Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Happy Diwali !


Lights, sweets, firecrackers — what’s not to love about such a celebration?

Okay, maybe not quite so many fireworks, per NPR:

Once illuminated with clay lamps, the festival of lights has morphed into a festival of sound and fury.

It’s estimated some 50,000 tons of fireworks are exploded during Diwali, which marks the homecoming of the Hindu god Lord Ram from exile. But a public health alarm was sounded in Delhi after Diwali last year, when a toxic haze blanketed the city for days.

Delhi’s air quality is extremely poor: A 2015 study found that half of the city’s 4.4 million schoolchildren have diminished lung capacity.

To control the escalating pollution, the Supreme Court banned the sale of fireworks during this year’s Diwali. (The use of fireworks, though, was not banned.) The ban on sales extends until Nov. 1 to allow the court to fully monitor its impact in the wake of the festival…

Merchant Praveen Kumar complains that his livelihood is going up in smoke.

“It’s 100 percent correct that we are adding to pollution. But the government says it’s only three percent of the total — the other 97 percent isn’t addressed,” he says. “Besides, what do we tell the kids on Diwali: ‘Go pray, eat your food and go to bed?’ How will they enjoy that?”…

Given enough sweets, I think the kids’ll make their own fun. One way or another, folks will find a way:


Apart from remembering to light some lights, what’s on the agenda for the day?

135 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    what’s on the agenda for the day? Work.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Happy Diwali 😄💆🙆🎆✨🎇🎉

  4. 4
    satby says:

    Happy Diwali! I have a candle lit to go with my morning coffee 🎆🎇

    @rikyrah: @OzarkHillbilly: Good morning, fellow early birds!

  5. 5
    HRA says:

    Happy Diwali!

    In personal news, I am waiting for my ride to go on a 3 day vacation to NYC. It was planned by my children when they learned I had tried to go there 3 times and had been unable to make it due to family circumstances. It also is a gift for my upcoming start of a new decade birthday this weekend.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Carrie Fisher once hand-delivered a cow’s tongue wrapped in a Tiffany box to a predatory Hollywood producer, a friend of the late actor has claimed.

    Screenwriter Heather Robinson said that Fisher had intervened after the unnamed executive, identified as an Oscar winner, had tried to force himself on Robinson while in his car.

    Robinson told Arizona radio station 94.9 MixFM that two weeks after recounting the incident to Fisher, she received an email from the Star Wars actor saying that she had personally delivered a Tiffany box to Sony studios, where the executive was based.

    “It was a cow tongue from Jerry’s Famous Deli with a note that said: ‘If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box,’” Robinson recalled.

  7. 7
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Day two post root canal. Pain is mostly gone, swelling negligible. I’m able to sleep and eat normally again!

    The root canal itself kinda sucked – it takes a lot to numb me, and each time the endodontist lit me up (blew my shoes off my feet), he had to apply a topical directly to the canal he was drilling in. As he kept remarking, “this is a very sick tooth”. Apparently, it had cracked under the crown. He ground out the crack, microscope operated on the canals, and after three hours and $1200, I walked out with a guarantee of appropriate sleep and the ability to chew.

  8. 8

    Happy Diwali! I work with a guy from Hyderabad. He introduced me to Diwali, and I introduced him to Skittles and Snickers.

    Getting ready for a weekend in Lakeland, Florida, for a huge car show that takes up streets downtown and around Lake Mirror. Hey, Betty Cracker, if you’re so inclined, come on by if you can find parking.

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Yeowch.

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    after three hours and $1200,

    That would hurt me more than the tooth.

  10. 10
    Ben Cisco says:

    Working, and endeavoring to avoid any meatspace discussion of Dolt45 and his comments to Sgt. Johnson’s widow; if there is a level of inhumanity in this building that would brush THAT off, I don’t need to know. Not today.

  11. 11
    satby says:

    @HRA: Happy Birthday 🎂
    Enjoy your trip, that’s a great present from your kids!

  12. 12
  13. 13
    satby says:

    @Ben Cisco: I know, right?

    One of my former wingnut neighbors said something similar to me about the Iraq war when we were talking about Bush sending National Guard troops there (“that’s what they signed up for”). I lit her up. Most of them sign up for military service in peacetime as a path to college and skills, and they specifically sign up for the National Guard with the expectation that they will be staying stateside. And no one signs up to be cannon fodder in a misbegotten war of choice. We need to reinstate the draft, make it compulsory with national service alternatives for religious or conscientious objectors, and allow no exclusions. It will reduce the dismissive attitude of the people who never have to worry about their kids in a uniform.

    Edited: and I say that as the mother of a Marine who did 5 combat tours during the Bush years.

