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:

    Trump sues New York attorney general in latest fight over business fraud claims

    The former president claims civil suit mounted by Letitia James could cause ‘great harm’ to his company and reputation

    On the first part, well YEAH. I mean, No DUH! Keeping an on going criminal enterprise from engaging in criminal acts is certainly going to be harmful to it’s bottom line. That’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

    On the 2nd point, it can’t harm his reputation for being an amoral, narcissistic, thieving, serially lying sociopath. For those on one side of the coin, we can’t hate him any more than we do already. For those on the other side, it will only make them love him even more.

    And so we get Judge orders independent monitor to oversee Trump’s real estate empire

    The move will restrict his company’s ability to freely make deals, sell assets and change its corporate structure.
    “Our goal in doing this is not to impact the day-to-day operations of the Trump Organization,” said James’ senior enforcement counsel, Kevin Wallace. He said the desired oversight would be “limited” and wouldn’t involve intricacies, such as how many rounds of golf or hotel rooms they were booking in a given year.

    “The Trump Organization has a persistent record of not complying with existing court orders,” Wallace said. “It should not be incumbent on the court or the attorney general to spend the next year looking over their shoulder, making sure assets aren’t sold or the company restructured.”

    What took them so long?

  2. MarkedMan says:

    Picked up a new car yesterday, a Subaru Outback, and was surprised by some of the features. The “active cruise control” was actually semi-self driving. In fairly heavy traffic it kept a safe distance from the leading car without any jerkiness or aggressive acceleration, and kept me centered in the lane around curves. It even braked aggressively before I did when the truck ahead and one lane to the right got very sloppy on a curve and drifted a foot or more into my lane. I had known that auto manufacturers were implementing more and more sophisticated things under “active cruise control” and “lane following” but hadn’t realized they had reached this point.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    FBI says it has credible information of ‘broad’ threat to New Jersey synagogues

    My first thought on reading this headline was, “I wonder if they can post cops at all the Jewish Delis too?” Then I read this:

    Steven Fulop, the mayor of Jersey City, said police would be posted at the city’s seven synagogues and foot patrols would be added in the broader Jewish community. In 2019, two assailants motivated by antisemitic hate killed three people in a kosher market in Jersey City, along with a police officer.

    I guess it’s the obvious alternative.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Enjoy.

    In car news here, my wife’s car had to go to the transmission shop after the gear shift locked up on her in our drive. I figured it was a linkage problem and sure enough she recalled getting a recall notice* on it for just that. I thought about having it towed to a dealer but knowing ability to “find” problems that one never knew were there and how their que is $$ based, figured it would be cheaper and quicker to just take it to the tranny shop.

    2 days and $166 later she has her car back. We’re gonna submit that to Ford and see if they will pay back some of that. Maybe even all? Ha! Funny man make silly joke.

    *the notice said, “we will contact you when we have the parts.” they never did. if my wife had told me, i would have told her to make an appointment and they would get the parts. oh well.

  5. Jen says:

    Oh, this is delicious:

    Ye can’t sell ‘White Lives Matter’ shirts — 2 Black radio hosts own the trademark

    […] Now, anyone trying to sell a White Lives Matter shirt or use the phrase for monetary gain will be handed a cease-and-desist letter by two Black radio hosts who own the trademark.

    Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward are the hosts of Civic Cipher, a radio show based in Phoenix. A listener of the show reached out to them and told the hosts that they had acquired the trademark to White Lives Matter but thought protection of the phrase was better left in the hands of Ja and Ward.

    “The listener did not want to be associated with this in any way, but they recognize the importance of ownership,” Ja told NPR. “You can prevent bad things from happening by owning it. You can shape the outcomes.”

    The listener, who wishes to remain anonymous, was listening to Civic Cipher, which, as the hosts explain, dives deep into conversations regarding political representation, voter disenfranchisement, voter suppression and police brutality.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Well done guys, very well done. And an extra special tip of the hat to the anonymous listener.

  7. Joe says:

    @Jen: Interesting, but that’s not how trademarks work. The trademark is what goes on the tag on the back of the shirt, not the slogan on the front. Stated another way, it protects the source of the good, not the design. I don’t doubt someone would get a cease and desist letter, but it would be a bogus claim and would lose in court.

  8. Jen says:

    @Joe: I understand what a trademark is. I’m fine with people having to sink money into fighting cease and desist letters, or second-guessing what they can sell.

