Linky Friday: Out Of This World

Athletics:

Little League photo

Image by greg westfall.

[A1] I doubt much will come of this, in part because how far does $50k a year get you in Southern California and also because playing for free in college is actually not a bad deal.

[A2] Not being the basketball fan, I had missed the whole sleeved uniforms trend. We had sleeves in YMCA ball. It was kind of a big deal to graduate to a more competitive league where we got to wear real basketball jerseys.

[A3] Ed Latimore writes about what he learned growing up in the Hood.

[A4] Mark Zeigler proposes moving the Chargers to… San Diego.

[A5] This sounds right to me. At some point I’m going to have to go back and see if there is any correlation between my eyesight and my sporadic little league performance.

Money:

airline seats photo

Image by MattHurst

[M1] A pressing problem has now been solved. (Seriously, though, I like it when they can do stuff like this.)

[M2] It’s tough times for Macy’s and Sears and company.

[M3] Despite my personal discomfort, I tend to support the small seats on airplanes and allowing people who need more (like me) to get more to pay for it. At some point there are some legitimate health concerns, though, so I don’t mind a fair inquiry into that.

[M4] Samsung has delivered their Note 7 Disaster Autopsy. What a disaster. A month or so ago it really looked like I was going to be in the market for a new phone and it was weird not having a Note to consider. (My next phone will likely be LG.)

[M5] Sustainable burial practices? That sounds cool, I guess, but fire me up when I die. (My wife, notably, wants the same – but only after she’s dissected in a medical school laboratory.)

[M6] I love capitalism.

Relationships:

[R1] Formerly alleged to be easy pickins for mail-order brides and American men, Russian women aren’t so much into us anymore.

[R2] Lucius Wisniewski’s proposal to his girlfriend did not go off as planned, but he learned an Important Lesson. My proposal involved me trying like heck to get the Internet up on her laptop while she sat on the sofa irritated with the fact that I couldn’t Let It Go and do without Internet for a day.

[R3] This strikes me as a reasonably good dating site strategy if you’re female. Less so if you’re male. But looking back to when I was on that scene, I wonder if I was too timid. Sometimes, standing out is better than anything.

[R4] Texting didn’t really become a universal thing until after I married, but even so this article really brought back some unpleasant memories vis-a-vis AOL Instant Messenger.

[R5] I guess I could get on board with adding some new words to our vocabulary.

Family:

co-sleeping photo

Image by Kelly Sue

[F1] “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes babies in the baby carriage” has become passe, and it hasn’t been good for stability. Even if we were to chalk this up entirely to selection, we run into the issue of the asymmetrically committed.

[F2] How the Japanese grieve the miscarriage.

[F3] Sometimes it would take my mother four names to get to me.

[F4] A look at the pros and cons of co-sleeping.

[F5] We did the 90-minute nap thing with Lain and had some real success with it. Not sure if it was actually the 90 minutes or whether it was mostly a matter of establishing a rhythm.

Space:

Image by Brett Jordan

Image by Brett Jordan

[S1] Do we finally know what that alien megastructure is?

[S2] In case you wanted to see some images of what galaxy collisions look like, here you go. Is this our future?

[S3] Never mind “learning” from it, how do we get this sucker to Earth?

[S4] The ins and outs of colonizing Jupiter’s moons.

[S5] Venus was thought to be perhaps the most habitable planet aside from Earth. What happened?

[S1] Behold! The earliest maps of Mars!


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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263 thoughts on “Linky Friday: Out Of This World

          • Not being a native speaker, I learned most of my English vocabulary by reading instead of listening.

            In my first job in the USA, in the late 90s, I was asked when something would be ready (mind you, the job was low, low, upper management)

            “In about a fortnight” was my non-glib answer. Received with a mixture of hilarity, and WTF is a fortnight. (*)

            In my discharge, in Spanish, a quincena (fitteen days, half a month, or two weeks, depending on context) is a very common unit of time, particularly since most people are paid quincenalmente (fortnightingly)

            (*) A similar response to when I described in a presentation to upper management a potential customer as a “plastic cutlery manufacturing facility”. Eventually they got used to my Sunday words folksy style.

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            • Most people with a half decent english vocabulary learned most of it by reading.

              My favorite word that doesn’t mean what you think it does: “mordant” used as an adjective.

              (and yes, English has a gadzillion words that nobody knows about. Like fleer, one of the few monosyllabic words that people have never heard of).

              I got lectured by multiple bosses for using words that they didn’t understand.

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              • I once had a student ask me to explain what I meant by the word “spigot,” which I had used to refer to an outdoor tap, like what you would attach a hose to.

                The funny thing was, it took me several minutes to come up with the word “faucet.”

                I have since asked people about it and apparently “spigot” is more or less a northern US regionalism. Or at least that’s what I’ve concluded.

                I love words and I find I often get asked what I meant when I use an unfamiliar one, or use one that has a second meaning. So far I’ve never been lectured by a boss over that, but I work on a college campus and I suspect my admins would be embarrassed to admit they didn’t know a certain word.

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            • Hey it happens TO native English speakers — today the British Press got locked out of the White House (not sure if it’s been resolved yet) because they submitted their birth dates in UK format, which confused the SS — none of the names and dates of birth matched their own rolls.

              I think the UK also has a different meaning of “billion” than the US. I prefer scientific notation.

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              • I think the UK also has a different meaning of “billion” than the US. I prefer scientific notation.

                You mean, the U.S. uses the word “billion” incorrectly :-)

                In most of the world, a billion is 1^12, not 1^9, which is properly called a “milliard” (Fr.: milliarde, Sp.: millardo)

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                • Hey! Who put a man on the moon? The rest of the world, or us?

                  I’m pretty sure the deal was “First person to put a man on the moon decides what ‘billion’ means”.

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                  • What can I say…

                    http://edition.cnn.com/TECH/space/9909/30/mars.metric.02/

                    “….However, on September 23, 1999, communication with the spacecraft was lost as the spacecraft went into orbital insertion, due to ground-based computer software which produced output in non-SI units of pound (force)-seconds (lbf·s) instead of the SI units of newton-seconds (N·s) specified in the contract between NASA and Lockheed. The spacecraft encountered Mars on a trajectory that brought it too close to the planet, causing it to pass through the upper atmosphere and disintegrate…..”

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                    • Yep. I just got done adding additional metric options to our software and there was…quite a bit of testing. (Most people never actually change between units so it rarely matters, as they can be trusted to put in the units they’ve chosen but we also have to support “I put it in in US and changed to metric variation 3).

                      We have multiple metric units because was have…four? Five? different measurements — length, force, stress, fracture toughness, etc — and we don’t let you specify each individually. So we’ve got a few companies that like the standard defaults except they want to use meters for length but sqrt(mm) for fracture toughness, etc.

                      And since they pay a lot for our software, we give them the mix they want so they don’t have to multiple or divide by 10. :)

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                      • Our software defaults to SI, and by that I mean all the internal calculations are done in SI. A user can specify whatever units they want, they can even supply their own, as long as they also supply the conversion factor to go from hogshead/fortnight to liters/second.

                        Internally, it’s all SI.

                        My dynamics prof was an old NASA engineer, still did work for them from time to time. He used to always tell us that converting SAE units was easy and he never understood what all the fuss was about. He was dead serious too. It was obvious he had just memorized all the conversion factors and developed mental shortcuts to process them, so for him, it was easy.

