Juneteenth 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. de stijl says:

    The DOJ wrapped up an investigation of the Minneapolis police department and found systemic racism and institutional flaws.

    Well, duh. Could have asked me or any other resident and gotten that answer way sooner, but I understand you have to cross the tee’s and dot the i’s in a situation like this.

    Here’s the skinny, the inside info. MPD are notorious known thumpers. Have been for decades, my entire life. That’s just a fact. This is known. If you are a person with more melatonin than me you know this to be true at age 8 and are schooled by parents and peers. The police will beat you. Don’t be lippy. Don’t look at them accusing. Shut up. Eyes down. Over-comply. Obey. Say “Yes, sir/ma’am” for every demand. Even then, chances are fairly high you will get a fist, an elbow, the end of a billy club. Expect that. It’s Chinatown, Jake, or in this case it’s Uptown.

    As a general rule, black people come away from an encounter with Minneapolis cops with at least a bruise.

    It is enculturated. Been that way my whole life. When I was young kid, my girlfriend was raped by two Minnepolis cops in the backseat of their squad car.

    There is no way for me to succinctly say how much I hate Minneapolis cops as an institution. They are shitty people and fucking scumbags. Not every person, but as a whole, yeah.

    Assholes, thumpers, racists, irredeemably bad and corrupt folks. The lot. Maybe a handful aren’t but the culture in that shop says you shut up and play by the rules, so if you stick around for more than a year you are basically complicit.

    A hefty portion of the city budget goes to paying off court mandated claims against the police department’s latest shenanigans. For every case that makes it to court there a thousand incidents just like it that don’t. Thumping is endemic.

    Brown shirts with badges. If you want to breed distrust in government there is no better way than an out of control police department. Every mayor tries to reform and it always fails. The core culture always prevails.

  2. Stormy Dragon says:

    Juneteenth related TIL: Pennsylvania passed a law to gradually phase out slavery in 1780, and since the federal government was in Philadelphia at the time, officials from the South were regularly having their slaves freed because they’d come to the city and forget to obey that law. And THAT’S the real reason they made DC an explicit federal enclave in the Constitution

  3. CSK says:
  4. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I wanted to repost this, and I have a strong opinion on this…


    Could’ve recognized the end of slavery…

    But it’s not the end of slavery. Per the constitution, slavery is still allowed in these United States.

    The 13th ammendment states:

    The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

    So, if you want free labor, hard labor, in your county to harvest fruit, or build roads, you got it.

    And if you have a problem with resources, you can just ask the judges to crank up the incarceration rate.

    As of 2017, Arkansas, Georgia, and Texas did not pay inmates for any work whether inside the prison (such as custodial work and food services) or in state-owned businesses. Additionally, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina allowed unpaid labor for at least some jobs.

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_labor_in_the_United_States

    Additional Reading: https://www.aclu.org/news/human-rights/captive-labor-exploitation-of-incarcerated-workers

    As long as this stands, Slavery is still part of our ongoing story.

  5. CSK says:

    Read the article and watch the accompanying video and you’ll see why–as if you didn’t already know–why it’s impossible to reason with full-fledged Trumpkins:


  6. Kathy says:

    I’m spending my first day on vacation thinking about the personal economics of super heroes, and rewatching Citizen Kane for the first time since the late 90s.

  7. de stijl says:


    I like the way The Boys handle the economics of supes. They are under a contract to a corporation and getting income as government mercenaries and from media companies making content featuring them, their likenesses, and associated royalties.

    Mostly as government contractors, but also as media stars.

    There was the interesting subplot where the mayor of Baltimore was in negotiations with Vaught to hire a superhero for the town. That ended badly.

    When The Deep got sidelined, he was sent to Akron or wherever to be the superhero in residence for a fee, but they put him up in a Residence Inn equivalent. Not a big money gig.

    In DC and Marvel there is very little about how the characters actually make any income. It’s mostly unexplained.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    Several times a year at least I have occasion to interact with Apple support via chat and did so again on the weekend, and it left me wondering just how often I was interacting with a real person, if at all. I got past the initial sections, which I assume have been chariots for years (and I’m fine with that) and asked for an agent. It told me it had connected me, but the experience was markedly different than I’m the past. First, there was a level of wordiness that I’ve come to associate with generative AI. For example, for a few years the agent has responded with some variation of, “I’m sorry to hear that, it must be frustrating. I know I would be frustrated in the same situation”. I assumed it was a real person clicking on macros rather than typing it in word by word. But this time the response, while similar, was kind of wandering and wordy, while also being very specific to my input in a slightly not quite apt way.

