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:

    Portland gunfight fuels alarm over growing use of weapons at rallies

    Researchers did not determine whether the presence of firearms provoked violent acts, or if participants tended to arm themselves ahead of events that were likely to be violent, said Dr Roudabeh Kishi, a researcher for Acled.

    But while “it can be hard to tell the chicken from the egg”, she added, guns “may heighten tensions and intimidate protesters who aren’t accustomed to seeing them”.

    Gee, ya think?

    This business will get out of control.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:
  3. de stijl says:

    I am watching Troy Baker and Nolan North play The Last Of Us. Retro Replay channel on Youtube.

    Both of them are studs at their day job which is voice acting in games, but as gamers their skillz are woefully lacking. Hit triangle you fucking scrub!

    It’s hilarious and really fucking frustrating to watch. They are so bad at the gaming part. Anecdotes and actorly feedback – at that, they rock, but at playing TLOU they suck. So bad.

    They have guest stars who voice acted and mo-capped the game.

    It’s pretty sweet. In a few episodes the guest will be Ashley Johnson who played Ellie.

    She is a fucking boss. She killed Ellie so hard. Her performance just blows me away.

  4. Jon says:

    @de stijl: Agreed; Ashley Johnson is just great in general.

  5. Scott says:

    Sometimes (oftentimes) art and humanities can inform us.

    The 20 year Afghanistan tragedy gets wrapped up in our self absorbed national politics and self image. At its core, however, is a country wrecked by tribal and civil war colored by ethnicism and religion. We had no place being in the middle of it.

    So we were evacuating, quickly. The intelligence was predicting an attack on the evacuation and despite what I’m sure were best efforts, it succeeded.

    What came to mind? This Michael Corleone quote from Godfather, Part II.

    Michael Corleone: “I saw a strange thing today. Some rebels were being arrested. One of them pulled the pin on a grenade. He took himself and the captain of the command with him. Now, soldiers are paid to fight; the rebels aren’t.”

    Hyman Roth: “What does that tell you?

    Michael Corleone: “It means they could win.”

  6. mattbernius says:

    I was looking up something in the archive and found this posting from when the agreement with the Taliban was first announced last year:

    In the comments thread, Andy posted the following:

    Afghanistan is my war, it consumed about six years of my life and I’m one of the very fortunate ones. I’ve spent way too much time mourning dead and injured friends and colleagues in what we’ve known for at least 12 years was a pointless and unwinnable conflict.

    Andy, and other Afghan war vets who might be reading this, I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with you. I suspect this may have been a challenging week, especially the events of yesterday. I’m sorry for any pain or retraumitization you might be dealing with. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help and please stay safe.

  7. grumpy realist says:

    @mattbernius: That’s the inevitable–and terrible–trap that these sorts of military embroglios turn into: “we’ve spent already so much money and lost so many people already; how can we waste their lives/turn our back on their sacrifice at this point?!”

    Few people at the top have the guts to point out the lives have already been “wasted”. The only question is whether you’re going to waste more before you get out of the Big Muddy.

    (Similar traps happen for entrepreneurs, people redoing their houses in a DIY project, etc.,etc. and so forth.)

  8. de stijl says:


    The performative hand-wringing bothers me.

    What did they think would happen? This is Saigon 2.0. We’re bugging out.

    The situation was created and foretold in 2003 when we decided to stay and attempt to stabilize the political situation. Bad call. Super bad call.

    Cheney and Rumsfeld and their minions wanted a peacock feather. Bush maybe nodded yes if he was asked at all. Fucker.

    Talk about the deep state. The Bush regime had third level political players dictating policy. It was nuts.

    The failure was baked in. No way it works.

    We have to leave eventually and all our efforts and trillions made no difference. Bound to fail. Dead men and women and it was bound to fail. Inevitably.


    Incompetence at the highest levels – both civilian and military. Massive failure.

  9. Mattbernius says:

    @grumpy realist:
    At the time, and now, I support the decision to get out. Andy did too.

    I am just acknowledging the complex feelings Afghan vets may be having right now. And offering what support I can.

  10. KM says:

    The idea of peaceful protest in this country is on its way out. It’s been demonized the right and the media for a very long time (because let’s face it, it’s the libs usually protesting) as “disruptive” and “problematic”. Look at “cancel culture” as the latest uproar over how peaceful protest gets construed as unfair punishment that should be stopped. The entire point of a protest is to be disruptive for attention- if it’s some people on a out of the way street not making noise or a scene, you can literally pass by and not know they are there. You have to cause a ruckus to get any airtime or go viral and that’s what helps get you your goal. The big rightwing protests of the last few decades have been abortion clinics and they’re *furious* they’re made to stand back in designated areas because it means they can’t be as disruptive as they want.

    So what do you do if you can’t protest effectively as society doesn’t want to see what you’re doing?

    For the right, it began as targeting their victims. They started recording or filming license plates of people going in and out of the clinics. They started following people home and being vaguely threatening enough that the police didn’t do squat. Once they saw that worked, the idea that protesters could intimated and the law would do little other variations started taking off. Bringing weaponry to intimidate makes perfect sense for a group that thinks they’re there to enforce their will rather then be peaceable. They even said themselves it’s there for “show” and they “don’t want to hurt anyone” but it’s a clear visible threat. It’s only recently counter-protesters have begun arming themselves after many libs have been killed in protests by the right – run over by cars, shot in the back, attacks with clubs and other weapons means you’re gonna do something to try and attack the aggressors.

    Unless the police start disarming the right from visibly carrying during their rallies, they’re going to continue doing it for sheer intimidation value. They’ve demonstrated they can and will kill if they want to and that’s never going to be a peaceful protest. The law needs call out this behavior and not label it peaceful protests or rallies to grant legal protections. They’re an armed mob acting out in the streets and should be treated as such. The left is carrying non-lethal weaponry only because they’re worried about the guns on the other side and the cops who are ignoring the attacks occuring.

  11. charon says:

    Friends. I have joined ivermectin groups on Facebook. They are literally shitting their pants in grocery stores.

    A quick thread:

    A lot of people have asked me this week: Where did this ivermectin obsession come from? Who could possibly benefit from it?

    Most importantly, why did my antivaxx aunt start eating horse goo from the tractor store?

    It’s complicated, but here are some answers.

  12. Kathy says:


    I wonder what happens if we get a variant that’s as transmissible as Delta but several times as deadly.

  13. mattbernius says:

    @de stijl:

    This is Saigon 2.0.

    Is it really though? I had been thinking the same thing, and so I decided to read up on the fall of Saigon. This article was really helpful:

    Are there parallels? Yes. But I had no idea how many casualties there were in the Fall.