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                        • One of my projects we made that internal decision to. (Was quite nice). We also kept every time stamp in GMT — every timecode was GMT in the database.

                          It displayed in your local time zone, and handled DST.

                          But we had to fight with the people commissioning it because they kept thinking it would display GMT (well it would if you wanted) and we kept insisting on it, because one of their core criteria was to be able to look at the absolute order of inputs to the system — which mean “time” was the first and most critical variable to nail down, and we didn’t want the risk of some bug in time zones or daylight savings time hosing it up.

                          In the end, best decision we made. Made life SO much easier for a lot of the extensions they wanted.

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                    • Biggest snafu I’m aware of was the guys testing a satellite. They had it locked in a forklift, did a bunch of testing, and left it bolted in place and went to lunch.

                      When they returned, they flipped the satellite — and millions of dollars crashed to the floor.

                      Someone had come in during lunch and taken the bolts OFF, leaving the satellite no longer secured when inverting. And no one checked when they returned to lunch.

                      So…boom.

                      Lock-out, tag-out is important kids. Or else millions of dollars turns into scrap on your floor.

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  1. F3: I remember several occasions when I was growing up where my dad would have to cycle through the cat’s names, even, before he got to mine.

    M3: probably lots of factors in play here. I know the last few times I was in a mall (quite a while back as I live in a town without one), it seemed people increasingly didn’t know how to behave in public, and when people act like that, I’d almost rather just order stuff online and have it delivered to me. (I could see a day coming where we have Amazon for stuff we can wait a couple days for, Wal-Mart for things we need immediately, and very little in between, which does make me kind of sad…..I was a teen in the 80s and while we didn’t live CLOSE to a mall, on occasion I got to go to one and hang out with friends.)

    Also, I think the media may have not as good a grasp on just how bad the economy really is in some “heartland” towns. (We are well on our way, in my town, to having ONLY Wal-mart left as retail….)

    And yeah, I know, I’m part of the problem because I order online, but when you live in a town where the only book-selling places are a small department of wal-mart or the local (conservative) Christian bookstore, you kind of wind up defaulting to Amazon for things.

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  2. A1 – It’s on par with what Arena League players get, with (maybe?) (very maybe) a better chance of getting into the real NFL due to the direct association.

    A2 – The first basketball player I was really aware of was Patrick Ewing because of his style of wearing a t-shirt under his tank top while at Georgetown

    A5 – I thought the association between good vision and baseball proficiency was fairly well known. Ted Williams had famously good eyesight (which he also used as a combat pilot). And of course, it was literally a sight gag in the movie Major League.

    M3 –

    Despite my personal discomfort, I tend to support the small seats on airplanes and allowing people who need more (like me) to get more to pay for it

    I’m more of a rah rah team capitalism than the median person at this site, but it’s become a major peeve that the advertised price for an airline seat is now most often for the worst seat on the plane, and you really have to pay 10s of dollars per leg (and per seat) to get most of the seats that are actually available (and United is even doing this differential within its economy plus upgrade system – so its ‘upgrade for 75 dollars’ – no, really its 100 bucks if you don’t want the bulkhead seat without unseat bag storage)

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    • I imagine I’d have understood it as (I believe) it was intended – “I don’t believe that patriarchy thing exists'” and immediately thought “this lady sure isn’t very bright” and moved on to the next profile.

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    • I remember seeing a video of what an NFL quarterback sees during a typical play. It’s absolute terrifying chaos. Madness in every direction, and the play runs about 5x as fast from that perspective as it does when you watch it from above. It seems like peripheral vision combined with the ability to find things in clutter would both be critical.

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      • Training and experience help. I never played football, but a few of the sports I did (especially martial arts), well — with experience and training, it’s amazing how the clutter can fall away.

        Training the brain for pattern recognition is, well, it’s what the brain is designed to do in a lot of ways.

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        • There’s a rule of thumb in evaluting hockey prospects that the biggest make or break that puts players into the highest levels or not isn’t physical skills, its whether their brains can process the game at the blistering pace the very best play at.

          Hence the top two reasons for why young phenoms don’t make is “all tools, no toolbox.”

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          • Yeah, I’m not saying there wasn’t a gap between me and other people on that (and not in my favor) it’s just — even a year in, and I just saw far, far more and reacted far, far smarter.

            Improved my appreciation of boxing, too. I found that when i watched it (my grandfather boxed in his youth, and he still watches it occasionally and I try to join in) that I noticed a lot more of the finer details.

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          • Soccer’s my sport, but it’s very similar in this regard. From a technical perspective, a surprising number of players at the top level are, if not actually crap, at least challenged.
            But the game has slowed down for them, and they can do what they’re capable of doing without getting flustered doing it.
            While there are hundreds better at trapping and dribbling that can’t make it happen off the training ground.

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            • Which leads me to this point if you don’t care for ice hockey but are willing to consider it.

              Try watching it at ice level, even at low talent level. The from a distance overhead thing they show on television is for those that have already absorbed a basic appreciation for the game and want to see the tactics in real time and keep track of every participant. But if you want to understand how cool what they are pulling off on the fly and how exciting the game really is, first you have to see it up close and feel the speed and power involved. Which is how you get a bunch of Canadian men in a bar excited about little dots rushing around accomplishing seemingly nothing. Most of them would have played it at some level and empathize with what’s going on, or spent time watching someone else play from close up.

              I imagine (association) football is much the same.

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  3. A4 – The economies of scale make LA a better two-team market than a one-team. I’m not sure the NFL owners would risk losing one LA team and increase the chances of losing the market entirely. I don’t see San Diego making any kind of golden stadium deal after their last go-round.

    Maybe 5 years down the road, a failing franchise might move to San Diego. The San Diego Jaguars, maybe? If the Chargers rebrand this year, maybe the new San Diego franchise will be able to get back their name.

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  4. M2: Macy’s and Sears would seem to occupy a weird place in the retail scene that would have a hard time doing well in today’s retail landscape. I don’t know if I can explain this well enough but I will attempt. Macy’s and Sears are more upmarket than Walmart but not upmarket enough to attract customers for clothing. There does seem to be plenty of retail that does well but the middle has been hollowed out by online shopping. The retail that seems to do well in my view is expensive to very expensive boutique kind of stores. At the low-end of this expensive scale you would have smaller chain brands like Steven Alan which has stores in major metro/well to do areas, they have 6 stores in the entirety of California and 8 in New York (all in NYC), etc. But Steven Alan sells clothing that appeals to well to do urban professionals in their 20s-40s. They are not trying to even be J.Crew in terms of number of stores. For Department level stores, the high end ones seem to do well.

    I think this goes for most other things that Sears and Macy’s would sell like Kitchen Equipment, Bedding, etc. The middle ground is hollowed out but stuff on the low-end or high-end is thriving.

    R3: I don’t know why conservatives seem to think that all liberal/feminist women have stopped shaving their armpits and legs and hate cooking/domestic stuff. Most of my female friends (if not all of them) are liberal and a lot of them are pretty girly and also into baking/cooking. I’ve never seen an on-line profile that struck me as something like “OMG Rush Limbaugh and Steve Bannon are right about women!!” Most are about stuff like bands, books, movies, TV, and other hobbies that the woman liked.

