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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. 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

Comments

  1. Teve says:
  2. Teve says:
  3. Scott says:

    Non political news. Yeah.

    Heard this on the radio this morning and thought it fascinating. At refugee camp in Jordan, used foam mattresses are used for hydroponics. Great for desert environments.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/science-environment-51466978/how-mattresses-could-solve-hunger

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Nobody is holding a gun to his head. He is quite free to say it as much, as often, as publicly, and as loudly as he wants. What he wants is for it to be free of consequences.

    Grow the fuck up, Prager. Life has consequences. You get to pick and choose, you don’t get to avoid them.

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  5. Mister Bluster says:

    For me. It’s not that I can’t say it. It’s that I don’t want to.
    GB

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  6. de stijl says:

    @Teve:
    @OzarkHillbilly:

    What Prager misses is Jim Crow and uncontested cultural dominance.

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  7. Teve says:

    Republicans have a long, disreputable history of conflating any attempt to improve American lives with the evils of “socialism.” When Medicare was first proposed, Ronald Reagan called it “socialized medicine,” and he declared that it would destroy our freedom. These days, if you call for something like universal child care, conservatives accuse you of wanting to turn America into the Soviet Union.

    It’s a smarmy, dishonest political strategy, but it’s hard to deny that it has sometimes been effective. And now the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination — not an overwhelming front-runner, but clearly the person most likely at the moment to come out on top — is someone who plays right into that strategy, by declaring that he is indeed a socialist.

    The thing is, Bernie Sanders isn’t actually a socialist in any normal sense of the term. He doesn’t want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning; he has expressed admiration, not for Venezuela, but for Denmark. He’s basically what Europeans would call a social democrat — and social democracies like Denmark are, in fact, quite nice places to live, with societies that are, if anything, freer than our own.

    K-Thug

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  8. de stijl says:

    @Scott:

    Not a materials scientist.

    My guess is closed cell foam used for mattresses does not leak. Check me if I’m wrong.

    Makes for a quite good base for diy hydroponics.

    Were they growing crops or dope?

    Check out last episode of NOVA. I just hyped it on at the bottom of the last open thread. Dog Tales – about the evolution of dogs. Fascinating.

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  9. Scott says:

    @de stijl: I’ll have to check it out. I’ve seen previous shows on dog evolution and behavior and it’s endlessly fascinating. But a question I have is this: Have humans coevolved in response to their relationship with dogs?

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  10. Teve says:

    The best response I saw about the Prager thing is, “He’s acting like this is a very big inconvenience in his life.“

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  11. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    That current Republicans cannot ideologically and practically distinguish between a Scandinavian Social Democrat and Kim Jong Il is on them, not me.

    I was a temp work gig expat in Sweden and Iceland. Those folks have constructed a pretty sweet society and culture. Obviously, there are downsides. But, on whole, better than ours. Arguably, much better.

    Plus, every shop sign looks like the name of a nineties metal band.

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hope Hicks, former Trump aide, returns to the White House as counselor

    She just couldn’t hack it out in the real world.

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  13. Scott says:

    Sex, Lies, and Prenups: Donald Trumps Timeless Wisdom on Love

    Leave it to Politico to ruin Valentine’s Day.

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  14. de stijl says:

    @Scott:

    I actually addressed that in the previous thread. (Edit, inadvertently lied – it was on Steven’s A Photo For Friday, sorry for the wrong pointer above.)

    My contention is yes.

    Apparently, dogs thru the domestication process genetically developed a huge increase in oxytocin production. They are glandularly programmed to love us and crave praise.

    I cannot speak for anyone but myself. My brain lights up like crazy when a dog does something cool or adorable or even looks at me.

    I would love to see a well structured study of humans in an MRI looking at dogs. My guess is that more parts light up and harder than looking at sheep, cows, goats, etc. We domesticated those for food profit; dogs domesticated us because they were charming.