    Thank god we have had nothing happen, so far, as bad as the tragedy of Operation Baby Lift (where 200+ children were killed when their US plane crash-landed). Or that things were so desperate that as each helicopter full of evacuees landed on an aircraft carrier it was thrown over the side as soon as it was empty to make room for the next one.

    And as far as I can tell, we have already evacuated more people than in Saigon.

    I’m not trying to say this has been perfect. Yesterday’s attack was heartbreaking. And I can understand how this evacuation can bring up really traumatic memories for survivors of the Vietnam War. But I’m not sure we are doing either event justice by making this comparison.

  14. KM says:

    KY Supreme Court: Good Samaritan law only applies if callers know overdose happened

    Under Good Samaritan laws, police essentially look the other way if they find drugs or paraphernalia lying around a drug user who needs emergency medical aid, and they don’t file charges. Legislators said they didn’t want Kentuckians continuing to die because they or their friends hesitated to dial 911 for fear of going to jail.

    Aren’t Good Samaritan laws meant to protect the bystander and not the victim here? For instance, if you stop to help someone with first aid, they can’t sue you afterwards because you weren’t a doctor or possibly aggravated the injury. Why would it cover the victim’s criminal actions? If you’re worried about someone not calling for help due to the legality of it, by all means write up a law to temporarily suspend the illegality of their actions but adopting the Good Samaritan laws means you’re going to run into problems.

    Prosecutors said the Good Samaritan law did not apply in these cases because the bystanders did not see the people use drugs, did not know that drug overdoses were involved and therefore did not have reason to believe the unconscious persons were at risk of arrest and prosecution if authorities were summoned.

    The prosecutors and judge was correct here – this law as written was designed to cover for someone known to be a drug user actively using from being arrested and the passerby had no reason nor duty to determine that fact when they called 9-11. In fact, it’s not legal or feasible for a stranger to search your car for needles or blow when you’re not breathing as the law’s not there to enable evidence discovery. The intent of the law seems to be that if you’re doing drugs with someone and they see you OD, *they* feel comfortable not being arrested when calling for help. Family and friend who discover someone in this state either would be incriminated as well or at least had prior knowledge of the behavior to be used against them, thus the Good Samaritan coverage that seems to be extended to the victim to try and cover all bases.

    A better law can be written to cover such scenarios but as it stands, if you OD in the car and I call for help, you’re going to jail. As the Good Samaritan, it’s not my responsibility what happens to you legally for your actions since I’m just trying to save your life. It’s also kinda skeevy to use a do-gooder’s sense of morality and duty to try and get someone a pass on jail time – you did the crime and my attempt to save you from the consequences of your actions shouldn’t be used to earn you a pass.

  15. Jen says:

    @charon: I’ve been vacillating between laughing and shaking my head. We are truly in another realm with this nonsense.

    On the one hand, a safe and effective vaccine* with extensive testing and FDA approval (for humans, even!).

    On the other hand, a medicine* designed for livestock.

    And people are saying, “yep, hand over the livestock meds, please.”

    * Vaccines are basically training instructions for your immune system and medicines are used to treat illnesses or disease. These are two VERY DIFFERENT THINGS and I am agog at this point.

  16. charon says:

    Looking at which state peaked when, it seems to me there really is a natural immunity effect.

  17. charon says:


    Oppositional defiant disorder a.k.a. Cleek’s law.

    Liberals advocate vaccination thus “conservatives” must oppose.

    Liberals think ivermectin is dangerous and ineffective, “conservatives” disbelieve that.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I will be glad when this week is finally over next week.

    On Sunday ViviLou was born and on Monday put into ICU, (RH incompatibility, very treatable)(coming home this Monday we hope), Billie Jean had the run in with the copperhead Sunday night, I had fun with stents on Tuesday, then…

    Got news last night that my “brother” in law has had a stroke and is in the hospital. I have known Little D for better than 20 years first as a friend and coworker, eventually as my little Sis’ significant other. One of the sweetest people I have ever met with the patience of a saint, which living with little Sis he needed. I have no idea if I will be able to see him any time soon.

    And now TS Ida is now taking aim at the LA coast just west of NOLA. Will be a hurricane when it hits on Sunday with predicted winds >110 MPH, a storm surge of 7-11 ft at the mouth of the Mississippi, and 10-15″ of expected rainfall (the map shows a spot 15-20″ just south of NOLA).

    When my son got run over by the truck and I went down to them thru the worst of it, I was as usual waking up hours before the sun. I did a lot of predawn walking around Gretna, eventually finding my way to the top of the levee along the Mississippi. Looking down at the river, I noticed a thing that has stayed with me ever since: The river in front of me was noticeably higher than the ground behind me.

    I know a lot can change between now and landfall but being a father and grandfather 600 miles away, right now my foremost thought is, “Where the f*ck is 15-20″ of rain gonna go?”

  19. CSK says:

    Jen, you’re never, ever going to convince the people who call the vaccines “Biden’s poison” or who believe that the vaccines are intended to magnetize you (to what end?), implant a microchip in you, cause you to have a spontaneous abortion, sterilize you, give you a heart attack, or alter your DNA that ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine aren’t far superior alternatives.

  20. Scott says:

    @de stijl: What gets me is the casual disregard for language and its reckless usage. Which then leads to wrong actions and wrong approaches to problems.

    “We are in a war” “We lost the war”. Really? We were in a war? Not really, we were in a military intervention that overturned a legitimate government (yes, the Taliban was legitimate whether we liked them or not) and then stayed participate in tribal and civil conflict.

    “We surrendered to the Taliban”. This is really over the top. Yet, this language gets repeated in the media without pushback.

    “The Taliban are terrorists”. Kind of unhelpful. They can also be considered criminal organizations. Label can be applied to any group in rebellion.

    We went into Afghanistan to get rid of a group that attacked us. We stayed because of bad faith use of language.

    Same language is why we are in Syria, Iraq, Libya all with bad consequences. It is why we were in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos without real success.

    We cannot afford it anymore in blood or treasure.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: It gets worse: Covid: Arkansas jail dosing inmates with ivermectin in spite of FDA warnings.

    Inmates at a north-west Arkansas jail have been prescribed a medicine for treating coronavirus that is normally used to deworm livestock, despite federal health warnings to the public in exasperated tones.

    Washington county’s sheriff confirmed this week that the jail’s health provider had been prescribing the drug.

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal drugs regulator, issued a warning via Twitter last weekend.