    I just think the uncomfortable truth about dating like so many other things in life is about dumb luck and random chaos and this makes us all really uncomfortable because very few people want to embrace an Becketian “Nothing to be Done.” My girlfriend of two years told me that she was considering writing me off after our first date for the same reasons that a lot of women wrote me off after the first date. Basically, I was sweet and kind but they weren’t feeling chemistry. But my girlfriend needed to leave the country for two weeks and go back home when I asked her out on date #2. This allowed us to have a back and forth via e-mail and then when she got back, we took it really slow. But I can’t but help that if she did not need to go home, I would have been written off.

    From what I remember in my OKCupid days and from hearing from my female friends, a lot of guys on on-line dating tend to do the kitchen sink method of response. They will ask out a million women and if 10 say yes and 2 agree to make out, that’s great!!! I always got complimented for writing in full sentences and responding to stuff in the profile.

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    • Saul,
      No, it’s worse than dumb luck and random chance. Chemistry is … um, kinda literal. It has to do with our immune systems.

      Prior to the days of the internet, a lot of people got by “getting set up by someone” because there were smaller pools of people. You live in a small town? You’re a bit smarter than the rest? You’ve probably got 10 folks out of 1000 that are at all remotely interesting to have a conversation with (bearing in mind that a good proportion of that 1000 are children or otherwise not available even under “everyone is single” circumstances).

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      • You can get a lot of mileage from not being combative right off the bat. You know, like subverting the antiquated idea that women are the “gatekeepers” of sex and romance.

        One of my several guilty habits is that I read dating advice, even though I’m several years into a great marriage. I met my wife on a dating site and it’s just interesting to me to see how people are navigating this world.

        But one of the things I see on more left-leaning columns and sites is that women get annoyed when men don’t read the long lists of “don’t contact me ifs,” which are usually a long list of feminist shibboleths. Most of them are hard to disagree with individually, but all together they read like a polemic.

        What they don’t understand is that they have restricted their pool of men willing to contact them to those who don’t read the profile. For men who bother to read profiles, it’s a huuuuuuuge red flag. First, giving someone a series of sociopolitical hoops to jump through just to be worthy of contact is a big power play. Second, first dates are almost entirely for chemistry. Before we split up household chores and plan for paternity leave, I want to know if we can hold a conversation without long, awkward pauses – all the long-term stuff puts the cart ahead of the horse.

        The women in the linked article had an interesting strategy, not just for politics, but for posturing. By appearing more like a gracious party hostess than an irritated bouncer at the world’s most woke nightclub, she can find a subset of men who respond better to comfort and affection than exclusivity. Does that mean she’ll just rope in a bunch of lazy man-babies? Time will tell.

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        • I don’t know if I agree with you. There are two ways to look at this. Let’s suppose that there’s no marginal cost in adding an extra “I don’t want” item, in terms of scaring away possible good matches. In that case, there’s no problem adding more. But if there is a marginal scare effect, then you have to weigh the losses of possible good matches with the value of thinning out the possible bad matches.

          I suspect that there’s very little gain in accuracy that comes from Item #12: don’t ever ask me to make you a sandwich. The guy who would ask her to make him a sandwich probably didn’t make it past the first few items about respecting her intersectional whatever. I also suspect that the guy who would actually answer the ad with those first few items wouldn’t be scared away by Item #12. I also suspect that the long list could be an important signalling mechanism, letting the guy know that this is a high-maintenance woman.

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          • I believe there is a marginal scare effect the longer your list gets.

            If all things are equal and I have to choose between a woman who slyly signals progressive tendencies and one who lays down a dozen-part ideological obstacle course as a prerequisite for talking about the possibility of a first date, it should be clear who I’m going for. Even if their politics are identical, one signals being egotistical, an unbearable pedant and a generally tiresome person.

            If I’m not reading the profile, it doesn’t matter.

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        • A lot of people like to have their cake and eat it to when it comes to romance. There are more than a few women that I know who see themselves as modern feminist women but can also maintain that “men are the natural pursuers and should do all the heavy work in courting” with a straight face. People want the aspects of tradition that appeal to them but want to decry that which doesn’t appeal to them. It generally doesn’t occur to women that the lists of feminist shibboleths might be scaring away potential partners.

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          • Good for them. If feminism means female empowerment, why should it restrict these women from finding what they want? Anyway, we’re talking about finding an actual human mate, not an ideology. People aren’t Platonic ideas. If more people were honest about who they’re looking for, more couples would stay together.

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          • People want the aspects of tradition that appeal to them but want to decry that which doesn’t appeal to them.

            Pretty much my experience in life generally.

            Like how we admire the costume dramas of past eras, romantically imagining life in Regency England, conveniently forgetting that 99% of us would not be Hugh Grant in a dashing frock coat, but instead we would spend our lives polishing his boots and emptying his bedpan.

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              • Beau Brummel used to shine his boots using champagne. This seems like a perfect waste of champagne.

                He also popularized allowing men to use umbrellas and coaches in order to avoid bad weather and keep nice and clean.

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            • People want the things they want and don’t want the things they don’t want. That’s a tautology. As long as they’re not taking it to extremes, it’s just being reasonable. (I know, that was also a tautology.)

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    • Sears has been run very poorly for a very long time. The Macy’s news was more surprising to me, but this round of closures may actually be evidence that they’re not quite that badly run (if it winds up being decent preventative medicine)

      (Macy’s or rather, its parent company, has been run very poorly in the past, but I had thought they had righted the ship since the 90s bankruptcy and the 00’s restructuring)

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      • Both seemed to have issues from past M&As, particularly Sears as the KMart thing seemed like, let’s take two floundering companies and put them together and make one floundering company. The link indicates that most of the Macy’s closing are within ten miles of another Macy’s, which is probably a legacy of previous acquisitions.

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        • I had thought they had purged all of those during the 2005-6 rebrand of their acquisitions, but I guess not.

          (Also, it may be part of the overall decline of the mall thing. All the legacy malls in the DC area are probably no more than 5 miles on avg fm the next nearest one. So I imagine a lot of metro areas were able to sustain the less than 10 mi radius until recently)

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        • Funny Houston Macy’s anecdote.

          Macy’s had a store in the Galleria, Houston’s premier shopping mall. Foley opened another later on. After the merger, Macy’s found itself with two stores in the same mall, and they kept both up for like ten years. But the old Folley’s one ended getting all the traffic, while the original Macy’s was like a phantom place that barely anyone patronized (great to find those heavily sought items, like medium sized shirts, that had run out of in the popular one)

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    • “the middle has been hollowed out by online shopping”

      I never thought of it that way but that could be it. I won’t buy clothes at places like wal-mart (unless desperate and I can get a “national” brand (like Lee) that I can more or less trust not to fall apart after the first washing).

      And most of the truly upscale stores, at least from past experience when I lived in a city that had them, look at people like me (I wear a misses’ size 14) and sniff and go “We don’t dress YOUR kind here” – so I don’t shop there.

      For a few years my wardrobe was almost exclusively Land’s End and LL Bean. (And no, don’t give me the lecture about the Trump fan on their board – seen that, read that, saw the debunking.)

      I also used to love Deva Lifewear, but they closed up shop. (As did Coldwater Creek, where I shopped when I got a bit more money)

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      • I am not one of those liberals who like to call for boycotts just beacause one high up said something in favor of an idiot. Though my unpopular opinion regarding New Balance is that they should only be worn when going to or from working out, hikes or working out/on a hike.*

        Land’s End is not so much my aesthetic personally.