    Dogs get us. Dogs love us. We love them back.

    Btw, next week on NOVA is a companion piece covering domesticated cats and human interactions.

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  15. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    One difference between dogs and wolves is that dogs have an extra set of facial muscles to raise their eyebrows, and as far as can be determined this exists solely because it makes communicating with people easier.

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  16. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    So? In all fairness I ought not call Prager a douche bag breeder cracker, and I’m fine with that.

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  17. Kathy says:

    @Scott:
    @de stijl:

    I read an article some years ago that human sclera, the white of the eye, is white because it made for better communications with dogs when hunting; that is, dogs could tell where we were looking at and turn to look in that direction.

    this is something I tried with my dog, Emm. I’d hold a toy or treat, so she’d look at me, then I shifted my gaze, moving only my eyes, in some random direction. and sure enough, she’d turn her head and look in that direction.

    It may not be the sole reason human sclera are white. after all, we also point with our eyes when communicating with other people. Also, dogs pick up the meaning of a pointing finger very quickly. But it might be a part of the reason.

    One thing I wonder is whether dogs are lactose tolerant, and whether they evolved that ability because they live around us who produce abundant dairy products. Every dog I owned liked milk and every kind of dairy. But then, they liked just about anything fatty, like nuts, as well.

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  18. de stijl says:

    Dogs, after the Basenji split, and the Spitz genetic split (Akitas, huskies, malamutes, etc.) have less pointy ears, less wedge shaped head morphology, less jaw muscle mass, and weaker teeth.

    Floppier ears and a shorter, less wolfish snout.

    The Russian silver fox experiment is fascinating. They interbred those least amenable to human contact with each other, and those most amenable with each other.

    Those that enjoy interaction with us have a larger adrenal gland. That has increased over the generations.

    They have exhibited morphological and behavior changes as well, even though that was not bred for, the did it solely on exhibited interaction behavior. White splotches on the chest, neck, face. Curly tails. Shorter snouts.

    In however many fox generations 60 years is.

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  19. Teve says:

    @de stijl: foxes breed once a year. But maybe the researchers waited as long as 18 months to assess their characteristics? 60 years is probably 40 to 60 generations.

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  20. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    I did not know this until yesterday: dogs do extremely well at the pointing test, wolves do too.

    Almost every animal is bad compared to dogs. Well, not bad per se, but they don’t give a crap and don’t respond.

    Dogs do way better at it than chimpanzees, our nearest genetic neighbor.

    (Btw, I am not trained in this. Just paraphrasing stuff I saw on the NOVA program. Watch that instead of listening to me if you’re interested.)

    On the show, they demonstrated it with hands instead of eyes. The white sclera hypothesis is fascinating.

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  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott:

    Have humans coevolved in response to their relationship with dogs?

    Yes. Back in the day they were just mobile garbage dumps. Now we feed them, shelter them, take them for walks, play fetch, tug of war etc with them, groom them, take them to the vet, and more.

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  22. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    The interbred amenable to human silver foxes – some of them wag their tails now.

    If they continue, they may speciate.

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  23. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Btw, next week on NOVA is a companion piece covering domesticated cats and human interactions.

    Cats are much misunderstood. So are dogs, but they get misunderstood in positive ways. For example, a dog licks your face to taste what you’ve been eating; we misunderstand it as affection.

    Dogs do offer affection to all the humans in their pack, even those who don’t care for dogs. Cats don’t offer affection to people they don’t like. Many see this as aloofness.

    Dogs feel better in the company of their pack, though many can handle being alone for long stretches. Cats prefer being alone (as an introvert, I can appreciate that). The one cat I had, Ramona, very much liked being around me, just not all day long. She’d come down when I got home, spend some time playing with me, then would go off to explore the bookcase (she never damaged a single book), and the space behind the TV. Next she’d climb all over me for a while, and then she left to tend to other business.

