Friday the 13th Forum

Steven L. Taylor
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). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s a slow news day for me. I guess everybody else is sleeping in.

  2. Neil Hudelson says:


    How’d you guess? It was accidental for me, hitting off instead of snooze. But when I looked outside at the rain/snow slush, I decided an hour late to work might as well be 2 hours late to work.

  3. Kathy says:

    It’s been a long week. And it’s not over yet.

  4. Jax says:

    I’m not sure the planet will survive humans with longer life spans. Interesting research, though!

  5. Sleeping Dog says:


    Ah to be 18 with the wisdom of a septuagenarian. Better yet, have an 18yo’s bod and be retired. 😉

  6. Kathy says:


    I think Elon should volunteer for human trials. Perhaps he’ll grow less douchy as he gets younger.

  7. de stijl says:

    I have reached the portion of winter where there is a spot between my shoulder blades that is gonna itch for a month. I think it is lack of humidity. It never kicks in any other time of the year. Oh my Crikey is is so annoying and distracted.

    I can feel it now. So [bleeping] annoying.

    About 1/8 of my life is being unable to cope with an itch that cannot be scratched. It’s there. It’s just there constantly bugging you.

    Every time I go to the kitchen I reverse dry hump my house’s infrastructure and rub and wiggle against the 90 degree right angle on the doorway into my kitchen. It is glorious!

    If anyone would see me wiggle and wriggle against a handy 90 degree angle they we dub me insane. I am such a weirdo moron. No one sees so that’s cool.

    I also use a spoon reversed to try to scratch the itch between the shoulder blades. It feels good, but does not make it go away. It does help. A little bit.

    Every January I am confronted with a zen conundrum. What is an itch that cannot be scratched?

    I don’t know the answer yet. And it is currently driving me insane.

  8. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: If the issue is humidity, maybe after your shower, you should use your back brush to spread some moisturizer on your back after you dry off.

  9. de stijl says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    One morning I drove to work.

    I was living downtown and worked in the suburbs so I got the reverse commute experience. Most days everybody is trying to get downtown at 7:40 AM and I am trying to get out. Go against the flow.

    That particular morning as I drove west the snow was getting deeper and deeper. Even the interstate was not plowed clean properly as I got closer.

    It was one of those snowstorms that dumped snow unevenly in a fairly small geographic area. Downtown got 4 inches and 10 miles away west got 12.

    I had reached the point of I have to see what happened. Downtown, not really that big of a deal. Perfectly copable. Out in western suburbia it was a winter wasteland socked hard.

    At that point I figured out that work was definitely canceled that day. I pulled into the parking lot mostly to turn around safely. A building that most days hosts several thousand corporate drones was empty and dead. No business was conducted that day. There were maybe eight cars parked in that immense parking lot covered in 12 inches of freshly fallen snow. It was spooky, mostly in a good way.

    I miss the reverse commute, the anti-commute. Drive out when everyone else is driving in. Drive home when everyone else is driving out. It amused me. Very easy.

    I drove home carefully and got stupid day drunk.

  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    @de stijl:

    I have the same issue every year. In order of ease/cost:
    1. Pat dry your back, but don’t rub dry or allow to air dry. My understanding is both of these dry the skin out a bit more than pat-drying.
    2. There are a variety of lotion applicators for hard to reach spots. All of them will feature ads of very old people whose infirmity blocks them from healthy skin or an enjoyable life. This is you now, accept it.
    3. If you have the dough, or if you happen to be replacing a furnace already, have them install a whole-house humidifier. Dear God it’s glorious.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I have 3 back scratchers strategically stationed about the house for just that reason.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    New photography techniques reveal the Baltic’s eerie wrecks – in pictures

    Really cool pics. Also this give me the opportunity to plug a favorite book of mine: Shadow Divers.

  13. Beth says:


    I slept in today too. Work up, helped get the kids out the door and fell back asleep for like 2 hours. For the last half hour I was trying to wake up but couldn’t. I’m fried today. I spent the week pushing my recovery. It’s time to get back to work and stuff. Today my body is like “noooooope”. I’m exhausted and have a terrible cramp in my right butt cheek.

    I think the only thing that’s getting done today is me willing the Paid Grandparents to take the kids for a sleepover tonight.

  14. Kylopod says:

    In response to Lisa Marie Presley’s untimely passing, we got this on Truth Social:

    Travis Tritt
    This is unbelievably sad. How many more of these premature deaths have to happen before people start to question what the cause is?

    Is this going to be the norm now? Literally every time a celebrity suffers a medical emergency (fatal or otherwise), the antivaxxers will be like “A-ha!”? We just had a round of this last week with the football guy (who’s apparently fine).

