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. Bill Jempty says:
  2. Bill Jempty says:
  3. charontwo says:

    I am rewatching Ergo Proxy, now streaming on Hulu, I really liked my first watch a long time ago.

    The setting is a domed city-state with a very controlling authoritarian government. The city-states were created by humans who abandoned a polluted Earth, leaving behind the domed cities each with a dedicated proxy. The proxies are human-created beings with enormous powers and a special purpose. Some are able to shape-shift into human (or other) form.

    One central character is Re-L Mayer, the granddaughter of the ruling regent. The other is Vincent Law, an immigrant peon. Vincent is the (amnesiac and unknowing) human version of Ergo Proxy.

    It’s a complex show with complicated relationships and aspects, so one really needs to be reading insightful episode recaps to enjoy it. The best I have found are at this site:

    The visual style of this anime is unusual, as can be seen in the screen caps in the recaps I linked.

  4. Bill Jempty says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘They’re back to making millions’: workers accuse US mill where five died in blast

    “I’m alive, but five other guys died that night. I was friends with two of them. It changes your life big time, medically and psychologically,” said Oosterhof. “They knew this was a possibility that could happen. Osha fined them and wanted them to put these glass gates in, so if there was a fire it wouldn’t go any more than a little way up the pipe. But they said it was cheaper to pay the fines than to pay for the equipment to make it safe.

    A thrice told tale.

    Rena Steinzor, a law professor at the University of Maryland and the author of Why Not Jail? Industrial Disasters, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction, said: “For those of us who have been involved in watching Osha fairly carefully for several years, its inability or unwillingness to cope with combustible dust is a central disappointment, because it really kills a lot of people because of these kinds of incidents.

    “They’re dying for completely avoidable circumstances, and it is a revelation for the weakness of the agency.”

    Steinzor criticized the minimal fines Osha imposes for incidents that kill workers, as well as the chronic and severe underfunding of the agency, and said the charges in this case were lesser than could have been pursued by prosecution.

    “A false statement to the government [and] falsifying records doesn’t get to the heart of the problem, which is: you knew that there was this catastrophic possibility, and you weren’t on it in a responsible way. So it’s an issue of company failure and negligence, but also agency weakness,” he said.

    She’s not wrong. OSHA has long been known (among construction workers anyway) for it’s toothlessness. They will fine a company* for hundreds of thousands of dollars (or millions) and through appeals it will get reduced to just a thousand or 2.

    Regulatory capture for the win!

    *giving them the power to shut a company down until the safety issue was fixed would go a long ways, but I don’t see that happening, not in my lifetime anyway.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Joey, an 82-year-old tortoise in Cornwall, is recovering from surgery after the removal of a bladder stone the size of a cricket ball.

    Two veterinary surgeons had to cut through Joey’s shell to remove the growth, which at 150g was almost three times the weight of a tennis ball.

    One of the vets, Viliam Hoferica, said the bladder stone was the largest he had ever seen. “Given the size of the stone, it was very unique. If Joey was a human, it would be like having a bladder stone the size of a basketball,” he said.

    Hoferica said it may take up to a year for Joey’s shell to heal. Explaining the procedure, he said the vets had to create a fibreglass and resin glue to hold together her shell after the surgery.

    I had to pass a stone once. Talk about hell on earth… I ended up in the ER. All I had to say was, “I’ve got a kidney stone.” and they shot me up with the morphine. I also requested a fan to cool me off (they had to scour the hospital to find me one) and an extra pillow so I could cover my eyes (those rooms are WAY too bright). That is one experience I have no desire to ever go thru again.

  7. Jax says:

    I bitch a lot about living in such a red state, but at the same time….I have the best neighbors. We were 50 bales from being done with haying season yesterday, and our baler broke down in a big, bad way. My neighbor noticed the baler doing the “walk of shame” back to the house, called me and said “NO! Your baler did NOT just break down, did it?! You’re almost done!” I was almost in tears, and when I said yes, she said “Don’t you worry, I will be right there!” So she brought her tractor and baler over, and baled the rest of our hay for us.

