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. Kathy says:

    The problem with the end of daylight saving time, is that I wake up a clock hour earlier than usual.

    On the plus side, we get half of Tuesday and all of Wednesday off. That may help.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    All Steven knew was what time and where. A part-time pilot from the Chicago area, he was picking up a total stranger in his single-engine plane, a passenger who needed to fly more than a thousand miles, across state lines, from the midwest to the east coast.

    “Within 15, 20 minutes of arriving and meeting the person, we were in the plane and I got the engine fired up, ready to go,” he said.

    “It felt weighty,” he added. “Every time I fly, even by myself, there’s sort of this heightened level of alertness … This flight was even one more notch above that because this is someone who I don’t know, they don’t know me..”

    The passenger was seeking reproductive health services and needed to travel to a state where they could access them. Steven is just one of hundreds of pilots across the US, who have been volunteering the use of their small planes to fly people seeking abortions and other services from states that have outlawed it to states that haven’t.

    The effort to connect volunteer pilots with patients is led by Elevated Access, a non-profit organization based out of Illinois. It was founded in April in response to a growing number of women being forced to embark on expensive and time-consuming journeys in attempts to obtain abortions.
    The flying costs are covered by the volunteer pilots, and the trips are free for passengers. Pilots pay for fuel, and those who do not own their own aircraft pay for rental fees.

    “This is their weekend pastime, if you will,” Fiona says. “Fuel alone for one of our flights is several hundred dollars, so every time a pilot does a flight, several hundred dollars of gas money is coming out of their pocket.”

    To Steven, there is a strange irony in his work with Elevated Access.

    “We constantly read, as general aviation pilots, about how lucky we are to have the flying freedoms that we have in the US compared to other countries, with some very minor exceptions,” he says of being a pilot in America. “I could basically hop in my plane anytime I want, fly anywhere I want. I don’t have to talk to a single air traffic controller. I could file a flight plan and I don’t have to check in with some government entity.

    “I think as pilots, we’re very proud of the freedom we have and so it seems appropriate for me to use the freedom I have to help out people whose much more fundamental freedoms – [such as] rights to medical care or decisions about how they want to control their own body – are being jeopardized right now.”

  3. Slugger says:

    Inflation is in the news, and our news proclaims the inflation story in ever more strident terms. This morning GoldmanSachs is reported to think that the Fed rate will hit 5% this spring. I am not impressed. We had nearly a decade of inflation in the 1970s with a flat Dow Jones and significant unemployment. The fed rate approached 20% in early 1980. It all settled down, and we had 35 years of enormous growth in wealth. Stay calm; it’s all going to be ok.
    I have a relative who watches one of the news channels continually, and he is completely convinced that the world is going to end in war, famine, and pestilence tomorrow. He has been on this imminent collapse jag for fifteen years. I tell him that I avoid these pessimistic views for the sake of my health which he doesn’t understand. I think he gets a high from disaster worries.
    You know, there might some disaster junkies on this website, too.
    There is no need to worry; we are all going to die soon enough. My hero is Sisyphus whose face has a faint smile as he turns to start the rock again.

  4. JohnMc says:

    Couple of notes about Ukraine war:

    Mr Google knows nothing about the sabotage of the German railroad of 10/8.

    Rus ‘mobilization’ is completed and some have found themselves in Ukraine. As a result Ukr army claims of Rus casualties yesterday was 950 KIA. Highest daily loss Rus army since WW2.

  5. JohnMc says:

    @JohnMc: To be clear – google knows nothing of the investigation…

  6. EddieInCA says:

    This is what’s being normalized by the GOP.

    Trump Gushes About ‘Phenomenal People’ Behind Saudi-Backed LIV Golf Tour, Adds ‘We Have Human Rights Issues in This Country Too’

  7. CSK says:


    I do wonder what Trump means by “human rights issues.”

  8. Jay L Gischer says:

    Well, I was just reading a piece on Salon, when I noticed the ads there. First there was a “No on Prop 1” (in California) ad. Then there was an ad claiming that “Left Wing Racists want to hold Asians back” I’m not actually sure what that was an ad for. There was a third ad for some candidate that isn’t someone I was eligible to vote for, but certainly a Californian.

    We often complain about tracking cookies and the lack of privacy, but that was a pretty egregiously bad allocation of resources to show those ads to me. Also, Salon?

    During 2020, the Epoch Times kept pounding me with ads on YouTube, wasting their money. Their attempt this time has been feeble, I think maybe one ad? But I guess that doesn’t stop people with money to spend.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The Deep State and it’s endless persecutions of all things trump.

  10. Stormy Dragon says:

    So I heard back from the county:

    1) Pennsylvania’s minimum distance law only covers polling places and not ballot drop boxes, so there’s an ongoing problem with poll watchers standing right next to the drop boxes
    2) when I arrived at the drop box, some of the people there were working for county and some were outside poll watchers and they just looked like one big group to me
    3) the people who were trying to talk to me were the county workers and were trying to make sure people had their ballots filled out and sealed properly so they don’t get rejected for something like missing a date or what not
    4) they’re going to review the security footage because apparently there were multiple complaints from that site yesterday

  11. CSK says:


    I figured as much.

  12. Mikey says:

    I ran my 10th Marine Corps Marathon today. It went reasonably well, aside from some stomach discomfort late in the race. My Garmin currently sits at 55,965 steps for today.

    We’ve been invited to a Halloween party this evening. I haven’t decided on going or not. Leaning towards going. Maybe I’ll dress as a piece of furniture so I don’t have to move around much.

  13. Gustopher says:


    Maybe I’ll dress as a piece of furniture so I don’t have to move around much.

    Halloween is an excellent time to try out your fetishes — it’s all just a laugh, so you don’t even need to come out to yourself about your desire to be used as an ottoman or whatever.

    You get to experiment with no consequences. Usually it’s considered wrong to involve other people in your kink, but if they don’t even know, and would only be confused if they found out, I don’t see the harm.

    Go for it!

  14. Mimai says:


    That’s awesome, major congratulations! I’ve not run that one but only hear good things about it.

    I’ve got a fall race coming up myself. My right hammy has been giving me fits — capricious little bitch that it is — so I might downgrade to a half. And tbh, I’d be ok with that. We shall see.

    Re the Halloween party, I think you should go. As a quilt. To be draped over the comfiest couch. You didn’t ask, but that’s my suggestion. Whatever you do, I hope you bathe in the glory of another marathon conquered. Badass!

  15. CSK says:


    My cousin and her husband dressed up as Janis Joplin and Donald Trump.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: Well done, sir, very well done.

  17. Kylopod says:

    Lula wins the Brazilian presidential election, by a margin of around 2 million votes. We’ll see if Bolsonaro attempts to stage a coup to stay in power.

  18. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mimai: (Yes, I stole from The Addams’ Family.) I just don’t wear a costume and tell people I dressed as a mass murderer.