open thread

Happy Thanksgiving and/or Thursday! Open Thread

Happy Thanksgiving, to everyone who celebrates it! And a very merry Thursday to everyone who doesn’t.

Because I haven’t provided a health update in a while (outside of the comments) I just wanted to reassure everyone that I am still here, and still trying to sort through a bunch of medical issues with the help of assorted doctors, some very competent and others not so much.

The issues I’m facing aren’t lifethreatening, but they are still debilitating enough to keep me from regular posting here. Sorry to be so vague; I’ll offer more details once some of these issues are sorted out a bit more. I’ll return to posting as soon as I am able but I cannot predict when that will be.

I appreciate everyone’s patience and continued support. Thanks!

674 replies on “Happy Thanksgiving and/or Thursday! Open Thread”

In other news, today is Finnish Independence Day – specifically the 100th anniversary.

Usually, Finns celebrate this day by chilling at home with their family and/or watching some state ceremonies on TV, while the weather is predictably miserable. This year, some people are throwing actual parties.

I defaulted to sitting alone today, because I always do that on petty state holidays, because I’m not sociable and don’t really have close people at hand, because I’m generally too depressed this time of the year to plan anything or to get out, because I predictably postponed some work that needs to be done tomorrow.

Now, I feel mildly lonely and failing to achieve some reasonably patriotic appreciation of my fellow people who constitute this country. I tried calling one family member, who was too busy starting a party. Other friends and family are likely busy too, my jerkbrain tells me.

I did go out for a walk. The weather isn’t actually bad today. There’s a light dusting of new snow, and the sun peeked out a few times.

Yup, toxic masculinity was definitely part of Sawchuk’s self-destructive brew.

Speaking of toxic masculinity and its deadly effects, as my clock radio reminded me and Montreal Simon notes that it’s the 28th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre:

(TW: Awful comments from YouTube included)

Well, if anybody wants to know how to push Katamount’s buttons, it’s praising this hideous murderer. I take it personally because the majority of the victims were not only engineering students, but in metallurgy, which is what I specialized in. I wear my Iron Ring every day; these women were taken away before they were Obligated and received theirs. A man too insecure and too consumed by toxic masculinity stole the lives of these women from the world for no other reason than they were learning a profession. My profession. To this monster, it made them “feminists” and they had to die.

And people with that same mindset continue to injure and kill women all over the world, and some punk commenters have the gall to offer praise to the perpetrator?!

Nah, this Kat ain’t having none of that!

…and it’s also the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Harbour explosion. Yay, more death….

Well, I’ll raise a glass to an independent Finland at the very least! Cheers!

@ Katamount;

Also ratification of 13th Amendment, 1865, establishment of Irish Free State, 1921, and Altamont Music Festival (one day of not-peace, not-love… and music), 1969

@Weird Eddie

Didn’t know the 13th Amendment was ratified today. Cool!

In the “what stupid thing that could start Armaggeddon that Trump did today”, he recognized Jerusalem as the Israel capital.

Is his plan to start several wars before going down ? Because it sure look like it.

As a friend reminded me, “Chaos is a ladder.”
Yes, his plan is to cause as much damage as possible globally.

Canadian Pro Hockey [although four of the six teams were in the US, when I was in college in Boston 1965-68 and actually going to Bruins games there was only one US-born player in the NHL, plus one born in England and one in Czechoslovakia who had grown up in Canada] was pretty much a game for poor tough farm kids from central Canada. The style of play evolved from a system where you had to fight your way into the league — there are some parallels with pro boxing. The common joke, in fact, was “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.” The Soviet game, on the other hand, was supported by the State and the most promising players were employed by the State, and they emphasized skill and precision passing. Players didn’t have to prove themselves by fighting. The Soviet style was much better to watch, but of course you couldn’t say that in the Cold War Times.
The Bruins had a “Uke Line” — made up of three players (Johnny Bucyk, Vic Stasiuk, and Bronco Horvath) who were Ukrainian Canadians. The “Little Ukraine” in western Manitoba was to sort of place that produced a lot of hockey players.

