Memorial Day Forum

FILED UNDER: Open 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:

    This one’s for you, Uncle Joe.

  2. CSK says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From US seeks to fine January 6 rioters to claw back donations they raked in, comes this little tidbit:

    Most of the fundraising efforts appear on GiveSendGo, which bills itself as “The #1 Free Christian Fundraising Site” and has become a haven for January 6 defendants barred from using mainstream crowdfunding sites, including the more widespread GoFundMe, to raise money. The rioters often proclaim their innocence and portray themselves as victims of government oppression, even as they cut deals to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors.

    “The #1 Free Christian Fundraising Site”, I’ve never heard of them but boy, they sure sound very christian to me. Pretty sure they would be first ones Jesus threw out of the temple.​

  4. CSK says:
  5. CSK says:

    First a host on Russian state tv called for the assassination of Lindsey Graham. Now the Ministry of the Interior has issued a warrant for Graham’s arrest.

  6. Kenny says:

    @CSK: I read, a few years ago “The Court-Martial of Paul Revere: A Son of Liberty and America’s Forgotten Military Disaster.”

    The Amazon blurb describes it: Discusses the Penobscot Expedition, the worst American naval disaster before Pearl Harbor, and how Lieutenant Colonel Paul Revere was charged with neglect of duty, disobeying orders, and cowardice.

    It does not go as one might expect.

  7. CSK says:


    I hadn’t known. Fascinating. I’ll look it up. Thanks for the tip.

  8. Kathy says:


    You can also send a prayer.

    I wrote “I pray these people find the justice they deserve.” I signed it as Jesús Cristo. They require email verification. I hope there’s no user named songod in the domain

  9. CSK says:


    Well, that’s snide of you. 😀 I tried to enroll as “Samuel Pepys” on Truth Social, but no go…

  10. Sleeping Dog says:


    The Biden admin should extradite him.

  11. Bob@Youngstown says:

    So what’s the update? Are all non-registered comments going to moderation, regardless of content?

  12. James Joyner says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: No idea why your comments went into moderation but registered/unregistered has no discernible effect.

  13. Kathy says:

    The weekend cooking went really well. Meatballs with potatoes and barley in very mild chipotle sauce, side of rice with bean sauce and yellow corn.

    The meatball sauce:

    2 tomatoes, seeds (mostly) removed but not peeled.
    2 cloves garlic
    about 4-5 tbsp. tomato puree
    about 2 tbsp sweet cream
    3 Chipotles

    Chop the tomatoes and saute them with onions. When well and truly done, toss in the blender with the garlic, chipotles, cream, and tomato puree, and liquefy as much as possible.

    Meantime in the pot saute some onions and more garlic (if wanted). Add the sauce from the blender. Add around 1-2 liters of beef broth (or chicken broth), and about half a cup of bean broth taken from a can of cooked beans. When it boils toss in 2 potatoes chopped into cubes, and one cup of barley (let it soak for a few hours first). I seasoned this with paprika, oregano, and fine herbs.

    I let the barley cook for a good long while. It’s not as bad as beans, but it does take a while. I do this at low heat after the pot boils a second time. When it’s close to done, I add the meatballs. these cook far more quickly, but I let them simmer in the mix a while longer.

    The rice is simpler.

    Cook one cup of rice as you usually do. In a blender mix one can of beans and half a cup of sweet cream (measures are aproxímate) with one chipotle (if desired), and one clove garlic (I cooked the rice with some minced garlic). Mix the sauce into the rice just before all the liquid evaporates. Add corn and mix well. this time, I also added some onions sauteed with some turkey “bacon,”

    Tip: sauce poured over foods that suck in moisture, like rice, tend to suck the sauce and become more like a beans and rice paste. Save some bean sauce to pour over the rice when serving.

  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    I find I feel differently about military service since the end of the draft. There is a difference between some kid thrown against his will into the Vietnamese jungle, and our current highly professional military. I still admire their work, but it’s less about feelings of patriotism, and more just the appreciation I have for anyone who does a challenging job well. A trivial example: the first-on-the-plane deference to anyone who served. And the ritualized, ‘thank you for your service.’ I know James has voiced similar discomfort with this practice. It is absolutely appropriate at times of crisis when people rush to defend the country – 9/11 or Pearl Harbor – but seems strained when we have a decently-paid professional force performing the usual grind, fueling planes on Diego Garcia or flying a drone out of Nevada.