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: a lot of what comes across my desk happens to be various ways of implementing Driver Assist features, or how to do them better (such as in intersections, which don’t have lane markings), or how to incorporate new developments in sensors/computer vision/AI/whatever.

  10. Kylopod says:

    @Jen: The weird thing about Kanye isn’t the Black Hebrew Israelite stuff—that’s been around for ages, and he’s hardly the first black celebrity to have fallen down that hole. What’s weird is how he mixes it with traditional white supremacy. Black Israelite ideology is at its heart pretty conservative—but it’s conservative on its own terms, not in a way that would normally be inviting to white conservatives or white supremacists. It’s an inverted white supremacy that turns black people into the master race. Kanye seems to be trying to have it both ways—one moment he’s talking all about anti-black oppression by the Jewish overlords, the next he’s spouting White Lives Matter and claiming George Floyd died from fentanyl. It isn’t even internally coherent.

  11. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    261,000 jobs added in October.
    But according to MAGA the economy is in shambles.

  12. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: We’ve had the active cruise control on our Outback for a while. I think its great. However, I learned the downside is that you get so used to the automatic braking and acceleration that when it is turned off you actually forget to use your brakes. So be aware of that learned behavior.

  13. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    House MAGAt’s have released a 1,000 page report on the politicization of the FBI and DOJ.
    However it’s really just a 58 page report with 942 pages of letters House MAGAt’s have written.
    They appear to be very frustrated that their orange idol has gotten caught criming.

  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    On yesterday’s thread Biden Warns Democracy at Stake, there was a heated discussion between Andy and others. Andy linked to this Atlantic article, that lends support to the regular warnings from Ruy Teixeira, that Dems are endangered of losing the Latino vote and even seeing a weakening of Dem support among non-college voters across every racial and ethnic voting group.

    That discussion, brought to mind this Times opinion by Thomas Edsall, Why Aren’t You Voting in Your Financial Self-Interest?, from a couple of weeks ago.

    On the right, millions of working- and middle-class white people have shifted their focus away from the goal of income redistribution — an objective Democrats have customarily promoted — to support the Republican preference for traditional, even reactionary, sociocultural values. At the same time, college-educated white voters have come to support tax and spending initiatives that subordinate their own financial interests in favor of redistribution and liberal social values.

    Benjamin Enke and Alex Wu, economists at Harvard, and Mattias Polborn, a political scientist at Vanderbilt, capture the rationale underlying this push-me, pull-you cycle in their April paper, “Morals as Luxury Goods and Political Polarization”:

    The logic is that when the rich get disproportionately richer, they place a higher weight on moral considerations, which induces some rich moral liberals to swing Democratic. This, in turn, induces the parties to polarize on social issues because their voter bases have now both become more extreme. Faced with such socially increasingly polarized parties, a poor, morally conservative voter may well become more likely to vote Republican, even when his materially preferred economic policy has moved to the left as a result of increased income inequality. In turn, when poor moral conservatives swing Republican, this further pushes the Republican Party position on social issues to the right and the Democratic one further left.

    The idea that moral values are, in that sense, luxury goods, Enke, Wu and Polborn write, “is not new but has appeared in different terminology across the social sciences, such as in Abraham Maslow’s (1943) ‘hierarchy of needs,’ the influential ‘postmaterialism’ literature initiated by Ronald Inglehart (1997, 2020) or the argument that modernization increases demand for democracy (Seymour Martin Lipset, 1959).”

    These trends manifest, the authors continue, “in two ways: first, in any given survey year, rich people report being less materialist than the poor. Second, as average incomes increased over time, the U.S. population as a whole became less materially oriented.”

    In a separate 2020 paper, “Moral Values and Voting,” Enke found that

    starting in the 1960s, Republicans and Democrats polarized in their moral appeal: For more than 30 years, Democrats increasingly placed a stronger emphasis on universalist moral concepts, a trend that was considerably weaker among Republicans. Thus, today the Democratic Party has a substantially more universalist profile than the Republican Party.

    italics indicates a quote

    In yesterday’s discussion, it was pointed out that in multi-party democracies, it is typical that a party will pick and choose among its priorities to push in order to build and participate in a ruling coalition, this was then assailed as abandoning the parties core principles and that the Dems shouldn’t do this. The truth is, that at a state level, Dems do this all the time. Here in NH (and other states), a Bernie Sanders, AOC or Liz Warren couldn’t get elected dog catcher. So Dem candidates, even if in their heart of hearts, believe that America would be a far better place if it were a democratic socialist paradise with all the unicorns and ponies, lower their sights and argue for incremental improvements. Do Dem candidates compromise their morals here, yes, I believe so, the high moral ground is useless, if you can’t accrue the power to make change, even marginally.

