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Profile: mactoria
User Name: mactoria
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Last Visit: Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:02:03 AM
Number of Posts: 592
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Oops...heh,heh,heh
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:11:14 AM
RuthP, well said. After doing some follow up, including reading the original IPCC report on climate change, it is quite clear that the scientific community has for many years now come to the conclusion that climate change in the form of warming is real, and is continuing upward. There are critics to be sure, but the IPCC report, and the research and data it's based on, has stood as scientifically sound.

Perhaps some folks just don't understand the 'scientific method' and publishing studies (like in "Nature"). Publishing studies, including method, data and results, has multiple purposes: alerting scientific disciplines of new findings; polishing one's credentials (reputations have to made or unmade based on the vigor of one's work), and possibly most importantly, to obtain feedback that might improve OR disprove the study, its methods, and its results. Lewis did what is supposed to be done: critically reviewed the study, and he found a major mistake the authors had made. The authors didn't decry it, deny it, or throw brickbats; instead they accepted the criticism, confirmed their mistake. Should the researchers have been more diligent in reviewing their data, analysis, and results before publishing? Yes; their reputations (and ability to get support for further research) will suffer for their basic, very embarrassing mistake and what looks like careless analysis. But the 'scientific method' worked: they studied, published, were critiqued and found in error, their error publicly acknowledged. That's how it all works, not just in climate science, but all scientific endeavors, it's how science establishes what's fact and what isn't.

The basic scientific fact of the original IPCC climate report is intact: our climate is warming, doing so based on mankind's inventions/interventions, and is endangering both our natural environment and humans. Thankfully, it's just not warming as alarmingly fast as Keeling/Resplandy's flawed research predicted; there's still no good news here on climate change.
Topic: crawdaddy
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:02:48 AM
Ruth P.: I also hadn't heard 'crawdaddy' used as a pejorative term; a teasing term, yes, perjorative, no. But I checked the Urban Dictionary and some other sources, and that is one definition. Probably from some part of the south (where crawdads, crayfish are most common, though found lots of other places too) like Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, etc. The book "The Institutionist" is, per the summary I read, based in a large northern city, unnamed in the book but reviewers suggested Colson Whitehead meant readers to think of New York City. Given this, and the pages before and after the quoted paragraph, using 'crawdaddy' as a funny-sounding word to 'ease the discussion' doesn't seem likely, nor does use as a term of endearment...the speaker was not feeling endeared toward Lila Mae, Pompey the Black elevator operator, or anyone Black as he was going to pin the accident on one or all of them if could.

The language in the pages I read was very racial and insensitive, which was upsetting til I understood the author was Black and was trying to make points about the races in America in the mid-century (and no doubt at the time he wrote it in 1999). Now that I know more about the context, I think it might make an interesting read though it's kind of an unusual writing style.
Topic: crawdaddy
Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:14:19 AM
Justina: Okay, this one had me baffled; was unfamiliar with the book ('The Institutionist') and its author, Colson Whitehead. Thanks for bringing this one up, found a new author to check out.

I read a few pages of this book on around the paragraph you quoted. The best I can deduce without reading the whole book is that 'crawdaddy' in the paragraph is a slang term used for emphasis by the character who's a white boss/employer of the 'old school' of doing things (it seems clear 'old school' means how White people see and do things, that Black people aren't up to snuff). The White boss/expert is using colloquial language, 'crawdaddy,' interspersed in this paragraph with his usual pompous language to make fun of the character and incident being discussed (ie he's responsible for investigating why the building's elevator was involved in an accident just days after being cleared as fine by a Black woman who was a trained "intuitionist' of elevators.....okay folks, you have to read the book to understand this one). A 'crawdaddy' in American usage can refer to a person (or thing) who is low-class, low-down, scroungy, undesirable; everything that the speaker and the building he's responsible for are absolutely NOT; in fact it/they are everything he disdains. In a slangy way (apparently to make fun of the 'intuitionist' and Black characters), he's saying he's going to investigate the incident, and is not-so-subtly assuring the people he's speaking to that he's going to hold this person, who he disdains and feels is below him, responsible.

