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00:00 - 16:0016:00 - 00:00

12:01 AM
Unilateral disarmament?
Merrick Garland.
@Færd The vulnerable conservative Democrat from West Virginia won't go along with that notion. Unfortunately.
12:30 AM
> In Rancho Viejo LLC v. Norton (2003), Garland found the arroyo toad was protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.[50] Circuit Judge John Roberts dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc, writing that Congress's interstate commerce power cannot reach "a hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California."[51]
12:48 AM
@Cerberus First level the playing field, then cooperate.
@tchrist It'd be a shame to have both houses after so long and not be able to pass any crucial bills.
@Conrado Good find!
@Færd It's infuriating.
1:18 AM
@tchrist Yes, that can work.
But I wouldn't call it that.
I would grasp the opportunity to curtail the powers of a president.
He has far too much power, as we have seen.
No more political appointments in the various departments except the ministers themselves.
No more pardons of anyone directly working for or otherwise affiliated with the president.
I think those two are the most important things.
As to the rest of the political system, no more gerrymandering.
We do not have ministers. And you cannot fix the pardons without a constitutional amendment passed by 2/3 majorities of both houses of Congress and by 3/4 of the states. It won't happen. The forces behind those who sacked the Capitol are too strong.
Not even when the president is a Democrat?
> by 2/3 majorities of both houses of Congress and by 3/4 of the states
The President is not involved.
The vast majority of the House Republicans have voted against having a democracy at all when they tried to overturn the election.
Go ahead, disarm.
They'll cut your throat and laugh all the way to the bank. Again and again and again.
Because that's what they do.
They have all surrendered to the hordes. Fox News and Twitter. They lie to save their own job.
How can you work with people who have voted to discard your form of government?
Nothing gets done in Congress any longer. Nothing. The filibuster is parts of that, but hardly all.
@tchrist No, but Republicans might be more inclined towards voting for curtailing presidential power while that power is in the hands of a Democrat?
Sure, I'm sure they'd love to ban all further executive orders from Democratic presidents.
1:27 AM
Just like they try to stop black and brown people from voting, or to throw their votes out.
So now is the time. Not when e.g. Cindy MacCain is president next turn.
There is some energy in the Biden administration to go big on these and fix them legislatively because that is more lasting. But we shall see. The Republicans have committed to castrating that effort; they have already begun.
With both houses and the president out of their power, perhaps they might agree to some rebalancing of power. Make it harder to do things the entire opposition really, really doesn't want.
So long as the angry mob is wielded by the anarchists and robber barons, we have no democracy.
Going mild and meek and solicitous just won't work here. McConnell? Hello?
I don't know what to do. Mass-and-social media propaganda has ruined us. How do you fix that?
It ruined Britain, too.
There is probably one single testicle left on the Republican side in both Houses of Congress combined, and it doesn't get passed around enough.
Let Trump go form his own neo-Nazi party like he's threatened. Might draw off some of the pus.
1:36 AM
A third party led by Trump will certainly prevent the right from ever being the largest party.
Ónen i-Estel Edain, ú-chebin estel anim.
And what happened to Isildur's heir in the end?
@Cerberus or....
@Cerberus He lost his mother.
Just hear me out...
It could be a new fascist party
The one with guns
Not afraid to use them
I'm just being pessimistic
If that's the right word
1:44 AM
@tchrist Sure, but she lost her hope mistakenly.
The Republicans are rewarded for being apeshit crazies. This is the problem.
I mean if anything is the right word
@Mitch Such a party could never gain a majority.
It would compete with the Republican Party.
There can never be a new party in America.
My point is, and for once I actually have one, and it wasn't apparent from what I said is...
Where was I?
Here you are.
1:46 AM
Oh yeah, my point is that it can be a small group as long as they aren't afraid to use violence, especially guns
@Cerberus thank you. I'm much relieved now
@Cerberus I'm being extreme, thinking towards the worst
@Mitch Well, such a group would never achieve its goals.
It's a cult.
I don't think they have any coherent goals beyond being the ones in control
1:48 AM
In non-winner-take-all systems, there can be new parties, and they serve to channel discontent, prevent it from taking over the entire state.
At least in mature democracies.
Which Germany was not in 1933.
@Mitch That is the goal they will not achieve.
@Cerberus I'm not totally convinced of that. There seem to be a vocal group with guns here
There is another group with guns.
But more importantly, what really brought me here, is that I'm wondering...
Or there are two other groups.
And they won't allow a new group to overpower them.
Is it only me or do others feel a bit trepidations (if that's the right word) when clinking champagne glasses in a toast, aren't people worried they'll break them?
1:53 AM
You're not supposed to clink wine glasses.
So it is not just you.
@Cerberus do you mean multiple armed fascist groups fighting it out between them ?