  14. 14
    Immanentize says:

    Diwali is such a fun holiday. And so timely; here near Boston, the period of light each day is fading fast….
    Today, electrician to run power to my shed. I already dug an buried the wire in conduit but I need the electrician to drill a hole in the basement and hook it up to the panel.

    Tomorrow, Social Security where I have two appointments (because that is how they roll). First one for my wife’s death benefit which is a standard $250 dollars which covers, well, next to nothing. The second appointment is for survivor benefits for the Immp until he is 18 which will help us. Especially if he needs a root canal!

  15. 15
    Immanentize says:


    We need to reinstate the draft, make it compulsory with national service alternatives for religious or conscientious objectors, and allow no exclusions

    I agree with this and have for years. The draft democratizes the military and if everyone must serve, then everyone would care about these never ending wars. The people who love the all volunteer army the most are the military leaders and politicians because they can then spout shit like “they knew what they signed up for.”

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    We need to reinstate the draft, make it compulsory with national service alternatives for religious or conscientious objectors, and allow no exclusions. It will reduce the dismissive attitude of the people who never have to worry about their kids in a uniform.

    Amen. It still pisses me off, the cavalierness with which so many accepted the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq.

    “Oh, don’t worry so much Tom. It will all be over in just a few weeks.”

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    शुभ दीपावली

  19. 19
    Baud says:


    Happy birthday.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    They’d warned me ahead of time that it could go to $1600, depending on calcification in the roots.

  22. 22
    gene108 says:

    This is a festive season in India. Diwali is preceded by Navaratri. There is also a tradition to keep lights in windows for the next several weeks.

    Edit: Not full Christmas lights, but a lamp / candle light.

  23. 23
    gene108 says:


    Happy birthday 🎂🐳🐶

  24. 24
    Baud says:


    I’m not so sure. The vast majority of people drafted would not be sent overseas. The main reason people don’t care is that he number of U.S. servicemembers killed in combat over the last few years is comparable to the number of concert goers killed in the Last Vegas strip. Iraq only got controversial for Bush when deaths reached a few thousand. Over 60,000 were killed in Vietnam.

  25. 25
    debbie says:


    I’m jealous. Enjoy!

  26. 26
    debbie says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    I just heard about that. What an oblivious monster. I’m tired of being so angry this early in the day. Pray for my co-workers.

    Already, he’s tweeted five times in the past hour. Let the Great Distraction begin!

  27. 27
    debbie says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Yeah, but did they warn you about the pain?

  28. 28
    satby says:

    @Baud: I’m actually more of a pacifist in many ways, so I think a compulsory draft would make Congress think harder before authorizing war or police actions because more people would be paying attention if their little snowflakes were at risk.

  29. 29
    debbie says:


    The acceptance rose from having no skin in the game, as they say. Not only didn’t they have to fight, they didn’t even have to pay for the war. Winning!

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I’ve been fortunate, my root canals have been noneventful.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @satby: I guess I’m skittish when it comes to guessing how the American people will react about anything these days.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    debbie says:


    Rats. Too late to edit. Not only didn’t they NOT have to fight.

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    Have a great trip 😄
    I hope that you get the chance to ride the Staten Island Ferry. It’s one of my favorite things to do in NYC.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes

    it takes a lot to numb me

    Hear ya on that. 3 shots of novocain plus 2 shots of procaine and I was just barely beginning to feel numb.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    They said “might” happen. I’m hard to numb, though, so mine can be worse, and anesthetic wears off quicker. The guy who removed an impacted wisdom tooth earlier this year (I’d put it off for 35 years or so) pretty much maxed out on the injections, and the woman who installed the crown this year had to keep dosing me.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    satby says:

    @Baud: Viet Nam was a different era, it started within recent memory of WWII, and people trusted the government when it said it was a necessary war to “prevent the spread of Communism”. It took years of carnage, reporting of atrocities like My Lai, and Uncle Walter Cronkite questioning the war for enough momentum to build tipping it into unpopularity.

    Now the average person in this country is so risk averse they barely leave their houses for fear of meeting people unlike themselves.

  40. 40
    debbie says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    I was the same when I got crowns. I was so terrified of the pain that the chair was shaking too much for the dentist to start. If I ever need a root canal, I don’t know what I’ll do.

  41. 41
    NotMax says:


    Especially in light of what has crawled out from under rocks of late en masse, the fewer Americans who are professionally trained in killing, the better.

  42. 42
    satby says:

    And for raven: fuck LBJ

  43. 43
    satby says:

    @NotMax: I hear you, but my son and a cousin are both trained snipers; my late father was Top Gun (best) in his police academy class. My cousin taught FBI snipers at Quantico.

    Mass murderers have more going on than shooting skills.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @satby: Where is he?

