Friday’s 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:

    Illinois state police confirmed on Wednesday that Crimo signed off on his son’s application in December 2019 despite his son having two previous encounters with local police, including one in September 2019 where he allegedly threatened to “kill everybody” in his family.

    During that visit, police confiscated a number of weapons in the alleged gunman’s possession, including 16 knives, a dagger and a sword. The weapons were later returned to the family, however, after Crimo Jr claimed they were his, not his son’s, and were just being stored in his son’s room for safekeeping.

    Well, sure, don’t all responsible fathers store weapons in the rooms of their unstable children for safekeeping?

    Crimo Jr has acknowledged that he signed off on the gun application for his son noting that his son was approved after going through background checks. “They do background checks. Whatever that entails, I’m not exactly sure. And either you’re approved or denied, and he was approved,” Crimo told ABC.

    Yeah. You know. They have a process for these things. I don’t know what it entails but it’s supposed to catch these things. Ya know? If they don’t ask me any questions, it’s outta my hands.

    He said he did not regret sponsoring the firearm application, saying his son later obtained various firearms before the Independence Day attack himself. “Do I regret that? No, not three years ago – signing a consent form to go through the process … that’s all it was,” Crimo said. “Had I purchased guns throughout the years and given them to him in my name, that’s a different story. But he went through that whole process himself.”

    It’s not like I enabled him or anything…

    He added he was not worried about the legal consequences of signing off on his son’s application, saying his son “has good morals” and was not raised in an abusive environment.

    I………………………. I……………………… I……………………

    He also said he spoke to his son just a few hours before the massacre about a different mass shooting at a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark. Crimo Jr said his son called the Copenhagen shooter “an idiot”. “He goes, ‘Yeah, that guy is an idiot.’ That’s what he said,” Crimo Jr told the New York Post.

    “What an idiot. When I do my mass shooting, I’m gonna have an escape plan. I’m smarter that way.”

    At the tale end of that article was this little tidbit:

    On Thursday, police in Virginia claimed to have foiled yet another planned mass shooting on Independence Day, after receiving an anonymous tip from a caller who said he overhead two men planning a shooting spree at the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater, a local entertainment venue in Richmond. The men have been detained with multiple assault rifles and more than 200 rounds of ammunition in their possession.

    America. Land of the free and home of the terrorized.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A winner has been declared in the showdown between comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and former judge and failed Senate candidate Roy Moore, at least for now. On Thursday, Baron Cohen defeated a $95m defamation lawsuit brought by Moore, who said he was tricked into a television appearance that lampooned sexual misconduct accusations against him.

    The second US circuit court of appeals in Manhattan, upholding a lower court’s ruling in favor of Baron Cohen, said Moore signed a disclosure agreement that prohibited any legal claims over the appearance. The three judges also found it was “clearly comedy” when Baron Cohen demonstrated a so-called pedophile detector that beeped when it got near Moore, and no viewer would think the comedian was making factual allegations against Moore.
    “Baron Cohen may have implied (despite his in character disclaimers of any belief that Judge Moore was a pedophile) that he believed Judge Moore’s accusers, but he did not imply the existence of any independent factual basis for that belief besides the obviously farcical pedophile detecting ‘device,’ which no reasonable person could believe to be an actual, functioning piece of technology,” the court wrote in the unsigned summary order.
    “For far too long the American people have been subjected to the antics of Sasha Baron Cohen. His pusillanimous and fraudulent conduct must be stopped. We will appeal,” the couple said in a statement texted to the Associated Press.

    Pusillanimous… My my… Such a big word from such a small mind. I wonder if they even know the meaning of it? I suspect not.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    Yesterday, a few blocks from my house, an enraged motorist attacked a group of squeegee kids with a baseball bat and one them pulled out a gun and killed him. I presume the pro-gun crowd will laud this young hero and invite him to autograph signings at gun shows, and the like. I mean, if the squeegee kid had attacked the driver with a bat, and the driver shot the kid, they would call the driver a hero, right? And so the situation is equivalent, isn’t it? I mean, what could possibly be different?

    And I’d just like to thank all the geniuses who keep a gun in their glove compartment or under their seat, places no thief would ever think to look, for doing their part to ensure a steady supply of cheap guns that even squeegee kids can afford.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Today’s entrant in the Whocouldaknowed file:

    Fears of broader maternal care deserts as US states push to ban abortion

    Louisiana is fighting to become a leader in the race to criminalize doctors who allegedly provide abortions, since the US supreme court ended federal abortion protections. In doing so, the state may also become an example of how abortion bans could worsen maternal health in America, as criminal penalties across the US redefine where and how doctors are willing to practice. In turn, that is likely to worsen a leading reason some states are more dangerous places to give birth – lack of hospitals, birthing centers and obstetricians.

    “It should be no surprise that in a lot of the states where there’s a [trigger ban], there’s a strong correlation [with maternity care deserts],” said Stacey Stewart, president and chief executive of the March of Dimes, an organization that advocates for maternal and infant health and is strictly neutral on abortion.

    Many of the same states hostile to abortion have also pursued intersecting policies that can worsen health overall for residents, such as refusal to expand a public health health insurance program for the poor, called Medicaid.

    Pro-Life my ass.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: And I’d just like to thank all the geniuses who keep a gun in their glove compartment or under their seat,

    Don’t forget Texas National Guard dipshits:

    In the latest incident Monday, a Texas National Guard soldier abandoned a loaded M4A1 carbine in a running pickup truck with its doors unlocked. The truck, an unmarked pickup with an Oregon plate, was parked alongside three marked Border Patrol trucks and another unmarked truck along a road near the butterfly center. Worst of all, the rifle’s dust cover was open.

    The center director noticed the unsecured weapon, notified the local Border Patrol station chief, and took it to her office for safe-keeping, she recalled in an interview with Army Times. She shared screenshots of her messages to the station chief with Army Times, as well.

