Monday’s 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

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Granddaughter’s Day, y’all are on your own.

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  2. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Republican Politicians are saying mostly the right things about Trump’s 24 run…. but it doesn’t matter. The Republican Establishment has yet to weight in about Trump.

    Not the politicians, not the Think-tanks, not the Donors.

    The thousands of personalities in the Right-Wing Media, the ACTUAL Republican Establishment, are still pretty high on him. He generates voter engagement and media consumption in a way no other Republican loon can.

    If the regional and local RW media turn on Trump hes in trouble, but so far…they are still on board

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  3. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Republican playbook:
    A. Ostracize and demonize a population or community.
    B. Make sure the Republican base has plenty of firepower.
    C. Offer thoughts and prayers when people from B. massacre people from A.
    Take for instance Ms. Boebert;

    Take your children to CHURCH, not drag bars. June, 2022

    The Assistant Secretary for Health is out here trying to “empower” children to become transgender. The word is “groom”, Richard, not empower. You’re grooming them, not empowering them. July 2022

    @ThisIsKyleR ’s story is a prime example of why we can never give an inch on our Second Amendment. It was a joy to have you with us! Nov. 2022

    The news out of Colorado Springs is absolutely awful. This morning the victims & their families are in my prayers. This lawless violence needs to end and end quickly. Yesterday after another MAGA-terrorist slaughtered 5 people in her homestate of CO

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  4. MarkedMan says:

    Elon Mush has revalidated Alex Jones perma-ban. What’s interesting is the reason: Jones’ Sandy Hook insanity is personal to Musk, since he had a child die in his arms. While not minimizing his pain, I think this is indicative of how Musk and many people on both the left and the right view the world, essentially, that rules and standards are all well and good, but what’s really needed is for those in charge to apply common sense and overrule the red tape in order to get the right outcome.

    Over the years I’ve come to the exact opposite solution. I think the rule of law is the most fundamental thing necessary for an advanced society, and those laws must apply to everyone in the society.

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  5. CSK says:

    “They don’t put pretty people like me in jail.”

    — Elizabeth Holmes to a Walgreen’s representative.

    Guess she called that one wrong.

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  6. Lounsbury says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Mmmm that’s not really an “establishment” in any proper sense. It’s the driving force certainly yes, but calling it Republican Establishment is something of analytical category.

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  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I agree with you – when laws are rationally formulated. But they are frequently very poorly drafted or considered. For example: California’s 3-Strikes law, passed by ballot initiative. Enforcing that law rigidly was monstrous. Human decency was required to mitigate the damage. The prosecutors who did their best to subvert the law are the good guys.

    I don’t believe that, ‘I was following the law,’ is sufficient justification for doing evil. There is no opt-out from fundamental morality, from right and wrong, good and evil. The Dutch people sheltering the Franks were violating the law.

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  8. Kylopod says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    [Lauren Boebert:] Take your children to CHURCH, not drag bars.

    What about a church service led by a drag queen?

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  9. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Count no one happy until she wears the orange jumpsuit.

    Currently she’s out on bail, and doesn’t have to surrender to the authorities for incarceration until some time in January next year. Meantime her lawyers will try to get her to remain out pending appeal.

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  10. CSK says:

    @Kathy:

    Well, you know that Reality Winner and Jenna Ryan were both confident that they wouldn’t go to prison because they were blondes, and lo and behold…

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  11. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Not to mention the hundreds of not-very-useful idiots who partook of the Jan 6th Putsch.

    Chances are Princess Liz will have the opportunity tu undertake a long-term evaluation of prison accommodations from the inside. But that may take a while.

    Consider the Carreyrou expose happened in 2015, Theranos closed in 2018, and the trial concluded in early 2022.

    You know, the 11 year sentence likely will end in parole and supervised release after five or six years. So, if she had not fought reality some more, and had plead guilty (trial tax or not), she’d be free by now.

    Rich people may wind up in prison if what they did was egregious enough, but they don’t go quickly.

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  12. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    You know, the 11 year sentence likely will end in parole and supervised release after five or six years.

    Nope. Under federal law, she’ll be required to serve at least 85% of her sentence. No parole.

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  13. Mister Bluster says:

    Has anyone said it yet?