That's my reading of the paragraph, though a person who's read the whole book might have a different interpretation.
Topic: toothy
Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2018 2:30:13 AM
Justina: This isn't a very common way to use the word "toothy" in the American-English language as far as I'm aware. I double-checked various sites for definitions of 'toothy' and they all simply defined it as showing teeth, as in a big smile. Earlier in the paragraph it's mentioned he's using a "100 watt smile" and plying her with alcoholic beverages, so it seems he was trying to charm this woman in a number of ways. So my interpretation of "toothy" in the context of the sentence and paragraph is the man told an anecdote (ie a short, pithy story) about his "suffragrette mother" in a joking or joshing manner so as to appear charming, flirty, suave, etc.

Others may be able to give you a better or different interpretation of "toothy" as used in this paragraph.
Topic: Now that Kavanaugh has "won," do American women have anything to fear?
Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2018 12:39:08 AM

It's done. 50-48 Can't find list of who voted what yet. I thought it had to be a 60 vote? Or is that what they wish to change?

They were always going to confirm him no matter what (even if the FBI report said guilty - it's why they limited the FBI) to appease Trump who wants him in case he needs him for his own immunity. GOP could have chosen another more stable candidate who would stilll be vs Roe v Wade and conservative, but they went along to give Trump a win.

Agree completely with Epi about his suitability. I wouldn't hire him for any job after that job interview.

Hope: The 60 vote requirement for SCOTUS nominees went away several years ago, in what is referred to as "the nuclear option" when McConnell got the Senate to change the rule (the Senate is governed by rules which it decides itself...typically "rules" once decided become hardened tradition, but hey, tradition and rules aren't big deals anymore) to 50, or 50 plus the VP in case of ties.

When you wrote "they limited the FBI" I hope you meant that as Trump's limitation as it was he and his AG Sessions who referred the investigation of Kavanaugh back to the FBI and drew limits around who could be talked to, how far the investigation could go, what it could cover, etc. And ultimately, though McConnell announced that a final vote would take place in a week (it was actual one day more than the week McConnell guaranteed), it was Trump's limitations on the FBI that resulted in the FBI report being done in time for the vote McConnell promised.

As an individual who follows the Supreme Cour and lower court decisions, I do agree with you that Kavanaugh's behavior during the final hearing (as well as what appear to be lies about a number of things e.g. his time at Yale, not having opinions on matters that he seems to have expressed opinions on, etc in the first hearings before the assault matter came up) should have disqualified him from SCOTUS, as well as any Federal judgeship. He was erratic, out of control verbally, breached judicial temperment standards regarding partisan/political matters, was beyond belligerent to several senators, and the list goes on. He did not show proper judicial temperment or judicial neutrality and independence. The Senate just lowered the bar to the limbo level for future Federal and Supreme Court nominees regarding how they should be expected to comport themselves. Reminds me that Kavanaugh is filling Justice Kennedy's seat, which Kennedy got only because Judge Douglas Ginsburg was found to have smoked a few doobies in college days which resulted in his nomination being pulled...standards of behavior do seem to change rather radically these days....

Topic: Is "enactment" the right word?
Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:52:59 AM
Robjen hasn't responded yet to Romany's request for clarification on what 'antique club' refers to, so I'll just toss in my agreement with Sureshot's suggestion that the word "ploy" is the better word to be used in the sentence's context. The sentence describes a situation in which the seller is using a ploy/strategy/scam/etc to drive up the price buyers are willing to pay for the seller's other merchandise (ie if Buyer A is willing to pay $ for the Seller's antique, then gosh the Seller must be selling really legitimate antiques at a good price).

There are 'antique clubs' as well as 'antique furniture clubs' and 'antique auto clubs,' etc. It might have been less confusing to some if the club had a name (e.g. New York City Antiques Club, Jones' Antique Club, etc.) or was capitalized as a proper name. I'm reading the sentence literally and as it would commonly be read (at least in the US I believe) to refer to a place where antiques are sold, not where a re-enactment of something would occur which seems least likely. The choice of 'enactment' is an inaccurate word choice for the assumed context (a place/club where antiques are sold), which seems to be why Robjen asked if it was correct or not.
Topic: Trump is Taking Children from Parents Who Are Asylum Seekers
Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2018 12:20:41 AM
This thread seems to have a long life, because the original issue --- detention of children away from their parents at the US/Mexico border --- just doesn't ever get resolved.