    And I wince at the notion that soldiers are defending our country or our liberties. Sometimes yes, quite often, no. My father did two tours in Vietnam (as a 20 year lifer) and I don’t think he believes he was defending liberty. It would have been better if we had defined Afghanistan less as a defense of liberty which led to nation-building, and more as a simple, retaliatory ass-kicking. We are not good at nation-building at least since the Japan occupation, but we are amazing at kicking ass.

  15. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Well, there was the Marshall Plan after WWII.

  16. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    And I wince at the notion that soldiers are defending our country or our liberties. Sometimes yes, quite often, no.

    Strictly speaking, it will happen if/when 1) the US is invaded by a hostile power, or 2) civil war breaks out.

    On the second, the military is as likely to split as the rest of the country.

    On the first, I don’t see that anyone can.

  17. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Well, the Russians are extremely peeved because Graham went to Kiev, conversed with Zelensky, and spoke well of Ukraine.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: “political prisoners”.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    Kevin Drum comments on an interesting study that shows that the more Republican you lean the more likely you are to seek out more partisan and less reliable new sources. No surprise there, but it turns out to be dramatically less true for independents and Dems

  20. Kathy says:

    It’s beginning to look as though the limits of human longevity have been determined. FYI, around 115 years.

    This means excluding accidental death, suicide, and murder, 115 years is about the longest anyone with favorable genetics and overall good health can expect to live if all relevant factors (we don’t know them all) align just right.

    There will be outliers like Jeanne Calment, who reached 122 years.

    I see two questions here worth considering:

    1) We don’t know who will live for how long.
    2) We don’t know whether this limit can be altered

    So, more research on the mechanisms of aging should help, over the next several decades, to settle both questions. Eventually.

  21. CSK says:


    Hey, they’re all Great Patriots, you know, unlawfully arrested, beaten, and imprisoned by the jackbooted thugs of the Capitol Police and the FBI for peacefully protesting the theft of the election by Biden and his henchmen. These heroes are suffering in durance vile.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Interesting. I wonder how much of that phenomenon is about conservatism being more of a faith dating back to notions of people placed in leadership by the actions of the various gods of the various belief structures than a political philosophy? Confirmation bias runs strong in faith-based phenomena. (Except, of course, that if you have faith, it isn’t confirmation bias. 😉 )

  23. Gustopher says:

    Fun article at WaPo

    Hiring rates in red states outpace hiring in blue states. Sounds like something red states should be shouting from the tops of their lungs, right?

    But job growth is similar in red and blue states. It’s all churn — people quitting jobs and moving on to another job.

    In software engineering terms, they are optimizing for throughout. (Old joke at Amazon, where engineers last 18 months on average)

    The article explores the reasons why, from Union membership, to more generous unemployment benefits meaning workers can look for a better fit, but I propose a different explanation: people quit conservative shithead bosses.

    (My Amazon experience bears this out, as there is a large scattering of Libertarians and Objectivists in management, and when your new boss is an Objectivist, everyone starts looking for their next gig)

  24. CSK says:

    Well, I’ve eased my conscience, and no longer feel guilty for delaying doing this for two months. I finally wrote the fourth update to my non-fiction book and emailed it to my editor so the book can go into its fourth edition.

    Now I’m heading for the vodka bottle and some ice cubes.

  25. Kathy says:

    I’ve been picking a very faint buzz on an idea: taxes on unrealized gains.

    This would apply to things like stocks and other investments, which appreciate in value over time. The idea is that the wealthiest people store much of their wealth on such investments. They don’t pay a penny in taxes on that, unless they sell such things and realize capital gains, whereupon the capital gains tax kicks in.

    In a way this is kind of like Warren’s proposal of a wealth tax.

    It doesn’t seem fair to tax unrealized gains, except that’s already done. Middle and lower income people who manage to accumulate any wealth, largely do so through home ownership. And property taxes apply to homes. That’s very similar to the unrealized gains proposal.

