Sunday’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:

    And it happens again.

    A teenager in military-style clothing opened fire with a rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in a shooting that officials called a “hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism”, killing 10 people and wounding three others before surrendering to police on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

    It ends in the usual manner:

    But many said they were unsurprised that police had arrested, and not shot, the white 18-year-old suspect. “If (he) was Black he would have been shot,” said one man, who gave his name as Alias John, who was standing nearby. “They wouldn’t have given him a chance to surrender. They’d have shot him up.”

    And American society is entirely predictable:

    “I do know that this isn’t the first time this has happened in America, so this will be pretty much the same,” said Lewis. “There will candles, probably have a march, some preaching. But nothing that needs to be done is going to be done.”

  2. Pete S says:

    I believe that the correct thing was for him to be arrested, not shot. But the arrogance of a lot of police is getting out of hand when the exception to the shoot first and ask questions later is for a white supremacist mass murderer with a gun in his hands.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pete S: It is always best for a suspect to be arrested rather than summarily executed.

    A couple years ago there was a shooting in one of my old south side STL neighborhoods. A cop was shot and killed while responding to a call (I forget what started it) A 2nd cop responding was also shot and iirc survived. The shooter was eventually arrested.

    Unlike John Crawford who was shot at a WalMart while talking on his cell phone and holding a BB gun. JC had time to say, “Oh shit…” before the bullets hit him.

  4. CSK says:

    This appears to be a bit extreme. I know most people want grandchildren, but…

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: You beat me to it. Now top this:

    Madonna defends decision to sell a 3D NFT model of her vagina

    Just the thing for the man who has everything. I guess.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In other sexist news: Do species names perpetuate gender bias in science?

    When it comes to naming species they’ve discovered, scientists often like to have a little fun. There’s Ba humbugi, a Fiji snail referencing one of literature’s crankiest men. Or Spongiforma squarepantsii, a mushroom named after everyone’s favorite cartoon sponge. And for decades, researchers have named species after their colleagues or iconic researchers as a way to honor them, which is why some 300 species of animals are named after Charles Darwin.

    But that tradition may perpetuate societal biases, according to a new study of parasite names. The scientific names of nearly 3000 recently identified bloodsuckers, hijackers, and other banes of the biological world mostly honor men.

    I have a feeling most women won’t object.

  7. charon says:

    We were discussing Aleksandr Dugi, “Putin’s brain” here a couple of days ago.

    Post just published a piece on him:

    It seems he isn’t appreciated only in Russia, people like Orban (Hungary) and Steve Bannon (U.S.) are on board with the guy also:

    It’s not an exaggeration to say that Dugin, often termed “Putin’s Rasputin” or “Putin’s brain” by the international press, is — as the Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle has also suggested — the de facto author of Putin’s Ukrainian strategy. Although he holds no formal position in government — rather, he is a sometime academic and former chief editor at Tsargrad TV, a network known for its fervent support of both Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church — and has been perpetually cagey about the specifics of his relationship with Putin, his language and rhetoric have long been adopted by the Kremlin. As just one small example, his 2013 and 2014 uses of the term “Novorossiya” (New Russia) for territories of Eastern Ukraine that Russia wished to claim were reflected shortly afterward in Putin’s propagandist language supporting the occupation of Crimea. For anyone who has read Dugin, the echoes of his thought in Putin’s recent speeches about Russia’s supposedly proper place in the world have been unmistakable, and uncanny.


    Dugin’s influence — and that of the Traditionalists more broadly — is not limited to Russia. As the historian Gary Lachman has noted, in Hungary, far-right leader Gábor Vona has engaged a Traditionalist spiritual adviser, Tibor Baranyi, and contributed a foreword to a publication of Evola’s “Handbook for Right-Wing Youth.” In Greece, the Golden Dawn party includes Evola on its reading list. Traditionalism, too, has underpinned far-right movements in the United States. Nina Kouprianova, former wife of the prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer, has translated Dugin’s work into English. And, as scholar of the far right Benjamin Teitelbaum extensively reported in his 2020 book, “War for Eternity,” Donald Trump’s sometime adviser Stephen K. Bannon has frequently alluded to his interest in Traditional ideas.

    Much much more at the linky.

  8. charon says:


    Presumably what is modeled is actually a vulva, not a vagina. A vagina is internal, a virtual (like a pants pocket) hole that is only open when something is in it.

  9. Kathy says:


    One wonders why Benito hasn’t done an NFT 3D model of his rectum.

  10. Just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I thought Alanis Morriset had already crossed this barrier. Are we really reduced to Madonna copy-catting stuff in what looks to be desperate attempts to stay edgy?

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @charon: I didn’t read the article but saw a blurb where she mentions a centipede crawling out of her vagina. My assumption is that the centipede is a mapping robot. More than that, I’m not sure I want to know.