We/media focused so intensively on those children just recently separated at the border from their parents under the new Trump policy, the fact that there were thousands of children and adolescents already in detention around the country never really came up. 12,800 adolescents, mainly those who came alone without a parent (or got separated from a parent before ICE took them into custody) is a huge number of children for the US to have in custody for any amount of time, much less indefinitely as Hope123 informs us from Thursday's announcement. As for the indefinite detention policy, I take solace only in that the ACLU, RAICES, and other advocacy/civil rights organizations will be filing for an injunction shortly to stop this policy from being put into effect. Of course, the Administration also is known for flouting court rulings and implementing policies regardless of what our legitimate courts say.

But back to the existing 12,800 adolescents in detention now around the US: aside from issues of humanity and compassion and due process, US citizens should be in arms because we're paying huge amounts of money for their care/housing while ICE and the federal courts twiddle their thumbs. Earlier this week Senator Jeff Merkley made public information showing that the Feds have transferred $20milion or more this year from non-immigration line items (e.g. FEMA...right before a big hurricane) to pay for these incarcerations; the Feds didn't announce these transfers or the reason for them, they did them in the dark.

These young people are being held in a variety of environments, many in the child-version of 'private prisons,' a bad concept that some states and now the Federal gov't have embraced. 'Private prisons' are less accountable and less accessible to those who want to assure safe and decent accommodations. They aren't cheap for the taxpayer (private prisons once were advertised as a cheaper way to incarcerate prisoners, to get around paying union wages as well as a faster-to-build option for states with crime problems and inadequate jail space), and depending on how DHS/HHS wrote and supervises the contracts with them, may be a honeypot for the investors who scrape off a big-sized chunk for profits so money for food, quality housing, trained and screened staff, etc. is inadequate. Even those lucky enough not to be detained in institutional 'private prisons for kids,' are taking up the already inadequate child foster/foster-like system; across the country county child agencies go begging to find homes for kids removed from parents in prison or found abusive/negligent. What are we doing with almost 13,000 non-American kids under gov't custody for long periods of time, why won't the Feds increase the number of Federal judges and prosecutors to move these kids in/out of the system: let them live with sponsors or let them have refugee status, or send them back to their home countries. But don't keep adolescents in limbo for long periods of time during their developmental phase, many in institutional prison-like environments.

Topic: Op ed
Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2018 12:57:47 AM
Pantuflas is correct based on a search of definitions. And "op-ed" (or "op ed") stands for 'opposite the editorial page' instead of what most of - me included - though was 'opinion editorial.' It's name is derived from the fact that in most if not all major papers that publish 'op-eds,' it's positioned on the page opposite, or across from, the official editorial page written by the paper's own paid staff.
Topic: hardworking
Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2018 12:51:11 AM
Koh Elaine: Interesting question. The Cambridge and Collins on-line dictionaries indicate that in both the UK and US it should be "hard-working." However, the Google Ngram analysis shows that a few decades ago "hardworking" became the more popular spelling, though both spellings are used. So it seems technically it should be "hard-working" but in practice we use both spellings, with more analyzed printed material using "hardworking." So as NKM indicates, I guess either spelling is acceptable in everyday usage. A strict grammarian/speller (as in a teacher) might require it to be written "hard-working" though.
Topic: Lower than crouching poison
Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2018 2:34:39 AM
Joe Kim: I know what sleeping position you mean, but can't think of a single word or phrase that describes it. It isn't the embryo position (the face is sideways instead of downward in the embryo) or the spread-eagle/face-down position (spread-eagle means arms/legs out or up, while a turtle pulls arms/legs in and under itself as you described). I know a few people, mainly young children, who sleep as you describe: face-down with arms and legs pulled in under a person gets older, most of us lose the limberness to get into this position, but it is cozy! Good luck getting the answer you're looking for.

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