Saturday’s Forum

I like to keep my issues strong

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. Gustopher says:

    I’m thinking a pandemic of a very contagious respiratory disease and rioting are not a match made in heaven. But at least they’re outside.

  2. Kit says:

    Here’s an interesting article on food delivery: Doordash and Pizza Arbitrage

    Doordash basically inserts a delivery option, which they control, onto a pizzeria’s Google listing, without, of course, the restaurant knowing about it. The pizzas are delivered cold, which leads customers to complain to the unsuspecting restaurant. But here’s the twist: the pizzas are sold at a substantial loss.

    If someone could pay Doordash $16 a pizza, and Doordash would pay his restaurant $24 a pizza, then he [the owner] should clearly just order pizzas himself via Doordash, all day long. You’d net a clean $8 profit per pizza

    And the, ahh, take away:

    You have insanely large pools of capital creating an incredibly inefficient money-losing business model. It’s used to subsidize an untenable customer expectation. You leverage a broken workforce to minimize your genuine labor expenses. The companies unload their capital cannons on customer acquisition, while this week’s Uber-Grubhub news reminds us, the only viable endgame is a promise of monopoly concentration and increased prices. But is that even viable?

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “A riot is the language of the unheard”

    – Martin Luther King

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Researchers at Indiana University say a new fabric they have designed … has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in wound dressing, but lead researcher Chandan Sen * saw potential for more when the coronavirus pandemic began, he told the Indianapolis Star.

    Sen’s fabric is a part of the field of electroceuticals, which is “a fusion of the words ‘electrostatic’ and pharmaceuticals,’” according to Forbes.

    Printed with zinc and silver metal dots, the fabric generates a low-level electric field when it is moist and then kills the virus, according to the university. Research results determined the virus “is fully eliminated within one minute of contact with the fabric”, IU stated.

    The preliminary report from Sen and Indiana University has not been peer-reviewed and “additional studies are necessary,” according to the researcher. Sen offered hope the fabric could provide a breakthrough in PPE technology.
    “This work presents the first evidence demonstrating that the physical characteristic features of coronaviruses may be exploited to render them non-infective following contract with low-level electric field-generating electroceutical fabric,” Sen said, according to IU.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In the United States, pool parties over Memorial Day weekend may have caused further outbreaks.

    This from Associated Press:

    Health officials said on Friday they wanted to inform mass numbers of unknown people after a person who attended crowded pool parties over the Memorial Day weekend at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks tested positive for Covid-19.

    Camden County health department said the resident of Boone County, in mid-Missouri, tested positive on Sunday after arriving at the lake area a day earlier. Officials said there have been no reported cases of the virus linked to coronavirus in Camden County, where the parties seen in videos and photos posted on social media took place.

    Because mass numbers of unknown people need to be notified, the officials released a brief timeline of the person’s whereabouts last weekend, including stops at a bar called Backwater Jacks, a bar and restaurant that has a pool, as well as a dining and pool venue called Shady Gators and Lazy Gators.

    Backwater Jacks owner, Gary Prewitt, said previously in a statement that no laws were broken, although the images appeared to show people violating the Republican governor Mike Parsons’ state order requiring social distancing.

    Parson allowed businesses and attractions to reopen on 4 May, but the state order requires two metres (six feet) of social distancing to at least the end of May.

  6. Kit says:


    “A riot is the language of the unheard”

    – Martin Luther King

    Slang is the speech of the herd — Virginia Woolf

  7. Bill says:


    I’m sure you’ve said, but refresh me: In what genre do you write?

    I write magic/sci-fi non-erotica LGBT fiction

    Because my Roman Catholic wife works for our local church which makes her a diocesan employee and through her I get my health insurance, I don’t advertise my books around here.

