Re: Previously

1

So we're all dying of swine flu or something?

No, just the Mexicans. As if they didn't have enough problems already.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 5:57 PM
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So that's what happened to Ogged...


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:10 PM
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Uh. Lessee, it came to light that Jane Harmon was essentially the favorite of Israeli spies-who-aren't-spies, which is yet another episode from the longest running spy case with the fewest results ever. She was on a wiretap with one of the suspects in the investigation. Oops. That news was swamped by the release of the torture memos (the contents of which were mostly known), which means lots of people want to go aftr Bybee along with Yoo (and well they should), and Bybee has retained counsel and stories are floating up in places like the WaPo about how he really didn't mean it and he's a real nice guy and you wouldn't hit a man with glasses would you? The Taliban took a valley near to Islamabad (I think) and then promptly lost it again; the reports generated much hyperventilating. The economic numbers all got worse, and were reported as worse than before but better than they are, and everyone announced that because things didn't get way way way worse, then therefore things are improving. There was some yelling at a climate hearing, and various right-wingers said various retarded things all week long. There were lots and lots of Broderites who were shocked at the signs of the nation's descent into anarchy, barbarism and bad manners as evidenced by people of the ungood and hippie persuasion advocating for investigating various torture allegations against the Bush administration.

Oh, yeah, Hillary ripped the heads off a few R's and shit down their necks, right there on national TV, which was pretty cool. The British are broke, as are Chrysler and GM, and the other European countries are kind of screwed and loving it, apparently. The Chinese continue to try and threaten people into taking their exports.

There is a major outbreak of the nasty flu in Mexico city, with a minor outbreak in Texas, but so far it looks it will wind down as a minor kerfluffle in a coupla weeks, unless you happen to be in Mexico or one of those infected, in which case, you are in a world of shit.

On the whole, nothing much happened, so you didn't miss anything but things are marginally worse than this time last week.

max
['OH! I forgot - the giant flying space goats will arrive from Alpha Centauri next month and begin eating the planet. You might want to note that down on your calendar.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:16 PM
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Bea Arthur died.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:17 PM
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4: too soon!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:20 PM
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Bea Arthur died.

Yeah, way to bury the lede, max.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:20 PM
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it would be nice if this kind of summary will be a feature here every week
i wonder why they won't call it porcine flu or something, so that it would sound not that disturbing


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:23 PM
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Or harsh viral tactics.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:28 PM
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7: Swine flu sounds cowardly and will easily be dealt with by a slap in the face with a glove. Whereas porcine flu sounds like it might be tasty.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:30 PM
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8: Posted by:JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:28 PM


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:31 PM
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avian flu they call avian or BSE is bovine
so if to rename just to not cause like more distress


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:35 PM
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I enjoy your signature missed signature comments, Stormcrow. Particularly the nice use of italics.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:37 PM
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12: Thanks. I effed up the last one a bit. But you'd think I'd notice it was blank to begin with. Alien computers, bah.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:41 PM
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There is a major outbreak of the nasty flu in Mexico city, with a minor outbreak in Texas,

And reported cases in NYC, California, Kansas, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, New Zealand, and a bunch of other places I can't think of off the top of my head...

but so far it looks it will wind down as a minor kerfluffle in a coupla weeks, unless you happen to be in Mexico or one of those infected, in which case, you are in a world of shit.

This is substantially more sanguine than the flu blogs I've been reading. Not that anyone's freaking the fuck out right now, but the attitude at the moment seems to be "this is potentially very worrisome and we don't have enough information to determine how bad it'll get".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:54 PM
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Yeah, way to bury the lede, max.

Yeah, I knew I was forgetting something. Also, Maude was married four times!

max
['...and then there's fraud!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 6:55 PM
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North Dakota Socialis Bank.

As we know, the housing bubble didn't hit North Dakota. That's socialism for you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 7:41 PM
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Y'all are mighty sanguine about the pig flue. I'm convinced we are all doomed. What did it for me was hearing about that Mexican curator who took Obama on a tour of the Mayan museum on April 16, and then died of flu the next day. That shit's quick, yo!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 7:42 PM
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You guys are all missing it. The lede is: Where was Becks?

A really good vacation, I hope.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 7:43 PM
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Y'all are mighty sanguine about the pig flue.

I'm not panic-stricken, nor even especially worried. But then again, my lack of anxiety does make me feel a little bit anxious. There's so much fear-mongering out there over every little thing, it's hard to know what to take seriously.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 7:52 PM
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14:And reported cases in NYC, California, Kansas, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, New Zealand, and a bunch of other places I can't think of off the top of my head...

Officials said they had confirmed eight cases in New York, seven in California, two in Kansas, two in Texas and one in Ohio. [...]
In the United States, the C.D.C. confirmed that eight students of a high school in Queens had been infected with swine flu, the first confirmed cases in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference on Sunday. Mr. Bloomberg said that all of the cases had been mild and hospitals in the city had not seen more patients with severe lung infections.[...] About 100 students at St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, Queens, became sick in the last few days, and some family members have also taken ill. Mr. Bloomberg said the school would be closed on Monday, and that officials would then reassess whether to reopen the school. [...] Other cases of possible infection in New York turned out to be false alarms. Five of six children at a day-care center in the Tremont section of the Bronx who had shown some flu-like symptoms tested negative for swine flu, said Thomas Frieden, the city's health commissioner.
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The United States formally declared a "public health emergency" yesterday as countries from New Zealand to Scotland investigated suspected cases of illness that they feared might be a strain of swine flu that has been identified in Mexico, the United States and Canada. To date, however, no confirmed cases of the newly emerged flu strain had been found outside those three countries. Many of the people under observation around the world reported recent travel to Mexico.
Only half the throat swabs taken from severe Mexican cases and sent to CDC for testing -- and only one-third of those sent to Canada's national lab for the same purpose -- turned out to be swine flu. That suggested that a sizeable fraction of the 1,000 suspected cases may not be flu. "How different is this from seasonal influenza? Does this virus have a different potential to cause severe illness? That is what is so critical to find out about Mexico," a high-placed HHS scientist said yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly. "If you didn't know about Mexico, what is happening here would just be a few strange cases of flu happening late in the season," the scientist said.
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In early April, Mexico had noticed that it had high numbers of serious respiratory illnesses and some deaths. It began sending samples to Canada and the United States, asking for help genotyping the new virus. The ages of the victims in Mexico also concern health officials. Unlike typical flu seasons, when infants and the aged are usually the most vulnerable, none of the initial deaths in Mexico were in people older than 60 or younger than 3 years old, a spokeswoman with the World Health Organization said. Pandemic flus -- like the 1918 flu and outbreaks in 1957 and 1968 -- often strike young, healthy people the hardest. When a new virus emerges, deaths may occur in healthy adults who mount the strongest immune reactions. Their own defenses -- inflammation and leaking fluid in lung cells -- can essentially drown them from inside.
A second hypothesis, Dr. Cetron said, is that there is some other factor in Mexico that increased the lethality of the virus, such as co-infection with another microbe or an unwittingly dangerous form of treatment. For example, a co-infection with the AIDS virus makes it much more likely that someone with tuberculosis will die of it. And Reyes syndrome emerged when infants with fevers were treated with aspirin. However, Dr. Cetron emphasized that there is no evidence of any co-infection in Mexico or anything unusual about flu treatment there. [...]
Mexico's annual flu season was trailing off in March, when there was a new spike in cases. That usually happens when B strain flus peak late in the season, but B strains are usually mild. Mexico sent samples to the United States and Canada after its officials realized the country was having an unusual outbreak with severe cases.

Not that anyone's freaking the fuck out right now, but the attitude at the moment seems to be "this is potentially very worrisome and we don't have enough information to determine how bad it'll get".

Does that look wildfire to you? (Asking seriously.) It doesn't look like the nasty nasty whatever has jumped the fence and started to run riot. It looks like a late season regular flu (most cases), a mild version of the swine flu, and then something else entirely that seems to be contained.

And they're pushing the panic button, which they should do, but that seems like it will maintain containment.

max
['Lotta people freaking out about pork.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 7:57 PM
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Y'all are mighty sanguine about the pig flue.

As long as you open the damper before you light the fire, it shouldn't be anything to worry about.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 7:57 PM
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There's so much fear-mongering out there over every little thing, it's hard to know what to take seriously.

Not only that, but there are so few experts I trust out there any more. I hate that I read something like big McKinsey report on education last week and my immediate thought is "I wonder whose axe they're grinding?"

Although I see someone linked Effect Measure upthread. Back when I used to read him regularly I thought he came across as pretty knowledgeable.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 7:59 PM
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we don't have enough information to determine how bad it'll get

Exactly. How nasty it is can't be determined from the Mexican death toll 'cause they don't know how many people had or have it overall.

It's not time to panic yet but I'd stay away from big crowds and such if I could. Of course, given the current notion that coming to work while hacking and spitting up bloos demonstrates true allegiance, that might not make any difference.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:03 PM
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20: "Wildfire"? No, not yet. But then, everything I've read so far has indicated that it's still too soon to tell how serious it is, which is why I responded to you going "oh, it's nothing to worry about". From what I understand, you simply cannot have the information necessary to make that judgment. If I'm wrong, please let me know what I'm missing.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:05 PM
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where was Becks?

On vacation. In a city. Hanging out in large crowds.



Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:25 PM
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I predict that if Obama dies of swine flu, the government will not appreciably change what it does in any way.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:26 PM
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26: If you're talking about Spike's comment in 17, if you read a little deeper into the Effect Measure link and comments, you'll see that the official report is that the museum guy died of diabetes complications, NOT swine flu.

I am neutral on the Mexican government's likelihood of lying about something like this, but I'm against leaping to conclusions.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:34 PM
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Read, why do you favor the Romance term over the Germanic one? Lingering approval of (or nostalgia for) the Norman Conquest?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:39 PM
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In theory I don't mind, because I am a hermit. But my mom is an ESL teacher, and her kids are constantly shuttling back between MA and NY and PR or DR.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:39 PM
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24 is the argument of a man determined to panic.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:45 PM
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On vacation. In a city. Hanging out in large crowds.

In Mexico?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:48 PM
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PR

Puerco Rico? Holy shit, panic!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:51 PM
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IME neither Puerco is very rico.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:58 PM
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Although I suppose there was a time when both had their share of individual ricos.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:59 PM
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the explanation is in 11, CC
and i say anonymosity just for comical effects
i've watched a really depressing Israeli movie Yellow asphalt now
it's realistic and do not favour both Bedouins and Jewish, but i think it would do more bad then good to show that much hatred and just ugly naked life
some concealment perhaps is necessary in any art, the 'first, do not harm' principle like


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 8:59 PM
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a


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:00 PM
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32:Respectfully, fuck you. Does your mom put herself in immediate contact with itinerant Latin Americans? PR != Mexico, but they're not all that particular about that around here.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:00 PM
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Does your mom put herself in immediate contact with itinerant Latin Americans?