Regarding the uber-clusterfuck called Brexit, it seems that the Tories are being hoist by the same petard as the Establishment Republicans in the US. They have spent decades winning elections by nurturing the worst impulses of their base, and now the base has taken control and screwed everything up. The Tories thought they could get their base to support them on Brexit, but they had merely set things up for Farage and his ilk — just as the GOP meant to set things up for a willing oligarchic tool like JEB? or Marco Rubio, but found they had instead created the conditions for Trump’s misrule.

As a friend reminded me, “Chaos is a ladder.”
Yes, his plan is to cause as much damage as possible globally.

Would it be violating the comments policy to say that if Trump is going to live like Littlefinger, I hope he meets the same fate as him.



Is his plan to start several wars

Plan? He has no plan, nor has he the capacity to plan. He’s a two-year-old in the throes of a major tantrum. He will almost certainly start a war, perhaps more than one, because of his ego and his out-of-control id. This latest bullshit of moving the U.S Embassy to Jerusalem will hijack any possible chance of a peaceful solution in Palestine, as Israel will use it as a further justification for controlling the city completely. Who knows what will happen in Korea, as the fool in charge of North Korea seems as derailed as the dumpster-fire-in-chief. Two two-year-olds throwing nukes at each other is a very disturbing prospect which seems as likely as any other outcome.


Gonna guess the Czechoslovakian player was Stan Mikita, but I couldn’t name the English-born or American-born player.

It’s weird that you think about how groundbreaking it was to have European players like Borje Salming in the NHL back in the 70s. You’re absolutely right that it was definitely the poor farm kid’s game… looking at where so many of the legendary greats were born, they’re all in Saskatchewan (Gordie Howe, Johnny Bower), Manitoba (Sawchuk, Turk Broda) and or in rural Ontario and Quebec. More hockey talent was coming out of Saguenay or Cochrane than out of Toronto or Montreal.

Trump may not be a towering intellectual, but it’s dangerous to underestimate his capacity for behaving in nefarious ways. From his behavior, it seems very clear to me that he’s trying to get us into a war. He knows his presidency is seen as a joke and like George W Bush before him, the only way he’s ever going to get admiration from anyone but his die hard fans and to have any kind of legacy is to become a war president. Just because his ego and shortsightedness gets in the way of thinking or caring about the long term implications of his actions doesn’t mean he can’t have an agenda.

Guys, calm down about the Jerusalem thing. Jared is going to sort out peace in the region, remember? Any day now.


I’m such a bad Minnesotan. We’re supposed to love hockey as much as Canadians do but I just can’t bring myself to care about it.

Speaking as a Canadian, me either.

@Moggie : in a way, we *are* closer to peace in the region.

That peace is however much more likely from it being an unhabitable, irradiated wasteland. But we can’t have everything, after all. Plus, now that Europa havve had Syria to test how well it can welcome people, getting the saudi and israeli and what not here will be easy !

Might contain trace of cynism and irony.


I haven’t been able to tell whats trolling and whats a serious comment for a long time.. More violence against and hatred towards women, the more they’ll cheer and congratulate all the while harassing women on how they’re the most persecuted and victimized demographic. Linking this back to that Salon article about Lauren and Tara being harassed by their own unsurprisingly misogynistic communities. Somewhere there was that screencap of a comment on /pol/ from an anon trying to devise a plot to bully women off the internet via harassment. I kinda think its the same idea just different extremes. The men who want to memorialize a misogynistic killer is just a giant message. Evil biofemoids should stay in the kitchen or we’ll kill you. And they’re too transparent to claim ‘satire!’ when called out on.

@Weird Eddie
Trump wouldn’t deny to ignite war. It might boost his approval ratings among his supports who are bloodthirsty, radicalizing them even more. A civil war seems like the big thing the altright desperately wants but I actually doubt he’d favor it. It seems like he wants to have a slap fight with NK, bully and taunt China while bed Russia.

Of course, one of the interesting bits is that Wayne Gretzky played much more of a European style of hockey rather than a North American style: fast, mostly non-contact, and got away with it at least in part because he just seemed to have an intuitive grasp of the mechanics of the sport that let him be in the right place at the right time.

