Fuzzy Things Open Thread

Here’s 3/4ths of Badger, who was photographed recently while basking in the last sunbeams before nightfall:

I posted this on Twitter the other day, and a friend said Badger looks like he should have a martini and cigarette holder in his paws, which is true. He’s still a fuzzy boy, though — too young to drink or smoke!

There are all sorts of fuzzy things to look at in the swamp these days. I could swear I saw one of those adorable limpkin chicks I shared with y’all the other day achieve brief liftoff from its ground nest on a nearby island. Could be wrong though.

I keep trying to get a photo of a Sandhill crane pair and their two long-legged fuzzballs, but I can’t seem to catch the family at a time when I have a combination of my camera, good lighting and adequate cover so I don’t disturb them.

Moving to not-so-fuzzy critters, the frogs, cicadas, etc., were deafening last night. The weather was nice, so I had the windows open, and I almost shut everything down and turned the A/C on just to drown out the din of the frogs and insects.

The alligators are frisky too. Have you ever heard a gator mating call? It’ll make the hair on the back of your neck stand up if you happen to be outside in the dark when you hear it. Sounds like Satan’s drainpipe or something — hard to describe.

Anyhoo, all topics welcome in this open thread, even further re-hashing of Biden 2020. But talk of fuzzy things would be nice.

167 replies
  1. 1
    germy says:

    Badger always looks like he has something on his mind he wants to share, but he’s unsure if the person will take it the wrong way.

  2. 2

    How humid does Florida get? Are you still growing turmeric? Badger is pawsome!
    Also too, I blogged yesterday about things that spark joy when the going gets tough.

  3. 3
    TenguPhule says:

    Sounds like Satan’s drainpipe or something — hard to describe.

    I assume this is a normal Florida thing.

  4. 4
    trollhattan says:


    Our German houseguest has settled into the routine and seems to be coping just fine with the poorly planned and operated mess that is 2019 America. Most importantly she and redhead.edu are getting along famously (whew!) and she’s not saying anything bad about the high school, which is something like 4x the size of hers.

    She’s never had a dog and ours had decided she needs all the dog attention, and toys, and…. One German to another, I guess. I suspect her biggest hurdle so far is the fucking heat, which out of nowhere catapulted us from 60s to the 90s. If April is any indication summer is going to be brutal.

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    talk of fuzzy things

    But enough about what’s lurking in the back of the fridge.


  6. 6
    donnah says:

    I love night sounds, like crickets.

    I got a set of hanging windchimes for my birthday, the heavy kind, not the tinkly kind. They produce a beautiful set of deep tones that sound like snippets of song. I now hope for breezes to blow so I can enjoy the music.

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    Satan’s drainpipe

    Always has the shortest lines at Mouse World.

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:


    Always has the shortest lines at Mouse World.

    Its a small world after all.

  9. 9
    cmorenc says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The alligators are frisky too. Have you ever heard a gator mating call? It’ll make the hair on the back of your neck stand up if you happen to be outside in the dark when you hear it.

    The mating calls of many boorish male humanoids seems to make the hair on the back of human female necks stand up on end, especially if they happen to be inside a dark taverns when they hear it.

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    Badger is SOOOOO adorable :)

  11. 11
    eclare says:

    Badger does look like an old soul

  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    While I have never hears a gator mating call, the howling of the fisher (Pekania pennanti) is pretty damn eerie.

  13. 13
    Yutsano says:

    @TenguPhule: …
    You’re evil child.
    Come sit next to me…

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    Forgot to dad-brag earlier. Kid won the 1600 and just missed first in the 800 at a meet yesterday. Pretty good for a soccer girl.

    Tactical note to parents of sporty kids, especially parents sadly lacking a giant admissions bribery fund: individual sports like T&F that produce simple and easily retrieved performance stats can be more effective getting college attention than team sports lacking meaningful player stats. The way college coaches scout soccer is primarily attending showcase tournaments. T&F coaches have meet data at their fingertips. The only coach letters my kid has received have been for track. Weird, considering she’s done very little and has soccered since she was four. [it is too a verb.]

  15. 15
    eclare says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Love the Kondo kittehs!

  16. 16
    kindness says:

    Betty you are doting on your youngest which we do. Where are the boxers? We miss them.

  17. 17
    justawriter says:

    I just saw that DC is starting a Swamp Thing television series. I am looking foward to Betty getting a recurring role.

  18. 18
    Kraux Pas says:


    I just saw that DC is starting a Swamp Thing television series.

    Is this why Trump drained the swamp into the White House?

  19. 19

    @eclare: Thanks! They is sweet!

  20. 20
    NotMax says:


    (closing credits)

    Butter lamb wrangler – B. Cracker.


  21. 21
    Mary G says:

    Badger has an old man’s face and can buy beer for all his friends.

    Got a PICC line put in yesterday at the big hospital up the freeway, because the giant corporation bought our little local one and is tearing it down. Today, Dog willing, I will get my infusion and start feeling better.