    Later that day, she decided to post about it on Twitter.

    “Today, I got my hands on a fully automatic weapon thanks to the stupid, irresponsible #TexasNationalGuard #OperationLonestar who left their vehicle running and unlocked with guns inside on the side of the road,” she said. “Guess the truck could’ve been mine, too.”

    Later tweets included photos of the rifle in her office and an image of the lower receiver, which revealed the weapon was a former M4 carbine that was converted into an M4A1 to replace the burst feature with fully automatic fire. Treviño Wright explained that she was worried that someone could get their hands on the weapon and harm ether the agents, soldiers or passersby.

    She posted that she had “returned the abandoned automatic weapon to the sergeant ‘in charge’ of this merry band of dipshits.”

  6. M. Bouffant says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Have to wonder if that’s a Guard-approved modification.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @M. Bouffant: Yeah, I was more than a little surprised to read that.

  8. Franklin says:

    @MarkedMan: Geez, I dunno if the gun fetishists will uphold squeegee kid … why doesn’t he have a respectable job like banker or oil executive? He probably has mental health issues, which is the real problem here, not guns! And he might have touched the motorist’s nice car, which of course would set anybody off. The only mistake was the motorist bringing a bat to a gunfight.


  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via WaterGirl over at Balloon Juice comes this piece in the Atlantic: The Most Pathetic Men in America

    Why Lindsey Graham, Kevin McCarthy, and so many other cowards in Congress are still doing Trump’s bidding
    By Mark Leibovich

    My stomach isn’t strong enough to read the whole thing. Besides, it’s a Friday morning and we have our 2 youngest STL granddaughters here for a sleepover. Soon they’re gonna wake up and I’m gonna be PawPaw again.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The police officer who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice and was hired as the sole officer in a small Pennsylvania town earlier this week has now quit, it emerged on Thursday.

    Following widespread outrage at Timothy Loehmann’s hiring, the former Cleveland police officer withdrew his application from the Tiago borough without working a shift for the town.

    “The community spoke. They got their feelings out, and we listened to them and we’re going to react to it and that will be that,” said the Tiago borough council president, Steve Hazlett, to the Associated Press in a phone interview. “We thank the community for stepping forward and letting their voices be heard.”

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    On Thursday against the Braves, Hicks struck out three batters and allowed just one hit in two innings of work. Of his 34 pitches, 27 were at 100 mph or more. He had the 24 fastest pitches in the game when he exited, with the top five registering at 103.8 mph, 103 mph, 102.9 mph, 102.8 mph and 102.7 mph, according to Statcast.

    “I don’t know too many right handed hitters who are going to be able to hit this ball. 103, down and away, at the knees, on the corner? No. No way.”

    I haven’t been paying too much attention to baseball this summer but Jeebus, 27 of 34 pitches at 100 or better? And that pitch the announcer was referring to? Hicks said only, “When I really rear back, sometimes I throw less [mph]. So I just wanted to locate that down-and-away pitch to him, and I did that.”

    Just plain nasty.

  12. Tony W says:

    Because of the threat of gun violence, we are at the point that we simply won’t attend large gatherings of people anymore. No live theater, no movies, no sports arenas, no concerts, no parades.

    We can’t be alone in this, and I am now starting to think that this may ultimately be the solution to our gun problem in the United States – when it starts affecting corporate revenue.

    Perhaps I’m grasping at straws for some sort of hope.

  13. Tony W says:

    Today, out of morbid curiosity, I spent some time reading some of the new popular conspiracies and Q-style mumbo-jumbo.

    Holy crap.

    Gun fetish, in particular, continues to turn formerly normal, confident people into quivering blobs of fear who can’t even go to their local WalMart without packing a sidearm.

    We have a serious mental health problem in this country – and it’s spreading around the world now. Politicians, foreign governments, and businesses are cynically manipulating mentally ill people to spread lies and distract from their own theft and greed.

    It’s amusing to poke fun at the biweekly “It’s habbening!!!” posts, and the conspiracy crap that takes advantage of human’s innate desire to see patterns – even when they don’t exist, but these posts and conspiracies are doing real harm to the nation and the world.

    I don’t have a solution – maybe some sort of truth and standards agency has a role in squashing the worst of it – but something’s gotta give.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Amazing. And just to put things in perspective for non=baseball fans, 103.8 mph exit velocity off a bat at the right angle will get you a home run. If Hicks stood at home plate he could throw a ball over the outfield wall. And he wouldn’t have to be too picky on what park he was in or where he threw it. Here is a compilation of the slowest home runs in Major League Baseball. The slowest is more than 25mph less than than his fastest pitch of the night. It gives you a little insight into why players freak out if they feel a pitcher is deliberately trying to hit them.

  15. Jen says:

    I’m rooting for her. This is an amusing take:

  16. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Tony W:

    I’ve had a similar thought. The Boston venues that we’ve been to in the last year have all had magnometors at the entrance, so the danger would be in the street. Nothing in the suburbs. Large, outdoor events are something I’ll forego though.

  17. Kathy says:


    Well, the egg should be cooked. No one asked for raw chicken.

    But if they order a salad, then serving them seeds of lettuce, cucumber, tomato, carrot, mustard, and sugar cane* would seem fitting.

    *Sugar cane is used for making vinegar.

  18. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..I haven’t been paying too much attention to baseball this summer.

    As a public service to help you stay informed I note here that the last time the Cubs were in St. Louis, June 24, 25, 26 the Mighty Cubs won two of three games in that series. Just in case you missed it. Since then the Cardinals have won 4 and lost six.

  19. Kathy says:


    If Hicks stood at home plate he could throw a ball over the outfield wall.


    Can he throw the ball upwards in a parabolic trajectory at the same speed he can throw it straight at the plate? Or at least in a trajectory that rises enough to clear the wall? A straight pitch from home probably wouldn’t travel far enough to hit the wall before it hits the ground, never mind go over it.