    “You are not a horse,” it said. “You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

    Sheriff Tim Helder did not say how many inmates at the 710-bed facility had been given ivermectin and defended the health provider that has been prescribing the medication.

    “Whatever a doctor prescribes, that is not in my bailiwick,” Helder told members of the Washington county quorum court, the county’s governing body.

  22. Jen says:

    @CSK: On some level, I grasp that, but…BUT…it’s still so astonishing.

    I read through the tweets at Charon’s links and people are self-medicating with horse paste and vitamin C tablets at home instead of going to the doctor when they are sick. And–assuming these cases are real–some of these folks are truly ill.

    I’m worried most that my attitude/mental frame right now is to shrug and think “welp, okay then.”

  23. CSK says:

    It’s a feeble response on my part for me to offer you my deepest sympathy and best wishes for better times to come, but it’s all I have to offer.

  24. de stijl says:


    The absolute contrianism of risking your life on unproven untested horse medicine over approved vaccine is pretty remarkable.

    You have talked your stupid ass into a corner. Now way out now except to apologize and admit you were wrong. Some people hate doing that. Some of them would prefer to die than rather than admitting they called this wrong.

    A part of me wants to say “good riddance”. Seriously, there is no law against it. Take fucking horse medicine if it makes you feel better. I am so over your lame shit.

    Grow the fuck up you fucking baby.

  25. mattbernius says:

    I am so sorry you’ve had such a week. Stay strong (we know you will)!

  26. Kathy says:


    In that case, let it be known that Botox, despite one misplaced early study, does nothing to cure COVID, it’s highly toxic, should only be administered by certified medical professionals, and no one should ever consume two grams of the stuff at any time for any reason, despite what the study said.

  27. CSK says:

    It’s so bloody stupid. If the Deep State wanted to control us through vaccines, they could have been doing that for decades now with flu shots, polio, etc.

    The mRNA stays in your system for a few days. Days. Then it’s gone.

  28. mattbernius says:


    Arkansas jail dosing inmates with ivermectin in spite of FDA warnings.

    Yup, saw that earlier this week. Do not get me started on the treatment of incarcerated folks during C-19 at all levels. This one is particularly bad because it’s *jail* which means that most of those folks are being held *awaiting* trial.

    In other words, they haven’t been convicted yet. Jail is for pretrial holding, folks typically serving under a year, or folks who have been picked up on technical violations of their terms of release.

    In other news, the Biden Administration is still planning on having people who were transferred from federal prison to home confinement returned to prison after the pandemic ends.

  29. Scott says:

    Finding humor in tragedy. May be too soon and too close to truth.

    Taliban can’t believe they actually have to govern this shithole now

    Following their rapid advance across Afghanistan in recent days, the Taliban expressed concerns about the fact that they “actually have to govern this shithole now.”

    “The whole insurgency thing was fun, and capturing the major population centers was surprisingly easy,” said Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada. “But governing this godforsaken hellscape is going to be an absolute nightmare.”

    Many Taliban leaders are worried that decades of waging an insurgency have not given them the appropriate skills to effectively govern a diverse country of 39 million people.

    “People keep asking me about ‘transportation infrastructure’ and ‘public services’ and ‘laws’ and stuff,” said Taliban Secretary of Transportation and former Shadow Secretary of Transportation Mohammed Ghazi. “Like, I don’t know, man. I just make IEDs.”

    Political opposition to Taliban rule is expected to make their dreams of running an efficient modern bureaucracy even harder. Resistance has already sprung up in the Panjshir region, led by Ahmad Massoud, son of former mujahedin leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was assassinated by the Taliban in 2001.

    “We’re not too worried about the Taliban,” said Massoud. “They’re just as – if not more – incompetent than just about everyone else that has ruled Afghanistan for the past couple centuries.”

    “I give them five years at most.”

    At press time, the Taliban also expressed regret that they had confiscated all this “shitty, overpriced, and impossible-to-maintain” American military equipment.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius: And never mind *informed consent*, are they even being asked about their treatment? Because my bet is Ivermectin is a whole lot cheaper than ICU.

    **pretty sure the Docs aren’t asking, “Do you want this horse dewormer that has never been tested for this disease, or would you rather go to the hospital?”

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: @mattbernius: Thanx, but as the saying goes, “This too shall pass.” I’ve just got a really looooooonnnnnnnng thumb twiddling wkend ahead of me.

  32. de stijl says:


    I like gallows humor. If life is bleak and there is no way forward you have to laugh at the absurdity of it all. That, or go insane.

  33. Michael Reynolds says:

    Reposting from yesterday by way of clarification:

    I don’t get offended over opinions rationally expressed (unless there’s some hidden hate motive.) My purpose in coming here is to have my ideas, proposals, etc… beaten up. This place is my beta testing ground, my red team, my whatever the current term of art is. I’m never after a win per se, I’m after the truth. (Or sometimes a laugh). Which sounds grandiose and self-serving, I grant, but is actually true.

    I’m just trying to figure things out. @wr, and the best way I know is basically to replay my days as a high school debater. (Cue: knowing eye roll). I propose, you shoot down. Or you propose, I shoot down. If we all try our hardest and fight fair, regardless of who prevails, we may just have ourselves a bit of truth. It’s trial by combat around the breakfast table. I’m pretty good at it, so if someone beats me it means something to me. If I just nodded along to avoid conflict what would I have? A comforting consensus?

    I come partly from a cliché loud Jewish family where everything was a cause of raging debate and combatants were regularly referred to as ‘you son of a bitch,’ but with a very self-aware sense that it was all a game we enjoyed and no one was really mad. When I was four I’d sit and listen to the adults, with their newspapers in hand, go at it over evolution, communism, race, history, the media etc… I have this vivid memory of a raging battle between Sam, my hard-ass, slumlord, used car dealer grandfather, and my mother, on evolution. Sam took her apart, and I knew it meant something. And some time later I have this lovely clear memory of Sam hiding a smile when I beat him in an argument, I don’t recall the topic, just a rush of OMG I just figured something out. Not, ‘I beat Sam,’ but OMG I just stumbled into something true.

  34. de stijl says:


    Please abide, my dude.

    Sometimes sticking your chin up is all we can do. An act of defiance against God or fate or the natural progression of time or random chance.

    I am a big believer in chinning up, myself.

  35. Michael Reynolds says:

    Thank you. It’s one of my minor pet peeves. Jail and prison are not the same thing. If a guy’s in jail he’s either a) presumed innocent or b) serving out a short sentence on a misdemeanor. Prison is where you go after conviction on either a more serious misdemeanor, or more likely, a felony. Jail may involve some bad dudes ( I was in with a guy who’d killed an old woman and cut off her fingers to get her rings – I mean, he was, ahem, accused of that) but also just hapless idiots like these twins who looked like young Paul Newman and had been in a drunken bar fight where mostly everyone just fell down. Prison OTOH, is pretty much all bad guys.