  22. 22
    Amir Khalid says:

    No, no, no. The verb is to football. In your sentence, “… has soccered footballed since she was four.”

  23. 23
    Dan B says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Answer:
    How humid does Kerala get?

    Betty is the expert. I lived in the south before AC, well, there was one family that had AC. Stores and movie theaters didn’t. You drank iced tea or soda if you had ice.

    And Climate Change trivia. If (when?) Antarctica and Greenland melt there will be a small patch of land near Georgia not underwater. That might classify as more humid. ;<)

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @Mary G

    Jackal paws crossed.

  25. 25
    catclub says:

    @TenguPhule: IN Dante’s Divine Comedy, the travelers pass out of Satan’s drainpipe into Purgatorio.
    I do not remember how they pass into Satan’s mouth, though.

  26. 26
    Amir Khalid says:

    One of them passed away recently.

  27. 27
    catclub says:

    two successive article blurbs at slate:

    Washington Is the First State to OK Composting of Human Bodies

    Ask a Teacher
    My Kid Was Given a Morbid Assignment. What Is This Teacher Thinking?

    So was the assignment to compost a dead body?

  28. 28
    trollhattan says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    That would really confuse the high school handegg contingent.

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    Such a logy early morning (not even 8:30 here) even my coffee is asleep.

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    @Dan B:
    Read today that while we average something like half-a-dozen days 105+ today, by 2050 we’ll have TWO MONTHS of them.

    Gonna make it a little challenging to clean up our top-five ozone pollution thing.

  31. 31
    NotMax says:


    “These tomatoes smell like grandma!”

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    Yes, it would. (Rubs hands with glee.)

  33. 33
    Miss Bianca says:

    In Fuzzy News, Watson went to the vet to Get Tutored, yesterday – too soon to tell whether it will change his basic personality in any way. (My only other male dog was already neutered when I adopted him)

    Mostly I was hoping it would curb his desires to wander far afield – Roxy the Wolf-Girl loves to lead him off on expeditions. After Luna, I am far from blase on that notion.

  34. 34
    trollhattan says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Special note: the “soccer” that Brits love to bitch about is a Brit-coined word. We borrow from the best!

  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    To avoid confusion, footieballing?

  36. 36
    trollhattan says:

    I’d riff off that re. caprese salad but I like caprese salad too much.

  37. 37
    Salty Sam says:

    Had to slam on the brakes a yesterday to keep from running over a mama Mallard and her seven fuzzball chicks, crossing the busy main drag here in town to get to a (presumably) nicer stretch of the creek on the other side of the road. That was one brave mama duck!

    Watching the wee ones make repeated attempts to mount the concrete curb just about bowled me over with teh cuteness. But they all made it (!) and it was easy to ignore the motorists behind me honking to get a move-on. Fuck’em!

  38. 38
    Dan B says:

    Too late to the SheThePeople thread but it was brilliant! I want an hour of highlights. I hope Warren and Harris are paying attention to each other, and to Castro. Beto seems sincere but naive and doesn’t seem to know that he’s running to lead everybody, not just middle class Texans. I don’t mean white people. He’s got a decent handle on latinx as far as I know. He doesn’t seem to have a message about bringing people together to boost everyone up and break barriers. He can get through to straight white guys to stop taking the support of women and people of color for granted.

    Bernie and Biden seemed to strike out. Surprised…..no. And Pete has some work to do. He had a legitimate excuse to not attend, but. Is there any indication his team is accepting help from black leaders?

  39. 39
  40. 40

    @Dan B: I am from Mumbai, its a fucking sauna in May and early June. I think Florida is probably better than that. I have never been to Kerala, although I have been to the southern most tip of India, Kanyakumari, where the Indian ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Arabian sea meet.

  41. 41
    Haydnseek says:

    As I type this I can look out the window and watch the bushtit nest that hangs from the morning glories that are taking over my patio. Google images has excellent photos if your curious. They’re impressive for a bird that’s only about one size up from the hummingbirds that show up to steal nest material from the outside of the nest. Now and again they get busted by one of the bushtits. You can practically hear it screaming “hey, what the fuck!” A frantic chase ensues as the hummer is run off, but they always come back. It’s great. Simple pleasures…….

  42. 42
    Catherine D. says:

    Speaking of critter noises, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has “conducted” an orchestra of birds and is using the track for awareness and fundraising: Let Nature Sing.

  43. 43
    Miss Bianca says:


    As I type this I can look out the window and watch the bushtit nest

    I’m afraid that my first glance at this post made me think it read “the bullshit nest”, and I’m like, “hey, that’s what I see when I look out my window too!”//

  44. 44
    Salty Sam says:

    @NotMax: Yep, I’ve seen that one. It was very similar yesterday, but they all made it in only one or two hops.

  45. 45
    Dan B says:

    @trollhattan: In better news from Washington State we passed legislation to be 100% carbon free electricity by 2045. And next door in Portland Daimler will be building all electric semi tractor trailer trucks. Zero emissions transport too! And local labor is on board with green energy because they looked at the jobs numbers. 3X as many jobs per dollar invested in renewables compared to fossil fuels.

