Boxing Day Forum
Steven L. Taylor
Saturday, December 26, 2020
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective.
He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog).
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When I was a really little kid, I thought Boxing Day was when people put on padded gloves, climbed into a ring, and started pummeling each other.
@CSK: Are you telling me it isn’t?
The LA Times seems to have filled a slow day with a story about the ‘jetpack man’. Dated from Dec 21, a video has emerged from 3000′ above Palos Verde of the apparition not acting like a drone or a helium balloon at all but exceeding known limits on jetpack performance.
In other news, Donald J. Trump is very, very angry that Melania never got so much as one lousy cover on a glossy magazine during his tenure in office, whereas Michelle Obama got 12 covers. Such rank injustice.
@CSK: Damn. (puts gloves back on shelf)
Shovels, Shovels? We don’ need no stinkin’ shovels.
According to the NYTimes, Trump has told the WH staff to ignore a memo about packing up his goods and chattels preparatory to leaving the WH on January 20. Is he planning on squatting there?
@CSK: He’s planning on making Joe and Kamala clean up all the messes he’s going to leave behind.
In my post upthread I was riffing on a popular misquote from the film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I’d wager that not many people know that the book the film was based on was originally published in Germany, Der Schatz der Sierra Madre, written by someone called B. Traven. Traven wrote a number of books, all written in German. Just who B. Traven was is unknown. I recall reading an article in The New York Review of Books in late 60s-early 70s that argued he was the son of Kaiser Wilhelm. That’s just one theory. A nice precis of the mystery of his identity is this: The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre author’s greatest mystery was his true identity.
Very interesting. I’d heard of Traven, but I didn’t know the back story.
They better call in one of those outfits that cleans up after crime scenes.
@CSK: I was thinking more along the lines of disaster recovery specialists. The ones you call after fires, hurricanes, tornadoes…
Perhaps they could engage one of those firms that does both.
That’s Kristy Noem and her flamethrower. Some of us are stuck with lowly snowblowers.
After being homeless for a month after our apartment building was firebombed just before Thanksgiving, we were able to move into a new place in time for Christmas. My daughter and I planned a quiet day at home, except we spent a couple of hours driving around to drop off gifts to friends.
Although we didn’t enter anyone’s home, we could see inside from the doors. Every place we stopped had crowds of people gathered, no one in masks.
I feel like screaming. We just spent a month where we had no choice but to be exposed to numerous people, and all these people who did have choices are putting themselves at risk! Didn’t they listen to the news about what happened after Thanksgiving gatherings?!
Congrats on getting settled.
Denial, is a powerful drug.
Question for the PoliSci people:
I keep seeing people say China is Communist. But that’s not right. There are 400 billionaires in China. That’s not a feature of Communist systems. What’s the most accurate description of China’s Politico-economic situation?
@Teve: Deng Xioping (sort of my favorite Chinese Leader) called it “Socialism with Chinese characteristics” He was the main architect of how they do it.
Because he was a very clever guy as a politician.
Here in the Southwest, as some of you may know, Covid has been particularly cruel to the Navajo. The people of Ireland have donated now over $2 million to the relief of the Navajo. Why the people of Ireland? In 1847, the Choctaw tribe sent $170 to Ireland in response to the suffering of the Irish during the Great Famine. The Choctaw themselves had just endured the Trail of Tears and felt a kindred spirit to the people of Ireland as they suffered. In County Cork, the Irish have erected a monument to the Native Americans who, although mired in their own travails, made what contribution they could to the Irish in their time of need. The sculpture is called Kindred Spirits.
@Teve: I am not sure there is an easy answer to the question, but they have as much a system of state-run capitalism as they do communism.
@Jay L Gischer: Indeed. Pretty much a hodge-podge of whatever they wanted to use.
The comments are…not going well for them.
It’s been known for a while that Charlie Baker (a Massachusetts Republican) is the most popular governor in the country. But according to Chris Cillizza, he also has an 89% approval rating among Massachusetts Democrats. That is unheard-of.