  15. Scott says:

    The shooting of troops will continue until morale improves.

    From the UK Defense Ministry:

    Due to low morale and reluctance to fight, Russian forces have probably started deploying “barrier troops” or “blocking units”.

    These units threaten to shoot their own retreating soldiers in order to compel offensives and have been used in previous conflicts by Russian forces.

    Recently, Russian generals likely wanted their commanders to use weapons against deserters, including possibly authorising shooting to kill such defaulters after a warning had been given. Generals also likely wanted to maintain defensive positions to the death.

    The tactic of shooting deserters likely attests to the low quality, low morale and indiscipline of Russian forces.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Via Anne Laurie, something to make you smile:

    Heckin Good Dogs

    New loading icon

  17. Scott says:

    An update on Ukraine from ISW:

    Although it reads straight forward, it seems as though the Russians continue to be falling apart:

    It is still unclear whether Russian forces will defend Kherson City despite the ongoing withdrawal of some Russian elements from northwestern Kherson Oblast.

    Russian forces prematurely deployed newly mobilized personnel to offensive operations in western Donetsk Oblast in the pursuit of minimal and operationally insignificant territorial gains.

    Russian outlets continued to publish contradictory and confusing reports about the dismissal of Colonel General Alexander Lapin from the position of CMD commander or commander of the Russian “central” forces.

    Russian authorities may be setting conditions to imminently transfer the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant to the Russian power grid.

    Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued to conduct counteroffensive operations in the direction of Kreminna and Svatove.

    Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Donetsk City.
    The Russian military continues to face pronounced issues in the supply of critical military equipment.

    The Russian Ministry of Defense is likely continuing mobilization efforts covertly.
    Russian occupation officials continued forced evacuations in Kherson Oblast.

  18. Mu Yixiao says:

    And now for some Very Important[tm] discussion:

    In Wisconsin we call them “”. My friend from Virginia calls them “cake donuts”.

    What’s the term you use?

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: However, I learned the downside is that you get so used to the automatic braking and acceleration that when it is turned off you actually forget to use your brakes.

    Reason #1,394 why I will never have/use such a thing, I will get lax and not pay attention like I should. I know this. Truly safe auto drive may happen some day, and personally I would love to see it and have it, but as long as they call it, driver assisted or whatever human friendly terms they might use, not me.

  20. CSK says:

    Trump told Bob Woodward that he “genetically” understands the coronavirus and No. Korea’s nuclear sites (better than anyone else!) because his Uncle John was a professor of electrical engineering at MIT.

    Just like he knew more than the generals did about ISIS.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: Of course the GOP is upset at the politicization of the FBI and DOJ. They are an ongoing criminal enterprise and if the DOJ actually starts enforcing the law against them, stick a fork in them, they are done.

  22. Scott says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Looks like cake donuts to me. If they hold up to dunking in coffee, then they’re cake dounts.

  23. Scott says:

    Concerning the debt ceiling: The radical right wants to use the debt ceiling to make cuts to the social safety net. And Democrats are all hand wringing about it.

    I’m like: “Republicans, go for it. We don’t negotiate with terrorists. If you try to pass something and I veto it, and the government shuts down, then that’s on you. Your action, your responsibility. End of discussion.”

    Enough playing that game.

    Am I the only one who thinks this way?

    Biden world eyeing lame-duck action on debt ceiling and a lift past 2024

    President Joe Biden hasn’t yet lost control of Congress. But already, his administration is preparing for its first major showdown with a newly emboldened Republican party.

    Senior Biden officials and allies are exploring a series of strategies for raising the debt ceiling, in a bid to avert a standoff with Republicans next year that threatens to further rattle financial markets and endanger the nation’s fragile economic recovery.

    The debate comes as several Republicans have advocated for using the debt ceiling to extract concessions from the White House, and reflects growing fears in Democratic and economic circles that the GOP may be willing to put the country’s credit and financial stability at risk in pursuit of its political goals.

  24. CSK says:


    So in effect, Trump’s real estate assets have been frozen.