    In any case, who’s on first?

  20. Beth says:
  21. MarkedMan says:

    @Mister Bluster: What a coincidence! When those same Cardinals were in Baltimore this past May, we also took two of three games. And that was at the nadir of the Orioles season. After that series we went on to lose six in a row, dropping to a dismal 0.368 record. (We have reversed course substantially and have been at 0.565 since then. If we could drop the first 38 games we would be in second place in the brutal AL East. (Gotta love baseball stats. Search long enough and there’s something good in there.))

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Maybe not the one you were expecting…

  23. becca says:

    @Tony W: I realized the other day, typing in my weekly grocery pickup and then a Home Depot pickup, that I don’t avoid stores because of Covid anymore, but for the threat of gun violence.

    I have forgotten how it feels to be free.

  24. Kathy says:

    @Tony W:

    Start describing incidents of mass gun deaths as massacres rather than shootings.

  25. Jen says:

    @Beth: A friend of mine noted yesterday that, for a boomer, Grant has the troll cred of Gen Z.


  26. MarkedMan says:
  27. Kathy says:

    It looks like Omicron’s latest sub-variant, BA.5, is set to wreak havoc in the world, just in time for summer when people cram all sorts of places and mitigation measures are a thing of the past.

    The big problem is that prior infection with the original Omicron, BA.1, doesn’t seem to confer much protection against reinfection. Best case: it’s because BA.1 left the scene a while ago and immunity has waned. Worst case: it’s because BA.5 is so different the antibodies for BA.1 are ineffective.

  28. Jay L Gischer says:

    @MarkedMan: As funny as that is, there’s also this: Wait through the opening bit, they will get into at about the 3 minute mark.

  29. CSK says:

    Shops, houses of worship, schools, parades, softball games, theaters…

    Not much left, is there?

  30. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Home Depot funds the fascists. Trump and DeSantis.
    Try Lowes.

  31. Roger says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ll spare your stomach the pain of reading the whole thing and just leave you with one of the best quotes:

    Like Vladimir Putin, Trump will take what people let him take. He will do what he can get away with. The courage and character of Ukraine stands in perverse contrast to America’s cowering Republican Party, whose resistance might as well have been led by the Uvalde police.

  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Another strong jobs number today.
    Manufacturing employment inches above pre-plague levels.
    The economy seems resilient even with inflation and gas prices.
    ~1M jobs in a quarter. Never happened before.
    Fox news is now up saying the performance is too good.

  33. becca says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: usually Lowes is my go-to, but sometimes needs must and the devil drives.

  34. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: His kid just killed seven people and his instinct is to rationalize his own actions. We begin to see how the kid got to be the way he was.

  35. Kathy says:

    To me this reads like St. Elon realized he’d be massively overpaying for his new toy. Now he wants to back out.

    Years of litigation by armies of lawyers will cost him far less than $1 billion.

    One is tempted to root for Twitter and give them advice (hint: drag Musk into court and/or depositions as frequently as possible; have him followed by private investigators, etc.). But I’ve little sympathy for the company that let Cheeto Benito have a free megaphone for so many years, while they ban users for far less egregious statements. In fact, the only reason to root for them is they are less likely to let the world’s biggest COVID booster back in.

  36. CSK says:

    So Daddy-O had absolutely no idea anything was wrong with Sonny Boy, despite the fact that Sonny threatened to kill his “entire family” three years ago.

    You’d think that threat might have given dear old Dad a little pause.

  37. CSK says:


  38. Beth says:

    @Tony W:

    I don’t think I can do that. I spent so much of my life hiding that now that I don’t have to I can’t. I go to about 2-3 raves per month, from tiny to mammoth clubs. I’m going to a fairly large festival over labor day weekend on Chicago’s Westside. I can’t not go. When covid forced me to stay in and alone I melted down and had to go into an online IOP program because my mental health turned into a chernobyl control rod. At least most of the places I go are pretty good about security. Ostensibly they are looking for drugs (thanks Joe), but that means that they are going to come across any weapons.

    On the other hand, it looks like a lot of summer festivals are taking a pretty big hit this year. Between competition, inflation and gun violence I think a lot of them are having issues.

  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Gee, I dunno. I’d think that Judge Moore would know the definition of “pusillanimous;” he certainly showed the quality over and over again in his battle about displaying the Ten Commandments at the Alabama Supreme Court building.

  40. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    But Moore is a pedophile. Isn’t the best defense against libel/slander the truth?

  41. CSK says:
  42. dazedandconfused says:


    Same issue at Sandy Hook. Momma bought is twisted troubled kid an assault rifle to give him a “hobby”. The culture that views deadly weapons as toys. And as we all know toys are suitable for everyone!

  43. JohnSF says:

    Can folks here confirm whether or not this Twitter post is as it seems at first sight, or is it some sort of exaggeration:

    Chancery Court in Davidson County, Tennessee, has ruled that taxpayer funded establishments can place signs that say “No Jews Allowed” … as long as there is at least one establishment where services for Jews are provided.


  44. Gustopher says:

    The first season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has finished and didn’t have a bad episode in the bunch. Which is kind of amazing.

    I don’t think the season finale was as good as a lot of the online chatter and reviews say, but it was fine — strong idea, weaker than expected execution.

    Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood when I watched it, perhaps everyone else is overlooking flaws because they want it to be amazing. I thought it was probably the least good episode of the season.

    Anyway, if there are people considering a free trial of whatever it is on (I find the episodes after they fall off the back of a truck) the first, too-short season is available.

  45. CSK says:

    There’s nothing I could find in the linked article in the tweet that says that.

  46. Mu Yixiao says:


    I’ve really been enjoying SNW. I’ll be checking the roadside for my own episode tonight.