I’m not a political scientist, but I always thought China managed to combine the worst aspects of capitalism with the worst aspects of communism.
Well, I don’t see how Jacqueline Kennedy would have been relevant in the past four years.
@Teve: She has all the class of a streetwalker.
This is the second or third attempt by the RW press to use alleged snubs of Melania to get a rise out of the soon (thankfully) to be ex prez. At times it is difficult to see who is manipulating whom.
FBI: White supremacists plotted attack on US power grid
@CSK: Charlie Peirce says the Commonwealth (God save it) elects republican governors to keep the democrats in the legislature from stealing everything.
Why do you always invite two Southern Baptists fishing?
So one won’t drink all your beer.
Well, it is interesting that the bluest state in the union keeps happily electing Republican governors. There have only been three Democrats (King, Dukakis, and Patrick) in that office since 1965. And King became a Republican in 1985.
I have oft wondered how the Trumpkins manage to overlook Melania’s past history of nude modeling and posing for a lesbian soft-core b&d portfolio.
@CSK: nothing shows commitment to the group like believing obvious lies.
Donald Trump is a Christian!
Melania is elegant!
Biden is a Communist!
A brother’s grief, a father’s joy and learning to live with both at Christmas
It’s a hard read.
@Teve: Not really and econ guy, have only taken 4 or 5 econ courses over the years, but I would describe China as Mercantilist mostly. If I understand correctly (IIUC?), most of the billionaires have strong connections to the ruling elites over the time since Deng (IIRC) figured out that market economics didn’t automatically force a country to have democracy, too. Discovering the ability to be both authoritarian pseudo-collectivists and capitalist greedheads was a HUGE breakthrough for China.
Yes, that certainly describes the situation adequately.
“Santa is the luckiest dude in the world. He knows where all the naughty bitches live.”
I see China’s authoritarianism, and the capitalism, but I haven’t studied China so I don’t know how much Communism/collectivism etc still exists. So I want input from more knowledgeable people than myself,
China still has a huge collectivist economic sector, it exists to placate the masses who could end up losers in a more pure, capitalist system. Its inefficiencies are covered up by the growth of the private sector, but the private sector is also hindered by the remnants of collectivism, since frequently those sectors of the economy are protected and limited to state-owned industries.
At some point the left over collectivism will become a significant drag on the Chinese economy and a crisis will ensue as to how to proceed.
@CSK: Playboy, Hustler, and Lad magazine should all use one of the, ahem, earlier photos of Mrs. Trump (along with strategically placed red circles stating “censored”). And do that for 12 issues. Then send the ex-president a cheerful little message about “now your wife has been on as many covers as First Lady Michelle Obama! We’re expecting a thank-you note from both you and your wife. Unless both of you would like to pose nude for our covers in the future?”
-U.S. News & World Reports
Ewww. You just made me barf my lunch with and image of the soon to be ex prez nude.
Yeah, that would do it. I do recall that the NYPost gleefully printed various nude shots (with breasts and the part Trump likes to grab tastefully obscured) of Melania as well the b&d portfolio back during the 2016 campaign, which is how I knew about them. I may be wrong, but I don’t think “top supermodels,” as Trump is wont to refer to his wife, have to resort to these sorts of gigs. I also don’t recall ever seeing a shot of Melania modeling actual clothing.
Ah, well. In her career Madame Trump has doubtless made many, many teenaged boys very, very happy. And very likely some older ones, as well.
Just for you!
D$nm you CSK. And just think, James made me stop calling him Tiny.
BTW, did you see that the Mass State Inspector General came down hard on the Methuen police chief? Problem in Methuen is that too many refugees from Lawrence are there and as we know, Lawrencian’s love their corrupt public officials.
I thought you’d enjoy the portrait.
Yes, I did see the news about the Methuen cops. Could they get any more blatant? Speaking of Lawrence, I had a great-aunt who lived there most of her quite long life. She spoke about Essex St. as if it were the Rue de la Paix. I never understood till I saw very old photos of Lawrence.