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  24. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Teve: What Prager is complaing about is that not only can’t he use is, which he says he isn’t interested it, but he can’t mention it.

    The thing is, I’ve seen black writers and public personalities talk about the use/mention distinction and say how they feel we need to move to a place where mentioning it – as in “we used to call brazil nuts ‘[n-word] toes'” – was ok. Nobody is calling anyone a bad name. Ta-Nehisi Coates, for instance, is fine with mention.

    Other black writers don’t want to hear the word ever coming out of a white person’s mouth, even though black artists might use it, or it might be used as a playful form of address between black people, (as in “[n-word], please!”). That’s a matter of trust, first and foremost.

    Of course, if Prager spent any time listening to blacks, and there are some who are quite conservative, it turns out, he would know this. Maybe he does know this, but makes more money this way?

    Instead it’s the conservative boogeyman known as “the left”. Who is that, anyway?

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  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    Re the n-word. I had a dilemma in writing a trilogy called FRONT LINES. It’s an alt-history of World War 2 with the major change being that a SCOTUS decision in 1940 subjects women to the draft and service in combat.

    One of the four main characters is a black girl from Tulsa. I wanted to, and did, write honestly about race in the US Army and society at large at that time. The use of the word would have been historically appropriate. But I decided against it on several grounds. On the mercenary side it’d make it harder on school librarians who might stock the book. It would undoubtedly set the baying dogs of Twitter off, though TBH, I kind of like poking the Super-woke. It was sort of my niche within the kidlit community. (Mikey will say it; Mikey will say anything.)

    But I decided against it for straight-up authorial reasons, because it has the effect in text of someone yelling COCKS-CKER!* It just stops you dead. It’s an automatic mental stumble if you’re under age 40 or so. So I used ‘nigra’ which was what polite racists used in the Florida panhandle when I lived there around age 10-11. And ‘colored’ and a few others.

    Had I been writing for adult readers I’d have used the n-word because the ‘stumble’ would have gone the other way. IOW an adult reader, more familiar with the history, would have thought, “Huh?”

    I don’t believe in magic words. I believe in the intention behind the choice to use a word, and the context in which it is used. Unfortunately I can’t make much of an argument for its use because about 99% of white people who want to use it are racist assholes like Prager. (The other 1% are white people who want to sing along with NWA.)

    As for comparisons to ‘kike’, as a Jew (of sorts), the comparison is absurd. Of course it’s a bigot’s word and is thus theoretically comparable. But what’s not comparable is the history of, and current societal position of, Jews and blacks. The only people who can stand next to African-Americans and say, Me Too, are Indians. Keeping Jews out of Harvard was bad, but it wasn’t lynching bad, and it didn’t go on for 300 years.

    *Deliberate. Never know what will set off the filter.

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  26. Teve says:

    @Jay L Gischer: if you watch the video, he’s angry that he “can’t” say it.

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  27. t says:

    every day here is another day of suffering

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  28. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kathy:

    I read once that cats consider being stared at an expression of dominance, and part of why they seem aloof is because they don’t know why this stranger is constantly expressing dominance when they aren’t challenging them.

    This is also why many cats seem to love people who don’t like cats: because people who don’t like cats tend to specifically avoid looking at them, which the cat interprets as a friendly gesture.

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  29. Teve says:

    @t: that’s every day everywhere. 😀

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  30. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You should blink at a cat to signal affection. Like super hammy repeated over blinking. It works, anecdotally. They boop heads with you more to rub scent on you more. “You are very large and extremely stupid, but I tolerate you.”

    You’re right. Cats interpret looking at them eye to eye for too long as a prelude to a throw down.

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  31. Mike in Arlington says:

    @de stijl: The floppy ears thing is really interesting (at least to me). I’m not a biologist or a scientist, so I don’t know or understand exactly what the mechanism is, but all domesticated animals show similar traits, among those traits are floppy ears.
    https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/mystery-behind-dogs-domestication-syndrome

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  32. t says:

    @Teve:

    that’s every day everywhere.

    no just here.