  47. Beth says:


    That’s exactly what it seems to be. It’s the logical extension of that Pennsylvania LGBT case where SCOTUS said that the state can’t deny funds to religious organizations that discriminate. Expect to see a lot more of that especially after Dobbs. I’m guessing we’re going to get a case in the next two terms that explicitly overrules all anti-discrimination law on religious terms.

  48. Kathy says:


    It’s been an ok Trek series so far. What I don’t get is ten eps per season. Budget? I mean, it’s not an arc show, though there is fairly good character continuity and development. The show could easily do 15-20 eps per season.

  49. Kathy says:


    Expect pretzel “logic” to the effect that discrimination on the basis of religion is itself a religious practice, protected by the first amendment.

  50. JohnSF says:

    Oh and while I’m WTF’ing about twitter posts (not just, American got some UK shockers I may introduce you to), how about this doozy:

    In North Carolina, House Bill 1049 “would allocate $50,000 to destroy free public car chargers … if a town refuses to build free gas and diesel pumps next to the EV chargers.”

    Link to original article in Car and Driver.

    I didn’t realise till now that North Carolina allowed 10 year olds to be elected as legislators.

  51. Beth says:


    They’ve already ruled that the establishment clause violates the free exercise clause, so all sorts of fun stuff is gonna spring out of that.

  52. JohnSF says:

    I’m certain I saw that exact argument being made, on one of the nuttier right-o-sphere sites, some twenty years ago, about why discrimination against Muslims should be just fine.

  53. Beth says:


    We live in the dumbest timeline.

  54. JohnSF says:

    This is true.
    In the UK, Boris Johnson sticks the fingers up to Parliament by electing Mr Peter Bone to a Ministerial post, as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.
    This is the man for whom the term “bone headed” was invented.
    The sheer density of his skull created a space-time warp which enabled the information to travel back to 1903 and embed itself in the English language.

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Perhaps the issue is that the actors can’t/are unwilling to do 15-20 shows per season.

    (Yeah, I know. All these uppity actors thinking that they should have a say in their working conditions when folks out there needs entertained. Buncha socialist progs. 🙁 )

  56. wr says:

    @Kathy: “The show could easily do 15-20 eps per season.”

    But that’s not the economic model of the streamers, and there aren’t a lot of execs with the wisdom to let the creative demands and opportunities of the show interfere with standard operating procedures — any more than the ABC executives in the late 80s could see that something like Moonlighting could have thrived with a much shorter than normal order.

    That’s why you see something as ludicrous as Peacock picking up CBS’s cast-off Magnum remake for two ten-episode seasons, when it was constructed for a network order…

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: I just want to inform you that at the present time the “mighty” Cubs are in 3rd place in the Central division with a record of 34-49, while those “Loser” Cards are just 2.5 games out of 1st place at 45-40.

  58. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: It took them a few years to make this, so maybe they are just being cautious because they didn’t know how it would be received?

    An optimistic, bright future? With a main character who knows he will be in a beep chair? Episodes of completely varying tone? A silly renaissance fair like episode followed by horror? I can see thinking that’s a huge gamble.

    Or it could just be as simple as 10 episodes is enough to drive new signups for Matlock+ (or whatever they call it), and more is just a waste.

    I would rather have had Discovery and Picard be two episodes shorter and make this 14 — the stories in the very serial shows feel stretched out too much, and you can always add episodes to an episodic show.

    Actually, with Discovery, I would like to see three episode arcs. Really tighten that up. Or a few random episodes “between seasons”. I think it suffers from the format because we don’t get episodes focusing on characters.

    Picard is just a shaggy dog story and you just have to roll with it. “Here’s a plot line that doesn’t matter, but we like the actors” “don’t worry about it, we’re not going to stick the ending anyway.” I like it, but it’s far more about the journey than the destination.

  59. Kathy says:


    All previous Trek series, from the original to Voyager (what?), thrived on exactly the same model but with many more epsiodes.

    BTW, I’m surprised there was no generalized griping that the “Renaissance Faire” ep was a holodeck ep sans holodeck.

  60. CSK says:


    We spoke of Elizabeth Mertz yesterday. I’m reminded of a good story about her.

    A few years before she died, an interviewer asked her if she had any regrets. Mertz sighed theatrically and replied: “Yes.”

    “What?” the interviewer asked.

    “That I didn’t drink enough gin.”

  61. Gustopher says:


    That’s why you see something as ludicrous as Peacock picking up CBS’s cast-off Magnum remake for two ten-episode seasons, when it was constructed for a network order…

    The most ludicrous thing about that is having a peacock streaming service. Fragmenting that far just makes it inevitable that people will find their tent pole shows when they fall off the back of a truck, and they won’t find the rest.

    I understand Disney — they have a clear catalog with kid friendly stuff, Star Wars and Marvel. It makes sense as a unit.

    HBO is it’s own thing, although I would be hard pressed to figure out how it differs from Hulu.

    Peacock just seems like a grab bag of sitcoms, cop shows, and I guess a Magnum PI reboot? Netflix with a more narrow selection.

    Maybe I’m old and crotchety and unwilling to switch services every few months, or something because it’s less hassle to find things on the side of the road than manage different accounts and services. It feels like we need a distribution channel that splits revenue with the shows that are actually watched.

  62. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: I think everyone was too amazed that the episode worked at all, to complain about the holodeck sans holodeck nature.

    7 episodes in, and almost everyone is playing against character. The characters were well enough defined that they could do that.

    But also, it’s a part of Star Trek that the other new shows just can’t do. I think that appeals to long time fans more than the ridiculousness bothers them. (Also, I will take a reality bending episode like this over a fictional characters having an adventure that is fictional for them)

  63. Kathy says:


    HBO is it’s own thing, although I would be hard pressed to figure out how it differs from Hulu.

    HBO is also Warner and DC Comics. They’ve lots of TV shows and movies in their catalog, and lots of DC stuff, including many direct-to-video animations. And for some reason, at least in Mexico, the latest iteration of Spiderman movies.

