Now It’s Official [DOT 1/10/22]

You’re allowed to get a PSL now! Spooky Season is upon us.

How’s your weather? Rainy and cold in the DMV this weekend. Gonna work on a puzzle and watch TV so hit me with the good tips when Brain Drain rolls around.

Updates on Ian:

Hurricane Ian moves into South Carolina after rampage in Florida

That’s a correction all right!

Ukraine Updates:

Russians rebel as Putin drafts more people in battle for Ukraine

Stonks! Brutal.

Dow tumbles 500 points on Friday to end September down nearly 9%

How is she so dumb?

Ginni Thomas still believes Trump’s false claim the 2020 election was stolen

Today’s turtle content

Have a great weekend!



  1. The Hill‘s “regret the error” German anti-Semitism correction is one for the ages. But since they don’t really teach history in schools anymore, especially non-American history, just the vaguer “social studies,” and given the relentless post-secondary obsession with STEM, who is surprised by this. I wonder who and how the headline writer knows the more senior Hill staffmember to get a gig like that.

    CNN is not kidding about the stonks. About once a week I check my “retirement portfolio” (a big 401(k) and smaller Roth IRAs) and I’m down a little over 28% from my peak. At first I was reading headlines about the Dow and the Nasdaq falling but my stuff didn’t do too badly. Now, unfortunately, it’s catching up. What’s that paraphrased quote from The Sun Also Rises? You go bankrupt slowly, then suddenly?

    Oh well, I’m lucky that I enjoy my work and at least for as long as I can type and read I can keep working, as long as there are solvent companies around to pay me.

    • As someone with a STEM background, I agree on that too much emphasis on STEM means an ignorant workforce especially on the humanistic side. A lot of my fellow STEM folks are deeply fucking ignorant about the world around them and because they lack refined social studies knowledge, it makes them bonehead managers/leaders. Throw in an MBA and you get the worst mangers possible. Only worked for one MBA/engineer who was worth a damn, the rest I wanted to punch in the face at least more than once.

      I saw my portfolio, too.  Ugh, I’m down 30-32%.  I opted for setting up my Blue Chip stocks as DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plans) which means I use my dividends to buy more stock.  The downfall works a little in my favor, but it doesn’t mean I’m not crying.

      • I do the reinvest dividends thing too for everything but most of my stuff (these are diversified mutual funds with different emphases, not individual stocks) don’t throw off a lot of dividends.

        I don’t think STEM is a bad thing at all, God knows we need more. But for example, I read that schools are slowly phasing out literature in high school curricula (used to be called English, now the dumbed-down “Language Arts”) in favor of things like instruction manual comprehension and compare-‘n-contrast media stories on the same topic. I suppose that makes you a more competent citizen but an infinitely more boring one, incapable of deploying a good quote or formulating similes and metaphors. Not to mention less exposure to things like understanding motivation and creating empathy for characters you may not like.

        Add to that the pervasive ahistoricism of “If I weren’t alive to see it it never happened” or “No one has ever mentioned this on my social so it can’t be true” and that’s a recipe for disaster.

        • Having both is great.  We need well rounded people who know both to lead and develop.  The underlying problem is that a little knowledge is worse than none.

          I see it at work where a bunch of geniuzes think they understand production process because they ran it. They don’t because they never developed/worked in it.  My dad called it “licking the watermelon”… you don’t know what a watermelon tastes like unlike you cut deep into it. Same applies to any knowledge/skill.

          I also see it with the GOP (especially the Trumpaznees and Federalist fuckwits) who thinks they know a little history (Americah FUk ya!) that they can argue with history profs and constitutional scholars.

          I’ve also seen non technical folks who stick their noses into technical issues because they took a course in programming or wanted to be an engineer or slept at a Holiday Inn once. Quite frankly it’s embarrassing and I feel embarrassed for the idiots. I try to stay in my lane (but to be fair… I’ve probably strayed outside my lane a few times.)  It’s the same embarrassment I feel when my fellow STEMsters talk about history.


        • Gentle pushback, on that “Language Arts” bit, @MatthewCrawley!😉💖

          YES, in too many places, the change from ENG to ELA *has* been terrible, and a MASSIVE dumbing-down!!

          But in a *few* places, where ELA was allowed to do what it was *supposed* to do, you simply got an EXPANSION on what the “old” English classes were–looking into “classical” things written in OTHER parts of the world, than the English-speaking places…

          African Writing, Asian, South & Central American, etc.

          Thing is, YES, too often things like NCLB and other test-based pushes in Ed, basically ruined & narrowed what was *hoped* to be a broadening of our knowledge base🙃😕

          • I didn’t realize that was its goal. I thought it was more of a decreased emphasis on English grammar and spelling and rhetoric and logic and allowance of a more free-form, “feelings” focused method of expression. In my high school English classes, including my absolute favorite one, AP English, we read lots of things in translation, but they were the classics, like Molière and Goethe and Chekhov, and not, for example, magical realism or lightly fictionalized memoirs from the developing world.