  25. Kathy says:

    My previous car, a 98 Nissan something or other, had cruise control. I never used it, even though I did a fair bit of highway driving in it. My current car, a 2011 Corolla, doesn’t have it.

    On other things, I’ve some frozen beef nuggets (really oddly shaped meatballs*), I plan to cook with fettuccine in tomato sauce. Pan fried potatoes on the side.

    I may try a tip I’ve been coming across a lot lately, which is to partially boil the potatoes beforehand. The tomato sauce is tomato pure, paprika, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, and peanut butter.

    *I got them weeks ago because a half kilo cost about the same as a half kilo of raw ground beef, so it seemed like a good deal. Usually cooked anything costs far more than the equivalent raw.

  26. Mu Yixiao says:


    I may try a tip I’ve been coming across a lot lately, which is to partially boil the potatoes beforehand.

    That’s “American fries”. They’re the leftover baked potatoes from the previous evening, fried in butter (or bacon grease).

    If you don’t cook them first, they’re “raw fries”. If you throw them in the oven, they’re “cottage fries”.

    I prefer American fries, because you get a nice crispy outside with a fluffy inside (and they don’t take as long to cook). Top them with black pepper and a healthy dose of shredded cheddar cheese. Yummmm!

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist: It’s a perfect example of expectation setting. Tesla says “Full Self Driving” and everyone but the fan-bois are disappointed. Subaru/GM/Mercedes etc says “Adaptive Cruise Control” and “Lane Keeping Assist” and people judge it completely differently.

  28. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mu Yixiao:..donuts

    I see an Old Fashioned Cake Donut.. Compare to a plain cake donut.
    My daddy owned a donut shop when I was in Junior High School (1961). Bakers Dozen Donuts. You paid for 12 and we gave you 13. My first job in Sleepytown after I moved there to finish college in 1968 was at Spudnuts. They used potato flower in the dough. Spudnuts…get it?

  29. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @Mu Yixiao:

    I learned years ago from my mother to parboil potatoes before roasting or frying them. Let them dry and cool completely, then slice or cut up in chunks. Then fry or roast. If roasting, toss chunks in olive oil. Pan or deep fry as you will.

    Good results.

  30. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: I only used it for a couple of hours, so don’t have a solid opinion yet, but initial impressions are quite good. Back in January I rented a VW SUV with the adaptive cruise control and did not like it once I hit even moderate traffic. Intrusive and jerky. In contrast, the Subaru seemed smoother than how I would have handled the same situation, even in fairly heavy (I95 from just south of Philly to Baltimore during rush hour) traffic.

    The devil is in the details though. I found the auto steering to be distracting if I gripped the wheel tightly. It was fine if I gripped it loosely (I have zero desire to have my hands off the wheel in that situation) and essentially let the small adjustments glide through my hands. But after ten seconds or so like that it would alert me to put my hands back on the steering wheel. I’ll play with it and see if I can used to it but if not I’ll turn it off.

  31. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    What’s the term you use?

    “The Only Good Donut”

  32. Mister Bluster says:

    @Scott:..If they hold up to dunking in coffee,..

    Before he bought the Bakers Dozen Donut franchise he did some training at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Rochester, New York where we lived in the ’50s. They sold the original Dunkin’ Donut. It had a handle to hold it with when you dunked it into your coffee cup.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I hear you, but my initial impression was that it was a net gain in safety. I wasn’t going to drift to the edge of the lane while I fiddled with the radio. And, in the case where the truck drifted into my lane, I was watching and would/did hit the brake but the system actually reacted a hair quicker than I did.

    It did position me slightly to the right of where I normally drive in the lane, so I want to have someone follow me and tell me if it is better centered or if I am.

  34. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Dunkin stopped making the handled ones in 2003.

  35. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It took me awhile, but I finally stumbled on how to turn off the “intelligent” features of my new Honda’s Adaptive Cruise Control so it acts like just a dumb cruise control. I disliked it for several reasons. One, how am I supposed to sit there alert to any danger if something else is doing half the driving? Two, it was a constant irritant. Driving on a city street the guy in front of me turns off. He’s ten feet off my roadway headed away and the dimbulb cruise control is braking hard because all it sees is distance closing. On a freeway in the left lane it will leave a large gap to the guy ahead, this will irritate people who will eventually pass on your right and fill in the gap. Third, it’s good to be predictable in traffic. And in traffic dimbulb will vary your speed all over the place. Which leads to fourth, I use cruise almost all the time. Now that I fixed it, if I set the cruise to 70, unless I do something to disengage it, it will hold my speed at 70 and I can keep my attention on the road, not having to glance down and refocus on the dash. But with dimbulb I found myself constantly looking away from the road and traffic because I didn’t know what speed it was at.