(I seem to recall Gretzky was listed on the Real Life section of the ‘Awesomeness by Analysis’ TVTropes page for that. No, I’m not going to link or go there to check for fear of getting sucked down that time sink again.)

Granted, it also helped that once he got to be well-known enough, a lot of the usual toughs got less willing to hit him because nobody wanted to be known as ‘the guy who ended Gretzky’s career’. In fact, I vaguely recall one of said toughs actively complaining about that.

@Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Shit. Now it’s going to be harder to remind people that B and O both belong in prison for torture when D shaming at careful moments.

@ Brony;

… ok, I’ve parsed your comment for several minutes, making liberal use of google for assistance… I still have no idea what you mean…. Can you give me the value of the variables “B”, “O” and “D”, please?

🙂 🙂 🙂


Bush and Obama, of course.


It might possibly be Bannon’s plan. Of one of the fundamentalists that think it’s their duty to bring on Armageddon.

A set that includes VP Pence. Mueller better get him too or he’ll wind up with his finger on the fucking button.

I worry that though Mueller is very likely to bring this administration down and soon, the damage has been done. That whoever takes power, even if it’s Dems, will find convenient excuses to postpone undoing the worst things Trump did, and postpone, and postpone, and postpone, because it suits the rich that it be postponed. That norms won’t return to normal and the alt-right will martyrize Trump and Pence and go on the march. That there’ll be a thousand McVeighs and Bundy clans raising hell, and thousands of Heather Heyers killed as a result.

@Arctic Ape

Happy Finnish Independence Day! If it makes you feel any better, I envy you, as a native of one of those smugly progressive Scandinavian countries…

Fifteen years ago, I spent 12 days as a tourist in the Netherlands. I was there in May, and it was so strange to see the sun in the sky at nearly 11 pm. So, how many hours of daylight do you get to see in December?

I hope David’s health is improving. Tracking misogyny and toxic masculinity could be a factor in his illness.

I always forget how much further north much of Europe is than I am. Because MN is colder in the winter than all but the very furtherest northern parts of Europe. Including the coastal parts of Scandinavia.

We’re still pretty northern though. It’s been getting dark at about 4:30 lately. I hate it.

About three, I’m guessing. Two of them consisting largely of twilight. 🙂

@Katamount: The English-born player was Ken Hodge, who played mostly for the Bruins, and ended his working life as manager of an ice rink in Exeter, NH. The American player was Tommy Williams, who came from Duluth MN and played for the Bruins and several other teams. The Czech was Mikita, of course. There was no US-born player in the NHL between Frankie Brimsek’s retirement in 1950 and Williams’s being promoted to the Bruins in 1958.

When I was in college the dominant college program was Cornell — their big star was Ken Dryden, who went on to become an NHL Hall-of-Fame goalie for the Canadiens. The big attraction of Cornell was that the Ivy League college is joined with a NY state agricultural college*, so the farm boys from the prairie provinces could play hockey and get a top-flight degree in agriculture.

And yes, the skills of Gretzky (and Bobby Orr before him), along with the sucess of some of the early European imports, helped change North American hockey to something more like the Russian-European style.

*Thus Ann Coulter used to taunt Keith Olberman by claiming that he wasn’t a real Cornell grad, because he had technically enrolled in the agricultural college for the low in-state tuition and then taken non-agricultural courses.

Breaking! Australia has just legalized gay marriage:!

Sorry if I’m annoying anyone by doing so, but it’s just so hard not to feel smug re. my country vis-à-vis the US right now.

Can anyone name any prominent Australian conservative/alt-right internet edgelords? I wanna nab myself a nice, cool pint of tears at the tavern of their Twitter accounts.

So, apparently, Trump want to give nuclear technology to Saudia.

Like WWTH, I don’t think his behavior is random. The question is more, what can possibly be his plan ?

@Arctic Ape,

Yay Finnish independence (I had no idea, am now off to read about it – any recommendations would be welcome), and also empathy for the social awkwardness. I’m extremely envious, though, that you got to walk in a light dusting of snow 😀


Sorry if I’m annoying anyone by doing so, but it’s just so hard not to feel smug re. my country vis-à-vis the US right now.