    Now excuse me, while I go blow my piece of shit baler up. 😛 😛

  8. Kathy says:

    If the Republiqan shutdown isn’t enough to disrupt air travel, along comes problems with Pratt & Whitney engines in some A320neo family aircraft.

    And should anyone be interested in commercial aviation, beyond the occasional bits I post here, I recommend this Youtube channel, along with one by the same man focused on accidents and incidents.

    It helps that he’s a 737 pilot.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    Maryland has been set back in its attempt at a modest step to take gun policy away from the delusional man-boys who have been granted sole access to our society for the past several decades, thanks to the Republicans and the Supreme Court they own. The idiocy of allowing people to carry guns in public places is just beyond comprehension. The gun fetishists watch TV fiction and see themselves as heroes who will rush in to save the day while here in reality it is a thousand times more likely we will get results like what happened 2 nights ago a half mile from my house: two macho drunks, at least one armed, got into a fight in a crowded bar and got thrown out, whereupon they continued their brawl in the crowded street until, inevitably, one got his man juice up enough to pull his gun and kill the other. If there is any tiny positive glimmer here, at least the shooter was sober enough that all his bullets seemed to hit his target and not a bunch of innocent bystanders. One idiot dead, another arrested and looking to spend a good portion of his life in jail (the dead idiot was an off duty cop from a Washington/Baltimore suburb, so the sentence will be stiff).

    If you think walking around with a gun makes you safe, you’re dangerously mistaken. If you think an “armed citizenry makes us all safe”, you’re a certifiable idiot. And, my special pet peeve, if you keep a gun in your car’s glove compartment, aka Weapons ATM for Criminals, you should immediately be charged criminally and there should be a sentence enhancement for anyone keeping a gun in a car that also has an NRA bumper sticker or other advertisement that you are the kind of moron that is likely to have said gun in your car.

  10. EddieInCA says:


    Jax, I’m sorry for your situation. BUT this….

    We were 50 bales from being done with haying season yesterday, and our baler broke down in a big, bad way.

    I have no idea what that even means, given I’m a such city boy. What’s a bailer? I’m guessing it cuts hay and packages it? Or something else?

    Edit: Also, how long and when is “haying season?”

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Ain’t that the way of it?

  12. gVOR10 says:

    @MarkedMan: Locally the Tampa Bay Times reported two dead yesterday. A guy described by family as feeling depressed walked into a car repair shop and took a shot at the owner. The owner grabbed his own gun and shot back. They fatally wounded each other. The first guy thought he’d been overcharged on a repair. Two years go. An armed society is a polite society. Or so I’m told.

    And reading conservative sites they’ll blame anything and everything, except the sea of guns they’ve created.

  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    And hay is a. . . it’s some sort of plant, right? I believe you must make it while the sun shines.

  14. gVOR10 says:


    I bitch a lot about living in such a red state, but at the same time….I have the best neighbors.

    I’ve said before, most of the MAGA are good people. I live amongst them, I’m related to some, and I worked with them. A guy who reported to me was an Oath Keeper. I’m glad I retired in 2016 before it got really bad. But I’d have loaned most of them a hundred bucks on their word anytime. They’re not bad people. They’re politically naive, and they’re being taken advantage of by liars with piles of money.

    If your platform is tax cuts and no regulation for the rich and their corporations, you have to sell voters something else. Blood and soil populism is the easiest thing to sell. And of course you focus your efforts on the most gullible. And here we are.

    Oh, and as a kid I’ve ridden the wagon behind the bailer and at the age of 12 manhandled bales.

  15. Beth says:

    I have partied at the dirtiest club in Detroit, zooted out of my mind wearing nothing but a bikini and felt totally safe.