  8. Kit says:

    Here’s some interesting news from some of those very fine people in the White House, as reported by The Verge: White House organizes harassment of Twitter employee as Trump threatens company:

    The White House has set its sights on a single Twitter employee after the company attached a fact-checking link to two of the president’s tweets containing lies and misinformation related to voter fraud. The charge was led on Fox News Wednesday morning, with Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway targeting Twitter’s head of site integrity, Yoel Roth, after digging up some tweets that were critical of Trump, Conway, and the administration.

    Conway called the employee “horrible” and directed listeners to go after him. “Somebody in San Francisco go wake him up and tell him he’s about to get a lot more followers,” she said on air. Immediately, the call was picked up by right-wing personalities and Trump supporters, who began sharing screenshots of the employee’s tweets. Roth is already facing a torrent of abuse and harassment, including multiple death threats

  9. Kathy says:
  10. sam says:

    There’s a sucker…well, you know.

    A $350 “anti-5G” device is just a 128MB USB stick, teardown finds

    5GBioShield “normalized my energy”

    The 5GBioShield website contains a list of testimonials from people who allegedly exist and are using the product to cure all sorts of health problems. “Thank you soo much !!! After just three days of the BioShield in my house, my brain fog and fatigue are gone, and I feel like I have 100% more energy,” a testimonial from “Edward” said.

    “I don’t know if it is a placebo effect or not, but I have a growing feeling of well being that comes directly from my instinctual survival drive deep in my belly center,” Jim wrote.

    Although the product maker says the device works without being plugged in, some of its users seem to think otherwise. “One minute and a half after I plugged it [in], I felt something wrong disappeared in the air,” Daniela wrote.

    Chris, who called 5GBioShield an “incredible product,” is quoted as saying, “I noticed my field reaching coherence and eliminating the frantic energy. Most importantly it has enabled me to access a higher vibration and help the pineal gland. I am more intentional, and in touch with others on a non verbal level. Where I live there is wifi and 4-g everywhere, and your bio shield is making it bearable. All of you who have developed this have done an incalculable service to humanity.”

    From the comments to the article:

    “There is no way I’m buying this thing until I hear what Gwyneth Paltrow’s opinion is on this…”

  11. Liberal Capitalist says:


    Wait, what?

    a bar called Backwater Jacks, a bar and restaurant that has a pool, as well as a dining and pool venue called Shady Gators and Lazy Gators.

    Unpossible. How does THAT work?

  12. Bill says:

    The Florida headline of the day-

    Lumber and a coronavirus test? Retailers add testing sites as number of cases soar

    Coronavirus tests at Home Depot? Can driver’s license tests at nail salons or bingo halls be next?

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Damned if I know and I have no intention of ever finding out.

  14. Teve says:


    We believe in law and order in this Country. We condemn violence against property or persons. We will always stand for the right of Americans to peacefully protest and let their voices be heard.


    You cost taxpayer money staging a walkout at a televised football game so your performative ethics could be viewed by all. Your objections to peaceful protest were so heightened and fragile that you had to stage a set-piece with money from my pocket. Hypocrite. You are complicit.

  15. Teve says:



    In episode 40 of Common Sense, we sit down with Mark Geist, a United States Marine credited with saving 25 people in the attack on Benghazi. In this interview, Mark provides an accurate account of what really happened in #Benghazi.

  16. Teve says:


    Colin Kaepernick should drop the silly national anthem protests and get to work.



    Protests work. Riots don’t.


    Whatever black people are doing, it’s the wrong thing. If they’re doing something else, that’s the wrong thing too.

  17. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There have been some pool parties and cookouts around here for the past month, including the local police chief’s pool. This county has two corona cases, no deaths. And those people (back in March) are in a nursing home way down at the state line and have recovered. There have also been the Mothers Day get-togethers and Memorial Day cookouts. Now, these did not involve huge numbers of people. The homes here have large lots; about two-three acres average, so there is plenty of space to spread out. 88-degree weather and warm sunshine have the people outside instead of being cage up.
    People are going to do Mother’s Day. No official in their right mind would mess with that.