  45. 45
    Kay says:

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — When Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office this year fiercely defended spending nearly $2 million on TV commercials starring himself and Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer, officials noted state law required the treasurer to “develop marketing plans and promotional materials” to publicize a savings plan.
    But treasurer’s office marketing plans obtained through a public records request show big budget TV ads were not recommended as the best way to promote the STABLE Account program, which offers tax-advantaged investment accounts for disabled individuals, similar to 529 college savings accounts.

    Sherrod Brown is hitting Mandel on this, quite effectively I might add, because Mandel stupidly wouldn’t address his blatant of use of state funding for what are campaign ads and started doing Trumpian “fake news” brush offs. It doesn’t work as well with local media because (I think) local media figures are not considered to be distant power brokers. People are like “really? That guy with the weird haircut, what’s his name, he has a PLOT against you?”

    This is how liberals win in 50/50 states- they work really hard and are vigilant. Sherrod can probably easily beat Mandel but he’s not taking anything for granted.

  46. 46
    satby says:

    @Baud: don’t know. I’m not on as much myself, so I miss a lot of people.

  47. 47
    Ben Cisco says:

    @satby: I agree. And the CO category would need to be better managed than it has been in the past.

  48. 48
    HeleninEire says:

    He’s up and tweeting that the Congresswoman lied “and I have proof. SAD”

  49. 49

    In the last hour:

    Wow, FBI confirms report that James Comey drafted letter exonerating Crooked Hillary Clinton long before investigation was complete. Many..

    …people not interviewed, including Clinton herself. Comey stated under oath that he didn’t do this-obviously a fix? Where is Justice Dept?

    The Democrats will only vote for Tax Increases. Hopefully, all Senate Republicans will vote for the largest Tax Cuts in U.S. history.

    As it has turned out, James Comey lied and leaked and totally protected Hillary Clinton. He was the best thing that ever happened to her!

    The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!

    Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    Trump is on the Twitters claiming that Rep. Wilson lied about what he said to Sergeant Johnson’s widow and that he has proof. I’m just going to go out on a limb here and predict he’s lying.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @HeleninEire: He better have proof because there’s no one Trump doesn’t lose a credibility war to.

  52. 52
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: One of the many reasons there have been so few deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan is new techniques and technologies that have allowed for the survival of what in an earlier war would have been a KIA. (such as blood coagulant impregnated bandages, my favorite because I’m on blood thinners and at daily risk of serious injury from power tools)(don’t leave home without them :-) But that also means an increase in medical expenses and lifelong trauma for the survivors. As to,

    The vast majority of people drafted would not be sent overseas.

    I don’t buy that. The decision makers won’t look at at a service members record to see if they were drafted or joined, they look at what they are qualified to do and will it fill their current needs (the vast majority of which is logistical in nature) They issue the orders and the service member goes. If the vast majority of draftees aren’t sent overseas, it’s because the vast majority of service members aren’t sent overseas.

    One guy I know was a Nat Guard MP sent over to train Iraqi Police. But after 2 months of sitting around waiting for recruits to train that were not forthcoming he was reassigned to convoy security because that was what was needed and he was qualified. Was ambushed on several occasions and survived a number of IED explosions. Not what he signed up for, not what he was sent over for, but he still ended up in it. That’s the nature of it.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    FBI confirms report that James Comey drafted letter exonerating Crooked Hillary Clinton long before investigation was complete.

    This wouldn’t surprise me. The email controversy was a sham from the beginning.

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    Conservatives think the Comey thing means Comey exonerated Clinton prior to interviewing her, but the question should go the other way. Comey didn’t have enough to go forward. He should have ended it.

    Comey needs to be questioned on why he waited so long to clear her. The timing looks REALLY political and intended to damage her.

    I’m glad they fired Comey because it led to Mueller so I indirectly credit Comey with that result, but Comey did a terrible job, in isolation apart from events that he created or that intervened. He knew he didn’t have enough. Someone pressured him to keep that going.

  55. 55
    TS says:

    @HeleninEire: He was watching MJ – and they didn’t cover themselves in glory when they asked the congresswoman was she politicizing Sgt Johnson’s death. Rep Wilson spoke very well, with intelligent comments and responses.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I agree with your second paragraph. My point assumed that reinstituting the draft would vastly swell the size the the military so as a practical matter most people wouldn’t go. I didn’t mean to suggest that the military would treat draftees different from enlistees.

  57. 57
    satby says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): yesterday at work, two different people both subtly said negative things about how the country’s going. I’m out of fucks to give so I don’t hide my opinions, I just won’t get into arguments with people. So when I more directly said something obviously negative about the Traitor, they both did too. I wouldn’t have pegged either a a likely Dem voter.
    Like water on a rock, the erosion is working. And he’s so stupid, he’s helping.

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    @Kay: You said it better than I did. Exactly right.