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  33. Teve says:

    @t: so you keep coming back because you’re a masochist, i guess.

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  34. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I sing along to NWA. 3 or 4 times a week.

    One time I was spaced out waiting for the red light to turn green listening to Fuck Tha Police at volume ten when a squad car pulled up next to me me in the left lane. Freaked me out and made me feel like a dick. I wasn’t trying offend; I was listening to music I like.

    Straight Outta Compton, Fuck Tha Police, and Gangsta Gangsta was a stunning opening salvo. It amuses me to no end whenever I see Ice Cube in a family friendly comedy. Yes, he has charisma for days, but that man is righteously pissed.

    I prefer Public Enemy. Chuck D is the godfather. I have to ostentatiously overlook the Farrakhan shout outs and Flava Flav (in small doses he is fantastic – best hype man maybe forever).

    As to your actual point, I believe you made the right call. Nigra was spot because it was specific to a time and place. That strikes me as a good zeitgeist call and a clever artistic choice. It sounds believable coming out of a certain type’s mouth.

    Btw, have you been watching the new Watchmen series? The first episode had a brutal recreation of the Tulsa 1921 white riot as the opening scene.

    Was that backstory for your character?

    Back to my original digression, once in a meeting with a PR rep, I referred to her as my media assassin.

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  35. Mike in Arlington says:

    I don’t know if there’s a paywall or not but:
    http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/state-supreme-court-disbars-lawyer-who-used-money-from-his-trust-account-to-run-strip-club

    Wait, that was wrong? He shouldn’t have done that?

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  36. de stijl says:

    An old friend of mine went by the first name Eron pronounced ee ron.

    Got dubbed Easy Motherfucking E. Or Easy. E. Full bit, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

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  37. t says:

    @Teve:

    so you keep coming back because you’re a masochist, i guess.

    no i just like being angry at all of you over the incredibly ridiculous things you old white people say…….

    @de stijl:

    One time I was spaced out waiting for the red light to turn green listening to Fuck Tha Police at volume ten when a squad car pulled up next to me me in the left lane. Freaked me out and made me feel like a dick. I wasn’t trying offend; I was listening to music I like.

    please make my death quick and painless.

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  38. Jen says:

    @Teve: The experiments with silver foxes (not Paul Newman, LOL) have been going on for 60 years, but the evidence of tolerating to enjoying human affection were seen in very few generations–I think the show said as little as 5 generations?

    Anyway, I agree with @de stijl: it is a fascinating show.

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  39. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Jen:
    *snip*
    “[You can be] sitting there drinking your cup of coffee and turning your head for a second, and then taking a swig and realizing, ‘Yeah, Boris came up here and peed in my coffee cup,’” said Amy Bassett, the Canid Conservation Center’s founder. “You can easily train and manage behavioral problems in dogs, but there are a lot of behaviors in foxes, regardless of if they’re Russian or U.S., that you will never be able to manage.”
    *snip*

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/domesticated-foxes-genetically-fascinating-terrible-pets

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  40. roger says:

    Trump claims he has the right to interfere in criminal cases. I’m assuming he’s talking about federal cases. LINK

    President Donald Trump on Friday insisted that he had the right as president to ask the attorney general to intervene in a criminal case, just a day after Attorney General William Barr issued a rare rebuke of the president, saying his tweets about Justice Department matters “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

    Referring to Barr’s interview, in which the attorney general said the president “has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case,” Trump tweeted on Friday, “This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!”

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  41. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    I have watched Watchmen and was just blown away. Damon Lindelof can write and Regina King knows a thing or two about acting.

    Yeah, not to get to spoilery of my own book but the character has an older brother who is a communist and also has deep issues with what the character believes to be their mutual father. It was one of the things I really wanted to include in the story. Structural realities limited how far I could get into it (POV, tense, calendar) so it was backstory and of course an eventual reveal.