    I have partied in basement raves, weird ass clubs, and sundry strange places wearing just two stickers and a pair of panties, barely clinging to reality, alone, and felt totally safe.

    I’ve partied alone in FL and felt safe.

    Last night I went to a supposedly fancy (albeit, chicago fancy), dressed in a respectable amount of clothes so as to not cause a problem and experienced the worst sexual harassment I have ever experienced. It was so bad that if a friend hadn’t showed up I would have left halfway through one of my favorite djs. There were two to three guys who kept trying to separate women from their friends. They wouldn’t stop touching me in the creepiest ways. It was gross. Hell, it got so bad that a friend in Molly got so mad that he almost fought a harasser. I didn’t know that was possible.

    What the hell is wrong with men?

  16. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR10: I don’t particularly associate gun ownership with libertarianism, but I wonder if I’m wrong about that? World views overlap almost completely. Adolescent understanding of human nature garnered from comic books and action movies. Total faith in cockamamie theories despite real world “experiments” inevitably resulting in disasters. I could go on, but I guess my question is for those who know the libertarian community better than me: Are they strongly associated with actual (and not just theoretical) gun nuttery? Are they more likely to walk around with a gun in a concealed holster or, worse, an unconcealed one?

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Beth: Sounds a group of those, I forget the name, but the guys who take classes in how to “seduce” women? Like they all showed up at once seeking to practice their lessons.

  18. CSK says:


    How tall are you, may I ask?

  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    This is a failure of decent men to step in and stop this. It should not be up to women to deal with asshole men, that responsibility lies with us. That’s why nature gave us the big muscles. If you don’t have the balls to protect a woman being harassed or assaulted, hand in your man card.

  20. Beth says:


    I was wondering the same thing. They had the exact same tactics.


    I’m 6ft 200 pounds. I’m not small. Although, post transition whenever I’m in a crowded space men inevitably walk through me like I’m a giant ghost. It’s infuriating.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    My friend was doing his best, but yeah. No one else stepped up. I was looking for security at one point but they were hiding.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @Beth:I have the opposite experience. My wife is 5’1″ (or so she claims and who am I to argue?) and 108 pounds. I’m 6’1″ and 205 pounds. Inevitably she wedges her way through crowds and looks back at me impatiently. I’ve explained dozens of times that a tiny woman pushing her way through a crowd is hardly noticed, but someone my size gets dirty looks and comments from the women and fists might start flying from the men.

  22. steve says:

    Jax- Feel for you. Was big for my age so I got drafted into hay baling fairly young. I wanted to play football so figured it was good conditioning so I mostly didnt mind and we had those big farm meals with lots of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob with pie for dessert washed down by gallons of iced tea so ti was a good trade off for me. What I really hated was blaming straw because it bothered my breathing. We never had that happen but a neighbor did and a bunch of people pitched in to help.

    I am not surprised at your neighbors. Most people in red states are not the people on the internet typing out awful stuff. Most are good decent people not actually that interested in politics who vote for Republicans because that is what everyone else does. But, and its a bit but, its not good if you are different. As Kristofferson said (close I think) “if you aint one of us, we dont really give a damn”.

    For the city people, which I guess I mostly am now, after the hay is cut you need to form it into bales for handling. In the past it was largely those rectangular, about 3 feet long, held to gather by wire bales. Once in bales you can store in the loft fro feeding later. Nowadays I see a lot fo those very large round bales, if they are still called that, out in the fields.


  23. Gustopher says:


    What the hell is wrong with men?

    Andrew Tate.

    It’s more than just that, but there’s a very disgusting crop of man-children out there who have gone down a rabbit hole of misogyny, grifting and grievance. A particularly unpleasant combination of believing that the world owes them something that they haven’t earned, and a belief that everyone cheats and if you don’t than you’re a sucker.

    They just need to be stuck in the head a few times with the proverbial clue-by-four until they finally get a clue. And then a few more times, for good measure.