    Also too, the Honda displays the current speed limit on the dash display. The Garmin does this from it’s road database. The Honda does it by having the vision system actually read signs. I haven’t figured out what it sees, but on the through surface street near my home it frequently displays a limit of 100. It is not to be trusted. This is the thing self driving car boosters miss.This isn’t horseshoes or hand grenades, it’s binary. Almost trustworthy is untrustworthy.

  36. Mister Bluster says:
  37. wr says:

    @Mister Bluster: “They used potato flower in the dough. Spudnuts…get it?”

    I’d heard of Spudnuts, but never knew why they had that name. I learned something on the internet today! Thank you.

  38. CSK says:


    I assume he knows that as soon as he does this, he’ll have to foot his own legal bills.

  39. Mister Bluster says:

    When my dad trained at Dunkin’ in Rochester all the donuts, yeast raised and cake, the dough was worked and rolled out by hand. There was one hand held donut cutter for regular donuts and a special designed one for the dunkin donut with a handle. All the donuts were cut out one at a time.
    I know we had a machine at the Baker’s Dozen shop that rolled out the yeast dough and ran it on a conveyor belt under a donut cutter that cut multiple donuts at a time. The cake donuts were made from a batter that was placed in a machine that dropped the donuts into the hot grease of the donut fryer one at a time as I turned a crank to make the thing work. Hot grease splashed on me all the time. I did not know that Dunkin’ ended the dunker that recently. I wonder how they made them?

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I do use regular cruise control, it makes it far easier to avoid speeding. The other stuff…

    Monday morning I was driving into STL to p/u my granddaughters, in the rain and still dark, in the center lane when a semi I was passing on my right began pulling into my lane. It looked like I had nowhere to go as a car was close up to me in the left lane. I’m honking my horn watching him, alternately the car in my side mirror trying to judge his relative speed, and the semi just kept coming*. Finally I had to take the left lane and just hope the driver there could see what was happening and make room for me. It was a pretty close thing but everybody lived.

    I don’t know how a a system would handle that situation.

    * in his defense, he may have felt he had no choice. I didn’t see it until I passed it but there was large tow truck blocking his lane. we had come around a bend and there it was, no warning, and with the wet pavement stopping his load was probably not possible.

  41. Mister Bluster says:


    Spudnut Shops were American franchised stores selling donuts made with potato flour called Spudnuts. The parent company no longer exists, but independent stores remain. The original recipe is based on a folk recipe that traces back to Germany.

    Mister Spudnut

  42. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist: If it’s not being nosy, I’m curious why this stuff crosses your desk? What’s your overall impression of where this is all heading?

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: No.

    @gVOR08: There it is.

  44. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: An interesting take is to add a little baking powder when you are parboiling. It makes the out surface a little mushy, which lets it absorb the oil and spices in a different way.

  45. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Dunkin had their doughnut cutter maker design a special one with a handle. That one had to be wielded by hand, whereas the regular doughnuts were machine made. That it had to be handmade was why they discontinued it.

  46. CSK says:


    I’ll have to try that.

  47. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve been a devoted user of cruise control since developing sciatica in the early oughts. It seems to help if I keep my foot flat on the floor when driving long distances.

  48. Skookum says:

    @MarkedMan: A quip from the ’Net: “My new SUV has a button that says, ‘Rear Wiper’. I’m afraid to push it.”

  49. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    In my neighborhood, it looks like what the donut shop dude calls an old fashioned. I don’t care what you call it, yum! With a nice cuppa coffee and a chunk of extra sharp cheddar.

  50. Jay L Gischer says:

    Well, in my life I have been involved in maybe 2 dozen auto incidents where there was damage to a vehicle sufficient to warrant exchange of money. Every single one of those incidents was caused by driver inattention. Every one.

    In contrast, I can think of two situations where I, and other drivers, avoided greater problems with unorthodox maneuvering.

    However, the situations were caused, at the root, by driver misjudgement or inattention.

    Robot drivers are far from perfect, and the issues that, for instance @gVOR08 highlights are real. However, inattention and misjudgement are not normal characteristics of robot drivers.