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    People really need to know if there is a group within the FBI who pushed for prosecution of Clinton to benefit Trump because those people are still there. The FBI has had scandal after scandal over decades. We all need to stop pretending they’re above reproach.

  60. 60
    raven says:

    @Baud: 58,220 is not over 60,000

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    The notion that people like Comey who loathe the Clintons would cover for them is insane and has viability only in a world where someone like Trump can be elected president.

  62. 62
    Baud says:

    @raven: I thought the number was about 64K. Thanks for the correction.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Kay says:


    I felt real rage when I read it a couple of days ago, and the only reason I saw it was Trumpsters were tweeting it.

    They need to get Comey back in and question him.

  65. 65
    MJS says:

    @Immanentize: Good luck with Social Security. When I was in your situation the process was handled via video conference and was wrapped up in about an hour. Hope yours goes as well.

  66. 66
    p.a. says:

    @satby: @Immanentize: @OzarkHillbilly:

    I also think there is something to be said for the socialization aspect of the intermingling that results, although of course it would be nice to be able to accomplish it without feeding the war machine. There will be an aspect of ‘we have the tool, let’s use it’ with a draft; I can’t see how it could be designed without incerasing the number of troops available for leaders with itchy fingers.

  67. 67
    Betty Cracker says:

    I’ve had a recurring dream for months in which I arrive home (a big, sprawling house in the dream, not at all like our actual ranch-style shitbox) and, in addition to my family, there are many obnoxious strangers living there. Their presence makes makes me unhappy, but we are powerless to kick them out. I suspect it’s my subconscious trying to sort out the impossibility of peaceful coexistence with Trumpsters.

  68. 68

    @satby: That’s encouraging. The election made me more suspicious of people around me. I never expected so many people to vote for him. What if this person sitting next to me is one of them?

  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: I almost got into a fight the night GWB got on the TV and announced the beginning of the invasion. Was at a pizza joint and afterwards somebody said “God Bless America” I replied, “Fuck Bush.” Somebody else said, “WHO said that??? I’m gonna kick their ass!!!” I flew out of my chair saying “I did! I’ve got 2 sons who could end up in that mess! What’ve you got??” The guy was a much larger person than I but he looked at me, said nothing and left.

    A friend walked over to me and said, “This isn’t the time or place for that, Tom.” which really incensed me, but I said nothing to him (told him years later how much it pissed me off, “When is the right time for it???).

    Another buddy said, “C’mon Tom, it’ll all be over by the time your sons are old enough.” My oldest is now 31. His brother is 29. It’s still going on.

    Before the unending war on terror, I would have encouraged them to look into joining, knowing there would be risks. But for that stupidity? Neither did and I doubt they ever gave it serious consideration. No doubt my feelings had something to do with that.

    ETA phrasing

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @Kay: You notice that they aren’t reopening the investigation despite all the pleas to lock her up.

  71. 71
    Another Scott says:

    @Baud: The Archives count is 58,220.

    Relatedly, there was a story on the radio last night (TheWorld, on a new book about Donald Nichols) talking about the DPRK and the Korean War. The person being interviewed said 1 – 2 M civilians died in the DPRK and that the USAF bombing only stopped when they ran out of targets (after reducing all the cities, etc., to rubble). It was a very interesting show – the link has a transcript and pictures. It sounds like a great book, also too.


    (“Sometimes, history really does depend on one person…”)

  72. 72
    Betty Cracker says:

  73. 73
    Immanentize says:

    @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant):
    Actually looking forward to this step. It is one of the last (outside finance sorting and maintenance) of positive steps I must take at this point. Oddly, it feels like accomplishment toward my primary goal of trying to be a competent single parent.

    All praise to every single parrent! I salute you each and every one.

  74. 74
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I talk to Republicans all day long and I work with probably 90% Republicans and I never hear anything positive about Trump. It’s not that they know I’m a Democrat, although they do, because they were always bragging about Bush, up until the end.

    I mean. not a WORD. On the other side I get spontaneous rage outbursts from anti-Trumpsters. My mechanic’s wife runs his office and I haven’t said a word to this woman other than please and thank you and she volunteered that she hates Trump in the course of telling me they were shutting down for a week for their vacation.

    It’s weird.

  75. 75
    MJS says:

    @Betty Cracker: The parentheses are the tell. He has no proof. If he actually did have proof, he’d have Kelly Anne on Fox right now playing the tape (or whatever the alleged proof is).

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: OK. As to swelling the military, they would only take what they need. The military likes the all volunteer force because volunteers are more likely to be team players and more dedicated to the job.

  77. 77
    Immanentize says:

    @MJS: Or, Trump actually does have an oval office recording system and EVERYONE has told him to keep his big yam shut about it.

  78. 78
    Another Scott says:

    @MJS: Yup. Remember his Comey better hope there are no tapes stuff? It took him 5+ weeks to finally say there were no tapes.

