MLK Day 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. Dude Kembro says:

    The Rev. Dr. MLK, Jr. July 1963:

    “I think the tragedy is that we have a Congress with a Senate that has a minority of misguided senators who will use the filibuster to keep the majority of people from even voting.

    They won’t let the majority senators vote. And certainly they wouldn’t want the majority of people to vote, because they know they do not represent the majority of the American people. In fact, they represent, in their own states, a very small minority.”

    Another fun day of the enablers of vote suppression and anti-black bigotry sanitizing and whitewashing MLKJ, who never enjoyed majority approval from whites in polling during his lifetime. In 1968, King had a 75% disapproval rating.

    And he was often accused of fomenting division, inciting violence, causing riots, and being an ‘unhelpful and counterproductive’ Marxist troublemaker, much like BLM is today.

    They love you after they kill you.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    China’s birthrate falls to 61-year low despite moves to stave off demographic crisis

    Humanity is in desperate need of some different economic models. Our current ones are not sustainable.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    Would we be better off as a lottocracy?

    In theory, representative, electoral democracy allows citizens to select authentic representatives of their interests. But in practice, this mission is undermined by the corrupting influence of campaign donors; the racial, gender, and other biases of voters; voter ignorance about which politicians and policies will best pursue their values; and on and on.

    In an electoral system, a member of Congress who proposes, say, taxing imports will face a barrage of attacks from the likes of Walmart and Target that threaten their reelection.

    Representatives selected by lot don’t have to campaign and don’t need campaign funds, goes the argument, limiting opportunities for corruption. As Guerrero puts it, “Lotteries excel at preventing corruption or undue influence in the selection of representatives.”

    Landemore argues that lotteries can also lead to more diverse and representative legislatures than elections, which should enable better and fairer decision-making.

    Maybe. It is recognized by many that, allegedly professional, state legislatures and city councils are full blown amateur hours that regularly wade into subjects where they mistake opinion for expertise and are easy marks for cookie cutter proposals from groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council. It is difficult to see how a legislature of randomly selected citizens would be better equipped to execute the public’s business. The idea does have appeal though.

  4. Mu Yixiao says:


    I haven’t found a good rss reader for iOS since Google Reader was cancelled. Any suggestions?

    I run Linux, so I don’t have any recommendations for Mac. Sorry. Here’s the Wiki list.

  5. Kathy says:

    Dystopians were brought up yesterday, just when I’ve been thinking about the matter. See, I read “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin last week. This is a very early dystopian, commonly held as the model and/or inspiration for Brave New World and 1984.

    There are more similarities than one would assume from genre tropes and conventions. Like a love affair driving much of the plot. Or an obsession in comparing the present society to the past one.

    Beyond that, when thinking about which are right wing future hellholes and which left wing, I don’t think it matters. Consider the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact . Histories of WWII invariably remark on the huge surprise, both then and now, that two diametrically opposed regimes would find common ground and sign a treaty they both adhered to for years.

    It’s no surprise at all, because the soviet and nazi regimes were far more alike than different. Bot were collectivist totalitarian regimes centered on a political party with a rigid ideology, which tolerated no dissent. Both were expansionist powers looking to conquer vast swaths of territory. Both had a cult of personality of the party leader.

    Any opposition was about whose version of totalitarianism would prevail where. It’s like saying the absolutist Christian Byzantine Empire was the diametrical opposite of the Zoroastrian Sassanid (Persian) Empire. they merely had designs over the same lands. And they made treaties between them, too, which were adhered to for years. Their difference were cultural and religious, not political.

    So, in We there’s a cult of Taylorism, after the time and motion studies of Frederick Taylor which led to “scientific management.” In Brave New World there’s a cult of Henry Ford, who devised the moving assembly line. This all sounds pretty right wing to me.

    Oh, one thing that puzzles me over many of these dystopians, is that while they are collectivist and anti-individualism in nature, have people living alone in individual rooms or apartments. That’s one thing Niven got right in World Out of Time, where people live in large rooms with tiers of bunk beds, and there’s no privacy for sex or even for using the toilet.

  6. Mu Yixiao says:

    This coming week is my mom’s 90th birthday. On Saturday we had a small party for her (about 15 close relatives). All 5 of us kids were there–including the oldest, who drove in from Cleveland as a surprise-along with most of the local grandkids and a couple of the great-grandkids.