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  42. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    If a cat closes it’s eyes around you, it is a signal of trust and affection. Sleeping in our presence is also a signal.

    “I trust with enough to not watch you, (just in case you might attack me).”

    Try the overdone long blinking thing. In Felinese, you are saying back, “I trust you and like you.”

    You will get more head boops. Which is always adorable.

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  43. Gustopher says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    The thing is, I’ve seen black writers and public personalities talk about the use/mention distinction and say how they feel we need to move to a place where mentioning it – as in “we used to call brazil nuts ‘[n-word] toes’” – was ok.

    And yet, when you call them “African-American Toes,” people think you’re insane.

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  44. Mikey says:

    Breaking news: DoJ will not be charging former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe with any crime and has dropped the case.

    https://twitter.com/MikeScarcella/status/1228367056829140995 (tweet with link to document)

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  45. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy:

    Cats prefer being alone (as an introvert, I can appreciate that).

    Our favorite cat, Bonnie, would generally ignore us. But almost always ignore us in the same room we were in. If she did decide she wanted attention, she’d come swat one of us on the shin.

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  46. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You’ve got to feel sorry for Prager though, since you know he has a really biting limerick that he needs a rhyme for, but the word just can’t be used.

    There once was a lib I wanted to trigger
    To prove that my might is so much bigger
    It would make my day
    If I was allowed to say
    That he is a dumb-ass worthless _____

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  47. Scott says:

    @Jen: @Mike in Arlington:

    A genetic reason for the huge malleability of dogs lies in where in their DNA the differences lie:

    Doggie Diversity

    However, the nucleotides that make dogs look different were only found in a few areas of the DNA. These reflect the areas that have changed in the centuries since people started breeding dogs for different traits, creating many different breeds of dog in the process.

    In humans, our diversity and nucleotide puzzle pieces work differently. Instead of human diversity arising from a few different areas on the gene, the way we look is regulated by hundreds of different weak genes that interact to make us unique!

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  48. Scott says:

    @Mikey:

    Funny you should mention this:

    Barr pushes back against Trump’s criticism of Justice Dept., says tweets ‘make it impossible for me to do my job’

    “Trump has also wanted charges filed against Comey’s former deputy, Andrew McCabe. A separate inspector general investigation concluded that McCabe lied to investigators about his role in authorizing disclosures for a Wall Street Journal story in October 2016 about internal FBI tensions over an investigation of the Clinton Foundation. A grand jury in Washington seemed poised to make a decision on the case last year before fizzling into inaction.

    Waiting for tweets

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  49. Jen says:

    @Scott: Yep, the show went into that too. There are only a handful of dog genes that determine widely varying characteristics, including coat length, size, etc.

    The whole thing was interesting to me, including the bit that the other, physical characteristics such as patches of white fur and curled tails appear when animals are domesticated (such as in pigs) appeared in the silver foxes in just a few short generations as well. The domestication instinct, which essentially amounts to being less alarmed around humans (adrenal gland function) carries with it a predilection for certain physical attributes.

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  50. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Hope springs eternal.

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  51. de stijl says:

    Our animal companions must think we are so odd.

    Why are you wearing clothes? Why are you wearing glasses? Why are you ignoring this fascinating smell? Why did you immediately throw the dead bird I brought you into the trash? – that was a heartfelt gift you ingrate!

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  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: A first world bored rich white people problem.

    @de stijl: A pretty face just ain’t what it used to be.

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  53. Mister Bluster says:

    Happy VD Day everyone!
    and remember…
    Love is fleeting
    Herpes is forever

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  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I Can’t Believe Black People Might Actually Vote for Michael Bloomberg -Michael Harriot

    On Monday, audio surfaced from a 2015 Bloomberg speech at the Aspen Institute (which is partially funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies). In the clip, dug up by podcaster Benjamin Dixon, the former New York City mayor defends his stop-and-frisk program that disproportionately targets and criminalizes black and Latinx boys, according to sociologists, criminologists, data and statistics.

