Sunday’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. Bill says:
  2. Bill says:
  3. Kathy says:

    If I were Biden, I’d go after the people who enabled and aided Trump, like Barr and the rest, and let New York deal with Trump.

    This way he can avoid the appearance of engaging in a political vendetta. More important, he does not teach the wrong lesson to would-be tin-pot dictators like Trump: if you want to avoid prison, stay in power by any means necessary.

    We need the opposite of Sulla’s lesson. Sulla thought he was saving the Republic, when what he taught others was how to seize and exert power.

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  4. sam says:

    The F-16’s Replacement Won’t Have a Pilot at All:

    The U.S. Air Force plans to have an operational combat drone by 2023. The service plans to build out a family of unmanned aircraft, known as Skyborg, capable of carrying weapons and actively participating in combat. The Air Force’s goal is to build up a large fleet of armed, sort-of disposable jets that don’t need conventional runways to take off and land.

    The Air Force, according to Aviation Week & Space Technology, expects to have the first operational Skyborg aircraft ready by 2023. Skyborg will be available with both subsonic and supersonic engines, indicating both attack and fighter jet versions. The basic design (or designs) will likely be stealthy, carrying guided bombs, air defense suppression missiles, and air-to-air missiles inside internal weapons bays. Interesting, according to AvWeek, the Air Force is considering Skyborg as a replacement not only for the MQ-9 Reaper attack drone but early versions of the F-16 manned fighter.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This is for all you city folk: Noise control: sound wave system cancels out drum of traffic

    If the hum of passing cars and the clatter of trains drives you to slam windows shut on a hot day, a new noise cancelling system could be music to your ears.

    Scientists have developed a sound control system that can be fitted on to an open window, allowing a breeze to waft in while sounds from outside are quietened.

    Active sound control involves using a microphone to detect incoming sounds then using an array of loudspeakers to emit sound waves of the same frequency but opposing pressure pattern to essentially cancel out the invading noise.

    “We have proved that it is possible, using loudspeakers in a window, to significantly reduce the sounds that come through an open window,” said Prof Stephen Elliott, of the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research atSouthampton University, and a co-author of the research, adding the effect was almost as good as shutting a window.

    My in-laws lived in 4th floor condo on a very busy city street in Palma and had no AC (few on the island did). They certainly could have used this, especially for the damn mopeds.

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  6. DrDaveT says:

    @sam:

    The U.S. Air Force plans to have an operational combat drone by 2023.

    Fusion is the power of the future — and always will be!

    Don’t hold your breath on this one.

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  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    @DrDaveT:

    If anything, a combat drone is championed by the Pentagon and not the Air Force brass. Yesterday’s post on Gen. Milley made the point that top Army officials are always Rangers, Airborne or Spec. Forces. For the Navy it is ship commanders and carrier group commanders. For the AF, the path to the top is being a fighter jockey.

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  8. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: my $60 Anker active noise cancelling headphones take traffic noise from a roar to a whisper.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Can you sleep with them on? My in-laws are gone and I don’t need them where I live, but I am curious.

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  10. Kurtz says:

    @Bill:

    The Florida headline of the day-

    Sheriff: Driver crashes into occupied church and sets it on fire

    Dude, is that Adam Driver?

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  11. Kurtz says:

    @sam:

    There goes the third installment of Top Gun. It just doesn’t seem as dramatic to have Iceman and Maverick open the door to their offices to argue in a hallway.

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  12. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I couldn’t because I’m a side sleeper.

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  13. Teve says:
  14. Bill says:
  15. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Ranger and Airborne are leadership schools that any specialty can be recommended and selected for…although it is true that the majority of the graduates of those courses are in Combat Arms (i.e. infantry, tankers, air assault, etc)

    Special Forces are a very niche community that isn’t top heavy on General officers. What they do is considered a tactical function so their Generals are rarely put in high level strategic jobs or jobs at the nexus of politics and the military (i.e. CJCS or a Service Chief). They generally make terrible Staff officers for obvious reasons. Special Forces Generals are mostly posted in positions where they oversee the operations conducted as well as the training and equipping of Forces. The exception is the Commander of Socom who is a quasi-Service chief for training of special forces of all services to work together as 1 integrated team.