  12. Kathy says:

    About yesterday’s thread on the death toll from COVID, here’s one thing I still can’t comprehend: people who know how serious the virus is, and should be taking every precaution, but don’t bother to.

    Take one person i work with. First, his wife was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer when the pandemic started. This left her in much more danger should she contract COVID. He didn’t wear a mask.

    Early in 2021, he contracted COVID and spent two weeks in the hospital, including some days in the ICU. He recovered. He still won’t wear a mask.

    Though at least he did get vaccinated (don’t know if he got a booster).

    I also discovered a new species of maskhole who pretends to wear a mask. We’re all familiar with the kind who never cover their nose, or those who wear their masks as scarves. this new type wears a KN95, very specific on that, and covers their nose, but leaves the metal clip unadjusted. this allows plenty of air to come in, and go out, the top, sides, and bottom of the mask.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I imagine it look a lot like Steve Bannon’s face.

  14. charon says:


    You got me curious, looks like vagina was correct:

    Fans have shared their confusion at Madonna’s newly unveiled 3D model of her vagina, which features in a fully nude collection of non-fungible tokens.

    The pop singer has partnered with digital artist Beeple to produce a trio of NFT videos titled “Mother of Technology”, “Mother of Creation,” and “Mother of Evolution,” which feature an up-close display of her vagina giving birth to insects, butterflies, and trees.

    While the video graphics are being auctioned off – with proceeds going to three nonprofits that focus on supporting women and children worldwide – they are currently available to view online.

  15. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @charon: @Kathy: @Just nutha: @OzarkHillbilly:
    It appears to be a video of a nude blonde lying atop a car, legs spread, with butterflies emerging from her…lady parts.

    If this is the NFT, I viewed it for free. Why buy it?

  16. charon says:


    She looks awfully good for 63 Y.O, hard to believe that body is real.

  17. charon says:


    Why buy it?

    While the video graphics are being auctioned off – with proceeds going to three nonprofits that focus on supporting women and children worldwide

  18. CSK says:

    I don’t think it is.

  19. charon says:
  20. CSK says:

    Payton Gendron, the white supremacist who shot up the Buffalo supermarket, wanted to shoot someone at his high school graduation last year. He received psychiatric treatment.

    Apparently it didn’t help.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: How the hell did this guy accumulate so much tactical gear? Where the f*ck were his parents?

  22. MarkedMan says:


    A woman in her 30s who did not wish to be named said she knew Gendron’s family, who she described as “fantastic” people active in the community.

    Gendron’s mother was “super involved” in the local school, she said, adding that her son attended birthday parties for Payton Gendron’s younger brother.

    “They were fine. They were fantastic,” she told The Post. “They’re close-knit. His mom was super involved with the PTA [and] helped me with a couple of different things, like we were both on board together. So when I heard the news today I was at work and doesn’t make sense at all.”

    Gendron was arrested on first-degree murder charges after he shot 13 people — 11 of them black – after he posted a rambling, white supremacist manifesto online that outlined the shooting step-by-step.

    But they appeared fine with their son accumulating assault weapons and tactical gear? What the kind of f*caked up people are these?

  23. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan: @MarkedMan:
    He wore a hazmat suit to school for a week in his final year to protect himself from Covid.

    Perhaps Mom and Dad were so deeply “involved in the community” that they had no time for their kids. It happens.

  24. CSK says:

    Roger Stone says that there’s a portal to hell over the White House, but that prayer will close it.

    I don’t know. Sounds like a job for Jewish space lasers to me.

  25. Gustopher says:


    The pop singer has partnered with digital artist Beeple to produce a trio of NFT videos titled “Mother of Technology”, “Mother of Creation,” and “Mother of Evolution,” which feature an up-close display of her vagina giving birth to insects, butterflies, and trees.

    Centipedes! She got the centipedes! (warning, poorly done cgi of centipedes crawling out of a vagina)

    Whoever wrote the article was somehow unaware of the early internet.

    The original image was a common Net Nanny pop up about “pornography on my computer?” This was then modified to be amazing.

    As the original Net Nanny pop up used a Black woman, this was left unchanged, and was a wee bit racist in effect, but luckily Madonna has very publicly demonstrated that vaginal centipede infections are a problem that affect women of all races.

  26. Gustopher says:


    He wore a hazmat suit to school for a week in his final year to protect himself from Covid.

    That just seems practical.

    He takes covid seriously and doesn’t think we should just be reopening schools to infect all the kids — seems a bit odd coming from a white supremacist though. Definitely an unexpected ideological mix.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: But they appeared fine with their son accumulating assault weapons and tactical gear? What the kind of f*caked up people are these?