    And it’s especially weird acting like “premature death” is something new, when talking about this family. But then, I wouldn’t put it past him that he’s one of those who believes Elvis is still alive. (Seriously.)

    Indeed, the very phrase “premature death” is telling. It may seem like I’m nitpicking with language that a lot of people use, but in this case I think it reflects an assumption that everyone is supposed to live to their senior years, and when they don’t, something is seriously effed up. Of course I realize that’s kind of how it works in a societal sense: we usually say someone who lived at least to mid-70s has had a “full life,” and if they die much sooner than that, it’s much likelier to be viewed as tragic. I’m not questioning that convention. But in a biological sense, lifespans are just a matter of averages. There’s nothing unusual about someone in their 50s suffering a fatal heart attack, stroke, or other medical ailment. It just goes to show the element of essentialism underlying antivax and other crackpot beliefs.

  15. inhumans99 says:

    At the beginning of the work week (traditional Monday for me) our office learned that the powers that be at our Corporate HQ decided (I presume they voted) to make MLK’s Birthday a paid Holiday celebrated by all in the company! So instead of of it being a scary Friday the 13th, I am all like Happy Friday the 13th everyone because now for me like it is for many others this weekend, it is the start of a 3 day weekend!!

    Enjoy the weekend folks!

    I will be getting out of my chair at various times of the day and doing a short but goofy happy dance.

  16. de stijl says:


    Yes, anti-vaxxers will pull on any and every thread. If it can push their agenda they will employ it. It is essentially a cult. Gaslighting is coin of the realm.

    It is the form of argumentation they are most familiar with.

    Travis Tritt can wallow in his own dung. Screw that guy and that energy and message. Yo, got any proof? Like, at all? Fuck him!

    I am not a country music person, but isn’t Travis Tritt kinda a big OG deal? A living legend? Screw that guy. Way to blow your legacy on QAnon bullshit. Idiot.

  17. CSK says:

    Trump wanted to nuke No. Korea in 2017 and blame it on another country.

  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    Very cool, thanks for the link.

  19. de stijl says:

    If I were the leader of the Illuminati that runs the deep state government, who would I choose to eliminate?

    Obviously it would Lisa Marie Pressley. Also, Diamond or Silk, not exactly sure who is which.

    Why? Because the victims are so obscure and so Z List that no one will be able to trace it back to me. Bwa ha ha ha! A foolproof plan!

    If I had a mustache I would twirl it. Both ends.

    Deeply ingrained conspiracy people understand reality differently. My wild above scenario is not just possible, but plausible, and likely true. Cogito ergo sum. QED. Therefore….

    So much bad logic. Bad logic underpins the whole structure. Don’t be astounded when true believers spit out obviously disprovable statements and stand by it. It is what they know.

  20. CSK says:

    @Kylopod: @de stijl:

    Former MLB outfielder Lee Tinsley, 53, has died. Of course that’s being attributed to the vax.

  21. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Treat yourself to a couple Republicans who could not survive a primary, today.

  22. de stijl says:


    He was third in line! Of course, bwa ha ha ha!

    I am kinda into baseball, but I have never heard of Tinsley, but he was the third ringleader I had to eliminate, obviously, with my miracle vaccination scheme.

    Why? Not a gd clue. It advances my really obscure poorly thought-through plan. Obviously I cannot go against higher profile targets or else the lame stream media might catch on.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I didn’t know about the applicators for hard to reach spots. I’ve always used Q-tips or other makeshift solutions. Thanks!

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: “…but isn’t Travis Tritt kinda a big OG deal?”

    Depends on how old you are. I go back to Patsy Kline, Faron Young, and Hank Williams, Sr., so to me he’s one of the “modern Country” young whippersnappers.

  25. Mikey says:


    In response to Lisa Marie Presley’s untimely passing, we got this on Truth Social

    Lisa Marie’s father also died from heart disease, at age 42, in 1977.

    Apparently the COVID vaccine is so horrible, so evil, so insidious that it can actually TRAVEL BACK IN TIME to kill a celebrity!

    Seriously, nearly two thousand Americans a day die from heart disease. It’s been the leading cause of death for many years.

    It’s only among the ignorant and innumerate anti-vaxx crowd that someone dying of cardiac arrest is notable.

  26. Kathy says:


    Remember in 2020 the conspiracy was that all deaths were counted as being from COVID? They’re counting those alleged to be caused by the vaccine exactly that way.

    About Damar Hamlin, we don’t really know the diagnosis. The media buzz was commotio cordis, but he was then treated and examined by specialists at a hospital. It may have been that, or it may have been some previously undiagnosed cardiac condition, or something else.