    The Air Force absolutely is a fighter pilot guild…but there is a pecking order by platform. You wont see an A-10 driver as the Chief of Staff or Chairman. Personally I think F-15 and F-22 pilots are the smartest but they are outnumbered drastically by F16 pilots (who are the most represented specialty in the General Officer corps.)

    Believe it or not… Navy Flag officers that make it to the big leagues of DOD level posts (vice being posted in a Navy job) are Navy pilots, usually FA-18 drivers. They are usually very motivational but not keen on details. After that its the Surface Warfare guys/gals… and specifically– people who Commanded
    Carriers/ Destroyers that launch cruise missiles.

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  16. Michael Cain says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I have read that the USAF top brass are increasingly having to admit all of their own studies show flying skills are no longer the most important to be a successful fighter pilot. Now it’s analysis of the incoming data stream(s) and pushing the right buttons. Combine that with the cost of the new platforms — too expensive to risk in the kind of combat where flying skills are critical unless it’s absolutely unavoidable — and the logic is inevitable.

    I have been known to assert that the decision to make the F-35 a single-seat fighter was a huge gamble that the software package would be able to do enough of the data analysis that a human could make the correct final decisions while being distracted by having to fly the plane.

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  17. CSK says:

    @Bill:
    Quelle tragique.

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  18. MarkedMan says:

    GOP Governor Larry Hogan:

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Sunday that the Republican Party will need to “find a way to appeal to more people” in the future.

    Hogan is one of the few GOP executive officials that might be able to do something about this. I only wish the interviewer had followed up with what I believe is the crucial question: “Do you think that simply means just educating minorities and women about Republican policies, or does it actually involve giving them a seat at the big table, listening to them and altering Republican policies based on their goals?”

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  19. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I have been known to assert that the decision to make the F-35 a single-seat fighter was a huge gamble that the software package would be able to do enough of the data analysis that a human could make the correct final decisions while being distracted by having to fly the plane.

    Of course, if you’re going to put all of your eggs in the basket of “40 million lines of software that happens to have wings and an engine,” you should probably treat the software as the primary risk and the focus of your management approach. This… didn’t happen.

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  20. @sam:

    known as Skyborg

    Sounds Swedish.

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  21. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Sunday that the Republican Party will need to “find a way to appeal to more people” in the future.

    What is left that Republicans could actually champion, that is both popular and good for America? I can’t see them becoming the party of decreasing wealth inequality, promoting equal justice, or avoiding environmental catastrophe. Economic populism is a con, but it might work — except of course that their commitment to anti-labor and anti-education policies is almost as firm as their commitment to racism has been. They already own the single-issue anti-abortion and Christian theocracy fringe; there’s no room for growth there.

    What worries me is that starting a war to stir up jingoism and paint the Dems as anti-American doesn’t seem nearly implausible enough at the moment.

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  22. sam says:

    About those drones, and the brass: See, Colonel Blimp, the Life and Death of.

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  23. Kurtz says:

    @DrDaveT:

    What worries me is that starting a war to stir up jingoism and paint the Dems as anti-American doesn’t seem nearly implausible enough at the moment.

    In one of the moments between slumber and lucidity I had the thought that Putin would gift Trump with an October Surprise–an attack to be attributed to Antifa, Islamists, whatever group.

    Far-fetched. Then again, he’s done it before.

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  24. EddieInCA says:

    Two pilla were released today for Texas. In one of them, Trump is leading Biden by one. In the other Biden is leading Trump by five.

    Texas is in play.

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  25. Mister Bluster says:

    “Let’s Play Two!” Ernie Banks
    Major League Baseball is scheduled to start in 10 days.
    But before this season starts I think we should look back at one of baseballs finer moments and then be glad that there will be no fans at the games.

    Thursday July 12, 1979
    Disco Demolition Night
    “You try something you don’t know how it’s going to end up necessarily you think it’s a good idea and it just got out of hand…”
    Bill Veeck 1914-1986
    RIP…

    (My personal take is that after 6 years of the unholy designated hitter rule in the American League something like this was bound to happen.)

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  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Mister Bluster: My brother was actually there! Craziness. And it is one of the reasons I keep telling my kids not to make the mistake that thuggish cops who like to beat unarmed people will for some reason act like gentlemen if the skin is white. Those cops charged in swinging batons at heads and the crowd was 99% white.