    While still very healthy (she lives alone and takes care of a large house), she’s starting to get old. The worst part is she’s getting ready to die. It’s difficult to see that in someone who has always been so vibrant.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I hear you. My own Mother is a month shy of 94 and she may not make it. She was in great shape up until a year or so ago, but has been in steady decline since. Just heard this morning that she went to the ER in an ambulance

  8. Tony W says:

    On the psychology of misinformation. An excellent, well-referenced paper.

    The irony is that only those who don’t need to read it, will.

    It is akin to the paradox of self-awareness. Those who are self-aware always wonder if they truly are.

  9. @Sleeping Dog: I have to admit, that sounds like a truly horrible idea.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    When you think it through and consider the downside risks and not just potential advantages, it is indeed a horrible idea. I’ll admit my initial reaction on reading the first few paragraphs was, why not, then I thought it through…

    But the fact that such a far out proposal is being considered, even on the fringes, says a lot about how frustrated people are about how elective government goes about the business of addressing public needs. To further indicate how bad we are doing, some would like the return of wage and price controls.

  11. @Sleeping Dog: FWIW, it isn’t a new idea.

  12. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I think Athens had a council of sorts that “elected” its members by lot. Service was compulsory and lasted one year.

    Clarke toyed with the idea of an appointed chief executive, president or PM, in his last few novels. He described it as “we want someone we’ll have to drag kicking and screaming into the oval office, but once there will do a good job.” He didn’t explain how that would work.

  13. Kathy says:

    I didn’t expect the Steelers to beat the Chiefs, or even give them much of a fight (and I wasn’t disappointed). But there’s consolation that Dallas lost its game.

    I didn’t understand the logic of running the ball with so little time remaining and no timeouts at all.

  14. @Kathy: Yes, Athens was governed by lot.

    And the Clarke presidency reminds me, after a fashion, or what Douglas Adams came up with.

  15. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Tony W: Good analysis. Thanks!

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    You are dead right. Populations across Asia, Europe and North America are either in decline now or will be very soon, and no one knows how that works with a capitalist growth model.

    I think this is more worrying to the Chinese Communist Party than they’ll admit. I suspect it’s one of the reasons for Xi’s aggressive (and counterproductive) diplomacy, his eagerness to become the geopolitical equal of the United States. Which, contra all the usual ‘failing America’ pundits ain’t gonna happen, unless we just disintegrate. Xi’s on this kick to get his population riled up, and ranting about feminized men, because he knows China’s peak may already be past.

    China’s core problem is geography. The first island chain. The Malacca Straits. The Strait of Hormuz. A hugely long border with Russia. A lot of climate vulnerability.

  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    I’ve been getting ready to die for about 50 years now. The nice thing about that sort of gloomy outlook is that every day I’m pleasantly surprised to find myself still alive. Then I remember that I need to work on my taxes and I pray for the sweet release of death.

  18. senyordave says:

    @Dude Kembro: Here is Gallup Poll data from 1963 – 1968: In 1963, King had a 41% positive and a 37% negative rating; in 1964, it was 43% positive and 39% negative; in 1965, his rating was 45% positive and 45% negative; and in 1966 — the last Gallup measure of King using this scalometer procedure (rating +5 to -5) — it was 32% positive and 63% negative.
    MLK was a SJW, and we know how popular SJWs are. And many of the small percentage of whites who supported MLK were SJWs.
    People have a re-invented history that has MLK being some beloved figure who was loved by liberals and conservatives alike. Conservatives hated him, just not quite as much as they hated Malcolm X. You even have Fox personalities like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham talking about how they support Dr. King’s principles, but those principles have been hijacked by the left.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: China is getting increasingly difficult to work with. We are in the process of hiring a sales manager in Shanghai. As a fairly small company, we are going to use a firm who specializes in acting as the pass through for local hires. So far so good. But now it is getting complicated. We have been told by our IT people that the US version of Office 365 isn’t available in China and so connecting her up may be problematic. And she can’t connect with a VPN because, as they put it, that’s just opening a spigot from us direct to the Chinese government. Which got me thinking about VPN’s. In the four years I lived there I could go into work every day (at a gigantic multinational) and connect through my company VPN and open Google, Facebook, whatever. But off hours I bounced around between four or five paid VPN’s and still often had trouble connecting. During major holidays or other public events it wasn’t unusual for all of the VPN’s to stop working, or the internet go down completely, at least for English language sites. And that was 7 years ago and it’s only gotten steadily worse. I’m wondering just how practical this is going to be if she’s having to deal with individual VPN issues.

  20. Mu Yixiao says:


    China is getting increasingly difficult to work with.