@Cerberus what?
Chin chin and all that?
@Mitch I mean the police and the army. There is no way a civilian group could defeat those by force, especially not in America. Consider only the intelligence apparatus which both groups have.
Is it bad toasting hygiene?
It's bad etiquette.
But it doesn't matter.
You're supposed to lift your glass and look the other person or people in the eyes.
And someone says something.
To good health, or what a splendid night.
@Cerberus but...
And hear me out
1:56 AM
There's lots of evidence that there are some in the official armed forces police public defense that are also likely allies if not outright members of the fascists
@Mitch Some, but in the lower ranks.
And even of those most will not be fanatical enough to attack their own superiors.
> Which means that every Republican, no matter their true inclinations, winds up acting like the grifters and nutbars who keep winning seats in deeply red districts.
> They’re afraid that their base, or at least certain elements of it, will literally kill them.
> This has now been incorporated into the thinking of every Republican as they navigate each new controversy: not just, “Will this vote anger my constituents and get me a primary challenge from the right?”, but also, “If I oppose my party’s base on this, will they murder me and my family?”
> Nobody likes to get yelled at, or show up on the news looking besieged by unhappy constituents. But back then, most members weren’t literally fearing for their lives. Now they are.
2:06 AM
Oh, try to be a bit more optimistic.
@Cerberus ok.
@Cerberus yes I'd like to think that but I am unsure and therefore some pessimism
@Cerberus more.
Some of these have brought me to tears.
@Mitch It's always good not to become complacent.
@tchrist Yay.
2:09 AM
Because I have been to these places, come to cherish them, and when the robber barons were burning and plundering, it ruined me.
So much spite.
I've become complacent about clicking glasses and now I find out I, as well as everyone else I know, have been doing it wrong
Western Monarchs are gone. Nearly extinct now. Suddenly.
Like queen beatrix?
She is well alive!
Sprightly old queen.
@Mitch It's OK as long as it's not wine.
2:13 AM
Who was the literal 'dancing queen's?
@tchrist also frogs
Today is the first day of couvre-feu.
Which I have learned was about covering all fires before bedtime in the city, to prevent fires.
So covering probably meant snuffing out.
@Cerberus In Amsterdam?
@Cerberus makes it hard to start up the next morning
@tchrist In the entire country.
2:16 AM
The bees and bugs and butterflies, the little things that the great and powerful think of never, that support the chain of life, destroyed before we noticed.
@Mitch Yeah, that's probably why it was compulsory. Otherwise people would keep fires burning without oversight.
@Cerberus what about champagne?
@Cerberus Well you should be in bed by now anyway. :)
@Mitch That is wine.
@tchrist Then so should you!
@Cerberus sure but champagne is exactly when people tend to toast
2:17 AM
I know. And thither I go soon enough, quoth Robert Frost.
So beer and liquor is ok but not grape derivatives?
How about sherry?
@Mitch Is that like hog futures?
@Mitch Toast, yes, but not clink.
@tchrist commodities
@Mitch I don't know, I don't drink it.
2:18 AM
@Mitch we call those toilets where I come from
@Cerberus it's kind of deflating to find out you're not supposed to do something that really doesn't hurt anybody
@Cerberus There are many styles of sherry, as different from one another as chalk and cheese.
@Cerberus me neither but you seem to know the rules
@Mitch It hurts the glasses, you've said so yourself!
No sherry? What's wrong with you people?
2:20 AM
Meanwhile, a narcotics baron has been apprehended not 15 km from here.
@tchrist eau de toilette
Are you trying to kill off the singlemalt industry?
His narcotics imperium is estimated to be worth €18 billion.
Or he himself.
He will be extradited to Australia.
Good business man
Why export him there instead of try him locally?
2:22 AM
Job creator
@Mitch was none too easy on Job
He turned out ok in the end
But not his (first) family
He is not wanted here.
Well sure, but isn't he guilty there?
He does his business in Asia and Australia, apparently.
2:24 AM
Then export him to Singapore.
Why not extradite him to a jurisdiction where he has committed his crimes?
I suppose the problem is that he doesn't pay taxes promptly
Time to Capone up then.
I doubt whether that is the greatest problem they have with him...
I believe that one should generally be tried in one's own country, or in whatever country one committed one's crimes in.
He is Canadian.
Oh, you merely came upon him? It wasn't that he was arrested for local crimes?
I misunderstood.
Interpol red notice?
That's different.
2:29 AM
Ah, yes.
He was arrested at the aeroport.
They probably are, but 3000 is a lot of people.
2 hours later…
4:25 AM
I wonder whether John Donne's "in Effigie" was being construed to be the ablative singular for Latin nom. sg. effigies there. I am not positive he always set the Latin in italic.
