Saturday’s Forum

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

Comments

  1. Teve says:
  2. Teve says:

    Donald J Trump everybody:

    “I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) Vaccine, that if I wasn’t President, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all.”

    linky

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    High school announcer caught by hot mic blames racist outburst on high blood sugar

    This guy blames his diabetes, Roseann blamed Ambien, Mel Gibson blamed alcohol… I’m just gonna apologize in advance for my inevitable alcohol fueled, drug induced, hypoglycemic racist diatribe. I’m 62, I can’t dodge that bullet forever.

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  4. sam says:

    The American art form, performed by a master.

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  5. Teve says:

    @imillhiser

    Today in the alternative universe where Republicans won at least one of the Georgia senate seats, McConnell just offered to appropriate $10 billion for vaccinations if Biden agrees to cut food stamps by 10 percent.

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  6. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “They’re kneeling? Fuck them,” one of the men said. “I hope Norman gets their ass kicked.”

    He continued: “I hope they lose. C’mon Midwest City. They’re gonna kneel like that? Hell no. … Fucking n*******”

    The self-own there is breathtaking

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Going on a racist rant during the national anthem is as American as mom eating apple pie in a Chevy pick-em-up truck while Merle sings “Okie from Muskogee” on the AM radio.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:
  9. Northerner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I guess that was inevitable, considering how people have been using all of those as excuses for murder for decades. In particular, killing someone with your car because you’re drunk was accepted as a reasonable excuse for a long time, so I suppose they figure its worth trying it as an excuse for saying racist things.

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  10. JohnMcC says:

    @sam: Hey! Thanks for that.

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  11. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Teve:
    Not a word about the 60,000+ clinical trial volunteers. They really had “skin-in-the-game”; Trump not so much.

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  12. Joe says:

    @sam:That was a nice Saturday morning starter.

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  13. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Sounds like year-round spring break behavior.

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  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Northerner: It’s not my fault! That black guy made me call him a n*****!

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  15. Bill says:

    So the virus is to blame for the increase in murders….says NPR and their ilk!

    https://www.npr.org/2021/01/06/953254623/massive-1-year-rise-in-homicide-rates-collided-with-the-pandemic-in-2020

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  16. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Bill:

    Since I’m sire you’ve read the article, can you provide specific examples of parts the article toy objectionable?

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  17. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Wow so many autocorrect fails.

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  18. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil Hudelson: … and there goes the Saturday thread…

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  19. Teve says:

    Bob@Youngstown: Moderna designed their vaccine so fast that a three-day weekend lasts longer.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/moderna-designed-coronavirus-vaccine-in-2-days-2020-11

    Trump is the Indispensable Man? Are even Gateway Pundit fans stupid enough to believe that?

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  20. Teve says:

    @Bob I didn’t write that as a correction but as a complement to your comment. I know tone is notoriously hard to read online, so I just wanted to clarify.

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  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A longish but very good read: ‘I’m on the street, but I’m not a bum’: how a Vietnam vet showed me the real New York

    “I wish you’d known me,” he said.

    “I do know you.”

    “You know remnants.”

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  22. Northerner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yup. The racist equivalent of “If he didn’t want to get run over he shouldn’t have been walking on the sidewalk.” For some people its always someone else’s fault.

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  23. Mimai says:

    @sam: Oh yeah! This hits very close to home for me. The Mississippi Blues Trail and the Chitlin’ Circuit are so very important. And so under-appreciated. Big shout-out to Dan Auerbach for spotlighting and supporting some of these artists. To wit, Robert Finley’s album releases later this month. https://youtu.be/fA0w8Rc-7es

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  24. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Gateway Pundit fans are stupid enough to believe anything.