    They also keep a lot of older classic movies, like The Andromeda Strain, Dr. Zhivago, 2001, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, etc.

  64. Kathy says:


    The last Dark Age was also rife with stupidity.

  65. @Kathy:

    It’s been an ok Trek series so far. What I don’t get is ten eps per season. Budget? I mean, it’s not an arc show, though there is fairly good character continuity and development. The show could easily do 15-20 eps per season.

    I’ve really enjoyed it and wish the season was longer.

    But having said that, the model for seasons has mostly changed. It seems quite common for shows to have 8-13 episode seasons. The “new Fall TV schedule” thing is just a thing of the past.

    The whole “make enough for syndication” thing is out the window as well.

  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    HBO is it’s own thing, although I would be hard pressed to figure out how it differs from Hulu.

    Hulu is a lot less expensive (for me anyway, Hulu live TV is enough so that cable would be a viable alternative).

  67. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I suppose that Discovery being first, they went with a longer season and it stuck.

    Now, Trek having so many shows, they should stagger release dates to keep people tuning in as near to year-round as possible, and as not to overlap the series.

    I count 5 shows: Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds. At ten eps per show, that’s good for only 25 weeks, or almost half a year. Obviously five more shows are needed.

    They can do a The Next Next Generation with Worf in command of the Enterprise. Maybe bring back old occasional characters like Lt. Barclay, and they may have further problems with Dr. Moriarty and such. Flashbacks of Worf and Troi, too.

  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Everybody who lives to see the end in sight has regrets. If they don’t, it’s only because they never dreamed big enough.

  69. wr says:

    @Gustopher: “Peacock just seems like a grab bag of sitcoms, cop shows, and I guess a Magnum PI reboot? Netflix with a more narrow selection.”

    What Peacock has is the libraries of both NBC and Universal films and television. But it’s been a long time since Universal had a strong brand identity, and even that is hidden under the Peacock. They need something to make them stand out, and I’m not sure that Minions are enough.

  70. @Kathy:

    count 5 shows: Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds. At ten eps per show, that’s good for only 25 weeks, or almost half a year. Obviously five more shows are needed.

    Actually, isn’t that at least 50 weeks? Even more so, since Prodigy’s first season is slated for 20 eps (as per IMDB)?

    Of course, only one more season of Picard and then I guess the Section 13 show is next? I get the vibe that they are setting up a Tilly Academy show (that is rank speculation).

    I really wanted a Rios Stargazer show, but alas… Maybe Captain Seven can take up that mantle and Rios’ holograms could be regulars.

  71. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “The whole “make enough for syndication” thing is out the window as well”

    By an astonishing coincidence, I’ve been writing about this a great deal in my new book, Writing the Pilot: The Streaming Series, available this fall.

    Making enough episodes for syndication was never the purpose for ordering long seasons — that was merely how the studios paid for them. It was advertisers who wanted to make sure that the same audience would be in the same place at the same time every week — and in sponsored TV, the advertisers were the customer and the viewers were the product.

    While we were doing 22 episode orders — and before that, 39 episodes — cultures where there was no sponsorship and thus no need for that predictable audience were doing shows of all shapes and sizes. Look at Britain and the BBC — yes, there were some shows that did lots of episodes in lots of years, but they’d also have four and six and eight episode seasons and miniseries that were never intended to be renewable… basically precisely what the non-sponsored streamers fell into.

  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    She ABSOLUTELY got a mean streak in her

    AOC mocks Brett Kavanaugh for skipping dessert at DC steakhouse amid protests outside: ‘The least they could do is let him eat cake.’

  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: HA! And a sharp tongue.

  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In news that will surprise absolutely no one: Elon Musk pulls out of $44 billion Twitter deal

    The only question is, how much will it cost him?

  75. JohnSF says:


    …how much will it cost him?

    Nowhere near enough.

  76. JohnSF says:


    “…I didn’t drink enough gin.”

    Currently working to ensure this is not a regret I will have to endure. 🙂


    …it’s only because they never dreamed big enough.

    Pints of gin?
    “I dream of ginny with the blood shot eyes…”

  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr: I’m certainly NOT a member of ANY streaming system’s target audiences (especially any with “+” after their names), but the system I currently have the most streaming links in my “stufff” for is Tubi. Roku is second.

    I bet Hulu has more, better, stuff, but I’m finding it too hard to search for shows on. I suspect that I’ll probably drop it when I’m finished with Murdoch Mysteries. I get Peacock for free from my wifi provider, but I only watch it a couple times a month. (And not even for WWE PPVs at that–which I remember to be one of the original “attractions” Xfinity pitched–though I’ve watched one if I was sitting there and remembered it was on.)

  78. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr: “and in sponsored TV, the advertisers were the customer and the viewers were the product.”


    Sounds A LOT like another current mass media phenomenon people interact with a lot (and imagine they are the customers of when they aren’t, too).

  79. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: For the past several years at least, Musk has had a real problem with impulse control and it is affecting his ability to function in the business world. I suspect cocaine, or the trendy modern equivalent.

  80. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr: Interesting story from my current streaming experience. I was watching a 1950s production for TV of Dick Tracy, and one of the items on the package of shows was a promo. Not advertising to show at station break ads (although it could have been edited for that use) but a promo seeking to attract local/regional advertisers to enhance the syndication potential of the series.

  81. Lost in Quebec says:

    Actor Larry Storch, better known as Corporal Agarn on F Troop, has passed away. He was 99.

  82. CSK says:

    Gin is mother’s milk to any true Englishman. Or woman.

    Which reminds me…once I was at the Staff Club in Edinburgh and one of the people I was with ordered a “dry Martini.” I perked up and thought “Ahhh…a little taste of home,” recalling the gin-and-vermouth combo so popular stateside.

    Turns out what she ordered was a glass of Martini and Rossi dry vermouth.


