Monday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I used to be able to sleep at the drop of a hat, any time any where. Not any more. I’ve been awake since 1 AM. I think I’ll try again to grab a few winks.

  2. Jen says:

    Grafton is the town that was stripped of all funding and regulations by “Free Town” types (forerunners to the Free State movement) and ended up with a massive bear problem (meaning a big problem with bears, the bears themselves were of normal size).

    The libertarian fallout continues in that town.

  3. sam says:
  4. CSK says:

    The head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, says that Russia’s intent is to split Ukraine into eastern and western blocs, a la North and South Korea. Or East and West Germany.

  5. Scott says:

    I tend to stay offline on weekends so I missed the Christian Nationalism thread which I’ve been banging on for a while. So let me just add that it is not just a US problem.

    Justification for the Russia-Ukraine War:

    Patriarch Kirill: Putin ally faces backlash after ‘blessing’ war

    Ten days earlier, in a sermon, Patriarch Kirill appeared to endorse Moscow’s so-called “special peacekeeping operation,” as the war on Ukraine is officially called in Russia.

    “We have entered into a struggle that has not a physical, but a metaphysical significance,” the patriarch said.

    He referred to gay pride marches as an example of what outsiders were trying to force on the people of Donbas in eastern Ukraine, on whose behalf Moscow was ostensibly intervening.

    “So according to him, the war is not about political aims or influence, but about spiritual, or, as he put it, ‘metaphysical’ aims. Thus, he gives the official Russian point of view a theological underpinning.”

    Putin and the patriarch enjoy close ties, with Patriarch Kirill describing Putin’s 2012 election victory as a “miracle of God”.

    And as Putin sees Ukraine as part of the “Russian world”, so Patriarch Kirill claims dominion over the churches in Ukraine and Belarus.

    And in Brazil:

    Bolsonaro says the dispute will be “good versus evil”

    The President of the Republic maintained a messianic tone throughout the speech, thus positioning himself as the leader who would “liberate” Brazil. In a roughly 28-minute speech, Bolsonaro came out as a candidate for re-election and emphasized the struggle of “good against evil”, in the struggle of “left against right”.

    See the pattern?

  6. CSK says:

    This pretty much sums it up:

    Which is the more powerful impetus? Fear of being prosecuted or fear of being seen as a loser?

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: More and more I think that “ism’s” are just a waste of time. As near as I can tell “Conservatism” has no guiding principles, but really just means “the things that people calling themselves Conservative find important”, and the same is true of “Liberalism” and “Progressivism”. As for the others, Marxism, Maoism, Fascism, Libertarianism, Anarchism, etc, etc, etc, they just strike me as dorm room debate nonsense, demonstrated by the fact that adherents blithely ignore real world examples in favor of their beer-tinged theories. Such “ism’s” only become important when some dictator or, in the case of Libertarianism, some billionaires decide that it can be interpreted to allow them to do whatever they want, and so they exalt it and use it as a loyalty test. But they don’t actually follow it and, I imagine, think that those that are taken in are just useful idiots.

  8. Jen says:


    they just strike me as dorm room debate nonsense, demonstrated by the fact that adherents blithely ignore real world examples in favor of their beer-tinged theories.

    Oh, absolutely they have ignored real world examples.

    Free Staters essentially have used the Grafton test lab to learn from and export their nonsense across New Hampshire, however. We’re seeing it in pockets all across the state. They learned that hey, maybe it’s bad to gut the fire department and assume that volunteers will have the availability and experience to put out fires (one person died in Grafton after an old church that had been converted into a home caught fire), so in most towns “volunteers will step in and do X, Y, and Z” has changed to “okay, we should fund fire and police, but all other town funding needs to be stripped down and residents should pay for what they use”–this “logic” extends to schools, libraries, and any other non-fire and police expenditures.

    Free Staters here are paying attention and applying what they’ve learned in Grafton. In some ways, that’s more dangerous, because it’s harder to paint them as nuts rather than just people concerned about taxes.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Russian cosmonauts board ISS wearing colours of Ukraine flag – video

    “It became our turn to pick a colour. But, in fact, we had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it,” he said. “So that’s why we had to wear yellow.”