    Uvalde, Texas
    Robb Elementary School
    374 GOOD GUYS with GUNS, BODY ARMOR, HELMETS and ENDLESS ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION!
    Wait for more than an hour to do anything as innocent defenseless children are murdered.
    1 BAD GUY with guns!
    TWENTY ONE CORPSES!

    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Club Q
    TWO or more patrons. GOOD GUYS WITHOUT GUNS, NO BODY ARMOR just unquestioned courage.
    Immediately subdue the cowardly killer ARMED WITH SEVERAL GUNS before police arrive!
    These true heroes limited the carnage to 5 dead and several wounded.
    “We owe them a great debt of thanks,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez.

    People kill people with guns in this country because they can.

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  14. Neil Hudelson says:

    A video clip of Talking Heads performing “Burning Down the House” in Los Angeles in 1983 was making the rounds on twitter due to the actions of Mr. Musk and I thought I’d share it here. It’s a delightful, high-energy performance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBUe_v6Mi70

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  15. charon says:

    https://twitter.com/cbouzy/status/1594709630193647618

    Wow… Phil Schiller deactivated his Twitter account. Phil is responsible for the Apple App Store and Apple Events. If Apple pulls Twitter from the App Store, Twitter is done.

    I guess I don’t understand the app store issue, can anyone explain.

    Shot accross the bow. If Musk wants to use his CEO power to promote right wing politics, two can play at that game. The CEO of Apple is gay and very liberal. If he decides he doesn’t like Twitter in the App Store it’s bye bye Twitter.

    snip

    Truth Social is available on the Apple App Store. So unlikely they will be pulling Twitter. Likely a upper staff security type action.

    snip

    Parler and Truth Social had to agree to have moderation teams in place to get on. Elon fired the remainder of the moderation team last week.

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  16. charon says:

    @charon:

    https://twitter.com/randymco/status/1594717910697709568

    ” … Not even bringing politics into it. There’s certain moderation requirements the app store has that ALL apps have to follow. If Twitter won’t follow those policies its bye-bye from the app store. … “

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  17. just nutha says:

    @charon: If Apple Store works anything like Google Play, if Twitter isn’t available at the app store, you can’t run it on your phone. (Somebody will explain why and how I’m wrong in 4… 3… 2…)

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  18. Michael Cain says:

    @just nutha:

    If Apple Store works anything like Google Play, if Twitter isn’t available at the app store, you can’t run it on your phone. (Somebody will explain why and how I’m wrong in 4… 3… 2…)

    So far as I know, the base version of Android still allows sideloading apps.

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  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    Chapek out, Iger back in. Hoping for some commentary on this from @Eddie and @wr. The YouTubers are in a snit because they had cast Chapek as the anti-woke savior who was correcting Iger’s ideological overreach.

    Hollywood needed a correction, not on diversity and inclusion, but in the self-aggrandizing, self-sabotaging and ham-fisted way they do it. D and I are not substitutes for good writing. When we wrote Animorphs we were very aware of the fact that we were presenting the first interracial teen romance in series middle grade. Had we been Hollywood, we’d have led with that and patted ourselves on the back while begging for the admiration of like-minded peers. Instead we’ve spent 20 years denying we ever had any sort of political or philosophical agenda.

    Hint: Everyone has an agenda.

    I always await the thunderbolt when I quote Jesus, but I’ll risk it. “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.” IOW, do good and STFU, because endlessly touting your own goodness is narcissism, not progressivism. Jobs 1, 2 and 3: Entertain. Everything else comes later. Let the work do the talking.

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  20. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    As a preface to my morning chuckle, Luddite lives in a suburb of the left coast Portland. This morning I was passed by our local bus with a billboard advertising law enforcement careers in Norfolk PD.

    Really, y’all? But from a chucklehead aspect, it did put a smile on my face.

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  21. BugManDan says:

    @Michael Cain: Yeah, you can still load apps from various app stores (not just the Google App Store). You just have to click a box in Settings to allow it.

    I don’t think that Apple allows any non-Apple stores.