No suggesting I am more knowledgeable than you, but I think it helps to differentiate Marxism from communism. And from Maoism for that matter. There is a mixture of all that in China, and they have embraced many aspects of capitalism to boot. It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world.
While on the topic of weird stuff…
I was born in Lawrence and lived their till I was 7. Essex St even up to the time I was in junior high was still a vibrant shopping district, though as memory serves me correctly it began to atrophy at either end. By the mid 70’s the street’s fate was sealed. Kaps, moved to the burbs McCartney’s and Sutherland’s closed. The parents of high school friends owned a record store on the street and they hung till the mid 80’s. By that time there were lots of empty store fronts.
At least today, those store fronts are filled with businesses that meet the needs of the city’s low income populace.
Morin’s, that tea room/bakery that was famous for some kind of baked good, hung on for a while, too.
@CSK: For the same reason Maine reelected Susan Collins this year: New England Democrats are dopes.
@Kylopod: Maine has the highest number of elderly people per capita. Florida is 0.1% behind them.
@dazedandconfused: For some reason the Donald Jr. clip reminded me of stuff I used to see on The 700 Club while my mom was still alive with Pat Robertson babbling away almost completely incoherent and Terry Meeuwsen sitting off to the side (and slightly out of mic range) agreeing and going along with the schtick. Ewww… (for both images 🙁 )
36 hours since The Nashville bombing. Trump hasn’t said one word About it. In that 36 hours, he has tweeted about Melania not getting magazine covers, how awful section 230 is, and approximately a dozen tweets about how Joe Biden is an illegitimate president, he stole the election, and the Supreme Court won’t look at the evidence.
Hey, the man has his priorities.
Excerpt from a history textbook published in 2047 A.D.:
@CSK: A common comment on Twitter right now is that he is not going to say anything about the Nashville bomber until he finds out if it’s one of his supporters or not.
Oligarchic police state with meritocratic aspects re. access to executive positions, potentially heritable (non-land based neo-aristocracy) with nationalist “success” and economic development as pseudo-popular validation.
Closest parallels (and they’re not that close) Japan in the later 19th century, Germany after 1870, France under Napoleon III.
Apparently he did issue a very short statement yesterday, to the effect that he had been briefed on the incident and was grateful for the first responders. He is also said to be praying for the injured. Yeah, sure.
Nothing since then that I know of.
@CSK: ah, didn’t see that. I just scanned the last 2 days of his Tweets.
Prager “University” video explaining that statues of Robert E Lee shouldn’t be taken down because he was an American hero who put down John Brown’s slave revolt at Harpers ferry.
That was from four days ago. In a more recent post they explain that the reason the South switched to voting Republican is that they left racism behind.
The thought of Trump praying makes me queasy.
Wood appears to be fucking certifiable.
Morin’s hung on for a long time into the 2000’s, took my mother there to get some bake goods. Another place that hung on forever and is maybe still there, the Cedar Crest on Broadway.
It’s been years since I was poking around Lawrence, so I can’t remember what was still around. A friend from MN is an archaeologist, and he’s interested in visiting the old mill cities and the mill districts when he gets out here again. I’ll accompany him.
That’s supposed to make Robert E. Lee a hero? To whom?
The Cedar Crest (Jackie O. went there when she was visiting her son at P.A.) closed its Lawrence location in 2009 and reopened on Chickering Road in No. Andover in 2010. The chicken liver pate was amazing.
If the Chinese ever invade, if they pick the right general, a large part of the South might be ambivalent when they hear: “General Lee takes Washington…”
Google tells me Tomahawks fly at 550 mph. So yeah, an urban 90-degree turn is perfectly reasonable.
@Gustopher: to the kind of person who gets his book-larnins from Prager “University”.
NYT: Want to Learn French? Italian? Russian? There’s No Time Like the Present
@Teve: It’s getting a lot of attention because, at least according to what I’ve been hearing, it’s extreme even by PragerU’s usual (very low) standards.