    Yep. And I’m not even dealing with them anymore, just reading the news. Xi has made it more and more difficult not only for foreign companies, but for privately-owned Chinese companies.

    And she can’t connect with a VPN because, as they put it, that’s just opening a spigot from us direct to the Chinese government.

    You already have that. The only difference for the corporate VPN would be that the data they’re scooping up from you has your name pre-printed on the label. 🙂

    Personally, once I got Astrill VPN, I never had any issues with connections. Even when the G8 was in Hongzhou, I could get anywhere I wanted online.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: It’s not a particularly fresh idea either. Harry Reasoner had a comment that I recall on either 60 Minutes or another show back in the late 60s/early 70s where he proposed “Randomocracy.” Going by a drawing among candidates has similar qualities to drawing names from the phone book–Reasoner’s proposal, and both are comments on the corruption/corruptability of the current system. It all comes back to government only being as good as the people governed, or so it seems to me.

  22. Michael Reynolds says:

    Xi’s government is inadvertently sending signals that they feel insecure. Not a good look for the supposed new superpower.

    Their much-touted Belt and Road initiative sounds great until you look at a map and realize the impossibility of China controlling its sea routes, and the fact that the road part of it goes through such stable, peaceful places as the ‘Stans and Iran. They’re late to the reality of sea power. They look at the globe and see how big China is but don’t fully grasp yet that all the parts of the globe in blue are effectively US territory. Cargo can travel by sea because the US Navy says it can.

    Interesting thought experiment. If China disappeared tomorrow, how long would it take for the Japanese, Koreans, Indians and Europeans to replace their production? I’d guess five years. Then ask if the US disappeared how long it would take to replace the American market. Longer than five years, I’d venture, maybe a whole lot longer.

  23. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You are dead right. Populations across Asia, Europe and North America are either in decline now or will be very soon, and no one knows how that works with a capitalist growth model.

    I’m not sure how capitalism is tied into any of it.

    The biggest issue they’re having is that they have an inverted population pyramid. A good pyramid has 3-4 workers supporting each old person. Right now, they have 1 worker supporting 2-3 old people. It wouldn’t be so bad for them if they’d stayed poor, but better food and medicine means that the population is staying alive longer.

    With the advancement and rapid adoption of robots in the work force, they should be able to weather it okay when the population collapses over the next 10-20 years. After all: All of those old people are non-productive and a drain on resources.

  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Capitalism ties in because capitalism loves growth, and you have a very hard time growing if your population has plateaued or shrunk. Japan’s GDP growth rate has been essentially flat since the 90’s. And yes, with that comes the inverted pyramid of productive vs. dependent people.

    I wonder when Americans will realize that the US has long profited from the fact that we have a huge reserve labor force we call Mexico and Central America. Few other countries have that, and fewer still can handle it.

  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I had Astrill for a time too, but don’t remember it as being particularly effective, at least by the time I left in 2015. When were you there?

  26. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan: I was there from fall of 2011 to fall of 2017. I tried AirVPN and PIA before I hit on Astrill, and had no luck. I even did some SSH tunneling and a SOCKS5 proxy through a website I own.

    Astrill was still working great when I left. I still have my account (great for watching British TV online).

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If China disappeared tomorrow

    I think you would be surprised at how many companies would replace that Chinese factory with an American one. Except for super-labor intensive products like clothing, the share of labor in costs of goods sold is often quite small, and could be made smaller if you were building a new factory from scratch. And having all your products going on a 10 week sea voyage before they can reach shelves is a real negative.

    One time I was discussing offshoring with a very shrewd and experienced manufacturing executive as we sat in the hotel lounge. I was talking about my experience with Indian engineering sub-contractors. They never really seemed to come out cheaper, once you factored in lower productivity and other factors. I allowed as how I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the Chinese factories were just as expensive as those in the US. He didn’t come right out and agree, but pointed out that in all the years he had been doing this he had never heard of a company doing a review to see if they had saved as much as had been promised. He mused that if a CEO really thought it had been a success it would be hard to imagine why they wouldn’t want to trumpet that and get written up in the business press.

  28. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Capitalism ties in because capitalism loves growth, and you have a very hard time growing if your population has plateaued or shrunk.

    In “ye olde days”, sure. But–as I stated–the labor pool is shifting away from people to robots. More and more labor is automated–allowing for growth in output without needing a growth in population. It’ll get there in maybe 20 years. What’s happening now is just the transition pains.

    Honestly? I think Xi’s push for more population has to do with ego and warm bodies to soak up the bullets when he marches into Taiwan.