  83. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: And this was in the days when one Seattle station was owned by Fisher Flour Mills, another by the family that owned the evening-delivery daily newspaper, and still another had the call letters KTNT–for Tacoma News Tribune.

    ETA: And the fourth was owned by an entity called The Bonneville Corporation:

    Bonneville International Corporation is a media and broadcasting company, wholly owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) through its for-profit arm, Deseret Management Corporation.

  84. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW, there is always the option of buying seasons or episodes on Apple iTunes, Amazon Prime or equivalent. Standard def is actually HD (but not 4K) and that is fine for me, so $2 an episode or less if you buy the season. Absolutely worth it to avoid commercials. I won’t watch or listen to anything with commercials. I take this so far that when I watch the late night shows monologues the next morning on YouTube while in the shower, on my iPad with the case thrown over the glass door, whenever a commercial comes on I wipe my hand on the dry washcloth I hung there for this purpose, swipe to the controls and turn the volume all the way down. I do something similar when I listen to baseball games.

  85. Kathy says:


    My understanding is that Twitter can sue Musk to finalize the deal, with the very inflated price per share he offered before the markets went Bearish*. Or they can sue for the break up fee (not the technical term) of $1 billion.

    As I noted earlier, it will take decades of litigation for St. Elon to burn through $1 billion.

    Maybe it can all be handled in one suit, with a judgment for the deal, the fee, or for Musk.

    Let this be a lesson. Don’t be too eager to buy a multibillion dollar company even if you are the world’s richest man. And always, always, always ask Drs. Seldon and Dornick for advice.

  86. JohnSF says:

    Anyway, rather than keep making sequel, prequels and requels, what about some obvious candidates for new things?
    My quick suggestions:
    Peter Hamilton: Nights Dawn and Commonwealth
    Greg Bear: Eon/Eternity
    Alistair Reynolds: Revelation Space and related
    Ian Banks: Culture series; Consider Phlebas alone could make a whole series.
    David Brin’s Uplift universe
    Dan Simmons: Hyperion
    Plus loads of older stuff.

    They could produce them on Amazon, Netflix and Apple TV and I would watch… precisely none of them , LOL.
    Costs money. 😉

  87. JohnSF says:

    And don’t turn into a Sandworm.
    It never helps.

  88. JohnSF says:

    Arguably the real gin connoisseurs are the Belgians and Dutch.
    There’s a jenever bar in Bruges of which I have fond, albeit somewhat hazy, memories.

    But gin has had a real revival in England in the last dozen or so years; it was rather unfashionable for a long time.
    These days, whenever I visit my brother in Cheltenham, we tend to end up in a bar that serves umpteen varieties of craft gins.
    Excellent place.

  89. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Yeah, but I will settle for, “A hella lot more than he wants to pay for this publicity stunt.”

  90. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Radio stations used to be owned by the oddest entities. In Chicago, when I was growing up, WLS had been sold, but the call letters stood for World’s Largest Store, because it had been owned by Sears. And WCFL was still owned by the Chicago Federation of Labor and after playing the hits of the ‘70s (“Smoke on the Water”, various Styx and REO Speedwagon songs, it would be time for station ID and a 1960’s era female chorus would pipe up, “WCFL, the VOICE of LaBOR!”

  91. CSK says:

    How is vodka doing? I remember being in a pub in London and ordering a vodka Collins. The bartendress stared at me, muttered, “Blimey, that’s a ‘ard one,” turned, grabbed a recipe book, and started flipping frantically through it.

    So as not to consternate her further, I hastily asked for a vodka and tonic.

  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Wa! I’ve never had that kind of hate relationship with commercials. Then again, if I didn’t watch commercials, I might not know anything about the world I live in or products I might want to buy.

  93. Tony W says:

    And….the Leopards eat the face of the Twitter shareholders, as Musk pulls out of the deal he never intended to close on.

  94. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: For the past several years at least, Musk has had a real problem with impulse control

    I really can’t say at what point I started noticing him (I’d like to say, “paying attention” but that would be a reach) but he always struck me as a Barnum and Bailey type. All hat, no cattle. All bark, no bite. All croak, no jump. In other words, a big mouth. Did he do a thing or 2 worth taking credit for? Sure. But credit for what he did was never enough. He also had to take credit for what his employees did.

    For as long as I have been paying attention, impulse control has been a problem.

  95. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Dawg, I love gin. Dawgs curse me, it gives me horrible heart burn.

  96. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: KJR radio in Seattle (JR originally standing for “Jazz Radio”) was owned when I was young by Danny Kaye (yes, that one) and Lester Smith, Kaye’s partner in a Seattle-area recording studio. The entity named Kaye/Smith Enterprises, of course. With the station’s original license granted sometime in the 1920s, my assumption is that Kaye and Smith were the second owners, but I’ve never investigated it.

  97. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: I may be a minority, but I thought “Altered Carbon” was a brilliant adaptation. There was a scene where the audience sees an old man regain consciousness with a look of confusion and then puzzlement and then horror and you realize that they are a victim of basic public insurance, which includes a new “sleeve”, a body to put a consciousness in if there was an accident or something, but on public insurance you are only guaranteed the first body available. For the very young girl who died (10 years old?) the only body available was an elderly man. Her parents are horrified and she has no idea what is happening. To me, that is what science fiction is all about, i.e. what if all these theoretical things happened in real life? How would that actually play out?

  98. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Or they can sue for the break up fee (not the technical term) of $1 billion.

    I read earlier that they can sue for more but who knows? I just want them to take him for enough to make it hurt.

  99. MarkedMan says:


    as a Barnum and Bailey type. All hat, no cattle. All bark, no bite. All croak, no jump.