  46. 46
    HeleninEire says:

    I love Badger. He is the best.

    Just spoke to a Dublin friend. Boy oh boy I miss my Dublin peeps. Not enough to go back; if only beacuse it would be too difficult and expensive. And I love my friends and family here. But damn I miss the Irish. Tentatively planning a trip back for my birthday in September.

    I need everyone I love in the same frigging country.

  47. 47
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @NotMax: Adds rather than avoid confusion, as then I’ll think of Australia.

  48. 48
    Salty Sam says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I lived in Bahrain back in the 70’s, and bow to no one for withstanding humidity…

  49. 49
    Cacti says:

    I’m going to throw this out there:

    I think a Biden/Harris ticket would win easily in 2020, and is the strongest combination of any declared candidates we have at the moment.

    If you disagree, which pair do you think would perform better?

  50. 50
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Cacti: I would disagree that it is necessarily “the strongest”. but would I support it? Hell to the yes.

    Even tho’ Warren/Harris or Harris/Warren (or Harris/Castro) would be my dream team for a nice hearty middle-finger to the MAGAts and a spur to get our 2018 Blue Wave to roll out again.

  51. 51
    Haydnseek says:

    @Miss Bianca: Yeah, that’s why for the past several months I watch much less TV and read so much more. It’s a slow process, but I come back to myself more and more with each passing day.

  52. 52
    Dan B says:

    @trollhattan: Don’t recall where you live. Dry heat or humid?

    We installed ductless heat pumps when the gas furnace died in 2010. We joked that the AC would be great one day a year in Seattle. Ha! We’ve used it 20 to 30 days the past few summers. It was great when we had temps in the 90’s and high 2.5 pm smoke from forest fires in Eastern WA and BC (near Jay, and 200 miles farther).

  53. 53
    Dan B says:

    @NotMax: Don’t you dare mention carrots, or potatoes!

    Related: Most Idaho Bakers are grown in WA. Freaked out yet?

  54. 54
    Amir Khalid says:

    A Democratic ticket would suffer for having a lacklustre candidate like Biden at the top, and he won’t want the VP position. Harris/Warren for the top, I think, and pretty much anyone but Gabbard or Sanders for VP.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    Brian Schwartz (@schwartzbCNBC) Tweeted:
    Scoop: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated to allies that he plans to open his formidable fundraising network to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. This comes after he endorsed the former VP for president on Tuesday. https://t.co/8toqjLcc4W https://twitter.com/schwartzbCNBC/status/1121483401901555712?s=17

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @Dan B

    And most Kentucky bluegrass seed comes from Idaho.

  57. 57
    trollhattan says:

    @Dan B:
    Good! That’s the kind of initiative states need to tackle while the feds take the next few years off. Our Calif transportation infrastructure needs serious overhaul towards an electrical (and to a lesser extent, hydrogen) fleet. IIUC we’re beginning that, but in no way are ready for >50% electric cars and trucks.

    We’re pretty good in renewable energy–at the moment the grid is 51.7%. Not bad! Winter’s more of a challenge; luckily demand is lower when A/C use is down.

  58. 58
    TenguPhule says:


    I think a Biden/Harris ticket would win easily in 2020, and is the strongest combination of any declared candidates we have at the moment.

    If you disagree, which pair do you think would perform better?


  59. 59
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    On top of that, I would not want to see either Harris or Warren as VP nominee. Both have too much potential and are too important to the Democratic party’s future to be handed that bucket of warm piss.

  60. 60
    Dan B says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I was in Mumbai and Kerala- Kochi(n) in February. Sauna in Kerala. I heard plenty of stories about Mumbai, and Delhi, before the monsoon arrives. Florida is as bad, maybe worse because the Gulf of Mexico is warmer thsn the Arabian Sea. I would rather Mumbai, near the sea, than Rajastan. Something about 50+ degrees and tiny concrete houses….

  61. 61
    catclub says:

    @Salty Sam: Make Way For Ducklings! – by somebody McCloskey, if I RC

  62. 62
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    IMHO it is premature to say it is premature to say it is premature to dwell on a Veep.

    Still nearly 300 days until the first D contest. Let’s study how everyone comports her/himself in the interim.

  63. 63
    rikyrah says:

    Jennifer (@leftyjennyc) Tweeted:
    A white man hasn’t won for Democrats in 30 years but explain to me how it’s only a white man who can save us? I’d really like to understand this batshit logic. https://twitter.com/leftyjennyc/status/1121408195354877954?s=17

  64. 64
  65. 65
    Carol says:

    A volunteer at Brazos Bend State park just outside Houston described the gator sound as a lawnmower. I have to ask: how do you protect your pets from the gators?