    He’ll try to drag this out just as long. It’s what he does – try to distract and change the subject.

    Can one dare hope that our press is learning?



  79. 79
    MomSense says:

    What do you do about a co worker who insists on coming into work sick when that co worker is your boss? Now we are all sneezing and coughing and going in anyway.

  80. 80
    NotMax says:


    Recording devices in the Oval Office?

    That would be too, too delicious a revelation.Let the subpoenaing begin!

  81. 81
    Another Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yup. People are expensive (even when they’re getting crap pay, and even if they’re in the Peace Corps or the NPS). Congress isn’t going to pay for a 5M “man” Army again, so there will be some sort of lottery to see who ends up where.

    I like the idea of “national service” in principle, but it’s hard to do it fairly when only a small fraction will be picked. Especially since so many of us weren’t drafted or “forced” to volunteer – “Why should I have to put my education and the rest of my life on hold for “national service” when the rest of you lot didn’t?!!?!”.


  82. 82
    MJS says:

    @Another Scott: It’s such a conundrum with Trump – when he ultimately contradicts himself, which statement was the lie? Because he lies damn near 100% of the time.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: salute back to you! You got this.

  85. 85
    Chyron HR says:


    Flu mask. Put an X on it to look gangsta.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    Immanentize says:

    @MJS: First, I am sorry — no one should ever have to be in this situation…
    Second, no teleconference option here — I have to go to the office and bring all sorts of papers with me. Passport, marriage licence, death certificate etc. and prove my son is not an immigrant.

    There are ways to make people’s lives so much easier, but we really do seem to punish those in need….

  88. 88
    MomSense says:

    @Chyron HR:

    I like your style.

  89. 89
    Immanentize says:

    @p.a.: Your reasoning is why the framers explicitly banned a standing army in the constitution. But once the “LAW” found a way around that little express provision, there is always a tool to use, whether it is all voluntary or conscripted. In this world as we have it, I believe that democracy (and diversity education and inclusion) really support the idea of universal service. Everyone. Men, women, LGBT, atheist, religious, all races, all creeds, all languages. It would help us out, I think.

  90. 90
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: As it is, I already told Immp that if Trump gets his war, we are taking an extended vacation elsewhere.

  91. 91
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense: Human Resources? My wife went to them when her boss refused to stop vaping in his office….

  92. 92

    @satby: I’m sorry the guy died. But IMO, no Democrats should participate in that fraudulent panel. It gives bipartisan imprimatur to a scheme hatched to justify an absurd lie and expand voter suppression.

  93. 93
    MomSense says:


    Sorry you have to experience this. I hope st least you sort this out as quickly as possible.

    Everyone needs support parenting so please don’t feel like you have to do this on your own. If you don’t want to go to friends or strange jackals on a top 10,000 political blog with certain things, a counselor can do wonders even if it is just to say all the things you are feeling that you need to get out of your head. And it’s good for Immp to know he doesn’t have to tough things out- that everyone can benefit from some guidance sometimes.

  94. 94
    Nelle says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Truly, go to someone who uses nitrous oxide. I won’t do it any other way. The valium and the nitrous came before the novocain. The last big procedure, when they saw that I was so nervous, they offered a valium before I even went in. It was a very tough, wrestling sort of extraction and at one time, he stopped and asked if I was in horrible pain. My body reacts to the pain but then my dosed brain says, Nah, it’s fine, take another deep breath.
    What I told the oral surgeon, was this “Oh, I’m quite jolly. Carry on!” I’d just moved back to the States from New Zealand so I guess I picked up that phrasing there, though I can’t ever remember being quite so jolly before.

  95. 95
    O. Felix Culpa says:


    As it is, I already told Immp that if Trump gets his war, we are taking an extended vacation elsewhere.

    Yes. I told my sons to keep their passports current.

  96. 96
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense: I am tapping friends and colleagues. But I have also reached out to a local grief center. Also, I sent up the bat signal for Immp — his adviser at school, his robotics coach and his pediatrician (who we saw yesterday) are all ready to help if his friends prove too teen-agery and he needs more. If the hits will just stop for a bit, we will make it through this with our “faculties intact” (For Esme, with Love and Squalor).

  97. 97
    Nelle says:

    @p.a.: We could really use national service, be it military or domestic in rebuilding the infrastructure. My pacifist uncles worked in the forests, in mental hospitals, in all sorts of understaffed places. There’s work to be done and it would be worth the education for everyone to give two years, contributing to the common good of this country. Would it be perfect? No, but it would be a start. It is galling to see the “patriotic” swaggering of those who got out of the draft to Vietnam by bogus deferments while Vietnam still arrives in dreams in my house. They used their early and mid 20’s to build wealth, political, and media careers while my husband endured three tours in Vietnam (he was an officer and was stop lossed two years, two tours, beyond his military obligation).