Whoever set that type did a terrible job at keeping a straight baseline.
ALSO!!!! I think I have discovered by accident the source for ELU’s background color!! Look at that! It matches!
The terminal "s" in that typeface looks almost sigmatic to me.
a.D. 1661
That's a true italic; look at the uppercase letters in the italic bits: they are not roman glyphs on a slant. They are "true italics", so what we now perceive as "swash caps".
Well, some of them. They're mixed.
They were still connected to the scribal tradition.
4:45 AM
What have I stumbled across in here? : o
@tchrist This is intriguing!
[ SmokeDetector | MS ] Offensive body detected, potentially bad keyword in body (45): Could someone deconstruct this sentence and explain where it is right or wrong grammatically? ✏️ by drmanhattan on english.SE
3 hours later…
7:49 AM
My vaccine certificate
1 hour later…
9:01 AM
@CowperKettle Congratulations. Which one?
9:15 AM
@FaheemMitha Sputnik-V
The first shot.
The second shot to come in three weeks
@CowperKettle Was that one properly tested?
@FaheemMitha No, the stage III results are still not in.
Sadly, the quality of clinical testing is poor in Russia.
There is no proper culture of testing.
@CowperKettle They shouldn't be handing it out, then.
@FaheemMitha Yes, they shouldn't, but in a pinch one does that.
@CowperKettle Sounds like it.
@CowperKettle Why don't they test it first?
9:17 AM
@FaheemMitha They say they've tested enough people during the ongoing stage III to know that it's effective.
But they are very haphazard in publishing data.
It's Russia.
@CowperKettle Hmm. That requires taking a lot on trust.
@FaheemMitha At least nobody has died. I hope.
My friend, who is a doctor in Moscow, got vaccinated in December, and his antibody count increased.
So I think it does work.
There might be issues with quality and proper control of batch uniformity and storage conditions.
I think they are distributing this Sputnik thing in India too. But I don't know the details.
It's Russia.
My doctor friend had absolutely no side effects.
Some people, on the other hand, have fever that may last for several days and sometimes is very hard to tamper down.
I bought a couple of packages of anti-fever tablets.
Just in case.
Paracetamol, Ibuprofen.
@CowperKettle It's hard to know if it works without proper trials. And possibly not even then.
And then there is the question of how long it works for.
9:22 AM
@FaheemMitha I know. I am a pharma translator.
Are they giving the vaccine to everyone?
But it's better than nothing.
@CowperKettle Perhaps.
@FaheemMitha Yes, to everyone who wants to.
@CowperKettle Ah. They're not doing that here yet. Just medical people, I believe.
9:23 AM
But you have to register in advance, because it is scarce.
Possibly also govt employees.
@FaheemMitha Russia tried this also, but the case is, some people from the "privileged groups" did not want to vaccinate, so the authorities just decided to vaccinate everyone who wants to.
Many Russians do not believe in this vaccine.
@CowperKettle I see.
@CowperKettle I can understand that.
The level of trust towards Russian drugs is very low.
The Pune based Vaccine Institute is one of the largest vaccine makers in the world.
The Indian govt comandeered their entire output.
9:25 AM
India is generally developing very fast in terms of pharmaceutifal production.
I think they made a lot of doses.
@CowperKettle I know. I own pharma stock, inherited from my grandparents. So I follow it, somewhat.
I was once translating a quality study report from an indian plant. A huge plant where 10 years ago only a small village stood.
@CowperKettle Company?
@FaheemMitha I forgot.. and I'm under a non-disclosure agreement
@CowperKettle Ok. Yes, India does a lot of pharma and speciality chemical manufacturing.
And it's increasing, I believe.
Probably causes a lot of pollution.
9:27 AM
@FaheemMitha All I recall is that the plant was producing an active pharmaceutical ingredient, which then was shipped to Russia and mixed there with some excipients and made into a finished drug.
@CowperKettle Yes, one of the things they do here is manufacture APIs.
Generics are also very big.
Or should that be - generics is also very big?
I dunno
@CowperKettle excipient is not a familiar word to me, so I looked it up.
@CowperKettle Random question. Do you use version control for your work?
Mostly text-based, I suppose.
Version control?
I use the SDL Trados Studio 2015
@CowperKettle Ok. Well, it's a good idea.
9:32 AM
A specialized translation program
It remembers all your translations
@CowperKettle Yes, I see.
So that you don't have to translate those pesky company names and abbreviations over and over again.
And some chemical names etc.
Sounds handy.
Version control is just a general tool for managing computer files. Particularly text files.
You've probably heard of Git.
I just name my translation folders this way: 2020 01 03 January - Case Report China CC-BY
And do backups each week
@CowperKettle If they are all text files, version control is a good option. If they are not, you can still use version control, but it's a less good option.