    “Ninety-five percent of murders—murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops,” Bloomberg explains. “They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city. And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed.”

    He continues:

    You want to spend the money; put a lot of cops on the street. Put the cops where the crime is, which means, in minority neighborhoods.

    So one of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true.

    Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them… And then they start… ‘Oh I don’t want to get caught.’ So they don’t bring the gun. They still have a gun, but they leave it at home.

    (Just in case you think the quote is out of context, you can listen to the entire speech here.

    There is only one problem with this racist theory:

    It’s wrong.

    According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, black people don’t use drugs at higher rates, they are just arrested at three times the rates of white people. And a 2018 study by the National Institutes of Health found that markets that are “more likely to have black sellers than [w]hite sellers” are surveilled more. Additionally, the study found that there is a “strong association between the share of [w]hite residents in a neighborhood and a black person’s likelihood of a drug arrest.”

    But Bloomberg didn’t stop there. In another recent clip, he doubled down on his disproven theory by explaining why he believes whites cops “disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.”

    Michael Bloomberg is lying.

    ……………………………………

    But why would black voters gravitate to Bloomberg? Isn’t he guilty of the same things that reportedly prevented Kamala Harris from gaining widespread black support? If Pete Buttigieg is polling at the same percentage of black voters as “someone else,” shouldn’t Bloomberg be at negative-zero support?

    This is the problem.

    Michael Bloomberg is a white quadrillionaire with infinitely deep pockets and a record of getting shit done. Even if the “shit” he got done came at the expense of our sons and daughters, defeating Donald Trump is the most important factor in a lot of people’s decisions on who they will vote for. Michael Bloomberg’s rise isn’t a condemnation of the other candidates as much as it is an example that black people know white people better than anything else in the universe.

    One of the biggest factors in a large number of black people’s primary voting criterion is who they think white people will vote for when the curtain closes behind them in the voting booth. We know Bernie has better policy plans. We know Elizabeth Warren is a better communicator. We have seen Buttigieg’s Douglass plan.

    But we also know white people.

    Donald Trump is proof of what they will do.

    The whole is well worth the read. Harriot always is.

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  55. Mike in Arlington says:

    @de stijl: “What are you running from, apex predator?”

    https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/7775z2/jogging/

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  56. Mister Bluster says:

    Why are you wearing clothes? Why are you wearing glasses?

    So do you think cats have these thoughts in their heads in English or what?

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  57. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Ramona spent most of her first few days with us hiding under a bed. She used to live at a construction site, and was evicted when the work was done. After a few days of letting her see me do nothing, and gently coaxing her out, she eventually decided I was ok, and left her hiding place.

    Shortly after, though, she went missing for a couple of days. That’s a complete mystery. Of course, like all cats, she liked to roam wherever she felt like, whenever she wanted. She quickly found a way out of the house, but I never figured out how she found a way back in.

    After we had her a few years, we got Emm. They got along well, and even played together sometimes. But I don’t think she liked the dog much. She never came down to my room when Emm was with me. not once.

    About the only thing Ramona never allowed anyone to do was carry her. If I picked her up to get her on the bed, she didn’t object. But if I took as much as one step while holding her, she sank her claws on the nearest of my limb she could find, hanging as if for dear life.

    One last thing. I talk to my pets a lot. When I talked to Ramona, she would often meow back. Meows don’t mean anything specific, the way a purr or hiss does. Cats kind of develop some communication with people that way. If I couldn’t see her and she meowed, that was like saying “Hey! Over here!” If she wanted a door opened, she’d stand by it and meow. But when i talked to her, i wonder, did she think “This large cat is making a lot of mouth noises, maybe I should, too,” or was she conveying “STFU already,” or maybe even “Right on, sis!”