  18. Sleeping Dog says:

    It’s a muggy Saturday morning in another year where New England went from late winter to summer in a nat’s breath. So to focus on the mundane. This year has brought a surfeit of squirrels and chipmunks, that is likely attributed to last fall the oaks had a bumper crop of acorns that provided plenty of food to survive the winter and it was a very mild, mostly snowless season. It leaves me wondering where the fox is that I once in a while see from the window by my desk. Come to think of it, I’ve not heard the owl this spring.

    I believe that I’ll ponder these mysteries today and leave solving the world’s problems for another.


  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell: Hmmm… Something tells me Covid Karen/Kevin wasn’t on the invite list at those get togethers, where as at LotOzarks everybody was invited, as long as they had money to spend.

    ETA: and really, your point about your county only having 2 cases is not even in the same ballpark, because the Lake draws visitors not just from all over the state, but all over the midwest. It is well known for it’s party culture.

  20. gVOR08 says:

    A CA church asked the Supremes for an injunction against the states order that they can open, but only at 25% capacity. Joining the liberals in a 5-4 decision Roberts opined that the state had imposed comparable restrictions on other activities. Kavanaugh issued a dissent saying the state hadn’t imposed comparable restrictions on other activities. This is a facially absurd case brought by conservative snowflakes determined to find offense where none was offered, and it got the votes of four Justices. I hope Susan Collins is proud.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Time for my morning nap to make up for my 2 AM wake up. Y’all have a good day.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Great! Now we’ll have Trump advocating electroshock therapy as a treatment for Covid. Just what we need. 🙁 (But it was an interesting article about making PPE better than it is.)

  23. Teve says:

    It’s a minor complaint, I know, but can we get sheriffs and police chiefs to stop wearing goddamn four-star general epaulets? You’re not MacArthur at Champagne-Marne, asshole. You’re supposed to be helping the community, not occupying it.

  24. Teve says:

    “Jeff Sessions is roaming the Alabama countryside like a freelance racist Samurai who has lost the faith of his master.”

    —Jon Lovett

  25. Teve says:

    Bart Gellman’s long-awaited (at least by me) book on Edward Snowden, Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State, will finally be published in a couple of weeks. There is an adapted excerpt in the Atlantic.

    It’s an interesting read, mostly about the government surveillance of him and other journalists. He speaks about an NSA program called FIRSTFRUITS that specifically spies on US journalists. (This isn’t news; we learned about this in 2006. But there are lots of new details.)

    One paragraph in the excerpt struck me:

    Years later Richard Ledgett, who oversaw the NSA’s media-leaks task force and went on to become the agency’s deputy director, told me matter-of-factly to assume that my defenses had been breached. “My take is, whatever you guys had was pretty immediately in the hands of any foreign intelligence service that wanted it,” he said, “whether it was Russians, Chinese, French, the Israelis, the Brits. Between you, Poitras, and Greenwald, pretty sure you guys can’t stand up to a full-fledged nation-state attempt to exploit your IT. To include not just remote stuff, but hands-on, sneak-into-your-house-at-night kind of stuff. That’s my guess.”

    I remember thinking the same thing. It was the summer of 2013, and I was visiting Glenn Greenwald in Rio de Janeiro. This was just after Greenwald’s partner was detained in the UK trying to ferry some documents from Laura Poitras in Berlin back to Greenwald. It was an opsec disaster; they would have been much more secure if they’d emailed the encrypted files. In fact, I told them to do that, every single day. I wanted them to send encrypted random junk back and forth constantly, to hide when they were actually sharing real data.

    As soon as I saw their house I realized exactly what Ledgett said. I remember standing outside the house, looking into the dense forest for TEMPEST receivers. I didn’t see any, which only told me they were well hidden. I guessed that black-bag teams from various countries had already been all over the house when they were out for dinner, and wondered what would have happened if teams from different countries bumped into each other. I assumed that all the countries Ledgett listed above — plus the US and a few more — had a full take of what Snowden gave the journalists. These journalists against those governments just wasn’t a fair fight.

