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Member since: Sat Sep 24, 2011, 10:36 AM
Number of posts: 10,337

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We should start calling the GOP nominee "Comrade Trump."

He likes those pithy little nicknames, and tarring him with the Commie brush might actually make give some of his more rabid RW supporters pause.

-- Mal

Prescott Bush Interview, 1953

Stumbled across this vid on YT and thought it might be of interest.

Interesting that Mr Bush argues that accepting refugees from Eastern Europe was a victory in the Cold War.

-- Mal

Chronicles of Amber TV adaptatation planned:

Story here:


Whenever I hear that Hollywood is going to "adapt" something, I wonder how they're going to ruin it. And Roger's not around to keep them in line. But I'm sure it will be entertaining.

-- Mal

Just an innocent little song about dairy products

-- Mal

The American Flag Shoulder Patch

A question that only afflicts people like me with OCD and too much time on their hands. When did the U.S. Military begin displaying the U.S. flag shoulder patch with the Union field in the upper right to the observer (to indicate the troops "always moving forward," it sez here) rather than with the Union in the upper left (as is set forth in any set of rules for display of the flag). I know it was the latter during Vietnam and before, but it seems to have changed circa 1990. Anybody know offhand when the regulation changed, and what, if any, was the rationale?

-- Mal

Well, that proves there are trolls here.

I suppose this is Meta, but I just discovered that the tales I have heard about agitators signing up to DU to intentionally spread filth are true. I'm rather more tolerant than most here at DU (which is not necessarily a virtue), so I will put up with a lot of posts that many people would alert on in an instant. I have issued one alert in the past, when a poster restarted his thread that had already been locked, but I mostly ignore name-calling and invective, particularly if it happens to be directed at me (sticks and stones, y'know).

But when someone posts, as his first ever post to DU, the statement "black males should be shot down like the animals they are, it's not like they're worth anything anyway," (no sarcasm indication) I think one might reasonably conclude that a line has been crossed. Certainly a violation of the ToS, anyway.

Why anyone would waste his time with such conduct is a mystery to me.

-- Mal

Donald Trump: riding the tiger

How much of Mr Trump is schtick, and how much reality? The $64 question, and I have not completely satisfied myself on that point. But a successful con man -- and Mr Trump is certainly that -- must have some native intelligence, or at least shrewd cunning (and a low opinion of his fellow man). My instinct is that he is not fully in control of what is happening, that he is riding opportunity as far and fast as he can, at least in part because he doesn't know how to dismount the tiger. He keeps pushing the envelope farther and farther, as if he is asking the country how long he can keep on being so outrageous, how far he can go. I don't feel (I use the term advisedly, I have insufficient evidence to make a satisfactory determination) that things have gone exactly as he intended, in terms of specifics: he wanted the glory and the adulation, but didn't want to be threatened with actually having to make good on his act. I still don't think he really wants the job, but he has in a manner of speaking painted himself into a corner, unless the GOP does initiate a coup and precipitate a constitutional crisis.

He reminds me a bit of an author who said in his bio he wanted to be a writer, then immediately corrected himself: what he wanted was to have written. All the benefits, in other words, with none of the work. And he reminds me of certain other politicians who have pushed inflammatory rhetoric to absurd extremes, and then are horrified when they have to live up to it. This sort of thing has led to more than one war.

Scary either way, because he has tapped into a deep well of rage and fear, and by expressing it, validated it and given the crazies the knowledge that they aren't alone, them and their little militia buddies. And of course, other opportunistic politicians are now more inspired to tap into this wellspring, although it is to the credit (sort of) of many that even they won't stoop so low. In the end, the message matters more than the man, and that message is not without peril to the security of the nation. I have always believed the RW nuts were too cowardly to start anything serious, but the knowledge of their numbers may inspire some intemperate acts down the road. And if Mrs Clinton is elected president, which still seems to be the likely result, will the monster go back to sleep, or will it resort to those 2nd Amendment solutions the more fanatical make noise about? We may doubt that outcome, but I don't think we can disregard it out of hand.

-- Mal

Posner's trolling the Court again:


The excerpt that is raising eyebrows:

I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation (across the centuriesówell, just a little more than two centuries, and of course less for many of the amendments). Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc., of the 21st century.

It is humorous how many comments attribute this statement to a "lefty" bias.

-- Mal

Never trust an author

I'm sure this is only of interest to those who suffer from a terminal case of OCD, but I learned something today.

I've read a number of seafaring novels by authors who insist that sailors serve "in" a ship, not "on" a ship. Robert Heinlein comes particularly to mind, because he made a big deal about it and was himself a former serving officer in the U.S. navy, so presumably he knows what he's talking about, eh?

Except I was just reading a novel about the Asiatic Fleet by a gentleman who eventually rose to the rank of Vice Admiral and command of the U.S. 7th Fleet, and he speaks of sailors serving "on" the ship. Presumably, he knows what he's talking about, too.

So who's right? Fortunately, Google is there for us; alas for Mr Heinlein, it appears that according to the official style guide of the U.S. Navy, one serves "on" a ship:


"Also, a Sailor is stationed "on," "at," "is serving with" or "is assigned to" a ship. A Sailor does not serve "in" a ship."

Since VADM Mack and ex-lieutenant Heinlein are also near-contemporaries, one cannot even conjecture that there is some temporal change to account for the discrepancy. Although maybe some writers of British naval fiction use a different style guide. In any event, here I have thought for some 50 years that one served "in" a ship. How too bloody embarrassing.

-- Mal

Voting One's Conscience

(I post this here instead of GDP because it is about the GE and only tangentially related to the primaries)

I've seen a lot of comments, here and there about the Web, ringing changes on the theme that "conscience" will not permit an individual to vote for this or that person in the GE, if the preferred candidate fails to win the primary. With deliberate intent to keep personalities out of the question, I am puzzled by one thing.

Mr Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee for the GE. (Obviously not a done deal, but for the purposes of this post, let's consider that he will, in fact, represent the GOP in the GE) He has already promised to persecute Muslims and Mexicans, suggesting registration and special insignae for the former, and shipping the latter to the border in cattle cars for expulsion. He has openly advocated the assault and battery of those who oppose him; his encouragement of supporters to inflict violence upon protesters is a matter of public record.

If one's conscience will not permit a vote for a Democratic nominee who does not embody the principles one holds dear, my question is this: how does that same conscience allow one to not vote against the principles embodied by the GOP candidate?

-- Mal
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