    I agree, but in a different way. P. T. Barnum created an empire that lasted more than a century. But… yes, he was full of sh*t. Musk created the first new US car company in more than a century to turn a profit, and it’s not a technicality. Tesla is huge and it makes real money. And he created the first private rocket company that was profitable, and again, it wasn’t a technicality. Space X is dominant and profitable. Oh, and in a much less significant but equally profitable endeavor, he was one of the founders of PayPal. There are few people who create even one iconic and influential companies, and he has created two, and by financial measures, three. He is not a phony or hype. He’s up there with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. No question. But like those two, there is a lot of questions about their personal beliefs and a definite trailing off overtime of their ability to move the needle.

  100. de stijl says:

    I made the world’s most bogus garlic toast today.

    I had three bread choices. Naan – no go. The one leftover brat bun about a five days old. A day old loaf of seeded rye.

    I went for the rye. Sautéed up some finely minced garlic in just a smear of butter fairly hot and hard. Added some more unsalted butter to melt and infuse. A dash of salt. Some rosemary. Drizzled over rye bead. Topped with a spritz of grated parm.

    Toasted in the toaster oven and cranked it on broiler for the last bit. Nailed it.

    Visually, aesthetically, it looked perfect. I had nailed it! Yay, me!

    I did a bite of pasta. I took a bite of my bread.

    Dear gods, it was all so wrong! Never use rye bread in a pinch when you are craving garlic toast. It isn’t actually horrible, but it is just wrong. It is an unexpected taste in a surprising way. Not terribly pleasant. Tinny. Discordantly odd.

    Not recommended. Not traditional. It does not work. Not even bad, just “wrong”. I had one bite. Chewed, swallowed, and done. No more of that. I ate my pasta unaccompanied.

    I should have used the brat bun instead and dealt with the too spongy aspect.

  101. Beth says:


    Last time I drank gin I was in Cambridge. I crawled into a quaint old-timey swear and told everyone I was a goblin. A fine gentleman helped me out of the sewer and I repaid his gentlemanliness by karate chopping him in the balls. Last time I’m gonna drink gin.

    Also, we went and saw Thor: Love & Thunder tonight. That movie was BONKERS.

  102. JohnSF says:

    Sounds interesting.
    I’ve read the Altered Carbon books (the first being by far the best)
    But not seen the TV versions.
    As I indicated: I don’t subscribe to anything.
    If it ever turns up on free-to-view, I’ll watch it.
    The only things I regularly watch are some things on BBC (mostly): any new David Attenborough natural history; Test Match Special (cricket); Rugby Union esp. Six Nations; Gardeners World (definitely); Six o’ Clock news (possibly); and the occasional film that catches my eye.
    Oh, and Glastonbury; and the Proms.
    And that’s about it.
    Most evening I listen to the radio (BBC of course!) more than I watch TV.
    I’m weird, as my niece keeps telling me. 🙂

  103. JohnSF says:


    “I crawled into a quaint old-timey swear and told everyone I was a goblin.”

    Had evenings like that meself…(years ago).
    Generally involved Psilocybe semilanceata more than gin though. 🙂
    Weird scenes inside the goldmine…

  104. de stijl says:


    I once watched Kent Hrbek hit a ball so hard it was still rising when it it hit the seats in high right center. That was probably 440 feet and the flight had not hit the apex yet. Metrodome, so ballflight is a bit wonky, but that was the most solidly struck homerun I had ever seen before or since. My gods, the contact sound! It was the most epically satisfying, complete, and proper “Crack” I have ever heard. I was speechless. The speed of the flight. The upward trajectory it!

    When that ball hit the seats it was about a third, maybe three eighths, of its way aloft per momentum and velocity and gravity. I was awed. My jaw dropped. This is otherworldly.

    Day game on a weekday in the mid to late 80s. Maybe a thousand, two thousand folks there. It was epic.

    It was an essentially meaningless day game in early summer. I don’t even remember who won or against who. Detroit? Who won was meaningless that day because I witnessed from seven rows back right behind home perhaps the world’s most perfect bat on ball contact ever recorded.

    Roughly 34 years ago and also just yesterday in my head.

  105. JohnSF says:

    That really needs to be made into a film, or else a Bob Dylan lyric. 🙂

  106. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    This summer, Jonny Bairstow in the Test matches, both against New Zealand and India.
    Perhaps the most breath taking batting I’ve ever seen for England since Botham or Gooch in their prime; up there with Viv Richards or Brian Lara as well.
    Made my summer 🙂

    (That and Johnson getting the elbow)

  107. Beth says:


    There’s a great picture of the aftermath. It looks like some sort of demented last supper. One friend vamping in the window, a bunch of on lookers, and Jesus down on his knees praying for relief.

    The next morning we were in London during the 2005 bombings.

  108. JohnSF says:

    “Cancel Bob Dylan, get Lou Reed!”
    Or possibly His Imperial Iggyness.

  109. Stormy Dragon says:


    Elon Musk reminds me a lot of Steve Jobs: a man held in far higher esteem than they deserve as their only real talent seems to be being really good at taking the credit for other people’s work.

  110. JohnSF says:

    India match link doesn’t seem to work: but if you get to the page look for “Highlights: Root & Bairstow guide England to historic win”.
    Mind you, lots of other links on that page may convince you what a wonderful game test cricket is. 🙂
    The run chase to win against India was one for the ages.

  111. Beth says:


    My absolute favorite part of that whole trip was before I left, I had a meeting with my law school guidance counselor. She was this bitter, bitter human. She hated being a lawyer, she hated law school, she just sucked. Anyway, when she asked me what I was doing my 1L summer, I told her that I had a second chance to do study abroad and I was going to do it. Her response was, “You are making the BIGGEST! mistake of your LIFE!” It was quite the opposite.

    I made close friends for life. A peruvian woman gifted me a half drunk bottle of Beefeater Gin for returning to Cambridge safely from the wild, untamed hinterlands of Edinburgh. I drove a Ford Festiva up a sidewalk, into and then through a hedge. I drank so much cheap stella. I learned law. It was glorious. I still dream of the Truck of Life.

