that she'd rather address parliament of September 19th or so?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:20 AM
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Unfortunately it has been well-established that the Queen can only address Parliament when Parliament invites her to. This is one of the things that got definitively settled by the events of 30 January 1649.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:28 AM
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See here for clear and simple diagram! https://jonworth.eu/brexit-what-next/

I disagree with some of the p values but not the general structure - in particular I believe strongly that an election has always been Johnson's plan and all this is simply to get the orcs on side http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_16964.html#2047290.



Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:31 AM
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That's just way too complicated.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:34 AM
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124: Speaking of, maybe a no-shit political prosecution coming up.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:36 AM
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You know you have too many boxes in your flowchart when the software keeps putting those little elbow bends in your arrows.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:38 AM
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130: agreed. It's like you know you're too Habsburg when your family tree has to have those little bridges so lines can cross over each other.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:42 AM
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In the genealogy business, those are called "incest jumps."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:48 AM
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In a positive trend, Pittsburgh's latest crime wave is stabbing people, not shooting them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:56 AM
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Maybe people have been stabbing people all along and it didn't make the news before the fatal stabbing that initially looked like it was targeted against Muslim women.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 7:14 AM
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They're just trying to look cool by copying London.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 7:37 AM
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We also have a red, double-deck bus. But just the one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 7:45 AM
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Stabbings are worse. They take more motivation. It's like Rwanda: they had plenty of rifles, but they preferred machetes.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:45 AM
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Stabbings are way, WAY worse than double-decker busses, for sure.

Since Pittsburgh is copying London and since the loony conspirasphere credibly informs us today that Queen Elizabeth has been secretly executed by the British deep state, maybe this Pittsburgh copying thing could actually turn up a positive outcome. Pittsburgh deep state, the world is counting on you.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 10:24 AM
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Speaking of House Saxe-Coburg, if Epstein ends up burning Philip (Andrew? Whatever.) what will the consequences be in GB politics, if any?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 10:40 AM
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Does the Queen have absolute power while the Parliament is suspended? If so, can she unilaterally void the Brexit vote?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:24 PM
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139. Not as much as you'd think. Andrew is pretty universally reviled anyway.

140. She has not power at any time. But if Parliament sends her a "humble address" not to prorogue, she might judge that it overrides Johnson's "advice".


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:34 PM
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141.2. Darn!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:39 PM
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131 Or when you have a big ass chin


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:45 PM
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139: The only effect I can imagine, and it's indirect, is that it still further adds to the stress on the Queen, who is said to be really fond of the useless an unpleasant layabout. The point of that is not that she can rescue us - she can't - but that her death will be an extraordinary symbolic moment: the end of a self-understanding that England, later Britain, has had since Elizabeth I


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:54 PM
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Question for the UK commenters, how well justified is Charles Stross's alarmism? Here's his latest post, but not the only one.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:58 PM
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I think he's overexcited, and some of his commenters positively hysterical. Talking about the Civil War is absurd. The nearest to this crisis is 1911/1912. There is still time for the opposition parties to hold their noses and vote for a Corbyn government if they are determined. In that case, I think we get a general election but it's quite possible that Corbyn will lose that. Anything is possible, in fact, with four parties fighting in a system designed for two. I reckon, though, there will be an election before leaving. I could very well be wrong. The incompetence of the opposition has been just as important a factor as the malevolence of the Brexiteers and there's no compelling reason why it should stop now.

One thing seems obvious to me - the party that owns a no deal brexit will pay for it at the next election. Because the consequences will be disastrous, humiliating, and prolonged. So a smart Tory would want to fight the election before leaving the EU, on a program of jam tomorrow, rather than rather than defending the absence of jam (and insulin) today. Also, if Johnson is planning to shaft the DUP and the headbangers of his own party by accepting a customs barrier in the Irish Sea and letting Northern Ireland go, which is the only remotely sensible way out of the EU, he needs a bigger parliamentary party than he's got. I can imagine a post-election a deal with the Corbynite faction of the Labour party which would trade Irish independence for a "Tory Brexit".

But that's all hand waving.

One thing about Scottish independence, post Brexit: how does anyone propose to manage the resulting border? It is geographically a lot easier than the Irish one. But it's going to put a huge fucking dent in the Scottish economy anyway.

Final thought: the only way the Brexit project makes sense is on the assumption that the EU is doomed, and any brexiteer government will have to work to make it so. Things are going to be really horrible, but not, I think in quite the way nor quite as quickly as Stross now suggests.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 2:16 PM
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146: agreed. Stross is a bright lad but not nearly as knowledgeable as he thinks he is - which leads him to make obvious, silly mistakes when he's writing about something he assumes he's an expert in. And his blog is for his fans who are same but more so.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 3:14 PM
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the end of a self-understanding that England, later Britain, has had since Elizabeth I
Could you expand on that? What is that self-understanding?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 11:51 PM
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146: "Also, if Johnson is planning to shaft the DUP and the headbangers of his own party by accepting a customs barrier in the Irish Sea and letting Northern Ireland go, which is the only remotely sensible way out of the EU, he needs a bigger parliamentary party than he's got."