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  58. Jen says:

    Is this more “Republicans are @ssholes” or “Democrats are unwitting and stupid”?

    I can’t decide.

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  59. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    When I was in China, I adopted twin alley cats. They were 6 weeks old, and had been in an apartment (with a few other cats and a young couple that couldn’t stop “rescuing” kittens). They’d always been treated well.

    When I brought them back to my apartment, it was 2 weeks before I saw them. I don’t know where they hid, but they were very good at it. The food and water disappeared, the litter got full, but… no cats.

    It took over a month for them to get comfortable with me (and then they were very friendly). But as soon as someone else entered the apartment, they disappeared. I have no clue why.

    I like cats, but… they’re weird.

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  60. Jen says:

    East Carolina University poll out:

    Biden 28%
    Sanders 20%
    Steyer 14%
    Buttigieg 8%
    Klobuchar 7%
    Warren 7%

    That’s got to be disappointing for Warren, and wth is up with Steyer?

    I’m going to plug my little state (NH) here, because my hunch is that Steyer has been blanketing the mailboxes and airwaves like he did here. NH voters actually do research candidates, and seem less susceptible to massive advertising buys.

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  61. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I won’t say cats are introverts, but they kind of display, in general, some personality traits similar to several found in human introverts. Like hiding when in distress, avoiding contact with others, a preference for solitude, making few vocalizations, etc.

    Of course, all that is rather typical of other feline and non-feline species that hunt in order to eat. So one cannot read too much into it. but perhaps introverts prefer cats for that reason.

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  62. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Why do you stare for hours at the funny box with the blurry pictures? Why would you put lime on the beef?(*) Why won’t you let me hump your leg? Why won’t you let me even hump the chair? Hey! I was chewing that!

    (*) That was the bane of all my dogs. They loved beef. They begged for any meat, and got their share. But beef just drove them wild, all three of them. I liked putting lime on mine, and all three poor things found lime (and other citrus and vinegar) to be absolutely disgusting. really, they wrinkled their nose and turned away.

    I like sharing with the dogs. So before adding lime, I’d cut up a few pieces and set them aside.

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  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: The latter.

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  64. DrDaveT says:

    @Kurtz:

    Here, for most people, class is defined economically. Whereas for certain social groups here, and for the English, it signifies social customs.

    I think you’re conflating several entirely distinct uses of the word class.

    When people talk about social class, in the US they mean wealth* and in England they mean breeding — literal bloodlines. It has nothing to do with behavior.

    When people talk about class warfare, they are distinguishing the owners of capital from the providers of labor. It has nothing to do with behavior.

    When they talk about someone being classless, or having no class, or being classy, they are talking about behavior. It’s a derived usage, based on an old idealized notion of how aristocrats ought to behave. Noblesse oblige. See also “princely” or “like a prince” used as a positive descriptor of character. This is the sense in which Trump has no class.

    *Race confounds this; people of color were never evaluated on the same scale, no matter how wealthy. In England, being non-white (including southern Europeans) was just an extreme case of bad bloodlines.

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  65. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    I won’t say cats are introverts, but they kind of display, in general, some personality traits similar to several found in human introverts. Like hiding when in distress, avoiding contact with others, a preference for solitude, making few vocalizations, etc.

    I’ve got a tom yowling at me from the next room that would like to have a word (or 27) with you.

    Feral cats are actually rather social animals. They don’t form packs like dogs do, but they do form communities. If you’ve ever been on a farm you can see this with the barn cats. They gather in groups, play together, sleep together (often in large huddles–at least here in the north), groom each other, take care of kittens that aren’t their own, etc.

    The thing is: outside of “cat ladies” (and farms), we don’t offer cats any opportunities to socialize.

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  66. de stijl says:

    I learned yesterday that cats meow to humans only and not to one another. That is strongly suggestive.

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