    Lifespan figures are averages. These take into account those who live very long lives, say past 100 years, as well as infant deaths after very short lives. But also everyone else in between. That’s why insurance companies use actuarial tables.

    So, yes, death well short of 70 years is not the expected average, but it’s not remotely unusual nor a recent phenomenon.

  27. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: Early deaths do seem to be up, although it is hard to say that any given person is one of the excess deaths without a clear idea of why there are excess deaths.

    The antivaxxer shit spreads because there are three grains of truth which are then connected with bullshit.

    I assume the increase in deaths has more to do with the number of people who have caught a virus that attacks the blood vessels, organs and immune system that the number of people vaccinated with a fragment of the binding spike protein of that virus. I mean, it seems more likely that the whole virus would be worse for you than a fragment*.

    But I haven’t seen the young death data broken down by vaccinated vs unvaccinated and has-been-infected vs not. Not sure if we are even doing the research, or whether that all falls into “the pandemic is over, get on with your lives.”

    I’m far more prone to the “we’re letting a virus that causes all sorts of terrible problems run rampant because we’re tired of dealing with it” mindset than the antivaxxer mindset.

    *: I can also see a scenario where the vaccine causes more of that spike protein to be produced via mRNA than an actual infection has, and have no guess as to whether that is happening. Consider the virus as a car with the spike protein as the tires — you can fit a lot more tires in a much smaller space if they aren’t connected to the car.

    Getting hit with a car is worse than getting hit with a tire, but there is some number where getting hit with that many tires is going to really suck too.

    Really don’t think that’s happening with the vaccine though. It’s a pretty shitty virus and people seem fine with the vaccine.

  28. Stormy Dragon says:


    The increase in early deaths started before the vaccine was even available:

    “The blood clots are from COVID. The spike in myocarditis fatalities started before the vaccines even came out. You aren’t allowed to talk about that (on Tucker’s show).”— Christian Vanderbrouk (@UrbanAchievr) December 20, 2022

    They’re blaming the vaccine for the deaths caused by the virus itself.

  29. inhumans99 says:

    Steven, I was checking out my local news on-line and saw that your state was hit by a round of nasty tornadoes. 🙁 My thoughts go out to you and your fellow citizens and I hope everyone gets the help they need to get back on their feet.

  30. Mister Bluster says:

    Robbie Bachman

    BTO on the Simpsons

  31. Joe says:

    About Damar Hamlin, we don’t really know the diagnosis.

    I am no doctor, Kathy, but with the explanation of commotio cordis, I was surprised to hear he was on a ventilator. I would have expected that they would get his heart restarted, monitor him for day or two, and send him on his way. I don’t understand why he wasn’t breathing on his own. I hope this is just my ignorance (which accounts for a lot in my life).

  32. Kathy says:


    I’ll dig up JBS Haldane and paraphrase: medicine is not more complicated than lay people imagine, but more complicated than they can imagine.

  33. Kathy says:

    It seems accounting is one of those other things non-specialists can’t imagine the complications of.

    On january 3rd I uploaded an expense report for 2022. That day was the cutoff date, so I felt I was ok. It was returned on January 6th with a cryptic note about the date entered. I asked for clarification/instructions about how to fix it, and got no answer. So on January 9th, I sent it on the system again, exactly as it was before. Today I had a chance to check, and it had been applied to the advance’s balance. Not a peep from accounting this time.

    Seriously, WTF?

  34. steve says:

    “I was surprised to hear he was on a ventilator.”

    Not that unusual for someone to go into heart failure either from the stunning effect or even some permanent damage. Rhythm may be irregular off and on for a bit too. All of which may lead to some problems with oxygenation. Also, depending upon his CNS status they may have been protecting the airway.


  35. Jax says:

    So this “Armed Forces Press” is starting to be spread around a lot on my admittedly Republican Facebook feed. They look official, but I’d bet they’re not.

    By Staff Writer
    January 5, 2023
    Views: 274213

    CDM has interviewed Sasha Latyapova multiple times regarding the vaccines. She is breaking big news now on the Covid ‘vaccines’ and the Department of Defense.


    January 5, 2022

    New Docs Reveal Department of Defense Controlled COVID-19 Program from the Start

    FDA Vaccine Approval Process was Theater

    A combinationofthePREP Act, Emergency Use Authorization, and Other Transactions Authority (OTA) Shielded Big Pharma, Agencies,and Medical Participants that Delivered Unregulated Vaccines from Any Liability

    WASHINGTON, DC -According to congressionally passed statutes, research of active laws,and extra details obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the Department of Defense owns, implements, and oversees the COVID-19 vaccine program as a“Countermeasure” to foreign attack.While the public was bombarded with an orchestrated fear campaign,the U.S.Government managed the Covid response as a national security threat.