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  22. just nutha says:

    @Michael Cain: You could have said that in Mandarin and I would have understood what you mean as well as I do now. If all of the little pictures on my phone screen represent apps (whatever they are), I have about 30 or 40, of which I’ve used 5:
    phone, text, voice mail*, Subway, and What’s app. And I only added Subway because both high schools have stores close enough to pre-order lunch at. (Veggie Delight for me, don’t care for the new menu sandwiches at all.)

    * I have a voicemail box but it doesn’t have a personalized message. One associate of mine has complained about that lack, but I explained that I never was able to figure out how to personalize the message. (I leave out the “and DGAF about learning how to part. He’s anal enough already.)

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  23. charon says:

    @just nutha:

    Yeah, that got past me, I only use land line, no new-fangled cell phone for this alte cocker.

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  24. just nutha says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Good to see that you don’t have to quarantine anymore. Hope you’re feeling better.

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  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    @just nutha:
    I can at least move around the house since my wife tested positive as well. Now to figure out Thanksgiving.

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  26. MarkedMan says:

    @just nutha: I have so many apps. So many. Since 6:20 this morning I have used Outlook, Clock (to turn off the alarm), NPR app, MySubaru (to start my car and get it toasty warm), Libby (the library ebook and audio book app), Safari, Messages, Teams. Since last clearing out my apps about a week or two ago, I’ve used 41 apps. More if I include my iPad.

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  27. Grommit Gunn says:

    @Kylopod: I was expecting a photo of Tammy Faye.

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  28. MarkedMan says:

    Add this to the list of features that seem obvious to me but I’ve never come across in the wild: I have a repeating alarm on my phone, 6:30 every weekday. I almost always wake up before it goes off, and I would like to silence it for that day without having to turn it off completely. I can’t be the only one who wants this.

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  29. just nutha says:

    @just nutha: I added a cell phone when my now ex-wife decided that she needed to do email and other internet stuff in the early morning, thus leaving me unavailable to be reached by school districts for substitute teaching. I stopped having landline phones when I was finally able to afford broadband internet–so after I returned from Korea. Until then, I used dial up. I had to explain dial up internet to my Korean students; the country went directly from people not being able to afford computers to (I think) digital subscriber lines provided by Korea Tel and then quickly on to broadband service from the cable television company (frequently a subsidiary of Korea Tel, but not always).

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  30. Stormy Dragon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Over the years I’ve come to the exact opposite solution. I think the rule of law is the most fundamental thing necessary for an advanced society, and those laws must apply to everyone in the society.

    For me “the rule of law” is just a myth that we tell ourselves so we can believe we live in a just orderly world. Even if we got rid of the corruption that allows the powerful to act with impunity while the weak are crushed for political theater, at it’s core “law” is not like mathematical logic where a system of perfectly precise, perfectly consistent rules assure every issue has a single correct answer. It’s a mess of vague conflicting goals and how those conflicts get resolved will always ultimately depend on situational human decision, not some abstract self-enforcing philosophical construct.

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  31. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Chapek out, Iger back in. Hoping for some commentary on this from @Eddie and @wr. The YouTubers are in a snit because they had cast Chapek as the anti-woke savior who was correcting Iger’s ideological overreach.

    Disney’s business strategy has always been that they can charge a premium if they’re the preeminent company in a particular field (e.g. why can Disneyland charge more then double what other amusement parks charge for a ticket? Because in the minds of the public, they’re not just an amusement park, they’re Disneyland).

    The problem with Chapek is that he never really grokked this and brought a traditional “keep cutting costs to increase margin” mindset that was endangering Disney’s “specialness” and was likely to cause huge drops in revenue if they started to be seen as just another entertainment company.

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  32. MarkedMan says:

    @just nutha: We went with cable company phone line in 2000, but for some reason (if I’m remembering correctly) kept a single dial phone in the basement. When we moved in 2008 we were cable company only. Since moving again in 2011 have been cellular only. Recently tried explaining to a teenage what it was like when you moved and had to get a new number, even if it was just down the street. They were horrified. No one would know how to reach you. Heh. That was sometimes one of the advantages.

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  33. Stormy Dragon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I keep a landline just so I have a number to give to businesses I don’t actually want to call me (e.g. the bank may need to contact me about something important, but mostly they just call to try and upsell me, so I don’t want them calling my cell phone).

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  34. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Chapek out, Iger back in. Hoping for some commentary on this from @Eddie and @wr.”