  66. 66
    Dan B says:

    @trollhattan: We, WA, keep fending off tar sands through BC and WY coal trains hoping to ship down the Columbia River to China that is trying to cut out coal. Dying gasps of fossil fuels. It’s great to have unions on the right side. They weren’t a few years back but there was a big meeting where 1000 people testified against fossil fuels and only a coupke dozen, mostly union reps, were in favor. It was a wakeup. And then the jobs numbers collided with thick skulls.

  67. 67
    mali muso says:


    For my money, a woman should be at the top of the ticket and I’d prefer Harris (slightly) over Warren but would be happy with either. Put one of the youthful white guys in the VP slot for seasoning.

  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) Tweeted:
    I don’t care how desperate they are to reach the mythical racist-Trump-voter-with-a-heart-of-gold. Democratic Presidential candidates need to STOP appearing on white supremacist media like Fox News.

    https://t.co/xHrwnvHlhz https://twitter.com/ElieNYC/status/1121430639436283908?s=17

  69. 69

    @Cacti: My dream ticket Harris/ Abrams

  70. 70
    rikyrah says:

    The non-political women at my job were having a political discussion. I was just listening in:

    They love Uncle Joe. The only thing against him is his age – they didn’t know he was that old.
    They think Bernie is as old as dirt and looks it.
    They have nothing against Warren.
    Or Harris.
    Wondered where the hell Beto came from.
    ‘ The Mayor of South Bend?’
    The discussion even came up about AOC – ‘ She needs to get out of them headlines and do her job. She doing too much.’-BWA HA HA HA HA HA HAH
    That AOC is known by these women tells me that she really is getting headlines.

  71. 71

    @Dan B: Sure, the sea breezes make it bearable. I would love to go Kerala. I love the west coast of India that I have seen, including Konkan and Goa.

  72. 72
    NotMax says:


    That AOC is known by these women tells me that she really is getting headlines.

    That AOC is known by these women tells that they are watching FOX.

  73. 73
    trollhattan says:

    How many years?

  74. 74
    Miss Bianca says:

    @mali muso: Whereas I am all like, “WTF, let those young white guys get “seasoning” the way all the women (and the older white guys) have to: get elected to an office like Senator or Governor.”

  75. 75
    trollhattan says:

    @Dan B:

    And then the jobs numbers collided with thick skulls.

    Stealing that. ;-)

  76. 76
    NotMax says:


    Can we arrange to send Dolt Jr. to scout out hotel locations on the Sentinel Islands?


  77. 77
    Miss Bianca says:

    @rikyrah: It’s good to hear this – I really, really need anecdata from other parts of the country/from POC/from non-political blog junkies to get a sense of where *other* Democratic voters are at.

  78. 78
  79. 79
    mali muso says:

    @Miss Bianca: Fair enough! But I can see some feeling the need to have some white dude on the ticket to placate the poor beleaguered menz. Cuz, y’know, white men are really under-represented. lol

  80. 80

    Manjusha Patil Kulkarni sings Bolava Vitthal by the 16-17th century poet Tukaram (contemporary of Shakespeare’s). He was grocer by profession and hounded by the priestly class (RWNJs of that era) of his time because he was encroaching on their intellectual property, telling peeps that they didn’t need priests to reach God.
    Speak Vitthal, See Vitthal.
    Vocal performance Starts at 2.33
    ETA: Vitthal of Pandharpur is the deity worshiped by the Varkari saint poets, who were mostly common men and women and considered to be heretics in their time.

  81. 81
    ruemara says:

    In the interest of promoting fuzzy good things, here is the boy being boopable & here is his tuckered out performance from waking me up this morning.

    I’m really trying not to worry about keeping these guys, but if I have to give them up, I’m not adopting again. I want to do what’s best for them, so I’ll hold out for as long as it takes for a new gig, but their best interests come first. That’s gonna be it though. You can’t always keep losing.

  82. 82
    tobie says:

    @Dan B: Chennai in July and August is a delight. Steam baths for FREE!

  83. 83
    VeniceRiley says:

    This is a Warren at She The People review, but it has a link in it to the entire candidate forum to watch it all:

  84. 84
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Carol: Here’s a link to a video that records gator mating rumbles. Lawnmower or Satan’s drainpipe — you decide!

    I keep my dogs in the yard and gators out with sturdy fencing and never let my dogs leave the fenced portion of the yard off leash. I have a healthy respect for gators — they’re dangerous, obviously, especially to pets and small children. But they aren’t particularly aggressive and rarely attack an adult. There’s a big pond on the University of Florida campus that is lousy with gators (at least it was back in the day) with drunken students stumbling around at all hours, and no one ever got eaten, at least not that I heard about. I worry about poisonous snakes more.

    @ruemara: So cute! I sure hope you don’t have to give them up. That would suck. :(

  85. 85
    Miss Bianca says:

    @mali muso: and, tbf, Beto did try – and from what I can tell, it’s just the fact that Texas in general is just so damn right-wing that he isn’t currently the Democratic Senator from Texas. And he did have coat-tails, and another Dem is challenging Cornyn, because he showed it *could* be done. So, good for Beto, at least!

