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. Mikey says:

    https://twitter.com/adamkotsko/status/1401514713016643585?s=19

    We talk a lot about how Republicans view Democratic victories as illegitimate, but given how reluctant Democrats are to govern without Republican support, I’m not sure that the Democrats themselves view Democratic victories as legitimate.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:
  3. Kurtz says:

    Maybe it’s because I have a tendency to ptfo for many hours in one day and then spend the next three not resting much…or maybe I’m just cantankerous sometimes. But I was waiting all day yesterday for someone here to say something about Federer.

    I watched a good bit of the match Saturday night. Actually, first an aside. Here is some technical tennis-footwork porn, asmr style.

    Anyway, maybe James will post something about it. But no one here thought to say that to criticize Osaka but not Federer is kind of an issue?

    It’s mostly similar to the Osaka situation from what I can tell looking at the rulebook. Osaka violated an explicit rule with a specific penalty. Federer on the other hand…well, he seems to have violated II.A.1 Late Withdrawal Non-Appearance. But it seems to anticipate this happening prior to the first serve being struck.

    Article III, which contains the media availability section includes:

    E. BEST EFFORTS
    A player shall use his best efforts to win a match when competing in a Grand Slam
    Tournament. Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine up to $20,000
    for each violation. For purposes of this Rule, the Referee and/or the Chair Umpire
    shall have the authority to penalise a player in accordance with the Point Penalty
    Schedule.

    In circumstances that are flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of a
    tournament, or are singularly egregious, a single violation of this Section shall also
    constitute the Major Offence of “Aggravated Behaviour” and shall be subject to the
    additional penalties hereinafter set forth.

    This is clearly meant to cover the length of the tournament between accepted entry and elimination, as section F applies to a failure to finish a match in progress.

    Notice the $20k fine. But the bolded text, does not appear in the media availability section that Osaka violated.

    Make of that what you will.

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  4. Kathy says:

    Interesting piece on Discover about personality traits in management (you may hit a paywall).

    I’m rather skeptical of such studies, but if even a fraction of successful corporate officers are lacking in empathy, manipulative, and ruthless, it would explain much about the current business climate. Things like seeing employees as little different from other assets like machinery or office equipment, the willingness to keep production lines open with minimal protections during a pandemic, the refusal to wear masks to protect others, etc.

    In particular, people who are not inclined to such things, would still emulate the methods of their more successful colleagues, because they seem to work.

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  5. CSK says:

    http://www.msnbc.com/opinion/trump-s-august-election-reinstatement-theory-even-worse-it-looks-n1269716

    As I’ve said, Trump may not believe this himself, but it’s very useful to him.

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  6. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kurtz: What happened with Federer? [Cue: Anguished scream.] Sorry, I don’t follow tennis, or most other sports, either–like at all. I wouldn’t have known about Osaka if Dr. Joyner hadn’t needed to take his inner outraged sports fan (how dare she think she can get away with that??!!??) out for a walk that day either.

    And if I were cynical, I would wonder about not noticing whatever it was about Federer after having written (and doubled down several times) about Osaka, too. Fortunately, I’m not. 😉

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  7. Kurtz says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    He had a couple knee surgeries over the past year.

    Saturday, he played a grueling 3 and a half hour night match. He hinted that he may withdraw afterward, pending how his knee felt. His concern is being prepared for Wimbledon.

    Sunday, he announced he was withdrawing. Under normal circumstances, he would probably receive some criticism. But I think he has received a lot more because of the Osaka situation.

    Really, it should be Roland Garros and the Grand Slam Board that should get the bulk of the criticism. I think this shifts my opinion a bit.

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  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: As a society we tend to view success through a Calvinist framing as evidence of superior merit and virtue. A number of currently successful politicians should make it clear that’s not always true. Hard work, focus, and intelligence are generally good things. Self absorption, greed, and callousness, less so, and perhaps aspects of the sociopathy that is the subject of your Discover link.

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  9. MarkedMan says:

    @Kurtz: I must be missing something. I’ve seen it reported that Federer has an ongoing injury and feels it hasn’t healed sufficiently to continue. In other words, it’s due to an injury. If that’s correct I don’t see how they are related. I’m certain there is nothing in the contract that states a player has to play through injury.