  36. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl:

    The situation was created and foretold in 2003 when we decided to stay and attempt to stabilize the political situation.

    I absolutely agree, the events of the last few weeks were determined by the W. Bush administration and our ire should be directed at him, not Biden, or Obama, or even Trump. However your comment raises a question I wonder about.

    I read a story quoting someone who’d been part of the process under W and sat in a lot of the meetings. It was a few years ago and I wouldn’t be able to find it again. The subject observed that there never was a decision to invade Iraq. The meetings started with discussing the possibility, then evolved into contingency planning, then into setting logistics in place, then into planning the campaign, then into actual war. But there was never a meeting in which W, or anyone else, said anything like, “OK, we’ve made the decision and we’re going in.” They just drifted into it.

    I can’t help but suspect Afghanistan happened the same way. We went in to cripple Al Qaeda and apparently to punish the Taliban government for harboring them. Did W, or the administration ever articulate a decision to remain and define a mission? Or did they all get wrapped up in the squirrel of Iraq and just leave the troops in place to sort out for themselves what they should do?

  37. HarvardLaw92 says:


    To be fair, ivermectin is available in a human preparation for Rx. He presumably was prescribing that form of the drug as opposed to passing out dewormer paste.

    It’s still gross medical incompetence IMO, and he deserves to be sanctioned for it, but it’s at least a tad better than Grandma eating Durvet (it tastes like apples!)

  38. mattbernius says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I come partly from a cliché loud Jewish family where everything was a cause of raging debate and combatants were regularly referred to as ‘you son of a bitch,’ but with a very self-aware sense that it was all a game we enjoyed and no one was really mad.

    I’ve been reflecting on our “dust-ups” Michael–not to mention some of the other ones you’ve had with others (or at least others have thought they had with you–myself included). I think this goes a long way to helping contextualize why many of us react a way to your rhetorical style.

    I also suspect that you also kinda embrace the power of being a “cranky old man” at times (not that I’m calling you old… but I can definitely see you yelling at kids to get off your lawn).

    I’ll try to keep this in mind in the future.

  39. mattbernius says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Jail may involve some bad dudes ( I was in with a guy who’d killed an old woman and cut off her fingers to get her rings – I mean, he was, ahem, accused of that) but also just hapless idiots like these twins who looked like young Paul Newman and had been in a drunken bar fight where mostly everyone just fell down. Prison OTOH, is pretty much all bad guys.

    Yup. And a lot of people in the latter category are in there because (1) they are being punished for pursuing their constitutional right to a “speedy” trial and (2) are too poor* to make bail.

    On the second point, the way bail is typically set in the US is by crime type, not specifically the ability to pay. So in many cases, a middle-class person can make bail, while a poor person cannot. This, along with overcharging, accounts for a LOT of plea deals. And we now have a courts system that depends on plea deals to keep functioning.

  40. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I come partly from a cliché loud Jewish family where everything was a cause of raging debate and combatants were regularly referred to as ‘you son of a bitch,’

    I come from the alternative variety of Jewish family – where every family dinner was a nightmare of “OK, which current event have you selected to present about at the table? The floor is yours”, followed by discussion and Q&A.

    “Dude, I’m ten. Can I just, for once in my life, eat my dinner in peace without being on the set of 60 Minutes?” It was exhausting

  41. Michael Reynolds says:

    Our first born was a preemie and spent a week in NICU. I did not gather whether you’d been there yourself to see, but my experience at least was that I had never before (or since) seen as capable and professional a bunch of humans as NICU nurses.

  42. gVOR08 says:


    It’s so bloody stupid. If the Deep State wanted to control us through vaccines, they could have been doing that for decades now with flu shots, polio, etc.

    That’s something that cracks me up reading comments at FOX, or TAC, or deeper in the swamp. The woke left plans to:
    1. Make us all wear masks.
    2. ??
    3. World Wide Woke domination.
    The only sense I can make out of it is projection. They’d make an Underpants Gnome plan that dumb, so the libs did.

  43. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I get it. It’s not personal. Never doubted that. Hope you understand the same about me.

  44. Michael Reynolds says:

    My bail was paradoxically a protection. It was set at 10K for one jurisdiction, 50K for the other. For point of reference $60,000 in today’s money is something like a quarter million. The other guys could not believe it was so high (what did you do, shoot a judge?) and assumed I was lying about the actual charges which were just burglary of a business. But yeah, that aside, our cash bail system is obscene. The rich walk away, the poor sit there eating bologna sandwiches for months.

  45. Jon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: New Orleanian here; holler if there is anything I can do. Our hosts can provide contact info, I’d think.

  46. mattbernius says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    the poor sit there eating bologna sandwiches for months.

    Or they take a plea deal–often without understanding the ramifications–just to get out and on with their lives.

    I know that there are a LOT of folks in jail who did bad things and should be there (at least under our current system). But there are also a lot of folks who plead to things they haven’t done because of how coercive the system is (and then live with the impact of that misdemeanor or felony conviction for the rest of their lives). More importantly, the State’s evidence is never tested–and that sets up a dangerous president.

  47. KM says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I come partly from a cliché loud Jewish family where everything was a cause of raging debate and combatants were regularly referred to as ‘you son of a bitch,’ but with a very self-aware sense that it was all a game we enjoyed and no one was really mad.

    Not Jewish but same. A lot of military in the family as well as medical people so the profanity and aggressive speaking tones were prominent parts of everyday speech and we argue about everything. The idea of calling someone an invective while “debating” on the top of your lungs was not an insult or indication of anger – they were merely sentence enhancers and the raised tones indicated emphasis of the correctness of your point. In fact, the sign someone was mad or taking it personally was going quiet and super polite, full names instead of “you %$&%^*$” and the cessation of gesticulation. God help you if you were called by your familial relation instead of your name as that was the last warning; it was always “my X” not “ours X” or “your X” meaning you were being excluded from the family’s protective circle – we can talk about and among ourselves like that but outsiders can’t. Me yelling while talking at a sibling or cousin is completely different that their SO and you only know you’re really family when the first loud debate doesn’t result in you being iced out.