    • I know it’s not responsible adulting, but I can’t even look at our stock portfolio. We aren’t going to sell off anything, just ride the downward spiral and hope that it ticks up in +20 years when we retire.

      • I’ve called my 401k and Roth “monopoly money” for years to continually set the expectation with myself that it’s not real yet.

        It’s actually been pretty effective for not spazzing about it.

      • I would argue it IS responsible adulting to not look. If you are set up with your allocation the way that you want, and have plenty of time until retirement, then you don’t need to make any changes.

        • We’ve lost a couple years worth of salary in the last year & I am trying not to panic but admit to checking way too often.  Problem is my wife would like to retire early but that is not looking good at this point.

          • I turned 59 1/2 this year and the plan was, a year ago, to take out maybe 2% of the Roth IRA cash every year and devote it to travel. I was a very thrifty little corporate drone so I thought I would still have more than enough to tide me over, plus Better Half is even more well-positioned than I am. Having lost 28% (for now) that’s 14 years of fun forgone, and in 14 years, should I live that long, I’ll be taking forced distributions anyway.

            Oh well, even the Great Depression ended eventually, but it took a World War. Here’s hoping history doesn’t repeat itself and this stock market plunge reverses itself in a more peaceful way.

    • I guess to cast equal blame, that headline is a STEM failure too. Anyone who deals with data knows you have to look at statements like that and ask about the completeness of the timeline. One of the standard ways of manipulating statistics is to create artificial start and end dates to create data sets that back your conclusion.

      The hack NY Times “news” reporter Michael Powell did that in a front page article claiming the ACLU was abandoning free speech to focus on racial justice issues, and one of his key pieces of evidence was a year over year dip in free speech cases they filed.

      Except smart observers noted Powell had left out the most recent data, which contradicted his claim and showed an increase over the previous few years. Whoopsies!

      To be sure the timeline is right, that Hill tweet is from 2020. But the Hill is still a suspect organization in a lot of ways.


    Ginni “I Nightmare of” Thomas is not stupid, but damn she’s fucking delusional. RWers felt that Trump was doing an amazing job (he was not) because they wanted someone like themselves… a mercurial, narcissistic, racist, megalomaniac asshole to hate the things they hated and put everyone (especially libs, non-whites, non Xtians, the poor, the LGBT+, everyone they fucking hated) in their fucking place which they felt he did.

    The problem is that they didn’t get that the majority of Americans didn’t. To this day they can’t believe it.

    I suspect that Ginni’s Testimony was probably ill advised and going to massively backfire on her and her buddies.

    • Not to mention that Ginni and Clarence are Evangelical Catholics, which is not really a thing and didn’t exist before the rise of the Reagan right in the 1970s. Mike Pence is one, too. It sounds like it’s the worst of both worlds, a toxic stew of supernaturalism and Biblical literalness without the beauty of the literature and the art and architecture handed down to us from centuries of the Mother Church’s existence. The Catholic Church has the Jesuits, who are skeptical of everything; the Evangelical Catholics have the Thomases, who are beyond skeptical that Biden won a free and fair open election. What a tawdry and low-minded belief system.

      • Evangelical catholics are basically like what would happen if the fucking gross Duggars became catholic.

        Back to the old strategy of you better have a fuckton of babies, your kids should ideally be homeschooled, wife of course can’t work (not counting child rearing etc as actual work, naturally), women shouldn’t get educated, the outside world is just not good for you.

        It’s exceptionally weird to me because I cannot tell you how many times in my 12 years of catholic school the teachers and (in high school) nuns openly made fun of weirdo fundies.

        • Father Coughlin, the infamous antisemitic “Radio Priest” of the 1920s and 30s is an interesting case. He pioneered religious radio broadcasts and started out with vanilla Catholic sermons but took off during the Depression with rabid right wing antisemitic polemics, including calling FDR “Franklin Delano Rosenfeld.”

          The US Catholic church eventually silenced him. Part of it was the Catholics are very hierachical and don’t like loose cannons with independent followings.

          But John Paul II and Benedict stacked the US hierarchy with right wingers and they welcomed the kooks into the fold as a way to supress liberal Catholics. But the writing is in the wall that like so many reactionary movements, the kooks are increasingly moving to break apart the Church and link up with Protestants instead.

          Francis is no dummy, and has been moving more moderates into the leadership. But of course supposedly thoughtful conservative Catholics like Ross Douthat are undermining him at every opportunity, accusing moderation efforts of being the source of division instead of the radicals like the Thomases. Because both sides,   you know.

  3. i have 2 ukranian co workers nowadays

    elderly ladies

    dont speak a word of dutch

    but english……oh my lawd….that accent

    they could read me the phone book and i would be enthralled

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