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  10. Teve says:
  11. Mimai says:

    @Kathy:

    You are right to be skeptical. Measurement issues abound in this area. And that’s before we even get to the clusterf$@# of interpretation issues. These types of studies are way too easy to assimilate into one’s priors…..which isn’t to say that there’s no signal.

    Relatedly, there’s been some recent work on conceptualization and measurement of narcissism and psychopathy. I suspect this paper will have something for everyone here in the OTB community. Narcissism through the lens of performative self-elevation.

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  12. Jen says:

    Cute kid, adorable puppy.

    A boy sold his Pokémon cards to pay his sick dog’s vet bill. Then the donations started.

    Dogs are, or can be, very expensive. Parvo is horrible.

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  13. Mister Bluster says:

    First laugh of the day.
    The mutt that found the corpse in the bushes in the park in a rerun episode of
    Law and Order: Criminal Intent is a small poodle named…Papillon

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  14. flat earth luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’m saddened. Cracker’s dad was WWII. My stepfather was at the opposite end of the world. I had instructors who were in the Polish resistance. My daughter was lucky to have a survivor of the camps speak in her class in middle school. These first hand memories are important, and we are diminished by their passing.

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  15. CSK says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    My father was in North Africa, then fought at Anzio, San Pietro, and Monte Cassino.

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  16. flat earth luddite says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Second laugh of the day. Bring A Trailer has a 1960 Skoda Felicia ragtop that is listing for 28,000…no 28,500… nope, now $30,000…

    WA!

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  17. flat earth luddite says:

    @CSK: Mine was jumping out of airplanes in the Philippines and points west. In his later years (and 2nd bottle of wine), he would joke that the worst part about friendly fire was you didn’t get a Purple Heart.

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  18. CSK says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Except in his very last year, my father didn’t talk about it at all. He was haunted by the fact that he was only able to save one badly wounded man after Monte Cassino. He carried the man on his back across a minefield.

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  19. Kurtz says:

    @MarkedMan:

    @Kurtz: I must be missing something. I’ve seen it reported that Federer has an ongoing injury and feels it hasn’t healed sufficiently to continue. In other words, it’s due to an injury. If that’s correct I don’t see how they are related. I’m certain there is nothing in the contract that states a player has to play through injury

    .

    Your certainty leaves plenty to be desired.

    Physical Incapacity
    During a match, if there is an emergency medical condition and the
    player involved is unable to make a request for a Sports
    Physiotherapist, the Chair Umpire shall immediately call for the Sports
    Physiotherapist and Tournament Doctor to assist the player.
    Either before or during a match, if a player is considered unable
    physically to compete, the Sports Physiotherapist and/or Tournament
    Doctor should inform the Referee and/or Grand Slam Supervisor and
    recommend that the player is ruled unable to compete in the match to
    be played, or retired from the match in progress.
    The Referee in consultation with the Grand Slam Supervisor shall use
    great discretion before taking this action and should base the decision
    on the best interests of professional tennis, as well as taking all
    medical advice and any other information into consideration.

    This is just one of the areas where the rules addressing how the tournament handles injury. It isn’t “oh, it hurts? okay, go home.”

    It’s pretty clear that he could play. He didn’t reinjure his knee Saturday. He’s 39 and made reference to not having been on the court for 3 and a half hours this year even during practice. It’s clearly an issue of conditioning.

    As I’ve said repeatedly, Osaka deserves some criticism. But the threats were absolutely ridiculous, given that it’s never implied that skipping the media session could trigger the penalties associated with aggravated behavior. Inappropriate withdrawal does.

    From The Guardian:

    Federer’s withdrawal is no surprise given that during his post-match press conference he said he had already been considering withdrawal from the tournament in order to protect his body for the grass season.

    Throughout the clay season, Federer has frequently ruled out his chances of competing for the French Open title. He intends to peak at Wimbledon and then the summer hard court season, where he feels he has a far greater chance of competing for titles. His primary goal in Paris was a further buildup of match fitness and to learn more about the condition of his knee in best-of-five-set matches.

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  20. Mu Yixiao says:

    @CSK:

    My father was in North Africa, then fought at Anzio, San Pietro, and Monte Cassino.

    The same for my father–though, with the exception of being a Duck (DUKW) driver at Anzio, he wasn’t on the front lines. Did your father ever tell you how the Sikhs took Monte Cassino?