    Quite a shock to come out of an environment like that and find people thought I took a lot of things personally in debates or discussions. Turns out some people actually think being called a “^%*%#” means something rude……

  48. gVOR08 says:

    Adam Silverman at Balloon Juice has some expertise in counterinsurgency, which he details at the link. He’s posted a couple of good pieces on Afghanistan. Here he lays much of the blame not on poor intelligence, but on failure to understand context, yes men, and “everyone wanting to grade their own homework”. That the intelligence community had metrics, and the military another, and as long as you meet your metrics, you’re succeeding.

    Silverman also scratches an itch of mine. General Petraeus had been doing some Monday Morning quarterbacking, largely ignoring that fixing Afghanistan was his job for awhile. I made it a point some years ago to read (FM) 3-24, the Army/Marine counterinsurgency manual written by a team under Petraeus, and much touted in the press. I found it disappointing. Perhaps my entirely minimal exposure to such things led to unrealistic expectations, but I expected an FM to be pretty down to earth and nuts and bolts. I tried to read it from the point of view of a new commander or intelligence officer and asked, “What should I do?” I never found an answer. It was a collection of pop sociology and psychology leavened with management jargon. So I enjoyed reading Silverman,

    The last point I want to make on this issue is that we also do a good job of lying to ourselves. Everything we’ve been trying to do in Afghanistan once operations shifted to counterinsurgency and what is popularly being called nation building, has been based on Army Field Manual (FM) 3-24: Counterinsurgency. FM 3-24 is a mess. It has numerous, significant historical and factual errors. …
    Another example is that FM 3-24 describes either establishing or reestablishing a legitimate government. Unfortunately it doesn’t define legitimate. Is it the government that existed before whatever crisis precipitated our intervention? Is it the government recognized by the UN and/or the international community? Is it the government that the people of that state and society accept? Some combination? I cannot tell you how many war games, planning sessions, and meetings where I’ve asked this question. No one has a good answer.

    Silverman also had a good piece up yesterday on the Kabul airport bombing and ISIS-K, enemies of both us and the Taliban. I expect Russia and China liked having us bogged down in Afghanistan. Otherwise, Petraeus and the rest of the foreign policy Blob want us there, and ISIS-K want us there. I hope Biden has the fortitude to stand up to both.

  49. Jen says:


    where every family dinner was a nightmare of “OK, which current event have you selected to present about at the table? The floor is yours”, followed by discussion and Q&A.

    Not Jewish, but this was the type of thing we did. Discuss current events, add our own perspectives, and be ready to quietly and dispassionately defend our points. NO raised voices at all, demerits for that. Being raised in diplomatic circles was definitely different.

  50. de stijl says:


    I know a lot of folks who worked as public defenders.

    Those are good people doing a hard job.

    Cute story: a public defender gal and a city prosecutor guy hooked up at a party after eyeballing each other and awkwardly flirting with each other for months on end. It was pretty adorable.

    One night at a party they danced and in about two minutes they were kissing. It was very cute.

    Happy ending. They stuck and had two adorable babies who are now late teens or college-aged. Life moves fast.

    I am not a fan of prosectors in general but S is a pretty good dude. If I were to be prosecuted for something I wish it were him – he would be fair about it. He is a big Bukowski fan which is both good and bad. Ya gotta trust a guy you’ve been on a seven day car-camping roadtrip with.

    He’s pretty solid. And J, his partner, is a fucking bad-ass. I love her. She did PDO work for 12 years before going for a bigger paycheck.

  51. Jen says:

    Well this kind of flips the script on the whole “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” thing:

    Massachusetts police officer sues New Hampshire gunmaker Sig Sauer, says weapon fired on its own

  52. @charon: I think it is important to point out if we are going to be analytical, that there are a lot of conservatives who have been vaccinated. And, likewise, the actual number of people who are ingesting ivermectin is small.

    Cleek’s Law may describe some elements of conservative infotainment as well as some online commenting behavior, but let’s not suggest that it actually is a description of mass behavior when we have data that shows otherwise.

  53. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    In our house, dinners were a quiet affair. Maybe some “how was school?”, but no “real” discussions.

    Those were saved for the corner of the bar. A bunch of German and Slavic farmers “vigorously debating” politics, sports, and the weather. And, of course, buying each other beers. Blunt language is just how we speak around here.

  54. Mikey says:

    Man, this is one of the most depressing threads I’ve read in a while, from the /r/nursing subreddit:

    Uhh, are any of these unvaccinated patients in ICUs making it?

    You probably already know the answer, but hearing it from the nurses themselves is sobering.

  55. Mikey says:

    @Mikey: Well, they’re not *all* dying, but…

    Yes some are making it out but the extensive lung damage, coupled with the crippling muscle wasting, immobility, post ICU syndrome (look that bad boy up) and PTSD that goes along with a lengthy ICU stay, these people will never be the same.

    And this is only if they escaped covid without getting any of the other organ systems involved. They also have permanent kidney damage, brain damage, liver damage and some have heart attacks while in ICU.

    So really depends on your definition of making it.

  56. Monala says:

    @Mikey: another sobering comment:

    Honestly, I wish they’d stop only reporting deaths in the news and add in

    Permanent disabilities
    Long term (or permanent) hospitalization.
    Widows, widowers and children who have lost a parent to covid. That’s a crapload of potential long term family trauma.
    Non-covid patients who have needlessly suffered or died due to covid patients clogging up the hospitals.
    I swear my blood pressure goes up a tick every time some dipshit says “Yeah, but the morality rate is only (whatever).”

    That number does not reflect the devastating impact this pandemic is having.

  57. Erik says:

    The American Board of Emergency Physicians released this statement this morning:
    “Should ABEM determine that a physician is promulgating inaccurate information that is contrary to the interests of patients and that adversely impacts public safety, ABEM may withdraw or deny certification for that physician.”

    Losing your board certification is a BFD. You can’t work in many hospitals without it. I guess you could keep writing fake vaccine excuses for cash though.

  58. Mu Yixiao says:

    Ohhh! U.S. District Judge Linda Parker had the Kraken all this time…

    And it’s been released!

    U.S. District Judge Linda Parker, who dismissed that lawsuit on December 7, ordered Powell et al. to pay the legal expenses of the defendants and all but one intervenor. She also is requiring the nine attorneys to complete at least 12 hours of continuing legal education and “referring the matter for investigation and possible suspension or disbarment” to the “appropriate disciplinary authority” in each jurisdiction where they practice law.

  59. Mu Yixiao says:

    The curse of homonyms…

    An adviser to Detroit’s city clerk testified that “ballots are often fed through the high-speed reader more than once” as a “routine part of the tabulation process” if, for example, “there is a jam in the reader” or “if there is a problem ballot (e.g., stains, tears, stray markings, etc.) in a stack.”

    People were crying on their ballots??