  29. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: On population growth and aging populations, as far as I’m concerned, the bottom line is that if I were absolute dictator of the world I’d sure as hell rather deal with changing age distribution than over population.

    But were I an elected politician I might prefer not having to deal with changing demographics and leaving population growth for the next guy.

  30. Kathy says:

    One of the streaming services put up Air Crash Investigation, season 21. I’ve gone through three eps, and I must say one left me puzzled, as the investigation findings were incomplete.

    It involved a Loganair flight from Aberdeen to some North Sea island, I forget which, that was struck by lightning as it circled the airport at 2000 feet, waiting for a weather system to clear up. the pilots struggled to climb, but managed to ascend to around 5000 ft. They decided to divert back to Aberdeen, as conditions would be better.

    Then the plane started to descend, taking such a steep dive that they came within 1,000 ft of crashing into the ocean. they recovered, and then flew back to Aberdeen and landed without further incident.

    What happened was they assumed the lightning strike deactivated the auto pilot (AP). It didn’t. the AP remained engaged. Naturally, then, as they tried to climb, it fought them trying to stay at 2000 ft, its assigned altitude. The controls felt heavy and unresponsive, but they thought that was lightning damage. The AP in that plane, a Saab 2000 turboprop, does not disengage on pilot inputs, so they kept fighting it.

    What the investigation, as portrayed in the show, failed to explain is why the plane dove well below the assigned altitude and why it did so that rapidly.

    More interesting, as they neared the surface and an untimely demise, the AP finally disengaged because it failed to receive some needed data. This allowed the pilots to climb back and fly the plane.

    It’s really odd.

    On the upside, the plane didn’t crash and no one was injured.

  31. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Xi’s government is inadvertently sending signals that they feel insecure. Not a good look for the supposed new superpower.

    I’ve been readingThe Sleepwalkers which is a detailed (excruciatingly detailed) account of the outbreak of WWI. Austro-Hungary felt insecure.

  32. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: I’ve long been of the opinion that most American CEOs, if faced with managing a plant and workforce to get their product for $1.00/unit or buying it from China, delivered for $1.10, would write a P.O. to China.

  33. Mimai says:

    @Tony W:

    Thank you for linking to this paper.

    And I don’t know if you intended it, but I very much appreciated the meta irony of this:

    The irony is that only those who don’t need to read it, will.

    Followed by this:

    It is akin to the paradox of self-awareness. Those who are self-aware always wonder if they truly are.

  34. Tony W says:

    @Mimai: I found that it confirmed all of my biases however, I did not find that comforting.

  35. Dude Kembro says:

    @senyordave: Yup, and the last poll taken on King before he was killed was a 1968 Harris poll: 75% disapproval.

    I’m glad to see, in recent years, growing pushback against efforts to co-opt King’s message for right wing goals, to whitewash him, to sanitize him, to spread a revisionist history about the backlash hostility towards him while he lived.

  36. Mu Yixiao says:

    If you’ve noticed that I’m more active today, it’s not because I have the day off. It’s because 8 members of our department are out today, and I’m covering the Front Desk. Normally this would keep me busy (we get lots of calls). Except… It’s absolutely dead today.

    It took almost 2-1/2 hours for Technical Support to break 10 support calls. They normally have that many in the first 10 minutes!

    On a typical day, I’m all over the factory. I’ll put in 10k-13k steps I’ve got less than 4k–and I only got those because I walked the mail circuit (no USPS, but there’s still FedEx and internal mail).


  37. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    the labor pool is shifting away from people to robots.

    Sure. Eventually. The problem is that robots, and the small pool of robot builders and robot owners, have no reason to care for your grandparents. They don’t solve the inverted pyramid.

    And unless the average permanently unemployed human acquires superhuman powers of consumption, a flat or falling population will still result in stalled growth, which brings us right back to capitalism needing a way to achieve profits, preferably rising profits.

  38. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I think Xi’s push for more population has to do with ego and warm bodies to soak up the bullets when he marches into Taiwan.

    Xi may well believe that, but it’d be stupid. A full-on invasion of Taiwan wouldn’t involve more than a few hundred thousand soldiers/airmen/sailors. If a nation of 1.4 billion can’t take down a nation of 23 million, it’s not because they lack numbers. It’d be the equivalent of the US going on a population growth spree in anticipation of invading Jamaica.