Proroguing Parliament may be the straw that breaks the camel's back for Scottish Conservatism. Their leader is expected to resign in about an hour. Johnson only has his majority thanks to the 12 seats the Conservatives won in 2017 compared to their results in 2015.

Shaft the DUP and there's no majority. Lose a clutch of Scottish seats and there's no majority. Interesting times.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 1:53 AM
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148: My vague understanding being that the monarchy as we know it was mostly invented in the later 19th century, and the young princes are quite capable of carrying it on. Or is it that the royalist demographic is aging rapidly?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:18 AM
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148: red-haired chicks are BY FAR the hottest.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:19 AM
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149: You're assuming that he couldn't hoover up a corresponding surplus of English seats. He's gambling that he can, and there is some support for that belief from this incredibly depressing poll.

148: essentially, that we were big and strong and tough enough to grab whatever we wanted from the world. Early versions held that this is because God loved us specially for having the right religion, although that aspect of the belief did not really survive the twentieth century. Runcie's Falklands sermon was its death knell. Then there was the Ladybird version that I grew up on, that we were a specially nice and civilised nation and all our colonies loved and admired us, so that History, or Progress was on our side the way that God had once appeared to be.

Elizabeth I and the achievements of her reign marked the start of the first version of the myth; Elizabeth II was the second version.

Unless one of Fergie's daughters marries a Trump and proves Ajay's theory right, I think that the belief in buccaneering Britain, which should have died at Suez, will be crushed underfoot in the next decade of humiliating negotiations from weakness.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 4:42 AM
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152: Thanks. Though I don't see historians or non-Britons putting the bookend at her death, rather than at Johnson announcing his no-deal Brexit, or whatever other miserable event stands out. Or for that matter at Suez, or 1968, or 1973, or 2016.
I'd never heard of Runcie but I like the sound of him.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:03 AM
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141.last. The Queen's power is absolute as long as she is a "good monarch." You can tell she has become a "bad monarch" if she tries to exercise her absolute power. Paraphrasing Bagehot(?).


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:11 AM
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153: there is an obit of him from the Independent that now reads as remarkably donnish here , if self-promotion may be forgiven.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:44 AM
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152.1 I suppose I am, at that.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:50 AM
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Christ, Cummings is a fan of Slate Star Codex. The link goes to a good piece on the irrationality of "rational" types, and a splendid analogy to metaphor for the no deal bluff: "a Fiat Cinquecento playing chicken with a train".


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 7:02 AM
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129: Speaking of, maybe a no-shit political prosecution coming up.

I will just say that the potential linked action (prosecution of Andrew McCabe for lying about a pre-election leak*). In the grand scheme a small thing and this thread is all about other stuff, but this and the pre-pension firing of McCabe** are ones that chill me. They are evidence of the forces of Republico-Trumpian chaos winning the race to delegitimize the inner workings of government before they can bring them/him to account. The pension/crime thing strike right at the heart of the workings of government/law enforcement and lay down a chilling precedent for any government employee.

*In accordance with the nature of these utterly bullshit things (see firing, Comey), a leak that potentially "hurt" Clinton.

**McCabe himself is not really the question, although I find him much more reasonable (if a bit self-important) than that righteous fucknut Comey.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 9:27 AM
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You all, I am so sorry that I'm terrible about posting on Brexit-issues. The problem is that I usually come to understand a little better by reading the comments here, at which point it feels silly to post about it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:45 AM
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I'm late to this thread but goodness the linked OB in 155 is wonderful. Donish indeed NW.


Posted by: OutOfTheBlue | Link to this comment | 09- 3-19 11:53 AM
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Oh okay, so this is still going on and Stephens has been digging vigorously.

Stephens's core argument is that the "rhetoric of infestation" was central to the Nazi propaganda campaign, and that today this same rhetoric is used by the American left to target the most vulnerable population of all--"the moderate conservative, the skeptical liberal, the centrist wobbler." There is no greater injustice today, it seems, than Stephens's hurt feelings. . . . He could have written a column about anything other than the "Bretbug" dustup. . . . Instead, Stephens used the largest weapon at his disposal--his New York Times column--to imply that the Jewish professor who mildly teased him online was the equivalent of a Nazi propagandist.

This is good for business, so the Times has no reason to fire him.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09- 4-19 11:33 AM
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Hey, remember when this same thing happened in 2014, except it was taxes on the rich being analogized to the Holocaust?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 4-19 11:41 AM
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I read Stephens' actual column to see if this was an accurate summary. It's not an accurate summary because the column has no meaningful content: it's not even wrong from top to bottom. As you were.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09- 4-19 11:50 AM
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