Did you really need to do that? Sheesh. Today’s news re marriage equality made me cry with happiness – could we not turn it into point-scoring?
Also, we may not have a Trump, but we don’t have a lot of reasons to feel smug. Ask the guys on Manus if they think Oz is a great country. We just had Milo Y speak at our Parliament House, welcomed by several senior politicians. And those are just two examples.
Poppin’ with happiness at the bill passing, enjoying it just for itself.

“We need to take the anti-Semitism out of fascism”

Oh dear, Avi. I realise that anti-Semitism existed all by itself without fascism, and that fascism doesn’t depend on anti-Semitism, but… given that thing called history, this is almost like:
“I don’t really mind misogyny, if you take out the woman-hating bits.”
“You know, racism is actually pretty good, if you take out the hating other races stuff.”
(I worked my way through a few of these until it stopped being horribly amusing and became just horrible).


So, how many hours of daylight do you get to see in December?

About six, but it’s usually really murky because of overcast weather and because the sun stays very close to the horizon. It tends to mess my mood.

Cloud cover makes a huge difference. This morning, I was walking to work quite late (that is, just after sunrise), in the usually gloomy weather. I walked past a corner, to a driveway between apartment blocks.

There, I was startled by something my brain initially suspected was an approaching car’s headlight.

It was actually a glimpse of sunlit horizon (not the sun itself), seen through a crack in clouds and between the apartment blocks.

Breaking! Australia has just legalized gay marriage

In other good news Austria opens gay marriage on the 1.1.2019

Congrats to Austr(al)ia, whichever is the correct spelling.



Yay Finnish independence (I had no idea, am now off to read about it – any recommendations would be welcome)

Finnish history is covered on English Wikipedia more extensively than almost anyone would likely care to read.

The 1917 date is a bit arbitrary since Finland was already semi-independent under Russian Empire (since 1809, when it was forcibly separated from Sweden).

Several small countries in “Eastern” Europe are really culturally Western, but belonged in the Russian Empire around 19th century. After Russian revolution during WWI and the disastrous imperial collapse, those countries were able to walk away with relatively little fuss. They (we) might have then become German satellites/colonies, except Germany was conveniently defeated by Allies in 1918 (Thanks!).

I’m extremely envious, though, that you got to walk in a light dusting of snow

Yeah, during December-March (in Helsinki) the walkways are usually covered by either an icy crust, or loose gritting sand that remains after the periodic melting of said ice. As WWTH noted, the winter weather here is quite fickle and usually not super cold. The snow isn’t really settling on the ground here yet, unlike in more northern parts of Finland.

@ Haise Husky Puppy (what a lovely user name)

As you say:

The men who want to memorialize a misogynistic killer is just a giant message. Evil biofemoids should stay in the kitchen or we’ll kill you.

But maybe adding , more or less under their breath

and we might kill you anyway: we’ll just have to see how we feel

I’ve been reading all that into the standard advice to those who’ve been targeted: if you can’t take the abuse, get off the internet, close your social media, disappear. Even those whose lives’ works depend on their being public figures.

Bit like the “what do you expect if you’re out after dark?”

Which, where I live, is currently about 4 pm and getting earlier, and after about 8 am, and getting later. So forget going to work or school, right?

In other other news: Trump is both massively ignorant and massively malignant, and he also doesn’t care what happens to anyone outside a very narrow circle (possibly just himself: I can’t tell). Pretty sure he’s also cunning enough to lay a whole string of distractions to Mueller, plus he’s done very little of what his backers wanted him to do (just a massive tax cut).

I’ve no idea which of his appalling actions derives from which quality, and I’ve given up wondering. But this costs him nothing – though it costs the US its credibility and may cost some US citizens their lives).

It gets everyone talking about something other than how rubbish his presidency has been, and will make people he hates very angry. So why wouldn’t he?

MSNBC have now reversed their decision to sack Sam Seder. Hopefully this will make other organisations look more critically at Juicebro’s smear attempts in future.