My mom and I both do, actually, as we both work with people in Spanish-speaking communities here in the US. Sorry I hit a hot button for you there. Just making a stupid joke.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:05 PM
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Does your mom put herself in immediate contact with itinerant Latin Americans?

FM, it's like you want us to make your-mom jokes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:14 PM
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39: Heh. Strike while the iron is hot, that's what your mom always said.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:19 PM
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27 needs lessons on better fear-mongering. I'm trying to freak out here, darnit.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:21 PM
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A baby wiped its runny nose on me in New York City. But it was the Bronx, so it's probably ok.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:32 PM
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39.2: In fact I was recently chastised by fm for a subpar comeback to a mom-based straight line. I set you up so good, and this is the best you come up with? My talent as a straight man is wasted on you all. But fm can do as he sees fit after identifying Otis Spofford the other day.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:34 PM
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7: That didn't work for "avian" flu. I think we are wise to their strategies now. They need to stop calling it "flu". Perhaps "tickles"? "Swine tickles are endemic." Mmmm.


Posted by: Pineapple | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:34 PM
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43 me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:35 PM
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44: Swine Tickles would make a great pseud. It should be added to the bin of Names for Enterprising but Nameless Lurkers, right there next to Wry Cooter.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:39 PM
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i hoped tomorrow is the Memorial day, but it's in May i looked up
good night, all, a stuffy night here, should take down the aircon and install it maybe


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:45 PM
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I just want to note that ten years ago I wrote a storyline for an online roleplaying game that revolved around a media-hyped "outbreak" of some bug or another in a major city leading to a big supernatural throw-down when all the various NPCs realized it would make great cover for going after one another. I say this to advocate for roleplaying games as a means of staying ahead of the absurdity curve tracked by mainstream society.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:48 PM
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||

Also, FFS peopoe, it was 90 goddamn degrees here all fucking weekend. It is midnight and I have the ceiling fan going. Fucking A.

|>


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 9:50 PM
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||
via LGM, Michael Scheurer writes the most infantile thing ever published in the Washington Post (and of course that is saying a lot). Starts with a ticking bomb scenario involving bin Laden himself and multiple nuclear bombs set to detonate in American cities.

the world will not be safer for America because the president abandons interrogations to please his party's left wing and the European pacifists it so admires. Both are incorrigibly anti-American, oppose the use of force in America's defense and -- like Obama -- naively believe that the West's Islamist foes can be sweet-talked into a future alive with the sound of kumbaya.

These guys are clearly terrified.
|>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 10:02 PM
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50: Fuck.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 10:04 PM
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If I were famous, and therefore someone whose letter would appear in the Times, I would write something like:

Dear Sirs,

Apparently Michael Scheurer has mixed up Osama bin Laden with Lex Luthor. It is easy to imagine extraordinary circumstances where we would be tempted to resort to torture, but the fantasy scenario that Scheurer invokes does not resemble the reality, which is the attempt by the previous administration to make torture anything but extraordinary, but a routine tool of US foreign policy. We can revisit the debate when supervillains get their hands on nuclear weapons, but until then, the criminals in our midst must be punished for their crimes.

Famous Person
Former Famous Job or Famous University


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 10:26 PM
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50: I feel like I've read that before. I don't think that's a new line of reasoning on their part.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 10:26 PM
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JP, why is it that your comments are missing your name half the time? Is it because you're not willing to do what it takes to keep America safe?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 10:27 PM
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The only thing more insane than the Scheurer piece is the comment thread that follows. Holy crap.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 10:29 PM
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54: I know why they're missing, but I'm not telling. And what are you going to do about that, you left-wing pacifist pussy?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 10:31 PM
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I'm going to give Osama bin Laden the nuclear launch codes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 10:35 PM
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Kumbaya my lord
Here's the codes
Kumbaya my lord
Kumbaya
Kumbaya my lord
Kumbaya
O-sama, Kumbaya


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 10:41 PM
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Apparently Michael Scheurer has mixed up Osama bin Laden with Lex Luthor.

Now that's just silly. Obviously Osama bin Laden is General Zod.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-09 11:15 PM
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The thing about the swine flu?

Better to panic prematurely and stop a pandemic from happening that might never have happened, than wave a casual hand and say "hey, only people we don't care about much are dying, let's not worry about it till we have to". Because that's the way you get a global plague, people.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:23 AM
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Pitchforks time.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:21 AM
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We got pretty lucky with Ebola. SARS and Bird Flu. My concern is that these things don't scale linearly. The Mexican Pig Flu doesn't have to be that different to do exponentially more damage. And then we are all doomed.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:34 AM
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What is my panicking supposed to achieve, exactly? Is the CDC taking its clues from me?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:38 AM
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Wow, this post is perfect - I have been 100% subsumed with bathroom remodeling/party planning/cooking/house guests since last Weds.

I need more news updates, people. Pope do anything assholish?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:53 AM
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3 is very helpful. Maybe I could get max to run an aggregator so that, in the future, I can focus less on the internet and more on my life.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:55 AM
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Also, Maude was married four times!

More important, politically and culturally speaking, Maude was a main character (her name's right there in the title!) who actually had an abortion instead of affirming her right to choose and then choosing not to have one.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:03 AM
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P.S. She did so shortly before Roe v. Wade was decided. She lived in NY, where abortion was already legal.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:04 AM
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If I weren't famous sexist, laydeez, and therefore someone whose letter would appear in the Times, I would write something like:

Dear Sirs To the Editor,


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:08 AM
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We have no idea which was the Swine Flu will go. The CDC and WHO think that the risk is serious, and people have been saying that for some time. Things like this are unpredictable, and the problem might go away or be minimal, or it might not.

Right now idiot Senator Susan Collins of the idiot state of Maine is pretending that spending money to defend against pandemic flu is just more evil Democratic pork. Maybe pushing the panic button might help get it past her.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:09 AM
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Damn, I missed the opportunity to sign 68 max style:

['And then there's Sir Kraab!']


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:10 AM
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money to defend against pandemic flu is just more evil Democratic pork

Be fair, John. It's swine flu.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:17 AM
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Now, now. Maine is not entirely stupid; some of it is laconically wise, if Bert & I are to be believed. Yet it's true, Collins:flu preparedness::Jindal:volcano monitoring. It would be poetic justice if the former were to catch swine flu and the latter were to be buried in a pyroclastic flow.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:22 AM
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Walt, I think you should submit 52 (though probably better to send it to the Post, where the original article was published, rather than the Times), your lack of fame notwithstanding. I would make a few edits, but then it's not my letter.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:25 AM
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Maude was my grandmother's favorite show. She later harbored a deep disdain for Golden Girls.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:47 AM
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I have explained things clearly to Obsidian Wings. They are my diametrical opposite in so many ways.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:51 AM
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But they were spunky! Who hates spunky?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:51 AM
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Obsidian Wings: Objectively spunky.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:52 AM
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48 sounds really cool, both the RPG storyline in question and the "roleplaying games as a means of staying ahead of the absurdity curve tracked by mainstream society" life strategy.

For some reason, it really reminds me of Spares by Michael Marshall Smith. The plot itself of the book was suspiciously similar to that Michael Bay movie The Island (the book came first), but I'm thinking of all the quirky details like a mall so big there are villages in the substructure, and laser guns with built-in sound effects because nobody wants to buy a gun that doesn't make some kind of loud scary noise, and computer interfaces with settings like "bitchy." It's one of those very rare works of art that's more absurd than the real world (so far!) and yet not just slapstick.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:00 AM
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re: 78

That's one of Smith's lesser works, I think, for my taste, although fun with it.

It's sort of a shame that he's deep into his supernatural thrillers* at the moment [as Michael Marshall, no Smith] because 'Only Forward' and 'One of Us' were both pretty stellar, I thought.

* which are quite good, fwiw.


Posted by: nattarGCM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:16 AM
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I am shocked to find out Bea Arthur was the star of "Maude". This is the jolt I need to finally stop confusing "Maude" with "Mama's Family".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:28 AM
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79: seconded. Haven't read the supernatural thrillers; thought "Straw Men", "the Lonely Dead," "Blood of Angels" were average-good thrillers, but the SF ones are very good indeed; haven't read any of his supernatural ones.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:32 AM
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Now would be a good time for everyone to pick up a copy of the fun board game Pandemic.

Something went awry with the HVAC over the weekend, and it is now so, so hot in my office. Sadly it is also the last day of classes, so students are sure to want my attention and I cannot wander off somewhere else. HOT.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:42 AM
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Hot, eh? I've been hearing about that. Here in the Rockies we got 3 inches of snow last night. There's a guest room, if anyone's interested.


Posted by: adamhenne | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:49 AM
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re: 81

I was sort including the 'Straw Men' series as among the supernatural thrillers. 'The Intruders' is much more conspicuously supernatural, though. I've not read 'Bad Things' yet but it seems to be in the same vein.

I felt the three 'Straw Men' books ended unresolved, as if there was a further set of novels that should have followed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:51 AM
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I know torture has been beaten to death in the blogosphere recently, but I have a question I haven't seen raised or answered so far: Given that the history of torture extends back to earliest recorded history, the ticking bomb scenario (in the broadest sense) must have come up sometime, right? Surely the successful use of torture to deal with this scenario would be a major point in the pro-torture crowd's favor. So where is it? Did it maybe happen somewhere overseas so that it is excluded from consideration by the wingnut principle of never saying anything positive about countries other than the US or Israel?

Incidentally, even assuming torture is effective, the beloved ticking bomb scenario is resolved quite simply by the fact that the interrogators presumably value the lives of hundreds of millions of innocent Americans enough to risk prosecution and imprisonment, and if they are successful a presidential pardon is all but guaranteed. IOW, if torture works and the ticking bomb scenario is something other than right wing fever dreams, we already have all the legal tools needed.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:02 AM
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The best thing about this story isn't that noted Texas secessionist Rick Perry is begging the Feds for more antiviral medications--though that's good, too--but the breaking news that "tube rental burns."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:05 AM
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Rick Perry is begging the Feds for more antiviral medications

Sorry, but we decided to comply with your demand not to burden you with any more oppressive socialism. Also, we're withdrawing the border patrol. Good luck and godspeed!

Kiss kiss,
The Feds


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:18 AM
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I'd heard that The Battle of Algiers is pretty close to the real history, but there even if some torture, reprehensibly, "worked," any limited success of wingnut tactics was obviated by the longer-term effects of wingnut strategy, so it wouldn't be brought up.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:30 AM
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But as you know, 88, having seen it, the 10eme REP aren't torturing the enemy to find where the TICKING BOMB! is; they're torturing (and running informers) them to find out the FLN's organisation structure so they can kill the cell leaders.

It's also worth pointing out that they went on to throw the Wingnut Freakout to end all freakouts when it didn't work strategically; they tried to stage a military coup, took over Algiers and Corsica, not once but twice. And they repeatedly tried to kill the president.