    I’m looking forward to reading Gellman’s book. I’m kind of surprised no one sent me an advance copy.

    Bruce Schneier

  26. Mikey says:

    @Teve: Fuck Edward Snowden. That traitor did incalculable damage to our legitimate intel activities and benefited Russia and China immensely.

  27. James Joyner says:


    It’s a minor complaint, I know, but can we get sheriffs and police chiefs to stop wearing goddamn four-star general epaulets? You’re not MacArthur at Champagne-Marne, asshole. You’re supposed to be helping the community, not occupying it.

    I’ve been complaining about this for years. Granted, I don’t have much heartburn with corporal and sergeant’s stripes or lieutenants and captains bars. They’ve been standard police regalia for decades. But the general’s starts just seem wrong.

  28. CSK says:

    Generally, the more a cop insists on pretending that he’s a general leading his men into battle, the worse a cop he is.

  29. Teve says:

    @Mikey: I haven’t spent the hours necessary to figure out if I am pro or con Snowden, but the point of the excerpt was not just the technological capabilities that US intelligence agencies have, but that they are used on a routine basis and we don’t even think about it.

  30. CSK says:

    The late Robert B. Parker described those kind of cops as the ones who “ride a white stallion during the Memorial Day parade.”

  31. sam says:
  32. CSK says:

    Kellie Chauvin, wife of the homicidal Derek Chauvin, has filed for divorce. She says all her sympathies lie with George Floyd’s family.

  33. Teve says:

    A friend on FB:

    The violent protests in Minneapolis are caused, specifically, by agent provocateurs.

    The violence and looting are very specifically being used to promote the myth that the protests are not peaceful and that the protesters are causing this destruction.

    However, every person arrested in conjunction with these protests in St. Paul are from out-of-state and Minneapolis mayor says that 100% of those arrested are from out of state.

    This is a planned response.

    This is a group (or groups) that are purposefully being violent to distract people from the reality. A man died, killed by police, who shouldn’t even have been arrested.

    Remember, Dylan Roof killed 9 people an officers brought him a burger. George Floyd died because someone thought he had written a bad check. See if you can guess the ethnicity of each person.

    “Gov. Walz has called for the full mobilization of the Minnesota National Guard. Minneapolis Mayor Frey in a media briefing said that many protesters are from out of state. St. Paul Mayor Carter in the same media briefing said that all protesters arrested Friday night in to Saturday morning are from out of state.”

  34. Teve says:

    Another friend of mine who just moved back to Minneapolis says that the violence isn’t being caused by the locals.

  35. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: It’s the white people… it’s always the white people… well, at least partially the white people.

    Open question whether they are white nationalist agent provocateurs or white kids playing around because revolution is cool and they won’t have to deal with the consequences. Probably both.

    And yesterday I mocked Tyrell’s claims along this line. Sorry, Mr. T, you were right and I was wrong.

    I continue to assume that a large chunk of the violence is caused by locals who are frustrated and angry, but I might just be assuming that because I want to set a Target on fire, everyone wants to set a Target on fire.

  36. CSK says:

    Just in the interest of accuracy, it’s quite common for cops to buy burgers for prisoners. The prisoners have to be fed, and getting them stuff from the local fast food joint is the quickest and easiest way to do so. When I did some consulting work for a largish municipal police department, I saw that one of the cells was wall-papered with McDonald’s wrappers.

    The Charleston P.D. didn’t do Roof any special favors–at least they didn’t in buying him a burger. They just fed him the easiest way possible, as the law requires. Snopes backs me up on this.

  37. Kurtz says:


    Wait, is it just me, or is that similar to health insurance?

    A patient paying cash pays $500 for a procedure. Insurance reimbursement for the same procedure is some multiplier more.

    The parties are re-arranged in some aspects, but the weird pricing leads to similar results.