    I have to say that with the exception of Abigail Disney’s — wise, to my mind — objection to his obscene pay package, I have never heard a bad word spoken about Iger. He knew how to make his creative teams happy while also keeping Wall Street happy. And he knew that was an essential part of the job, not some chore that had to be done at some point. Chapek screwed up Florida because he couldn’t be bothered to listen to his employees concern about the anti-gay laws, and thus alienated his workforce, and then, when forced to pay attention overcorrected in a clumsy and clueless way, alienating DeSantis without earning back any trust from the creatives.

    My guess is that he also knows that his most loyal customers are to be prized, because they’re the ones who will still be there in bad times. I can’t imagine that the people who own annual passes to the theme parks are a huge constituency, and I’m sure that there’s more money to be made what is now a constant stream off less-dedicated casual visitors — but they’re also the ones who most identify Disney, and who are going to be loudly proclaiming that the studio loves its fans… or hates them. Chapek doesn’t seem to understand that brand loyalty really does need to be a two-way street, while I’m pretty sure Iger does.

    Apparently Iger’s got two years to groom his replacement. Hopefully he’ll do a better job this time.

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  35. Grommit Gunn says:

    @MarkedMan: My Google Pixel 4a running current Android allows you to dismiss an alarm up to two hours ahead of time. My previous Android phones did not, so I assume it is a Pixel thing.

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  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Everything you said is right. But nonetheless, the human race as a whole has made progress, at least in much of the world. The natural order of things amongst all species is that the strong takes from the weak, and the weak seek to become strong themselves by throwing down and often killing the previous alpha, and asserting dominance over the weak ones in their place. Over almost the entire arc of human history the “right of conquest” was the norm, and that applied to Berber tribesmen or South Pacific islanders as much as it did to European nation states.

    Defining and enforcing the rule of law is incredibly difficult, as it goes against our primal instincts. But it is also the single most important thing we can do to make the world a more just place.

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  37. MarkedMan says:

    @Grommit Gunn: Excellent! Here’s hoping it comes to the iPhone

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  38. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: One of the smartest things Disney did before the days of home video was to re-release their movies every seven years, to catch the new generation. They continued this into the early VHS days (if I remember correctly) and not every movie was available at all times. This helped contribute to the aura of “specialness”. Recently I saw reports of breakdowns among Disneyland/World rides, and saw a comment about one particular animatronic (don’t remember which) that had gone unrepaired for many months. In the end, the only way you can maintain being “special” is to actually be special.

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  39. Stormy Dragon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The problem is that appeals to the “rule of law” are often used to defend indefensible outcomes by pretending they were necessitated by “the law” rather than the result of an active decisions by people to make them happen. It’s also used to let people with specific agendas to pretend that their goals are neutral objective facts rather than partisan maneuvering.

    So we can have progress while still recognizing the reality that our law enforcement system is the result of subjective collective action, not “the rule of law”.

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  40. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Oh, you should see the look of horror on their faces when you explain the concept of a party line to them.

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  41. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    That was my read as well, that the hardcore Disney fans, and the creatives, all loved (and still love) Iger.

    I was bearish on Disney+ because I thought Marvel and Star Wars were exhausted IP. Pixar had been cutting edge once upon a time, but time had marched on. Then the Disney qua Disney brand was reduced to god-awful live action versions of classic animation, and that was just a creatively bankrupt cash grab.

    The big question to me is whether Disney can climb out of its creative rut and start coming up with new ideas. Marvel and Star Wars are never going to be what they were, they’re played-out. Chapek did not inspire ‘climb out of creative rut,’ energy, Iger might. They need to start taking chances.

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  42. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Get ready for Hunter Biden 24/7/365.
    CBS has jumped on the bandwagon, thus lending it some amount of legitimacy…but in perfect form they put a former Faux News staffer on the case.
    https://twitter.com/CBSMornings/status/1594685510047641600
    Will the 4th Estate NEVER FUQING LEARN?!?

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  43. just nutha says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I’m even more cynical than you are. I see the rule of law as the myth that we appeal to when events and circumstances are not progressing as we would prefer. For example, Slobodan Milosovich escaping trial by the World Court for war crimes would have been a breach of the rule of law for many, but George W.Bush escaping trial was not.