French wingnuttiness never quite recovered from its association with traitors, terrorism, and batshit bigoted insanity, although it's true that Nick Sarkozy deliberately courted the remaining people who are still bitter about leaving Algeria in the last elections. (That's incredibly weird; it's as if former Indian civil servants or Rhodesian settlers were a meaningful demographic in British politics. And people claim *we* haven't got over the empire.)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:39 AM
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87: But you'll smuggle some vaccine to us socialist Texans, right?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:50 AM
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Also, I think you meant to say "Vaya con dios" at the end there.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:52 AM
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but the breaking news that "tube rental burns."

Holy crap, that's the tube rental down the street! I hope they're still open this summer. That's 90% of life here. Plus they donate all profits to the local parks system.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:52 AM
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Republicans make fun of volcano monitoring, and a volcano erupts in Alaska. They say they want to cut funding for pandemic preparedness, and presto, pandemic. If there's funding in the stimulus package to prevent asteroids from crashing into the earth, please, please, please just let it go through.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:53 AM
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This one should have been imcluded in max's summary in 2.

Seriously, Obama, WTF?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:56 AM
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as if former Indian civil servants or Rhodesian settlers were a meaningful demographic in British politics

Indian civil servants I grant you, bu the Daily Telegraph still has 300,000 readers, of whom one is Da/ve We/eeden and 299,999 want Smitty back.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:57 AM
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it would be nice if this kind of summary will be a feature here every week

That could be a fun weekly thread, a la that podcast where everyone shares their dinner party tidbits of the week, (which i've only heard advertisements for, but it sounds pretentious.) But a regular Friday thread where everyone shares their favorite story of the week, perhaps? (Plus, what an easy post to put up.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:01 AM
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Perhaps the border-crazies started the swine flu in an effort to assist their cause.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:03 AM
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Yeah, now that you remind me that's true. And how things are generally going to be in real life: all you have is a hypothesized group that has set off bombs in the past and may do so again in the future. It's Ozymandias all over again: why are terrorists supposed to let slip that there's a bomb somewhere still ticking, or indeed to let it "tick" long enough for word to get out?

I wonder if this action-movie scenario would have attained so much currency if not for 24.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:05 AM
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Not to say that bombing was the basic sin of those groups, to the French.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:06 AM
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85:
the ticking bomb scenario (in the broadest sense) must have come up sometime, right?

I wouldn't be surprised if it has really never happened. It's a pretty implausible scenario, created almost entirely by narrative imperative. I mean, it's a more coherent story for one investigator to put together all the pieces than for a far-flung team to do legwork in many different ways. It's more dramatic to force someone to tell you something than to beg or persuade them, and it's not dramatic at all (well, it is, but a different and non-jingoistic kind of drama) for the bad guy to have a change of heart. It's more compelling to have just one thing left to figure out than a dozen things the good guys still don't know. However, the most coherent, dramatic and compelling thing is often the least likely thing.

Our UK commenters would know better than me, but Guy Fawkes might be the closest historical parallel. The bomb was found before the torture, but the torture might have led to finding the co-conspirators.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:11 AM
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The coffeehouse I'm at is playing the Bay City Rollers. I'm realizing that I should have used "Saturday Night" as a spelling aid for my literacy students.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:14 AM
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So, if they found the bomb already, why the rush in finding the cocon-spirators?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:14 AM
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Because they were organized in cells, very difficult to find the source when no one knows more than a few people, and as soon as the word gets out that one's captured all those connected to him scatter (or they reorganize or something), so they have to get the info fast, is the justification.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:17 AM
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Seriously, Obama, WTF?

Always take the Telegraph with a grain of salt, Brock. http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/20299.html


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:17 AM
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85/100: If you read the quasi case studies on torture victims (and torturers) at the end of Les damnés de la terre finding out the names of cell members seems to have pretty much been the main point of the activity.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:19 AM
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John Felton. His wiki entry has a great line: [After he was hanged, i]n a miscalculation by authorities, his body was sent back to Portsmouth for exhibition where, rather than becoming a lesson in disgrace, it was made an object of veneration.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:19 AM
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Oops, 102 was to 100.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:22 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if it has really never happened.

Me too, which is why I raised the question. I'm open to the possibility that under certain circumstances torture might actually work* in a limited sense. If the key scenario of torture apologists has never happened in reality it seems to me that's a mighty useful factoid to confront them with.

*My opposition to it is not based on effectiveness at all: Tens of thousands of Allied lives could have been saved on D-Day if the allies had saturated the landing beaches and immediate surroundings with poison gas. They didn't do it, and good on them for that.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:25 AM
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everyone shares their favorite story of the week

If you've already put on your cloak and wizard hat, don't take them off in front of the cops.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:25 AM
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104: I'm not interested in the Telegraph's editorial take on it, apo (which--I'll be honest--I didn't even read. I saw the news somewhere else over the weekend. The Telegraph link was just the first that came up when I searched this morning. Here's another (AP report).) Your sadlyno link seems to me to be badly misrepresenting/minimizing the Justice department's ask here (even though the link acknowledges that it "seems unlikely" that Obama's team "is on the right side in this case").


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:35 AM
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A reminder that electing Democrats does make a difference: Obama has nominated 2 people to the NLRB who don't think that the "LR" somehow stands for "Employers Rule."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:38 AM
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From the link in 109:

The video, circulating on popular sites such as YouTube and The Huffington Post and accessible at mydesert.com, shows the confrontational arrest of Johnathan Fredrick Felch
With that surname, I would basically expect life to be routinely miserable.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:39 AM
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Huh. I made a felch joke and broke the blog.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:03 AM
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Hey JMcQ -- want to give my niece a job? She actually isn't looking for a great job or anything. She just wants to live in Portland and establish residency and go back to school. Doesn't Emerson's brother live there, too? I am trying to be a helpful auntie.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:09 AM
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112: the confrontational arrest

Is there any other kind?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:12 AM
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OT: Two from the morning RSS on hipsters.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:13 AM
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My brother hires when someone quits, but he's no longer expanding and may be retrenching. It'd ordinary restaurant work paying market rate, which isn't high. Not a hipster coffee shop. Experience helps and may be necessary.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:20 AM
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114: If only I had one to give. Emerson's brother does run the no. 1 pie/coffee shop in town, though, so he might be a better lead employment-wise. (If I can be of any help otherwise, of course, feel free to drop me a line.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:23 AM
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117: Oh she has done all the resto type work stuff. And was in charge of the supplements dept. at a Whole Foods. And graduated last year from Humboldt State with a major in French and Women's Studies. We like the practical disciplines in the extended oudemia family.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:26 AM
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a la that podcast where everyone shares their dinner party tidbits of the week

A friend of mine makes it. It's The Dinner Party Download and it's short and cute.

The same friend was part of The Ministry of Unknown Science, which was very good and whose videos you can download free on iTunes.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:28 AM
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Panic, Web 2.0 style


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:29 AM
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I didn't know people could graduate from Humboldt State. Isn't it just for, like, hanging around?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:29 AM
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If I can be of any help otherwise, of course, feel free to drop me a line.

Thanks! I will! This is the daughter of the wine consultant brother.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:29 AM
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122: Seriously.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:30 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:30 AM
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If you read the quasi case studies on torture victims (and torturers) at the end of Les damnés de la terre finding out the names of cell members seems to have pretty much been the main point of the activity.

One thing I always found interesting and kind of admirable in a way was that Jacques Massu, the general in charge of the 10e Division, subjected himself to the torture techniques used in interrogation before he approved them. Hard to imagine any of the current crew making the same decision.

Of course, Massu then failed to draw what would seem to be the most obvious conclusion from his trials...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:34 AM
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The diplomas are printed on hemp paper, I'd imagine.

123: The job market here is pretty shitty these days, but if she's looking for restaurant/market work, I can at least introduce her to people who might be able to help.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:35 AM
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On the efficacy of torture question and the ticking timebomb scenario, I do remember seeing one anecdote trotted out by torture-apologists involving IIRC an Israeli army or police officer roughing up a Palestinian suspect in the back of a van and then said suspect revealing enough to prevent an imminent bombing. I'll try to find a link.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:37 AM
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127: That will be great. Like I said, she isn't looking for her life's work and is very comfortable with any number of service industry type jobs. Plus she is a cutie pie.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:38 AM
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#116. A friend of mine moved to Silver Lake to start a theater. I had no idea that it was the heart of LA hipsterdom.

that's the tube rental down the street!

I'm sorry! (The headline was funny because it sounded like a warning, not an announcement.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:40 AM
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115: Yes.

Re: Ticking time bombs; everytime any wingnut brings that up, just ask if they're man enough to serve out a prison sentence to save innocent American lives. If so, torture should remain illegal. If you're really looking at a ticking time bomb scenario and if torture is really effective and you really save thousands of innocent American lives by pulling out some brown person's fingernails, you'll get a presidential pardon.


Posted by: Ham-Love | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:41 AM
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Hey, Mexico City! Swine flu got you down? Here, have an earthquake.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:42 AM
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130, What theater, Populuxe? That enclave is indeed my hipster 'hood.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:44 AM
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132: Next week, locusts!

This is all God's punishment for Mexicans not hating enough on teh gays, obviously.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:45 AM
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I know torture has been beaten to death waterboarded six times a day in the blogosphere recently

Fixed. Otherwise, I wholly agree. Rah and I have discussed this often, that this is why the pardon exists. Make terrible actions illegal because they are terrible. If someone, somewhere, decides that a terrible action is necessary or justified, great, but they're going to have to make a pretty convincing case when they explain themselves in court. If they do, great, that's why the pardon exists.

78: I have never even heard of Michael Marshall (Smith) and am very grateful for the tip! He's going onto my list of things I want to check out. The roleplaying game plot was a pretty cool one, if I do say so myself. It involved sitting down and figuring out how many tens of thousands of people would have to be exposed to Bug X to make two of them die, which I found morbidly fascinating, and then ginning up a scenario in which one member of the DC mayoral cabinet had struck a deal with one of their peers on redirecting some anti-vermin extermination efforts during an economic downturn in order to spruce up the touristy bits, thus Bug X gets a chance to spread. Fun!


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:48 AM
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Tube rental seems like a good choice for ladies who are regretting their tubal ligations...but be prepared for it to sting a little.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:48 AM
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You know, I spend so much time thinking about disaster scenarios, but they're always earthquake, drought or flood in my own locations. I find myself totally at a loss on pandemic, which feels like being any ordinary member of the public. I think I'll ignore the news about it, but demand that government DO SOMETHING without inconveniencing me. I have to say, it feels great.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:48 AM
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a lot of negative energy it seems, what they could do to alleviate it, is perhaps invite the Dalai lama to say some prayers
just for the experiment to see whether it would help
i like the guy on the yahoo news photo, so very soulful eyes and with the mask
that's how i imagined ogged at first, minus the mask of course, but he said he looks like some artist of the middle eastern descent, i forgot his name, though remember the face


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:04 PM
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-the


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:05 PM
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So, erm, this swine flu thing... Any particular part of Mexico? I've got vacation coming and am fully prepared to panic...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:18 PM
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#133. I can't remember the name. Shortly after moving out there, said friend barely survived a cerebral aneurysm and the theater failed, so it's unlikely to be remembered. Fortunately, he was able to continue acting, which he has, but he's never hit it big. He may still live in Silver Lake; I haven't talked to him in several years.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:18 PM
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X is the Y of Z watch.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:20 PM
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Here in NE Ohio its pasty thighs season! The time of year when its so hot you have to wear summer clothes, but so soon after winter that many folks are the color of raw tofu!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:22 PM
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Was 143 in response to anything in the thread, or just a random outburst of joy?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:26 PM
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140: So far it seems to be primarily affecting Mexico City, but there have been reports from all over central Mexico. Spike's link in 121 has a nice map.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:28 PM
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142: When I moved here, I was informed that my new neighborhood was "the Orange County of West Cleveland", a phrase which I'm still trying to get my head around.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:29 PM
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145 to 143.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:29 PM
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144: Becks asked for news. I thought this was one of the more significant things that had happened while she was out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:31 PM
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108

... Tens of thousands of Allied lives could have been saved on D-Day if the allies had saturated the landing beaches and immediate surroundings with poison gas. ...