    The research and documentswere obtained bya former executive of a pharmaceutical Contract Research Organization (CRO), Sasha Latypova,and intensive legal researcherKatherine Watt.

    The Three-Legged Stool

    The undercover operation was orchestrated utilizing three critical legal maneuvers:

    1. Emergency Use Authorization EUA.

    2. Prep Act,

    3. Other Transactions Authority

    President Trump declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) on March 13, 2020, under the Stafford Act, putting the National Security Council in charge of the Covid policy.Covid-19 vaccines are “medical countermeasures” – a grey area of products that are not regulated as vaccines or medicines.

    “They put the National Security Council in charge and treated it as an act of war,” said Latypova.

    According to Operation Warp Speed/ASPR reports, the DoD ordered, oversaw, and tightly managed the development, manufacture, and distribution of Covid countermeasures,mainly utilizing the DoD’s previously established network of military contractors and consortia.

    Department of Defense, BARDA, and HHS ordered all Covid countermeasures, including “vaccines” as prototype demonstrations of large-scale manufacturing, avoiding regulations and transparency under Other Transaction Authority. As prototypes used under EUA during PHE, Covid countermeasures, including “vaccines,” need not comply with the U.S. laws for manufacturing quality, safety, and labeling.

    “The implication is that theU.S.Government authorized and funded the deployment of noncompliant biological materials on Americans without clarifying their “prototype” legal status, making the materials not subject to normal regulatory oversight, all while maintaining a fraudulent pseudo- “regulatory” presentation to the public,” said Latypova.

    “Most incredible is the fact that current Laws enacted by the United States Congress appear to make the coverup actions LEGAL!”

    Under the PHE, medical countermeasures are not regulated or safeguarded as pharmaceutical products (21 USC 360bbb-3(k).

    The American people were led to believe thatthe FDA, CDC, and figureheads like Anthony Fauci oversaw the COVID-19 vaccine program.Their involvement was an orchestrated information operation. All decisions concerning the COVID-19 vaccine research, materials acquisition, distribution, and information sharing were tightly controlled by the DoD.

    Hundreds of Covid countermeasurescontractshave been uncovered. Many disclosures are in redacted form. However, Latypova and Watt have found sources to fill in the details. A review of these contracts indicates a high degree of control by the U.S. Government (DoD/BARDA). It specifies the scope of deliverables as “demonstrations” and “prototypes” only while excluding clinical trials and manufacturing quality control from the scope of work paid for by the contracts. To ensure that the Pharma is free to conduct the fake clinical trials without financial risk, the contracts include the removal of all liability for the manufacturers and any contractors along the supply and distribution chain under the 2005 PREP Act and related federal legislation.

    Why is no action by regulators or courts? According to Latypova and Watt, a combination of recently passed legislation and executive orders make it LEGAL to LIE! The HHS Secretary is accountable to no one if the Health National Emergency continues to be extended by Congress every three months.

    A significant information operation was set in motion the minute COVID-19 hit. The U.S. government, the intelligence community, the media, and Big Tech colluded to orchestrate and implement an intense pressure campaign designed to get the vaccine legally designated under the Emergency Use Authorization Act while vilifying dissenting doctors, critics, and viable alternative treatments. This designation allowed for speedy manufacturing devoid of the standard safety and public health protocols.

    For a vaccine to receive designation under the EUA, there can be no other known treatments or cures. Therefore, many proven treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine were blacklisted in the media and dismissed as “horse dewormers” when these cheap, readily available drugs were in the past heralded for their effectiveness.

    Eminent COVID-treating doctors such as Peter M. McCullough and Pierre Kory have faced unprecedented attacks on their medical credentials.

    Here is a typical contract scope for “vaccines”.

    I copied and pasted so they don’t get extra clicks, but there are some hyperlinks that are par for the course.

  36. Jax says:

    They’re truly turning Covid into a death cult. Grannies and Grandpa’s will die, as well as anybody else immunocompromised that they come into contact with.

    I’ve never been so excited to live far away from civilization as I am right now. Fuck those guys.

  37. Kathy says:


    I’ll go with my old standby: there are other countries in the world, and they all have some health agency overseeing drugs, medical, devices, vaccines, etc. They all reviewed the data, and some conducted their own trials, for instance of the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot.

    Not only that, but the Pfizer shot, developed with a German firm called BioNTech, conducted its trial in five countries.

    Fighting blatant misinformation seems so easy to me, I’ve a hard time grasping how people with a working brain fall for it.

  38. Jax says:

    @Kathy: Serious bit of irony the other day when my Dad, a rabid Trumper, declared that Covid wasn’t the right plague we needed to save the planet from over-population of humans.