Sorry if I’m annoying anyone by doing so, but it’s just so hard not to feel smug re. my country vis-à-vis the US right now.

Are you sure you’re sorry? You don’t really seem like it. Smug has been the default setting for quite a bit of your comment history here. And for someone who was in the past complaining about the Twitter roundup posts for not being deep and important enough, you sure seem to have a lack of in depth understanding of the complexity of politics.

And do I really need to point out that the reason that we’re not celebrating getting same sex marriage on a national level right now is that we’ve already had it for more than two years now. And lots of other states, including mine have had it longer?

I mean, I’m not exactly thrilled with the US right now and I don’t expect any non-USians to be thrilled with us either. But coming to the conclusion that this means that USA = bad country and Australia or any other counter therefore = good country is dangerously simplistic.

For one thing, good legislation and bad legislation both happens in every country. Good and bad election results happen in every country. This often happens simultaneously. After the great recession hit, the US was passing economic stimulus and bank reform while the UK was imposing austerity on itself and the EU mostly at the behest of Germany was imposing austerity on financially troubled countries such as Spain and Greece. At the same time in the US, outrage at the existence of a black president caused membership in hate groups to spike. Should I have felt smug comparing myself to Europeans in 2009 or no?

Every country has wealthy and powerful people at the top trying to keep and increase power for themselves. Every country has bigoted assholes who enable them. Every country has lots of good people and lots of activists who fight for social justice. Every wealthy nation has done shitty imperialistic things to non wealthy nation. Every single nation on earth has done shitty things to its own people.

In other words, trying compare and rank countries on their goodness or badness is next to impossible and its not very productive.

Second of all, the resurgence of fascism is not an exclusively US issue. It is a global issue. It’s been happening all over the world mostly since the great recession.

Since I brought up Greece earlier, I’ll use it and the post recession rise of their Golden Dawn party as one of the examples.

It’s a Nazi party and their party platform sounds for the most part quite a bit like Trumpism. That is, racism and xenophobia with some economic populism mixed in their to attract disaffected and frightened voters and sell the bigotry and scapegoating as a necessary part of restoring the country to its former glory.

In 2015, Golden Dawn outlined their ‘National Plan’ for Greece’s recovery from the financial crisis as follows:[38]

Increase agricultural production and manufacturing.
Reward hard work and implement a meritocracy.
Exploit Greece’s oil, gas, and precious metal reserves.
Audit and erase part of the national debt which they deem illegal.
Demand that the German government repay a loan that was forced upon Greece during the Axis occupation.
Form free trade agreements with Russia, Iran, and China; and remove the red tape blocking trade.
Proclaim Greece’s exclusive economic zone.
Expand Greece’s territorial waters to 12 nautical miles as agreed by the UNCLOS.
Repeal members of parliament’s immunity to criminal prosecution, arrest, and detention while in office.
Remove party funding obtained from taxes and rely instead on donations.
Reduce the size of the Hellenic Parliament to 180 members.
Dissolve any existing plutocracy.
Provide tax relief for investors, businessmen, and shipowners who employ only Greek workers and move their capital into national banks.
Dismiss those recruited illegally into the public sector as a result of cronyism.
Expulsion of all illegal immigrants who have entered Greece.
Subsidize those in maternity, and offer tax breaks to young parents and those with large families.
Nationalization of banks that received state loans.
Nationalization of natural resources.

So feel smug for a few days if it makes you happy, but are you sure there aren’t a large contingent of Aussies looking at Trumpism with envy rather than horror? Are you really dead certain that something similar can’t or won’t happen in Australia? Because you shouldn’t be.

I’m pretty sure you’ll continue to not engage with any replies to you, but what the hell. Putting it out for there in case there are any lurkers feeling dangerously complacent right now.

As a former Michigander who grew up playing hockey & worshipping the Red Wings (and the Saginaw Gears!), and who now lives in North Dakota, I am totally meh about hockey.

@wwth this morning I was calculating how many more days we have of these dark mornings and evenings, and the shortest day is still two weeks away. After that I can start looking forward to more sunshine. Sunset at 4:30 pm is too much for me. Why don’t humans hibernate? 😉

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