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  44. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I must have missed something. Are you and Katherine home? I thought you were going to London.

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  45. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @MarkedMan:
    There’s a necessary symbiosis between principal and law. Law without principal is tyranny, principal without law is toothless. I’d focus on re-establishing core principals as a starting point. Do we believe in objective reality? Do we believe in freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and worship? Do we have a right to be secure in our persons and property? Do we think character is important? Do simple human virtues like honesty and compassion matter?

    Ideally law is the embodiment of principal, it derives its authority from core principals – that humans are born free and entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Pass laws that align with core principals and enforce those laws in a virtuous way, fairly, equally, and society works. Pass laws that ignore principal and enforce them capriciously and society does not work.

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  46. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I hope her Covid adventure is as uneventful as yours.

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  47. just nutha says:

    @MarkedMan: In Seattle when I was growing up, you only needed a new phone number if you were leaving the specific exchange you were living in. People who were only moving a few doors/blocks away could keep their numbers, but had to request that service. I think you paid for a new connection, too, (even though you weren’t getting one), but I’m not really clear about that.

    For a while, some people believed that you needed a land line phone so that you have emergency service during power outages, but I don’t know if that’s a thing these days or not. I haven’t lived anywhere where there are power outages for about 30 or 40 years.

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  48. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: I read that and think that if Musk can only feel empathy when he has a direct personal connection to an experience, then we just need to make his life a living hell of tragedy and terror, and he will be fine.

    Different people have different learning styles, and we should respect that.

    Anyone know some crazy people who might attack him if he was (probably falsely) accused of molesting children as part of a grand conspiracy?

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  49. Michael Cain says:

    @BugManDan:

    I don’t think that Apple allows any non-Apple stores.

    I believe I recall Tim Cook saying, “If you want to sideload applications, there are lots of Android phones on the market.”

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  50. Michael Cain says:

    @just nutha:

    You could have said that in Mandarin and I would have understood what you mean as well as I do now.

    I always tell people, “Software is going to screw your life up, on various scales and durations, forever. Everyone ought to understand a little bit about how it gets in a position to do that.”

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  51. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Ah… the joys of party lines.

    And renting your phone. I remember when it first became legal to own your own phone. What an amazing thing!

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  52. just nutha says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: Learn what? Isn’t Hunter Biden 24/7 going to yield internet clicks, continued print sale, and Nielsen points? 1/6 did pretty well for them. This will, too.

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  53. just nutha says:

    @Michael Reynolds: [CRT Trigger Warning!!!!] Gee, I dunno. Society seemed to work just fine with black people counting as 3/5th of a citizen and fugitive slave laws. And after the 14th, 15th, and 16th Amendments were answered with the Klan, Jim Crow, sharecropping, poll taxes, and literacy tests, society kept on rolling for nearly 100 years without noticing anything was wrong–while “upholding the rule of law” to boot. I think it has something to do with flaws in how social contracts works, but I’m only a cracker and may be wrong about that.

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  54. dazedandconfused says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:
    Oh, they’ve learned alright, they know their shareholders want to be as happy as New Corp shareholders are. It’s all about click-hits and ratings. Truth and justice are not anywhere near as lucrative as BS and performative outrage are. Pogo had it exactly right.

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  55. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..kept a single dial phone in the basement.*
    @Flat Earth Luddite:..party lines

    I started working in the land line telephone industry in 1973. Telephone service was still not 100% private line in every exchange. My first jobs were cutting over rural subscribers from 8 and 10 party lines to 4 party and private lines out in the country and to 2 party and private lines in many smaller towns. I think that the last time I cut over a rural customer from a party line to a private line was in the early 90’s in the Salem exchange of the United Telephone Company of Missouri.
    Landline telephone service has been virtually universal in the United States since the 1930s.
    I don’t remember when CATV carriers started offering telephone service. Sometime in the ’80s? I do remember that CATV systems were being built out for the first time in some smaller towns in the late ’90s. I know CATV service is not universal. It does not exist at my address.
    One of the pitches by the local telephone companies was that since they provide their own power through a common battery system and that the CATV phone needed to be plugged into your wall socket for power, when the power goes out your telephone company phone will still have dial tone and the CATV phone will be dead. (Maybe that’s why you kept the phone in the basement). While this is true for the most part if the tree falls on both your electric power line and your telephone cable you are just SOL.