Do you have a source for this claim which I think is dubious? As far as I know poison gas for D-Day didn't make a lot of military sense and wasn't seriously considered. It was seriously considered for use in the Pacific theater.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:45 PM
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[Late, like always.]

23: Exactly. How nasty it is can't be determined from the Mexican death toll 'cause they don't know how many people had or have it overall. It's not time to panic yet but I'd stay away from big crowds and such if I could.

I note here that Biohazard is the guy I would be listening to first. And the Mexican death toll jumped way up overnight, which is ungood.

24:20: "Wildfire"? No, not yet. But then, everything I've read so far has indicated that it's still too soon to tell how serious it is, which is why I responded to you going "oh, it's nothing to worry about". From what I understand, you simply cannot have the information necessary to make that judgment. If I'm wrong, please let me know what I'm missing.

Wildfire: the name of labratory in The Andromeda Strain. Used for unknowns that spread rapidly and were decidely lethal. Such a good word that I stole it, because to me (Mr. Visually Oriented) the spread of a highly infectious disease looks kinda similar to the movement patterns of dangerous wildfires. (Dangerous wildfires are the ones that travel at 30 mph and catch people by surprise so that they don't have any chance to prepare.)

At any rate, the 1919 epidemic was highly infectious but incubated for a decent span of time, spread rapidly, and had a real high mortality rate. SARS was the same way (and that one almost broke out). The pattern outside of Mexico doesn't look like that, so far, because it lacks the high mortality rates. The highly infectious stuff that they're reporting so far appears to have mild effects and looks semi-contained. The reportage is complicated by the fact that everybody and their dog has started reporting every case of the sniffles as the killer flu, which will tend to mask the movements of the real thing.

Also from the overnight and ungood department, they changed the reporting and said that Mexico had seen its first cases in mid-March, not early April, which means this stuff may have been spreading for awhile in Mexico. If this is a lethal flu, the death toll and the rate of increase in Mexico should continue to ramp up. If the nasty stuff has broken out into the US, the death toll here should follow the same pattern.

140: So, erm, this swine flu thing... Any particular part of Mexico? I've got vacation coming and am fully prepared to panic...

Don't go to Mexico. Not so much a fun tourist destination right now.

max
['OK, Becks, did you go to Mexico or not?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:46 PM
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126

Of course, Massu then failed to draw what would seem to be the most obvious conclusion from his trials...

Torture was a tactical success in Algeria.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:47 PM
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Torture was a tactical success in Algeria.

Who gives a shit if it was a tactical success? The use of torture was directly responsible for turning the French public against the war.

And besides, even the people who were there don't all agree with you that it was a tactical success. So really, go fuck yourself.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:54 PM
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Don't go to Mexico. Not so much a fun tourist destination right now.

Destination wedding. Very close friends. Can't not go -- already booked. Sounded like such a good idea way back when...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:54 PM
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At any rate, the 1919 epidemic was highly infectious but incubated for a decent span of time, spread rapidly, and had a real high mortality rate. SARS was the same way (and that one almost broke out). The pattern outside of Mexico doesn't look like that, so far, because it lacks the high mortality rates. The highly infectious stuff that they're reporting so far appears to have mild effects and looks semi-contained. The reportage is complicated by the fact that everybody and their dog has started reporting every case of the sniffles as the killer flu, which will tend to mask the movements of the real thing.

Jesus Christ max, what part of "it's too soon to tell" are you having a hard time with? I keep saying that, and you keep saying "oh, but it doesn't look so bad right now". OF COURSE it doesn't look so bad right now; if the incubation period is longer than you think it is, than that's exactly what you'd expect.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:58 PM
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153: You could try to persuade your friends to change the location. Maybe they could have the wedding in the back seat of a parked car?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 12:59 PM
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Further to 154: I mean, read this post over at Effect Measure. He points out that there's a ton we don't know about influenza. So forgive me if I'm not willing to take your assertions that it's no big deal on faith.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:05 PM
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The CDC has a fantastically good Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/CDCemergency, which you can browse on the web without signing up for Twitter if you fear Twitter cookies.

I spent the weekend laying in everything I'd need if I got a moderate to very severe case of the flu, and making sure I have my emergency contacts in order, and adjusting my schedule to postpone several outings I don't actually need to make in the next couple weeks. I know most of you aren't as immune-compromised as I am, but I still recommend the preparation.


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:09 PM
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151: Yes and mass murder of civillians was a tactical success in the Battle of Paris. What's your point?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:10 PM
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Twitter cooties, even. Twitter cookies would presumably be those little tiny one-bite sorts of things I find at the bakery sometimes.


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:15 PM
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152

And besides, even the people who were there don't all agree with you that it was a tactical success. So really, go fuck yourself.

The movie "Battle of Algiers" which was made by the winning side says as much.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:15 PM
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158

Yes and mass murder of civillians was a tactical success in the Battle of Paris. What's your point? Yes and mass murder of civillians was a tactical success in the Battle of Paris. What's your point?

What obvious conclusion was Massu supposed to draw?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:17 PM
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Even better: the use of child soldiers as a tactical success in Sierra Leone.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:21 PM
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was a tactical success


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:25 PM
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153: What part of Mexico? The link in 121 shows that confirmed cases are heavily concentrated so far in Mexico City, with a few in Veracruz and Aguascalientes. Suspected cases are a bit more widespread, with clusters in Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, and Baja California. Most parts of the country still don't seem to have any reported cases.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:26 PM
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which was made by the winning side '

Um, this brings up the age-old question with regards to Shearer: disengenuous, or really just that stupid?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:27 PM
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Better have the Chicago meetup before Di goes to Mexico. Just in case.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:44 PM
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157: I spent the weekend laying in everything I'd need if I got a moderate to very severe case of the flu, and making sure I have my emergency contacts in order, and adjusting my schedule to postpone several outings I don't actually need to make in the next couple weeks. I know most of you aren't as immune-compromised as I am, but I still recommend the preparation.

Paige, you're scaring me. My brother is HIV-positive. I should be phoning to caution him?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:45 PM
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Further to 167: Cripe, well, alright, I'll at least get the numbers of his two best friends in town there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:47 PM
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FYI, Di, the CDC has put out a bulletin for people travelling to Mexico. They don't currently recommend that people not go.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:50 PM
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Parsimon: My take is "be prepared and therefore don't worry, knowing that I'm set just in case". If you can pass that along, I think it'd be worth doing. I don't see any reason to counsel panic at this point unless he's in a city that already has cases, it's just that after someone like him or me has gotten sick, a lot of the useful stuff would be very hard to do.

Heck, if neighbors get sick and I don't, I can pass some of this on, even.


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 1:51 PM
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One of the reported cases was in Elyria OH, right here where my college is located. Also, my eyes are itchy. Should I avoid all physical contact with human beings from here on out?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:02 PM
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149 - No cite, just knowledge of the fact that the Nazis weren't well prepared for a gas attack and would have taken months to spin up for production of gas munitions for retaliation. Even if we assume the use of gas was ruled out on purely military grounds, the point still stands: The use of certain weapons of war has been outlawed by treaty despite the fact that those weapons might be useful in certain circumstances, and the US abides by those treaties. If you don't like the gas analogy, how about hollow point bullets, biological weapons, or human shields?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:09 PM
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172...or child soldiers? or rape? or forced labor unto death? Ethnic cleansing? Genocide?

History is loaded with examples of the tactical effectiveness of all of these.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:13 PM
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171: Only swine.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:16 PM
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161: What obvious conclusion was Massu supposed to draw?
The conclusion I would draw is that if you are willing to torture and murder absolutely anyone, for any reason, at any time, you will be hated and feared and if you're lucky, you can exploit the fearfulness before the hatred catches up to you.
What conclusion would you draw, James?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:18 PM
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175

What conclusion would you draw, James?

I thought the intended conclusion was that if Massu was able to withstand the torture it would be ineffective.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:23 PM
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157: Paige, where do you live? Just curious.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:28 PM
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170: Paige, yes, I'll be phoning him this evening anyway. Updating the emergency contacts and so on is a good idea in any case. He and I have recently gone through my mother's unexpected death, and we're suddenly pretty aware of the importance of these things.

He lives in a smallish city but commutes daily to a big one and works among tons of people. I'll mention it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:30 PM
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||
May I say how much I've enjoyed the first two installments of Chris Lehmann's new columny thing, "Rich People Things"? I find the first one particularly delightful.
|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:32 PM
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Destination wedding.

I remember a season of Dynasty that ended like this, only with guerrillas and Moldavia instead of the flu and Mexico.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:33 PM
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He and I have recently gone through my mother's unexpected death, and we're suddenly pretty aware of the importance of these things.

Just a quick note of sympathy, parsimon: Rah and I'll be thinking of y'all.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:35 PM
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The movie "Battle of Algiers" which was made by the winning side says as much.

The point of The Batlle of Algier was that the French campaign of torture, bombing and assassination may have been a short-term tactical success, but it was a longer-term political failure, assuring the emergence of a mass nationalist movement in Algeria. You can torture some of the people some of the time ...

What obvious conclusion was Massu supposed to draw?

That what he and his forces were doing to other human beings was unconscionable. That kind of thing.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:40 PM
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As Mexico struggled to contain its outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans forgo all "nonessential travel" to Mexico.
Risk of Swine Flu Associated with Travel to Affected Areas - This information is current as of today, April 27, 2009 at 16:52
max ['That popped up after I posted; took awhile to find the CDC announcement.']
Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:43 PM
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Kraab: I'm in Seattle.

I'm also about ready to take an axe to colleagues who think it's terribly funny to play "who can affect overreaction most". I'm one of those people where, if you have a hundred patients lined up and expect 2-3 of them to die, I'm one of the 2-3. So are a lot of people I care about. Trying to properly balance rival claims on prudence is hard enough without fucking jackasses making a game out of it.


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:44 PM
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181: Robust, thanks; it was a few months ago now, and we're just much more aware of the importance of keeping up-to-date with one another, who our friends are, having those numbers, and so on. Knowing each other's doctor's names. Stuff like that. It's a bit of a switch from just dancing along in your own particular life.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:56 PM
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Destination wedding. Very close friends. Can't not go -- already booked. Sounded like such a good idea way back when...



Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 2:57 PM
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Wrongshore: In that situation, I'd make sure I was up on vitamins, keep clean (with wipes in my pocket for hand-cleaning, doorknob-buffing, and such as I went), aim for general sensibility, and not worry a whole lot.


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:01 PM
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The White House seems to think it knows what the incubation period is, as they're saying that Obama couldn't have gotten swine flu while in Mexico on April 16. I was reassuring myself with that information, as I was in Mexico in March; I figured if Obama was clear 10 days later, more than a month should be totally safe. Though maybe it would serve me right for self-congratulating that I'd gotten my regular flu shot last September and made it through the whole fall and winter without getting sick (well, food poisoning, but that's different). Influenza saying, "Oh, you think you're vaccinated, but I contain multitudes."


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:02 PM
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Over at Making Light, in another of his very fine, link-awesome public health posts, Jim Macdonald mentions that influenza incubation periods vary up to about five days, with two being most common.


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:09 PM
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167,168:Should I link to the posts that speculate that this flu might, like the 1918 pandemic, be most dangerous to those with the strongest immune systems? What was it "cytokine" reactions?

I have been worrying the last few days for frnakly, the blogosphere of 20 & 30 somethings, and this household, who tho late 50s, never gets a cold, flu, infections, heals quickly, etc.

This is certainly not to say people with weak immune systems should not be careful, perhaps extra careful. Nor to say to strong healthy millenial bloggers should panic and avoid contact with other bloggers, say at meetups.

But it does appear so far, like 1918, to spare the infants and geriactric and weak.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:12 PM
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Bob: I'd say that info is a good thing right now. Go ahead and link. It's interesting stuff on its own terms, in any event. Dunno about "fearsomely and wondrously" made but we sure are weirdly made.

I do continue to hope that this'll get contained and dealt with so that it's no more than a long-term blip. If this is just a good exercise in preparedness, that'll be fine with me.


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:17 PM
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Now I am not sure about the San Antonio cases, or NY, but I am pretty certain that the Israeli and Spanish cases were twenty somethings.

And some of the anecdotes out of Mexico City point in this direction. Interns.

And the initial news in most flu outbreaks and epidemics that I remember show an extreme concentration in infants and old folk. Not this time.

If I have my facts wrong...please correct.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:19 PM
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You don't catch the disease directly from hogs, so the swinophiles here can rest easy and continue with their normal practices. Same with Avian flu.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:20 PM
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191:Effect Measure was linked above, but I can't find it.

Effect Measure I was impressed.

You can read the latest yourself, but the median age of US cases appears to be 16. I think that is unusual, but hey, it could be related to who gets the vaccine. It's still early for the epidemiology.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:29 PM
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One of the reported cases was in Elyria OH, right here where my college is located.

Rob, I delight in the fact that you teach at a place that many of my family members passed through in one way or another (in the 60s and 70s) - my mom, for instance, went there one summer to take a missing class from her undergrad days while applying to graduate school. And I think but am not sure that my grandfather even taught a few math classes there. Last time I was back among the family stopping grounds my mom took me on a fond tour.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:30 PM
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I've been reading the same things, bob. Specifically, that what's killing people is an immune reaction that destroys the lungs and throat, so that the folks with the strongest immune systems are the ones that are getting the worst of it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:35 PM
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the San Antonio cases

High school kids.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:39 PM
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The CDC now recommend that Americans forgo non-essential travel to Mexico.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:41 PM
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196: I read somewhere (probably the comments at Making Light) that the folks who have died in Mexico have been between the ages of 20 and 50. On the other hand, there have been quite a few cases here at this point (and the strains are genetic matches, apparently) and they've all been extremely mild. I don't know what any of this means.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:41 PM
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The NYC cases have been high-school kids, too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:41 PM
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198 pwned by 183. Sorry.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:50 PM
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Destination wedding. Very close friends. Can't not go -- already booked. Sounded like such a good idea way back when...

Just make sure your surgical mask matches the bridesmaids' shoes. And no slow dancing.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:50 PM
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I've been thinking (and talking) about the 1919 pandemic quite a bit lately. Interesting to see how relevant it has suddenly become.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:51 PM
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Spanish Flu of 1918

The unusually severe disease killed between 2 and 20% of those infected, as opposed to the more usual flu epidemic mortality rate of 0.1%.[13][14] Another unusual feature of this pandemic was that it mostly killed young adults, with 99% of pandemic influenza deaths occurring in people under 65, and more than half in young adults 20 to 40 years old.[22] This is unusual since influenza is normally most deadly to the very young (under age 2) and the very old (over age 70), and may have been due to partial protection caused by exposure to a previous Russian flu pandemic of 1889.[23]

"More than half?" And between 15-20?

Cytokine Storms

There are a lot of factors, for instance young people are more active and mobile, social, and maybe less careful and/or cared for, so we need to wait for better data. But this is looking unusual.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:54 PM
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203: Weirdly, the first thing it makes me think of is Klimt and Schiele.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 3:54 PM
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No link, because I am in a hurry, but Mark Thoma was at Arnold Schwarzendirfers Swine flu press conference today.

Arnie was asked if it was ok to travel, and would only answer that we can't worry about the economy at this time. Not. Good.

That's it. No dog walks.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:08 PM
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Here in NE Ohio its pasty thighs season! The time of year when its so hot you have to wear summer clothes, but so soon after winter that many folks are the color of raw tofu!

As I always am! I know you meant to add that this is the sexiest possible state of affairs.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:15 PM
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I know you meant to add that this is the sexiest possible state of affairs.

Made only more sexy, in the case of men, by the addition of dark body hair.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:19 PM
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Y'all know how I compulsively rehearse disaster scenarios in my mind? I had never realized how much confidence I take from that. Like, I genuinely know the first few steps I would take if the two likely disasters occurred. Now one that I've never given thought to is maybe possible and it is so much more distressing.

I can't learn about flu this fast! I don't have a plan for being a shut-in! That's not the same as my other plans! This makes me anxious!

I think the very worst thing is that I am down to ONE unread library book in my stack. I can't get the flu now! I'm not ready!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:26 PM
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Young lady, you are going to have to learn to re-read books. Also, to enjoy e-texts.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:29 PM
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"In these dire times, Americans are going to have to read the books they already have."

I actually really like re-reading books. I've read most of the books I own lots of time. That's why I bought them.

Also, I do have "About a Boy" on the shelf, still unread. Maybe that is my emergency kit.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:33 PM
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I do have "About a Boy" on the shelf, still unread.

But do you have Boy Meets Boy?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:36 PM
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I believe that even fast epidemics spread in terms of months, not days. I'm not an expert at all but my ex recto opinion is that if this gets serious, it won't be before July or later.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:40 PM
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I'll have time to go to the library!!!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:45 PM
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211: I recommend listening to the Bleach album, then reading "About a Boy," then listening to Mystikal's Let's Get Ready album, then watching "About a Boy," to max out the entire multimedia self-quarantined experience.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:46 PM
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I actually really like re-reading books. I've read most of the books I own lots of time. That's why I bought them.

Me, that's why I haven't sold them.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:48 PM
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I believe that even fast epidemics spread in terms of months, not days.

Depends on how long the virus takes to incubate. Your feeling on this is probably influenced by AIDS, which takes a long time to incubate (though it doesn't take a long time to render infected people contagious...but AIDS-infected people can't expose hundreds of others to it each day, unlike flu).

Ebola? No way that would spread in terms of months, if it ever spread in a globalized way. (infected bat flies around airport biting dozens of people, they fly all around the country?)


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:52 PM
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I have read Boy Meets Boy, and the same author's collection of short stories. They're sweet.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:56 PM
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213:Let's see, 8 reported cases yesterday, 41 today. Thst's um 200 tomorrow, 1000 Wednesday...yeah, we will all be dead by Memorial Day.

Now is the time to catch the "Life Without People" science series, or read the obscure Shelley novel or fuck like bunnies or break out the bong or see Paris. I bet Paris will be crowded.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda....


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 4:58 PM
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219: All those "new cases" today were sick, and sick at the same time, as the original group of 8 Queens schoolkids. They had just gone home on Friday before the CDC could tag their ears.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:02 PM
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Not to distract everyone from the genuinely important topic at hand, but I have a question. Is there any website that has little bios, wiki-style, of both semi-public-figures and well-known trolls?

E.g., the Tim Worstalls of the world, or the Daniel Davieses, for that matter.

It would be so helpful to be able to go and find a quick headline of a particular commenter's views, with perhaps a link or two to their most egregious or representative output. I wouldn't even care if the site was biased, as long as it was biased in a consistent way.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:03 PM
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before the CDC could tag their ears

Back on topic, the most surprising thing I've learned so far in this epidemic is that Hong Kong routinely measures facial temperatures of people arriving by air. Um, wow. I'm not sure that I think that's a bad thing, as the social benefit seems to exceed the relatively minimally intrusive individual cost, but still. Wow.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:05 PM
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210: Also, to enjoy e-texts.

...until the electricity goes off.

(Hasn't anyone else read The Stand?)


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:06 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:07 PM
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223: (Hasn't anyone else read The Stand?)
And The Brick Testament is on Revelation right now!!! It's the end times for sure!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:08 PM
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Oh, good thinking, minneapolitan. I just checked. The Rapture Index is up two points.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:15 PM
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217: No, it's what I remember of the story of the Black Death. The volume of travel is a lot greater now, so it will spread farther faster. Incubation time is another factor, and virulence (how easy it is to spread) is another. The black deathwas spread by fleas, which presumably sped up transmission.

October 1347 The black death enters the port of Messina, Sicily, via trade ships from the east
Fall/Winter 1347 Sicily is overwhelmed
January 1348 The black death enters France through the port of Marseilles; northern Italy is struck down

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:16 PM
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anou, selenium always seems helping me to have a shorter flu period, but i basically never have any fever and flu like symptoms, just in the case of adenovirus infection for example, if one has pink eyes etc, it really seems to help
last week f.e i suffered dry red eyes caused by Colorado's dryness of air i thought, got home took two tablets of Se two times, and it's gone
i read somewhere that its supplementation reduces viral load in HIV infected people


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:16 PM
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Boccaccio's "Decameron" explains what to do during an epidemic: hang out with a group of your best friends and chat. Sort of like IRL Unfogged. It's a mixed group, and while he doesn't mention having the last hott sexx of your life, you can read between the lines.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:20 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:24 PM
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221:with perhaps a link or two to their most egregious or representative output.