    If Xi has any military component to his need for population growth it’s more likely to be in anticipation of moving on Siberia. But more likely still he recognizes the need for China to have a robust domestic economy, and for that you need consumers. Young consumers, preferably.

  39. Mimai says:

    @Tony W:


    Some of the most [insert pejorative term here] people are those who possess self awareness but very little self insight.

  40. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    A full-on invasion of Taiwan wouldn’t involve more than a few hundred thousand soldiers/airmen/sailors.

    If Xi invades Taiwan, he’ll be fighting more than just that island. Linking Taiwan to the mainland would solidify the Nine-Dash-Line and give China control of the South China Sea. The rest of Asia would be up in arms over that, as would Australia, the EU, and the US.

    Remember: Tiny little Japan invaded and occupied China. They’re afraid of that sort of thing happening again.

  41. MarkedMan says:


    I’ve long been of the opinion that most American CEOs… would write a P.O. to China.

    I think there is (a little) more to it than just cussedness. The Harvard Business School/McKinsey/Analyst community had a hard on for moving things to China. Companies were evaluated on how quickly they were shifting manufacturing. 99% of CEO’s are just employees whose compensation is based on stock price, and stock price is heavily based on what whether the “serious business consultants” think the company is doing the right things. There was precious little upside to a CEO’s wallet in bucking the consensus, and a whole lot of downside.

    Sure, those guys pushing it were just an echo chamber and had never been inside a factory, except maybe a few tours while wearing a suit. They ran the numbers and couldn’t get beyond the lower cost per hour of Chinese workers. When it all turned out to be a hundred times more complicated than their pie in the sky calculations, no one, and I mean no one, had any interest in running the actuals and finding out it had all been for naught.

    At this point, though, China has the infrastructure (not just the factories but all the people and businesses to support them) and the US simply doesn’t have that anymore.

  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @Mu Yixiao:

    To file under, may you live in interesting times…

    Both Xi and Putin are engaged in nationalist driven militarism, with Putin being the more aggressive of the two. The outcome of there policies, may lead to Japan and Germany deciding to rearm. Japan has already floated trial balloons regarding rearmament and has begun beefing up the self defense forces.

  43. dazedandconfused says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Xi’s government is inadvertently sending signals that they feel insecure.

    They are insecure, but the fear is not external, it’s internal, hence the censorship. The steps Xi is taking do nothing to deal with their oil supply chain vulnerabilities, and they are a nuclear power so they do not fear military invasion over-much. What Xi’s CCP fears is losing of control of their own people.

  44. Mu Yixiao says:


    They are insecure, but the fear is not external, it’s internal,

    It’s both. The external threat is cultural, not military, but they are definitely feeling threatened. The CCP has lost its relevance in a modern global economy, and they’re scrambling to become relevant again.

  45. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I read a little bit about Japan looking to rebuild their military. That’s a match in the ammo-dump. Tensions throughout that area are high and deep. It wouldn’t take much to set them off.

  46. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: It’s real question as to how willing the Chinese populace is to fight a war over Taiwan. Most people have one child and, as discussed above, that child is more than just beloved, but is also who the entire family will one day depend on for support. Having them march off to get shot in Xi’s war may make a significant part of the population feel they have nothing left to lose. And what if arms start to find their way into Uighur hands?

    But if simply being a stupid idea prevented someone from going to war we would have had peace on earth thousands of years ago. We should never underestimate the capacity of people to convince themselves that they are so superior to an enemy that victory will be a cakewalk. Just as the Confederacy. Or the Axis in WWI. Or WWII. Or the Allies, for that matter.

  47. dazedandconfused says:


    The explanation may be something like the reason the pilots could not overcome the “autopilot” in the 737XPs. Quite commonly APs in big plane autopilots work by adjusting trim and there isn’t enough power that two men can generate which can overcome a grossly out of trim elevator, which is the size of a barn door.

    The report may have skipped mentioning that because it’s so well known to insiders. What is curious is why the pilots didn’t know the AP was still engaged. For the reason above, there is a big bright light that is supposed to make AP status clear at all times in large planes. If the lightening strike created a condition in which AP status was shown to the pilots as “off” but was still engaged…there’s an Airworthiness Directive in SAABs near future…

  48. Mimai says:

    To those discussing China, Browser Bets had an interesting discussion the other day with Helen Toner, Director of Strategy at Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technologies. Much of it is relevant to what you’re kicking around here, with an emphasis on prediction, natch. Check it out. If you want to.

  49. Kathy says:


    What is curious is why the pilots didn’t know the AP was still engaged.

    There are two reasons.