  10. Mu Yixiao says:

    Russian troops using unsecured lines for communication.

    Russian troops in Ukraine have relied, with surprising frequency, on unsecured communication devices such as smartphones and push-to-talk radios, leaving units vulnerable to targeting, and further underscoring the command-and-control deficiencies that have come to define Moscow’s month-long invasion, observers say.

    The Russian military possesses modern equipment capable of secure transmission, but troops on the battlefield have reached for simpler-to-use but less-secure lines because of uneven discipline across the ranks, an apparent lack of planning for conducting a sustained fight over long distances, and Russian attacks on Ukraine’s communication infrastructure that it, too, has relied on, experts say.

  11. Kathy says:

    I was a bit too busy cooking yesterday, and then tired and bingeing “Hawkeye” (more on that later). So, to respond to yesterday’s post on how things have gone “worse” under Biden in matters COVID, it can be summed up in tow words: Delta and Omicron.

    While Biden can’t be held responsible for the emergence of these variants, his administration totally missed the warning from India while it was being ravaged by Delta in April 2021. Instead he issued the permission for fully vaccinated people to drop their masks everywhere by the Summer, just when Delta hit.

    Aside from that, there’s little the president can do. Biden can’t institute a nationwide mask mandate, or mandate business or school closures, or even capacity limits, and much less a vaccine mandate. He can do that at the federal level, and this he did.

    It wasn’t enough.

    However, most of the spread is still being carried out by mostly right wing covidiots who are unvaccinated, unmasked, and unwilling to stop rendering aid and comfort to the trump virus in any way.

  12. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Unsecured lines? Seem to me that was the practice of Donald J. Trump.

  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    Similar issues here. The solution is to drink less. Or more. And either do or don’t smoke pot. Also you should either eat or not eat at either this or that time. Above all, don’t be stressed but if you are stressed stop being stressed or you’ll be stressed about being stressed. Nighty night.

  14. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    You forgot a glass of warm milk and/or a brisk walk.

    Nothing helps me, either.

  15. Kathy says:


    I’m sure if they could talk, the bears would claim they’re not the ones with a problem.

    As to replacing public service with volunteers, just look at vaccination rates for COVID. If people can’t take, at worst, a couple of days one month apart to reduce community transmission of a deadly disease, what makes anyone think they’ll put in several days a year maintaining equipment and now and then risking their lives to put out fires?

  16. Sleeping Dog says:


    NH’s libertarians existed long before the free staters arrived. One of the two reasons that NH was chosen, was that there was an existing base of libertarian adjacent R’s and some Dems. The other reason was the relatively small population. Montana was the other free state target for similar reasons.

    NH’s low/no tax and small government ethos goes back to colonial times, when NH was among the greatest resisters to paying crown taxes. It is also the basis for the strong tradition of home rule (which the current R legislature is walking all over). Most recently home rule is infamous for defeating the Northern Pass (a power line project to deliver hydro energy), but it also is the reason that Dover Point isn’t an oil refinery and the Isles of Shoals isn’t a tanker terminal.

    It also should be remembered that those libertarians were a significant reason that marriage equality wasn’t repealed in the 2012 legislative session when R’s had veto proof majorities in both houses.

  17. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Not quite that bad, but for the past six years or so I’m unable to sleep late on weekends.

    I go to bed at roughly the same hours I do on weekdays (between 10 and 11), but I tend to wake up earlier than the weekday 6 am, usually 5 or 5:30, but sometimes at 4:30 or even 4:00, and I can’t get back to sleep.

    Weekdays I sometimes wake before the alarm, but only a few minutes, say 5:50, and almost always I can get right back to sleep. Not on weekends. I wind up taking an afternoon nap, which just breaks up the day in two.

  18. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Oh, yes, I am familiar with the trajectory taken–and I very much remember the marriage equality issue in 2012 and the libertarian role in stopping the repeal.