    At one point it told me that some other group was actively working on my issue and when I asked what they were doing specifically I got a lot of repetition rather than a more human response of “I’ve elevated and can’t know exactly what they are doing but yadayadayada…”

    It was effective in that it unjammed my order and I was able to pick it up, but the interaction was oddly discomfiting.

  9. gVOR10 says:

    @de stijl: Many years ago somebody did a spoof econ paper on the economics of superheroes. It mostly dealt with the construction and insurance implications of rebuilding Manhattan every few months.

  10. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    In DC and Marvel there is very little about how the characters actually make any income. It’s mostly unexplained.

    They don’t say much, but now and then the subject is approached or touched on. In the 90s Justice League cartoons, Flash shot ads for various products. In Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Falcon can’t get a loan to help his sister’s business.

    You’d think once they’re in the Justice League or the Avengers, they’d be paid a salary by Wayne or Stark, right? 😉

    You also run into what I call The Shawshank Paradox: there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do all that needs to get done.

    Take Bruce Wayne. how does he run a company, maintain an image as an idle playboy, and deal with the crime in Gotham, plus take time to bathe, sleep, evacuate, and eat? Likewise Andy in The Shawshank Redemption ran the prison’s education program and library, took care of the warden’s dirty business, and somehow undertook his extracurricular activity at night, while also doing all the biological and hygiene functions to keep in good health.

  11. gVOR10 says:

    @MarkedMan: “Chariots”. I chuckle because I just caught that “econ” above had become “even”. Smart spellcheck. One of these days they’ll let spellcheck loose on a peace treaty and start a war. “Microsoft – we’re smarter than ewe are.”

  12. JKB says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Is slavery really only if there is no pay? Slaves, even in the US, were sometimes paid for higher skills such as in North Carolina, or could work outside their normal jobs and be paid a wage.

    Consider the Scottish coal miner. Paid, and some say a good wage, but couldn’t quit, if ran off would be returned by the state, and children had no option to not be a coal miner.

    Interestingly, the progression of Scottish laws that sealed the fate of the Scottish coal miners are very similar to how the African indentured servants were turned in to slaves in the early 1600s Maryland. At one point Maryland even considered tying the slaves to the land as serfs and villeins were instead of being chattel.

    Could not the African slave do as much? In fact, is not this whole position exactly that of the slave? He, too, was guaranteed his sustenance; he, too, was allowed to keep and spend the extra money he made by working overtime; but he was not allowed to better his condition, to engage in trade, to invest it, to change his lot in life. Precisely what makes a slave is that he is allowed no use of productive capital to make wealth on his own account.

    –Socialism; a speech delivered in Faneuil hall, February 7th, 1903, by Frederic J. Stimson

  13. @JKB:

    February 7th, 1903

    This is bit at this point, isn’t it?

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I don’t agree. Almost all of the characters who have their own magazines have backstories about their personal lives. In the case of Batman, for example, we find out that it’s Bruce Wayne that has the superpower–unrealistic and mind-numbing levels of wealth that support the superhero venture and the operation of the Batcave. Peter Parker, at least in the early stories, is always short of cash and scraping to find ways to get more and better pictures of himself to sell to the paper. Clark Kent is a journalist. Hal Jordan is a test pilot. Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) is a dodgy sort of millionaire-ish guy, but he doesn’t have that much of a civilian life that gets into the stories anyway. Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Matt Murdock (Daredevil) all have jobs.

    Modern era comics that I’ve been reading have less back story in them to begin with. The fact that the characters have lives outside the action in the stories is almost completely missing with the exception of Ms. Marvel–who clearly was given a backstory for the purpose of making her the first Middle Eastern superhero. (Not a complaint. Makes the stories more interesting.) Then again, most of the stories I’ve read (though it’s not an extensive list or number) are entirely about the exploits of the heroes in their roles as heroes. When the exploit is done, so is the story. They seem mostly to have only the identities they have as heroes. What does Black Widow do when she goes home? Who cares; the story’s over now.