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  27. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: JFC what a horrifying possibility.

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  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah! Great idea. My current apartment stays cool most of the summer without needing to open windows, but I’ve had places where I would definitely bought that.

    @Bill: Wasn’t 7/11 day yesterday anyway? Not that it would matter for me. The closest 7/11 is ~50 mile away in Vancouver, and I’ve never been a Slurpees guy.

    @MarkedMan: I trust Larry Hogan to be able to lie about that. Don’t you?

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  29. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..I keep telling my kids not to make the mistake that thuggish cops who like to beat unarmed people will for some reason act like gentlemen if the skin is white.

    You got that right. There were very few black students enrolled
    at Sleepytown U in the spring of 1970 when thousands of white college students demonstrating against the draft and the Vietnam war were attacked with tear gas and billy clubs by the Illinois State Police for two weeks leading to the close of the University.

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  30. Bill says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Thursday July 12, 1979
    Disco Demolition Night
    “You try something you don’t know how it’s going to end up necessarily you think it’s a good idea and it just got out of hand…”
    Bill Veeck 1914-1986
    RIP…

    (My personal take is that after 6 years of the unholy designated hitter rule in the American League something like this was bound to happen.)
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    Bill Veeck was GM of the White Sox at the time, but Disco Demolition Night was the work of his son, Mike. It was a disaster so far as Mike’s career went. He was black balled out of baseball for a decade before re-emerging as a front office person of some minor league team.

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  31. Bill says:

    @Kurtz:

    In one of the moments between slumber and lucidity I had the thought that Putin would gift Trump with an October Surprise–an attack to be attributed to Antifa, Islamists, whatever group.

    Far-fetched. Then again, he’s done it before.

    Its possible but Trump may blunder in some way. Like ordering an attack on Freedonia or the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.

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  32. Teve says:

    The creationists, you won’t be surprised to hear, are almost all Trumpers. Some of them are now claiming that Trump has absolutely no responsibility for fighting Covid, it’s up to the governors of the individual states. Here’s an example:

    65
    ET
    July 12, 2020 at 11:42 am
    The GOVERNORs are responsible for the people in their State. That people want to blame the federal government just further exposes their ignorance.

    linky

    Any of your political hobbyists want to weigh in on this?

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  33. Bill says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Wasn’t 7/11 day yesterday anyway? Not that it would matter for me. The closest 7/11 is ~50 mile away in Vancouver, and I’ve never been a Slurpees guy.

    You’re right. I’m not a 7-11 or a Slurpees person and I lived two or less miles from a store for 30 plus years.

    Today would have been my brother Charlie’s 44th wedding anniversary but he and Barbara divorced some time 15-20 years ago. I have a few short but amusing tales from it.

    1- My sister Patty was dating at the time her eventual husband. His name is Marty. Marty is Jewish and as the custom for a person of that faith, was going to wear a yamulke in church. Barbara’s parents (They were Italian and Roman Catholic) learned of this and supposedly got into a tizzy as a result.

    My born in Germany (and Roman Catholic) maternal grandfather supposedly said to Marty. “If you don’t wear a yarmulke, I will.” Papa could be very funny, especially with his Charles Laughton impersonations, he just drank way too much. Maybe that helped make him funny.

    2- At the wedding reception, me and my brother George spent time a good of time drinking champagne. We were 15 and 13 at the time. I have no recollection of whether I had a hangover the next day or not. If I ever was drunk in my life, this was the one and only occurrence.

    3- My cousin Beverly grew so tired of her husband Alex (An alcoholic) referring to Marty as Jew boy, she knocked Alex off his feet with a whack of her purse around the time the reception was ending.

    So far as I know Alex and Bev are still married and he still drinks. But Alex is one of those sad drunks who doesn’t take his misery out on others. If he ever tried, I think could beat the s**t out of him.

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  34. Sleeping Dog says:
  35. Sleeping Dog says:
  36. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Ungrateful s.o.b., isn’t he?

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Now that’s what I call WINNING.

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  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: That’s kinda what I thought, so am I.