    I do wonder if the “clothing-lite” raves just have a better culture where the better men are more likely to be watching out for women because they appear more vulnerable.

  24. CSK says:


    I asked because height in a woman is off-putting to some men.

  25. Mister Bluster says:

    In their infinite wisdom the baseball czars have eliminated the extra regular season game 163 to break ties for entry into the Wild Card contests. With two games left in the regular season Cub fans have to try and decipher this:

    Miami holds the tiebreaker over Chicago and Cincinnati for the third NL Wild Card, and Cincinnati holds the tiebreaker over Chicago.

    As I texted my brother in California:
    “The Cubs have to beat the first place Brewers in Milwaukee for the last two games of the regular season and every other team in baseball has to lose their last two regular season games for the Cubs to make the playoffs.”

    Wait till next year…

  26. MarkedMan says:


    I asked because height in a woman is off-putting to some men.

    I personally think that height is important for a woman. All the ones I’ve met with no height are so two dimensional…

    [Edges quietly for the door]

  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    I like tall women. My wife is 5’8″, well within normal range, but relatively tall, although I still have six inches on her. (Hey, hey, get your minds out of the gutter). I’m afraid I have the very cliché, Jewish male’s thing for shiksas. (Again, out of the gutter.) Tall, blue eyes and in my wife’s case, hair that over time has progressed from light brown to blond which I’m pretty sure, is an entirely natural process.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: What the hell is wrong with men?

    Just taking a guess but could it be that we are men?

  29. Mister Bluster says:


    House GOP stunner: Spending patch passes with Dem votes
    09/30/2023 02:50 PM EDT
    In a shocking turn, the House on Saturday took an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote to avert a shutdown at midnight on Sunday — with the majority of Democrats bailing out the GOP.Speaker Kevin McCarthy passed the 45-day stopgap funding patch, 334-92, with help from more than 200 Democrats and more than six dozen Republican voting no. It’s an unexpected move that is certain to accelerate a far-right rebellion aimed at taking his gavel.
    The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is likely to pass just before the shutdown deadline.

  30. Mister Bluster says:

    “We’re tired of f–king around with these whack jobs,” The Unknown Republican said as Kevin McCarthy risked a far-right rebellion aimed at taking his gavel.

  31. Beth says:


    I do wonder if the “clothing-lite” raves just have a better culture where the better men are more likely to be watching out for women because they appear more vulnerable.

    I think this has a good bit to do with it. Not that it doesn’t go on or there aren’t problems. Those spaces tend to be a lot queer-er with expectations about touching and consent explicitly stated and enforced. Even in the mostly male gay bars I frequent there aren’t problems like this. Though full disclosure I was assaulted in a gay bar by a guy who thought it was a good idea to say hi by sticking his hand down my pants after repeated “no’s”. But he was dealt with by friends and the bar.


    I know a lot of guys profess that, but I suspect many of them are full of shit. In my experience a lot of guys just see boobs and then think they are entitled to them.


    Bravo. Bravo sir!

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I used to think my idealized woman was tall, with long brown hair. I couldn’t figure out why all the women I dated were short, with short hair. Then one day, post transition and said “oh shit”. I’ve spent the last couple of years bringing her into being.

    Now I understand I have bog standard bisexual woman tastes. All women, 27-29 year old ding ding men and grumpy older men.


    We’re making sure we try and raise our son so that he doesn’t fall in the Andrew Tate/incel trap. He’s started asking about “picking people up” and we’ve had frank discussions about what to do and not to do.

  32. Gustopher says:


    We’re making sure we try and raise our son so that he doesn’t fall in the Andrew Tate/incel trap. He’s started asking about “picking people up” and we’ve had frank discussions about what to do and not to do.

    I’m surprised that Micheal Reynolds hasn’t started on his “there’s no unique role for men” schtick already. That schtick isn’t entirely wrong, and if there is a void in a kid’s life, there are people like Andrew Tate and Jordan Peterson who will fill that void.