I was misquoted out of context, and it was all meant ironically anyway. Just to let you know.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:25 PM
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Could you take your concerns to Boccaccio up in heaven, ToS?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:32 PM
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221: God, that would make me completely neurotic when I discovered I didn't make the cut.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:39 PM
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233: Vanity entries would be OK!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:41 PM
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234: You'd think I'd post something flattering about myself, but I'd just write about the guy who said that I was the very worst commenter at Crooked Timber, and that I'd been ruining the site for years. Pretty much the highlight of my blog commenting career.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:45 PM
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Walt is starting to piss me off.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:48 PM
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Just wait until I achieve fame and fortune with my new book explaining how once we properly understand Quine that we'll realize that Ayn Rand is right about everything. I call it Analytic Prosperity Theology.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:54 PM
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I scarcely troll CT any more. Following a link, I trolled Obsidian Wings today, after studiously avoiding it for years (out of politeness), and was informed by Gary Farber that OW had changed while I was gone and no longer was fostering right-left dialogue.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:55 PM
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Pushkin's Feast during the plague?, an excerpt from it, is like my favorite poem ever, beginning from 'Est' upoenie v boyu....'
couldn't find its translation though


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:55 PM
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Michele Bachmann is writing the intro, of course.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 5:58 PM
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A spokesman for Collins seemed to shift some of the blame to the Obama administration, noting the unfilled seats at the Department of Health and Human Services. The Service Employees International Union, in turn, blamed Senate Republicans for a delay in confirming HHS nominee Kathleen Sebelius.

That's what pisses me off so much. Collins is supposed to be one of the sane Republicans, but she's as fucked as the others. She kindly deigned to support Obama's stimulus bill, and now she's using her fifteen minutes of fame to go all Michelle Bachmann on us with imbecile Eisenhower-era balanced-budget bullshit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:02 PM
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239: Here you go, read.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:05 PM
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Now now, we must be grateful to Susan Collins, the most powerful person in the world. We elected her to be the 41st-worst Republican Senator, and that, as we all know, means she's the one who makes all the decisions for this country of ours.;


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:06 PM
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oh, thank you, JMcQ, so great and it goes a little further until 'i chatliv tot kto sred' volnenya ix obretat' i vedat' mog ....forget ...i devu nejnoi p'yu dukhanie but' mojet polnoe chumu'


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:09 PM
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238: I find ObWi pretty tedious, but the thread you triggered is pretty funny. The most convincing explanation I've heard for the behavior of moderates is that they don't know anything, but they know what'll get them approving attention from the media, which also made up of people who don't know anything. It's not that they reject Keynesianism -- they haven't even heard of it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:09 PM
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If it was up to me I'd earmark $300 million of stimulus money for a full-fledged Mongolian Empire Studies Program. There's still tons of information locked up in Russian And Persian and Mongol and Chinese, and there are a number of topnotch scholars who are underemployed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:20 PM
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You're against the professional class, though, John.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:28 PM
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If it was up to me I'd earmark $300 million of stimulus money for a full-fledged Mongolian Empire Studies Program.

Time for an updated version of the WPA Federal Writer's Project


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:28 PM
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I'd hire amateurs, as long as they could read five languages!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:33 PM
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248: No kidding. Have most people read some of that stuff? Any of that stuff? Anybody? It's amazing. And a lot of things have happened since the Depression! It's totally time for FWP II: Electric Boogaloo!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:34 PM
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I just finished Ali and Nino. That's one hell of a novel.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:40 PM
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I found it in the garbage.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:41 PM
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251: There's a biography of the author called "The Orientalist". He was an incredible hoaxer and storyteller who couldn't have pulled off his hoaxes if he hadn't been multilingual, talented, well-travelled, and knowledgeable.

The biography portrays the craziness of 1910-1940 vividly, though people at Language Hat found that the book was riddled with small errors, about Russia at least.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:53 PM
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More pitchfork motivation.

I can't believe how passive people are being, except the imbecile Republicans. Democrats and non-partisans are totally jellified. Or to change the metaphor, they're like fish swimming around obliviously in the fish tank at a Chinese restaurant.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 6:57 PM
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235: but I'd just write about the guy who said that I was the very worst commenter at Crooked Timber, and that I'd been ruining the site for years.

I managed to get sued by a loon.!Nothing much came of it. Of course, B got sued too, so no help there.

max
['But I got sued FIRST!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:13 PM
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I hope everyone here is going to be out on the streets on May Day this year. Increase the pressure!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:14 PM
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|| Teo! There's a nice picture of Mt. Taylor (along with other interesting sites in the slideshow for this article about endangered places.

Unrelated: Foul-Smelling Man Accused of Money Laundering

max
['Don't forget to launder the clothes!'] |>


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:22 PM
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Okay I've just learned there is a case of swine flu in my neighborhood. I get to panic. The rest of you have to be strong, though.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:24 PM
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258: Are you off to burn their house down? Where do you live, anyway?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:29 PM
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257: Well, that's Eugene for you. John Holbo's department.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:32 PM
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If I die because of Susan Collins, I ask that one of you avenge me.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:35 PM
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I have one too, Walt. Stop being such a show off.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:37 PM
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257: Cool. Thanks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:41 PM
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I have most! Most!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:41 PM
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258: Red state hell-hole.

262: You weren't confidently saying this morning that it was no big whoop. I knew I had to die some day, but I didn't think it would be because of fucking dramatic irony. And Susan Collins.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:48 PM
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261:If I die because of Susan Collins, I ask that one of you avenge me.

But the R's would rilly disapprove, dude! I think they would be totally fine though if we just waterboard her a lot.

max
['Say, that might be a better option than impeachment...']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:50 PM
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28 confirmed cases in my borough, but I've (knock wood!) yet to hear of any cases in my neighbourhood.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 represents Mildly Concerned and 10 denotes Absolutely Panic-Stricken, I'd say I'm currently at 1.5. If/when I hit 7 or 8 on the Anxiety Meter, I'll probably start thinking about moving to one of those sparsely populated states that Emerson's always bragging about. By then it will too late, of course.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:55 PM
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267: Hey, MC -- when do you move to my ancestral homeland?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 7:57 PM
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Christ, this is a slow night. Is everybody clawing their way along the floor towards the computer to futillly email for flu assistance?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:06 PM
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I have the sniffles. Presumably my parents will inherit my estate.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:10 PM
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I'm unconcerned, because statistically I could buy the farm any day now, so my death would only be slightly premature and I could exit without guilt or shame. Six or eight years would out me in the totally normal zone, especially if I'm back in Portland. People around here live to unGodly ages, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:10 PM
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If/when I hit 7 or 8 on the Anxiety Meter, I'll probably start thinking about moving to one of those sparsely populated states that Emerson's always bragging about.

Judging from the last pandemic, this is unlikely to be effective.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:10 PM
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I think they would be totally fine though if we just waterboard her a lot.

*&^*&^&*. I can't even keep up with the nuts:

"Some people think that declaring a state of emergency about the flu was a political thing to push the Sebelius nomination through," said Wright. She pointed to news stories that ask whether the slow-walking of the Sebelius choice will hurt the response to the flu. "If there's even a hint that [Department of Homeland Security] is manipulating the health situation to push a political appointee through, well, it almost defies imagination that they'd be willing to that." Wright said that she'd heard the speculation "on talk radio," and wanted to be skeptical, but "there's too much of a basis in that argument to easily dismiss it."

max
['Goddamn.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:16 PM
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my ancestral homeland = New Jersey?

Moving to NJ late June (by 1 July, the date by which we've promised the landlord we'll be out of here, so that he can move in his sister and brother-in-law. And God forgive me, but I hope they enjoy the plumbing problems...okay, not really, but wow, this landlord is in for a rude awakening: when it's his own sister living here, he's not going to be able to send over his father to "fix" the plumbing all the while insisting there's no problem, it's just that the girl upstairs doesn't know how to use the bath).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:19 PM
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257: That picture makes me homesick. Very nice.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:20 PM
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Hey, did everybody read dsquared's typically eviscerating pre-emptive book review? I've never even heard of the guy he's taking apart (he's desribed as "the British Tom Friedman"), but the surgery is quite deft. More interesting still is dd's own thesis, or at least his questions-worthy-of-exploration, which start to emerge toward the end:

The main reason why so many inquiries are, to use the technical term, "for shit", is that they usually need to be constructed painstakingly to gerrymander round that protean category "Things Which Everyone Agrees It Would Be Wiser Not To Look At Too Closely".
Lee Harvey Oswald, for example, was a walking Thing Which Everyone Agrees &C. He had connections to US and Russian intelligence, to Cuba, to anti-Castro Cubans, and all manner of other interesting folks. Given that the Cuban Missile Crisis was only a short while ago, anyone wanting to find out that Oswald was anything other than a "lone nut" would have been advised to tread very carefully indeed. LBJ actually recruited people to the Warren Commission by telling them that "we've got to be taking this out of the arena where they're testifying that Khrushchev and Castro did this and did that, and kicking us into a war that can kill 40 million Americans in an hour". Jack Ruby also shared this most useful property of an assassin, of being someone who had a powerful coalition of interests militating against ever investigating him properly.
That's an exceptionally obvious case, of course (and of course, none of this is inconsistent with the "lone nut" theory being actually true; to deny this is to fall into a characteristic logical fallacy of the genre, which Aaro will of course pick up on). But it does seem to be worthwhile to ask a question; why are there so bloody many Damned Things Which Must Not Be Investigated, and doesn't their ubiquity say something rather worrying about our society?

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:22 PM
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I should take some more pictures of Mt. Taylor. I only seem to have one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:24 PM
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261: If I die because of Susan Collins, I ask that one of you avenge me.

But that would represent an unworthy desire for vengeance. In the event I think we can all agree that it would be better to look forward rather than backward.
</Broderella>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:27 PM
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274: Yep. And good luck to your landlord with that. I once moved into a building right after all the previous owners sons but one had been kicked out and he had no clue how to live in a building that wasn't owned by his dad. The relative/tenant presumes quite a bit, it seems. (Of course there was also the alcoholic son who routinely forgot where he lived and came "home" to my building to pass out on the steps.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:29 PM
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277: We used to go out to those volcanoes all the time.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:31 PM
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280: I figured you probably would have. I've only been there the one time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:32 PM
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so my death would only be slightly premature and I could exit without guilt or shame.

Whereas, if you met your untimely death by being hit by a car or something, this would be a source of guilt and shame (you should have ducked, you should have tried harder not to die)? John, you're such a Puritan. You even keep a commonplace book, don't you?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:35 PM
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His blog comments are his commonplace book, MC.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:47 PM
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i'm eating a stir-fried noodles, this time it tastes okay, oil and shoyu everything is good balanced
the other week i sent by mistake to people the photo of my notebook with unfogged page open on it, together with other photos
was to suspend commenting activities for some time, but no, found myself commenting again, which is pretty disturbing, coz mind control etc
you scary hairy people about whom even a shaman had warned me of
/kidding, i'm enjoying a perfect room temperature tonight, so if any flu worries just have selenium like just in case or garlic or nuts


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:48 PM
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a goes with noodles coz it's a dish


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:49 PM
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I'm not like a Catholic who can fuck up, do two Hail Marys, and be cool. I have obligations.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:54 PM
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Susan Collins sounds like an unappetizing virgin drink.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:57 PM
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278: Good point. If Broder prevents you from avenging me, then I ask that you avenge the lack of proper vengeance for my death upon Broder.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 8:58 PM
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283: Exactly. And don't let Emerson's "disaffected lefty" routine fool you, Ari, no, not even for one New York Montréal minute. He's keeping track, he's keeping tabs, and it all gets entered into the plus or minus columns of his meticulous system of (double-entry, no less) moral book-keeping.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:05 PM
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Ari is not a Papist, MC.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:07 PM
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254

I can't believe how passive people are being, except the imbecile Republicans. ...