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Whenever I’m in a “chat” mode with a company, I always assume I’m communicating with a program that is trying to link information it provides with key words from my question. I find it entertaining to try to ask the chatbot questions it won’t be able to decide how to answer.

    Needless to say, I usually avoid “chatting” if I need actual information.

  16. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: You might be surprised at how much more time you have if you don’t watch TV or surf the net. 😉

  17. CSK says:

    I wasn’t aware of this till now, but good for the Brits in naming Donald Trump as the worst thing ever to come out of the U.S.A.


  18. de stijl says:


    Dude, are you trying to justify slavery? On Juneteenth?

    Yes, indentured servitude is really bad.

    If you feel so strongly about indentured servitude please enlighten us on your special take on the working conditions of extra-national workers in the Gulf states.

  19. Daryl says:

    You’ve changed your schtick to parody, correct?

  20. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It is a conundrum. Clearly I’d have more time to watch TV and surf the web if I didn’t watch TV or surf the web 😉

  21. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @de stijl:

    @JKB is both-siding slavery. If it’s all you got, you ride it hard.

  22. Kathy says:

    I may have brought up the Harford Dunning-Kruger Principle: Even if we’re not permanent members, we all visit the Dunning-Kruger clubhouse from time to time.

    Here’s my latest.

    a few months back I posted right here that the Wondrium app on the smart TV had no pause function. I should have taken a moment to realize how monumental an omission that would be, and taken some time to rectify my perception.

    All apps on the smart TV, which uses the Roku OS/platform, work the same way. Once you’re streaming, the OK key in the middle of the arrow keys on the remote works as play and pause. So when that didn’t work with Wondrium, I figured it was a shoddy app.

    Well, there’s also a row of three keys on the remote with the symbols for rewind/skip back, play/pause, and fast forward/skip ahead.


  23. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl: I’ve long wondered whether JKB was just basically an original issue internet troll, you know, the guy who latches onto a group and injects something they feel will set off everyone. That kind of troll generally has no actual opinion on the matter of their own, or consider it irrelevant. The goal is to get a reaction, full stop. In fact, quite often such trolls have multiple personas in the group, one to throw the bait in the water, and then another to get in high dudgeon which serves to attract everyone’s attention to the bait.

    This sets aside the issue of “you become what you pretend to be”.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Okay, I won’t argue with number one on that list, but I take issue with the following:

    4. Racial Inequality

    The frickin’ uber colonialists blaming a former colony for racial intolerance is a little rich.

    8. Calling football ‘soccer’

    They started it

    The word soccer comes from a slang abbreviation of the word association, which British players of the day adapted as “assoc,” “assoccer” and eventually soccer or soccer football.

  25. CSK says:


    Yes, the racial inequality bit irked me as well. Not that it doesn’t exist here, but the pot’s calling the kettle black. Anyone for “Paki-bashing”?

    Let me add that I’m extremely fond of England and Scotland.

  26. de stijl says:

    I worked with a guy once. A DBA. Very good at his job. His default mode was verging on overly-polite and formal.

    Eventually I wore him down and he opened up. He was Pakistani. Had a wife and two kids. He invited me to his home for a dinner one day kind of out of nowhere. Of course I said yes. I was more than honored. His kids were so freaking adorable!

    It turns out he got the visa (H1-B probably) through a company based in Pakistan that is basically Indentured Servitude, Inc.

    He paid big money to get the visa, and then owed a huge cut of his US salary to them. Forever. He never shared how much it was that he owed, but they living in near poverty conditions and his salary was fairly big.

    Holy crap! I assume the stick part of the equation was they would fuck with your family back home if you reneged.

    He now lives in Cherry Hill and works for a trucking / transport company.

  27. CSK says:

    Apparently Trump is demanding that all the Republican candidates sign a pledge to pardon him if one of them is elected.

    In addition to sounding as if he won’t win the general, which he won’t, isn’t asking for a pardon tantamount to an admission of guilt? After all, he didn’t ask to be exonerated, did he?*

    *Maybe he doesn’t know the word.

  28. dazedandconfused says:


    Stark may have built the separate Avengers facility as a homeless shelter for broke-ass superheros. Natalia, Cpt America* would certainly qualify.

    “Cap probably only gets 1940s level retirement money from the Army. For an O-3 (Captain) that would be about $2o0 a month.