    And I think there are larger challenges in families where the father isn’t in the house — women obviously shouldn’t be stuck in unhappy marriages, but it also sends a message that men aren’t needed or are replaceable when boys need role models. Nothing impossible, just larger challenges.

    I don’t know a damn thing about kids — human larva are just icky — but every junior engineer I’ve worked with who has let those shitty beliefs show has had very clear father issues.

    Señor Shithead has his documentary “What is a woman?”, and was a gotcha question on the right for a few months, but the real question we need to be asking is “What is a man?”

    Anyway, a man’s role is to play video games, watch Star Wars, and have extensive beliefs about the role of the AT-AT in galactic combat. Maybe also know far too many facts about crows or something, and have an unwieldy collection of far too many nicely polished rocks he found in streams.

    (I know nothing about crows, and have no rocks, and am thus a failure of a man)

  33. JohnSF says:

    In my continuing quest to cheer you all up, things are looking like taking a turn for the bad in Kosovo: Serbia massing troops on the border, following a crisis that has seen Serb insurgents besieged in a monastery in northern Kosovo.
    A UK battalion (1stPWRRgt) has been attached to NATO-KFOR as reinforcements.
    Also some reports of NATO air assets in south-east region etc being prepped.
    It seems to be the product of Serbian domestic politics, again.

  34. de stijl says:


    I have helped bring in hay in various capacities in my youth. Summertime, mom would shuffle me off to my grandparent’s farm for free labor. 7 or 8 to 13. Eventually I refused to go again. That was not pleasant.

    I wasn’t allowed to mow the hay, that was precise adult work, but I was taught to and allowed to rake the cut hay. On a huge-ass tractor. When I was 10 or so and had to scoot forward to work the pedals. Hey, I learned how to work a clutch and a manual transmission. I had been taught how to work the power take-off. There is no real way to fuck up raking hay. Line it up and drive straight forward. You are there to fluff it to encourage drying. Turn around when you hit the end. I remember tractor seats as being very bouncy. I remember having to figure out reversing. Trial and error is a damn good way to learn.

    The baler machine was insane! It would scoop up the dry, raked hay, smush it into a bale, slice it into, well, slices chunks slabs whatever there is a word for that, and wrap it up in two pieces of twine (which is some magic shit) and then floomp it out in an arc into the towed behind hay wagon. That is an astonishingly precise and genius bit of rolling machinery! The mechanical genius in a hay baler is frankly astonishing.

    Meanwhile, back at the barn, another crew was unloading the hay wagons. One person would unload the bales onto a ramped conveyor belt contraption that would dump the bales into the barn loft. Other folks would haul and stack the bales. I was usually that haul person. When I got exhausted (I was a child) they would sub me out to the person who put the bales onto the conveyor downstairs which was the easiest job. You get a half hour or so between loads when you drink about a gallon of water and then collapse on the ground and pant heavily. Rinse and repeat

    You make hay when the sun shines. Two meanings to that. You never want to put up damp hay which will rot and spread mold. And, when it’s dried out and ready, you do it til the sun goes down.

    I have never been more exhausted. It made future crappy jobs seem like cake walks. Baling hay and storing it is fucking exhausting.

    I still have no idea how a baler ties up the twine around a hay bale, completes the loop, before it poops it out!

  35. Matt says:

    @EddieInCA: There’s a wide range of balers out there but generally they produce bales of straw/hay/whatever fibrous plant material. Some produce square bales and other designs produce the cylindrical bales. On my family farm we had a square baler for straw (used for animal bedding). The baler was towed behind the tractor with a PTO (Power Take-Off) shaft providing mechanical power to the baler. You would aim the mouth of the baler to pickup the row of leavings left behind by the prior combine. The baler would grab the plant material bind it together and spit it out the back (tied with baler twine). As a youngin I was stationed on a flatbed trailer attached to the back of the baler to grab and re-stack the bales as they were produced. There’s a lot of variation in balers giving you all kinds of option in bale size/shape/material used/tying material/etc.