    I just hope there are enough votes/voters to mitigate and stop some of the more problematic suggestions. Our little town is going to be dealing with an unworkable tax cap that passed in March, put on the ballot by citizen petition by our local Free Staters. It’s going to be a mess. 🙁

  19. Kathy says:

    When a Federal judge pronounces that Benito more likely than not dishonestly conspired to obstruct the certification of electoral results on Jan 6th, one has to ask whether the DOJ is actively investigating this attack on the US government, or whether they’re too scared to prosecute the former seat filler of the Resolute desk.

  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    For ‘isms’ to mean much the people professing the ‘ism’ would have to actually understand what it was. If the last six years have taught us anything it’s that the majority of Americans are utterly ignorant of politics, history and philosophy and incapable of basic logic. The underlying problem afflicting the US and much of the world, is ignorance and its good friend, stupidity. It has been frightening to see, and hard even for someone who thought he was a cynic to fully absorb.

    People are incapable of telling truth from lies. Incapable as well of grasping basic morality. For example, no, it is not all right to punch someone for telling a joke you don’t like, FFS. The Vanity Fair after party gave Will Smith a Standing O. And these are people who are never shy about lecturing everyone else on moral topics.

  21. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    …or whether they’re too scared to prosecute the former seat filler of the Resolute desk.

    Well we now know that the conspiracy reaches into the Judicial branch of our Government.
    Just think if Garland had the attachments required to pull on this thread. The entire leadership of the Republican party would unravel. Think of the perp walks? There would be dozens of them, all over DC and several states.

    But your point is correct. When you have a judge go as far as to say that:

    “Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution.”

    you would think that the DOJ would have an obligation to investigate. And if not, then to explain why not.

  22. CSK says:

    From the disposition:

    “Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn an election, an action unprecedented in American history. Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower–it was a coup in search of a legal theory.”

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @CSK: Yep, I’m screwed. I’ve been dealing with this for 7 or 8 years now, some nights worse than others. It is just so much the opposite of my previous norm it’s hard to come to any conclusion other than “Getting old sucks.”

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Volunteer fire departments are very common in rural areas. They usually go begging for money for equipment, but whatever else the volunteers are quite dedicated.

  25. CSK says:

    My sympathies. I don’t think I’ve had an unbroken night’s sleep since I was 35.

  26. Mu Yixiao says:


    what makes anyone think they’ll put in several days a year maintaining equipment and now and then risking their lives to put out fires?

    @OzarkHillbilly beat me to it, but I’ll go into a little more detail.

    All the small towns around here are covered by volunteer fire and EMS*. They negotiate contracts with the various municipalities** for basic funding, and have various raffles, dinners, etc. to raise more money. Emergency personnel get a token payment if there is a call.

    EMS staff get rotating 12-hour on-call shift (6pm-6am) and fixed day shifts (for those who are within the allowed area during the day). Fire fighters are “all hands on deck” when there’s a call–anyone who can shows up. Local employers know who’s on either of the departments, and know that when the beeper goes off, those people are leaving (and they’re usually allowed to stay on the clock).

    These people are extremely dedicated to their work. After all: It’s their neighbor trapped in that car, and it’s their neighbor’s house that’s burning.

    And the rest of the community does what it can. Businesses donate facilities and equipment (like old cars for firemen to practice cutting open or putting out), they post fliers for fund-raising events, and they donate lots of money. Last summer, a local motel burned down. 11 volunteer fire departments showed up to put it out (ours, plus 10 others from surrounding towns). Then a local farmer came out with an excavator (volunteering his time and equipment) to knock down what was left so it wouldn’t re-kindle.

    When, for example, our fire department is out for a parade or other special event, volunteers from other towns send over trucks and personnel to sit in our station in case they’re needed. And they do it for free.

    So… yeah. The volunteer fire department is absolutely a common thing.

    ETA: We also have an all-volunteer rescue dive team–who spend more of their time recovering dead bodies than rescuing live ones.

    * Our EMS has, I believe, 2 full-time staff members.

    ** Our Fire Dept. covers one city and two towns. The EMS covers that, plus another town and village–who were previously contracting with a different EMS department, but switched.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: While I agree with you, I think that it goes deeper than that. There is no agreed upon definition of any of the these political philosophies. Whenever I bring this up, people just list off what conservatives believe, or what liberals believe but there is simply no way to start with a coherent Philosophy arrive at that shopping bag full of positions.