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  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mimai: Some years back my wife and I took the long way down Hwy 61 on the way to see my NOLA son. It was worth every stop we made. One of these days I’m gonna go back make all the stops I didn’t make because my wife began rolling her eyes every time I did. 🙂 Sadly, the Delta Blues Museum was closed when we stopped there as it was offseason and they were enjoying a Sunday with the families, the selfish F’s. 🙁

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  26. Mimai says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Do it! So very worth it. Putting feet to soil in that neck of the woods is magical. The history penetrates you. It did to me anyway.

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  27. Teve says:

    @CSK: i can tell you from 20 years’ experience, Gateway Pundit is one of the top 5 sites referenced by creationists.

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  28. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    I believe you. How do the creationists account for the fact that Gateway is renowned for publishing so much “news” that turns out to be entirely fake and has to be taken down from the site?

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  29. Kari Q says:

    Genuine question here:

    What is the purpose of the Libertarian and Green Parties?*

    The purpose of a political party is generally to win elections. For Republicans and Democrats alike, winning elections is what it’s all about and legislation, policies, positions or trumped up scandal or outrage is just a tool they use to achieve that goal.

    But the Libertarian and Green Parties don’t seem to be in that business. If they were, they would be putting forth candidates in local races in one-party dominated states, starting with low level offices like school board, city council, or some relatively obscure city job. Instead, they run vanity candidates for president every four years, put candidates up for statewide offices where they can’t win, and do nothing to build presence at lower levels.

    So what do they exist for? What is their goal and purpose?

    *This question was asked in a facebook discussion, and I was stumped. The assumption here is that there are members of these parties who aren’t just purity ponies or lying about their actual political allegiance for whatever reason.

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  30. CSK says:

    @Kari Q:
    This article, while five years old, provides an interesting discussion of the issues you raise vis-a-vis the Green Party:

    http://www.theconversation.com/why-is-the-us-green-party-so irrelevant-66185

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  31. CSK says:
  32. Kathy says:

    Awaiting discharge by the hospital’s bureaucracy.

    I feel mostly fine, tired, and not very interested in food right now.

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  33. Gustopher says:

    @Bill: You really should quote from what you’re linking to, at least when it’s from a reputable place (no one needs the Gateway Pundit).

    There’s some interesting stuff there:

    Yale University Law Professor Tracey Meares says COVID-19 vaccines will help since the pandemic has prevented many anti-violence programs from operating.

    “It requires a great deal of a face-to-face contact, typically, among service providers and the folks who are most likely to both commit these offenses and be the victims of them,” Meares says. “And it’s a lot harder to do that when people can’t meet in person.”

    Which means that some of the very things that have successfully prevented homicides in the past just aren’t available until the COVID-19 vaccines become more widespread and the added daily stress posed by the virus diminishes.

    It’s a shame the article doesn’t go into it more, since I would expect the murders to be mostly people who are cooped up with the same person for too long.

    Also, we have “I want to kill someone” support groups? Do they get sponsors? Do they make people get up and confess when they slip, and does everyone applaud them for being so brave?

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  34. DrDaveT says:

    @Kari Q:

    For Republicans and Democrats alike, winning elections is what it’s all about and legislation, policies, positions or trumped up scandal or outrage is just a tool they use to achieve that goal.

    Are you speaking of politicians, or the people who vote for them?

    If it’s the latter, then I don’t allow your premise. Republican voters vote for Republican candidates because they fear what Democrats would do, and vice versa. Some of that fear is even justified — Republicans really would try to take us back to Gilded Age Jim Crow, and Democrats really would insist on treating brown people and queers as if they were fully human, and their opponents really want to prevent that from happening. Republicans really would let climate change run wild and put theocrats on the Supreme Court, and Democrats really would raise taxes and try to separate church and state. As much as I blame the wingnut disinformation machine for brainwashing reactionary voters into believing crazy stuff about Democrats and scientists, the fact is that core Republican voters don’t need that — much of what Democratic voters really want (equality, justice, secularism) really is hateful to them.

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  35. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    Go home and rest. You’ll probably feel awful tomorrow when the adrenaline your body is producing post surgery wears off.