        But I wonder if there is a need for a company like Sears anymore where you can buy hardware and a shirt at the same time. I can see how there old catalog was useful in the pre-Internet and even pre-Highway/pre-Car era but it seems like a time that has passed. My image of Sears is firmly 1970s and firmly kitsch. This is not going to keep a company alive.

        I suspect that people who shopped at Macy’s are fashion conscious/interested and can now get better deals for designers on places like Gilt or now that a lot of the more expensive department stores have outlets for their remainders like Barney’s Warehouse or Off Fifth.

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        • Sorry man, I have feet problems. New Balance’s are fantastic. The colors often suck though. (I’m considering just ordering them online, because the stores — oddly — always sell out of the less hideous color combinations quickly, leaving things like “Green, black, and orange”.)

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          • I just bought two pairs of New Balance sneakers online last year – the first time I’ve ever done anything like clothes-shopping via the internet. It worked out well. They’re just a really well-built shoe. And I did have the same experience you did at a NB “superstore” or whatever. Miles of sneakers in ugly colors, and none in the size and style I was looking for.

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            • I went to a running specialty store, laid out my problems, and we went through about 12 different shoes and a gait analysis.

              NB fits the way I walk and jog (where my foot lands, the heel issues I have, and the way my feet place stress when I stand). Other brands…not so much.

              So I just buy the same shoe, basically, when the pair I have wears out.

              Taking 30 minutes and having expert staff help was a great decision. They mentioned half their clientele were heavy duty runners, and the rest had foot issues.

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              • Yeah, there’s an enormous amount of “what fits my feet” in the choices. Don’t know if it’s my own peculiar feet — ridiculously high arches, under-pronate like mad — or not, but NB shoes fit. Even after I’ve pounded the padding down to dust, the underlying hard parts match. My “lawn work” shoes are NBs old enough to be in that category and they’re still comfortable for those chores.

                For people like whose feet obviously don’t match NB’s lasts, find something that works for you.

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            • They could have been possessed. I have very small feet for a man, size 7, and they are also on the wide side. Most stores don’t even have sneakers and shoes in my size. My usual to go to sneaker is Paul Smith, expensive but they actually fit.

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        • Macy’s is also suffering from the long terminal decline of the department store in the United States. Sears was first and foremost a catalog business even though they had physical stores. Macy was known for their break and mortar stores more than their catalog business. When downtowns declined, so did the department store experience even though they tried to survive as mall anchors and online shopping delivered the fatal strike.

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      • Do they have places like the Gap, JCrew, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and the like round you? They hit slightly different price points (especially the Gap family which seems very clearly aimed at different demos) but all seem pretty middle-of-the-road and offer a quality product. They still have lots of storefronts around me (NYC Metro) and Gap is actually opening a new flagship in Times Square.

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        • Not really. I *think* most people drive to the next-nearest big city (or rather, the outlying “shopping belts” that have developed around it) about an hour and a half to two hours away.

          Big city traffic and aggressive drivers give me the willies so I’ve never gone there.

          The next-largest city to where I live (a half-hour away) has a Kohl’s and a Lane Bryant and a few of those other types of places, but it’s incredibly spread out and it’s depressing to have to drive longer than you are shopping if you are looking for something specific.

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          • Interesting. Even when I lived in what we consider “the sticks” by the local area standards (i.e., 60-90 minute travel time to NYC, with many locals commuting daily for white collar jobs), we had a giant outlet mall in town and multiple malls within 45 mins (and some closer). And that isn’t counting strip malls and shopping centers.

            I’m not a huge shopper, especially clothes. And since I stick to pretty familiar brands, I can usually do fine online. This is obviously my “bubble” showing but the idea of not having decent clothing options within a reasonable distance still strikes me as so foreign.

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    • Judging by my own forays into online dating, and guessing that we’ve had similar issues with the “you seem nice, but I don’t feel chemistry” first dates I think what you did right with your girlfriend is managing to do a lot of the initiatl courting through messaging rather than the initial meeting.

      This is just my own experience, but the way I found around the first date no-chemistry hump was to build a sense of investment in prospective partners before meeting. This also allowed me to learn out to weed out the women taking the window shopping.approach. This should be emphasized, its the window shoppers that love the no chemistry line most. When non-window shoppers use the no chemistry line, its because its the actual problem after making a good faith effort on their part.

      Which is basically to say one should play to ones strengths. A literate, intelligent and introverted modern young man is probably strong at written communication, strong at the long and involved conversations one has after you’ve gotten to know someone a bit, but weak at the intitial small talk phase, so should strategize to minimize that last bit. (there is also learning to be good at the physical interactions bit, but this is a public forum).

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        • I don’t know man, all I can tell you is what’s worked for me in that situation. I have no idea what will work for you.

          Frick, my best move was moving from Vancouver back to Edmonton which got my out of what appears to be a somewhat toxic dense urban area dating culture. So as far as I know, your worst issue might not even be you, it could just be you’re not in a good enviroment for people like you. I also acknowlege I have a huge advantage over some other awkward male lonely hearts in that I’m still tall, fit and considered conventionally good-looking, so there are some problems I get to avoid, even if my brain isn’t naturally geared to this kind of thing.

          Main things I’d say to you is. Hang in there, I’ve been in a similar space and felt similar things. I’ve found people who haven’t been their usually make sympathetic noises but don’t really get it. And if something isn’t working for you, try something different that you think might play to your strengths better.

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              • — Well yeah. I got laid. Twice. Once was with a hottie camgirl with no evident inhibitions. The other was … the most intimate and loving thing I’ve ever experienced.

                Vancouver, A+, will go again.

                (If Trump kills us all, at least I lived.)

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                • You can’t get me to say bad things about the gay community in the lower mainland. They’re great, fun people by and large. Good party culture. I’d recommend living there far less than I would visiting though, the rent premium just isn’t worth it if you can consider living somewhere else (which too few of the locals can, the additude that the rest of the world is benighted wasteland is far too common amoungst them).

                  The ones in Edmonton have a less of a presence, because it isn’t a dense coastal metropolis that attracts so many of them (instead it just draws in the various people who can’t stand living in small town prarries but still want to be close to their families). I did help get a qualified and capable gay man elected as the local member of parliament though, so there is that.

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  5. Researchers think they can make “Metallic Hydrogen” that can exist at STP*.

    If we can do it with Hydrogen, we can do it with a lot of other gases and that can open up a lot of frontiers.

    *Standard Temperature & Pressure ~ Room temp at sea level

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    • One lets people in? the other keeps people out?

      Costing Mexico money and then asking them to pay for it is ridiculous in the extreme.
      PARTICULARLY since it’s not Mexican Citizens crossing into America.

      seriously, I expect you to put your money where your mouth is and plunk down some money to support Mexican Slavery before Mexico will pay for us to cut off “free trade”.

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    • Because Canada wanted the bridge and was not forced to pay. That’s like saying, “Well, she had sex with Steve, why is it so wrong that I forced her to have sex with me?

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        • What Mo says is still perfectly true.

          Canada wanted the infrastructure built.
          While Canada began negotiating on the basis that the US should pay half, they ended up agreeing to pay for it all.

          Agreeing. In negotiations toward getting a thing built that both countries wanted built. They were not forced.

          There is no similarity between this and the Mexican border wall business. Your attempt at a point is in no way valid.