    Just sayin.

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Ouch. Whatever helps.

    My sciatica comes and goes, mostly it’s gone. This past summer it acted up again for the first time in years but the pain only went as far as my hip which fooled me into thinking I was up for hip replacement (it’s been bothering me for a while too) I did 3 months of physical therapy and that made it a whole lot better. Now comes the hard part: Doing the exercises without someone standing over me making sure I did.

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Every accident a Tesla has is always blamed on driver inattention. Tesla is just sayin.

    (and yes, you are right about driver inattention being the cause of a majority of accidents followed by reckless driving and DUI, my problem is that if I don’t have to pay attention 100%, inevitably I will pull out the CDs and look for just that one, or ooo, look at the pretty deer, or 1001 other distractions, I will get lax. I know myself all too well.)

  53. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    With all the crap and crazy this week, I could really use a Friday Photo to focus on. Hint hint hint .


  54. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    What the actual f*ck…Ron DeSantis was sent to FL…by god?
    This ad should be disqualifying. He truly thinks he is the younger brother of Jesus.

  55. Jen says:

    @CSK: I can’t imagine Melania is happy with this.

    I know I’m not.

  56. CSK says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    Well, the MAGAs claim Trump was sent by God, so…

  57. CSK says:


    It boggles my mind to think he could run and actually win.

  58. CSK says:

    I wonder what Trump is planning. He ignored the deadline today on the subpoena from the Jan. 6 Committee. He’s called to testify before the committee on Nov. 14, which is the same day multiple new agencies are saying he’ll announce his candidacy for 2024.

  59. Beth says:

    @MarkedMan: @gVOR08: @OzarkHillbilly: @Jay L Gischer:

    I won’t use cruise control at all. It feels like I’ve entirely lost control of the car when I use it. Lol, I figured out why with the help of my partner and therapist. Between my dissociation and sub-clinical ADD, my brain shuts off when I drive. I’m like a fire and forget missile. As long as I know where I’m going, I don’t think. I just react to traffic like a robot. It’s great for driving in a massive pain in the ass city. Its bad though if I have to go to a place slightly different than where I’m used to going cause it’s hard to switch over at times and I end up having to double back or the real bad one is i’ll get too comfortable and start getting sleepy.

  60. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Jim, something I’ve been pondering, and hoping someone here knows an answer. We keep going back and forth (lather/rinse/repeat) about the need for D messaging in the rural areas. However, the small town/rural areas I’m familiar with such advertising (especially billboards/local station ads) are controlled by small locals. I suspect that, if I went to the local space owner and offered $$$ to buy billboard space for a Demoncrat, I’d be told “sorry, nothing available, everything’s long-term rented. Or am I just hopelessly naïf (in addition to being hopelessly sociopathic)?

  61. Kathy says:


    He’s trying to run out the clock, because the Kevin Kongress won’t continue the Jan 6th. Committee.

    I wonder what happens if he’s referred to the DOJ for contempt of Congress charges.

  62. Beth says:


    That will be the basis for the impeachment charge against AG Garland.

  63. MarkedMan says:

    @Skookum: I’m gonna steal that.

  64. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yoga. The 3 month free subscription I got for Apple Fitness+ at the start of the pandemic has been life changing for me. I thought, “let’s take a look and see if there is anything worthwhile here now that I can’t go to the gym”. I’ve been doing yoga 3 to 5 times a week ever since and the reduction in sciatica and other joint pain has been just wonderful. It’s not gone, but so much less.

  65. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m one of those evil government employees that is providing a service mandated by the U.S. Constitution. (a.k.a. patent examiner).

    Some of the stuff I’ve been seeing has been pretty awe-inspiring–computer vision for vehicle HUDs, robust anti-collision warning systems–how to get drones to navigate urban “canyons”–but a lot of it has been (X + stick a vehicle/drone system around it) with absolutely NO seeming thought. My problem has been that in the U.S. people have a right to a patent on an invention unless a) it’s obviously impossible (perpetual motion machines) b) it’s already been published (yeah, your own publication can bar you) c) you’re trying to patent an abstract idea (e.g. Edison trying to get a patent on everything that used telecommunication wires. SCOTUS said no.) or d) it’s obvious.

    What this means is that stupid engineering ideas are often very easy to patent because there’s no prior art out there either mentioning it or debunking it. (Because everyone in the art knows what a dumb idea it is.) The best we can do as examiners is chew off as much as possible that overlaps with existing prior art and try to issue as narrow a patent as possible.