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  36. JohnMcC says:

    @Kathy: Glad things seem to have gone well for you. Along with best wishes — one word from retired RN and GI medic: Work on deep breathing and coughing. Used to be pneumonia and blood clots post op made surgery very dangerous. Entirely preventable. You should have gotten an ‘inspirometer’ that measures air sucked/pulled through it. Use it alot and walk about frequently.

    End of sermon.

    (Edit: That was two words wasn’t it.)

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  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bill: Some of the people who made the case that NPR reported (but did not comment on) gave much better reasoning for their conclusions than your baseless rant did. Not that I’m surprised, they thought about what they were seeing; you merely reacted. But pat yourself on the back anyway. You sure got us this time. [smirk, eyeroll]

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  38. Kathy says:

    @JohnMcC:

    They kept talking about one, but they never brought one. The surgeon tells me to take walks and deep breaths

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  39. Northerner says:

    @DrDaveT:

    If it’s the latter, then I don’t allow your premise. Republican voters vote for Republican candidates because they fear what Democrats would do, and vice versa.

    Give that about 95% of people vote for the same party in every election for their whole lives (even when those party’s positions on issues change), I suspect a more accurate statement would be that Republican voters vote for Republican candidates because they see their team as the Republicans, and vice-versa. Its more like team sports — most fans will support what they consider to be their team even if that team is in last place and doesn’t have a good player on the squad.

    Part of that is probably that most people don’t spend even ten minutes thinking about who to vote for. All the protesters and people who post on the Internet are probably less than 10% of the population — they give the illusion that people care deeply about politics, but in practice most don’t. Even in your last election (2020 presidential), with a lockdown so people weren’t able to do many of their normal activities, only 66% bothered voting. Suppose there were another 5% who wanted to vote but couldn’t (that’s the number I’ve seen thrown around), it still means 30% don’t even care enough about elections to spend an hour once every four years to vote.

    So if you don’t care about politics but feel its your duty to vote, what’s the most effortless way to decide who to vote for? Vote for who you always vote for. This is probably a very good thing for America, since the last group of new voters went heavily Democrat, and will almost certainly vote that way for the rest of their lives.

    Same thing happens in Canada of course (though among four parties rather than two), and I suspect in most of the world. People end up supporting their team. It also means the 5% of voters who are open to changing vote between elections have a disproportionate influence on politicians.

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  40. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Do you have a pulse oximeter?

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  41. Mimai says:

    @Northerner:

    it still means 30% don’t even care enough about elections to spend an hour once every four years to vote.

    I don’t think this quite captures it either. Indifference certainly applies to some non-voters. But there are other reasons too. For example, for many people, exit is just as much a carefully deliberated decision as voice.

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  42. CSK says:

    @Mimai:
    I recall reading that, back in 2016, there were voters in Mississippi who never before bothered to vote except when they did so for Trump. These were people in their forties and fifties.

    First-time voters. For Trump.

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  43. Kari Q says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I’m talking about the parties as entities. Voters aren’t really part of the question, except to the extent that parties try to motivate them.

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  44. Kari Q says:

    @CSK:

    Thank you. I certainly agree that winning at state and national level is all but impossible for either party, as the article says. What I wonder is why they don’t focus on local races. City council seats are often non-partisan and, especially in single party areas, would seem like opportunities to gain some electoral victories.

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  45. dazedandconfused says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Kathy, this is an endorsement of what John said. Had a string of ops, and found that sleep and walking around are the two things that worked best for me. What I learned to fight was the feeling of wanting to veg. Walk and catnap, walk and catnap. Hell, don’t even have to walk much, just get on one’s feet…unless dizzy, of course. About halved the time it took to get back to normal for me, anywho.

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  46. Mimai says:

    @CSK: Oh yeah, that is certainly true. I know “those people.” I think this highlights the fact that people are complicated, (voting) behavior is causally dense, and simple one-size-fits-all explanations don’t hold.