          EDIT – OK I take that back.
          Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt insisted Canadian taxpayers won’t bear the cost of the U.S. installations.

          “The cost of the U.S. Port of Entry will be repaid from future toll revenues and not by Canadian taxpayers,” Ms. Raitt said

          So in fact there is one similarity going on even though it has nothing to do with your point.

          Canada is taking the approach proposed by Trump to make the US pay.

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          • It’s not even that. Canada wanted the US to pay for the customs plaza on the other side, but the US didn’t want to. The US had the upper hand on this because the Canadians were the ones who really wanted it (the bridge is very good for Canadian industry). So the US said no, Canada gave in and decided that if they’re paying for it, they’re collecting all of the tolls (which will be largely paid by trucks shipping goods from Canada to the US) and going back. Canadian taxpayers aren’t paying for it in only the most narrow sense possible. Lots of Canadian trucking companies will pay for the bridge through tolls. Also, it’s hardly like a usage fee for folks using infrastructure is anything like a general tax on goods or capital from an entire nation.

            Also, it looks to me like Obama negotiated a pretty sweet deal there.

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            • Also, it looks to me like Obama negotiated a pretty sweet deal there.

              For sure, that Obama is totally a 3D chess player. He played that Canadians. (snark)

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              • What is wrong with it is that Mexico doesn’t want the wall built at all.

                One is negotiating around a mutually beneficial outcome, the other is an act of international hostility directed at the country’s third largest trading partner, which everyone there knows perfectly well is being justified by racist characterizations of their own people as thieves and rapists.

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                  • notme,
                    Do I really need to post how many people have been helped?
                    Because I have as evidence hundreds of thousands of dollars that show how much they’ve been helped.

                    Now, you might say, no amount of money is worth someone’s life.

                    It’s true.

                    But I’m certain at least one illegal has performed CPR, as well.

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                  • Has no one been helped by illegal immigrants? Is there any group of people that have never hurt people in another group? If the standard of “who can stay in America” is no one from their group has ever hurt someone else, we’d have a pretty big nature preserve.

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                    • greg,
                      It’s funny, but notme never mentions the illegals hiding from the Chinese government in the back of white vans.
                      Because they’re under a death sentence, whichever country they’re in.

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                      • notme,
                        I assure you I’m not grasping. Not when I see then hiding in white vans under a literal death sentence.

                        Is that all of them? most certainly not. But more than you’re willing to countenance

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                      • Not grasping..no. To be more clear, we do have a lot of people trying to escape from Syria and the mid east who are not exactly being welcomed. That was the reference, people trying to escape from murderous regimes to find a home in the US. At times we have been a shining city type thing, other times, not so much.

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                        • This discussion is about the Trump wall with Mexico stopping illegals from coming here. I’m not sure what that has to do with Syria and other middle easterners that the Obama admin was trying to import in mass.

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                  • More people have been killed by toddlers with guns than immigrants.

                    But of course, the purpose of the immigrant-hate isn’t to make persuasive arguments, its to justify the speaker’s own rage and fear.

                    The Murdoch tabloids seem to have a daily section devoted solely to immigrant bashing, as part of the Radio Rwanda agit-prop strategy to build a vengeful fury against refugees.

                    Not coincidentally, this is Trump/ Bannon’s plan as well.

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                      • What statistic do you want, lightning strikes, bees, bathtub slip and falls…?

                        The point is, there is a full blown propaganda campaign to whip up rage and fear of immigrants. Its led by Murdoch, and now aided and abetted by the white supremacists in the Republican Party.

                        They are the hyenas, and the Republican base are the terrified wildebeests stampeding in panic.

                        I’m just trying to get the rest of us not to follow the madness.

                        And yeah, Holocaust Remembrance Day is a helluva time for that.

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              • Nothing, in theory. Any deal is possible in the abstract.

                In practice, he might actually want to have some sort of a negotiating plan. Flopping his giant, Trumptastic phallus on the table and waiting for the applause to die down probably won’t make it happen, given that his negotiating position seems to be, “Give me a bunch of stuff that benefits only me and get nothing in exchange.”

                Maybe he thinks that now that he’s POTUS, he doesn’t have to run the scam part of his deals before he starts the looting stage. I think that at least with Mexico, he’s still going to have to go to work laying out the bait before he pulls the switch. Time will tell.

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    • Only to the Obama-obsessed. The name Obama is mentioned exactly 0 times in the linked article. I’ve read dozens of stories about this bridge over the last several years (I live in Michigan), and likewise Obama’s name came up exactly 0 times in all of them. Please, can’t ODS die with his retirement?

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  6. A5 – My very best years as a youth baseball player came when contact lenses took me to 20/15 or better vision. That’s largely due to how, in my optomitrist’s words my eyes are “absolutely perfect except for the thing that gives you myopia.”

    In the days of laser eye and glasses becoming chic nerd wear, there is something to be said for how good contact lens technology is at improving eyesight.

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  7. A1: I’ll believe it when I see it. Notice how the article doesn’t discuss revenue sources. So what are they? We are told that each team will have about 50 players making an average of about $50K. (Notice, by the way, that this is the total of both salary and benefits package. Want to discuss the cost of health insurance for professional football players?) Taking that at face value, each team will have about $2.5 Million in player expenses.

    Presumably the major source of revenue will be the gate receipts. They will play an eight game season, but there are two teams in the game, so they have to split the gate, so that is really four games per team to make back costs. So what will people pay to see these games? Let’s say $20 each, to pick a number out of the air. Do the arithmetic and it comes out that they have to average 31,250 a game, just to make payroll.

    Of course there are lots of expenses beyond the players. The linked article has much vagueness about what stadiums they will be using, but presumably they will have to pay for them. There are coaches who will also expect to be paid. How much? Football is very coach-driven, and the market for good football coaches is extremely competitive. Are they going to pay top dollar for good ones, or go cheap and hope those NFL scouts they are trying to attract won’t notice. And we still haven’t discussed equipment, marketing, insurance, or the twenty other categories of expenses we could come up with.

    Did 31,250 a game at $20 a pop seem plausible to you? Quite likely not. It didn’t to me. But in reality the situation is much, much worse.

    My prediction is that this is the last we will hear of the idea. If I am wrong about that, it still won’t last long. This is a money pit waiting to happen. Over-enthusiastic wanna-be football team owners just barely might buy into the idea, but sticking with it once the money starts pouring down that pit is another matter.

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    • Doesn’t that come down the the basic problem minor league football and basketball have always had in America? That the college system takes away the resources that would make them viable and the big leagues are happy to have colleges do their development for free rather than subsidize farm systems like baseball and hockey do

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      • Absolutely. The “minor league” niche is filled for football and basketball. Furthermore, it is filled by institutions that have managed the neat trick of selling a minor-league level product as if it were major-league level, and persuading people to buy the product on that basis. There are historical reasons for this which I doubt can be replicated. You would have to be willing to lose an awful lot of money to even try.

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      • Most minor league baseball players make between $3,000 and $7,500 for a five-month season. That doesn’t include any signing bonus, but it doesn’t feel like its financial resource advantage, so much as the possibility that any player might be playing in the major leagues in a more tangible way. A minor league player can be living in a shipping container one year, and next year be called up to add pitching depth on a major league roster (earning $500,000 for the trip). So, I interpret being paid $50,000 to play in this league as reflecting a wage premium for a lack of a connection to the pro leagues.