  98. 98
    Nelle says:

    @Immanentize: I had a 14 year old son when we invaded Iraq. Within nine months, we moved to another country, where he has permanent residence standing. He’s back in the States now, but that should be for life. I hope.

  99. 99
    JAFD says:

    @Another Scott:
    In regard to ‘national service’ / the draft / conscription / Universal Military Training, a couple of points need to be made.

    First, ‘drafts’ work in two circumstances: Wars of national survival – ‘everybody of age goes, quite likely into combat’, old men’s money gets a 90% tax rate, and Sewall Avery gets carried out of his office if he tries to BLEEP things up;
    or ‘old Europe’ or the US in the ’50’s, where everybody finishes secondary school and goes off for a year or two of ‘advanced Boy Scouts’ and comes back as An Official Adult.

    But having some people conscripted to the ‘Nam while the lucky or connected stay home is not a workable policy.

    Secondly, there are, now, roughly 1,500,000 people in our active-duty military, and 750,000 in the reserves and Guard. There were about 3,500,000 babies born in the US eighteen years ago. Universal Military Training, even if we leave the female people out, means enlarging the services just to provide the drill instructors.

    Thirdly, today’s military tries to recruit ‘lifers’. Logically, reenlisting an experienced soldier or sailer saves the expense of sending a recruit to basic training, and keeps a knowledgable person ‘on the job’. So your neighborhood recruiting sargeant gets ‘graded’ not just on meeting his quota of recruits, but on how many of them reenlist for a second or third tour. If ‘young Joe Doaks’ just wants to see the world for a couple of years, he may not be warmly welcomed, and fewer of our communities have people around who have seen the military from inside.

  100. 100
    MomSense says:


    Good for you. Showing your son it’s ok to ask for help is such a gift to him. I’ll keep rooting for you and hoping for calm.

  101. 101
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Immanentize: Sending {{{hugs}}} to you and the Immp.

  102. 102

    @Baud: आभार, धन्यवाद , शुक्रिया

  103. 103
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Immanentize: Just thought about “For Esme, with Love and Squalor” in a similar context the other day. Wishing much strength and courage to you and the Immp.

  104. 104
    bemused says:

    Republicans who are busy downplaying Trump saying, “he knew what he signed up for” are assholes. Anyone with a heart and brain wouldn’t have even had that thought and even if he/she did would have bitten his/her tongue before saying it to grieving family. I doubt they would be so blase if they were on the receiving end of heartlessness like that.

    Reading the horror movie thread from last night, I remembered reading about a guy born in my area was a writer of the old movie Microwave Massacre that is supposedly making a comeback among the bad horror movie fan crowd. I’ve never seen it but the original trailer was about as bad as I expected.

  105. 105
    Immanentize says:

    @Betty Cracker: It is perhaps my favorite short story ever. Each year I grow older, it means something new.

  106. 106
    Leto says:


    Thirdly, today’s military tries to recruit ‘lifers’

    No, no we don’t. Less than 1% of enlistees make it to 20, which is part of the reason we have the new Blended Retirement System which goes into effect 1 Jan 2018. We also have career fields (MOS) that are HD/LD (high demand/low density) which are typically special forces units that are constantly undermanned/over tasked. That’s on top of “chronically undermanned” career fields that are, to put it simply, shitty jobs. Things like Security Forces (MPs); most kids come in thinking they’d like to do law enforcement, but wind up stuck out in the middle of the f’ing North Dakota winter guarding missile sites. That and the typical stuff that SF does usually sours most people on that job with a quickness.

    But back to the main point: no, we don’t recruit “lifers”.

    Logically, reenlisting an experienced soldier or sailer saves the expense of sending a recruit to basic training, and keeps a knowledgable person ‘on the job’.

    Haha! Yeah, tell that to the 40k we cut in 2010 to help pay for planes, or just recently in 2014 (Welcome to the Air Force Hunger Games! May the odds forever be in your favor!) when we were told that we needed to cut 15k personnel over 5 years, but Welsh/James did that in 1 year! Wait, what do you mean we went down past the quick and have cut a major portion of the bone out? Whelp, back to doing less with less.

  107. 107
    Another Scott says:

    @JAFD: Good points all around.

    It reminded me that we do still have the Selective Service and men between 18 and 25 still have to register. So from a personal risk standpoint, and from a political standpoint (“We’ll kick their asses before we even have to notify Congress under the War Powers Act and I’ll have 90% approval just like GHWB did…”), one could argue that system isn’t much different from an active draft where only a tiny percentage would actually called up. Politicians could still figure that we’d “win” before there were any bad political implications for throwing our military into yet another conflict.