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  21. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    No. As I said in my reply to Luddite, he really didn’t talk about it.

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  22. Mu Yixiao says:

    @CSK:

    Your reply to Luddite came through before I hit send. 🙂

    If I have time tonight, I’ll type up the story. It’s…. rather amazing.

    Dad didn’t talk about the war until I was in HS. I was in a WWII history class, and you had to write 3 reports per quarter. You could cover two if you interviewed someone who lived through the war. I was telling this to Mom, and she looked at me… “You know your dad was in the war.”

    Until that moment, I didn’t know. He eventually started opening up about the war–but mostly telling stories about how he and his buddies kept getting into trouble. I managed to sit him down after one of his Chemo treatments and get him to tell some stories on video. Super-low quality webcam (480×240?), but I got them in his own voice.

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  23. Jen says:

    @flat earth luddite: I’ve begged my husband to stop reading Bring a Trailer. The prices have gotten absolutely nuts.

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  24. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    That’s okay; I’m reading about the Sikhs in the Italian campaign now.

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  25. gVOR08 says:

    I read a piece a few years ago by an English woman who had lived in India for a couple years. They hired an elderly Indian gentleman as a driver. It happened to come out that he spoke fluent Italian. When asked how he learned, he said he’d spent a few years in an Italian POW camp. The lady’s high school age kids were gobsmacked. They knew of the North African and Italian campaigns, but had no idea Indian troops played any role. Seemed like British schools needed a 1619 project on the role of the commonwealth.

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  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My old man was a radar operator on B-29s in the Pacific. Crash landed on Iwo a couple times. I only know that because of a video his crew did on the 50th anniversary of VJ Day. (my old man did share some stories of hi jinks he and his crew pulled)
    My Uncle Walt landed on Utah Beach D-Day +3. I only know that because of a pic the old man had.
    My Uncle Frank was a Marine in the Pacific. That’s all I know.
    My Uncle Gus built barracks for the entire war.
    My Uncle Tony was working at the Joliet Ammo plant when it blew up. So was my Aunt Betty.
    My Uncle Alec was a frogman. He partook in the invasion of Saipan, (among others I am sure). I only know of that one because he got wrote up in a YA book for some heroics there.
    My Uncle Joe was in the Navy. I only know that because of a pic the old man had. He never came back and they never talked about it, so that’s all I know.

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  27. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:
    That surprises me: I was aware of the Indian army units in North Africa and the Med growing up.
    But that was just via osmosis, and things like the World at War series on the BBC.
    It was never part of the school curriculum then; history at lower levels was a bit of Ancient History and British history roughly from Romans to Victorians, with a large wodge of “prominent lives”.
    And a bare outline of European history.
    Modern history might make it into “current affairs” teaching, if the school did that.
    There was no national curriculum until the later 1980’s.
    At exam level (c 14 to 18) it history was (and is) an optional subject; British pupils tended to specialize quite early and drop non-exam subjects. This was even more so in the past, but is still fairly general.
    Back then it was 4 to 8 CSE/O-level (taken at 16), 2 to 4 A-level (age 18). And more than half left school after CSE/O exams. If they even took them.
    IIRC the average these day is 6 to 9 GCSE subjects, 3 to 4 A level.
    Compulsory GCSE’s are English Language, Mathematics, General Science.
    There are no compulsory A-levels or vocational subject nationally.

    Point of all this is: schools are generally not oriented to civic education, except as a sideline.
    For various reasons (parent and pupil expectations, curriculum requirements, school assessment inspections and results “league tables”) the focus is overwhelmingly on exam results.

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  28. CSK says:

    I recall that, senior year in high school, the guy who taught history (one of the very few good teachers I had prior to college) required us to read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and The Longest Day. I wonder if anyone does that any more.

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  29. Stormy Dragon says:

    @gVOR08:

    As a society we tend to view success through a Calvinist framing as evidence of superior merit and virtue.

    Not just our society, this seems to be a basic human psychological response:

    Just-world hypothesis

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  30. sam says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Did your father ever tell you how the Sikhs took Monte Cassino?

    Gurkhas fought at Monte Cassino, not Sikhs, or at least not in a single unit. 1st Battalion, 9th Gurkha Rifle Regiment were famous for their assault on Monte Cassino. A British general said, “If a man says he not afraid of dying, he’s either a liar or a Gurkha.”