    Oh, and as a kid I’ve ridden the wagon behind the bailer and at the age of 12 manhandled bales.

    When we bailed straw it always amazed me how much the bale’s weight can vary despite being roughly the same size (moisture etc).

    @gVOR10: As long as they think you’re on the same “team”. A whole lot of genuinely nice people full of bullshit and a built in anger at the system that keeps them poor. They just don’t know it’s bullshit because their tribe has been Republican going back generations. Remember lynchings used to be a family event where those good Christian helpful people would go celebrate the murder of an outsider/other. Don’t be an other and you’ll generally survive..

    As a young person I fell fully into it because it felt great to belong to something. You had people watching out for each other because no one else would. The outsiders and those who are different threatened our existence and thus must be driven off/attacked. Everything looks rosey and great when you’re inside. It’s only after I broke outside the group that I saw the back stabbing the lying the cheating the terrible behaviour and then later on the closed minded nature of these people.

  36. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I kinda like the elimination of extra single game as a tie breaker. In baseball anybody can win one game, so the decision should be on the party’s head to head record.

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Anyway, a man’s role is to play video games, watch Star Wars, and have extensive beliefs about the role of the AT-AT in galactic combat. Maybe also know far too many facts about crows or something, and have an unwieldy collection of far too many nicely polished rocks he found in streams.

    This explains a lot. And my situation is even worse than yours in that I not only don’t play video games or watch Star Wars (that’s a Korean talent show, right?), but also don’t know what an AT-AT is. 🙁

  38. DK says:


    All I had to say was, “I’ve got a kidney stone.” and they shot me up with the morphine.

    Did the morphine help?

  39. JohnSF says:

    In my early teens I lived out in the countryside, and haymaking (and also straw baling) was always very important to the local farms. The kids tended to get roped in to helping out, with the school giving a half day to “rural studies practical”.
    Machinery going wrong was always amusing.
    But the best was bunking off once the work was done, on a warm September day, with some flagons of cider distributed by the farmer, and a bunch of us putting the cassette blaster on and partying next the hay bales, drinking scrumpy as the sun went down.
    Fun times.

  40. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Similar memories!
    When I was young, in some fields, smaller hillside ones unsuited to combines, they still did some things the really old way, cutting by scythe and binding by hand. Smaller tractor reaper/balers were only just coming in then.
    Funny, thinking about it: that someone my age may have been among the last to see something that had been the pattern of the seasons for a thousand years.

  41. Mister Bluster says:

    @dazedandconfused:..all tied up

    My head hurts!

    1. Head-to-head record
    The first and simplest tiebreaker is the result of the season series between the tied teams. If Team X and Team Y tie for the top spot in the division and Team X went 10-8 against Team Y, then Team X is the division champion.

    It’s more complex for three-team ties.

    If the three clubs DO NOT all have identical records against one another and Team X has a better record against Teams Y and Z, then Team X is the qualifier. If Team X and Y have identical records against one another and each has a better record against Team Z, then Teams X and Y follow the two-club tiebreaker rules to determine the qualifier. Otherwise, the three clubs are ranked by their overall winning percentage against one another, and the club with the highest overall winning percentage is the qualifier. If two of the clubs have identical winning percentages in this scenario, then they would follow the two-club tiebreaker procedure.

    If the three clubs DO have identical records against one another, then the team with the best intradivision record (see below) is the qualifier.

    Note: If the three teams are tied for a division championship plus one Wild Card spot, then, once the above is used to determine the division champ, the remaining two teams revert to the two-team tiebreaker procedure to determine the Wild Card.

    2. Intradivision Record
    If the head-to-head record is also a tie, then the involved clubs’ records within their division will break the tie. This applies even if the tie is for a Wild Card spot between two teams that do not reside in the same division. The team with the superior intradivision record would win the tiebreaker.