  86. 86

    @NotMax: Why do you hate those poor people. T will destroy what remains of them. They have had enough civilization from evangelizing idiots.

  87. 87

    I’m back from today’s writing session and then a blood draw. Only one tube today as opposed to the eight last week. I call that a win.

  88. 88
    Miss Bianca says:

    @ruemara: I am tolerably certain that if you had to put them up for adoption, that jackals would rally to adopt or foster for you till you were able to get to the place where you could take care of them again. I would kick in $ for that!

  89. 89
    rikyrah says:


    They are Black and Latino – they don’t watch Fox.

  90. 90
    jl says:

    OK, finally, I have something good to say about Biden, even though for now I am still contributing to Warren as my current favorite candidate.
    I like Biden’s initial pitch that Trump and Trumpsters are a very serious danger to out democracy. I think that is an important message to get out.
    I generally think almost all the current candidates add something important to the primary debate. Except I have doubts about BS, Gillibrand, O’Rourke and Buttigieg adding much useful. BS has a bunch of fanatic followers, and whether he wins or not, and what he does in response, will have an important effect on what they do. So BS is important whether someone loves him or hates his guts or is sort of indifferent. Klobuchar is my preferred centrist, since she seems most solid on important core policy issues.

  91. 91
    rikyrah says:


    since 92 (Bill Clinton)- coming up on almost 30 years.

  92. 92

  93. 93
    NotMax says:


    A guide but not a given.

  94. 94
    Cacti says:

    I’ll also throw this out there. Among the higher profile candidates, here are the ones I see as definite losers if they top the ticket:

    1. Wilmer
    2. Warren

  95. 95
    eclare says:

    @Miss Bianca: I’m sure a lot of us would chip in!

  96. 96

    @rikyrah: I am neither, but I have never watched Fox for more than 5 minutes. Their screaming is a bit too much for my taste.

  97. 97
    gene108 says:

    @Dan B:

    How humid does Kerala get?

    No worse than the North Carolina in the summer.

  98. 98
    ruemara says:

    @Cacti: You think so? I think Warren is a lot safer than Wilmer.

  99. 99
    Cacti says:


    I’ve never been impressed with the electoral chops of Warren, starting with her underperforming Obama in Massachusetts when they were on the same ticket. I think she’s safer than Wilmer in the sense that if he’s the nominee, Trump could win 40 to 45 states.

  100. 100
    gene108 says:


    Chennai in July and August is a delight. Steam baths for FREE!

    Just remember April-May is peak summer in India. After June it starts cooling off. So you went at not the worst possible time.

  101. 101
    NotMax says:


    It’s long been removed from my channel roster. Finding it would involve work I’m unwilling to undertake.

  102. 102
    jl says:

    @Cacti: @ruemara: I don’t think anyone is a definite loser against Trump. I’d prefer to think of positive actions I could take locally to help make any Democratic nominee a definite winner.

    I don’t understand why at this very early stage, before we have any real hard evidence at all of how voters will respond to different Democratic candidates, some people think they have special insights into who will be a definite winner or loser.

  103. 103
    Gravenstone says:

    @NotMax: Not necessarily, she is often featured on CNN and Yahoo News websites. Wouldn’t surprise me if most online news sites mention her to some extent. Of course, a lot of the time it’s because of some Republican based demonization smear that they’re trying to push …

  104. 104
    hueyplong says:

    @rikyrah: If they are black and Latina AND they watch Fox you might want to get the phuck out.

  105. 105
    Miss Bianca says:

    @ruemara: That’s where I’m at.

  106. 106
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cacti: I think she’s safer than Wilmer in the sense that if he’s the nominee, Trump could win 40 to 45 states.

    In ’16 Bloomberg was reported to have said he would run as an indie if Wilmer got the Der nomination. I haven’t heard anything similar this time around, but I could see him and a lot of his fellow .001%ers opening up the cash spigots for Kasich or someone like him. Which I think would be a huge gift to trump 2020

  107. 107
    Gravenstone says:


    starting with her underperforming Obama in Massachusetts when they were on the same ticket

    We’ve heard several times here from MA residents that the state seems to be rather hostile to female political candidates. Not sure if that fully explains her performance vs. Obama, but it might be a start.

  108. 108
    Cacti says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Wilmer would be a Mondale/McGovern magnitude disaster.

    There’s a reason the GOP has held their fire on him for 5-years now.

  109. 109
    Aleta says:

    (edited for moderation problems)
    Why Won’t Twitter Treat White S’up re m acy Like I ‘S is? Because It Would Mean Banning Some Republican Politicians Too.
    A Twitter employee who works on machine learning believes that a proactive, algorithmic solution to white su pre macy would also catch Republican politicians.

    (Vice) At a Twitter all-hands meeting on March 22, an employee asked a blunt question: Twitter has largely eradicated Islamic State propaganda off its platform. Why can’t it do the same for white su pre mac ist content?

