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. EddieInCA says:

    113 degrees at my house today.

    116 degrees at the location at which we were filming.

    October can’t come soon enough.

    PS – Edit button is working

  2. EddieInCA says:

    After what happened in Alaska, prepare yourself for the GOP to immediately start outlawing, or barring, or banning, ranked choice voting. Sen. Tom Cotton is already calling it a scam.

    Ranked-choice voting is used for state primary, congressional, and presidential elections in Alaska and Maine and for local elections in more than 20 US cities including Cambridge, Massachusetts; San Francisco, California; Oakland, California; Berkeley, California; San Leandro, California; Takoma Park, Maryland; St. Paul, Minnesota; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Portland, Maine; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and St. Louis Park, Minnesota.[1] New York City is the largest voting population in the US using RCV.[2]

    Almost all, if not all, are blue cities.

    Sen. Cotton is a moron, but as soon as the right wing echo chamber starts in on it, it will be come the new CRT and Trans boogeyman that GOP pushes.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EddieInCA: the GOP to immediately start outlawing, or barring, or banning, ranked choice voting.

    And when that doesn’t work they’ll just want to ban voting all together.

    116 degrees at the location at which we were filming

    Uck. I worked in extreme conditions often enough over the years that when we have a summer like this past one, I hibernate. I would revel in the beautiful days tho. I’d be out there working in the sun, 70 degrees with a northerly breeze and say to myself, “Just think of all the lawyers chained to their desks, looking out their windows, wishing they could be out here too.”

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    So… I hear Joe Biden gave a speech last night.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I thought it was great, and wondered if his intended audience was Republican officials who have responsibilities for voting, prosecution, law enforcement, erc

  6. Sleeping Dog says:


    To make you feel bad, got up this morning and the temp was 48, fall has arrived in New England. Gorgeous morning though.

  7. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    It’s 51 here.

  8. CSK says:

    Is this going to turn into another Fraturday?

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I expect this day to be littered with howls of indignity and the rending of garments as they all walk… run to their martyr’s crosses.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This pretty well captures how I feel today.

  11. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @EddieInCA: The Wall Street Journal‘s tears over RCV today are delicious.

  12. CSK says:

    That’s hilarious.

    Dogs. Gotta love ’em.

  13. MarkedMan says:

    I came across a textbook example of “conventional wisdom” that is widely believed and completely wrong. “Everyone knows” that Apple frequently changes their cables just to make their customers buy new stuff.

    The iPod was released in 2001, one month after 9/11, when George W. Bush was President and expensive cars came with cassette decks and a CD changer in the trunk. It used a cable with a 30 pin connector on one end and a USB on the other. This cable was used for 11 years for both the iPod and for the first two generations of the iPhone, until it changed with the iPhone 5 in 2012, when Barack Obama was still in his first term and wireless earbuds were expensive and had a band joining them behind the head. The new cable had a Lightning connector on one end and a USB on the other. Because of the USB, it could be used with the same chargers as the old one. Next week Apple will release their iPhone 14 with the same Lightning connector. Expectations are that the iPhone 15 due in 2023 will finally retire that, substituting the USB-C, which is non-proprietary to Apple.

    So – 22 years, one cable change.

  14. Sleeping Dog says:


    Apple is being dragged kicking and screaming into standardization, the EU has passed regs that require device manufacturers to adopt standard cable connection.

  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    Flew out of LAX on Delta yesterday. I’d put the mask-compliance at about 5% in the terminal, somewhat better on the plane but far short of even a third.

  16. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’m not sure why you think they are being “dragged kicking and screaming”. For their computers, they have long since moved to USB C and they use that for everything – video, charging, external hard drives, etc. For their phones, analysts who follow Apple have long thought all of their effort has been going into making a completely wireless phone, as they have made it very clear the charging/data port is a big source of failure. This kind of change had been constant. On the original phone (and iPod) the biggest non-screen source of failure was the headphone jack. The home button was next. Bottom line, it is widely believed that the reason they have been reluctant to go to USB C is because they think they are close to achieving a connector-less phone.

    It’s a myth that Apple makes significant money on these chargers and cables. Over the years I’ve bought dozens of cables and a few chargers. Virtually none were purchased from Apple. In fact, the ones I have from Apple came with the phones. I would bet I’m pretty typical.

  17. Mu Yixiao says:

    Argentina’s Vice President (and former President) narrowly escapes assassination because the gun jammed.