  60. charon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Sometimes the tail does wag the dog. The people who vote in GOP primaries are not congruent with general election GOP votes, but they wield disproportionate influence on the behavior of people like Ron DeSantis.

    DeSantis’ behavior may not precisely embody Cleek’s Law, but I think there is much resemblance.

  61. flat earth luddite says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Ok, everyone. I don’t care what they’re in for, how evil they are, or anything else. Prisoners are animals. I’m willing to bet all $2.57 left in my bank account PLUS a fresh donut from Donut King down the street that these prisoners are not given an opportunity to consent. “You’re sick? Ok, here’s your shot. You want to know what’s that shot? Shuddup or you’re in the hole.” Inmates are routinely faced with incompetent medical care, quacks who shouldn’t be licensed, and overcrowded, dangerous conditions. I’d argue that the clown controlling the jail supports this deworming and the doc’s doing what he’s told because it’s a relatively cushy job with zero chance of a malpractice suit, no matter what.

  62. Mikey says:

    By way of making up for the depressing link I put up earlier, there’s this…enjoy!

    Foo Fighters – Everlong with Nandi Bushell at The Forum 8/26/2021

    Not gonna lie, I had tears in my eyes.

  63. flat earth luddite says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    Prisoners are NOT animals. We treat animals better than prisoners (unless you’re running a dog fight ring, ffs).

    I’m a-gonna go back to my cave…

  64. Michael Reynolds says:

    Of course, dude.

  65. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’ve been following the Great Nandi for a while now but missed this. First off, Dave Grohl is a real human being. Second, that young girl is a nuclear power plant all by herself. And third, it’s kind of a sweet symmetry losing Charlie Watts and seeing Nandi Bushell take the stage.

  66. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds: She is joy given form. What radiance.

  67. de stijl says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    I can name tree things easily off the top of my head that be non-profit / demonitized put firmly on the shoulders of Joe Jo taxpayer:

    Health care

    Prisons for profit is galling.

  68. de stijl says:


    Dude! Dude!

    I watched this earlier today. Three hours ago or so.

    Nandi is my favorite person in the world. Dave Grohl is such a sweetie mensch too. Nandi is so lovely. She gives me hope.

  69. wr says:
  70. de stijl says:


    You made me cry.

    I love the Foo Fighters and I love Everlong. I love Nandi. The combination overwhelms me with good feeling.

    Good tears. Happy / overwhelmed crying.

    She is so awesome and such a little badass.

    I love it when she does her signature stick twirl thing.

  71. mattbernius says:

    @de stijl:

    Dave Grohl is such a sweetie mensch too.

    This. Likewise, Mandy Patinkin is up there too (please don’t ruin that for me @Eddie and @WR). He and his wife’s twitter feed is pure joy.

    And Nandi… very yes to her.

  72. mattbernius says:

    Also, on things bringing me intersectional joy today, take a minute out of your day to watch the New Zealand wheelchair rugby team greeted the USA with the Haka at the Paralympics.

    Or, for those who don’t do twitter, here’s the youtube link:

  73. dazedandconfused says:

    FM 3-24 must be amended with “Do NOT start believing your own bullshit.”

  74. @Mikey: That. Was. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    Good Lord, she is only 11. Such pure joy.

    That was much needed after a very draining week.

  75. Mister Bluster says:

    Florida Judge Throws Out Gov. Ron DeSantis Order Prohibiting Masks In Schools
    Judge John Cooper ruled on a lawsuit brought by parents who say Governor DeSantis overstepped his authority when his administration said school districts couldn’t order students to wear masks.

  76. Mister Bluster says:

    And I didn’t even state what I was thinking. That someone should beat on DeSantis’s head with drumsticks!

  77. grumpy realist says:

    @Mattbernius: I apologise if I gave the impression that I thought either you or Andy were supporting the mentality I was outlining in my entry.

    (One thing we need to realize: the dead are dead. Continuing to feed the lives of other, still-living people into the maw of an eternal war in order to carry out “promises” we think we have made to the dead is sheer lunacy.)

  78. de stijl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Hit up her youtube channel. Seriously, bro.

    She is extremely fucking talented.

    And a beacon of pure bliss. It radiates off her.

  79. @de stijl: I was aware of her but had not seen this clip and I do need to dive further into her channel!

  80. Jen says:

    Honestly, all of the Covid hospitalizations in Louisiana and watching this hurricane barreling at the coastline…this would be very bad.

  81. Stormy Dragon says:


    Losing your board certification is a BFD. You can’t work in many hospitals without it. I guess you could keep writing fake vaccine excuses for cash though.

    When the American Board of Ophthalmology changed from lifetime accreditations to requiring recertification every 10 years, Rand Paul left and set up his own “National Board of Ophthalmology”. I suspect Republicans will set up a bunch of similar bogus accreditation boards.

  82. mattbernius says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Thanks for the clarification. It’s always helpful to get more context!

  83. de stijl says:

    Continuing the feel good vibe of the day…

    Two recommendations.

    1. Rick Astley. Yes, like, as in rick rollin Rick Astley.

    He is a super good dude and does awesome covers of good songs. Everlong amongst them. Sia’s Titanium.

    Apparently I look like him a lot. Many people have told me this over many years.

    2. Andrew W.K. I fucking love Party Hard

    His twitter is so pure and positive. He deals with lifelong anxiety and is very up-front about it.

    Party Hard is a great fucking song and I going to listen to it right now.

  84. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: On the front of having better news somewhere at least, the governor of Washington State has ordered all K-12 district employees and volunteers to be vaccinated for Covid-19 by October 18th–which means that people who haven’t been vaccinated need to start the process pretty much by the start of next week if they’ll need two jabs. All current employees (that would be me, among others) are to submit copies of their vaccination documents at their earliest convenience.

  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: While I sense your frustration, “[shrugs] oh well…” is all I got left for this issue. I got my jabs in timely fashion, my state seems to be of a mind to make sure that we aren’t unnecessarily endangering our kids at school, and while I feel bad the Floridians (among others) don’t want that for themselves, I have no control over their decisions. It’s their funeral (black humor pun intended).

  86. Erik says:

    @Stormy Dragon: perhaps, but the hospital medical staff has to accept the board as valid through the credentials process, which also means lawyers and liability are involved, so it wouldn’t be so simple. There are actually a bunch of “boards” like Paul’s out there that are as functionally real as toy sheriff badges.

  87. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “(it tastes like apples)”

    You know this from personal experience? Your horse told you? It says “Apple Flavored” on the label? (And you’d believe THAT????)

  88. OzarkHillbilly says:


    , ivermectin is available in a human preparation for Rx.