    An executive responded by explaining that Twitter follows the law, and a technical employee who works on machine learning and artificial intelligence issues went up to the mic to add some context. (As Motherboard has previously reported, algorithms are the next great hope for platforms trying to moderate the posts of their hundreds of millions, or billions, of users.)

    With every sort of content filter, there is a tradeoff, he explained. When a platform aggressively enforces against I sis content, for instance, it can also flag innocent accounts as well, such as Arabic language broadcasters. Society, in general, accepts the benefit of banning I -IS for inconveniencing some others, he said.

    In separate discussions verified by Motherboard, that employee said Twitter hasn’t taken the same aggressive approach to white s up rema cist content because the collateral accounts that are impacted can, in some instances, be Republican politicians.

    The employee argued that, on a technical level, content from Republican politicians could get swept up by algorithms aggressively removing white s up rema cist material. Banning politicians wouldn’t be accepted by society as a trade-off for flagging all of the white s— propaganda, he argued.

    There is no indication that this position is an official policy of Twitter, and the company told Motherboard that this “is not [an] accurate characterization of our policies or enforcement—on any level.” But the Twitter employee’s comments highlight the sometimes overlooked debate within the moderation of tech platforms: are moderation issues purely technical and algorithmic, or do societal norms play a greater role than some may acknowledge?

    Off hand (w/o thinking) I’d say Duh, it seems obvious that “societal norms play a greater role” in moderation (than some in tech acknowledge). The problem for twitter comes when the excluded ones have power or wide social support. In my mind I’m also jumping to think about facial recognition systems used by police, and Telsa failures at pedestrian detection of black people. It’s not a surprise that tech disregards and overlooks in its design and testing, just as person-to-person standards about moderation and exclusion and inclusion are applied unfairly.

  110. 110
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @rikyrah: Bill Clinton also won in 1996

  111. 111
    MoxieM says:

    Re: Badger. Such a handsome feller. A cool cat for sure. How did your dogs cope with the move? I’m about to do that, and Murph is a bit, um, high strung. She smelled the cardboard from the boxes and freaked. Now calm, but we move next week. I rescued her at 8, so whatever she’s been through, she’s been through that.

    eta: the only good thing I can say about moving is it really takes your mind off of politics….

  112. 112
    NotMax says:


    Yahoo News

    Yahoo? Serious? It still lives? //

  113. 113
    Leto says:

    @Cacti: Would that be when she was first elected to the senate, was basically an unknown, taking on an incumbent senator, versus the incumbent President? She won 2012 with a +7, 2018 with a +14. What exact split are you looking for? 99% win? Higher than 60%?

    @Gravenstone: Factor that in too and her 2018 result looks better.

  114. 114
    TomatoQueen says:

    Mr Badger, sir, you look like Winston Churchill after a particularly rewarding passage of play with Nancy Astor. All you need is a cigar.

  115. 115
    NotMax says:



    Yahoo News

    Yahoo? Serious? It still lives? //

  116. 116
    leeleeFL says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I have, on occasion, had to wring out my air before breathing! I am Space Coast area. Humidity is crazy in July and August.

  117. 117
    leeleeFL says:

    @TenguPhule: Yes! It is!

  118. 118
    Aleta says:

    @Mary G: Badger has an old man’s face and can buy beer for all his friends.

    True, and so very funny

    “Got a PICC line put in yesterday at the big hospital up the freeway, because the giant corporation bought our little local one and is tearing it down. Today, Dog willing, I will get my infusion and start feeling better.”

    Talk about unfair. I can’t tell you how angry this whole story makes me. Feel better soon, tiger.

  119. 119
    trollhattan says:

    @rikyrah: @Steve in the ATL:
    And Gore won in 2000. [Rot in hell, fat Tony.]

  120. 120
    trollhattan says:

    Badger: “They never card me at the bodega.”

  121. 121
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gravenstone: Even though I lived there briefly ages ago, I’ve never been able to figure Massachusetts out politically. It’s a blue state, but IIRC, they’ve only had one Democratic governor since Dukakis! I used to chalk that up to the state being the last habitat of old-timey New England Republicans, but I don’t think that model has been operative this century, really. I sure don’t look at Massachusetts as a bellwether.

  122. 122
  123. 123

    @TomatoQueen: Younger Churchill during his epic fail of Gallipoli. The older Churchill was more rotund and grumpy than the cute Badger.

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne says:

    Steer clear of any alligator babies you see, because it’s a myth that alligators eat their young. In reality, any adult in the area will respond to a baby alligator’s distress cry.

  125. 125
    Gravenstone says:

    @NotMax: Yes, it still lives. It’s just a news aggregator. And for your own sanity, you really need to go in an quash some of the more loathsome sources they reference to clean up your feed.

  126. 126

    @Betty Cracker: Our entire Congressional delegation is D. We just like to keep one R for the variety. BTW I voted for a D governor but he was so forgettable that I don’t even remember his name.

  127. 127
    trollhattan says:


    Yahoo? Serious? It still lives? //

    You know what you did.