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  38. grumpy realist says:

    @sam: overly complex pieces of machinery + AI + programmer who didn’t know about quaternions == planes flipping over during flight.

    Do we really need to learn this lesson again? Sigh.

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  39. Teve says:

    @grumpy realist: I know what quaternions are, but how do they relate to programming?

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  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @Sleeping Dog: He could fuck up a wet dream.

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  41. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping Dog:..Trump rips private Texas border wall built by his supporters

    Tommy Fisher, CEO of Fisher Industries, said Sunday that he thought the president “just got some misinformation on this stuff” and that he had “complete respect” for Trump.
    “The wall will stand for 150 years, you mark my words,” Fisher said.

    Of course no one born even today will live that long to bear this out.
    Another bootlicker for Trump.

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  42. HarvardLaw92 says:

    There is apparently a Navy ship on fire in San Diego right now.

    Link

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  43. Jax says:

    Oh. My. God.

    “We’ve had 21 deaths in Wyoming. Most of those were people with pre-existing conditions or in old folks homes,” trustee Kevin Christopherson said during the board’s Wednesday night meeting. “They were going to die. They just died sooner.”

    He said the quiet part out loud. The Boomers on my Facebook are PISSED.

    This is from our very own Casper Star Tribune.

    https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/health/as-reopening-plan-that-calls-for-face-coverings-school-board-members-express-resistance/article_0b67f362-9532-5832-a1fe-ef8662e55431.html?utm_campaign=snd-autopilot&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter_CSTribune

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  44. DrDaveT says:

    @Jax:

    “They were going to die. They just died sooner.”

    Hey Kevin — of whom is that NOT true? Or are you expecting The Rapture sometime soon?

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  45. Jax says:

    @DrDaveT: I thought we were still at All Lives Matter, but again…..he said the quiet part out loud, All Lives DO NOT Matter. 😐

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  46. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve:

    I know what quaternions are, but how do they relate to programming?

    I believe @grumpy is referring to a possibly apocryphal legend that early versions of the F-16 avionics software would incorrectly flip the orientation of the aircraft when it crossed the equator. See for example this article from 1986. I had not heard that quaternions were involved; indeed there is at least once source on the web that says using quaternions (which preserve smooth orientation) could have prevented such an error. Also, no credible accounts talk about this bug getting through ground tests — it was caught and fixed before the plane ever flew.

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  47. Kurtz says:

    @Jax:

    It’s unfair to focus on Christopherson… Let’s let McCullar have a moment in the spotlight.

    Despite the breadth of the details within the plan, board members focused exclusively on the mask requirement. Christopherson was joined in his skepticism by Clark Jensen and Debbie McCullar. McCullar noted that few children have died of the disease and questioned why recommendations about mask wearing and other areas of the virus response are continuing to change.

    For some reason, the simplest of concepts–an infected person sometimes spreads their infection to others–overwhelms the brain for these people.

    Now back to Christopherson:

    “Except for the jogger in Cheyenne who died, who’s my age and had no other health problems,” replied Dr. Mark Dowell, the Natrona County health officer and an infectious disease expert who’s been treating coronavirus patients here.

    “Yeah, I mean, things happen,” Christopherson said. “We’ve had 41 highway deaths this year. And I bet you you’re still driving. I know I am. I’m still driving 84 miles an hour.”

    What does a Soviet judge give the American in a contest of stupid?

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  48. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: Haha….I don’t know, what?

    Yeah, the whole thing was eye-rollingly stupid. This is the largest school district in the state, and those are their leaders. 🙁 Did you read the comments? I was surprised there wasn’t more backlash right on the article.

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  49. An Interested Party says:

    Over in Conservative Land, even when a good point is made, many of the foot soldiers don’t like it too much…the whataboutism and supposed crimes of Obama run rampant in the comment section where they defend their dear leader…oh, and just when you thought that Ted Cruz couldn’t get any more slimy…

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  50. Kurtz says:

    @Jax:

    Darn¹, I was hoping you had an answer.

    ¹I’m practicing the no profanity thing as per the post today.²

    ²Is the alternative to “darn” considered profanity?³

    ³damn, this is tedious for me.⁴

    ⁴shit!ⁿ

    ⁿI mean, crap!*

    *what was the question, again?

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