Why the surprise? Most people just root for their team so Democrats aren't going to criticize Obama any more than Republicans criticized Bush.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:09 PM
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288: Sure. I think passing universal healthcare without a single Republican vote would be a good way to do it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:09 PM
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Ari is not a Papist, MC.

No, but he's the next best thing.

289 was me.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:10 PM
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Democrats aren't going to criticize Obama any more than Republicans criticized Bush

People do root for their team, but Democrats have *already* criticized Obama more in 100 days than Republicans did for the first six years of Bush's presidency put together.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:13 PM
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People will actually have to lose their jobs, homes, and pensions before they twitch.

And committed Democrats are only 30-35% of the population.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:13 PM
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No, but he's the next best thing.

A historian?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:15 PM
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See, you have Catholic guilt, and Jewish guilt, and then Protestants who always do the right thing, but at a cost.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:19 PM
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Hey ari, weren't you going to drive to Gallup or something?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:22 PM
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298: Yup, I'm heading out that way toward the end of this week.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:24 PM
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Of all of my grammar myopia, the toward/towards choice may be my blindest spot. If only neb were here to help.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:30 PM
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299: Any particular reason?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:37 PM
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301: He also wants to see Flagstaff and San Bernardino.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:41 PM
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The people in charge of things are thankfully unlikely to try a "grab your pitchforks and start marching" approach, as it's a lot harder to stop mobs than it is to start them, and they'd like to stay in charge. Revolutionaries make crappy administrators, etc.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:42 PM
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Come the fuck on, WM. We're seeing right now that economists, finance experts, and mainstream politicians make horrible administrators. Have you read a newspaper in the last eight years?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:45 PM
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302: Don't forget Winona.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:48 PM
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Scarlett has replaced her in my heart, Teo.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 9:59 PM
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Judd or Ryder?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:00 PM
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306: Wait, I thought Scarlett was replaced my Rachel Maddow. It's so hard to stay current on John's wandering non-lusts.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:03 PM
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That's only because winona has demurely withheld her favor so far. Given the proper forum, I'm sure she'd relent.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:04 PM
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Rachel is hopeless, whereas Scarlett has given me an internet shoutout.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:06 PM
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my s/b by


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:06 PM
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304: John, I hear you, really. But it's probably, sadly, not worth the effort.

He smiled to think he had thought himself a match for the world and its conquerors (very loosely paraphrased from a hazy memory of reading William Trevor's "The Hotel of the Idle Moon"). Read Trevor, though, if he won't exactly set you up, I guarantee he won't steer you wrong.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:06 PM
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'What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star? Where's my retirement money? Where's my house? Where's my job?' asks the last man, and blinks.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:10 PM
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I don't know why the fuck anyone is talking about anything besides Pakistan. This is the disastrous blowup everyone was warning about as the result of an anti-Muslim crusade. How close are we now to Al Qaeda getting a nuke? Nobody can even think about the possibility because it's so, well, unthinkable, but it's just getting closer and closer. Pakistan has nukes, how much power does AQ have in Pakistan? How do those nukes stay under wraps if Pakistan becomes the super-sized Cambodia to Afghanistan's Vietnam?

We're seeing right now that economists, finance experts, and mainstream politicians make horrible administrators.

In the short run they're fine administrators because they serve power. Catering to power means not questioning arrangements, arrangements keep things going, disturbing them is chaotic.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:23 PM
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"The measure of love is loss," wrote Jeanette Winters. But she also wrote that "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" (well, duh), so I dunno.

The Brits are good with religious quirkiness/extremism, though, they really know how to take it to limit without violating the basic grammatical/syntactical conventions of the Queen's English.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:27 PM
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I don't know why the fuck anyone is talking about anything besides Pakistan.

Between the swine flu and the collapse of the world financial system we've got enough end-of-the-world-type problems right in our own backyard. Not that Pakistan isn't potentially another, but people tend to focus on things nearer to hand.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:31 PM
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Yeah, Pakistan is irrelevant until the nuke actually blows up here. Maybe I'm swayed by the fact that I live in a prime candidate city for the first terrorist nuke.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:33 PM
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Maybe we should set up a worrying and fulminating committee to make sure that each specific problem gets enough attention. I get finance. Megan gets droughts and floods.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:43 PM
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318: I'll try to remember whether or not we turned off the oven before we leave the house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:46 PM
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317

Yeah, Pakistan is irrelevant until the nuke actually blows up here. Maybe I'm swayed by the fact that I live in a prime candidate city for the first terrorist nuke.

What good will talking about it do? Do you think talking about it increases the odds that sensible policies will be followed?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:46 PM
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Well, now you've talked about Pakistan, PGD. If anyone else who knows about Pakistan shows up maybe they'll talk about it too.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:47 PM
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I once shared an office with a guy from Pakistan. He seemed nice enough, though I wouldn't put him in charge of food safety as he seemed to think Hepatitis A was something you should just expect to get now and then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:50 PM
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318, 320: ummm, some blog commenters here seem not to understand the basic point(lessness) of commenting on a blog.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:58 PM
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301: Sorry, I had to do some...stuff. Anyway, I'm going there to pick up a tent-trailer. For I am Hank Hill. But I guess I'm not going if I could better spend my time worrying about loose nukes. If I do go, though, I'm excited, because this is my favorite time of year in that part of the world.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 10:58 PM
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I've been reading about Nagaland, where the rebel underground was so entrenched that the legitimate state government was defined in opposition to it, as the "Overground". Apparently there was a lot of collaboration between the two, with the understanding that as long as the rebels were a problem, federal money would keep flowing in. I gather something similar is going on in Pakistan, with Washington in the place of New Delhi.

It's quite a circle of interventionist logic we have going. "Our aid is doing fuck-all to change things in Pakistan." "Agreed, but if we leave, it'll get even worse!" "Well shit then, we better keep doing what we're doing, plus my newly-designed Operation Fig Leaf."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:06 PM
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Yay! More uses for fulminating I've already done!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:06 PM
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275:257: That picture makes me homesick. Very nice.

That picture makes ME homesick, and I've only (not from lack of desire) been to NM a half-dozen times, if that.

291: so Democrats aren't going to criticize Obama any more than Republicans criticized Bush.

Does not apply to me in any case, but Apo is quite correct, Shearer.

317: Maybe I'm swayed by the fact that I live in a prime candidate city for the first terrorist nuke.

You live in New Delhi?

max
['Ouch.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:08 PM
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I'm going there to pick up a tent-trailer

You should totally get one of these instead.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:09 PM
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328: My people don't buy German cars, Nazi.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:17 PM
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329: Hey! My people are Polish. Careful with the slurs, mayo-hater.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:19 PM
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I'm excited, because this is my favorite time of year in that part of the world.

Really? The past few days have been nice, granted, but in general fall is way better than spring.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:30 PM
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in general fall is way better than spring.

For one: way less pollen fucking with shit. Fuck you, pollen! And yet, I need you to be. Alas.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:32 PM
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327

Does not apply to me in any case, but Apo is quite correct, Shearer.

Actually he is completely wrong and an example of the partisanship I was citing. For example during Bush's first six years Republicans shot down one of his Supreme Court nominations. What comparable major initiative of Obama's have Democrats shot down?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:34 PM
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330: Fine then, collaborator.

331: Fall is lovely, too.

333: Your trolling is boring. You should ask John for lessons. Or PGD. He was around earlier, and he's also pretty good.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-27-09 11:43 PM
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I do have "About a Boy" on the shelf, still unread.

One book unread? And fiction at that? You, ma'am, are no public intellectual.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:18 AM
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333 is a joke, I presume.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:08 AM
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333: Shearer, you twit, the Congressional Democrats have already shot down several Obama initiatives and one major appointment (Daschle).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:20 AM
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Made only more sexy, in the case of men, by the addition of dark body hair.

Sexist.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:23 AM
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333 -- Not only what pgd said, but I think one can have real questions about how serious gwb was about hm. A petulant fake? Another in his endless series of humiliations of subordinates? People seem taken in by the dumbshit countryboy thing -- he's [imo] a roiling mass who makes our own TOS seem civil and articulate.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:50 AM
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You have unread books on your shelves? How do you know if they were worth owning? I check out books from the library and if they were wonderful, I buy them after.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:19 AM
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I rarely buy fiction unless it's something I want to read over and over again, but I buy non-fiction books because I have enough disposable income to support writers I know and writers I don't know but want to sell some books and to support independent bookstores. It's also because of the way I read -- I tend to dip into a chapter here and a chapter there of three or four books at a time.

I'd say a good half of people I know, some academics, some not, constantly have a stack of unread or partly read books on their nightstands.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:38 AM
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Who are these people who don't have a stack of unread books next to their beds?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:41 AM
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You don't catch the disease directly from hogs

Damn! So much for adding a new Phase I to the hog farm process.

If/when I hit 7 or 8 on the Anxiety Meter, I'll probably start thinking about moving to one of those sparsely populated states that Emerson's always bragging about.

Who would have guessed that the real estate recovery would start with a $7,000 house in North Dakota? Emerson, that's who.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:47 AM
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I try to maintain a stack of unread books. But it is perilously low right now, because OTHER PEOPLE want to read my books. I have twelve books requested, all of them with holds in front of me. This is outrageous! It is the first time it has happened in the years I've been using the request system. Usually at least some of the books I want are immediately available.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:48 AM
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The problem of giving U.S. resources to Pakistan mainly seems to be one of oversight, or rather lack thereof; Pakistan has been funneling the money toward fighting India rather than dealing with the Taliban. The assistance needs to come with micromanagerial-level strings.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:51 AM
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I try to maintain a stack of unread books.

I have entire bookcases of unread books. I'm slowly beginning to admit to myself that I'm not likely to ever get around to reading them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:51 AM
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"It is the first time it has happened in the years I've been using the request system. Usually at least some of the books I want are immediately available."

344: The recession bites us all.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:52 AM
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You don't catch the disease directly from hogs

Nonsense. Why else would rational investors have suddenly decided to sell Smithfield Pork Pig Swine Products' stock? Are you saying they aren't rational? Are you familiar with the word "market"?


Posted by: Crypic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:56 AM
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343: According to the CDC, you could catch swine flu from live swine (not from bacon). Americans generally don't, even though swine flu is endemic in our pig population, because of our industrialized farming practices; we have less direct contact with the animals than people in developing countries do. Lots of people will develop antibodies without ever showing outward signs of infection.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:57 AM
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337

Shearer, you twit, the Congressional Democrats have already shot down several Obama initiatives and one major appointment (Daschle).