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  47. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Kathy, really glad to hear you are on the mend. You made a comment a few days before the surgery about how strange it was that organs could go beyond a tissue wall and keep on working, which made me think you were at risk for a strangulated hernia, which freaked me out on your behalf. I kind of went radio silent after that as I didn’t want to say anything and make you nervous.

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  48. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell.
    Hope your recovery goes OK.

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  49. Jax says:

    @JohnSF: John!!! Yay! Everything all right in your neck of the woods? We were kinda worried about you, glad to see you commenting again!

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  50. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Thanks and thanks to everyone else. You’ve all been really kind.

    If I may freak you out more, I had the hernia for the better part of a year.

    Anyway, here’s a brief rundown:

    The surgery took longer than the surgeon had figured it would. On the plus side, he didn’t have to open a third incision, so it was all done laparoscopically.

    I woke up perhaps an hour later (I’m not clear on the times for Wednesday) in the recovery room. I felt fine, except my left hand was numb, as if asleep. It stayed numb until today (and two fingers still tingle a bit). This bothered me no end.

    There’s also the urinary catheter. I haven’t looked it up, but I can state beyond any doubt it was developed by the Spanish Inquisition. All the time it’s in, I felt that 1) something was in there, 2) I had to pee really bad, and 3) I felt like a was peeing a little all the time.

    Getting it removed was bad. It hurts, but not for a long time. I also felt like, well, something was in there. And it seemed to take forever. When it was done, the nurse showed me the evil thing, and I said “There’s not that much human urethra in the world.” Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but the thing was really long.

    The only thing that keeps the discomfort partly at bay, aside from sleep, is not taking in much fluids. But that created a situation where the doctors say they need to keep it in because I’m not producing enough urine.

    So I drank lots of water.

    This situation wasn’t helped by the fact I wasn’t allowed any food or water the day of the surgery. I was ravenous coming off it. So how would I produce any urine if I couldn’t even drink a sip of water?

    Oh well, I ate the next day. I find I can eat without trouble, but I don’t want to eat too much.

    I’ll get some more details tomorrow.

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  51. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    Glad to have you back. We were beginning to worry

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  52. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    Good to hear from you again. Hope all’s well.

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  53. Mimai says:

    @Jax: I’ve been wanting to ask you about your operation but don’t want to pry. I’m keen to hear any details you’re willing to share about total head, breed, etc. Also respect if you prefer to not share.

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  54. JohnSF says:

    @Jax:
    @Kathy:
    @CSK:
    Thanks, I’m fine.
    And now vaccinated, (1st dose anyway). Yay!

    Just been busier lately; my workplace is ramping up to full(ish) reopening in late April, so now going in at least 3 days per week, plus more associated work in the “work fromm home” part, plus we’re due to shift our main operational database/management system to a new one in June. Eeek!

    Also, weather improving and lots of work to do in the garden at weekends! Last autumn and the winter were so wet and/or cold that there’s loads didn’t get done then.

    And not been much new news to report from here: seems like Groundhog Day since last March!
    And also not quite so closely following US news as relative sanity seems to have been restored over there.
    With some exceptions. *waves at Texas*

    Just thought this evening “haven’t looked at OTB for ages, let’s have a peek”.

    Oh some major news: Six Nations game today England 23-20 France. Great game! Best England performance for some time. France played well also; great contest.

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  55. Mister Bluster says:

    Fall back, Spring ahead.
    Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday, March 14 at 2am local time in the US.
    Set your clock ahead to 3am.
    My cell phone changes itself but I have an alarm clock and the microwave clock I have to reset.

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  56. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    I recall reading that, back in 2016, there were voters in Mississippi who never before bothered to vote except when they did so for Trump. These were people in their forties and fifties.

    I’ve met middle-aged people who told me the only vote they ever cast was for Trump.