    Luckily, if one can use that word, the GOP has been so incompetent that there’s absolutely no appetite for even the possibility of an active draft or of increasing the number of people serving in uniform (except in a handful of cases). That obviously has its downsides (like having too few people awake on watch on ships to prevent collisions, etc…).



  108. 108
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    J.D. Salinger short story. Had never heard of it. Published in The New Yorker in 1950.

    Here’s a PDF, although says it’s edited by Ray Soulard, Jr. Hopefully very little in way of changes.

    For Esme, with Love and Squalor (edited? Or not…) Free PDF.

  109. 109
    Jeffro says:

    I went and turned my letter to Gerson and Rubin into a letter-to-the-editor at the Post, a more general plea to principled conservatives everywhere: “Take The Leap!” (i.e., join the Democrats) I’ll wait a week and if they haven’t printed my Very Serious Thoughts, I’ll write a funny version where we promise to not suddenly enact 90% tax rates as the first order of business…it’ll be maybe fourth on the list…

    Also donated to the scholarship fund (GoFundMe) for the kids of Sgt. La David Johnson and the Northam campaign. It feels good to do something concrete.

    Speaking of feeling good…after swimming this morning I hit the dry sauna for a bit and there were two older gentlemen there. 2 minutes in, one of them is scrolling through his phone (reading the news, I suppose) and he reads a headline out loud, “Trump says soldier ‘knew what he was signing up for’..Jesus, this fucking guy…” Like, right out in the open like that! The other old guy just kind of hung his head and said nothing. I go, “I know – 12 days without saying a word, and for 5 of those he was out golfing! Can you imagine if that was a Democrat?” And the first old guy goes, “Can you imagine if it was a black or woman Democrat?? They’d be hung by lunchtime.” And the second old guy GETS UP AND LEAVES WITHOUT SAYING A WORD! I guess the shame burns that badly, as it should! (Well, or his time in the sauna was up, who knows.) But still!

  110. 110
    trollhattan says:

    On point. My kid was born two months after we invaded Afghanistan is now in high school and we’re still at it. She does not know what it’s like to live in our nation during peacetime, nor her friends or anybody who’s come along since. We seem okay with that because the steady drip of war is now background noise.

    I heard some military guy on my radio yesterday intone we’d pulled our troops out of Afghanistan “too soon” and that’s why it’s still a problem today. Have we really learned bupkis from history, including our own, about the hopelessness of trying to control the region and “win” against the Taliban, the tribalism, the untrustworthy neighbors, including our “allies” Pakistan?

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  112. 112
    rikyrah says:


    Good looking out for Little Immp.
    But, don’t forget to ask for help if YOU need it too.

  113. 113
    rikyrah says:


    @p.a.: We could really use national service, be it military or domestic in rebuilding the infrastructure. My pacifist uncles worked in the forests, in mental hospitals, in all sorts of understaffed places. There’s work to be done and it would be worth the education for everyone to give two years, contributing to the common good of this country. Would it be perfect? No, but it would be a start.

    I would love national service, I really would.
    But, we basically need our infrastructure rebuilt – PERIOD.
    A GENUINE infrastructure program. America rebuilt using American workers. Not some GOP Privatization Scam.
    Yet, ANOTHER reason why I loathe the GOP.

  114. 114
    Leto says:


    Have we really learned bupkis from history

    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

    ― Isaac Asimov

  115. 115
    rikyrah says:


    The panel is still a fraud, and no Democrat needs to be on it.

  116. 116

    Army tells immigrants to fuck off.
    The generals are the new Ivanka and Jared. They nobly fought against this I am sure. MagHab will tweet and tell us soon.

  117. 117

    @Leto: So true.
    Average R voter and even many of their Congress critters
    Science is bad
    Liberal Arts are bad
    Knowing any other language besides English is bad
    All of economics can be boiled down to two words: Tax cuts
    Fundie Christianity is the only religion
    and so on..

  118. 118
    tobie says:

    @Jeffro: Righteous indignation is so hard for us liberals but sometimes it’s called for. This is definitely one of those cases. I’m glad you trump-shamed a likely supporter. They voted for this, so they should take responsibility for what they’ve done.

  119. 119
    MomSense says:


    I know I’m taking the less popular view here but I think that Dunlap is doing a good job of injecting truth into the panel hearings and because he is on the panel he is getting national interviews on the subject. He is an excellent SOS in Maine and we have consistently some of the highest voter turnout percentages. That he is also soooo no drama means that when he makes the case against something the panel has said or done, it seems to be better received by the media. I like him personally too and am willing to trust that he thinks he is of value by staying on the panel.

  120. 120
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: I was a Vista Volunteer way back when (30+ years ago) and it was a great experience. I’m pretty sure everyone would benefit from similar experiences if only to be exposed to people they otherwise wouldn’t meet or interact with.