  128. 128
    eclare says:

    @leeleeFL: Memphis TN, air you can scoop with your hand

  129. 129
    Aleta says:

    @trollhattan: Badger reminds me of old man who lived across the street with his older mother. Wearing a traditional felt hat (from the 60s or 70s I guess) he got into his Buick just before 8 every morning. He’d drive off to work a few blocks away at the little brick Water Dept. building on the river. Arrive home for lunch every day at 12:10, get back into the Buick at 12:40, and be home again at 5:05.

  130. 130
    rikyrah says:

    A teen from NY is suing Apple for $1 billion, claiming that a facial recognition system falsely connected him to a series of thefts, which caused him great humiliation, a missed midterm exam & hours traveling to different states to prove he was innocent. https://t.co/Nj1PPdegHw

    — FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) April 25, 2019

  131. 131
    NotMax says:

    @Betty Cracker

    last habitat of old-timey New England Republicans

    Edward Brooke. That far back.

  132. 132
    catclub says:


    You know what you did.


  133. 133
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m sitting in my apartment with all the doors and windows locked, and I’m freaked out about gators now.

    Closest gators would be at the zoo 3 miles away if they have gators.

  134. 134
    Dan B says:

    @trollhattan: Urwelcome to steal.
    Our next door neighbor was head of the western region for Building Trades and I’m Facebook friends with a couple former union bigwigs. Great guys. Thick skulls unless you know your shit. Then they know the levers to pull.

  135. 135
    TenguPhule says:

    Speaking of Fuzzy things….

    Australia Is Deadly Serious About Killing Millions of Cats

    FTFNYT warning.

    These fatal airdrops owed their existence to Australia’s national government, which decided in 2015 to try to kill two million feral cats by 2020, out of grave concern for the nation’s indigenous wildlife — in particular, groups of small, threatened rodent and marsupial species for which cats have become a deadly predator. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology estimated that 211,560 cats were killed during the first 12 months after the plan was announced. Dropping lethal sausages from the sky is only part of the country’s efforts to eradicate feral cats, which also include trapping, shooting and devising all manner of poison-delivery vessels.

  136. 136
    NotMax says:


    But- but- they’re the greatest percolators when they really start to romp.


  137. 137
    snoey says:

    @Betty Cracker: House Speaker and Senate President are in total control of the legislature here, and since the last non-felony involved one was Whitey Bulger’s brother, lots of people find it sensible to keep a moderate Republican around.

  138. 138
    Dan B says:

    @mali muso: My take is a white guy who’s young might motivate some young guys to campaign but the enthusiasm of women and poc, especially latinx(?) might be much more potent and would not discourage white guy votes. In fact it might motivate because it makes a statement about your ideals. Placating the white vote might work like Obama / Biden but it seems like that calmed the big money types. And it may have kept a lot of the white guy – all about evil corporation – types in the Wilmer camp.

  139. 139
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @NotMax: Oh great! Now I have to be freaked out about gators driving speedboats and wearing hats!

  140. 140
    Dan B says:

    @tobie: Thanks! Great tip! I’ll file it for future reference. Chennai in Jou-lie.

  141. 141
    tobie says:

    @Dan B: December, January, and February are the best months in Chennai, but don’t fly through Delhi since there are constant delays and cancellations at that time of year due to the fog.

  142. 142
    Steve in the ATL says:


    lethal sausages from the sky

    Saw them open for the Warlocks at the Fillmore a few decades back

  143. 143
    trollhattan says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    lethal sausages from the sky

    Saw them open for the Warlocks at the Fillmore a few decades back

    They were noted for their droning.

  144. 144
    Immanentize says:


    starting with her underperforming Obama in Massachusetts when they were on the same ticket.

    This is not clever analysis. In 2012, Obama was the incumbant and complete political newcomer Warren was running against GOP darling Scott Brown

  145. 145
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MoxieM: My dogs tolerated the move well. Hope yours does too!

  146. 146
    Cacti says:


    Then ignore at your own peril.

  147. 147
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @trollhattan: well played

  148. 148
    Aleta says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I remember Baked Beans and Toast came out, did some trippy backup vocals.

  149. 149
    NotMax says:

    @Betty Cracker

    “Food dish? Same. Food person? Same. Food? Same. All the rest is trivial.”


  150. 150
    debbie says:

    @Mary G:

    At the risk of offending a certain someone, Badger seems Churchillian in that photo.

  151. 151
    NotMax says:


    Or Yodanian.


  152. 152
    trollhattan says:

    Looks like the first trove of Trump images taken by personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann are to be released by the National Archive. And you thought he was camera-shy.

  153. 153
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Dorothy Ann Winsor: Keep up the winning!

  154. 154
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    @trollhattan: well played

    By both of you.

    at the Fillmore a few decades back

    cracked me up, which I needed.

    @ Betty, Badger is totally adorable.