    3. Interdivision Record
    In the event of a head-to-head and intradivision record tie for the involved teams, then the tie would be settled based on how they fared against teams within their league but outside of their division. So for an AL East team, it would be the record against teams from the AL Central and AL West.

    4. Last Half of Intraleague Games
    Should the interdivision record also be a tie, the next tiebreaker will be determined by the involved clubs’ last-half records against teams within their league (AL for AL teams, NL for NL teams). Note that these are the records from the last half of games mathematically, not just the games after the All-Star break (which typically comes after the mathematical midpoint).

    5. Last Half of Intraleague Games Plus One
    Should the records of the involved clubs in the second half of intraleague games also be a tie, then the outcome of the last game of the first half of intraleague games is used. Should that also be a tie, then the previous intraleague game on the schedule is used. This process is repeated until the tie is resolved.


  42. DK says:


    And I think there are larger challenges in families where the father isn’t in the house

    And in families with bad fathers in the house, which is many families, sadly.

  43. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:.. 5. Last Half of Intraleague Games Plus One

    … then the outcome of the last game of the first half of intraleague games is used. Should that also be a tie, then the previous intraleague game on the schedule is used. This process is repeated until the tie is resolved.

    Any team can win one game.

  44. Scott O says:

    @Kathy: Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve been bing watching for hours.

  45. de stijl says:


    One thing I noticed at the time but did not really think through was that the nearest neighbors formed a quasi community. Everybody helped out everybody until everybody’s shit was squared away. Not communism, but communitarianism.

    Everybody pitched in on everybody else’s big thing that required equipment and able bodies. They had to. Had they not cooperated everyone would have failed. I still remember the names of the neighbor families.

    The Klapotek’s cows got spooked during a summer thunderstorm and broke through the fence and ran into a gully. Within a half hour about 20 folks showed up to gently usher them back home and help repair the fence. At 3 AM.

    Farmers are practical. They have to be. Mutual dependence was required.

    Mostly dairy farming with a side venture in corn for cash. Not all corn was sold. A lot was was converted into silage for the cows.

    I witnessed with my own eyes a neighbor’s pant leg get caught in the machine that shoots vegetable matter up into the silo. He got entangled and got wrapped around the axis as it spun. Broke his tibia, fibula, femur, hip, and some ribs before his pant leg tore off and freed him. Had his jeans leg not torn off on the second rotation and separated it would have torn his leg off at the knee or hip joint. That was the most disturbing thing I ever saw. I was probably 9 or 10.

    You do not space out around pto farm equipment.

  46. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Rule #1: do not piss about with the tractor power take off.
    Rule #2: when he is working, Mr Baler is not your friend.
    Rule #3: the silage pits are not a fun playground
    Rule #4: cows are not funny when pissed off
    And also, that farming is often a informally communal activity.
    Harvest festival was always a big celebration in that community, and for v. good reasons.
    A few years on, a friend of mine did harvesting around the area for a contractor with the various big machines (combines, balers, diggers etc).
    At the peak of the work, most workers and farmers were getting sustained on coffee and
    sometimes the jimmy whizz (AKA ‘phet)

    The end of the harvest was usually time for a seriously big celebration.

  47. Jax says:

    @EddieInCA: A baler is the machine that rolls up and either wraps or twine ties the bale, they can be various shapes. We use a Vermeer baler like this, and it makes very large round bales, usually between 1,200 and 1,700 pounds each. I bought American flag mesh wrap this year for our bales, so our stacks of hay are super spiffy and patriotic. (Cool eyeglass emoji)

    Haying season usually lasts from about the second week of August to the middle of September. We are way, way late, because of that fucking baler breaking down all the time.

    @OzarkHillbilly: Always. And we’re expecting snow Monday, and already committed to bringing cattle home from the forest today and tomorrow, so it was awful timing.

  48. Kathy says:

    I want to recommend Immune, by Philipp Dettmer. It’s a book about how the immune system works.