    A history professor of mine told this story once. Gurkha troops in the British Army (they’re Nepalese, btw) were commanded by British officers. The CO of one of the battalions called the battalion Sgt.Major in one day and told him that there would be a practice jump the following day. Low-level, 1500 ft. The Sgt. Major naps a salute, “Sir!” Right about and out the door. An hour later, he comes back and says, “Sir, a few of the men are expressing some anxiety about the 1500-foot jump.” “No worries, Sgt.Major. 1500 feet is more than enough for the parachutes to deploy.” “Oh, parachutes. Well, that will OK with the men, I’m sure sir.”

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  31. flat earth luddite says:

    @Jen: mostly I read it for the inadvertent humor, although it certainly proves that there’s waaaaayyyy too much money in some people’s pockets, eh?

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  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: I think it comes under the “well, if he wasn’t sure that he was going to be able to complete the tournament, he shouldn’t have agreed to play so that he wouldn’t foul up our seedings” clause.

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  33. JohnSF says:

    Personally, and quite unexceptionally for my age group, I grew up around a people with a lot of personal experience of war.
    Parents were from Coventry, experienced the bombings of 1940 and 1941. Dad was a volunteer rescue worker in the raids and never spoke much of what he saw in the aftermath, except that it was not pleasant.
    He had enlisted by the time of the third blitz in 1942 but mother was still there.
    Both lost friends in the bombings.
    My father joined the RAF as a volunteer in 1942, and further volunteered for flight ops and for overseas service. Flew out to active posting with 159 Squadron in India in 1943, Flying Sergeant, rear gunner, B-24 ; badly injured in crash losing lower left leg 1944.

    I know Uncle Cliff was in the RAF, IIRC flew tac-air in Typhoons over Normandy.
    Not certain re. other 7 uncles (people didn’t tend to talk that much about their service at that time), but I think one was with the army in Italy, and at least three others were active in some regard. One being too young to serve, and at least one in a “reserved occupation”.

    Then there’s the other people I’ve encountered, usually via my father. One junior officer with the Royal Tank Regiment; an former SOE operative who we met in Normandy, en route to being inducted into the Legion d’ honneur, and spent a evening with consuming quite a lot of vintage calvados.
    A next door neighbour who was a RN officer in submarines; rose to captain by the end of the war.
    A Polish exile who served with the Polish 1st Armoured in Normandy.
    And so on.

    All is now fading into second hand memories.

    The thing is, growing up people often still spoke of the “Great War”, and always meant WW1.
    UK casualties in both wars:
    WW2: 449,700
    WW1: 895,000

    Males of my grandparents generation were perhaps even more likely to have seen active service.

    Maternal grandfather was with the Shropshire Light Infantry at the Battle of the Somme, and wounded. KSLI lost 4,663 dead on the Western Front. Never, ever, spoke of it at all, to my knowledge.

    Paternal grandfather was with Allenby’s Expeditionary Force in Egypt and Palestine and Syria; including the Battle of Megiddo. (“Armageddon: Been there, done that.”)

    Compared to the experiences of the cohorts of 1914 to 1945, subsequent generations have been pretty fortunate.

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  34. JohnSF says:

    Personally, and quite unexceptionally form my generation, I grew up around a people with a lot of personal experience of war.
    Parents were from Coventry, experienced the bombings of 1940 and 1941. Dad was a volunteer rescue worker in the raids and never spoke much of what he saw in the aftermath, except that it was not pleasant.
    He had enlisted by the time of the third blitz in 1942 but mother was still there.
    Both lost friends in the bombings.
    My father joined the RAF as a volunteer in 1942, and further volunteered for flight ops and for overseas service. Flew out to active posting with 159 Squadron in India in 1943, Flying Sergeant, rear gunner, B-24 ; badly injured in crash losing lower left leg 1944.

    I know Uncle Cliff was in the RAF, IIRC flew tac-air in Typhoons over Normandy.
    Not certain re. other 7 uncles (people didn’t tend to talk that much about their service at that time), but I think one was with the army in Italy, and at least three others were active in some regard. One being too young to serve, and at least one in a “reserved occupation”.