    Yes, iirc for lice and internal parasites but NOT for covid hence the, “that has never been tested for this disease”

    As far as “He presumably was prescribing that form of the drug as opposed to passing out dewormer paste….” I would never make a presumption about anything they do in a rural jail, especially when it comes to the healthcare of their inmates. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Doc (if there even was a Doc involved) didn’t bother to scale the ivermectin down to human sized doses. Maybe they did. Maybe there was even a Doc involved, but I certainly wouldn’t bet on that.

  89. steve says:

    ““Whatever a doctor prescribes, that is not in my bailiwick,” Helder told members of the Washington county quorum court, the county’s governing body.”

    Many years ago I was surprised and upset a bit to find out that some of my fellow docs who were otherwise competent in their sphere of practice were idiots in other areas. I learned to accept that and think it is pretty much true of every job and profession. What i have now seen is that with our extreme tribalism it is extending into how people practice sometimes. By and large these arent usually the docs I think of as the ones I would want to send family to for care, but it isn’t limited to the idiot class either. Pretty sad.


  90. Kathy says:

    I’m just about through McMaster’s book on the way in which the Johnson administration got into the Vietnam war.

    My first observation is that Gen. McMaster should not narrate the audiobook version of his book. He has a pleasant enough voice, and he doesn’t do a sleep-inducing monotone, but he’s far from proficient as more experienced narrators, or even other authors like Kara Cooney or Bill Bryson.

    The second is he misses a lot of historical context. He mentions the treaty that split Vietnam in two at the end of France’s Vietnam War, but not what the treaty stipulated. He talks about US “advisors” in South Vietnam, but not how they came to be there. Lots of things like that.

    While he makes valid criticisms of LBJ and his cabinet, he pretty much gets hung up on how they repeatedly ignored, sidelined, and failed to consult the Joint Chiefs. For McMaster, that’s the main reason the whole thing went quagmire. That was one reason. He also talks a lot of a policy of “graduated pressure” favored by the administration. This pretty much guaranteed escalation up to a full-fledged war, but he doesn’t make that point.

    What really hit me, is how little the LBJ administration consulted with the government of South Vietnam, even as they were determining the destiny of that country. It sounds a lot like how Donnie the One Term Loser excluded the Afghan government in negotiating with the Taliban. It seems it’s an old habit.

  91. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @steve:

    Any medical professional remotely connected to enforced injection to prisoners ought to have their license revoked today.

    That is sick and weird. Tuskegee Institute / Mengele bad.

    I thought the Hippocratic Oath was not just a totem, but was understood as a guiding tenet.

  92. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: My mother was a neural ICU nurse. Anybody who works in any ICU tends to be pretty dedicated.

    I did eventually get to see her there yesterday and at this point going home is within sight. Still, it was hard seeing this tiny little baby hooked up to a bunch of monitors and holding her was a nightmare of tangles. All in all an exclamation point on how tiny and fragile she is. A little bit scary.

  93. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: Thanx, I talked to him a few hours ago just to make sure they had things packed up and ready to go should predictions stay the same or dog forbid get worse. It’s not their first rodeo. I like to think the more I fret the more likely it is to be much ado about nothing. 🙂

  94. Stormy Dragon says:


    Because surely GOP controlled states already banning necessary public health measures would never force hospitals to accept phony GOP controlled accreditation boards, liability be damned!

  95. de stijl says:


    Chin up.

    You got people pulling for you and yours.

    Know that.

  96. de stijl says:

    Breathe out
    So I can breathe you in

    will be stuck in my head forever.

    I used a very close approximation of that exact line nearly 40 years ago with my first love. Grohl’s version was more poetic than my original.

    That lyric resonates very strongly for me.

  97. de stijl says:

    Apparently when it is hot and humid my left foot and ankle blows up like a balloon now. As of two days ago. Once before a week back. Uncool.

    Searching WebMD brought up uncomfortable results for “swollen feet” It’s just the one though. Both would be more alarming.

  98. EddieInCA says:


    Mandy Patinkin is up there too (please don’t ruin that for me @Eddie and @WR).

    I can’t speak for wr, but I’ve never heard anyone in our business say a negative thing about Mr. Patinkin.

    Furthermore, as a rule, actors who came up via the stage (as opposed to Film and TV) tend to be better human beings. Not to say that stage actors can’t be assholes or worse, but, as a group, then tend to be more “show first” than “me first.”

    Quick anecdote. I was living and working in London in 1995-1996, and we offered Dame Judy Dench a role in an episode. She couldn’t do it because she was in a play on the West End, while also filming her sitcom “As Time Goes By”, and on the weekends, she was filming scenes on “GoldenEye”, the James Bond Feature. Despite that schedule, she showed up at Ealing Studios to personally tell us how sorry she was she wouldn’t be able to do the show… and she brought us cookies. True story.

  99. Sleeping Dog says:


    Hang in there, it’ll be past soon enough.

  100. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EddieInCA: Gotta love her.

  101. de stijl says:


    She’s a Dame for a reason and performance is just one of the aspects.

  102. mattbernius says:

    That makes sense. And a relief about Patinkin.

    Also, I think there’s something about old school British Actors (which again could come back to all the state work) that they always will take a job. You see it with all of them. In most cases, regardless of whether it’s good or bad work, they see work as work. Which is why often the same actor will appear in top-shelf material and then follow it up with… say… “The Chronicles of Riddick.” Work is work and you never know if your current gig will be your last one.

  103. Jax says:

    @de stijl: My left foot and ankle do the same thing. My doc blamed it on rheumatoid arthritis.

  104. EddieInCA says:


    Also, I think there’s something about old school British Actors (which again could come back to all the state work) that they always will take a job.

    That’s more true than you realize… I’ve done two jobs with Malcolm McDowell, and I asked him once what was his favorite role ever, and he said, in a way that only Malcolm McDowell can, “The last one, my dear Ed. It’s always the last one….because you’ll never know if there will be another.”

  105. Matt Bernius says:

    He was one of the people I was thinking about. I think I heard him or someone else like Ben Kingsley or Patrick Stewart explain that in an interview.

    We just don’t have the same tradition in the US. I think the old school studio system had something to do with it.

  106. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I see your point about the Hippocratic Oath. On the other hand, Dr. Kevorkian might bring up what constitutes “harm” in these questions. There’s a reason for the joke about MD standing for “Medical Deity.”

  107. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “I can’t speak for wr, but I’ve never heard anyone in our business say a negative thing about Mr. Patinkin?”

    Really? I’ve never met the man — and I’m a great fan and loved his just-finished season of The Good Fight — but every account I’ve heard of anyone working with him has included the word “nightmare.” Kind of the male Patty Lupone.