    It’s less technical than An Elegant Defense, by Matt Richtel, which I also read. But it’s far more detailed on how the various parts of the immune response work, even if he uses metaphors and non-technical terms (like the explanation of how T and B cells work, use the terms, “wiener,” “hot dog bun,” and “turkey leg” a lot).

  49. de stijl says:


    One day I was 7/8ths up a silo watching my grandfather working on the mechanical thing that spins around and chucks silage into the chute. I’m sure it has a name, but no clue what it is. My job was to fetch needed tools and such.

    In order to run the spinny roundy spitty machine you need a big ass electrical cable. It was 3/4 inch diameter, heavy, orange plastic cable. How tall is a standard US farm silo? No clue. If it were a building about 7 stories so about 80 feet is my guess.

    60+ feet of heavy cable weighs a lot and gravity wants to pull it down to the surface. The transformer at the connection end is huge, weighs a pound or so and if unconnected will plummet.

    I was bored out of my mind knowing I will be required to climb down in a few minutes in order to try the on switch again.

    Gravity is inexorable. Cannot be denied.

    He was monkeying with the transformer and the connection, and gravity won out. It pulled free. I was not directly in front of the window and the transformer buzzed past my head and missed me by a centimeter, banged against the back of the chute due to momentum and fell about seventy feet rebound bouncing off my thigh on its way down.

    I was an inch away from dying quite horribly that instant. Falling to my death and banging my head on ladder steps and metal chute on the way down.

    Had I not been extremely bored and annoyed my face would have been dead center. Thankfully, I was slouched over to the left.

    I got an immediate adrenaline rush and scampered down as quick as I could while maintaining a constant three point connection to the ladder. I was hyperventilating. I nearly puked.

    I puked when I got down on the ground.

    Had I been paying attention and doing a good job I would have died that day. I was saved by boredom and annoyance and bad posture.

    I should be dead.

  50. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Holy shit!
    That’s closer than I’ve ever been, and I’ve been close a few times.
    Being around that sort of stuff tends to instill caution, in my experience.
    Also, working in a hot-metal foundry where the iron is running into moulds.
    Foreman’s words: “You do not touch the red-hot metal. Do not not come crying to me if you do.”
    See also, the need to be cautious around hot caustic tanks used for cleaning spray booth floor grids.

  51. de stijl says:


    I enjoyed picking up cool rocks out of stream beds as a child. I had a rock polisher. (It was really goddamn loud and I put it in the basement and only plugged it in when I knew no one would be home. It was really fucking loud.)

    Even a bog standard rock is super cool after two weeks in a polisher.

  52. Matt says:

    @de stijl:

    I witnessed with my own eyes a neighbor’s pant leg get caught in the machine that shoots vegetable matter up into the silo.

    Yeah looking back I’m amazed I didn’t die a horrible death or end up maimed by all the stupid stuff we did around or above an auger that was running. Such as the time as a not even 12 year old kid I found myself in a semi trailer pushing some kind of livestock feed ingredient away from the sides down into the auger that ran the entire length of the trailer. I’m a clumsy person and I have no idea how I didn’t slip or slide into that death trap.

    I sometimes wonder how much damage I did to my lungs as a kid working around and in grain mills. Cause you know masks and safety equipment are for pussies…

  53. Stormy Dragon says:


    Just taking a guess but could it be that we are men?

    No it’s not “that we are men” (although the belief in that cliche is certainly part of the problem). Until quite recently, part of being a man was the expectation that one should be honorable and self-controlled. Think Clark Gable, or heck even James Bond, who was expected to be suave and debonair between bouts of killing people.

    The idea that masculinity is about behaving like a barbarian is a very recent thing and not at all some essential part of manhood.

  54. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The problem is that a certainly segment of society has realized they benefit from having a pool of men who think they need to be barbarians and who inevitably end up isolated because most people don’t want a bunch of barbarians hanging about and exclude them.