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  8. S5: The Golden Age SF tropes were that Venus was cloudy because it was like Earth of swamps and vast oceans, and Mars was an older Earth than had largely dried out, so inhabited by aquatic animals (including sexy mermaids) and an ancient, dying race (the canal builders) respectively. Fishing space probes ruined all of that.

    Two of Roger Zelazny’s best early stories are examples of these: The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth, about trying to catch a Venusian Leviathan, and A Rose for Ecclesiastes about how that dying race might still have a few tricks up its sleeve.

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    • Yep. Mrs. N is a huge fan of a podcast called Pantsuit Politics which features a mild-mannered conservative and liberal. It’s been precious watching how surprised the conservative is that the GOP immediately abandoned all its supposed principles.

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  9. Those looking for guidance in figuring out the Trump Admin’s motives and goals might look at this:

    Then we had a long talk about his approach to politics. [Bannon] never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today. “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.

    Shocked, I asked him what he meant.

    “Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment”. … “National Review and The Weekly Standard,” he said, “are both left-wing magazines, and I want to destroy them also.” He added that “no one reads them or cares what they say.” His goal was to bring down the entire establishment including the leaders of the Republican Party in Congress.

    Egads!!

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      • Rove was (and is) a supremely cynical bastard who wanted to attain power within existing institutional power structures. Bannon (and Trump) are supremely cynical bastards who want to use power to destroy existing institutional power structures.

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        • @greginak

          There has been a lot of destruction in the past week and I fear it is going to get worse.

          Trump announced his highly unconstitutional immigration ban late on a Friday afternoon. The ban took immediate effect and people with valid green cards were turned away at immigration. But there were lots of protests and a federal judge issued an emergency injunction on a Saturday, that’s good!!!

          But what else happened today? Bannon and Kushner received spots on the National Security Council and replaced the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs and the Director of National Intelligence. This is bad, very bad. This is a coup happening before our eyes. Part of me would not be surprised to see Trump arrest every Democrat in Congress on Monday.

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          • The moves on the NSC are ferociously stupid but not a coup. They will likely lead to poor decision making but there won’t be arrests. It is likely more about Flynn’s score settling against the intelligence community and desire for power. He is a zealot and sure he is always right. That is not a good outlook for a guy in his position. These moves are concentrating information accsess and creating a tiny isolated bubble to lead national strategy with a guy who seems careless and utterly malleable. But there is no constitutional mandate for who is on the NSC. This isn’t breaking a law, it’s about institutional control of information and input on decisions. This will lead to serious mistakes but no arrests. I would guess Flynn is sure he can give all the prime military input needed.

            Shoving away the military from a prime place in decision making and information is not a way to ensure your power in DC. It’s a risky move that will increase the number of leaks from the military sources. If an operation goes bad the military will be the first ones with knives in the backs of bannon and flynn and trump. Really, if you are staring a coup you don’t insult the Joint Chief of Staff and kick him out of an important role.

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          • All I know is there is a beautiful Canadian girl who loves me and would marry me. Sadly, there isn’t a Google office in Vancouver, but I guess software is software and love is love and freedom is freedom.

            The American republic is dead.

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            • The American republic is dead.

              A lousy President signed an unconstitutional executive order, which was quickly and rightly struck down by a federal court. If he goes full Roosevelt, tries to pack the court, and actually succeeds, I’ll concede the point. Until then, this is nothing we haven’t seen before.

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                • They have, as they have done over and over again throughout American history. I’m not saying that this isn’t bad, just that it isn’t uniquely bad, relative to what we’ve seen before. Roosevelt rounded up Japanese-Americans—not only immigrants, but also native-born citizens—confiscated their property, and stuck them in concentration camps for years. And the Supreme Court let him. If the American Republic is dead, it died before any of us were born.

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                    • Sure. All I’m saying is that it’s highly ahistorical to say that the American Republic is dead and that this is what killed it. This hasn’t even made its way to the Supreme Court yet, so it’s not even clear that the system isn’t working.

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            • The American republic is dead.

              No, it worked just fine. Despite all her advantages, Hillary couldn’t beg, borrow, steal, buy or lie her way into office. This sounds like sour grapes to me.

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          • Pissing off both the intelligence and military communities is a surefire way of making sure he can’t conduct a coup. As a matter of fact, he’s just further limiting his power rather than growing & cementing it.

            Don’t stop your enemy when he’s making mistakes.

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            • With the Trump/ Bannon administration, it is always difficult to separate out malevolence from stupidity.

              Putting political hacks on the NSC does appears intended to be malevolent, but actually stupid.

              But, and this underscores nearly every act by this regime, it is just as alarming.
              The Republic can fall under a constant barrage of stupidity and incompetence just as easily as malevolence.

              When I read stories of dictatorship like Pinochet’s Chile, Marco’s Philippines, or East Germany, what stands out is their staggering incompetence as the basic functions of governance.Contrary to legend, Mussolini did not make the trains run on time.

              Simple things like keeping the power on, streets clean, and thievery within limits are ignored in favor of settling scores and inflicting dominance.

              Which is what we are seeing with Trump/Bannon.

              ETA: The reason this needs to be stressed, is I see periodically, confident assertions that somehow the Deep State or military or corporations will rise to stop Trump on our behalf.

              This is whistling past the graveyard.

              Full alarm about the threat to our Republic is warranted and every citizen needs to take part.

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                • So fun theory:

                  Trump lives for the applause, right? He wants to be praised. He chases approval.

                  So he walks into office, small inauguration crowd (and he knows it), historically low approval numbers (and he knows it), falling poll numbers (and he knows it), and massive protests.

                  His best days were on the campaign trail, listening to the roar of the crowds — that approval was what he sought.

                  So what’s a man who is faltering now going to do to get that approval back? Wouldn’t you reach to the things that got you the biggest, loudest responses from your rallies? The things that in your personal experience everyone loved and screaming in praise about?

                  The Wall. The Muslim Ban.

                  But as they don’t work, he’ll keep reaching. Care to recall one of the big remaining applause lines? “Lock her up”.

                  As yourself: If Trump thought it’d get him those cheering crows, reverse those falling numbers, get him the approval he wants — would he even hesitate?

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                    • I don’t think so.

                      he seems the sort to not only seek out the applause, but to seek out the slights.

                      The kind that has to find out the bad things people say, in order to feel properly aggrieved and plot vengeance.

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                  • So he walks into office, small inauguration crowd (and he knows it), historically low approval numbers (and he knows it), falling poll numbers (and he knows it), and massive protests.

                    His best days were on the campaign trail, listening to the roar of the crowds — that approval was what he sought.

                    So what’s a man who is faltering now going to do to get that approval back? Wouldn’t you reach to the things that got you the biggest, loudest responses from your rallies? The things that in your personal experience everyone loved and screaming in praise about?

                    I gotta admit, this sort of thing distresses me quite a bit. Not so much this comment in particular, more strategizing from libs about how to get the better of poking Trump’s psychological vulnerabilities.

                    First of all, from what I’ve seen of the ideas, here and elsewhere, I don’t think they’re gonna work. Even if we think that libs have correctly analyzed Trump’s psychological makeup, their ability to game about the relevant repercussion is way insufficient for what they want.

                    Much more than that, I’m disappointed that libs have formulated their interests in strictly partisan terms. I can’t expect that libs are going to ignore that, of course, but it’s very depressing that there seems to be a bottomless well of hostility from libs toward Middle America and the people who voted for Trump.

