Saturday’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:

    “A dream for some, a nightmare for others!

    Footage shared on social media and by local news outlets captures six Nevada counties under siege, with thick carpets of bugs moving slowly and efficiently across the state. A local hospital had to deploy brooms and leafblowers to clear the way for patients to get into the building, a spokesperson for the Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital, told local news outlet KSL.

    Not only do the bugs make for terrifying plague-like images and videos, they make roadways dangerous when large numbers of them get crushed.

    “They get run over, two or three come out and eat their buddy, and they get run over, and the roads can get covered with crickets and they can get slick,” Jeff Knight, an entomologist for the Nevada agriculture department, also told KSL. “The bigger issue is these afternoon thunderstorms and put a little water on that and it gets slick, we’ve had a number of accidents caused by crickets.”

    Despite their name, the insects are not biologically crickets but technically large shield-backed katydids that closely resemble grasshoppers, according to the University of Nevada, Reno. They don’t fly, and instead walk or hop.

    They lay eggs in the summer, which lie dormant in the winter and then hatch in the spring. But this year, due to an unusually rainy winter, the hatchlings were delayed. The large number of insects moving across Nevada can remain at their peak for four to six years, before being brought back under control by other insects and predators, Knight told the Guardian.

    ian bremmer

    a plague of crickets in nevada
    the end is nigh
    (w/ short video)

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In Sleeping with the Ancestors, written with Herb Frazier, Joseph McGill Jr relates a fascinating, decades-long quest for truth. His work as a preservationist led to the formation of the Slave Dwelling Project. All over America, McGill sleeps overnight in former slave quarters. In an informative and engrossing book, he now tells the story of this groundbreaking endeavor.

    The idea came to McGill after a visit to Anne Frank’s hiding place in Amsterdam. Cramped quarters gave Anne, her family and friends temporary sanctuary from the Nazis. For McGill, “being there connected that space to her and her diaries that told of her life in hiding … That tour taught me the importance of preserving historic buildings.”

    McGill started out as a civil war re-enactor. Now, as a Black man, his job is particularly important. He is part of a growing movement to save landmarks of Black history. Calling attention to the perilous condition of many slave cabins, his is a clarion call, grounded in the message that Black history is American history.
    His subtitle is: “How I Followed the Footprints of Slavery”. For sure, his book will help counter the toxicity of these times. With carefully researched fact, he refutes countless Gone With the Wind-like fictions, tales that comfort white supremacists. He confronts racist fantasy head on, through vivid first-hand reportage and thoughtful scholarship. Briefly living as our forebears did, he challenges nostalgia for a nation that never was. Amid rightwing book bans and anti-woke laws, this is a book long overdue. What is at stake is the unifying possibility offered by America’s heritage.

    Another one for the “To read” pile.

  3. steve says:

    Will add second book to my list. The article is well written. I must confess that I didnt know that the UK had paid reparations, but it went to the slaveholders and not the former slaves. It was such a large amount of money it took until 2015 to pay it off.


  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Rex Chapman Retweeted
    Michael Harriot

    Y’all wanna hear the TRUE story of Nikki Haley?

    A thread

    Worth the read.

  5. Mikey says:

    This is really something to behold.

    Y’all wanna hear the TRUE story of Nikki Haley?

    A thread

  6. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I swear I was here five minutes ago and didn’t see you had already beat me to this…lol…great minds think alike.

  7. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: +100 for quoting Excalibur

  8. JohnMc says:

    The strangely parallel paths of politics in the US & the UK continue to amaze.

    Just saw that Boris Johnson’s “private notebooks” are being withheld from him by the British Intelligence folks because they contain national secrets.

  9. CSK says:


    Well, TFG did call Johnson “the Donald Trump of Great Britain,” so….

  10. Kathy says:

    In the 7 Basic plots book, the author, Booker, comes up with a rule of 3. Illustrating that often characters or events come in threes.

    Like, the three little pigs, Cinderella goes to the ball 3 times, Kathy gives three examples, etc.

    It does show up a lot. Also in daily life, like having three attempts to log in before your account is blocked, or the popular belief that third time’s the charm, or the Mythbusters always counting down from three, etc.