  112. JohnSF says:

    Thats intersting.
    Fastest cricket bowling comes in around 85 to 100 mph.
    And that’s with a run up.
    I wonder why baseball should be markedly faster.
    Lighter ball?

  113. JohnSF says:

    Cheap Stella = world’s worst hangover. 🙂

  114. MarkedMan says:


    Most evening I listen to the radio (BBC of course!) more than I watch TV

    As a sports fan, and since I was a kid, I totally prefer radio announcers to TV. In fact, if there is a game playing on TV that I want to watch, I turn the volume down and listen to the radio version.

  115. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    a man held in far higher esteem than they deserve as their only real talent seems to be being really good at taking the credit for other people’s work.

    I feel this is both true and not fair: it is no small feat to marshal a huge group of people to create a new technology. Musk has done it twice. Jobs never did that, and never claimed to have done that, but rather claimed, correctly, to take existing technology and make it truly game changing.

    And the statement is also false and therefore unfair. I may be wrong but I don’t ever remember either Jobs or Musk taking credit for their teams work. I don’t think either man saw/sees themselves as distinct from the rest of their entire enterprise. They are both very different from most tech innovators in that regard.

    Both of them have a lot of faults, but I don’t think that was one of them.

  116. JohnSF says:

    Another interesting baseball/cricket comparison.
    Though it looks like average pitching/bowling speed is lower in cricket, looks like speed-off-bat tends to be higher to score a boundary or over, if my quick calculations are correct (probably ain’t, LOL).
    Possibly due to cricket bat being heavier?

  117. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Already has been.

    They sat together in the park
    As the evening sky grew dark.
    She looked at him and he felt a spark
    Tingle to his bones.
    ‘Twas then he felt alone
    And wished that he’d gone straight
    And watched out for a simple twist of fate.

    Joan Baez’s version is the bomb.

  118. de stijl says:


    I don’t believe I’ve had gin since I was roughly 25.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with gin. Or vodka. Neutral spirits. I used them wrong when I was a kid. Knocked me off them later.

    My issue with those spirits is that cocktails / mixed drinks are hard to calculate in how it will effect your BAC because they are are yummy and you want more.

    I don’t have a stomach that can handle raw straight white liquor very well. Very chilled to the point of almost frozen is better going down and sits a bit better. But still, my tummy is not happy in an hour.

    About that age I went with beer or straight brown liquor if I was out and about. I want to know what I am consuming and the impact it will have have. I wanted a semblance of control. I really do not like being blotto, especially in public. In fact, I found that I hated that.

    The smell of regurgitated gin is really revolting. Offensively tangy. And when you do your biological business and flush the next morning you can smell the botanicals especially the juniper. Your poop smells like pine trees. Uncool.

    Mixed drinks / cocktails were unpredictable wildcards that made me either pleasantly buzzed and loosened me up, or they bleeped me up way too hard if I was not paying strict attention to my brain state and foolishly overindulged.

    I will not even speak on my night of a thousand Long Island Iced Teas.

    I know how to dose and pace with beer or straight brown liquor. I know when to stop at pleasantly buzzed. No wildcards. No jokers. Controlled intake = predictable response.

    Wild shenanigans are fun when you are 21. Now, just nope.

  119. de stijl says:


    Perfect Day by Iggy

    When I was a kid I did not appreciate it. Too slow. I wanted fast and chaos nearly out of control. I do get it now. I’m not 13.

    (Now I want to watch Train Spotting again.)

  120. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: I’ve heard it claimed that women’s softball is the hardest to hit in sports. The pitch is somewhat slower than, say, a major league curveball,but not by that much and the distance from pitcher to plate is significantly shorter. But in the end, I suspect you are on the right track. There is an interplay of what you are hitting, what you are hitting it with, how fast it is coming, and how far the “too far to catch” is, that defines the sport.

  121. de stijl says:


    Baseball is way better on the radio. I can get the Twins games here. Sit out back, kick my feet up, sip on an adult beverage, and watch the sky go from blue to orange to dark purple.

    A great evening.

  122. de stijl says:


    I was at my local grocery this afternoon.

    I was at the beer coolers figuring out what I wanted. This store has weird pricing. Stuff that should be be 12 bucks is 9 bucks, stuff that should be 4 bucks is 9 bucks.

    They sell a sixer of Stella for $9.99 USD. That is bleeping insane. They should pay me that amount to take it off their hands. There is nothing interesting at all about Stella. It is as boring as a Coors.

    Stella is as boring as beer can get.

    Sometimes it works in my favor – they sell Pilsner Urquel for 7.99. A pretty decent tequila I like at 19.99 that should be 32.99.

    I wanna hunt hunt down the liquor and beer manager and smack that person up the head.

  123. Jax says:

    Day ten thousand forty niner with no hot water. The toilets flush, which is better than when the main line first broke earlier this week, but we’ve all been horseback 16 hours a day since then, so we haven’t had time to look for plumbing parts besides the emergency bypass necessary to turn the water back on to my Mom’s house and make my toilets flush.

    I feel like I could write a really funny book about how grouchy we all are without hot water, but then I slap myself upside the head for “first world problems”, duh. Quit my bitchin, as my Grandma used to say. 😛

    Tomorrow…..we should have time to go get parts. The cows are all situated in their forest home for the next 3 months.

  124. DK says:


    it is no small feat to marshal a huge group of people to create a new technology. Musk has done it twice.

    What heretofore nonexistent technologies did Musk’s teams create?

  125. DK says:


    He’s up there with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. No question.

    Really? Teslas are still a niche product. There’s no evidence yet they be as ubiquitous as the Model T or the lightbulb. Teslas could come to really dominate, or Tesla’s legacy could be a fad that still motivates other car companies (with better quality control and delivery times) to innovate. We don’t yet know enough to call this guy Edison. Tesla plants are hemorrhaging money, and a huge chunk of its profit comes not from car sales but emissions paid it by other companies.

    Verdict is still out, imho.