    Libertarianism might be an exception, but only because it is such a ridiculous philosophy, completely disconnected from the real world. At its core is just, “No one can tell ME what to do.”

  28. Jen says:

    @Kathy: As others have noted, volunteer fire departments or a mix of volunteer and FT, are fairly common in rural areas.

    The problem with Grafton is that they stripped all of the money and town equipment down to nothing, so all that the volunteers were truly capable of handling were small incidents. This was particularly true during the daytime hours when many of the volunteers were off working jobs that were miles and miles away from the town (in short, there was no coverage).

    This combination of factors meant that when a large building that was not up to code (again, libertarians gutted that in Grafton as well, along with any inspections etc.) caught fire, it was a tinder box that got out of control quickly. The closest responding departments were 40+ minutes away.

    Volunteer fire fighting is common, but the factors that exacerbated that big fire in Grafton were all due to the lack of any form of governance.

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Volunteer fire departments are a great thing on the whole but there are cases where they are not as wonderful as they seem. Years ago when I lived in Rochester, the surrounding suburbs, some of them very large and wealthy, all had VFD’s but they were only able to do it because every one had at least one or two Rochester City firemen who volunteered and basically ran the show, also conducting all the training for free, and of course having an in with the City fire department when things got hairy. It got ugly when the City FD needed to spend a lot of money on new equipment and the suburbs refused to kick in and said so in their typical sanctimonious way. Although they conceded that when anything major happened they ended up calling in the city, who had all the equipment and specialist training, they only wanted to pay for it when they actually used it, not to have it there ready for use. At one point the City FD Union voted to forbid their members from volunteering in the suburban VFD. I’m not sure how it all turned out.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Small town politics can ruin anything. The turf wars are tiresome in the extreme.

  31. MarkedMan says:

    A more recent case of a VFD not being all that it appeared to be occurred when I lived in an outlying area of Annapolis. The VFD had a tidy building in the center of our little community, and I appreciated them but didn’t think too much about it other than pitching in for their fund drives. Then they started putting up political opinions on their sign board and it became apparent that, while they certainly responded to calls, they had been taken over by trumpers, who had driven everyone else away. So I got curious and talked to the county fire chief at a couple of town meetings he attended. He never said anything negative about the VFD or the people running it but I gradually realized that, while the VFD owned the building and the equipment (trucks, ambulance, etc) the county paid for all upkeep, utilities and maintenance. They also staffed two professional firemen there 24/7/365. And while I couldn’t find out anything about the funding for the original building (which went back decades) the funding for the equipment seemed to mostly come from state or county coffers as special grants. I gradually came to the conclusion that all the fundraising they did was basically to keep their bar stocked, make sure they had the biggest HDTV, and that their fitness center had the best equipment. Despite what they implied about the money donated, it was basically to used to fund their private club.

    As these things go, gradually the residents soured on them and the dontations started to dry up. They responded by secretly negotiating a leasing deal with a mobile phone company to fence off a part of the town field that was adjacent to their building so as to erect a huge cell phone tower, which would become the first thing anyone would see upon entering the community. When I moved out it was an ugly battle that was going to end up in court.

    So, yes, volunteer fire departs can be good things, and they can be staffed by all around good neighbors. But, like any organization, they also can get hijacked by *ssholes.

  32. Jen says:


    Although they conceded that when anything major happened they ended up calling in the city, who had all the equipment and specialist training, they only wanted to pay for it when they actually used it, not to have it there ready for use.

    A similar dynamic is in play in some NH towns. This sharing of burden has been fairly commonplace here, and has allowed some smaller towns to keep budgets in check (it’s called rendering mutual aid or something like that–essentially, small towns band together and share the fire fighting/emergency vehicle burden). The problem is that when towns grow, demand on emergency services grows too–they can’t spare the help to other towns out AND they end up calling on other towns to come in and help them more. It ends up being very lopsided and is a real problem when the weather is bad (lots of emergencies and wrecks all over the place). So, a number of towns in our area are trying to become self-sustaining and it’s causing taxes to go up significantly. New Hampshire is an aging state and because property taxes fund everything, a lot of seniors on fixed incomes are in trouble. This is how our “tax cap” got passed, and it’s going to be a big problem. Towns cost money to run, and emergency equipment is expensive.