  38. Kurtz says:


    When I read Tyrell’s comment, the first person I thought of was Talib Kweli going to Ferguson and excoriating Don Lemon on camera.

    Tyrell, can you clarify who the outsiders were that came in to cause trouble? (This highlights the importance of citing claims like yours from.)

  39. Monala says:

    @CSK: some have questioned her sincerity. A divorce would allow her to maintain all the couple’s assets if he is sued for wrongful death.

  40. Stormy Dragon says:

    Journalist Minneapolis Police shot in the face is permanently blind in one eye:

    an update: I am permanently blind in my left eye, and the docs absolutely refuse to let me go back to work for they say six weeks. I’m definitely not allowed to be near smoke or gas.Usually if I had to stay home I’d spend a lot of time amplifying folk but reading hurts today— Linda Tirado (@KillerMartinis) May 30, 2020

  41. CSK says:

    Could be. I wasn’t aware she could keep all his assets in the event of a suit. Would she be keeping the assets for herself or keeping them for him?

    OTOH, she may be genuinely revolted by what he did.

  42. Stormy Dragon says:


    A divorce requires distribution of both marital assets and liabilities. A court is unlikely to approve sending all the assets to one party and all the liabilities to the other. e.g. you can’t have one party get the house and the other get the mortgage and then go “ooops, I can’t pay, I guess you’re screwed bank!”.

  43. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Nope. But I suppose you could sign over your assets to someone else to protect them in the event of a suit. Don’t know. I was responding to a comment Monala made on my original post.

  44. CSK says:

    Photographer Elsa Dorfman has died. She was 83. She leaves her husband, Harvey Silverglate, and son Isaac.

  45. Kit says:


    Wait, is it just me, or is that similar to health insurance?

    Are you suggesting that there might be some health-care arbitrage possibilities if we perform surgery on ourselves? Interesting…

  46. Teve says:

    @CSK: oh yeah, I don’t agree 100% with what my friend said, but with the general gist, when I was in a criminal justice class 25 years ago Burger King was actually the example that the cop used about how to get immediate trust with suspects to get them to tell you everything.

  47. Kathy says:

    I completely forgot about today’s SpaceX Dragon crew launch. The capsule’s in orbit now, making for the ISS. The live webcast is still ongoing.

    Years ago I got up very early several times to catch the first Shuttle launch. Today I’m far less excited. But, then, this time no one’s making wild promises about routine weekly launches and space travel for everyone, even though Musk at SpaceX has bigger goals in mind.

  48. CSK says:

    Indeed. Buy the suspect a burger and fries, and pretty soon he and you are chatting like old buddies, and he’s confessing. Refusing to bring food or drink to a hungry or thirsty prisoner could be construed as police brutality, I imagine. Roof claimed he had not eaten for several days, so they sent someone out to get a burger for him. Probably some of them would liked to have spit in it.

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  50. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Wow. That really makes VD seem like a good thing. It’s for everybody, and lots of good looking people have it, and they’re all so happy. Don’t you want to be good looking and happy too?

  51. Jax says:

    I have never seen anything as beautiful as what I saw today, watching that eagle hunt with her human. And he is “her” human. She owns him, not the other way around. I called in a professional photographer that brought his lens the size of my head, when he gets the pictures processed I will share the link.

    She only found one small cottontail to chase, but it was pretty warm out. The cottontail disappeared into a hole, so she decided to stop on the side of an irrigation ditch and take a little bath, it was so cute!

  52. Teve says:


    It’s kinda wild seeing pics of so many police officers all over the USA wearing so much paramilitary gear they look like Robocops while some doctors in our hospitals are still wearing garbage bags for PPE.

  53. Kurtz says:


    Haha. I’m down. Just gotta order some sterile equipment. And lots of hand sanitizer. If anything goes wrong, I’ll just blast my insides with light and heat. If that fails, inject some lysol.

  54. Gustopher says:

    I would like to condemn those set the Daughters of the Confederacy building in Richmond on fire, but I just don’t have it in me.