    The current NCCC is involved in disaster relief, national park infrastructure repair, local school support, lots of great projects. I’m biased, of course, but I wish I could have talked my other sons into doing it. It would have been valuable for both of them.

  121. 121
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: not disputing that, just odd and sad he died.

  122. 122

    Fat Bastard in the WH has canceled the Diwali ceremony at the White House. Of course.

  123. 123
    satby says:

    @MomSense: I think there’s value in having someone from our team keeping tabs on what they’re doing. And continuing to inject an opposing view. A great many people in this country are disgusted by “partisanship” without being too aware of how malignant it is or how it developed. Democrats continuing to look like the adults in the room by appearing to be interested in working with the opposition doesn’t hurt us with low info voters. And we need more of them with us.

  124. 124
    Leto says:

    @satby: Not only is a great way to 1) gain exposure to other people and 2) give people a chance to contribute to the national good, but it’s also a great way to directly show where our/your tax dollars are spent. See this national park? it’s going to maintain that. See the highway? Yup, you helped build that. It helps to give people a sense of ownership in the country. It’s your money going to help all of these vitally needed institutions, plus you know it better because you directly helped work on some of those things. You’re more invested.

    Of course you also have to recognize that there’s a “greater good”, that not everything is directly about YOU and what materially helps YOU. Something lacking in a lot of people.

  125. 125

    @schrodingers_cat: Apparently only the press availability at the event was canceled, there is a photo I just saw with T and a bunch of Indian looking people, of whom I only recognized Haley.

  126. 126
    mai naem mobile says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Nikki Haley isn’t even Hindu. She converted to Christianity when she got married. I might be wrong about this but I think she was Sikh not Hindu even before she converted. Pretty sure I saw a pic of her dad with a turban on. I am guessing Seema Verma and Ajit Pai were there. I hope both have their reputations forever stained for being connected to Dolt45. Verma is even worse because she was already connected to Pence from the Indiana health dept. If there was a Hindu term like shonda these two would definitely get it. Ugh.

  127. 127
    mai naem mobile says:

    BTW I am completely confused I thought Diwali was on Thursday.

  128. 128
    J R in WV says:


    Just no, nothing hurts more than a tooth!! Was once in a weekly staff meeting, 2 hours, in the beginning I was fine, by the end I felt like my face was going to either explode or fall off. Couldn’t tell which would be the better outcome, barely able to drive to my dentist, who provided necessary treatment.

  129. 129
    J R in WV says:


    You know better than that – guys have been dying ever since they got home from wounds, disease, and agent orange caused cancers. That number is the smallest the government could plausibly get away with. Guys who came back dead, not guys who died later after months of misery in a VA facility.

    How long did it take for the VA/Military to even admit that Agent Orange exposure caused any health problems?

    Good friend’s father is a retired (93!) AF Colonel who flew the big cargo planes. He pissed off some General in personnel and spent the last decade of his career flying into Dover AFB, bringing men home in boxes. Over and over for years.

    He is a pacifist now, it hurt him badly. But still kicking, and made my friend take him into SC to see the total eclipse of the sun!! Speaks several languages, can be very gracious, or a prick, so I am told; I only saw gracious. His late wife, my friend’s mother, used a Milspec .45 to shoot at terrorists coming over their garden wall in post war Greece. They did not expect that from an American woman… We’re so soft!

    Southern military family.

  130. 130

    @mai naem mobile: In Maharashtra we celebrate 4 days of Diwali

    Narakchaturdashi ( when Krishna killed Narakasura, or the triumph of good over evil)
    Laxshmi pujan (many business people do a pooja of their books/accounts etc)
    Padwa (New Year associated with Diwali)
    Bhaubeej (Brothers and Sisters celebrate their bond)

    This year Narakchaturdashi is on Wednesday
    Lakshmi Pujan on Thursdsay
    Padwa on Friday
    Bhaubeej is on Saturday.

    Tamils only celebrate the first day which is today.
    ETA: I think Sikhs do celebrate Diwali.

  131. 131
    Beautifulplummage says:

    @schrodingers_cat: didn’t want his base to find out?

  132. 132
    quakerinabasement says:

    Jai Rama, ya’ll!

  133. 133

    @quakerinabasement: You say that at a funeral, may be.
    Happy Diwali is appropriate. Or Shubha deepavali. (Shubha == Auspicious) if you want to go trad.

  134. 134
    debbie says:


    Mandel is smarm. Don’t forget what he did to Kevin Boyce when he first ran for Treasurer.

  135. 135
    Daddio7 says:

    @debbie: Use sedation, I had a root canal on a back molar. Two halcions one hour before the procedure and I remember little of it. Of course they were prescribed by the dentist, do not self medicate! For shorter procedures, like a filling, I get nitrous oxide. It takes some of the apprehension away.

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