    *I’m assuming this service was provided by the local land line telephone company.

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  56. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @wr:

    “Chapek out, Iger back in. Hoping for some commentary on this from @Eddie and @wr.”

    I first met Bob Iger in 1984, when I worked at ABC TV. He would not remember me for any reason today. However, I have worked for Disney several times over the last three decades, including a stint on a multiple-Emmy winning series. Like Reynolds, I’ve never heard anyone speak badly about Bob Iger as a human being or boss. Not one.

    Chapek follows a long history of CEO not ready for prime time after being the #2 for a long time. It’s better to follow the guy who follows THE guy, as opposed to just the former. Chapek wasn’t listening to his lieutenants on too many serious issues. He badly misplayed the Florida legislation.

    I, for one, am happy Iger is back.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I was bearish on Disney+ because I thought Marvel and Star Wars were exhausted IP. Pixar had been cutting edge once upon a time, but time had marched on. Then the Disney qua Disney brand was reduced to god-awful live action versions of classic animation, and that was just a creatively bankrupt cash grab.

    The big question to me is whether Disney can climb out of its creative rut and start coming up with new ideas. Marvel and Star Wars are never going to be what they were, they’re played-out. Chapek did not inspire ‘climb out of creative rut,’ energy, Iger might. They need to start taking chances.

    I disagree. I think with “Andor”, Disney is expanding the SW universe, and shows like “Loki” are expanding the Marvel universe. You make not like them, but “Mandalorian,” “Loki”, “Bobba Fet”, and “Wandavision” created a huge new audience for Disney+. I think Disney+ will be one of the survivors of the streaming wars, and it will be because of Starwars and Marvel, and the ability of Disney to cross-monetize all of it. Wait to see what they do with the Avatar IP once the sequels are released soon.

    As of last month, Disney+ had 152M subscribers. That only trails Netflix (223M), Prime Video (205M), Spotify (180M). Netflix streaming has been around since 2007. Prime video since 2008, and Spotify since 2006. Disney+ 2019. Disney+ will be a player for a long, long time.

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  57. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Do we believe in freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and worship? Do we have a right to be secure in our persons and property?

    And what happens when Chaya Raichik’s freedom of speech conflicts with Daniel Aston’s right to be secure in his person?

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  58. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “I was bearish on Disney+ because I thought Marvel and Star Wars were exhausted IP”

    As we’ve probably discussed, I don’t agree with you about Marvel. They’re in a bit of a trough now, but there is so much more to explore in that library. And Feige’s still willing to take big creative swings — love it or hate it or neither, She-Hulk as a fourth-wall-breaking Ally McBeal with a superhero is at least as big a reach as doing the second Captain America movie as a 70s-style paranoid thriller.

    On the other hand, gravity is a fact in pop culture. U2, Bruce and Madonna may have continued to mature as artists over the decades, but they’re never going to be The Only Thing That Matters in pop culture again. That happens for reasons no one ever understands, and then it’s over. And so while I suspect Marvel will keep making movies and TV shows and will keep making money off of them, they’re not going to keep being the dominant force in the entertainment biz — which is not a bad thing for those of us who don’t own stock.

    Star Wars, though, I’m with you. To me, anyway, this is an exhausted franchise. I have yet to make it past the first episode of any of their shows — I just have no interest in being in that universe. And there’s a sameness to all their projects. I get that some people think that superhero movies are all the same — hey, if you hate the taste of scotch, you probably can’t tell the difference between an Islay and a Speyside — but they are certainly more varied that SW stories.

    But Disney’s real problem going forward is that they’ve decided to put all their resources into four brands — Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and live action remakes of old animated films. And no matter how well these films do, it’s still eating the seed corn. Star Wars already seems spent in films; Marvel will ultimately become more of a (very large) niche thing; Pixar keeps making movies that people like and admire, but aren’t commanding the world’s attention anymore; and those remakes are an artistic dead end.