  33. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If Chris Rock presses charges, is he cancelling Will Smith?

  34. Scott says:


    This conversation reminded me of this:

    I didn’t realize it was 12 years back.

    No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn

    Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn’t paid a $75 fee.

    Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat.

    “They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn’t do it,” Cranick told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann.

  35. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    The entire leadership of the Republican party would unravel.

    I fail to see the problem with that.

    The world would benefit having Meadows, Hawley, Boebert, et. el. go away for a few years.

  36. CSK says:

    Rock says he’s not pressing charges.

    I’m inclined to think this was a bad gag f some sort. Smith is an actor. He knows how to pull a punch.

  37. Kathy says:


    That’s closer to the idea I had on volunteer fire departments, especially if the governments are tight with funds and support.


    Once upon a time, a man named Crassus ran a fire department in Rome. He put out fires for free, never charged anyone a sesterce, provided they sold him the property on fire for a small fraction of what it was worth. If not, he would let the fire burn.

    He was the richest man in Rome. He’s also the source of the word “crass,” or so I’m told. He joined Caesar and Pompey in a triumvirate that exercised near-dictatorial power in Rome, then died while campaigning in Persia because he needed some military victories for his legitimacy.

  38. Jen says:

    @CSK: Several of my conspiracy-minded friends think it was staged, but I don’t think so. Chris Rock has needled both Will and Jada Smith over the years–there’s a history there.

    If this was some kind of attempt at a viral…something, it failed because they both look like horrid fools. Chris Rock for making fun of an autoimmune disorder and Will Smith for thinking violence is an acceptable reaction. A big NOPE for both.

    They can sit down now, in the time-out chair, and think about what they’ve done.

  39. JohnSF says:


    ..inclined to think this was a bad gag of some sort.

    You and Max Blumenthal, LOL

    Will Smith, Chris Rock and the Academy planned the slap in cahoots with the CIA and mainstream media to whitewash the actions of the Azov Battalion, according to Max Blumenthal.


  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @Scott:..burn to the ground…

    This has happened in one of the townships in Jackson County, Illinois. When the assessment was paid the homeowner was given sign to post at the property. The fire trucks would respond to the call but if there was no sign displayed no fire protection. The fire trucks would stick around to protect adjacent homes if they were paid up.

  41. Sleeping Dog says:


    My first thought when I saw the headline last night. STAGED!! Given the ratings and attention to the Oscars has gone down the tubes, going the route of hockey makes sense. Went to the fights last night and an awards show broke out…

  42. CSK says:

    I was thinking it might have been more of a bad joke that backfired rather than a conspiracy. But I suppose not.
    Wait, wait. You forgot Comet Pizza, the Deep State, the Globalists, and the International Jewish Conspiracy.

  43. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: Ah, Libertarianism at its finest!

  44. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Smith slapped Rock rather than punched him. And Rock didn’t seem affected by it. That was what made me think it was some kind of set-up.

    I agree about the ratings, but how could people have known in advance that Smith was going to do this? It wasn’t as if hordes of people would tune in in anticipation of seeing it.

  45. EddieInCA says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    No. Stop it. There was nothing staged about it. Alcohol was involved. Rock crossed a line. Smith crossed a different line. Both acted badly. Rock handled it as well as could have been expected, given the circumstances. Smith’s legacy has been forever tarnished.

    Not a good night for all involved.

  46. Sleeping Dog says:


    You’d know better than us.

    Smith’s legacy has been forever tarnished.

    But will he be cancelled?

  47. EddieInCA says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Exactly how would one cancel a man worth $350M with…

    one Oscar (nominated four times)
    four Grammys
    five American Music Awards
    one BAFTA
    one Golden Globe (8 nominations)

    What would canceling him mean? Mel Gibson was “cancelled” and is still making movies. Kevin Spacey was recently cast in a film. Louis C.K. is touring again. Kathy Griffin is being booked again.