10:07 AM
10:31 AM
Word of the day: quango (The term Quango or QUANGO (less often QuANGO or QANGO) is a (normally pejorative) description of an organisation to which a government has devolved power, but which is still partly controlled and/or financed by government bodies. The term was originally a shortening of "Quasi-NGO", where NGO is the standard acronym for a non-government organization, and in this sense was used neutrally.)
> Where direct privatisation has proved impossible, obligations have been transferred to local authorities or unelected quangos and funding has simultaneously been cut.
10:56 AM
when a person says she doesn't know how to help you, a high possibility is that she doesn't want to help you.
@CowperKettle I don't know where you got that from, but in the UK the a stands for autonomous, (so quasi-autonomous) as the organisation is not really autonomous at all because a government minister is still ultimately responsible.
a person who really wants to help you wouldn't say that kind of word - she will find ways to help you.
in fact, I feel in this world seeking help is often very difficult because most people don't like to help others that much.
on the other hand, having empathy with others who experience differently from you is very difficult.
@tchrist The word Sermons is notable. Although automation has definitely helped with typesetting, where individual letters are concerned (like on the outside of buildings) people still get S upside-down. I assume that example survived more than one printing and that's not the only copy like that.
@CowperKettle Popular in "Yes, Minister", as I recall. Is it a British term?
Where it stood for "QUasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organization" or similar, if I recall correctly.
@AndrewLeach I got it from Wikipedia
11:08 AM
having no empathy is acceptable, but some people do furthermore. They take the chance of your seeking their help to reprimand you besides saying they don't know how to help you. If you meet this kind of people, disregard them; they can just make your difficulty more difficult.
I don't understand how some people like to compare with others based on numbers that much. They compare how many courses they take and how many projects they undertake with yours. These numbers aren't really comparable because the contents of each course and each project are different.
It's like on Strava people compare how many km each have run.
But what right have they to compare, if their muscles are built differently and have different amounts of ATP and related molecules?
They have different genes turned on their muscles, and even different gene variations.
and everyone's physiological situation, social situation, mental situation, etc. are different. So the number of courses or projects one can take at the same time is different even consider courses and projects with the same contents.
Strava should require that each athlete first takes a muscle tissue sample to make sure there is no sign of mitochondrial deficiency (ragged fiber test)
Next, analysis of exercise-related epigenetic modification of genes.
Next, analysis of gene variants, CNVs etc. related to exercise, in the actual genome.
And on this basis, Strava can compare.
but this comparison is impossible because it's impossible for two people to take courses and projects with completely the same contents.
11:25 AM
Autumn in the Perm region, Russia
By the way, they have a railway graveyard there. With many old locomotives.
even for people taking the same course, each of them may study the course differently - each may find different references to read because each is interested in different part of the course and different references take different length of time to read.
so making a comparison just based on the number of courses taken is unfair.
11:44 AM
I think people making this kind of comparison is either stupid or just deliberately take it as an excuse to refrain from helping you.
12:35 PM
also, it's very possible they have no technical way to help you.
1:05 PM
@CowperKettle Here's a word for the morning: cataphract:
> cataphract (n.)
1580s, "scale-like metal armor for the body," from Latin cataphractes "breastplate of iron scales," from Greek kataphraktes "coat of mail," from kataphraktos "mailed, protected, covered up," from kataphrassein "to fortify," from kata "entirely" (see cata-) + phrassein "to fence around, enclose, defend" (see diaphragm). From 1670s as "a soldier in full armor" (probably from Latin cataphracti "mailed soldiers"). Related: Cataphractic.
(mid-morning, that is, here). :)
1:48 PM
don't be fooled and perturbed by this kind of person.
They are either unkind as a human or cognitively native.
1 hour later…
2:56 PM
@Conrado I used to confuse cataphract with cataract.
> 1. a descent of water over a steep surface; a waterfall, especially one of considerable size.
2. any furious rush or downpour of water; deluge.

3. an abnormality of the eye, characterized by opacity of the lens.
4. the opaque area.

Origin of cataract
1350–1400; Middle English cataracte<Latin catar(r)acta<Greek katarráktēs waterfall, floodgate, portcullis (noun), downrushing (adj.), akin to katarássein to dash down, equivalent to kat-cata- + arássein to smite
Egypt is often divided by the cataracts of the Nile.
3:33 PM
Sits quietly, wondering why Cowperkettle was reading Gerard Manley Hopkins yesterday. Perhaps he has been dumped by a woman, or is feeling frustrated by life in general?
Why they call it Sandía.
3:48 PM
@Conrado More likely he finds Hopkins satisfying. You don't have to be feeling bad to enjoy the rhapsody of words well strung together.
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