                    Today’s lib factionalism looks from here to be horribly myopic. That somehow our problems are better resolved through constant antagonism over finding some way of keeping the trains running on time, it just seems ridiculous that that’s going to help libs, even it they don’t care about the rest of us.

                    It seems so much easier simply to do the right thing for the right reasons, but so far it’s been difficult for libs even to consider it.

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                    • but it’s very depressing that there seems to be a bottomless well of hostility from libs toward Middle America and the people who voted for Trump.

                      Why is that depressing? His approvals are, like, 26% right now. Most of the people who voted for him don’t like him.

                      Today’s lib factionalism looks from here to be horribly myopic.

                      In what sense? That they’re not open minded enough to give a person and party advocating policies they reject a fair shake? That doesn’t seem myopic to me. Just a fundamental disagreement.

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                        • Yeah, why indeed? Maybe it’s because libs want to think that they’ve gotten the point already, when they missed a step, or a twist here or there. And it changes things.

                          But I’m sure that could never happen to you, because you know everything already.

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                      • In what sense? That they’re not open minded enough to give a person and party advocating policies they reject a fair shake? That doesn’t seem myopic to me. Just a fundamental disagreement.

                        Yeah, I’m thinking of the immigration EO and a couple other things but now that I read what I wrote it’s a little more meta than I let on so I should take a couple steps back.

                        Specifically, what the events of the last day or so say about the motives of the lawyers at the airports (and other protestors as well, but especially the lawyers). That current US lawful permanent residents were denied reentry seems very unfair, but there’s more to it than that.

                        I was thinking if I were some schmo in PG County or Yonkers, and I was struggling through the tears with my soon-to-be ex-wife, and we needed to figure out who was going to get the kid and who was going to get the car. Would any of those people have been there on Saturday night, pro bono, and bringing a printer to execute a client representation agreement toute suite?

                        Of course not. The overwhelming likelihood is that none of those lawyers would have ever been there, and if they did they would have charged through the nose.

                        And in a broader view, reading here and a couple other places, I’m disappointed that the libs are energized and laser focused on getting rid of Trump’s immigration EO. I mean, I get the part about the greencard holders but that’s not what’s animating things as far as I can see. The libs want to get rid of the whole thing, and apparently expect to, without any kind of thought about why there shouldn’t be new immigrants from Syria or Libya or wherever, or why other people might not want them.

                        Most likely, the libs hate the EO because Trump signed it. This whole business of Trump being fit or not fit for office is at the moment tremendously misleading. It could be legitimate as a campaign talking point, but the campaign is over. And it’s a plain fact of reality that Trump is President of the United States, and we all gotta deal.

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                        • And it’s a plain fact of reality that Trump is President of the United States, and we all gotta deal.

                          Believe me, we’re all painfully aware of that. And we’re going to give him every bit as much deference as the other side gave Obama.

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                          • That’s just not true. Conservatives opposed President Obama for the things he did, or was trying to do. Libs are resisting President Trump for who he is. That made sense during the campaign, but now the campaign is over, and yes he is Your President.

                            Even the birther stuff was different than this. Ie, birthers rejected President Obama because he didn’t represent America (born in Kenya, etc). Libs are rejecting President Trump because he does represent America.

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                            • koz,
                              Yes, Trump represents 10% of America, plus the 15% of America who thinks EBOLA is a good thing.

                              Compared to that, Obama represented all of America.

                              (and, no, I’m not kidding on the percentage of Americans that favor Ebola. Check out PPP for all your latest trolling polling needs)

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                              • I’ll leave the polling dynamics of ebola aside for a moment, as my point was slightly different.

                                President Trump represents some part of America who were enthusiasts of him, he represents another demographic who acquiesced to him at various points as he advanced his candidacy. And now he represents all of America as the sitting President.

                                The libs who are rejecting Trump are rejecting each of these.

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                                • koz,
                                  As President, he’s representing us all.
                                  In so far as he’s being a maniac, I’m going to call him out on that. It reflects poorly on the rest of us, after all. (But I’ve been one of the quieter people around here, you’ll note).

                                  I do not need to support him to wish that he doesn’t screw up. My definition of screwing up is probably different than yours.
                                  (Allowing Russia to take over Ukraine would probably get my dander up. And this is despite the pictures coming out of Ukraine, not because of them.)

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                                  • I don’t mind President Trump being called out for being wrong, or at the very least being on one end of a divergence of views.

                                    But this is about implicit or explicit power grabs, specifically intended to deny President Trump, his Administration and other political adversaries to do the everyday things than any executive would do. The idea being to create or maintain adversarial power structures to what we already have, to usurp the authority that our voters legitimately have, and replace it with the illegitimate mentality of grab what you can.

                                    This is why the resistance to Trump is only tangentially about Trump.

                                    About Russia and Ukraine, that’s a situation where I think Trump is actually right, to the extent that he knows his own mind. This is for two reasons: first, that Russia is a country of some power, and maintaining de facto or de jure authority over Ukraine is among the highest priorities of the Russian state, and the Russian people. To the point where for them, it’s not so much a matter of foreign policy as a domestic issue. That’s not something where we have enough leverage to interfere with, even with Russian interventions as brutal as they are.

                                    Second, all the major political factions in Ukraine, including or especially ours. Again, that limits the sphere of our effectiveness.

                                    For me at least, the problem is that I’d like to have somebody a little more cultured than Trump in charge of managing this. Trump’s instincts are right, but I still have doubts of what I expect his actions and policies to be.

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                                    • koz,
                                      To the extent that Congress or the Judiciary take power away from the Unitary Executive, it can only help our democracy.

                                      I would support such actions if the President was Obama, Clinton, McCain or Trump.

                                      I consider myself fortunate to have helped elect such a poisonous president, so that we can reign in the Executive Powers that have been allowed to Usurp Congress’ Rights to Govern (the executive still has the Right to Administer, mind).

                                      War Powers is a particular sore spot, both with drones and torture. Obama did jack-all to reign this in, so I’ll be glad if Trump backfires enough to give Congress back their Right to Declare War.

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                                      • It could very well work out that, though it has to be said that’s ancillary to what today’s crisis is about.

                                        Specifically, it’s about extragovernmentally empowering the upper-middle class SWPL libs and their cultural worldview. Let’s face it, the reason that so many people got outraged over Libyans and Syrians being detained at JFK is because they weren’t Americans. If they were, then it just sucks to be you.

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                    • Many people in Middle America dislike Trump too. It’s not like he won a landslide: he barely won against an opponent that’s largely despised. Don’t project your “punish liberals” mantra on the rest of the country.

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                      • Of course they do. I was one of them. This is only ancillary to Trump anyway really. It mostly has to do with the lack of loyalty and solidarity of lib enclaves to the rest of America.

                        It was already a problem before Trump was elected. I hoped, at least in the immediate aftermath of the election, that we’d see progress on that score, ‘cuz even libs aren’t too dense to see the counterproductivity of their disdain. Well, it hasn’t worked out that way so far. Oh well.

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                          • That’s part of it, but not the only part, and in any event it’s not the part that I’m dwelling on.

                            It’s more the attitude that I’m out to get political power (at least in some operational way), and that I’ve got license to shit on any part of America I need to get it. On the one hand, it very well might not work. After all, it’s why you lost the election in the first place.