    Footage shows the moment Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – surrounded by a mob of supporters – found herself face-to-face with the loaded weapon.

    President Alberto Fernández revealed the gun was loaded with five bullets, but failed to fire when triggered.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    David Corn has a few things to say:

    A few days ago, Donald Trump issued a statement on his struggling TRUTH Social platform: “Why are people so mean?” This came in the middle of a conservative crusade to depict liberals and Democrats as nasty folks. Trump’s remark captured the absurdity of this campaign. The fellow who routinely assails political foes and critics as “losers,” whose misogynistic history of denigrating women is unparalleled in American public life, who rose to the top of the GOP pile by disparaging the physical appearances of his opponents (and, in one case, the wife of an opponent), who railed against Muslims and “shithole countries,” who called for locking up his political rival, who worships revenge and lives on spite, who denounced journalists as “the enemy of the people,” who relishes conjuring up ugly and dismissive nicknames for his political adversaries, whose entire political project is built upon denigration and vilification—this guy complains about people being mean? And this list does not include his incitement of an insurrectionist riot or his attempt to destroy the foundation of American democracy.

    Yes, you can chalk this up to Trump projection: his habit of accusing others of his own pathological sins. But his whine occurred as other right-wingers boo-hoo’ed about President Joe Biden’s recent blast at Trumpism. During a campaign rally in Maryland, Biden noted that Trump has embraced “political violence” and no longer believes in democracy: “What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the—I’m going to say something—it’s like semi-fascism.” Of course, the right went berserk over this.

    A Republican National Committee spokesperson howled that Biden’s comment was “despicable.” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu exclaimed that it was “horribly inappropriate” and urged Biden to apologize. Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that “communists have always called their enemies ‘fascists.’” (Biden is a communist?) But what to call a movement that denies election results, falsely claims an election was stolen, and refuses to admonish or excommunicate a leader who encouraged and used violence in his effort to overturn that election? In a flurry of unhinged tweets this week, Trump demanded his restoration to the presidency (a move impossible under the Constitution) and hinted that the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago might spur his supporters to violence. That all sounds a bit fascist-ish.

    Plenty more at the link.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    There are a lot of disturbing things about the Trump documents, but they’ve just published the list of everything they found and something new (to me) really jumped out: there were 71 empty folders with either “Classified” or “Return to Staff Secretary/Military Aide” on them. What happened to all the documents within?

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘A white nationalist pyramid scheme’: how Patriot Front recruits young members

    Undergirding Patriot Front’s activities is a rigid, top-down hierarchy, researchers say.

    Rousseau is at the head. Lieutenants run departments of the group, including media production, recruitment and online security. Fifteen regional network directors organize local and national activities, and supervise members.

    Once recruits become members, they are required to attend monthly roundups, hit a weekly activism quota, and show up to demonstrations, according to Moon. If they don’t, Rousseau expels them from Patriot Front.

    Internal chats obtained by extremist experts show members complaining about the ongoing expenses they incur paying for stickers, stencils and other mandatory propaganda materials, which Rousseau charges them for.

    Rousseau charges members a premium for Patriot Front propaganda material, Tischauser said, adding that network directors are expected to push members to purchase flyers to go on several flyering runs a month. “In this sense, Patriot Front is close to a white nationalist pyramid scheme,” Tischauser notes.

    The tightly organized structure enables Patriot Front to be responsible for up to 14 hate incidents a day, according to the ADL. Under the direction of network directors, Patriot Front members defaced 29 murals honoring Black history, LGBTQ+ pride, migrant history and police shooting victims, said Tischauser.

    Patriot Front did not respond to a request for comment.

    Fleecing the rubes.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Keeping in mind he’s a sloppy pig who never picks up after himself, most of them are probably in the boxes. The few that aren’t, Dawg himself doesn’t know what happened to them.

  22. CSK says:

    The MAGAs regard all Democrats as Communists.

  23. Kathy says:

    On deck this week, beans and rice.

    1 can black beans.
    1/2 can chickpeas
    1/2 cup of rice (pre-cooked)
    1/2 cup tomato sauce
    1/2 cup ketchup (no sugar added)
    2 Tbsp. grain mustard
    1 onion, sliced
    1 bell pepper, cut in thin strips
    garlic (to taste)
    3-4 turkey hot dogs, sliced
    cracked black pepper, dried oregano, and paprika

    This goes before baked chicken breast medallions covered in breadcrumbs and cornmeal, and roasted potatoes.