Bush also had two cabinet nominations shot down (Chaves and Kerik). No one remembers now and no one will remember Daschle in eight years. And what significant Obama initiatives have already failed?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:01 AM
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I try to maintain a stack of unread books. But it is perilously low right now

The perfect time to rush right out to your local independent bookstore to buy Werdna Nworb's award-winning book.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:02 AM
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Take them back to the library, Apo. People are waiting and it is killing them.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:03 AM
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I don't want my idyllic picture of Sweden, cultivated by years of reading gritty crime novels, to be complicated by this crap about gentle fishing trips and humble farmers and effective public policy.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:06 AM
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Bush also had two cabinet nominations shot down (Chaves and Kerik).

I don't remember the Chaves case, but I'm laughing hysterically at the idea that Bernard Kerik's failed nomination could be an example of partisanship of any kind.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:08 AM
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Chavez was an undocumented nanny thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:10 AM
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Chavez was an undocumented nanny

racist.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:11 AM
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Cytokine storm problem: solved.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:29 AM
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I'd say a good half of people I know ... constantly have a stack of unread or partly read books on their nightstands.

And on the floor beside the bed and in the bathroom and next to the sofa ....


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:32 AM
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If the stack of books in your bathroom isn't getting read, you should try to eat some raisins or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:33 AM
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357: Does "HSM" stand for "High School Musical"?????


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:34 AM
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RTFA, M/tch.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:40 AM
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If you want a $7,000 house you should move to Detroit. Okay, so there are some problems, but Great Lakes! City living!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:46 AM
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#357. Every time I see the phrase "swine flu" I hear Hunter Thompson raging against "the swine." Speaking of which, that swine Richard Cohen can lick my balls:

"The horror of Sept. 11 resides in me like a dormant pathogen. It took a long time before I could pass a New York fire station -- the memorials still fresh -- without tearing up. I vowed vengeance that day -- yes, good Old Testament-style vengeance -- and that ember glows within me still. I know that nothing Obama did this month about torture made America safer."

Fuck you, you unctuous prick. You aren't the only one affected by that day.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:48 AM
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The other day, seized by a feeling of hopelessness upon looking at shelf after shelf of mostly-unread books, I counted them. I have about 130 unread novels on my bookshelves. And that's not counting the nonfiction I haven't read. So then I finished two books, felt slightly better about my prospects for reading all of these things within my lifetime, and went to the bookstore and bought five more.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:49 AM
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345: Pakistan has been funneling the money toward fighting India
And by "fighting India" we mean "carrying out terrorist attacks in India". Good thing we're still pursuing McCain's policy of not getting tough with our allies.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:52 AM
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Support Pakistan: buy fetish gear.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:53 AM
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RTFA, M/tch.

I will, but you still haven't finished proofreading them like I asked you to.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:55 AM
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I have decided that the reason I own many books is so that I can take them off the shelf in a quiet moment, flip through them, and say to myself "wouldn't it be nice to read this someday."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:02 AM
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I , for one, welcome our new Pennsylvanian overlords.

Specter's coming over to the Democrats -- what does that make the count in the Senate?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:07 AM
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#366. Hott.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:07 AM
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Did youse guys see the news that Specter has officially switched parties? (Go look at TPM.) With Franken, that puts the Dems at 60.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:08 AM
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And on the floor beside the bed and in the bathroom and next to the sofa ....

Yeah, for some reason I was soft-peddling things to Megan. I also have them strewn about on various end tables, in my car*, balanced on stacks of half-read New Yorkers . . .

*This is the part where M/tch makes some crack about there not being much that isn't in my car.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:09 AM
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I'm rejoicing, sorta. I can't say that I like Specter much.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:09 AM
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369: Oh, wow. He was facing a pretty serious primary challenge from the right -- Pat Toomey. If Al Franken's ever seated, that makes filibuster-proof, I think, assuming no one goes off the reservation, which is bound to happen here and there. But still. Wow.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:11 AM
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366, 370: I'm not going to google at work, but is 'red hot puppy mask' as used in that article a term of art, or should it be self-evident what it means?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:11 AM
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371: here's his official statement.

While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.
My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords' switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

WTF d00d. You changed your supposedly-long-standing position on EFCA like two months ago when you thought you still had a chance of winning the Republican primary.

He's 78 years old and almost died of lymphoma recently. Is there anyone you'd think would be more likely to be concerned with his "legacy" ahead of his desire to do whatever it takes to be reelected? And yet, not so much.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:12 AM
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375: I was wondering the same thing, but Google turns up only the article itself.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:12 AM
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Yuk yuk yuk:

RE: Arlen Specter [Mark Hemingway]
I read that he was switching parties, but I was disappointed to learn that he's still a Democrat.
(Cite)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:14 AM
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Holy freaking moly!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:15 AM
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Re: 291, 294, 327, 333, 337, 350 and 354-356, has anyone else noticed that Shearer is comparing Bush's first six years to Obama's first 100 days?

OK then, I don't remember much about partisanship and bipartisanship Bush faced in his first 100 days, but I would observe that he inherited relative tranquillity abroad, a prosperous economy other than a tech bubble that was about to burst or had just recently burst, and started off on very shaky ground politically, what with becoming president despite losing the popular vote. For Obama, the reverse of all of those was true, so I don't even understand what point Shearer is getting at by trying to draw parallels.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:16 AM
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Over at Redstate, the general line is "good riddance to bad rubbish," as one might expect. They enjoy their purity balls at Redstate.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:17 AM
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I wonder if Lieberman's going to flip in response, or at least is going to consistently vote with the Republicans on cloture.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:19 AM
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I wonder what committee chair he's been promised, assuming it's one of those deals.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:20 AM
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376 to 379.


Posted by: Crypic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:21 AM
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382: Good point.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:24 AM
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my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change

Goddamnit. What Ned said. Someone please give me an important issue on which his party switch will make a difference.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:29 AM
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Shearer is comparing Bush's first six years to Obama's first 100 days?

Actually, I was the one who made that comparison.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:29 AM
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383.---Leahy is chair of Judiciary for now, but Spector clearly enjoyed his time in the top seat there.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:30 AM
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387: but when you do it it's different.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:31 AM
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Yeah, for some reason I was soft-peddling things to Megan. I also have them strewn about on various end tables, in my car*, balanced on stacks of half-read New Yorkers . . .

Gloating is such an unattractive emotion.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:38 AM
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Sir Kraab, for what it's worth, here's a somewhat persuasive comment from someone at Sausagely's:

He's obviously going to support EFCA. His "position" which he's not changing is that he couldn't support it right now because the economy is shitty. In a year or so, which happens to be right when the unions are going to want something in order to campaign for him in the general, they'll bring it up, maybe slightly compromised, and he'll find his conscience.

Anyone who gets upset over that statement clearly doesn't know Arlen Specter. I might have put scarequotes around the word "conscience" as well, but otherwise, the interpretation seems apt.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:38 AM
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Arrgh. "Anyone who gets upset over that statement clearly doesn't know Arlen Specter" was part of the quoted comment.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:39 AM
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Why would Lieberman flip? He wants to bring home the bacon, not flame out.

376: He's 78 years old and almost died of lymphoma recently. Is there anyone you'd think would be more likely to be concerned with his "legacy" ahead of his desire to do whatever it takes to be reelected?

His legacy: he wants to stay in the Senate til he dies. And I'm fine with that. He can't be any worse than Nelson or Landrieu, or whatshername - probably better. The more interesting wildcard I think, is whether the Democratic anti-EFCA block is willing to vote for cloture on EFCA (and then vote against it). Now we just need to flip Snowe and COllins.

380: Re: 291, 294, 327, 333, 337, 350 and 354-356, has anyone else noticed that Shearer is comparing Bush's first six years to Obama's first 100 days?

Yes. Everything the conservatives got pissed off at Bush about happened after 2004, basically. I wrote half a comment to Shearer, but really, I was so tired from chopping down trees that I couldn't work up the proper nasty. {sniff}

max
['Oh, well.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:41 AM
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I didn't realize the Democrats had TWO senators from Wal-Mart. At least two Republicans will have to be flipped on that issue, plus Specter, plus some sort of alliance with the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, plus Al Franken.


Posted by: Crypic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:44 AM
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{sniff}

UNCLEAN!!!!!1!!!!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:45 AM
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UNCLEAN!!!!!1!!!!

I'm commenting with my mask on! JEEZ!

max
['Has this comment box been cleaned recently, BTW?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:51 AM
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You are all aware of Specter's article in the latest NYRB, where he calls for a rollback of presidential powers?


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:56 AM
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395 to 372.last.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:56 AM
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If you're a protectionist type, you can make your own puppy mask instead of supporting global entrepreneurship.


Posted by: PGofHSM | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:57 AM
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Kobe trusts Specter as far as he can throw him.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:59 AM
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400: Is Kobe switching teams?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:01 AM
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Why would Lieberman flip? He wants to bring home the bacon, not flame out.

True enough, but that still leaves open the second possibility, that he'll vote with the Rs on cloture. He's obviously willing to be a spoiler, and I assume he has no reason to think about positioning himself for re-election.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:05 AM
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393

Yes. Everything the conservatives got pissed off at Bush about happened after 2004, basically. I wrote half a comment to Shearer, but really, I was so tired from chopping down trees that I couldn't work up the proper nasty. {sniff}

Actually it was apostropher who initially compared 6 years of Bush to 100 days of Obama (in 294) which I didn't think was worth responding to until you said (327) he was quite correct.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:09 AM
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He's obviously willing to be a spoiler,

Opportunistic. When the R's were gaining ground he was willing to flirt with switching parties. He was willing to be McCain's veep, but he got rejected by the R party, which for him, had to really really smart.

and I assume he has no reason to think about positioning himself for re-election.

Hope springs eternal. What else is he gonna do? He wants to remain a Senator, he wants to bomb Iran, and besides that, nothin'. He really can't be an R in Conn; if he was going to do that he needed to flip in 2007. I imagine he's waiting for the 2010 results to decide what to. Til then, he's a Democrat.

max
['That I don't like.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:27 AM
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391: That's definitely a fair point. I had forgotten that he used "in this economy" as cover. It also it puts him in a position to water down the bill, of course.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:45 AM
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Oh, good, I'm so glad about the Specter news, because I know that what the Democrats really need right another is another blustering moral coward willing to do whatever it takes to keep the spotlight on him, regardless of the actual consequences for anyone else. It's very important to have a bunch of people like that in a time of great crisis.


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:53 AM
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I imagine he's waiting for the 2010 results to decide what to.

I don't know that much about CT politics, but I can't see him getting re-elected unless the Republicans repeat their 2006 strategy (i.e. give essentially zero support to their own candidate) and the Dems run someone weak.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 12:03 PM
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The perfect time to rush right out to your local independent bookstore to buy Werdna Nworb's award-winning book.

Is this book easy to find?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 12:05 PM
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Most importantly, does Nworb make more money depending on where we buy it?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 12:08 PM
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Werdna's book isn't out in the US. I see that folks are selling it on Amazon for USD65 up.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:11 PM
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Also, I keep reading the title as Fisting in Utopia.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:15 PM
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Phase 5...


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 2:30 PM
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