    When Walt was alive, Disney spent a huge amount of money planning for the future, paying people to dream up ideas that might never get put into effect but that would give the company new directions to go in. That’s what Iger needs now. If Disney becomes a pure nostalgia company, they’re not going to be the biggest player in the world for long.

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  59. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “Wait to see what they do with the Avatar IP once the sequels are released soon.”

    I hate to sound like one of those “Donald Trump can’t be president because I don’t know anyone who voted for him” people, but I’m just having such a hard time believing that anyone actually gives a damn about Avatar. I know it was the biggest-grossing movie of all time for a long time, but does anybody ever go back and watch it again? Or think about it?

    I wouldn’t bet against James Cameron, because that’s usually a dumb thing to do. But I’ve seen all the trailers for the sequel, and what was visually new and stunning ten years ago now looks like… ten years ago.

    Am I missing something?

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  60. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I hear you, but I’m aiming a lot lower. I used to think that the most important things for a society to develop justly was 1) an accceptance of human rights, 2) democracy and 3) an acceptance of the rule of law. Iraq and Afghanistan convinced me that this was in exactly the wrong order. We went in and created a democracy but ignored the rule of law. I’m now convinced that rule of law has to be the first step. Does it result in a fair and just society on its own, or inevitably lead to one? Not at all. But without it everything else is built on sand.

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  61. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA:

    ou make not like them, but “Mandalorian,” “Loki”, “Bobba Fet”, and “Wandavision” created a huge new audience for Disney+

    Heh. Those are the only things I’ve liked about Marvel for the past 5-10 years. “Logan” was the last Marvel movie I really enjoyed. Everything else just seems like “Let’s see how many dozen characters we can give 2-4 minutes of screen time to and how much fan service we can stuff in”. Not complaining, it’s just not my thing. Of course I am very far from their demographic, so I’m happy to get anything I like.

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  62. Gustopher says:

    @EddieInCA: I think Disney is missing a YA franchise, unless I am so far out of those demographics as to not notice that they have one…

    I love Andor, but I’m not sure the 50 something fans of slow-building anti-capitalist character studies are really the new audience that Disney needs to bring to the franchise.

    I think they need something like The Clone Wars, a cartoon that pulls in younger viewers and which rehabilitates some of the poorly done parts of the recent trilogy for older viewers. They tried with a cartoon in that time frame once, but it was boring and too kiddie, just try again with a different setting — somewhere inside the First Order. There wasn’t a lot there in the last Trilogy to work with though.

    (Tales of the Jedi is good, but it is filling in the gaps in The Clone Wars, so might be a bit too far removed from the current trilogy)

    There is an attempt to flush out another time period with the High Republic stuff, but it is in books and comics and I don’t know if that is getting any traction.

    The Marvel stuff I am very bullish on. Things like Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk are great, they just need a few new big, traditional white male movies (America likes white men).

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  63. Michael Reynolds says:

    Speaking of TV, just got off a Zoom with Anonymous Content and they are taking on my series, GONE. Not the studio end, but as producing partners. I am experiencing emotion.

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  64. Michael Reynolds says:

    Also I should note that as of now I have no negative opinions about any show, any producer or any platform. Not under my name, anyway. I am a Big Fan. Big, big fan of, just, everything.

    Subject to change at a later date.

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  65. BugManDan says:

    @Mister Bluster: My parents were on a party line until the mid 90s in Lawrence Co.,MO. And I think that even after it was a single line, it was only because the other people (2 or 3 houses paid for line to be run from a different company that was right next to their property.

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  66. inhumans99 says:

    @Gustopher:

    Disney+ has the Willow show coming up, and the Percy Jackson show, so they are trying to generate content that appeals to the YA crowd.

    I will say that I am surprised that Disney did not figure out a way to allow DeSantis to save face but also tell him to pound sand at the same time. Instead Disney let DeSantis grandstand by saying Disney needs FL more than FL needs Disney, which is pure unadulterated bullshit and DeSantis knows it.

    Florida needs to attract massive tourist dollars to add to the states coffers. A good chunk of their aging population puts in much less to the states rainy day fund than the flock of tourists dropping a lot of money at the various hotels, motels, and theme parks such as Disneyland.

    I wonder if Iger winced when he saw DeSantis push Disney around.

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  67. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @Michael Reynolds:

    Have a drink.