    Hence my realisation that Sturgeon’s Law holds for patents as well: “90% of anything is crud.”

  66. Stormy Dragon says:


    We’ve had the active cruise control on our Outback for a while. I think its great.

    I love it to, although one warning is I’ve noticed there’s a particular common shade of dark grey paint that it frequently has trouble identifying as a car for some reason

  67. Kathy says:


    Nope. No Garland impeachment until the Cheeto finishes his Mitch.

  68. dazedandconfused says:

    The human factor problems of automation have been extensively researched in aviation, and the bottom line is that humans are poorly configured for passive system management. When all they are doing is waiting for a warning they tend to fall “asleep”, either mentally or for real. The reduction in workload has advantages but some serious pit-falls.

    Given this condition exists in plane cockpits, I shudder to imagine the ennui which can set in for road drivers on the freeway. There will be a lot of people who will struggle to stay awake….and fail.

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Yeah! What’s up with that? Steven is slacking off. If he doesn’t shape up we just might fire him!

  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: That’s still better than trump. trump thinks he is the “Chosen One.”

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Bill boards are open to anyone with money (most if not all of those companies are multi-state/national) Local radio tends to be owned by such as Sinclair. Fuhgeddaboudit. Local news papers… They are all right wing around here, but I doubt they would turn away a source of revenue. Small towns only have so many businesses interested in advertising.

  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I’ve been thinking about trying it. My body is shot in a thousand different ways (35+ years of carpentry and caving have left their mark on me). It looks like a low impact way to better musculo/skeletal health, which my body* can desperately use. There is a Yoga studio up in town. On your recommendation, I’ll check and see what they charge. Thanx.

    *if they can just alleviate 25 or 30% of my daily pain, it would be money well spent.

  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: one warning is I’ve noticed there’s a particular common shade of dark grey paint that it frequently has trouble identifying as a car for some reason

    Humans too. My p/u is silver. I have been run off the road 3 times in the past 6 years. In my previous 42 years of driving, I was never run off the road once. While other factors played into 2 of them, I’m pretty sure the color of my p/u was a contributing factor in both of those. In the third incident? I think it was 80% of the reason.

  74. Kathy says:

    So Netflix has ads now, and this is supposed to make the news?

    I won’t go with the obvious joke of “ads on TV? Hm. I seem to remember that back on the pre-Cambrian or something?” But I do remember when a draw of cable was you’d get no ads at all. I don’t know how that worked, as I never paid for more than basic cable (at the time, this meant US networks like CBS NBC and ABC. plus ESPN, some movie channels showing older movies*, and I think PBS at some point). I mean, we never paid for HBO and things like that.

    *When we first got cable, the company sent out a digest-sized monthly magazine. The highlight was two whole pages with what would be on their movie channel, which showed movies only between 6 pm and midnight, 2 am on weekends. I remember this because one movie was Rollerball (the 70s James Caan version), which for some reason I very much wanted to see.

  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @dazedandconfused: We are genetically designed to watch out for lions, leopards and hyenas. That’s why so many of us spent our nights in caves. Predators avoid enclosed spaces* and we can relax. Give us something that will keep the lions, leopards and hyenas at bay and….

    * and yes, bears like to hibernate in caves. I’ve had friends unexpectedly find them while surveying. But other than polar bears and the odd grizzly, bears tend to avoid humans for obvious reasons. Besides, a groggy bear is not much of a threat. Mind you, my friends still beat a hasty retreat.

  76. Monala says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I love it when the dog decides he’s had enough!

  77. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Last comment before I sign off for the weekend.

    However, inattention and misjudgement are not normal characteristics of robot drivers.

    Neither are judgement or the ability to respond to the unexpected.

    I mentioned yesterday that I’d love to see a “self-driving” car take my normal route to work (especially before sunrise). How do FSD cars deal will deer on the side of the road? Are they programmed to notice reflective eyes (amidst all the reflective signs) and know that it’s a 100 kg mass that might suddenly jump out in front of the car with zero warning, and about 3 meters to stop? Do the tech-kids programming all of this (in ultra-urban California cities) even know that this is a possibility? Do they understand that the correct reaction is usually to swerve into the oncoming lane? Or off onto the shoulder?