    Time permitting, my latest attempt at coconut and pineapple jello.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They searched the boxes!

  25. Skookum says:

    Ever since Trump was elected, I have listened to audiobooks to settle my mind before sleeping.

    Just finished Harry S. Truman by David McCullough, and am currently listening the Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson. Highly recommend both.

  26. Kylopod says:


    Sen. Cotton is a moron, but as soon as the right wing echo chamber starts in on it, it will be come the new CRT and Trans boogeyman that GOP pushes.

    This has been brewing for a while now. In 2018 after Bruce Poliquin lost his House seat in the second round despite coming out slightly ahead in the first, he called ranked choice unconstitutional and tried to sue over it, which of course went nowhere.

    As with a lot of electoral reform issues, if you take a bird’s eye view it’s not immediately obvious why Republicans should oppose ranked choice. To a certain extent they’re just looking for a scapegoat to blame a few recent election losses on. And ranked choice makes an easy scapegoat because it’s complicated and unfamiliar to most people, making it a natural target for the bumper-sticker politics Republicans excel at.

    But I think there’s a deeper reason why they’d oppose it. If you’d proposed the idea to them shortly after the 1992 election they’d probably have quickly warmed to it. The notion that Ross Perot spoiled the 1992 election for the Republicans is a myth, but enough of them believed it that they’d be able to convince themselves ranked choice would have saved them.

    In the years since, however, despite the persistence of the Perot myth about that particular election, the evidence that they’ve suffered from the spoiler effect is scant. A lot of people assume that whenever there’s a right-leaning third party candidate it invariably takes more votes from the Republican than the Democrat. This is questionable (in fact there’s evidence the opposite is the case), but in any case I don’t see much evidence that Republicans live in fear of those sorts of candidates the way Dems live in fear of the Green Party or even centrist types like Howard Schultz.

    Correctly or not (and I believe it is correct to a large degree), Republicans perceive that they benefit from third-party candidates, enabling them to eke out plurality wins, as in Paul LePage’s two victories in Maine, or Trump’s nonplurality win in 2016. I think ranked choice is more unpredictable than they realize and I could imagine scenarios where they benefit from it, but for the time being the main conclusion they’re drawing is that it forces them to win majorities, and that scares them because (despite the prevalence of runoff elections in some Southern red states) so much of their modern electoral strategy is built around avoiding having to win majorities.

    Also, part of the Republicans’ reaction to the Alaska results is based on the claim that there was as spoiler effect due to there being two Republicans and one Democrat. It isn’t true, but it’s easy for them to make it sound like that’s the case. Ranked choice doesn’t usually work this way, anyway; you can’t have two candidates from the same party on the general-election ballot in Maine or NYC. Nevertheless, with their skill at Orwellian inversion they’re quickly building a narrative that ranked choice means a conspiracy of Dems to split the Republican vote.

  27. Skookum says:

    @Kathy: Where I live, the summer garden is just starting to produce…fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, green beans, turnips, basil. Heaven.

    I’m going to fix your beans and rice tonight. Thank you!

  28. Michael Cain says:

    It’s interesting? amusing? that the incident that has set them off was Alaska, where the system was designed and put in place by the Republican legislature. Oregon’s statewide vote by mail system, first in the country, was installed by a Republican legislature. (And deep red Utah adopted statewide vote by mail recently.) This past legislative session Republican legislative leaders in Arizona kept the worst attacks on that state’s very popular permanent mail ballot list bottled up in committees where they could die quietly.

    I keep hoping the western states’ Republican parties discover that the national party’s drive to turn everything into the worst of the South and Midwest is not going to be a popular platform in those arid, mountainous states. So far, most of them seem to be willing to dive down the insane rathole towards irrelevance.

  29. gVOR08 says:

    @EddieInCA: @Kylopod: Tom Cotton graduated from Harvard college and Harvard Law. That doesn’t seem to require particularly high intelligence, but he’s not a “moron”. He’s not stupid, he’s a totally amoral asshole.

    It doesn’t matter why GOPs suddenly discovered they’ve always been against ranked choice voting. Back in the Gingrich era they decided term limits were the panacea for all ills. This was driven by Ds having had majorities in congress for decades so term limits would primarily affect Ds, eliminating safe D incumbents. This is no longer true and as far as I’m aware GOPs no longer push for term limits. But rank and file voters still demand term limits as a top issue. Republicans come to believe their own bullshit. Once they’ve said they oppose RCV often enough, it will become dogma.