  108. wr says:

    @mattbernius: “Also, I think there’s something about old school British Actors (which again could come back to all the state work) that they always will take a job. You see it with all of them. In most cases, regardless of whether it’s good or bad work, they see work as work.”

    I’ve had few greater pleasures in my life than casting shows in England, precisely for this reason. There’s no shame about taking a small part — a job is a job. I remember sitting in the casting director’s office in London reading people for some one-scene role, saw an excellent actor, and was told “He was Vladimir in the original West End production of Waiting for Godot.”

  109. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “I asked him once what was his favorite role ever, and he said, in a way that only Malcolm McDowell can, “The last one, my dear Ed. It’s always the last one….because you’ll never know if there will be another.””

    That’s one difference between Malcolm McDowell and me. It’s Mick Travis in If… and O Lucky Man along with Alex in Clockwork Orange and maybe Flashman.

  110. charon says:

    (RNS) — The spokesman for a major evangelical nonprofit was fired for promoting vaccines on the MSNBC “Morning Joe” cable news show, Religion News Service has learned.

    Daniel Darling, senior vice president of communications for the National Religious Broadcasters, was fired Friday (Aug. 27) after refusing to recant his pro-vaccine statements, according to a source authorized to speak for Darling.

    His firing comes at a time when Americans face a new surge of COVID-19 infections due to the highly contagious Delta variant even as protesters and politicians resist mask mandates or other preventive measures.

  111. Stormy Dragon says:

    UGA professor resigns mid-class after student refuses to wear mask

    The 88-year-old psychology professor explained to the student that he could die from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and age-related problems, Bernstein said in an email to The Red & Black.

    Only about 15 minutes into the Tuesday lecture, which consisted of Bernstein taking the student attendance, he asked the student to pull her mask up again, but this time, the student did not respond.

    Bernstein, who was already informed that two of his absent students tested positive for COVID-19, then announced his resignation on the spot and left the class immediately.

    “At that point I said that whereas I had risked my life to defend my country while in the Air Force, I was not willing to risk my life to teach a class with an unmasked student during this Pandemic,” Bernstein said in an email to The Red & Black. “I then resigned my retiree-rehire position.”

  112. Michael Reynolds says:

    I wish Flashman had been a better movie. Little Alex DeLarge was perfect for the role but translating George McDonald Fraser’s dry wit and tongue-in-cheek action, mixed with restrained but white hot outrage over various historical moments and his deep, deep research, that’s a heavy lift for a screenwriter and director.

    You know though, Flashman would work as a TV series. Work in the sense of the characters could be properly defined, the sense of humor established, the tone set, the historical exposition fed in. No idea if anyone would buy it and I’m not sure the world is ready for a randy, casually racist, insolent, cowardly yet eternally triumphant white male lead.

  113. CSK says:

    Sirhan Sirhan has been granted parole.

  114. Matt Bernius says:

    It’s probably a discussion for tomorrow, but my outrage level on this is nearly 0 and generator speaking I think this is actually a good sign for us as a culture.

  115. Mikey says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Dr. Kevorkian

    Kevorkian. He’s from my hometown, you know. I used to walk by the building in which he lived, his weird and very anatomically correct paintings were always on display in the first floor windows. After he died they tore the whole thing down and built a new building in its place.

  116. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    George MacDonald Fraser himself wrote the screenplay for Royal Flash. I agree it was a disappointing movie. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to watch the whole thing.

    Some great books don’t translate to the screen.

  117. EddieInCA says:


    Really? I’ve never met the man — and I’m a great fan and loved his just-finished season of The Good Fight — but every account I’ve heard of anyone working with him has included the word “nightmare.” Kind of the male Patty Lupone.

    Actually, that’s kind of awesome. Probably just different universes within our universes. Now I want to ask more people to find out for sure. I have friends on “Homeland” and “Criminal Minds”, and I know that on “Criminal Minds”, he just got fed up with all the rape and torture on the show and became quite vocal about it. But he left on good terms with both Disney and CBS.

    I have no idea how he is with his stage peeps. I know that he and LuPone did a show together. That must have been…. interesting.

  118. EddieInCA says:

    @Matt Bernius: @CSK:

    Matt – Just to opposite for me. Reading the headline, my thought was “WTF? NO WAY!”. But maybe it’s a generational thing. I’m 61, and remember the morning after B Kennedy was shot, and the trauma it caused my mother, my aunts, my grandma, and my teachers in elementary school.

    My first thought was “They should have fried the f**ker in 1969.”

  119. Jax says:

    Conversation with a friend today…..

    Me: “Well, when Biden lets domestic terrorists storm the US Capitol, then MAYBE I’ll consider impeachment, but until then, Trump set the bar pretty high on how much fucked up shittery a President can do and not be removed from office.”

    Friend: “Pelosi told the National Guard and Capitol Police to stand down!”

    Me: “Who’s in charge of the Washington, DC National Guard?”

    Friend: “Jay Inslee!”

    😐 😐 😐

  120. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Oh gads… The stupid, it burns!!!!!!

  121. Matt Bernius says:

    FWIW, on this issue I am definitely left of center (and most likely left of left).

    I also argue against the application of the death penalty in the case of Dylann Roof. That said, the thought of him getting parole at any point in the visible future would be really difficult to think of.

    Also I know how hard it is to get parole for violent crimes (let alone murder). So I want to believe that he has changed his life in profound ways during incarceration. And it’s hard to conceptualize someone who has been in jail longer than I (at 47ish) have been alive.

  122. Jax says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I know. I congratulated him on his apparent support of making Washington, DC an actual state. 😉 He got grumpy at me. 😛

  123. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Re: Kevorkian

    I understand and get your point. That was too fixated and very creepy.

    But I also appreciate the idea that appropriate informed suicide is not and often it is good.

    If there is no chance of a happy path forward taking an early exit is rational.

    I dodged bi-polarism. I dodged alcoholism. Time will tell if I dodged Alzheimer’s. I have seen that twice up close and personal. Knock wood hopefully the RNG gods will be kind to me on this as well. Only one way to find out.

    I am not going down that Alzheimer’s path. Ever. No. Won’t happen. I refuse. I will take the early exit gratefully.

    I decided long ago I was never gonna procreate. I have shitty DNA and I will not bequeath that to an innocent. My branch of the family tree dies with me.

  124. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “I wish Flashman had been a better movie.”

    I haven’t seen it since it came out in 1975, so I can’t claim much of a memory of the movie itself — but McDowell’s performance I can still see in my head.