  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl:

    Dude, are you trying to justify slavery? On Juneteenth?

    Probably. What’s so unusual about JKB defending the undefendable using a speech from over 100 years ago? Isn’t that what he does every day? Why should Juneteenth be different?

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Hmmm… I only use the OK button on the remote to remind me of what streaming service, program, and episode title I’m watching. Sometimes it freezes the stream, sometimes not.

    ETA: And above those 3 buttons on the left side (next to the sleep timer button) there’s a button that rewinds only 20 seconds (?).

  31. Daryl says:

    The Titanic sits on the ocean floor ~12,500 feet below the surface and ~370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.
    If you have the $$$ you can take a submersible tour for ~$250,000. A quarter million bucks.
    Today that submersible has gone missing……..

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @dazedandconfused: Wouldn’t that have accumulated for all the years that he was buried in the ice in suspended animation, though? 1940-ish to 1964 would be a lot of $200s.

    More likely, though, he was probably listed as “Missing, assumed KIA” to remove the pension obligation.

  33. Jax says:

    @Daryl: This would be probably in my top 10 of “Oh hell no, I’m not ever doing that, that sounds like a terrible way to die” activities. And see, here I am, vindicated. 😛

    Snarky smiley face aside, I hope for a good ending. I don’t expect one, at those depths, but I hope for one, for the families involved.

  34. Mister Bluster says:

    After several earlier reports today about the Titanic tourist submersible stating that it was not known if there were humans aboard the BBC is now reporting that: “Tour firm OceanGate said it was exploring all options to get the crew back safely.”
    The same BBC item states: “Hamish Harding, a 58-year-old British billionaire businessman and explorer, is among those on the missing submarine, his family said.”

    There was a time after I saw Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey in 1970 (?) that I was convinced that I would celebrate my 30th birthday on the Moon eight years later. As perilous as that journey might have been I have always been averse to under sea exploration as if it is even more dangerous. On deeper reflection I’m not sure how to compare the two other than vessel failure means instant death.
    I hope the explorers aboard this submarine are returned to safety.

  35. JohnSF says:

    UK news!
    MPs endorse Privileges Committee report censuring former PM Johnson by 354 votes to 7

    Good part of this: even 118 Conservative MP’s voted to censure.
    Bad part: 236 Conservative’s abstained or did not vote, including most of the Cabinet; only 8 Cabinet members voted for.
    PM Sunak was “at a dinner”and “unable to attend”.
    The reason this is bad: those abstainers almost all are fully aware that the report is accurate, and Johnson is a lying shit; and most importantly set out to deliberately deceive Parliament and the investigating committee, and then to traduce the committee when it found against him.
    A parliamentary system cannot function if ministers can lie to the House and get away with it.

    The abstainers know all this, and are still terrified that their local party memberships are full of Johnsonite/Brexity nutcases who they will not fight.
    The Tory Party needs a purge, on the scale of the Labour purge of the Militants in the 1980’s.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Does Brett Baier’s newscast get rebroadcast later so that it’s presented in prime time on the Left Coast? When I was at the gym about an hour ago (so 2:30 to 3:30 PDT) Faux News had Brett Baier embarrassing himself on (what I assume to be) live TV interviewing Donald Trump. All the stuff was there–witch hunt, Biden has more docs than I had, they didn’t belong to teh gubmint to begin with, etc. ad nauseum.
    Here’s a story about it from The Hill.

    And another one from the same source, because… well, equal time… I guess…

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Privileges Committee report censuring former PM Johnson by 354 votes to 7 🙂

    What’s going on there? Did Johnson resign from office or something? 😉

  38. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    He did!
    I may even have mentioned once or twice the Boris Johnson has resigned as an MP.

  39. dazedandconfused says:

    Josh Hawley weighs in for Juneteenth.

    The stupid….it buurrnnnnz

  40. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Baier wasn’t incoherent. Trump absolutely was, gabbling nonsense.

  41. Mister Bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:..prime time on the Left Coast?

    I lived in San Francisco for a year ending in June of 1975. Even then with a primitive Cable TV system and several Bay Area independent TV stations the local news was on one channel or another between 6 and 11pm when they weren’t showing “Star Trek” reruns 3 or 4 times a day. I never could figure out what “prime time” was on the West Coast.