    As long as Will Smith can make studios or financiers money with his acting or music, there will be jobs for him.

  48. Scott says:

    @CSK: @Sleeping Dog:

    Sure the ratings are down but I’m not sure it is because of the production values or interest in the Oscars. There is an accelerating trend to cutting the cable services and just stream whether the streams are free like Pluto TV or paid like Apple +, Netflix, Amazon, Paramount +, etc. We didn’t watch the Oscars because we weren’t willing to pay more for a thoroughly optional entertainment. Weirdly enough, abcnews streamed the Red Carpet show for nothing. I don’t think the industry has quite figured out the new reality yet.

  49. CSK says:

    I defer to your knowledge of the business.

    Alcohol consumption didn’t occur to me.

  50. Sleeping Dog says:


    Being facetious 🙂

  51. Kathy says:

    About Will Smith, people tend to think all such things are staged, or at least planned. Until I see any evidence about it, I will reserve judgment. I mean, it could have been staged, but I don’t see any evidence that it was.

    Aside from that, if Smith had not been nominated for an award, would he have been escorted off the premises and not allowed back in?

  52. Just nutha says:

    @Kathy: No, one doesn’t. ☹️

  53. Just nutha says:

    @MarkedMan: What you, among others, are describing, is why Washington State went all socialist, going with county fire districts rather than VFDs.

  54. Michael Reynolds says:

    No, he’d be pressing charges for an actual assault, not demanding that Will Smith be treated as a pariah or have his career destroyed because of something he Tweeted or because 20 years ago he wore an uncool Halloween costume.

  55. EddieInCA says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Ratings are down across the board – for every single legacy network – for all shows. The answer is simple. We no longer have “broadcasting”. We have “narrowcasting”. Every single network/streaming service/channel is interested in a specific demographic. When I started at ABC television in 1982, a series with a 20 rating would be on the bubble of getting cancelled.

    The top rated series in 1982 was “60 Minutes” with a 25 rating. By 2000, the top rated show, with a 17 rating, was “Survivor”. By 2020, the highest rating series, NCIS, had a 5 rating. Yes. FIVE. That’s the top show!

    Why? Because there are so many more options. It’s not hard to figure out. I did a series that never got more than 400K viewers when it aired on the IFC network, and it was considered a hit. We did three seasons. So take all the talk of ratings being down on a particular show with a bit of skepticism until you see how the rest of the business is doing. If all shows are down 40% of their audience, why should we be surprised if award shows show the same decline?

    Networks and studios are looking for a specific audience – and they tailor their programing as such. They’re pretty good at it, too.

    Heck, I’m in the business, and didn’t watch the Oscars last night. I was too busy watching episodes 3-5 of “Severance” on Apple TV+

  56. EddieinCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Here’s what’s going to happen, in my opinion:

    In a few weeks, we’re going to read about a donation made by Will Smith to a charity chosen by Chris Rock, and the donation will be for seven figures plus. They’ll both apologize and everyone will move on.

  57. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    no, it is not all right to punch someone for telling a joke you don’t like, FFS

    A classic case of “Sometimes, even though someone deserves to get slapped in the face, it’s still wrong to slap them in the face.”

    And, if evidence is required, here is Marjorie Taylor Greene’s response:

    I never watch the Oscars but I’ve seen the Will Smith/Chris Rock clip a million times this morning.

    I have to say I appreciate the Alpha male response of a husband defending his wife.

    It was settled and then no more drama.

    Chris Rock handled it like a man with no whining.

    Given that she is a complete idiot nut job, the fact that she is praising them both means that they should both be condemned for their actions. (I’m honestly a little surprised that she didn’t go for a “Black-on-Black violence at the Oscars” take)

  58. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Honestly, it sounds like wage theft wrapped up with a pretty bow. If a job is worth doing, it’s worth paying someone a living wage to do it.

    Plus, paying people improves our GDP. Why do you hate our GDP?

    Note: For anyone wondering where the line of serious to sarcastic lies here, it is between the first and second paragraphs.