    To me, this is conclusive proof. Humans do have Minbari souls 🙂

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: Heh, I’m usually the slower one. As far as great minds and all that, I’m not so sure you shouldn’t be a little worried. 😉

    @Jay L Gischer: Hey! Somebody caught it! I thought it might fly right by everybody. You’ve made my day. That movie has so many great lines:

    “Looking at the cake is like looking at the future, until you’ve tasted it what do you really know? And then, of course, it’s too late.”

    “Too late.”

    eta: of course, Merlin had all the best lines.

  12. Jay L Gischer says:



    “Arthur is coming..”

    “How do you know?”


    [cue faint Carmina Burana music]

  13. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’d never be able to pick up on an Excalibur reference. Never seen it. But pop culture references are always tricky that way.

  14. Mr. Prosser says:

    In the West those nightmare katydids are known as “Mormon Crickets” because they played hell with crops planted in Utah during the LDS colonization around the Great Salt Lake. The seagull is the Utah state bird because seagulls ate them.

  15. CSK says:

    TFG says that Fox News needs “Trump” in order to survive and flourish. (I love how he refers to himself in the third person.) He is also saying “Long live the King” in reference to himself.

    Oh, and Sarah Palin is bitching to Newsmax about being canceled by Fox News.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: It’s a unique film, a combination of fantasy and action with comedic moments throughout. Definitely not going to attract all eyes but to my mind, it has aged well. I really didn’t think anybody would catch it, so hats off to Jay.

  17. CSK says:

    This is a history of Trump’s dealings with lawyers. It’s quite interesting:

  18. Daryl says:

    At first I thought this was a parody…JFC what is wrong with these people?

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    George Conway@gtconway3d
    I’ve decided I’m just going to call him “the defendant” from now on

    Me too.​

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl: In my 35 years in construction we always had a water cooler on the job site* which was refilled whenever necessary and anytime somebody needed a drink they could go get one and anytime somebody showed early signs of heat stroke they could go to the job site trailer to cool down. Most guys had a personal water jug too, I always did. We took that shit seriously.

    *pretty sure that was an OSHA reg but it was enforced by the shop steward. If I am correct (been a couple decades since I took my OSHA 30 course) Abbot is not gonna get far with this BS.

    ETA: Now read the piece and I see the AFL/CIO weighing in so I am probably misremembering. Anyway, one more reason to go with the union label.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl: Times have changed, for sure. Years ago, I was working for a display service company setting up display tents and tables at a local drag race (automobiles, to be clear) site. My supervisor came by to ask if I’d taken a water break. When I replied that I wasn’t thirsty he replied that he didn’t care, he wanted me to go to the break tent to get out of the sun and drink some water and took over my task so that I could go.

    ETA: I see the problem now:

    We are talking about a human right,” said Ana Gonzalez, deputy director of policy and politics at the Texas AFL-CIO.

    [channeling my inner Texan] 1) She’s a woman; what would she know about “man’s work?” 2) Human rights are only for humans, not construction workers.*

    *Yes, I know. That WAS harsh. 🙁 MY inner Texan is a little deficient in some qualities. But I did edit from what I was originally going to say.

  22. JohnSF says:


    …reparations …went to the slaveholders and not the former slaves.

    It was because under Common Law precedent, horrible as it was, slave owners had a property right that they could claim compensation for infringement of in court. The alternative was to pass a statute abrogating such rights.
    In the 1830’s that might have been difficult to pass obstruction in the House of Lords, and the remnant “plantation interest” in the Commons.
    The other thing that worried London was the possibility that West Indian slaveowners would appeal to the US for protection of their “rights” if they were not compensated.
    All in all, a vile business.
    If there was anything worse than the Southern cotton plantations, it was the West Indian sugar plantations.
    Richard S. Dunn’s Sugar and Slaves is worth reading on the topic; but you may need a strong stomach. Parts of it are utterly horrifying.

    There is an ongoing campaign for a reparations fund to be set up to fund development in the West Indies. Seems like the least we can do.

  23. JohnSF says:

    Have I mentioned recently that Boris Johnson has resigned as an MP?
    Because Boris Johnson has resigned as an MP!

  24. CSK says:


    I believe you may have alluded to it.

  25. Kathy says:


    “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.”

  26. JohnSF says:

    “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.”
    And I for one am inclined to dance a jig on his grave.