    One is the captain, in his previous training on a different Saab turboprop model, had done lightning strikes scenarios in simulation. In those, the AP disengaged.

    The other is the AP indicator was a blue “AP” on a screen over the artificial horizon. When disengaged, it turns to a white “AP”. That’s hard to make out when you’ve just been struck by lightning and the plane isn’t responding to inputs, plus the controls feel heavy.

    Add that in just about every other commercial plane the AP disengages at any control input, like a car’s cruise control when you step on the brake.

  50. dazedandconfused says:


    Weird control feel should cause a pilot’s eyes to turn immediately to AP condition, but it’s plausible, given the strong nose-down, they assumed the dreaded trim run-way condition and went for the electric trim breaker immediately. From there they would have been busy as hell hand cranking the manual elevator trim wheel and might well ignore the AP indicator, as the pulled breaker to elevator trim takes the AP out of the system.

    It’s going to take a bit of time getting the trim hand-cranked to something the yoke can handle, and the resultant high airspeed calls for a smooth, slow pull-up, which would explain why it took so long to get it level again.

  51. CSK says:

    At Saturday’s Trump rally in Arizona, it was proposed by a number of attendees that Trump should have John F. Kennedy, Jr. as his running mate.

  52. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I suspect the issue of Taiwan is that the Chinese military, which is charged with defending China, views it (rightly) as potentially an unsinkable aircraft carrier and missile base right off their coast. The sabre rattling is designed to give the US pause, should they begin to seriously ponder a so-configuring it.

    They would be acting pre-emptively in this, to nip a potential Chinese Cuban Missile Crises in the bud.

  53. Kathy says:


    That’s a great idea. I heartily approve.

    Just keep in mind that we cannot revive the dead, but we can kill the living.

  54. Kathy says:

    Just got back from a rapid antigen COVID test.

    By my count, this would be the sixth test I’ve had. 3 were PCR, 2 were antigen tests, and one antibody test.

    It came back negative.

    By my count, that’s 6-0 vs COVID in my favor.

    Of course, who knows how accurate these antigen tests are.

  55. sam says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If Xi has any military component to his need for population growth it’s more likely to be in anticipation of moving on Siberia

    I was thinking the other night that Joe ought to tell Vlad, “My friend, you’re looking in the wrong direction.”

  56. CSK says:

    Junior was apparently never dead. He went into hiding in 1999, and will shortly emerge in order to help Trump vanquish the Satanic pedophiles.

  57. Kathy says:


    I stand by my statement.

    Death does not take notice of wishful or magical thinking.

    Speaking of which, there was one positive COVID antigen test at our department today. Not coincidentally, it’s of a person who sits next to someone who tested positive over the weekend. Neither wear masks.

  58. dazedandconfused says:
  59. Kathy says:


    I see nothing wrong with that. See above. if that’s where they want to go, who are we to tell them no?

  60. CSK says:

    I wonder how they reconcile the fact that Kennedy was a born and bred Democrat.

  61. Jax says:

    @dazedandconfused: Every single one of those (cough cough….ladies) yells “Yeehaw” with every shot they take at a bar.

    All hat, probably terrified of real cattle. 😛

  62. gVOR08 says:

    @dazedandconfused: And people keep telling us we should respect those people. Could they make some effort to meet us part way?

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Does that mean that he murdered his wife, like his uncle did to that poor girl in MA all those years ago, or has she been in hiding, too?

  64. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Don’t forget his wife’s sister. She had to vanish as well.

  65. gVOR08 says:

    @dazedandconfused: Gawd. It got better. Some of the QAnon people say it wasn’t TFG at the rally, it was a body double, maybe JFK in disguise.

  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Not much can be done militarily to stop China if it decides to go after Taiwan. Japan and Korea are irrelevant, neither has significant forces they can bring to bear. Only the US matters in that event, and we can no longer drive ships up and down the Taiwan strait. China has too many land-based anti-ship missiles, and if they sank a carrier, it would be WW3. If Xi decides to take Taiwan we can make him pay a price – we could for example cut off oil heading to China, we could shut down his trade. But if he’s willing to pay a price he can take Taiwan with resources already at his disposal.

  67. Jax says:

    I’m going to go do something fun tomorrow with the drone….a lake nearby that is much deeper than my own reservoir froze clear again this year, so I’m gonna put the floaties on and see just how far out I can skate the drone without falling in. 😛 And then I might fly down from the upper overlook just to get the full expanse of the lake. I’ll link tomorrow when I get the pics uploaded!