    Speaking as one who was once a “troubled teenager” (boy does that word cover a whooooole lot of ground) and who ended up raising a “troubled teenager,” I can tell you most parents have precious little idea idea of what all their teen aged offspring are getting into. Those parents that do know everything? Raise some really fucked up kids. It is perfectly normal for teens to do things their parents don’t approve of. It’s part of growing up and the parent that doesn’t allow for some of that is in trouble.

    That being said, it is hard to know where to draw the line between keeping your child safe and out of trouble and respecting their privacy.

    I don’t know the particulars here. Did they go out and buy this stuff for him? Or did he buy it himself and keep it hidden? We’ll find out more with time. For now, my inner “parent of a troubled teenager” feels for them and what they must be going through.

    While my son was never prone towards violence, I still fear that the demons that stalked him then might yet again raise their heads. I always will.

  28. Mikey says:

    Mikey’s family COVID update.

    My wife and I are pretty much over it, but my son has it now (on his birthday, poor kid).

    He wasn’t within 10 feet of us for more than 30 seconds for the last week. He was in his room with the door closed 99% of the time. And he still got it. I guess that tells you how contagious Omicron is.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: Fingers crossed that he comes thru it as well as Mama and Papa did.

  30. CSK says:

    Authorities are now saying that he became radicalized by reading online–particularly 4chan–during the Covid lockdowns.

    I’m pretty sure he was predisposed to his beliefs before then.

  31. dazedandconfused says:

    Brought to mind a thought: Untanned balls is not an affliction that affects all races.

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Or she could be like the mom I talked to while I was teaching at an evangelical high school years ago. She was very disappointed that her child was not turning in his homework and had fallen behind. (He was still a good enough student that he was passing the class at midterm despite the work deficit but was likely to fail if he continued his path.) She assured me that she and his father took the issue very seriously. In fact, they had decided to do the maximum curtailment of his activities as a punishment until he got caught up. He was restricted from everything–except baseball practice, his church youth groups (yes, more than one), and his computer time. But everything else? GONE!!!!

  33. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: Twice in the last few weeks I’ve visited restaurants where only one employee was masked, and was wearing it below the nose. Huh. They’re the only one, so it would seem they’re doing it on their own initiative to protect themselves. This implies some rudimentary grasp of what’s going on. But then they wear it in such a way that it does no good. There are days I wonder if democracy is possible.

  34. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    What activities were left after you factor in bb practice, multiple church youth groups, and computer time?

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker+ says:

    @CSK: I never figured that out and didn’t want to ask as I was already “an acquired taste” as faculty went being a Lutheran who had left the Baptists/evangelicals behind a decade before.

    ETA: Either way, she was quite serious about the firmness of their parental stand.

  36. Jay L Gischer says:

    Having taught martial arts to teenagers, I will submit that they are very, very malleable. The rebelliousness they have that is developmentally normal and important can mask this, but it’s there.

    Irresponsible influencers can have a very big impact. I am prepared to believe that 4chan all by itself could have influenced him to this, given he seems to lack certain defense mechanisms.

    And, once they get going on a path, turning them from it onto a different one can be very difficult. Possible, since we’ve done it at least once, but difficult.

  37. Kurtz says:


    I didn’t read the article but saw a blurb where she mentions a centipede crawling out of her vagina. My assumption is that the centipede is a mapping robot. More than that, I’m not sure I want to know.

    Well, that tracks with your blind following of scientists telling you to get vaxxxed. You let them inject a tiny microchip into your veins. So obviously, they can use a caterpillar to model Madonna’s sex parts.

    I’m concerned the NFT is just an hijack a technology designed to foster liberty to implant third wave feminism into the brains of enlightened men who are just trying to break the shackles of government control of currency and lives.

    How could you be such a sheep? You probably think hurricanes are caused by Earth’s climate, too. It’s obvious to any thinking person that China and AOC are causing them.

  38. CSK says:

    Oh, that must be why Trump mused on the possibility of a hurricane gun to shoot at China, where hurricanes are, according to Trump, manufactured.

  39. Jax says:

    My kingdom for a ROFLMAO emoji that works on this site, preferably right next to the Like button. This is the best I can give to the upstream comments. 😛 😛

  40. CSK says:

    We’re a crew of jolly japesters here at OTB.

  41. Kathy says:


    I think there’s something else going on.

    I’ve seen some photos and video of planes that suffered depressurization, when the overhead oxygen masks drop. The instructions are to place them over nose and mouth and breathe normally. There are many photos of people placing the masks on their mouths, not covering their noses. If they breathe normally, they’ll pass out from lack of oxygen.

    Now, it may be they neither read the safety card, nor paid attention to the safety video, so they do what feels right and get things wrong. Or it may be some subset of the population cannot bear to cover their nose.