    Have any of the programmers though about how to deal with this situation:

    Rural road that’s barely wide enough for two cars. “Bridge”* that’s too narrow for two vehicles (meeting) at the same time. Human drivers around here know to slow down, and–with zero clear communication–decide who goes across first.

    How does a FSD car deal with an on-coming combine on a rural road?

    Hell… Has “autonomous driving” ever been tested on snow-covered roads?

    97% of the US is rural.

    How much “Autonomous driving” has been tested on rural roads–not interstates that go through rural areas, but actual rural roads?

    My guess? Zero.

    * Concrete slab and sides going over a ditch or small creek, total length, about 10-15 feet

  78. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Yes, I understand that billboards are open to anyone with money. But only if the guy with the billboard wants to sell YOU space to advertise. I’m just wondering if the good upstanding citizen who owns the billboards in “East Toad Lick” is willing to let space go to the electoral version of The Church of Satan when he’s going to hear about it from everyone at his tent revival next Sunday.

    And that was my point about “local” radio. Dude running radio ads in East Toad Lick is far too busy taking calls from the Tiddly Widdly store to take/return a call from the local Demorant about buying minutes. Dreams of reaching the locals in the panhandle have been cut off since well before Regan, I’m afraid.

  79. Mimai says:


    Forgive me for intruding, but I wanted to reinforce the benefits of yoga. I took it up almost 7 years ago after resisting for a long time. It’s been a staple ever since.

    I can also vouch for yoga in a professional capacity. I have colleagues who have done and are doing clinical trials of yoga, including for chronic pain. The evidence base is getting stronger every year.

    Unsolicited advice to newcomers: Shop around — styles, instructors, studios, etc. Goodness of fit is essential, so be patient. I’m confident you’ll find it.

  80. Kathy says:

    Anyone with an active Twitter account plans to cancel it?

    I thought my red line would be to reinstate the Cheeto, but seeing the mass layoffs, worse than with a merger where they may make sense, really has me feeling I want nothing to do with Elon’s new toy. No need to watch it get worse before then.

    He’s also begging people to pay $7.99 for the blue check mark.

    You know, sometimes between work and life in general, it slips my mind to pay a credit card on time. When that happens, I get calls threatening all sorts of unlikely measures if I don’t pay up RIGHT NOW. It’s funny.

    At one time I told them,”You know, I will pay right now*, and then cancel my account. I can’t believe your banks is so hard up they’ll go broke if I miss one small payment. I’d better get out before you reach insolvency and can’t pay me that I ave on deposit. Thanks for the warning!”

    That’s how Twitter feels right now.

    *Once you’re late, they hit you with a month’s interest and a late payment junk fee. Nothing you do can change that. So, there’s no upside in paying until the next month’s balance is due.

  81. Mister Bluster says:

    Today’s History Lesson
    Tuesday November 4th, 2008

    Election Day in the United States
    Democrat Barack Obama 365 Electoral Votes 69,498,516 Popular Votes
    Republican John McCain 173 Electoral Votes 59,948,323 Popular Votes

    Was there something in another thread about a time machine?

  82. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I don’t know what to call them because I can’t get the URL to open to an internet site. But I can tell you that whatever they are, if the dough is dropped from a spoon or some type of ejector, they’re probably cake donuts if they are donuts. If they’re cut from sheets of yeast dough, they’re raised donut.

    Aha! Tried another approach and got to see the picture. It appears to be a donut with buttermilk in it to get some fermentation, but not an old fashion. The old fashion donuts I’ve always seen have the crust completely split wide open. Usually both top and bottom, but not always.

    I suppose it might be fried at a different temperature so it doesn’t burst so dramatically, though, I guess.

  83. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That, I didn’t know. When I was in produce/food service, cottage fries were simply wider cut french fries.

  84. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: Rich’s donuts are really terrible either way. EWWWWW!

  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: The dipper-style donut cutters that I’ve seen just have an out of round cutting blade instead of a circular one.

  86. Arnold Stang says:

    Funny you should ask. I have a Twitter account, had it for @5-6 years. I’ve never tweeted, only used it to track sporting events.
    This week I saw an article with the procedure for de-activating your account. I thought it was time and went through the process. Got to the end and got a message.
    “Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again later”. I’ve tried several times since, always the same ending.
    I’m trapped in Twitterland. Maybe I have to pay 8 bucks.

  87. mister bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:..donuts…
    I never heard of Rich’s Donuts. I was going for the picture.
    Haven’t seen a donut cutter up close since 1968.