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EddieInCA: As one who is a fan of both, I am just sad that the whole affair occurred. My little bro has alopecia (every time I see him, it’s just weird. Especially the lack of eyebrows) and his whole attitude is, “It is what it is.” I can’t imagine getting truly upset at whatever kind of tasteless joke someone might say. Feeling like I might want to pull them aside and say, “Hey, that ain’t cool…”? Maybe. Beyond that? No.

    I hope they make peace. Beyond that, neither of them owe me a damn thing.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    President Biden: “I’m not walking anything back…I was expressing the moral outrage I felt toward the way Putin is dealing…I wasn’t then nor am I now articulating a policy change. I was expressing moral outrage that I feel and I make no apologies for it.”

  61. Kathy says:


    Beyond that, there are more TVs per household, too. I recall a time when we had two TVs for six people. You watched pretty much what was on*, chosen by however such rules were set in each house. At that time, there were a total of six channels available over the air. later when we got cable, things became more complicated, but essentially you still watched what was on and didn’t get to choose every time.

    *While I’m not averse to watching TV, often there was either nothing worth watching, or the TV was set to something I didn’t care to watch. So I went downstairs to a room we called “the study” where we kept several books and two encyclopedias (and one big Britannica Atlas). I spent many hours there between ages 6 and 12 reading (later I began to buy my own books and I read in my room).

  62. CSK says:

    I have a cousin with alopecia. She’s amazingly good-spirited about it, particularly since what she lost was long, natural blonde hair.

  63. Kathy says:

    Over the weekend I binged “Hawkeye,” a six episode limited series dealing with the eponymous Marvel super hero*.

    There was nothing wrong with it, nothing I could point to and say “that was terrible,” but it left me thinking “so what?” Although it would serve as a good origin story for Kate Bishop to take up the Hawkeye mantle.

    Having previously seen Loki, and then The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it seems like the focus of the story is narrowing. The first dealt with the multiverse across time, the second with social upheaval after a catastrophic event (followed by a counter-catastrophic one?**), the third is about one criminal gang in one city. It feels small.

    * I find Hawkeye to be so much like Green Arrow, at least as super heroes if not in their private lives, that I wonder which came first.

    ** I do give Marvel lots of points for not using “the Blip” as a mere plot device for one movie, but to actually keep exploring the consequences.

  64. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I’m pretty much done with the Marvel stories, unless they are quirky but, FWIW I think they missed a huge opportunity with Hawkeye and Black Widow from the get-go and never recovered. What do incredibly powerful super heroes need that they can’t get just by punching and throwing hammers and flying through the air? Intel. An understanding of how a fight is unfolding and where help is needed. The identies and motivations of the quiet people manipulating the powerful. And they have an actual spy (Black Widow) and someone who could easily have been recast as a spy or a strategist (Hawkeye) and all they could think of doing with them was to have them shoot bullets and arrows next to the frickin’ God of Thunder…

  65. Kathy says:


    Maybe DC is better in that aspect because their flagship character, Batman, is largely a mixture of Odysseus and Sherlock Holmes. He has a compulsion to gather information, to know everything as it were, and the skill to figure out mysteries.

    Marvel fills the time while Young Justice returns with second half of season 4.

    I’m also undecided whether to get Apple or Paramount next. the former because of Severance and Foundation, the latter for Discovery season 4 and the Trek animated shows.

  66. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: Kate Bishop is the best Hawkeye.

    I think the story should have been smaller still. It’s a dude with arrows, and a woman with arrows. Sure, the dude is an Avenger, but he’s old, has a hearing problem, and is basically a sad sack.

    The comics run that this was partially drawing inspiration (and title art) from was dude fights the track suit mafia, and things just keep going wrong.

  67. EddieInCA says:


    I found “Hawkeye” unwatchable – but sat through the entire series hoping it would get better. I’m doing the same thing right now with “Severance” on Apple TV. Loved Loki. Loved Falcon and Winter Soldier. Agnostic on “Wanda Vision”. Really looking forward to “Moon Knight” as I’m a huge Oscar issac fan.

  68. Kathy says:


    I’m still not sure what WandaVision was.

  69. EddieInCA says:


    It was strictly a bridge to the next chapter of the MCU, showing how Wanda becomes the Scarlett Witch.