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  57. Kurtz says:

    @Mimai:

    Oh yeah, that is certainly true. I know “those people.” I think this highlights the fact that people are complicated, (voting) behavior is causally dense, and simple one-size-fits-all explanations don’t hold.

    Collecting data that shows something is the easy part. Explaining the behavior is much more difficult.

    @Northerner:

    Give that about 95% of people vote for the same party in every election for their whole lives (even when those party’s positions on issues change)

    Yeah. This is a fascinating subject to me. I think that’s one of the reasons why (alleged) party-switchers get elevated by the media. They are useful to stroke the egos of partisans and simultaneously show the irrationality of the other side.

    The #walkaway hashtag is still used.

    The horse race focus in the media similarly elevates swing voters. But as pointed out in the thread, there are very few of them. And my understanding is they aren’t all that much more concentrated in swing states.

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  58. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:

    Collecting data that shows something is the easy part. Explaining the behavior is much more difficult.

    Truth. I’d even go so far as to say that we are often mistaken about the “something” that is apparently shown. And I say this as a (mostly) positivist.

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  59. Kylopod says:

    @Kurtz:

    Yeah. This is a fascinating subject to me. I think that’s one of the reasons why (alleged) party-switchers get elevated by the media. They are useful to stroke the egos of partisans and simultaneously show the irrationality of the other side.

    The 2020 election should have set to rest the importance of crossover votes between the two parties. The exit-polling data suggest that most of Biden’s gains relative to Clinton didn’t come from 2016 crossover votes (indeed, Trump netted slightly more votes from that group) but from 2016 nonvoters and third-party voters.

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  60. Jax says:

    @Mimai: We’ve got about 500 head of red and black angus in Western Wyoming.

    The cow from the other day is still upright! She’s not very happy, but I thought for sure she was gonna tip over, so hopefully we saved her life.

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  61. Mimai says:

    @Jax: Nice! Do you take them from start to finish?

    Great to hear that the cow is grumpy but seemingly ok. Kudos to you! I’m amazed at their resilience. When I first learned about their ability to essentially “wall off” infection, I was gobsmacked.

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  62. Jax says:

    @Mimai: We’re strictly cow/calf, once the calves are weaned they go elsewhere and we start the cycle over in the spring. We do keep the cream of the crop from the heifer calves as replacements. Goddamn naughty teenager cows, I swear they’re every bit as bad as teenage humans. 😉

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  63. Mimai says:

    @Jax:

    Goddamn naughty teenager cows, I swear they’re every bit as bad as teenage humans.

    Ha! I’ve learned this is the case….at least among dairy. Preg checking rows of heifers opened my eyes. It’s like running wind sprints….on one arm. And don’t get me started on trying to corral those $%&#@. But here I am telling you…you live this. Impressive!

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  64. Jax says:

    @Mimai: I never, ever imagined that my teenage daughter and I would be sending pictures of heifer hoo-ha’s to fill out our bingo cards on when each one will calve, but here we are, living the life. 😛

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  65. Mimai says:

    @Jax: Ha! That gave me a good laugh. Thank you.

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  66. Jax says:

    @Mimai: Hat tip to the vets among us. 😉 Not many people can do that.

    We had a really great vet for a couple of years, he was maybe 5’2 and 120 pounds soaking wet. We have a really tall cow, she’s 6 foot at her back. We have a pretty fancy hydraulic chute, but she fills it completely. So big we had to leave the back end open so he could access the area. One of the funniest moments of my adult life so far is when he climbed on up there and asked if I had a tie-off in case he fell in and I had to pull him out!

    He survived, and she was bred. Her calf was a dandy, that year. 😉

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  67. Mimai says:

    @Jax: That’s a great story. And visual. My best friend is a dairy vet (hence my “deep” experience as an outsider). He’s not too much bigger than your old vet. The gumby contortions that he does to preg check some of those massive Holsteins is really impressive. And I swear I once saw him nearly crawl inside a cow to fix a twisted abomasum! Like he was a character in a very odd sci-fi movie.

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