    Of course, in accordance with Kathy’s First Law, nothing is ever that simple.

    For one thing, many middle and lower income people also own stocks and other investments, largely through retirement savings plans, and other types of investment/brokerage accounts. Taxing them would create problems.

    One could set a floor for such taxes, and make them steeply progressive as well. and that gets complicated rather quickly.

    So, I’m giving the matter some thought and see where it can lead.

  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    Congratulations. Sounds like a two drink minimum.

  27. Kathy says:


    Congratulations. The bane of my existence is finishing stories I’m trying to write.

    Speaking of which, it seems my request for a raise was approved, and should kick in by June 1st. even better, I should secure my first tranche of vacation time for the second half of June.

    I won’t be travelling. June is hot and rainy in Cancun (I’m pondering September/October, or February/March next year). But I’ve been looking for museums I haven’t visited. there are a lot of museums in this city, beyond the big ones (anthropology, art, natural sciences) I’ve visited before. I’d no idea the Bank of Mexico had a museum, ditto the Postal Service.

  28. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You got that right.


    Thank you. Endings are tough.

  29. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Congratulations! Hope it does well!

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: We DO know everybody will die. Sorry Peter Thiel, the fountain of youth has yet to be found. I guess in the end you are just as fucked as the rest of us.

  31. CSK says:

    @just nutha:

    Thanks. It’s still in print after 28 years, so…Jeebus, time flies.

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Progressives have been trying to tax unrealized gains for as long as I can remember. When I hear about plans–which almost always involve recapture of gains from heirs–I’m reminded of a statistic I heard about the “death tax” long ago.*

    Inheritance taxes affect less than 5% of members of the population at large and over 80% of members of Congress.

    Good luck with capturing unrealized gains.

    *cracker makes no claims for the accuracy of statistics in old adages–either in figurative or real life. Old adages are offered only as comments on the collective perceptions of society and should not be taken as representations of real-world situations or evidence of large-scale fraud by any cohorts of citizens.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Congrats. It’s always a weight lifted when a long promised project is finally delivered.

  34. CSK says:


    Yes, it is. Damn, I wish there were a thumbs up button.

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Meh. It is it’s own reward. Have a stiff one on me.

  36. Kathy says:


    I’m still not sure whether bacteria live a long time or only a few minutes.

    Assume currently the maximum common human lifespan is 115 years, with 125 as a very unlikely possibility. This does not mean it’s set and forever unchangeable. We keep evolving, after all. it may simply increase on its own for some reason, or decrease for that matter.

    Or we may be able to genetically engineer a longer lifespan.

    The BIG problem is the same as what Gulliver found with the Struldbruggs. We keep aging. Imagine living to 200, but getting more infirm every day past 80. Say 100 years requiring a walker, then a wheelchair, then bedridden. Maybe going deaf and blind as well.

    But it’s an interesting problem.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: All I know is I’ve got at best another 10, maybe 15 years, and a not insignificant part of me hopes no longer. My body is shot. Pain is my constant companion. I can’t speak for P Theil but I have lived a life well lived. I’m not gonna say I wrang every possible bit of life out of every moment I have been here on this damned planet but I gave it my best shot and I have been blessed with some magical moments that few others have been. I passed on a few experiences because I had sons who needed me more and I’ve never regretted it.

    I always lamented the fact that I didn’t have a daughter to wrap me around her finger, but now I have 5 granddaughters to wrap me around their fingers. I am soooooo screwed… I love it. A year ago, I watched my eldest accomplish a thing I had promised myself 30+ years ago I would do some day but never did: He climbed Devil’s Tower. Not all that big a deal, but I had to see him do what I always wanted to but never had, and he did it. And I watched him do it. What could be better?

    Now I watch my eldest granddaughter beat the F out of boys on the football field (she is taller than almost every other guy on her team) and they are all scared half to death of her. It makes me laugh. I can’t say how far she will take it, but it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. And I hope I get to see a little bit of how far she will go.

    Ps: just like her father, she’s a hard core rock climber. I taught that boy right.