  30. EddieInCA says:

    @Sleeping Dog:


    I’m from California. At 48°, I am wearing, a jacket, hat and gloves.

  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Everybody likes dumping of Apple (and Microsoft for that matter). I leave my complaint at “too expensive for the utility” and don’t worry about the rest.

  32. Kathy says:


    I hope you like it.

    I forgot to write down cheese. I feel a need to balance the acidity of the tomato sauce, ketchup, and mustard. So when it begins to boil I’ll add a few strands of Oaxaca cheese* and stir, but any type that melts nicely should do.

    *Just had a co-worker return from Oaxaca with it. Funny thing, in that state it’s called fresh or double-cream cheese, not Oaxaca.

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Why are people so mean?”

    Just like finding “the mark” at a poker table, if, when you look around, you can’t see the reason, it’s because you don’t have a mirror.

  34. MarkedMan says:

    On another thread we were discussing the anti-contraception movement in the US. James, like many (most?) people, is completely oblivious to how well organized, widespread and increasingly successful this effort is. But it got me thinking about Steven’s a priori assumption that more , and more diverse, political parties is a public good, in and of itself. The danger of systems where there a many smaller parties is that a well organized group with unpopular positions can work the politicians, stay out of the limelight, and end up getting their extremist beliefs imposed on 100% of the population in exchange for their support in achieving a majority coalition.

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: So, is it time to “extraordinarily rendition” him to some third world shithole where he can be waterboarded until he tells us what he did?

    I’m up for it. 🙁

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: With new Supremes, I think he’s entitled to a new roll of the dice. If not him, Republicans in Alaska can take a shot.

  37. Sleeping Dog says:


    Went out to walk the dog wearing flip flops, shorts and a sweatshirt over a tee.

    48° is good sleeping weather and good for a brisk walk.

  38. Sleeping Dog says:

    Allahpundit leaving Hot Air

    Heading over to The Dispatch to join David French and Jonah Goldberg.

  39. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I saw this the other day. Was Allahpundit forced out by the Trumpkins?

    He used to get called some awful names by the readers there for hs anti-Trump stance.

  40. Matt Bernius says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I think the later half of that goodbye, in particular the critique of Republicans and Conservatives obsession with consolidating power above all else, is a unexpected and well-timed bookend to Biden’s speech from last night.

  41. Sleeping Dog says:


    He didn’t infer that. But given that he’s a trump skeptic if not full blown anti trump and trumpism, the situation at Hot Air may have become too uncomfortable for him and he was tired of the BS. He did mention that he’s averaged 6 posts a day for 16 years at HA, doing 2 a week at The Dispatch and likely making more money will heal whatever scars he has.

    @Matt Bernius:

    I noticed that as well. He was gracious in speaking about his associates at HA, but pretty scathing about what has become of the R party and Conservatism Inc.

    He was one of the few people at HA who I would read from time-to-time as his analysis on legal questions was insightful.

  42. Mu Yixiao says:

    Starting a week or two ago, I began seeing yard signs (red, white, & black bold stripes) that just say “Be Kind” in a simple serif font. They’re alongside yard signs for both Democratic and Republican politicians, so it’s not a one-side thing. I even saw it in the yard of a guy who had–until this spring–been flying a “Trump 2024” flag.

    Hopefully this is a sign that thing might calm down a bit.

  43. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I get the impression that Jazz Shaw isn’t crazy about Trump, either, but he’s not quite as open about it as Allahpundit.

  44. Skookum says:

    Well, well, well.

    I guess I’m not the only one getting old and cranky when it comes to sexism.

  45. CSK says:
  46. Sleeping Dog says:


    There are any number of conservative commentators who aren’t sold on TFG, but cloak their criticism and then back him later. The other day, at the NR, I was shocked to see Andrew McCarthy admit Trump should be indicted and then Charles Cooke and Rich Lowry made pleas for him to go away. But they want him to go away because he’s hurting R’s, not for America.

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Yes, and found lots of classified documents not in folders.

  48. Sleeping Dog says:


    Unfortunately, until he begins babbling about the equivalent of strawberries, the cult’s trance is unlikely to break.

    He’s in deep sh!t and he knows it and he’s beginning to realize that usual tools that get him out of jams aren’t working. He even has to realize that the clown show that is his alleged ‘legal’ team, is just that a clown show.