                            And on the other, if that did succeed, it’s very clearly detrimental to America as a whole, and doesn’t necessarily even benefit libs, even if that’s all I cared about.

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              • “With the Trump/ Bannon administration, it is always difficult to separate out malevolence from stupidity.”

                If we’re counting absurd things you said in your first sentence, I’d go with “Trump/Bannon” first, then “always” second. But that’s sequential. I think that “always” is the more absurd part.

                Putting political hacks on the NSC does appears intended to be malevolent, but actually stupid.”

                I think this is more unfounded than absurd, because some of the moves are pretty hacky.

                I can see that the next sentence goes back to your long memory of the entire Trump presidency, talking about the nature of nearly every move he’s made. So I can tell that this comment isn’t worth the effort of fisking.

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                • Pretty weak defense, Pinky. You’re grabbing at straws, even on our own terms.

                  I can see that the next sentence goes back to your long memory of the entire Trump presidency,

                  More like, “the entire Trump campaign and actions preceding that”. Restricting judgment to only 8 days of decision-making when the writing was on the wall strikes me as trying to chip away at what constitutes “relevant” evidence.

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            • Oscar Gordan: Pissing off both the intelligence and military communities is a surefire way of making sure he can’t conduct a coup.

              But who actually conduct coups? Alienated military leaders who feel they need to take extrorordinary means to save the nation from the existing government.

              (That’s how Egypt and Thailand roll, for instance)

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              • The generals and like will just start leaking to the press more. They will talk to their retired buddies who are TV talking heads about all the problems in the WH. If they are really disenchanted they will let that out which will get press and “real americans” usually listen to them.

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                • What interesting, in the fake Chinese proverb sense, is that the DHS head, John Kelly, is supposed to be one of the ‘good ones’ – one of the professionals and thus confirmed with fairly broad bipartisan vote in the US Senate.

                  But DHS as of noon eastern time Sunday Jan 29 is totally towing the Trump/Bannon Lion with the EO and may be even actively refusing to comply with yesterday’s federal court orders.

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                    • Newly hired interns and apprentices are expected to do what they are told.

                      Newly hired 60 some odd year olds US Marine Corps 4 star generals are supposed to do the right thing – or at least do a thing right (The DHS this weekend has done neither)

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                      • Well, the DHS has been a giant bag of dicks with regard to civil rights since the word go, so that’s not actually surprising, sadly.

                        ETA: By that I mean, there is so much institutional inertia to only care about civil rights when forced to, or when it serves a PR purpose, that I’d be surprised if the new head could turn it around in the first week on the job.

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                • It’s also worth noting that the last general that leaked almost went to jail, until Obama pardoned him at the last minute (literally on the same day the general was supposed to be sentenced)

                  The plumbers that Obama stood up are almost certainly still around.

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              • Sure, our brass could, but more likely if the government decided it didn’t like Trump, it would just grind to a morass, rather than take action.

                It would not be hard to make a president an impotent figurehead if no one felt like executing his orders.

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                  • Intentional or not, it would seem that certain systems would sort of structure themselves to empower a law-and-order President.

                    Odds are, you don’t get into CBP if you have real scruples about keeping people out of the country. And you probably don’t get into law enforcement if you have scruples about pushing back protestors. Or the DAs office if you have scruples about persecuting people as strongly as possible. And on down the line.

                    That doesn’t mean that there is no one who will offer resistance, but probably the vast majority of folks at the tail end of the whip are not going to offer much.

                    I’m sure there is an analogue for different types of Presidents, but I can’t really think of those right now.

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                • Kolohe is right here. DHS is defying the court’s injunction as far as I can tell from the media reporting. Maybe they will let up soon but this seems to be a high alert situation.

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                    • It was a weekend, and courts are aware of the confusion that’s going on.

                      I’d imagine that the courts are, bluntly, allowing the various agencies 24 or 48 hours to get it under control, after which they will become more unhappy.

                      Which is also the amount of time necessary for lawyers to find out they’re not obey, draft more motions, bring it back to court — and so if there’s egregious disregard for the orders (and not just pockets of poorly managed idiots), then it’s Monday and courts will proceed to tackle it.

                      If nothing else, most judges are going to be leery against starting to work up the chain of command with contempt orders if it turns out to be confusion and not malice. They’re going to want documented proof, sworn statements, and enough evidence to make sure they’ve got a solid footing.

                      The idiots running the show might not care about the Constitution, but most judges do.

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          • FYI, the green card holders were initially not included in the ban according to DHS’s and BP’s analysis — they called the WH to confirm, and the White House insisted they were.

            So including green card holders in the ban was very, very deliberate — no matter what comes out of the pipe later on that topic.

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            • This strikes me as something that will be trivially easy to undo with an “okay! We were wrong about the green card holders!” and then give an easy victory to the opposition…

              Meanwhile, a new baseline will have been set.

              We’ll see what happens today.

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            • It is very much a Bannon and Miller decision.

              Miller is an interesting case study in how political beliefs form. He is from a big standard liberal Jewish family but the profile I read of him over the summer stated he was right-wing from an early age. This raises the question of where his beliefs came from.

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              • He is from a big standard liberal Jewish family but the profile I read of him over the summer stated he was right-wing from an early age. This raises the question of where his beliefs came from.

                Netanyahu comes from a Jewish family, no?

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                • Different contexts. Nethayahu is Israeli and the politics there have always had left and right-wings like all countries.

                  Miller is American and 80 percent of American Jews have been consistently Democratic and liberal since FDR if not before. They were largely further to the left before FDR and known for electing socialists to Congress in the districts that they dominated.

                  I suspect many or most people sort of inherit their politics from their families based on anecdotal evidence. So that Miller is the opposite is intriguing from a philosophical standard. Netanhayu’s family was always on the Israeli right and followers of Menchamin Begin.

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                  • Saul Degraw,

                    I suspect many or most people sort of inherit their politics from their families based on anecdotal evidence.

                    The evo-psych/social-psych research doesn’t bear that out. In general, psychological traits, including political orientations, pretty consistently show a 50-0-50 pattern where the first percentage is genetic, the second is shared environment, and the third non-shared environment. Shared environment roughly translates to family upbringing. Where this gets tricky is that the factors are easily conflated if one isn’t careful, since most siblings are closely related genetically.

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                • Outside is stance on Israeli security and diplomacy, Netanyahu isn’t particularly rightist by American standards. He doesn’t believe in getting rid of Israel’s welfare state and doesn’t wage culture wars. His economic policy is much more in line with that of the Democratic party than the Republican party. In Israel, left and right traditionally referred to issues relating to security, defense, and foreign affairs more than anything else.

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                    • Please point out explicitly where I called Bibi liberal because I am pretty sure I did the exact opposite.

                      Just because we are brothers does not mean we say or believe the same things.

                      Fucking hell!!

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                      • You didn’t call Bibi liberal. What you said was that context matters wrt whether Jews are raised rightwing or left. I mentioned that the context of Bibi’s upbringing was (apparently) right wing.

                        Ergo!, the context in which some Jews are raised is right wing!

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                    • I merely pointed out that left and right mean different things in different countries. Likud accepts a lot of things that the Republican Party would sneer at as liberal. See Romney getting in trouble for praising Israel’s healthcare system.

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                  • Lee,
                    In israel, a women has trouble getting divorced without her husband’s permission. This is actively supported by Bibi’s coalition (in that the religious groups don’t want to lose any power at all).

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