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  68. Michael Cain says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    One of the pitches by the local telephone companies was that since they provide their own power through a common battery system and that the CATV phone needed to be plugged into your wall socket for power, when the power goes out your telephone company phone will still have dial tone and the CATV phone will be dead.

    This varied by CATV company. Everything from power over the center conductor on the coax, provided by network batteries and generators good for days/weeks to batteries in the modem good for hours/days to nothing. The CATV side of the company where I worked settled on batteries in the modems because of the very high cost to replace analog amplifiers to pass center-conductor power to the customers. This was in the mid-1990s.

    Telco central office battery farms were an impressive sight, though. 48V DC and some insane number of amps.

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  69. Mister Bluster says:

    @BugManDan:..One Ringy Dingy
    I’m not surprised. I looked at the map. The closest I came to Lawrence County, Missouri was in 1991(?) when I worked in the Ozark exchange of what was then the General Telephone Company. At the time Ozark was maybe 5000 population. Per WikiP it was 20,000+ in 2020.

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  70. Mister Bluster says:

    @Michael Cain:..CATV

    In all my years of telecommunications contracting the only job in the CATV industry I had was mapping. Had a wheel that I pushed to measure the distance between poles and pedestals and drew a map with the data. The only very limited knowledge I have of how the systems worked was picked up from other contractors that I met.
    Needless to say I defer to your expertise.

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  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: People kill people with guns in this country because they can.

    I have said it before, many times because it’s true, people w/o guns save people because they can. It happens time after time after time, but the RWNJs hail the 0ne or 2 that use a gun, ignoring the dozens that don’t.

    Courage… It doesn’t come from a gun. That is the coward’s path.

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  72. Jay L Gischer says:

    Hey, I got an interesting data point yesterday in the “How is Trump doing with the rank and file?” dataset.

    A good friend said she spoke with her mother recently. Said mother lives in the Central Valley, is highly religious and votes Republican. She is unhappy that Trump is running again, it seems.

    Says Mom, “He behaves badly, and he’s bad for the Republican Party.”

    I was not the one speaking with her (though I did meet her once), so I didn’t have to bite my tongue and refrain from all the smart alec remarks. She is correct on all counts.

    Frankly, I think Trump is sunk. The question is how much damage is done on the way down.

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  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I have so many apps.

    Confession: I have no apps. I don’t even know what an app is.

    OK, now I’m bragging. 😉

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  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I might be the last human on earth to have a party line.

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  75. Jen says:

    @BugManDan: When I worked in politics in MO, party lines were a concern when we did polls and surveys. They were most definitely still “a thing” in MO in the early- to mid-90s.

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  76. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Easy answer: as much damage as he can manage to incompetently inflict.

    BTW, I’m still waiting for the one simple executive order to end birthright citizenship.

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  77. charon says:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/duty2warn/status/1594665497047584769

    Mr Rittenhouse comes to Washington, where he met formally with the Republican caucus. They’re grooming him for office.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ThisIsKyleR/status/1593447473233682432

    T-minus 5 years until I call this place my office?

    Such a fine young man.

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  78. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t think you can be the last human on earth to have a party line. Doesn’t there need to be at least one other

    (Okay, halfway through typing this I realized you might have been pulling our legs but I’m sending it anyway)

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  79. Jax says:

    OMG….so we’re still in Casper, but we decided on a non-chain restaurant for dinner tonight. The Silver Fox Restaurant is probably one of the best steak places I’ve ever eaten at. I ALMOST had the kids talked into trying the escargot appetizer, but one of them googled it and shut me down. 😛 😛

    The New York strip steaks though…..my god. They’re the size of a regular porterhouse. Creamy, cheesy scalloped potatoes, perfect mushroom sauce on the steak….and the cheesecake with the fresh strawberries and lemon ice cream about killed me trying to finish it…but it was too delicious not to!

    So if any of you are ever in Casper, Wyoming, definitely try the Silver Fox.

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  80. MarkedMan says:

    @Jax: “Best steak place in Wyoming” is high praise indeed. They know their beef in those parts. I had a few steak dinners at a Hampton Inn connected restaurant in South Dakota that were as casually good as they would have been pompously (and expensively) good at a white tablecloth restaurant here on the east coast.

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