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My kingdom for a working edit function: @MarkedMan: Yes, and found lots of classified documents not in folders. Which is not to say all the documents and folders match up, I have no way of knowing that and never will. Neither will anyone else not directly involved. But it is highly unlikely that none of them do. I also said that some documents are all but certain to be missing. For good.

    Because he’s a sloppy pig who never picks up after himself. Which means the maid comes in and finds this highly classified document that she has no idea where it belongs so what does she do with it? Stick it in a drawer? The trash? Some random box? Maybe she asks a passing groundskeeper/Russian spy what to do with it and he says he’ll take care of it for her.

    None of what I am saying absolves trump. I’m just saying I doubt very much he is some kind of super villain, just a vain and shallow idiot who’s always had other people clean up his messes.

  50. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I tend to read only the ones who openly despise Trump: David Frum, Tom Nichols, Rick Wilson, George T. Conway III, Allahpundit, David French, and Jonah Goldberg. The latter two described themselves as “Trump-skeptical,” but I think they’ve recently veered to “Trump-disgusted.”

  51. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I looked for that, but I guess it wasn’t spelled out. It listed the number of documents and so I guess some of them where in folders and some weren’t? I had assumed the reason they highlighted the empty folders is that they didn’t have documents to match them.

  52. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I agree with you. This increasing dependence on QAnon may cause even some of the die-hard MAGAs to shy away from them.

    Or am I engaging in wishful thinking?

  53. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: Mustard? Interesting. I usually assume you’re going for a Mexican spice profile, for obvious reasons (namely, Mexican food is delicious).

    I’ll try this. My beans are getting repetitive, and this will let me “branch out” without actually changing much.

  54. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: My Apple products last basically forever. I have a 2013 laptop that still serves as a media server. (He might be near end of life)

    And I am never fighting to get the damn things to work.

    So, I think the utility matches the price pretty well.

    (The last time I had an android phone I was perpetually having to do things to maintain it — hunt down the rogue processes that were eating battery, etc. Admittedly that was a very, very long time ago, as I vowed that I was not going to be a system administrator for a fucking phone)

    That said, I hate the stupid iPhone power/data cables with a passion. First thing to go on the phones. USB-C is much sturdier.

  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I had assumed the reason they highlighted the empty folders is that they didn’t have documents to match them.

    And I just figured they mentioned them because they wanted to highlight how careless he was with everything. While I was writing my response above, it occurred to me that I don’t even know if the folders have any identifying numbers or designations to match particular documents on them. Maybe they just say, “KEEP OUT!” in the US govt’s own unique and idiosyncratic way. shrug

    Maybe Andy can weigh in and edumacate me on this particular point.

  56. CSK says:
  57. Gustopher says:

    @Skookum: Does anyone think you’re getting too cranky in general?

    I’m not convinced on the “drama llama” incident, but I do know sexist and agism are so utterly rampant that they can be hard to see because you are immersed in them.

    There was an engineer at a company I worked at, a few teams over, who transitioned from make to female, and as soon as she passed she was ignored in meetings and mistaken for a designer. She did not dress well enough to be a designer. She had many interesting things to say about sexism in my industry.

    (During transition, she faced different challenges, of course)

    Not to drag up drama llamas too much more, but it’s really clear that “drama queen” is basically saying “so dramatic and emotional that they might as well be a woman.”

    The llama is a hundred times better — not overtly sexist, rhymes, and we all love references to fairly ridiculous animals. If all our common insults rhymed and had animals in them, we would be a much more Suessical world.

    I would also accept alliteration. Had Biden referred to MAGA folks as the “foul ferrets of fascism”, we would be having a different conversation today.

  58. Kathy says:


    Growing up, we sometimes had beans with sliced hot dogs in a sauce with ketchup (redundant, I know). I used to add rice to mine, when we had rice the same day, and sometimes yellow mustard as well.

  59. Sleeping Dog says:


    What’s interesting about that list of names, now that they’ve shed their allegiance to the Rs, their analysis of a lot of topics has become more even handed. An example, take a subject like healthcare. They no longer insert R talking points and admit there is a problem and that government has a role in its solution.

  60. Skookum says:

    @Gustopher: In general, I’m getting gentler and wiser and take great pleasure watching women working with men with little concern about being respected by male peers. Thank you for listening.