    Then there’s the other people I’ve encountered, usually via my father. One junior officer with the Royal Tank Regiment; an former SOE operative who we met in Normandy, en route to being inducted into the Legion d’ honneur, and spent a evening with consuming quite a lot of vintage calvados. John Pine-Coffin, of the King’s African Rifles; younger cousin of the famour Richard Pine-Coffin of 7th Para in Normandy.
    A next door neighbour who was a RN officer in submarines; rose to captain by the end of the war.
    A Polish exile who served with the Polish 1st Armoured in Normandy.
    And so on.

    All is now fading into second hand memories.

    The thing is, growing up people often still spoke of the “Great War”, and always meant WW1.
    UK casualties in both wars:
    WW2: 449,700
    WW1: 895,000

    Males of my grandparents generation were perhaps even more likely to have seen active service.

    Maternal grandfather was with the Shropshire Light Infantry at the Battle of the Somme, and wounded. KSLI lost 4,663 dead on the Western Front. Never, ever, spoke of it at all, to my knowledge.

    Paternal grandfather was with Allenby’s Expeditionary Force in Egypt and Palestine and Syria; including the Battle of Megiddo. (“Armageddon: Been there, done that.”)

    Compared to the experiences of the cohorts of 1914 to 1945, subsequent generations have been pretty fortunate.

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  35. JohnSF says:

    Two comments? Eek!

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  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: From what I see in the lit classes I teach at the high schools here, most schools are selecting works of less than 300 pages–usually around 250–when in paperback format. When war becomes a topic, the literature is usually from VietNam era. The Things They Carried seems to be very popular.

    I see no evidence of books being used in history classes at all. It seems to be mostly internet artifacts.

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  37. Mu Yixiao says:

    @sam:

    Gurkhas fought at Monte Cassino, not Sikhs, or at least not in a single unit. 1st Battalion, 9th Gurkha Rifle Regiment were famous for their assault on Monte Cassino

    I stand corrected. Dad always said it was Sikhs–but he was a Croatian kid from Chicago, so I’ll forgive him for not knowing the difference. 🙂

    The story as Dad told it (as best I can remember, and shortened a bit).

    Dad was with the American 5th, attached to the British 8th. He was motor-pool/transport.

    After the monastery was bombed, the Americans and Brits were arguing who would go up the mountain. They knew that the Germans were hunkered into the rubble, and had perimeter tents with 8 men in each. Finally the Gurkhas said “We’re going. Tonight.”

    After night fall, they stacked their rifles like corn shocks and climbed the mountain with their swords (Non-Brit British subjects could not be officers, so could not carry side arms. They were, however, allowed swords.)

    In the morning, a group of Germans came down the mountain with their commanding officer at gun-point. When they started to surrender, the commander turned around and started yelling at them that they couldn’t surrender. One of the Germans said “wait one moment”, and several of them took the commander off to the side and shot him through the head.

    They then returned and surrendered.

    Later, Dad learned that the Gurkhas had snuck into the tents, decapitated 7 of the 8 men, and left the last one sleeping.

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  38. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Surely there’s a history textbook of some sort?

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  39. Jax says:

    @CSK: We actually got more textbooks from Connections Academy than they ever have from their in-person school district. They just don’t do textbooks anymore, it’s all available on their devices.

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  40. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Those of us with “second hand” experience are more common than one thinks, and we are nervous.

    I’m one of those who lost his country, the family farm, familial wealth, family members because of Hitler and Stain.

    I have heard stories of my grandfather dying in a ditch during an allied bombing run. Bombed buildings being flooded to kill the trapped because there was no option to rescue, DP camps that existed, but provided no assistance as Germany had little for their own countrymen much less than for those displaced.

    The resulting diaspora wiped out any idea of real community.

    But yes, I was born in the USA, to parents and a grandmother that spoke Lithuanian. I studied language, history, culture. I can never say that I have been “comfortable” in the US culture, and even less now with the GOP Fascism on the rise.

    Some of the observations unique to the USA:
    1) Before selfies, the average person avoided being photographed
    2) Family history often was intentionally forgotten to be “American”. (last year, in a Florida DMV, I heard a young man ask his father “Dad, what is our background?”… dad’s answer was Heck kid, we are heinz 57, I don’t know”. Sad.)
    3) Poor but proud. What a load of crap.

    The population here has been herded to believe nothing, know less, and care even less. The next presidential election will be a clusterf2ck.

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  41. CSK says:

    @Jax:
    Oh, a digital textbook counts as a textbook.

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