  155. 155
    TenguPhule says:

    The anti-gay extremist behind America’s fiercely strict abortion bans

    Janet Porter is a woman who believes life begins at conception and homosexuality is a choice. She has said gay marriage caused Noah’s floods, and was the architect of a 1990s gay conversion campaign. She implied US supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Jewish woman, is a racist. Like Donald Trump, she was a proponent of the Barack Obama “birther” conspiracy theory.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center, a leading civil rights organization, designates her non-profit Faith 2 Action, as a hate group for its work against LGBTQ rights. She lost a slot on a Christian radio network when, the station said, an event she held veered into a form of Christian supremacy.

    Ironically, she insists on her location being kept confidential because she’s afraid of retaliation.

  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Jenny Unbeatable? That chick owes me money.

  157. 157
    tobie says:

    @Immanentize: I wrote you a long response this morning on the ShethePeople thread when it was long since dead and I don’t want to repeat it but I think responses to Warren are something like a Rorschach test. She’s a full bore populist so it’s hard to be indifferent to her. You either love it or it’s like nails on a blackboard. And the same frankly goes for her proposals. You either think they’re brilliant or slipshod. A case can be made for both depending on how much revenue you think a wealth tax can generate. At this point this is all inside baseball. I can’t imagine that anyone but political junkies like us is really paying much attention to this.

  158. 158

    @tobie: She is good on financial regulatory matters which is her academic expertise but not so much on trade or other economic issues.

  159. 159
    Immanentize says:


    I like Warren, she’s a very good Senator. I think the important thing about her proposals are that they point to a better community, whether they are “doable” really matters little if people want the goal she is articulating.


    nails on a blackboard.

    never gets said about men.
    ETA. Meant to say I’m going back to check out your response. Thanks!

  160. 160
    Immanentize says:

    @tobie: okay. I read it and agree with it completely. Populism does not often work out for minority citizens, even economic populism because there is always a line.

    That said, I understand your point that people who put forth plans should have their plans scrutinized. But doesn’t that give a pass to people with vague generalistic sloganeering?

    It’s the Trump problem. He is such a low quality fellow, he got the low quality fellow review.

    I’m a Harris man, myself. But Warren is a close second for me because she exudes the possibility of changes.

  161. 161
    Steve in the ATL says:


    I’m a Harris man, myself. But Warren is a close second for me because she exudes the possibility of changes.

    Concur on all counts.

  162. 162
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @tobie: Populism is something that always makes me nervous. It is too easy for it to tip over into anti-intellectualism and/or nativism. There also is a tendency to view things from a purely economic POV (now where have I seen that before?).

    Someone who can talk to working class people without condescension is a good thing, but we can have that without populism.

  163. 163
    Redshift says:

    Woo! Ms. and I are in the theater awaiting the start of Avengers! (Thanks to a neighborhood multiplex that doesn’t sell tickets through the various online vendors, so it wasn’t sold out.)

  164. 164
    Riodawg says:

    @rikyrah: Yesss! Perfection in my book.

  165. 165
    tobie says:

    @Immanentize: @Omnes Omnibus: I had to go out for a few hours so I missed your response and this thread is now dead but I did want to end on a positive note and point to an instance of Elizabeth Warren’s populism that I really, really liked. It’s the clip that went viral in 2011 in which she spontaneously explains the social contract in clear and forceful terms. This is the candidate I want to see. The clip is genuinely uplifting. It reminds me that what we’re fighting for is for all of us to be in this economic and social experiment together. I’m probably too emotional but the clip still moves me.

  166. 166
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @mrmoshpotato: I’m not sure that was a documentary

  167. 167

    A few years ago a friend and I drove to west south central Indiana to Goose Pond, a restored wetlands projects. It was during the Sandhill Crane migration. It was pretty incredible. Here is some text from a post on the Web about the wetlands.

    Cranes of Goose Pond

    One of the great highlights of a visit to Goose Pond is the Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis) migration and the community-based Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane Festival is timed to coincide with the peak Sandhill Crane and waterfowl migration at Goose Pond in early March[vii]. Unregulated hunting and loss of wetland habitats brought the Eastern Population of this ancient North American species to historic lows in the 1930s, with numbers estimated to have fallen to as low as 25 nesting pairs in Wisconsin together with a few small breeding populations in other Great Lakes states[viii], [ix]. With legal protection and the restoration and conservation of vital wetland habitats, the population is recovering impressively; the US Fish and Wildlife Service Fall 2016 population survey index for Eastern Greater Sandhill Cranes was 95,403[x]. The restored Goose Pond FWA wetlands have supported this recovery and provide important habitat for the population. There were no Sandhill Crane records in the Greene County bird database prior to 1997; on March 20, 2013, 25,953 individual Sandhill Cranes were recorded there2.

    Just Google “Goose Pond is for the Birds!”, and look at third or fourth result from Indiana Wildlife Federation. The whole article is worth a read, an illustration of a successful restoration project that saved many migratory birds on the verge of extinction due to human induced loss of habitat available during migration.

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