  61. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I think Trump pushed a of lot of well-informed, intelligent people into examining their own ideologies, which is interesting (and ironic), given that Trump has no ideology at all, other than “me-me-me.”

    I try to read as much as I can of the right critiquing the right and the left critiquing the left. To me, those are the most interesting perspectives.

  62. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @EddieInCA:

    We’re tough up here in New England.

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: For Cooke and Lowry, hurting Rs IS hurting America.

  64. Mu Yixiao says:


    In general, I’m getting gentler and wiser and take great pleasure watching women working with men with little concern about being respected by male peers. Thank you for listening.

    I come from the Great Lakes region (specifically Wisconsin, but most of what I’m going to say applies to the whole region). Up here we may be “traditional” in some respects, but what we consider “traditional” is a might bit different than in other regions, and would look like “progressive” to them.

    Women work. Women can be in charge just as well as men can. If anyone did a study, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that there are more women in management roles than men. The reason is pretty basic: We’re farm country (especially dairy country), and girls toss hay, slop the pigs, and milk the cows right along side the boys. Boys grow up going to school with farm girls. And farm girls take shit from nobody. We’re quite aware that they can go toe to toe with us. And we know that all those “farm moms” are actually running a business–finances, salaries, taxes, regulatory compliance, etc.

    You’ll see far more sexism in the cities than you will in farm country.

    I never realized this until I went on tour with the Ice Capades. I was an electrician, and one of three people in charge of setting up the entire lighting system. The IATSE local I worked with in Wisconsin was 50/50 gender-wise, and everybody did every job. When I got to cities out east and asked “where are the women hands?” I was either met with blank stares or told “Doing costuming, of course.”

    Any city we went to that had women electricians, I immediately claimed them for my crew. This may sound sexist at first, but it’s because women listen to instructions. I’m the expert on what needs to happen for my show–and every show is different. Women hands would listen to what needs to be done and do it. Men? They’d ignore instructions and do what they thought was better.

    And they usually knew more (and better) dirty jokes. 😀

  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Those of us who can no longer afford to live in Seattle (where the blue-collar neighborhood house I grew up in recently had a Zestimate of $780k–up from the $620k it last sold for) probably have more restrictive value systems than you do. The Acer laptop, the HP all-in-one that replaced it, AND my Android smartphone–which works just fine, thank you for asking–combined cost less than my non-Luddite friend’s MacBook, which he is very happy with, still.

  66. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’m going into the holiday weekend, followed by 4 days of vacation*, and another weekend. I rarely read OTB when I’m not at work, and comment even less. So you probably won’t see me until the 12th.

    Which, I realized, this afternoon, marks 5 years since I left China.

    So I leave you with two things:

    1) If you hurry, you can still make the second day of the 2022 Sauk-Prairie Cow Chip Throwing Festival (yes, it’s what you think it is).

    2) Geeks get it.

  67. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I never realized this until I went on tour with the Ice Capades. I was an electrician

    And the hopes for a really great story are dashed.

  68. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I know enough people who have really crappy laptops that die and disrupt their work that the increased upfront cost for better build quality is worth it.

    It’s like the old adage of expensive shoes costing less in the long run.

    An adage that is often not the case (there are some shitty expensive shoes), and which neglects the occasional well made discount shoe.

    (Now, upgrading my Apple Watch every time they come out with one with a new sensor, that’s just frivolous. Although the EKG I did of my heart arrhythmia a few years back did keep me out of the hospital, when the ER docs looked and said “oh, that one’s not very dangerous, we can release you, follow up with a cardiologist on Monday” — so even that might have saved money)

  69. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    IIRC, the last time you went off on an adventure, most of what you wanted to do was either closed or out of business. Better luck with your travels this time.

  70. EddieInCA says:


    Is this going to turn into another Fraturday?

    Fortunately not. Noon call, 10.5 hour day, hour lunch, 11:30pm wrap. Working into a Holiday weekend can get very expensive with the IASTE unions.

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EddieInCA: Working into a Holiday weekend can get very expensive with the IASTE unions.

    Good, it should.

  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: I suspect that if I still had WORK that my computer did, I’d probably…

    Well, I wouldn’t have bought a $199 Acer laptop to begin with when I came back from Korea. My needs are simple and my income usually necessitates purchase of inferior goods, so I’m used to it.

  73. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mu Yixiao:..Hopefully this is a sign that thing might calm down a bit.

    I suspect that the yard signs will be as effective as this bumpersticker.